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Sotheby’s to Offer Storied $60 M. Francis Bacon Triptych at May Contemporary Sale in New York

On Friday, Sotheby’s announced one of the top lots for its contemporary art evening auction: Francis Bacon’s 1981 Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus, a large-scale, three-part oil painting that will carry an estimate of $60 million. The work is inspired by ancient scholar Aeschylus’s Greek tragedies dated from the 5th century B.C. and will be offered at the house on May 13 in New York.

Triptych comes from the collection of Hans Rasmus Astrup, a Norwegian business tycoon who ranks on ARTnews’s Top 200 Collectors list and the heir to his family’s real-estate and shipping conglomerate, as well as the founder of a private museum in Oslo that houses his collection of over 1,300 modern and contemporary works. The proceeds of the sale will go to the benefit of the consignor’s family foundation, which provides funding for the museum’s maintenance and development.

In a release announcing the sale, Alex Branczik, head of contemporary art for Sotheby’s Europe, called Bacon “the great tragedian of his age,” emphasizing the artist’s capacity to grapple with his subjects “so that timeless power of the Ancient Greek genre is brought to bear on the human condition in the 20th century.”

Bacon, who was never formally trained as a painter, is considered one of the foremost British artists of the postwar era. His work frequently features semi-abstracted scenes of carnage, and he claimed influence from Picasso’s early work featuring religious imagery, as well as photography’s ability to capture to the uncanny.

From ARTnews Site

'Priceless' jewels snatched from German state museum

Robbers made off with priceless 18th century jewellery from a state museum in Dresden on Monday, police and museum directors said, in a major art heist that has shocked Germany. The thieves at dawn broke into the Green Vault at Dresden’s Royal Palace — home to around 4,000 precious objects of ivory, gold, silver and jewels — after a power cut deactivated the alarm. The stolen items included brilliant-cut diamonds that belonged to a collection of jewellery of 18th-century Saxony ruler Augustus the Strong. Museum directors had earlier feared much of three sets of diamond jewellery in the collection were snatched, but the loss turned out to be more limited than thought. “The criminals didn’t manage to take everything,” the director of Dresden’s state art collections Marion Ackermann told public broadcaster ZDF on Monday evening.


‘It Can Hit Us, But It Won’t Defeat Us’: Armory Show Proves Resilient in Face of Coronavirus Fears and Complications

“Excited?” “Nervous?” “Purell-ed?” Greetings and salutations took on curious tones as the Armory Show opened Wednesday morning in New York, with art on offer from 182 galleries from 32 countries—and lots of talk of the coronavirus that has made travel and mass assembly a major issue around the globe. No more than a few seconds went by without some kind of mention of it, however serious or nonchalant. After all, New York announced its first confirmed case of the virus just a few days ago. But the spirit of the fair remained expectant, even with uncertainty in the air.

Attendees in the early hours of a warm and sunny pseudo-spring day included lots of familiar faces. Some dealers said they are expecting slightly less attendance than in the past, but just as many said the response they gathered in advance from clients and collectors suggested that art buyers are not cowed. In any case, those walking the aisles in the early hours included Art Basel global director Marc Spiegler, collector Beth Rudin DeWoody, Glenn Lowry from MoMA, Kathy Halbreich from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, artist Maurizio Cattelan, curator couple Massimiliano Gioni and Cecilia Alemani (the latter of whom was recently appointed artistic director of the 2021 Venice Biennale), Thelma Golden from the Studio Museum in Harlem, and designer/actor Waris Ahluwalia, among many others.

Despite all the fears of hosting an art fair at a time when thousands around the world are sick with the coronavirus, business largely proceeded as usual. Just two galleries from the original exhibitor list—Pearl Lam Galleries (Hong Kong and Shanghai) and ShanghART (Beijing, Singapore, and Shanghai), the only enterprises set to participate who solely operate out of China, Hong Kong, and Singapore—didn’t wind up showing at the fair in the end. (An Armory Show representative did not confirm whether the coronavirus had been the cause for them dropping out, saying only that both enterprises didn’t make the list that was finalized in mid-February. The galleries themselves did not respond to request for comment.) Galleries from Italy, where there have been more than 3,000 documented coronavirus cases, still turned out for the fair, with enterprises such as Galeria Lia Rumma (Milan and Naples), A Arte Invernizzi (Milan), and Apalazzogallery (Brescia) running their booths as normal, despite closures in the cities where they’re based.

Nicole Berry, the Armory Show’s director, said that the fair followed recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, offering information about best practices for health to visitors at the fair—and more hand sanitizer than usual. Hugs, kisses, and handshakes are frequent sights at art fairs around the world, but fewer were seen on Wednesday, when many people opted instead for elbow bumps to avoid spreading germs. “We put everything in place to take precautions, but the crowds speak for themselves,” Berry said. “People are undeterred.”

From ARTnews Site

OPPORTUNITY: Arts Catalyst seeks new members of the Board of Trustees

Monday, March 2, 2020 – 17:00Arts Catalyst is recruiting new trustees at an exciting time as we relocate from London to Sheffield in South Yorkshire. Recognised as one of the UK’s leading art and research organisations, we regularly work in collaboration with artists, scientists, communities and organisations around the world to activate new ideas, conversations and transformative experiences across science and culture. Arts Catalyst is recognised internationally as pioneering arts and science practice. Since 1994, we’ve commissioned more than 170 artists’ projects, including major new works by the Otolith Group, Tomás Saraceno, Aleksandra Mir, Larry Achiampong & David Blandy and Critical Art Ensemble, and produced numerous exhibitions, events, residencies, performances and publications, collaborating with major arts, science and academic organisations around the world. We plan to open a new public centre for art, science and technology in Sheffield in March 2021. At this pivotal moment in our journey, we are looking for new trustees based in the north of England to help shape the organisation’s future. Join the board Our Board is dynamic and diverse, passionate about the arts and active within the creative industries, including academia, music and the commercial sector. With Arts Catalyst’s full relocation to Sheffield we are now seeking new charity trustees who are based in the north of England to join the Board in 2020.  Trustees are responsible for steering the strategic direction and governance of the charity (see Application Pack for more details). We are seeking people who are enthusiastic about contemporary arts and the role cultural organisations play in creating societal change. We are interested in hearing from people with skills, knowledge and expertise in one or more of the following areas: Third sector – particularly in health and wellbeingBusiness leadership including commercial orientated income strategies, HR and financial managementStrategic development, city planning and capital developmentLocal governance and politicsNew media and technology and creative mediaEnvironmental sustainability Television, broadcasting and pressFIND OUT MORE AND HOW TO APPLY Please download the Application Pack for full details. Email your CV and covering letter to Laura Clarke, Artistic Director via by 1 July 2020. Arts Catalyst operates an Equalities Policy and actively encourages diversity and inclusivity across all areas of the organisation. We ask all applicants to complete an Equal Opportunities form to help us monitor the reach of our job adverts. Download it here.