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Marie Antoinette pendant fetches $36 million, shattering estimate

In this file photo taken on October 11, 2018, jewelry worn by French Queen Marie Antoinette, including the pearl and diamond pendant shown here, is displayed at Sotheby's auction house in New York City. A pearl and diamond pendant owned by Marie Antoinette before she was beheaded during the French revolution sold for $36 million at an auction on Wednesday, November 14, 2018, shattering its estimated sale price of up to $2 million. Overall, the 10-piece collection owned by the ill-fated queen and unseen in public for two centuries exponentially beat expectations at the Geneva auction offered by Sotheby's. Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP.

by Ben Simon

GENEVA.- A pearl and diamond pendant owned by Marie Antoinette before she was beheaded during the French Revolution sold for $36 million at an auction on Wednesday, shattering its pre-sale estimate of up to $2 million. The Sotheby's auction at an ultra-luxurious hotel on the banks of Lake Geneva saw feverish bidding for a 10-piece collection owned by the ill-fated queen, featuring jewels unseen in public for two centuries. The 10 items, which had been estimated to fetch a total of roughly $3 million, sold for a combined sum of nearly $43 million, Sotheby's said. A diamond brooch pegged to go for roughly $80,000 (70,000 euros) sold for $1.75 million, excluding fees, one of several pieces that brought in more than 20 times its estimated worth. But the highlight was the pendant featuring an oval diamond and drop-shaped pearl, which Sotheby's said went to an anonymous, private buyer, without giving further details. Sotheby's also said the pendant set a new record ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Artcurial to offer three exceptional pieces signed by the Irish designer Eileen Gray   Pace opens the first exhibition of Richard Tuttle's work in Geneva   The Morgan acquires drawings by major twentieth-century African-American artists from the South

Eileen Gray, Fauteuil Bibendum, Circa 1927-1929 Artcurial.

PARIS.- On November 27th 2018, during its prestigious 2nd semester Art Deco auction, Artcurial will present 3 works from the most in demand designer in the world: Eileen Gray. A console completed toward 1918-1920 (estimate: €1M - 1,2M), a floor lamp from 1925 (estimate: €300,000 - 400,000), and one of the 12 only examples in the world of the famous Bibendum armchair (estimate: €500,000 - 600,000). All three pieces are extremely sought after by collectors as they have been exhibited at the Pompidou Center during the monographic exhibition dedicated to Eileen Gray in 2013. These museum quality pieces are already subject to a new loan request for a monographic exhibition to be held in New York in 2020. Eileen Gray, considered at times an iconic Art-Deco decorator, sometimes an emblematic modernist architect, figures among the major designers of the twentieth century. Painter by trade, the designer was born in 1878, applying her ... More

Richard Tuttle, They Don't Come Out To You, I, 2017. Aluminum, tape, and screws, 11" 8-3/4" 10-1/2" (27.9 cm 22.2 cm 26.7 cm) Richard Tuttle, courtesy The Pace Gallery.

GENEVA.- Pace is presenting the gallery’s first exhibition of Richard Tuttle’s work in Geneva, at Quai des Bergues, from 14 November 2018 to 10 January 2019. The exhibition features a selection of Tuttle’s recent works, including remarkable pieces from the Epigrams series. Tuttle is one of the most significant artists working today. Since the mid-1960s, he has created an extraordinarily varied body of work that eludes historical or stylistic categorization. Tuttle’s work exists in the space between painting, sculpture, poetry and drawing. Language, spatial relationship, and scale are also central concerns for the artist. “I use the material to question itself, or to question the very thing, which is already “the picture,” I think. But I may have fallen in love during this long process, not to mention my response to the sensuality of things, to seeing how the thing is embedded in ... More

Nellie Mae Rowe, (1900 - 1982), Untitled, 1981. 24 x 19 in.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Morgan Library & Museum announced the acquisition of eleven drawings by five major twentieth-century African-American artists from the South. Largely self-taught, these artists—Thornton Dial, Nellie Mae Rowe, Henry Speller, Luster Willis, and Purvis Young—use drawing to express their personal and cultural identity, finding inspiration in their own lives, as well as in common experiences and folk imagery. The Morgan acquired the drawings through a gift-purchase agreement from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, whose mission is to preserve and promote the works of African-American artists from the Southern United States. This acquisition supports the Morgan’s goal to expand the scope and depth of its collection of modern and contemporary drawings by including works from the vernacular, nonacademic traditions of the visual arts. It recognizes the important contribution made to the history of drawing by artists workin ... More

