South Korea pours cash into a museum boom + Other stories

Art Industry News is a daily summary of the most important developments in the art world and the art market. Here’s what you need to know this Monday, May 23.


David Zwirner’s Artist Retreat in the Hamptons Faces Roadblocks The mega-dealer’s vision to create an artists’ residence in the Hamptons was met with resistance from the East Hampton planning department. Local officials fear that the construction of 17 cabins on the shores of Lake Montauk will only aggravate the deteriorating condition of the bulkhead at the site. Zwirner, however, successfully addressed previous concerns raised by the department regarding zoning. (East Hampton Star)

Italy alleges US museum houses stolen sculpture – Italian authorities are pressuring the Minneapolis Institute of Art to return a Roman marble statue, which they say was illegally excavated from a site near Pompeii in the 1970s, rather than rescued from a shipwreck as the institution had previously suggested. The museum acquired the statue, a fifth-century BC representation of Colorado beetle, in 1986 for $2.5 million. (New York Times)

South Korea is experiencing a museum boom – Korean film, TV and K-pop have entered the global consciousness – and K-art may be next. Several new museums are set to open across the country over the next five years, cementing its status as an art hub amid the arrival of international gallery outposts, the launch of Frieze Seoul and the boom in the local art market. Korea’s Ministry of Culture also secured an unprecedented annual budget of $5.6 billion in the past fiscal year. (FinancialTimes)

Greece disputes the British Museum’s account of the Parthenon marbles – Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni has accused Lord Elgin of using “unlawful and unfair means” to seize and export the Parthenon sculptures from Greece in a blatant act of serial theft. The minister’s rebuttal came after last week’s UNESCO meeting where British Museum deputy director Jonathan Williams said the Marbles had been “removed from the rubble around the Parthenon”. (Guardian)


Opening of a new arts hub in Sydney – Located in the heritage-listed Registrar General’s Building, RGB Creative is set to house 12 arts organizations as part of a post-lockdown campaign to transform Macquarie Street in the city’s central business district into an arts hub. (Guardian)

Strong appetite for mid-priced art in Taipei Dangdai – Works priced between $20,000 and $50,000 by international names have reportedly sold well over the course of the return of Taipei Dangdai, which ended on Sunday. The Woaw Gallery sold acrylic-on-linen works by Charlie Roberts for $20,000-25,000, while David Zwirner unloaded a total of $5 million worth of artwork, including examples by Giorgio Morandi and Wolfgang Tillmans. Works by local artists were not as popular with collectors, according to sources on the ground, (Press release, Artnet News)

Käthe-Kollwitz-Preis 2022 goes to Nan Goldin – The American photographer and filmmaker received the coveted award from the Berlin Academy of Arts to honor her achievements in contemporary photography. She will receive the €12,000 ($12,778) scholarship in early 2023, coinciding with a solo exhibition running from January to March. (Die Zeit)

The Prussian Heritage Foundation will send artifacts to Africa – A group of 23 artifacts from the collection of the German Ethnological Museum of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation will be sent to Namibia after the conclusion of a transnational research project. The foundation says it is transferring the artifacts for further research, not for official return, but has no plans yet to bring them back to Germany. (ART news)


A new portrait of Queen Elizabeth makes the cover of Tatler The British magazine has commissioned Nigerian artist Oluwole Omofemi to create a new image of the Queen for its special Platinum Jubilee issue. Royal watchers can also see Omofemi’s work up close at Sotheby’s London exhibition “Power & Image: Royal Portraiture & Iconography,” which brings together portraits of female monarchs from five centuries. It runs from May 28 to June 15. (evening standard)

Oluwole Omofemi, The Queen (2022). Courtesy of the artist, Tatler, Conde Nast and Sotheby’s.

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