Morning Links

Morning Links: Modigliani in Paris Edition

Amedeo Modigliani.



ARTnews reported over the weekend that Gavin Delahunty, chief curator at the Dallas Museum of Art, has stepped down, effective immediately. “I am aware of allegations regarding my inappropriate behavior, and I do not want them to be a distraction to the museum or to my colleagues,” he said in a statement. Sources indicated that an independent investigation had taken place and that the institution was moving toward removing him from his position. [ARTnews]

Auction Action

Together, Christie’s and Sotheby’s sold $1.5 billion of art last week in New York, and Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in the Telegraph took a look at the sales in the context of global liquidity. The price of a Bitcoin has gone up 1,200 percent in the past year, and one Bitcoin is now worth five times more than an ounce of gold. This, to Evans-Pritchard, could be evidence that the current market boom is echoing the late 1980s, when Japanese collectors snapped up work at auction wildly until the Nikkei collapsed. [The Telegraph]

A big chunk of that $1.5 billion was sold in a single lot, when Christie’s saw Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi sell for more than $450 million. The Evening Standard investigated the man who was selling it, the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. [The Evening Standard]

The BBC had a report on a work at auction that was much cheaper than the da Vinci: a page of art from a rare Tintin comic that sold at a Paris auction house for $500,000. [BBC]

A historic library in Jamestown, New York, is selling work from its collection at Sotheby’s, prompting complaints from art lovers and residents. The New York Times went upstate to investigate. [The New York Times]

Around Europe

The Guardian published a charming travel story in which writer Louise Roddon had dinner in the onetime apartment of Amedeo Modigliani, in the Montparnasse neighborhood of Paris. She also stops at the artist’s old haunts, mostly artist-friendly restaurants in the neighborhood, which would often accept paintings to settle bar tabs. [The Guardian]

Quartz published a look at the new show at Saatchi Gallery in London, “Art Riot: Post-Soviet Actionism,” which features politically minded Russian artists such as Pussy Riot. The work, which is blatantly critical of the Russian government, would probably not be shown in the artists’ home country. [Quartz]

A painting by the Spanish master Bartolomé Esteban Murillo was found in a castle in Wales, the Guardian revealed. [The Guardian]

The Critics

In the New York Times, Michael Kimmelman said that he’s disappointed by the grand unveiling of the trove of Nazi-looted art hoarded by Cornelius Gurlitt. Presented at two museums in Germany, the Kunstmuseum Bern and the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, the show is, according to Kimmelman, a bit of a mess. “The fact is, it’s not really a collection, not in the true sense of the word,” he writes in the Times. “It’s a dealer’s inventory, this and that, about as curated as the cosmetics counter of a department store.” [The New York Times]

Ben Merriman opined in the Los Angeles Review of Books on “Manet: A Symbolic Revolution,” a collection of essays and lectures on the artist by the scholar Pierre Bourdieu. Merriman finds the new volume instructive, even if it concerns a well-trodden subject. “The lectures in Manet provide a particularly lively approach to a topic on which Bourdieu is frequently misunderstood: how cultures change, sometimes quite rapidly and unexpectedly,” Merriman wrote. “Although he is often interpreted as a theorist of social reproduction, Manet offers a dynamic account of cultural change that improves on his earlier writings on cultural production.” [The Los Angeles Review of Books]

Rest in Peace

Randy Kennedy penned an obituary for Shannon Michael Cane, Printed Matter’s fairs and editions curator, in the New York Times. In the obituary, the artist Wade Guyton was quoted as saying, of Cane’s influence, “The normal boring power structure of the art world was turned upside down at his book fairs and this we should all be grateful for. Hopefully, that spirit will continue in his absence.” [The New York Times]

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