Rhein II, a photograph of the Rhine River by Andreas Gursky
The German artist is known for his massive landscape photographs often taken from a high point of view. In this case, he photographed the Rhine River, which runs through six countries in Europe and his hometown of Dusseldorf, Germany. The print itself is a chromogenic color print face-mounted to Plexiglass and measures 73 x 143-inches. The panoramic image of the Rhine is one of an edition of six photographs. Four are in major museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Tate Modern in London. Although estimated at $2.5 – $3.5 million, the photograph went under Christie’s hammer for $4,338,500. It beat out Cindy Sherman’s Untitled #96, which sold for a whopping $3.89 million at a Christie’s sale this May.
The Gursky’s photo was one of 91 works offered Tuesday at Christie’s auction of postwar and contemporary art. At the same auction, Roy Lichtenstein’s 1961 painting of a man looking through a peephole sold for $43.2 million. In total, 82 works were sold for a total of $247.6 million.
Roy Lichtenstein's 1961 painting of a man looking through a peephole sold for $43.2 million at Christie's impressionist and modern art auction in New York.
Jeune Fille Endormie by Pablo PicassoPablo Picasso’s painting Jeune Fille Endormie, showing Marie-Therese snoozing on her folded arms, is estimated to fetch £9 million ($15 million) to £12 million ($20 million) at Christie’s International. An anonymous American donor has given a Picasso canvas to the University of Sydney on the condition the school use proceeds from the painting’s sale to fund scientific research.
Jeune fille endormie, painted in 1935, shows Marie-Therese Walter asleep on her arms. It was bought by Walter P Chrysler, founder of the motor company, and was shown at a Picasso retrospective at MoMa in 1939 and an exhibition of works from the Chrysler collection in 1941. It has changed hands just once since and not been seen in public. Giovanna Bertazzoni, head of impressionist and modern art at Christie’s London, called it an absolute jewel of a painting by one of the great artistic geniuses of western art.
World’s Most Expensive Painting – Pablo-Picaso’s Nude, Green Leaves and BustThe most expensive painting ever to be sold at auction, Pablo Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, is now on show in the UK for the first time at the Tate Modern. The 1932 painting sold to a private collector for a record $106 million (£68 million) at Christie’s in New York last May. The anonymous buyer has lent the painting to Tate Modern, where it will be on view for the next two years.
Securing the painting is a coup for the Tate. It will hang in the new Pablo Picasso room on the third floor of the gallery. This is an outstanding painting by Picasso, said Tate director Nicholas Serota. I am delighted that through the generosity of the lender we are able to bring it to the British public for the first time.
Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds
Back in October, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei caused quite a stir with his installation of a giant mound of 100 million hand-painted ceramic Sunflower Seeds at London’s Tate Modern. The first 100-kilogram pile of seeds was estimated to bring in £80,000 to £120,000 but sold for sold for £349,250 ($559,394) or around £3.50 per seed at last week’s Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening sale in London.
Each porcelain sunflower seed was individually handmade and painted by specialists working in small-scale workshops in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen. 1600 workers toiled for two years to create the seeds. The Sotheby’s listing suggests that the piece can be installed either in a mound as shown above or smoothed out into a carpet-like experience. There will be a total of ten lots sold from this work.
Selfridges – The World’s Largest Shoe Department
UK-based department store chain Selfridges has unveiled the world’s biggest shoe department named Selfridges Shoe Galleries in London, designed by Canadian architect Jamie Fobert. Located on the award-winning store’s second floor, the super-sized Shoe Galleries will house more than 4,000 shoes from 120 brands, including 35 new labels and more than 30 exclusive styles designed just for the retailer.
35,000 sq ft the mega shoe hall is the largest shoe department in the world. Bigger than the huge ground floor of London’s Tate Modern, it has taken 3 years of planning and 300 days of construction.