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Johnny Depp's Jean-Michel Basquiat works electrify Christie's sale room

The top lot of the evening was Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Pork (1981), selling over its high estimate for £5,122,500 / $6,838,538 / €6,167,490. A major draw, two works from the Collection of Johnny Depp were a highlight of the night, with Basquiat’s Self Portrait (1981) more than doubling its high estimate to reach £3,554,500 / $4,745,258 / €4,279,618 after a bidding war of 10 phone bidders. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2016.

LONDON.- On 29 June 2016, Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction saw determined bidding in the room and on phones to achieve exceptional sell through rates of 92% by lot and 98% by value with 50% of works selling over estimate and 30% within estimate. The top three works of the night were by American artists that sold globally with buyers in Asia and Europe. Registered bidders from 39 countries across four continents demonstrated the continued demand in the global contemporary market, as well as a proven strength of the domestic market with 10 lots selling to UK-based collectors. The top lot of the evening was Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Pork (1981), selling over its high estimate for £5,122,500 / $6,838,538 / €6,167,490. A major draw, two works from the Collection of Johnny Depp were a highlight of the night, with Basquiat’s Self Portrait (1981) more than doubling its high estimate to reach £3,554,500 / $4, ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

World's largest uncut diamond fails to sell in London   A Plain Art: Centre Pompidou opens new exhibition   Getty Museum launches Art + Ideas podcast

This file photo taken on June 14, 2016 shows a model posing with an uncut 1109-carat diamond named 'Lesedi La Rona', at Sotheby's auction house in London. BEN STANSALL / AFP.

LONDON (AFP).- The world's largest uncut diamond failed to sell at auction in London on Wednesday after the bids fell short of the reserve price. The Lesedi La Rona, a 1,109-carat, tennis ball-sized gem found in Botswana, had been predicted to sell for over $70 million. But the Sotheby's auctioneer failed to persuade bidders to go above $61 million for the jewel, which was discovered in 2015 by the Lucara Diamond Corp. "Though widely admired in the months preceding this evening’s auction, and despite having seen bidding in the salesroom, the Lesedi la Rona failed to reach its reserve price and consequently did not find a buyer tonight," Sotheby's said in a later statement. Sotheby's chairman of jewellery David Bennett had called the diamond "the find of a lifetime." "No rough even remotely of this scale has ever been offered before at public auction," Bennett said ahead of the auction. Precious stones have been fetching ever-higher ... More

Piero Gilardi, Totem domestico 1964. 200 x 200 x 300 cm. Mousse de polyuréthane, polystyrène expansé, peinture. Collection Centre Pompidou, mnam /cci © Piero Gilardi - photo : © François Fernandez.

PARIS.- With « Un art pauvre » (« A Plain Art »), a completely new, multidisciplinary event, the Centre Pompidou proposes an analysis of artistic practices linked with the idea of « plainness » in creation from the Sixties onwards: not only in the visual arts, of course, with the prominent Arte Povera movement, but also in the field of music, design, architecture, theatre, performance and experimental cinema. Sensitive to traces, reliefs and the most elementary manifestations of life, the artists of the Arte Povera movement, and more largely of « plain art », drew on every kind of archaic gesture. They all frequently used natural and waste materials. And though none of them wanted to make gold from straw or rags, all of them sought to establish a new symbolic power. This form of recycling was not so much a creed as a practice ; it was originally an opposition to American minimalism. Arte Povera came about through emulation, not thr ... More

St. John the Evangelist (detail), about 1625–28, Frans Hals. Oil on canvas. The J. Paul Getty Museum. Design: Copyright 2016 J. Paul Getty Trust.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Getty today launched Art + Ideas, a regular podcast featuring J. Paul Getty Trust President and CEO James Cuno in conversation with creative thinkers about their work. The podcast launched with six episodes featuring ceramicist and author Edmund de Waal, architect Frank Gehry, MOCA Chief Curator Helen Molesworth, archeologist Colin Renfrew, and art historians T.J. Clark and Yve-Alain Bois. Upcoming episodes feature poet and musician Patti Smith and artist Charles Ray, among others. “Through my work at the Getty, I have the great privilege of meeting smart people working on exciting things, and these podcasts are my way of sharing these stories and ideas with interested audiences,” said Cuno. Over the past several months, Cuno has recorded conversations with scholars, curators, conservators, architects, artists and authors about their work, their interests, and issues relating to the arts and the work of ... More

Vancouver-based artist Douglas Coupland looking for Van Gogh lookalike   "Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection" opens in Sydney   Previously inaccessible materials from Kubrick's estate provide an in-depth view of the filmmaker's life and work

Van Gogh lookalike.

