COMICS HAVE PUT UP HUGE NUMBERS AT RECENT AUCTIONS. A Tintin drawing sold for a cool $3.89 million at Artcurial in Paris on Thursday, a new record for a comic-book artwork, the Guardian reports. The piece in question never actually made it into print, though. Georges Remi created the work, which depicts a giant dragon menacing the sprightly cartoon hero, as a cover for a Tintin book but was told it had too many colors to reproduce affordably. He gave it instead to an editor’s son, whose own children parted with the piece. On the same day, over in Dallas, a copy of the first issue of Batman, from 1940, went for $2.2 million at Heritage Auctions, making it the second-most-expensive comic book ever sold on the block, the Art Newspaper reports. The top slot, for the record, is held by Action Comics #1 (1938), which saw the debut of Superman . It went for $3.2 million on eBay in 2014.
AFTER RUNNING THE CLOSELY WATCHED PROJECT SPACE LULU in Mexico City for nearly eight years with artist Martin Soto Climent, curator Chris Sharp is starting a gallery under his own name in Los Angeles. The Chris Sharp Gallery opens on January 23 with a solo exhibition by the New Zealand–born, L.A.-based artist Emma McIntyre in Mid City, just over the border from Culver City galleries like Roberts Projects and Blum & Poe . The new venture “came out of a desire to take the next step as an art professional, an intention to ensure that certain L.A.–based, national, and international artists receive the visibility and support they deserve, and a hope to participate in the strange, fertile, and magical art scene of Los Angeles,” Sharp said in an email to supporters. Alas, this means that Lulu—which hosted solos by B. Wurtz and Nina Canell, as well as a show devoted to fruit-related artworks (organized by Sharp and Andrew Berardini)—will shutter in April. Last up there: a one-person outing by Mexican artist Isabel Nuño de Buen, who lives in Hanover, Germany.
A monument for racial equity by Hank Willis Thomas and MASS Design Group architects will be unveiled in Boston Common next year. It will honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King. [The New York Times]
Meanwhile, Thomas spoke about his activities over the past year, his career, and what he’s been watching lately in an interview from his Brooklyn studio. [Wallpaper*]
The Tampa Museum of Art in Florida is planning a renovation that will expand its gallery space and educational offerings. [Tampa Bay Times]
Before the Brexit cutoff at the end of the year, some collectors and dealers—particularly mid-sized galleries working between the United Kingdom and Europe—rushed to move art out of the U.K. to adjust to the new rules. [Bloomberg]
Filmmaker Laura Poitras says she was fired by First Look Media for criticizing its failure to protect the anonymity of a source. [The Washington Post]
Hair-related art is hot. [Financial Times]
A new blue pigment is now commercially available, more than a decade after its accidental discovery. It’s not cheap, though! [Artnet News]
The Brooklyn Museum will show a Nick Cave artwork that sparked controversy in Kinderhook, New York. [The New York Times]
Carolina Miranda writes about the pioneering Black architect Paul Williams, whose legacy is finally being celebrated. [Los Angeles Times]
Sebastian Smee says that the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., missed an opportunity by delaying its Philip Guston show: “Even as mobs ransacked the U.S. Capitol, Guston’s paintings, a 10-minute walk from the Capitol’s front steps, would have shown the mob to itself.” [The Washington Post]
The collection of the late collector and decorator Hester Diamond is being offered at Sotheby’s, and her Beastie Boy son, Michael Diamond, aka Mike D, spoke to the New York Times about growing up surrounded by art. Here’s one bit of Diamond family lore: Diamond’s father, who worked as a dealer and died in 1982, was friendly with William de Kooning, and convinced his brother, Joseph Diamond , who owned real estate, to rent an apartment to the artist. He “tried to broker a deal with Uncle Joe that Bill de Kooning would pay him in paintings,” Diamond said. “Which of course would have made him a billionaire upon death—but he turned down the deal. He was like, ‘What am I going to do with paintings? Tell him to pay his rent on time every month.’”
Thank you for reading. We’ll see you on Monday.