Top Art Stories: February 8, 2013 Edition.

This week’s top 5 art stories are a mix of records, major artists and Larry Gagosian. Read on to find out more:

Yayoi Kusama says “Hello David, Goodbye Larry!”

Yayoi Kusama leaves Larry Gagosian and joins David Zwirner

Yayoi Kusama

When Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama decided to move from Gagosian Gallery last December, she was the third major artist to say goodbye to Larry within a span of two weeks! Now, get ready to see her infinity nets, polka dots and more at David Zwirner Gallery. We will be tracking the changes that Kusama’s market undergoes under the influence of this powerful contemporary art dealer. GalleristNY.

Piecing together Courbet’s ‘Origin of the World’.  

Courbet Origin of the World - the other half?

Courbet Origin of the World – the other half?

In a major accidental find, the top right portion of Courbet’s 1866 ‘Origin of the World’ painting – believed to be one of the missing fragments, but with unconfirmed veracity at the moment – has been found. With the full picture in sight, are the art historians happier today than before? Probably not. Quoting Jean-Jacques Fernier, the top Courbet expert, “[The Origin of the World] loses that kind of marvelous mystery and symbolism from the moment you stick a head on it – that’s why Courbet took it off.” The Guardian.

Christie’s London impresses with the Impressionist, Modern & Surrealist sale.

Modigliani - Jeanne Hébuterne

Modigliani – Jeanne Hébuterne

Records were set, champagne was popped and the dollars & pounds just kept rolling in! Reaching $213 million, the Christie’s sales set 4 major records for artists. Amedeo Modigliani’s swan-necked beauty, ‘Jeanne Hebuterne (au chapeau),’ featuring his muse and common-law wife, took the resale trophy as it sold to yet another telephone bidder for just over $42 million against the estimate of $25 – 34 million. It had last sold at auction at Sotheby’s London in June 2006 for around $25.7 million. The seller, identified in the catalogue as hailing from a “distinguished New York collection,” is in fact Sheldon Solow, the storied real estate developer with a kind of private museum in the side lobby of his 9 West 57th Street office tower. The buyer might feel invigorated that it formerly hung in the bedroom of the Modigliani champion and Paris poet/dealer Paul Guillaume. Surrealist art made a big splash as Miro & Magritte’s works sold for way above the high estimates. Artinfo

Basquiat exhibition at Gagosian Gallery, New York.

Jean Michel Basquiat at Gagosian Gallery

Jean Michel Basquiat at Gagosian Gallery

Yes, we went to the opening reception of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s exhibition at Gagosian Gallery on February 7, 2013. The 50 works by the artist, mostly large-scale, are full of images, vivid colors, symbols, writings, and most of all, Basquiat’s signature style. The opening was a typical “see and be seen” affair with many artists and young art world regulars showing up in the most outrageous costumes, making sure to take selfies with the jagged-edged paintings that are the recent art market darlings. Clearly, the fascination with Basquiat is not waning anytime soon! Huffington Post

Dèlacroix painting defaced!

Eugène Delacroix 'Liberty Leading the People'

Eugène Delacroix ‘Liberty Leading the People’

It would be a helpful reminder to museum visitors that painting hanging on walls are not message boards meant for scribbling notes. The most recent such diversion of judgement comes as a 28-year old woman wrote AE911 at the bottom of a very important Eugene Dèlacroix painting in Louvres-Lens. Defacing masterpieces in museums is not a rare occurrence – but surely needs to be brought under check. Recently, a Rothko painting was vandalized at Tate Modern as an act of “yellowish”! The Art Newspaper

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