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The Whitney canceled their exhibition. Now those artists want reform.

The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, March 5, 2020. The Whitney Museum of American Art had planned to show reopen its galleries an exhibition of artistic responses to the coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter demonstrations shortly after reopening. But the museum reversed course last month, canceling its plans after several artists of color included in the show publicly criticized the Whitney for acquiring their works without consent and through discounted sales meant to benefit racial justice charities. Jeenah Moon/The New York Times.

by Zachary Small

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- The Whitney Museum of American Art had planned to show an exhibition of artistic responses to the coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter demonstrations shortly after reopening. But the museum reversed course last month, canceling its plans after several artists of color included in the show publicly criticized the Whitney for acquiring their works without consent and through discounted sales meant to benefit racial justice charities. The artists said it wasn’t fair to acquire the works the way the museum did — saying that the museum should be compensating artists properly if they wanted to acquire their work, especially in a time when the artists need money because of the pandemic. On Thursday, more than 45 of the 80 artists in the exhibition released a letter urging that the museum “commit to a year of action” to produce meaningful change, by reforming its ethical guidelines for acquisitions and by reconsidering its role in a charged political moment. ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Pace Gallery exhibits a monumental sculpture by Jean Dubuffet   Gerhard Richter's Abstraktes Bild (649-2) leads Sotheby's Hong Kong Contemporary Art Autumn Sales 2020   Cambridge University's Fitzwilliam Museum acquires important paintings

Installation view of Jean Dubuffet: Le cirque, 540 West 25th Street, New York. September 18 – October 24, 2020. Photography courtesy of Pace Gallery.

NEW YORK, NY.- Pace Gallery is presenting Jean Dubuffet’s Le cirque (1970), a monumental sculpture occupying the entire first-floor gallery of Pace’s 540 West 25th Street location in New York, on view September 18 – October 24, 2020. Le cirque is a habitable environment that suggests an urban plaza, which Dubuffet first conceived and sculpted in 1970 as a model for future enlargement at architectural scale. Measuring thirty feet square and thirteen feet in height, Le cirque is one of the last remaining works from the late-1960s and early-1970s to be realized at heroic size. Marking a crucial moment in Dubuffet’s deeply influential oeuvre, it stands as a major achievement in the artist’s sculptural practice and heralds the final chapter in his celebrated Hourloupe cycle, which lasted from 1962 to 1974. This cycle, the longest and most prolific of Dubuffet’s career, began with drawings and paintings, to ... More

Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild (649-2), 1987 (detail), oil on canvas, 200 by 200 cm, 78 ¾ by 78 ¾ in. Est. HK$ 120,000,000-140,000,000 / US$ 15,490,000-18,070,000. Courtesy Sotheby's.

HONG KONG.- Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Autumn Sales 2020, scheduled for 6-7 October in Hong Kong, will present an exceptional selection of Western and Asian masterpieces of unprecedented diversity. Led by the stunningly vibrant Abstraktes Bild (649-2) by Gerhard Richter, the Evening Sale showcases a stellar line-up of international blue-chip artists such as David Hockney and Adrian Ghenie, as well as debuts of major works in Asia by Francis Bacon, Marlene Dumas and Ellsworth Kelly. Also highlighting the sales are Asian masterpieces by prominent names including Yayoi Kusama, Liu Ye, Kazuo Shiraga and Takeo Yamaguchi, alongside two prestigious collections from esteemed Asian connoisseurs which will be offered across the Evening and Day Sales. “The First Avant Garde: Masterworks from the Johnson Chang Collection” features 14 Chinese ... More

Adriaen Jansz. van Ostade (1610-1685), Portrait of a Boy, three-quarter-length, holding gloves. © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

CAMBRIDGE.- The Fitzwilliam Museum has acquired three important paintings: two delightfully solemn portraits of young boys by the Dutch artist, Adriaen van Ostade (1610-85), and a vibrantly imaginary Italianate coastal view by the Venetian painter, Francesco Guardi (1712-93). The paintings have been received from the estate of George Pinto under the Acceptance in Lieu scheme, which is administered by the Arts Council. It allows for the ownership of works of art to be transferred to the nation in lieu of inheritance tax. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, George Pinto (1929-2018) was a merchant banker who served as director of Kleinwort Benson. A passionate and distinguished art collector, he was a life member of the Fitzwilliam Museum’s Marlay Group, a patron of the National Gallery and trustee of the Wallace Collection. A generous and engaging individual, he was fondly described ... More

McNay Art Museum awarded $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation   Banksy to make an impression at Sotheby's   12-carat diamond and platinum ring slips on a new finger for $143,750 at Andrew Jones Auctions sale

The McNay was the only museum selected in Texas—and one among twelve in the nation—to receive this grant in recognition of a sustained commitment to inclusive, community-driven work.

