ART BASEL 2018

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Art Basel is seen by many to be the most prestigious art fair of the year and the 49th edition is set to be no exception. Opening with preview days on 12 and 13 June, and running until the 17th, this year’s fair includes over 290 leading international galleries and is expected to welcome around 100,000 visitors.

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ANOTHER BITE AT THE BIG APPLE

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Following on from last week’s record-breaking sales of the Rockefeller collection, another marathon week of auctions kicks off today in New York with the first highlight expected to be the $150 million nude by Amedeo Modigliani on the block tonight at Sotheby’s. The cover work for the Tate’s recent exhibition on the artist, it boasts the biggest pre-sale estimate ever attached to a work of art and is already guaranteed to sell. The auction also includes a beautiful Claude Monet, Matinée sur La Seine, which was painted in 1896 and is estimated at $18 million to $25 million.

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THE COLLECTION OF PEGGY AND DAVID ROCKEFELLER

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The first Rockefeller auction at Christies took place on Monday focusing on 19th and 20th century art. While the bidding and atmosphere was almost slightly subdued, the sum raised was not; the auction set numerous artist records and became the most valuable estate ever sold at auction.  The sale totalled £476million with all proceeds going to a selection of charities chosen by Peggy and David Rockefeller as the beneficiaries of their Estate. Pablo Picasso’s Fillette à la corbeille fleurie which was the top lot of the night, selling for £115,000,000, while new auction records were set for Claude Monet (£62,407,885), Henri Matisse (£59,506,264) and Eugène Delacroix (£7,277,082) amongst others.

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK

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All art-world eyes will be eagerly focused on New York for the next few weeks; the American editions of two big-gun art fairs, Frieze and TEFAF, kick off this week while next week sees the sale of the Rockefeller Collection at Christie’s which will almost certainly become by far the most valuable collection ever sold at auction. The following week, the auction houses host their major spring auctions of Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art, which include a painting by Amadeo Modigliani at Sotheby’s estimated at $150 million, and already guaranteed to sell.

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SPRING EXHIBITIONS NOT TO MISS

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This week the Getty Villa in Malibu completed a major overhaul of its Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities.  With an additional 3,000sq. ft of exhibition space, the new show has given the opportunity for many works to come out of storage.  Previously presented in thematical groups, the displays are now chronological and span 6000BC to AD600.  Director Timothy Potts is determined to present the works in context and not ‘in a bubble’ limited to Greek and Roman art, and a new gallery at the villa will focus on showing works from other ancient cultures with links to Greece and Rome.  The first exhibition, Palmyra: Loss and Remembrance runs until 27 May 2019.

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LONDON: PICASSO, PICASSO, PICASSO

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Picasso 1932: Love, Fame, Tragedy has been described as a once in a lifetime show, and one of the most significant ever staged at Tate Modern. It’s quite a task to live up to this hype but the exhibition exceeds expectations, exploring the thoughts, life and work of Picasso in his 50th year. Read More

ASIAN ART, AND ART IN ASIA

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Asia Week in New York is in full swing and there is a wealth of treasures to discover. In the galleries, Runjeet Singh is exhibiting a wonderful set of rare Tibetan leather armour, mostly dated to the 15th–18th centuries, that had previously been hidden away for decades in an English collection. Carlo Cristi is showing Art of India, Tibet & Central Asian Textiles featuring one of the earliest miniatures to illuminate the first translations of Buddhist philosophical texts into Tibetan. A beautiful and rare bronze Buddha head from Thailand in the Uthong B style is a highlight of the exhibition at Galerie Christophe Hioco while an extremely rare example of a Chinese-style Thangka from the Ming Period is well worth seeing in Himalayan and Indian Art at Navin Kumar.
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TEFAF MAASTRICHT AND THE ARMORY SHOW

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This is yet another busy week for the art world, whichever side of the Atlantic you’re on.  As well as the Post-War and Contemporary auctions in London, The Armory Show opens on 8 March in New York, while over in Europe, TEFAF Maastricht (9-18 March) brings together over 280 of the world’s finest art, antiques and design dealers.  With works ranging from Mesopotamia to Mid-Century Modern, there is something for everyone and it’s tricky to pick highlights, but here are five we’re looking out for: Read More

KINGS AND COLLECTIONS

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Two exhibitions taking place in London this year offer a fascinating insight into the artistic legacies of King Charles I and his son, Charles II, the 17th century monarchs who greatly enriched the Royal Collection, establishing what is now ranked amongst the largest and most important in the world.
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