The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Michael Steinhardt, billionaire, surrenders $70 million in stolen relics

A gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art named for Michael Steinhardt, a prominent collector of antiquities, and his wife, Judy, in Manhattan, March 1, 2019. Gabriela Bhaskar/The New York Times.

by Tom Mashberg

NEW YORK, NY.- Michael H. Steinhardt, a billionaire hedge fund pioneer and one of New York’s most prolific antiquities collectors, has surrendered 180 stolen objects valued at $70 million and been barred for life from acquiring any other relics, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said in a statement Monday. The prosecutor’s office struck an agreement with Steinhardt after a four-year multinational investigation that determined that the seized pieces had been looted and smuggled from 11 countries, trafficked by 12 illicit networks and appeared on the international art market without lawful paperwork, the office said. “For decades, Michael Steinhardt displayed a rapacious appetite for plundered artifacts without concern for the legality of his actions, the legitimacy of the pieces he bought and sold, or the grievous cultural damage he wrought across the globe,” District Attorney Cyrus Vance said. “This agreement establishes that Steinhardt will be subject to an unpre ... More

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First of series of sales from The Karl Lagerfeld Collection is 100% sold   Peter Lynch donates $20 million in art to Boston College   Charlottesville's statue of Robert E. Lee will be melted down

Marie Laurencin, La soeur de Narcisse, 1908.

MONACO.- The first part of the Karl Lagerfeld Estate sale, held live and online in Monaco this weekend was 100% sold, achieving a total of €12 million, far surpassing its pre-sale estimate of €2-3 million. Brought together from his residences in Paris, the Paris region and Monaco, 582 lots representing a cross-section of his personal taste, life and career were offered, spanning everything from design and fine art, to cars to sketches, signature clothing and much more besides. Even before the sales began, almost 1,500 potential bidders from a record 58 countries had registered their interest in the auction, making for deep competition, and exceptional results. A genius couturier who, in half a century, had become an intergenerational rock star, Karl Lagerfeld knew how to make a brand out of his name and his look, mastering the art of reinventing himself and his style throughout his career. Pierre Mothes, Vice President of Sotheby's France, commented ... More

Winslow Homer, 1836–1910, Grace Hoops, 1872. Oil on canvas, 22 x 15 in.

CHESTNUT HILL, MASS.- Peter Lynch, vice chairman of Fidelity Management and Research Company and trustee associate at Boston College, has gifted 27 paintings and three drawings—worth in excess of $20 million—from his and his late wife Carolyn’s private art collection to Boston College’s McMullen Museum of Art, including renowned works from Pablo Picasso, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, Albert Bierstadt, Martin Johnson Heade, and Jack Butler Yeats. The donation includes an additional $5 million grant to support the ongoing curation and exhibition of what will be called the Carolyn A. and Peter S. Lynch Collection, making the total gift one of the largest in University history. Lynch, a 1965 graduate of Boston College, said he donated the art to the McMullen Museum to inspire Boston College students and Museum visitors through ... More

A statue of Robert E. Lee is removed in Charlottesville, Va., on July 10, 2021. Eze Amos/The New York Times.

by Eduardo Medina

NEW YORK, NY.- The City Council of Charlottesville, Virginia, voted Tuesday to donate a statue of Robert E. Lee to an African American heritage center that plans to melt the bronze monument, the focus of a deadly white nationalist rally in 2017, into material for a new piece of public art. The 4-0 vote by the council followed years of debate over the fate of the statue. Four years ago, a plan to remove the statue drew scores of white nationalists to Charlottesville for a “Unite the Right” rally that led to violence, including the killing of a counterprotester by an Ohio man who plowed a car into a crowd. The statue’s fate was left to a prolonged fight in court that concluded in April, when Virginia’s Supreme Court ruled that the city could take down two statues of Confederate generals, including the Lee monument. ... More

Dale Chihuly unveils two-part exhibition in Phoenix and Scottsdale   René Magritte masterpiece achieves $9.9M at Bonhams New York   White-glove sale of Pennsylvania Impressionists confirms Freeman's expertise in single-owner collections

Dale Chihuly, Sol del Citrón, 2014. Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, installed 2021 © 2021 Chihuly Studio. All rights reserved. Photo by Nathaniel Willson.

