Author Archives: Kelly Devine Thomas


Looking at Art
Las Meninas.

The Greatest Painting in the World: 10 Luminaries Cast Their Ballots

“The greatest picture in the world…you smile,” wrote Aldous Huxley in 1925. Although the claim sounded ludicrous to him, he went on to make a passionate and cogent argument for his choice: Piero della Francesca’s Resurrection. ARTnews wondered which paintings … Read More


Features
Excavation, 1950, from the MoMA exhibition.  Credit: ©2011 THE WILLEM DE KOONING FOUNDATION/ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK/ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO, MR. AND MRS. FRANK G. LOGAN PURCHASE PRIZE FUND, RESTRICTED GIFTS OF EDGAR J. KAUFMANN, JR., AND MR. AND MRS. NOAH GOLDOWSKY, JR

Shaping de Kooning’s Legacy

Behind the scenes of the artist’s long-awaited retrospective at MoMA are not only curators but also dealers, lawyers, collectors, and heirs. Read More


Profiles
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Seriously Funny

Swiss prankster Olaf Breuning navigates between the sublime and the ridiculous in films, sculptures, and multimedia works that take on everything from Easter Island to Woody Allen. Read More


Trends
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Say It with Flowers—or Gourds, Goats, Fur Cups, or Fried Eggs

The interpretation of sexual symbols in art is everywhere. But what we view as erotic often tells us less about the artists than it does about our own sensibilities. Read More


Profiles
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Show and Tell

Louise Bourgeois at her Sunday salon. Read More


ARTnewsletter Archive

A $95.2M Picasso Muse Stars At Impressionist/Modern Auctions

There was good news all around at the Impressionist and modern art evening sales held at Christie’s and Sotheby’s May 2-3.
A 1941 painting, Dora Maar au chat, by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), fetched an astounding $95.2 million at Sotheby’s, nearly twice its low estimate of $50 million and the second-
highest price ever achieved for an artwork at auction. Sotheby’s May 3 evening sale brought in a celebratory $207.5 million, exceeding Christie’s impressive $180.2 million total the night before. Read More


ARTnewsletter Archive

Guggenheim Said to Be In Talks With Moscow and Abu Dhabi

Thomas Krens, director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, recently held discussions about opening Guggenheim museums in Abu Dhabi and Moscow, ARTnewsletter has learned. According to an informed source, Abu Dhabi representatives have made a $2 million deposit to the foundation in connection with their talks. Read More


ARTnewsletter Archive

Rauschenberg’s Combine Show Fuels Sharply Rising Prices

With a survey of Robert Rauschenberg’s revolutionary “combines”—the term he gave to his hybrid paintings and sculptures—on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (through April 2), the art world has been reiterating the Jasper Johns observation that Rauschenberg is the artist who has invented the most since Pablo Picasso. Read More


ARTnewsletter Archive

Goldman, Fairbrother Join Warhol Authentication Board

Curators Judith Goldman and Trevor Fairbrother have been appointed to the Andy Warhol Authentication Board, New York. The board has come under fire in recent years for the rejection of works its members believe were not directly made or supervised by Warhol. Read More


ARTnewsletter Archive

Runaway Imp/Mod Sales: Quality Works Fuel High Prices

Christie’s and Sotheby’s presented strong Impressionist and modern evening sales on Nov. 1-2, bringing in nearly $300 million combined and selling 110, or 89 percent, of the 123 works on offer.
Christie’s rang up a mid-estimate $160.9 million—its highest sale total since the market peak of the late 1980s—with 58, or 92 percent, of 63 lots selling. Sotheby’s brought in $130 million, outperforming its high estimate of $125 million and selling 52, or 86.7 percent, of 60 lots on offer. Read More


ARTnewsletter Archive

Italy, Greece Widen Probe Into Looted Antiquities

Last May Marion True, former antiquities curator at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, was charged with conspiring to purchase illegally excavated antiquities (see ANL, 10/11/05). In the wake of her indictment, Italian investigators are seeking to locate additional art objects, believed to be stolen, that are now owned by the Getty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and other U.S. museums. Read More


ARTnewsletter Archive

Getty Curator Resigns in Wake of Conspiracy Charges

Marion True, Ph.D., curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, who is being prosecuted in Italy for allegedly conspiring to purchase illegally excavated antiquities, has resigned (see ANL, 8/30/05). The museum reportedly has agreed to return three of the contested objects to Italy. Read More


ARTnewsletter Archive

Cohen Buys Two Works from Wynn in $120M Deal

ARTnewsletter has learned that hedge-fund billionaire Steven A. Cohen paid about $120 million for two works owned by Las Vegas hotel and casino mogul Stephen A. Wynn, according to informed sources. Cohen’s purchase of the two paintings—Vincent van Gogh’s Peasant Woman Against a Background of Wheat, 1890, and Paul Gauguin’s Tahitian painting Bathers, 1902—took place in late August or early September, sources say. None of the parties involved in the transaction would comment on the sale. Read More


ARTnewsletter Archive

Court Rules Brant Is the Owner of Warhol’s Red Elvis

A Connecticut superior court judge has ruled that newsprint magnate Peter Brant is the rightful owner of Andy Warhol’s Red Elvis, 1962, a nearly 6-foot-tall silkscreen on canvas depicting Elvis Presley’s face repeated 36 times. Kerstin Lindholm, a Greenwich, Conn., resident and art collector, filed the civil lawsuit three years ago, claiming that Brant had improperly acquired the painting in 2000. Lindholm is presently appealing the decision. Read More