Art Industry News: Hopping on the Crypto Train, Art Basel Will Let VIPs Turn Themselves Into NFTs in Miami + Other Stories

Plus, collector Jaime Botín won't serve his prison sentence after all, and Yayoi Kusama's latest show sold out before it even opened.

Artist Olive Allen with her NFT work Post-Death or the Null Address (2021) in Galerie Nagel Draxler's booth at Art Basel 2021. Courtesy Olive Allen.
Artist Olive Allen with her NFT work Post-Death or the Null Address (2021) in Galerie Nagel Draxler's booth at Art Basel 2021. Courtesy Olive Allen.

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 Wednesday, November 10.

NEED-TO-READ

Yayoi Kusama’s Retrospective Sold Out Before It Opened – The power of Yayoi Kusama remains undimmed. A retrospective of the Japanese artist at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art sold 150,000 tickets before it even opened to the public. All time slots are now filled through February 2022. The museum is considering expanding its hours while remaining open until midnight on Thursdays to meet the overwhelming demand. (Haaretz)  

Barbican Responds to Staff Dossier – The Barbican is preparing its response to a dossier published earlier this year by a group of current and former staff detailing an “inherently racist” working culture at the institution. The board will now consider an “action plan” released by the city of London in response to the allegations, which includes “compulsory anti-discrimination training…rolled out to all staff at the Barbican Centre with senior leaders taking part first.” (Evening Standard)

Art Basel Hosts an NFT Exhibition – Oh, I’m sorry, you thought that Art Basel Miami Beach wouldn’t hop on the NFT train? The Miami edition of the fair, coming up December 2 through 4, is (of course) hosting an exhibition organized by the blockchain currency Tezos titled “Humans + Machines: NFTs and the Ever-Evolving World of Art.” Part of the show lets visitors create A.I. portraits of themselves and mint them as NFTs. (The Art Newspaper)

How the U.K. Government Is Interfering With Museums – The current political climate fostered by the U.K. government is “profoundly damaging” for museums, writes Charlotte Higgins. Over the past few years, appointments to museum boards and other cultural positions have become even more closely monitored and controlled by 10 Downing Street, which is “obsessed” with fears of culture wars. The government can preside over board changes at national museums and the Arts Council England. (Guardian)

MOVERS & SHAKERS

Harvard Professor Revealed as Barkley Hendricks Seller – The seller of one of the more exciting lots in the fall New York auction season, Barkley Hendricks’s FTA (1968), has been identified. He is Gordon Moore, a professor at Harvard Medical School, who purchased the work more than five decades ago with his wife, Charlotte. Proceeds from the sale, which is estimated to generate between $4 million and $6 million, will go toward anti-bias programs in preschool education. (ARTnews)

FOR ART’S SAKE

Art Critic Doesn’t Recognize Rupert Murdoch – Australian art critic Robert Nelson made a bit of a gaffe when he reviewed Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller’s latest work, a pair of gray melting wax sculptures of Fox News magnate Rupert Murdoch and his son Lachlan. Nelson mistook the father-and-son coupling for a Biblical reference. While he could probably have pretended he left the Murdoch name out of his piece as a political statement, he fessed up in a subsequent article. “I’d like to bask in the glow of this subtle gamesmanship,” he wrote, “but in all candor, I just didn’t realize that the two antiquated specimens were the Murdochs.” (The Age, Guardian)

 

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