Ana Mazzei's first solo show at Green Art Gallery opens in Dubai   Auction of The Patricia and Donald Oresman Collection at Doyle   After Gabo book purge, Kuwait bans Dostoyevsky

Ana Mazzei, Tongue I-II, 2018, Painted Wood (Chene Oak, Acajou and Pine), 80 x 31 x 13,5 cm (I), 91 x 13,5 x 44 cm (II). Courtesy of the artist and Green Art Gallery, Dubai. Photo: Sebastiano Pellion.

DUBAI.- In her first solo exhibition at Green Art Gallery, Ana Mazzei fully embraces the notion of theatricality and spectatorship, both very central to her practice, to present a group of new works specifically created for the space. Titled Antechamber, the show is staged as an intermediary space between the real world outside the gallery and an imaginary ‘other space’. Walking along this in-between space, viewers have to negotiate their way through clusters of works that seem to play different parts in a series of acts that occur simultaneously. However, narrative content - as is characteristic in Mazzei’s work - is only insinuated through fragments of recognizable and often quite archaic or mythological forms or figures that suggest non-linear, incomplete plots suspended in time. In some cases, such as Royale, one single sculptural form is presented on top of a circular ... More

Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997), Nude Reading, Color relief print, 1994 (detail). Est. $60,000-90,000.

NEW YORK, NY.- Doyle will auction the Collection of quintessential New Yorkers Patricia and Donald Oresman on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 at 10am. Comprising over 500 lots, this remarkable collection showcases the works of prominent artists, popular illustrators and renowned photographers. The paintings, sculptures, works on paper, prints and photographs span several decades, movements and mediums. Each work shares a common theme: Reading. Throughout the collection, figures can be spotted in the act of reading, writing, printing and studying, many fully engrossed in literature. Not coincidentally, the works are a reflection of the Oresmans themselves -- a long-married couple who could often be found sitting among their books, fully engrossed in literature. Naturally, their love of reading informed their acquisitions. Their constantly growing art collection complemented a massive private library, designed by noted New York architects Fairfax & Sammons ... More

Portrait of Dostoevsky by Vasily Perov, 1872.

KUWAIT CITY (AFP).- Kuwaiti authorities have banned a book by Russian literary giant Fyodor Dostoyevsky, one of nearly 1,000 titles blacklisted at a festival which opened Wednesday in the Gulf state. Saad al-Anzi, who heads the Kuwait International Literary Festival, told AFP the information ministry had banned 948 books including Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, a novel set in 19th century Russia that explores morality, free will and the existence of God. Dostoyevsky joins a growing list of writers banned in the relatively moderate Gulf state, where a conservative trend in politics and society is rising. More than 4,000 books have been blacklisted by Kuwait's information ministry over the past five years, including Victor Hugo's "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" and "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez -- Gabo to his fans. All titles on show at the 43rd edition of Kuwait's book fair, which runs through November 24, were screened in advance by a censorship committee ... More

Martin Parr Foundation launches membership scheme   Heather James Fine Art opens an exhibition of paintings by artist Sam Francis   Tens of thousands of people gather on beaches around the UK for Danny Boyle's Armistice Day commission

Martin Parr by Louis Little.

LONDON.- The Martin Parr Foundation are launching a membership scheme to support the Foundation whilst simultaneously increasing access to, and building a community around the Foundation’s work. Three tiers of membership are available with benefits ranging from invitations to private views, priority booking for events, an exclusive signed print, and a portrait session with Martin Parr. The Martin Parr Foundation was established in 2014 and opened to the public in an architect-designed space in Bristol last year. Nearly 10,000 people are estimated to have visited the Foundation in its inaugural year to view exhibitions by Martin Parr, Niall McDiarmid, Paul Trevor and David Hurn’s ‘Swaps’, and to attend often sold-out events including a seminar day and talks by international photographers such as Don McCullin, Susan Meiselas, Michael Christopher Brown, Sin Davey, Simon Roberts, Bieke Depoorter and P ... More

Sam Francis, A Whirling Square - SFP75-3, 1975 (detail). Acrylic on canvas, 222 x 210 in. Heather James Fine Art.

