Art Industry News: A Rare Roy Lichtenstein Goes Under the Hammer + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Picasso’s Vollard Suite comes to auction in Paris and Betye Saar rakes in three lifetime achievement honors.

Roy Lichtenstein, Female Head (1977). Courtesy Sotheby's

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, October 4.


Canadian Curator Slams Museums’ Legacy of Colonialism – Andrew Hunter, former curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario, did not mince his words in a statement yesterday about the systemic issues that persist surrounding the colonial roots of public museums and their consideration of diverse voices from the community. These were the reasons Hunter gave for recently quitting his post at the Canadian museum. (The Star)

ISIS-Destroyed Statue Re-Erected in Damascus – The 2,000-year-old Lion of al-Lat, once the symbol of Palmyra, has been resurrected after it was destroyed by the Islamic State in 2015. Around half of the current 15-ton statue is original. (Reuters)

Meet China’s New Generation of Collectors –  China’s young collectors are buying very differently than their billionaire predecessors. M Woods co-founder Michael Xufu Huang is among this new cohort, which is more focused on building public collections, buying art on Instagram, and focusing on emerging artists from the West. (CNN)


Sotheby’s to Sell $15 Million Roy Lichtenstein – Sotheby’s New York will auction Roy Lichtenstein’s 1977 work Female Head, which is estimated to sell for as much as $15 million. The Pop Art painting comes from the collection of former MoMA lending director Elizabeth Rea.  (ARTnews)

Christie’s Ex-CEO Steven Murphy Staffs Up Advisory – His art advisory enterprise is going international, as Murphy hires six new executives for New York, China, and continental Europe. Janis Gardner Cecil, who left Edward Tyler Nahem gallery last week to launch Murphy’s New York office, is joined by Bérénice Chef from Almine Rech Gallery, among others. (The Art Newspaper)

Picasso’s Complete Vollard Suite Coming to Paris Auction – This complete signed set of 100 plates by Pablo Picasso is estimated at between €1.5 and €2 million ($1.77 to $2.35 million), and will be offered later this fall at the Opera Comique, alongside the last 500 masterwork prints from the Henri M. Petiet collection. Vollard Suite is a set of 100 etchings by the artist. While more than 300 sets were created, most were broken up and sold separately. (Press release)

Jeremy Irons Browses the Aisles at PAD London – The Academy Award-winning English actor is also a collector. With London’s event-filled art week well underway, Irons was seen browsing the aisles at PAD this morning, the art and design fair in the heart of Mayfair, with his pooch. (Instagram)


David Shrigley to Direct the 2018 Brighton Festival – Shrigley, a 2013 Turner Prize nominee, joins the ranks of previous guest directors such as Anish Kapoor (2009), Laurie Anderson (2016), and Brian Eno, (2010). The artist, best known for his satirical drawings, is himself Brighton-based. In addition to programming a host of cultural events in the seaside city, he will make his own artwork for Brighton. (Press release)

Liverpool Biennial Announces Artist List – The first list of artists selected for the biennial’s 10th edition next year, titled “Beautiful world, where are you?”, is out, and includes, among others, filmmaker Agnès Vard, Ryan Gander, and the recently deceased documenta 13 artist Annie Pootoogook. (Press release)

Institute of Arb and Islamic Art Expands Advisory Committee – Five new members have joined the committee of the recently opened museum, including Bidoun‘s senior editor, Negar Azimi; Omar Berrada, the director of the Dar al-Ma’mûn residency program in Marrakech; Clare Davies, Metropolitan Museum of Art curator; the founding director of 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Touria El Glaoui; and artist Walid Raad. (ARTnews)

Robert Delpire, Early Advocate of Photography, Dies at 91 – The French curator and publisher was the director of the Centre National de la Photographie—now part of the Jeu de Paume—for more than a decade. Described as an “uncompromising lion” by a gallerist who worked with him, Delpire was a key figure in advancing the understanding of photography as fine art. He is survived by his wife, acclaimed photographer Sarah Moon. (NYT)


Davis Museum Wins Award for Travel-Ban Show – The museum’s exhibition “ART-LESS: the Davis Without Immigrants,” launched this past February, was honored with the Best Soft Power Cultural Activation Award at a ceremony in London last week. The show was staged in response to the 45th US President’s proposed “Muslim ban,” and consisted of the removal of works created or donated by immigrants from the museum’s permanent display. (Press release)

NADA and Pérez Art Museum Miami Launch Acquisition Fund – PAMM curators María Elena Ortiz and René Morales will select a work presented at NADA Miami 2017 to be added to the museum’s permanent holdings. The acquisition fund comes from NADA ticket sales, which also support the nonprofit’s International Gallery Prize. (Press release)

MoMA PS1 Hosts Puerto Rico Fundraiser Tonight – Starting 6 p.m. tonight, the charity event is organized in collaboration with director Klaus Biesenbach and New York’s City Council Majority Leader, Jimmy Van Bramer. A minimum donation of $20 is required, either on site or via All proceeds will benefit the Hurricane Maria Community Relief & Recovery Fund. (Press release)

Betye Saar Rakes In Lifetime Achievement Honors – The nonagenarian artist is collecting a whopping three lifetime achievement awards between this fall and next spring: one from the International Sculpture Center in April 2018; another from the Museum of African Diaspora San Francisco on October 28; and yet another at a ceremony in mid-October for the Craft & Folk Art Museum Los Angeles, which will honor Saar for an artistic practice that’s been committed to issues of racial equality, cultural inclusion, and women’s rights. (Press release)

Portrait of Betye Saar by Jason Schmidt. Courtesy of Roberts & Tilton.

Betye Saar, The Liberation of Aunt Jemima (1972). Courtesy of Roberts & Tilton.

Betye Saar, Whitey’s Way (1970-1976). Courtesy of Roberts & Tilton.

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