Sotheby’s Scores Big Evening Sale, Patience and Fortitude Don Masks, and More: Morning Links from June 30, 2020

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Auction Action

“The art market reopened last night with a resounding bang as Sotheby’s sold $363.2 million in Modern and Contemporary art through an innovative hybrid sale of a live auction conducted on three continents simultaneously with no direct access to bidders.” Highlights included big sales for Francis Bacon, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Matthew Wong. [Art Market Monitor]

Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern art day sale in New York on Monday brought in $16.7 million from the sale of 166 lots, with a solid 83 percent sell-through rate and active virtual bidding allowing the results to come in almost exactly in line with a May 2019 day sale that reached $16.6 million from 229 lots. [Art Market Monitor]


Before he died, storied designer Milton Glaser was working on a pandemic-inspired graphic-design treatment of the word “Together.” Read an interview with him about it from just a few weeks ago. “This sense of inertia, of not being able to determine your own future, it’s very eroding. All we can do is have this sense that we are not alone.” [The New York Times]

Self-described “artivist” Nikkolas Smith has been working to change eyes and minds from his home in Los Angeles. “Nikkolas is one of those artists who call on us to change the way we see ourselves,” said the managing director of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation. [NPR]

Patience and Fortitude, the two giant lion sculptures that stand guard in front the New York Public Library’s Main Branch, are wearing masks in solidarity with New Yorkers doing their best to keep the coronavirus crisis curbed. “The masks are 3-feet wide, 2-feet tall, and go all the way over the nose.” [Gothamist]

The National Gallery will be the first major London museum to reopen after closure owing to the pandemic, on July 8. [The Art Newspaper]


For National Geographic, Phillip Morris looks to protests around the world and wonders “As monuments fall, how does the world reckon with a racist past?” [National Geographic]

Distinguished art historian Kellie Jones has been appointed with the first Hans Hofmann Professorship of Modern Art at Columbia University. [Giving to Columbia]

In case you missed it, an “ARTnews Accord” interview from 2017 featuring Kellie Jones in conversation with artist Kevin Beasley. [ARTnews]


The Museum of Bad Art in Boston is offering face masks featuring two famously bad artworks from its collection: Lucy in the Field with Flowers and Pablo Presley[The Boston Globe]

BBC News devoted a TV segment to “the pandemic’s impact on Zambia’s art scene.” [BBC News]

“The Great British Art Quiz” looks at a painting by Kehinde Wiley and poses a pressing question: Why is a tree sprouting from this boat? [The Guardian]

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