Untitled (Newman Twelfth Station Glitch I & II), 2013—

[l to r]: Barnett Newman, Twelfth Station, 1965, acrylic on canvas, 78 x 60 in., collection: NGA; Study for Untitled (Newman Twelfth Station Glitch I), 2013/2023, jpg of pdf

It’s been almost ten years since I found the Internet Archive scan of the Guggenheim’s 1966 catalogue for the debut exhibition of Barnett Newman’s Stations of The Cross had not one, but two alternating glitches in it.

Study for Untitled (Newman Twelfth Station Glitch II), 2013/2023, jpg of pdf

And ten years and five minutes since I decided they should be made into paintings.

And ten years, five minutes and a day since I last thought about me actually painting them myself. I guess these things just take time. I was about to buy an old catalogue of Barnett Newman prints when I realized I already had two. And that memory of Newman’s interest in the borders around prints, intrinsic to the medium, and his treating lithograph stones as an instrument to be played, reminded me of these pages. And though my previous comparison this instrument metaphor to Richard Prince’s description of playing a camera didn’t help me make the connection at the time, I now see that a scanner can be an instrument as well, with what Newman called its repertoire of “instrumental licks.” [Which, now that I type it, reminds me of Sigmar Polke’s hyperexpressive use of a Xerox machine to make his artist’s book, Daphne. But if the artist introduces them himself, are they even glitches?]

Still not sure what form(s) these should take—whether books, or prints, or paintings, or paintings of paintings—but I am glad to be thinking about it again.

Glitch II is still there, btw. [1.8mb pdf]

Previously, related:
Glitches of The Stations of The Cross
Creation is Joined with the Playing

Mural With Girl With A Pearl, 2023

Mural With Girl With A Pearl, 2023, paint on plaster, Vermeer, dimensions variable (installation view via @BMPMurphy)

I’m not sure I could think of a greater honor than to have work in a two-artist exhibition with Vermeer. I certainly didn’t think of anything before today.

But now I am beyond thrilled to announce my site-specific installation, Mural With Girl With A Pearl is on view at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. It comprises a painting on the wall holding Girl With A Pearl, and the painting Girl With A Pearl itself. It’s hard to say how long it will be there; certainly this incarnation won’t go past March 30th, when Girl With A Pearl goes back to The Hague. Tickets to see it are definitively not available. [But if you do go, SEND PICS!]

Like Vermeer’s work, which it incorporates, it is an exploration of the subtle effects of light captured in built up layers of paint. And like those light effects, it may be fleeting, perceived only in the periphery of vision, occupying the liminal spaces around the older work that is the predictable draw of our attention.

Mural With Girl With A Pearl, 2023, paint on plaster, Vermeer (installation view via @blogexhibitions)

But for now, if you look up, and the gallery lights hit at the right angle, you will feel your field of view, and with the close looking you’ve exercised, you’ll recognize the changing world beyond the frame.

Mural With Girl With A Pearl, 2023, paint on plaster, Vermeer (installation view via @BrothersCammy)

You’ll see the new horizon coalesce just above Girl with a Pearl Earring‘s head. The loose grid of brusquely brushed forms —pearls? lights? ships? celestial figures? yet too big to be stars?—shimmering in formation in the graying sky.

While the current installation involves Girl with a Pearl, I am happy to discuss how to make the piece work for your Vermeer, too. Or, if you’re at the Mauritshuis, we can recreate the Amsterdam magic. Just because the Vermeer show is once-in-a-lifetime doesn’t mean this collab has to be, too.

Previous, related museum works:
The Wall, 2021, Musée du Louvre
Proposte Monocrome, gris, 2017, The Metropolitan Museum

ASMRt — Jasper Johns House Call

Jasper Johns, Paregoric as Directed Dr Wilder, 1962, 20.25 x 14 in., paper, oil and graphite on canvas, sold at Christie’s in 2012

When Douglas Cramer sold this Jasper Johns painting at Christie’s in 2012, he told the story of its creation, as a thank you to a doctor for making a house call the artist didn’t have the money to pay for. But that feels incomplete, since, if Johns filled Dr Wilder’s prescription for Paregoric at the Sande Drugs on 76th Street, doesn’t that mean he was living in his penthouse on Riverside Drive by then? I think there’s more to the relationship with Dr. Wilder than, “If I live I’ll pay you Tuesday.” [If nothing else, they stayed in touch enough for Dr & Mrs. Joseph Wilder to loan the painting to the artist’s solo show at the Jewish Museum in 1964.]

