This week in art news, the contest is king for the art entrepreneur, the Met Gala provokes our fashion sensibilities and the National Endowment for the Arts defies Trump’s agenda and retains its funding – in fact, it got an increase for next year.
Across the pond, a well-respected gallery finally lets it slip that they made quite the misstep, and the crown prince of Dubai announces a new collaboration with Microsoft in an effort to promote ‘free expression.’
This weekend, the art world is abuzz with Frieze art fair’s annual New York event. Scores of galleries and art collectors are in town for the event, as well as a slew of satellite art fairs looking to cash in on some of the buzz. The European Fine Art Fair, or TEFAF, returns to New York, and most participating galleries are confident the weekend will be worth it. Be sure to check out our coverage of Frieze next week to get the inside scoop on what every art entrepreneur needs to know about participating in this seminal fair.
Small Victories for the Art Entrepreneur
The NEA Narrowly Escapes a Budget Cut
Great news for the art entrepreneur looking for their next grant. President Trump’s planned budget cuts for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, fortunately, did not make it to his list of achievements in his first 100 days. A $1 trillion budget was finalized on April 30 by Congress and must be officially approved by lawmakers by May 5. In fact, both the NEA and NEH will each receive $150 million, which is more than they did in 2016. As a reaction to Trump’s planned budget cuts, many artists, including Jasper Johns, Marina Abramovic, and Julian Schnabel signed a petition against the proposed cuts, but until lawmakers vote, it still remains a mystery what will happen next. Via Artnet
Dubai Creates Its Own Font with Microsoft
When Microsoft and the crown prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced on Sunday that there will be a new Microsoft Office 365 font called the Dubai font, it was presented as a tool for self-expression. But some critics brought up the fact that strict censorship across the United Arab Emirates does not go hand in hand with expression, strength, and freedom. The U.A.E. has been criticized for abusing human rights, but the new font is supposed to elevate the country’s business profile to boost its economy, even though it wasn’t explained how exactly it would do that. Guess you have to give them credit for trying! Via The New York Times
Mix-ups and Fumbles for European Galleries Making Art News
Swiped in Plain Sight
Some not so great art news for a German gallery. In broad daylight and during opening hours, a painting was stolen from Galerie Klüser in Munich, Germany. Just after lunch on a cool February day, an intern noticed that an Alex Katz’s painting, “Box Flower 1,” was mysteriously not hanging as it should be. But, knowing they had sold a similar one last week, the intern thought nothing of it – and a thief made away with a painting worth tens of thousands of dollars. The painting was taken at the end of February, but was only made public by the police recently – meaning that, the chances of recovering the Katz painting seem less than stellar. The police are still seeking any information about the thief and/or the theft. Via Artnet
Underwhelming Sales So Far at TEFAF
In tandem with Frieze art fair, TEFAF, a European transplant akin to the weekend’s main event, opened its doors on Wednesday evening. Though the fair isn’t quite as large as Frieze – TEFAF counts with 92 galleries, as opposed to Frieze’s 200-plus – participating galleries were confident that sluggish sales on opening night weren’t problematic, as TEFAF is all about the end game. The work available is certainly high-end: a Cy Twombly is priced at $6.5 million, and a Zurich gallerist boasted he sold an over $1 million work. According to ARTnews, most gallerists are confident that sales will pick up and the fair will be worth it. Via ARTNews
New York Dominates Art News Headlines
One Graphic Artist Will Design an Iconic Sticker
New York’s primary elections are in September, and in the meantime local officials are getting ready to generate some buzz with a new “I Voted” sticker design. The NYC Campaign Finance Board’s “I Voted” sticker contest has selected 10 finalists, who are in the running to have their design recognized on a city-wide platform. You can check out all the potential winning designs, and each artist’s inspiration behind the design, on the Campaign Finance Board’s website. Via Huffington Post
New York Design is So Hot Right Now
Kicking off on May 3 and running through May 24, New York City’s museums, galleries and other art institutions will celebrate design, fashion, architecture and art. Tours and exhibitions will take place all over the city, and we’re pretty excited about the possibilities: There are a variety of shows to see each and every day, from an exhibition of leading female designers put together by female-founded Egg Collective, to a scintillating discussion on the future of fashion and a tour of the Tribeca Design District. Via The New York Times
The Met Gala, in All its Glory
Of all the current events in art, perhaps none is more talked-about than the Met Gala. On Monday, the fashion world’s most beloved event took place, and fashion lovers the world over were googling their favorite internet pages to catch a glimpse of the runway looks. The annual Met Gala is one of the only nights where designers and celebrities can take their fashion imagination to previously unheard of places. Anything goes at the Met Gala, and this year’s avant-garde exhibition, “Rei Kawakubo/ Comme des Garcons: Art of the In-Between” was met with shape-shifting couture and boundary-pushing looks. Some of the night’s most notable looks – Rihanna in Comme des Garcons and Katy Perry in a fiery red veil and Margiela gown – were met with praise by critics. An uninvited guest made it to the Gala as well. Artist Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich, who wedged his naked self into a clear box as part of a performance series ‘Foundling,’ had been arrested after firefighters had to cut him out. Via The New York Times
Which art news headlines affected you the most? Let us know in the comments!