In the News: December 2011
Works by Millais, Rossetti & Burne-Jones at Christie's
London. Christie's Victorian & British Impressionist Art sale offered 90 paintings and works on paper at auction on December 15th 2011, by a variety of artists ranging from the Pre-Raphaelites to the British Impressionists, including John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, Frank Cadogan Cowper, and others, for an overall estimate in excess of £4.5 million. The sale was led by the masterly panorama Derby Day by William Powell Frith, RA (1819-1909).
Another important highlight of the sale was Frank Cadogan Cowper's (1877-1958) Our Lady of the Fruits of the Earth, 1917. Estimated at £150,000 to £250,000.
Asian Works of Art Auction at Skinner
Boston. The auction of Asian Works of Art held at Skinner Inc. on December 1 to December 3, 2011 brought more than $3.7 million inclusive of buyer's premium. Of the 1,600 works offered, many exceeded high estimates, demonstrating the strong demand for Asian art and antiques.
Huanghuali furniture was especially sought with two lots exceeding the $100,000 mark, both of Chinese origin. One of the auction's top sellers was a pair of low-back Huanghuali armchairs with rattan seats which sold for $118,500. A pair of 18th century Huanghuali stools with rattan tops and hoofed legs sold for $112,575.
Artist Larissa Sansour Excluded From the 2011 Elysée Art Prize
Switzerland. 2011 Elysée Art Prize worth 25,000 euros (£21,000) has been suspended when the organisers censored one of the nominees. Jerusalem-born artist Larissa Sansour said she was taken off the shortlist for being "too pro-Palestinian".
Sansour was among eight finalists shortlisted for the photography prize for her Nation Estate project.Her three images were inspired by Palestine's attempt to gain UN recognition and depicts a skyscraper housing the Palestinian population.
The organisers, Lacoste and the Musee de l'Elysee, felt the work were inappropriate for the prize, which had a "Joie de Vivre" theme. Though later, the Musée de l'Elysée has defended the artist and released another statement suspending the contest and its relationship with Lacoste, in support of the artist.
An Indian Diamond and Jade Pendant from Elizabeth Taylor's Collection Sold at Christie's
New York. On December 14, 2011 an auction of actress Elizabeth Taylor's world-renowned jewels was organised at Christie's which took in $116 million ( € 88 million), more than double the record for a single collection, and set new marks for pearls, colourless diamonds and Indian jewels.
The Taj Mahal, an Indian diamond and jade pendant necklace, ruby and gold chain, by Cartier was the second highest item which was sold for $8,818,500, a record for an Indian jewel.
The highest price went to “La Peregrina” which was sold for a world auction record price for a pearl at $11,842,500.
Christie's sale of 80 items from Taylor's collection had been estimated to raise about $20 million. But everything from her famous 33-carat diamond ring, a gift from Richard Burton, to her charm bracelets sold for many times their estimates.
10th Edition of Art Basel Miami
Florida. From December 1 through 4, 2011, Miami Beach, Florida, hosted the 10th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach.
More than 260 leading galleries from North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa took part, showcasing works by more than 2,000 artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. The list of participating galleries, chosen by the Selection Committee featured both established and emerging galleries.
Some of the top sales at Art Basel Miami are from the gallery Luhring Augustine sold Christopher Wool's patterned abstraction, Untitled from 1993, in enamel on aluminum, in the region of the $3 million asking price. The gallery Acquavella sold a late Picasso drawing of a bullfighter, ripped from a notepad in 1970, near the asking price of $1.2 million.
A selection of the top American and international art periodicals were available at Art Basel Miami, including artetc. news & views, Kolkata; Art Issue, Beijing; Artillery, Los Angeles; Photography Now, Berlin; The Art Newspaper, London and others.
Contents of Michael Jackson's Home Fetch $1 Million
Chicago. The contents of Michael Jackson's house were put up for auction on 17 December 2011, which obtained a total close to $1 million.
Two sessions on 17 December at the Beverly Hills gallery of Julien's Auctions were standing room only and drew bidders from around the world. The auction lots consisted mostly of paintings, furniture and ornaments.
Among the highlights was a Victorian Revival-style bedroom suite that sold for $25,075. The set includes an armoire on whose ornate mirror the singer wrote a message in felt pen: “Train, perfection March April Full out May” presumably a reference to rehearsals for London's “This Is It” concerts set to start that July.
A pottery rooster holding a chalkboard with a note from Jackson's children Prince, Paris and Blanket was sold for $5,000.
Only a handful of auction items bore a personal connection to the singer and his family.
Slide Lecture by Landscape painter Paramjit Singh at Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi Organised
Chandigarh. Lalit Kala Akademi had organised a Slide Lecture by landscape painter Paramjit Singh. An art book in Punjabi Sahaj Prakriti containing almost 80 plates of paintings depicting life and art of Paramjit Singh, written in Hindi by art critic Vinod Bhardwaj and translated in Punjabi by, poet Amarjit Chandan was released on this occasion by Shri K. K Sharma, Advisor to the Administrator, Chandigarh.
A specially prepared portfolio containing 10 aesthetically printed reproductions of Paramjit Singh's Paintings was also released.
This is the first time ever that a book on the life and art of Paramjit Singh has been published in Punjabi.
Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Stolen From Dulwich Park
London. A Barbara Hepworth sculpture was stolen by suspected scrap metal thieves from Dulwich Park in south London on 20 December 2011. The bronze piece, titled Two Forms (Divided Circle), was cut from its plinth. The sculpture was insured for £500,000.
Dame Barbara Hepworth, who died in 1975 in a fire at her studio in St Ives, Cornwall, is considered to be one of the UK's most important modern sculptors, with her work displayed in museums and public spaces around the world. The piece was designed in 1969 and has been in the park since 1970.
It was thought that the thieves' broke into the park through a gate off the South Circular. Southwark Council is offering a reward of £1,000 for the thieves' arrest and conviction.