VANCOUVER, BC.- I’m Douglas Coupland, a writer and artist based in Vancouver, Canada. I'm currently crowd-sourcing the planet looking for the head of Vincent Van Gogh — or rather, his closest lookalike. The head that comes closest will become the source material for a large bronze sculpture commission. I'm learning that most people have someone in their life who looks like Vincent van Gogh. It could be your next door neighbour. It could be a guy at work. It could be you. I’m asking people to submit photos of their suggested candidate to the website The one person who the artist thinks best resembles Vincent van Gogh, will be given €5,000 euros and will be flown with a guest to Vancouver for a unique experience. They will be 3D-scanned and their facial data will become Vincent van Gogh’s likeness on Coupland’s final 2 meter by 3 meter sculpture, forever immortalizing them in bronze and on a plaque bearing the lookalike’s name. The Vincent van Gogh br ... More

Bernard Silberstein Frida paints self-portrait while Diego observes 1940. The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Mexican Art © Bernard Silberstein.

SYDNEY.- The Art Gallery of New South Wales is presenting Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, an exhibition that explores the art - and the relationship - of one of art history’s most celebrated couplings. Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection brings together 33 works by the artists as well as three short films; personal letters and 57 photographs documenting Kahlo and Rivera’s lives. The exhibition considers the fruits of their companionship from their artistic output, to their public personas and impact on popular culture. Dr Michael Brand, director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, said the exhibition presents an important opportunity for Australian audiences across the nation. “It has been more than a decade since either Kahlo or Rivera’s work has been seen in ... More

A Clockwork Orange, directed by Stanley Kubrick (GB/United States; 1970-71). Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell). © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1965–68), and A Clockwork Orange (1971) are just a few of Stanley Kubrick’s films that are now considered to be among the most enduring and influential masterpieces in motion picture history. Eccentric in his choice of story, he often probed the extreme limits of the human condition, giving “the world a violent kick up the next rung of the evolutionary ladder,” as film critic David Denby once wrote. A meticulous craftsman, Kubrick exerted complete artistic control over his projects, overseeing filming, writing, editing, and music composition, and in doing so, both reconceived the genres in which he worked and advanced major technological innovations within the art form. The exhibition, the first dedicated to Kubrick’s life and work, presents ... More

Elvis Presley guitarist Scotty Moore dies at 84   Joslyn Art Museum announces intended gift of fifty works   Hyde acquires Lake George watercolor by Modernist John Marin

This file photo taken on July 4, 2004 shows musician Scotty Moore. Mike BROWN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP.

NEW YORK (AFP).- Scotty Moore, Elvis Presley's first guitarist who was credited with changing the role of the guitar in pop music, has died at home in Tennessee. He was 84. "I'm very sorry to report that Scotty died at home on the morning of June 28," said a brief statement on his website. "No public service is planned at this time," it added. Born Winfield Scott Moore III on his family's Tennessee farm on December 27, 1931, he was the youngest of four boys. Moore began playing the guitar aged eight and enlisted in the Navy at just 16 in 1948, lying about his age. He served in Korea and China before being discharged four years later. In 1954, he was playing with a country band and recording at Sun Records in Memphis, when the label's owner introduced him to Elvis, kicking off what would become a 14-year career as Presley's guitarist and first manager. Moore's hits with Presley included "Heartbreak Hotel," "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog," and he also appeared in several of his films. ... More

Frank Stella (American, b. 1936), Nogaro, 1982 (detail), from the Circuit series (2nd version), mixed media on aluminum, 115 x 120 x 24 inches, Gift of the Phillip Schrager Collection of Contemporary Art from Terri, Harley, and Beth Schrager, 2014.2

OMAHA, NE.- Joslyn Art Museum announced today that it has executed a letter of intent documenting an intended gift of fifty works from the Phillip G. Schrager Collection of Contemporary Art. The intended gift is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions. Over more than sixty years living and working in Omaha, Schrager (1937–2010) built an impressive collection of contemporary art that is nationally renowned. As part of Joslyn’s permanent collection, the public will have unprecedented access to the Schrager Collection. “This is nothing less than a transformative gift — the single most important gift of art to Joslyn Art Museum since its founding days, and one that instantly propels our Museum to a new position on the international museum stage,” noted Becker. “The Schrager Collection greatly expands the range of contemporary art and artists ... More

John Marin, American, 1870-1953, Lake George, 1928 (detail), watercolor over pencil on heavy paper, 16 3/4 × 21 3/4 in. The Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, New York, Museum Purchase with funds from the Charles R. Wood Acquisition Fund, 2016.1 @2016 Estate of John Marin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photograph Courtesy Sotheby's.

