Ketterer Kunst has announced a comprehensive Old Masters and 19th Century auction. The sale includes highlights from Italian Baroque and Flemish masters.
Bidders will undoubtedly get most excited about Il Guercino’s seminal painting David With Goliath’s Head (1650). Painted in the hallmark contrasting light and dark style of the baroque era, the artwork depicts David glancing towards the heavens, as if to ask for forgiveness for the brutal killing of Goliath. The work has been estimated to sell for €250.000 – €350.000 ($281,000 – $337,000).
Representing Flemish baroque, the sale includes Portrait of Maria de Medici, Queen of France (1631) by Antonius van Dyck. The picture was painted in Antwerp during the Queen’s first year of exile, after she was disempowered and accused of high treason by her son Ludwig XIII. The portrait has been estimated to sell for €30,000 – €40,000 ($33,700 – $44,900).
Works from the collection of the the Bavarian financier Max Geiger make up the majority of the 19th-century works in the sale. The collection included works by Adolf Heinrich von Liers as well as beautiful Bavarian landscapes by Karl Altmann, estimated at €20,000 – €30,000 ($22,480 – $33,700); and Heinrich Bürkel, estimated at €30,000 – €40,000 ($33,700 – $44,900).
Works by Adolph von Menzel, Gustave Courbet, Albrecht Dürer, and Rembrandt van Rijn round off the sale.
The artist Antonio de Felipe, arguably Spain’s most established contemporary Pop artist, is facing one of the most challenging moments of his career: Fumiko Negishi, a Japanese artist based in Spain, has launched a lawsuit claiming she has painted 221 canvases signed by De Felipe.
Negishi told El Español that she worked at De Felipe’s Madrid studio for over 10 years, from 2006 until this past February, when she received a letter of dismissal citing financial reasons.
“Everyday, except for an annual month of vacation, I painted the canvases at a workshop at the rear end of the studio, which is not accessible to clients,” she told El Español.
Upon her dismissal, El Español reports, she felt that De Felipe did not respect her work or had any sympathy towards her situation, and she decided to tell her story.
She is not only telling her story to the Spanish media, but also to a judge. In the lawsuit, she demands that De Felipe “admits the truthful facts regarding the authorship of the paintings” and tells collectors and institutions that have purchased said works that Negishi is their author, or at least co-author.
She also demands that De Felipe rectify statements he made in media outlets claiming to be the sole author of his works, with no mention of Negishi’s contributions.
Meanwhile, 49-year-old De Felipe—best-known for his 1990s series of Pop sculptures using the motif of the Laughing Cow and known by some as “the Spanish Andy Warhol“—got in touch with El Español to deny the claims:
“[Negishi] has intervened in some areas of my paintings, but the intellectual authorship of the works is mine. Fumiko has not contributed anything to them,” De Felipe said, accusing Negishi of being disloyal and adding that she’s only “a studio assistant, like all artists have.”
Negishi, meanwhile, claims she executed the 221 paintings from scratch, based on sketches De Felipe had given to her. Negishi adds that those sketches were done by Photoshop, not by the artist’s hand, and that on occasions not even a sketch was provided as a starting point, only a photograph or an idea.
In her lawsuit, she claims that she “created the works and executed them until they were finished, freely and following her own artistic criteria, reflecting on them her singularity and artistic personality.” Except for the original sketches, and adding his signature to the finished works, “De Felipe did not touch those paintings,” Negishi states.
De Felipe is responding to the allegations saying that Negishi is merely kicking up a fuss because of her dismissal. “I just don’t have the money to pay her. The economic situation is what it is,” he said.
According to El Español, the IVAM museum of modern art in Valencia (where De Felipe hails from), bought a series by the artist in 2003 for a whopping €140,000. Meanwhile, according to El País, De Felipe’s works fetch an average price of €40,000, with portrait commissions costing about €15,000.
Negishi’s current lawsuit doesn’t include a monetary compensation, but could be followed up with a subsequent legal process where it would be demanded.
