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FAIR PLAY. A lucky break for the 150 dealers participating in the 2021 edition of Art Cologne, which runs next month: They will get a 34 percent reduction in the cost of their booths, the Art Newspaper reports. The price cut comes as a result of funding from a German government program aimed at ameliorating the financial hardship that various cultural entities have suffered as a result of the pandemic. Fair organizers decided to distribute the money they received, in full, to the exhibitors. In other fair business, FIAC is running in Paris, and ARTnews has picked the best booths. Gallerists at such events tend to talk politely and vaguely about the market, and so it was a surprise to see David Zwirner circulate a quote on opening day that Wall Street Journal journo Kelly Crow shared on Twitter: “I am a little disappointed, after the vibrancy of London”—where Frieze just ran—“with sales at FIAC. Paris is such a great city for a fair, but FIAC has tended to underperform for us compared with other major fairs.”
A FRIDAY ARTIST BLOTTER: In the Guardian, Ai Weiwei penned an essay remembering the public interest lawyer-turned-film producer Diane Weyermann, who died earlier this month. Her passing is “like a bridge of hope and imagination washed away in the storm,” Ai writes. Tino Sehgal is staging two of his wily performance works as part of a show at Tai Kwun in Hong Kong, per the South China Morning Post. Cassils got the profile treatment in the New York Times, in conjunction with the premiere of their first dance piece at the HOME arts center in Manchester, England. And Theaster Gates, who has a show on now at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, chatted with the Guardian about his multifarious practice. “I want to participate in all levels of culture-making, of society-building, of nation-building,” he said.
Architect Alan Lapidus, a designer of over-the-top casinos and hotels, like Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas and the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, New Jersey, has died at 85. [The New York Times]
The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., purchased a 1967 work from Faith Ringgold’s classic “American People” series; it is the first painting by the artist to enter its collection. A Ringgold retrospective runs at Glenstone in Potomac, Maryland, through this Sunday. [Press Release/National Gallery of Art]
It’s a double David Zwirner day for “Breakfast”: The dealer is in the enviable position of having on his hands eight recently rediscovered watercolors by Hilma af Klint, whose work is almost entirely held by her namesake foundation. He is selling only to institutional buyers. The pieces go on view next month at his Upper East Side gallery. [Artnet News]
The Art Institute of Chicago’s plan to disband its volunteer docent program to pursue a new model aimed at community engagement has become a flashpoint in the culture wars. “Clearly we were not prepared for this to become a discussion of identity politics,” James Rondeau, the museum’s director, said. [The New York Times]
Architect David Adjaye has released his designs for a dramatic Manhattan skyscraper—Affirmation Tower, it’s called—that grows in size as it rises. If built, it would be the second-tallest building in the city, and the first building in the five boroughs from a team of Black architects, developers, lenders, and builders, according to the group. [Robb Report]
Scottish writer Ali Smith’s upcoming novel, Companion Piece (2022), sports a cover with a piece by David Hockney, continuing a string of Smith’s books that the artist’s work has adorned over the past decade. [Simon Prosser/Twitter]
A LOT OF BONES. At the Drouot auction house in Paris on Thursday, the largest triceratops skeleton ever discovered sold for €6.6 million, which is about $7.67 million (or just under half the most ever paid for a KAWS painting), the Associated Press reports. The 66-million-year-old dinosaur, known as Big John , was found in South Dakota seven years ago. “The overall quality of Big John really deserved this price,” one paleontology told the news agency. The winning bidder was an anonymous American who had a representative on hand to share that he is “absolutely thrilled with the idea of being able to bring a piece like this to his personal use.” [Associated Press]