Paint Drippings: Everything You Missed in the Art Industry Last Week

Get caught up on the latest market moves, fast.

Silverlens at Frieze Los Angeles. Photo: Casey Kelbaugh. Courtesy Casey Kelbaugh and Frieze.

Paint Drippings is excerpted from The Back Room, our lively recap funneling only the week’s must-know art industry intel into a nimble read you’ll actually enjoy. Artnet News Pro members get exclusive access—subscribe now to receive this in your inbox every Friday. 

Art Fairs

Joanna Kamm, director of the Liste Art Fair in Basel, has announced that she will be stepping down after five years. Peter Bläuer, co-founder and former director of the fair will assume the position of interim artistic director for this year’s edition. (Press release)

–New York dealer Margot Samel and Olga Temnikova of Estonia’s Temnikova & Kasela will be launching an alternative art fair called Esthertaking place from May 1 through May 4, during Frieze New York. Inspired by Basel Social Club and Condo, the event will be housed in the historic New York Estonian House and will feature projects by around 25 international galleries, among them New York’s Kaufmann Repetto and Andrew Kreps, London’s Seventeen, and Shanghai’s Bank. (Artnet News)

Julia Yerger, Maria Klabin, and Terry Allen are among our top five artists to watch at Frieze L.A. (Artnet News)

Auction Houses

–The Collection of Sir Elton John: Goodbye Peachtree Road sale at Christie’s brought in just over $20.5 million. Comprising more than 900objects from the music maven’s personal collection, the series of sales easily surpassed its $10 million low estimate. (Press release)

–The Chicago-based Wright and Toomey & Co. auction house recently held their inaugural Elevated: Art Via Chicago sale, in which two new world records were set: Julia Thecla’s Girl at the Garden Fence (1931) sold for six times its estimate at $36,120, and Margo Hoff’s Dream of Flying (1950) sold for four times its estimate at $30,240. (Press release)

–An Ethiopian shield, looted at the battle of Maqdala in 1868, was withdrawn from sale at Anderson and Garland, an auction house in Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. The Ethiopian Heritage Authority had formally asked for the sale to be cancelled and for the battle trophy to be returned. (Artnet News)

Heritage Auctions has announced that Michael Hartman has joined its New York office as director of design. (Press release)


–The London-based Richard Saltoun Gallery is opening a new space in New York’s Upper East Side on May 2. The Manhattan gallery will be its third outpost; its Rome location opened in 2022. (Press release)

Tokyo’s Onsen Confidential, a hybrid gallery share and hot spring retreat, will host its second and final edition in April. Launched in 2022, the event involves Japanese galleries hosting shows from foreign dealers—and everyone repairing to an onsen (a traditional natural hot spring) to chat while bathing together naked. (Artnet News)

–The Berlin-based gallery Wentrup will open a new space in Venice, located in the Palazzo Loredan Grifalconi, opening April 19—just in time for the Venice Biennale. (Press release)

David Zwirner will represent Emma McIntyre in collaboration with LosAngeles’s Château Shatto and France’s Air de Paris, Bernard Frize is now represented by Marian Goodman Gallery, Almine Rech has picked up Ali Cherri, and Amanda Baldwin has joined Public Gallery. (Press releases)

Daisy Nam sits on a ladder in field.

Daisy Nam has been tapped as the director of the CCA Wattis. Photo: Makenzie Goodman.

Institutions, Biennials, and Organizations 

Daisy Nam has been named the director and chief curator of the CCA Wattis Institute of Contemporary Art in San Francisco. She most recently served as the director of Ballroom Marfa. (Press release)

Michelle Kuo was named chief curator at large and publisher of the Museum of Modern Art. Since 2018, Kuo has been a curator of painting and sculpture at the museum. She was previously editor-in-chief of Artforum magazine. (Press release)

David E. Little is stepping down from his role as executive director of New York’s International Center of Photography. (Press release)

Nicole Yip has been appointed as the new director of Spike Island in Bristol, U.K. Yip is currently chief curator of exhibitions and live programs at Nottingham Contemporary, and will start her new position in June 2024. (Press release)

Margriet Schavemaker will take up the post of general director of the Kunstmuseum Den Haag in the Netherlands. She succeeds Benno Tempel, who was appointed director of the Kröller-Müller Museum at the end of last year. (Press release)

–The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has announced Mahsa Javid as its new director of advancement. (Press release)

Philadelphia’s Forman Arts Initiative has appointed their first executive director, Adjoa Jones de Almeida, who has worked at the Brooklyn Museum for the last decade. (Press release)

Ines de Seroux and Megan ODell have launched Field Recruitment, a recruiting and consulting firm based in New York focused on serving the art world, including galleries, auction houses, museums, and nonprofits. (Press release)

–Organizers of the Venice Biennale have said they will not exclude Israel in response to calls to shut down the Israeli pavilion in light of the human toll in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. (Artnet News, Artnet News)

Tech and Legal News

–The U.K.’s National Crime Agency issued an alert about alleged criminals concealing high-value assets like art in storage facilities after London police took custody of 23 paintings seized from collector Nazem Ahmed. The works, worth nearly $1.3 million in total, had been in a storage facility near Heathrow Airport since the Lebanese collector was sanctioned and had his assets frozen in 2019. (Artnet News)

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