Art Industry News: Giacometti’s Towering Woman Sells for $29 Million at Christie’s + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, Dmitry Rybolovlev is charged with invasion of privacy and authorities find a stolen Dalí painting in Lebanon.

Giacometti's Grande Femme II, 1980-81. Photo courtesy of Christie's.

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know this Friday, October 20.


Ai Weiwei Blocked From Boarding Flight to Brazil – United Airlines drew the ire of the dissident artist and his 352,000 Instagram followers on Tuesday after ground staff prevented him from boarding a flight to São Paulo because, they said, his visa was invalid. (It wasn’t.) Ai flew the following day to attend the Brazil premiere of his film Human Flow—but not without documenting the ordeal on Instagram. (The Art Newspaper) 

Is That a Naughty Pun From Hito Steyerl?  – artnet News contributor Hettie Judah takes a deep dive into Hito Steyerl’s latest book Duty Free Art, in which the artist attacks a market system that has led collectors to tuck works away in storage facilities. When Steyerl found out one of her pieces was stored in a freeport, she created a pointed work in response: planters shaped like freeports filled with manure. (The Guardian)

Rybolovlev Charged for Invasion of Privacy – Monaco authorities have charged Russian billionaire collector Dmitry Rybolovlev as an accomplice in an invasion of privacy case after a woman involved in the billionaire’s long-running dispute with his former art advisor Yves Bouvier claimed her conversations with Rybolovlev’s lawyer had been illegally recorded. Rybolovlev denies any wrongdoing. (Bloomberg)

Fight to Save Picasso Mural That Survived Terror Attack – A government quarter in Oslo, which withstood the 2011 terror attack, is slated for demolition ahead of its relocation to a more secure site, and the ‘70s Picasso mural on its façade is due to be removed. Now, cultural figures are advocating for the entire building’s preservation, saying the mural was never meant to exist as a separate work. (NYT)


Keith Haring Banner Goes to Phillips – A 1986 banner created by the artist with the CityKids Foundation to mark the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty’s arrival in the US will hit the auction block at a Phillips charity sale this fall with an estimate in the region of $3 million. Proceeds from the sale will go the the CityKids Foundation. (Press release)

Giacometti’s Grande Femme II Sells for Nearly $30 Million – The 1960 sculpture became the most expensive work of art sold in France this year when it went under the hammer at the second edition of Christie’s Paris avant-garde sale during FIAC this week. It sold for $29.4 million. (Press release)

Kayne Griffin Corcoran to Represent Charles Harlan – The Los Angeles gallery now represents the New York-based sculptor and installation artist known for placing readymades in exhibition settings. He joins Michel Auder, Mary Corse, and David Lynch on the gallery’s roster. (ARTnews)


Portland Biennial Keeps It Local – Nat May, the curator of the Portland Biennial in Maine (not Oregon), has spent the past year visiting artists across the state. The 20-strong list of participants, including David Driskell and Gina Adams, all live in Maine. The show opens January 2018. (Artforum)

Director Who Restored Folkwang’s Greatness Has Died  Paul Vogt, the director who rebuilt the Museum Folkwang’s collection after it had been purged by the Nazis, has died at age 91. Joining the museum in Essen, Germany, in 1954, he helped repurchase work by Cézanne and Kirchner and acquire pieces by Rothko, Newman, and Pollock. (Artforum)

Penniless Czech Count Who Painted Royalty Has Died – The 95-year-old artist and philanthropist Count Nicholas Egon died in April, though his family has not announced the news until now. Born into an aristocratic family in what is now the Czech Republic, he arrived in Britain nearly penniless. A self-taught artist, he became a portrait painter in demand by royalty, but he also documented humanitarian crises. (King’s College London)


Stolen Dalí Painting Found in Lebanon – Lebanese police claim to have retrieved an original portrait by Salvador Dalí and arrested the four suspected thieves, three Syrians and one Lebanese national. The work is believed to be The Portrait of Mrs. James Reeves, painted by the Spanish surrealist in 1954. (Reuters)

Museum Opens Deep in the Heart of the Canadian Prairies – Remai Modern, Saskatoon’s $70 million new art gallery, opens to the public on Saturday. The inaugural show includes work by Philippe Parreno, General Idea, as well as Ryan Gander, who has curated linocuts by Picasso. An immersive Thomas Hirschhorn work is due to open in January 2018. (CBC)

How the Getty Climbed Down From Its Hilltop – Twenty years after the Getty Center was founded, Christopher Hawthorne traces how the institution, which stands far removed atop a hill in Los Angeles, has successfully threaded itself into the arts community below, thanks in large part to its initiative Pacific Standard Time. (Los Angeles Times)

Sculpture Raises $34,000 for Displaced People – Lara Favaretto’s sculpture from this year’s Skulptur Projekte Münster was a veritable piggy bank; it featured a slit where spectators could insert money in support of people facing deportation. Now that the exhibition has closed, Favaretto’s work has been smashed open, revealing a hefty sum that will go directly to charity. (Press release)


Last weekend, the Hammer Museum threw its annual fundraising gala, generously sponsored by Italian fashion company Bottega Veneta. Honoring Pulitzer Prize-winning New Yorker critic and curator Hilton Als alongside filmmaker Ava DuVernay, the festivities drew a crowd including Frank Gehry, Jessica Chastain, and Diane Keaton. Here are some photos from the event.

Jessica Lange and Hilton Als. All images courtesy of Bottega Veneta.

Jessica Lange and Hilton Als. All images courtesy of Bottega Veneta.

Tessa Thompson, Priyanka Chopra, Evan Rachel Wood, and Selma Blair.

Tessa Thompson, Priyanka Chopra, Evan Rachel Wood, and Selma Blair.

Miles McMillan and Zachary Quinto.

Miles McMillan and Zachary Quinto.

Jessica Chastain and Priyanka Chopra.

Jessica Chastain and Priyanka Chopra.

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