Art World News: October 9th
The past week, dubbed "Frieze Week", was certainly an eventful one for the art world. Aside from some seasonal highlights, there were also several scandals that are definitely worth a mention, starting with one of the biggest miscalculations in recent auction history.
During Christie’s postwar and contemporary art sale their top-lot, Francis Bacon’s 1962 ‘Study of Red Pope (2nd version 1971)’ failed to sell at the King Street salesroom last Friday.
It was estimated at $78.4 million to $104.5 million, potentially making it the priciest artwork ever to be sold at a European auction. Unfortunately, it went down in history as their priciest flop.
Francis Bacon, 1962 Study of Red Pope, 2nd version 1971. ©2017 CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD.
As Frieze London closed its successful 15th edition yesterday, newspapers and art professionals worldwide are already looking back at the highlights of the event.
One of the most interesting points of view comes from artist veteran Alex Katz, who selected Dan Flavin’s ‘diagonal of May 25th, 1963 (to Constantin Brancusi)’.
Dan Flavin, Diagonal of May 25th, 1963 (to Constantin Brancusi), 1963. ©2017 ARTNET.
The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam was also a hot topic this past week. Following an investigation by the Dutch NRC newspaper, it was revealed that the museum had failed to disclose the fact that they paid €1.5 million for seven pieces from the collection of Thomas Borgmann in their public end of year report.
Last year it was happily announced that the German collector had “donated” over 600 pieces to the museum, now it has become clear that the purchase formed a condition for this donation.
©Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
French newspapers reported that The Louvre has prohibited the organization of the FIAC to display Atelier van Lieshout’s ‘Domestikator’ in the Jardin des Tuileries during the fast approaching edition of the fair.
The architectural piece features a couple making love doggy-style, or ‘en position de levrette’ as the French would say. According to the Louvre’s director, Jean-Luc Martinez, the piece could offend visitors of the garden due to its “brutal” nature.
When the piece was displayed in Germany earlier this year it didn’t cause any problems.
Atelier van Lieshout, Domestikator, 2015.
To end on a slightly more optimistic note, King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands presented the Royal Award for Modern Painting to four young and promising candidates last Friday. The prize is the oldest incentive award of the Netherlands and is allocated by a jury of art professionals.
This year, Vera Gulikers, Niek Hendrix, Janine van Oene en Suzie van Staaveren each received €6.500 to encourage them in their artistic careers.
The ceremony also marked the official opening of the exhibition at the Royal Palace, which will be on display until November 5th.
King Willem-Alexander opening the ceremony, courtesy of the Royal Palace.
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