From a Gallery’s Removal of the Sackler Name to the Sale of the World’s Largest Painting: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this week's news, fast.

Artist Sacha Jafri poses for a portraits at Leila Heller Gallery on February 09, 2021 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, featuring select pieces from The Journey of Humanity, recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's largest painting. Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images.
Artist Sacha Jafri poses for a portraits at Leila Heller Gallery on February 09, 2021 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, featuring select pieces from The Journey of Humanity, recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's largest painting. Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images.

BEST👍

Read the Latest Intelligence Report – Artnet’s Spring 2021 Intelligence report features auction house upheaval, a profile on Robert Nava, and an inside look at the burgeoning experience economy.

Scottish University Returns a Benin Bronze – The first Western institution to fully repatriate a Benin Bronze is being hailed as a major victory by restitution activists.

Rains Unearth an Offering to the Gods – A 3,000-year-old bronze bull figurine was discovered in Greece after heavy rains hit the ancient Olympic site.

Newfields Makes a New Plan – Newfields has released an extensive DEAI plan for its future after a racism scandal rocked the museum and forced the director out.

The Ghent Beefs Up Security – One of the world’s most frequently stolen artworks, the Ghent Altarpiece, now has a $35 million high-tech display case.

Banksy Makes Bank – A work that the anonymous street artist bequeathed to the NHS during the pandemic brought in millions at Christie’s.

Another Museum Drops Sackler Name – The formerly named Serpentine Sackler Gallery is ditching the infamous family’s name, but says it’s just a rebranding effort.

Van Gogh Posthumously Supported His Sister – New letters reveal that proceeds from the artist’s paintings helped pay for his sister’s mental health treatment.

WORST👎

The People Behind Beeple – The crypto capitalists who bought Beeple’s $69 million work unleashed a manifesto detailing the reasons behind their purchase.

A Mega Painting Fetches Millions – Artist Sacha Jafri sold the world’s largest painting for a staggering $62 million to a crypto entrepreneur.

Bourriaud Booted from French Museum – The art philosopher Nicolas Bourriaud was ousted from the museum he founded after a dramatic board meeting.

Santiago Sierra’s Bloody Project Axed – The artist’s plan to soak the British Flag in indigenous peoples’ blood was cancelled after public outcry.

The Beeple Museum Is a Money Trap – Artnet News’s Ben Davis visited the digital museum, and was not surprised to find it lacked artistic merit.


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