Art Industry News: Nearly 40 Percent of All Art Exhibitions in the United States Take Place in New York City. Whoa. + Other Stories
Plus, billionaire art collector Fayez Sarofim dies at 93, and a dealer loses his legal battle over two Egon Schiele paintings.
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, June 1.
NEED TO READ
Dealer Loses Bid for Nazi-Looted Works – Two works by Egon Schiele are expected to go on sale at Christie’s this fall after the London-based dealer Richard Nagy failed to win his appeal in a case that forced him to return the paintings to the heirs of Austrian Holocaust victim Fritz Grünbaum. The decision from the New York Court of Appeals ends a seven-year legal battle over the works. (New York Post)
Fayez Sarofim, Houston Financier and Museum Benefactor, Dies at 93 – The Egyptian-born billionaire died on May 28 at his home in Houston, his family confirmed. Last year, Sarofim presented highlights of his collection, which encompasses works by John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, Robert Motherwell, and Pablo Picasso, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. He told Money magazine in 1999 that he has the same rule of thumb for both investing and art collecting: “Never sell.” (Bloomberg, Barrons)
A New Report Ranks the Top American Art Cities – New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Miami are the five American cities that contribute most to the international art market, according to a new report by the art economist Clare McAndrew. The U.S. accounted for nearly half of all art sales in 2021. Here’s a fun fact about New York plucked from the data: institutions in the city mounted 36 percent of all exhibitions staged nationwide between 2017 and 2021. (ARTnews)
British Museum to Return Looted Medieval Artifacts to Ukraine – The historic Ukrainian jewelry seized at Gatwick airport last July will go on view at the British Museum until it can be safely returned to Kyiv. The collection, which was exported illegally out of the country, comprises a total of 86 pieces, and represents only a fraction of the “gigantic transnational looting of Ukrainian heritage” during the war. (Evening Standard)
MOVERS & SHAKERS
Remy Jungerman Wins the Heineken Prize – The multidisciplinary artist has been awarded the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art, the biggest visual art prize in the Netherlands. Jungerman will receive €100,000, half of which will be used for a publication or exhibition. The artist is currently studying the aesthetic similarities between the Gee’s Bend and early 20th century Maroon shoulder cloths. (Press release)
Sydney Biennale Names Curators – Veteran Berlin-based curators Cosmin Costinaș and Inti Guerrero will serve as the artistic directors of the 24th edition of the biennale, which is slated to run from March 9 through June 10, 2024. Costinas previously served as the executive director of Para Site in Hong Kong; Guerrero teaches curatorial studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Belgium. (Art Asia Pacific)
Japanese Tower Will Land in Museums – The iconic Nakagin Capsule Tower in downtown Tokyo is due to be demolished—but some of the 140 stacked “capsules” that form the structure will be preserved and shipped to museums around the world. The 13-floor building designed by architect Kisho Kurokawa was built in 1972. (AP)
FOR ARTS SAKE
Digital Art Installation Commemorates 50 Years of Climate Action – A digital art installation by John Munro, 50/50, draws on U.N. data to illustrate the positive impact of 50 years of climate action. The work is included in “Transformers,” a new exhibition by the U.N. Science-Policy-Business Forum that runs alongside the U.N.’s Stockholm+50 conference. (Press release)
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