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Sotheby's sets record for any Post-War work of Italian art with Fontana's "La Fine di Dio"

Oliver Barker, Deputy Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, fields bids at Sotheby’s London Frieze Week Evening Sales. Photo: Sotheby's.

LONDON.- This evening’s combined total brings Sotheby’s sales of Contemporary Art in London this year to £402.2m – over £100 million more than the same period last year. “Over 10,000 visitors crowded our galleries for our Frieze Week exhibitions - and this excitement carried through into a packed saleroom. When we first introduced a dedicated Italian Sale to London in 1999, the entire sale made £5.2m, tonight we’ve seen a single work make three times this amount. The energy we saw in the room for both sales; the bidding from every corner of the globe; the appetite for both young and established artists - it all came together here in London tonight.” -Alex Branczik, Head of Contemporary Art, Sotheby’s London. ... More

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Rare Mozart letter written in German sold for $217,000 at Boston-based RR Auction   Cornelia Parker named artist for the Met Museum's 2016 Roof Garden Commission   "Titian to Canaletto: Drawing in Venice" opens at the Ashmolean Museum

Letter to his close friend, the great Austrian botanist Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin, asking him to return three musical scores by way of messenger.

BOSTON, MASS.- A rare letter written by Mozart sold for $217,000 according to Boston-based RR Auction. The one-page signed note in German, undated but likely circa July–August 1786. Letter to his close friend, the great Austrian botanist Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin, asking him to return three musical scores by way of messenger. “I ask you to send me by the bearer of this, the Quartet in g minor, the Sonata in Eb and the ‘New Trio in g.’ The pieces Mozart refers to are his Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor (K.478, 1785), Violin Sonata No. 33 in E-flat major (K.481, 1785), and Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello in G Major (K.496, 1786). This last ‘new trio in g’ was completed on July 8, 1786, and thus this letter probably dates to shortly thereafter. While K.478 was published as early as December 1785, the other two would see publication in 1786; the edition of Mozart’s ‘Briefe und ... More

Cornelia Parker. Photo: Courtesy the Artist and Frith Street Gallery, London.

NEW YORK, NY.- Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced today that British artist Cornelia Parker has been selected to create a site-specific installation atop the Met's Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. The installation will be on view from May through October 2016, and will be the fourth in a series of site-specific commissions for the outdoor space. Mr. Campbell said, "The Roof Garden should always be a space that makes us think beyond its spectacular views. It is a unique source of inspiration for the artists who create site-specific works there, and I am excited to see what Cornelia Parker will create. Her work is remarkable for the ways in which she looks at things we think of as familiar, and up-ends our perception of them in the process." Sheena Wagstaff, the Museum's Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art said, "In her large-scale installations ... More

Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (1682‒1754), Head of a Youth (detail). Black and white chalks on brownish paper, 31.5 x 29.9 cm © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford.

OXFORD.- Featuring a hundred drawings from the Uffizi, the Ashmolean, and Christ Church, Oxford, Titian to Canaletto is a groundbreaking exhibition based on new research. Venetian art has long been associated with brilliant colours and free brushwork, but drawing has been written out of its history. This exhibition highlights the significance of drawing as a concept and as a practice in the artistic life of Venice. It reveals the variety of purposes and techniques in drawing from Bellini, Titian and Tintoretto to Tiepolo and Canaletto. In a parallel exhibition, Jenny Saville Drawing, one of the UK’s most celebrated contemporary artists, Jenny Saville, has produced new work on paper and canvas in response to the Venetian Old Masters. Putting the words ‘drawing’ and ... More

Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center at Laumeier Sculpture Park opens with Raqs Media Collective exhibition   A Visual Odyssey: Selections from LAC (the Lambert Art Collection) achieves $22,867,015   Renzo Piano Building Workshop to design new art site in Moscow for the V-A-C Foundation

Raqs Media Collective, If the World is a Fair Place Then..., 2015. Photo by Jeanine Chan.

ST. LOUIS, MO.- Laumeier Sculpture Park announced Raqs Media Collective: Art in the Age of Collective Intelligence as the inaugural exhibition in the Whitaker Foundation Gallery of the new Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center. Zlatko Ćosić + Ashley McQueen: Harmony in 3, a short film that is part of the 2015 Kranzberg Exhibition Series, will be presented in the lobby of the building. Both exhibitions, plus an outdoor commission by Raqs entitled If the World is a Fair Place Then…, will run Friday, October 16, 2015, through Sunday, February 14, 2016. The Raqs Media Collective (pronounced rux) consists of three media practitioners—Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula and Shuddhabrata Sengupta—based in New Delhi, India. Art in the Age of Collective Intelligence consists of a large series of photographs and a constructed library of books expanding on the Collective’s ongoing ... More

Christopher Wool, Untitled. Enamel on aluminium, 83 7/8 x 59 7/8in. Executed in 1995. Estimate £3,000,000-5,000,000. Price Realized £4,898,500. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2015.

