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AUCTION ACTION. What a moment for Piet Mondrian fans! An acclaimed bio was just published. A retrospective is up at the Fondation Beyeler in Switzerland for a few more days. And now Sotheby’s will sell a prime painting, Composition No. II (1930), next month in New York with a low estimate of $50 million, the Financial Times reports. The artist’s current auction record is $50.6 million, set back in 2015. More auction news: After announcing in August that they would send some of Andy Warhol’s very early works to auction, the Warhola family has tapped Phillips in New York to offer two works whose top estimates total $950,000, Penta reports. Last but not least, here is a remarkable stat, via Bloomberg: Sotheby’s reports that a third of its bidders for contemporary art in Hong Kong sales are under the age of 30. Feel old yet?
THE PAINTER OF MODERN LIFE. The international powerhouse Pace Gallery has added to its roster the filmmaker and painter David Lynch, Alex Greenberger reports in ARTnews. “Marc Glimcher came to my house and we had a great talk and some pretty damn good coffee,” Lynch said in a statement, referring to the gallery’s CEO. “I told him I would try to do some good work for his gallery. I think he smiled and said, ‘You fuckin’ better!!!’ ” Lynch had previously been repped by Kayne Griffin in Los Angeles, which merged with Pace early this year. Joining Pace’s roster, the Twin Peaksand The Straight Story director will have New York representation for the first time.
Art-world con artist Anna Sorokin—the subject of the Netflix series Inventing Anna—is out on bail, after being held for 17 months by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for overstaying her visa. Sorokin, a German citizen, has been fighting deportation. She is required to remain at home, and off social media. [Bloomberg via Variety]
An American visitor at the Chiaramonti Museum in Vatican City smashed a sculptural bust to the floor after asking for an audience with Pope Francis and being turned down. Attempting to escape, another piece was reportedly damaged. The man was apprehended. [Artnet News]
U.S. Representative Mark Pocan, a Democrat from Wisconsin, has introduced legislation that would begin the process of creating a National Museum of American LGBTQ+ History and Culture as part of the Smithsonian. [The Art Newspaper]
Order is restored in the universe. The Yayoi Kusama pumpkin sculpture that was thrown from its perch on Japan’s Naoshima island into the water during a storm last summer is now back on view there after being restored. [ArtReview]
A work that Banksy made on the side of a house in Bristol, England, around 2000, was almost destroyed when that home was marked for demolition in 2010. However, a local architect saved it and kept it under his bed for the past decade, and has now loaned it to a Banksy show at MediaCityUK in Salford. [BBC News]
Author and television host Padma Lakshmi paid a visit to Simone Leigh’s show at the U.S. pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Speaking of that project, a related symposium titled Loophole of Retreat: Venice will take place Friday to Sunday at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in La Serenissima, and will be live-streamed. [@simoneyvetteleigh/Instagram]
POLITICAL INTRIGUE. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s director of security and chief investigator, Anthony Amore, is running as a Republican to be Massachusetts’s state auditor, and Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochiasked him about how his museum experience relates to his potential new post. “The skills are the same. The mission is the same,” he said, explaining, that one is “following facts to the truth.” Amore came to the Gardner 17 years ago and has been involved in trying to find the paintings that were taken in a brazen 1990 heist. He and law enforcement officials believe they know who did it, he said, but “if we put out the names of people we think did it, it would lead to bad leads.” [The Boston Globe]