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FAIR PLAY. Running an art fair does not sound like a fun job these days, with case spikes and health regulations constantly threatening the best-laid plans. Art Basel Hong Kong is on the calendar for March (with a bevy of “ghost booths”), but has May dates as a backup, as ARTnews has noted. TEFAF Maastricht in the Netherlands has rescheduled its March fair to June. And right now, in Los Angeles, the LA Art Show is on; a bevy of events, including Frieze, arrive next month. In the L.A. Times, Deborah Vankin writes that a “choose your own adventure” approach has taken hold, as people make their own decisions about what is safe and appropriate to do. Dealer Jeffrey Deitch told her that the pandemic “could go on for some time and we can’t shut down our lives and professions. We just have to adapt in a safe and prudent way.”
NFT NOTIFICATIONS: Twitter has unveiled a new feature that allows users to showcase a verified NFT image as their profile photo for a $2.99 monthly fee, the Verge reports. Note well: Authentic NFTs will appear in a “soft hexagon” on profiles. Meanwhile, Hermès is suing an NFT maker, Mason Rothschild , for creating tokens based on its prized Birkin bags, Page Six reports. The luxury brand says that the project “simply rips off” its Birkin trademark. Rothschild counters that his work, which has sold for as much as $42,000 (more than many Birkins!), is protected artistic speech, and has compared himself to Andy Warhol making art based on Campbell’s soup cans.
Stephane Ackermann, an art historian who curated widely and led a number of arts organizations, died in his sleep this week in Istanbul. Ackermann served as curator at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, helped found the Contemporary Art Museum of Luxembourg, and ran art fairs in Istanbul. [Artforum]
The U.K. government said it will speak with artist Tracey Emin, who has requested that a neon work she donated to the state be taken off view after revelations of rules-flouting parties at No. 10 Downing Street during the pandemic. Emin said that the “government doesn’t seem to care” about people’s suffering. [The Guardian]
More than 50 former students at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts have filed suit against the institution, saying that they experienced abuse in incidents that date back as far as the 1960s. [The New York Times]
The Galleries Association of Korea claims that auction houses are “infringing on” art dealers’ business by asking artists to send their works straight to the auction block. To protest, the association will stage an auction of its own next week. [Korea JoongAng Daily]
Powerhouse dealer Eva Presenhuber, who has spaces in Zurich and New York, is opening a gallery in Vienna, Austria, the nation where she was born. First up, in March, is a solo outing from Tobias Pils. [Artnet News]
At Paris Fashion Week on Thursday, Louis Vuitton presented the final collection from its late artistic director, Virgil Abloh, who died in November at 41. The menswear presentation was themed “Dreamhouse” and featured “angels, breakdancing models, and a disregard for gender in the designs,” per the BBC. [The Cut, BBC News, and Reuters]
THE CON ARTIST. Inventing Anna, the Netflix show that charts the adventures of convicted scammer Anna Delvey is set to be released, and Town & Country checked in with actress Julia Garner, who stars as Delvey. It turns out that Garner visited Delvey, who once moved in art-world circles, while she was in prison, and said that “she was extremely charming. She’s very gentle. But then her voice gets less soft-spoken when she wants something.” The Shonda Rhimes –helmed show lands February 11, and another Delvey production is in the works from Lena Dunham. [T&C]