Berlin has a well-established reputation as an artist’s paradise. And whilst studio space isn’t as cheap and bountiful as it was a decade ago, a new study by the consultancy PriceWaterhouseCoopers ranks it among the top cities in several artist-friendly categories.
The study, titled Cities of Opportunity, ranked 30 global metropolises on the basis of publicly available data. According to the study’s findings, Die Welt reports, Berlin offers an enormously high quality of life compared to other international cities.
Although it may surprise Berlin’s current residents, who sometimes grumble over rising rents, living in the German capital is comparatively cheap. Of the 30 cities studied in the investigation only Johannesburg, Toronto, and Los Angeles were found to be cheaper.
Berlin also ranked highly in the categories of safety, green space, sustainable lifestyle, and for its lively cultural scene.
Additionally, the city appeals to residents both young and old. Only New York and London ranked as more attractive for young people, whilst only London and Sydney offer better care services for the elderly.
“Berlin is a city that obviously not only attracts young people, but people of all ages because it offers a very high quality of life,” Steffen Döring, partner at PwC Berlin told Die Welt.
All of these qualities explain why artists flock to Berlin. The study, however, has also exposed a major drawback. The city has a serious economic deficiency, which the authors measure in terms of the number of corporate headquarters, economic growth, and the number of new jobs created. Only Lagos, São Paulo, Bogotá, and Rio de Janeiro ranked lower.
“The challenge is to provide a basis for these excellent living conditions with more growth and greater prosperity for its citizens,” Döring added. “For years Berlin has remind below its potential.” It seems that former Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit’s famous description of Berlin as “Poor, but sexy,” made in 2004, still rings true for the moment.
Three high-level staffers at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art are leaving the institution amid ongoing financial troubles, reports the New York Times. The museum revealed in April that it faced a $10-million deficit, and that it would institute a hiring freeze and a round of voluntary buyouts—even layoffs, if necessary.
Sree Sreenivasan, the museum’s first chief digital officer, leaves almost exactly three years after his hiring. Cynthia Round, senior vice president for marketing and external relations, and Susan Sellers, head of design since that same month, are also leaving. Round and Sellers both also started in summer 2013 and were part of the team responsible for the museum’s new—and unloved—graphic identity.
Sreenivasan posted a letter to museum staff from director Thomas Campbell and president Daniel Weiss on Facebook.
Sreenivasan oversaw the development of a museum app; a video project in which artists discuss inspiring works from the collection; and updates to the museum’s website, among other initiatives. He departs June 30, and will serve as a consultant for six months, according to Campbell’s letter. Loic Tallon, deputy digital chief, will serve as interim chief digital officer.
Round will also consult with the museum through the end of 2016.
The museum aims to balance the budget within two years. “We’re looking at ways of streamlining our operation,” Weiss tells the Times. “Everything we are doing, we will continue to do. But we’ll do it probably a little bit slower.”
The museum had announced in January that it would undertake an extensive renovation to its modern and contemporary wing; that project has been paused.
For the second year in a row, the Met Museum has won the title of world’s Best Museum on TripAdvisor, followed by Chicago’s Art Institute and St Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace, coming in at second and third place, respectively.
Indeed, 2016 has been a momentous (and bittersweet) year for the museum, which first opened in 1870. In February, the new Met Breuer, devoted to modern and contemporary art, opened in the Whitney Museum’s previous abode. The opening, however, was heralded by a much-derided change of branding.
No doubt aided by the launch of the new branch, the museum has had its best year ever in attendance, with a total of 6.7 million visitors in the fiscal year that ended June 30, totaling 400,000 more visitors than the previous year.
Despite this phenomenal success, however, the museum has also been plagued by intense financial woes, namely a $10 million deficit that has led to cutbacks and lay-offs, including three senior staffers: Sree Sreenivasan, the museum’s first chief digital officer; Cynthia Round, senior vice president for marketing and external relations; and Susan Sellers, head of design.
