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DAVE HICKEY, THE INFLUENTIAL, PERSPICACIOUS, AND POLARIZING “Genius” grant–winning art critic whose books Air Guitar (1997) and The Invisible Dragon (1993) are classics of the genre, has died. He was 82. “His criticism blends high and low, often putting well-known works of art alongside musings on basketball and fast food,” Alex Greenberger writes in ARTnews, noting that his work “often refuses to cater to the sensibilities of the art-world intelligentsia.” In Texas Monthly, journalist Daniel Oppenheimer—whose Hickey biography was recently published (and reviewed in Art in America)—describes him as ” eccentric and brilliant and cosmopolitan”; in the Los Angeles Times, critic Christopher Knight says, “Lots of smart people write smart things about art but nobody was a better writer than Dave.”
AUCTION ACTION: The big November sales just finished, but the market news just keeps coming. A landscape painting that sold as a copy of a John Constable last year for about $54,000 in Cincinnati has been authenticated as the real deal. It will be sold at Sotheby’s in London next month with a low estimate of £3 million (about $4.03 million), the Daily Mail reports. Another remarkable reattribution: A work on paper that traded for $30 five years has been identified as an unknown Albrecht Dürer drawing, worth eight figures, the Art Newspaper reports. Agnews in London is currently showing it. And Gawker notes that media titan Bryan Goldberg (who owns Gawker) purchased a hat once worn by Napoleon for $1.43 million at Sotheby’s back in September. Goldberg discussed the emperor’s hats in an interview with his publication: “In my opinion, the hat I got is the very best one. I really can’t express how excited I am to own it!” Congratulations!
The artist Bonnie Sherk, whose performances and environments in public space challenged societal norms and gender roles, has died at 76. In one memorable piece, Public Lunch (1971), Sherk sat at a table inside a cage at the San Francisco Zoo and enjoyed a meal. [The New York Times]
New York will send a statue of President Theodore Roosevelt that sat outside the American Museum of Natural History for decades to the forthcoming Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Medora, North Dakota, as a long-term loan. A city commission voted earlier this year to remove the piece, which shows Roosevelt with a Black man and a Native American man standing behind him on either side of his horse. Protesters had long called for its removal on the grounds that it was an emblem of colonialism. [The New York Times]
An artist and programmer, Geoffrey Huntley, has created a torrent site that allows anyone to download more than 15 terabytes worth of NFT works—purportedly every one registered on Ethereum and Solana—for free. Its name: The NFT Bay. Text on the site explains, “As web 2.0 webhosts are known to go offline, this handy torrent contains all of the NFTs so that future generations can study this generation’s tulip mania and collectively go ‘WTF? We destroyed our planet for THIS?!’ ” [Motherboard/Vice via BBC News]
Citing federal law, seven Native American tribes have filed a petition calling for the return of the remains of almost 6,000 people they say are their ancestors—as well as funerary artifacts—that are held by the University of Alabama and its Moundville Archaeological Park, so that they can be reburied together. “It is our hope that, in joining with the tribes in consultation, all parties can reaffirm their shared goals of honoring and preserving the cultural heritage of the Moundville civilization,” whose burial sites were excavated, a school official said. [The Associated Press]
The artist Koenraad Dedobbeleer has transformed part of the Brussels gallery Maniera into a bar called 1B that is hosting events through mid-January by artists like Rita McBride, Pierre Leguillon, and others. [Wallpaper]
MEMORIES OF THE CONCRETE JUNGLE. After the storied artist and writer (and ARTnews critic) Edith Schloss died in 2011, at 92, a draft of a memoir she wrote was discovered. Now it has been published as The Loft Generation: From the de Koonings to Twombly: Portraits and Sketches 1942-2011. Critic Alexandra Jacobs has a lively review in the New York Times. As its subtitle suggests, there seems to be a lot that will interest the art crowd. Painter Franz Kline “had a sort of Bogart-like cool and melancholy,” for Schloss, who quotes photographer Francesca Woodman announcing that “spaghetti is my only religion.” Her experience at a John Cage concert? “Once, it shot through me like a high-voltage charge.” [The New York Times]