PHOENIX, AZ.- Dale Chihuly, the American artist renowned for revolutionizing the studio glass movement, debuted a new exhibition, Chihuly in The Desert, in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona on Friday, December 3. The two-part exhibition takes place at Desert Botanical Garden and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Chihuly’s installations harmonize with the beauty and diversity of the environment, showcasing a remarkable confluence of American art and architecture set amid the magnificent backdrop of the Sonoran Desert. Spanning across two iconic Arizona locations, the installations are featured across multiple settings – inside the buildings, on the lawns, in the water, and emerging from the desert itself. The exhibition features new works being shown for the first time and is on view to the public through June 19, 2022. “I’m thrilled to share my work with visitors of these iconic locations,” said Dale Chihuly. ... More

René Magritte (1898 – 1967), Torse nu dans les nuages. Oil on canvas, signed ‘Magritte’ (lower left), 28 1⁄2 x 24 in (71.4 x 61 cm). Painted circa 1937. Sold for $9,978,312.

NEW YORK, NY.- René Magritte’s Torse nu dans les nuages (circa. 1937) achieved $9,978,312 at Bonhams white glove sale of The Collection of Amalia de Schulthess today (Tuesday, December 7), in New York. The work, which had remained unseen for the last 70 years – and had never before been offered at auction – had a pre-sale estimate of $6,000,000 - 9,000,000. Combining the classical and the deeply surreal, Torse nu dans les nuages included two of René Magritte’s signature motifs: clouds and a female torso. The work dates from circa 1937, during the height of the Surrealist movement. It came to Bonhams from the distinguished private collection of Amalia de Schulthess (1918-2021) and led the dedicated single-owner sale of selected works from her impressive collection. Torse nu dans les nuages was notably included in the 1948 Magritte exhibition at the Copley Galleries ... More

The 119-lot auction realized $5.15M total, with an overall sell-through rate of 89%, and delighted international collectors, with 48% of winning bidders using online bidding platforms.

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- Freeman’s announced the results of its exceptional December 5 American Art and Pennsylvania Impressionists auction, which set multiple world records across categories and included the white-glove sale of the distinguished Collection of Virginia and Stuart Peltz. The 119-lot auction realized $5.15M total, with an overall sell-through rate of 89%, and delighted international collectors, with 48% of winning bidders using online bidding platforms. “Sunday’s sale nearly equaled last December’s—the highest-grossing sale of American Art in Freeman’s history,” says Alasdair Nichol, Freeman’s Chairman. “We are delighted to build on such successes, and I am particularly pleased that the sale of the Peltz Collection exceeded all of our—and their—expectations. We already have promising leads and are looking forward to our next American Art ... More

Christie's France Post War and Contemporary Art Live and Online Sales total €19,4 million   Phillips announces Cooler by the Lake: Chicago Art 1965-1985, curated by Karen Lennox   New James Turrell Skyspace is the first to be built into side of a mountain

Pierre Soulages, Peinture 19 mars 2006. Sold for: €1,460,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2021.

PARIS.- The Post War and Contemporary art live and online sales achieved a combined total of €19,373,500, doubling the global pre-sale estimate with sell through rates of 97% by value for the live sale and 100% for the online sale. Leading the sale on 3rd December was the superb painting La Sombreuse, by Jean Paul Riopelle, which was offered at auction for the first time. Exceptional in its size and ambition, this major canvas offered a dazzling symphony of colors and was acquired for €3,740,000. Christie’s holds the artist world record at auction since 2017. This strong result is a nice tribute paid to the artist, while the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ) announced the creation of a pavilion dedicated to Riopelle’s work to be open to the public by 2025. Other highlights of the sale included Peinture 165 x 130 cm, 13 March 2006, an emblematic example of ... More

Jim Nutt, a Trowel, 1988. Image courtesy of Phillips.

NEW YORK, NY.- Phillips announced its first private selling exhibition dedicated to the artists that have come to define the Chicago art scene. Curated by gallerist Karen Lennox, Cooler by the Lake: Chicago Art 1965-1985 celebrates the vision and influence born from the artists of the Windy City throughout two of the most significant decades of creative output. Including works by Roger Brown, Miyoko Ito, Jim Nutt, and, Christina Ramberg, the exhibition brings together an extraordinary group in the new New York galleries at 432 Park Avenue, where the show will be on view from 10 December to 15 January. Karen Lennox, said, “The artists in this exhibition share friendships, legendary teachers and an urge to look at everything including the fearlessness of self-taught artists they collected. They’ve had many appellations attached to them; goofy, shocking, irreverent, yet, historically, one can trace their predecessors back to the Italians a ... More

Rendering of new Skyspace for Green Mountain Falls by James Turrell, courtesy of HSE Architects of Oklahoma City.

