Art Industry News: Christie’s Auction of Warhol NFTs Mints $3.4 Million Amid Global Bidding Frenzy + Other Stories

Plus, Blenheim Palace will stage a major Tino Sehgal show, and Julie Mehretu donates a multimillion-dollar painting to the Art for Justice fund.

Andy Warhol, Untitled (Flower) (ca. 1985k, minted as an NFT in 2021). ©The Andy Warhol Foundation.
Andy Warhol, Untitled (Flower) (ca. 1985k, minted as an NFT in 2021). ©The Andy Warhol Foundation.

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 Friday, May 28.

NEED-TO-READ

Jimmy Lai Imprisoned for Another 14 Months – The Hong Kong art collector and media tycoon was sentenced to 14 months in jail for his involvement in the 2019 pro-democracy protest under the new national security law imposed by China on Hong Kong. The 73-year-old is already serving time for another sentencing related to unauthorized rallies and will spend a total of 20 months behind bars. (Evening Standard)

Tino Sehgal Comes to Blenheim Palace – One of the most photogenic art venues in the world is planning an exhibition that visitors will be forbidden to photograph. The Blenheim Art Foundation in Woodstock, U.K., will stage a major exhibition of performances by Tino Sehgal from July 9 through August 15. Performers will move fluidly throughout the estate’s park and gardens. (Press release)

Warhol NFTs Sell for $3.4 Million – Five NFTs based on works by Pop artist Andy Warhol sold for a combined $3.4 million at Christie’s to benefit the Warhol Foundation. The hubbub in the lead-up to the sale surrounding the manner in which the works, first executed by Warhol in 1985, had been recovered from floppy disks seemed to do little to dampen buyers’ enthusiasm. The auction house extended the time on each lot to accommodate the more than 200 bids that arrived in the final 24 hours from the U.S., Europe, and Asia. (Press release)

Berkeley Will Sell NFTs Linked to a Nobel Prize – In other NFT news, the University of California, Berkeley, will auction off two NFTs based on forms that researchers at the school fill out to alert the administration about major discoveries. The first to hit the virtual block, from 1996, is an early description of a revolutionary cancer treatment; the second is a disclosure describing a gene editing invention. (New York Times)

ART MARKET

Julie Mehretu Donates a Painting to the Art for Justice Fund – The artist has donated Dissident Score (2019–21) to benefit Agnes Gund’s Art for Justice Fund, which seeks to fight mass incarceration. The single-lot sale opened May 26 on Artsy and has a starting bid of $2.6 million. It closes June 10. (The Art Newspaper)

Contemporary Art Society Will Open a Pop-Up – The U.K.’s Contemporary Art Society will set up shop in Mayfair, London, on June 4 at a temporary space during London Gallery Weekend. The charity will sell works by artists including Lubaina Himid and participating galleries like Greengrassi, Lisson Gallery, and Maureen Paley. Artists will get a commission and the rest will go to the charity. (TAN)

COMINGS & GOINGS

Peter Marino Launches a Foundation in the Hamptons – The leather-loving New York architect is opening a space for his eponymous foundation in Southampton this summer. The new home for his extensive art collection will work in tandem with the Southampton Arts Center next door to offer cultural programming throughout the year. (New York Post)

Ido Bruno Steps Down at the Israel Museum – The director of the Jerusalem museum is departing after four years in the post. In an exit interview, he noted that the museum did not have to lay off any staff during the pandemic and that it has since returned to full operations. (Times of Israel)

FOR ART’S SAKE

Bienal de São Paulo Releases Full Artist List – The Brazilian biennial has shared the 91 artists who will present work in its exhibition in September. The show, curated by Jacopo Crivelli Visconti and titled “Faz Escuro mas eu canto” (“Though it’s dark, still I sing”), will include Alfredo Jaar, Deana Lawson, and Lawrence Abu Hamdan, among others. (ARTnews)

Statue of Slave Trader Toppled in BLM Protest Will Go on Display – The statue of Edward Colston that was toppled and thrown into a river last year will go on temporary display outside of the Bristol institution M Shed on June 4 alongside protest placards. The display, “The Colston Statue: What Next?” hopes to begin a conversation about how the city can move forward. (Evening Standard)

Protesters pull down a statue of Edward Colston during a Black Lives Matter protest rally in Bristol. Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images.

Protesters pull down a statue of Edward Colston during a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol. Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images.

Protesters transporting the statue of Colston towards the river Avon. Photo by Giulia Spadafora/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Protesters transporting the statue of Colston towards the river Avon. Photo by Giulia Spadafora/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

The statue of Colston is pushed into the river Avon. Photo by Giulia Spadafora/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

The statue of Colston is pushed into the river Avon. Photo by Giulia Spadafora/NurPhoto via Getty Images.


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