Jim Carrey’s Collection Goes to Auction, Claudine Colin Bought by Finn Partners, France’s Legislative Elections Raise Concern, and More: Morning Links for July 10, 2024

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WAIT AND SEE. The cultural sector in France was relieved, when the final results of the parliamentary election were announced on Sunday, reports The Art Newspaper. The left-wing New Popular Front won 182 seats, the highest number, but failed to win an overall majority, leaving France to face a hung parliament. The threat lies in Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally, which came third after President Emmanuel Macron‘s centrist coalition. Before the election, one thousand doctors, scholars and researchers urged the public to “reject the obscurantism”, followed by 800 artists and culture leaders who called on voters “to preserve the France of the Enlightenment”. The French committee of art historians warned against the “xenophobic hold up of cultural heritage” and the union of art gallery owners said its “values are not those of the National Rally”. The art world, which is heavily dependent on public support, raised concerns about potential cuts to state subsidies by a National Rally government. For now, no-one really knows what will happen next.

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THE TRUMAN SHOW. Actor Jim Carrey, known for his onscreen work in Truman Show, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, moonlights as an artist. As a collector, he has amassed some significant piece of fine art and modern design. On July 25 Bonhams L.A. will sell some of the items that Carrey has acquired over nearly 30 years. The 35 lots include Adam Kurtzman’s 2004 work Pair of Hands (estimate: $2,000–3,000) and Martin C. Herbst’s 1965 stainless-steel work, Sphere ($3,000–5,000), a lily pad-shaped coffee table by Paula Swinnen ($6,000–8,000), and a cloud-shaped table by Joris Laarman ($60,000–80,000), evocative of the actor’s taste for organic forms. There is also a group of 1960s designs by French sculptor Philippe Hiquily. A console co-designed with Jean-Claude Farhi ($20,000–30,000), an armchair crafted out of brass and steel ($20,000–30,000), and a rug dotted with hummingbirds, handwoven with metallic thread and silk by Alexander McQueen ($15,000–20,000).

THE DIGEST

Claudine Colin Communication, France’s leading arts and culture communication agency created 1990, has been acquired by the US-based marketing firm Finn Partners. Its team includes 25 people and its clients Les Rencontres d’Arles, the Louvre-Lens, Lyon’s Contemporary Art Biennial. [The Art Newspaper]

Ten duos, each formed by an artist and an art critic, have been awarded the Ekphrasis grant, including Nicolas Boulard & Camille Viéville, Lucie Douriaud & Hélène Meisel, Collectif Grapain & Jil Gasparina, Ludovic Landolt & Estelle Nabeyrat… The texts written on each artist will be published monthly in Le Quotidien de l’Art in 2025. [Le Quotidien de l’Art]

Christie’s has announced that an “emblematic work” by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, unseen in public since 1931, will be offered at auction this fall. The work, made with grease pencil and graphite on cardboard, is a preparatory study for the lithograph “Divan Japonais”, and is estimated to fetch between  $2.7 million and $3.8 million.” [Barrons]

Thomas Austin, a professional engineer and retired U.S. Army Colonel, recently began his appointment as Architect of the Capitol (AOC), taking over from interim AOC Chere Rexroat who took power in February 2023 after the 12th AOC, amid controversy over his personal use of a taxpayer-funded vehicle and questions about his adherence to agency policies. Austin is now responsible for preserving and maintaining 18.4 million square feet of buildings and 570 acres of campus grounds throughout Washington, D.C. [The Architect’s Newspaper]

At the Vatican Francesca Peacock came across a by the late 14th-century Florentine painter Cenni di Francesco di Ser Cenni featuring a pregnant Madonna, which seemed odd at first, because most familiar depictions of the Virgin don’t show her pregnant. Could this be because it doesn’t depict a clear biblical story? A couple of theories intertwine. [Apollo]

THE KICKER

ACTION! American actor Willem Dafoe has been appointed the Artistic Director of the Venice Biennale theater department for 2025 and 2026, which was founded in 1934 as an independent department of La Biennale di Venezia, following the departments for art (1895), music (1930) and cinema (1932). Its previous directors include Renato Simoni, Luca Ronconi, Franco Quadri, Carmelo Bene and Lluís Pasqual, and it is programmed yearly alongside major cultural events like the Venice Film Festival. “Theater taught me about art and life. I worked with the Wooster Group for twenty-seven years, and I have collaborated with great directors from Richard Foreman to Bob Wilson. The direction of my Theatre program will be charted by my personal development. A sort of exploration of the essence of the body.” [La Biennale]

Source: artnews.com

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