CELEBRATING, NOT MOURNING – In yesterday’s feature on DMA curator Heather MacDonald, we reported on the show coming to the Dallas Museum of Art in October: The Mourners, a series of 40-some, late-medieval statues that have never toured before but are making the rounds of seven American museums, courtesy of the DMA. The pint-sized masterpieces are currently at the Met in New York City and today the Times got around to reviewing them only a week before the show closes (“Last Chance”) — the third rave they’ve received.
SELLING OR SUING – Bloomberg broke the news yesterday that former Dallas collector and DMA trustee Marguerite Hoffman is suing Mexican financier David Martinez because he failed to keep secret the details of her sale of Mark Rothko’s Untitled to him in 2006 (h/t Unfair Park). And he also purportedly promised not to re-sell the 1961 painting. But last night Sotheby’s put it up for auction, hoping for $25 million, and it sold for $31 million. It trailed behind only the $32 million that was bid on one of Andy Warhol’s “fright wig” self-portraits. The Warhol, coincidentally, is one of five like it — including the one the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth has and which is currently on display in the exhibition, Andy Warhol: The Last Decade (closing this weekend).
Hoffman is suing to ‘rescind” her sale of the Rothko because, allegedly, Martinez didn’t live up to his end of the agreement — she sold the painting privately, not through auction, because it was soon after her husband Robert died and she didn’t want the public attention . Her amended complaint states that she’ll return Martinez’ money and give Untitled to the DMA. Which, says CultureGrrl, seems to have been Hoffman’s plan all along. The Rothko appeared in the celebrated DMA exhibition, Fast Forward, which featured more than 300 works from the ‘Big Three’ local family art collections, the Hoffman, Rachofsky and Rose. All the works were to be given eventually to the DMA, an amazing expansion of the museum’s holdings in modern art (although the terms of the gift reportedly permit family members to sell individual works during their lifetime).
Last night’s buyer of the Rothko was identified only as a “telephone bidder.”