From Yusaku Maezawa’s Moon Shot to the Challenges Facing African American Artists: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this weeks news—fast.

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa at the SpaceX headquarters and rocket factory. Photo: DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images.


Rocket Man – The billionaire art collector Yusaku Maezawa is teaming up with Elon Musk to be the first private citizen to travel into space. Maezawa has also created a program called “Dear Moon” and plans to bring a cadre of artists from multiple disciplines on his intergalactic adventure.

Steiring in the Right Direction – The artist Pat Steir has landed two coveted commissions that will put her massive waterfall paintings on the map, Niagara-style. In 2019, Steir’s work will be at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in DC and the Barnes Museum in Philadelphia.

Art Basel Cities Charts New Ground – artnet News’s Andrew Goldstein ventured to Buenos Aires to figure out how the Swiss fair mega-company hopes to use its status in the art world to redirect luxury dollars into creating welcome economic development in art scenes around the world

Art Gets a Reprieve – Chinese art and antiquities will not be affected by tariffs imposed by the Trump administration, sending a collective sigh of relief throughout the art world.

WAGEing War on Unfair Pay – The New York-based activist group Working Artists and the Greater Economy (WAGE) released a calculator that allows artists to tabulate fair rates of compensation for a variety of their labor practices.

A New Discovery of an Old Master – Art dealer Jan Six claims that a previously misidentified painting is actually the work of Dutch master Rembrandt. This is the second time Six has found a misattributed painting by the painter in only the last four years. Let’s see if he can find four more and live up to his name.

Hauser & Wirth Launches a Mag & Expands (Again) – Yes, the mega-gallery is opening another outpost, sprouting a third location in the gallery’s homeland of Switzerland, which will debut with a show of work by Louise Bourgeois. The gallery also announced it is unveiling Ursula, a hybrid art, culture, food, and travel magazine edited by former New York Times journalist Randy Kennedy.



Historically Marginalized – artnet News’s Julia Halperin teamed up with Charlotte Burns from In Other Words to report on the slow road African American artists have had in gaining institutional and art-market recognition in the US. Data from museums and auctions join anecdotes from prominent collectors and dealers in helping to illuminate the fact that generations of artists have been grossly underrepresented in museum collections and undervalued in the art market.

In Remembrance – Greta Brătescu died at age 92, according to her gallery, Hauser & Wirth. The artist represented Romania at the Venice Biennale in 2017, having only recently achieved international recognition. Despite the oppression she contended with in her native Eastern Europe, Greta’s multimedia career was distinguished by colorful, lively, often whimsical work inspired by mythology.

Josh Roth Has Died – The head of the Fine Arts division of the UTA Talent Agency died at age 40. Just months ago, Roth’s latest enterprise, a new gallery designed by Ai Weiwei, opened in LA.

Looking Back on Lehman Brothers – Ten years after the financial crisis and the liquidation of Lehman Brothers, Ben Davis revisits the company’s impressive art collection, and remembers how it may have contributed to the collapse.

Bye Bye, Banksy – A Banksy mural has been unceremoniously erased from a storefront that was once the home to a cult skate shop in Bristol, outside of London. When the space was bought by new owners, they didn’t realize the graffiti gem they had on the store’s façade, and painted over the early street-art intervention.

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