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IT HAS ARRIVED. The 2021 edition of the ARTnews Top 200 Collectors list has just gone live, and it includes new members from a variety of locales, including Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and Taiwan. Here is the full lineup. Curious to know what they have buying over the past year? Here is an extensive rundown that ranges from Julia Stoschek‘s acquisition of a major Kandis Williams video piece to Pierre Chen’s purchase of a prime 1982 Gerhard Richter candle painting. Check back in the coming days for more stories on the leading collectors of our times.
MAKING MOVES. Artist Julie Mehretu has been named a trustee of the Whitney Museum in New York, the New York Times reports, alongside six other new trustees, who include Eric L. Motley, the deputy director of the National Gallery of Art. Mehretu is the third artist to hold the post. (Can you name the other two? The names are at the bottom of this post.) ARTnews reports that the Museum of Modern Art has announced four new members of its leadership team, with Sarah Suzuki taking on the title of associate director. Suzuki led the museum’s 2019 reopening after a major renovation. And curator Catherine Nichols has been picked to be “creative mediator” of Manifesta 14, which alights in Pristina, Kosovo, in July, Artforum reports. Nichols is currently artistic director of Beuys 2021 , the German initiative marking the centenary of that wily artist’s birth. Thinking about making a move of your own? Chen & Lampert have a helpful 10-question quiz to determine if you are ready to become a museum director.
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An almost-14-foot-long Jean-Michel Basquiat painting from 1982—the artist’s year of miracles—will hit the block at Christie’s next month with an on-request estimate of around $40 million. Only seven Basquiats have sold at auction for more than that figure. Three of those sales came this year. [ARTnews]
Ruthie Tompson, who was involved in the intricate artistic work of creating almost every single Disney animated feature from 1937 to 1977, died on Sunday. She was 111. “I never got over being awe-struck at the fact that I was there,” she once said. [The New York Times]
Tari Ito, an indomitable performance artist and activist whose work addresses LGBTQ issues, sexual violence, and more, has died. She was 70. Born Miwako Ito, she took her better-known name (after the ancient Greek muse of comedy) around the time she made the pioneering decision to come out as a lesbian. [ArtAsiaPacific]
A $2.4 billion deal by Tata Sons to acquire the debt-plagued Air India from India is likely to leave the government with the airline’s vaunted art collection. It includes examples by Jatin Das, M. F. Husain, and many more. It has been alleged that works in the 4,000-piece collection have been damaged or stolen while in storage. [The Indian Express]
A 1780 letter written by Alexander Hamilton to the Marquis de Lafayette, which Massachusetts believes was stolen from its state archives by a “kleptomaniacal cataloguer” some 80 years ago, has been returned, after a court ruling. The family possessing the document argued that it had been acquired legally. [Associated Press]
Huge news out of Manhattan: NoHo’s storied Temple Bar, which was designed by artist Kiki Kogelnik, and which closed at the end of 2017, has been restored and is returning under new ownership. This time there will be a doorman, and it will operate like a “private club without being a private club,” said one partner in the new venture. [W Magazine]
THE QUOTE KING RETURNS. The reliably pithy artist David Hockey has a new show of his iPad drawings at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris, and he shared some of his thoughts with the Agence France-Presse to mark the occasion. “I’m really off photography now,” he said. “Everyone’s a photographer. Everyone has a mobile phone in their pocket, they can all take photographs. Photographs are very boring.” Not boring, according to Hockney: landscapes, which are the subject of his exhibition. “Nature is the source of everything,” he said. [AFP/South China Morning Post]
The answer to the question up above: Chuck Close and Fred Wilson are the two other artists who served as Whitney trustees. Thank you for joining us.