Art Industry News: Dealer Forgets a $1.6 Million Fontana in a Cab + More Must-Read Stories

Plus Ed Sheeran immortalized at London’s National Portrait Gallery and Laurie Simmons speaks about her latest film 'My Art.'

Works from Lucio Fontana's 'Concetto Spaziale,' series fetch hefty sums at auction. Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

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 this Wednesday, May 3rd.


Oops, a Dealer Forgot His Fontana in a Cab – A French art dealer carrying one of Lucio Fontana’s Concetto Spaziale works, estimated to be worth about $1.6 million, got so distracted by a phone call that he forgot the work in a Paris cab and didn’t even notice until the next day. He reported the incident to the police, but the cab driver, it turns out, returned the piece on Tuesday. (Le Parisien)

Sotheby’s Sued Over Mahmoud Mokhtar Sculpture – Sheikh Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi, the founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation in Sharjah and one of the world’s biggest Middle Eastern art collectors, sued Sotheby’s over a sculpture he bought from the auction house last year by the Egyptian artist Mahmoud Mokhtar. The collector claims that Sotheby’s misrepresented the work as a lifetime cast. (Telegraph)

Richard Gray Gallery Grows The veteran Chicago art outfit has expanding beyond confines of the city’s Hancock Building and opened a second 5,000-square-foot warehouse space a few miles from downtown. The Gray Warehouse’s inaugural show is dedicated to new work by Jim Dine (through June 10). (The Art Newspaper)

Everything You Need to Know About the Portal Art Fair – The smaller second edition of the new indie NYC fair “feels essentially like a big group show, with the attendant mix in quality.” (Hyperallergic)


Cultural Figures Rally Against Marine Le Pen – Last night cultural luminaries took the stage at a protest against Le Pen’s Front National party at Paris’s philharmonic. Artists including Orlan spoke against the presidential candidate’s cultural policies, and the danger they may pose to artistic freedom, while French filmmakers like Luc Beson urged voters to cast their ballots for Le Pen’s opponent, Emmanuel Macron. France votes this Sunday. (The Art Newspaper)

Artist Laurie Simmons Says Her New Movie Isn’t Autobiographical  Speaking to W, Simmons, who has emerged on the scene as part of the Pictures Generation in the 1980s, says that the feature film My Art—which made its US debut at the Tribeca Film Festival last week—features an “amalgamation of some of the many real-life artists” in her circle. Her daughter Lena Dunham is also in it. (W Magazine)

Pierce Brosnan Keeps an Art Studio in His “Romantic Bedroom” – The actor and his wife Keely Shaye Smith provided some insights into their art-making process at the MOCA Gala. (AD)


The Former Head of Sotheby’s France Has Died – A princess by marriage, Laure de Beauvau-Caron was at the helm of Sotheby’s France for nearly 15 years until she retired in 2004. She died this past Saturday at the age of 74. De Beauvau Caron was a leading figure in ending the centuries-long monopoly of a local auction house over the entire French market. (The Art Newspaper)

Harvard’s Carpenter Center Hires ICA Curator – The university’s art-and-design facility has named Dan Byers as its new director of visual arts, bringing him on after his two-and-a-half year stint as senior curator at the ICA Boston. (ARTnews)

Colin Davidson, <em>Ed Sheeran</em> (2016). © Colin Davidson.

Colin Davidson, Ed Sheeran (2016). © Colin Davidson.


Wave Goodbye to Hokusai’s Iconic Great WaveOne of Hokusai’s prints from 1830 depicting stormy waters goes on view at the British Museum on May 25 for one last time before it heads back to a storage facility for preservation. While the print’s blues are still very vivid, its yellows and pinks are fading. (The Evening Standard)

Dutch Masterpieces Owned by Russian Tsars Head to Amsterdam Come October, the Hermitage Museum’s Amsterdam outpost will stage what is sure to become a blockbuster exhibition, offering a rare glimpse of Dutch Master paintings once collected by Russia’s rulers. There are six Rembrandts in the trove making its way from St. Petersburg to the Netherlands. (The Art Newspaper)

British Pop Star Gets Immortalized at London’s National Portrait Gallery The museum has announced its latest acquisition, a portrait of the ginger-haired English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran by the Belfast-based artist Colin Davidson. Davidson famously painted the portraits of Brad Pitt and the Queen, among others. Here’s his latest below. (Press Release)

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.