To receive Morning Links in your inbox every weekday, sign up for our Breakfast with ARTnews newsletter.
THE WAITING GAME. Because of the coronavirus situation in Hong Kong, Art Basel is pushing its fair in the city from March to May, Maximilíano Durón reports in ARTnews. Earlier this month, organizers said that they had secured those May dates as a backup measure. Incoming flights from eight countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, are currently banned, and a 14-day quarantine is going into effect (a drop from the current 21 days). The exhibitor count for the fair is 137, which is down from the more than 240 that signed on for the 2019 edition but an increase over the 104 that took part in the 2021 outing. About 60 percent have opted not to send staff to the event, instead relying on Basel-appointed assistants in so-called “ghost booths.”
AUCTION BLOTTER. A ca. 1500 portrait of Christ with a crown of thorns by Sandro Botticelli sold for $45.4 million, fees included, at Sotheby’s Old Masters sale in New York, Angelica Villa reports in ARTnews. The auction totaled $91 million, less than the $114.5 million the same event brought last year . In South Korea, two Buddhist relics registered as national treasures went unsold at K Auction in Seoul, per Yonhap. They had been offered by the financially beleaguered Kansong Art Museum, which is located in the capital city. And the library of the late U.S. Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg totaled $2.4 million via Bonhams, trouncing the event’s estimate by a remarkable 3,900 percent, according to Bloomberg.
Citing the presence of profanity and nudity, the McMinn County School Board in Tennessee voted to bar from its curriculum Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus (1980), which is about the Holocaust. Spiegelman called the move “Orwellian” and said that “Tennessee is obviously demented. There’s something going on very, very haywire there.” [CNBC]
It appears that the just-announced Pablo Picasso NFTs are a no-go. “What’s happening is that some members of the family don’t agree with the project,” said Florian Picasso, a grandson of the artist who had helped initiate it. Instead, NFTs linked to the work of Florian, who is a DJ, will be offered. [Associated Press]
Corky Lee, a photojournalist renowned for documenting Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans, died on Wednesday as a result of complications of Covid. He was 73. His work is included in the collection of the Museum of Chinese in America in New York. [Associated Press]
A second Supreme Court item! Justice Stephen G. Breyer has announced his resignation from the court, but he remains a juror for the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s most prestigious award, per reporter Matt Stevens. He has served on the panel since 2011. [The New York Times]
The University of California, Berkeley returned the remains of at least 20 members of the Wiyot Tribe who were massacred by white men in 1860 to the tribe. They had been held at the school’s Hearst Museum of Anthropology. [Associated Press]
AT HOME WITH THE AVANT-GARDE. An important residence created by Bauhaus legend Marcel Breuer in 1945 in a New York suburb was recently demolished by its owners, Zachary Small reports in the New York Times, and some historians and preservationists are not pleased. Among the many remarkable things about this place was that it once featured a Jackson Pollock painting that is now in the collection of Iran’s Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. Small spoke with Joe Geller , who grew up in the house with his siblings (their parents commissioned it), and he recalled that, when they were young, “we used to peel paint off the Pollock. Oh my god.” Kids! [NYT]
Correction, 1/28/22, 11:05 a.m.: A previous version of this article misstated the date when Art Basel Hong Kong was originally slated for it. It was to begin in March, not February.