Recent Articles
News Of A Very Special Auction Happening Next Week
Investment Pieces
News Of A Very Special Auction Happening Next Week
10 Questions for LatchKey Gallery co-founders
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for LatchKey Gallery co-founders Natalie Kates and Amanda L. Uribe
INTERVIEW: Elmgreen & Dragset
Meet the Artist
INTERVIEW: Elmgreen & Dragset 'What We Need to do, As Cultural Workers Today, Is to Find a New Way of Getting Back Our Dignity as Citizens'
10 Questions for RESORT Gallery co-founders Seth Adelsberger and
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for RESORT Gallery co-founders Seth Adelsberger and Alex Ebstein
10 Questions for River Gallery Founder Carl E. Smith
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for River Gallery Founder Carl E. Smith
10 Questions for Davis Editions and Originals Founder Jeff Davis
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for Davis Editions and Originals Founder Jeff Davis
10 Questions for Baby Blue Gallery Founder Caleb Beck
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for Baby Blue Gallery Founder Caleb Beck
10 Questions for Carvalho Park's Jennifer Carvalho
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for Carvalho Park co-Founder Jennifer Carvalho
The Making of Love, Rihanna: Luxury Supreme
Close Look
'A Piece of Art That I am Really Proud Of' - Rihanna on Love, Rihanna: Luxury Supreme
INTERVIEW: Sterling Ruby
Meet the Artist
INTERVIEW: Sterling Ruby 'In America, often the response to negative aspects of the system is to retreat to platitudes about morals and family values. In this way nothing is achieved.'
INTERVIEW: Kerry James Marshall
Meet the Artist
INTERVIEW: Kerry James Marshall 'I never think of artworks as having a quality that’s intended to mobilize people to action. They don’t make people do things. But they do put questions in the mind of a viewer that they may not have entertained before...'
Come On Our Virtual Studio Visit With Maria Jimena Herrera
Meet the Artist
Come On Our Virtual Studio Visit With Maria Jimena Herrera
Jeff Koons on Big Ideas and Gazing Balls
Perspectives
Jeff Koons on Desire, Beauty, the Vastness of the Universe, and the Intimacy of Right Here, Right Now
Could Artist Collectives Transform A Post-Corona Art World?
On Trend
Could Artist Collectives Transform A Post-Corona Art World?
INTERVIEW: Sarah Sze on How all Art is Essentially Sculpture
Meet the Artist
INTERVIEW: Sarah Sze on the Changing Pace of Time and Space, the Ebb and Flow of Information, and How all Art is Essentially Sculpture

Global Spotlight

The 9 Most-Talked About Art World Moments in 2019

By

The 9 Most-Talked About Art World Moments in 2019
via Fortune Magazine

Another year is drawing to a close, Artspace readers, and despite our best efforts, time flows into the ether, simultaneously unbothered by and flirtatious with inevitable apocalyptic abandon. Our president continued to to be monstrous, our environment eroded to brand-new lows, and Lil Nas X became the only entirely popular figure worthy of our trust. In the art world, countless dramas have unfolded over the last twelve months; some confusing acts of diplomacy, like Jeff Koons’ belated, bizarre flower sculpture gifted to France in commemoration of its 2016 terrorist attacks, and some political calls to action, like Liv Wynter’s resignation from her position as the Tate’s artist-in-residence over the director’s insensitive comments about #MeToo. While the gears of art’s $67 billion market machine whirred inescapably in the background, winds of change did manage to blow, however, if somewhat softly—unionization, curatorial intervention, protest, the gang was all here. As we prepare for the holiday season, let’s reminisce on the 10 biggest art world occurrences of 2019 and wonder what on earth 2020 might hold for us, in no real order. 



10. Maurizio Cattelan’s $120k Banana 

 Banana in question, via Artsy

Cattelan’s turn for Galerie Perotin at this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach caused quite a stir when the Italian prankster debuted his high-priced banana surprise. Ringing in at a whopping 120k, this piece has been met with obsessive incredulity from mainstream press, raising big questions about the art market’s future. 

 

9. Mary Boone's Tax Fraud Arrest


the gallerist via Artnet News

Iconic American art dealer and gallerist Mary Boone was sentenced to 30 months in prison for filing false tax returns back in February of this year, inspiring the maven to term herself a “Martha Stewart of the art world.” After 49 years of championing cutting-edge talent, her jail time was met with an outpouring of love and resistance from a wide variety of players, despite her long-reported, pesky habit of not paying her artists. 

