Muhammad Ali Artworks to Auction, Jeff Koons on His BMW Design, and More: Morning Links for September 29, 2021

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The Headlines

A WEDNESDAY AUCTION ROUND-UP: A New York judge ruled that Sotheby’s must face a lawsuit brought by the state’s attorney general that alleges it helped a collector avoid sales taxes, Reuters reports. In ARTnewsAndy Battaglia looks at how houses are doing increasingly big business in whiskey.  A collection of artwork by boxing legend Muhammad Ali will hit the block at Bonhams in New York next month, the Daily Mail notes. The tape of a little-known 1970 interview that John Lennon and Yoko Ono did with Danish high-school students (previously  mentioned in Breakfast) sold for almost €50,000 (about $58,300) in Copenhagen, the AFP reports. And various dealers and auction houses have tied James Bond-related sales to the release of the new 007 film, according to Antiques Trade Gazette.

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ARTISTIC LICENSES: In a recent painting, artist Jasper Johns reproduced a drawing that he saw in the office of his orthopedic surgeon in Connecticut, which had been made by a fellow patient, a teenager from Cameroon named Jéan-Marc Togodgue. That move would “spark a legal dispute—eventually settled—as well as raise questions about how artists use other people’s works to create their own,” Geoff Edgers reports in the Washington Post. Meanwhile, in Italy, a new statue of a scantily clad female field worker has generated a firestormTessa Solomon writes in ARTnews. The work, which was just unveiled in Sapri, is an “offense to women and the history it should celebrate,” Italian politician Laura Boldrini said. Its creator, Emanuele Stifano, made the work in tribute to a 19th-century poem, and said it is “useless” to explain art to critics “who absolutely only want to see depravity.”

The Digest

The artist who kept about $84,000 that a Danish museum loaned him to create an artwork said that he aimed to make a statement about poor pay. Said Jens Haaning, “I encourage other people who have working conditions as miserable as mine to do the same.” The museum’s director thinks Haaning will eventually give the money back. [The Guardian]

The president of the Japanese chapter of the International Association of Art CriticsMichio Hayashi, has resigned as he fights a harassment suit brought against him by a former student at a university where he is a professor. Hayashi has said that he had a consensual affair with the woman, and that she is “making up stories” about him. [ArtAsiaPacific]

Today in Central Square in Cardiff, Wales, a statue will be unveiled of Betty Campbell, an advocate for teaching Black history who was the first Black head teacher in the country. “It is believed to be the first statue of a named, non-fictional woman in an outdoor public space in Wales,” according to the BBC. [BBC News]

The National Academy of Design in New York has named eight new National Academicians: Joanne GreenbaumTrenton Doyle HancockPeter HalleyRashid JohnsonAndrew FreearJoanna Pousette-Dart, and Gary Simmons[The Art Newspaper]

Veteran film director Jim Jarmusch has been making collages for the past two decades and is currently showing some at James Fuentes in New York. [The New York Times]

The New York Times asked a number of prominent artists and graphic designers to redesign the American flag, including Andrew Kuo and Hank Willis Thomas. The latter’s proposal splices together fragments of existing logos for Black Lives Matter, the 2020 Trump campaign, and more. [The New York Times]

The Kicker

TICKET TO RIDE! The indefatigable Jeff Koons has designed a limited-edition BMW, though the design is strictly under wraps until its debut at Frieze Los Angeles 2022. Nevertheless, Koons is doing a media push for it, and was asked by Designboom, “In your imagination (from the art world), who would sit with you in this car on sunny streets?” The artist replied, “I would love to be behind the wheel myself driving, but if I could have somebody in the car it would be great to have Picabia or Duchamp. Better both of them.” (Very solid, very Koonsian choices.) He also had this to share: “When I think of the car, sitting in the car, for me it’s a little bit like the return to the womb.” Can’t wait to see this automobile! [Designboom]


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