LONDON.- ‘A Visual Odyssey: Selections from LAC (Lambert Art Collection)’ achieved £14,975,123 with sell-through rates of 89% by lot and 95% by value. Bidders from 42 countries and five continents showed their strong appreciation for objects across the centuries and demonstrated an appetite for the spirit and flair of cross-category collecting as exemplified by the Lambert Art Collection. Together Christie’s and de Pury brought a completely new approach to the auction combining an exhibition at Ely House, Dover Street, with a radical online presence with specially commissioned content and photography. The success of this bold collaboration has been proven by the stand-out prices throughout the sale and the huge response from over 5,000 visitors ... More

Rendering View of the Entrance Piazza, RPBW, 2015.

MOSCOW.- V-A-C Foundation announced plans to develop a new site for contemporary arts and culture in Moscow. The main building to be revived and redesigned is the GES2 power station, situated in the popular Red October district of the city. Built between 1904 and 1907, the GES2 power station, once a supplier of energy to the city, will now be re-imagined to supply energy of a different kind; that of ideas and creativity. GES2 will become an exciting cultural destination, offering new opportunities for artists and audiences on a local, national and international level and the first major venue in the city of Moscow for V-A-C. The Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) have been commissioned to design the new GES2 and surrounding area, with plans to recuperate the original structure of the power station and to insert a fluid and visible, web-like building-scale device into it. The entire site will be reconfigured into a legible ... More

Last electric guitar ever made by Paul Bigsby highlights Heritage Auctions event   Important watches at Sotheby's Geneva: Led by the Schmid & Muller Collection   Elaborately-carved, significant collection of samurai arrowheads to auction at Bonhams New York

1956 Bigsby Natural Solid Body Electric Guitar, Serial # 121556.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA.- A 1956 Bigsby Natural Solid Body Electric Guitar — extraordinary for being the last of its kind ever produced by Paul Bigsby himself — could sell for as much as $400,000 when it headlines Heritage Auctions’ Vintage Guitars & Musical Instruments Signature Auction Oct. 24 in Beverly Hills. “It’s no overstatement that this is one of the most important vintage musical instruments in the world,” said Isaiah Evans, Operations Manager of Vintage Guitars at Heritage Auctions. “It’s impeccably provenanced and represents a true period in the development of the electric guitar as a cultural object and a cultural milestone.” The 1956 Bigsby, serial # 121556, was created at the request of Luke Charpentier, Jr., the remarkably skilled Louisiana guitarist. Even more so, he was a player of exacting taste. In 1954, he contacted Paul Bigsby about constructing this very guitar, the final ... More

Patek & Cie. A fine and very rare yellow gold open-face watch with an enamel miniature portrait, made in 1845. Estimate CHF 12,000 – 18,000 / US$ 12,300 – 18,400. Photo: Sotheby's.

GENEVA.- This autumn, the auction of Important Watches at Sotheby’s Geneva will be led by the exceptional Schmid & Muller Collection which chronicles the earliest days of Swatch design. This truly remarkable collection was created and assembled during the 1980s by Marlyse Schmid and Bernard Muller, the two designers who played a critical role in the artistic development of the celebrated Swiss brand. The auction on 10 November will also offer a selection of rare and important timepieces reflecting fascinating moments in the history of watchmaking. These include prestigious manufacturers Rolex, Patek & Cie and Bovet Fleurier. Commenting ahead of the sale, Pedro Reiser, Department Manager for Sotheby’s Watch Department in Geneva, said, “The pieces which make up the Schmid & Muller Collection are of huge ... More

Important Umetada School Sukashi Presentation Arrowheads (Yanone), by Umetada Motoshige, Edo period (17th century), valued at U.S. $8,000-$12,000. Photo: Bonhams.

