Richard Meier, the celebrated architect and Pritzker Prize winner who designed the Getty Center in Los Angeles, established a graduate scholarship in January at his alma mater, Cornell University’s architecture school. Intended to honor the 55th anniversary of his practice, the scholarship was designed to “recruit and retain the most talented women applicants.” (New York Times)

5 Women Accuse the Architect Richard Meier of Sexual Harassment

MAR. 13

Helen Molesworth, the chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art whose exhibitions have included the critically acclaimed 2017 Kerry James Marshall retrospective that was also a rare popular hit, has been fired, according to sources close to the museum.

MOCA Director Philippe Vergne took the dramatic step on Monday, sources say. (LA Times)

MOCA fires its chief curator

MAR. 13

LOS ANGELES — In army green camouflage and black sweats and with two heavy gold chains swinging with each step of his Nikes, Damien Hirst was in an unusually quiet mood.

Sipping from a can of Diet Coke at the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills, his jeweled fingers shining, the artist craned to watch as his last nine-foot canvas was installed. Mr. Hirst is used to directing a legion of assistants, but on this day he was pensive. (New York Times)

Damien Hirst’s Post-Venice,
Post-Truth World

MAR. 13

A masterful mixing of art, architecture and nature, Glenstone has announced that Oct. 4 will be the opening day for a much-anticipated expansion that will immediately draw national attention as a unique and contemplative cultural destination. (Washington Post)

Much anticipated Glenstone expansion to open Oct. 4

MAR. 12

By the late ’60s, Judy Chicago had just turned 30 and was already a fearless and unapologetic artist teaching at California State University at Fresno. There she created a pioneering, yearlong women’s art program. In 1971 she took a job teaching art at the California Institute of the Arts, or CalArts. Her groundbreaking curriculum went with her. (New York Times)

Women, Art and the Houses They Built

MAR. 12

Nearly $2 million worth of 19th-century paintings owned by a wealthy lawyer were swiped from a Brooklyn fine art storage facility, law enforcement sources said Thursday.

The 69-year-old owner of the artwork noticed that six of his scenic paintings valued at $1.7 million were missing when he conducted an inventory of his property stored at the Crozier Fine Arts facility in Williamsburg at 2 p.m. on Aug. 16, 2017. (New York Post)

Nearly $2M worth of 19th-century paintings stolen

MAR. 8

David Rockefeller’s Estate Sale May Hit $1 Billion

Mar. 7

David Rockefeller kept a $90 million Picasso nude in his living room, wedged between windows that overlooked East 65th Street. For him, art was meant to be lived with, not hidden away. Rockefeller, the last surviving grandchild of Standard Oil Co. founder John D. Rockefeller, had a long-standing affinity for modern art and spent the better part of a century collecting works by Paul Gauguin, Diego Rivera, Henri Matisse, and others. He was born wealthy, but over time his habit contributed significantly to his personal fortune. (Bloomberg)

While the Shed’s unique architectural structure has been revealed, the plans for programming within have been more ambiguous. But on Wednesday, the Shed’s artistic director, Alex Poots, revealed the first batch of commissions for the Hudson Yards venue’s inaugural season.

The ambitious, genre-melding performances will begin in the spring of 2019, and include a musical series conceived by Steve McQueen and Quincy Jones and a collaboration between the poet Anne Carson, the actor Ben Whishaw and the opera singer Renée Fleming.

