Art Industry News: Can Notre Dame Get a Contemporary Update? There’s One Last Window of Opportunity + Other Stories

Plus, Nottingham says that trash pickup ruined its Banksy mural and UNESCO calls to protect cultural heritage in Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral. South rose. Photo by Godong/UIG via Getty Images.

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 23.


Alex Prager Brings a Holiday Party to LACMA – Your office holiday party is almost certainly cancelled this year, but artist Alex Prager has brought her own version to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to fill the void. The outdoor sculptural installation, titled Farewell, Work Holiday Parties, has all the cringeworthy characters you’ve come to know and love from the annual ritual: the HR manager doubling as the DJ, the boss hugging two reluctant employees. “We can’t have these parties right now, we can’t have any parties—and this allows us to laugh at ourselves,” Prager says. (Los Angeles Times)

Collectors Are Buying With Their Ears, Not Eyes – Scott Reyburn crystallizes a market trend that has accelerated dramatically in the lockdown era: collectors are increasingly racing one another to find the next big young thing, rather than hunting for treasures that have been previously undervalued by art history. “The definition of the collecting culture has changed,” says professor John Zarobell. Waiting lists are stretching into the hundreds for works by emerging talents like Jenna GribbonJadé Fadojutimi, and Kwesi Botchway. “It’s exactly what the market wants today: an emerging artist concentrating on themes of identity politics,” art advisor Marta Gnyp says of Gribbon. “I have 330 people wanting her work.” (The Art Newspaper)

Controversy Over Restoring Notre Dame’s Stained Glass – The French art scene is up in arms after the Archbishop of Paris suggested that Notre Dame’s stained glass windows could be replaced with contemporary designs. The suggestion has reignited the debate over whether the cathedral should be restored exactly as it was before the devastating fire or open the door to contemporary interventions. (Le Parisien)

UNESCO Calls to Protect Cultural Property in Azerbaijan and Armenia – The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, met with representatives of Armenia and Azerbaijan on November 18, nearly two weeks after a ceasefire brought an end to a short but brutal war in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. She reiterated her October appeal to protect cultural heritage in the region and formally proposed sending technical support from UNESCO to the area in order to draw up an inventory of significant cultural assets to ensure their protection. (UNESCO)


Sotheby’s Sets a New Record for an Online Sale – Sotheby’s day sale last week bought in the highest total for an online sale in the house’s history: $30.5 million. The top lot was Barkley L. Hendricks’s Jackie Sha-la-la (Jackie Cameron), which went for $2.8 million. To date, Sotheby’s online sales have reached $437 million—a 500 percent increase from 2019. (Press release)

Werner Büttner Joins Simon Lee – The enfant terrible German painter, from the cohort of Jungewilden alongside Albert Oehlen and Martin Kippenberger, has been scooped up by Simon Lee. He was previously represented by Marlborough, which has been engulfed in legal drama following a scandalous takeover. (Press release)


Katya Kazakina Is Leaving Bloomberg – The art market and wealth reporter has announced that she is moving on from Bloomberg after 14 years. Now comes the guessing game as to where the star reporter will bring her talents next. (Twitter)

SFMOMA Appoints New Trustees – The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has added four new trustees to its board: philanthropist Ivette Caldera Esserman, private equity exec Sir Deryck Maughan, Facebook VP Ty Ahmad-Taylor, and venture capitalist Tyson Clark. Additionally, painter Hung Liu has joined Julie Mehretu and Rosana Castillo Díaz as an artist trustee for three years. (Press release)


Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid Went to the Met – The supermodels were spotted visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on Thursday afternoon. Perhaps the best friends were keen to learn more about art history after an Architectural Digest house tour revealed Jenner’s creatively installed James Turrell. (Just Jared)

Bike Removal Messes Up Banksy’s Latest – Nottingham residents were angry and upset to find that someone had removed the tired old bike that inspired Banksy’s latest work in the city. The one-wheeled bicycle was chained to a lamppost next to the wall where the street artist stenciled an image of a girl hula-hooping with the missing tire last month. (Guardian)

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