Art Industry News: Sotheby’s Will Astound and Amaze With a Sale of Magician Ricky Jay’s Spellbinding Collection + Other Stories

Plus, a looming U.K. lockdown could threaten Frieze London, and pioneering painter Yolanda López has died at 78.

Master magician Ricky Jay poses for a portrait circa 1994 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/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 Wednesday, September 8.


October “Firebreak” Lockdown Threatens Frieze London – A member of the U.K. government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies says that authorities are developing a contingency plan for a “firebreak” lockdown in October should coronavirus hospitalizations continue to rise at the current rate. This could pose major problems for Frieze London and other satellite fairs. Ministers denied the report, adding that such restrictions would only be used “as a last resort to prevent unsustainable pressure on the NHS.” (Independent)

Artist Yolanda López Has Died at 78 – The pioneering painter died at home on September 3 from complications from liver cancer. Raised in San Diego by Mexican immigrants, López depicted Mexican Americans or Latinos in her works at a time when they were largely invisible to the mainstream public. Her first solo museum exhibition opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, in October. (Washington Post)

Sotheby’s to Auction Ricky Jay’s Magic Collection – The late magician Ricky Jay was described in the New Yorker as  “perhaps the most gifted sleight of hand artist alive.” It turns out he was also a dedicated collector, assembling a trove of around 1,000 objects related to the history of magic that will hit the block at Sotheby’s next month. Highlights include the first edition of Reginald Scot’s treatise on witchcraft, The Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584) (estimate: $50,000–$70,000), and a collection of Harry Houdini posters. (Press release)

U.K. Police Bill Could Threaten Protest Art – A new bill called the Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill that is currently under consideration in the U.K.’s House of Lords would restrict the public’s right to protest. Given the bill’s broad strokes, one expert says the restrictions could even be applied to “performance art as a form of protest.” (The Art Newspaper)


Perrotin to Co-Rep Tavares Strachan – The gallery will present a new work by the Bahamian artist, Nobody Moves, at Art Basel this month. Perrotin will present a solo exhibition of Strachan’s work in Paris in October 2022 alongside an exhibition at Paris’s Marian Goodman Gallery, which continues to represent him. (Press release)

LJ Roberts Joins Hales – The American artist, who lives and works in Brooklyn and who is known for creating intricate textile installations and embroideries, is now represented by the London and New York gallery. Roberts’s first solo show in New York opens on September 10 at Pioneer Works. (Press release)

Dallas Art Fair to Donate $50,000 to Planned Parenthood – The art fair will donate $50,000 to Planned Parenthood in Texas following the state’s near-total ban on abortions. The decision comes after one exhibitor, Mother Gallery, withdrew its participation in the fair due to the state’s new law, and encouraged others to boycott Texas. (ARTnews)

Tanya Bonakdar Gallery Names Sales Director – Renee Coppola, who worked at Tanya Bonakdar’s New York space between 2010 and 2015, is returning to help steer its Los Angeles gallery. She previously served as director of sales for Gemini G.E.L. and as deputy director of the Las Vegas Art Museum. (Press release)


Paris Bookshop Collects Suitcases for Afghan Creatives – Paris’s beloved bookstore Shakespeare & Company is asking people to donate suitcases for artists, playwrights, and journalists who have recently arrived in France from Afghanistan. Read the comments for a little jolt of appreciation of humanity. (Instagram)

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