From Banksy’s Valentine’s Day Present to an Art Critic’s Art-Fair Faux Pas: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this weeks' news—fast.

Banksy's latest work in Bristol, England. Courtesy of Banksy.
Banksy's latest work in Bristol, England. Courtesy of Banksy.

BEST👍

Kruger’s Hidden Messages – Barbara Kruger is debuting a new series of public banners throughout Los Angeles that probe existential questions.

Wes Anderson Gets Arty – Everyone’s favorite director is delving into the art world for a new film based on art dealer Joseph Duveen, starring a real-life celeb artist, Adrien Brody.

Plastics Abound – Just in time for New York’s plastic bag ban, an artist is erecting a pop-up grocery store in Times Square where all of the products are made from—you guessed it—upcycled plastic.

Women’s Museum in the Works – The Smithsonian could get a national women’s museum soon, after a bill to found the institution overwhelmingly passed in the House of Representatives (though it’s still pending in the Senate).

Various Small Fires Is Heating Up – The LA-based gallerist Esther Kim Varet visits The Art Angle podcast to discuss her gallery’s “startup” culture and surviving the art fair frenzy.

Making History at the Venice Biennale — Artist Sonia Boyce will be the first black woman to represent the UK at the art-world Olympics with a dedicated national pavilion.

Banksy’s Love Letter to Bristol — The elusive street artist left a Valentine’s Day mural on a building in his hometown of Bristol, England—and people are loving it.

WORST👎

Censorship at the Museum – A complaint from a board member at the National Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur resulted in artworks being removed from a show, prompting an outcry from artists.

Trump Tries to Axe NEA… Again – The President’s latest budget would slash funding for the National Endowments for the Arts, which he’s attempted to do four times already.

Art Critic’s Major Art-Fair Faux Pas – A Mexcian art critic shattered a pricy artwork by Gabriel Rico at the Zona Maco art fair by setting a can of Coke on it (yikes).

Activists Protest BP Funding – Some 1,500 people showed up to the British Museum with a Trojan Horse as part of their ongoing protest against the institution’s ties to the fossil fuel company.

Blain Southern Shutters – The Blain Southern gallery is closing all three of its international locations amid financial troubles—and artists are left to try to recoup money and art from the dealers.

Sputtering Auction Sales – Auction juggernaut Christie’s raked in a disappointing total from its Postwar and Contemporary sale in London, with the lowest total in ten years. Sotheby’s did a bit better in the same week, while Phillips hosted its own weak sale.


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