PALM DESERT, CA.- An exhibition of paintings by the acclaimed California artist Sam Francis will be on view at Heather James Fine Art, Palm Desert, from November 15, 2018, through April 29, 2019. Drawing upon diverse influences including Fauvism, French Impressionism and Modernism, Color Field painting, and Japanese calligraphy, Francis is considered a central figure of the second generation of Abstract Expressionists whose pioneering style helped to establish the movement on the West Coast and internationally. Comprising over 28 paintings and works on paper, spanning from 1955 to 1994, Sam Francis: From Dusk to Dawn includes works from the Sam Francis Foundation, and Kaare Berntsen Collection, among others. Featuring 18 paintings completed shortly before the artist's ... More

Pages of the Sea. Photo: Paul Harris.

LONDON.- On 11 November, tens of thousands of people took part in Pages of the Sea – a commission by filmmaker Danny Boyle inviting people to gather on thirty-two beaches around the UK for a nationwide gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores during the First World War. The work marks the culmination of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary. Taking place on Armistice Day, the project saw tens of thousands of people join in a series of community-led events on thirty-two beaches around the country A new, inclusive and collaborative way to pay tribute to those who gave their lives to the First World War Social media reach was over 130 million Thousands took part in community projects in the preceding weeks, discovering their local history A livestream of the Folkestone event was on the BBC News homepage for most of the day Pages of the Sea is ... More

Exhibition explores the significance and effect of cryptocurrencies and data within our global economy   Pinakothek der Moderne opens exhibition of works by Jonathan Meese   Dix Noonan Webb sale spans 2,000 years of jewellery history

Superflex, Connect with me (Rendering), 2018, courtesy the artists, photo by Conwisch Tunet.

BASEL.- Von Bartha presents their third solo exhibition from Copenhagen-based art collective SUPERFLEX, running from 16 November 2018 to 19 January 2019. Taking its title from the slogan of Falcon bank - the first in the world to trade with bitcoin - the exhibition explores the significance and effect of cryptocurrencies and data within our global economy. Since its release in 2009, bitcoin’s value and trade has increased considerably. The inability of governments or financial institutions to control cryptocurrencies has led to unstable and unpredictable values, constantly varying at a staggering rate. Designed specifically for von Bartha’s Basel gallery space, Connect with me is a new, five-part sculptural installation revealing the precise fluctuations of the value of bitcoin over an 18 month period. Advancing and retracting, ascending and descending, a three dimensional blue line unfolds ... More

Jonathan Meese. Photo: Jrg Koopmann.

MUNICH.- Jonathan Meese (b. 1970 in Tokyo and based in Berlin) is one of the most internationally renowned and polarizing artists of his generation. His world views and reflections on mythology and the power of art are voiced not only in the mediums of painting, sculpture, installation, and performance; Meese also uses language as a material, incorporating into his work devices like onomatopoeia and literary tropes. Jonathan Meese’s use of image and text – both playful and thoughtful at once – is at the focal point of this exhibition, which includes works from the last twenty-five years. At the core of the exhibition are 18 paintings from a series that the artist, until now, has deliberately kept for himself. Several of the paintings on display are being revealed to the public for the first time. Selected works from German private collections enhance the presentation. In addition, 25 spatial models and small sculptures, as well as approximately 75 drawings, photo collages, and ar ... More

A Victorian serpent bangle is estimated at up to 15,000.

LONDON.- A superb selection of pieces ranging from Roman times to fine modern designers will be on offer when Dix Noonan Webb starts the London Christmas season of auctions with its sale of Jewellery, Watches and Objects of Vertu in Mayfair on 29 November 2018. The auction will include fine diamond and gem set jewellery, antique and antiquarian jewels, pieces by Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Boucheron, Tiffany & Co, Charles de Temple, Mosheh Oved, Georg Jensen and watches by makers including Rolex, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Piaget and Chopard. One of the highlights of the sale is a medieval silver vesica matrix seal found by a metal detectorist in Hampshire. The seal, of marquise outline, bears the motto ‘Servo secretum dominimex’ meaning ‘I keep secrets’, and is inset with a carnelian seal depicting the bust of Hercules which dates from the 1st century AD/ 1st century BC. The legend ... More