GLENS FALLS, NY.- The Hyde Collection announced today that it has acquired a watercolor by the leading early American Modernist John Marin (1872-1953) titled Lake George. The painting, which depicts a view from Bolton Landing, was purchased at Sotheby's auction house on June 9 with support from the Museum’s Charles R. Wood Acquisition Fund, and it marks the first major outright purchase of a work of art by The Hyde in a generation. It is also the first work by John Marin to enter the permanent collection. Marin was a major figure in early American Modernism, best known for his inventive watercolors. His work is held in private collections and prestigious museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Museum ... More

Record-setting Fine European Art brings $1.3+ million at Heritage Auctions   Bidding soars at Bonhams as Audrey Hepburn's revealing letters go under the hammer   Stedelijk Museum receives major donation by art collector Thomas Borgmann

Guillaume Seignac (French, 1870-1924), Le secret d'Amour (detail). Oil on canvas, 61-1/4 x 37-1/2 inches.

DALLAS, TX.- Le secret d'amour, a grand scale, turn-of-the-century work by French Academic painter Guillaume Seignac set a world record for the artist when it sold for $250,000 to the phone following feverish bidding in Heritage Auctions' $1.3+ million Fine European Art auction in Dallas. First exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1903, Seignac's life-size composition features an enchanting nymph who fixes the viewer in a hypnotic gaze while a cherubic Cupid levitates beside her, whispering love's secrets into her ear. The exceptionally fine draftsmanship and color harmonies in this painting earned the artist a Third Class medal at the Salon. Held in a private Dallas collection for the past 45 years, this masterwork, epitomizing the powerful influence of William Bouguereau on Seignac's classicizing style and subject matter, sold for four times its pre-auction estimate. “This auction featured many artworks that have not been ... More

Bonhams auction saw Audrey Hepburn’s revealing letters sell for more than twice their estimate, achieving £11,250. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- A collection of letters written by Audrey Hepburn during the most dramatic decade of her life has sold at Bonhams for more than twice their estimate, achieving £11,250. Written between 1951 and 1960, the letters reveal a tumultuous time in the actress’s private life as she dealt with her stratospheric rise from an unknown, struggling ballerina to one of the most famous faces on Earth. Hepburn’s broken off engagement, marriage, and birth of her first child are all recorded in her characteristic schoolgirl handwriting. “Would you believe it,” she wrote in 1951, as a girl of 22, “I’m in Monte Carlo working on a French picture. The place is heavenly and this is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.” She was filming for ‘Monte Carlo Baby’, one of her very first movies, just two years before she was picked to star in her breakthrough film, ‘Roman Holiday’. A year later, Audre ... More

Matt Mullican_Subject Driven (Detail)_2008

AMSTERDAM.- The Stedelijk Museum announced that German collector Thomas Borgmann (1942) is donating a large number of works to the museum. The generous gift includes over 600 works by: Cosima von Bonin (DE, 1962), Enrico David (IT, 1966), Thomas Eggerer (DE, 1963), Cerith Wyn Evans (UK, 1958), Jack Goldstein (CA, 1945-2003), Jutta Koether (DE, 1958), Michael Krebber (DE, 1954), Lucy McKenzie (UK, 1977), Matt Mullican (US, 1951), Henrik Olesen (DK, 1967), Paulina Olowska (PL, 1976), Jorge Pardo (CU, 1963), Jeroen de Rijke/Willem de Rooij (NL, 1970-2006 und 1969), John Stezaker (UK, 1948), Wolfgang Tillmans (DE, 1968), Christopher Williams (US, 1956) und Heimo Zobernig (AT, 1958). The works in the donation are by an impressive roster artists who made their international breakthroughs in the 1990s and 2000s and now rank among the world’s most acclaimed artistic figures. Borgmann built the collection with perspicacity ... More

