From Banksy’s Holiday-Themed Mural to a Banana Protest: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this week's news, fast.

A still from Banksy's recently-released short clip (2019) featuring his new mural in Birmingham. Image courtesy of Banksy, via Instagram.


Hiding in Plain Sight – A gardener found a Gustav Klimt painting stolen more than 20 years ago from a gallery in Italy—hiding behind the ivy-covered walls of the very same building.

A Very Banksy Holiday – To highlight the plight of the homeless in Britain, the elusive street artist unveiled a new mural of a reindeer-drawn sleigh in Birmingham along with footage of a man sleeping just it, as if he were about to be carried into the sky.

An Appeeling Acquisition – Two of the buyers of Cattelan’s Comedian spoke out about their prize, defending its art-historical value and saying they hope to donate it to a museum one day.

Bouvier Gets the All-Clear in Monaco – Amid a years-long, ongoing dispute between billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev and his former art dealer Yves Bouvier, a Monaco judge threw out Rybolovlev’s criminal case against Bouvier for misrepresenting the price of artworks.

Hauser & Wirth Nabs a Star – The 32-year-old Avery Singer has signed with mega-gallery Hauser & Wirth after parting with Gavin Brown earlier this year, cementing her status as a market force and putting an end to prolonged speculation about where she would land.

Armory Show Shuffle – The New York fair is changing its structure after last year’s location struggle, with new sections and a variety of new gallery additions for 2020.


A Feminist Icon, Remembered – The artist May Stevens died at age 95 at her home in Santa Fe and will be remembered for her large-scale works and activism against oppression.

All’s Not Fair – The art world really is as tricky as you think, with women, people of color, and those without financial backing all finding it structurally difficult to break through.

Art Berlin Cancelled – The prominent German art fair has been axed after its parent company Koelnmesse determined there was not enough financial support to satisfy its needs.

Sotheby’s Shakeups – Uncertainty at Sotheby’s continues following a string of layoffs. In yet another abrupt turn since Patrick Drahi took the auction house private, Amy Cappellazzo is now the head of an expanded global fine arts division.

Rotten Bananas – Miami’s janitors staged a “platanito protest” calling attention to the fact that while they are underpaid and undervalued, Cattelan’s fêted fruit earns international attention and six figures.

Boris Johnson’s Broken Promise – The prime minister, who won a resounding win at the polls this week, has reneged on his promise to fund a memorial to the victims of slavery, declining to provide public funding for the project.

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