SAN ANTONIO, TX.- The McNay Art Museum announced an award of $1.5 million in operating support over the next 18 months from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the nation’s largest funder of the arts and humanities. This first-time support of the McNay comes from Mellon’s Art Museum Futures Fund (AMFF), a new COVID-19 relief initiative (announced today) created to help sustain mid-sized art museums with immediate funding as they adapt to unprecedented financial obstacles posed by this worldwide health crisis. “We are profoundly grateful to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for recognizing our role in the health and happiness of San Antonio,” said Richard Aste, McNay Director and CEO. “We have a long road ahead, and Mellon’s major support during the pandemic enables the McNay to continue leaning into our mission of engaging ... More

Banksy, Show me the Monet, 2005. Est. £3-5million. Courtesy Sotheby's.

LONDON.- Banksy’s dissident version of Claude Monet’s Impressionist masterpiece has gone on public display in Sotheby’s New Bond Street galleries today for a special two-day preview, before it is unveiled in New York and Hong Kong later this month [34-35 New Bond Street, W1S 2RT]. Show me the Monet (2005) will then return to London, where it will be offered for sale with an estimate of £3-5 million on 21 October. The painting will star as a highlight of Sotheby’s third livestream auction event, ‘Modernités / Contemporary’, which brings together two sales of Modern and Contemporary art held in sequence from Paris and London. Show me the Monet was first shown 15 years ago as part of Banksy’s second gallery exhibition at 100 Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill, West London. Titled ‘Crude Oils: A Gallery of Re-mixed Masterpieces, Vandalism and Vermin’, the free-admission show comprised 22 ... More

The auction’s expected top lot was this dazzling 12.01-carat emerald cut diamond (K VVS1) and platinum ring. It sailed past its $80,000-$120,000 estimate to finish at $143,750.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- A dazzling 12.01-carat emerald cut diamond (K VVS1) and platinum ring slipped onto a new finger for $143,750 in Andrew Jones Auctions’ inaugural Fine Jewelry, Watches & Timepieces auction held September 16th. The online auction, a tidy affair with just over 100 lots, achieved a 96 percent sell-through and totaled more than $700,000. The quality merchandise was pulled from various private collections, highlighted by the collection of Mary and Lou Silver of Indian Wells, California. The Silver collection included the diamond and platinum ring, which was the sale’s expected top lot. A Tiffany & Co. 5.41-carat oval brilliant cut natural fancy yellow diamond ring, also from the Silver collection, hit $50,000. “This was a different type of sale for us – exclusively high-end jewelry and timepieces,” said Andrew Jones, president and CEO of Andrew Jones ... More

Retrospective devoted to the work of Lee Krasner opens at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao   'Irreplaceable' stolen books recovered in Romania   Metropolitan Museum of Art announces new appointments

Lee Krasner, Self-Portrait, ca. 1928. Oil on canvas, 76.5 x 63.8 cm. The Jewish Museum, New York. Purchase: Esther Leah Ritz Bequest; B. Gerald Cantor, Lady Kathleen Epstein, and Louis E. & Rosalyn M. Schecter. Gifts by exchange; Fine Arts Acquisitions Committee Fund; & Miriam Handler Fund, 2008–32 © The Pollock-Krasner Foundation. Courtesy Jewish Museum, New York.

BILBAO.- The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is presenting Lee Krasner. Living Color, a retrospective devoted to this New York artist who was a pioneer in Abstract Expressionism. The show brings together a broad range of pieces, some of them never before shown in Europe. In this exhibition, sponsored by Seguros Bilbao, the public will be able to see the incessant reinvention and exploration that characterizes the oeuvre of Lee Krasner (1908–1984) throughout the 50 years of her career: from her earliest self-portraits and life drawings to her exuberant, monumental works from the early 1960’s, along with her Little Images from the late 1940’s and ... More

A handout picture released by the Directorate for the Investigation of Organized Crime (DIICOT) on September 18, 2020 shows books and other historical artefacts in the courtyard of a home at an undisclosed location in Neamt county in Romania. AFP PHOTO.

