Art Industry News: Britney Spears’s Lawyer Will Now Try to Free Artist Peter Max From Guardianship, Too + Other Stories

Plus, the Met officially returns two Benin Bronzes to Nigeria and art dealer Daniel Blau clashes with Italian authorities.

Britney Spears's attorney Mathew Rosengart speaks to the media following a conservatorship court hearing at the Stanley Mosk courthouse in Los Angeles on November 12, 2021. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Tuesday, November 23. 


What Does All This Inflation Mean for the Art Market? – Prices for goods and services in the U.S. have increased a staggering 6.2 percent over the past 12 months. But those who plan to use art as a hedge against inflation may want to be careful. If the Biden administration increases interest rates quickly in order to address the issue, it could “not only make owning art more expensive, but will also mean the opportunity cost of owning art will be more expensive,” said Bank of America’s Evan Beard. (The Art Newspaper)

Dealer Daniel Blau Clashes With Italian Authorities – The Munich-based dealer Daniel Blau is at loggerheads with the Italian government over a work of art he purchased at an auction house in Prado in December 2020 for €30,000. When the dealer sought to have the self-portrait by the Italian painter Ottone Rosai shipped to Germany, his shippers were told that the work was subject to a compulsory purchase by the Italian state. It has now been given to the Uffizi—but Blau says he has not been reimbursed. (TAN)

Britney’s Lawyer Joins Team ‘Free Peter Max’ – Now that Britney Spears’s lawyer has officially freed the pop star, he is moving on to a legendary Pop artist. Mathew Rosengart has joined the legal team assembled by Peter’s daughter Libra Max, who is working to put an end to her father’s five-year conservatorship. Libra contends the 84-year-old artist has been essentially imprisoned in his own home. “We will fight vigorously to obtain newfound freedoms for this American icon,” Rosengart said in a statement. (Page Six)

Cambodian Temple Looter Works to Make Good – Toek Tik, a Cambodian temple looter who stole and helped smuggle more than 1,000 artifacts outside the country decades ago, is now helping investigators collect evidence of his crimes in an effort to bring the pieces back home. “I regret what I did,” said Toek Tik, now in his 60s and diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. “I want the gods to come home.” (New York Times)


Met Signs Loan Agreement With Nigeria – The Metropolitan Museum of Art has signed an agreement to collaborate with the Nigerian government on art loans and scholarship after it officially returned three looted objects—two of which are among the Benin Bronzes—to Nigeria in a ceremony on Monday. It remains unclear whether more objects will be returned in the future. The Met reportedly holds 160 Benin Bronzes. (ARTnews)

Kasmin Now Represents Diana Al-Hadid – The Syrian-born, New York-based artist, whose sculptures draw inspiration from ancient and modern civilizations, has joined Kasmin’s roster. The gallery will present two new works by Al-Hadid at next week’s Art Basel Miami Beach. (Press release)

Tate Nabs LACMA Curator – Christine Y. Kim will join London’s Tate Modern as the first Christine Y. Britton Family Curator at Large (North American Art), tasked with developing the museum’s collection of North American art. Kim has been a curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art since 2009 and will be dividing her time between Los Angeles and New York when she begins her new role in January 2022. (Artforum)

U.S. Returns Objects to Mali – The U.S. government said on Monday that it has returned more than 900 artifacts to Mali over a decade after the items were confiscated during an investigation of an illegal shipment that was intercepted at the Port of Houston in 2009. The artifacts included ceremonial and funerary objects that could be traced to the Neolithic period. (NYT)


Frank Stella Is Back at Ground Zero – The installation of Frank Stella’s 2017 sculpture Jasper’s Split Star in front of 7 World Trade Center marks a homecoming for the 85-year-old artist. Two of his large-scale paintings, Telepilus Laestrygonia I and Telepilus Laestrygonia II, which once hung in the lobby of the original Seven World Trade Center, were destroyed during the 9/11 attacks. The installation was acquired by the 90-year-old Larry Silverstein, the developer of the original building. (NYT)

Three Zaha Hadid Buildings Will Open in 2022 – The King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the Bee’ah Headquarters in the United Arab Emirates, and the Central Bank of Iraq—all designed by Zaha Hadid—will open in 2022, nearly six years the starchitect passed away in 2016. She died of a heart attack during the peak of her career and left behind a number of unfinished projects. Now, one by one, they are being completed. (ARTnews)


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