Art Industry News: Yoko Ono Is Sending Her Rare Basquiat to Auction for $12 Million + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, a Renoir painting is stolen from Paris auction house and Pussy Riot plans an immersive theatrical experience in London.

Jean-Michel Basquiat's Cabra (1981-82). ©2017 The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat/ADAGP, Paris/ARS.

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 2.


Inside the Made-for-Instagram Museum – What would happen if you took all the scholarship out of museums and amped up the photo ops? Meet the Museum of Ice Cream, 29Rooms, and the Color Factory. These institutions and their brethren are custom-made for Instagram. Even the lighting, which looks harsh in person, is designed to pop on camera. (Wired)

Renoir Stolen From Parisian Auction House  A small painting by Auguste Renoir was stolen from an auctioneer in the Paris suburb of Saint-Germain-en-Laye on Saturday. With an estimate of €25,000–30,000, Portrait d’une jeune fille blonde was slated to hit the auction block this weekend. According to police, the thief simply took the work off the wall and escaped unnoticed. (AFP)

How Museums Collect History as It Happens – Graham Bowley explores how institutions like the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC and the New-York Historical Society are starting to collect artifacts, testimonials, and footage of key historical events—including the recent violence in Charlottesville—as they unfold. (New York Times)

New Advisory Firm Helps Artists Plan Their Estates – As a new generation of artists and collectors reaches retirement, a company called Art Legacy Planning has formed to offer estate planning consulting services. The project is the brainchild of art adviser Mary Dinaburg, critic Saul Ostrow, art historian Kathy Battista, and financial advisor Bryan M. Faller. (ARTnews)



Yoko Ono’s Basquiat Is Coming to Auction – Ono bought the painting—titled Cabra (1981–2)—from Tony Shafrazi in 1993. A tribute to Muhammad Ali, the work is expected to fetch $12 million at Sotheby’s New York in mid-November. Part of the proceeds will go toward the Spirit Foundation founded by Ono and John Lennon. (Bloomberg)

Sotheby’s Heads to Dubai for First-Ever Sale – As rival Christie’s decides to move its Middle Eastern art auction from Dubai to London, Sotheby’s is jumping in to fill the gap. The auction house will hold its first-ever sale in the Gulf city, titled “Boundless: Dubai,” on November 13. (The Art Newspaper)

Interior Designer to the Stars Sells Collection – Jacque Grange helped clients such as Caroline Princess of Monaco, Pierre Bergé, and Yves Saint Laurent amass their exquisite collections. His own world-class holdings, including art, design, and antiques, will go under the hammer this November as the septuagenarian makes room for “new energy” in his life. (NYT)


Qatar’s Museum of Islamic Art Taps Director – The German anthropologist and Islamic studies expert Julia Gonnella, who has served as a curator at the I.M. Pei-designed institution in Doha since 2009, has been promoted to director. (Artforum)

Elisabeth Murdoch’s Freelands Prize AwardedThe second edition of the Freelands Award, an annual £100,000 gift to fund shows by mid-career female artists at institutions outside of London, will go to a solo show by Lis Rhodes at Nottingham Contemporary. The prize was established by Elisabeth Murdoch in 2016. (TAN)

MoMA Names New Performance Art Curator – The museum’s department of performance and media art has created a new curatorial position. In her expanded role, Ana Janevski—previously an associate curator—will help plan the program for the museum’s expansion, which includes spaces dedicated to time-based work. (ARTnews)


Oxford Removes Portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi – Oxford University’s St Hugh’s College has taken down a portrait of alumna and Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The decision comes after widespread criticism over the Nobel Peace Prize laureate’s handling of the 2015 Rohingya crisis. (AFP)

China’s Terracotta Warriors Get the VR Treatment – A group of warriors are coming to Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute for a five-month blockbuster exhibition. But that’s not all: The museum worked with technology experts to develop an augmented reality app that enables visitors to see the warriors holding their original weapons. (NYT)

Two Leonard Cohen Murals Battle in Montreal – Following the death of Cohen last November, his native city decided to honor him. But due to lack of communication, the plan resulted in two similar large-scale murals of the musician, both painted on privately owned buildings. Does the city really need two tributes? And, if not, which is one is better? (The Globe and Mail)

Pussy Riot Will Make London Audiences Feel ‘In Prison’ – Nadya Tolokonnikova, a co-founder of the collective, has helped produce the immersive theatrical production Inside Pussy Riot, which will bring viewers into the Russian cells, labor camps, and courtrooms where their story unfolded. The show will run from November 14 to December 24, coinciding with the exhibition “Art Riot: Post Soviet Actionism” at the Saatchi Gallery. (Press release)

Poster for the “Inside Pussy Riot” play. Courtesy Les Enfants Terribles theatre company.

Poster for the “Inside Pussy Riot” play. Courtesy Les Enfants Terribles theatre company.

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