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Danish artist pockets $84,000 commission for work, calls it \’art\’; and, a round-up of what sold at Art Basel, pandemic edition


While we focus on Indian art, we can’t obviously function in a vacuum. It’s a small world and everything is connected, especially on the web. So, let’s train our spotlight across the world map to see what’s going on — from art trends to socio-political issues to everything that affects the great aesthetic global consciousness. Or, let’s just travel the world and have some fun!

‘Take the Money and Run’ — that’s two empty frames for $84,000


The Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in northern Denmark had commissioned artist Jens Haaning to re-create two of his older pieces that were made with cash and lent him half-million kroner to feature the same. But instead, when they opened boxes received from Haaning last week, they found two empty frames, titled: “Take the Money and Run.” Now, the museum in Aalborg, Denmark, is accusing him of breaking their legal agreement and demanding the artist return the 534,000 kroner, the equivalent of over $84,000. “The work is that I have taken their money,” Haaning said in an interview with Danish radio show P1 Morgen. The Washington Post narrates the drama.


Basel 2021: What sold at Art Basel?


Last week, the first edition on Art Basel’s home turf in Basel opened since the pandemic broke out, in September instead of the regular June slot. Dealers definitely seemed uncertain how the vast changes that have swept the world and art market would affect them. But despite the “new normal”, the fair on the whole seemed to be an exercise in business as usual. Gallerists reporting bustling sales — a resounding vindication of the figurative art market. Artsy provides a detailed rundown of what sold and the takeaways from the overall experience.


In a first, portraits of black men from the 1500s showcased


A change of focus championed by the Black Lives Matter movement has shown a ripple effect halfway across the world from America. Now, curators at the Rijksmuseum are exhibiting the two earliest portraits of men of African descent in the history of European art together — for the first time in their 500-year history. Among over 100 Renaissance artists’ portraits showcased by the museum in Amsterdam from Tuesday are Albrecht Dürer’s 1508 sketch, discovered in the German painter’s workshop at the time of his death, and Jan Jansz Mostaert’s portrait, dating from about 1525. The Guardian has all the details.

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