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PRIME TIME. Artists Nairy Baghramian and Jacolby Satterwhite have been tapped for high-profile commissions by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the New York Times reports. Baghramian, a sly and inventive sculptor based in Berlin, will create sculptures for the niches in the Met’s facade; look for them in September. Satterwhite, a freewheeling ace in media of all kinds, will make pieces for the museum’s Great Hall that involve sound, video, and performance; the Brooklyn artist’s display is set for an October debut. Those hankering for some bold contemporary work at the Met before then are in luck: Los Angeles artist Lauren Halsey will stage her hotly anticipated (and postponed) rooftop commission there on April 18, reporter Ted Loos notes. Also, the virtuoso New York painter Cecily Brown just opened her first museum survey at the Met.
AUCTION ACTION. On Saturday, a license plate with the number “P 7” sold at a charity auction in Dubai for about $15 million, a world-record for a license plate, Bloomberg reports. The funds will go to a food-aid program run by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the emirate’s ruler. On the same day, a porcelain bowl made in China sometime between 1722 to 1735 sold for about $25.3 million at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, CNN reports. The most recent buyer of the beautiful bowl, which sports an apricot tree and two swallows, was collector Alice Cheng, who paid $19.3 million in 2006. And WWD reports that Amita Suman (of the Netflix show Shadow and Bone) is curating an auction at Sotheby’s in London with works by Louise Bourgeois, Banksy, and more.
The legendary cartoonist Al Jaffee, who contributed to 500 of Mad Magazine’s first 550 issues (an unrivaled figure), died on Monday at 102. Jaffee’s great invention at Mad was the Fold-In, a feature that involves folding a page to reveal a new image. [The New York Times and Los Angeles Times]
The rising fashion designer Grace Wales Bonner, who has collaborated with an array of artists (including Kerry James Marshall) and musicians (Kendrick Lamar), was profiled by Samuel Hine. Tyler Mitchell shot photos for the story, which features Gagosian director Antwaun Sargent and playwright Jeremy O. Harris as models. [GQ]
An Australian eye surgeon named Brendan Vote has put together a sprawling collection of works on paper by Salvador Dalí, and is now displaying his holdings at a free museum called Dada Muse in Launceston, Tasmania. [ABC News Australia]
The restitution of Nazi-looted art often draws big headlines, but museums in Germany with collections of purloined silver “are quietly engaged in a determined effort to return them, under an initiative started in recent years,” Milton Esterow reports. [The New York Times]
A Florida high school pulled the graphic novel Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation (by Ari Folman, with illustrations by David Polonsky), after the leader of a conservative group filed a complaint, saying that it trivialized the Holocaust. [The Associated Press]
Art-market veteran Simon de Pury said that his work as an auctioneer and a DJ are similar in that they both “require you to be attuned to your audience and very quick on your feet.” He also shared his must-haves, like the latest iPhone, Cloudmonster shoes, and a red Rimowa suitcase. [Town & Country]
FROM BAD TO WORSE. On Sunday night, a man in Edmonton allegedly climbed a sculpture comprised of a pile of steel balls, fell inside, and got trapped, CBC News reports. Not an ideal situation! Firefighters came to his rescue, cutting open part of the 2011 piece, by Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues, and freeing him. Then police arrested the man on mischief charges, saying that he damaged the work while climbing it. One area man who was watching the events unfold mused about how the authorities could have responded differently. “Maybe they should have left him there overnight,” he said, “you know, throw him a sandwich or something.” [CBC News]