Art Industry News: A Yayoi Kusama ‘Infinity Room’ Is Now Heading to a Las Vegas Casino + Other Stories

Plus, Yemen details the damage done to over 30 historical sites and a bloody 'Salvator Mundi' is unveiled in New York.

Yayoi Kusama. Photo © Yayoi Kusama, courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai; David Zwirner, New York and Victoria Miro, London/Venice.

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, November 16.


Wyn Evans Wins the Hepworth Sculpture Prize – The Welsh artist Cerith Wyn Evans has won the UK’s most prestigious sculpture award. Suspending more than a mile of neon light in the Duveen Galleries of Tate Britain helped him win the $38,000 prize, which is awarded by Hepworth Wakefield and named after the Yorkshire town’s most famous daughter, the artist Barbara Hepworth. (Guardian)

Bloody ‘Salvator Mundi’ Unveiled in New York – The $450 million price tag on Salvator Mundi has inspired the artist Jordan Eagles to create a bloody version of the painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. Jesus, Christie’s (2018), which he made of the sale catalogue embedded with medical tubes containing blood, is a comment on what else that money could be spent on, as well as the US blood-donation policy that rules only celibate gay men can give blood. The sculpture is on show at the at the Leslie-Lohman Museum in SoHo. (ARTNews)

Yayoi Kusama Is Hitting the Las Vegas Strip – The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, nestled in the MGM-owned Bellagio resort and casino, is presenting one of Yayoi Kusama’s blockbuster “Infinity Rooms” as well as 7,500 mirrored balls in the town known as Sin City. The Japanese artist’s first show in the gambling destination will open on November 17 and be on view through April 2019 in the famed resort, founded by the now-disgraced casino titan and mega-collector Steve Wyn (who stepped down from his company earlier this year in the wake of allegations of multiple sexual offenses). (ARTNews)

Easter Islanders Head to London to Reclaim Monuments – A delegation of indigenous Rapa Nui people, with the support of the Chilean government, are due to meet officials at the British Museum in London next week. They are pressing their longstanding claim to repatriate the monumental stone statues known as moai that the Royal Navy removed in 1869. (Guardian)


Henry Moore Alabaster Sells for $4 Million – A rare early sculpture by Henry Moore sold for $4 million at Bonhams in London, fetching more than three times its pre-sale estimate. Moore was inspired by a Mayan sculpture he saw in a Paris museum, and the 1929 work Mask is the only version the British sculptor ever carved in alabaster. (Art Daily)

Auction Houses Integrate Latin American Artists – Collectors of Modern and contemporary art are embracing Latin American artists as never before. At age 103, the New York-based Carmen Herrera is guiding star for auctioneers, who are now including works from south of the US border in their general sales. But art advisor Carmen Melián warns that the move may “crowd out” lesser-known and emerging artists who need help breaking into the market. (The Art Newspaper)

A Lab Painting by the Doctor Who Discovered Insulin Goes on Sale – The Canadian doctor who helped discover insulin was also an accomplished artist. Nobel prize-winning Frederick Banting’s 1925 painting of his University of Toronto lab is going on sale at Heffel auction house with an conservative estimate of $15,000 to $22,000. (TAN)

Art Dusseldorf’s Second Edition Opens with Strong Sales – The German art fair that launched last year backed in part by MCH Group (the parent company of Art Basel recently pulled out of its regional fair portfolios, including Art Dusseldorf, some weeks before) opened to VIPs yesterday with strong sales. Among the largest reported sales was at Setareh Gallery, which sold a painting by German artist Hans Hartung for €500,000 ($566,344) and a work by the late German painter Gotthard Graubner for €60,000 ($67,961); König Galerie sold a work by Alicja Kwade for €75,000 ($84,952). The fair runs until Sunday. (Press release)


A Late-Career Monet Blockbuster Is Coming to San Francisco and Fort Worth – The two cities will be hosting “Monet: The Late Years,” on view at the de Young museum in California from February 16 through May 27, before heading to the Kimbell Art Museum in Texas from June 16 through September 15. It is set to be the first exhibition in more than 20 years to focus on the final phase of Monet’s career, and will include over 60 paintings from 1913 to his death in 1926. (ArtFixDaily)

Irish Museum of Modern Art Names New Director – Annie Fletcher will be the new director at the Modern art museum in Dublin. Fletcher was previously serving as chief curator at the Van Abbemuseum in the Netherlands. (Art Daily)

San Antonio Museum Goes Big with Texan Art – The museum’s collection of Texas art is now in an expanded gallery space. Paintings by important artists from the Longhorn State like Julian Onderdonk and José Arpa y Perea are on view alongside examples of early Texan furniture and decorative art. (Art Daily)

Beuys’s Boxing-Match Sculpture Acquired by Frankfurt Museum – The MMK Frankfurt (Museum of Modern Art) has announced the acquisition of Beuys’s Boxing Match for Direct Democracy from 1972, a work the conceptual artist made for documenta 5 that same year. The work consists of a long shelf that holds boxing gloves that Beuys and an artist-opponent wore, when they had a boxing match on the last day of that edition of documenta at the Friedericianum in Kassel, Germany. (ARTNews)


African American Leader’s Pioneering Infographics Come Together in a New Book The prominent African American intellectual W.E.B. Du Bois’s infographics charting the black diaspora in America are being brought together in a new book published by The W.E.B. Du Bois Center at the University of Massachusetts. Du Bois realized these hand-drawn data visualizations with pioneering black sociologists at the beginning of the 20th century, all captured together for the first time in full color in ‘W. E. B. Du Bois’s Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America.” (Smithsonian)

Gainsborough Portrait Found After Magazine Appeal – A portrait of Thomas Gainsborough was discovered after a curator at the National Portrait Gallery in London put an advertisement searching for the work in the UK magazine Country Life. The painting’s location had been unknown since the artist’s death in 1788. The same day the ad was run, a collector got in touch with the museum, which is planning an exhibition on the artist, “Gainsborough’s Family Album,” opening February 2019. The unfinished work Margaret Gainsborough, the Artist’s Daughter, Playing a Cittern will be included in the show. (Times)

See the Statue of Liberty’s Flame Take a Ride – Crowds gathered to watch the 3,600-pound torch relocate on its way to a new destination. Read Sarah Cascone’s story on artnet News today to find out more about the move, and its new museum. (Press Association)

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.