Art Digest: May 18—24

By Mai 24, 2020 No Comments

Julia Kryshevich

Art Digest: May 18—24

Could you ever thought Amazon to be a fashion retailer? And what about celebrity portraits being sold at Christie’s special edition auction? This week has been quite eventful — find some highlights carefully picked by the editorial below.

Vogue partners with Amazon under A Common Thread program 

Legendary Vogue and the Council of Fashion Designers of America decided to cooperate with Amazon as one of the world’s largest e-commerce platforms. Outfits by the 20 local fashion brands will be featured at amazon.com very soon (though Amazon had almost no experience in fashion retail before). All the designers presented have been hand-picked by the Vogue & CFDA experts. The idea is to support fashion industry representatives financially and help them promote their brands in such difficult times like now.

This step has been taken as a part of A Common Thread program initiated in late March. A Common Thread started with a series of videos published at vogue.com where participants selected share how their lives and working experience have been affected by the coronavirus. Among the storytellers there are fashion designers, creative directors, account managers, patternmakers, and other professionals from the field of fashion, both established and emerging. Vogue readers are supposed to help the participants by making online-donations to the fund or texting THREAD to 44-321. Now there is also an opportunity to buy something by the favorite brand through Amazon. By the way, in case the project proves successful, this could be the beginning of a long-term partnership between the magazine and the e-commerce giant, says Anna Wintour, Vogue Editor-in-Chief.

In Bloom_Vogue editor’s pick

La Vie Boheme_Vogue editor’s pick

The Bright Side_Vogue editor’s pick

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams now in China, beginning late July 

The terrific Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition is back offline! This time in China — the show will be held in the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai from July 28 to October 4. Interestingly enough, the exhibition was first shown at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and later at the V&A in London, until the virtual tour of the exhibition became available to the audience a month ago. A free one-hour video takes viewers behind the scenes of the show, providing them with a great general view. But in case you are in China in the second half of the summer, now you have a chance to see the exhibition for yourself. 

What do we mean by saying that Dior was the designer of dreams? His incredible talent, time, and effort invested into the evaluation of the brand? Yes, but not just his. While Christian Dior himself stood at the origins of the Dior empire and took its’ creative guidance until his death in 1957, there were 6 other creative directors in the history of the fashion house. Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons, and finally Maria Grazia Chiuri are the designers who made Dior (each in one’s own way) into what it is now. So, point taken — the exhibition is dedicated to those who made all this magic. And just some numbers: the show at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris running from July 2017 to January 2018 attracted more than 708,000 spectators. The London exhibition at the V&A in 2019 was extended and looked even more impressive (the video tour will help you to ensure that from your own experience).

Call for Entries: LensCulture Critics’ Choice 2020

If you feel like there is nothing happening in the period of general lull, welcome some new opportunities, provided by LensCulture! The world’s leading web-resource devoted to contemporary photography invites keen photographers (no matter how old they are and where they come from) to take part in the new competition called Critics’ Choice. Critics’ Choice is unique in that it has the biggest judging panel through the history of LensCulture contests. This time more than 20 world-famous experts will choose about 60 photographers distinguished by their talent and creative vision. Among the critics there are editors-in-chief, photo editors, curators, art-directors, and other impressive figures in the field of contemporary photography. You can apply for free, learn more about the conditions from the contest website.

Celebrity Portraits by Mark Seliger at Christie’s COVID Relief Auction 

The new advocacy campaign by Christie’s RADArt4Aid will be held from May 28 to June 12 in the format of an online auction. The famous auction house partners with the photographer of no less popularity Mark Seliger — his portraits of celebrities will be featured on the Christie’s online platform for sale. The photographs of Snoop Dogg, Kurt Cobain, Leonardo DiCaprio, Billie Eilish, Tom Hanks, Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, and many others are expected to bring some profits that are later given for charity. The receivers include America’s Food Fund, American Red Cross, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund and etc. The virtual Viewing Room is already available on the Christie’s website. 

The two new sale concepts introduced by Christie’s this May are VICE and VIRTUE — the mutually reinforcing themes of the upcoming online auctions from the Post-War and Contemporary Art department. While VICE section is devoted to such human tendencies as yielding to temptations and escaping from reality, VIRTUE, in contrast, shows the art of positive endeavor. Since it’s especially relevant to speak of hope in the times of COVID-19 outbreak, the auction organizers want to support those who do a lot for the general relief. The Mark Seliger: RADArt4Aid online project which has arisen as a result of the collaboration between the photographer and Red Carpet Advocacy movement (RAD) is a special addition to VIRTUE section, which aims at raising money for charitable organizations.

Jennifer Aniston, Los Angeles, CA, 1995.Photo_ christies.com

Kurt Cobain, Kalamazoo, MI, 1993 Photo_ christies.com

Leonardo DiCaprio, Los Angeles, 1999 Photo_ christies.com

Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie in Mannheim extended  

The biggest curated photography festival in Germany extends its exhibitions. Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie (The Biennial for Contemporary Photography) will last longer this year on all of its’ three sets — in Mannheim, Heidelberg, and Ludwigshafen. For example, Yesterday’s News Today are on at the Heidelberger Kunstverein until May 31, while When Images Collide at Wilhelm-Hack-Museum runs till September 13. The timeline for all shows is available on the Biennale website (the page being continuously updated, so watch out). There is also a series of virtual visits of the exhibitions open.

Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie takes place every two years at the most important cultural venues of the three cities, such as Mannheim, Heidelberg (Baden-Württemberg state), and Ludwigshafen (Rhineland-Palatinate state). The concept of the Biennale applies to the all 6 exhibition areas engaged in the cities mentioned. Each year the festival is guided by an internationally reknown guest curator. The 2020 Edition runs under the name The Lives and Loves of Images (among the local exhibitions are All Art is Photography, Between Art and Commerce, Reconsidering Icons, Walker Evans Revisited, When Images Collide, and Yesterday’s News Today). The curator is David Campany, who is a program director at the International Center of Photography in New York. 

New record set by Sotheby’s (and again, it’s an online auction) 

Perhaps you remember that the Sotheby’s online auction which ran on April 21 set a profit record of $6.4 million. Well, it has been beaten again Contemporary Art Day: Online auction held by Sotheby’s on May 14 achieved a total of $13.7 million. In short, 117 lots, participants from 35 countries, and 29% of the buyers taking part in the auction sales for the first time. The most highly estimated painting Christopher Wool’s Untitled (1988) was auctioned off for $1.2 million. The following top lots run in the order of decreasing last bid —  Window Study No. 4 (1985) by Brice Marden ($1.1 million), Broadway and 64th (1984) by Richard Este ($860,000), Witching (1999) by Yoshitomo Nara ($740,000). The general auction overview is available here. Who knows, maybe the online sales will become a credible alternative to the traditional format of the auction one day? We’ll see.

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