GREEN MOUNTAIN FALLS, COLO.- An immersive Skyspace by iconic light and space artist James Turrell will be unveiled in Green Mountain Falls in June 2022. The installation will be the first Skyspace in the state of Colorado and the first in the world to be nestled into the side of a mountain. Cosseted on a butte overlooking Gazebo Lake and bathed by the rustling of lofty pine trees, the James Turrell Skyspace in Green Mountain Falls will be a harmonious addition to the charming town at the foothills of Pikes Peak—an extension of the landscape, preserved in its natural setting. The experience will begin with an inspirational journey via a new trailhead that will deliver hikers directly to the sheltered Skyspace in the hills above, overlooking the center of town and Gazebo Lake. Viewers will be enveloped in a one-of-a-kind kinetic light and color ... More

Pink pond opens at NGV International   Rashid Johnson painting acquired by Phoenix Art Museum   Osthaus Museum Hagen opens an exhibition of paintings by Sylvester Stallone

Installation view of NGV Architecture Commission, 2021 pond[er] by Taylor Knights and James Carey at NGV International, Melbourne from 6 December, 2021 – 28 August 2022. Photo: Derek Swalwell.

MELBOURNE.- A beautiful architectural installation, replete with a pink pond evocative of Australia’s inland salt lakes, has been revealed as the winner of the NGV’s 2021 Architecture Commission in the Grollo Equiset Garden at NGV International. Designed by a Melbourne-based team comprising architecture firm Taylor Knights in collaboration with artist James Carey, the installation, entitled pond[er], offers a space for visitors to cool off during the summer months and reflect on their relationship with the environment­. Referencing Sir Roy Grounds’s open-air courtyards in the original design of NGV International, this architecture and landscape installation comprises two key design elements: a body of indigenous plants and a body of water. The body of water is coloured pink, making direct reference to the many inland salt lakes in Victoria ... More

Rashid Johnson, Untitled Anxious Bruise Drawing, 2021. Oil on cotton rag. Collection of Phoenix Art Museum, Museum purchase with funds provided by the Dawn and David Lenhardt Contemporary Art Initiative. Photo Martin Parsekian, Courtesy David Kordansky Gallery.

PHOENIX, AZ.- Phoenix Art Museum announces the acquisition of Untitled Anxious Bruise Drawing (2021) by critically acclaimed New York-based artist Rashid Johnson. The work is the latest purchased by the Museum with funds from the Dawn and David Lenhardt Contemporary Art Initiative and furthers the Museum’s mission to diversify its contemporary art holdings. Johnson, whose work was recently presented in a solo exhibition at David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles, is internationally renowned for his abstract and evocative installations, two- and three-dimensional objects, videos, and performances that explore themes of social history, art history, philosophy, and his own autobiography. His work is the fourth acquired by ... More

Sylvester Stallone, Hercules O' Clock, 1991. Image courtesy of Galerie Gmurzynska.

HAGEN.- Following museum exhibitions at the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg (2013) and the Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain, Nice (2015), the Osthaus Museum Hagen, on the occasion of Sylvester Stallone's 75th birthday, presents a retrospective of his works. The complete oeuvre spans from the late sixties until today and the various artistic phases of the action star. On view are approximately 50 paintings, including self-portraits and never-before-seen early works. Stallone's paintings are on the one hand as "action-packed" and expressive as his films and on the other hand subtle and multi-layered in their statements. The Hollywood star executes various art forms including surrealism, expressionism and abstraction. Painting has been an intimate and constant part of Sylvester Stallone's creative expression for the past 55 years, with his artistic output fueling his cinematic work and vice versa. Sylve ... More

Classicism is health, romanticism is sickness. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Exhibition of new works by South African artist Ryan Hewett opens at UTA Artist Space
BEVERLY HILLS, CA.- UTA Artist Space and Unit London opened a solo exhibition of new works by South African artist Ryan Hewett, on view at UTA Artist Space in Los Angeles from December 7 - 18, 2021. A natural progression from his previous exhibitions, Hewett’s latest solo show is entitled H+. Standing for human advancement, H+ explores the ideas and philosophies of trans-humanism. As a social and ideological movement, trans-humanism is devoted to advocating the research and development of human advancement technologies. H+ seeks to represent visually how these technologies might augment human sensory reception, emotional ability and cognitive capacity, leading to radical improvements in human health and extended lifespans. In line with these concepts, Hewett’s exhibition presents a series of hybridized portraits, figurative works and landscapes that ... More

