Artist

Farewell to a Major Figure of Geometric Abstraction and Concrete Art

 

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François Morellet died on Wednesday, just a few days after his 90th birthday. Parisian gallerist Kamel Mennour confirmed the French artist’s passing to Le Monde. Morellet is known primarily as a major figure of geometric abstraction and Concrete Art, working across mediums including painting, sculpture, and light-based art. Though he began working in the 1950s, the artist has explained that he had to wait decades before his neon works became in-demand enough to sell. Morellet was a central player in the founding of the significant Paris collective of the 1960s Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV).

Some 60 years after his practice began, Morellet received a major retrospective at the Center Pompidou in Paris, cementing his place in the country as one of the key artists of his generation.

Stolen Picasso – When You’re So Rich You Don’t Notice Your Picasso Is Missing

 

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Gallery Art owner Kenneth Hendel holds on tightly to Picasso’s ‘Portrait de Marie-Therese’ at his gallery in Aventura on Wednesday, April 20, 2016. Hendel received a letter from a New York law firm saying that the Picasso in his gallery was stolen ten years ago from the Tisch family and they just noticed it was missing now. The gallery owner contends he bought the art from another dealer – paid $350,000 for it — and that he knows nothing about it being stolen.
PATRICK FARRELL pfarrell@miamiherald.com

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Closure of Miami Causeway Threatens Traffic Mayhem at Art Basel in Miami Beach

Could this year’s Art Basel in Miami Beach see the worst traffic ever for the famously hectic art fair week? The city’s famously clogged roads are going to be even worse this December thanks to the closure of the Venetian Causeway.

One of three passages between Miami Beach and Miami, the Venetian Causeway helps relieve congestion on the MacArthur Causeway to the south or the Julia Tuttle Causeway to the north. Visitors to Art Basel in years past need no reminder of how difficult it can be to get from Miami Beach to say, the Pérez Art Museum Miami, or Wynwood when traffic slows to a crawl on the causeways.

The nine-month, $12.4-million project, which began in late May, will rebuild the causeway’s western drawbridge. Built in 1927, the historic span was patched with metal plates during a renovation in the late 1990s. The need for a better solution became clear in March 2014, when a plate was dislodged and a bus became stuck in the gap.

The city is offering other transit options, which will include water taxis as well as a free trolley service running along the length of Miami Beach that connects the main convention center to the Design District.

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Miami trolley route. Photo: courtesy Miami Beach.

The city is also testing out a new “Miami-Dade Art Express” bus route, which is also free. Running every 20 minutes between 11:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m., the bus will provide an alternate mode of transportation across the Julia Tuttle Causeway.

Nick Korniloff, head of two fairs in Miami (Art Miami and its sister fair CONTEXT) and one in Miami Beach (Aqua Art Miami), is hopeful that the effects of the closure won’t be too dramatic. “The Venetian was convenient up until a point,” he told artnet News via e-mail, “but never came close to being able to handle the bulk of traffic that the interstates [on the other causeways] do.”

Free Miami trolley. Photo: via Wikimedia Commons.

Free Miami trolley. Photo: via Wikimedia Commons

A Living Copy of Vincent van Gogh’s Ear Makes Its New York Debut

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Diemut Strebe, Sugababe (2014). A living bioengineered replica of Vincent van Gogh’s ear, grown from tissue engineered cartilage cells procured from a direct male descendant. Photo: Courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts.

A little piece of a long-dead artist is coming back to life in New York this fall when Diemut Strebe’s creepy living copy of Vincent van Gogh’s ear makes its New York debut at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts.

Titled Sugababe, the ear was created using genetic samples Strebe collected from Lieuwe van Gogh, the great-great-grandson of Theo van Gogh, the Post-Impressionist artist‘s brother. Strebe used computer imaging technology to recreate the ear’s shape based on its appearance in van Gogh’s self-portraits, and a computer processor the simulates nerve pulses allegedly allows the ear to hear.

Though Sugababe is admittedly macabre, visitors at the original exhibition at the Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany, “loved the ear,” Strebe insisted in an e-mail to artnet News.

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Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear (1889). Image: Courtesy of Wikipedia.

“I’m not sure that everyone understands the full scientific and biological implications,” the artist writes. “The scientific approach is based on the Theseus’s paradox by Plutarch… He asked if a ship would be the same ship if all its parts were replaced. This paradox is brought into a 21st-century context by using a living cell line (from Lieuwe van Gogh) in which we replaced (at least as a proof of principle) his natural DNA with historical and synthesized DNA.”

