collection

Chanel Has Tapped French Artist Xavier Veilhan to Confect the Playful Sculptures in Its Latest Couture Collection


Chanel enlisted French artist Xavier Veilhan to craft a menagerie of animals as the set design for its spring 2023 haute couture collection at the Grand Palais Éphémère in Paris today.

The last in a three-part collaboration with the French luxury house, Veilhan created the animated sculptures—a lion, camel, buffalo, elephant, and many others—to evoke a “parade of animals” in a village festival.

Choose your avatar amongst Xavier Veilhan's haute couture menagerie. Courtesy of Chanel.

Choose your avatar among Xavier Veilhan’s haute couture menagerie. Courtesy of Chanel.

“I’m interested in how animals are linked to certain places: towns, folklore, traditions…[so] I suggested a setting that resembled a village fête,” explained the artist. “It’s also an exploration of what our own imaginings can be.”

The 59-year-old artist works in a variety of mediums, including photography and painting. He’s best-known for sculptures in his signature angular or jagged style, like that of his cardboard and wood animals for Chanel. Veilhan’s creations have been installed in public spaces around the world, most notably in Miami’s Design District, where he created an homage to Le Corbusier, and at the Palace of Versailles in 2009.

A dog sculpture by Xavier Veilhan for Chanel haute couture. Courtesy of Chanel.

Xavier Veilhan represented France in the 2017 Venice Biennale. He transformed the French pavilion into an immersive recording studio, in which he invited professional musicians from around the world to perform for the duration of the Biennale.

His collaboration with Chanel came at the request of its creative director Virginie Viard—who assumed the role following Karl Lagerfeld’s death in 2019.

Chanel’s Virginie Viard and artist Xavier Veilhan. Courtesy of Chanel.

“Virginie Viard asked me if I could work around the idea of Gabrielle Chanel’s apartment and its bestiary,” the artist said, referring to the original couturière’s home atop the spiral staircase of her Paris boutique and atelier (although she famously retired to the Ritz each night). That’s where Viard and Veilhan would meet to go over ideas, amid the fashion icon’s collection of small animal sculptures, thus a theme was born.

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In an Expansion, the Rubell Museum Will Bring Its Tastemaking Private Art Collection to Washington, D.C., Next Year


Miami’s Rubell Museum, one of the most prestigious and influential private contemporary art institutions in the U.S., is expanding with a long-awaited second location in Washington, D.C.

Founded by Don and Mera Rubell, the institution is a showcase for their extensive art collection. For emerging artists, the Rubell’s patronage (and a coveted residency at the museum) can be star-making—Sterling Ruby, Oscar Murillo, Lucy Dodd, and, most recently, Amoako Boafo are among the many artists who have benefitted from their stamp of approval.

The couple began collecting art the year they married, back in 1964. In 1993, they began welcoming the public to the Rubell Family Collection in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood. In 2019, the private museum movedwith great fanfare—to the city’s Allapattah neighborhood, rebranding itself the Rubell Museum.

The new D.C. branch will display contemporary paintings, sculptures, photography, and installation art in the former Randall Junior High School. The property has a long history in Washington. Originally built in 1906, the school operated until 1978, when the city converted it into a men’s shelter and artist studios.

The Corcoran College of Art + Design bought the building from the city in 2006 and planned to develop it into a campus and luxury condominiums, but the project foundered after the financial crisis. The Rubells, who own the Capitol Skyline Hotel down the street, bought the building from the Corcoran for $6.5 million back in 2010, according to Art in America.

Plagued by delays and partnership changes (last year, the real estate developer Lowe took over the project), the redevelopment now appears to be back on track. It is expected to open by the end of 2022.

Mera Rubell at the construction site for the second location of Miami's Rubell Museum, formerly the Randall School in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of Blinder Belle Architects and Planners.

Mera Rubell and and Hany Hasson, the lead architect for the project from Beyer Blinder Belle, at the site for the second location of Miami’s Rubell Museum, formerly the Randall School in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of Blinder Belle Architects and Planners.

The Rubells will take over the central building and east wing, adding a glass entry pavilion designed by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects and Planners featuring a bookstore, café, and an outdoor dining terrace. The west wing will serve as office space for a variety of companies in creative fields such as nonprofits, cultural institutions, and technology incubators.

A spokesperson for the Rubells declined to offer additional details about their plans for the museum. The couple’s collection includes extensive holdings of work by Keith Haring, Jeff Koons, Catherine Opie, Kerry James Marshall, and other famous names.

