Art Industry News: NYC Nixes Billionaire’s Attempt to Build a David Hockney-esque Starchitect Manor Above a High-Rise + Other Stories

Plus, Ai Weiwei made an appearance on the Daily Show and Amy Sherald spoke out against the sale of her painting 'Welfare Queen.'

Bill Ackman's proposed penthouse. Photo: Foster + Partners, courtesy of the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

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 Thursday, November 18.


Amy Sherald Is None Too Pleased About the Sale of Welfare Queen – Amy Sherald was not pleased to see her 2012 portrait of a regal Black woman, consigned by Princeton African American studies professor Imani Perry, sell for $3.9 million on Wednesday at Phillips New York. “It can feel personal when a painting is put up for auction by a collector,” she said. “Especially, in this case, when it’s someone you know and worked with to accommodate an alternative payment arrangement to acquire the piece in the first place.” (Culture Type)

Ai Weiwei Went on The Daily Show The world-famous Chinese artist-activist made a somber appearance on Trevor Noah’s The Daily Show to promote his new memoir, 1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows. He discusses how he became an enemy of the state and how the Chinese government has been treating the Uighurs, Tibetans, Inner Mongolians, and its own people. “There is fear,” the artist said. “The fear is that I don’t speak out.” (ARTnews)

New York Billionaire Forced to Rework Penthouse Plans – Hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman has failed to obtain an approval from local authorities to build a two-story penthouse designed by Norman Foster on top of a historic Manhattan building. Neighbors called the design—which looks straight out of a David Hockney painting—”a Malibu beach house that got blown onto our New York roof.” The landmarks commission has asked the billionaire to downsize the scope of the project. (Guardian)

The Manhattan D.A. Has a Great Art Collection – The evidence lockers at the Manhattan district attorney’s office double as perhaps the most exclusive private museum in town. They boast thousands of museum-worthy artifacts that have been “acquired” over the years as the office seeks to clamp down on the smuggling of cultural heritage. The Antiquities Trafficking Unit has seized 3,604 items with an estimated with of $204 million. (New York Times)


Lehmann Maupin Gets Bigger Space in Seoul – Lehmann Maupin will open a new 2,600-square-foot gallery space in Seoul’s Hannam-dong neighborhood in early spring 2022 as part of an ongoing expansion in Asia. The new gallery, which occupies two floors and an outdoor terrace, will be near key art spaces like Storage by Hyundai Card and Leeum Museum of Art. Lehmann Maupin first launched a Seoul outpost in 2017. The new gallery will open with Lari Pittman’s solo debut in South Korea. (Press release)

Marianne Boesky Now Represents Jammie Holmes – The self-taught, Dallas-based painter will be included in Marianne Boesky’s upcoming presentation at Art Basel Miami Beach ahead of a New York solo show with the gallery in fall 2022. Holmes served in the army for four years and worked in an oil field for 14 years before turning to art. (Press release)

ART SG Postponed (Again) to 2023 – The inaugural edition of ART SG has been pushed back to from January 2022 to January 2023 amid ongoing concerns about the pandemic. The debut edition of the fair, which positions itself as an international art fair in Singapore, was initially scheduled to take place in 2019. (Press release)


Tourists Fined for Breaking Into the Colosseum – Two American tourists in their 20s were fined for €800 ($907) for sneaking into the Colosseum to drink beer. The pair, ages 24 and 25, were spotted by passerby after they climbed up to the second level of the monument early Monday morning. Obviously it’s bad to trespass at a UNESCO world heritage site, but it kind of sounds like it was… worth it? (Evening Standard)

David Beckham Tries His Hand at Painting – Soccer is more than just a sport—it can also offer an alternative to a paint brush, as demonstrated by the English soccer star and fashion icon David Beckham. In a new ad for the liquor brand Haig Club (no, we’re not sure of the connection either), Beckham creates a colorful abstract painting with the tool he’s the most familiar with—a soccer ball. (Monopol)


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