According to the Daily Mail, also in TripAdvisor’s 2016 museum top ten are the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York, Madrid’s Museo del Prado, London’s British Museum, the Acropolis Museum in Athens, and Vasa Museum in Stockholm.
Sopranos star Federico Castelluccio may not share his onscreen character’s mobster tendencies, but the actor finds himself in trouble with the law nonetheless, as the subject of a civil action lawsuit.
According to a news item posted on Art Daily, Castelluccio is being sued by his former publicist, James Sliman, for payment. Over the last two-and-a-half years, Silman was tasked with promoting a newly-discovered painting of Saint Sebastian by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, best-known as Guercino, thought to be worth $10 million.
Castelluccio reportedly paid just $140,000 for the artwork, and enlisted Sliman to help spread the news of the find, in the hopes of quickly finding a buyer willing to pay millions for the Baroque masterpiece.
Sliman alleges that Castelluccio agreed to pay him $35,000 for his publicity work, which included promoting the actor’s bonafides as an art collector and Baroque art expert. The publicist says he has never seen a dime for his work, and that Castelluccio, who has yet to sell the Guercino, has continually made excuses to delay payment.
“Even though [Castelluccio] said he was ‘broke,’ he continued to purchase art and other items for his collection,” Sliman claims in the filing.
Though he’s best known for his HBO role, Castelluccio thinks of himself first and foremost as a painter. “Before anything else,” he told West 46th Mag, “I’m a visual artist. It’s an asset to me as an actor and, more importantly, as a director.”
According to Live Auctioneers, over 20,000 people viewed the Guercino painting when it was on view in the exhibition “St. Sebastian: Beauty and Integrity in Art Between the 15th and the 17th Centuries” at the Fondazione Cosso’s Miradolo Castle near Turin, Italy, from October 2014 through the following March. The canvas later made its American debut at the Princeton University Art Museum.
A Bordelaise octogenarian woman got more than she bargained for when she hired an art specialist to authenticate a possible Leonardo da Vinci sketch in her possession.
The elderly woman was obviously not the only one to hope her portrait showing a young black woman in profile and signed by Da Vinci was truly part of the distinguished Italian master’s oeuvre. The “expert” assigned to authenticate the precious work absconded with it before completing his evaluation, reports Le Figaro.
The drawing was given to the woman by her father, an antiquarian in the center of Bordeaux, and had been in her possession for several years. The woman entrusted the portrait to the specialist, hoping to have it authenticated in the interest of selling it.
The supposed expert, with the sketch in tow, vanished quickly thereafter, but not before liquidating his company and leaving no trace of his whereabouts.
The plaintiff’s lawyer suspects the man sought to take advantage of an elderly woman, and targeted his client in the hope of exploiting her reduced capacity in order to get his hands on a valuable object.
If the portrait is truly a Leonardo da Vinci, it could be worth several tens of millions of euros.
That said, another expert who examined the sketch around a decade ago concluded that the work might actually be by Passarotti, another 16th century Italian painter. But this is poor consolation for the owner because even if it is a Passarotti, it could still have brought in hundreds of thousands of euros.
To know the exact sum, the elderly lady could have amassed through the sale, the drawing would have to be evaluated again, this time by an expert worth his salt. For now, all she can do is hope the thief is apprehended, or is struck by a sudden bout of remorse.
The actor and celebrity Alec Baldwin sued the art dealer Mary Boone in New York State Supreme Court on Monday, asserting in court papers that he had been defrauded in the purchase of a painting from Ms. Boone in 2010.
The suit asserts that Ms. Boone deceived him by promising a painting, “Sea and Mirror,” by the artist Ross Bleckner, that had been sold at Sotheby’s to a Los Angeles collector in 2007, but in fact supplied another similar Bleckner painting, also called “Sea and Mirror.”
“The painting Ms. Boone delivered was not the authentic “Sea and Mirror” painting Mr. Baldwin had purchased and was not the painting Ms. Boone represented it was,” the filing said.
