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IT IS A HUGE DAY FOR MUSEUM NEWS. Spain has granted the equivalent of about $42 million to the Prado for a renovation and expansion project, following a pandemic delay and political battles, Artforum reports, via El Pais. Work is reportedly set to be completed in 2024; Foster and Partners and Rubio Arquitectura are on the job. Over in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art said it will give back to Nepal a 10th-century sculpture with gaps in its recorded provenance, according to the New York Times. Scholars believe that the piece, depicting the Hindu deity Lord Shiva, was likely stolen from a shrine in the country a half-century ago. And the Uffizi in Florence has started a collection of self-portraits by comic-book artists, aiming to grow its audience, the Associated Press reports. Earlier this year, it acquired its first work of street art.
MARKET MACHINATIONS: The powerhouse Los Angeles dealer David Kordansky will open a New York branch in April, the Financial Times reports. Kordansky has taken a space on West 20th Street in Chelsea, and plans to get started with a Lauren Halsey show. The gallery’s director will be Anna Fisher, formerly of Victoria Miro. In very different market news, a U.S. district court judge dismissed a lawsuit over the right to use artist Frida Kahlo’s name and likeness, per the AP. The somewhat byzantine trademark battle had been going on for years. And Down Under, the Sydney Contemporary art fair has rescheduled its (already rescheduled) fair from November to next September (the month it typically occurs), ArtAsiaPacific reports.
Takao Saito, a stalwart Japanese manga artist, has died at the age of 84. In 1968, Saito created the Golgo 13 series, which follows the activities of an international assassin. Its Guinness World Record–setting 201st volume came out this summer; it will continue to be published, helmed by other artists. [The Japan Times]
Hundreds of photographs from the 1939 excavation of the Sutton Hoo burial in England—“one of the greatest archaeological finds of all time,” as ARTnews wrote earlier this year—have been digitized by the National Trust in the United Kingdom, and are now available on its website. [BBC News]
A 1984 Martin Wong cityscape sold on Tuesday at Chicago’s Hindman auction house for $1.1 million, setting a new record. The Rumsey Hall School in Connecticut was selling to benefit its work. Allen Finkelson, who gave it the piece in 1989, applauded the move, saying it was “the culmination of my lifetime devotion to the school” [Republican-American]
The storied Lobkowicz noble family in the Czech Republic is getting into the NFT game, selling tokens and hosting an NFT conference to raise funds to maintain their eponymous Prague palace and their sizable art collection, whose sale is restricted by law. “My father sometimes says we are the richest poor people in the world,” said the mastermind of the project, William Rudolf Lobkowicz, a 27-year-old prince. [Bloomberg]
Art historian Nicholas Sawicki took a look at the little-known visual art of writer Franz Kafka in a new essay. Earlier this year, the National Library of Israel published 130 pages of his drawings on the internet. [Los Angeles Review of Books]
A pair of artists who go by the names Danger Dave and Christian Rager have created an inflatable sculpture of the head of Damien Hirst wearing a snorkel. Currently on view at the Swell Sculpture Festival, in Currumbin, Australia, it is called Damien Hirst Looking for Sharks. Click with caution. You may not be able to unsee this. [Air Mail]
IT IS ANISH KAPOOR SEASON. The artist has a retrospective on tap next year in Venice. He is developing a building for his foundation there, too. And he is about to open a show at the Modern Art Oxford in England. Kapoor is best known for his perception-bending sculptures, but he has recently been painting what the Guardian‘s Jonathan Jones terms “blood-soaked canvases depicting huge wounded bits of bodies and purple organs spattered on the walls.” Here is the ever-quotable Kapoor explaining a bit of this violent new work: “I just wanted to make a many-breasted quasi-female figure and see what happened. Could I unwrap her pristine exterior and look at her problematic interior, full of blood and guts and breasts and bits and pieces, and all that?” The public can take the measure of his accomplishments in Oxford starting October 2.