27 April 2020

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon


Museums wrangle to extend exhibition loans beyond lockdown: The closure of museums worldwide due to Coronavirus has raised the complicated question of whether loan agreements for suspended or postponed exhibitions can be extended. All the European museums contacted by The Art Newspaper are in talks with lenders over plans to reconfigure their spring programmes, in line with government policies on reopening public places. 

24.04.2020, The Art NewspaperMuseums wrangle to extend exhibition loans beyond lockdown  

Dutch police seek public’s help with tracking down Van Gogh thief: The Dutch police are seeking the public’s help with identifying a thief who stole a Vincent van Gogh painting from the Singer Laren Museum in the Netherlands in the early morning hours on March 30. The authorities provided a crime-busting show with segments of the institution’s security footage that captures the burglar arriving on a motorbike and smashing his way through reinforced doors to reach the artwork. 

23.04.2020, ArtforumDutch police seek public’s help with tracking down Van Gogh thief 

British Museum unveils antiquities database but dealers raise concerns: CircArt, which has now gone live, allows registered users to submit objects for appraisal. This allows, according to the British Museum, “a dedicated team to offer uniquely informed expertise on objects” including those with special awareness of the sites being looted. However, two prominent dealer associations in the sector have raised concerns about the platform. 

20.04.2020, The Antiques Trade GazetteBritish Museum unveils antiquities database but dealers raise concerns

United States

Los Angeles dealers create their own virtual gallery: The pandemic leads art dealers to band together as Gallery Association Los Angeles, to help each other out in the short and long term. 

23.04.2020, The New York TimesLos Angeles dealers create their own virtual gallery 

Artist Howardena Pindell sues former gallery, claiming ‘Misleading’ information about sales: Artist Howardena Pindell is suing her former gallery, alleging that it has not given her accurate information about sales. In a lawsuit filed in January in the Southern District Court of New York, Pindell alleges that the N’Namdi family and their associated enterprises—commercial galleries in several American cities—provided “misleading and inaccurate” information about sales of her work in an attempt to serve her former gallery’s “self-interest.” She is seeking at least $500,000 in damages and the return of various artworks. 

23.04.2020, Art NewsArtist Howardena Pindell sues former gallery, claiming ‘Misleading’ information about sales 

US Coronavirus legislation could do more for the arts, Boston museums say: The coalition is asking for $6bn in federal aid, and to permanently expand the charitable giving deduction to encourage US taxpayers to donate to non-profits. 

20.04.2020, The Art NewspaperUS Coronavirus legislation could do more for the arts, Boston museums say


Sotheby’s sets new online auction record despite Coronavirus gloom: Despite shuttering outposts around the world and furloughing staff due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Sotheby’s has just pulled off its biggest ever online art auction. Featuring work by the likes of Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst, the “Contemporary Curated” sale generated more than $6.4 million — a new online record for the auction house.  

23.04.2020, CNN StyleSotheby’s sets new online auction record despite Coronavirus gloom  

22.04.2020, ArtnetAfter going digital, Sotheby’s ‘Contemporary Curated’ sale brought in $6.4 million—an online auction record for the company 

From afar, a fugitive in the Knoedler Art Fraud gives his defence: He was accused of having been a central figure in one of the largest art world scandals of recent times, but little has been heard from José Carlos Bergantiños Diaz, who the authorities say helped orchestrate the sale of $80 million in phony works. Now in his first in-depth interview, Mr. Bergantiños Diaz, a fugitive living in Spain, has acknowledged to a documentary filmmaker that he discovered Pei-Shen Qian, the painter from Queens whose ability to mimic the work of Modernist masters fooled much of the art world. 

23.04.2020, The New York TimesFrom afar, a fugitive in the Knoedler Art Fraud gives his defence 

Collectors’ Toolkit: should artworks be shipped during a crisis?: There is nothing like shipping and storage to remind collectors of the intransigent objecthood of most artworks. During the Coronavirus shutdown, art logistics companies that specialise in shipping, handling, and storage have been facing an unprecedented situation. 

23.04.2020, ARTnewsCollectors’ Toolkit: should artworks be shipped during a crisis? 

How contemporary art is changing in the Covid-19 era: “I didn’t paint the war,” Picasso said after the liberation of France. “But there’s no doubt the war was in my pictures.” Like the impact of Coronavirus itself, touching some people mildly, others devastatingly, the effect of a world of illness and lockdown on individual artists and galleries is diverse, but already memorable works are emerging which are inescapably of this moment without describing it. 

20.04.2020, The Financial TimesHow contemporary art is changing in the Covid-19 era  

Auction houses postpone live sales and pivot to online: In response to Covid-19, Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips are stepping up digital selling, but the prices don’t yet come close to those in the auction room. 

19.04.2020, The New York TimesAuction houses postpone live sales and pivot to online 

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