Elizabeth Taylor Portrait by Warhol Speeds to Auction at Phillips, the Longest Movie in the World Premieres, and More Must-Read Art News

Elizabeth Taylor Portrait by Warhol Speeds to Auction at Phillips, the Longest Movie in the World Premieres, and More Must-Read Art News

That Didn't Take Long: Instantaneously capitalizing on Elizabeth Taylor's death, Phillips de Pury auction house announced this morning that it will be offering an Andy Warhol portrait of the actress in its May 12 contemporary art sale, carrying a seriously hefty estimate of up to $30 million. Titled "Liz #5," the 1963 portrait — silk-screened against a turquoise background — comes from an unnamed private collection, and will hit the block at a time of potentially extraordinary interest. Beyond any ghoulish increase the actress's passing might confer on the painting's price, it comes to auction just months after "The Men in Her Life," a 1962 Warhol painting depicting Taylor, sold at Phillips for $63.4 million — the second-highest price ever for a Warhol at auction. [Press Release]

Hope There's an Intermission: If you thought the 24-hour length of Christian Marclay's "The Clock" was demanding, just wait for art collective Superflex's "Modern Times Forever (Stora Enso building, Helsinki)," which at 240 hours long is said to be the world's longest movie. The film, which will debut at a Helsinki festival today, depicts the Alvar Aalto-designed building crumbling as eons pass and the human race becomes extinct. Bring lots and lots and lots and lots of popcorn. [AFP]


Strange Love for Julian Assange in Russia: WikiLeaks icon Julian Assange had a "temporary monument" dedicated to him yesterday in Ekaterinburg, Russia, courtesy the mysterious Old Bukashin art troupe. The tribute purports to be part of the group's "temporary monuments to the Internet heroes" series, ephemeral monuments that are photographed and then displayed on the Internet. Apparently, earlier this year, Old Bukashin did tributes to the letters "E" and "N" (don't ask us!). [Times.am


Wow, That's a Lot: There are 293 museums and other institutions around the world dedicated to the memorialization of the Holocaust, according to the Association of Holocaust Organizations, and thinky non-art museum critic Edward Rothstein investigates the year-old Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, which was opened by the lawyer representing Maria Altmann in the successful multimillion-dollar restitution suit for Klimt's "Adele Bloch-Bauer I." [NYT]

Helping Japan: Japanese architect Shigeru Ban designed the Pompidou's lavish Metz satellite but is also known for making more humble structures, like emergency shelters for earthquake victims crafted from beer crates and rolled-paper logs. Now he discusses his efforts to help the survivors of Japan's earthquake, building shelters and raising money for reconstruction by building a concert hall in L'Aquila out of paper. [NYT]

Meet the Paparazzi: In what amounts to an official welcome to New York society, the New York Times has published a fashion profile (she was "wearing Prada blue jeans that tapered to a slim boot-cut hem above her ankle and a white linen short-sleeve blouse from H & M with princess sleeves, two open buttons revealing a flash of slender, tawny stomach," etc.) of Rula Jebreal, the inspiration for Julian Schnabel's film "Miral" who caused a tabloid sensation when she moved into the artist's pink Manhattan palazzo along with the artist and his wife three years ago, becoming his girlfriend and ending the marriage. [NYT]


Watch Out: The earthquake in Japan, which has killed more than 9,000 may be bad news... for Swiss luxury watchmakers. Or so says an incredibly icky Bloomberg article, which delves into the effect of world events, including the Japanese mega-disaster and the bombing of Libya, on the annual Baselworld tradeshow of high-end timepieces, where watches sell for tens of thousands of dollars. [Bloomberg]

Not So High and Mighty Getty Returns Aphrodite: A 7-foot limestone and marble statue of the goddess has been escorted back to Sicily by Italian police. The work, purchased for $18 million back in 1988, flew Alitalia, if you were wondering, for a homecoming that marked the end of a dispute concerning the her shady origins and ties to the mob. [LAT]

Did You Lose a Renoir in the Mail?: Polish police are on the lookout for the owner of a £155,000 painting by the Impressionist titled "Paysage Arbore," which was sent by snail mail to a U.S. address from a small town near Warsaw. If no one claims the work, it will most likely be offered to one of Poland's museums by a court. Dated around 1908-1914, nobody seems to think the work was stolen before its jaunt through the mails. [Telegraph]

Murder by Paint by Numbers: John Sweeney, who has been accused of murdering, dismembering, and dumping two ex-girlfriends, denies that his paintings, created between 1988 and the time of his arrest, were related to his killing spree, arguing that he had just made them when he was stoned. It seems, however, that his works, displaying the words "Bloody Valentine," "Never Die Till I Kill You," "Crimes of Passion," and "A Wanted Man," as well as gravestones bearing the name of one of the murdered women, might be more relevant than he's letting on. [BBC]

Don't Forget Granny: British street artists are mounting a show that seeks to spotlight the "less visible" elderly people living in London. Check out these rockin' oldsters and their portraits. [BBC]

Sultry Sign at Instituto Cervantes Has Locals Blushing: An LED sign — the work of artist collective DETEXT — affixed to the landmarked cultural institute flashed phrases such as "Be proud of your masculinity much longer than it used to be," "Be a god of her intimate dreams," and "Dance in the sheets all night long" (messages mined from spam emails). The derivative piece did not elicit outrage from Jenny Holzer, as far as we know, but it did draw complaints from prudish Turtle Bay residents. [DNAinfo]

Dirty, Disgusting, Grimy, Straight From the Gutter Art: A new London exhibition at the Wellcome Collection, "Dirt: The Filthy Reality of Everyday Life," delights in soil, and its related grime. "Some of it, in the right quantities and the right place, is good for us," says senior curator James Peto, with the qualification that, "soil in the sense of 'soiled sheets' is bad, but soil where vegetables grow feeds us." And, of course, "it's where we all end up in the end." Human feces and intestinal excreta abound in this charming show. [WaPo]