Raking in $495M in one night.
A contemporary art auction at Christie’s shattered the record for the highest sales figure at an art auction Wednesday night, raking in a massive $495 million. Among the 12 pieces that brought in the big bucks were works by Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. The top seller, a famous painting by Pollock titled No. 19, 1948 brought in $58.3 million. An impressive 66 out of the 70 works in the auction found new homes, leaving just four unsold.
This might jolt a partier on a Saturday night. London-based artist Reza Aramesh has installed his haunting sculptures for '12 Midnight' at five nightclubs in NYC, including Bossa Nova Civic Club in Bushwick.
Mixing war photography, Renaissance-style sculpture, and peep-shows, Iranian-born artist Reza Aramesh has brought to New York a poignant series of installations forcing the viewer to confront assumptions about violence, culture and sex. With images taken from war photography, and made from handcrafted lime-wood and then painted with polychrome, the busts will be installed in five nightclubs in NYC: Marquee, No. 8, Santos Party House, Sugarland, and Bossa Nova Civic Club.
The men depicted in the sculptures are erotic not only in their physique and pose, but also because Aramesh has designed them to be viewed through a box with holes -- evoking an illicit feeling associated with pornography or peep shows. Also of note for the works are the plinths upon which the scultpures rest. Not merely slabs showcasing the sculptures, the plinths are covered in graffiti by New York-based Jason Castro.
Pictured above are the truly powerful sculptures, provacatively questioning how people in the modern world experience war through media. Of note in particular is the sad, lingering air around Dying Iranian Solder, 1987.
A group of scholar-soldiers had one of the most important jobs of the war: protect Europe’s greatest art and cultural monuments from the carnage of battle. Robert Edsel tells the story of the Monuments Men at work in Italy.
Italy has long been identified by its cultural treasures; Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper is but one. Its ancient cities—Rome, Syracuse, and Pompeii; jewel-box towns—Venice, San Gimignano, and Urbino; places of worship—St. Peter’s Basilica, Florence’s Duomo (Santa Maria del Fiore), and Padua’s Arena (Scrovegni) Chapel; and iconic monuments—the Colosseum, Leaning Tower, and Ponte Vecchio, have been so studied and admired through literature, verse, and image that they have become the shared heritage of all mankind.
(Deane Keller Papers, Manuscripts & Archives, Yale University)
As events in Milan demonstrated, World War II and the new technology of aerial bombardment—in particular, incendiary weapons—posed history’s most lethal threat to that heritage. When the Allies landed in Sicily on the night of July 9–10, 1943, another threat emerged: ground warfare. The Germans were determined to concede not an inch of Italian soil. How many more monuments, churches, libraries, and immovable works of art lay in the path of war? Even then, as the bombing of The Last Supper illustrated, the Western Allies were not immune from mistakes in judgment and execution.
War is many things, but above all, it is messy. Rarely does it unfold as planned. Prime Minister Winston Churchill once observed: “Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter.” Ethical dilemmas arise. Loyalties are tested, but loyalties to whom? Country, cause, or self ? The effort to protect Italy’s cultural treasures during war lived up to Churchill’s admonition.
The Nets season is over, Jay-Z and Barbra Streisand paid respects, and Disney On Ice rocked the house. Nearly a year after Barclays Center opened, its architect Christopher Sharples of SHoP Architects is being honored by the first annual Architizer A+ Awards on Thursday night. Sharples was brought on after Frank Gehry's replacement Ellerbe Becket's designs were compared to an airplane hangar. Here's a look back at some of the reactions to the arena.
SHoP has also spared Brooklyn another retro stadium. The architects have created something tougher, more textured and compelling, an anti-Manhattan monument, not clad in glass or titanium but muscular and progressive like its borough.
Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman has designed a six-story-tall rubber duckie, which is currently floating in the city's Victoria Harbour.
While it may not be the most conceptual public art installation of all time, a six-story-tall traveling rubber duckie is causing a frenzy along the banks of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour.
The massive bath toy, created by the Netherlands’s Florentijn Hofman, was first pulled into town on May 2 by tug boat. And it has already created a rubber duck craze in the city, with many street vendors selling armfuls rubber duckies both big and small. Hofman told CNN that he thinks his piece’s success has something to do with nostalgia. "I see it as an adult thing. It makes you feel young again. It refers to your childhood when there was no stress or economic pressure, no worry about having to pay the rent," he said.
This is not the first of Hofman’s installations to reference childhood iconography. He’s previously staged a giant floppy rabbit at Sweden’s 2011 Open Art Biennale and a suspended pig with Mickie Mouse ears in Strasbourg.
Since launching in 2008, the rubber duck project has traveled to Osaka, Sydney, Sao Paolo, and Amsterdam. It will remain in Hong Kong until June 9, before moving on to a secret location in the United States—once which will be announced only a week prior to launch time.
Looking for an escapist trip to a bygone era? The British Film Institute has posted some of the amazing footage from Claude Friese-Greene's 1920's color films capturing British life. Scroll down to see some of our favorites.