BUCHAREST (AFP).- Romanian prosecutors said Friday they had recovered around 200 centuries-old stolen books which disappeared from storage in Britain in 2017, including works by Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton and Dante Alighieri. First editions of Galileo and Newton, a text by Italian scholar Petrarch, rare versions of Dante and 80 sketches by Spanish painter Francisco de Goya were burgled in January 2017 from a depot in Feltham, near London. The thieves rappeled 12 metres (40 feet) to the ground after entering via the roof, dodging movement sensors to spend hours rummaging through thousands of works destined for an auction in the US. They left by the same route with a haul whose total value was estimated at around two million euros ($2.4 million). Police arrested four Romanian suspects ... More

Heidi Holder joins The Met from the Queens Museum.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today two new senior appointments: Heidi Holder will join as the Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chair of Education, and Douglas Hegley will join as Chief Digital Officer. Both will start at the Museum in October. "The Met's Digital and Educational offerings present a fully global perspective of the Museum's collection and scholarship while expanding outreach to our growing audiences; sparking curiosity and dialogue; and fostering a greater understanding of our world today," said Max Hollein, Director of the Museum. "The successful interplay of these areas is critical to furthering the Museum's mission in the 21st century, an effort that will be greatly strengthened by the vision, expertise, and commitment to learning and engagement that these two exceptional leaders bring to The Met. I look forward to welcoming them both." The two positions will report to Inka ... More

West African Portrait photography exhibition opens at David Hill Gallery   France's master mimic and voice of Asterix dies aged 93   Four unique mobiles by Ib Geertsen offered in Dorotheum's Design Auction

Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou, Untitled #2 (Egungun series), 2011.

LONDON.- David Hill Gallery is presenting Tête-à-Têtes: West African Portraiture from Independence into the 21st Century. This group show brings together the work of some of the most influential and important West African photographers, including Sanlé Sory (b.1943), Rachidi Bissiriou (b. 1950), Malick Sidibé (1935-2016) and Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou (v.1965). On view now at the London Gallery and co-curated by Carrie Scott and David Hill, the exhibition celebrates the emergence of a new identity in post-colonial West Africa. To run alongside the physical exhibition, a sixteen-minute film has been produced by David Hill and Carrie Scott to introduce the work of these four incredible photographers. Giving an overview of the region in the throes of change after gaining independence in the 1960, the curators discuss the work of the four photographers in the show within this context. It is possible to sign up for a personal exhibition t ... More

Carel lent his mellifluous tones to a dazzling array of animated characters.

PARIS (AFP).- The French voice of characters from Mickey Mouse to Asterix and the "Star Wars" droid C-3PO has died aged 93, voice actor Roger Carel's family said Friday. Carel lent his mellifluous tones to a dazzling array of animated characters from Winnie the Pooh and Kermit the Frog on "The Muppet Show" to Kaa the snake in "The Jungle Book". A legendary mimic, he also dubbed Jiminy Cricket in Disney's "Pinocchio" into French as well as Charlie Chaplin in "The Dictator". For generations of French cinemagoers Carel personified the hugely popular American comedian Jerry Lewis, as well as Peter Sellers, Jack Lemmon and Peter Ustinov. Such was his versatility that he often dubbed a number of characters in the same film. Carel continued working well into his 80s, by which time he had clocked up more than 300 films and television series, playing his final Asterix aged 85. His son said the actor, whose real name was Roger Bancharel, was buried Thursday ... More

A "Cirkelmobile" Ib Geertsen 1954, black and blue lacquered iron, c. 110 x 150 cm. A unique piece. With a certificate from Birthe Geertsen, Head of the IB GEERTSEN FOUNDATION and Ib Geertsen’s widow. Provenance: Ib Geertsen Private Collection - Private Collection, Belgium. Estimate € 30,000 - 36,000.

VIENNA.- Ib Geertsen (1940 –2009), a leading Danish representative of Concrete Art, chose mobiles up to three meters in height as one of the many expressions of his diverse oeuvre. For him they were “aerial drawings”. Four particularly prominent examples of these, all of them unique, will be available at Dorotheum’s Design Online Auction on 7 October 2020. Originally from the private collection of the artist and subsequently from a Belgian private collection, the 1.5 by 1.1 metre early piece “Cirkelmobile” is a unique item. Attached to the ceiling or a branch, this 1954 mobile made of black and blue lacquered iron looks like a three-dimensional moving drawing that constantly changes playfully and poetically as a result of drafts or wind (estimate € 30,000 – 36,000). Finer, more energetic ... More

