Art Industry News: Thomas Campbell Gets Into an Instagram Brawl Over ‘Salvator Mundi’ + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Christo and the Smithsonian are sued over images and police find stolen John Lennon items in Auctionata's storeroom.

Tom Campbell's Instagram post about Salvator Mundi. Screenshot via Instagram.

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, November 22.


Christo and Smithsonian Sued Over Running Fence Pictures – Gianfranco Gorgoni, a photographer who worked with Christo and the late Jeanne-Claude on documenting their California land art project in the 1970s, is suing both the artist and the Smithsonian for a book on the project published in 2010. The book, he alleges, used his images without his knowledge or permission. (The Art Newspaper)

Modigliani Extravaganza Opens in London – A comprehensive survey of 100 works by Modigliani opens in London tomorrow with a focus on his nudes—paintings that led to a police intervention when they were first shown 100 years ago. The show at Tate Modern will also feature VR for the first time, allowing visitors to experience the illusion of being inside the artist’s Paris studio. (Guardian)

Thomas Campbell’s Instagram Fight Over ‘Salvator Mundi’ – Drama on Instagram! The former Met director posted an image of what the $450 million painting looked like before restoration, adding the hashtag #readthesmallprint. The post inspired the wrath of the work’s previous co-owner, who accused Campbell in the comments of disrespecting the conservator’s professionalism. Christie’s Loïc Gouzer presumably responded in a private message, to which Campbell replied publicly: “Christie’s doesn’t need your abusive bullying to defend itself.” (TAN)

Bankrupt Auctionata Kept Stolen Lennon Items – More than 100 items—including diaries and a pair of glasses—stolen by Yoko Ono’s former driver back in 2006 were recovered by Berlin police on Monday. The bankruptcy administrator handling the closure of Auctionata found the items in the auction house’s storage and alerted local law enforcement, who found more in a suspect’s car. (Hürriyet)


Meet the Collector Putting Video Art on the Map – Diane Solway profiles Julia Stoschek on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of her collection’s public debut. Read about how she transformed the former art-framing factory where she lives in Düsseldorf into a moving-image mecca, her “digital sisters,” and her surprising penchant for Old Masters. (W Magazine)

Frieze to Bring Live Section to New York – Frieze Live, the art fair’s program of performances and interactive projects, will come to New York in 2018. Galleries selected by curator Adrienne Edwards will be announced in the coming months; they will pay no fees to participate. (Frieze)

Metro Pictures to Represent Judith Hopf – The German artist known for her brick sculptures joins a roster that includes Camille Henrot, Louise Lawler, and Cindy Sherman. (ARTnews)


Germany Appoints New Leadership for Nazi-Looted Art Panel – The German government has appointed Hans-Jürgen Papier, the former president of the constitutional court, as the new president of its advisory panel on Nazi-looted art. Wolf Tegethoff, the former director of the Central Institute for Art History in Munich, has been appointed deputy president. (TAN)

Karma International Moves Zurich Location – The Swiss gallery is moving from its Zurich location across the river from the city’s Kunsthalle to Kries 3, a gentrifying neighborhood. Karma will open its new location, retrofitted by Caruso St John Architects, with a Meret Oppenheim show on December 13. (ARTnews)

Harn Museum of Art Director to Retire – Rebecca M. Nagy will end her 15-year tenure as director of the museum in Gainesville, Florida, this summer. (Press release)

Ricco to Depart Ricco/Maresca – From this month forward, Frank Maresca alone will helm the gallery, which champions self-taught and outsider artists. In an email to friends and clients, Roger Ricco wrote: “I have not disappeared and I look forward to continuing our relationships, however they may manifest in the future.” (Mass email)


Scotland’s National Museum Hits Two Million Visitors – The Edinburgh museum broke the two million visitor mark with help from a blockbuster exhibition on Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites. Museum officials say visitor numbers have about tripled since an £80 million overhaul began a decade ago. (Scotsman)

Mel Chin Brings Augmented Reality to Times Square – The conceptual artist’s first AR project, “Unmoored,” will present a future vision of Times Square affected by climate change-induced rising sea levels. The project will be viewable through mobile devices and is one of several offsite commissions tied to Chin’s Queens Museum survey, which opens April 8. (New York Times)

New Prize Launches for Art History in the UK – The new academic prize “Write on Art,” backed by the Paul Mellon Center and the Art UK charity, hopes to put art history back on the country’s teaching agenda. The all-star panel of judges for the £500 ($660) prizes includes Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller, National Gallery director Gabriele Finaldi, and the FT’s Jackie Wullschlager. (TAN)



Hans Hartung
“Abstraction: A Human Language”
De Sarthe Gallery (Hong Kong)
November 25 – January 13

Hans Hartung is widely recognized as a major figure in abstract painting, and before his death in 1989, he received honors that included the “International Prize” at the 1960 Venice Biennale and a 1975 retrospective of his canvases at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Now, as Hartung’s renown is beginning to spread to Asian collectors, De Sarthe Gallery is presenting a selection of the artist’s paintings from eras spanning the ‘40s to the ‘80s in Hong Kong.

Hans Hartung’s T1949-4 (1949). Courtesy of De Sarthe Gallery.

Hans Hartung’s T1962–L48 (1962). Courtesy of De Sarthe Gallery.

Hans Hartung’s T1970–H40 (1962). Courtesy of De Sarthe Gallery.

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