The former BBC director-general Lord Hall has resigned as Chairman of the National Gallery following an inquiry into Martin Bashir’s manipulated 1996 Panorama interview with Princess Diana.
Lord Hall was the director of BBC news when Bashir used false records knocked up by a graphic designer to convince Earl Spencer to introduce Diana to the journalist. The Princess at the time was highly vulnerable due to the collapse of her marriage to The Prince of Wales. The bogus photocopies of records showed bank payment made to staff accused of leaking information to the national press, mainly the now-defunct News Of The World.
Hall said his continued presence at the National Gallery would be a “distraction”. A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has received a letter from Earl Spencer alleged his sister was the victim of blackmail and fraud.
20th Serpentine Pavilion Designed By Counterspace To Open In June
The 20th Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Counterspace, will be realised on the Serpentine lawn in Summer 2021, opening to the public on 11 June. The Pavilion will be accompanied by a complete activations programme throughout the summer, to be announced later this spring.
Beyond the galleries, 3 June sees the publication of 140 Artists’ Ideas for Planet Earth, published with Penguin as part of the Serpentine’s major environmental programme Back to Earth. In July, the latest report from Serpentine’s pioneering Arts Technologies department, Future Art Ecosystems Vol. 2, will be released.
“We are so pleased to open our doors once again to share the incredible work of James Barnor and Jennifer Packer. After more than a year of uncertainty, separation and loss, we have a renewed perspective on the art institution as a site for connection and discovery. We hope to serve as more than just a destination where all are welcomed and as a reliable fixture in the lives of Londoners. This summer’s Serpentine Pavilion will be the first constructed in our new world and the 20th since the initiative’s founding in 2000. Come join us in the galleries and the park—we have missed you!” Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, and Bettina Korek, Chief Executive
Meanwhile, Chicago artist Theaster Gates has been commissioned to design the 2022 Serpentine Pavilion. This is the first time a non-architect has been given this prestigious appointment.
Art Basel Hong Kong What The Galleries Said
The highly anticipated 9th edition of Art Basel Hong Kong closed on Sunday, May 23, 2021, amid reports of consistently strong sales across all sectors and market segments, both to collectors present in the halls and those connecting with galleries digitally. Running in parallel to the physical show, ‘Art Basel Live: Hong Kong’, brought the experience of the fair to audiences around the world through a rich digital program featuring Online Viewing Rooms, public and VIP walkthroughs live-streamed from the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, as well as daily broadcasts and virtual experiences.
The fair’s many virtual walk-throughs were attended by private collectors from over 30 countries and territories, notably Mainland China, South Korea, Taiwan, the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa as well as representatives from leading international museums and institutions, including the Museum MACAN, Jakarta, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo (GAMeC), Bergamo and the Belvedere, Vienna. Patrons from all major Hong Kong institutions participated in the onsite program, including M+, Para Site, Asia Society, 1a Space, Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong Art Centre and Hong Kong Museum of Art.
The 2021 edition of the fair featured a strong line-up of 104 galleries from across Hong Kong and overseas, many of whom opted to participate with a satellite booth, a new concept introduced to support gallerists whose physical attendance in Hong Kong was not possible due to current regulations. Exhibitors amplified their on-site participation with complimentary presentations in the Online Viewing Rooms, connecting with patrons and audiences worldwide.
Adeline Ooi, Director Asia, Art Basel, commented:
‘It has been truly moving to return to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center after what has been an extraordinary and challenging year. I am proud and honoured that Art Basel has continued to fulfil its role as the leading international art platform in Asia, rising to the current challenges with new models and approaches. We are deeply grateful to our participating galleries for their commitment to our show here in Hong Kong this year, and the city’s institutions and non-profits for offering their full support by putting together a range of programs and events alongside Art Basel Hong Kong.’
Iwan Wirth, President, Hauser & Wirth, Hong Kong, Gstaad, Saint Moritz, Zurich, London, Somerset, Los Angeles, New York
‘We were delighted to be back at Art Basel Hong Kong and were thrilled by the presence of many serious collectors in the show halls. We met many collectors over the week and it’s been great to see how they have become even more open-minded due to additional time over the past year for deeper research. There have also been a number of younger collectors who have become increasingly confident in their tastes and buying. It has been yet another successful show with good sales made.’
Henrietta Tsui-Leung, Founder, Ora-Ora, Hong Kong
‘Art fairs play a pivotal role in the art ecosystem in Hong Kong. We are therefore very excited to see the return of Art Basel to the city. At the fair we felt visitors’ enthusiasm to meet their industry friends and collectors again, having undergone a year of non-physical contact and art viewing. Positive sales reflect a continued pursuit of art despite the pandemic. Buying art in person is still a format preferred by collectors in Hong Kong, who possess strong purchasing power. Going forward, we hope that Art Basel as a world-class fair will help continue Hong Kong’s position as an art trading hub in Asia, as the pandemic eases and M+ museum opens later this year.’
