THE GEORGE MICHAEL COLLECTION

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Gurr Johns is honoured to be acting as advisors to the Trustees of the estate of the late George Michael.  One of the most influential and best-selling recording artists of all time, the British singer and songwriter was an enthusiastic art collector, supporting young emerging artists and amassing a private collection of more than 200 works including pieces by Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, Michael Craig-Martin, and Marc Quinn. It was recently announced that his collection will be sold through an evening auction at Christie’s in London on 14 March and an online sale which will be open for bidding from 8 to 15 March. Estimates range from £400 to £1,500,000 and proceeds will continue George Michael’s philanthropic work.

2019: A YEAR OF MAJOR EXHIBITIONS

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We’re in for a treat this year which marks important anniversaries for two giants of art history: Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) and Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669). In Amsterdam, there will be exhibitions throughout the year dedicated to the Dutch master. On 15 February, the Rijksmuseum opens ‘All the Rembrandts’ which will include the entire holding of the museum’s works by the artist; 22 paintings, 60 drawings and hundreds of prints and engravings.

SUMMER IN ITALY

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Italy has long been a favourite destination for art lovers who are drawn to the Renaissance delights of Florence, the hilltop towns of Tuscany, the ancient Roman ruins of Rome and the Byzantine mosaics of Palermo, amongst many other delights. This summer some of us at Gurr Johns are heading to the country for a holiday, which got us talking about our favourite spots.  Here we offer a few of our top tips for summer exhibitions:  Read More

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