Perhaps the most famous detached body part in all of art history, van Gogh allegedly cut off his ear when he had a mental breakdown, although some German historians now think Paul Gauguin may have cut off van Gogh’s ear with a rapier following a heated argument between the two artists, according to the book Van Goghs Ohr: Paul Gauguin und der Pakt des Schweigens (Van Gogh’s Ear: Paul Gauguin and the Pact of Silence). Though the ear has been recreated, scientists haven’t been able to slow the fading of van Gogh’s paintings.

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Joseph Beuys, I Like America and America Likes Me (1974). Image: Courtesy of e-flux.com.

The scientifically-minded show also includes Social Sculpture: The Scent of Joseph Beuys, a scent-based piece inspired by the German Fluxus artist’s 1974 performance at RenĂ© Block’s gallery in New York titled, I Like America and America Likes Me. With the help of International Flavors & Fragrances Inc., Strebe has reduced Beuys‘s original work into seven scents, like “gallery” and “coyote,” which are meant to evoke Beuys‘s experience living for a week with a wild coyote in the gallery space.

Diemut Strebe’s “Free Radicals: Sugababe & Other Works” is on view at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, 31 Mercer Street, New York, November 7–December 5, 2015. 

This article originally appeared on artnet News.

The 12 Most Anticipated Auction Lots Likely to Break Records This Month

Andy Warhol, Mao (1972), will be offered at Sotheby's on November 11.  Estimate: Around $40 million. Image: Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Andy Warhol, Mao (1972), will be offered at Sotheby’s on November 11.
Estimate: Around $40 million.
Image: Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Auction houses have been rolling out a steady stream of blockbuster consignments in recent weeks as the art world braces for what is perhaps the biggest trophy season yet. Works on the block include a nine figure Modigliani nude at Christie’s and the $500 million fully guaranteed collection of former Sotheby’s chairman A. Alfred Taubman at Sotheby’s—the highest estimated single-owner sale in history.

It’s a sign of how hot the current market is that buyers are willing to part with a number of rare blue-chip lots while also securing hefty guarantees either directly from the auction houses or via outside guarantors who have stepped up to the plate. One recent report concludes that $1 billion, or roughly half, of the $2 billion worth of art on offer this season has already been sold, due to guarantees.

Christie’s continues to shake up the sale schedule with the addition of another powerhouse hybrid sale of Impressionist and contemporary art, titled “The Artist’s Muse” on Monday November 9, creating a ripple effect of date shifts that will now see Phillips holding the first Sunday evening sale of 20th Century and contemporary art on November 8 to jump-start the week.

Sotheby’s meanwhile is adhering to the traditional model of holding its major Impressionist and modern evening sale in the first week of the month (November 5), although the sheer scope of the Taubman collection—about 500 lots in all—also necessitated an additional evening sale of roughly 75 of the best works. On November 4, “Masterworks: The Collection of A. Alfred Taubman” will open the auction series.

Read on for a selection of highlights, and don’t miss artnet News’ coverage of the highly-anticipated evening sales.

Wednesday, November 4:
Sotheby’s “Masterworks: The Collection of A. Alfred Taubman

Amedeo Modigliani Paulette Jourdain (circa 1919). Estimate: $25–35 million.  Image: Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Amedeo Modigliani Paulette Jourdain (circa 1919).
Estimate: $25–35 million.
Image: Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Willem de Kooning, Untitled XXI, (1976). Estimate: $25–35 million. Image: Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Willem de Kooning, Untitled XXI, (1976).
Estimate: $25–35 million.
Image: Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Frank Stella Delaware Crossing (1961). Estimate: $8–12 million. Image: Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Frank Stella Delaware Crossing (1961).
Estimate: $8–12 million.
Image: Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Sotheby’s is poised to break the auction record for Frank Stella with this mesmerizing example from the Taubman collection: Delaware Crossing (1961) is estimated at $8 million to $12 million. If it makes it to even the low end of the presale estimate, it will have exceeded the current $6.6 million record set for the artist in 2014.

Thursday, November 5:
Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale.

Vincent van Gogh Paysage sous un ciel mouvementé (1889) Estimate: $50–70 million.

Vincent van Gogh Paysage sous un ciel mouvementé (1889)
Estimate: $50–70 million.

Pablo Picasso La Gommeuse (1901) Estimate: In the region of $60 million. Image: Courtesy of Sotheby's.

