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$2 M. Batman Cover Heads to Auction, Joseph Wright of Derby Painting Donated, and More: Morning Links for May 17, 2022

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The Headlines

CHA-CHING! On Monday night in New York, Sotheby’s sold 30 lots from the fabled collection of New York real estate developers Harry and Linda Macklowe for $246.1 million, Angelica Villa reports in ARTnews. Added to the $676.1 million that the house rang up last November from sales of their art (all ordered by a court as part of a divorce settlement), their collection has generated a grand total of $922 million. That is the highest total ever recorded at auction for a single collection, according to Sotheby’s, eclipsing the $835.1 million that Peggy and David Rockefeller‘s collection brought at Christie’s in 2018, before accounting for inflation. Among the highlights were a Mark Rothko that made $48 million and a Gerhard Richter that brought $30.2 million. Big-league art sales continue in New York in the coming days.

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A painting of an elderly white

FAIR PLAY. New York City is getting a new art fair. Independent, which organizes one every spring in the city (it just ran earlier this month), said that it will debut an event focused on art from the 20th century in September. Featuring 30 galleries, it will run September 8 to 11 at the Battery Maritime Building, at the same time that the Armory Show is taking place at the Javits Center in Midtown. “It will be a place where people do research,” Independent’s director, Elizabeth Dee, told Alex Greenberger in ARTnews. Meanwhile, a string of fairs are welcoming guests in the city this week, with the main attraction, Frieze New York, throwing open the doors of the Shed on Wednesday to invited guests. ARTnews will be there.

The Digest

THE WAR IN UKRAINE. A protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine took place over the weekend at the Venice branch of Russian businessman Leonid Mikhelson’s V-A-C FoundationArtnet News reports. And Ukrainian-born Leonard Blavatnik’s donations to U.K. arts causes has drawn scrutiny from some, due to his alleged ties to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, the Guardian reports. Blavatnik has not been sanctioned, and a spokesperson told the paper that “Sir Leonard and the Blavatnik Family Foundation believe that what is happening in Ukraine is heartbreaking and he condemns the ongoing violence.”

The Derby Museum and Art Gallery in that English city has acquired a self-portrait by the 18th-century English painter Joseph Wright of Derby thanks in part to a law that allows donations of artwork in place of paying inheritance tax. (Funds also had to be paid over to cover the full value of the piece.) [The Guardian]

The art-filled magazine the Believer is once again owned by the independent publisher McSweeney’s, which sold it in 2017 to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The school later sold it to a firm that put clickbait material on the site. McSweeney’s purchased the title thanks to donations and what it said was a “drastically reduced” price. [Associated Press]

Speaking of the late David and Peggy Rockefeller, another billionaire art collector, Mitchell Rales, is tearing down their former home on Mount Desert Island in Maine, which was designed by Peggy, and it is expected that he will build a new summer home there. [Bangor Daily News]

A statue of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher that was just installed in her hometown of Grantham, England, was hit with eggs by Jeremy Webster, the deputy director of the Attenborough Arts Centre at the University of Leicester. [The Art Newspaper]

Cover art for the 1986 graphic novel Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, by Frank Miller, will hit the block next month at Heritage Auctions in New York with an estimate of $2 million. [Bloomberg]

The Kicker

HEARING FROM THE OTHER SIDE. Noted art-world scammer Anna Delvey, whose life was explored in a recent Netflix miniseries, is getting ready to unveil her long-awaited solo show of drawings at the Public Hotel in New York on Thursday, Page Six reports. The works were all made while she was in custody; she is currently being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement . “You’ve heard so many voices already, but this is the beginning of me telling my story, my narrative, from my perspective,” Delvey told the outlet. [Page Six]

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