Behind The Canvas: Your weekly recap on art world news

February 18, 2022

This week on Behind The Canvas we prepare for the great migration to Frieze L.A., discuss artist relief programs here in New York, a lawsuit that went from “frivolous” to a “misunderstanding”, and other stories. Let’s get into it…

Frieze L.A. In Under 5 Minutes

Yesterday marked the first day of the Frieze L.A. art fair is also the first major art fair in the U.S. for the year 2022. With the masses flocking to Los Angeles we here at Masterworks have a quick guide of highlights to see and a few details on the festivities.

The fair this year has made some slight adjustments since its last exhibition in 2020. Primarily held at the paramount pavilion the main pavilion had moved to the illustrious Beverly Hilton.

A heavy-reported must-see is visual artist Tanya Aguiñiga’s collaboration with the BIPOC Exchange. The communal space located within the main pavilion is where 10 Los Angeles local artist projects will be displayed Some names included are AMBOS, Classroom of Compassion, The Los Angeles Poverty Department, and Urban Voices Project

Jeff Koons has resurfaced with the unveiling of his second collaboration with the German automaker, BMW. The artist showcased 8  special edition BMW M850i x driven gran coupe featuring new pop illustrations.

Another reported must-see is Olafur Eliasson’s ‘your light spectrum and presence’. The Icelandic artist will be showcasing 11 works of his signature circular paintings. His work is cross-disciplinary by partnering with color chemists to ensure the use of every exact tone of paint for each nanometer of light in the spectrum. The artworks will be visible at the Tanya Bondakur Gallery.

This year also features a number of solo female shows from the likes of Camille Henrot, Tania Candiani, Joan Semmel, Suzanne Jackson, Amelia Toledo, and Mindy Shapero.

Come back next week for further updates on Frieze.

New York Artists Can Now Apply For A $1k Monthly Stipend

This past Monday news broke of a New York government package offering relief to struggling artists.

The $125 million initiative called Creatives Rebuild New York is granting $1000 monthly stipends over the period of 18 months.

Along with these monthly stipends for 2400 artists the project is also granting 300 full-time positions with a community-based organization or municipality. paying $$65,000. Similar programs have appeared recently in the wake of the pandemic in both San Francisco and St Paul, Minnesota.

Now, where is this money coming from? The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will be supporting the bulk with $115 million followed by both the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the Ford Foundation with each $5 million contribution. The funds are being overseen by The Tides Center, a philanthropic and nonprofit partnership.

Applications will be accepted through March 25th and include accommodations for non-English speakers and disabilities. (New York Times)

Lawsuit Over Rothko

A recent lawsuit over a Rothko has been dropped. Last month, New York gallery Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Arts was nailed by a whopping 10 million dollar lawsuit on the grounds thatCUNY they didn’t provide proper provenance over a Rothko painting.

Brussels located Galerie Jaques de la Beraudiere claimed that it has been unable to sell the painting since its initial purchase 20 years ago, blaming Nahem for censoring the previous owner’s name and listing it as anonymous. The Gallery’s attorney responded to the claims calling it Frivolous – ouch.  (New York Post)

Now weeks later, in a joint statement press release, it was announced that the lawsuit had been withdrawn with a mutual statement “ Nahem was under no obligation to divulge client information, nor hindered the future sale in any way.”

The whole ordeal was then labeled as a “misunderstanding” (Artnet News)

In Other News…

  • Everyone’s favorite documenter, Ken Burns, is planning on making a film about the greatest artist of all time, Leonardo Da Vinci.
  • Following the sale of The Enigma, Sotheby’s presents another massive diamond, but this time it comes in blue! The sale of the blue diamond will go on in Hong Kong this April expected to sell for $48 Million.
  • David Zwirner rounds out the mega galleries taking over L.A. The Gallery announced a new Hollywood location in 2023 with an exhibition of local L.A. artist star Njideka Akunyili Crosby.

Masterworks is a fintech company democratizing the art market. Our investors are able to fractionally invest in $1mn+ works of art by some of the world's most famous and sought-after artists.