16th March 2015
Aaron Price



The British Museum leads the list with 6.7 million visitors

Visitors to UK’s cultural attractions on the rise

The UK’s Association of Leading Visitor Attractions has released data for last year, which shows a 7% increase in visitors since 2013. The British Museum heads the list (6.7 million visitors), followed by the National Gallery (6.4 million). Then comes the Southbank Centre, which includes the Hayward Gallery and concert halls (6.3 million). Four other museums follow: Tate Modern (5.8 million), the Natural History Museum (5.4 million), the Science Museum (3.4 million) and the Victoria and Albert Museum (3.2 million).

Madonna Says Jean-Michel Basquiat Took Back and Destroyed Paintings He Gave Her

Madonna, queen of pop, has opened up about her early 1980s relationship with painter Jean-Michel Basquiat, and it would appear the two had a pretty ugly breakup. Basquiat, who died in 1988 at the age of 27, went on to become a hugely successful artist, due in part to his close ties to Andy Warhol (see Basquiat’s Mystique and Market Keep Rising). (An exhibition of Basquiat’s notebooks goes on view at the Brooklyn Museum next month—see Brooklyn Museum to Exhibit Rare Basquiat Notebooks).

I’m selling myself as art, and you pick the price. But what is work, anyway?

Performance art is notoriously, gloriously, uncommodifiable. You can’t hang it on your wall, oftentimes it’s not recorded, it occurs for a moment – and then what? Where does it go? What is it worth? Performance art: what even is it?

Sotheby’s Names Madison Square Garden’s Tad Smith New CEO, Here’s Why

Sotheby’s has named Tad Smith its new CEO and president, following the departure of William F. Ruprecht in November. Mr. Smith currently serves as president and CEO of Madison Square Garden, and he will begin his new role at Sotheby’s on March 31. After holding the position for 14 years, and another 20 at the company, Mr. Ruprecht was asked to step aside following increased performance pressure and a lengthy sparring match with Third Point hedge fund manager and shareholder Daniel Loeb.

Joshua Reynolds: Experiments in Paint, The Wallace Collection, review: ‘illuminates his achievement’

“Damn the man, how various he is!” When Thomas Gainsborough muttered his famous tribute to Sir Joshua Reynolds, he was walking through the Royal Academy’s annual exhibition, noticing the innovative poses, gestures and compositions Reynolds developed to ensure that no two pictures by him looked the same, and that each stood out amid the crowded viewing conditions at Somerset House.

Big fairs like Art Basel Hong Kong are great for business, but bad for art

HONG KONG—You were out of luck if you wanted to find a hotel room in Hong Kong this weekend. Art Basel Hong Kong opened on Friday the 13th, and a large chunk of the global art world descended on the city. Art Basel is Asia’s largest art fair, but it has plenty of competition around the world. There are now 180 major international art fairs held annually, accounting for over €10 billion ($10.5 billion) in sales. The top tier of the art fairs, about a fifth of the overall total, together bring in over a million visitors a year, and helped drive the overall art market to record sales of €51 billion in 2014.

The huge controversy behind hedge funder’s $93.5M art sale

Billionaire art collector Steve Cohen, one of the most successful hedge fund managers ever, has become the unwitting catalyst in an alleged international art fraud stretching from New York to Monaco and Singapore. The alleged fraud was uncovered during a New Year’s Eve dinner between Cohen’s New York art consultant, Sandy Heller, and Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev — when Heller told his pal that Cohen had just sold a Modigliani painting, “Nude on a Blue Cushion,” for $93.5 million.