Anyway, I found my way to this painting, and the text for this installment of ASMRt, through John Yau’s 2018 article for Hyperallergic, which I just reread, having bookmarked it at the time.

Download ASMRt_Jasper_Johns_Paregoric_20230314.mp3 [17:49, 17mb, greg.org

EK 10 MAR 23 T

Ellsworth Kelly, 13 Drawings, 1979 8.5 x 11 in each, graphite on paper, marked “EK 1-13 JAN 25 79” on the verso, to be sold at Christie’s NYC on March 10, 2023, with an estimate of USD 300-500,000.

It’s late January. It’s cold and gross back home, but you’ve gotten away. You’re at the beach. Let’s say St. Maarten. The house fits a few friends. It’s quiet, peaceful, relaxing, private. Or maybe it’s joyous, raucous, uninhibited, and freeing. Honestly, I don’t know, I wasn’t there. One morning before breakfast, or maybe it was a late afternoon after a hot day at the beach, you notice your friend Ellsworth sitting on the edge of his lounge chair, facing away from the pool and toward the rhododendrons. You don’t disturb him. As you’re about to drive him to the airport, he presents you with a sheaf of drawings, a token of thanks for a wonderful visit. You cherish those drawings and the memories they evoke for 44 years, then you sell them at Christie’s for half a million dollars.

EK 10 MAR 23 T, 2023, silkscreen on Hanes Authentic T-shirt, $30 or $40, shipped.

Everyone marks the 100th anniversary of Ellsworth Kelly’s birth differently. Some people organize a massive, traveling exhibition. Some sell the stack of plant drawings Kelly gave them from January 25, 1979. And some people celebrate the sale of those drawings with a T-shirt.

The EK 10 MAR 23 T is silkscreened on daffodil yellow Hanes Authentic T, and is accompanied by a hand-signed and numbered certificate of authenticity. The shirt will be available only until the completion of the sale of Lot 139, Ellsworth Kelly, 13 Drawings, at Christie’s New York, this Friday, March 10. The sale starts at 10AM Eastern, with Lot 101. After the sale ends, two shirts will be available, upon proof of ownership, as a prize for a successful bidder—or, worst case, as a consolation for an unsuccessful seller. Otherwise, get your orders in before like 10:30 Eastern?

[Note: If the project reaches a breakeven number of 10 t-shirts, it’s a go, otherwise I’ll refund everyone and cancel it. This is the first shirt project I’ve done since Elmugeddon, and I frankly have no idea what my social media reach is these days. Or what t-shirt fatigue may be setting in, for you or for me.]

The shirt is $30 shipped in the US, and $40 shipped worldwide. Order an EK 10 MAR 23 T via PayPal until the morning of Friday, March 10, 2023:

[morning of Friday, March 10, 2023 update: the drawings failed to sell at a top bid of $220,000. Please accept two t-shirts as your consolation prize, dear seller, and thank everyone else for engaging!]

Previous, related: four other conceptual t-shirt projects

Autoprogettazione, Autodistruzione

Designer Enzo Mari and his wife, critic Lea Vergine, passed away one after the other in October 2020, the pre-vaccine stage of the COVID pandemic. Disegno Journal assembled a roundtable reminiscence of them, with Mari’s longtime assistant, Francesca Giacomelli; designers Martino Gamper and Corinna Sy; design historian Cat Rossi; and curators Hans Ulrich Obrist and Lorenza Baroncelli. Thanks to greg.org reader/hero Doug for sharing the transcript, which has recently been republished.

When Mari died, my regret at never sending him information about my Mari X IKEA table exploration was quickly subsumed by my outrage over the fate of his archive and studio. Mari’s archive, his research, his documentation, his journals, his vast collections, all come up many times in the extensive and fascinating discussion:

Francesca: “This archive is a complex codified diary in which Mari collected and conserved his projects and wider programme of revolutionary ideas; it is his life’s work, the essence of his research. For Mari, “The research is the design, not the product”. Now we need to rediscover those methods and ideas, preserve them, and celebrate their astonishing transformative potential.”

