Art Industry News: Billionaire Art Collector Steve Cohen Agrees to Buy the Mets (It’s a Baseball Team) + Other News

Plus, the Dedalus Foundation is selling Robert Motherwell works at auction and Miart gets a new artistic director.

Awwwww yeeeeeaaaah!!!! Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via 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 on this Tuesday, September 15.


Pennsylvania Academy Students Boycott Final Show – More than a dozen students at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia are boycotting their final exhibition in protest of the university’s response to Black Lives Matter protests. The move comes after the school asked its faculty not to affiliate the school with activist activities, according to Hyperallergic. Students are pressuring the school to reconsider its leadership as a result, and are showing their work in a group exhibition titled “Action Words” at four off-site spaces, and in a separate online show titled “Boycott Annual Student Exhibition” at Anna Zorina Gallery. (Hyperallergic)

Critic Blasts Museum’s Planned Sale of Pollock Painting – Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Christopher Knight says the Everson Museum of Art’s decision to sell a 1946 Jackson Pollock drip painting, which carries an $18 million estimate, to diversify its collection is “inexcusable.” “The sale of legitimate public patrimony to the highest bidder is touted as a marvelous way to bring racial and gender equity to the institution going forward,” Knight writes. “Balderdash. The Everson would need to unload half of its collection for it to reflect the diversity of a city that is 45 percent nonwhite, according to the most recent census estimate.” The sale is scheduled for October 6. (LA Times)

David Hockney Thinks Caravaggio Could Have Used a Camera – In new behind-the-scenes footage from a documentary about David Hockney, the artist advances his pet theory that Western painting was revolutionized by the use of lenses and mirrors 500 years before the invention of chemical photography in the 19th century. Hockney says that since the Early Modern period, artists had been using “photographic” ways of seeing to create their pictures. Recent research about Caravaggio lends some credence to Hockney’s theories, which have largely been dismissed by art historians. (The Art Newspaper)

Olafur Eliasson Talks Politics – The Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson says that leaders like Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are “deliberately polarizing people instead of uniting them” and that the public is getting shock fatigue amid the normalization of loaded rhetoric. During lockdown, Eliasson has been reconnecting with neighbors, and hopes others are also taking the crisis as an opportunity to “reactivate” humanistic values. (Guardian)


Dedalus Foundation Consigns Motherwell Works to Christie’s – The Dedalus Foundation is selling a group of 60 works by the artist Robert Motherwell at Christie’s in October. The artworks, which include paintings, prints, and works on paper, will be sold in two sales with a combined pre-sale estimate of $2.2 million to $2.7 million. (Art Market Monitor)

Record for Toilet Seat Cover from Rolling Stone’s Bill Wyman – A fluffy yellow toilet seat cover with the Rolling Stones’s tongue logo sold for $1,142 at an auction of the effects of ex-bassist Bill Wyman. Records were also set for Wyman’s 196 Fender Mustang bass, which he used for Stones recordings in the late 1960s, and the amp he used when he auditioned for the band. (Stereogum)

Steve Cohen Gets Closer to Buying the New York Mets – Billionaire hedge-fund manager and blue-chip art collector Steve Cohen is one step closer to owning the baseball team after he reached an agreement with its current owners, the Wilpon family, to buy a majority share of the club for $2.4 billion. The planned sale still must be approved by 23 of the 29 other owners of Major League Baseball teams. (Yahoo!)


Filmmaker Nancy Dine, Former Wife and Muse to Jim Dine, Dies at 83 – New York art-world power figure Nancy Dine, who was the muse and former wife of the US artist Jim Dine, is dead at 83 from complications related to lung cancer. In 1996, she made a documentary film about her painter husband that earned her an Academy Award nomination. She is survived by Jim, who is 85. (New York Times)

Jova Lynne Is Back at MOCAD as Senior Curator – Lynne left the museum, where she had worked since 2017, this summer following accusations against its executive director, Elysia Borowy-Reeder, of poor management and racial and gender bias. Borowy-Reeder has since been terminated, and Lynne is now back in her post. (ARTnews)

Miart Gets a New Artistic Director – Nicola Ricciardi, the former artistic director of the Officine Grandi Riparazioni in Turin, will start his new post as the artistic director of the Milan art fair in October. He succeeds Alessandro Rabottini, who helmed the fair from 2017 to 2020. (Press Release)

Outsider Art Fair Names New Director – Nikki Iacovella will now lead the New York and Paris art fairs. Its eighth edition in Paris will be accessible online, and in an exhibition curated by Alison M. Gingeras at the Hôtel Drouot. (Press release)


Photographer Mohamed Bourouissa Wins Deutsche Börse Prize – The French-Algerian artist has won $38,600 for the 2020 Deutsche Börse photography prize. The jury selected Bourouissa for his installation Free Trade, which was on view at a Monoprix supermarket during the 2019 Les Rencontres d’Arles photography festival. (Guardian)

Indian Museum Commissions Trans-Women Art Collective – Aravani art project, a trans-women art collective based in Bangalore, has been commissioned to paint a large mural on the exterior of the city’s Museum of Art and Photography. The mural will offer a message of acceptance and inclusion. (Press release)

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