• Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction on Thursday, May 16. Courtesy: Sotheby’s.

    Sotheby’s and Phillips Contemporary Art Auctions Rake in $441.8 Million

    Led by works by Francis Bacon and Mark Rothko, the Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction on Thursday, May 16 netted $341.9 million. Phillips’s Evening Sale of Twentieth-Century and Contemporary Art, which was also held Thursday night, hauled in $99.9 million. The auctions concluded New York’s spring contemporary art evening auctions, during which a total of $981 million was spent on artists such as Jeff Koons—who smashed the auction record for a work by a living artist at Christie’s on Wednesday—Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Willem de Kooning.

    “Tonight we saw a resounding response to

    Read more
  • Kelly Kivland and Alexis Lowry. Photos: Gabriela Herman.

    Kelly Kivland and Alexis Lowry Named Curators at Dia Art Foundation

    The Dia Art Foundation has promoted associate curators Kelly Kivland and Alexis Lowry to the position of curator. During their tenures, they have spearheaded major contemporary commissions, curated exhibitions and performances, and overseen preservation work and other initiatives.

    Kivland has worked at the foundation since 2011 and was appointed associate curator in 2015. In this role, she has curated numerous exhibitions, including a 2018–19 presentation of Nancy Holt’s work at Dia:Chelsea in New York City, and a 2015–18 presentation of Robert Irwin’s work at Dia:Beacon in Beacon, New York. She

    Read more
  • I.M. Pei circa 1985.

    I.M. Pei (1917–2019)

    Ieoh Ming Pei—the celebrated Chinese American architect, known as I.M. Pei, whose oeuvre includes more than fifty projects ranging from the iconic addition to the Louvre, a glass-and-steel pyramid designed for the historic building’s central courtyard, to the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, which incorporates the geometries and patterns that make up the “essence of Islamic architecture”—has died, the New York Times reports. He was one hundred and two years old.

    Born on April 26, 1917 in Guangzhou, the Canton province of China, Pei came to the United States to study architecture in 1935.

    Read more
  • Susan Meiselas, Muchachos await the counter attack by the National Guard, Matagalpa, Nicaragua, 1978–1979. Photo: Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos.

    Susan Meiselas Awarded 2019 Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize

    Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas has won this year’s Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize, which honors a living photographer who has significantly contributed to the medium. Administered by the foundation and the Photographers’ Gallery in London, the annual $34,000 award was presented to Meiselas at a ceremony at the gallery on Thursday, May 16.

    With a career spanning four decades, Meiselas is best known for her work in conflict zones, particularly for her images of the Nicaraguan Revolution. The photographer prefers to be immersed in a community for long periods of time when working

    Read more
  • American Academy in Rome Establishes New Prize with $3 Million Gift

    The American Academy in Rome has received a $3 million gift from Musa and Thomas Mayer. The donation was made in honor of Musa’s father, artist Philip Guston, a former Rome Prize winner. With the funds, the academy will establish a new fellowship, the Philip Guston Rome Prize in Visual Arts.

    “When my father was awarded the Rome Prize in 1948, he was at a crucial juncture in his painting,” said Musa. “In 1970, an extended stay at the Academy offered the distance and perspective he needed, allowing him to continue painting unencumbered by the rejection of the New York art world. On each visit, he

    Read more
  • Santa Fe Art Institute.

    National Endowment for the Arts Awards $80.4 Million to Cultural Initiatives

    The National Endowment for the Arts has announced the recipients of its second round of grants for the 2019 fiscal year. The agency will award $80.4 million to arts organizations across all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and four other US jurisdictions. The funds will be distributed through four grant categories: Art Works II; Our Town; Research: Art Works; and State and Regional Partnerships.

    “Reflecting the diverse artistic richness of our nation, these Arts Endowment-funded projects are varied in their size, scope, and artistic discipline,” said the agency’s acting

    Read more
  • Marina Paulenka. Photo: Borko Vukosav.

