Ronald Lauder Restitutes and Rebuys Klimt, Photographer Julian Wasser Dies at 89, and More: Morning Links for February 13, 2023

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The Headlines

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BILLIONAIRE BUSINESSMAN AND PHILANTHROPIST Ronald S. Lauder has agreed to restitute a Gustav Klimt painting to the heirs of Irene Beran, a Jewish woman who owned it before World War II in what is now the Czech Republic, and then repurchase it for an undisclosed sum, the New York Times reports. Lauder bought Klimt’s The Black Feather Hat (1910) 50 years ago; in 2018 he “agreed with the Beran family heirs to begin reviewing the work’s” provenance, Colin Moynihan writes. That investigation established that Beran had the painting in 1934 and next identified it in 1957, in a show in Stuttgart, Germany, presented by Austrian art dealer Friedrich Welz, a Nazi party member. Beran escaped from Europe in 1943. “I felt it was critical to recognize the family’s previous history with this work despite the lack of concrete documentation regarding how this painting left the Beran collection,” Lauder said in a statement. Lauder is a fervent Klimt collector, and drew headlines in 2006 when it was reported that he had spent $135 million for a 1907 portrait—then the most ever paid spent on a painting.

PHOTOGRAPHER JULIAN WASSER, who created canonical portraits of artists and their social worlds in 1960s and ‘70s Los Angeles, died on WednesdayHunter Drohojowska-Philp reports in the Los Angeles Times. He was 89. Wasser’s most famous images include artist Marcel Duchamp, clothed, playing chess against a writer Eve Babitz, nude, at the Pasadena Art Museum in 1963 and Joan Didion smoking a cigarette while leaning against her Corvette Stingray in 1968. “Cruising to jobs in his black Mustang convertible, Wasser had a gift for getting up close and personal with even the most remote personalities,” Drohojowska-Philp writes.

The Digest

TOP LOTS. A Tintin drawing by Hergé sold for €2.16 million (about $2.31 million) at Artcurial in Paris on Friday, a record for a black-and-white drawing by the artist, the Guardian reports, and a 1908 Strap Tank Harley-Davidsonwent for $935,000—the most ever paid at auction for a motorcycle—at Mecum Auctions in Las Vegas last month, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam said that “there are no more tickets available” for its acclaimed Johannes Vermeer blockbuster, which runs through June 4. However, it added, “We are working hard to ensure more people have the opportunity to see the exhibition.” [@Rijksmuseum/Twitter]

Police have filed disorderly conduct charges against a dealer in Native American art who was videotaped insulting Indigenous performers outside of his storefront in Scottsdale, Arizona, last week. The gallery owner, Gilbert Ortega, has apologized, saying, “If I could go back and change my words and behavior, I certainly would.” [CNN]

More than 300 works from the collection of the late collector Susann Craig, who helped found Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art in Chicago, will be offered at the Hindman auction house in the Windy City. The material includes pieces by artists Roger BrownGladys NilssonLee Godie, and many more. [The Art Newspaper]

Amanda Dotseth, the curator of the Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, has been tapped to be its director. Mark Roglán, who led the institution for 20 years, died in 2021; since then, Dotseth has been serving as its director ad interim. [The Dallas Morning News]

An Alice Neel show opens at the Barbican in London this week, and in the Financial Times, painter Chantal Joffe wrote about what the portraits that she considers Neel’s best. Those include a vulnerable-looking Andy Warhol (“Nobody has painted Warhol like that”) and a nude John Perrault “lying on that bed like a big ginger cat.” [FT]

The Kicker

BUCKLE UP! The freewheeling New York gallery O’Flaherty’s—run by the artists Jamian Juliano-Villani and Billy Grant and the musician Ruby Zarsky—is reopening this week in a new location after shuttering last August. (It seems that their landlord may not have been a fan: The NYPDpaid a visit to their final opening.) First up in the new locale: a show by the irrepressible Austrian collective GelitinAirmail just profiled the gallery, and Juliano-Villani explained what she and her partners are up to. “We’re in a unique position with artists because we’re not trying to represent them,” she told Max Lakin. “That’s when things start to suck. We just want to do shows artists aren’t able to do anywhere else. Basically a faster, shittier Met.” [Airmail]


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