Sarah Thornton

  • Left: Ellsworth Kelly with Maria Tuttle and US Ambassador Robert H. Tuttle. (Photo: Roland Kemp) Right: Lady Rodgers with Irving and Jackie Blum. (Photo: Dafydd Jones)
    diary March 21, 2006

    Diplomatic Relations

    London

    Waving a California driver’s license is not the way I usually gain entrance to a London art event, but on Thursday night the American Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Robert Tuttle, hosted a reception for Ellsworth Kelly at which security was particularly tight. Three rifle-toting British police officers were stationed outside; when I asked if they were performance artists, they gave me a stunned look. It was a night of colliding realities. The young black British Minister for Culture, David Lammy, exchanged pleasantries with faceless Republican cultural attachés. The gay art world turned up

  • Left: Christie's Laura Paulson, Brett Gorvy, and Amy Cappellazzo. Right: The bidding begins on Francis Bacon's Self Portrait, 1969.
    diary February 10, 2006

    Happy as Larry

    London

    Record-breaking auction prices are the norm today, so the fact that Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale achieved the highest ever UK total for such an event Wednesday evening is not really big news. The auction room was more crowded than usual, with elderly and self-important attendees complaining like only the rich can about the lack of seats. The pre-sale babble was louder and the ringtones were more diverse. Most importantly, it was just a little harder to resist being seduced by the tantalizing hum of acquisition and profit. The art market, as one insider noted, is “hot