 

8. Banksy Auction Withdrawal

 via Artnet News

A Banksy sculpture called The Drinker, a riff on Rodin’s The Thinker, was withdrawn last minute from a major London auction following allegations of thievery. Artist Andy Link, aka Art Kieda, claimed the sculpture was his, reporting that it was nabbed from his garden a number of years prior. The statue was originally planted by Banksy in a small square near Shaftesbury Avenue in London in 2004, at which point Link “kidnapped” the statue and held it for ransom from Banksy for about $7k. Banksy responded to the note with an offer of 2 bucks towards a can of gasoline to set The Drinker on fire. Link didn’t know why the cosigner had withdrawn the sculpture, but he suspected it might have had something to do with the hullaboo surroundings its provenance. 

 

7. Whitney Biennial Protest

 via ARTnews

While the biennial has never been a stranger to controversy, in recent years, the art on display has become ground zero for the culture wars. In 2019, that tradition was even further heightened when, following an impassioned piece by critic Hannah Black for Artforum, eight artists withdrew their work from the Biennial over a Whitney board member’s ties to tear gas production. Warren B. Kanders, who owns a company that distributes law-enforcement equipment, eventually resigned as a result of the protest. 



6.  New MoMA

via The New Republic 

MoMA reopened its doors to the public in October of this year, wrapping up an approximately $450 million four-month renovation. Adding an addition 47,000 square feet and a curatorial insistence on diversity and inclusion, the MoMA’s team, led by architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, responded to viewer concerns and expectations with aplomb. 

 

5. Koons' Pricey Rabbit 

 via Forbes

What’s a year in art without Koons? The marketing whiz broke records back in March when his 1986 stainless steel sculpture, Rabbit, sold at Christie’s for $91.1 million with fees, cementing his status as the most expensive living artist. 

 

 

4. Museum Workers' Fight for Unioniziation

via ARTnews

The battle for museum worker’s rights catalyzed in June of this year when a crowd assembled outside of the New Museum to support its employees union, which had been enduring ongoing talks with management to negotiate a contract. Numerous other cultural institutions both in New York, like BAM, the Tenement Museum, and Guggenheim, and around the world, like Vancouver Art Gallery and Seattle’s Frye Art Museum, followed suit in acts of resistance and solidarity. In November, museum workers marched on the Marciano Art Foundation after their recommendations resulted in mass layoffs of visitor associates. As the Guggenheim begins to incorporate demands of its workers, it remains to be seen how the institutional art world will respond. 



2. Inigo Philbrick’s Fraud Allegations

via Artnet News 

Young Miami art dealer and gallerist, Inigo Philbrick, the son of a prominent Philadelphia museum director, is currently at the center of a six-part lawsuit maelstrom that claims he swindled his clients and has held more than $14 million worth of art hostage. The boy wonder, just 30 this year, is slated to lose more than $100 million, and the extent of his crimes aren’t yet available to the public. Philbrik exploited the art world’s third-party guarantee model du jour by selling the same painting to multiple buyers, often for inflated prices. He has since disappeared, leading many to wonder exactly where all that money went. 

 

1. Venice Underwater

 via Business Insider

This November, the Venice Biennale was temporarily shut down as the city was submerged in dirty stormwater, marking its worst floods in over a century. The Mayor of Venice blamed climate change, a historic move in a global environment rife with denial and deflection on the subject. While none of the art was irrevocably impacted, the city of Venice has experienced extensive damage, and the imagery from visitors is a sobering testament to the reality of earth’s precarity. 

RELATED ARTICLES: 

7 Iconic Art Scams To Inspire Your Entrepreneurial Spirit

The 13 Most Read Artspace Articles of 2018

DISCOVER

a treasure trove of fine art from the world's most renowned artists, galleries, museums and cultural institutions. We offer exclusive works you can't find anywhere else.

LEARN

through exclusive content featuring art news, collecting guides, and interviews with artists, dealers, collectors, curators and influencers.

BUY

authentic artworks from across the globe. Collecting with us means you're helping to sustain creative culture and supporting organizations that are making the world a better place.

CONNECT

with our art advisors for buying advice or to help you find the art that's perfect for you. We have the resources to find works that suit your needs.

INSIDER ACCESS TO THE WORLD'S BEST ART

Artspace offers you authentic, exclusive works from world-renowned artists, galleries, museums and cultural institutions. Collecting with us helps support creative culture while bringing you art news, interviews and access to global art resources.

  • COLLECT FROM 300+ GALLERIES & MUSEUMS