Art Industry News: Si Newhouse’s Vast Art Collection Is Entrusted to Tobias Meyer + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, a bull's head once on view at the Met goes back to Lebanon and Zaha Hadid's architecture firm designs a dog kennel.

Tobias Meyer presiding over the sale of The Scream at Sotheby's in 2012. (Photo by Orjan F. Ellingvag/Corbis 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 this Thursday, October 12.


Artists Join Forces to Create Advocacy Organization – In response to rising xenophobia around the world, artist Laurie Anderson and two other advocates have established The Federation, a new artist-run organization. Scores of artists, including Glenn Ligon, Joan Jonas, and Shirin Neshat, have joined its ranks. The group is planning a nationwide art action day on January 20—the one-year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration. (Press release)

Newhouse Art Collection Appoints Former Sotheby’s Auctioneer – The Newhouse family has appointed Tobias Meyer, the Sotheby’s auctioneer turned private art advisor, as its representative. He will help determine what happens to the vast collection of blue-chip postwar art amassed by S.I. Newhouse Jr., who died earlier this month. (New York Times)

Looted Antiquity Goes from Met Back to Lebanon – An exquisite 2,300-year-old sculpture of a bull’s head, which prosecutors said had been looted during Lebanon’s civil war, was on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art until this July. The sculpture’s owners, a Colorado couple, have now dropped a lawsuit seeking to prevent the Manhattan district attorney’s office from returning it to its country of origin. (NYT)

Omer Fast’s Chinatown Installation Angers Locals – James Cohan Gallery’s current exhibition “August” by Omer Fast in New York’s Chinatown has enraged local Chinese organizations, who claim his recreation of a derelict, pre-gentrification Chinese business incorrectly and offensively portrays the community. (Hyperallergic)


Where are the Great Spanish Art Collectors? Despite a proud art scene, collecting in the country is diminished, undertaken only by a small number of wealthy collectors and some Spanish corporations who are legally obligated to spend a percentage of their funds on “social projects.” Funding is allocated regionally by “autonomías” and art purchases are highly taxed, further stifling the local art market. (ARTnews)

Rockwell Bombs at Carrie Fisher Sale – A recent auction of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds’s belongings in Los Angeles grossed over $2 million—but one notable work failed to sell. Norman Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post cover painting Independence (1926) carried an estimate of $2–3 million. (Press release)

Art Advisor’s Tall Tales Inspire $1 Million Fraud Claim – A California businessman claims that his art advisor led him to believe rather fantastical facts about his professional achievements, including that he had bought and sold 1,000 Picassos and had special clearance from Britain’s royal family to personally advise the Prince of Wales on art-related matters. (Courthouse News)

Sean Kelly to Represent Landon Metz – The New York gallery will take on the abstract painter, known for his serial, geometric compositions that often wrap around corners and respond to the surrounding architecture. (Press release)


2017 Joan Miró Prize Awarded – The French-Algerian artist Kader Attia has nabbed the prestigious art prize. Attia will get €70,000 and a solo show at Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona. Past recipients include Olafur Eliasson and Pipilotti Rist. (Press release)

Manchester Galleries Get New Director – Alistair Hudson will take over the Whitworth and Manchester Art Gallery. He succeeds Maria Balshaw, who left to run Tate earlier this year. Hudson previously worked at the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. (BBC)

Bronx Launches Director’s Fund in Holly Block’s Memory – The Bronx Museum is creating a fund in honor of its esteemed director, who died at age 58 last week. The money will help her successor “further Holly’s vision” of supporting emerging and established artists and using art as a tool for cultural exchange. (The Art Newspaper)


Brazil’s Institutions Under Attack – Conservative groups are protesting institutions across the country following heated opposition to a performance at Brazil’s Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo in which, during Wagner Schwartz’s piece La Bete, a young girl was documented touching the artist’s naked body. (Artforum)

Legal Battle Rages Over Looted Pissarro – Picking Peas (1887) by Camille Pissarro is the subject of a court battle between the New York collector Bruce Toll, who acquired the work in 1995, and the family of a Jewish collector, who claim the painting was looted during WWII by the Vichy regime. A verdict is expected next month. (AP)

The Story Behind Broad City’s Animated Episode – Brooklyn-based artist and illustrator Mike Perry, who designed the show’s title sequence, has created a full animated episode that required 14,000 drawings. The setup: the show’s leading ladies trip mushrooms and their world descends into surreal animation. (Vulture) 

Introducing the Zaha Hadid Dog Kennel – Zaha Hadid Architects has designed a kennel for the Bow Wow Haus in London, a public exhibition in support of Blue Cross for Pets. The charity finds new homes for more than 40,000 sick, injured, and homeless pets each year. The new CNC-designed kennel, titled Cloud, floats off the floor to keep man’s best friend off of cold surfaces. (Press release)

Cloud by Zaha Hadid Architects. Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects.


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