Uli Zhiheng Huang, Director of Perrotin, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Paris, Tokyo, Seoul, New York
‘The Fair has provided a positive and important opportunity for us to see the recovering and emerging changes of the art market in the second year of the pandemic, and we have been pleased to place works from our artists with significant Asian museum collections. In spite of the difficulty of overseas travel, we have had the pleasure of engaging with the collective emergence and strength of Hong Kong’s collectors and patrons, in addition to maintaining valuable connections with international collectors online. At Art Basel Hong Kong this year, we are excited to herald a new trend in the future—the deep mining of localization.’
Leo Xu, Senior Director, David Zwirner, Paris, Hong Kong, London, New York
‘We are so pleased to have participated in Art Basel Hong Kong even though we couldn’t personally attend. We found the support of the fair and the collecting community to be robust, and we are so pleased that we decided to have a presence at the fair. The help on the ground – from the install team to the VIP program – made the effort feel seamless. If this can become a model for future opportunities, it would definitely help our carbon footprint!’
Wendy Olsoff, Co-Founder, P.P.O.W, New York
‘Art Basel Hong Kong is back! With an impressive opening day exceptionally well attended, including a surprising number of vibrant, research-driven new young collectors. The smaller version of the fair this year didn’t deter the enthusiasm of the visitors, anxious to once again see great art in person and to be able to converse with friends and gallerists face to face….or actually mask to mask’
Fred Scholle, Founder and Chairman of Galerie du Monde, Hong Kong
‘After a very successful Hong Kong Spotlight by Art Basel, we couldn’t be happier to be back at Art Basel Hong Kong! There is something really special about seeing the art and our community in real life—all under one roof. We’re all here embracing the disruption brought on by the past year, which has accelerated much-needed digital innovations to the fair experience. In a way, this marks a huge step forward for the future of art fairs.’
Shasha Tittmann, Director, Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong, Seoul, London, New York
‘Our Art Basel Hong Kong booth is a satellite presentation of works by the New York-based painter Scott Kahn, his first solo showing in Asia. The response was very strong and the five works in the booth were placed on the first day. Our team in Los Angeles and New York was available throughout the opening hours to engage with visitors remotely. Interest in Kahn’s work came from across the map, not only from in-person visitors, who were mostly based in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong in particular, but also from the online portal bringing interest from across the United States, Europe, and South America.’
Belen Piñeiro, Director, François Ghebaly, Los Angeles
‘Our satellite booth has been a great success in connecting us to the energy and experience of an in-person art fair. Working with our booth assistant in local Hong Kong time, we communicated with clients visiting our stand and had conversations around art that we all miss dearly. All credit to Art Basel for the inventive concept which truly is the next best thing to being there.’
Valerie Carberry, Partner and Principal, Gray, Chicago, New York
‘It’s been fantastic to have Art Basel this time. Collectors and art lovers feel so excited, and they appear to enjoy the opportunity to see art, which is a therapy in this current depressed happening. We are very happy with the sales results.’
Catherine Kwai, Founder, Kwai Fung Hin Art Gallery, Hong Kong
‘We are delighted with our first participation at Art Basel Hong Kong. Despite the current situation and the fact that we could not make it there personally, our presentation has been a full-on success. The response was overwhelmingly positive – we are very happy with the sales and are most grateful to our onsite representative and our satellite booth assistant. The satellite option Art Basel offered has been a great solution and we are looking forward to coming back next year.’
Polina Stroganova, Director and Senior Partner, Proyectos Monclova, Mexico City
‘Our experience of the fair has been very positive. There has been a great response from the audience that was obviously craving for such a live event. Our collaboration with Silverlens gallery from Manila has been extremely well received: we both made numerous sales and mostly to new clients. In addition, the Italian joint booth has also attracted strong interest.’
Fabio Rossi, Founder and Director, Rossi & Rossi, London, Hong Kong
‘This year’s edition of Art Basel Hong Kong has been highly anticipated more so than any other year, and it certainly reflects in the strong interest both among collectors in Hong Kong and remotely. We have had solid sales results throughout the fair.’
Wendy Xu, Gallery Director, White Cube, Hong Kong, London
Galleries The main sector of the show featured 86 of the world’s leading galleries presenting the highest quality of painting, sculpture, drawings, installation, photography, video and digital works, ranging from contemporary positions such as Philippe Parreno’s ‘Speech Bubbles’, at Gladstone Gallery, Danh Vō presented by Take Ninagawa, and historical presentations ranging from Spanish Filipino pioneer of abstraction Fernando Zóbel at Mayoral to a deep dive into the early experimental artists of 1970s Korea with Arario Gallery.