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THE AUCTIONS KEEP COMING!In New York on Wednesday night,Sotheby’srang up $408.5 millionin Impressionist and modern art across 58 lots, with 51 finding buyers,Angelica Villareports inARTnews. That beat the house’s $339.9 million low estimate for the sale.Milton AveryandLeonora Carringtonwere among the artists having their auction records reset, and aPabloPicassoreportedly being sold by billionaire collectorSteve Cohenwent for $67.5 million, becoming the evening’s priciest lot. In other collector news, casino magnateSteve Wynnhas been sued by theDepartment of Justice, which argues that hemust register as a lobbyistfor a foreign country because he allegedly spoke toPresident Trumpon behalf of China, theWall Street Journalreports. Wynn’s lawyers saidhe has not acted as an agent for the nation.
NEW MANAGEMENT.More than a year after its previous leader resigned amid controversy,Newfields(née theIndianapolis Museum of Art) has a new president and CEO,Colette Pierce Burnette, who will be the first Black woman to lead the institution, theIndianapolis Starreports. Pierce Burnette is the president ofHuston-Tillotson University, a historically Black school in Austin, Texas, andstarts in Indianapolis in August, theNew York Timesreports. Newfields’s previous director,Charles L. Venable,stepped down in February of 2021 after outcry over a job listing that discusswd increasing the diversity of Newfields visitors while still drawing its “traditional, core, white art audience.” Meanwhile, Anne Kraybillhas been named the next leaderof theWichita Art Museumin Kansas. She currently helms theWestmoreland Museum of American Artin Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
Art museum staffers are not the only people in creative industries who are pushing to form unions. Architects at some leading firms have been undertaking organized labor campaigns lately, citing the field’s notoriously low pay and brutal hours,Kriston CappsandSarah Holderreport.[Bloomberg]
Kendrick Lamar’s latest music video, for his song“N95,”features scenes shot at landmarks in Fort Worth, Texas, like theKimbell Art Museum’s Renzo Piano pavilion and thePhilip Johnson–designedFort Worth Water Gardens.[Architectural Digest]
Otis College of Art and Designstudents attending their graduation on Sunday learned that their student loans were being covered by their commencement speakers,Evan Spiegel(CEO ofSnap) andMiranda Kerr(CEO ofKORA Organics), who are married. Spiegel took classes at Otis in high school. [NPR]
At theFrieze New Yorkart fair, which kicks off today at theShed,Gagosian’s booth features paintings byAlbert Oehlen—and a vending machine with Cofftea, a drink he developed with a beverage maker. “It really wakes you up,” Oehlen said.[The New York Times]
Art dealerLisa Cooley, who ran an eponymous gallery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side from 2008until2015, has joinedVarious Small Firesas senior director. VSF has galleries in Los Angeles, Seoul, and Dallas; Cooley will be based in New York.[VSF/Instagram]
Archaeologistsmay enjoy this joke!(Non-archaeologists may enjoy it, too.)[The Onion]
TOUGH TALK.New York art consultantLisa Schiffgavea wide-ranging interviewabout the art business to theNew York Times, and she did not hold back. “Certain auction houses are mimicking the collectibles market,” Schiff toldFarah Nayeri. “Everything is a tchotchke to flip. … You have sneakers, dinosaur bones, some NFTs, 50 artists you’ve never heard of, and then three artists who actually should be in an evening sale.” That said, she does admit to buying and selling NFTs. “I’m gambling,” she said. [NYT]