There is no progress in art. Ilia Ehrenburg

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Thaier Helal presents his latest works at Ayyam Gallery Dubai
DUBAI.- Ayyam Gallery Dubai is presenting Beneath the Rubble, a solo exhibition by artist Thaier Helal presenting his latest works. Beneath the Rubble, a continuation of his extensive series Landmarks, highlights Syrian born artist Thaier Helal’s latest experiments in abstraction. As his creative observation deepens within these structural mixed media works, the artist also makes reference to the tragic changes happening within his native country. This leads him to pose radical questions as he addresses a myriad of subjects concerning our existence, meaning and the current state of bitterness that drains our mind and soul. Helal’s expressionistic patterns and vigorously built up canvases are marked by ruggedness and harmony. He takes on a process of trial and error until he reaches a unique visual manifestation of his individual perception of beauty. The dominant use of white ... More

42nd Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair set to open at the Hynes Convention Center
BOSTON, MASS.- The annual fall gathering for booklovers, the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair returns to the Hynes Convention Center in Boston’s beautiful Back Bay for its 42nd year, November 16-18, 2018. Featuring the collections and rare treasures of 132 booksellers from the U.S., England, Canada, Netherlands, France, Germany, Russia, Denmark, and Argentina, the Boston Book Fair gives visitors the opportunity to see, learn about, and purchase the finest in rare and valuable books, illuminated manuscripts, autographs, graphics, maps, atlases, photographs, fine and decorative prints, and much more. Special events at this year’s Fair include Documentary Filmmaker Frederick Wiseman on the making of Ex Libris: The New York Public Library; political guru Michael Goldman on 1968: The Year of the Century; Sumio Yamazaki from the Kyoto ... More

Eddie Martinez explores addition by subtraction in new exhibition at the Bronx Museum of the Arts
BRONX, NY.- The Bronx Museum of the Arts is presenting White Outs, an exhibition by artist Eddie Martinez, which is on view November 14, 2018 through February 17, 2019. Widely recognized for his large-scale paintings, Martinez has built a consistent body of work over the last decade, successfully merging the tradition of American abstract painting with the energy of the street. These paintings began as Sharpie drawings, then were blown-up, silkscreened, and painted over in a careful, yet unfailingly dynamic, process of layering and expansion. In these new works, created especially for this exhibition, Martinez introduces a new element to his process—the “whiting out” of parts of the composition. It is a move that represents a significant turning point in his career. Erasure has been an important practice since the origins of art. X-rays of paintings ... More

Exhibition of collages, painting and sculpture by Neil Gall opens at New Art Centre
SALISBURY.- New Art Centre opened an exhibition in the Artists House of collages, painting and sculpture by Neil Gall. This body of work is Gall’s first show at the New Art Centre and presents a dialogue between his collages based on The Studio magazine and his collage inspired cut-out paintings. Gall was first given copies of The Studio by his secondary-school art teacher, which has inspired him to make an ongoing series of collages, using the original magazine covers and adding his own interventions with drawings and texts. Together they offer a fascinating window onto the very different art world of the 1940s, 50s and 60s. The works encompass figuration and abstraction, painting and sculpture, colour and black and white, combining drawing, collage and montage, with layering techniques revealed through piercings Gall cuts into the publication, ... More

G. Harvey painting sets new world record to lead Heritage Auctions' American Art Auction above $4 million
DALLAS, TX.- G. (Gerald Harvey Jones) Harvey’s When Cowboys Don't Change, 1993 sold for $516,500, surpassing the previous world record for a painting by the artist and claiming top-lot honors in Heritage Auctions’ American Art auction Nov. 8 in Dallas, Texas. With 11 lots bringing six-figure results, the total for the auction, which boasted a sell-through rate of 90.32 percent by value, climbed to $4,010,875. "We witnessed feverish and competitive bidding across categories, especially in the arenas of Western Art and Golden Age Illustration,” Heritage Auctions' Director of American Art Aviva Lehmann said. "We had multiple bidders on each of our top lots and are thrilled with the results. Not only were records set, but we found wonderful new homes for terrific material.” Legendary American artist Norman Rockwell produced three of the auction's ... More

