From Christie’s New Auction Model to the Delay of the Humboldt Forum: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this week's news—fast.

Ed Ruscha, Annie (1962). Image courtesy Christie's. The work will be sold at the auction house's
Ed Ruscha, Annie (1962). Image courtesy Christie's. The work will be sold at the auction house's "relay" sale in June.


Clicks Into Cash – Frieze’s inaugural online edition featured seven-figure sales and a flurry of lower- (though not low-) priced works.

A Poignant Portrait – Artist Nikkolas Smith created a moving portrait of the slain Georgia native Ahmaud Arbrey that quickly gained attention online.

A Royal Curator – Kate Middleton is putting her art history degree to good use by working with the National Portrait Gallery to collect UK citizens’ photos of quarantine life.

Zwirner Shares the Wealth – The mega-gallery is opening its online viewing rooms to 12 smaller galleries based in Brussels and Paris.

Relay Race – In lieu of its marquee June auctions in New York, Christie’s is debuting a livestream sale in July that kicks off in Hong Kong and moves in real time to London, Paris, and New York.

Nun’s Painting Makes Bank – A rare Mannerist painting by a 17th-century Italian nun smashed its high estimate 14 times over at Sotheby’s.

US Artists Can Get Gov’t Aid – Many self-employed artists and creatives are eligible for the government’s new loan program.

Sweet Dreams – Maurizio Cattelan asked celebs including Iggy Pop and Jordan Wolfson to make audio recordings of themselves reading their favorite stories for a new project cheekily called “Bedtime Stories.”



Humboldt Forum Hits a Roadblock – The opening of the $700 million museum in Berlin is delayed yet again, as foreign construction workers are unable to return to Germany.

Expo Chicago Postponed – The ninth edition of the Windy City’s fair has been bumped from September 2020 to April 2021.

Another One Bites the Dust – The Gwangju Biennale has also been postponed, with the organizers moving the event to 2021.

Shifting Sphinxes – Egyptian authorities moved four ancient sphinxes to the center of Tahrir Square in an attempt to boost tourism, but some say the objects are now at risk.

Allan Shwartzman Is Out – The veteran art advisor is leaving Sotheby’s as it continues to shift under new management. His advisory firm was acquired by the house in 2016, and he will stay on as a consultant.

Paddles Down – Creditors are on the hunt for former Paddle8 CEO Valentine Uhovski, who they say is to blame for huge financial losses.

Bye, Berlin – Billionaire art collector Julia Stoschek is threatening to close her Berlin museum after running up against the city’s hardball real estate industry.

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