More News
PULSE Contemporary Art Fair announces its PLAY Curators for Miami Beach 2016
NEW YORK, NY.- PULSE Contemporary Art Fair announced its Miami Beach 2016 PLAY curators and an open call for video and digital art submissions, marking the first time in the history of PLAY that entries have been extended to non-exhibitors.​ PLAY serves as a platform for discovery within the digital realm and is a dedicated program for video and new media works. The new open call will allow a broad range of artists the opportunity to submit video and digital art for consideration ultimately resulting in a diverse and dynamic range of works for curatorial review. Jasmine Wahi and Rebecca Jampol, Co-Founders and Directors of Gateway Project Spaces and its non-profit gallery Project for Empty Space, will curate PLAY along with reviewing and adjudicating all submissions. Wahi and Jampol jointly run Gateway, which is a highly competitive residency program, and the gallery in ... More

Solo exhibition of paintings by Beijing-based artist and animator Zhang Gong opens at Klein Sun Gallery
NEW YORK, NY.- Klein Sun Gallery is pleased to announce “The Watcher,” a solo exhibition of paintings by Beijing-based artist and animator Zhang Gong, on view from June 30 through August 19, 2016. This marks the artist’s fourth exhibition with the gallery and shows his first new body of work since 2012. Zhang Gong is best known for his appropriated figurative paintings featuring a coterie of oddball characters. In these paintings, iconic symbols of pop culture – South Park characters, Michael Jackson, Mickey Mouse, Wallace and Gromit – as well as Zhang Gong’s own creations, replace human figures within familiar artworks such as Edward Hopper’s 'Nighthawks,' and George Seurat’s 'Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.' With his paintbrush, Zhang Gong rewrites the archaic narrative of art history by rendering these scenes in explicit contemporary ... More

Kris Sanford re-contextualizes vernacular photographs in exhibition at Elizabeth Houston Gallery
NEW YORK, NY.- In our modern world, identity is everything. We thirst for organized nomenclature and merited affiliation within groups of our own society. Not only the desire but the need to belong to a group is almost universally seen in civilizations around the world. Through the Lens of Desire, artist Kris Sanford challenges viewers to find their own sense of belonging in the world by focusing on universal relationships between two people that are photographed together and understanding the significance of the relationships we all share. In this series, her work aims to explicitly focus on the fictionalization of the collection of photographs. The idea for this series began after Sanford was gifted a collection of old photographs from her grandmother. Finding an image of her grandmother and a friend pictured at a costume party with one wearing a sailor’s outfit and the other a wedding ... More

Wendy Mayer opens second solo exhibition at Charlie Smith London
LONDON.- Charlie Smith London presents Wendy Mayer’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. Mayer is known for her uncanny sculptures where she employs painted vinyl or painted cast wax to present figures with unparalleled veracity. In this exhibition Mayer uses Angela Carter’s ‘A Curious Room’ as her starting point. Carter described her Curious Room as a metaphorical space where all the secrets of a person’s life are stored, and asserted that life is a process of trying to find it in order to rediscover or remember them. Mayer’s Curious Room is a collection of sculptures that reveal the subconscious impact of half-forgotten personal rites of passage. As the artist states: ‘I am a deeply private person and am often surprised and horrified to discover that my work discloses aspects of my personality and past that I would probably prefer to stay hidden.’ This unconscious revelation of drive ... More

Chicago-based painter Margot Bergman exhibits at Anton Kern Gallery
NEW YORK, NY.- For her debut solo exhibition in New York, Anton Kern Gallery has invited Chicago-based painter Margot Bergman (b.1934) to present a body of recent portraits. Paired with Bergman’s work is a selection of early drawings and paintings by Brian Calvin (b.1969), from the Popeye series created during his time in Chicago in the early 1990s. These side by side exhibitions depict the human figure and all its grotesque facets, and reflect the painterly Neo-Expressionist sensibilities of the Chicago art scene. With an emphasis on building up paint, working and reworking their materials, both artists create layers; Bergman in a physical sense and Calvin in a more figurative sense. Margot Bergman builds layers of paint atop found artworks. The interplay between elements of the found works she exposes and her own additions creates distorted and ... More

A+D Architecture + Design Museum appoints Dora Epstein Jones as new Executive Director
LOS ANGELES, CA.- The A+D Architecture + Design Museum > Los Angeles, located in the Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) Arts District, announced today the appointment of its new Executive Director, Dora Epstein Jones. Epstein Jones joins the museum as A+D continues to grow as an important hub for design in Los Angeles and worldwide. With her comprehensive knowledge and institutional experience, Epstein Jones will be focused on spearheading the museum in its vision to be locally focused and globally relevant. “As only the second executive director in the museum’s 15-year history, Dora joins A+D at a crucial time,” said Eric Stultz, A+D board president and Gensler design principal. “Her intelligence, and passion for all things design, and enthusiasm for A+D have already had an impact. The Board is thrilled to have Dora on ... More