M+ opens an exhibition of works by Nalini Malani
HONG KONG.- M+, Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture in the West Kowloon Cultural District (West Kowloon), announced the opening of Nalini Malani: Vision in Motion, an inaugural presentation in The Studio, one of the museum’s signature venues located at the B2 level, as part of the museum’s grand opening display. Widely recognised as a pioneer of video art and experimental film, Nalini Malani is one of the most prolific cross-disciplinary artists working today. She is internationally renowned for her reverse paintings and immersive multimedia installations which often combine personal narrative with motifs from folklore, classical literature, and mythology to reflect on the collective trauma of the disenfranchised. Her fantastical and multilayered creations, which are informed by her early experiences as a refugee following the partition of India in 1947 ... More

Hurvin Anderson and Rana Begum artworks go on display in the shop windows of Coventry
COVENTRY.- Coventry Business Improvement District have revealed the artworks from the Government Art Collection that feature across the shop windows in Coventry City Arcade for The Show Windows: Reflections as part of Coventry UK City of Culture 2021. Launched in November, the exhibition features artworks by artists including Hurvin Anderson, Rana Begum, Mahtab Hussain, Mohammed Sami, Julian Trevelyan, Evelyn Williams and Christine Wilkinson. The chosen selection from the Government Art Collection spans the mediums of photography, etching, paint and drawing. The Show Windows is a flagship public art programme co-produced by Coventry Business Improvement District with Coventry City of Culture Trust, which sees artists, architects and designers exhibiting in shop windows around the city centre. The Show Windows: Reflections is supported by Historic ... More

Property from The Life and Career of Sylvester Stallone Auction results announced
Julien’s Auctions, closed out its auction season on Sunday, December 5th, 2021 with their year-end grand finale presentation of Property from The Life and Career of Sylvester Stallone, featuring the international superstar and the Golden Globe Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated actor, screenwriter, fitness icon, author, artist and director’s most cherished treasures from his singular life and career. Hundreds of bidders, collectors and fans across the globe participated in person, on the phone and online live in Beverly Hills and at to vie for nearly 500 sensational items from Sylvester Stallone’s personal collection of costumes, movie props, and memorabilia from his most iconic films–the Rocky and Rambo movie franchises, Cliffhanger ... More

FIFA Museum unveils new name and logo
ZURICH.- Sharing the magic of football with the entire world: “FIFA World Football Museum” becomes “FIFA Museum” with immediate effect to focus on celebrating and safeguarding football heritage and culture globally. The new brand identity, including its logo and colours have been designed to emphasize the close relationship between the museum and the world’s football governing body and its role as FIFA’s passionate, inspiring cultural institution in Zurich and abroad. The two main elements of the new FIFA Museum brand are the ‘time wheel’ and the ‘center field of a football pitch’. This reflects the idea that every game has a beginning, every story has a start and every moment can last forever. But time does not just move forward, it moves around us. As FIFA’s dynamic platform, the museum, its exhibitions, as well as its cultural and educational programs, will not only focus ... More

Five artists awarded the 2021 Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship
SYDNEY.- The 23rd Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship has been awarded to five young Australian painters aged between 20 and 30 years, each receiving $10,000 and a two-week residency at Shark Island Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales. Guest artist judge Abdul Abdullah selected 12 finalists and five scholarship recipients from 201 entries. Recipients include Mia Boe (VIC), Emma Rani Hodges (ACT), Shannon McCulloch (VIC), Jacquie Meng (ACT), and Thea Anamara Perkins (NSW). Abdullah said it was a privilege to judge the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship 2021. ‘I took my responsibility as a judge very seriously and spent days poring over every entry. There were so many entrants that could have been finalists, yet I found myself drawn to artworks that I personally found the most exciting,’ said Abdullah. ‘My finalist and recipient selections all do something interesting with ... More

Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC to hold December Dreams: Premier Americana Auction
RENO, NV.- Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC is famous for its five-day auctions featuring thousands of highly collectible items in a rainbow of categories, but the firm will end 2021 with a tidy, three-day affair, December 17th-19th, online and in the Reno gallery, boasting over 1,900 lots of rare books, art, mining, numismatics, stock certificates, postcards and more. The December Dreams: Premier Americana Auction will begin at 8 am Pacific time all three days. Highlighted collections include more parts of the Ken Prag postcard collection, the Bill McIver token and medal collection, the MacKenzie Montana collection and the Ron Lerch Western collection. These will be supplemented by world-class rarities from other collections. Day 1 will contain over 600 lots of philatelic (stamps); military, political and firearms; gaming collectibles; and model railroad and toys. Postcards, many ... More

LnS Gallery opens an exhibition of works by Tony Vazquez-Figueroa
MIAMI, FLA.- LnS Gallery is presenting Tony Vazquez-Figueroa's solo exhibition Petropias, a culmination of three years of work by the multimedia artist. This immersive collection of paintings, photography, and sculptures enraptures the audience in the artist’s interpretation of the worldwide impact of the petroleum industry. Petropias is Vazquez-Figueroa’s second solo exhibition at LnS Gallery and is curated by Tami Katz-Freiman. This exhibit is on view November 19, 2021, through January 22, 2022. Vazquez-Figueroa is an internationally trained, Miami-based artist, born and raised in Venezuela. His deeply personal investigation into how oil-rich countries create unique physical environments, like oil refineries, and peculiar socio-economic and cultural environments led to the formation of Petropias, a term coined by the artist. As Katz-Freiman describes in the accompanying catalogue essay, ... More

Morphy's Dec. 14-17 auction led by Civil War swords, USS Arizona lifebuoy, rare Lincoln items
DENVER, PA.- Morphy’s has gone above and beyond all expectations in preparing an incomparable selection of firearms, militaria and highly important American historical objects for its December 14-17 auction. Morphy’s team will be welcoming guests to the company’s spacious central Pennsylvania gallery for each of the sessions, and all forms of remote bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through Morphy Live. Spanning more than 2,400 lots, the auction features a spectacular array of museum-quality Civil War swords and militaria, early advertising and historical memorabilia, Native American artworks, exceptional sporting arms, and military arms that include World War I and World War II issues. Also of note are more than a dozen lots of coveted Vietnam War bring-backs. The sale starts with items from America’s Revolutionary War era and post-colonial ... More

Marie-Claire Blais, acclaimed French Canadian novelist, dies at 82
NEW YORK, NY.- Marie-Claire Blais, a novelist whose long, elliptical sentences and incisive explorations of human consciousness won her comparisons with Virginia Woolf and a place alongside Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood as one of Canada’s greatest contemporary writers, died Nov. 30 at her home in Key West, Florida. She was 82. The death was confirmed by Patrick Leimberger, a representative from Agence Goodwin, the company that represented Blais. He said the cause had not been determined. Blais burst onto the Canadian literary scene in 1959 when, at just 20, she published her first novel, “Le Belle Bête” (“The Beautiful Beast”), which was later published in English as “Mad Shadows.” The story revolves around a girl who is jealous of the attention her mother ladles on her developmentally disabled brother, and it shocked many readers with its depiction ... More

More Terence Blanchard coming to Met Opera after success of 'Fire'
NEW YORK, NY.- Following the critical and box office success this fall of Terence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones,” the first work by a Black composer to be presented by the Metropolitan Opera, the company announced Tuesday that it would stage his earlier opera, “Champion,” next season. Typically, opera seasons are planned five years or more in advance, in a global game of Tetris with artists’ schedules. But the Met moved uncharacteristically quickly to follow “Fire” by bringing “Champion” to its stage in April 2023; Peter Gelb, the company’s general manager, said the production was coming together “on the turn of a dime.” “Part of the Met’s future sustainability is predicated on our ability to make changes,” he added. “We want opera to be present in the world in which we live.” Blanchard welcomed the news, encouraged by his experience of bringing “Fire” to the Met stage. “Going ... More

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On a day like today, Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini was born
December 07, 1598. Gian Lorenzo Bernini (also spelled Gianlorenzo or Giovanni Lorenzo) (Naples, 7 December 1598 - Rome, 28 November 1680) was an Italian artist who worked principally in Rome. He was the leading sculptor of his age and also a prominent architect. In addition he painted, wrote plays, and designed metalwork and stage sets. In this image: After a long restoration, the head of the Medusa by Italian sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini was displayed in Rome, on Wednesday 22 November 2006. The sculpture was exhibited in the Capitol museum in Rome until January. The work of restoration emphasized the lights and the shadows on the sculpture.

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