Art Industry News: A Major NFT Operation Has Taken Root in Marfa and Local Artists Are All Very Confused + Other Stories

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 Wednesday, January 19.


The Citibanamex Art Collection is going to hit the block – Citigroup is preparing to sell its Mexican operation Citibanamex, and with it a prestigious collection of Mexican art. Some 2,000 works of art from the 18th century to the present, including examples by Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera and Leonora Carrington, are “an essential and indivisible part of what is for sale”. The Mexican president has requested that the works remain in the country. (ART news)

The artist will create a replica of the gate of the concentration camp – Artist Rachel Mars will weld a replica of the Dachau death camp gate in an art performance titled Forge for the Transform Festival in Leeds, UK. The three-day performance aims to raise questions about memorials, who they serve and who has the right to create them. The Jewish artist said the artwork is partly a response to UK plans to build its own Holocaust memorial, which could offer an overly positive narrative “spin” on its nuanced past. “I have questions about the extent to which this memorial will take responsibility for the ongoing foutage in the UK in relation to the entry of immigrants,” she added. (Guardian)

NFTs are coming to Marfa – the New Yorker visited the physical gallery of the NFT Art Blocks platform, located in an unlikely place: the minimalist hub of Marfa, Texas. Cautious about the rapidly growing speculative interest in NFTs, Art Blocks founder Eric Calderon created the space to situate his project within the fine art tradition. Not everyone is convinced. At a public meeting about the project, painter and Marfa resident Christopher Wool was puzzled. “It sounds like you’re talking about art without aesthetics,” he said. (New Yorker)

Activist who spat on Putin’s portrait wins big in court – The European Court of Human Rights has awarded $14,000 to Russian activist Dmitry Karuyev, jailed in 2012 for spitting on a portrait of Putin during a protest. The ruling said spitting on a politician’s photo after re-election should be considered “an expression of political opinion” rather than hooliganism. Karuyec was awarded €10,000 ($11,300) in damages and €2,400 ($2,700) for his legal costs. (Courthouse News Service)

Movers and shakers

American Director of LGBTQ+ Museum Names – Ben Garcia has been named the first executive director of the American LGBTQ+ Museum, which will open in New York in 2024. Garcia was previously deputy executive director of Ohio History Connection, where he managed more than 50 museums and historic sites. (New York Times)

TEFAF Maastricht gets new dates – The Dutch Art and Antiques Fair, which normally takes place in March, will now take place from June 25-30. His presence adds to an increasingly busy month that will also include Art Basel (June 16-19), BRAFA (June 19-26) and Masterpiece London (June 30-July 6). “Everyone is pinning their hopes on May and June and then September and October – I think people are already worried about November,” said fair chief executive Charlotte van Leerdam. (The arts journal)

South Korean museum to sell ‘national treasures’ – The cash-strapped Kansong Art Museum has announced that it will sell two state-designated national treasures at K Auction on January 27. The two gilt-bronze Buddha shrines dating from the 11th and early 6th centuries are expected to sell for more than $20 million each. (Herald of Korea)


In memory of André Leon Talley – The legendary fashion journalist and former vogue creative director died yesterday at the age of 73. Talley has often navigated the intersection of the worlds of art and fashion, having worked for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine, former assisted vogue editor Diana Vreeland on exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s Costume Institute, and often incorporated art history into her review. (rolling stone)

To follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay one step ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to receive breaking news, revealing interviews and incisive reviews that move the conversation forward.

About Margaret L. Portillo

Check Also

NIC Interviews Candidates for Executive Director at ‘Critical Moment’ in Museum’s Evolution

CASPER, Wyo.– Community stakeholders and museum board members were formally introduced to two shortlisted candidates …