New York Auctions Show Confident Market Post-Election—and the 9 Other Biggest News Stories This Week
01 This week’s post-war and contemporary auctions in New York were stronger than some expected, but still represent a drop in sales year-over-year for Sotheby’s and Christie’s.
Christie’s kicked off the week with a Tuesday evening auction totalling $277.5 million, easily surpassing the low estimate of $216 million but still falling below the high estimate of $296 million. The sell-through rate hit 89%, with
02 The Impressionist and modern auctions this week also produced respectable results, with a rare Monet haystack selling for a record $81.4 million at Christie’s.
03 New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art announced the artists who will be featured in its 2017 Whitney Biennial.
(via the New York Times)
On March 17, the Whitney will open its first Whitney Biennial—the preeminent survey of the state of contemporary art in the U.S.—since moving to its Meatpacking District building. Coming after the the show skipped a year so curators could adjust to the museum’s new home, the biennial features a diverse roster of 63 artists and a thematic focus on the role of the individual in turbulent times. The heterogenous group of artists chosen by Whitney associate curator Christopher Y. Lew and independent curator Mia Locks span race, gender, sexual orientation, age, geography, and medium. There are nearly as many women as men; many artists are from outside of the U.S.; the oldest artist,
04 The authenticity of a recently discovered sketchbook that allegedly belonged to Vincent van Gogh is being disputed by the Van Gogh Museum.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam—keeper of the world’s largest collection of the artist’s work—asserting that the book is not authentic. According to the scholars, the sketchbook was created during one of the artist’s most prolific periods, in Arles, France (during which he painted Starry Night and Vincent’s Bedroom in Arles). A senior researcher at the museum noted that the institution looked into the sketchbook’s authenticity in 2008, 2012, and 2013—and on all three occasions had declared it to be a forgery due to iconography, style, technique, and provenance.
05 Anselm Kiefer has called for the cancellation of his first exhibition in China, on the grounds that he never gave consent for the show.
(via The Art Newspaper)
06 A painting by Frida Kahlo, rediscovered after 60 years, is estimated to sell for as much as $2 million at auction next week.
For six decades, the whereabouts of
07 Photographer Eric McNatt has sued the appropriation artist Richard Prince alleging copyright infringement.
(via the Fashion Law)
The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of of New York on Wednesday, with McNatt claiming that Appropriation art and copyright is often a legally tricky area for artists, though they do have strong protections under “fair use” statute. This latest suit is not the first time Prince has been sued for copyright infringement. The artist initially lost a major case to the photographer
08 The grandson of Alphonse Mucha is suing the city of Prague to prevent the artist’s famous paintings from traveling through Asia.
(via The Art Newspaper)
A major artist of the
09 The Armory Show has announced that the fair’s 2017 Focus section will feature a curated selection of solo presentations by artists for the first time centered on a theme rather than a geographical region.
(via The Armory Show)
After seven years of exploring art made in different geographic regions around the world, The Armory Show’s Focus section will adopt a new approach for its 2017 edition. Titled “What Is To Be Done?,” the section will showcase solo presentations by 12 contemporary artists—selected by Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) associate curator of contemporary art Jarrett Gregory—who are addressing urgent social and cultural issues of our time. Artists featured will include the Congolese collective Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantations Congolaises (CATPC), whose sculptures challenge colonialism; American-born Pakistani artist Amna Asghar, whose work explores identity; and Belgian artist its new executive director, Benjamin Genocchio, who was appointed last year.
10 Several ancient sites have been destroyed amid the fight to oust ISIS from Mosul.
(via National Geographic)
The archeological remains from two ancient Mesopotamian cities have been destroyed in the battle, according to researchers from the American Schools of Oriental Research Cultural Heritage Initiatives (ASOR CHI). Satellite images have revealed the leveling of the iconic ziggurat of Nimrud, a mud-brick tower built nearly 2,900 years ago in the ancient Neo-Assyrian capital located south of Mosul. The ziggurat is considered to be one of Nimrud’s most remarkable sacred structures. The destruction is thought to have been caused by the Islamic State sometime between the end of August and the beginning of October this year. As ISIS continues to intentionally target cultural artifacts and ancient sites for destruction, Kurdish Peshmerga forces have accidentally done damage themselves. While digging trenches and fortifications near Mosul sometime between mid-October and early November, the Peshmerga uncovered remains from the ancient city of Dur-Sharrukin before realizing they had already bulldozed through parts of the historical site.
Cover image: Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s.
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