This Week in the Art World: London Auctions Top $382 Million & Ukraine Separatists Destroy Seized Art

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On the Market

Tuesday night, Phillips London’s contemporary art evening auction fetched $28.6 million, bringing in double what it did in the previous year’s sale. Among the notable sales was Circle of Animals Zodiac Heads (2011), which set an auction record for Ai Weiwei at $5.3 million. While the auction exceeded its estimates of $27 million, there were eight lots yet unsold at the end of night. (via ArtInfo)

Also on Tuesday, Christie’s postwar and contemporary auction in London saw new records for six artists, including Chris Ofili, Jeff Elrod, Brent Wadden, R.H. Quaytman, Malcolm Morley, and the Chapman brothers. A strong 87 percent of the auction’s lots sold, fetching $150.1 million in total. (via ARTnews)

The following evening, Sotheby’s contemporary art auction overtook Christie’s with a total sale of $203.6 million and 85 percent of its lots sold. Andy Warhol had the top lot with One Dollar Bill (Silver Certificate) (1962), bringing in $32.6 million—the highest sale of all the contemporary auctions in London this week. (via ARTnews)

The Delaware Art Museum sold two paintings in an effort to alleviate its $19.8 million debt, accumulated since its 2005 renovation and expansion. This deaccession of Andrew Wyeth’s Arthur Cleveland (1965) and Winslow Homer’s Milking Time (1875) led to criticism from national museum associations. (via Artforum)



On The Politics of art

In a recent episode of explosions, pro-Russian separatists have destroyed artworks including Make Up! (2012), Cameroonian artist Pascale Marthine Tayou’s installation to commemorate Donetsk’s reconstruction since World War II. Video footage shows the destruction of the sculpture, in its location at the seized home of the Izolyatsia foundation, on June 2nd. (via the New York Times)

Earlier this week, a New York art dealer gave federal agents an ancient Indian statue depicting Saint Manikkavichacakar, valued at $1 million. The artifact is said to be one of the 2,600 pieces recovered during the ongoing investigation into the owner of New York gallery Art of the Past, Subhash Kapoor. (via the New York Times)

Six ivory panels destined for a touring exhibition along the East Coast never ended up leaving the British Museum, due to U.S. authorities denying their import permit. The panels, which date from the 9th to the 12th century, demonstrate the affluence of the Byzantine era through religious scenes. (via artnet News)



In the Works

ICA London will be collaborate with the K11 Art Foundation and its founder Adrian Cheng on a collection of exhibitions that will spotlight emerging Chinese artists in an effort to cultivate cultural exchange. The first exhibition, set to open October 12th, spotlights works by Zhang Ding for his first solo show in the U.K. (via The Art Newspaper)

Newport Street Gallery, the permanent exhibition space for Damien Hirst’s collection, has announced its first show. Featuring works from Hirst’s collection by John Hoyland, the exhibition will open October 8th. (via Blouin Artinfo)

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is bringing Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei to Melbourne in a joint exhibition that will go on view this December. The show will contain more than 300 pieces by the iconic artists, including a large-scale, cat-themed installation in the NGV Kids space. (via The Guardian)


On the Move

At the end of this year, Josef Helfenstein is leaving his position at the Menil Collection to become director of the Kunstmuseum Basel. He has been director of the Menil Collection for the past 12 years, during which the institution’s collection has grown by more than 1,000 works and its yearly attendance has doubled. (via the New York Times)

New York’s Museum of Modern Art has recruited Dia Art Foundation curator Yasmil Raymond, who will join the museum as associate curator for painting and sculpture. (via Artforum)

For its new venture covering art, architecture, and design, CNN Style has found its first guest editor: Daniel Libeskind. The Polish-American starchitect intends to investigate the connection between architecture and emotion. (via dezeen)



Weekend Reads

An Open Source Guide to Help You Build Your Own Graffiti Drone(via Hyperallergic)

Why Two American Museums Are Fighting to Keep Art Stolen by the Nazis(via The Washington Post)

Havana’s Vital Biennial Was Trumped by a Stifled Voice(via the New York Times)

Marina Abramović reveals plans for her funeral, ‘the artist’s last piece’(via The Guardian)


Make your weekend plans with our preview of exhibitions on view in cities across the globe.

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