Hans Ulrich “Francesca has this immense knowledge and there are literally 2,000 projects or more that Enzo created during his career – she knows each of those 2,000 projects by heart. There’s no-one on the planet who knows more about Mari than her, but this idea of knowledge production was key for Enzo. He wanted design to convey knowledge and so the exhibition in that sense also has to be about producing knowledge. It would be absolutely contrary to his idea of work if the exhibition was about objects and not research.”

Martino “He was also a collector and had a really big knife collection, for instance. Whenever he traveled, he would buy knives. I wanted it for my Serpentine show [Martino Gamper: Design Is a State of Mind, 2014, ed.], but he wouldn’t lend it. He was an avid collector of everyday objects – a bit like Castiglioni, but actually a lot more. I don’t know what’s going to happen with his private collections. They’ve never been shown. He must have kept the knives in his house, because I never saw them in his studio.”

Lorenza “His studio was impressive. It’s going to be destroyed, in accordance with his wishes, but every room was devoted to a topic. One room for materials; one room for prototypes; and all the chairs were stored in the bathroom. The most interesting room was the kitchen, because that was where they produced objects. He was also obsessed with the archive, so created two books with the list of all the objects in the studio and all the documents. He gave Arabic numbers to every object and catalogued everything in those two books. This programmatic system was the basis of his work and I think is the reason why there was no difference between art and objects and graphic design – for him, it was all part of one unique path.”

Wait what? Yes, you read that right. His studio was going to be destroyed, in accordance with his wishes. And his archive, given to the City of Milan, is sealed from public view for “two generations,” forty years.

On the one hand, and it’s a big hand for me, this is basically the rest of my life. On the other hand, it just feels optimistic, maybe even a little dangerously naive, to entrust one’s legacy to a world as it will exist forty years from now. Maybe that’s the bigger hand, the non-zero possibility that society, much less the Milan municipal government, will not be around to open the Mari box in 2060. Between Francesca and Hans Ulrich, can we not crack this open a little sooner please?

Enzo Mari was a Universe [disegnojournal, s/o designnow]

Speaking about Exhibition Space, the Sky Survey, and Satelloons at CPNAS

It’ll be ten years since “Exhibition Space: Images, Objects, and Perception from the early days of the Space Race,” the show I curated at apexart, and I’ve been thinking about it and revisiting it a bit.

Thanks to apexart’s expansive invitation, the show helped me recognize a significant connection between the two main visual and photographic subjects: the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey, the first and last photograph of the visible universe before the space age; and Project Echo, the 100-foot diameter mirrored satelloon that was the first manmade object in space visible to the naked eye.

In June 2013, I was invited to talk about the show at the National Academies of Science, which was awesome, and I brought the 10-foot satelloon modeled after the one presented at the US Capitol. It was a great evening, but I remember the webcast being a little complicated, and so assumed it was one of those ‘you had to be there’ moments lost to time.

In fact, it’s been on the Youtube channel of CPNAS, the Cultural Programs for the National Academies of Science, all this time. Go pump up those views!

Previously: ‘Exhibition Space’ Installation Snaps

All The Pixels On The Sunset Strip

Ed Ruscha, Every Building on the Sunset Strip, 1966, collection: MoMA

With his deadpan, mechanically produced, offset printed, unsigned artist book, Every Building on the Sunset Strip, Ed Ruscha upended the art of photography. More recently he upended the art of photographing art. Museums are out there trying every way to depict the 7 inch-by-25-foot accordion-style book accurately on their little websites.

Ed Ruscha, Every Building on the Sunset Strip, 1966, collection: Getty Research Institute

MoMA shows just the cover, blank with the words The Sunset Strip at the top. The Getty shows the title page, plus a single, 14-inch spread, very manageable. The Harvard Art Museums treats it like a rare book, publishing images of the whole thing, in a gallery of 22 3-fold spreads. The Met, which never met a copyright it didn’t maximize, gives absolutely nothing, just the text description.

Ed Ruscha, Every Building on the Sunset Strip, 1966, screenshot, collection: Harvard Art Museums

Last year, the Getty, which holds Ruscha’s archives, went several extra miles by digitizing 60,000 of the over half million photos the artist and his collaborators have taken of the Sunset Strip since 1965. Turns out the book we know was just the first of at least 12 Sunsets spanning fifty years (so far), all of which are available online, for virtual driving.

