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Vax Passes Mulled for Museums, Jeff Koons Joins Pace, and More: Morning Links from April 27, 2021

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The Headlines

JEFF KOONS: YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT HE IS GOING TO DO NEXT. The much-loved, much-reviled artist has left David Zwirner and Gagosian to be represented by another mega-dealer, the Pace Gallery . Currently the record holder for the most expensive living artist at auction, Koons will present a show of a single work at Pace’s branch in Palo Alto, California, in 2022, and he will have a solo outing in New York with the firm in 2023. “I always liked the idea of having more of a home gallery, that if people were interested in work they would know directly where to go,” the “Made in Heaven” provocateur told the New York Times. Gagosian had his to say about the new matchup, in a text message to the Times: “It seems like a good fit.”

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WILL ART MUSEUMS REQUIRE VACCINE PASSPORTS? SHOULD THEY? Those questions are hot, contentious topics of discussion, the Art Newspaper reports. Denmark has started requiring museum visitors to flash the nation’s “coronapas.” Israel has exempted museums visitors from brandishing its “green pass,” but they do need to show it if they are dining at a restaurant or attending an event with fixed seating onsite. The National Museum Directors’ Council in the United Kingdom has said a mandate “sits at odds with the public mission and values of museums.” In many places, of course, any tough decision on passes is still a long way off. In Berlin, TAN reports, museums have been ordered to shut once more.

The Digest

A photograph by Pari Dukovic of the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, is going on view at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. When President Trump’s official portrait is completed, it will take the place of the photo. [The Washington Post]

The Turkish artist Selma Gürbüz has died of complications from Covid-19. She was 61. A survey of her work is currently on view at Istanbul Modern. [ArtAsiaPacific]

Barbara Marshall, who was a longtime patron of the Kansas City Art Institute, and who cofounded the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures in Missouri, has died at the age of 97. [The Kansas City Star]

The space race “was a way for Soviet artists to adopt avant-garde ideas under the cloak of propaganda,” Stephen Dowling writes. [BBC News]

Writer, curator, and Gagosian director Antwaun Sargent, who edited the May/June issue of Art in America, shared his eight-step guide for how to look at art. [Interview]

A new card game has been released based on the storied collection of art philanthropist Agnes Gund. Its creator: her daughter, filmmaker Catherine Gund. [The Art Newspaper]

The Kicker

A PAIR OF KANYE WEST-DESIGNED SNEAKERS, the 2008 Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes, sold for $1.8 million in a private deal brokered by Sotheby’s, according to Reuters. It is believed to be the most ever paid for a pair of sneakers, and it easily outmatched the $560,000 that a pair of 1985 Nike Air Jordan 1s brought at auction at the house last year, the high mark for sneakers on the block. The buyer of the Yeezys was a “sneaker investing platform” called Rares , which sells fractional ownership of prized shoes. “Our goal in purchasing such an iconic shoe—and a piece of history—is to increase accessibility and empower the communities that birthed sneaker culture with the tools to gain financial freedom,” its co-founder and CEO, Gerome Sapp, said. [Reuters]

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