News from Around the Art World: November 20, 2017

Leonardo da Vinci Painting Sells for $450.3 Million, Shattering Auction Highs

After 19 minutes of dueling, with four bidders on the telephone and one in the room, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” sold on Wednesday night for $450.3 million with fees, shattering the high for any work of art sold at auction. It far surpassed Picasso’s “Women of Algiers,” which fetched $179.4 million at Christie’s in May 2015. The buyer was not immediately disclosed.

There were gasps throughout the sale, as the bids climbed by tens of millions up to $225 million, by fives up to $260 million, and then by twos. As the bidding slowed, and a buyer pondered the next multi-million-dollar increment, Jussi Pylkkanen, the auctioneer, said, “It’s an historic moment; we’ll wait.”

-- Via Robin Pogrebin and Scott Reyburn, The New York Times

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Three U.S. Cities Reinventing the Modern Waterfront

Projects such as the High Line in New York City and Discovery Green in Houston have upped the ante for cities, showcasing landscape architecture as a powerful tool for urban change and raising public awareness of the multifaceted value of well-designed public spaces.

These projects—and many more like them—are a far cry from the pastoral, largely unprogrammed spaces championed in the last century by visionaries like Olmsted, Burnham, L’Enfant, Kessler, and Cleveland. Today’s urban parks, instead, face intense pressure to provide “something to do” for an increasingly wide array of users—and are often, by necessity, thrust into new management and operational structures (think: conservancy or public/private partnership models). For the first time in history, the majority of the world’s population lives in urban areas. Since the average city apartment’s footprint is significantly smaller than that found in suburbia, urban public spaces increasingly serve as an expansion of one’s apartment. The city, in essence, becomes one giant shared frontyard.

--Via Gina Ford, Urban Land Magazine

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The Art Market Moves East: How Gagosian, David Zwirner, and 14 Other Western Art Businesses Are Trying to Expand to Asia

In the past year alone, no fewer than six galleries have opened or announced plans to open an outpost or office somewhere in Asia.

Amid announcement after announcement, it may feel like Western art businesses have been working forever to tap into the Asian art market. But in fact, the push to set up outposts in China—as well as South Korea and Japan—began less than a decade ago. And much of the momentum has picked up only in the last several years. 

--Via artnet News

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The Man Behind the Wall 

It seems fitting that Bill Walker wants to meet on the corner of Woodlawn and Hyde Park Boulevard. The street has always been his workplace, and that's where you most easily picture him—the father of the community mural movement, capturing, as he once wrote, the "human side of street life in the city."

Photographs and films of Walker from the 60s and 70s always show him on the street, on sidewalks and in parking lots, climbing scaffolds to fill brick walls and viaducts with spirited reflections on the urban black experience. In three decades of painting murals in Chicago's neighborhoods, he became an authority on the culture of poverty, racism, and the simple healing effects of goodwill. The street was both Walker's milieu and his canvas.

--Via Jeff Huebner, Chicago Reader

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Dieter Roelstraete appointed curator of Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society

Dieter Roelstraete, an internationally renowned curator of contemporary art, has been named the next curator of the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society.

In his new role, effective November 10, Roelstraete will oversee all aspects of the Neubauer Collegium Exhibitions Gallery, working with the University arts community as well as with arts organizations in the city of Chicago and around the world.

Roelstraete joins the Neubauer Collegium after serving on the curatorial team that organized documenta 14, the international art exhibition that ran this past spring and summer in Kassel, Germany, and Athens, Greece. Widely hailed as a significant statement about the relevance and aesthetic concerns of the contemporary art world, the show brought together work by 160 artists at more than 80 sites.

--Via Andrew Bauld, UChicagoNews

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