Lowe, the project’s developer, is also building Gallery 64, a new 12-story residential building, on the 2.7 acre grounds. It will house 492 units of studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments, 98 of which will be dedicated to affordable housing. The Historic Preservation Review Board and the Advisory Neighborhood Commission have approved the concept design for the historic property’s redevelopment.

The museum’s 100,000-square-foot Miami campus, designed by Selldorf Architects, features 40 galleries, a library, and a restaurant housed in a retrofitted food processing complex.

See more renderings of the D.C. project below.

The Randall School in Washington, D.C., will become home to the second location of Miami's Rubell Museum and a new Gallery 64 apartment building. Rendering courtesy of Blinder Belle Architects and PlannersThe Randall School in Washington, D.C., will become home to the second location of Miami's Rubell Museum and a new Gallery 64 apartment building. Rendering courtesy of Blinder Belle Architects and Planners

The Randall School in Washington, D.C., will become home to the second location of Miami’s Rubell Museum and a new Gallery 64 apartment building. Rendering courtesy of Blinder Belle Architects and Planners.

The Randall School in Washington, D.C., will become home to the second location of Miami's Rubell Museum and a new Gallery 64 apartment building. Rendering courtesy of Blinder Belle Architects and Planners

The Randall School in Washington, D.C., will become home to the second location of Miami’s Rubell Museum and a new Gallery 64 apartment building. Rendering courtesy of Blinder Belle Architects and Planners.

The Randall School in Washington, D.C., will become home to the second location of Miami's Rubell Museum and a new Gallery 64 apartment building. Rendering courtesy of Blinder Belle Architects and Planners.

The Randall School in Washington, D.C., will become home to the second location of Miami’s Rubell Museum and a new Gallery 64 apartment building. Rendering courtesy of Blinder Belle Architects and Planners.

The Randall School in Washington, D.C., will become home to the second location of Miami's Rubell Museum and a new Gallery 64 apartment building. Rendering courtesy of Blinder Belle Architects and Planners.

The Randall School in Washington, D.C., will become home to the second location of Miami’s Rubell Museum and a new Gallery 64 apartment building. Rendering courtesy of Blinder Belle Architects and Planners.

The Rubell Museum DC will be located at 65 Eye Street, SW, Washington, D.C.

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Inside the Epic Auction-House Battle to Win Divorcing Couple Harry and Linda Macklowe’s Peerless $700 Million Art Collection


It feels like déjà vu. The art world’s most closely watched collection of postwar treasures, amassed over decades by Linda and Harry Macklowe, is inching toward the auction block. Again.

The couple’s acrimonious split has fueled gossip columns and tantalized art sellers ever since Linda Macklowe filed for divorce from her billionaire real-estate developer husband five years ago. At stake is their trove of prized Picassos, Warhols, and Twomblys, which has been estimated to be worth more than $700 million. A court ordered dozens of works to be sold at auction after the warring spouses were unable to agree on valuations for their priciest pieces. A judge brought in an outside expert to oversee the dispersal on a three-year deadline. 

Following many months of anticipation, top works from the collection are now expected to hit the auction block in November, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the court hadn’t given its rubber stamp yet. (Sources also cautioned that further legal or public health challenges could push that date back further.) Of the 165 works in the couple’s holdings, 64 will be sold, with an estimated value of $625.6 million to $788.7 million. 

The sale will be the biggest test of the 20th century masterpiece market since the pandemic struck. Supply has been scarce in this top tier, with sellers reluctant to consign major works to auction in a moment of global uncertainty. Billionaire Ron Perelman sold much of his prized art privately last year, generating about $500 million. 

Brice Marden, Red Rocks (5) (2000–02). Courtesy of Matthew Marks Gallery.

Brice Marden, Red Rocks (5) (2000–2). Brice Marden, Red Rocks (5) (2000–2). Assessed at $12 million, it’s the most valuable painting that may remain in Linda Macklowe’s possession, according to court papers. Courtesy of Matthew Marks Gallery.

The process to sell the Macklowe collection was well underway early last year, with Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Phillips all clamoring for the prize. But then the pandemic hit and the collection’s court-appointed receiver Michael Findlay put the plans on ice

Earlier this summer, as the art market rebounded and the vaccination rate accelerated, Sotheby’s and Christie’s were asked to submit their proposals again, according to people familiar with the process. The market has been abuzz ever since. Did Christie’s get it? Did Sotheby’s?

