The top 5 2017 Art News
1. This year’s Turner Prize, British artist Lubaina Himid, became the first woman of color and the oldest artist ever to win Britain’s most prestigious art award.
This past December 5th, the Turner Prize ceremony took place in the city of Hull. For the first time in history, the prize was given to a woman of color, the Zanzibar-born artist Lubaina Himid. At her 63 years old, makes of her also the oldest artist to ever win the Turner Prize too.
Himid’s work deals with subjects such as black identity or race in general. She grew up in London and works in Preston.
The Turner Prize, administered by the Tate London, was founded in 1984 in the aim of promoting British artists on the debate around new developments in contemporary art. The award consists on assuring the artist an outstanding exhibition of her work within the next year, which will be sponsored with £25,000.
2. Leonardo Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi beats a $450 million record, acquired by Abu Dhabi.
This past November the 15th, auction house Christie’s sneaked in their most important sale, the post-war and contemporary evening sale, a work of art that did not match the criteria of the selection, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Salvatore Mundi, (1506-1512).
After 19 minutes of bidding, the work reached a final price of $450 million, the highest number ever paid for an artwork.
The identity of the buyer was supposed to remain undercovered, but, after some weeks, an article in the Wall Street Journal identified a Saudi Arabian Prince to be operating in representation of prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. After the denial of Saudi authorities, Christie’s had to reveal the true identity of the bidder, who happened to be Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism for the new Louvre Abu Dhabi, opened to the public on November 11th.
3. Sexual misconduct also gets into the art world
After Harvey Weinstein’s scandal, complaints on sexual harassment caught up not only the film industry but also jumped into the art world. Several prominent art world figures had been accused of sexual misconduct over the last weeks.
One example is the long-time Artforum’s co-publisher Knight Landesman, who had to resign after Rachel Corbett’s allegations in artnet News and that Artforum employee Amanda Schmitt sued both Landesman and Artforum, for being sexually harassed during her time in the publication and after.
Artist Chuck Close has also been accused by multiple women, one of them specifying that, while posing for him, he asked her to get naked and started making unpleasant comments about her vagina.
Other examples of art world figures accused are Jens Hoffmann, deputy director of the Jewish Museum, and Benjamin Genocchio, who has been removed from his position as executive director of the Armosy Show.
4. Sir Nicholas Serota’s departure from Tate leads Maria Balshaw to became the first woman to head London’ museum.
After nearly 30 years in the role, Nicholas Serota stepped down his leadership as Tate galleries director in 2017 to become the director of Arts Council England. After 10 years as director of the University of Manchester’s Whitworth Art Galleries, Maria Balshaw was appointed to succeed Serota, becoming the first woman to lead Tate.
Since past June, Balshaw, community-oriented and beloved by artists, has been taking control of the galleries, focusing on how to approach the audiences.
The first highlights under her command include Rachel Whiteread’s retrospective in Tate Britain, (until Januay 21st 2018), and the reopening of the newly expanded Tate St Ives, extended by architect Jamie Fobert, who has doubled the exhibition space.
5. Salvador Dalí’s exhumed body as part of a failed paternity lawsuit.
In 2015, Pilar Abel, Cadaques based tarot card reader, claimed that she was the daughter of Spanish Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí, taking the case to court.
On June 26th, the judge in charge of the case gave permission to exhume the artist’s body in order to take a DNA simple test that would solve the enigma.
The exhumation, which took place on July 20th, revealed that Pilar Abel had no relation at all with Salvador Dalí. If the relationship had been confirmed, Abel would have had access to a considerable percentage of the lucrative state of the artist.
Due to the failed paternity test, and after a long lawsuit, this past October, the court ordered Abel to pay for all the costs that meant exhuming Dalí’s body.
The good news are that Dali’s moustache remains intact!