Morning Links

Morning Links: Witchmarks Edition

Charles Turner, after John James Halls. A Witch Sailing to Aleppo in a Sieve, 1807.


Condition Report

After a tepid start to the New York auctions on Sunday night, a record-setting $26.8 million Magritte helped spur a solid Sotheby’s Impressionist-modern sale on Monday with a total of $315.4 million sold. [ARTnews]

Conservators learned that a rare English Medieval altarpiece from the 15th century bears scars of graffiti and “witchmarks” against evil spirits. In the 19th century, visitors to the building holding the piece “were evidently more intrigued by a Medieval lavatory than the painting, which would then have been a sad, blackened wreck, studded with nail marks from later re-use.” [The Art Newspaper]

Jolly Good Drella

The New York Times talked to a bunch of people about what it was like in Andy Warhol’s Factory, among them Fran Lebowitz, Mary Woronov, Bob Colacello, Vincent Fremont, Joe Dallesandro, and more. [The New York Times]

Xan Brooks wrote about the Andy Warhol show at the Whitney Museum, in which “suddenly, perversely—the later work isn’t marginal at all. If anything, it now looks as radical and intriguing as his silk-screen Marilyns and Campbell’s Soup Cans.” He also got a quote from Bob Colacello: “Andy matters now more than ever. That’s because Trump is president and the Kardashians are at the White House and we basically have a reality-TV administration.” [The Guardian]


Artist Huguette Martel holds forth about some animals she painted, including a bird called a blue-footed booby and a seal that looks like Winston Churchill. [The New York Review of Books]

“Artists from Warhol to Duchamp have created pieces used their own excreta.” Now Alice Potts has joined them with things like gems made out of sweat and “urine crystals.” [The Guardian]


In an effort to expand the narrative of American art, the Atlanta-based Souls Grown Deep Foundation will help five museums acquire works by self-taught African-American artists of the South. The beneficiaries: the Brooklyn Museum, the Morgan Library & Museum, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. [The New York Times]

Alison Rossiter won the $40,000 Shpilman International Prize for Excellence in Photography from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. [Israel Museum]


Björk announced a new stage show for next spring at the Shed, the forthcoming performing-arts megalith in Manhattan. It will be her “most elaborate stage concert yet, where the acoustic and digital will shake hands, encouraged by a bespoke team of collaborators.” [Rolling Stone]

A filmmaker aspires to tell the incredible story of Detroit techno and has a Kickstarter for it. Nice title, too: God Said Give ‘Em Drum Machines: The Story of Detroit Techno. [Kickstarter]

The chief technology officer at GumGum, a “computer vision company,” is bullish on artificial-intelligence art: “Instead of worrying about AI’s threat to human creative supremacy, the future will be about embracing new technologies and the possibilities it brings for enhancing the process. It’s better to think of AI as your next creative partner; beautiful pieces of work can be produced in collaboration with it.” [Scientific American]

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