Chicago Invites Chicago: A group exhibition opens at Galerie Lelong
NEW YORK, NY.- Galerie Lelong presents Chicago Invites Chicago, a group exhibition highlighting the richness of contemporary artistic practices within a city that has fostered significant artist groups such as Monster Roster and the Chicago Imagists. Three Chicago-based artists were asked to invite another artist from their community whose practice they admire to show in the exhibition. McArthur Binion (b. 1946) presents new work from his DNA: Seasons series, featuring hand-applied oil stick over copies of his birth certificate and address books. The resulting autobiographical abstractions forged from his personal narrative set him apart from conventional Minimalism, while still employing formal techniques of the movement. For the exhibition, Binion has in turn invited painter John Phillips (b. 1953), a former fellow at the Whitney Museum. The undulating, brightly colored ... More

Indian dreaming: Contemporary artists exhibit at the Artcurial library
PARIS.- From June 23rd to August 28th 2016, Artcurial is paying tribute to contemporary Indian artistic creation. Throughout the summer, amongst the various cultural events organised at the Artcurial library, the auction house hosts an exhibition called, Indian dreaming, Contemporary Artists, the Invention of a Tradition. Nineteen artworks, mainly paper, have been gathered and signed by nine Indian artists including Jivya Soma Mashe, Jangarh Singh Shyam and Ram Singh Urveti. In India, contemporary art from local culture is known as ‘popular’ contemporary art. Just like ‘outsider’ art, this original style of popular art is becoming more and more visible on the international art scene and can be viewed at the Venice biennale and Hayward gallery in London. Two Parisian exhibitions have also contributed to the international success of this type of art: Les magiciens de la Terre ... More

Automaton triple fusee bracket clock plus exceptional Asian prices fuel 2nd highest sale in Clars' history
OAKLAND, CA.- On Saturday and Sunday, June 18th and 19th, 2016, Clars Auction Gallery hosted what would result in the firm’s second largest sale in their 44 year history. Over $3 million was realized throughout the course of the two-day event with Decorative Arts and exceptional Asian offerings each vying for top category realizing over $1.2 million each. After the sale, President Redge Martin noted, “there was exceptionally strong bidding throughout the sale with a number of surprises as there often are at auction.” The top lot of the entire sale was a very rare and beautiful Chinese Automaton Triple Fusee Bracket Clock which sold to a phone bidder for an impressive $929,000 and was the highest single lot ever sold at auction by Clars. The clock measured 36 inches tall and the gilt bronze case was embellished with ... More

Smithsonian celebrates Panama Canal expansion
WASHINGTON, DC.- The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute celebrated with Panama the completion of the Panama Canal expansion project June 26. The $5.6 billion engineering effort allows ships with triple the carrying-capacity of current vessels to transit the canal. The enterprise gave Smithsonian scientists unique opportunities to study two global-scale experiments: a natural, intercontinental land bridge bisected by a man-made, inter-oceanic pathway. They studied fossils, invasive species, whale migration routes, environmental services and changing climate. STRI staff scientist Carlos Jaramillo along with Bruce McFadden, curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, led the five-year Panama Canal Paleontology Project funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation to salvage fossils uncovered by the earthmovers. The fossils reveal ... More

Stars shine at Bonhams Post-War and Contemporary Sale
LONDON.- Bonhams led the Post-War and Contemporary Art season with its sale at New Bond Street on 29 June. A spectacular Andy Warhol painting of Chairman Mao, said to be the finest version of the subject he ever executed, estimated at £580,000-780,000, sold for £1,070,500. The sale as a whole made £3,877,175. The sale also featured Banksy’s SWAT Van, a spray-painted van, one of his most important and arresting pieces, estimated £200,000-300,000, which sold for £218,500. Other major highlights included a medicine cabinet by Damien Hirst (estimated £180,000-250,000; sold for £314,500), and Stamens Sorrow by Yayoi Kusama estimated £65,000-85,000 which sold for £120,100. Following a fierce bidding war in the telephones, the ethereal Untitled 1949 by Zao Wou-Ki sold for £542,500 against an estimate of £80,000-120,000. Bonhams ... More

DICKINSON - Masterpiece 2016 - Tom Wesselmann - 1962 plus 35 Nude Sketch II, 1997

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