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IN THE SALESROOM. At Sotheby’s in London on Wednesday night, a recently restituted 1910 Wassily Kandinsky painting sold on a single bid (from its guarantor) for a record $44.9 million, Scott Reyburn reports in the New York Times. The vibrantly colored piece, Murnau With Church II, had been in the collection of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, but last September was returned to the heirs of Johanna Margarete Stern and Siegbert Samuel Stern, Jewish collectors in Berlin who had owned the work in the 1930s, before it was seized by the Nazis. She was murdered at Auschwitz; he died of natural causes in 1935. The proceeds will go to their 13 living descendents, with some funds being used to track other works that were once in the Stern collection. Meanwhile, Angelica Villa has a report in ARTnews on Christie’s sales in London, which saw big results for in-demand emerging figures like Michaela Yearwood-Dan (about $878,000) and Claire Tabouret ($636,000).
JUST IN TIME. On the eve of potentially being sold off at auction, Ron’s Place, the home in Birkenhead, England, that the late artist Ron Gittins decorated in a wild and inimitable style, has been saved, it appears. After a fundraising call from Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker and many others, a husband and wife who run a charitable trust, Tamsin Wimhurst and Mike Muller, gave £335,000 (about $401,000) as a loan, the Guardian reports. That allowed the artwork’s supporters to win the residence at auction. Birkenhead News says the loan is “expected to become a gift,” and that the venue will be used to promote activities related to art and mental health. “We’ve had so many people fighting our corner and we are just really buoyed up by the love and support we’ve had,” the artist’s niece, artist Jan Williams, told the Guardian.
Gagosian now reps artist Derrick Adams, who will have a solo outing at the international gallery’s Beverly Hills branch in September. The show “continues the themes of beauty, joy, and Black history and celebration that Derrick has become known for,” Gagosian director Antwaun Sargent told Maximilíano Durón. [ARTnews]
A U.S. judge ruled that part of a lawsuit brought by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev against Sotheby’s can proceed. Rybolovlev alleges that the house helped former adviser/dealer Yves Bouvier overcharge him on art purchases. The auction house has denied any wrongdoing, as has Bouvier, who is not a defendant in the suit. The judge suggested that the parties settle since a trial “would be expensive, risky, and potentially embarrassing to both sides.” [Reuters]
The Dallas Art Fair, which runs in April, is getting a satellite, the Dallas Invitational Art Fair, which is being helmed by James Cope, the proprietor of the And Now gallery in the city. It will be a hotel fair, taking over rooms at the Fairmont, and its compact exhibitor list includes Lomex, Commonwealth and Council, and Kristina Kite. [The Art Newspaper]
Performa—New York’s performance art biennial, which will run in November—has a new president: Katherine “Kat” Bishop, founder of the Campfire consulting agency and former senior deputy director of external affairs at MoMA. Ashley Stewart Rödder of GagosianAndrea Franchini of Edition Hotels have joined the board. [Press Release/Performa]
When it comes to determining whether a contemporary artwork has infringed on a copyright, U.S. courts are notoriously unpredictable, Jason M. Bailey notes. In an instructive short quiz, Bailey invites readers to guess how jurists ruled on pieces by Jeff Koons, Shepard Fairey, and others. [The New York Times]
Architect Kengo Kuma, TeamLab founder Toshiyuki Inoko, and other notable Tokyo locals offered recommendations for places to visit in their city. One of Kuma’s is Crazy Pizzaat Square, for the mayo and corn pizza. [The Wall Street Journal]
A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS. Designer Kim Jones is in the middle of impressive runs as artistic director of Dior Men and Fendi womenswear and couture—which seems like it would keep a guy busy—but he has also been spending his time putting together what is believed to be one of finest collections there is of work by the Bloomsbury Group, according to an extensive Financial Times profile . Jones explained the appeal of that heady milieu in the story: “Imagine these people born in Victorian-era England, deciding that this is not how we want to live. That’s why I think I like the Bloomsbury Group so much. They were reacting against their times.” Take note, art dealers: He is also “quite Francis Bacon obsessed,” and as writer Jo Ellison puts it, “He clearly has a massive income, and equally expensive taste.” [FT]