Art Industry News: On a Quest to ‘Spread Korean Culture Through the World,’ K-Pop Superstars BTS Offer a Gift to the Met + Other Stories

Plus, Christie's will accept Ether for its next big evening sale, and Gagosian now represents social practice artist Rick Lowe.

BTS. Photo by Big Hit Entertainment.

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 Tuesday, September 21.


Christie’s Will Accept Live Bids in Ether – For the first time, Christie’s will accept live bids in Ether for works in its “Postwar to the Present” sale on October 1 in New York. The auction will include Curio Cards, some of the oldest NFT artworks ever created (ancient artifacts!) and works from the “Art Blocks Curated” collection owned by Canadian collector Barcella. Lots of the more traditional variety include Helen Frankenthaler’s Warming the Wires, estimated at $1.5 million to $2 million, and a group of works by Wayne Thiebaud. (Gadgets 360)

National Gallery in London Names New Chair – London’s National Gallery has named venture capital investor John Booth as its new chair. He succeeds the former director general of the BBC, Tony Hall, who stepped down in May. Booth, who donated more than £200,000 to the Tories in 2017, is a philanthropist who also serves as the chair of the Prince’s Trust and Pallant House Gallery, as well as the London Theatre Company. But his creative interests may be overshadowed by his connections to the Conservative party, and could, according to the Guardian, “set off alarm bells for some who accuse Boris Johnson’s government of trying to stack the boards of cultural institutions.” (Guardian)

BTS Makes an Appearance at the Met – K-Pop supergroup BTS joined Korea’s first lady Kim Jung-sook and culture minister Hwang Hee to present a suite of lacquer vessels by Chung Hae Cho to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday. BTS were named as “special presidential envoys for future generations and culture” earlier this year, and spoke at the rooftop reception about their mission to “spread Korean culture through the world.” The five vessels, titled Rhythm of the Five Color Luster (2013), will be included in the exhibition “Shell and Resin: Korean Mother-of-Pearl and Lacquer,” slated to open at the Met in December 2021. (The Art Newspaper)

Police Files Tracking IRA Leader Hit the Auction Block – Rare objects related to Irish Republican Army leader Michael Collins are heading to auction in Belfast next week. A walking stick reportedly once owned by Collins, as well as intelligence documents tracking his movements in the early 1920s during the Troubles, are a few of the curios that will hit the block at Bloomfield Auctions. (Evening Standard)


Hilary Pecis Joins David Kordansky – The Los Angeles-based artist, whose luminous paintings of domestic spaces are extremely sought-after by collectors, will have her first show with her new gallery in 2023. Pecis is already familiar with Kordansky: she worked there as a registrar before she became an artist full-time. (ARTnews

Gagosian Now Represents Rick Lowe – The artist and MacArthur “Genius” Award winner will have work on view at the gallery’s booth in Art Basel this week and a solo exhibition with Gagosian in New York in September 2022. Lowe, who was included in this summer’s “Social Works” exhibition at the gallery, is known for social practice art that is deeply embedded in his hometown of Houston. (ARTnews)

Apollo Names 40 Under 40 in Art & Tech – Making a mediocre list is easy; making a good one is very difficult (we would know!). That’s why Apollo‘s latest rundown of leading figures in art and tech is so impressive—it looks beneath the fluff and PR to identify who is actually driving the conversation forward. Honorees include Joy Buolamwini, founder of the Algorithmic Justice League, and art dealer Kate Vass. (Apollo)


Painting Made During George Floyd Trial Will Go to Auction – Revere Auctions in Saint Paul, Minnesota, is offering an abstract canvas that artist Sean Garrison created on the final day of the George Floyd murder trial outside of the Minneapolis courthouse. The work, Walking on Air, was featured on MSNBC’s “All in With Chris Hayes” and the anchor said he’d purchase it if it ever hit the block. Hayes will get his chance to bid on the work, estimated at $150,000, on September 22. (The Art Newspaper

Sean Garrison, Walking on Air (2021). Courtesy of the artist and Revere Auctions.

Sean Garrison, Walking on Air (2021). Courtesy of the artist and Revere Auctions.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.