Art Industry News: Two Ukrainian Dealers Came to the US for Art Fairs, Got COVID, and Are Now Refugees + 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 Monday, March 7.


The Venice Biennale pledges to move forward with the Ukraine Pavilion – Venice Biennale organizers have said they will do everything in their power to ensure that Ukrainian artist Pavlo Makov and his team of three curators can travel to Italy as planned to unveil the Ukrainian pavilion. Still, a lot is happening in the air: Flights from Ukraine are grounded and the towns where Tories and Makov live face an increase in ground and airstrikes. (art forum)

The father of computer art dies at 99 Charles Csuri, a pioneering digital artist who experimented with computers in the 1960s, has died aged 99. Many refer to the West Virginia-born artist as the father of computer animation. (ART news)

Ukrainian gallery owners blocked in the United States – Max and Julia Voloshyn, gallerists in Kiev, are stranded in the United States as a war rages in their home country. The two traveled to Miami for Art Basel Miami Beach, but postponed their return after contracting COVID; they then decided to hold a (now very timely) pop-up exhibition of socially engaged Ukrainian art in Miami. Back in Kiev, their gallery became a bomb shelter. (NPR, New York Times)

UNESCO is sounding the alarm on cultural heritage in Ukraine – The organization announced last week that it was “gravely concerned” about threats to cultural heritage sites across Ukraine. Civilians have wrapped statues in major cities with bubble wrap and foam in hopes of protecting them from bombardment. UNESCO said it would try to meet with Ukrainian museum officials to discuss how to safeguard cultural property. A meeting on March 15 will review the impact of the damage suffered so far. (ART news)


OpenSea de-platforms Iranian artists – The NFT market has deleted the accounts of Iranian users and collectors due to ongoing US sanctions. The blockade covers artists and collectors based in the Middle Eastern country, but also passport holders based elsewhere. (ART news)

Courtyard with Phillips (again) in Richter’s costume – A US court upheld a July 2021 ruling in favor of Phillips in a legal battle with Chinese collector Zhang Chang. The court found that Phillips did not violate the terms of his contract or unjustly enrich himself in his efforts to seek payment from Zhang for Gerhard Richter’s 1963 painting. Dusenjager. (TANNING)

How surrealism is making a comeback – The Sotheby’s France sale “Surrealism and its Heritage” on March 16 will be animated by a rare and unpublished work by the French artist Francis Picabia. Sotheby’s claims the event is the first major surrealist art auction in the movement’s birthplace. (Guardian)

German Culture Minister warns against boycotts – “I warn against boycott tendencies of Russian art and culture or a general suspicion against Russian artists and also in general against fellow citizens who come from Russia,” German Culture Minister Claudia Roth said. . She added that Russian culture “is part of Europe’s cultural heritage” and should not be “instrumentalised by Putin”. (Monopoly)


The Neue Nationalgalerie organizes a fundraiser for Ukrainian refugees – Klaus Biesenbach, the new director of Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie, hosted a 36-hour public fundraiser for Ukraine at the museum this weekend. Co-hosted with artists Anne Imhof and Olafur Eliasson, the event, which ran from 10 a.m. Saturday to midnight Sunday, raised funds and cell phone power packs and d Wi-Fi access for refugees arriving in Germany. (The arts journal)

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.

Christopher S. Washington