"Dark Knight" Enters Epic Auction Battle, Bogus Basquiat Dealer Busted, and More Must-Read Art News

"Dark Knight" Enters Epic Auction Battle, Bogus Basquiat Dealer Busted, and More Must-Read Art News
Detail of Frank Miller's "Absolute Dark Knight" Book Cover Original Art (DC, 2006)
(Courtesy Heritage Auctions)

– A Vigorous Batman Auction: Comic artist Frank Miller is credited with revitalizing the Batman franchise. Now he's cashing in. He has consigned two pieces of his artwork — both valued at more than $50,000 — to Heritage Auctions for its February 22-24 sales. The book cover art for "Absolute Dark Knight," which Miller says is one of this favorite pieces, will be offered alongside the splash page from "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns," featuring Carrie Kelly, the first female Robin. "It took me years to define, in my own mind, Batman as less a creature of vengeance than of vigor," Miller said of the first image. "To me, it sums the man up." [Wired]

– Collector Suing Gallery for $950K in Forgeries: Art collector Joseph Goldsmith is suing the Midtown gallery Charlton Rose Fine Art and a gallery in Milford, Connecticut for allegedly selling him almost $1 million in bogus artwork attributed to New York greats Jean-Michel BasquiatKeith Haring, and Andy Warhol. [Courthouse News]

– Modern Sales May Make Bank: This week of big Impressionist and modern sales at Christie's and Sotheby's, kicking off today in London, may make as much as $380.6 million, 28 percent higher than last February (that is, if totals hit the high estimate). Among the star lots are a newly discovered Klimt landscape and several paintings once owned by Elizabeth Taylor (cha-ching!). [Bloomberg]

– A Fleshy Rebellion: After Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani was reportedly banned from her homeland for posing topless in a French magazine, activists started stripping down in support, posting their own topless photos on the Internet. The act echoes a similar protest in November, when supporters tweeted naked images of themselves to support the nude photography of previously detained artist Ai Weiwei, and a similar incident with a female blogger in Egypt, also in November. [The Wrap]

– Eisenhower Family Objects to Memorial: The family of the former president disapproves of architect Frank Gehry's design for the Washington, D.C. monument, which features a young Eisenhower gazing out at images of his adult accomplishments. The family has asked that the project be delayed, and others have joined the cause. “The statue of Ike as a Kansas farmer-boy mocks the president as cornpone in chief, the supreme allied bumpkin,” said the nonprofit National Civic Art Society. [NYT

Uruguay Gets its First Biennial: The inaugural Biennale de Montevideo will be launched on October 15, during the São Paulo Biennial, and focus on the concept of "South." With a budget of $2 million, it will gather around 50 artists and is sponsored by the Laetitia d'Arenberg Foundation. [TAN]

Liechtenstein Museum Closes: The museum holding the art collection of the princely family of Liechtenstein (not the Pop artist) has closed to the public. Its 45,000 visitors a year are far from the 300,000 projected after the re-opening of the institution in 2004, and it had become too costly to run permanently. [Connaissance des Arts]

Prouvé Forger Arrested: A 42-year-old man has been arrested following complaints by three art dealers who purchased pieces of furniture from him that mimicked Jean Prouvé's iconic designs for a total of €220,000 ($289,057). [Connaissance des Arts]

– Singapore Proposes No-Censorship Zones: What's one way to encourage the fledgling art scene in Singapore? Establishing "no-censorship zones," according to a government task force. The suggestion could lead to the creation of areas similar to Singapore's famous Speakers Corner, the only place where protests are allowed in the state. [WSJ]

– Dennis Hopper's House for Sale: The striking, minimalist abode of the "Easy Rider" actor and artist, located in Venice, CA, is listed at $6.25 million. The main steel structure was built by architect Brian Murphy, while the three accompanying two-story guest houses were designed by Frank Gehry. We're told the houses may be sold separately. [CNN

– St. Louis Art Museum Tries New Approach: The Missouri art museum is rearranging galleries by theme (think "The Modern Body" and "The American Scene") rather than time period, seeking to make them more accessible to visitors as part of a $162 million expansion. [Reuters

New Codirector for Skowhegan: Katie Sonnenborn, the former director of external affairs at the Dia Art Foundation, has been named codirector of the prestigious painting and sculpture school. [Artforum]

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Behind the scenes of Chinese artist Liu "The Invisible Man" Bolin's collaboration with Harper's Bazzar:


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