NEW YORK, NY.- Bonhams New York will hold the first of a series of sales from The Paul Goodman collection of Japanese arrowheads, swords and fittings on Tuesday, October 20 at 10 a.m. The Goodman Collection of arrowheads boasts not only extensive variety but also numerous examples of the finest quality, featuring no fewer than seven examples made by the master smith, Umetada Motoshige, as well as what is thought to be the largest arrowhead ever forged in Japan. Jeff Olson, head of Bonhams’ Japanese department, said, “The collection is not only breath-taking in quantity but also in quality, material and subject matter. It is simply one of the most comprehensive and finest single-owner collections of arrowheads ever to have been offered at auction." Although the samurai are renowned as swordsmen, it was ... More

Australian Surrealism and its echoes explored in new exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria   Royal Barge now on display again at The National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam   Legacies of Degas and Toledo Ballet celebrated with special exhibition at Toledo Museum of Art

Loudon Sainthill, The actress 1947. Watercolour, pen and ink and coloured inks over pencil (60.0 x 48.0 cm) (image). National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Purchased, 1947, 1770-4 © Loudon Sainthill.

MELBOURNE.- A provocative new NGV exhibition, Lurid Beauty: Australian Surrealism and its Echoes, for the first time explores the Australian story of the 20th century’s most revolutionary art movement and its powerful influence on contemporary art and popular culture. Radical and shocking, Surrealism shook up the Australian art world when it first reached our shores in the 1930s. Inspired by the psychological theories of Sigmund Freud, Surrealist artists sought to challenge artistic conventions, often exploring experimental and playful approaches designed to liberate the unconscious mind. From the Dali-esque dreamscapes of James Gleeson to the hauntingly beautiful photographs of Max Dupain, Lurid Beauty presents more than 230 works traversing painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, fashion, film and ... More

The Royal Barge, also referred to as the ‘Golden Coach of the water,’ was given a thorough overhaul.

AMSTERDAM.- After an eight-year absence, the Royal Barge is once again on display at Het Scheepvaartmuseum. At a spectacular opening event on Wednesday evening, framed by the pipers and drummers of the Marine Corps, the Royal Barge was presented to more than 300 guests. Just one week before this event, the 200-year old barge and its new boathouse were transported across land and water. In the home port of Amsterdam, the doors will be opened to visitors every morning. The director-general of Het Scheepvaartmuseum, Pauline Krikke, is overjoyed at the return of the crown jewel of the museum’s collection. ‘It is a momentous occasion to celebrate the return of the barge after such a long absence,’ she says. ‘The Royal Barge is restored and seaworthy. The museum is incredibly grateful to all the people who helped to make this possible.’ The Royal Barge, also referred to as the ‘Golden Coach of the water,’ ... More

Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917), Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. Bronze with gauze tutu and silk ribbon, on wooden base, modeled 1879–81, cast 1919–21. H. 39 in. (99 cm). The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.45.

TOLEDO, OH.- The lasting appeal and impact of ballet and a great Impressionist artist are celebrated in Degas and the Dance, a new Toledo Museum of Art exhibition opening in October. In 1928 the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) made its first acquisition with endowed funds from its founder, Edward Drummond Libbey. It was a vibrant pastel of ballerinas by French Impressionist artist Edgar Degas (1834-1917). Thirteen years later, the Museum hosted the Toledo Ballet’s presentation of the first excerpts of the “Nutcracker” by an American dance company in the United States. This year the Toledo Ballet marks the 75th anniversary of having the oldest continuously running annual “Nutcracker” in the country. These historical events inspired the Museum to organize Degas and the Dance, an ... More

Painting is nothing but an imitation of human actions. Nicolas Poussin

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Telfair Museums opens "Monet and American Impressionism"
SAVANNAH, GA.- Telfair Museums announced a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition that brings four paintings of French master Claude Monet to Savannah for the first time in the city’s history. Monet and American Impressionism will be on display at the Jepson Center for the Arts from October 16, 2015 -- January 24, 2016. The museum will host a lively, French-country themed opening celebration on October 15 and will offer a variety of speakers, family days, painting workshops, and other activities during the run of the show. “We invite visitors to bask in the open landscapes and idyllic afternoons portrayed in this beautiful exhibition,” said Telfair Museums director and CEO Lisa Grove. “As viewers move through dozens of paintings, they will see how Monet inspired some of the greatest American Impressionists of all time.” Claude Monet (1840-1926) galvanized the work of countless artists as a founder ... More

