Art Industry News: Police Are Pretty Sure Maurizio Cattelan’s Stolen Gold Toilet Has Been Melted for Parts + Other Stories

Plus, Gagosian is opening a third gallery in Paris and Johanna Burton will become the sole director of MOCA Los Angeles.

Installation view of Maurizio Cattelan's America (2016) in "Victory is Not an Option" at Blenheim Palace, 2019. Photo by Tom Lin.

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 Wednesday, September 15.


Gagosian to Open Third Paris Gallery – Gagosian is expanding its gallery empire in Paris with a third space, at 9 rue Castiglione, in the arcades between the Place Vendôme and the Louvre. The inaugural exhibition, which opens October 19 during FIAC Week, will examine the history of Alexander Calder’s monumental sculpture Flying Dragon, which will be installed in the Place Vendôme as part of the fair’s public art program. (Le Figaro)

Johanna Burton Will Lead MOCA Solo – The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, has opted to make Johanna Burton the sole director after Klaus Biesenbach abruptly announced he would leave the institution to run the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. (The two were originally conceived as co-directors.) Burton, who most recently served as head of the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University, will be MOCA’s first female director—and its fourth director since 2010. (New York Times)

FYI, the Golden Toilet Is Still Missing – Two years after Maurizio Cattelan’s $6 million, 18-karat golden toilet, America, was stolen from Blenheim Palace in England, police still have no leads on its whereabouts and suspect that it was likely melted down or sold off for its value in gold. “Will we ever see that toilet again?” asked local police commissioner Matthew Barber. “Personally I wonder if it’s in the shape of a toilet to be perfectly honest.” (BBC)

Korea’s Airport May House Museum – The latest addition to Seoul’s growing art scene may be a museum in the airport. Incheon Airport has submitted a bid to establish a “globally renowned museum” in Terminal 2 by 2024. Currently in the planning stages, the project could involve establishing a branch of the Tate Modern or the Centre Pompidou, according to an airport official. (Korea Herald)


Christophe Leribault Named President of the Musée d’Orsay – The ex-director of the Petit Palais has been named the new president of the Musée d’Orsay. He will succeed Laurence des Cars, who was named the next president of the Louvre, on October 5. (Le Monde)

Nairy Baghramian Wins the Nasher Prize – The Iranian-German sculptor has won the 2022 prize from the Nasher Sculpture Center, which honors a living sculptor who pushes the bounds of the form. She will receive $100,000 at a ceremony in Dallas in April and present work at the center next year. (Artforum)

Japan’s “Nobel Prize for Art” Awarded – In other award news, the Japan Art Association announced the recipients of the 2021 Praemium Imperiale Award. The four winners, each given £100,000, are: American sculptor James Turrell (sculpture), Brazilian artist Sebastião Salgado (painting), U.K.-born architect Glenn Murcutt (architecture) and French cellist Yo-Yo Ma (music). (The Art Newspaper)

Pace Hires General Counsel – Pace Gallery has hired lawyer Halie Klein, who previously worked at the New York firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, as its in-house general counsel. Klein, who will advise the gallery as it expands into NFTs, previously helped Pace in its joint sale of the estate of Donald Marron. (Bloomberg)


Unit London Opens NFT Show – The London gallery launched its new art-world NFT platform, Institut, with a physical exhibition of NFTs by 100 artists curated by Artnet News columnist Kenny Schachter. The show, on view through September 26, includes works by Jonas Lund, Vhils, and Marco Brambilla that are accessible via augmented reality, V.R. headsets, and digital screens, as well as in the metaverse on the virtual exhibition platform Arium. (Press release)


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