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THE TOP JOB. The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., has hired Jonathan Binstock to be its next director, the Washington Post reports. Binstock is coming to the masterpiece-stacked museum (Renoir! Rothko!) from the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, New York, which he has led since 2014. (A bit of trivia: He was MAG’s seventh director, and will be the Phillips’s seventh director, too.) Binstock succeeds Dorothy Kosinski, who last year said she would depart by the end of 2022, after 15 years at the helm. It is a homecoming, of sorts, for Binstock, who was a curator at the late-lamented Corcoran Gallery of Art in D.C. from 2000 to 2007. “My excitement to be the new director is founded on love, on passion,” the incoming chief told the Post .
A POTENT PAIR. Are you in the market for some Francisco Goya paintings and flush with cash? Then today is a good day. Christie’s will offer two of his portraits—of a mother and daughter, from 1805—together at auction in January in New York with a combined estimate of $15 million to $20 million, Melanie Gerlis reports in her Financial Times column. The works have been guaranteed, so they are all set to smash the artist’s current auction record of $7.8 million. They will be sold as part of the house’s 2023 Classic Week, which will include some $80 million of work by the Old Masters.
The British artist Tom Phillips, who spent half a century developing a piece called A Humument, which involved altering the pages of W. H. Mallock‘s novel A Human Document (1892) in astonishing manner, via drawing and collage, has died at 85. ARTnews profiled Phillips in 2015. [The Art Newspaper]
The global mega-gallery Hauser & Wirth said that it will open its second Los Angeles branch in February with a show by superstar painter George Condo. The exhibition at the West Hollywood venue is titled “People Are Strange,” after the 1967 song by The Doors. [ARTnews]
The man accused of breaking into the Dallas Museum of Art in June and smashing objects called 911 on himself while inside the building, apparently before DMA security knew there was an intruder, according to newly released recordings. “Hey, I’m in the Dallas Museum of Art,” he allegedly said. “Come get me.” [The Dallas Morning News]
The National Gallery in London won approval from Westminster city councillors for architect Annabelle Selldorf’s hotly debated proposal for remodeling its Sainsbury Wing. Denise Scott Brown, who designed the structure with her late husband Robert Venturi, recently slammed the plan. [The Art Newspaper]
A lede for the ages: “Who needs Art Basel when Bono is showing off his personal art on an iPad at Cipriani?” [Page Six]
RANKINGS.ArtReview released its annual “Power 100” list, with ruangrupa, Cecilia Alemani, and unions taking the top three slots, and Artnet News published its latest “Innovators List” with “game-changers, dreamers, and mavericks transforming the art industry,” including Beeple and Brendan Dugan.
CASH TALKS. Next week, musician and composer Isabella Summers—a founder of the band Florence and the Machine—will perform a piece inspired by Cy Twombly in a show of the artist’s work at Gagosian in Beverly Hills. In an interview with the Guardian , Summers shared a story about visiting a Gagosian branch a few years ago with “a handbag full of cash” and asking to buy an Ed Ruscha print. Later, she met Ruscha at dealer Larry Gagosian’s house, and told him, “I bought one of your pictures for cash.” The artist’s reply: “It’s the only way to do it…” [The Guardian]