A cheeky thief made up of three statues of Ai Weiwei giving the middle finger in broad daylight + 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 on Monday, May 2.


Documenta slammed for its response to anti-Semitism allegations – The five-year exhibit is under scrutiny for its response to allegations of anti-Semitism raised earlier this year. After criticizing its upcoming program from the German group Alliance Against Anti-Semitism in Kassel, the show’s organizers have planned a series of lectures on anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and racism. But German Culture Minister Claudia Roth questioned whether the focus of the talks continued to perpetuate “a clear bias against anti-Semitism”. (ART news)

Landmark Case Recognizes NFTs as “Legal Property” – In a potentially influential decision, the UK High Court determined that NFTs are “property” and therefore subject to legal protections. The case, brought by Lavinia Osbourne, the founder of Women in Blockchain Talks, involved two digital works that she claims were stolen from her online wallet. The court ruled that the assets could be frozen and the OpenSea marketplace could be compelled to share information about the current holders of the NFTs. (The arts journal)

Jan Fabre gets 18 months suspended prison sentence – A Belgian court condemned the artist, choreographer and director for bullying and violence against five women as well as for indecent assault. (He was acquitted of the offenses against another woman.) He was given an 18-month suspended sentence and ordered to pay each woman a symbolic compensation of €1. Fabre has previously denied any wrongdoing and his lawyers argue the charges are exaggerated. (The arts journal)

Ai Weiwei’s middle finger sculptures stolen – A sticky-fingered thief stole three glass hand sculptures by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei from the Lumas Galerie in Hamburg, Germany, in broad daylight last week. The middle finger sculptures, which reference Ai’s controversial long-running ‘Study of Perspective’ series, have been listed for €9,500 (£8,000) each. The gallery said the alarm protecting the works, which were stored in a back room, did not go off. (Daily Mail)


The Guggenheim has a poet in residence – This summer, the museum’s first-ever poet-in-residence in New York, Taylor Johnson, will plant poetry in the building’s stairwells, around its large rotunda, on the café’s columns, and even on the sidewalk outside. outside. The program will run from June to December. (New York Times)

Fans ask the Postal Service to give Gorey a stamp – Fans of Edward Gorey, the artist, illustrator, and self-styled “Grandfather of Goth,” are calling on the U.S. Postal Service to release a stamp to honor his 100th birthday in 2025. Thanks to a letter-writing campaign led by the Edward Gorey House in Massachusetts, Gorey reached “committee stage” for consideration. (Guardian)

Cranbrook Museum Appoints Chief Curator – Laura Mott has been appointed chief curator of the Cranbrook Art Museum in Detroit. She joined the institution in 2013 as senior curator of contemporary art and design. (art forum)

Alicja Kwade is jumping on the NFT train – The Berlin-based artist, best known for his works that explore rocks, mirrors and other very real materials, hit 10,361 NFTs. Each comes with a 25-page PDF filled with 300,000 letters of its own DNA code. The project is based on previous work, self-portrait, in which she printed her entire genome on sheets of paper. NFTs are priced at $300, or around 0.1 ETH each. (ART news)


Constable painting transformed after cleaning – Think you look different after a day at the spa? It’s nothing compared to the transformation experienced by John Constable’s Embarkation of George IV from Whitehall: The Opening of Waterloo Bridge (1817), which recently underwent 270 hours of cleaning. The redesign has revealed a view of the River Thames long obscured by varnish. It has now returned to the public at Anglesey Abbey, Lode, Cambridgeshire. (BBC)

A restorer at work on John Constable’s largest known painting of Waterloo Bridge from 1817. Photo: James Dobson, courtesy National Trust.

Constable's painting of the opening of Waterloo Bridge returns to Anglesey Abbey.  Photo: James Dobson, courtesy of the National Trust.

Constable’s painting of the opening of Waterloo Bridge returns to Anglesey Abbey. Photo: James Dobson, courtesy of the National Trust.

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