Sotheby’s could get slapped with class action lawsuit alleging it denied workers’ health + more stories


Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most important developments in the art world and the art market. Here is what you need to know this Friday, January 7.


Boris Johnson not so thrilled with Colston verdict – While he said he would not comment directly on the ‘Colston Four’ verdict, the British Prime Minister managed to give his opinion on the matter: “My feeling is that we have a complex historical legacy all around us, and it reflects our history in all its diversity, for better or for worse. What you cannot do is look in retrospect to change our history or downplay or modify it in retrospect, ”he said, comparing the removal of a statue to“ a person trying to change their history. entry on Wikipedia ”. (Standard Evening)

Concept artist Luciano Perna dies – The concept artist died on December 28 of a heart attack in Los Angeles. He was 63 years old. Perna, who was portrayed by Marian Goodman, was known for her absurd approach to Arte Povera and evocative photography. (Art Forum)

Class action lawsuit against Sotheby’s – Sotheby’s attorneys are trying to dismiss a lawsuit filed in New Jersey federal court in March 2021 that alleges the auction house falsely classified workers as independent contractors, denying them benefits. The plaintiff, Francis Fenwick, is an accountant from New Jersey who claims to have worked without a contract in violation of New York’s Freelance Isn’t Free Act. In a memo filed in December, Fenwick’s lawyers said a class action lawsuit could be pending if the court rules that he and other workers like him were considered employees rather than contractors. (The arts journal)

Protesters in Kazakhstan knock down statue of former leader – Amid civil unrest over rising oil prices and widespread corruption, protesters toppled a statue of Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan’s first president. Russia, a close ally of the government of the former Soviet state, has sent troops to help end the protests and the government has blocked the internet. In 2018, the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow opened a contemporary art center in Almaty, a large city, funded by an oil and real estate mogul with ties to Nazarbayev. (BRONZER)


ICA announces new director – The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London has appointed Bengi Ünsal as its new director, effective March 2022. Formerly responsible for contemporary music at the Southbank Center, she is the first woman to serve as director of the ICA in 55 years and was appointed under the chairmanship of Wolfgang Tillmans. Longtime director Stefan Kalmár left the ICA last fall. (Press release)

The gallery takes over Peter Doig’s studio – Twin brothers Sam and Daniel Kapp, co-owners of Kapp Kapp Gallery, plan to open a new space in Tribeca in Peter Doig’s former studio. The 1,800 square foot space at 86 Walker Street will debut on January 15 with an exhibition of the work of photographer Stanley Stellar. (ARTnews)

Austria takes the first step to return colonial-era artifacts – Austria will set up a group of experts to assess claims for the return of artifacts acquired by the nation during colonial times. More details are expected in the coming weeks. Although Austria was never a colonial power, it has benefited greatly from trade over these centuries: the largest collections of colonial material can be found in the Weltmuseum and the Natural History Museum in Vienna. (BRONZER)


Edmonia Lewis gets her own USPS stamp – The eminent black and Ojibwe artist is honored with an American stamp. Lewis began her career creating inset portraits of prominent abolitionists in Boston and then moved to Rome, where she spent most of her adulthood. The first internationally recognized black American sculptor stamp will debut on January 26 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC (HaveHyperallergic)

The new Edmonia Lewis stamp. Photo courtesy of the United States Postal Service.

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