Art Industry News: A Court Investigates ‘Contradictory’ Claims Among Dealer Johann König’s Accusers + Other Stories



Documenta 15 Closes Within Budget – The numbers are in and Documenta 15, which closed in September 2022, managed to stay within its €42.2 million budget, despite its massive scale (there were more than 1,500 artists involved), the pandemic, and a crisis around anti-semitic motifs In the show, which required an external committee. Documenta 14, which was held in both Athens, Greece, and Kassel, Germany, closed with a deficit in 2017. ()

Austria to Propose New Restitution Laws – Following in the footsteps of Germany and France, the Austrian government is mobilizing to propose new legislation about the restitution of objects in its national museums that were acquired in a colonial context. A government-appointed advisory committee led by Jonathan Fine, scientific director of the Weltmuseum in Vienna, called for a permanent, “intellectually and culturally diverse” evaluation board. It hopes to have legislation ready by 2024. (The Art Newspaper) 

German Court Investigates ‘Contradictions’ in König Case – Hamburg’s public prosecutor’s office is reportedly resuming proceedings in art dealer Johann König‘s defamation case against Carolin Würfel, one of the journalists behind a 2022 report that shared MeToo allegations against König. The office is also said to be investigating whether three women wrote false affidavits regarding allegations against König. König is seeking millions in damages for pain and suffering. The original report in has remained online but was significantly redacted due to disputes about the reporting, in accordance with German law. () 

Inge Mahn Has Died – The acclaimed German artist Inge Mahn died June 19 at the age of 79. Her gallery Max Hetzler announced her passing. Mahn was known for sculptural and performative works which placed people in new relations to each other and objects. (Press release)


Sculpture Crops Up on the High Line Overnight – The High Line’s newest occupant, apparently unsanctioned though now welcome, is a bright yellow googly-eyed figure by artist Danny Cole, titled simply The Creature. Cole and a group of art handlers apparently went rogue and installed the sculpture, which was originally made for the launch of Cole’s fashion brand “Creature World” earlier this year, on the balcony of an apartment set on the tony Manhattan park. (ARTnews 

Whitney Museum Shakes Up Curatorial Roles – Writer and curator Meg Onli has been named curator at large for the Manhattan museum, where she was recently appointed co-curator of the forthcoming 2024 Whitney Biennial. Onli will also co-curate the upcoming Roy Lichtenstein exhibition along with director Scott Rothkopf and artist Alex Da Corte. The museum has also announced the promotion of assistant curator Laura Phipps to associate curator. (Press release)   

Independent Names Exhibitors for 20th-Century Fair – Ahead of its sophomore edition, Independent 20th Century has released the names of more than 30 galleries and nonprofits—12 of which are newcomers—set to show at the upcoming fair at Cipriani South Street, slated to run from September 7 to 10. The list includes Garth Greenan, Karma, Venus Over Manhattan, Vito Schnabel Gallery, and S94 Design. (Press release 

Photofairs Names Exhibitors – The fair has announced the lineup of exhibitors for its inaugural edition, set to take place September 8 to 10 at the Javits Center in New York and running alongside the Armory Show. Alongside the booth presentations, the fair will host a range of special projects, large-scale installations, and publishing projects by programming partners including Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York, Fotografiska, Gagosian Quarterly, and Jamaica Art Society. (Press release) 


Princess Kate Reopens National Gallery – The Princess of Wales joined architect Jamie Fobert, musician Paul McCartney, and artist Tracey Emin at the reopening of London’s National Portrait Gallery after a three-year renovation. McCartney’s own photographs are on view in a new exhibition titled “Eyes of the Storm” and Emin has designed bronze doors featuring images of 45 women hand drawn by the artist.

Tracey Emin, who was commissioned to create an artwork for the National Portrait Gallery’s new doors, incorporating 45 carved brass panels, representing “every woman, throughout time” greets Catherine, Princess of Wales during the reopening of the National Portrait Gallery on June 20, 2023 in London, England. The Princess of Wales is opening the National Portrait Gallery following a three-year refurbishment program. Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage.


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