News

Art Movements

Martin Wong
Martin Wong, “Liberty Mourning the Death of Her Sister – Beijing” (1989), acrylic on canvas, tondo, 72 inches (diameter). The work sold for $137,000 earlier this week, the highest price paid for a work by the artist at auction (image via doylenewyork)

Art Movements is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world.

A petition by Unite to Save The Frick has over 2,700 signatories. The group opposes the museum’s stated plan to destroy the Russell Page Viewing Garden and Reception Hall Pavilion.

The New Museum announced the title of its 2015 Triennial, Surround Audience. The exhibition will take place February 25–May 24. A full list of participating artists can be found here.

The Metropolitan Museum remains tight-lipped as to what they intend to show at the Whitney Museum’s “Breuer building.” The Met has leased the Whitney’s former space for a period of at least 8 years. The New York Times reported that loan requests have been sent out for the Met’s first exhibition at the space. Referred to as Unfinished, the show “will explore the fascination with unfinished works of art in all media and across time, with a particular focus on those moments when the qualities of such objects were debated and admired, and when an intentionally non finito aesthetic took hold.”

As part of its upcoming exhibition, Apprentice & Master, the Ashmolean will create a reconstruction of William Blake’s studio following the discovery of original building plans related to the artist’s London studio.

Picasso’s grandson, Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, has released a cache of unpublished photographs from the artist’s life. Complied by art historian Sir John Richardson, a selection of the material will go on display at the Gagosian gallery in January.

Transitions

The Museum Briner & Kern in Winterthur, Switzerland, has closed its doors after the city council concluded that it could no longer sustain itself.

Melissa Wolfe is to join the Saint Louis Art Museum as both curator and head of the museum’s American Art department.

Vincenzo Trione will curate the Italian pavilion for the 2015 Venice Biennale.

Transactions

Well over $1 billion was spent at contemporary art auctions this week. Christie’s came out on top with total sales of $852.9 million. Sotheby’s totaled $343.6 million, and Philips $52 million. Christie’s and Sotheby’s are currently lobbying against the A.R.T. Act (American Royalties too). Representatives for the auction houses refused an interview with NPR for their recent report on the bill — “Famous Paintings Sell For Millions At Auction, But the Artist Gets Zero.”

A record price for artist Martin Wong was set at Doyle’s auction house. “Liberty Mourning the Death of Her Sister — Beijing” (1989) sold for $137,000, triple the previous record set in February 2013 (image at top of post)

The J. Paul Getty Museum acquired Edouard Manet’s “Spring (Le Printemps)” (1881), a portrait of Parisian actress Jeanne Demarsy. The work sold for $65.1 million at Christie’s earlier this month.

An anonymous benefactor has pledged a seven-figure sum to match donations made to the Ashmolean Fund. The museum is seeking to raise £25 million (~$39 million) by 2020, the first part of a campaign to raise a £50 million ($78.3 million) endowment.

According to the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, Downtown Brooklyn cultural institutions generated over $300 million in economic activity in 2013.

Crime

Egypt’s former antiquities minister, Zahi Hawass, has been accused of stealing artifacts related to Egyptian pharaoh King Khufu. Previous investigations have cleared the Egyptologist of any wrongdoing.

A Portland couple were convicted of stealing over 130 pieces of Native American art.

An Egyptian grocer was arrested for smuggling antiquities. 23 artifacts were reportedly concealed in food packaging.

Obituaries

Qatar’s former minister of culture and heritage, Sheikh Saud bin Mohammed Al-Thani, passed away at the age of 48. Sheikh Al-Thani, the subject of a number of legal disputes — London’s High Court froze his assets in 2012 — was widely believed to be the world’s biggest art collector, with an expenditure of over $1 billion.

comments (0)