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 Friday, May 13.

NEED TO READ

US museums attempt to return Beninese bronzes en masse – At least 16 US museums are seeking to return their collections of Beninese artifacts following protests and policy changes. But the multi-step repatriation process is complex and requires liaison with Nigerian authorities, who are now struggling to cope with a backlog of applications. (Washington Post)

Artists tapped for new work at Lincoln Center – Lincoln Center’s newly reopened Geffen Hall will debut this fall with works by Nina Chanel Abney and Jacolby Satterwhite in a new partnership with the Studio Museum of Harlem and the Public Art Fund. They will launch a rotating program of guest artists to install ambitious works in prominent locations throughout the performing arts centre. (New York Times)

Ashley Bickerton joins Gagosian – The artist, who burst onto the New York art scene in the 1980s during the so-called Neo-Geo wave, joined the mega-gallery Gagosian after 16 years at Lehmann Maupin. (Bickerton called the move “the hardest decision I’ve ever made.”) He’ll have his first show with his new gallery in New York next year. In February, the artist addressed the Brooklyn Railroad on how his work evolved after moving from New York to Bali in 1993 and his ongoing battle with ALS. “I have no problem talking about it, but I don’t want to be known or judged by it,” he says now, adding that his move to Gagosian would have happened regardless. (ART news)

German Culture Minister enters Documenta Row – The President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, spoke with Culture Minister Claudia Roth to discuss the debate on anti-Semitism that agitates Documenta 15. Both parties have acknowledged that attempts to organize a constructive public debate had so far “failed”, but issued a joint statement promising to speak with Documenta experts and organizers on a “clear commitment against anti-Semitism in its various forms” as well as “the protection of artistic freedom, but also the question of its limits”. (Press release)

MOVERS AND SHAKERS

Deana Lawson wins Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Award – The photographer is the 2022 recipient of the prestigious prize, which comes with £30,000 ($36,562), for her solo exhibition, ‘Centropy’, at Kunsthalle Basel in 2020. Lawson was also the first photographer to win the Hugo Boss prize in 2020. , and the Guggenheim showed “Centropy” there in 2021. (Press release)

Erica Wall will lead the Lunder Institute – The Colby College Museum of Art has appointed Erica Wall as director of the Waterville, Maine-based Lunder Institute, the museum’s research and creative arm. Wall most recently served as Director of MCLA Arts and Culture at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams. (Type of crop)

VMFA Appoints New Curator of African Art – Ndubuisi C. Ezeluomba will join the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts as Curator of African Art following an international search. Ezeluomba returns to the museum where he served as Curatorial Research Specialist from 2016 to 2018. He was most recently Curator of African Art at the New Orleans Museum of Art. (Press release)

Critic Suzi Gablik dies aged 87 Art critic and author of books including Has modernism failed? (1984) and Pop Art Redefined (1969) died at her home in Virginia after a long illness. “She was tireless in dissecting the morality and ethics of art worldwide, a concern that lasted the rest of his life,” his former Art in America said editor-in-chief Elizabeth C. Baker. (ART news)

FOR ART

Collector captures his dream come true – An unexpected highlight of Christie’s 20th Century Evening Sale on Thursday was a bidding war for American artist Ernie Barnes The sugar shack (1976). In a 10-minute battle, two buyers in the room battled it out for the (guaranteed) artwork, which eventually sold for $15.3 million including fees, more than 76 times its estimate. Winning bidder Bill Perkins – described by various outlets as a hedge fund manager, film producer and high-stakes poker player – captured the moment on Instagram, calling the acquisition a “childhood dream come true “. (Artnet News)

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