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What are the brightest events for art lovers to remember in the outgoing year 2017? The first thing to come to mind is the sale of the Salvatore Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci. The picture is most likely to be exhibited in the Louvre Abu Dhabi; opening of the latter hit headlines all over the world. Many art-workers were not fortunate enough to get in the spotlight of the press because of sex scandals in Hollywood, which also affected other areas. Arthive has compiled a list of the seven brightest moments that attracted worldwide attention this year.
1. Sale of the Salvatore MundiWhen the auction house Christie’s put up the panel Salvatore Mundi, which was confidently attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, for sale, no one suspected that the subsequent bidding would make it the most expensive work of art in the world. The estimate of the picture already amounted to considerable $100 million, but on November 15, 2017, the auction resulted in fantastic 450 million 312 thousand 500 US dollars (including the premium).
This sale shocked the art market and gave rise to a wave of speculation about the buyer’s person and the amounts that individual collectors are ready to pay for the favourite artifacts. After almost a month, it was announced that the Salvatore Mundi was sold to the Department of Culture and Tourism of Abu Dhabi for the recently opened Louvre’s twin.
2. Opening of the Louvre Abu DhabiThe museum, which is expected to be the permanent home for the Salvatore Mundi, received its first visitors a decade after the start of its construction. It is one of the most ambitious museum projects on the planet, offering a fresh look at the history of art in the globalized world.
The already famous architectural masterpiece, designed by Jean Nouvel, is located on Saadiyat Island, 500 metres off the coast of Abu Dhabi island. The permanent collection of the museum includes masterpieces by Gustave Caillebott, Edouard Manet, Paul Gauguin, Pete Mondrian, René Magritte and many others. Some of the exhibits in the Louvre Abu Dhabi are borrowed from French museums, mainly from its Parisian twin.
3. Sex disclosuresSex scandal, which began in Hollywood in the second half of the year, has quickly spread to other areas of art and involved artists, collectors and galleries. It took unexpected forms sometimes. Thus, they demanded that the Metropolitan Museum in New York removed Thérèse Dreaming by French painter Balthus from the exhibition. The petition signed by thousands of people stated that the institution indulged pedophilia in this manner.
The museum refused to satisfy the demand and did not take the controversial canvas away. It is worth noting that the moral guards did not make such claims to the Institute of Arts in Chicago, which has the similar picture by Balthus.
4. Exhumation of DalíThe Spanish court determined to exhume the remains of one of the most significant artists of the 20th century, Salvador Dalí. It was another big event of the year in the art world. Certain Pilar Abel claimed to be the only daughter of the surrealist. According to lawyers, only DNA analysis could determine the truth.
Left — María Pilar Abel Martínez, right — Salvador Dalí. Collage: Global News
Despite the protests of the Dalí Foundation managing the artist’s legacy, the body of Dalí was disentombed in Figueres. However, the examination showed that the claims of the 61-year-old clairvoyant are groundless, and her claim was finally rejected.
5. Loving VincentThe Polish-British animated project "Loving Vincent" has been arousing the audience’s interest for seven years. It’s no laughing matter, this is the first in the world full-length animated feature film, consisting of 65 thousand pictures! The movie premiere was held on June 13 at the International Film Festival in Annecy, France and won the audience award.
6. Hirst's TreasuresEnglish artist Damien Hirst presented his works in Venice. He created them during the last decade all shrouded in mystery. The Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable are placed in both palaces of the Pino Foundation, i.e. in Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana. This is the first time in history when the both centers gave their space to one artist.
The statue of the decapitated demon, 16.5 meters high, fills the atrium of Palazzo Grassi. Photo: news.artnet.com
The exhibition is presented as a multi-layered labyrinth of treasures from the ship that sank 2000 years ago and was only discovered in 2008. It was held at the same time as La Biennale di Venezia, which can be considered a separate art event of the year itself.
7. The record of Basquiat and «Basquiat Mania»The record reached by the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat is to close the list of the most significant events of the past year in the art world. In May, the canvas by the neo-expressionist called Untitled (1982) was auctioned off at Sotheby’s auction, New York for $110.5 million. Thus, its author became the most expensive American painter, whose works were sold at public auction.
Recommended exhibitions and views
January 23 − February 5
Unique Russia in the gallery "Dresden" from January 24 to February 5. Gostiny Dvor. Moscow
Dresden, Khrustalny pereulok v. 1 sec. 84, Moscow
A playback performance by the Corde Vita Theater under the direction of Tatiana Panfilova
Dresden, Khrustalny pereulok v. 1 sec. 84, Moscow
This was the beginning of the "Basquiat Mania": there were no art fairs without the works of this Haitian-Puerto Rican artist this year. And the London Barbican Art Gallery organized an exhibition "Basquiat: Boom for Real". It was the first large-scale retrospective of an American in the UK.