Art Industry News: Ann Freedman Settles Final Lawsuit Over Knoedler Forgery Scandal + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Darren Aronofsky is in hot water over a mural in Sydney and Howard Hodgkin’s little-known art collection comes to auction.

Defendant Ann Freedman. Photo: Elizabeth Williams, courtesy ILLUSTRATED COURTROOM.

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 11.


The Story Behind That Stolen de Kooning – More than 30 years after the painting was cut from its frame at the University of Arizona Museum of Art, authorities are investigating how Willem de Kooning’s newly recovered Woman-Ochre (1955) ended up in the bedroom of a now-deceased New Mexico couple. A leading theory: They stole it simply to enjoy it. (New York Times)

Darren Aronofsky in Hot Water Over Mural The mother! director has apologized after an advertising agency, Apparition Media, painted over a well-known Sydney mural with an ad for his film without the proper authority. Aronofsky has said he is “embarrassed and furious” and will pay to replace the mural. (BBC)

Ann Freedman Settles Final Lawsuit – The embattled former Knoedler director settled the last of 10 lawsuits against her over the $70 million forgery ring that rocked the art world. The lawsuit was brought by California collector Frances Hamilton White over a fake Pollock. Knoedler and its parent company are still facing two ongoing lawsuits. (The Art Newspaper)

Sterling Ruby Discusses His Latest for Calvin Klein – The art world descended on Fashion Week to see Sterling Ruby’s latest collaboration with designer Raf Simons: a mobile sculpture, Sophomore (2017), created for the designer’s spring 2018 horror-themed fashion show. “Three weeks ago, Raf said, ‘You think you can do it? Can we repurpose the mobile but integrate horror?'” Ruby recalls. (ARTnews)


Sir Howard Hodgkin’s Collection Hits the Block – More than 350 works from the little-known collection of the late painter will be sold by the artist’s partner, Antony Peattie, at Sotheby’s. Proceeds from the October 24 sale of works by Patrick Caulfield, Sir Peter Blake, and Bhupen Khakhar will be used to execute the painter’s final wishes, “in which he left a lot of money to a lot of people,” Peattie says. (BBC)

Following Hurricane Damage, Art Fairs Cancel – In light of damage caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, ArtMRKT Productions has suspended the 2017 editions of both the Texas Contemporary Art Fair in Houston and the Miami Project fair. Both are expected to resume as normal next year. (Glasstire)

Tala Madani Signs With 303 Gallery – New York’s 303 Gallery now represents the LA-based artist, known for her provocative paintings and video works. Madani had a big year in New York, with works on view at the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Biennial. (Press release)

La Biennale Paris Relaunches – The prestigious art fair, which is underway at the Grand Palais through September 17, is evolving under new American management. Formerly known as the Biennale des Antiquaires, the event will now be held annually in an effort to better compete in the crowded art marketplace. (NYT)


Director of Carnegie Museum of Art to Retire – Lynn Zelevansky, who has been at the helm of the Pittsburgh museum since 2009, will be stepping down. The 70-year-old museum director told friends “there’s writing and curating I’d like to do.” The date of her departure has yet to be set. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Rhizome Names Microgrant Winners – The microgrants, which range from $500 to $1,500, have been awarded to net artists including Winslow Laroche, N-Prolenta, and Holly White. The money will fund projects that focus on “digital citizenship” or that use Rhizome’s archiving technology Webrecorder. (ARTnews)

LA Gallerist Greg Escalante Has Died – The gallerist, patron, and Juxtapoz magazine founder passed away at his home in Huntington Beach at 62. Escalante was a champion of the Lowbrow art movement that emerged in 1970s California. “If Lowbrow had a Mt. Rushmore, he’d have to be on it,” gallerist Mat Gleason said. (Los Angeles Times)

Getty Research Institute Announces Scholars in Residence – More than 40 scholars have been chosen to conduct research at the Getty Center about the topic “Iconoclasm and Vandalism.” The incoming class also includes artists in residence Tian Wei and James Coleman. (Press release)


How Miami’s Billionaire Collectors Prepared for Irma  To prepare for Hurricane Irma, most Floridians boarded up their windows and evacuated. But Miami Beach always offers a dose of surreality. Ahead of the storm, workers fortified the four layers of bulletproof glass that encases Damien Hirst’s $17-million gold mammoth skeleton outside the Faena Hotel in Miami Beach, among other outlandish measures. (Bloomberg)

BP Portrait Award Winner Donates Prize Money to Greenpeace – Henry Christian-Slane, winner of the BP Young Artist Award, has donated £1,000 of his £7,000 winnings to Greenpeace. “It’s a prestigious award, and I was happy to receive it, but I’m not happy about being part of BP’s PR strategy,” he said. (Hyperallergic)

Moscow International Foto Awards Disqualify Winner – Madeleine Josephine Fierz won the gold medal in the “Fine Art People Children” category, but officials rescinded the award after Thai photographer Sasin Tipchai noticed that she had entered with his work, which she had plagiarized from Creative Commons. (TAN)

Dallas Gets Green Light to Remove Confederate Statue – A federal judge has lifted a restraining order that barred the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue in a public park also named after the Confederate general. The city is moving forward with the removal process but has not yet set a firm date. (Smithsonian)



“Campana Brothers: Hybridism”
Friedman Benda – New York
September 7 – October 14

World-renowned for their iconoclastic furniture design, Fernando and Humberto Campana have built a devoted following for their work that puts the “fun” in functional, from teddy-bear chairs to tennis-racked couches. Now, in their second solo show at New York’s Friedman Benda gallery, the Brazilian brothers are debuting their most sculptural—and personal—body of work to date.

Autumn Sofa, 2017. Courtesy of Friedman Benda.

Autumn Sofa, 2017. Courtesy of Friedman Benda.

Sereia Pirarucu, 2017. Courtesy of Friedman Benda.

Sereia Pirarucu, 2017. Courtesy of Friedman Benda.

Noah Bench, 2017. Courtesy of Friedman Benda.

Noah Bench, 2017. Courtesy of Friedman Benda.

Noah Vase, 2017. Courtesy of Friedman Benda.

Noah Vase, 2017. Courtesy of Friedman Benda.

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.
Article topics