Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening sale in New York brought in a total of $357,622,500 on November 15. The sale’s top lot, David Hockney’s “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)” (1972), sold for $90,312,500, becoming the most expensive work ever sold by a living artist.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden have jointly acquired Arthur Jafa’s single-channel video “Love is the Message, The Message is Death” (2016). This is the first joint acquisition between the two museums. Funding for the acquisition comes from the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Bequest Fund; Nion T. McEvoy, chair of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s commission; and gifts made in McEvoy’s honor by his fellow commissioners. The video was recently on view in the Hirshhorn’s exhibition The Message: New Media Works and features “original and appropriated footage, exploring the mix of joy and pain, transcendence and tragedy that characterize the African American experience at this historical moment,” according to the press release.
Sotheby’s The History of Now: The Collection of David Teiger, Sold to Benefit Teiger Foundation for the Support of Contemporary Art sale in New York brought in a total of $48,540,700 on November 14. The sale’s top lot, Willem De Kooning’s “Untitled” (1987), sold for $9,331,000.
Sotheby’s Scottish Art sale in London brought in a total of £925,375 (~$1,187,000) on November 20. The sale’s top lot, George Leslie Hunter’s “Still Life With Roses and Fruit” (c. 1920s), sold for £187,500 (~$240,000).
Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated sale in London brought in a total of £1,888,751 (~$2,422,000) on November 20. The sale’s top lot, Raqib Shaw’s “Napoleon I – Of Beasts & Super Beasts” (2012), sold for £200,000 (~$256,000).
Sotheby’s Design sale in Paris brought in a total of €7,346,375 (~$8,377,000) on November 20. The sale’s top lot, François-Xavier Lalanne’s “Hippopotame III,” designed in 1991, realized in 2000, sold for €369,000 (~$421,000).
Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Afternoon Session in New York brought in a total of $31,737,250 on November 16. The sale’s top lot, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Untitled” (1983), sold for $2,532,500.
Christie’s Japonisme sale in Paris brought in a total of €1,698,938 (~$1,945,000) on November 15. The sale’s top lots, pin art nouveau enamel, sapphires and diamonds by Boucheron (1902) and a pair of monumental vases in closed emaux mounted on their bases in bronze patina and gold, each sold for €355,500 (~$407,000).
Christie’s online sale of Selections from the Israel Museum, Jerusalem Sold to Benefit the Acquisitions Fund brought in a total of $217,500 from November 9–15. The sale’s top lot, Victor Vasarely’s “Bakson” (1966), sold for $37,500.
Christie’s An American Place: The Barney A. Ebsworth Collection Day Sale in New York brought in a total of $5,302,250 on November 14. The sale’s top lot, Morris Kantor’s “Orchestra” (1923), sold for $516,500.
Christie’s Edo to Post-War: 500 Years of Japanese Art and Design online sale brought in a total of $460,125 from November 12–19. The sale’s top lot, a copper articulated sculpture of a dragon, Meiji-Taisho period (early 20th century), sold for $50,000.
Christie’s Modern British Art Evening sale in London brought in a total of £17,875,750 (~$22,915,000) on November 19. The sale’s top lot, Laurence Stephen Lowry, R.A.’s “A Northern Race Meeting” (1956), sold for £5,296,250 (~$6,789,000).
Christie’s Modern British Art Day sale in London brought in a total of £4,397,750 (~$5,625,000) on November 20. The sale’s top lot, Ben Nicholson, O.M.’s “1940 (St. Ives, version 3)” (1940), sold for £272,750 (~$349,000).
Phillips’s 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening sale in New York brought in a total of $88,536,500 on November 15. The sale’s top lot, Joan Miró’s “Femme dans la nuit” (1945), sold for $22,590,000.
Phillips’s 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale Morning and Afternoon Sessions in New York brought in a total of $25,532,625 on November 14. The sale’s top lot, Tomoo Gokita’s “Club Mature” (2015), sold for $807,000.
The German auction house Künstlerverein Malkasten has returned Johannes Hermanus Koekkoek’s Nazi-looted painting “Storm at Sea” (1841) to the heirs of Jewish art dealer Max Stern, who fled Nazi Germany in 1938. This is the 18th painting recovered on behalf of the Max and Iris Stern Foundation. The Max Stern Art Restitution Project, which lists all the missing art on its website, received a tip that the painting would be offered for sale at the auction house. After negotiations, the piece was restituted to Stern’s estate, and the auctioneer, Frank Hargesheimer, compensated the painting’s consignor.
A sixth-century Byzantine mosaic depicting Saint Mark, stolen from Cyprus in the 1970s, has been returned to the country by Arthur Brand, a Dutch art investigator. Brand had received a tip from a London art dealer and travelled to Monaco to track down the piece. “It was in the possession of a British family, who bought the mosaic in good faith more than four decades ago,” Brand said to Agence France-Presse. “They were horrified when they found out that it was, in fact, a priceless art treasure, looted from the Kanakaria Church after the Turkish invasion.” The family returned the piece to Cyprus “for a small fee,” according to Al-Jazeera. The mosaic is estimated at five to 10 million Euros.
The United States has returned the Bells of Balangiga to the Philippines last week during a veterans remembrance event at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming. At the event, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis presented the bells to Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Romualdez. On September 28, 1901, 45 US soldiers were killed in the town of Balangiga, and afterwards, US forces launched a counterattack killing “anywhere from hundreds to thousands of people in the Philippines,” according to NBC News. After the counterattack, US forces took the bells as a war trophy. Two of the three bells have been on display at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, while the third has been on display at a US Army museum in South Korea. All three bells will be restored and returned by December, despite opposition from Wyoming’s Congressional delegation, which did not attend the event.