From the Sale of Sotheby’s to the Serpentine Director’s Abrupt Resignation: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this week's news—fast.

A view outside Sotheby's in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
A view outside Sotheby's in New York City. Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images.

BEST👍

Sotheby’s Sells – The centuries-old auction house was purchased by French telecoms billionaire Patrick Drahi for $3.7 billion this week, taking the company private after it spent more than 30 years as a publicly traded entity.

Drahi Who? – Just who is Patrick Drahi? Our intrepid market and business reporters break down the financial, personal, and political dealings of the new auction house head, and what his ownership means for the future of the art world.

Big Bucks at Basel – See what paintings, sculptures, and prints sold at the marquee Swiss fair last week—and just how much VIP collectors dropped to acquire them.

The Met Remembers Refugees – To celebrate World Refugee Day, the museum draped a sheet over a Marc Chagall painting to give visitors a taste of what we would lose without the contributions of migrants.

Monet Brings Millions – The Impressionist and Modern sale at Sotheby’s London raked in an impressive $124 million thanks to Monet’s moody waterlilies.

Goghing, Goghing, Gone – The weapon that Vincent van Gogh may have used to kill himself sold at auction in Paris for more than twice its estimate.

Krazy for Kusama – David Zwirner will host a new exhibition of Japanese art star Yayoi Kusama this fall, featuring a brand-new infinity room as well as sculptures, drawings, and paintings.

Up Close and Virtual – The Louvre leaped into virtual reality with a new Mona Lisa VR experience, which visitors will be able to experience without the need for selfie-sticks.

WORST👎

Serpentine Director Resigns Amid Pressure – The UK institution’s director, Yana Peel, stepped down in the aftermath of reports that linked her to a company accused of producing spyware.

Artist Robert Therrien Has Died – The Los Angeles-based artist passed away at age 71 after making a career out of supersized furniture and other pedestrian objects.

Tweet Trouble – The director of the Jewish Museum in Berlin, Peter Schäfer, resigned after many took issue with a tweet he wrote about the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

A Former Employee Sues the Museum of Sex – In a lawsuit, the ex-tour guide says that she was sexually harassed by drunk visitors and that the museum failed to protect its staff.

Exhibition A Founders Moving on to Plan B – Dealer Bill Powers and his wife, designer Cynthia Rowley, have sold their print-edition company, Exhibition A, to pay back debts.

Powerhouse Donna de Salvo Departs – The curatorial force behind the Whitney’s “Warhol A to Z” show is leaving the institution after 15 years, though what she’ll do next remains a mystery.


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