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Art Industry News: How FOMO is Driving Unprecedented Numbers of Chinese Gen Zers into the Art Market + Other Stories

Art Industry News is a daily summary of the most important developments in the art world and the art market. Here’s what you need to know this Monday, May 9.


Seattle Art Museum guards join union wave Security guards at the Seattle Art Museum are pushing to form a union, calling for higher wages, more influence over schedules and an end to pandemic cuts to their retirement plans. Some 65 full-time and part-time employees will vote before May 31. “I want people to pay attention to the hypocrisy and the disconnect between the art we show and the way workers are treated,” said security guard Jil Anderson. (cross section)

Russians are selling (possibly fake) art to fund the war – A Russian website called Art for Victory sells NFTs and art to raise money for Russian war efforts. Works on offer include a 1909 painting allegedly by Kandinsky with an estimate of 8-10 million euros ($8.4-10.5 million). It bears a certificate of authenticity from the Tretyakov Gallery, but there are reasons to doubt its authenticity: it is not included in the catalog raisonné, and in 2008 some 96 fake paintings were identified with certificates issued by the museum. (The arts journal)

Meet China’s Gen Z collectors – Western collectors under the age of 40 from mainland China and Hong Kong are set to storm nightly New York megawatt sales this month after nearly two years of bidding on smaller items online, the auction houses said. Sotheby’s said it had around 4,000 Asian customers under the age of 40, double the number three years ago. What’s driving the rush? According to collector Federico Tan, it is four letters: “FOMO”. (the wall street journal)

Yale returns sculpture to Nepal – The Yale University Art Gallery is set to return a sculpture of a Buddhist goddess it acquired in 2015 to Nepal, the latest in a wave of Nepali artifact returns. The sculpture of the deity Tara from the Vir Bhadreshwar Mahadev temple in Bhaktapur dates back to the late 9th or early 10th century CE (ART news)


Marfa added to the National Register of Historic Places – The Central Marfa Historic District, home to 183 buildings, including 11 redesigned by Donald Judd between 1973 and 1994, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The designation will allow the Chinati Foundation and the Judd Foundation, both established to preserve the artist’s legacy, to claim federal tax credits. (art forum)

David Kordansky on opening in New York – The Los Angeles-based dealer opened a 5,000 square foot gallery in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood featuring a solo show by artist Lauren Halsey last week. The company is growing in other ways too, with recent additions to its artist roster and an expansion of its aftermarket department. (ART news)

Public health policies make equitable assistance difficult for mothers – Mothers and their unvaccinated children under the age of five have reportedly been denied entry to the Independent art fair in New York. The fair stipulates that all participants over the age of five must present proof of vaccination on entry, but there is no mention of how to deal with children who cannot yet be vaccinated. (TANNING)

Beijing Gallery Weekend Postponed – The nine-day event, originally scheduled for May 31, has been postponed until further notice as the Chinese capital tightens its pandemic protections. The move came after China reiterated its adherence to its zero Covid policy, which placed Shanghai and many other cities under strict lockdown for weeks. (Press release)


How a racist statue from Iceland ended up on a rocket – A controversial statue stolen from his home in Iceland has been found inside a rocket ship outside Reykjavik’s Museum of Living Art thanks to artists Bryndís Björnsdóttir and Steinunn Gunnlaugsdóttir. The book, called America’s first white mother, was created in 1938 for the New York World’s Fair to promote national identity; the couple placed it inside the ship as a symbolic intervention to launch the statue into space. (Hyperallergic)

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