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Art Movements

This week in art news: Gagosian agreed to pay a $4.28-million tax settlement, an arrest warrant was issued for Russian dissident artist Oleg Vorotnikov, and John Singer Sargent’s “Gassed” travelled to New York for the first time.

John Singer Sargent, “Gassed” (1919), oil on canvas, 90 1/2 x 240 in (courtesy Imperial War Museums, London; photo © IWM Imperial War Museums)

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The New York Historical Society will display John Singer Sargent’s monumental painting “Gassed” (1919) as part of its exhibition, World War I Beyond the Trenches. It is the first time the work has ever been displayed in New York.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that the Gagosian Gallery agreed to a $4.28 million settlement for failing to pay taxes on art sales.

The Prague State Attorney’s Office issued an arrest warrant for Oleg Vorotnikov. According to the Prague Monitor, Czech police are searching for the Russian dissident artist after he “violated” court commitments. A member of Voina, Vorotnikov is best known for painting a giant penis on a drawbridge opposite Russia’s secret service headquarters in Saint Petersburg.

The Übersee-Museum Bremen in Germany returned its collection of ancient Moriori and Maori remains to New Zealand.

The Labour Party pledged £1 billion (~$1.29 billion) to the arts over a five year period as part of their election manifesto. The UK general election will take place on June 8.

A 14-year-old boy was charged with third-degree arson for allegedly igniting a massive fire that destroyed New York’s historical Beth Hamedrash Hagodol synagogue. It took around 140 firefighters to quell the blaze, two of whom were treated for minor injuries. The synagogue, which has been vacant since 2007, was granted landmark status in 1967.

National Museums Scotland launched an international fundraising campaign to acquire the Galloway Viking Hoard. Metal detectorist Derek McLennan, who found the Hoard in September 2014, stands to receive a £2 million (~$2.59 million) reward after alerting experts to his discovery.

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a proposal by Xinyuan Real Estate to built a 16-floor condo tower on the site of Thomas W. Lamb’s RKO Keith’s Theater in Queens.

The Coney Island History Project identified the creator of the iconic Spook-A-Rama Cyclops. The model, which has been on a national tour since 2014, was designed by Coney Islander and billboard painter Dan Casola (1902–1990).

Transactions

Egon Schiele, “Danaë” (1909), oil and metallic paint on canvas, 31 5/8 x 49 3/8 in (courtesy Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s withdrew the star lot of its Impressionist and modern art evening sale, Egon Schiele’s “Danaë” (1909), at the last minute. The painting was estimated to sell for between $30–40 million. The Sotheby’s evening sale went on to fetch $173.8 million, far below the $289.1 million that Christie’s raised at theirs. The post-war and contemporary evening sale at Christie’s fetched a total of $448.1 million. The equivalent sale at Sotheby’s fetched a total of $319.2 million, but stole the headline’s with the sale of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Untitled” (1982). The work sold for $110.5 million, a record for the artist and the most expensive work by a US artist sold at auction. The painting was purchased by billionaire art collector Yusaka Maezawa, who subsequently posed with the work on Instagram.

Sotheby’s inaugural modern and contemporary African Art sale totaled £2.8 million (~$3.6 million).

The Cincinnati Art Museum received a $11.75 million bequest from Carl and Alice Bimel. The gift will be used to establish the Alice Bimel Endowment for Asian Art, which will expand the museum’s collection of art from South Asia, Iran, and Afghanistan.

Documentary photographer David Hurn donated 1,500 of his own photographs and 700 photographs from his private collection to Amgueddfa Cymru, National Museum Wales.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will provide $1.87 million to 12 art museums for the purpose of engaging visitors with new technologies.

A first edition of George Cruikshank’s “The Scourge” (1811–16) sold at Swann Auction Galleries for $11,250 — a record for the work.

George Cruikshank “The Scourge” (1811–16), 12 volumes, illustrated with 77 hand-colored engraved and etched plates (courtesy Swann Auction Galleries)

Transitions

French president Emmanuel Macron appointed Françoise Nyssen as France’s new Minister of Culture.

Luis A. Croquer was appointed director of the Rose Art Museum.

Shawn Brixey was appointed dean of Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts.

Jane South was appointed chair of Pratt Institute’s fine arts department.

Katelyn D. Crawford was appointed curator of American art at the Birmingham Museum of Art.

Heidi Holder was appointed director of education at the Queens Museum.

Abby Bangser was appointed deputy director of strategic initiatives at the Dia Art Foundation.

The inaugural Bangkok Biennale will be held from November 2018 to February 2019.

Sanya Kantarovsky is now represented by Luhring Augustine. Josh Smith recently left the gallery’s stable.

Accolades

Hanuman leaps across the ocean, folio from the small Guler Ramayana series (approx 1720 India; Pahari region, Himachal Radesh), pigments and gold on paper, Museum Rietberg Zurich (photo © Rainer Wolfsberger, courtesy Asian Art Museum of San Francisco)

The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco received three awards for its 2016 exhibition, The Rama Epic: Hero, Heroine, Ally, Foe.

The jury of the 57th Venice Biennale announced the recipients of its Golden Lion Awards.

The Texas State Legislature appointed Sedrick Huckaby and Beili Liu as the State’s 2018 Two-Dimensional and Three-Dimensional Artists, respectively.

Anne Imhof and and Huey Copeland were awarded the 2017 Absolut Art Award in the artwork and art writing categories, respectively.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced the 10 recipients of its 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts received a 2017 MUSE Award for its social media campaign “Can You Name #5WomenArtists? A Viral Campaign for Women’s History Month.”

Obituaries

A selection of works by Felipe Ehrenberg (courtesy Freijo Gallery)

Chris Cornell (1964–2017), musician, singer, and songwriter. Member of Soundgarden and Audioslave.

Lloyd Cotsen (1929–2017), collector.

Chuck Davis (1937–2017), dancer and choreographer.

Felipe Ehrenberg (1943–2017), conceptual artist.

Jean Fritz (1915–2017), writer and children’s author.

Lee Hall (1934–2017), painter. Author of Elaine and Bill: Portrait of a Marriage (1993).

Luis Miret (1959–2017), dealer and curator. Director of Galería Habana.

Judith Stein (1940–2017), historian and author. Best known for The World of Marcus Garvey: Race and Class in Modern Society (1986).

Beatrice Susa (1981–2017), co-founder of the Arte Laguna Prize.

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