Joan Didion’s Estate Heads to Auction, Endeavor Buys Majority Stake in Car Auction House, and More: Morning Links for August 12, 2022

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The Headlines

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THE ARTISTS SPEAK. Jayson Musson, who shot to fame as the wise art YouTuber Hennessy Youngman, has his first museum show up at the Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia, and is in the New York Times. “Jokes can be powerful, but it’s not easy to tell a good joke,” he said. Feminist great Suzanne Lacy has a survey up at the Queens Museum in New York, and is in the Art Newspaper. “Activism is impacting change,” she said. “I’m not convinced that art does anything profound and unique in and of itself, but that it operates to support and push a general, social, political idea forward.” And T: The New York Times Style Magazine spoke with artists who are fighting mass incarceration through their work. “I’m not interested in only telling the story of the innocent,” Sable Elyse Smith said. “I am interested in confrontation.”

AUCTION ACTION. Entertainment giant Endeavor‘s IMG has snapped up a majority stake in the collector-car auction company Barrett-Jackson in a deal worth $261 million, Deadline reports. The firm’s many other holdings include the Frieze art fair and New York Fashion Week. Meanwhile, the estate of writer Joan Didion is heading to auction later this year at Stair Galleries in Hudson, New York, Architectural Digest reports. The material coming to the block is said to include art, furniture, and of course, books. A catalog for the offerings arrives October 31; the sale will be on November 16. 

The Digest

French illustrator Jean-Jacques Sempé, who provided graphics for the “Little Nicolas” series of books, which have sold north of 15 million copies, died yesterday, at the age of 89. [The Guardian]

The Alabama Department of Archives and History said that it is undertaking efforts to return Native American remains and funerary objects that it holds to tribes, as federal law requires. [The Associated Press]

Midtown Manhattan’s Crown Building, historically the site of many art galleries, is now home to the priciest hotel in the city, Aman New York. Corner suites go for $20,000, and some areas are only open to members. (The current initiation fee is $200,000). [Bloomberg]

Speaking of luxury, Vanity Fair has a deep dive on the Carbone restaurant empire, whose flagship New York branch opened in 2013 with art curated by dealer Vito Schnabel. Its owners have seized the zeitgeist “not with Momofuku Ko’s Donald Judd–inspired minimalism or wd~50’s thing-that-looks-like-another-thing neo-surrealism, but with a novel pour of self-aware nostalgia,” Nate Freeman writes. [Vanity Fair]

JOB POSTINGS. A trio of personnel items, via ArtDailyGiampaolo Bianconi is joining the Art Institute of Chicago as associate curator of modern and contemporary art, arriving from Munich’s Museum Brandhorst; the Joan Mitchell Foundation has tapped Solana Chehtman, who has been director of creative practice and social impact at the Shed in New York, to be its director of artist programs; and Baltimore’s Walters Art Museum has hired Gina Borromeo as senior director of collections and curatorial affairs (and its senior curator of ancient art) and Earl Martin its curator of decorative arts, design, and material culture. Borromeo is coming from the Rhode Island School of Design‘s Museum of Art, Martin from the Bard Graduate Center.

The Kicker

A MAN OF MANY TIPPLES. British artist John Gilroy is perhaps most famous for drawing animals to advertise Guinness beer (toucans, especially). But according to one legend, he was quite a gin drinker, and ran up such a formidable bill at the bar of the Morritt Arms Hotel in Greta Bridge, England, that he painted a mural in 1946 to cover the charges, one employee told BBC News . Now that mural—a lively party scene—has been restored. Artist Sarah Hodgkins, who led the efforts, said, “I would absolutely love it if he was to walk in, order a drink, look at the walls and say, Oh, it lasted quite well.” Alas, Gilroy died in 1985, at 86, but his mural lives on. [BBC News]


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