1. Frieze London Comes and Goes
The 13th edition of the Frieze London fair took place this past week, welcoming a larger crowd than previous years. Among the most buzzed about pieces over the weekend was a new Damien Hirst work with White Cube Gallery that sold for $1.2 million within the fair’s opening hour.
The piece, entitled Holbein (Artist’s Watercolours), featured a sampling of different colors from the eponymous Japanese paint manufacturer. However, the fair also saw major sales after its beginning hour such as a $1 million Takashi Murakami painting, a $650,000 drawing from Robert Longo, an abstract piece from Albert Oehlen that went for $700,000 a $75,000 solid gold trash can from James Rosenquist and several thread drawings from Korean artist Do Ho Suh selling for between $50,000 and $225,000. The sister fair Frieze Masters, which focuses on more historical art, also gained attention for its more unconventional booths and inclusion of 10 previously unknown drawings by British pop artist Richard Hamilton.
2. Jeffery Deitch & Larry Gagosian Team Up for Art Basel Miami
On December 1st, a figurative painting and sculpture exhibition organized by former competitors Jeffery Deitch and Larry Gagosian will open in Miami’s Moor Building. The exhibition will coordinate its showing to match Art Basel Miami and include artists sucha s Urs Fischer, David Salle and Ella Kruglyanskaya.
Both Deitch and Gagosian started in art by working with dealer Leo Castelli before opening up their own eponymous galleries. However, while Gagosian Gallery continued to grow, Deitch closed his Deitch Projects in 2010 to work a three year stint as director of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. Deitch has since been generating buzz by hosting a Miley Cyrus performance at last year’s Basel Miami and organizing theoccasional exhibition. No longer in such direct competition with one another, the two major dealers look forward to collaborating.
3. UN to Deploy Peacekeepers to Guard Middle Eastern Heritage Sites
In the long debated scheme of influence, it may seem that life inspires art, only to inspire life again. Over 53 countries as well as UN security council members voted on Friday in favor of a mission that would send peacekeepers to guard some of the Middle East’s world heritage sites from militants. The mission is being modeled after the 2014 film Monuments Men.
The film took inspiration from real WWII events to portray the story of the platoon that rescued Europe’s artistic treasures before Nazis stole or destroyed them. Italy’s cultural minister Dario Franceschini explained, “The film is about ‘stopping the Nazis,’ but the aim of the new mission is to “stop the destructive rampage of the terrorists.” The move comes two months after Islamic extremist group ISIS sacked the monumental ruins of Palmyra, once one of the most important cultural centers in the Middle East and a UNESCO world heritage site. The UN now hopes that it can stop further damage to the world’s artistic and cultural heritage.
4. Met Gala 2016 Theme Announced
This week The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that its 2016 Gala will celebrate: “Manus x Machine: Fashion in the Age of Technology.” As per annual tradition, the theme for the Gala will also serve as the title for the Met’s annual Costume Institute exhibition, opening in conjunction with the event.
The exhibit will focus on the hand-made tradition of haute couture fashion, and how technological advances have changed the construction of garments. However, the theme also arrives at a time when technology is changing the way in which museums also construct their exhibitions (earlier this year, The Met even employed 3-D headsets to give visitors an immersive look into Jackson Pollock’s “Autumn Rhythm (Number 30)”). Appropriately, Apple will sponsor the May 2nd Gala, with chief designer Jonathan Ive joining the event’s hosting team.
5. ArtPrize Winners Announced
Artist Kate Gilmore and photographer duo Loves PhotoFiber were selected this week as the $200,000 grand prize winers of the annual ArtPrize competition. Every year, ArtPrize welcomes submissions from artists across the world, and connects the artists with venus willing to display their pieces.
From the submission, winners are selected, “half decided by public vote, and half decided by a jury of art experts.” Gilmore was recognized for her “magical” performance piece, Higher Ground, for which she painted an abandoned home bright pink and staged women in long white dresses to swing on bright red swings by its windows. Meanwhile the Loveless photo team, comprise of husband and wife Steve and Ann Loveless, won for their new hybrid art form, “PhotoFiber;” wile the work starts as a photograph, the couple incorporates quilting processes until the photo has become more textile-like than photographic.