artnet News Cheat Sheet
The top stories from the week of August 4–8.
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in North Miami shuttered on August 6, Benjamin Sutton reported. After months of lawsuits and name-calling between the museum and the city of North Miami, staff have moved out of the city-owned building. Finally making good on an oft-invoked threat to take the institution elsewhere, they will reopen as the Institute of Contemporary Art, to be housed in the Moore Building in Miami’s Design District, where they will reportedly not be required to pay rent. Roughly a dozen staff members from MOCA are moving to the new organization, and it remains unclear what will become of the former museum building, as well as the institution’s private collection. Though city hall protests, a group of donors recently reiterated their assertions that the artworks they gifted were intended for the museum, not the city of North Miami.
The numbers are in for the month of July, and Francis Bacon‘s Study for Head of Lucian Freud led the pack, selling for $19,762,555 at Christie’s London postwar and contemporary evening auction on July 1st, as reported by artnet News. In second place was Peter Doig‘s Gasthof, which hammered for $17,038402 at the same sale. It’s been a good summer for Doig, whose Country-rock (wing-mirror) was featured prominently on June’s price list as well.
WELCOME TO AMERICANA
Thanks to Art Everywhere US, a public art initiative that debuted on August 4, we now know what the 58 most beloved American artworks are. The project called on participants to vote on their favorite pieces from a selection of 100, and the chosen ones are now on display across the nation in spaces typically occupied by advertisements, Cait Munro reported. Edward Hopper‘s Nighthawks received the most votes, likely due to its iconic status and all-American feel. What else made the cut? Andy Warhol‘s Campbell’s Soup Can, Catherine Opie‘s Self-Portrait/Cutting, and a whole lot of ho-hum landscapes.
A Florida judge awarded Robert Rauschenberg‘s accountant and two other longtime associates $24.6 million in fees for overseeing the late artist’s estate, reported Philip Boroff. When Rauschenberg died in 2008, the trio was initially given $375,000 divided among them from his foundation, the prime beneficiary of the trust. Robert Goldman, a lawyer who represents the foundation, speculates that Rausch would not have been pleased with the new ruling. “He probably would come out and choke a few people,” he said. Thomas C. Danziger, an art lawyer who was not involved in the case, speculates that the ruling could prompt more artists to specify trustee fees in trust documents.
Artist Cai Guo-Qiang and the Aspen Art Museum have come under fire from animal right activists protesting an activity slated to be featured in opening festivities for the museum’s new building. Sarah Cascone reported that one of Guo-Qiang’s works in the upcoming show will employ tortoises with iPads strapped to their shells, wandering the rooftop sculpture garden for a 24-hour period. The tortoises were previously enlisted as the artist’s cameramen, and are to show off footage they captured while wandering an abandoned ghost town in Colorado. Both citizen activists and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have spoken out against the project, and are hoping to have it scrapped from the event lineup.
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