February 9 | Oprah cashes in with sale of $150 million Klimt
One of the world’s richest celebrities just got even richer, artists and art institutions continue their resistance against the Trump administration, and Rachel Whiteread receives a well-earned honour.
Oprah cashes in
In what was one of the biggest private art deals of 2016, Oprah Winfrey sold a Gustav Klimt painting to a Chinese buyer for $150 million.
The new was revealed by leading art journalist Katya Kazakina. The billionaire entrepreneur, who is chief executive officer of the television channel Oprah Winfrey Network, bought Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II (1912) for $87.9 million in 2006 at Christie’s New York — at the time an auction record for Klimt. Since then, the painting’s value has risen around 71%. The painting is the second major Klimt to be sold in a private deal over the past few years. Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev sold Water Serpents II (1904-1907) for $170 million in November 2015, again to a Chinese buyer. More details available via Bloomberg.
Art world mobilizes against Trump
A number of institutions, galleries, artists, critics, and curators have joined together to sign a petition denouncing President Donald Trump’s “Muslim ban” — an executive order barring entry to the US from citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries.
Among the signatories are the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Marian Goodman gallery, Stefan Kalmár of the ICA and the Brooklyn Museum’s Nancy Spector, curator Massimiliano Gioni, as well as artists such as Carol Bove, Barbara Kruger, Mariam Ghani, Walid Raad and Lawrence Weiner. The petition concludes: “Our field is dependent upon international collaboration and cross-cultural exchange, and these cross-border and cross-cultural collaborations benefit the general public; the ban thus affects all of us.” Read the petition in full here.
Rachel Whiteread wins Ada Huxtable Prize
British artist Rachel Whiteread has been awarded the Ada Huxtable Prize, which recognizes women who have made a significant contribution to architecture and the built environment.
Whiteread is best known for her work 1993 House — a concrete cast of the inside of a three-story Victorian home in London’s East End that was up for demolition. The public sculpture earned Whiteread the Turner Prize that year, making her the first woman to receive the award.Whiteread’s focus on the architectural spaces that contain human, her collaboration with architects - including Caruso St John for the current Holocaust Memorial competition - and her participation on the 2016 RIBA Stirling Prize jury are indicative of her wide reaching impact on the world of architecture. The Architect’s Journal has more.
Rachel Whiteread with her work Detached 1 (2012). Courtesy Gagosian Gallery
MCH Swiss Exhibition Ltd. — a subsidiary of the live marketing company MCH Group — has acquired a 25% stake in art.fair International GmbH, the company responsible for organizing ART DÜSSELDORF art fair.
Though 75% of the company will remain in the hands of the current proprietors to date, Andreas Lohaus and Walter Gehlen. MCH Group has the option of acquiring a majority stake in the coming years. Marco Fazzone, Managing Director of Design & Regional Art Fairs at MCH Group, commented: "MCH Group's participation in ART DÜSSELDORF constitutes a further step in the implementation of our strategic initiative for the worldwide expansion of a new portfolio of regional art fairs in important art locations.” Responsibility for ART DÜSSELDORF will remain in the hands of the existing team at art.fair International GmbH. ART DÜSSELDORF will take place from November 16 to 19, 2017 and will be accompanied by its satellite fair BLOOOM. Read the announcement via benzinga.