Art Industry News: Did the Saudi Crown Prince’s Super-Yacht Just Bring ‘Salvator Mundi’ to the Netherlands? + Other Stories

Plus, the National Galleries of Scotland severs ties with oil giant BP and is the new Kusama show really worth the wait?

The Serene, the yacht owned by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. Photo by Nick Wells, Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

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 Monday, November 11.


Is the Kusama Show Worth the Wait? – David Zwirner gallery anticipates that a staggering 100,000 visitors will stand in line to experience “Yayoi Kusama: Every Day I Pray for Love,” the artist’s latest exhibition that opened in New York on Saturday. But after New York Times critic Jason Farago spent his allotted 60 seconds inside the Japanese artist’s latest mirrored “Infinity Room,” he left him pondering the disconnect between “the self-obliteration” that Kusama intends her installations to achieve and “the narcissism of a new, selfie-devoted public.” As he notes, “The self cannot dissolve when the selfie is the goal.” (New York Times)

Sotheby’s Prize Goes to Two Brazilian Shows – The $250,000 Sotheby’s award, which funds shows dedicated to under-explored areas of art history, will be split between two Brazilian exhibitions focused on indigenous art. The touring show “OYP”—a collaboration among the Pinacoteca Museum, the Casa do Povo Cultural Center, and Kalipety, a house of prayer—is a response to the devastating fire at the National Museum of Brazil. The second show, at the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, will bring together indigenous art from across the world. (Artforum)

Salvator Mundi Might Have a Tan Now, Because It’s on a Yacht – Reporter Cristina Ruiz has followed up on Kenny Schachter’s scoop for Artnet News that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia may have been storing the elusive Salvator Mundi on his superyacht, the Serene. The newest twist? Tipped off by hints that the royal may relent and lend the $450 million painting to the Louvre, Ruiz tracked his yacht’s progress up the Suez Canal and through the Mediterranean since the exhibition opened at the end of October. She revealed that the Serene was scheduled to arrive in the Netherlands on Friday at a port that is a four-and-a-half-hour journey by road to Paris. Through it all, the Louvre has remained tight-lipped. Asked about the yacht’s progress, she said, “obviously, the Louvre declined to comment.” (The Art Newspaper)

National Galleries of Scotland Drops BP-Sponsored Prize – The National Galleries of Scotland has announced that  it will no longer host the BP-sponsored portrait award organized by London’s National Portrait Gallery after 2020. The decision comes after the Scottish National Portrait Gallery was targeted by protesters singing “climate carols” when the traveling exhibition opened there last December. The museum’s trustees say this year will be “the last time” that it hosts exhibition in its current form. The move is likely to fuel speculation that London’s Portrait Gallery might not renew its exhibition deal with the energy giant, which is due to expire during its planned three-year closure. (The Scotsman)


Collection of Disgraced Dairy Tycoon Hits the Block – Paintings by Picasso, Monet, and Van Gogh, among others, are going on sale in Milan. They belonged to the disgraced Parmalat executive Calisto Tanzi, who was sentenced to 18 years in prison following what has been described as the biggest corporate implosion in Italian history. Proceeds from the sale will go toward paying the creditors of the Italian dairy giant some 16 years after it was declared bankrupt. (Telegraph)

Newly Discovered Artemisia Gentileschi Heads to Auction – A painting by the pioneering female Renaissance artist has emerged in a private collection in France, where it had been stored unrecognized for some 40 years. Artemisia Gentileschi’s painting Lucretia, which has an estimate of $660,000 to $880,000, goes on sale at Artcurial in Paris on November 13. (AFP)

Thrift Store Vase Sells for $600,000 – A Chinese vase bought for just over a dollar at a thrift store in England sold at auction for more than $600,000. The seller originally listed the Qianlong imperial rose vase on eBay but realized it must be valuable after being inundated with messages and bids, so they sent it to auction at Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers in Essex. (Art Daily)


Sculptor Gillian Jagger Has Died – The London-born, Hudson Valley-based sculptor Gillian Jagger has died at 88. Best known for her work with dead wood and animals (she only used roadkill), Jagger created monumental sculptures and installations on the farm she shared with her wife beginning in the late 1970s. Jagger was the daughter of British sculptors Charles Sargeant Jagger and Lillian Maud Wade. (NYT)

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Opens a Global Art Wing – The Canadian museum has inaugurated a new wing dedicated to global art. Called the Stephan Crétier and Stéphany Maillery Wing for the Arts of One World, it aims to create a dialogue between works of ancient cultures from across the world and pieces by Canadian and international contemporary artists. (Press release)

Betye Saar Wins the Wolfgang Hahn Prize – Munich’s Museum Ludwig has awarded the veteran American artist its Wolfgang Hahn Prize, which is given to an important living artist not yet represented in its collection. The award comes with a €100,000 (about $110,000) purse, as well as a show at the museum and acquisitions of the winner’s work. (ARTnews)


Hank Willis Thomas’s Giant Arm Rises in Brooklyn – The artist’s monumental arm with its index finger pointed to the sky has arrived at the Brooklyn end of the Brooklyn Bridge. The 22-foot-tall bronze, titled Unity and commissioned as part of the city’s Percent for Art programsalutes the spirit of Brooklyn, which has “always been about upward mobility and connection to roots,” the artist said. (NYT)

PEN America Decries Denial of Visas for PS1 Show – The free-speech nonprofit has issued a statement condemning the denial of US visas to 36 artists whose work is currently on show at MoMA PS1 in New York as part of the sprawling exhibition “Theater of Operations: The Gulf Wars 1991–2011.” “Today, it is unacceptable that artists being celebrated for their work cannot travel to view it in person as a mere result of the US government’s targeted discrimination against those from the Middle East,” says PEN’s Julie Trébault. “The denials send a disconcerting message to cultural professionals everywhere: The contributions of international creative artists have no place in the American cultural fabric.” (ARTnews)

National Gallery Wants to Buy a $25 Million Old Master – London’s National Gallery is launching a public appeal to help it buy The Finding of Moses by Orazio Gentileschi. The large-scale Baroque painting is being sold by sofa company tycoon Graham Kirkham, who has lent it to the gallery for the past two decades. See the masterful painting below. (Press release)

Orazio Gentileschi's <i>The Finding of Moses</i> (early 1630s). © Private Collection

Orazio Gentileschi’s The Finding of Moses (early 1630s). © Private Collection

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