    Marina Paulenka Joins Unseen as New Artistic Director

    Marina Paulenka, the current cofounder and artistic director of the Organ Vida International Photography Festival in Zagreb, Croatia, has been appointed artistic director of Unseen, the international photography platform that runs year-round programming including its main initiative Unseen Amsterdam, which will open its eighth edition in September.

    Paulenka is also an artist and educator. She earned her MA in photography from the University of Zagreb, has taught at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb, and founded the Photographic Association Organ Vida—which, in addition to the festival,

    Read more
  • Jeff Koons, Rabbit, 1986. Photo: Christie’s Images Ltd.

    Jeff Koons’s Rabbit Breaks Auction Record for Most Expensive Work by Living Artist

    At the Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art evening sale on Wednesday night, a Jeff Koons sculpture set the new auction record for the most expensive artwork by a living artist. His iconic forty-one-inch-tall, stainless-steel sculpture Rabbit, which was inspired by an inflatable children’s toy, fetched more than $91 million, just surpassing the $90.3 million that David Hockney’s Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), 1972, sold for in November 2018, when it smashed the previous record.

    Purchased by dealer Robert E. Mnuchin, Rabbit was one of six works offered from the collection of

    Read more
  • Lutz Bacher, The Book of Sand (detail), 2010–12, at Alex Zachary Peter Currie gallery.

    Lutz Bacher (1943–2019)

    Lutz Bacher, the pseudonymous neo-Conceptualist known for her by turns elegiac and sharply political works in multiple media, has died at age seventy-five. Her death was confirmed by her galleries, Greene Naftali and Galerie Buchholz. A fixture in the Berkeley, California, art scene in the 1970s but based in New York for the past few years, the artist recycled found objects, personal possessions, and mass media in installations that often jab at power structures with trenchant wit. Since assuming a male alias at the beginning of her forty-year career, Bacher cultivated a mysterious identity,

    Read more
  • The Temple of Dendur in the Met's Sackler Wing.

    The Met Will No Longer Accept Donations from Sackler Family

    As outrage over the opioid crisis mounts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York announced today that it has joined the list of institutions that will no longer accept donations from members of the Sackler family with close ties to the pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer and distributer of OxyContin. The American Museum of Natural History also announced today that it will stop taking Sackler funding.

    The institutions’ decisions to distance themselves from the Sacklers follow similar announcements made by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Tate in Britain

    Read more
  • Galina Mardilovich. Photo: Maria Stenzel.

    Galina Mardilovich Joins Mead Art Museum as Curator of Russian and European Art

    The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College in Massachusetts has appointed Galina Mardilovich to the position of curator of Russian and European art, effective July 1, 2019. Mardilovich has served as the acting curator at the museum since August 2018. During her tenure, she has curated the exhibitions “Fleeting Nature: Selections from the Collection” and “Paste, Stick, Glue: Constructing Collage in Russia,” which are currently on view, as well as “Views from the Eastern Front: Russian Modernism and the Great War” (2018). 

    “Dr. Mardilovich is an outstanding scholar, teacher, and curator who, in her

    Read more
  • Anatol Herzfeld, 2018. Photo: Stiftung Insel Hombroich.

    Anatol Herzfeld (1931–2019)

    German sculptor and mixed-media artist Anatol Herzfeld died at the age of eighty-eight on Friday, May 10, reports Monopol. His passing was confirmed by the Museum Insel Hombroich in the North Rhine-Westphalia. Founded by the artist’s close friend, the late Karl-Heinrich Müller, the historic site, which comprises the museum and a surrounding park, is home to many of Herzfeld’s works. For three decades, the artist went to Museum Island nearly every day to create work in his studio, a repurposed barn located on the grounds.

    Born Karl-Heinz Herzfeld on January 21, 1931 in Insterburg, East Prussia—which

    Read more