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The Uncertain Future of Art Fairs, Sean Parker’s Rubens Dispute, and More: Morning Links from May 4, 2020

The Uncertain Future of Art Fairs, Sean Parker’s Rubens Dispute, and More: Morning Links from May 4, 2020

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The Market

With exhibitions around the world canceled or postponed, a report by the Times examines “whether the biennial model still makes sense in a post-pandemic world.” [The New York Times]

Though Gallery Weekend Beijing is scheduled to take place from May 22–31, international travel restrictions amid the pandemic remain in place. [The Art Newspaper]

In June, Sotheby’s will offer Roy Lichtenstein’s 1965 painting White Brushstroke I. The work is estimated to sell for $20 million to $30 million. [Art Market Monitor]

Legal Matters

After Howardena Pindell filed a lawsuit against her former gallery for providing “misleading and inaccurate” information about sales of her work, James Little and Richard Mayhew, two other artists who previously exhibited with the same enterprise, discussed their experiences with the N’Namdi Gallery. [The New York Times]

Pindell is seeking at least $500,000 in damages and the return of various artworks in the suit filed in January in the Southern District Court of New York. The lawsuit claims that the N’Namdi Gallery “took advantage” of Pindell and her African-American colleagues who showed at the enterprise. [ARTnews]

Billionaire Sean Parker, who served as the first president of Facebook, purchased a Peter Paul Rubens painting for $6 million at Christie’s in 2018. He’s now reportedly involved in a dispute with the work’s seller, who wants the piece back. [New York Post]


The National Portrait Gallery in London said that, for the first time since 1997, the oil company BP will not be involved in judging its portrait award this year. The joint decision follows calls made by artists and activist groups for the institution to sever ties with BP. [The Guardian]

Film & Books

The new documentary Spit Earth: Who Is Jordan Wolfson?, which is available on Vimeo, explores whether the artist’s work is as transgressive as some have perceived it to be. [ARTnews]

A book titled Judson: Innovation in Stained Glass looks at the history of the oldest family-run stained glass studio in the United States. The L.A.-based operation was recently forced to lay off its whole staff. [Los Angeles Times]

Circles and Squares, Caroline Maclean’s biography of sculptors Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, painter Ben Nicholson, and other artists working in England in the 1930s, chronicles “a pivotal moment for British modernism,” Catherine Taylor writes. [Financial Times]

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