There has been no official word yet—but the expectation among people familiar with the matter is that the collection will go to Sotheby’s. (Representatives for Sotheby’s and Christie’s had no comment. Findlay didn’t respond to requests to comment.) “I can’t wait to scream that from the rooftops,” one Sotheby’s staff member said. 

Any screaming will have to wait, however, until the legal decision is made by the court—or, as one dealer put it, “until this deal is signed in concrete.”  

Michael Findlay. Photo: Victoria Findlay Wolfe.

The court is likely to make its determination of how to proceed based on the recommendation of the receiver, according to Thomas Danziger, an attorney who is not involved in the case but has represented divorcing spouses with valuable art collections.

The receiver’s presentation to the court is expected to be followed by a hearing, during which both parties will have a chance to voice their questions and concerns, opposition and support. After that, the court will make a decision about the sales strategy, Danziger said. 

There may be delays. Linda Macklowe filed several appeals since the court’s initial order to sell the art in 2018, objecting to the sale itself and the appointment of the receiver, according to court documents. So far, those motions have been denied.

Attorneys for Linda Macklowe didn’t respond to requests to comment. Harry Macklowe’s attorney Josh Schiller, a partner at Boies Schiller Flexner, declined to comment.

Time is of essence for many reasons. Both Harry and Linda Macklowe are in their 80s. The court’s three-year deadline to sell off the collection is due to expire next year. And if the sales are indeed to start in November, the winning auction house would need to get a jump on its marketing campaign and start lining up financial backers to reduce its risk. (The three-year deadline may be extended if the receiver asks for more time, which he may, since a collection of this size and value is likely to be offered over multiple seasons.)

The winning bid is expected to come down to financials such as the guarantee offered by the auction houses and the split of the upside granted to the sellers.   

“The question becomes if the auction house is giving all the money to the consignor or makes a return,” Danziger said, speaking broadly about top-end deals. “At the most aggressive levels, the consignor is effectively renting the hall from the auction house and is taking all the revenue.”

At the peak of the auction wars in the mid-2010s, the houses would often forgo profit for the privilege of selling a masterpiece. There may be more emphasis on dollars and cents during the pandemic, as Christie’s and Sotheby’s had to cut staff and adjust to reduced revenues. 

Patrick Drahi, Sotheby's new owner, in 2016. (Photo by Christophe Morin/IP3/Getty Images)

Patrick Drahi, Sotheby’s new owner, in 2016. (Photo by Christophe Morin/IP3/Getty Images)

Sotheby’s—and its new billionaire owner Patrick Drahi—has more to prove. The company had been trailing Christie’s for more than a decade until last year. It has also recently seen an exodus of key executives in postwar and contemporary art, including the head of its global art Amy Cappellazzo.

The market’s response to the collection—which includes such treasures as Andy Warhol’s Marilyn (9 Times) [Nine Marilyns] (1962), estimated to be worth around $50 million—is another unknown. Taste has begun to change as new buyers pour into the market. In May, the postwar collection of Texas philanthropist Anne Marion didn’t spark major fireworks, while paintings by artists of color including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Robert Colescott, and Matthew Wong ignited heated bidding wars.  

Andy Warhol, <i>Marilyn (9 Times) [Nine Marilyns<i> (1962). Photo: Richard Gray Gallery.

Andy Warhol, Marilyn (9 Times) [Nine Marilyns] (1962) from the Macklowe Collection. Photo: Richard Gray Gallery.

“The gap between the prices of blue-chip (largely white, largely male) artists and hot newcomers has definitely narrowed since the onset of the pandemic,” said Natasha Degen, chair of art market studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. “This apparent shift in taste seems connected to the broader zeitgeist—a questioning of the canon and a desire to promote fresh voices representing a more diverse art world.”

Nevertheless, experts note, there remains a strong appetite for the very best postwar treasures. “Even with the post-COVID universe of NFTs and super-contemporary, there’s still vital global interest in masterpieces of 20th century art,” said Andrew Terner, a New York private art dealer.

Will the Macklowe works fit the bill? While the quality is stellar and most have spent decades off the market, the collection is also a known entity because of the legal drama and the trail of public documents outlining the works and their valuations.

“The question is whether it’s perceived as fresh or not,” said one auction executive. “It hasn’t been available and yet everyone knows what it is.”

Take a closer look at some of the collection’s highlights below.