12 Sunsets, Getty Research Institute’s digitized archive of Ed Ruscha’s, Every Building on the Sunset Strip

And then there is the single greatest photo in museum collection digitizing history, and I am 100% unironically serious when I say I hope the National Gallery of Art never replaces it, but uses it forever, in every medium, known or unknown, until the end of time.

Ed Ruscha, Every Building on the Sunset Strip, 1966, collection: NGA

The National Gallery of Art acquired Every Building on the Sunset Strip in 2015, when it subsumed the Corcoran. Every institution’s online collection presentation is shaped as much by its choices of software as by its information design and priorities, and the NGA’s even more so. The URL for the image above indicates it is generated to fit within a frame of a certain dimension, in this case 600 x 600 pixels.

two tiled fragments of Ed Ruscha’s Every Building on the Sunset Strip, collection: NGA

Clicking on the image doesn’t just zoom, it ZOOMS, taking the visitor to what may be the largest image of Every Building ever made, a near infinite scroll of more than 5,000 256px square jpeg tiles. Each tile is about 1/2 square inch of the original book, close in enough to see the halftone dot matrix used to render Ruscha’s photos on the offset lithographed page.

I am now trying to figure out how to extract these tiles, which are now the second-to-5000th best images of Every Building on the Sunset Strip ever made. Who knows, I might try to put them in a book.

Edward Ruscha, Every Building on the Sunset Strip, 1966 [nga.gov]
Previously, related, unrealized: A 2005 attempt to replicate Every Building on Amazon’s A9 Local Yellow Pages, an unsuccessful Streetview Precursor

Joan Didion’s Mantle

Lot 50: Group of Shells and Beach Pebbles, from the Estate of Joan Didion, image: stairgalleries

Let’s for a moment say we won’t even think about the money. If that seems hard, just imagine that someone donated $7,000 to Parkinson’s research and Sacramento women’s college writing scholarships, and in return, rather than public recognition and a tax deduction, they received Group of Shells and Beach Pebbles.

And then they paid $1,960 to a Hudson Valley auction house to warrant that these “approximately 26” shells and rocks–there are, in fact, 32 shells, 17 rocks, and one item whose rock-or-shell nature I could not determine in the auction house’s display photo–that “[t]his group of shells decorated the fireplace mantle in [Joan] Didion’s living room.”

The Mantle Does Hold: the flagship image for the sale of Joan Didion’s belongings at Stair Galleries, as promoted on architecturaldigest.com
Continue reading “Joan Didion’s Mantle”

Nice Grpg

March 12, 2014, 12:20 PM: I swear, every one of these still lands this week, and lands different.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do about twitter and social media for fifteen years, and the only thing I can come up with is, start a blog.

Whatever else it is, Twitter has been a source of language fascination for me. To see or share combinations of words of unexpected beauty, sublimity, stupidity, and criminality. I developed a practice of tweeting stuff without explanation or context–without original context, since the whole point was to hold up an object of text, or later, an image, or a combination of both, and present it in the context of the Twitter feed itself–that annoyed tf out of some people. I really tried to approach Twitter as an experiment, to see what would happen, or what worked and what didn’t. As time went on, Twitter’s own conventions coalesced, and even came to dominate information in the world, far beyond its own users’ spheres.

But that’s not important right now. One thing I started to do was to find meaning or resonance in groupings of tweets. Because they were in my timline, coming from people I’d chosen to follow, the synchronicities between adjacent tweets weren’t exactly random, but the more random and unrelated they seemed, the better. The connection didn’t need to be glaringly obvious, either, but an unusual, mundane word appearing in three unrelated tweets was as awesome as two rhyming images.

I developed rules for groupings: adjacency was a must; longer chains of tweets beat a pair; no retweets or manipulations by me. But in practice, I’d just screenshot’em all and figure I’d sort’em out later. And sometimes, when they ended up next to a gem, I couldn’t resist including my own tweets.

These groupings were made by others and me, and yet it seemed the only intentionality was in the finding. There was the sense, or perhaps the alluring suggestion, that beyond illuminating the contours of my own curatorial decisions, the groupings offered glimpses of a larger, unintended, collective meaning, like generative glitches in a (not the) matrix.

I tweeted some of these out as I’d find them, just a blip in the stream, but then I decided to collect them, to see what they could do together. So I started a tumblr, and after two tedious weeks of trying to capture the metadata embedded in each multitweet screenshot, I shelved it. But the screenshots have kept piling up.

