Art Industry News: Doodle-Crazed Bidders Snap Up Every Single Lot at Mr. Doodle’s One-Man Christie’s Hong Kong Auction + Other Stories

Plus, Sprüth Magers nabs representation of the John Baldessari estate and Vessel reopens in New York with new safety measures.

Mr. Doodle at the launch of "Sense of Space," a multi-room sensory art experience in Exchange Square in London in 2018. Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Broadgate.

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Thursday, May 27.


Postmasters Gallery Launches Blockchain Website – Postmasters, which has been on the forefront of digital art since long before you had ever heard the term NFT, has launched its own specialized platform called PostmastersBLOCKCHAIN. The website will host digital artworks for “a new generation of collectors and curators.” Kevin McCoy, who created the first digital art NFT in 2014, is among the participating artists. (Press release)

Artists Won’t Be Subject to Anti-Money Laundering Rules in U.K. – The U.K. government has confirmed that the new anti-money laundering law due to go into effect on June 10 will not apply to artists. The law states that “art market participants” must comply with enhanced record-keeping and other regulations if they sell work to collectors for €10,000 or more. But rather than target artists selling directly to buyers, the rules will apply strictly to art businesses. (The Art Newspaper)

Dedicated Mr. Doodle Auction in Hong Kong Sells Every Lot – The millennial scribbler artist is at it again. His dedicated sale at Christie’s Hong Kong, “Mr. Doodle: Caravan Chaos,” was 100 percent sold. The sale saw panels removed from a camper van that were covered with Mr. Doodle’s, erm, doodles. All 27 lots found buyers, mostly above their presale estimates, for a total of HK$5.7 million ($730,264). The sale was fueled by online bidders from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. (The Value)

Vessel Reopens in New York With New Safety Measures – In what is perhaps the grimmest ongoing saga in the world of public art, the Thomas Heatherwick-designed Vessel will reopen on Friday in New York’s Hudson Yards four months after it was forced to close due to repeated suicides. Vessel will now require a buddy system, mandating that guests be part of groups of two or more to enter. (Dezeen)


Sprüth Magers Nabs the John Baldessari Estate – The gallery will represent the estate of the famous conceptual artist, who died last year. The estate, which belongs to his two children, will also continue to work with longtime galleries Mai 36 in Zurich and Greta Meert in Brussels, but will no longer work with Marian Goodman. Sprüth Magers will show Baldessari’s final series, “The Space Between,” in Los Angeles next month. (Financial Times)

Simon Lee Will Represent Sonia Boyce – The artist, who will represent Britain at the next Venice Biennale, has joined the roster of Simon Lee Gallery. Boyce, who is also represented by Italy’s Apalazzo Gallery, will have her first show with her new dealer in London in fall 2022. (Press release)


Humboldt Forum to Open in July – After repeated delays due to construction and the pandemic, the Humboldt Forum—everyone’s favorite controversial museum, which we’ve said has been just about to open for years—has announced that it will officially be opening to visitors in mid-July. (Monopol)

Russian Artists Selling NFTs to Support Journalists Under Threat – A group of artists is launching a digital art auction today on Rarible to support Russian media outlet Meduza, which has recently been labeled a “foreign agent” by Russian authorities. The auction includes collages dedicated to the independent publication by two groups of artists, NFT Bastards and Non-Fungible Females, who hail from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. (Coindesk, Meduza)


Howard Renames College of Fine Arts After Chadwick Boseman – Howard University is renaming its College of Fine Arts after alumnus Chadwick Boseman, who died in August at age 43 from colon cancer. Boseman, who graduated from Howard in 2000, went on to star in Black Panther. Walt Disney Co.’s executive chairman, Bob Iger, will spearhead fundraising for an endowment for the visual and performing arts school named after Boseman. (Washington Post)

Duchess Camilla Loves David Hockney’s New Show – Don’t count the Duchess of Cornwall among David Hockney’s skeptics. On a recent tour of the British artist’s new exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, she described the 116 works—all made on Hockney’s iPad—as “glorious and uplifting—just what we need.” (Evening Standard

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