Earlier today at Sotheby’s New York’s American Art auction, a Georgia O’Keeffe painting titled “Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1″ sold for $44.4 million, a sum more than three times the standing record for a work by a female artist. (That distinction was previously held by Joan Mitchell’s “Untitled,” which garnered $11.9 million at Christie’s New York this past May.) Plus, this price is more than seven times that of highest paid for an O’Keeffe painting at auction prior — that is, $6.2 million at Christie’s New York in May of 2001. This sale is not without some controversy, however: The painting, along with two additional O’Keeffe works included in the auction, comes courtesy of Santa Fe’s Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, which announced in September plans to sell off several works — a risky move amid all of the harsh criticism following deaccessions from the Delaware Art Museum and the Maier Museum of Art. At the time, the New York Times reported that “Jimson Weed” was estimated at around $10 to 15 million, already a substantial jump from its 1994 price of $1 million; here’s hoping the surprise profit boon will save the museum from having to part with any additional works.
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Alexi Fung is the new managing director of the Bonhams Hong Kong branch, a post he will take up immediately at the auction house’s new One Pacific Place salesroom. With a focus on Asian 20th century & contemporary art, Fung has previously worked at auction houses in Hong Kong and Japan.
Set to sell in Wynwood for the third year in a row, the Miami Project has just announced its 2014 exhibitors. Running from December 2 through 7, the fair will host 68 participants just down the block from Art Miami.
There’s nothing quite like biting the hand of the 1 percent that feeds you. As part of Frieze London’s Live programming roster, the collective Shanzhai Biennial has erected a bright red, faux-salesroom off to the side of the fair’s main entrance hallway. Inside, depressed-but-sexy-looking models mug for promotional posters hawking an exclusive, £32,000,000 London property; a video tour of the luxury digs achieves strange pathos thanks to its soundtrack (a version of Sinéad O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2U.”) Wall text touts the amenities available, including “Staff Bedroom with EnSuite,” a “Panic Room,” and a “Leisure Room.” Critical stunts like this don’t always play too well at art fairs — case in point, Christian Jankowski’s yacht at Frieze back in 2011 — but Shanzhai Biennial nail the aesthetic of actual real estate pitchmen, and somehow manage to underscore the sad desperation underlying endless acquisition.
This morning, Volta NY announced that it would move to Pier 90 for next year’s fair. Located directly beside the Armory Show’s home at Piers 92 and 94, the new site has just been renovated and offers 75,000 square feet of space for 90 exhibitors. Known as the Armory’s sister fair, Volta will run March 5 to March 8.
Frieze’s VIP preview isn’t over yet, but we already know who will be winning the Instagram war in Regent’s Park: New York-based artist KAWS, whose massive wooden mopester, “Small Lie,” is presented by Galerie Perrotin as part of the fair’s sculpture park.
After seven years in New York, Pinta, the Modern & Contemporary Latin American Art Show, is relocating to Miami to set up shop during Art Basel from December 3 to 7. The Related Group, a South Florida real estate development firm founded by Jorge Perez (of Perez Art Museum Miami fame), will present the fair. It will be housed in a tent on the undeveloped future site of the Hyde Midtown Miami (a Related Group development project). According to press materials, “Patti, along with Jorge Perez will have ‘Primera Compra’ or first buy, at the fair, to purchase pieces for their Corporate Collection.” In addition to approximately 60 exhibitors, the fair will also have an Osbel Suárez-curated section devoted to Latin American geometric art, with an emphasis on Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and Venezuela.
One year ago, Amazon made a splash when it debuted Amazon Art — a virtual art store that had some curious inventory. Today, eBay entered the art game with a live auction hub through which hundreds of brick-and-mortar auction houses (including Sotheby’s, Doyle New York, Freeman’s, Garth’s Auctions Inc., and Swann Auction Galleries) can sell their wares. According to eBay’s press release, Sotheby’s is the “anchor tenant of the new live auctions experience.” In the next few months, bidders will be able to participate in auctions taking place at Sotheby’s headquarters in New York via the live auction platform online. Opportunities to bid in sales at Sotheby’s other international sites is currently in the works.
Starting with next year’s edition of Frieze London, longtime Frieze team member Victoria Siddall will take the reigns of all of the Frieze fairs. Already the director of Frieze Masters, Siddall will now head Frieze London and Frieze New York while fair founders Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover “focus on developing new projects for the organization,” according to a press release.