One of Elizabeth Catlett‘s wood sculptures has set a new record for the late Mexican-American artist, selling for $389,000 at Swann Galleries’ African-American Fine Art sale. In total, the auction moved $3,679,672 worth of art. Other notable lots in the mix included Henry Ossawa Tanner‘s “At the Gates (Flight into Egypt)” (circa 1926-27), which sold for $341,000; Kenneth Victor Young‘s “Untitled (Abstract Composition)” (1972), and which went for $233,000.
The Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) in Germany is returning a 12th-century marble panel to Afghanistan, according to a press release issued by the museum. The marble dado panel was apparently once part of a 78-part frieze decorating a courtyard of the Royal Palace of Sultan Mas’ud III. It found its way to the Rawza Museum of Islamic Art in Ghazni, Afghanistan, before being looted in the ’70s and eventually being purchased by the MKG in 2013. Research into the panel’s provenance revealed its origins in 2014, and the MKG has been taking steps to restitute the panel ever since. According to the museum’s statement, the panel will be housed in Kabul’s Afghan National Museum for the foreseeable future.
A piece by Yoshitomo Nara also broke the artist’s auction at a Sotheby’s Hong Kong Contemporary Art Evening Sale, going for 195,696,000 HKD (~$24,954,175) and topping the lots in a pot of 538,208,000 HKD (~$68,629,593). Other notable pieces that sold included Kaws’s “Untitled (Kimpsons #1)” (2004), which sold for 57,877,000 HKD (~$7,376,424), and Yayoi Kusama‘s “Pumpkin” (1991), which sold for 27,775,000 HKD (~$3,539,924). The separate Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Sale netted 147,080,000 HKD (~$18,754,906) and saw some of the same artists near the top of the lots. Another of Kusama’s “Pumpkin” series topped that sale, going for 12,175,000 HKD (~$1,551,704). Also of note: several of the pieces in the sale were paintings of popular anime characters. Yoshiyuki Takani‘s painting of the eponymous character from Hayao Miyazaki‘s Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind sold for 1,062,500 HKD (~$135,416), for example.
New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art announced this week that it will acquire 88 new works thanks to a gift promised by Barrie A. and Deedee Wigmore. The Met plans to showcase 50 of the works — which include decorative arts from the Aesthetic Movement and Hudson River School paintings — in its upcoming exhibition Aesthetic Splendors: Highlights from the Gift of Barrie and Deedee Wigmore. The exhibition will open December 2, 2019. The gift was announced as part of the Met’s broad 150th anniversary celebration, which will run through 2020.
The retired art dealer Philip A. Bruno, a collector who’s given much of his pieces away over the years, has just offered up 74 works to the Hunterian Art Gallery in Glasgow, Scotland. The cache includes works by William Dole, Lee Gatch, Red Grooms, David Levine, and it will go on view in a new exhibition opening next month titled A Gift to Glasgow from New York: The Phillip A. Bruno Collection. Bruno, whose to the gallery gift coincides with his 90th birthday, now lives in Glasgow.
Goya’s Coded Love Letter to the Duchess of Alba
Goya neatly clothes himself in his own world of fantasy: He will have her in the end. In life, where the climate is much chillier, it was, alas, to be otherwise.
Witches Take Over Westchester
Bowen’s multimedia art is an alchemical mix of the sensuous and arcane, and it is more than a little witchy.
The Public Theater Explores the Hurricane Katrina Diaspora in shadow/land
Written by Erika Dickerson-Despenza and directed by Candis C. Jones, this lyrical meditation on legacy, erotic fugitivity, and self-determination is on view in NYC.
14 Art Books and Catalogues We’re Reading This Month
Anthologies and catalogues on feminist art in Latin America, Native mound building, Armenian photography, and more are on our reading list.
Saudi Arabia Announces $1M “Freedom of Expression” Art Award
Kanye West, Roman Polanski, and Carl Andre are among the shortlisted artists.
The Rubin Museum Presents Death Is Not the End
Tibetan Buddhist and Christian works of art made across 12 centuries explore death, the afterlife, and the desire to continue to exist. On view in NYC.
British Museum Offers Greece “Exclusive NFT” of the Parthenon Marbles
“With the power of blockchain technology, there will be no question who the real owner is,” said a British Museum spokesperson.
MoMA to Co-Curate Exhibition With NYPD
Arrest Me, Daddy hopes to cast a more positive light on the work of law enforcement officers.
When I Am Empty Please Dispose of Me Properly
Ayanna Dozier, Ilana Harris-Babou, Meena Hasan, Lucia Hierro, Catherine Opie, Chuck Ramirez, and Pacifico Silano explore the myths of the American Dream at Brooklyn’s BRIC House.
Repatriation-Inspired Fragrance Line Hopes to Heal Collector Wounds
The exotic scents of the Rapatriement line offer solace and joy to dismayed collectors who were forced to return looted artifacts.
Mediocre Painting Thought AI-Generated Revealed as Work of Real Artist
Visitors who spoke to Hyperallergic said they were “horrified” to learn that a human could come up with such a banal and poorly executed artwork.
Pratt’s 2023 Fine Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition Is On View in Brooklyn
The two-part exhibition features the work of 41 graduating artists across disciplines, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, and integrated practices.
Prince Harry to Star in New Van Gogh Biopic
The estranged prince said he took the role to raise awareness of mental health issues.
Newly Discovered Trove of Vermeer Works Reveals He Painted Mainly Dogs
A cache of 243 paintings found in an English castle, all depicting canine subjects, suggests Vermeer’s true aspiration was to become a dog portraitist.