Magnifying Glass

Alberto Giacometti, Le Nez (1949)

The bronze sculpture ‘Le nez’ by Alberto Giacometti throwing a shadow at Schirn art hall in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. (Photo by Boris Roessler/picture alliance via Getty Images)

This sculpture drew the most divergent estimates from Harry and Linda Macklowe’s experts, with one valuing it at $35 million and another at $65 million, according to court papers. This piece depicts a head suspended inside a hollow rectangular cage. Its outrageously long nose extends beyond the confines of the prison-like structure. The Guggenheim Museum published the image of the work on the cover of its Giacometti exhibition catalogue in 2018.

 

Mark Rothko, No. 7 (1951)

The eight-foot-tall canvas features three horizontal bands of pink, yellow, and orange. Prices for the Abstract Expressionist peaked in 2012, when his painting from the collection of David Pincus fetched $86.9 million. In recent years, more somber works came to market and have been met with muted interest. In May, a blue Rothko sold for $38 million at Christie’s, falling short of the $39.9 million it fetched in 2014 when it was sold as part of Bunny Mellon’s estate at Sotheby’s. 

 

Jeff Koons, Vest With Aqualung (1985)

Jeff Koons, Aqualung (1985). Courtesy of Christie's Images, Ltd.

Jeff Koons, Aqualung (1985). Courtesy of Christie’s Images, Ltd.

One of 12 works by Koons in the couple’s collection, this bronze had been estimated at $10 million by Harry’s art expert and $11 million by Linda’s. Although Koons’s stainless steel bunny sold for $91 million in 2019, making him the most expensive living artist at auction, his market has cooled off substantially since then. At a recent Phillips sale, a sculpture from his “Gazing Ball” series estimated at $400,000 to $600,000 was offered without a reserve, which means it could hypothetically have sold for as little as $1 (it went on to fetch $1 million). The Macklowe collection also includes a “Gazing Ball” work, estimated at $1.8 million

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Try These 10 Tasty Cocktail Recipes That Frick Collection Curators Mixed for the Museum’s Hit Lockdown Video Series


For over a year now, art lovers looking to end their weeks on a high note have been turning to the Frick Collection, which for 65 straight Fridays has offered new episodes in its YouTube series “Cocktails With a Curator.”

Each installment shares a drink recipe and invites viewers to join in at home while learning about an artwork in its storied collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.

Today, that streak comes to an end, with deputy director and chief curator Xavier Salomon having poured his final drink for online audiences last Friday night.

“Like all good things, they naturally come to an end at some point,” Salomon told Midnight Publishing Group News in an email.

The series ended like it began last April: with a Manhattan. Salomon chose that first cocktail in tribute to the island that the museum calls home at a time when New York was under siege, at the epicenter of a global pandemic.

Giovanni Bellini, <i>St. Francis in the Desert</I> (1480). Courtesy of the Frick Collection, New York.

Giovanni Bellini, St. Francis in the Desert (1480). Courtesy of the Frick Collection, New York.

“It started at the time of lockdown and forced quarantines, when people could not go out with friends to share a drink, so the idea of mixing cocktails with art came about fairly quickly,” Salomon said.

He mixed that first Manhattan, which includes whiskey and sweet vermouth, to go with one of the Frick’s most famous paintings, Giovanni Bellini’s St. Francis in the Desert. Last week, Salomon wrapped things up with a variation of the drink, a Black Manhattan, which swaps Amaro, a bitter Italian digestif, for the traditional sweet vermouth. In the meantime, he discussed Arrangement in Black and Gold: Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac by James McNeill Whistler.

“My favorite cocktails are also some of the best known and traditional,” Salomon said, “like the Martini Vesper, Manhattan, and Mint Julep. On the other hand, I had to struggle to drink an Ouzo Lemonade—I never liked the taste of anise.”

The video series was a surprise hit for the Frick, having been collectively viewed more than 1.7 million times to date. (Pre-pandemic, a typical Frick program might top out at just 400 YouTube views.) In May, the museum was honored with a Webby award for the series.

“I have always been surprised and humbled by the success of the program,” Salomon said. “I am glad that people all over the world responded to the simple idea that works of art from the past can have an effect on us and improve our lives, especially at times of crisis.”

Here are 10 recipes to try from “Cocktails With a Curator.”

