Biennials & TriennialsAuction Houses 24-01-2017

January 24 | Polys Peslikas will represent Cyprus at 2017 Venice Biennial

Details of the Cypriot Pavilion are announced, Cuban dissident artist “El Sexto” is released from prison, and Wim Pijbes changes jobs (again).


The painter Polys Peslikas will represent Cyprus at the 57th edition of the Venice Biennial.  

Artist collective Neoterism Toumazou, writer Mirene Arsanios, and ceramist Valentinos Charalambous will also contribute to the pavilion. Polys Peslikas’ canvases will set the stage for these other contributors. Jan Verwoert will curate the exhibition, which will be entitled “Coming to Life Through the Medium of Painting.” Artforum has more.


It has been announced that Yuko Hasegawa, chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, will curate the seventh Moscow Biennale.

The event will be take place between September 15 and October 28 in the Manezh exhibition hall adjacent to the Kremlin, as well as various locations around the city. Titled “Transcendental Forest,” this year’s edition of the biennial will be themed around the idea of the forest as a metaphor for people wishing to plant roots in new places. Read more on Artforum.


Release of “El Sexto”

The Cuban artist Danilo Maldonado Machado, better known as “El Sexto,” has been released from a maximum security prison outside Havana, where he was being held since Fidel Castro’s death last November.

The artist, who has been imprisoned by the Cuban government before, was forcibly taken from his home just prior to travelling to Miami, where he was due to perform at Art Basel | Miami Beach. His lawyer, Kimberly Motley, was arrested in Havana the following month. The Geneva-based United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention helped secure El Sexto’s release when they began to review a legal petition started on his behalf. The artist’s family said in a post on his Facebook page that he intends to “continue doing meaningful art towards a free and democratic Cuba.” More information via Artforum.

Portrait of "El Sexto". Photograph via


Auction houses

On March 2nd, prior to its Contemporary Curated Sale, Sotheby’s New York will hold a single-owner sale of the Ed Cohen and Victoria Shaw collection.

The auction, titled “In Its Own Light,” will be comprised largely of post-war and contemporary art from the couple’s collection, which they built up over 35 years. The collector duo have been generous patrons to a number of museums including London’s Tate Modern, where Cohen helped considerably with the acquisition of Joseph Beuys’ The End of the 20th Century. Auction highlights include works by Beuys, John Currin, Cecily Brown, Brice Marden, Anselm Kiefer, Agnes Martin, William Kentridge and Gerhard Richter. The sale is expected to realize between $4 and $6 million. Art Market Monitor has further details.

Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild (843-4), 1997. Estimate $600,000–800,000.



London’s Saatchi Gallery and the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei have teamed up to offer a prize for creative selfies.

Artists, photographers and amateur enthusiasts from around the world are invited to submit images which “explore the creative potential of the selfie.” According to the gallery, the prize will be judged by “a panel of renowned artists and forward-thinkers.” The winner, who will be chosen from a shortlist of ten entries, will receive a “photographic experience,” the details of which are yet to be announced. The competition will coincide with the Saatchi Gallery’s forthcoming exhibition, “From Selfie to Self-Expression,” which  will run from 31st March – 30th May 2017 and will explore the history of the selfie from Rembrandt and Velazquez to the present day. Discover more via the Saatchi Gallery’s website.


Yet another move for Wim Pijbes

Wim Pijbes, who directed Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum for over seven years, has been appointed managing director of Stichting Droom en Daad, a new foundation for the arts.

The organization aims to develop initiatives that will help promote the arts in Rotterdam. It will develop projects in the fields of music, theater, dance, architecture, film, literature and visual arts. Stichting Droom en Daad’s first initiative will be to support the 46th edition of the prestigious International Film Festival Rotterdam, which opens on January 25. Pijbes had a somewhat turbulent year in 2016, first stepping down as director of the Rijksmuseum in March and later resigning from his position at the Museum Voorlinden after a mere three months. Read the full story on artnet News.

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