Christie’s Poised to Sell Most Expensive Collection Ever—and the 9 Other Biggest News Stories This Week
01 Christie’s will auction selections from David Rockefeller’s estate next spring.
(via The Wall Street Journal)
The auction house announced Tuesday it had won the right to what will likely be the most expensive estate sale in the history of the industry. Christie’s will have roughly 2,000 pieces available to sell, from an estate valued in Rockefeller’s will at over $700 million, according to The Journal. Rockefeller, a billionaire banker born into one of America’s wealthiest families, was an avid art collector whose tastes “initially leaned toward heavyweights like Museum of Modern Art, which was founded with the help of his mother, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. A family spokesman told The Journal that proceeds from sale of the estate will go to a dozen charities, universities and cultural institutions.
02 The second half of documenta 14 in Kassel, Germany, has received less-than-glowing reviews ahead of its public opening this weekend.
The show, which is split between two cities for the first time in the quinquennial’s six-decade history, unveiled its first half in Athens in April. Roughly two months later, “Learning From Athens” debuts in documenta’s historic German home of Kassel this weekend. Curated by Adam Szymczyk, the show—featuring more than 160 artists spread across 35 venues—has met with mixed reviews. “To call the exhibition scattered doesn’t quite capture the disjointed, often haphazard assortment of artworks that visitors find,” writes Artsy’s Tess Thackara, concluding, “but if there’s one idea that documenta 14 does put forth with success—the meaning that we can draw from all of this—it’s precisely that of the collective experience of being subject to power, and doing our best to refuse it, wherever we live.”
03 Two people have been charged with involuntary manslaughter over the fire that engulfed the Oakland arts venue “Ghost Ship,” killing 36 late last year.
(via the Los Angeles Times)
Property manager Derick Ion Almena was responsible for transforming the warehouse into a concert venue and residence for artists, while “creative director” Max Harris organized the show that took place the night of the fire. Prosecutors claim the two men “knowingly created a fire trap” by allowing up to 25 people to live in the warehouse illegally, when it lacked fireproofing measures or clear exit paths. Court documents also note that Harris blocked off a second stairwell in advance of the concert, limiting attendees to a “single point of escape.” Both Almena and Harris have been arrested with each facing 39 years in prison, according to officials. They declined to comment on whether or not others, including the building owner, will face charges related to the deadly blaze.
04 An Arizona auction house announced the potential discovery of a Jackson Pollock painting, which was uncovered in a local homeowner’s garage.
(via the Arizona Republic)
The Sun City, Arizona, resident first called Josh Levine, owner and founder of J. Levine Auction & Appraisal LLC, about a collection of sports memorabilia signed by basketball star Kobe Bryant. But when Levine visited the home, he also found a chest of artworks—including one that seemed to be an iconic
05 A London art dealer is facing extradition to the U.S. over accusations that he was defrauding his clients.
(via the Daily Mail)
Dealer Timothy Sammons could serve 25 years in an American jail following years of civil proceedings in both the U.S. and U.K. Sammons served as head of the Chinese art department at Sotheby’s before leaving to set up his own advisory firm in 1995, handling works by artists including
06 On Wednesday, The Armory Show announced the curators for the New York art fair’s 2018 edition, plus a curatorial summit.
(via The Armory Show)
Gabriel Ritter, curator and head of contemporary art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), will oversee the fair’s Focus section (helmed this past year by Jarrett Gregory), which is dedicated to solo and duo presentations of “today’s most relevant and compelling artists,” according to the press release. Jen Mergel, formerly the senior curator of contemporary art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, will oversee Platform (previously curated by Eric Shiner), which brings large-scale, site-specific works to The Armory Show’s piers. The fair also announced a curatorial summit, chaired by Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago curator Naomi Beckwith, which will bring together roughly a dozen of the “world’s most prominent curators” for a day of forward-thinking discussions on the curatorial landscape’s present and future.
07 Plans to ceremonially burn Sam Durant’s Scaffold have been put on hold, allowing Dakota elders additional time to determine the fate of the controversial sculpture.
(via the New York Times)
Durant’s 2012 work—which references the gallows used by the U.S. government to hang 38 Dakota men, among others—set off protests when it was recently installed at Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center. The wrote in a statement Wednesday. “But this decision will be made [in] their way and their time at the site of their choosing.”
08 Artist Dale Chihuly, who was sued last week for using unpaid studio assistants, has responded with a counterclaim that frames the lawsuit as blackmail.
(via the New York Times)
The suit was filed last Friday by Michael Moi, a former contractor who said he first worked for
09 Museums across London have instituted additional security measures in the wake of recent terrorist attacks.
(via The Art Newspaper)
Following Sunday’s attack on the London Bridge—which killed seven and injured dozens—12 cultural institutions near the area issued a joint statement pledging to remain “safe, open and welcoming to all.” Among them were the Tate Modern and the Hayward Gallery. Museums across London—including the Royal Academy, the British Museum, the National Gallery, and the Tate—have increased security measures following Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to raise the country’s threat level to “critical.” In addition to increased bag searches, the British Museum will no longer allow large containers, such as suitcases, on the premises. A spokeswoman for the National Gallery told The Art Newspaper that “the safety and security of our visitors are our absolute priorities—particularly following these recent tragic incidents.”
10 Banksy ceased offering limited-edition prints to U.K. voters who opposed the Conservatives in Thursday’s election after authorities warned him the scheme could invalidate results.
(via The Guardian)
The famous street artist announced the promotion—for those who voted against Conservatives near
Cover image: Peggy and David Rockefeller, May 1973. Photo: Arthur Lavine/Rockefeller Estate. Courtesy of Christie’s.
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