Agnes Gund to Sell $5.5 M. Lichtenstein for Reproductive Rights, New LACMA Is Half Done, and More: Morning Links for October 14, 2022

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The Headlines

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BEHIND THE SCENES. Jack Brogan, the wildly versatile craftsman who helped many of postwar America’s greatest artists fabricate their work, died last month at the age of 92, Penelope Green reports in a richly detailed obituary for the New York Times. Brogan had a formidably eclectic career, selling Bibles, owning a concrete plant, serving as a consultant to furniture makers like Herman Miller, and a great deal more. He eventually developed a practice in Venice Beach, California, advising designers and architects on fabrication, and worked with the pioneering Light and Space artist Robert Irwin on a number of his pieces. That led to work with giants like Lynda BenglisLarry Bell, and Helen Pashgian. Green has a quote of Irwin saying that, in his beguiling work, “the object has to be expertly, meticulously crafted, precisely so as to avoid calling attention to itself, and in that regard there was just nobody but Jack who could do it.”

HALFTIME IN THE CITY OF ANGELS. Amid construction of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s new Peter Zumthor–designed building last year, workers unearthed fossils, slowing the pace of their efforts, the L.A. Times reports, but the institution said this week that the structure is now 50 percent complete, and that it is aiming to have it finished by late 2024. LACMA has set a goal of raising $750 million for the not-uncontroversial building, and it now has lined up $700 million, an increase from the $679 million it reported last November, journalist Deborah Vankin reports.

The Digest

Art patron Agnes Gund is selling a 1970 Roy LichtensteinMirror #5, through her foundation at Christie’s next month, with proceeds earmarked to support reproductive rights and other causes. The piece carries a top estimate of $5.5 million. [The Art Newspaper]

Laura Poitras’s acclaimed documentary about Nan Goldin and her fight against the Sackler family, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, will be get its theatrical release on November 23 via Neon. Writing in ARTnewsAlex Geenberger declared it “one of the great documentaries about an artist.” [Indiewire]

The famous two-page letter that author John Steinbeck wrote to his son about matters of the heart (“If you are in love—that’s a good thing—that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone,” it reads at one point) sold for about $32,000 at RR Auction in Boston on Thursday to an anonymous bidder. [The Associated Press]

Ari Emanuel, the Hollywood power broker and CEO of Endeavor, which owns Frieze, levied some gentle criticism against rival Art Basel. “I think it’s overcommercialized now in Miami,” he said. “That’s not what we want to do because, again, I think they’re just trying to make money.” [Vanity Fair]

Researchers are studying a painting of a nude woman that Artemisia Gentileschi made in 1616 for the home of Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger (the nephew of the famed Michelangelo), who subsequently covered up her nakedness. Using high-tech tools, they aim to create a virtual image of the work in its original state. [Artnet News]

The Kicker

SPEAKING OF LYNDA BENGLIS, the legendary artist, who is now 80, was profiled by Sasha Weiss for T: The New York Times Style Magazine. It is a wild ride. At one point, Benglis, who is 80, explains that all of her dreams begin in the exact same fashion. “I shut my eyes and I would be on a platter, like a bird, bound,” she says. “I went through a long warm oven.” Then she is presented with a choice, but we won’t spoil that here. [T]


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