Art Industry News: The Cutthroat Market Power Plays Behind 27-Year-Old Painter Anna Weyant’s Meteoric Rise + Other Stories

Plus, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier's remarks at Documenta spark controversy, and Twitter is becoming a hot art-sales tool.

Anna Weyant at her Upper West Side apartment. Photo courtesy the artist and Blum & Poe.

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, June 21.


Ben Davis on the Art World’s Future – In his new book, Art in the After-Culture: Capitalist Crisis and Cultural Strategy, Artnet News’s national art critic Ben Davis imagines art and life in a near future that could be dystopian, utopian, or somewhere in between. “We’re in a new period that we’re still figuring out because it is a moment of these big, inchoate stories duking it out and forming a new kind of intellectual texture,” Davis says. To hear him speak more about his book, listen to his interview on the Art Angle podcast. (The Nation)

U.K. Starts Fining Art-Market Participants – Art-market players handling transactions of €10,000 ($10,498) or more who did not register with the authorities by the June 2021 deadline are starting to receive fines from the U.K. authorities. The measure was imposed under new anti-money laundering legislation, and those who fail to register may face a penalty of up to $122,950. (The Art Newspaper)

Charting Anna Weyant’s Extraordinary Rise – The Wall Street Journal chronicles the sharp rise of art-market darling Anna Weyant—and the behind-the-scenes market machinations that led her to join Gagosian. As Artnet News Pro initially reported, the painting that set the 27-year-old’s $1.6 million auction record in May was consigned by her former dealer, Tim Blum. He had bought it from her show at the gallery a year prior for $15,000. Unhappy with how things ended, the artist entered into a confidential settlement agreement with the gallery earlier this year, according to the Journal. (Wall Street Journal)

German President’s Documenta Speech Incites Anger – Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s opening remarks at Documenta, made amid the row over anti-Semitism surrounding this year’s show, sparked criticism in the German art world and beyond. Claiming that artistic freedom has its limits, he said: “Art can be offensive, it should trigger debates. But where criticism of Israel turns into questioning of its existence, the limit has been crossed.” (Monopol)


Why Twitter Is a Good Sales Platform for Artists – Instagram may be the art world’s favorite social media platform, but Twitter is apparently catching up. Artists are finding surprising success with sales and commissions on Twitter thanks to its design, which integrates animations smoothly, allows users to post up to four images at a time, and helps their work to stand out from the text-heavy feed. (Wired)

Sebastian Cichocki to Organize Ireland Biennial – The chief curator and head of research at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw will be the curator of the 40th EVA International, Ireland’s Biennial of Contemporary Art, which runs from August 31 to October 29 next year. (Press release)

Ukrainian Artist Gets TEFAF Presentation – Oleksandr Bohomazov, a key member of the Ukrainian avant-garde, will be the subject of a major presentation at TEFAF Maastricht by James Butterwick, a leading dealer of Russian avant-garde art. The gallery will donate 15 percent of its profits to Ukrainian relief funds. (TAN)


Utøya Memorial Unveiled – The monument commemorating victims of the Anders Behring Breivik attacks on the Norwegian island of Utøya finally opened after a series of hiccups and delays. The 2011 mass shooting and bomb attack killed 77 people, many of them teenagers taking part in a youth camp on the island. Overseen by Statsbygg, the Norwegian Directorate of Public Construction and Property, the memorial contains 77 pillars, one for each victim, and a design that mirrors position of the sun at the time of the attacks in Oslo and Utøya. (NOS)

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