Art Industry News: Hilma af Klint’s Relative Says Pharrell Williams’s Plan to NFT Her Art ‘Goes Completely Against’ Her Will + Other Stories

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NEED TO READ

Cologne Wants to Restitute Its Benin Bronzes – A total of 90 bronzes, known to have been stolen during a late 19th century raid in the former Kingdom of Benin, may be restituted to Nigeria. The Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum is advocating for their return; the city of Cologne will vote on the matter on December 8. ()

Xi Jinping Lays Out China’s Cultural Agenda – Expect more censorship and rigid rules as Xi tightens his grip on the country’s cultural scene. During the president’s keynote speech at the party congress last month, he described his objective to “promote confidence in its culture, cast new glories of socialist culture” and promote artists with “moral” skills. (The Art Newspaper)

Hilma af Klint Relative Condemns NFTs – The granddaughter of af Klint’s nephew disapproves of the more than 160 NFTs being dropped by Acute Art and Pharrell Williams’s platform GODA. “Hilma af Klint’s paintings … being monetized, and itemized, and sold as NFTs—this completely goes against the will of Hilma af Klint,” Hedvig Ersman said. (

That Mondrian Record Wasn’t What It Seemed – Piet Mondrian’s work, which sold during Sotheby’s evening sale on Monday for $51 million, didn’t actually demonstrate deep demand from the market. There was no bidding war—instead, the record price was the result of a third-party guarantee from an Asian buyer who received a discount on buyer’s fees in exchange for offsetting the auction house’s risk. (New York Times)

MOVERS & SHAKERS

Whitechapel Gallery Names 2023 Honoree – Artist Jenny Holzer was awarded the U.K. gallery’s tenth annual Art Icon award, which will be presented at a gala in January. Holzer was recognized as someone “who has consistently addressed social justice issues with elegance and humor.” (

Timothy Taylor Represents Jiab Prachakul – The Vannes, France-based artist has joined the gallery, where her first solo exhibition will take place at the New York outpost in May 2023. She will continue to be represented by San Francisco-based Micki Meng gallery. ()

Storm King Workers Seek to Unionize – Staff at the sculpture park in upstate New York are seeking to join the Civil Service Employees Association. Storm King is the latest addition to the vast number of arts workplaces unionizing across the country. (TAN)

FOR ART’S SAKE

Damien Hirst’s Paper Veils Launch Today – The artist is offering a series of paintings on paper—100 large works and 200 smaller ones priced at $45,000 and $25,000 each, respectively—on the new online sales platform HENI Primary. The deadline to apply for a chance to buy a work from the “Paper Veils” series is December 6. ()

Damien Hirst in studio, 2019. Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2022

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