The Shed’s 1st Season Welcomes a Concert Series From Steve McQueen and Quincy Jones

Mar. 6

Year after year (rain or shine), Los Angeles rolls out its red carpets to fete the annual Academy Awards. The city comes to life with celebrations aplenty in honor of the year’s talents on the screen, but Gagosian chooses to honor a different form of art with their annual Oscars opening, this year in celebration of Damien Hirst’s latest series, “The Veil Paintings.” The annual opening always attracts a very eclectic crowd, which this year included Kanye West, Flea, and Billy Idol. As guests filtered through the large crowd gathered outside the gallery and into the space, the likes of Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel could be seen perusing Hirst’s latest body of work. Around the room Diane von Furstenberg, Tom Ford, and Zac Posen mingled among friends before going off into the night and the rest of the Oscar weekend. (Vogue)

Kanye West, Karlie Kloss, Diane von Furstenberg, and More Celebrate Damien Hirst’s Opening at Gagosian in Los Angeles

Mar. 3

MARRAKESH, Morocco — “If you come to Marrakesh, you don’t come to see contemporary art,” Othman Lazraq, president of the Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden told journalists before the opening of his independent museum. “You come to see camels and dancing ladies.”

Mr. Lazraq, 29, son of the multimillionaire Moroccan real estate developer and art collector Alami Lazraq, might have had his tongue firmly in cheek, yet his remark summed up popular perceptions of Marrakesh. (New York Times)

With New Museum and Fair, Marrakesh Joins the Art World Map

MAR. 2

How a new generation of dealers is reinvigorating the Old Masters market

Mar. 2



In Andreas Pampoulides’ upstairs gallery in London’s Cork Street, an elegant suite of small rooms, there is an eclectic array of art works: a 16th-century Italian terracotta roundel, a 19th-century marble sculpture of Aurora by British sculptor John Gibson, a large sketch for an 1860 painting by Italian painter Andrea Gastaldi of the Siege of Tortona and a portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds. “No one collects one kind of art any more,” Pampoulides tells me. “We bring people along on a journey with us. One client came in wanting to buy the Reynolds but he is now interested also in the Gastaldi.” And setting the scene is all-important. “I have a regular client, an American hedge fund manager, around 50 years old. I want his visits here to be a fun experience for him. The 20 minutes he spends here, he can unwind. That way we build a relationship. Every sale comes out of a relationship.” (Financial Times)

A year ago Sotheby’s hired David Schrader, a former JP Morgan institutional salesman, to head private sales for contemporary art in North America for the venerable auction house as part of its effort to strengthen and diversify its business beyond public auction sales. So far, the strategy seems to be working. Barron's

Sotheby’s Private Sales Hits Four-Year High

Mar. 1

  • Consolidated Sales increased 12% to $5.5 billion and Aggregate Auction Sales rose 8% to $4.6 billion in 2017 versus the prior year.
  • Aggregate Auction Sales of Contemporary Art and Impressionist and Modern Art improved 29% and 33%, respectively, from 2016 to 2017.
  • Asian clients contributed $1.6 billion of 2017 Aggregate Auction Sales.
  • Private sales grew 28% in 2017 to $744.6 million, a four-year high.
  • 23% of all lots sold in 2017 were purchased by online buyers, for a total of $180 million, a 16% increase compared to the prior year.
  • Total revenues in 2017 increased 23% to $989.4 million, in large part due to a strengthening art market and increased efforts to reduce our legacy inventory balance. 
  • Fourth quarter 2017 net income of $76.7 million, or $1.43 per diluted share, increases of 17% and 19%, respectively, from the prior period.  Excluding certain charges in both periods, Adjusted Net Income* improved 7% to $79.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 and Adjusted Diluted Earnings Per Share* improved 9% to $1.47 per diluted share.
  • Net impact of recently enacted tax reform legislation of $1.2 million.  2018 effective tax rate expected to be in the range of 27%, which is still dependent on the mix of our earnings among our global businesses and any discrete items, as well as further guidance to be issued by the tax authorities.
  • Board of Directors approves $100 million increase to share repurchase authorization, resulting in an updated share repurchase authorization of $196 million as of today.

