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Six de Koonings Found in a Storage Unit, and 355 Works Worth $480M Donated to Hong Kong Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art receives a $1.5 million gift for Chinese painting conservation, and the Worcester Art Museum acquires four new works.

Willem de Kooning (1968) (image courtesy of Wikimedia)
Willem de Kooning (1968) (image courtesy of Wikimedia)

David Killen, a New York art dealer, purchased the contents of an abandoned storage unit in New Jersey for $15,000 and thinks he may have acquired six previously unknown paintings by Willem de Kooning. Inside the unit were unclaimed works from the studio of deceased art conservator Orrin Riley and his partner Susanne Schnitzer, also deceased. Killen acquired over 200 works that he assumed were “minor works by minor artists,” but when he stumbled upon boxes labeled “de Kooning,” he called on the artist’s former assistant and art restoration expert Lawrence Castagna, who told the New York Post, “In my opinion, they are [de Koonings],” adding, “There’s no doubt about it.”

Hong Kong Museum of Art (image courtesy of news.gov.hk)
Hong Kong Museum of Art (image courtesy of news.gov.hk)

The Hong Kong Museum of Art has acquired 355 Chinese paintings and calligraphic works of art dating from the Song Dynasty about 1,000 years ago through the 20th century. The art was gifted by the nonprofit foundation Chi Lo Lou Promotion, founded by the philanthropist and collector Ho lu Kwong. The works are estimated at more than HK$3.8 billion (~$480 million). The museum is currently closed for renovation until next year, and when it reopens, the collection will be on display in a permanent gallery titled, “Chih Lo Lou Gallery of Chinese Painting & Calligraphy.”

June and Simon K.C. Li (photo by Jamie Pham, courtesy Cleveland Museum of Art)

The Cleveland Museum of Art received a $1.5 million gift from June and Simon K.C. Li, a California couple with an interest in Chinese history, culture, and art. The donation will be used to establish the June and Simon K.C. Li Center for Chinese Painting Conservation. The Cleveland Museum of Art currently has an extensive collection of Chinese art, “spanning more than 5,000 years and representing the highest level of artistic accomplishment,” according to their website.

The Worcester Art Museum has acquired four new works: two early 20th century German paintings — one by Max Slevogt and another by Richard Müller — and contemporary works by Bharti Kher and Stan Douglas. Slevogt’s work is titled “Selbstbildnis im Garten (A Self-Portrait in the Garden at Godramstein)” (1910) and is now on view. Müller’s work, “Liebe und Tod (Love and Death)” (1918), will go on view in the fall. Kher’s work, an installation titled “A vegetarian lion, a slippery fish” (2013) is an assemblage of 70 small-scale figurines, in various stages of wear and deterioration, on a wooden table.” This is the first contemporary piece from India in the museum’s collection and will go on display in the Arts of South and Southeast Asia Gallery. The final piece acquired, Douglas’s “Bumtown” (2015), is a “large-format, photo-based chromogenic print mounted on Dibond aluminum.” This is part of a series of photographs called the Night Photographs. [via email announcement]

 

Jonas Wood, "Eckersley" (2010), oil on canvas; signed, titled, and dated "2010" on the reverse 36 by 24 in. (image courtesy of Sotheby's)
Jonas Wood, “Eckersley” (2010), oil on canvas; signed, titled, and dated “2010” on the reverse
36 by 24 in. (image courtesy of Sotheby’s)

Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Online Sale in New York brought in a total of $1,779,750 on July 20. The sale’s top lot, Jonas Wood’s “Eckersley” (2010), sold for $187,500.

Robert Longo, "Untitled," from a set of four Ditone prints, on wove paper, 2013-2017, each signed and dated in pencil, numbered 1/30 in pencil, in Hatje Cantz Collector's Editions portfolio, 20⅞ x 18¾ in. (image courtesy of Christie's)
Robert Longo, “Untitled,” from a set of four Ditone prints, on wove paper, 2013-2017, each signed and dated in pencil, numbered 1/30 in pencil, in Hatje Cantz Collector’s Editions portfolio, 20⅞ x 18¾ in. (image courtesy of Christie’s)

Christie’s online sale of contemporary photographs, prints, and multiples brought in a total of £106,375 (~$140,000). The sale’s top lot, Robert Longo’s four “Untitled” Ditone prints (2013–2017), sold for £6,000 (~$7,900).

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