Art Industry News: Banksy Does a Spot-On Spoof of the Whole Basquiat Craze + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Phillips pulls a Grotjahn work after the artist doubts its authenticity and all the Turner Prize winners unite for a cause.

A gallery assistant gazes upon Jean-Michel Basquiat's Air Power at Sotheby's London. (Photo by Kate Green/Anadolu Agency/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, September 18.


Turner Prize Winners Rally to Save UK Arts Fund – More than 500 art-world figures, including every single winner of the Turner Prize, signed a letter calling on Arts Council England chair Sir Nicholas Serota to re-evaluate his decision to cut funding for the visual arts organization Locus+. The organization has commissioned unique artist projects since 1993. (Guardian)

Nikon Picked an All-Male Group to Advertise New Camera – Of the 32 photographers enlisted to promote Nikon’s new D850 DSLR,  precisely zero were women—despite the fact that the company had made “promotion of women’s empowerment” a priority in its 2016 annual report. The camera producer blamed the lapse on a lack of “participation from female photographers.” (New York Times)

Phillips Pulls Grotjahn Work After Artist Raises Concerns on Instagram – Phillips has pulled a purported Mark Grotjahn work from its September 19 “New Now” sale after the artist called out the auction house on Instagram. Two weeks ago, he posted the lot with the caption, “Yo Phillips… I’m not sure I made this. Either way it sucks.” The small-scale work carried a $20,000–30,000 estimate. Phillips is now working with Grotjahn’s studio to verify its authenticity. (ARTnews)

Holocaust Museum Becomes Lightning Rod in Syria Debate – The US Holocaust Memorial Museum is facing criticism over a study it published on how future administrations could lessen the bloodshed in Syria. Critics say the report—which the museum later pulled from its website—let the Obama administration off the hook. The ensuing controversy has ignited a debate over academic freedom and the board’s ties to the former administration. (NYT)


Christie’s to Auction Thomas Koerfer Collection During Paris Photo – Christie’s will offer 73 lots from the important collection in its November 9 “Stripped Bare” sale in Paris during the city’s photography fair. The sale will be led by Man Ray’s iconic portrait of Kiki de Montparnasse, Noire et Blanche (1926), which will be offered with an estimate of €1-1.5 million ($1.2-1.8 million). (Press release)

Attendance Drops at La Biennale Paris – Following last year’s crisis over fakes, attendance was down at the revitalized fine-art and antiques fair, particularly among Parisians. The small-fry exhibitors and works at this year’s edition (on ’til September 17) are being lambasted in the French press, and the fair’s organizers are being cagey about sales. (The Art Newspaper)

Phillips Names New Chief of Staff – Philip Anders is replacing Lisa King as the auction house’s new chief of staff following a career as a strategic financial consultant. He previously worked as strategic financial advisor to the Qatar museums, and, prior to that, as group finance director at Christie’s. (Press release)


Ellen M. Harrington to Head Frankfurt’s Film Museum – Harrington, who is coming to the German Film Institute from the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in LA, will take up the post on January 1. A polyglot in Romance languages, she intends to learn German ahead of her first public press conference in the new role. (DPA)

Cultural Center Reopens in Istanbul – The Yapi Kredi Culture and Art Center threw open its doors again in Istanbul last week after more than five years of renovations. The Yapi Kredi Bank, co-owned by Koç Holding, a main sponsor of the Istanbul Biennial, established the center. (ArtAsiaPacific)

Marlene Dumas Is Honored With a German Award – The South African artist, who in March unveiled her artwork for the altar at St. Anne’s Church in Dresden, has now won the 2017 Theo Richter Prize, awarded by the Saxon Academy of Arts. The biennial award comes with a €25,000 ($30,000) cash prize. (DPA)


Tacky Tennessee Confederate Statue to Stay Put – A 27-foot-tall silver-and-gold painted monument on a private stretch of land visible from the I-95 highway has been hailed as “America’s ugliest confederate statue.” The polyurethane statue of Confederate Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest astride his steed, carved with a butcher’s knife by a white supremacist in 1996, will not be removed as it does not lie on public land. (New York Magazine)

Eleanor Roosevelt’s Childhood Home to Reopen – The 1872 Second Empire-style brick mansion on the Hudson River is undergoing a major renovation. Oak Terrace was bought by shoemaker Van Lamprou in 2013 for $2.85 million, a bid accepted over higher offers because of Lamprou’s plans to use the space to encourage civic engagement, a mission that befits the spirit and legacy of the former first-lady tenant. (NYT)

Banksy Does Spot-On Spoof of Basquiat in London – Ahead of the upcoming Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition at London’s Barbican Centre, two new artworks by Banksy have appeared outside the building. The murals were confirmed as genuine by the artist in a series of posts on Instagram. See the satirical murals below. (The Guardian)

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