Art Industry News: Free of Cancer, Tracey Emin Will Use Her Fame to Raise Awareness of Invisible Disabilities + Other Stories

Plus, Keith Haring's refrigerator door heads to auction, and Daniel Arsham plans his first big NFT drop.

Tracey Emin for Unlimited at Art Basel in Basel 2016. courtesy of Lehmann Maupin, White Cube, Xavier Hufkens, David Zwirner, and Art Basel.
Tracey Emin for Unlimited at Art Basel in Basel 2016. courtesy of Lehmann Maupin, White Cube, Xavier Hufkens, David Zwirner, and Art Basel.

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 Wednesday, May 12.


Napoleon, the Art Looter – A new book explores how Napoleon “enriched” the Louvre and other Enlightenment-era museums with art looted during his various conquests. Cynthia Saltzman’s Plunder: Napoleon’s Theft of Veronese’s Feast tells the story of one prized Venetian masterpiece, Paolo Veronese’s The Wedding Feast at Cana, which was unceremoniously removed from its site-specific location at the San Giorgio Maggiore refectory during the siege of Venice and carted back to Paris. It remains there today, hanging next to the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. (New York Times)

James Turrell Prepares to Unveil Outdoor Skyspace – James Turrell is set to unveil a new “Skyspace” work this summer, carved into a hillside in Green Mountain Falls near Colorado Springs. The work, funded by the Green Mountain Falls Foundation, is around 27 square feet wide with a retractable roof that opens up to the sky. (Thankfully, the roof will be closed during winter to prevent bears from co-opting it as their hibernation station.) (The Art Newspaper)

Tracey Emin Opens Up About Life With a Disability – Artist Tracey Emin is enjoying a new lease on life after getting the all-clear from bladder cancer. But she now must learn to navigate the world with a permanent disability; relying on a urostomy bag, which can need to be emptied as often as every 20 minutes. The experience has inspired the artist to use her profile to raise awareness for invisible disabilities. “I don’t think that there’s much understanding towards people with disabilities that you can’t see,” she says. (Evening Standard)

Long Road Ahead for the U.K.’s Arts Sector – The U.K.’s culture sector is slated to reopen on May 17, but after more than 14 months of disruption, experts warn that recovery will be slow and arduous. While the government’s £1.57 billion arts bailout prevented some closures, many institutions are struggling to stay afloat. West End musicals are resuming with reduced cast sizes and Tate is rapidly shrinking, having cut 217 roles from its hospitality arm and another 150 from the main galleries. “We won’t be bouncing back,” director Maria Balshaw said. (Guardian)


Keith Haring’s Fridge Door Heads to Auction – Guernsey’s auction house is selling an odd piece of Keith Haring memorabilia: the artist’s refrigerator door. It served as a guest book of sorts, having been tagged by famous friends including Madonna and Fab Five Freddy. The unique piece of art history is estimated to sell in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. (New York Times)

Daniel Arsham Teams Up With Nifty Gateway – The Winklevoss twins, who own the NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway, have recruited artist Daniel Arsham into the fold. The artist will release 10 NFTs on the platform beginning May 22. An unlimited edition of a digital sculpture called Eroding and Reforming Bust of Rome (One Year) will cost $1,500, followed by editions decreasing in size down to 50. (Anyone who buys all ten works will get an 11th for free). (Bloomberg)


Art Asia Archive Names Director – Christopher K. Ho will be the new director of the Hong Kong-based Asia Art Archive. Ho, who is an artist, curator, and teacher, will succeed the cultural platform’s co-founder Claire Tsu when she retires in September. (Artforum)

Arts Education in the U.K. Could Be Slashed 50 Percent – More than 300 leaders in the U.K. art world including artist Sonia Boyce and the directors of the Tate galleries have penned an open letter to the government opposing plans to halve the funding for arts subjects at universities. Calling the current plan a “tragic misstep,” the letter says it will have a “detrimental impact on our ability to retain our world leading position, attract inward investment through our cultural capital, and our share of the global art market.” (Guardian)


Activist Network Urges Artists to Leak Exhibition Fees – The artist-run network Industria is circulating a Google form asking artists to share their exhibition fees for projects in the U.K’s public sector. The aim is to build a clearer picture of the landscape of artist fees in the country. (Instagram)

Pace Teams Up With JR – The French photographer and street artist is teaming up with Pace to present two continent-spanning shows: one in London and one in New York. The London project, which marks Pace’s first exhibition with the artist in the city, will open during London Gallery Weekend on June 4. It coincides with JR’s major survey at Saatchi Gallery. (Press release)

JR, <i>The Chronicles of New York City</i>, Domino Park, USA, 2020 © JR

JR, The Chronicles of New York City, Domino Park, USA, 2020 © JR

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