Clarke Auction Gallery will offer a wide-ranging auction on December 2
LARCHMONT, NY.- Clarke Auction Gallery will offer a wide-ranging auction on Sunday, December 2, at 10 am, running the gamut from Chinese carved furniture to Daum Nancy and Galle vases but fine art will definitely take center stage. Crossing the block early in the sale is an important oil on canvas painting by Gustave Jean Jacquet (French, 1846-1909), circa 1869-70, “Normande Young Girl Holding Chalice,” 39 by 28 inches, ($8/12,000) from a Connecticut estate. Other fine paintings on offer include a playful David Burliuk (Russian, 1882-1967) oil on board painting, “The Man With 13 Pipes,” 12 by 9 inches ($1/1,500) and a colorful Itzchak Tarkay acrylic on canvas, “Women at a Cafe,” 39 by 52 inches ($4/6,000). “We do not run themed auctions. Everything is fresh to market and each sale ranges from fine art and midcentury modern to jewelry and decorative ... More

University of Oregon student curates exhibition of 1950s French artist books
EUGENE, ORE.- The exhibition “Fernand Lger’s ‘Cirque’ and the ‘livre d’artiste’” will be on view from November 17, 2018 through March 22, 2019, at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the University of Oregon campus. This exhibition was curated by Emily Shinn as part of her terminal project as a graduate student in the University of Oregon’s Department of the History of Art and Architecture in the College of Design, under the guidance of Danielle Knapp, McCosh Associate Curator. “I think the exhibition, my experience behind the scenes, and the final product open to the public, will provide a much needed example of an MA terminal project in Art History,” says Shinn. “It demonstrates the relationships possible for students between the Department of the History of Art & Architecture and the JSMA.” On ... More

Keith Haring's Mother and Child achieves top price at Bonhams Post-War & Contemporary Art sale
NEW YORK, NY.- The November 14 sale of Post-War & Contemporary Art was led by Keith Haring’s Mother and Child, 1986, which realized $1,296,500. Appearing on the market for the first time from an esteemed private collection, Mother and Child is a monumental work forged in aluminium that employs the motif of Madonna and Christ in early Christian iconography. Haring created only a few large scale sculptural works before his sudden and untimely death in 1990 from AIDS. Jeremy Goldsmith, Vice President and Director of the Americas, Post-War & Contemporary Art, commented: “There was so much excitement for Keith Haring’s Mother and Child, one of his last monumental sculptures to come to auction for the first time, realizing $1,296,500, doubling its estimate. We saw strong bidding for George Segal’s iconic work, The Dancers, realizing $828,500, and ... More

Norman Rockwell study expected to bring $70-$100k
NEW YORK, NY.- Swann Galleries continues their auction season with Illustration Art on Thursday, December 6. The sale boasts an array of original works rife with nostalgia including children’s literature, American illustration and works from as early as 1817. Ludwig Bemelmans leads a stellar assortment of illustrations from beloved children’s books with Madeline, Miss Clavel and the 11 schoolgirls. The heroine and her friends make an appearance in two illustrations from Madeline in London, 1961, the author’s final Madeline publication. After Everybody had been Fed features Miss Clavel and the girls dancing around Pepito’s birthday cake, and Everyone was in his Bed, shows the headmistress wishing her students a good night. The works demonstrate Bemelmans’ editorial process–the final publication featured different captions for illustrations–each are estimated ... More

The art of Russian lacquer: Freeman's to offer 19th century masterworks from the Taylor Collection
PHILADELPHIA, PA.- Freeman’s Auction will offer a special single owner collection to be held November 29: “The Art of Russian Lacquer: Nineteenth Century Masterworks from the Taylor Collection.” This extraordinary collection of over 300 works by the Lukutin and Vishnyakov factories is likely the most comprehensive private collection of Russian Lacquer ever to come to market. The collection includes boxes, folios, photograph albums, decorative objects, and icons by the most famous prerevolutionary Russian lacquer manufactories. Many are decorated in the pismo po-plotnomu technique–miniature painting in oil–and many of the boxes bear exquisite reductions of some of the most famous Russian paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries, including works by Repin, Makovsky, Rokotov, Kruger, Sverchov, Alexeyev, Vorobyov, Morozov, Venetsianov, and ... More

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On a day like today, American painter Georgia O'Keeffe was born
November 15, 1887. Georgia Totto O'Keeffe (November 15, 1887 - March 6, 1986) was an American artist. She was best known for her paintings of enlarged flowers, New York skyscrapers, and New Mexico landscapes. O'Keeffe has been recognized as the "Mother of American modernism".

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