November 18 | $1.1 million work by Njideka Akunyili Crosby smashes artist’s previous record at Sotheby’s
As New York’s autumn sales begin to come to a close, Sotheby’s evening contemporary art auction that took place in New York on November 17 racked up a total of $237.4 million before premium, at the lower end of its $209 million to $302 million estimate.
After the gavel came down on Andy Warhol’s Self Portrait (Fright Wig) halfway through the auction, there was a dramatic exodus from the auction room. Warhol’s work went for $21.5 million before fees, well short of its high estimate of $30 million. Further guests departed after an untitled oil on paper work by Mark Rothko sold for $3.8 million, $300,000 above its low pre-sale estimate. Among the most important moments of the night, Njideka Akunyili Crosby’s Drown sold for $900,000, ($1.1 with buyer’s premium) — three times its high estimate and ten times the artist's previous auction record of $93,750, set last September, also at Sotheby’s. Of the 64 lots offered, only four failed to sell. More information via the Financial Times.
Trailblazing Yorkshire gallery Hepworth Wakefield announced yesterday that Macclesfield-born artist Helen Marten is the recipient of the biennial Hepworth Prize for sculpture. The newly established award, which is the UK’s only prize for sculpture, was established to support UK-based artists who have made a significant contribution to the development of contemporary sculpture. The chair of the jury, Simon Wallis, said of the winner: “Helen Marten is one of the strongest and most singular voices working in British art today. Her refined craft and intellectual precision address our relationship to objects and materials in a digital age.” Martin will receive a financial prize of £30,000. Artforum has more.
Following the US election’s surprise result, Scott Rothkopf, chief curator and deputy director for programs at the Whitney Biennial, has announced today the theme of the 2017 edition will focus on “who we are as a nation.” The diverse range of featured artists — including, among others, Rafa Esparza, Susan Cianciolo, Aliza Nisenbaum, Henry Taylor, Jessi Reaves and Chemi Rosado-Seijo — vary in their race, gender, sexual orientation and national identities and work across a variety of media. Next year, the biennial will be held in the Whitney’s new downtown premises for the first time, and opens March 17. The New York Times has the full story.
New York’s Outsider Art Fair has announced the list of exhibitors for its 25th edition, which will run from January 19 through January 22, 2017. The list features 60 galleries from 9 countries, which will show work by self-taught artists from their respective regions. Among the galleries are Tokyo’s Yukiko Koide Presents, Creativity Explored in San Francisco and Marseille’s Galerie Polysemie. Read the full list of exhibitors on ARTnews.
Paris’ Arab World Institute (l’Institut du monde arabe) has opened a new outpost in Tourcoing, a city in Northern France. The outpost is housed in a 300-square-meter former swimming school, situated in the city center, where over 100 works will be on show. The permanent exhibition, which is free to all, is made up of medieval, modern and contemporary works from the collections of the Arab World Institute Paris, the Louvre and the Musée Delacroix in Paris. Following expansion works, the institution, running on a budget of 1 million per year, will cover a surface of more than 3,000 square meters. Read more (in French) on France 3.