Art Industry News: Calculating the Whitney Biennial Market Bump + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, news from Frieze New York and the move of Francesca von Habsburg’s collection to Prague.

Painting by Henry Taylor. Photo: Henri Neuendorf.
A painting by Henry Taylor in the 2017 Whitney Biennial. Photo: Henri Neuendorf.

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 Friday, May 5th.


Tate Modern Names Extension After Billionaire Len Blavatnik – Tate will name its new Herzog & de Meuron-designed extension in honor of a major donation that the somewhat controversial Blavatnik Family Foundation pledged to the London institution in 2011, which is reported to be over £50 million ($64 million), making it the largest-ever cash donation to a UK museum. (The Art Newspaper)

Peter Zumthor Presents Designs for Fondation Beyeler Expansion The Swiss architect has revealed the plans for the extension project of the foundation in Riehen, Basel. The village-like cluster of new buildings, which will cost around $100 million, will be constructed on the previously private land of the Iselin-Weber Park, which adjoins the foundation. (designboom)

Pyotr Pavlensky Has Been Granted Asylum in France – The dissident performance artist, who famously nailed his scrotum to Red Square to denounce state power, fled Russia in January with his family after being accused of committing violent sexual assault, allegations which he denies. (Press Release)

Met Gala Guests Didn’t Read ‘No Smoking’ Signs – At least one board member complained to Anna Wintour after spotting celebrities smoking in the museum’s bathrooms during the Met Gala. “I would honestly like to see these people fined by the city,” another donor said. (Page Six)


Whitney Biennial Artists Are Getting a Big Market Bump – A smart piece by James Tarmy takes a look at how work by biennial stars like Henry Taylor and Shara Hughes is getting a big boost at auction now, with their prices jacking up to as much as four times their low estimates. (Bloomberg)

Frieze New York Announces Stand Winners and Inaugural Brooklyn Museum Fund – As the 2017 edition of Frieze New York unfolds on Randall’s Island, the fair has announced that the New York galleries Simone Subal Gallery and P.P.O.W have won this year’s Stand Prizes, and that the Brooklyn Museum has acquired a painting by American artist Virginia Jaramillo through this new fund. (Press Releases)

Norman Rockwell Sets a New Auction Record – The American artist’s Study for Triple Self Portrait (1960) fetched a whopping $1,332,500 on Wednesday at a sale at Heritage Auctions in Dallas, setting a new world record for an oil study by the artist. (Press Release)


Richard Mosse Wins 2017 Prix Pictet – During a ceremony at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, the Honorary President of Prix Pictet Kofi Annan awarded the $100,000 prize to the Irish artist for his Heat Maps series, which documents refugee camps using a military grade thermal camera that can detect body heat from a distance of 30 kilometers. (Press Release)

Camden Arts Centre Gets First New Director in Almost 30 Years – Martin Clark, currently director of Bergen Kunsthall, will be new the director of the Camden Arts Centre, starting in September. Clark is taking over Jenni Lomax, who’s stepping down from the post in August after 27 years at the helm of the much-loved London institution. (Press Release)

Francesca von Habsburg Is Moving Her Collection from Vienna to Prague The move follows the failure of negotiations to reduce the storage costs of her collection in the Austrian capital, and a successful agreement with the National Gallery in Prague. While von Habsburg will relocate to London herself, the headquarters of TBA21 will remain in Vienna. (Die Presse)

William Kentridge Wins Top Spanish Arts Prize The South African artist has won the 2017 Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts, which comes with a €50,000 ($57,000) cash prize. Kentridge will receive the award, dubbed the “Spanish Nobel Prize” from King Felipe of Spain, during a ceremony that will take place in October. (El País)


François Pinault Buys Bruce Nauman Works for the Philly Museum – The French mega-collector and billionaire owner of Christie’s has acquired jointly with the Philadelphia Museum of Art two recent works by the American artist: Contrapposto Studies, I through VII and Walks In Walks Out. The museum already owns 14 works by Nauman. (

And now, take a sneak peek at the Fondation Beyeler extension: 

The extension project of the Fondation Beyeler by Atelier Peter Zumthor. Courtesy Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner.

The extension project of the Fondation Beyeler by Atelier Peter Zumthor. Courtesy Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner.

The extension project of the Fondation Beyeler by Atelier Peter Zumthor. Courtesy Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner.

The extension project of the Fondation Beyeler by Atelier Peter Zumthor. Courtesy Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner.

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