Art Basel Hong Kong Is On Deck, Pace Grows in Seoul, and More: Morning Links from April 8, 2021

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The Headlines

IT’S BUILDING TIME IN BENTONVILLE. The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, which opened in that Arkansas city in 2011, announced an expansion plan that will add 100,000 square feet. That’s a 50 percent increase, according to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and a 65 percent jump in gallery space. Safdie Architects, which designed the original structure, is once again at the helm. The completion date is 2024. Walmart heiress Alice Walton, a veteran ARTnews Top 200 collector, said in a statement, “With the number of visitors we welcome annually, it’s timely to enlarge our building and make sure more people can access these offerings.” In 2019, Crystal Bridges drew about 700,000, according to the annual Art Newspaper attendance survey, ranking 22 among museums in the United States. (It came in at number 7 during 2020, helped along by an early pandemic reopening.) Safdie Architects is also reworking the museum’s lobby and courtyard, according to the Architect’s Newspaper. That will be finished this spring.

SLOWLY BUT SURELY, ART FAIRS ARE GETTING BACK TO BUSINESS. In early May, Frieze New York is on tap, with strict coronavirus regulations and 66 exhibitors. Later in the month, Art Basel Hong Kong will open with 104 booths, ARTnews reports this morning . About half of those will be what the fair is calling satellite booths, meaning that they will be staffed by locals (and viewable online). Lengthy quarantines in Hong Kong (and in some dealers’ home countries) make traveling to the fair difficult. The art market’s grandest events, TEFAF in Maastricht, the Netherlands, and Art Basel in Switzerland, are currently scheduled for September.

The Digest

Pace Gallery is taking a larger space in Seoul’s Hannam neighborhood, where it is has operated since 2017. First up: a Sam Gilliam solo show, on May 27. [ARTnews]

Greek artist Kornelios Grammenos, who was known for his “Alien” and “Knight” sculptures, has died at the age of 62, Helen Stoilas reports. [The Art Newspaper]

The National Gallery in London has revealed a shortlist of six architects in the running to complete a refurbishment of its building and grounds. They are: David Chipperfield Architects, Caruso St John, Witherford Watson Mann, Asif Khan, David Kohn Architects, and Selldorf Architects. Start your betting now. [Building Design]

Painter Gordon Smith, who died last year at the age of 100, has left a $1 million bequest to the Vancouver Art Gallery that will fund a curator position. [North Shore News]

The Horniman Museum and Gardens in London, which owns 15 looted Benin bronzes, has adopted a new policy that could allow it to enter into discussions about returning the objects. [The Art Newspaper]

The estate of the late, revered artist and musician Daniel Johnston, who died in 2019, will auction off an NFT of one of his never-before-seen drawings. It is also readying a website that will sell his work. [Austin American-Statesman]

Actor and painter Sylvester Stallone, who was talked about as a possible National Endowment for the Arts head in the Trump administration, has joined the former president’s Florida club, Mar-a-Lago. [Page Six]

The Beverly Hills estate where media baron William Randolph Hearst once lived is on the market for about $90 million. You may recognize it from such films as The Godfather (1972) and Black Is King (2020). [Architectural Digest]

The Kicker

BECAUSE OF THAT MENTION OF DANIEL JOHNSTON ABOVE, it is impossible to resist sharing the classic 1990 recording of Johnston calling into a radio show featuring the New Jersey band Yo La Tengo so that they could together perform his “Speeding Motorcycle,” a perfect song. About 16 years later, his drawings would appear in the Whitney Biennial, and for Pitchfork, writer Nitsuh Abebe would tag along with him to the opening at what is now the Frick Madison. “It’s a really big-time art museum,” the artist said at the time.

Thank you for reading. We’ll see you tomorrow.

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