The Jewish Museum and The New York Public Library (NYPL) have jointly acquired the complete series of 57 gouaches on paper created by Maira Kalman for the 2005 edition of The Elements of Style. Kalman’s book adapts the title of the reference book by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, pairing her illustrations with its grammatical rules. “Since I am Jewish and since I adore libraries,” Kalman said, “isn’t it thrilling that these two glorious institutions share the work? I make books. And I make art. The works are the intersection of these, mixed with a great dollop of curiosity. In a kind of Talmudic manner, I think E.B. White would be pleased. Doesn’t it all make complete wonderful sense?” [via email announcement]
Storm King Art Center has commissioned “Fallen Sky,” a site-specific sculpture by artist Sarah Sze. “Fallen Sky” is a “deliberately incomplete and increasingly delicate 36-foot-diameter spherical cavity, sheathed in mirrored stainless steel.” The work will be placed halfway down Museum Hill below the museum building in an area chosen by Sze, in consultation with Storm King’s curators. “Pressing into the earth, the concave sculpture reflects the concave sky, creating a sense of the landscape in reverse,” says Sze. “As visitors peer into the reflection, they are immersed in the sky from above and below, teetering between a sense that the sculpture has dropped from above and a sense that it is emerging from the earth. Framed by the landscape, the work erases the land and gives form to the air, allowing an intimate view of what is normally vast and immeasurable.” The work will be unveiled in the spring of 2020.
Sotheby’s The Midas Touch sale in London brought in a total of £3,039,500 (~$3,988,000) on October 17. The sale’s top lot, Yves Klein’s “Monogold Sans Titre (MG 44)” (1962) sold for £1,000,000 (~$1,312,000).
Sotheby’s Gallison Hall: The James F. Scott Collection auction in New York brought in a total of $3,731,313 on October 15. The sale’s top lot, Thomas Jefferson’s notes of the state of Virginia, written in the year 1781, somewhat corrected and enlarged in the winter of 1782, for the use of a foreigner of distinction, in answer to certain queries proposed by him, sold for $300,000.
Sotheby’s Paris Jewels sale brought in a total of €4,504,438 (~$5,216,000) on October 11. The sale’s top lot, a signed Chaumet sapphire and diamond ring from the 1930s, sold for €627,000 (~$726,000).
Sotheby’s Modern & Contemporary African Art sale in London brought in a total of £2,274,625 (~$2,987,000) on October 16. The sale’s top lot, El Anatsui’s “Ghanaian Tagomizor” (2005), sold for £670,000 (~$880,000).
Christie’s A Golden Age: An Important Collection of 19th Century Furniture & Decorative Art auction in New York brought in a total of $1,832,500 on October 16. The sale’s top lot, a fine and large French Ormolu-mounted kingwood and Bois satiné three-piece bedroom suite in the manner of Charles Cressent, by Emmanuel Zwierner, Paris, in the late 19th century, sold for $125,000.
Christie’s Thinking Italian Design sale in London brought in a total of £3,465,875 (~$4,551,000) on October 17. The sale’s top lot, Carlo Mollino’s important “Tipo B” side chair (1950), sold for £518,750 (~$681,000), a record price for this model as well as the designer.
Christie’s Paris Avant-Garde sale in Paris brought in a total of €29,602,250 (~$34,056,000) on October 17. The sale’s top lot, Daniel Buren’s “Peinture aux formes variables [Painting with varying forms]” (1966), sold for €667,500 (~$768,000).
Christie’s Design sale in London brought in a total of £2,869,062 (~$3,765,000) on October 17. The sale’s top lots, Ingo Maurer’s “Porca Miseria! Chinese Love” (2017), first conceived in 1994, and René Lalique’s “Épines Formant Quatre Pieds [Thorns Forming Four Feet],” a rare vase designed in 1921, sold for $75,000 each.
As arts communities around the world experience a time of challenge and change, accessible, independent reporting on these developments is more important than ever.
Please consider supporting our journalism, and help keep our independent reporting free and accessible to all.