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THE WAR IN UKRAINE. More than 6,000 Russian architects and designers denounced the nation’s invasion of Ukraine in an open letter, Dezeen reports. russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin is the latest oligarch to leave a cultural council, stepping down as guggenheim museum trustee after 20 years, the New York Times reports. Potanin was not subject to sanctions; a Guggenheim statement that provided no reason for the decision condemned “unprovoked war”. Collector Andy Hall say it New York Post what to do business with Phillips auction house, which is owned by a Russian luxury goods company, is “scandalous”. Phillips said he condemned the invasion. And an NFT of the Ukrainian flag, auctioned off by a group co-founded by Nadya Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot sold to a group of donors for $6.75 million in Ethereum, the art diary reports. The funds will go to a charity providing supplies to military and civilians in Ukraine.
FROM THE SALE ROOM. In London on Wednesday evening, Sotheby’s raised $297 million at two consecutive modern and contemporary art auctions, setting new records for René Magritte, Shara Hughes, Robert Nava, and others. The most expensive sale in the case was the Magritte Record, 1961 The Empire of Lights, which cost £59.4 million (about $79.8 million), more than three times the Surrealist’s previous top mark. Among the notable performances was a 1965 painting of a cake by Domenico Gnoli, which cost more than double its estimate, at £2.5 million ($3.3 million). In completely different auction news, a helmet worn in 1928 by an aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart as the first female passenger on a plane crossing the Atlantic Ocean left for $825,000 to Heritage auctionsthe Associated Press reports.
Barry Baumanna veteran restaurateur and restaurateur who donated his services to nonprofits that couldn’t afford them, died last month at 73. confusing or distorted,” he once said. [The New York Times]
Shirley Hughesveteran illustrator and author of over 200 children’s books, including the 1977 classic Doggerdied Wednesday at age 94. [Associated Press]
the US Securities and Exchange Commission would investigate whether certain assets traded on NFT and crypto exchanges violate the rules that govern securities. Some crypto boosters maintain that their offerings should not fall under this regime. The SEC has not commented. [Bloomberg]
The United States returned five gold bars to France that had been illegally extracted in 1974 from a 1746 sinking of a French ship, the Prince of Conty, in the Atlantic Ocean. The federal government seized the equipment, valued at more than $200,000, after it was auctioned off in California in 2017. [The New York Times]
Daphne Seyboldwho led communications and marketing for Like American Boys and Dover street marketbecame co-CEO and marketing director of the artist Dan Colenit’s sky farm. Based in upstate New York, the non-profit organization donates the food it produces to marginalized communities. [WWD]
James Doyleformer Assistant Curator of Ancient American Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, was named director of the Matson Museum of Anthropology at Penn State University. [Press Release/PennState]
ACTIVATE ART. For years, Deborah Kassthe bright yellow sculpture of OY/YO (2015) has been a popular landmark, perched in front of the Brooklyn Museum. Now it’s a kind of protest monument. Kass wrapped the letter O with blue fabric, giving the room the colors of the Ukrainian flag. The amendment aims “to show solidarity with Ukraine and its diasporic communities around the world who are fighting for sovereignty and democratic freedom”, said the Brooklyn Museum said on Twitter. Curiously, he added, “We thank the community member who contacted the artist with this suggestion to activate our sculpture.” [@BrooklynMuseum/Twitter]