The Roundup: Auction Week, Hacked!, Maurizio Cattelan’s Misfire, Royally Bad Paintings

Ben Davis, Kate Brown, and Margaret Carrigan discuss the biggest stories of the month.

Hackers, attack!; King Charles III by Jonathan Yeo 2024. © His Majesty King Charles III by Jonathan Yeo 2024. Photo by Handout/His Majesty King Charles III by Jonathan Yeo 2024 via Getty Images; Maurizio Cattelan at Gagosian, 2024.

It is the exhausted end of a jam-packed month of May, and we’re staring into what promises to be a similarly jam-packed June. It’s overwhelming to think about it all, but exciting to discuss some of the biggest stories of the last few weeks. That’s right, it’s time again for our monthly roundup, this month hosted by Artnet’s national art critic Ben Davis, senior editor Kate Brown, and European news editor Margaret Carrigan.

Based in Berlin, Germany, Kate recently visited the Marianna Simnett show at the Hamburger Bahnhof museum, which was commissioned to coincide with the 2024 European Football Championship, being hosted by Germany. Maggie, though based in London, traveled to New York for the Art Business Conference and took in Stanley Whitney’s retrospective at the Buffalo AKG, where she suggests visitors pay a visit to Albert Bierstadt’s The Marina Piccola, Capri, which was gifted to the institution by the artist himself in 1863. Finally, Ben recommends the project “Means of Production” organized by Lunch Hour, which brings together the work of 75 New York-based artists in a former hosiery factory in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

First up on this edition is what may be the biggest story of recent weeks and maybe even all of recent auction history, that is the hack of Christie’s website that spanned the all-important week of sales in New York, which continues on, and now features a countdown clock threatening to leak valuable client data. Next, the trio discusses a dispute between the artist Maurizio Cattelan and Anthony James over who owns the right to a specific art idea, which in this case is shooting a gun at a metal panel and presenting  it as a painting.

And finally, we’ll talk about the public’s overwhelmingly critical outrage over recent portraits of British Royals, specifically King Charles and Princess Kate Middleton. Although they are the most recent instances, there is in fact a long history of unpopular royal portraits.


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