World's first African contemporary art sale makes multiple world records for Bonhams
LONDON.- Bonhams’ Africa Now sale – the first auction devoted entirely to Contemporary African art – today (15 October) set numerous world records. These included new world records for several major artists: • PEJU ALATISE (Nigerian, born 1975): High Horses triptych, sold for £31,250. • ABDOULAYE KONATÉ (Malian, born 1953): Generation Biométrique no. 5 (2008- 2013), sold for £31,250. • ABOUDIA ABDOULAYE DIARRASSOUBA (Ivorian, born 1983): Untitled (2014), sold for £12,500. Other noteworthy results: • El Anatsui’s Al Haji sold for £146,500, a world record for an El Anatsui wooden sculpture. • William Kentridge’s The Pit sold for £20,000, a world record for a Kentridge monotype. Widely regarded as the best contemporary African artist, it was El Anatsui who led the sale. Al Haji sold for £146,500 to a bidder in the room, setting a new record price for a wooden ... More

Phillips "Frieze Week" auctions total $58.6 million
LONDON.- The ‘Frieze Week’ auctions at Phillips totalled £38,522,675 / $58,694,880 / €51,305,365 selling 99% by value and 86% by lot. • Phillips’ Contemporary Art Evening Sale totalled £31,502,000 / $47,883,040 / €41,897,660 selling 100% by lot. • The Contemporary Art Day Sale totalled £5,992,800 / $9,228,912 / €8,030,352 selling 92% by value and 82% by lot.* • The auction of Lucian Freud etchings from an important American collection totalled £1,027,875 / $1,582,928 / €1,377,353 selling 98% by value by 94% by lot. ** “We are very pleased with tonight’s results,” said Peter Sumner, Head of the Contemporary Art, London of the Contemporary Art Evening Sale. “We sold 100% of our lots to a broad array of buyers. The contemporary market remains a dynamic space with collectors actively engaged across multiple price points. Our international team worked hard ... More

Sheldon Museum of Art names Todd J. Tubutis Associate Director
LINCOLN, NEB.- Todd J. Tubutis has been named Associate Director of the Sheldon Museum of Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “We are thrilled that Todd will take on the important role of associate director at such a pivotal time for Sheldon,” said Wally Mason, director of the museum. “With his extensive knowledge and successful background in museum management and curatorial initiatives, Todd will guide Sheldon in strategic planning and furthering the digitization of its permanent collection.” Tubutis comes to Lincoln from Portland, Ore., where he served as Executive Director of Blue Sky, a nonprofit gallery dedicated to the presentation of international contemporary photography. Most recently, he curated the exhibition “Conflict and Consequence: Photographing War and Its Aftermath,” which is on view at the Wright Museum of Art at Beloit College through ... More

Japan Society announces new gallery Director, Yukie Kamiya, Chief Curator of Hiroshima MoCA
NEW YORK, NY.- Japan Society has announced the appointment of Yukie Kamiya as Director of Japan Society Gallery. A specialist in Japanese contemporary art, Ms. Kamiya has been Chief Curator at the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art (Hiroshima MoCA), Japan, since 2007, where she developed a wide range of contemporary Japanese and international art exhibitions. She will officially step into her position at Japan Society on November 16, 2015. "Japan Society has always been known for presenting challenging, thought provoking and very specialized material, through exhibitions and programming," said Kamiya upon her appointment. "We hope to expand on these core values of the institution, and to convey Japanese art and culture to a broader New York, American, and a global audience." Kamiya began her professional career at the New Museum, ... More

Nationalmuseum Sweden acquires Study of a Lumpsucker attributed to Hendrick Goltzius' circle
STOCKHOLM.- Nationalmuseum has acquired a watercolour study of a male lumpsucker dating from the late 1500s. The drawing is closely connected with the group of nature studies executed by Dutch artist Hendrick Goltzius at around the same time. These were especially popular among contemporary learned collectors of art and naturalia. The newly acquired study is a significant addition to the museum’s important collection of Old Master drawings, and brings new perspectives on the group of autograph Goltzius’ drawings. This expressive, life-size study of a male lumpsucker from the renowned collection of Professor I.Q. van Regteren Altena was long attributed to Dutch artist Hendrick Goltzius (1558-1617). In terms of technique, however, the newly acquired sheet differs from Goltzius’ nature studies, most of which are drawn in coloured chalks, with some wash. ... More

