Art Industry News: Banksy Takes Aim at London’s Arms Fair With a New Artwork + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Kassel debates documenta's financial emergency and a new fashion collection celebrates Basquiat.

Banksy, Civilian Drone Strike, (2017). Courtesy

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, September 13.


Why Museums Need Ethics Departments – In light of recent museum controversies (think Schutzgate), assistant professor of philosophy Erich Hatala Matthes argues that museums, particularly government-funded institutions, have a responsibility to invest in sustained research into the ethics of art acquisitions. (Apollo)

The Berkshire Museum’s Board Doesn’t Budge – After a day of protests over the museum’s highly controversial plan to sell off dozens of works of art, its board of trustees has issued a statement saying that they remain “excited about [the] New Vision plan” that has polarized the art community and are “unanimous in their support for Executive Director Van Shields.” (Berkshire Eagle)

New Banksy Work Blasts London Arms Fair – The anonymous street artist has unveiled a new work titled Civilian Drone Strike as part of Art the Arms Fair, a London activist art event in opposition to the concurrent Defense & Security Equipment International (DSEI)—one of the largest arms fairs in the world. The work shows a framed drawing of a child and her dog next to an exploding house, with three drones flying overhead. With a starting price of just £10 ($13), it will go on auction this Friday. (Hyperallergic)

Budi Tek Calls on Chinese Government to Make His Museum Public – The Chinese art collector, who was recently diagnosed with cancer, wants the government to turn his Yuz Museum in Shanghai into a public entity. The decision comes as a result of current Chinese law that makes it difficult for private institutions to outlive their founders. (Artforum)

Kassel City Council Still Has to Vote on documenta Loan – The city agreed to act as a guarantor for the financially struggling quinquennial, which is said to be a shocking €7 million ($8.3 million) in debt. But the deal reached with documenta officials and mayor Christian Geselle of the center-left SPD party in an emergency board meeting on August 30 still has to be ratified by the city parliament in a vote on September 25. It faces opposition from the center-right CDU party, which has yet to decide if it will support the package. (Monopol)


Phillips Hikes Buyer’s Premium Fees – As of September 12, the auction house will now charge 25 percent of the hammer price up to and including $300,000; 20 percent of the portion of the hammer price above $300,000; and 12.5 percent of the portion of the hammer price above $4,000,000. The sudden price hike comes after Sotheby’s and Christie’s raised their premiums this summer. (Press release)

Hidden for 130 Years, Lancret’s Winter Heads to Sotheby’s ­– A coveted masterpiece by French artist Nicolas Lancret dates back to 1719-21, and has remained shut away in the same private collection, unseen by the public, since 1889. The breathtaking winter scene will tour Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and London before finally going to auction in New York on February 1, 2018. (Press release)

Christie’s to Auction Work From the Collection of Antoni Tàpies – Highlights from the personal art collection of Tàpies, one of the most famous European artists of the postwar generation, will hit the auction block this fall at Christie’s London. The sale includes works by a prestigious group of his peers, including Alberto Giacometti, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, and Mark Rothko. (Press release)

Artissima 2017 Announces Participating Galleries and Artists – The Italian fair has released its exhibitor list and participating artists, which includes 95 international galleries in its main section. Edgy emerging galleries like Los Angeles’s Bad Reputation will be participating for the first time, and the fair’s “Back to the Future” section will feature museum-quality solo exhibitions this season, focusing exclusively on works realized between 1970 and 1989. (Press release)


Artes Mundi 8 Releases Its 2018 Shortlist – On the heels of awarding British artist John Akomfrah the Artes Mundi 7 prize earlier this year, the biennale art prize has revealed its shortlist for its 2018 edition. The winner will be announced in January 2019, following a four-month exhibition at National Museum Cardiff by the shortlisted artists: Anna Boghiguian (Canada/Egypt), Bouchra Khalili (Morocco/France), Otobong Nkanga (Nigeria), Trevor Paglen (USA), Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand). (Press release)

U.S. Pavilion Announces Exhibitors for 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale – The seven commissioned exhibitors will create new works for the Pavilion in an exhibition titled “Dimensions of Citizenship.” They are Amanda Williams & Andres L. Hernandez (Chicago, IL); Design Earth (Cambridge, MA); Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York, NY); Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman (San Ysidro, CA); Keller Easterling (New Haven, CT); SCAPE (New York, NY); and Studio Gang (Chicago, IL). (Press release)

Online Platform Tappan Appoints Gagosian Alum as Director – The site, “an incubator for emerging artists,” has announced the appointment of Gagosian alum Andrea Pemberton, who will lead the development of the platform’s artist programs and its newly created art advisory branch. As her first undertaking, Pemberton will organize a show featuring Tappan artists during the opening of Frieze week in London. (Press release)

Frank Bernarducci’s Gallery Expands Downtown – The 57th Street art dealer is expanding into Chelsea with a new project space set to open on October 3. The new gallery will focus on precisionist realism, with an inaugural group exhibition that includes artists Max Ferguson and Park Hyung Jin. (Artforum)


Texas Institutions Support Each Other After Harvey – The Art Museum of South Texas (AMST) has offered to host the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s annual “Birds in Art” exhibition, originally slated to occur at the Rockport Center for the Arts, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey. The show will open at AMST September 28. (Glasstire)

Does the Pompidou Have Enough Money? – Pompidou President Serge Lasvignes presented the upcoming plans for the museum, detailing that although its financial situation is sound, its budget remains limited: the Ministry of Culture subsidy (€69.5 million) barely covers current expenditure and requires the development of other resources. (Le Monde)

Visit the Vault Where Italian Police Stash Trafficked Art – In the basement of the Italian police barracks in the Roman neighborhood of Trastevere, a treasure trove of art awaits the outcome of various judicial battles. Le Monde takes a peek at what’s stashed behind heavily armored doors in a room nicknamed “the vault.” (Le Monde)

Browns Fashion Celebrates Basquiat – In honor of the upcoming, hotly anticipated Jean-Michel Basquiat retrospective at the Barbican, the London-based apparel retailer has collaborated with Rome Pays Off on 18 pieces inspired by the artist’s body work. See the wearable capsule collection, available exclusively at Browns from September, below. (Complex)

Basquiat 1981 long sleeved sweatshirt. £100. © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Courtesy Browns Fashion.

Basquiat Samo for the so called avant garde tee. £90. © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Courtesy Browns Fashion.

Basquiat notebook long sleeved sweatshirt. £100. © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Courtesy Browns Fashion.

Basquiat Jack Johnson tee. £90. © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Courtesy Browns Fashion.

Basquiat low top sneaker. © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Courtesy Browns Fashion.

Basquiat high top sneaker. £225. © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Courtesy Browns Fashion.

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