From Debate Over an Art-Fair Tax to the Famed Hollywood Producer Suing Jeff Koons: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on what you missed—fast.

Lehmann Maupin's booth at Frieze New York. Photo: Henri Neuendorf.


Lights, Camera, Frieze – From Robert Therrien’s ‘grammable oversized furniture to the haunting wall sculpture of Jordan Wolfson, artnet News editor-in-chief Andrew Goldstein’s list of the best work under the big tent has something for everyone.

Spotlight on Picasso – This week news broke of yet another Picasso painting coming to the auction block, this time from London. The portrait depicts the artist’s mistress, and has not been on the market for more than 20 years.

David Zwirner Suggests a ‘Robin Hood Tax’ – At Berlin’s New York Times Art Leaders Network conference, David Zwirner floated an idea: impose a tax on mega-galleries to participate at art fairs, and take the financial burden off of small outfits.

Pacific Standard Amps Up LA’s Economy – The sprawling, collaborative art event funded by the Getty added more than $430 million to the region’s economy over the course of its run from September 2017 to January 2018. Besides raking in money, the 70 institutions that participated in the event recorded 2.8 million visitors across SoCal.

A Few Moments With Murakami – Before the opening of Takashi Murakami’s new show at Perrotin New York, the celebrity artist spoke to artnet News‘s Tim Schneider about being an art world icon.

Frieze Frame – Resident artnet News shutterbug Henri Neuendorf caught up with some fashion-savvy fairgoers on the opening days of Frieze, and they were thrilled to take part in our “Humans of (Frieze) New York” photo-op.

Baltimore Builds a War Chest – The Baltimore Museum of Art galvanized attention with a decision to sell off works by white men, instead opting to diversify the collection with works by artists of color, including Amy Sherald and Mark Bradford.

Museums Fire Back at Cabal Conspiracy – Five New York City museums are moving to dismiss a lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to exclude artists from their collections—the move is in response to a $100 million lawsuit filed by Robert Candella, a self-dubbed “Art Bastard,” earlier this year.

New York’s Freeport Fortress Opens – Harlem is now home to the Fort Knox of art storage facilities, where iris and vascular scanners are only the first hurdle for would-be entrants to gain access.

The Met’s “Like Life” is Curiously Good – Our critic Ben Davis visited the Met Breuer’s “blowout highbrow creep-show exhibition” “Like Life” and found it very weird and very good, saying it invents a new model of museum blockbuster by looking back to the Cabinet of Curiosities.



The Ultimate Museum Fail – A French museum dedicated to the work of artist Étienne Terrus found out that more than half of its collection was fake. A visiting art historian delivered the bad news to the tiny town of Elne, where Terrus was born, that their prized collection was in fact, très faux.

A Chilly Atmosphere Amid Sweltering Heat – Julia Halperin spoke to dealers at the opening of Frieze and found them sweating for more reasons than a lack of airflow, citing the much-discussed mid-market squeeze and increased pressure to perform.

Columbia MFA Students Are Mad – The students at Columbia University’s prestigious art program are demanding a refund, due to untenable studio conditions and assortment of empty promises.

Dealers, Beware – Regulators are finally answering the calls for a more transparent art market—the first round of regulation was adopted in European Parliament, and the US is following the lead as legislation was finalized under the United States’s Bank Secrecy Act.

Lethal Weapon Producer Has Koons in His Crosshairs – Another high-profile collector is suing Gagosian Gallery and Jeff Koons for failure to deliver artwork. Joel Silver, who brought us gems like The Matrix and Lethal Weapon, filed his suit right on the heels of a similar claim, made by a hedge-fund manager.

Vandal in the Family – Police in Colorado believe the brazen slash-and-run of a Christopher Wool painting was a menacing act carried out by the son of the painting’s owner. The canvas was on view at Aspen’s Opera Gallery last year when the vandalism took place, and security footage seems to have identified the suspect, though he is not yet in custody.

A New Museum, With Extra Cheese – More proof of the rise in “made for Instagram” museums came with the news of the Museum of Pizza (MoPi), set to be delivered to New York this October.

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