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  • The arrest is the first in history to involve NFTs in relation to insider trading. Photo: Rafael Henrique/Shutterstock.

    Former OpenSea Exec Arrested over NFT Insider Trading Scheme

    Nathaniel Chastain, the former head of product at NFT sales platform OpenSea, has been charged by the FBI with wire fraud and money laundering, his arrest the first in history to involve NFTs in relation to insider trading, itself long the purview of Wall Street white-collar crooks. “NFTs might be new,” said US attorney Damian Williams in a statement, “but this type of criminal scheme is not.”

    Chastain, who chose the NFTs showcased on OpenSea’s home page, is accused of purchasing crypto digital assets by soon-to-be-featured artists ahead of their appearance there, knowing their value would soon

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  • Hauser & Wirth’s Paris gallery will open in the 8th arrondissement.

    Hauser & Wirth to Establish Outpost in Paris

    Hauser & Wirth have revealed plans for a new gallery in Paris, to open in 2023. Sited at 26 bis rue François 1er in the city’s bustling 8th arrondissement, home to the Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe (which was recently wrapped by Christo), the branch will occupy the entirety of a nineteenth-century hôtel particulier, as posh town houses are known in France. Renovation of the four-story, 8,600-square-foot structure is being overseen by Parisian architect Louis Laplace and will include the restoration of the twenty-foot-high ceilings that previously graced the building’s ground floor.

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  • The vandalized WH22 venue is preparing a show by Palestinian collective The Question of Funding. Photo: Documenta.

    Documenta Art Space Hosting Palestinian Collective Vandalized

    An art space in Kassel, Germany, preparing an exhibition by Palestinian collective The Question of Funding that is part of the larger forthcoming Documenta 15 was vandalized on May 27. The interior walls of WH22 were damaged with fire extinguishers and spray-painted with slogans including “187” and “Peralta.” Organizers say they believe the former phrase refers to the California penal code section covering murder and the latter to far-right-wing Spanish politician Isabel Peralta, who has in the past encouraged violence against Islam.

    Indonesian curatorial collective ruangrupa, which is overseeing

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  • Cosmin Costinaș and Inti Guerrero. Photo: Kate Geraghty.

    Cosmin Costinaş, Inti Guerrero to Curate 24th Biennale of Sydney

    Berlin-based curators Cosmin Costinaș and Inti Guerrero have been tapped as artistic directors the 2024 Biennale of Sydney. Their appointment marks only the second time in the Biennale’s forty-nine-year history that the event has been jointly led. The twenty-fourth iteration of the Biennale, Australia’s largest contemporary arts event, is to take place March 9–June 24 in the harborfront capital of Australia’s New South Wales territory: No venues or theme have yet been announced.

    Costinaș and Guerrero are longtime friends who have worked together on several projects while maintaining individual

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  • Kader Attia. Photo: F. Anthea Schaap/Berlin Biennale.

    Berlin Biennale Reveals List of Artists Participating in 2022 Edition

    Organizers of the twelfth iteration of the Berlin Biennale have announced the participation of eighty-two artists and collectives. The event, scheduled to take place between June 11 and September 18 of this year, is being curated by interdisciplinary French-Algerian artist Kader Attia and is titled “Still Present!” The Biennale will span a half-dozen locations including Akademie der Künste, Hamburger Bahnhof, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, and Stasi Headquarters.

    Participating artists, including Forensic Architecture, Omer Fast, and Nil Yalter, will investigate the theme of “global capitalism’s

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  • Samella Lewis. Photo: Scripps College.

    Samella Lewis (1923–2022)

    Art historian, artist, and curator Samella Lewis, who played a vital role in shepherding the work of Black artists into the canon of American art, died of renal failure May 27 in Torrance, California, at the age of ninety-nine. Lewis, the author of the pathbreaking volumes Black Artists on Art (1969) and Art: African American (1978), was additionally the founder of the Museum of African American Art in Los Angeles and a cofounder of the journal Black Art: An International Quarterly. She was also a professor at Scripps College, where she taught for nearly fifteen years. Through these endeavors,

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  • Amber Esseiva. Photo: The Studio Museum in Harlem.

    Amber Esseiva Named Inaugural Curator-at Large at Harlem’s Studio Museum

    The Studio Museum in Harlem has hired Amber Esseiva to serve as its first-ever curator-at-large. Esseiva arrives to the newly created role at the New York institution from the Institute of Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, where she is currently a curator. Known for an eye for rising talent, Esseiva gave artists including South African multimedia artist Dineo Seshee Bopape; New York–based artist, composer, and performer Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste; and Berlin- and London-based artist and writer Kandis Williams, who focuses on collage, assemblage, and performance

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  • A performance at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico in San Juan.

    Wallace Foundation Issues Grants to 18 Arts Organizations of Color

    The Wallace Foundation has announced that it has selected eighteen arts organizations of color to participate in the inaugural phase of a five-year $100 million arts initiative. As part of the effort by the foundation to spur equitable improvements in the arts, each organization will receive between $900,000 and $3.75 million to develop a project engaging with the surrounding community and addressing a “challenge they are facing.” The money will be distributed across five years.

    “Historically, arts organizations created by and for communities of color have been overlooked and underfunded,” said

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  • The Louvre in Paris. Photo: Pedro Szekely/Flickr.

    Former Louvre Director Jean-Luc Martinez Indicted on Antiquities-Trafficking Charges

    Jean-Luc Martinez, who served as director of the Louvre in Paris from 2013 through 2021, has been charged with trafficking antiquities, according to multiple reports. His indictment late Wednesday evening on charges of “complicity in fraud in an organized gang and laundering by false facilitation of the origin of property” comes after three days of questioning by the French Central Office for Combating Trafficking in Cultural Property (OCBC). Vincent Rondot, who heads the Louvre’s Egyptian department, and Olivier Perdu, a respected Egyptologist, were also detained and questioned but were released

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  • Clara Kim. Photo: LA MoCA.

    Tate Modern’s Clara Kim Heads to LA MoCA as Chief Curator

    Clara Kim is leaving London’s Tate Modern, where she has served as senior curator of international art since 2016, to become chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (LA MoCA). Kim, who will assume her new role September 1, was instrumental in broadening Tate’s permanent collection to include works addressing postcolonial and transnational art histories. Among the exhibitions she organized at the British institution are a widely praised 2020 exhibition of the work of Steve McQueen, and Kara Walker’s acclaimed 2019 Turbine Hall commission, Fons Americanus, a forty-three-foot

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  • Randall Griffey. Photo: Smithsonian American Art Museum.

    Randall Griffey Named Head Curator at Smithsonian

    Randall Griffey, since 2013 a curator in the contemporary and modern art department of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, is departing the institution to serve as head curator of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. Griffey recently cocurated, with Kelly Baum, the widely lauded Alice Neel exhibition “People Come First” at the Met. During his tenure there, he greatly increased the presence of works by women and people of color in the museum’s collection and in its presentations. In his new capacity at the Smithsonian, he will lead the museum’s curatorial program and will

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  • Michael J. Bramwell. Photo: Boston MFA.

    Michael J. Bramwell Appointed Boston MFA’s First Folk Art Curator

    The Boston Museum of Fine Arts has named Michael J. Bramwell its inaugural Joyce Linde Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art, the Boston Globe reports. The newly created position, under the aegis of the institution’s Art of the Americas department, and the recent establishment of the museum’s Folk Art Initiative represent an attempt on the part of the Boston MFA to elevate the genre. Folk art, a loose term applied to a wide range of artistic forms and expressions, and which is often attributed to anonymous or enslaved people, typically takes a back seat to works by European and American artists,

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