In 2006 the BBC and the British Film Institute co-produced the documentary series The Lost World of Friese-Greene which explored the works of Friese-Greene as he set out to record life on the road in England for collection of films The Open Road. Compiled as a series of shorts, the intial showings were not successful as his tehcniques for coloring the film were found disruptive by the audience. However, in 2013, the films are a delight, as it is fascinating to see instantly recognizable landmarks captured in their inter-war daily life. Above is the short The Thames opposite the Tower of London, London (1926).
Hyde Park, London (1926). Check out the fashionable women strolling through Hyde Park towards the end of the clip.
A new auction record for the artist.
At Sotheby's contemporary art auction on Tuesday night, Barnett Newman's "Onement VI" fetched a record $43.8 million for the artist. The auction was seen as a qualified success, as the total haul of $293.6 million was above the estimate of $283.9 million. There was one major disappointment at the auction however, as “Study for Portrait of P.L.,” a painting by Francis Bacon of his violent, alcohol lover Peter Lacey failed to attract a single bid despite its suggested price tag of between $30-40 million.
The Daily Pic: Jorge Macchi makes an I-beam go limp.
A piece called “Pendulum” by the artist Jorge Macchi, and now in his solo show at Alexander and Bonin gallery in New York. I like how Macchi makes an I-beam do the one thing it is absolutely meant not to do: bend. Another crucial component: The cheap plastic stools that can only barely support the steel, and show slight signs of buckling that prove its weight. And yet the sight of a curved I-beam seems so unlikely that there’s always some suspicion that the piece is trompe-l’oeil.
The Daily Pic: Why did the AbEx-er make a print, then copy it by hand?
This pairing represents the strangest, most interesting moment in “Angels, Demons, and Savages: Pollock, Ossorio and Dubuffet”, which just closed at the Phillips Collection in Washington. The show was about contacts between its three titular artists, but a wall of Pollocks is what stopped me. The picture on the left is a photographic screenprint after a painting, and Pollock wasn’t happy with the result. So he made not one but two very, very close painted copies of the print – one is on the right here – for reasons I can’t quite figure out. I guess he was trying to put back in the spontaneity of the original canvas, but the act of copying itself negates the unmediated expression that the AbEx “hand” is supposed to be about. It looks as though process is less important than final result, even for an action painter like Pollock. Or maybe he wanted to play with perfect handmade seriality, decades before others were trying that move. (Or just one decade before Warhol did, with his soup cans.)
How big of a 'Golden Girls' fan are you? On Wednesday, Christie's is auctioning John Currin's famous 1991 painting 'Bea Arthur Naked.'
Over 20 years after its debut, the fact that John Currin's 1991 painting Bea Arthur Naked still stirs up buzz is a testament both to the painting's smart and provacative wink at a feminist icon and to Bea Arthur's lasting legacy. Much like the characters the actress played, the painting is dignified and yet irreverent. It is also a reminder of Currin's early Nineties work that led him to be labeled as a misogynist -- and which caused Village Voice art critic Kim Levin to ask readers to "boycott this show." The painting is part of Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art auction on Wednesday May 15, and is expected to go for between $1.8-2.5 million.
Ooh la la. On Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland, Christie's will auction the 'Absolute Perfection' diamond. The largest D color flawless diamond ever auctioned, the 101.73 carat jewel is expected to fetch at least $20 million. According to the Daily Mail, the diamond was cut from a 236-carat rough diamond found in Botswana.
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s 11th Hour auction at Christie’s on Monday night saw record sales for artists, including Elizabeth Peyton and Mark Grotjahn. Isabel Wilkinson reports from the scene.
"$450,000," called the auctioneer, pointing to a bidder in the crowd at Christie's.
He wheeled around to another: "$500!"
Then back to the first: "$550!"
"Do I hear six?" he asked solicitously. "Six hundred thousand?"
The Daily Pic: A classic photographer is back in the vanguard.
This is Ansel Adams’s “Mount Williamson, Sierra Nevada, from Manzanar, California”, shot in around 1944 and now in a fascinating group show called “Expo 1: New York” that opened yesterday at PS1 in Queens. The show comes at issues of ecology and our planetary fate from all sorts of classically avant-garde angles, but its most daring move may be its inclusion of several rooms of photos by Adams, not normally a name to conjure with out on the cutting edge. Rather than rehearsing standard notions about the beauty and formal brilliance of Adams’s photographic art, the show treats him as a real purveyor of ideas and information about the American environment and our place in it. (The inclusion of multiple shots of single sites is especially clever.) One thing I think the curators left out: The place in Adams’s art of an ethos and aesthetics of mechanization. If such notions seem out of place in a discussion of Adams, take a look at my essay on a show of his landscapes held a few years ago at the Corcoran in D.C. – it may be the best thing I’ve written.
Jenna Lyons Will Not Wear Google Glass; UN Backs Woman Who Sued Prada Japan for Sexual Discrimination
and there's been another Cannes jewelry heist. More