23 March 2020

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Christie’s switches focus to private sales and postpones auctions to deal with coronavirus: Christie’s London office closed at the end of the day on March 19, following its final auction for the coming weeks, meaning all its offices except in Asia have closed for the foreseeable future. Instead staff are working remotely. 

19.03.2020, The Antiques Trade GazetteChristie’s switches focus to private sales and postpones auctions to deal with coronavirus   

Record level of Treasure finds boosted by metal detectorists and a tipper truck: The number of items deemed to be Treasure and found by the UK public has hit a record high, according to new figures from the British Museum. 

18.03.2020, The Antiques Trade GazetteRecord level of Treasure finds boosted by metal detectorists and a tipper truck  

Sotheby’s reports ‘surge’ in online buying as clients forced to bid from home: In one of the first tests of the art market since the UK government announced tougher ‘social distancing’ guidance due to the coronavirus outbreak, Sotheby’s latest ‘Made in Britain’ auction recorded a dramatic increase in online bidding. 

18.03.2020, The Antiques Trade GazetteSotheby’s reports ‘surge’ in online buying as clients forced to bid from home  

Portuguese judge orders seizure of all assets owned by African art collector Isabel dos Santos in the country: Prosecutors appear to be tightening the net on the billionaire Angolan businesswoman Isabel dos Santos and her husband Sindika Dokolo, the Congolese art collector whose foundation has worked to repatriate African art to the continent. 

18.03.2020, The Art NewspaperPortuguese judge orders seizure of all assets owned by African art collector Isabel dos Santos in the country  

United States

NADA Pens Open Letter Addressed to New York Officials Demanding Financial Relief for Galleries During Coronavirus Closures: As more and more art businesses around the world close amid concerns related to the new coronavirus (Covid-19), many of the hardest hit have been the small-business owners of art galleries and the living artists they represent. In an effort to combat the losses these artists and gallerists are experiencing, the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) has published an open letter on Change.org, addressed to several New York City and New York State public officials, demanding relief for those in the art world who have seen their sources of income decrease amid all the shutterings. 

20.03.2020, Art NewsNADA Pens Open Letter Addressed to New York Officials Demanding Financial Relief for Galleries During Coronavirus Closures  

Latest art fair to succumb to coronavirus: Tefaf New York Spring postponed to autumn, swallowing up sister fair: The latest fair to be postponed due to coronavirus, Tefaf New York Spring, will be delayed until the autumn, running from 31 October to 4 November at the Park Avenue Armory. The event had been scheduled for 8-11 May, coinciding with Frieze New York, which was cancelled earlier this week. 

20.03.2020, The Art NewspaperLatest art fair to succumb to coronavirus: Tefaf New York Spring postponed to autumn, swallowing up sister fair 

Alliance of American museums appeals to Congress for $4 billion in Covid-19 relief: The Alliance of American Museums (AAM), a nonprofit museum advocacy association that represents botanic gardens, aquariums, presidential libraries, and zoos, in addition to museums dedicated to art, culture, and history, is urging Congress to pass economic relief legislation that would give at least $4 billion to nonprofit museums nationwide. The organization claims that museums in the U.S. are losing around $33 million due to temporary closures amid the country’s attempts to contain the novel coronavirus that has infected 14,439 Americans. 

20.03.2020, ArtforumAlliance of American museums appeals to Congress for $4 billion in Covid-19 relief 

Ana Mendieta Estate Discovers a Long-Lost Work by the Artist in Sotheby’s Photography Sale, Provoking a Heated Lawsuit: Up until last year, the estate of Ana Mendieta, the famed feminist artist whose works deal with women’s bodies and their relationship to nature, believed that a mysterious photograph of a curvaceous nude sculpted in a limestone grotto had been lost. Then, the estate was surprised to learn that the work had resurfaced—in a preview catalogue for a sale at Sotheby’s, about which the estate alleges it wasn’t informed. 

18.03.2020, Art NewsAna Mendieta Estate Discovers a Long-Lost Work by the Artist in Sotheby’s Photography Sale, Provoking a Heated Lawsuit  

Frieze Cancels New York Art Fair Amid Coronavirus Concerns: Frieze New York has been canceled “in light of global health concerns regarding COVID-19,” Frieze said on Wednesday. The art fair was to take place May 7-10 at Randalls Island Park, with 200 participating galleries and a special focus on artists of Latin descent and the Chicago artist community. 

18.03.2020, The New York TimesFrieze Cancels New York Art Fair Amid Coronavirus Concerns  

5Pointz appeal marks quantum shift in U.S. copyright law: The appeal of a multi-million dollar award in favour of a group of artists that made headlines in 2018 was recently decided by a U.S. appeals court. The question looming for the last two years in the precedential case known as 5Pointz: would a New York developer be required to pay over $6 million in damages for whitewashing graffiti on property that he owned? The answer: a resounding yes. 

18.03.2020, The Institute of Art and Law5Pointz appeal marks quantum shift in U.S. copyright law  

Winklevoss Twins Launch a Marketplace for Blockchain Digital Art: Crypto entrepreneurs Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss are launching a marketplace for nifties, the tradable digital art that can sell for thousands of dollars. Nifty Gateway, a startup that the Winklevoss’s Gemini Trust Co. bought last year, is debuting a website where consumers will be able to buy and sell digital collectibles from artists including Michael Kagan and Lyle Owerko. Kagan, known for his space exploration-themed work, has collaborated with singer Pharrell Williams on t-shirt designs and recently sold a work through Christie’s for $40,000. Works of photographer Owerko have graced the cover of Time magazine and been collected by the likes of Beyonce. Niftygateway.com will also sell a collection of digital art from MMA fighter Cris Cyborg. 

17.03.2020, BloombergWinklevoss Twins Launch a Marketplace for Blockchain Digital Art  

World

From hot new thing to ‘cryptowinter’ chill: sizing up fractional ownership of art: Just two years ago, blockchain and art-focused companies using this technology were the hottest topic around. Numerous conferences were organised explaining what blockchain was, supported and attended by start-ups in the field. These companies—often, but not always, founded by newcomers to the art world—offered new ways of registering, recording and marking art, as well as offering “fractional investment”, generally with their own cryptocurrency. 

20.03.2020, The Art NewspaperFrom hot new thing to ‘cryptowinter’ chill: sizing up fractional ownership of art  

The fate of the art market in the balance: There has been nothing like this in the art trade. Auction houses, galleries, exhibitions and art fairs have shut down worldwide as the coronavirus paralyses this event-driven and relentlessly international market. But could the pandemic also prove a necessary catalyst for an industry that desperately needs to modernise?  

19.03.2020, The Financial TimesThe fate of the art market in the balance   

Art Galleries Respond to Virus Outbreak With Online Viewing Rooms: The future has “arrived so much sooner,” Mr. Zwirner said. “If galleries are closed, how can we sell art? The online platform is something we have envisioned as an important part of what we do.” 

16.03.2020, The New York TimesArt Galleries Respond to Virus Outbreak With Online Viewing Rooms  

20.03.2020, The Financial TimesArt market powers up online  

20.03.2020, Apollo‘The experience was not so very different from my recent online grocery shopping’ – Art Basel Hong Kong goes virtual 

18.03.2020, ArtforumArt Basel Hong Kong launches its online viewing rooms

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