More News
Winston Groom, author of 'Forrest Gump,' dies at 77
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Winston Groom, a Southern writer who found a measure of belated celebrity when his 1986 novel, “Forrest Gump,” was made into the 1994 Oscar-winning film starring Tom Hanks, died Thursday at his home in Fairhope, Alabama. He was 77. He died in his sleep, most likely from a heart attack, his stepson Frederick Helmsing said. Groom had published three well-regarded novels and was a nonfiction finalist for a Pulitzer Prize when he wrote the book that would define him as a writer and turn the Gumpian phrase “life is like a box of chocolates” into a modern-day proverb. “Forrest Gump” tells the picaresque adventures of an Alabama man who stumbles through contemporary American history with an IQ of 70 and a headful of folksy wisdom. The novel sold respectably and earned good reviews. Novelist and critic ... More

Helsinki Fest and Kiasma present first major retrospective of Mika Vainio in Kiasma
HELSINKI.- Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma presents a major exhibition by Finnish electronic music pioneer Mika Vainio. The exhibition 50 Hz, showcasing sound installations and music by Vainio, is the artist’s first retrospective and part of the Helsinki Fest program. Mika Vainio’s impact on electronic music, both in Finland and around the globe, is indisputable. However, he was also a respected contemporary artist whose minimalist sound installations were known for their physicality, analogue warmth and electronic harshness. Over the years, Vainio collaborated repeatedly with many visual and sound artists and choreographers, such as Carsten Nicolai, Mika Taanila, Charlemagne Palestine, Alan Vega and Cindy Van Acker. Mika Vainio’s (1963–2017) international career in electronic ambient and noise music was extensive. His name became widely ... More

Steve Carter, playwright in a Black theater world, dies at 90
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Steve Carter, an award-winning playwright who explored the African American and Caribbean American experiences with incisiveness, humor and a willingness to wrestle with difficult themes, including hatred, revenge and forgiveness, died Tuesday in Tomball, Texas. He was 90. A friend, Deb McGee, confirmed the death, in a nursing home. Carter had moved to the Houston area in 2011 to live closer to a nephew. Carter was one of many playwrights to emerge from the renowned Negro Ensemble Company in New York City in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. Several of his major plays had their premieres there. He was earlier associated with Maxwell Glanville, the Caribbean-born playwright, director and producer, and his American Community Theater in Harlem during the Black Arts movement, a flowering ... More

Neue Auctions is back on the virtual block with a Fine Art & Antiques auction
BEACHWOOD, OH.- Fast on the heels of a highly successful 20th Century & Mid-Century Modern sale in August, Neue Auctions is back on the virtual block with a Fine Art & Antiques auction planned for Saturday, Sept. 26th, at 10 am Eastern time. The online-only auction features a wide selection of traditional art and antiques, silver, fine jewelry, decorations and furnishings. “The many fine items in this sale have been culled from prominent local estates and collections,” said Cynthia Maciejewski of Neue Auctions. “Downsizing households present opportunities for both new and established collectors.” Internet bidding will be provided by, and For more information, please visit Maciejewski added, “There’s such a wide array of finds in this auction they can’t all be covered ... More

Nouveau Musée National de Monaco highlights the diversity of shapes and decorations of ceramics
MONACO.- The exhibition Artifices instables, Stories of ceramics presents a journey through inventions and experiments highlighting the diversity of shapes and decorations of ceramics, as well as its production processes. These different stages of production – the selection and preparation of clay, the shaping, the finishing, the decoration, the cooking and the enamelling – reveel, also, the « recipes » and the almost alchemic preparations which vary from one creator/inventor to the other. Cristiano Raimondi, guest curator at the NMNM for this exhibition, chose to investigate ceramics as a heterogenic and unstable material, able to tell transversal stories. Through a selection of more than 120 pieces by international artists, the curator envisioned a set-up which is a crossover between atelier and a cabinet of curiosities. The whole ... More

Haus der Kunst opens 'Archives in Residence: euward Archive'
MUNICH.- As part of the “Archives in Residence” series, Haus der Kunst is presenting the euward Archive. The euward is the first art prize of international standing for art in the context of cognitive impairment. The exhibition intensifies existing collaborations with euward and the Munich Academy of Fine Arts. With the Freie Bühne München as a further cooperation partner, Haus der Kunst places a forward-looking focus on inclusion and diversity. The exhibition is an invitation to put our cultural self-image to the test, to reflect on our ideas of an inclusive culture and a diverse society and to revisit established ways of interpreting normality and otherness. With its documents, applications, photographs of artworks, film material and press articles, the euward Archive is a source of previously unrelated art history(s) by actors whose presence has been ... More

