Robert Longo Joins Pace, Sotheby’s Sells $70 M. Monet, and More: Morning Links from May 13, 2021

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The Headlines

DURING A MARATHON, THREE-PART EVENING AUCTION that ran well more than four hours, Sotheby’s sold $597 million of art from its New York salesroom, Angelica Villa reports for ARTnews. That beat expectations of about $436.8 million for the sales, which included Impressionist, modern, and contemporary art, with a tranche of postwar American work from the collection of the late Texas ranching heiress Anne Marion. The top lot was a Monet water lilies that went for $70.4 million. New records were set for, among others, Richard DiebenkornElizabeth Peyton, and Robert Colescott, whose George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware (1975) was snapped up by the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. It’s scheduled to open in Los Angeles in 2023.

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AS BIG-TICKET SALES RUN ALL WEEK IN NEW YORK, auction news is coming fast and furious.  A trove of early Yayoi Kusama doubled its estimate, going for $15.2 million at Bonhams on Wednesday, ARTnews reports. A sale of art owned by the last fashion designer Kenzo Takada generated about €2.5 million ($3 million) at Artcurial in Paris, according to Kyodo . Last but not least, the Financial Times says that Sotheby’s will disperse $300 million in dividends via a debt sale led by Goldman Sachs. That means a solid payout for Patrick Drahi, whose BidFair USA has a 94 percent stake in the privately held company.

The Digest

International galleries cannot stop opening in Seoul! Just weeks after the Berlin-based König alit in the city’s Gangnam section, Thaddaeus Ropac, of Paris, London, and Salzburg, Austria, revealed that he will open his first Asian branch in Hannam-dong. [ARTnews]

With New York’s Metro Pictures gallery closing, its artists are continuing to move on to new homes. Cindy Sherman and Gary Simmons joined Hauser & Wirth, and Robert Longo has now signed on with Pace. [ARTnews]

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York added a plaque to its facade that states it “is situated in Lenapehoking, homeland of the Lenape diaspora and historically a gathering and trading place for many diverse Native peoples, who continue to live and work on this island.” Daniel H. Weiss, the Met’s president and CEO, said the acknowledgement “is an important part of the Met’s commitment to build and maintain respectful relationships with Indigenous communities.” [Press Release]

The Met has also hired a new chief security officer, Regina Lombardo, who is currently acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives at the U.S. Department of Justice. [PR/Art Daily]

Artist Marina Abramovic has won the Princess of Asturias Award for fine art, which comes with €50,000 (about $56,700). [Associated Press]

Everything is coming up Dylan. A couple days after news of a forthcoming Bob Dylan survey in Miami, just in time for Miami Basel, the Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, said it will open in 2022 with selections from its gargantuan archive of more than 100,000 pieces on view. [Rolling Stone]

The Kicker

ONE LAST AUCTION ITEM: A sale of music memorabilia by Iconic Auctions includes strands of hair that once adorned the heads of Kurt CobainJohn Lennon, and Jimi HendrixSky News reports. The minimum bids are intriguingly all over the place: $2,500 for Cobain, $1,500 for Hendrix, and $750 Lennon. (Cobain’s hairs, for the record, are a bit longer.) Some proceeds from the auction will benefit a relief fund for musicians and music professionals affected by the pandemic.

Thank you for reading. We’ll see you tomorrow.


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