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Two visitors admire 15th century painter

UCCA Opens in Shanghai, Collector Claims van Gogh Find, and More: Morning Links from May 21, 2021

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The Headlines

CRYPTO PRICES DROPPED THIS WEEK, and the jury is still out on the longevity of the non-fungible-token market, but those tokens certainly keep generating news. Model Emily Ratajkowski sold an NFT of a photo of herself for $175,000 through Christie’s, in a move inspired by the use of her image by the king of appropriation art, Richard PrinceArchitecture Digest has the story. Model Kate Moss is getting in on the act as well. She’s currently auctioning a video of herself sleeping with the title Sleep With Kate, the Guardian reports. Andy Warhol made what has to be the most famous sleeping film of all time (with the late, great artist John Giorno as the subject), and as it happens, Warhol’s foundation is getting into NFTs. It’s offering five digital works that Warhol created on his Commodore Amiga in the 1980s as tokens.

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Two visitors admire 15th century painter

ALL EYES ARE ON CHINA THIS WEEK. Art Basel is running in Hong Kong, where a $20 million Joan Mitchell found a buyer, and the Beijing-based UCCA Centre for Contemporary Art is opening its third branch, in Shanghai. The UCCA Edge takes up three floors of a commercial building in the city of more than 24 million people. The new outpost allows the museum to reach a wider audience , its director, Philip Tinari, told the South China Morning Post. “In Beijing, you still have a very high concentration of artists, curators, critics, foreign media and intellectuals, a kind of specialist public. In Shanghai there’s this broad urban culture of cultural consumption,” he said. A show of work from the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh will run at the venue this summer.

The Digest

The Akron Art Museum in Ohio has been without a director and chief curator for more than a year, and some in the local art community are raising concerns. Its former leader resigned last May amid allegations of racism and sexism, which he has denied. [Akron Beacon Journal]

Artist Reginald C. Adams has created a mural in Galveston, Texas, to commemorate the freeing of enslaved Black people in Texas on June 19, 1865—Juneteenth. The 5,000-square-foot mural is located at the place where General Gordon Granger issued the order. [The New York Times]

With the Chinese government cracking down on free speech in Hong Kong, artists there are being careful about what they present in their work, while still finding ways to engage with hot-button issues. “We now act like we’re in Beijing or Shanghai,” one artist said. [The New York Times]

When the Royal College of Arts was closed last summer amid the pandemic, art supplies and works belonging to students were picked up and put in storage. Some of those artists say that their materials were damaged or lost, and they are planning to sue. The school said it plans to offer compensation. [The Guardian]

The Australian artist Kate Bohunnis is the winner of the Ramsay Art Prize, which is given every two years to an artist from the country under the age of 40. It comes with a check for AU$100,000 (about US$77,700). [The Guardian]

“Men are dressing like painters—and paying hundreds to do it,” the Wall Street Journal reports. A Ralph Lauren label, for one, has paint-splattered jeans on offer for $429. Pigment-bedazzled Nikes will set a man back around $100. [The Wall Street Journal]

The Kicker

THE ART COLLECTOR STUART PIVAR, WHO COFOUNDED the New York Academy of Art, claims that he has discovered a Vincent van Gogh landscape that the artist painted in the last year of his life, Page Six reports. It is reportedly being sent to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam for authentication. Pivar has been vague about where exactly the painting came from (“an obscure auction in North America,” he offered), but he was clear about his reaction to seeing it person: “I was lost for words, in absolute shock, to the point I felt electrical waves passing up and down my body.” [Page Six]

Thank you for reading. We’ll see you on Monday.

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