Now with the actual destruction of Twitter looming, these shards feel possibly more relevant than they did, and so I’ve dusted off the tumblr and will keep posting these nice groupings, worrying less that they conform to my own arbitrary notions of multi-tweet poetic form, and instead being glad that they exist at all.


Why Not? Make An Eames Saarinen Womb Chair Cake Chair?

Charles Eames photo of Womb Chair cake for Lillian Saarinen, 3×4 in., est. $700-900 at LA Modern

As a cake, it’s a bit of a mess, tbqh. But as a concept, it’s flawless.

This 1949 photo by Charles Eames of a Saarinen Womb Chair cake came from Lillian Saarinen’s estate. Did you know she was Edie Sedgwick’s cousin? Lillian’s mom was a Sedgwick. Though Lillian was almost 30 years older, so maybe they were second cousins or something. Edie was first cousins with Kyra Sedgwick’s father, in case you want to six degrees of Kevin Bacon the maker of this chair cake.

Which, do we assume Ray made the cake? It looks like a sheet cake has been draped over a Womb Chair frame. Judging from the size of the candles, the doilies, and the icing blobs, it looks like it’d fit on a cookie sheet. The frame looks legit, and out of wrought iron. Did Knoll have little centerpiece-sized Womb Chair samples lying around, or did the Eameses whip up a frame for the cake?

Either way, the point is, now I want a Womb Chair embroidered with these designs, with thick, ropy white stitches on that classic, rough, jute-like wool. You got this, etsy? Or am I gonna have to do it myself?

17 Nov 2022 Lot 106: Charles Eames photograph of Womb Chair Cake for Lillian Saarinen [lamodern]

Just Dropped: Édouard Manet Facsimile Objects (M2) & (M3)

Édouard Manet Facsimile Objects (M2) “Bob” & (M3) “Souki”, 2022, 27 x 21 cm and 33 x 25 cm, respectively, dye sublimation ink on high-gloss aluminum panel, (Handmade India ink on Arches signed, numbered, and stamped Certificate of Authenticity not shown)

The time-limited edition is now. Wouldn’t it be ironic if you couldn’t see Manet’s “Minnay” in Paris last year because of COVID, and you don’t get to see Manet’s “Bob” and “Donki” (sic) in New York this year because you went straight to London from Paris? Is that how irony works?

Anyway, the Getty Manets go on view at Christie’s this morning. The Getty Manet Facsimile Object Diptych goes on order now. They are priced at 0.1% of the combined estimated reserve price of the Getty’s Manets. After/if “Bob” sells on the 20th, ÉMFO (M3) “Souki” will remain available until “Donki” (sic) sells on the 21st. [If you’re a connoisseurial cabal planning to break up a set from the get-go, I’ll let History judge you, but do let me know, since otherwise, they will come in a custom, diptych portfolio.]

Simulated Facsimile Object: Édouard Manet Facsimile Object (M2) “Bob” as it would look installed on the c. 1965 Angelo Lelii (attr.) Arredoluce easel floor lamp on sale at Wright20 at the moment

People display their Facsimile Objects in many ways. Some hang them straight on the wall. Some on a little shelf. Or a little easel. Some frame them. An option I’ve never seen but suddenly want is to install them on Angelo Lelii’s elegant bronze Arredoluce easel floor lamps. There’s one (attr.) at Wright20 right now for $5-7,000, with no reserve and a $100 opening bid, which is enticing. Facsimile Object collectors will need to acquire them separately, but if you are the Manet(s) buyer seeking to trade, I will gladly include Italian mid-century bronze easel floor lamps along with your reserved Facsimile Objects. We can make this happen.

[10/20 UPDATE: OK, wow, the Manet painting of Bob the Dog just sold for $1.38 million, more than double the high estimate. If you want to buy the Manet Facsimile Object (M2) “Bob,” by itself or as part of the original diptych, go for it. It’s still 0.1% of the price of the painting. Both Manet Facsimile Objects will remain available, together or separately, until Manet’s “Donki” sells Friday morning. And now le chien “Donki” (sic) has sold for $378,000, almost a million dollars less than “Bob”. What a world. Thanks again to the savvy collectors who are putting their Facsimile Objects to work, and saving 99.9% in the process.]

