Art Industry News: Spanish Court Orders Psychic to Pay for Dalí’s Exhumation + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, the new Kusama Museum in Toyko is booked through January and James Cohan Gallery responds to protests of its Omer Fast show.

Salvador Dalí, lifting his cane on the street in New York. Image courtesy of 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 this Monday, October 16.


This Year’s World Monuments Watch List Names At-Risk Sites – The World Monuments Fund has named 25 cultural heritage sites across 30 countries that are threatened by conflict, climate change, or other dangers. They include storm-damaged areas in the Caribbean and Mexico as well as the souq in Aleppo, Syria, which has suffered during the ongoing civil war. (ARTnews)

Radical Russian Performance Artist Torches Bank – Police have taken Pyotr Pavlensky—the exiled artist known for his acts of “creative dissent” who has had asylum in France since May—into custody alongside his partner Oksana Shalygina for setting fire to the outside of a Banque de France branch in Paris. (AFP)

Psychic Must Pony Up For Dalí Exhumation – After DNA tests definitively revealed that Salvador Dalí was not the father of tarot card reader Pilar Abel, a Madrid court dismissed her paternity suit once and for all—and ruled that she must foot the bill for the exhumation. The total cost has not been calculated, but one imagines digging up the world’s most famous Surrealist doesn’t come cheap. (AFP)

Gallery Responds to Community Protests Over Omer Fast Show – Locals protesting the artist’s installation, a caricature of a dingy Chinatown business, are calling it racist “poverty porn.” Now, James Cohan Gallery has released a statement stating that “we support the right of free speech by the protesters” but “oppose censorship.” (DNA info)


Asterix Cover Illustration Nets €1.4 Million at Auction – A signed, original cover illustration of a 1965 Asterix comic book titled “Le Tour de Gaule” (Asterix and the Banquet) sold for the record price on Friday in Paris, eviscerating its €180,000–200,000 estimate. (Le Journal des Arts)

Sotheby’s to Offer Raj Pink in Switzerland – After the $71 million sale of the CTF Pink Star diamond in April, Sotheby’s is selling a smaller, 37.3-carat gem called the Raj Star. The pink diamond carries an estimate of $20–30 million and will be sold in Geneva on November 15. (Art Market Monitor

Trump Tax Plan Assessed, Again – According to the Seattle Times, Trump’s proposal for a massive US tax overhaul eliminating the estate tax would make it easier for art collectors to bequeath expensive collections to family members, but it might also mean fewer works end up passing from private hands to museums. (Seattle Times) (Read our own skeptical analysis of the tax plan here)


New Director for MUDAM Luxembourg – Suzanne Cotter joins the institution from the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Serralves Foundation in Porto, where she has served as director since 2013. Her appointment will go into effect on January 1. (Press release)

Max Mara Art Prize for Women Announces Shortlist – The annual award, which is the product of a partnership between the Whitechapel Gallery in London and Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, Italy, has selected Helen Cammock, Céline Condorelli, Eloise Hawser, Athena Papadopoulos, Lis Rhodes, and Mandy El-Sayegh for its shortlist. Winners will be announced in 2018. (Press release)

Glasgow International Festival Releases 2018 Lineup – For its eighth edition, taking place from April 20 to May 7, the visual art festival will include solo shows by Mark Leckey, Urs Fischer, and Lubaina Himid, as well as a major group exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art. (Glasgow Live)

2017 Prix Marcel Duchamp Awarded – The winning duo Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige will receive €35,000 ($41,000). They are known for creating videos that investigate the ways in which Western media depicts Lebanon, their native country; their work is currently on view at the Pompidou in Paris. (ARTnews)


New York’s Museum of Natural History Launches New Gem Halls – The new Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals will open in 2019 to coincide with the museum’s 150th anniversary. They will house treasures including a 12-foot amethyst geode from Uruguay and the Star of India blue sapphire. (New York Times)

Alex Katz Designs New York Mag’s 50th Anniversary Cover – The magazine asked the artist, who used to draw people he encountered on the subway on his way to school at Cooper Union in the 1940s, to return to his student habits. He took the C train uptown and the B train downtown and captured the New Yorkers he saw for the magazine’s cover, due to be published next month. (New York)

Kusama Museum Booked Until January – Turns out, Infinity Rooms are impossible to get into everywhere. Though the Yayoi Kusama Museum in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, only opened to the public on October 1, tickets are already sold out through the end of the year. (Japan News)

Pope Francis Presents Statue Commemorating Alan Kurdi – During his talk at the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization in Rome yesterday, Pope Francis presented a statue depicting the tragic death of Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old refugee boy whose body washed ashore in Turkey in 2015. The statue by Luigi Prevedel is made of Carrara marble and shows an angel weeping over the child’s body. (National Catholic Reporter)

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