Virgil Abloh Sells Damien Hirst Clothes, Intriguing Provenances, and More: Morning Links from February 8, 2021

Virgil Abloh Sells Damien Hirst Clothes, Intriguing Provenances, and More: Morning Links from February 8, 2021

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The Headlines

AN INTRIGUING PROVENANCE CAN ADD A LOT OF VALUE to otherwise quotidian auction lots, as James Tarmy notes in a look at single-collector sales for Bloomberg. “If you’ve got a great name and a story, you have people captivated,” Christie’s deputy chairman Jonathan Rendell told him. Five wastebaskets once owned by socialite Jayne Wrightsman sold for more than $40,000 recently, a great deal above their $500 high estimate, at auction. Christie’s is currently preparing to sell the holdings of the late model and photographer Kathleen DuRoss Ford, wife of Henry Ford II. Meanwhile, hitting the block at Sotheby’s in March is the lone portrait believed to be in private hands by 15th-century Old Master Piero del Pollaiuolo, which was once held in the collection of the British scientist Thomas Ralph Merton. Also in that collection: the Botticelli that went for $92 million last month, ARTnews reports. The Pollaiuolo’s high estimate is about $8.2 million. For those who like their horticultural purchases to have a fine pedigree, Apollo notes that boxwood plants from the Jardin d’Infante, which is located at one corner of the Louvre in Paris, are being offered online by Drouot with a starting bid of €800 (about $970) for 60 to 70: not cheap but still potentially more affordable than those garbage pails.

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THIS IS AN ERA OF UNUSUAL (AND BIZARRE) CULTURAL COLLABORATIONS. Artist and fashion designer Virgil Abloh is currently hawking clothing designed by the artist Damien Hirst and designer Tetsuzo Okubo on his Canary Yellow online platform, Wallpaper* reports. One shirt netted $4,500. Architect Rem Koolhaas, for his part, has created an American Express card—an Amex Centurion “Art Card,” to be exact. This news also comes from Wallpaper*, which quotes Koolhaas explaining that he sees “graphic design as a crucial domain to project ideas in.” And in what could be considered an unauthorized collaboration, CNN reports that a Brooklyn-based art collective known as MSCHF purchased four of Hermès’s coveted Birkin bags (for more than $100,000) and cut them up to make their own version of Birkenstocks . They call them Birkinstocks. “Just the act of cutting up a Birkin bag scared so many people,” one MSCHF member said. “A Birkin bag is like an art object. It’s so sacred, you can’t damage it.” OK!

The Digest

Cindy Nemser, the critic and art historian who cofounded the Feminist Art Journal, has died at the age of 87. [Artforum]

Art historian Robert L. Herbert has died at 91. An expert on Impressionism, he wrote books on Monet, Renoir, and Seurat. [The New York Times]

Some are criticizing the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s recent announcement that it is considering the sale of art to help cover the cost of caring for its collection. [Artnet News]

A massive granite sculpture by the artist Jesús Bautista Moroles has been hidden behind a wall at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for more than a decade. “It’s very upsetting and a disgrace to his name,” the late artist’s sister said. [KRQE]

Right-wing governments in Europe have been targeting museum directors. The latest area of conflict: Slovenia. [Artnet News]

The Auckland Art Gallery in New Zealand will get a major renovation over the next two years. [1 News]

A German government panel ruled that a Egon Schiele held by the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany, should be returned to the heirs of the collector and dentist Heinrich Rieger, since he was likely forced to sell it under duress amid Nazi persecution. [The Art Newspaper]

In 2024, the California African American Museum in Los Angeles will stage an exhibition devoted to scientist and inventor George Washington Carver that will highlight his less-well-known work as an artist. The show is part of the next edition of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time initiative. [Forbes]

The Mercosul Biennial in Brazil and the Sequences Festival in Iceland named curators for their next editions, signaling some measure of hope that large-scale exhibitions, and widespread international travel, may begin to resume. [ArtReview]

Here’s more on what is in the works for the upcoming PST in California. [ARTnews]

London and Venice gallery Victoria Miro now reps the Brooklyn-based painter Ali Banisadr. [Victoria Miro/PR]

Duddell’s, the Hong Kong restaurant and exhibition space, is currently showcasing art held by four women collectors in the city. [South China Morning Post]

The Kicker

A NEW DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE AUSTRALIAN ARTIST AND OCCULTIST Rosaleen Norton, who lived from 1917 to 1979, is out today, and it sounds like a barnburner. As Brigid Delaney writes in the Guardian, Norton, who was a “self-identified witch,” “was repeatedly arrested, had her artwork burned, and was shunned and mocked by society.” She persevered, though, and the director of The Witch of Kings CrossSonia Bible (yes, Bible), cautions against feeling any pity for Norton, noting that, “in her 60s she was dropping acid and still making art. She was very happy.” [The Guardian]

Thank you for reading. We’ll see you tomorrow.

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