Flashback: Apocalyptic Credit Suisse Dürer Diptych

The Credit Suisse Dürer Diptych, as installed in the National Gallery in Winter 2021

No reason, but I woke up thinking about The Credit Suisse Dürer Diptych, a surprising pairing of two paintings which have ominous visions in the heavens and apocalyptic destruction raining down from the sky, beautifully painted on their reverse sides. Last year, in the midst of the Omicron surge, the National Gallery in London brought these two paintings together for a Dürer show sponsored by Credit Suisse.

Credit Suisse Dürer Diptych: Dürer Facsimile Objects (D3.38) and (D1), among others

I was reluctant to make Facsimile Objects of these paintings, but felt compelled by the concepts I’d constructed for myself and the project. It wasn’t my fault the world–or at least the museum–didn’t close to limit the spread of the pandemic.

a sheet of handmade Arches paper the same small size as a Durer painting of an apocalyptic meteor the artist dreamed about, with a roughly stenciled silhouette of the meteor in black ink in the middle. at the bottom left is the logo of credit suisse, two sail-like shapes, stenciled in two shades of metallic blue ink, and a janky inscription certifying the authenticity of the object this sheet accompanies, written in an unschooled approximation of 16th century German script
Smooth Sailing: A certificate of authenticity for a Credit Suisse Diptych

And I don’t know when exactly, but very early on I decided not to show or promote the Certificates of Authenticity I was including. Actually, at first, it was because they didn’t yet exist when I was promoting the first FO, and I did not know how they’d turn out, or even what they’d be. Soon, though, I saw them, not just as part of the concept of a Facsmile Object, but part of the experience of owning it. Not secret, necessarily, but private, individual, and distinct from encountering the project online, where a jpg’s a picture. Some folks have since posted pics of their COAs online, or processed them with their registrars, and that is fantastic, the choice is theirs.

Anyway, for the Credit Suisse iteration, I also wanted to make the Objects distinct from the earlier versions, too. After some exploration and experimentation, I arrived at adding the Credit Suisse logo, a stylized set of sails, to the Certificate.

Looking at my janky rendition of 15th century German calligraphy reminded me that I used to know Richard Jenrette, one of the founders of the investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin, Jenrette. He’d attended the same high school as me in Raleigh, and returned to make a large donation, and I heard he collected houses. I filed that data away and decided to become an investment banker someday, whatever that was. Later on, as I was preparing to go to business school, I was introduced to him at, of all places, Christie’s. We’d cross paths occasionally at galas, art fairs, the Winter Antique Show, etc., and when he gave me a copy of his memoir, I sent him a thank you note. In the last chapter of his book about his amazing career innovating analytical models and methods to the financial industry, he also said he was very into handwriting analysis. I never saw or heard from him again after that, and I sometimes wondered if I’d been blackballed for some psychological flaw revealed in my handwritten note.

Jenrette had already retired, but in 2000 DLJ was acquired and absorbed by Credit Suisse First Boston. The brand lives on in a couple of private equity divisions, but it’s really not the same. Anyway, smooth sailing, Credit Suisse!

LIVE(D): Édouard Manet Facsimile Objects (M2) & (M3)

Test Facsimile Objects: “Bob” and “Please, call me ‘Souki’; ‘Donki’ is my painting’s name”

In times like these I turn to mangling words of Samuel Beckett. “Édouard tried. Édouard failed. No Manet. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

[10/20 10/21 UPDATE: AND THE TIME TO FAIL AGAIN IS NOW. The link to purchase Manet Facsimile Objects (M2) & (M3) is was below.]

Continue reading “LIVE(D): Édouard Manet Facsimile Objects (M2) & (M3)”

Show Me The Manets

Édouard Manet, Tête du chien “Bob”, 1876, 10.75 x 8.25 inches, being sold by the estate of Ann & Gordon Getty at Christie’s, LOT NUMBER ONE, MON VIEUX

Lot. Number. One.

This is just a placeholder post because I really am deep in something else at the moment, but Tête du chien “Bob”, one of Manet’s awesomest dog portraits (it really is a small set of a very small list), will be sold next month at Christie’s. For forty years, it belonged to Ann & Gordon Getty, who loaned it just once? Really?? To the Getty. For the 2019 exhibition, Manet and Modern Beauty.

And now it will be sold.

“Bob” will be on view at Christie’s in New York for at most six days, October 15-20, and is the first lot in the first Getty sale the evening of the 20th. The estimate is $400-600,000, so in line with the result for Minnay last year.

