Rolling news: 18–24 November

P.A.I.N. holds first UK protest, Sotheby's withdraws rediscovered Banksy from auction...

Banksy's The Drinker, 2004. Courtesy Sotheby's


This Saturday activist group P.A.I.N. held a die-in at the V&A to protest the museum, which continues to be a recipient of funds from the Sackler family, founders and owners of opioid-manufacturing Purdue Pharma. In what is their first UK protest, the group arranged themselves on the floor of the Sackler courtyard, where they stayed for five minutes to represent the five people who die every day due to painkiller addictions. Led by photographer Nan Goldin (second on this year’s Power 100 list), P.A.I.N. has been active since 2018, taking institutions to task for their associations with the Sackler family.

On the same day, The Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada announced Stephanie Comilang as the winner of this year’s Sobey Art Award (which recognises artists who are forty years old or younger). She will receive a prize worth $100,000 CAD. Each of the four remaining shortlisted artists, Nicolas Grenier, Kablusiak, Anne Low and D’Arcy Wilson, have been awarded $25,000 CAD. Comilang was chosen for her video works that follow Paraiso, a Tagalog speaking ‘drone’ who documents Filipino diasporic experiences. The 2019 Sobey Art Award exhibition will be on view at the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, through 5 January, 2020.

On Tuesday, Sotheby’s withdrew a rediscovered Banksy sculpture from an auction listing, two days after artist Andy Link alleged it was stolen from him. The Drinker, which Link ‘kidnapped’ in 2004 from a London square hoping to ransom Banksy, was subsequently stolen from him and only resurfaced earlier this month in the Sotheby’s listing. The auction house said in a statement that the decision to pull the lot was not related to Link’s claim.

In South London, police stopped an attempted robbery at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. Two paintings were taken from the Rembrandt’s Light exhibition last week, but the robber was forced to dump them to escape the police. The gallery has something of a history with burglary, being home to the world’s most stolen picture, Rembrandt’s small portrait of Jacob de Gheyn III (though wasn’t targeted this time). In a statement posted on its website, the gallery mentioned that it will remain closed until further notice but did not comment on which works were nearly compromised in the incident.

The Guggenheim Museum in New York has announced the shortlisted artists for the biennial Hugo Boss Prize 2020. They are: Nairy Baghramian, Kevin Beasley, Deana Lawson, Elias Sime, Cecilia Vicuña and Adrián Villar Rojas. The winner will receive $100,000 and an exhibition at the institution, and will be announced in autumn 2020.

The Baltimore Museum of Art announced that it would only collect works by women artists in 2020, a small step to diversify a collection of works of which 96 percent were created by male artists. The initiative, spearheaded by director Christopher Bedford, follows on from the museum’s move in 2018 to sell works by white male artists in order to acquire more works by non-white and women artists. 








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