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Indian artist who painted through Covid passes on; South Korean towns vie for Samsung family\’s art trove


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!

Punjab artist who painted in ICU dies of post-Covid complications


Punjab artist Amit Zurrf (51), who had refused to part with his brushes and palette even when admitted to the ICU, passed away of post-Covid complications at Jalandhar’s Innocent Hearts Hospital on Sunday. His last rites were held Monday at Jalandhar. He had created four watercolor works while admitted and on oxygen support with Covid. Known for his live paintings on a watercolour medium across Punjab, Zurrf had painted a collection of over 350 Indian classical musicians. Even when he came home after recovering from Covid, he was still working on a ‘Memory Drawing’ project for a children’s book. The Indian Express condoles his passing.


South Korean towns vie to adopt Samsung family art trove


Aiming to reduce its nearly $11 billion inheritance-tax bill, the family behind the Samsung empire is donating 23,000 Monets, Picassos, Dalis and other art amassed over four decades by Chairman Lee Kun-hee before he died last year. And now, South Korean towns like Daegu, Busan and more are fighting to get into the frame, citing being his birthplace, a hub for art, and many other reasons. Over 20,000 of these pieces being donated are traditional Korean works and will go to the National Museum of Korea in Seoul, including dozens of items designated as National Treasures by the South Korean government. The Wall Street Journal has more details.


Reports awaited on most expensive Chinese figurative painting


This week, Christie’s Hong Kong was all set to auction Xu Beihong’s masterpiece Slave and Lion in a standalone auction. As per all projections, it was likely to become the most expensive Chinese figurative painting yet again. Its artist, Xu Beihong, is regarded as one of the most important Chinese artists of all time, and has dominated headlines before. Slave and Lion was initially purchased by Indonesian collectors and after several years of restoration in Switzerland, was auctioned at Christie’s Hong Kong on November 26, 2006, for HK$53.9 million ($6.9 million), then a world record for a painting by a Chinese artist. This time around it is estimated to sell for $350 – HK$450 million (approximately $45 million – $58 million). MutualArt dissects the artwork and artist.


$33 M. Basquiat Leads Sotheby’s Jay Chou–Curated Sale in Hong Kong


Taiwanese singer Jay Chou will be the influencer at Sotheby’s celebrity-driven “Contemporary Curated” series, debuting in Hong Kong on June 18. But the other star of this show is a work by Jean-Michel Basquiat that famously appeared in the background of a New York Times Magazine 1985 cover story. The sale will also mark the last official act of Sotheby’s star specialist, Yuki Terase, who can claim a significant role in development of the Asia as a driving force in the contemporary art market. The 1985 untitled Basquiat on offer is special because it is the work the artist chose to be photographed in front of for that seminal magazine cover. ART News elaborates.


Art auction for Saudi Arabia’s first robot citizen


A digital artwork by the Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics humanoid is to be auctioned in the first sale of such pieces created jointly with artificial intelligence (AI). The artist, Sophia the robot, was granted Saudi citizenship in 2017, making the Kingdom the first country in the world to offer its citizenship to a robot. The piece is to be auctioned in the form of a Non-Fungible Token (NFT). Sophia produced her art in collaboration with 31-year-old Italian digital artist Andrea Bonaceto, known for colorful portraits, some of which depict famous people, such as Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk. Arab News reports.

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