Full Report


Sotheby's Reports 2017 Full Year and Fourth Quarter Financial Results

Mar. 1

ADAA: A Fair to Remember Starts a Month of Art Show Madness

Mar. 1

The ADAA Art Show has made a smart move, scheduling its annual occupation of the Park Avenue Armory a week before the March Madness of New York’s art fairs. Those who give it their undivided attention, without pressure of competing events, will be richly rewarded. This year’s incarnation is the 30th gathering organized by the Art Dealers Association of America and it overflows with interesting material, new and not, in solo and group presentations. Herewith, some tips to help you navigate your way. (New York Times)

LONDON — The line had begun forming at 3 p.m., though the time varied according to whom you asked. A young American Marine, Claude Martin, at the back of the line — the very back, since after less than an hour, the hired security forbade any more people from lining up — said he had heard whispers that the earliest comers had arrived at 3 a.m. It was a damp Tuesday evening in London, but they waited down the block and around the corner to get in, mostly young men, mostly in sneakers, at least one with a Supreme bag. (New York Times)

First Came the Sneakerheads, Then the Blue-Chip Art Collectors

Feb. 28

There was no landslide. The protagonists of rightwing populism would have us believe that their side emerged from recent elections and referendums with an overwhelming share of the vote. But in reality their successes were less clear-cut. The Brexit vote that took the world by surprise was very close: only 51.8% of those who went to the polls voted to leave. Meanwhile, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took the Turkish presidency with just 51.4% of the vote and Donald Trump won the US electoral college – and thus the presidency – with just 46.1%, whereas his adversary scored 48.2%. In Germany, the Alternative für Deutschland party behaves as though it were a huge movement “reclaiming” its people, even though more than 87% of German voters chose other parties. (The Guardian)

Wolfgang Tillmans: my two-year investigation into the post-truth era

Feb. 28

We’re in Virginia, where the photographer Sally Mann was born, in 1951, and where she still lives, making work so rooted in place that it is inseparable from history, from lore, and from the effects of slavery. Like Janus, she looks forward as she looks back, at all those bodies that made her and her place in Virginia, and into the landscape, filled with rutted earth, big or low clouds, storybook fantastic vegetation, and the Southern light that reminds so many of photography itself—dark, as Joan Didion wrote, and glowing “with a morbid luminescence.” That entire vision is a part of Mann’s photographs, as she asks in these images of family members, roads, rivers, churches, and the effects of blackness on whiteness and whiteness on itself: Abide with me. And it all does—voices, sounds, the invisible things that Mann’s haunted and haunting photo­graphs allow us to see. (The New Yorker)

The Color of Humanity in Sally Mann’s South

Feb. 28

An international art advisory firm went on a Picasso shopping spree, dropping $155 million on at least 13 works in two days.

Gurr Johns, which buys and sells on behalf of clients, won four pieces by the Spanish artist, totaling 73.8 million pounds ($102.4 million) at Sotheby’s on Wednesday, according to the auction house. One day earlier, the company won at least nine other Picasso works at Christie’s, according to Baer Faxt, an art industry newsletter, to the tune of 38.9 million pounds. (Bloomberg)

Thirteen Picassos Sold in Two Days and One Firm Bought Them All

Feb. 28

Leaning rakishly in his impeccable steel-blue suit over the podium in Christie's King Street, London, rooms on Tuesday evening, the auction house's Oxford-educated global president, Finnish expat Jussi Pylkkänen, artfully pulled $158-plus million out of the air in the Impressionist and modern art evening sale. It was a sporting performance. Despite the heavy weather in global financial markets of the last few weeks, it turns out that there is still money left in the known, if somewhat embattled, world of high rollers willing to assay forth to capture a Picasso or a Monet, to name but two of the evening's star attractions.  Pylkkänen had Picasso's anticipated Femme se coiffant, lot 9, up from its conservative 4.4-million-pound starting point by a half-million-pounds in something like eight seconds, before wringing his gavel down in conductor-like fashion on the painting at 6.7 million sterling, or a little better than $9.4 million. (Forbes)

How To Generate $158 Million In Two Hours: Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art Sale In London