Pablo Picasso La Gommeuse (1901)
Estimate: In the region of $60 million.
Image: Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Sotheby’s Impressionist and modern expert Simon Shaw called this van Gogh landscape the “great jewel” of Belgian collectors Louis and Evelyn Franck, whose collection—which also includes a rare blue period Picasso and important works by James Ensor—is the centerpiece of the Impressionist and evening sale. Van Gogh painted Paysage sous un ciel mouvementĂ© in Arles in 1889, just a month before he checked himself into an asylum at Saint-RĂ©my.

Picasso’s La Gommeuse (1901), which hails from the collection of art and wine aficionado Bill Koch, is a blue period portrait that was painted when the artist was only 19 years old. It also has an intriguing back story including a long-hidden painting underneath the lining that Koch uncovered during conservation efforts in 2000.

Wednesday, November 11:
Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Cy Twombly Untitled (New York City) (1968) Estimate: in the region of $60 million Image: Courtesy of Sotheby's

Cy Twombly Untitled (New York City) (1968)
Estimate: in the region of $60 million
Image: Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s is offering a rare Cy Twombly “blackboard” painting this fall—one of the few remaining in private hands—with an asking price around $60 million.

That puts the painting in the running for a potential new auction record for the artist; the current record stands at $69.6 million, which was set in November 2014 at Christie’s New York for another untitled blackboard painting dating from 1970.

Sunday November 8:
Phillips’ 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Willem de Kooning Untitled XXVIII (1977)  Estimate: $10–15 million.  Image: Courtesy of Phillips

Willem de Kooning Untitled XXVIII (1977)
Estimate: $10–15 million.
Image: Courtesy of Phillips

Le Corbusier Femme rouge et pelote verte (1932) Estimate: $4–6 million. Image: Courtesy of Phillips

Le Corbusier Femme rouge et pelote verte (1932)
Estimate: $4–6 million.
Image: Courtesy of Phillips

Phillips’ sale will be led by two fresh-to-auction works: Willem de Kooning‘s 1977 abstract was most recently acquired from Gagosian Gallery by the present consignor, and carries an estimate of $10 million to $15 million. The architect Le Corbusier is represented here by the vibrant painting Femme rouge et pelote verte (1932), which was acquired directly from the artist by the present owner, according to Phillips.

Monday, November 9:
Christie’s “The Artist’s Muse” Sale

Amedeo Modigliani Nu Couché (Reclining Nude) (1917-18). Estimate: In the region of $100 million. Image: Courtesy of Christie's

Amedeo Modigliani Nu Couché (Reclining Nude) (1917-18).
Estimate: In the region of $100 million.
Image: Courtesy of Christie’s

Roy Lichtenstein Nurse (1964) Estimate: In the region of $80 million Image: Courtesy of Christie's.

Roy Lichtenstein Nurse (1964)
Estimate: In the region of $80 million
Image: Courtesy of Christie’s.

This Modigliani nude—which has an asking price in the region of $100 million—has generated considerable buzz this fall. It is the centerpiece of Christie’s curated sale “The Artist’s Muse,” and is poised to break the current record for a work by the artist, which is held by TĂŞte (1911-12), a carved stone sculpture that sold for $70.7 million at Sotheby’s this past November.

Tuesday, November 10:
Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale

Louise Bourgeois Spider (conceived in 1996 and executed in 1997).  Estimate: $25-35 million. Image: Courtesy of Christie's.

Louise Bourgeois Spider (conceived in 1996 and executed in 1997).
Estimate: $25-35 million.
Image: Courtesy of Christie’s.

Even with the blockbuster works it placed in its Monday night muse sale, Christie’s still had plenty of firepower left for its evening contemporary sale. Front and center (and also currently standing outside Christie’s Rockefeller Center headquarters in midtown) is Louise Bourgeois‘ monumental Spider (conceived in 1996, and cast in 1997), with an unpublished estimate of $25 million to $35 million.

Lucio Fontana Concetto spaziale la fine (1964) Estimate: In the region of $25 million. Image: Courtesy of Christie's.

Lucio Fontana Concetto spaziale la fine (1964)
Estimate: In the region of $25 million.
Image: Courtesy of Christie’s.

Andy Warhol Four Marilyns (1962)  Estimate: In the region of $40 millon. Image: Courtesy of Christie's.

Andy Warhol Four Marilyns (1962)
Estimate: In the region of $40 millon.
Image: Courtesy of Christie’s.

source via artnet 

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