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Rubens to fetch $35 million: Insights from the art world


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!

Rubens masterpiece to fetch $35 million at auction


Sotheby’s will sell 10 paintings from the collection of a longtime Metropolitan Museum of Art trustee in January at Sotheby’s. The group of works, set to hit the auction block in New York during an Old Masters sale on January 26, will be led by a Peter Paul Rubens painting that is expected to fetch an estimated $25 million–$35 million. The Rubens painting, Salome Presented with the Severed Head of Saint John the Baptist (ca. 1609), last sold at auction after being rediscovered in 1998 for $5.5 million. If it meets its estimate, this will be one of the most expensive works by Rubens ever publicly sold at auction, but it is not likely to break his record. The most expensive painting by Rubens sold to date at public auction is The Massacre of the Innocents (ca. 1609–11), which fetched £49.5 million ($76.5 million) in 2002. Salome comes from the collection of by Mark Fisch, a retired New Jersey real estate developer who amassed the group of works with his ex-wife, Rachel Davidson, a former judge. Details on Artnews.

New digital art archieve getting launched to help Yazidi community


The traditions and art of women survivors of the Yazidi genocide have been collected into a group of archives, hosted by the United Nations (UN) on the Google Arts & Culture platform. The result of a year-long series of workshops in northern Iraq, the Yazidi Cultural Archives aim not simply to document the traditions of the small ethnic minority. Crucially, they address the mental-health crisis now gripping the Yazidi community, which has manifested itself in high rates of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide. The Yazidi Cultural Archives is launching today at the headquarters of the Iraq-based NGO, Yazda—a lead partner in the project—in Duhok, Iraq and at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. Available in English and Arabic, they comprise four permanent online exhibitions of works, photography and films created by 16 female Yazidi survivors. In 2014 the Yazidis living in Iraq were targeted by Islamic State, in what the UN and other governments have recognised as a genocide. According to the UN, in August 2014, Isis killed 5,000 Yazidi men and kidnapped 7,000 Yazidi women and girls. Around 50% of the Yazidi community was displaced, or around 360,000 people in total. Around 200,000 Yazidis remain in camps today. Read more on Art Newspaper.

Pierre Soulages, A painter with a canvas full of shades of black dies at 102


Pierre Soulages, a French painter who created hundreds of canvas almost exclusively in shades of black for decades, died at 102 on Wednesday. A representative for his New York gallery, LGDR, confirmed the news of his death. In France, Soulages has obtained legendary status for his sleek abstractions, which enact elegant plays between light and dark simply by juxtaposing uneven black strokes. He is one of just a few contemporary artists ever to have had a show at the Louvre in Paris, and he was once described by François Hollande, the former Prime Minister of France, as the “greatest living painter.” But Soulages has been considered a giant of postwar abstraction outside France, too, with retrospectives staged in locales ranging from São Paulo to Seoul. Read the complete story on Artnews.

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