Collector Joseph Lau Sells $3.2 M. Worth of Luxury Bags, Mendes Wood DM Plans Paris Gallery, and More: Morning Links for February 10, 2023

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The Headlines

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HANDBAGS AND GLADRAGS. Big week for Birkin bags! First, the luxury handbag’s maker, Hermès, won its suit against artist Mason Rothschild, the creator of NFTs known as “MetaBirkins,” as ARTnews reported. A U.S. court ruled that those NFTs violated the firm’s trademark, and awarded it $133,000. On Thursday, at Sotheby’s, Hong Kong billionaire (and ARTnews Top 200 CollectorJoseph Lau parted with 76 Hermès bags, including six diamond Birkins, plus a Chanel bag, for a total of HK$25.2 million (about US$3.21 million), Bloomberg reports. An unspecified portion of those proceeds will go to charity. The sale’s top lot was a 2006 Bleu Jean Shiny Porosus Crocodile Birkin 25 (try saying that 10 times fast), which made HK$1.52 million, or about US$193,600—well more than the damages in the Rothschild case. A rep for Lau told the outlet that his family continues to own more than 1,000 Hermès bags.

JOB POSTINGS. The Cleveland Museum of Art has named Ada de Wit, curator of works of art and sculpture at London’s Wallace Collection, as its curator of decorative reports. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art now has a chief experience officerSheila Shin, who’s been with the museum since 2020 in marketing roles, per ArtDaily . Also via ArtDailyKate Green, previously Oklahoma Contemporary’s director of curatorial affairs, is now chief curator and curator of modern and contemporary art at Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum of Art, where Kalyn Fay Barnoski has been promoted to assistant curator of Native art, after serving as its Mellon Fellow for Native art since 2021.

The Digest

A U.S. appeals court will consider the case brought against the Detroit Institute of Arts by a Brazilian collector who says it exhibited a Vincent van Gogh painting, on loan, that was stolen from him. Last month, a lower court tossed the suit. The museum has not been accused of wrongdoing. [The Associated Press]

Ron Labinski, who is regarded as the first U.S. architect to specialize in sports facilities, has died at 85. Labinski focused on building stadiums dedicated to a single sport, rather than the multipurpose venues that had been common. His designs include Baltimore’s Camden Yards and San Francisco’s Oracle Park[The New York Times]

The Paris art market keeps rising. Mendes Wood DM, which has galleries in São Paulo, Brussels, and New York, will open one in the French capital in July. Located in the Marais, the venue will be inaugurated with a group show curated by Fernanda Brenner, the founder of the Pivô nonprofit art center in São Paulo. [Press Release/ArtDaily]

At the Dhaka Art Summit in Bangladesh, artists Purnima Aktar and Md Fazla Rabbi Fatiq were given the Samdani Art Award. It comes with a residency at the Delfina Foundation in London. Artist Ibrahim Mahama, a juror, said he would also offer a residency at his Savannah Centre for Contemporary Art and Red Clay spaces in Tamale, Ghana (which were covered last month in Art in America). [ArtReview]

The revered artist, performer, and choreographer Simone Forti has been awarded the Venice Biennale’s 2023 Golden Lion for lifetime achievement for dance. Forti told journalist Jori Finkel that she “didn’t know what the Golden Lion was,” but said that “if someone has to take the role this year and stand there holding it, I am honored to be the one to do it for the community.” [The New York Times via Artforum]

ARTIST TALKS. Hangama Amiri, who has a show up at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, is in the New York TimesHong Seung-hye, who just opened an exhibition at Kukje Gallery in Seoul, was covered by the Yonhap News Agency. And seven artists, including Awol Erizku and Quay Quinn Wolf, have contributed work to a show at New York’s Hannah Traore Gallery  that is a collaboration between the Helmut Lang fashion label and curator and Gagosian director Antwaun Sargent; it was featured in the Times.

The Kicker

THE RED CARPET. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (2022), Laura Poitras’s documentary about photographer Nan Goldin and her anti-Sackler activism, is up for an Oscar, and the two stopped by NPR’s Fresh Air to chat with Terry Gross. In a charcteristically in-depth interview  by Gross, one of her lighter questions was what Goldin plans to wear to the awards ceremony. “I’m glad you asked that,” she said. “It’s the most important question on mind, frankly . . . what I’m going to wear. And I want to wear a fabulous gown. It’s my dream. I love it. I love it.” Goldin mentioned Chanel and Prada as possible brands to sport, but added, “I’m also going through 1stDibs looking for vintage gowns—so beautiful—so I’m doing my work.” Tune in on March 12 to see what she ends up picking. [Fresh Air/NPR]


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