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Foster + Partners plans redundancies due to ‘market uncertainty’

25 April 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Foster + Partners plans redundancies | Foster + Partners, Britain’s largest architectural practice, is planning to make nearly 100 redundancies, blaming market uncertainty. According to Construction News, the lay-offs will primarily affect staff at the firm’s south London HQ. ‘Foster + Partners has grown significantly over the last two years with a record number of projects many of which are now close to completion’, the practice said in a statement. ‘This, coupled with some uncertainty in the construction market, has led us to make some adjustments to our practice, which regrettably includes some redundancies.’

Painting looted by Nazis to be auctioned despite protests | Vienna auction house Im Kinsky plans to sell a 17th-century Dutch painting despite its dubious provenance, reports the Guardian. The painting, Bartholomeus van der Helst’s Portrait of a Man, was looted from German-Jewish collector Adolphe Schloss during the Second World War. It was recovered by Allied forces, but subsequently stolen again from a collection point in Munich in 1945. Schloss’s heirs have protested the sale, but Im Kinsky says that it was bought in good faith, and as such the owner has the right to sell it under Austrian law.

LAXART founder to open production centre in Hollywood | Lauri Firstenberg, founding director of the Los Angeles alternative art space LAXART, has announced that she is to launch a new art production company in collaboration with artist Anthony James. According to ARTnews, the Hollywood-based company will advise artists, institutions and foundations about funding and producing work. Its headquarters will also serve as an exhibition space. Firstenberg, who left LAXART last year, hopes that the initiative will help local artists, as well as bringing more internationally-renowned names to LA.

Global online art sales grow by 15 per cent | Online art sales grew by 15 per cent last year in a development led by traditional auction houses, reports the FT (£) According to the Hiscox Online Art Trade Report 2017, internet art sales increased to $3.75bn in 2016, representing an 8.4 per cent of the global art market. Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Heritage Auctions combined accounted for $720m of the online total.