Art Industry News: New Tapes Reveal the Truth Behind Francis Bacon’s Drug Bust + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, inside the rise and fall of collector Bernardo Paz and a look at what's driving the art world's addiction to nostalgia.

Francis Bacon in Monaco in 1981. Photo ©Eddy Batache.

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 Monday, May 7.


Paris Wants to Become a Refuge for Endangered Artworks — So declared the city’s mayor Anne Hidalgo, who said she envisioned the city as a place where artworks from conflict zones around the world can find a safe haven. While the plan is still being fleshed out, she has entered partnerships with the International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas and Crédit Municipal de Paris, which will provide storage facilities. (Le Figaro)

“Obviously There is an Impact on Our Reputation” – The BBC takes a look at the downfall of Inhotim founder Bernardo Paz, the world-class art collector who was sentenced to nine years in jail after he and his sister were found to be using the fabled Brazilian art site to launder nearly $100 million. Both plan to appeal their convictions. (BBC)

New Tapes Reveal Francis Bacon’s Fury Over Drug Bust – In recently unearthed recordings, the artist discusses how, when his lover George Dyer tipped off the police to his own marijuana stash in Bacon’s studio in order to have him arrested—the result of a lover’s quarrel—the artist angrily went straight to his easel to paint a portrait of Dyer “to release some of the tension.” (Guardian)

Meet “Hamilton,” the Exhibition – What do you get the Hamilton enthusiast who has everything? Tickets to the new Hamilton exhibition, which debuts in Chicago in November and then will travel to other cities. Developed with input from experts at Yale and Harvard, the show will provide a deeper look into the history behind the record-breaking musical. (New York Times)


Why Is the Art World So Nostalgic? Sotheby’s S|2 gallery, Thomas Dane, and Kurimanzutto are all mounting shows dedicated to Signals London, the short-lived ‘60s gallery that showcased experimental art. The FT‘s Jan Dalley suspects that the art world’s current urge to look back is motivated by a nostalgia for simpler, more congenial times. (FT)

Howard Hodgkin’s APs to Fund Catalogue Raisonné – In order to raise money to produce a scholarly catalogue of the late artist’s prints and works on paper, Sotheby’s London will auction off a suite of works on paper by Hodgkin, each one of which was an artist’s proof reserved by the eminent painter. (The Art Newspaper)

Early Rockefeller Sale Skyrockets – It looks like collectors really are willing to pay a premium for the Rockefeller name. Online sales of the family’s collection have already surpassed expectations. A 14-karat gold money clip in the shape of Rockefeller Center, estimated to sell for between $800 and $12,000, sold for $26,000 after more than 50 bids. (Bloomberg)

Want to Buy North Korean Art? You will probably have to go through Pier Luigi Cecioni, who has been dealing the material to the West from his home in Pontassieve, a small town in Italy. Since 2005, Ceccioni has been ordering works from the massive state-run art studio Mansudae in Pyongyang, North Korea, and selling them for between $300 and $7,000. (CNN)


Dia Adds New Trustees The New York-based art foundation has added six new trustees to its board: artists Will Ryman and Lorna Simpson, education advocate Carol Finley, collector Jahanaz Jaffer, investor Jeffrey Perelman, and real estate investor Hope Warschaw. (Artforum)

Curator Retires From Vancouver Art Gallery – Senior curator Ian M. Thom will step down in June after 30 years with the Canadian museum. During his lengthy tenure, he worked on more than 100 exhibitions, including retrospectives of E.J. Hughes and Takao Tanabe. (Artforum)

Curatorial Excellence Award Winners Revealed – The Association of Art Museum Curators announced the 11 recipients of its award for excellence, which honors groundbreaking art historical scholarship. Winners include Carmen Bambach for the Met’s Michelangelo drawings exhibition and David Frantz for Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano LA, a highlight of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. (Press release)

Honolulu Biennial Foundation Names Director – Katherine Tuider has been named the inaugural executive director for the Hawaiian biennial’s organizing body. Tuider, who has a background in donor development, grant writing, and financial management, cofounded the Honolulu Biennial Foundation with art critic and curator Isabella Hughes. (Artforum)


Three Stolen Paintings Recovered – Italian investigators have recovered three paintings stolen from small museums in Bologna in recent months. Police reviewed security footage and identified a man acting “suspiciously” near another local museum. They swiftly searched his apartment and found the stolen paintings, including a 1363 portrait of St. Ambrose attributed to Giusto de’ Menabuoi. (Business Insider)

Berlin’s Street Art Is Under Threat – As the real estate market in Berlin continues to surge, new housing developments risk covering up some of the city’s most iconic street art. Many large-scale, historic pieces occupy entire walls next to empty lots that are now slated for development. (Aljazeera)

Nudists Flock to Paris Museum – That’s one way to reach new audiences. The Palais de Tokyo welcomed a group of nudists before opening its doors to the wider public over the weekend. Organizers of the event said they no longer want to restrict their practices to “to beaches, summertime, or a certain category of the population.” (Washington Post)

Dorothea Rockburne Gets Her Due – The 85-year-old artist, whose work is inspired by both Minimalism and higher mathematics, has recreated several of her breakthrough works from the 1960s and ’70s for a new show at Dia: Beacon. Her work is also the inspiration for a new capsule collection by COS. See selections from the line of geometric fashions below. (NYT)

COS’s capsule collection inspired by Dorothea Rockburne. All photos courtesy of COS.


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