Mr. Baldwin’s suit says that Ms. Boone fraudulently stamped the back of the painting she sold to Mr. Baldwin with the gallery inventory number of the other painting. In a statement Ted Poretz, a lawyer for Ms. Boone,
rejected Mr. Baldwin’s lawsuit as false and as an effort to intimidate Ms. Boone.
“ Ms. Boone has no interest in misleading clients and we are confident that this frivolous and vindictive lawsuit will be dismissed,” he said in the statement. “Regardless of Mr. Baldwin’s unseemly reaction to his own misunderstanding, Ms. Boone offered him a full refund and took every step to handle this in a professional manner.”
Mr. Baldwin first had questions about the painting after he bought it for $190,000 because when it arrived, it appeared brighter and had a different smell than he had expected, though Ms. Boone told him she had had it cleaned, according to the filing. In an earlier statement, Mr. Poretz indicated that Mr. Baldwin had been informed that he was getting a different version of “Sea and Mirror.” Mr. Baldwin has said he was never told.
The dispute, which has lifted a curtain on the often opaque New York art world, has pitted Mr. Baldwin, who occupies a central role in New York’s cultural life, against Ms. Boone, a prominent gallery owner who built her reputation in the 1980s.
The people have spoken. And what do the people want to see at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the most influential art museum in the United States? If you guessed painting, or sculpture, or even flashy contemporary art, you guessed wrong. The answer is very, very expensive dresses.
The Met announced today that “Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology” notched in as its seventh most visited show of all time after closing over Labor Day weekend. More than three quarters of a million visitors—752,995 to be exact—turned out to see the Andrew Bolton-curated Costume Institute show dedicated to the use of technology in high fashion.
The museum even offered extended hours on September 2-3, staying open until midnight to feed the hunger to see high-end design by the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Iris van Herpen, and “Coco” Chanel.
Like other recent Costume Institute extravaganzas, “Manus x Machina” was presented as an event, with installation design from Rem Koolhaas’s OMA architects. The affair was sponsored by Apple, representing a first dip into cultural funding for the technology giant.
The show received generally positive reviews. Few can doubt that the wildly inventive examples of couture on view count as “art.”
The news, however, does increasingly make it appear as if the Fashion Institute tail is wagging the Met Museum dog.
Last year’s “China: Through the Looking Glass” also made headlines as the Met’s fifth most visited show of all time. Hype was so intense that the show took on a second life as a documentary, The First Monday in May, which opened this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
A quick look at the current record of the Met’s 10 most-attended shows, organized chronologically, shows that fashion exhibitions have been the Golden Goose, attendance-wise, in the second decade of the 21st century. The Costume Institute has perfected a formula that has driven levels of attention only rarely touched before with the museum’s fine art offerings
Still, nothing in recent decades has come close to the cultural clout of the 1978 “Treasures of Tutankhamen” exhibition, or the 1963 American tour of the Mona Lisa. Both of these shows garnered over a million visitors. To this day, they rank as the two all-time biggest shows at the museum.
The King Tut spectacular, in particular, had impacts far beyond the Met: Its resounding success has long been thought to have inaugurated a new era for museums in general, with an emphasis on temporary shows of cultural treasures or name-brand modernists becoming the main fuel of attendance.
From the current evidence, it seems that the furor around the Met’s 2011 Alexander McQueen exhibition may mark the opening of a new, fashion-forward era of museum blockbuster.
On May 18, the London-based gallery White Rainbow will open “Index II,” dedicated to the phenomenal oeuvre of Japanese photographer Shigeo Anzaï.
“Index II”—which follows its predecessor “Index I”—will again offer UK audiences unprecedented access to Anzaï’s portraiture. The exhibition will bring together nearly 50 images of famous international artists whom Anzaï came into contact with during his long career, including Yayoi Kusama, Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Richard Long, and Daniel Buren.