Shezad Dawood, Leviathan: the Paljassaare Chapter opens at Kai Art Center
TALLINN.- For this iteration of his expansive multimedia project Leviathan – exploring the links between climate change, migration and mental health – acclaimed artist Shezad Dawood imagines the future of a connected Baltic and Kent shoreline in a new, cutting-edge virtual reality work. This is accompanied by a series of site-responsive collaborations with Estonian scientists, ornithologists, historians, musicians, and artists that respond directly to the ecological, political and historical context of the Paljassaare peninsula situated across from Kai Art Center. The exhibition premieres The Terrarium (2020), a virtual reality experience that takes the viewer 300 years into the future, where 90% of the planet’s surface has become covered by water. Traversing Baltic ecosystems, viewers meet organisms that have survived or evolved through genetic mutations ... More

Scaled-down San Sebastian film festival opens
SAN SEBASTIAN (AFP).- Spain's San Sebastian film festival, the biggest such event in the Spanish-speaking world, kicked off Friday with fewer stars and films on display, and with the international premiere of Woody Allen's new romantic comedy "Rifkin's Festival". Travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic meant the 84-year-old director and other big names would not attend the event. With virus cases rising again in Spain, a strict safety protocol was put in place requiring the use of face masks and limiting screenings to 40 percent to 60 percent of seating capacity. Shot last summer in and around the northern seaside resort of San Sebastian itself, "Rifkin's Festival" centres on an American couple who come to its international film festival and are swept up by the fantasy of cinema and the charm and beauty of Spain. Speaking by ... More

Macron vows support for French heritage amid virus downturn
PARIS (AFP).- President Emmanuel Macron on Friday pledged support for deteriorating heritage sites crucial to France's tourism sector at a time when budgets have been battered by the coronavirus outbreak. Macron travelled to the town of Condom in southwestern France on the eve of the 37th annual European Heritage Days -- a weekend to celebrate culture and history when buildings which are usually off-limits are opened to the public. The president visited the 18th-century Polignac private hotel, a neo-classical edifice and one of 18 endangered monuments to have benefited in 2018 from France's heritage lottery fund. He met builders and volunteers engaged in the building's reconstruction and underscored the importance of cultural heritage in France's economic activity and employment. "Our heritage is the mark of the past. But it is also ... More

The Art Car Boot Fair announces another stellar line-up for its first-ever viral edition
LONDON.- Just like its famous physical manifestation, the viral edition promises all the fun of the fair combined with an exuberance of new talent to boot. Art Car Boot Fair favourites including Gavin Turk, Polly Morgan, Pam Hogg, Marcus Harvey, Jeremy Deller, Pure Evil, Kristjana S Williams, Sara Pope and Mat Collishaw will be joined by a host of exciting new artists, such as Rankin, Noel Fielding, Helen Beard, Claire Partington, Hayden Keys, Charlotte MacMillan and Robert Cooper. The artwork and wares have all been produced exclusively for the 2020 Viral Art Car Boot Fair and many attest to the fact that these artists have risen to the creative challenges posed by this year’s pandemic. Indeed, many have found extraordinary inspiration in the new normal. Pam Hogg, for example, has created film posters which reference the amount of films ... More

1819 Copy of Declaration of Independence Leads Heritage's $1.1 Million-plus Americana Auction
DALLAS, TX.- A copy of the Declaration of Independence that was published by The Democratic Press publisher John Binns and a daguerreotype of one of the partners whose discovery of gold helped spark the California Gold Rush sold for $30,000 to lead Heritage Auctions’ Americana & Political Auction to $1,182,076 Sept. 14-15. “Rare and unusual pieces, items that don’t often come to market, did very well in this sale,” Heritage Auctions Americana Director Curtis Lindner said. “The fact that almost 1,500 people bid in this auction and the prices realized throughout proves that the demand for such items remains very high.” The final price was nearly four times the pre-auction estimate for the Declaration of Independence: John Binns Version Published in 1819, an engraved broadside facsimile of the Declaration of Independence with medallions of seals ... More

Cities of the Gods, 1970 | From the Vaults

On a day like today, Danish painter Michael Peter Ancher died
September 19, 1927. Michael Peter Ancher (9 June 1849 - 19 September 1927) was a Danish impressionist artist. He is most associated with his paintings of fishermen and other scenes from the Danish port of Skagen. His paintings are classics and he is probably one of Denmark's most popular artists. In this image: A Christening, Michael Ancher (1888).

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