Joan Jonas to be honoured as Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon
LONDON.- American artist Joan Jonas (b. 1936) is announced today as the third artist to be awarded the Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon. The Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon honours the lifetime achievements of one of our greatest artists. The award will be presented to Joan Jonas at a special gala dinner hosted by Whitechapel Gallery Director Iwona Blazwick OBE on 25 February 2016. Joan Jonas lives and works between New York and Cape Breton, U.S. and emerged as a key figure in the performance art and feminist movements of the 60s. The year 1979 saw Jonas’ UK debut at the Whitechapel Gallery. She presented video works and series of live performances titled The Juniper Tree, which incorporated movement, sound, film, mirrors and props in a reinterpretation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale of the same name. Over six prolific decades Jonas has built a reputation as one of ... More

British Airways launches new V&A channel
LONDON.- British Airways is bringing the best of art and design to its customers with the launch of a new Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) channel to global flyers. British Airways is the first airline to launch a dedicated channel of content from the V&A - the world’s greatest museum of art and design - making available a selection of entertaining, informative and beautifully-shot films focusing on the Museum’s magnificent collections and leading artists and designers. The channel features 15 films - many never-before-seen - including interviews with milliner Philip Treacy, illustrator Barbara Nessim and product designer Dieter Rams and profiles on cultural figures including the London fashion designer Alexander McQueen and the Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. The actress Gwendoline Christie chooses her favourite objects in the Museum for a ‘My ... More

Sotheby's S/2 presents "Two Generations: Ink Art by Peng Xiancheng and Peng Wei"
HONG KONG.- Sotheby’s S|2 presents Two Generations: Ink Art by Peng Xiancheng and Peng Wei – A Selling Exhibition at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Gallery from 16 to 29 October 2015. Featuring more than 40 works directly from the artists, Two Generations is the first exhibition to showcase the father-daughter duo in a joint exhibition. While Peng Xiancheng is known for his classical style and Peng Wei a contemporary style, this exhibition presents a tender dialogue between the two generations and reveals the influence each artist has on the other through the common medium of ink. As an award winning artist, Peng Xiancheng is nationally recognised as one of the most distinguished artists in China and celebrated for his mastery of the boneless ink wash technique (painting without outlines) and his spirited, colourful compositions. His fascination with Chinese ink paintings began ... More

Tim Van Laere Gallery in Antwerp opens group exhibition
ANTWERP.- At the Académie française Ingres famously described his curriculum as, 'We will begin by drawing, we shall continue to draw, and then we shall draw some more'. It is undoubtedly the variety and breadth of approaches to drawing that are most clearly evident in this exhibition, ranging from figurative drawing to abstract explorations of the formal and aesthetic properties offered by the medium. Georg Baselitz (b. 1938) work evokes disquieting subjects rendered as a means of confronting the realities of the modern age. His iconic “upside-down” paintings, in which bodies, landscapes, and buildings are inverted within the picture plane, make obvious the artifice of painting. Museum exhibitions include Guggenheim Museum, NY (1995); Galleria Borghese, Rome (2011); Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2011–12); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2015). Gust. ... More

The Portland Museum of Art announces You "Can't Get There From Here: The PMA 2015 Biennial"
PORTLAND, ME.- You Can’t Get There From Here: The 2015 Portland Museum of Art Biennial highlights Maine’s artistic legacies in the making. Curated by Alison Ferris, this year’s Biennial provides a comprehensive overview of the many facets of Maine’s contemporary art scene. The exhibition will be on view through January 3, 2016. Ferris’ career has spanned more than 20 years, and included positions at institutions throughout Maine and the country. She is currently the Curator of the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where she has organized critically acclaimed exhibitions, including the kids are all right: an exhibition about family and photography and Toward Textiles. “We are so honored to work with Alison on this year’s Biennial. She is a curator of uncommon depth of knowledge about contemporary art, whose unique perspective and sensitivity ... More

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On a day like today, Italian sculptor Rembrandt Bugatti was born
August 16, 1884. Rembrandt Bugatti (16 October 1884 - 8 January 1916) was an Italian sculptor, known primarily for his bronze sculptures of wildlife subjects. During World War I he volunteered for paramedical work at a military hospital in Antwerp, an experience which triggered in Bugatti the onset of depression -- aggravated by financial problems -- which eventually caused him to commit suicide on 8 January 1916 in Paris, France. He was only 31 years old. In this image: Rembrandt Bugatti, Lion de Nubie. Bronze. Conceived circa 1909-10 and cast between 1909 and circa 1934 in an edition of only 3 examples. Length 26 1/4 in., 66.8 cm. Est. $1.5/2 million. Photo: Sotheby's.

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