There is drama, though it is resolved drama, around the provenance of “Bob”; the Getty Estate has made an agreement with the heirs of an earlier owner, Estella Katzenellenbogen, of Berlin and Santa Monica, who owned the painting at least until 1945, though she made it to the US by 1940. Whether the painting was left behind in Europe and then turned up at Carroll Carstairs Gallery in New York in 1947, or was the subject of some kind of ownership or consignment dispute before passing through Carstairs’ hands is not clear, but either way, the Katzenellenbogens are now cool with it.

Wait, there’s another?? “A second portrait of a dog by Manet, Le chien “Donki,” also owned by Ann and Gordon Getty, is being offered in the Old Masters, 19th and 20th Century Paintings Day Sale on October 21st.”

Lot 176: Édouard Manet, le chien “Donki”, 1876, 12.875 x 9.875 in., also from the Gettys, being sold at Christie’s Oct. 21. est: $300-500,000. Interestingly, the previous circulating image had an almost purple background. This one is blue.

The next day! Le chien “Donki”, along with “Bob” and Minnay, are the three best Manet dogs. Granted, there are only eight, and this is not a hot or studied genre, like his late bouquet paintings, but maybe it should be. “Donki” has not been exhibited in almost 80 years.

[I do still think that says “Souki”, not “Donki,” but I accept that actual French people in the early 20th century read that as a “D”. I will also note that they read that as a “u”, not an “n”, and called him “Douki.” If I buy this painting, I will call it “Souki.”]

Frankly, I’ll be lucky to see them IRL. Preview times are the same, so for up to six days before the sales, both paintings should be on view in New York. It’s also possible they’ll be included on a Getty highlights tour to Shanghai, London, and Los Angeles. In the mean time, here is a pic of what they looked like in situ, from the incredible virtual tour of the Gettys’ maxed out San Francisco house:

Manet Manet: “Bob” and the painting formerly known as “Donki” in an ensemble with some other dog paintings–and a Manet sketch of three dog heads, turns out–in the Blue Parlour of the Gettys’ house. Image: Matterport/Christie’s

We know that, at less than 13×10 in. for “Donki”, and like 10.75 x 8.25 in. for “Bob”, these are the perfect Manets to flee the Nazis with, should the need ever arise again.

The Ann & Gordon Getty Collection, 10 sales, 1,385 lots [Christies.com]
Previously, very much related: Manet Paints Dog
Édouard Manet Facsimile Object

New Twombly Pavilion Dropped

a photo across the windshield of a car of a cy twombly tag in orange spray paint on the dingy painted brick facade of the long-ago closed sand dollar thrift shop in houston, as tweeted by @buffalosean
“You go cy twombly, good for you.” tweet & photo via @buffalosean

Cy Twombly is not letting a little thing like death slow him down. Twitter user @buffalosean spotted this new Twombly pavilion on the northern side of Houston, in a former Sand Dollar Thrift Shop at the corner of 19th and Yale Streets. Google Streetview’s last capture was just a few weeks ago, so this is feeling very fresh.

To those who say this is just an artful graffiti tag, I would point out that the Menil also once turned an old grocery store into a posthumous Dan Flavin pavilion? Maybe one standalone Twombly pavilion was no longer enough?

Imagine for the briefest moment that the Twombly Foundation did a capsule collection at a pop-up in a deserted thrift shop in Houston. Live the dream for $30, thru Sunday.

Or maybe this is a pop-up shop for a capsule collection from the Twombly Foundation? And if it were, would the merch possibly look any crispier than this T-shirt? To celebrate the hilarious impossibility of such a thing, this CyTwombly T-shirt will be available this weekend was available through midnight wherever, Sunday, July 23rd.

It will be screenprinted in OG orange on a white Hanes Authentic T (to match the Twombly White Rabbit T-shirt from last Summer. Collect’em all!) and will ship worldwide for $US30.

As with previous t-shirt projects, this will only happen if ten people or more want one, and it breaks even. UPDATE: WE ARE THERE. IT IS HAPPENING. Which (MBA? lmao) ten people have always ordered, and between the surprise & delight and shipping, I have yet to actually break even on one of these. Maybe I should take some garbage bags full of them to Times Square and sell them to hypebeasts. Or maybe it’s just a way to share a moment.

UPDATE: It is done. Thank you.