NFT Marketplace Confirms ‘Insider Trading,’ Rare Lennon-Ono Recording to Auction, and More: Morning Links for September 16, 2021

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The Headlines

OLD ART BY YOUNG CHILDREN? Researchers believe they have identified fossilized handprints and footprints—in limestone dating back at least 169,000 years—that could be understood as the earliest art on recordNBC News reports. The markings, on the Tibetan plateau, were reported in a study published in Science Bulletin;  they appear to belong to children of around 7 and 12. “The arrangement of the prints defies any practical explanation,” archaeologist Thomas Urban, who co-authored the paper, told the outlet. Gizmodo has published a diagram of the site, and notes that if the prints are as old as the study says, they would be well more than 100,000 years older than the Lascaux cave paintings. However, their classification as art and their age are subjects of debate. Archaeologist Michael Petraglia told NBC  it is possible that they were carved into the stone later, and added that, “with such a gigantic claim the amount of evidence you would need to put together would be rather great in terms of scientific work.”

READY YOUR PADDLES. A tape of a 1970 interview that John Lennon and Yoko Ono did with a quartet of Danish teenagers for their school paper will be offered later this month in Copenhagen, the Associated Press reports. The artist and musician discuss world peace and perform two songs on the recording, which is being sold by the then-students along with a copy of the paper and 23 photos. Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneer has estimated the lot at around $32,000. In other art-celebrity auction news, the actor ( and painterSylvester Stallone is selling movie memorabilia at Julien’s Auction in Los Angeles. Robb Report has the story. Among the offerings are notebooks Stallone used while making the four Rocky films, and his costume from Judge Dredd (1995), which was designed by Gianni Versace. The sale carries a $1.5 million estimate.

The Digest

The OpenSea NFT marketplace confirmed that an employee acquired certain tokens that he knew would be promoted on the museum’s homepage. Users who raised the issue have likened it to insider trading. OpenSea said it is adopting new policies to prohibit such behavior. [Vice]

Mohammad Fahim Rahimi, the director of the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul, said that he will continue to run the museum and see if the Taliban allows it to operate. When the capital fell, he tracked down pro-Taliban members to guard the institution. “I was ready to give my life for it,” he said. [The National]

The Judd Foundation said that, after working with David Zwirner for more than a decade, it is moving to GagosianDonald Judd was “one of the first artists whose work I really admired,” said Larry Gagosian, who has had a big news week. Yesterday, he announced he was opening a third Paris gallery. [Financial Times]

Gilbert Seltzer, an architect who served in the Ghost Army during World War II, which used decoy tanks, audio recordings, and other tricks to confuse Nazi forces, died at 106. Seltzer served in various roles in the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion, which included future superstar artist Ellsworth Kelly[The New York Times]

For the latest issue of ARTnews, which is focused on collaboration, Carmelita Tropicana and Ela TroyanospokeMary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley, and other artists spoke about projects that have resulted from joining forces. [ARTnews]

Samsung signed a deal with the Louvre to display around 40 works from the Paris museum’s collection on its Frame TVs through a subscription service called Art Store. The electronics giants also has partnerships with the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Prado Museum in Madrid. [The Korea Herald]

The Kicker

THE CENTURY CLUB. The latest Time 100″ is out, rounding up “the 100 most influential people of 2021.” Quite a few art people have either made the list or contributed short profiles. Art historian Hal Foster penned artist Barbara Kruger’s entry, and Studio Museum in Harlem director Thelma Golden wrote actress Tracee Ellis Ross ’s. There’s also curator Kenjiro Hosaka on architect Kengo Kuma, architect David Adjaye on economist Felwine Sarr and art historian Bénédicte Savoy (authors of the 2018 French government report on restitution), artist-activist Ai Weiwei on artist-activist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, and lawyer and professor Anita Hill on artist Mark Bradford. For “Bradford, no concept is too large or too small, and no challenge is too complex or too mundane,” Hill says. “For Mark, no one is invisible.”

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