Art Industry News: Damien Hirst’s Financial Statements Reveal He Made Nearly $10 Million for Charity in 2020 + Other Stories


Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 7.


Yuga Labs Settles Part of Ryder Ripps Bored Ape Lawsuit – The Bored Ape Yacht Club’s (BAYC) parent company reached a settlement with developer Thomas Lehman after a complaint was filed on January 20, focusing on his role coding Ryder Ripp’s RR/BAYC copycat project. Lehman helped develop the sites that sold copied NFTs from BAYC. Lehman agreed not to use “any manner any BAYC Mark,” and destroy “materials in his possession or control publicly displaying the BAYC Marks.” He has to digitally burn any RR/BAYC NFT in his possession. (CoinDesk)

Paco Rabanne Has Died – The Spanish fashion designer has died at age 88. His futuristic designs, which emerged in the 1960s in the French fashion scene, spoke to the space age. ()

Damien Hirst Finances Revealed – According to his financial statements filed with public authorities, the artist made and sold more than £8 million in art to benefit the U.K.’s National Health Service (N.H.S.) in 2020. His company reported income of more than £10 million in 2021, substantially less than £18.2 million declared in 2020. The difference seems to be the works made for the N.H.S. (The Art Newspaper)

Hamline University Named Worst College for Free Speech – The Minnesota college was listed as the worst for free speech by the lobby group Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s “dishonor list.” The school was accused of censorship after a professor was punished and not rehired for showing historic Islamic art that depicted the prophet Muhammad. Hamline’s president defended the move, saying “academic freedom does not operate in a vacuum.” The board of trustees said it would investigate the controversy. ()


Bangladeshi Artist Awarded a Spot at Ibrahim Mahama’s Residency – The Samdani Art Foundation has announced two Bangladeshi artists Purnima Aktar and Md Fazla Rabbi Fatiq as joint winners of the biannual Samdani Art Award. As part of their prize, Aktar will attend Mahama’s artist residency in Ghana, the Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art and Red Clay. ()

Arab World Institute in Paris Builds Museum Space – Following a two-year renovation, the Jean Nouvel-designed Arab World Institute is planning to open a pan-Arabic art museum, the only such institution in the West, helmed by former Montreal Museum of Fine Arts director Nathalie Bondil. The “Civilization and art museum” will span seven levels of the building with galleries featuring works from 2,500 modern and contemporary works, nearly 1,000 antiquities and manuscripts, and 4,500 photographs. The French Ministry of Culture will fund €6 million for the construction, slated to begin in 2024. (TAN)

French Museum to Return ‘Talking Drum’ to Ivory Coast – The Djidji Ayôkwé, a 940-pound ten-foot-long wooden drum that was used by the Ébrié people as a form of communication, will be returned to the Ivory Coast this year as part of France’s commitment to return objects looted from African countries. The so-called ‘talking drum’ has been held at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris, where it has been undergoing conservation and restoration ahead of its return. (Smithsonian)

Artists Space Names Deputy Director  – Kelly Taxter has been appointed deputy director at New York’s Artists Space, taking over for Miriam Katzeff. A veteran of the New York arts scene, Taxter co-owned the Taxter & Spengemann gallery, worked as a curator at the Jewish Museum, and most recently served as the director of the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, New York, which she left in 2021 after less than one year.  (ARTnews)


Iranian Protest Art Illuminates Façade of San Francisco Museum – The Asian Art Museum adorned its exterior in a light show dedicated to the woman-led protest movement in Iran, and their slogan “Woman, Life, Freedom.” Thirty artworks by mostly Iranian artists were on display. ()


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