Feb. 27

During the late 1950s and 1960s, Robert and Ethel Scull, owners of a lucrative taxi company, became fixtures on the New York gallery circuit, buying up the work of then-emerging Abstract Expressionist, Minimalist, and Pop artists in droves. Described by Tom Wolfe as “the folk heroes of every social climber who ever hit New York”—Robert was a high school drop-out from the Bronx—the Sculls shrewdly recognized that establishing themselves as influential art collectors offered access to the upper echelons of Manhattan society in a way that nouveau riche “taxi tycoon” did not.  (The New Republic)

How Modern Art Serves the Rich

Feb. 26

A sign the global art market remains aloft on the buoyancy created from strong market results last year are fine art auction lineups in London that are bursting with works that haven’t been on the market for years. Owners and collectors are seizing the moment. (Barron's)

London Auctions Aim to Capitalize on Art Market Surge

Feb. 26

This blockbuster show focuses on one remarkable year in the artist’s extraordinary life — when his paintings revealed a new romantic obsession. (The Times)

Exhibition: Picasso 1932: Love, Fame, Tragedy at Tate Modern

Feb. 23

SAN FRANCISCO—Airbnb Inc., looking to solidify sales ahead of an initial public offering expected as soon as next year, is adding more hotels to its site, along with a loyalty program and new tiers of listings that include luxury and more budget-friendly offerings. (Wall Street Journal)

Airbnb Adds Hotels and Luxury Listings to Bolster Growth

Feb. 22

Degas Painting, Stolen in 2009, Is Found on Bus Near Paris

Feb. 23

PARIS — A little over eight years ago, French investigators were stumped after a small painting by the Impressionist master Edgar Degas was stolen from a museum in the Mediterranean port city of Marseille. (Full Article/ New York Times)

In Picasso’s Blue Period,
Scanners Find Secrets
He Painted Over

Feb. 20

Bits of color were peeking out through cracks in the dark shades of “La Miséreuse accroupie,” a 1902 painting by a young Pablo Picasso during his “Blue Period.” That was not surprising. X-ray images taken a quarter- century ago had shown that Picasso had painted this work, known in English as “The Crouching Woman,” over another artist’s landscape. (Full Article/ New York Times)

Spectacular Set of German Expressionist Prints Given to Colby Museum

Feb. 22

The Colby College Museum of Art has acquired a significant collection of German Expressionist prints, the gift of Norma Boom Marin. The remarkable gift of 28 prints, many of them brilliant or rare impressions, will make its first public appearance at Colby later this year. (Full Article/ Colby News)

Mr Chow: How a Chinese restaurant became an art world mecca

Feb. 21

WarholBasquiat and Hockney walk into a restaurant... It sounds like the beginning of a terrible joke, but in their day, these art titans were all regulars at branches of a show-stopping Chinese restaurant called Mr Chow, and friends with its impresario, Michael Chow (aka M), who, in his own right, has had an inestimable influence on the art, culture and culinary scenes. (Full article/ CNN)

The global art market is booming. Much of the art being bought and sold at record prices will not be seen by many people. There are too many financial incentives to keep the masterpieces in storage. (NPR)

Why A Lot Of Very Expensive Art Is Disappearing Into Storage

Feb. 15

Picasso’s stepdaughter is planning to open a museum dedicated to the artist and his second wife, Jacqueline Roque, in a former convent in the southern French town of Aix-en-Provence. The project is driven by Catherine Hutin-Blay, Jacqueline's daughter. Hutin-Blay inherited her mother’s collection of Picasso works and owns the Château de Vauvenargues near Aix-en-Provence, where the couple are buried. The Musée Jacqueline et Pablo Picasso will house around 1,000 paintings—more than the respective collections of the Picasso museums in Paris, Antibes, Barcelona and Malaga.

Picasso’s stepdaughter to open museum in Aix-en-Provence with huge collection of artist's paintings

Feb. 7