Art Industry News: The Ugandan Government Is Suing a Manhattan Art Dealer for $800,000 in Unpaid Rent + Other Stories

Plus, Why U.S museums should tell the whole story about Afghanistan and 475 U.K. art businesses register for anti-money laundering regulation.

Asher Edelman attends The 2009 Armory Show Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan 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 Monday, September 6.


On American Museums and Afghanistan – Despite two decades of war and occupation, museums in the U.S. have been slow to highlight the creativity coming from Afghanistan. While there have been some notable shows on pre-Islamic ancient cultural artifacts, there have been few focuses on contemporary visions of the country by living artists, and even then institutions tend to offer up essentialized visions of the country rather than showcasing its multiethnic and politically diverse cultural landscape. “I think [institutions] should be self-reflective about what kinds of narratives they are accustomed to,” artist Gazelle Samizay said. “Tell the complicated story.” (Los Angeles Times)

Uganda Sues Art Dealer Over Unpaid Rent in Manhattan – Art dealer Asher Edelmann owes $470,000 in rent for his businesses, Artemus and his gallery Edelman Arts, located in a fancy Lenox Hill townhouse on the Upper East Side. The building’s landlord is the Ugandan permanent mission to the United Nations, which stated that it is “disappointed and frustrated” with its commercial tenant, according to court papers. It is suing Edelman for damages totaling more than $800,000, which includes rent due through the end of the lease in June 2022. (The Real Deal)

Artist Billy Apple Has Died – Ground-breaking Pop artist Apple died at age 85. The New Zealand artist was a pioneer of pop art. He was based in New York during the 1960s and showed alongside Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, and Roy Lichtenstein. (Guardian)

Should Art Restorers Be Regulated? – High-profile cases of art forgery such as the arrest of British antiques restorer Neil Perry Smith in July are leading the art world to question whether the field of conservation is tightly regulated enough. The U.K. in fact has no official regulatory body, although the Institute of Conservation does mandate the respect of a code of conduct for members looking to be accredited. (TAN)


Anna Laudel Has Scaled Up Her Gallery in Turkey – Anna Laudel Gallery is inaugurating a new, larger gallery space in Istanbul in September 2021 with a solo exhibition by artist Ramazan Can. The show, which opens September 9, spans two floors with works focused on nomadism, shamanism, identity, and appropriation. (Press release)

U.K. Art Businesses Register for Money Laundering Compliance – Some 475 art market participants in the U.K. have registered their businesses with the government in compliance with new anti-money laundering regulations. Despite the regulations coming into effect in 2020, more than 50 percent of businesses registered between April and May this year, while 20 percent waited until the eleventh hour and registered in June, which was the cut off date. (The Art Newspaper)

What’s Driving the Auction Market Comeback? – Sales at the Big Three houses have soared back in 2021 to levels last seen during 2015’s market peak. Experts say the comeback has been boosted by increased buying in Asia, and strong results encouraging sellers to consign top lots. But not all markets have bounced back so quickly, as sales in the U.S. have dropped 16 percent since 2019. (Art Market Monitor)

HOFA Gallery Announces $20 Million NFT Show – London’s HOFA Gallery is opening an exhibition of “blue-chip NFT collectibles” on September 23. The exhibition, which includes six rare sealed CryptoPunks and other sought-after NFTs estimated to be worth $20 million, is called “Portrait of an Era.” (Art Fix Daily)


Jeff Koons to Release a New Collaboration with BMW – The artist will premiere his artist edition of the M850i xDrive Gran Coupe in February 2022 at Frieze Los Angeles. The 8 Series Gran Coupe will be for sale in a limited collector’s edition. The cars are being produced in secret in Germany, and each car takes 285 hours to paint. First looks at the design were shared at a private dinner in Munich, at the Pinakothek der Moderne. (Press release)

JEFF KOONS X BMW. The artist’s special edition of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe. Photo: Enes Kucevic, © Jeff Koons and BMW AG

JEFF KOONS X BMW. The artist’s special edition of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe. Photo: Enes Kucevic, © Jeff Koons and BMW AG.

JEFF KOONS X BMW. The artist’s special edition of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe. Photo: Enes Kucevic, © Jeff Koons and BMW AG.

JEFF KOONS X BMW. The artist’s special edition of the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe. Photo: Enes Kucevic, © Jeff Koons and BMW AG.

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