Abirpothi

India’s only daily art newspaper

US officials return antiquities looted from Iraq Museum in 2003

A SUMMARY OF THE MOST EXCITING ART NEWS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

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!

14 works by Thornton Dial and others is sold by Jane Fonda to promote a foundation for self taught Southern artists

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Actress Jane Fonda is contributing 14 drawings, paintings, sculptures, and assemblages by three Black artists based in the American South to Christie’s Outsider and Vernacular Art auction in New York on January 18. Two mixed media assemblages by the late Thornton Dial Sr. from Fonda’s collection lead the sale, alongside Bill Traylor’s pencil-drawnGoat, Camel, Lion, and Figures(estimated $200,000–$300,000) and Winfred Rembert’s warm work of dye on carved and tooled leather,The Black Cat(estimated $150,000–$200,000). Dial’s two untitled textured abstractions featuring Splash Zone compound on canvas are expected to fetch $50,000–$100,000 on the block. Details on Artnet News.

Auction houses are opening new headquarters and extending their team in Asia

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The pandemic catalyzed the growing trend of listless wealthy people outbidding one another via online auctions, turning any possible luxury acquisition into a “so-called alternative asset class.” This inadvertently spurred the art auction market to new heights, with global auction houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s reporting sales totaling $7.1 billion and $7.3 billion, respectively, for 2021. Recent sales reports indicate that 2022 looks set to retain that level, even though Sotheby’s reported a decline in fine art sales from 2021. Notably, Asian art buyers were a major factor for this growth, making up 31 percent of Christie’s global sales, 36 percent of Phillips’ global spend, and 46 percent of lots sold for more than US$5 million at Sotheby’s. While all three auction houses reported a drop in bidders and buyers from Asia in 2022 as compared to last year, they are still doubling down on their focus on the continent. Read more on Art News.

US officials return antiquities looted from Iraq Museum in 2003

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Investigators in New York have returned seven Mesopotamian and Neo-Babylonian seals to Iraq, nearly 20 years after they were stolen from the Iraq Museum in Baghdad. The antiquities were taken after US forces invaded Iraq in 2003, which led to widespread and unchecked looting and destruction of not only the national museum but also archaeological sites. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office, which conducted the investigation with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), revealed the seals during a repatriation ceremony on 14 December. The group includes four cylinder seals and three stamp seals with carvings of gods, human figures, animals and other scenes of worship. More on Spectrum News NY1.

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