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NEW MANAGEMENT. The director of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Michel Draguet, is departing, following complaints of unprofessional and inappropriate behavior, the Brussels Times reports. His last day will be April 30, when his current mandate is set to expire, per ArtDependence. Late last year, ARTnews reported, some 30 staffers at the institution signed an open letter complaining of “appalling working conditions,” and some accused Draguet in the press of making racist, sexist, or homophobic comments. The director, who took the helm in 2005, has denied all of the claims. The Belgian government is undertaking an investigation, according to the Brussels Times. Sara Lammens, the general director of the Royal Library of Belgium, will serve as interim director until a new leader is named.
A RICHARD AVEDON FEAST. Gagosian is about to open a centennial show for the late photographer Richard Avedon in New York that features images selected by nearly 150 notables, it is putting out an accompanying book with Rizzoli, and the press is coming in hot. Luminaries like designer Tom Ford and Studio Museum director Thelma Golden shared their favorite Avedon portraits in Vanity Fair; giants like singer Elton John and actress Brooke Shields offered their picks in W; Town & Country looked at his depictions of socialites; and the revered young photog Tyler Mitchell wrote about Avedon’s influence on his own practice in the Financial Times.
A giant Louise BourgeoisSpider (1996) is estimated to sell at Sotheby’s in New York next month for $30 million to $40 million, meaning that it could smash the artist’s record on the block (now $32.1 million) and even perhaps the top mark for work by a woman artist at auction ($44.4 million, for an O’Keeffe, in 2014). [The Art Newspaper]
Staffers at a Habitat for Humanity store in Wisconsin found a three-print set by Bridget Riley in “a huge donation of otherwise unremarkable wall art,” Karl Ebert reports. Estimated to make $35,000 at Hindman in Chicago, it sold for $88,200—enough to cover most of the construction of a new Habitat home. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]
The Museum of Modern Art has added MIT Press’s famed colophon to its collection. The symbol, which is comprised of seven parallel bars, was conceived in 1965 by Muriel Cooper, the publisher’s first design director. [The Architect’s Newspaper]
The U.S. Postal Service has released a series of five Roy Lichtenstein stamps, and the Whitney Museum said that it will present a retrospective devoted to the Pop master in 2026. [Artnet News]
Artist Jeff Koonshas uncorked another gem from his archive. “In a continued celebration of Earth Month,” he shared to his gram a photo of himself in a cherrypicker, installing his flower-filled Puppy (1992) at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art back in 1995. [@jeffkoons/Instagram]
POWER PLAYERS.King Charles is loaning six Andrea Mantegna paintings to London’s National Gallery, the Sunday Times reports. Cool king! Artist Mickalene Thomas is painting a Ducati motorcycle that will be sold to benefit RxArt, according to See Great Art. And Beverly Hills is getting a branch of Marea—the luxe Italian restaurant perched on Central Park South in Manhattan—on the same block as Gagosian, the Hollywood Reporter says.
THIS IS IT. The latest issue of New York magazine is devoted to the “New York ‘It’ Girl”—past and present—and it features appearances from artists Hope Atherton, Petra Collins, Chloe Wise, Dese Escobar, Anna Weyant, writer and publicist Kaitlin Phillips, and many, many more. One highlight: Collector and former Warhol “superstar” Jane Holzer (aka Baby Jane) got a story of her own, as the “the first ‘It’ girl of the modern age.” Holzer was named “Girl of the Year” by author Tom Wolfe in 1964, and was a fashion icon for many, but, she said, “I knew it was fleeting. If you look at the history of anything, it’s fleeting. It was all bullshit.” [The Cut/New York]