Xavier’s Manhattan

1 part Italian Vermouth
1 part Bourbon
Stir well and strain into a cocktail glass
Maraschino cherry

 

Aperol Spritz

3 parts Aperol
2 parts dry prosecco
1 splash of sparkling water
Garnish with orange or lemon

 

Vesper

3 parts dry gin
1 part vodka
½ part Lillet Blanc
Chilled

 

Toreador

1 part blanco tequila
½ part apricot brandy
½ part fresh lime juice
1 dash bitters

 

Whiskey Sour

2 parts Whiskey
¾ parts simple syrup
¾ parts lemon juice
serve chilled

 

Jaded Countess

1 part absinthe
½ part vodka
½ part fresh lemon juice
½ part simple syrup
stir with ice and strain
top with champagne and garnish with a lemon twist

 

Widow’s Kiss

1½ parts Calvados
½ part Benedictine D.O.M.
½ part Yellow Chartreuse liqueur
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
mint leaf

 

Genever Brûlée

2 oz genever
1 teaspoon brown sugar
A few dashes of classic bitters
A dash of orange bitters
A splash of sparkling water
Garnished with a caramelized orange slice

 

Bloody Mary

1 part Vodka
2 parts Tomato juice
Lemon juice
Worcester sauce
Few drops of Tabasco sauce
Horseradish
Salt and pepper
Ice
Garnish with celery, lemon, olives

 

Limoncello Spritz

1 part limoncello
1 part sparkling lemonade
Topped with Prosecco and garnished with mint

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Works From the Fabled Collection of Late Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee Are Finally on Public View in South Korea


This week, the Korean public got its first chance to see a smattering of artworks from the multi-billion-dollar collection amassed by the late Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee. 

Two shows dedicated to Lee’s former possessions went on view at major venues in Seoul Wednesday, July 21. The events marked the first time that any pieces from his collection have gone on public display since being conferred to two institutions in April. 

The National Museum of Korea unveiled a presentation of historical artifacts from the Lee collection, including 28 pieces designated by the state as National Treasures. The 77 objects on view represent just a fraction of the more than 21,600 items donated to the institution by Lee’s heirs. 

Meanwhile, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) opened an exhibition of 58 Modern and contemporary paintings and sculptures by 34 Korean artists selected from the almost 1,500 artworks gifted from the Lee collection. 

Jeong Seon, <i>Clearing after Rain on Mount Inwang</i> (1751). Courtesy of the National Museum of Korea.

Jeong Seon, Clearing after Rain on Mount Inwang (1751). Courtesy of the National Museum of Korea.

“We selected items that have artistic and historic value for this exhibition,” National Museum curator Lee Soo-kyung said during a press preview, according to the Korea Herald. “Our main purpose is to show the characteristics of Lee Kun-hee’s collection.”

On view in the two-month-long National Museum exhibition are rare examples of paintings, porcelain, metal statues, and wooden furniture dating from the prehistoric era to the early 20th century. The highlight of the group is Clearing after Rain on Mount Inwang, a 1751 landscape painting by Joseon-period artist Jeong Seo. It’s thought to be the Samsung chairman’s first major art purchase.

“A large part of the 1,488 artworks donated to our museum from Lee’s collection is Modern art, which our museum has a shortage of,” Park Mi-hwa, curator of the MMCA exhibition, explained in a preview of that institution’s show.

“Accordingly, for the first of our special exhibitions featuring the donated Lee collection, we selected Modern art pieces by Korea’s most popular artists.” Among those represented in the exhibition are landscape painter Byeon Gwansik, abstractionist Kim Whanki, and sculptor Kwon Jinkyu.

The historic gifts to the two museums this spring ended a months’-long debate about the fate of the more than 23,000 works of art following Lee’s death in October of 2020.

Media outlets had previously speculated that Lee’s heirs, including his son Lee Jae-yong and widow Hong Ra-hee, might sell some of the prized artworks to international buyers in order to cover the $11 billion (₩12.5 trillion) inheritance tax bill on the $20 billion (₩ 22 trillion) fortune the chairman left behind.

Ultimately, the heirs chose to keep the collection in the country, distributing its pieces among state institutions, including the National Museum, MMCA, and the Leeum Samsung Museum of Art.

But the artworks, owned by the state, won’t stay in these institutions for long. Earlier this month, the South Korean minister of culture, sports, and tourism, announced plans to build a new museum solely dedicated to the Lee collection. 

Reservations to see the National Museum show are booked for the next month, a spokesperson for the museum told the Herald.

Tickets to see the MMCA show aren’t quite as hard to get. There, reservations are unavailable through early August, per Korea JoongAng Daily

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