From Maurizio Cattelan’s ‘Comedian’ making headlines again, to the spread of Corona after a major art event – here are some of the topics from this week in the arts.
‘Comedian’ has a new home
Maurizio Cattelan’s ‘Comedian’ broke the internet at last year’s Art Basel Miami Beach, where it was sold for an astounding $150,000. In the past week the artwork has returned to the spotlight, as it was given to the Guggenheim Museum in New York by an anonymous donor.
The owners of the piece must provide the banana and duct tape themselves. What is being given is a “certificate of authenticity,” with a detailed 14-page list of instructions on how to install and display the piece.
“We are grateful recipients of the gift of ‘Comedian’, a further demonstration of the artist’s deft connection to the history of modern art,” Guggenheim director Richard Armstrong told the New York Times.
New online fair for video and digital works
Daata fair is launching a new marketplace on October 5, which will be on through October 25. Twenty galleries will take part, presenting up to six works by one artist each.
With the online fair, they hope to reach collectors who normally don’t have the patience to watch video works. Daata Fair’s model is to center themselves around other fairs; this year, it will coincide with Frieze’s virtual fair (9-16 October).
Big sales at Art Basel’s OVR:2020
Instead of in-person fairs, Art Basel has been hosting online viewing rooms this year. On Wednesday they launched ‘OVR:2020,’ the first of two online fairs focusing on works made in 2020, with 100 participating galleries from 28 countries.
According to ARTnews, high-stake sales were already made during the first day. For example, Lévy Gorvy sold Pat Steir’s ‘Untitled X’, 2020 (Taipei) close to the asking price at $360,000, and Lehmann Maupin sold Angel Otero’s ‘Painter’s Bath’ (2020) for $120,000.
The online viewing room is open until Sunday, September 26.
Corona cases after Gallery Weekend in Berlin
Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Thursday that a gallery owner has tested positive for Corona after Gallery Weekend and that several guests were infected as well.
“There have been a few confirmed positive cases that could be related to a dinner at the gallery or private events,” press spokesperson Silke Neumann told Monopol Magazine. “As the guests went all over the city during Art Week and visited different museums and possibly the fair, we cannot precisely determine the exact possible source of infection.”
Gallery Weekend coincided with Berlin Art Week this year due to the Corona shutdown in May. Following the Covid-19 security measures, visitors were obliged to wear a mask and keep distance. Read our feature: ‘Exhibiting Art in the Covid Era: Berlin Art Week and Gallery Weekend 2020’
Ellen DeGeneres is selling parts of her collection
TV-host Ellen DeGeneres has quietly been selling works from her collection worth more than $10 million via Sotheby’s private sales gallery. Among the works are a mobile sculpture by Alexander Calder, a work on paper by Jean-Michel Basquiat, and a flock of sheep by Francois-Xavier Lalanne. Some of the sheep, priced at $500,000 to $1 million, have already been sold.
Publications like Bloomberg and artnet connect the sales to the recent accusations from current and former employees at the DeGeneres show, who say they’ve encountered racism, intimidation, and sexual harassment from managers while working there.