Banksy Charity Painting Nets $23 M.—and More Art News – ARTnews.com

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The headlines

A PAINTING BANKSY CREATED FOR HONORARY HEALTH WORKERS sold Tuesday at Christie’s in London for £ 16.7 million (about $ 22.9 million), the Guardian reports, and most of it is going to charity. That number shatters the street performer’s previous auction record of £ 9.9 million, paid in 2019 for a subtle job that depicted MPs as chimpanzees. This new top rating has a kind of asterisk, as the proceeds from the sale go to organizations that support the UK’s National Health Service. This means that the winner may have been motivated in part by goodwill, rather than just a raw wish to buy. Christie’s also said it will donate “a significant portion” of the buyer’s premium to the same groups, according to Art Newspaper. The work shows a young child playing with an action figure resembling a nurse dressed in a cape, while Batman and Spider-Man sit unloved nearby. Banksy donated it to Southampton General Hospital in England last year. For a full report on the sale, which included the Banksy, Colin Gleadell has the goods on the Art Market Monitor.

On the subject of matching items

In 1964, ANDY WARHOL hired a young photographer named David McCabe, who was then in his mid-20s, to follow him and shoot him for a year. McCabe died late last month at the age of 80, Alex Vadukul reports in the New York Times. The two would meet in the early evening before Warhol went into town. “I would arrive at the factory and it would be chaos. . . and Andy was right in the thick of it, on his hands and knees, doing work, ”McCabe said in a 2011 interview. Many of his photos are famous today – like Warhol and actress Edie Sedgwick posing on a rooftop – but the artist has never used them. (They were compiled into a book in 2003.) “A friend of mine who worked for him said he would spend hours rummaging through the contact sheets with a magnifying glass – not to choose a picture, but to study how he presented himself to the world, ”said McCabe once. The photo shot advertising campaigns and editorial spreads, and later focused on landscape photography.

The digest

The chairman of the agency overseeing the upcoming M + Art Museum in Hong Kong said the curators there will comply with the new national security law. His statement came after pro-Beijing media and politicians who suggested that some works in M ​​+ ‘s collection (such as Ai Weiwei, a vocal dissident) could undermine the Chinese government. [South China Morning Post]

The artist Ernesto Mallard, who was a key figure in Op Art in Mexico, has died. He was 89 years old. Mallard moved away from the commercial art world in the 1970s and is no longer known today, but artist Pedro Reyes has cited him as a major influence, and the couple had a joint exhibition at the Labor Gallery in Mexico City in 2014. [The Art Newspaper]

Cyril Mango, a revered scholar of the Eastern Roman and Byzantine empires, died at the age of 92. One of his greatest achievements (realized with the help of the philologist Ihor Sevcenko) was “the identification of the ruins of St. Polyeuktus, the largest church in Constantinople before the rebuilding of Hagia Sophia by Emperor Justinian,” writes William Saunders. [The Guardian]

Collector David Walsh has apologized for helping to commission a controversial Santiago Sierra sculpture for the upcoming Black Mojo arts festival in Australia. “I approved it without much thought,” said Walsh, whose museum of old and new art runs the event. Yesterday the organizers canceled the show that was supposed to soak a British flag in blood donated by peoples of the First Nation. Some activists are calling for a boycott of the festival. [ABC]

What’s next for the world’s most important art fair, Art Basel, as the world begins to think about life after the lockdown? Zachary Small delves into the boardroom drama and behind-the-scenes lobbying. [ARTnews]

A number of activist groups are targeting the Museum of Modern Art in a new 10-week campaign they are calling “Strike MoMA.” The coalition, which includes Decolonize This Place and Forensic Architecture, says the museum is a place of ” Elitism, hierarchy, inequality, precariousness, availability, anti-blackness and misogyny ”. [Hyperallergic]

Although Ray Johnson is best known for his crafty collages and postal art, he got serious about photography later in life. An exhibition of his little-known photos will be shown next year at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York. [T: The New York Times Style Magazine]

The kicker

Russian President VLADIMIR PUTIN has released a new series of unforgettable, faux-candid action photos that he occasionally takes with the 68-year-old strong man and appreciates the country, ”writes Vanessa Friedman in the New York Times. He sunbathes topless, he tramples through the snow – he is unstoppable. Putin also appears in the wild with his defense minister, Friedman reports. This is a power pairing that some Dada fans may be familiar with. The great Hannah Höch also used a photo of a president and defense minister (Friedrich Ebert and Gustav Noske from the Weimar Republic) in bathing suits in her photo montage heads of state from 1918-20. They are made silly in front of an embroidery design in some kind of cunning broadcast of patriarchal authority. Could Putin’s official images turn into equally great art? Artists who try are advised to proceed cautiously.

Thank you for reading. We will see you tomorrow.

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