At Large  February 2, 2024  Carlota Gamboa

Rediscovered Klimt Portrait Could Fetch $54 Million at Auction, and More News

Wikimedia Commons

Gustav Klimt, Portrait of Fräulein Lieser, 1917

A Missing Klimt Portrait Heads to Auction in Vienna

A portrait of an unidentified girl by Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt, was last seen in 1925 and thought to be lost. Now the work has reappeared, and will head to auction in AprilPortrait of Fräulein Lieser, dating from 1917, was an unfinished work found in Klimt's studio after his death. Catalogues of the artist’s work have suggested that the work was commissioned by Adolf Lieser a leading industrialist in the Austro-Hungarian empire who hired Klimt to paint his daughter. It was assumed the work had been looted by Nazis. The work, according to The Art Newspaper, discreetly changed hands three times since the 1960s. The work is being offered via the auction house im Kinsky, which estimates the painting will sell between €30 million and €50 million ($32.35 million to $53.91 million). Before the sale, it will be exhibited in Switzerland, Germany, Britain, and Hong Kong. 

A specialist at the auction house told CNN that they had “found no evidence that the painting had ever been exported out of Austria, confiscated, or looted,” but also noted that they “have no proof that the painting has not ever been looted in the time gap between 1938 and 1945.” Thus, after its global tour, the painting will be auctioned off on behalf of its unnamed Austrian owners, as well as the “legal successors of Adolf and Henriette Lieser based on an agreement in accordance with the Washington Principles of 1998," which committed participating nations to return to their rightful owners Nazi-confiscated art.

New York City Botanical Gardens Undergoes New Rebranding
The Bronx’s 132-year-old New York Botanical Garden (NYBG), has unveiled its first re-stylization in over a decade. After collaborating with global brand consultant Wolff Olins, residents of the big apple get to see the one of New York's most iconic spaces turn over a new leaf. Slogans like, “nature or nowhere,” and “make nature second nature,” can now be found around the garden’s 250 acres, in addition to the logo’s updated design, which plays off of the NYBG’s enclosed greenery. With public spaces used for exhibitions, live music and cultural events, the garden also houses a conservatory, greenhouses, a library, and over one million living plants. Over a million people visit the gardens each year, and hopefully, now they’ll have even more to enjoy.

Courtesy Lisson Gallery

Rodney Graham's first exhibition in over two decades, "Rodney Graham: Paintings and Lightboxes," opens in Los Angeles at Lisson Gallery on February 2, 2024. Image: Rodney Graham, Actor/Director 1954, 2013, from his Four Seasons series. 

Italian Ministry Prohibits Getty Images from picturing Michelangelo’s David in IItaly

Be forewarned before sourcing any images of David by Michelangelo. Italy's Ministry of Culture has denied the Italian website of stock photo behemoth Getty Images from publishing any pictures of the Italian Renaissance masterpiece, which is located at the Galleria dell'Accademia, in Florence, Italy. The sculpture's censure is in compliance with a law that enables the country’s public institutions, such as museums and universities, to request concession fees for commercial reproductions of cultural heritage artworks, regardless of their copyright status. Getty says it has “temporarily removed" images featuring David from its Italian websites, but said it is “convinced of the legitimacy of its conduct and will continue to defend its rights.”

Previous Board Member of the Frankenthaler Foundation Files Second Lawsuit

The estate of Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler has become a family feud’s focal point since last November when ex-board member and nephew of Frankenthaler, Frederick Iseman, filed a lawsuit against the foundation’s other directors. Iseman accused the foundation of what he dubbed “grabstract expressionism," according to ARTnews. He alleged that Clifford Ross, a fellow nephew of the artist, was donating either artwork or funds to institutions in exchange for publishing contracts and personal exhibitions. Likewise, he also criticized Lise Motherwell, Frankenthaler’s stepdaughter, for using her position as board member to curate exhibitions of Frankenthaler’s work despite having no curatorial expertise to do so. Now, just prior to the original lawsuit’s dismissal, Iseman filed an amended complaint repeating a majority of his argument, but including the request of a jury’s ruling and his own induction as “true director and officer of the board.”

Rodney Graham Posthumous Exhibition Opens in Los Angeles

On February 2, "Rodney Graham: Paintings and Lightboxes" opens at Lisson Gallery in Los Angeles. This will be the first solo exhibition of pop-conceptualist Rodney Graham in Los Angeles in over two decades. The exhibition, which focuses on work produced during the Canadian artist’s final years—he died in October 2022, is a carefully crafted combination of abstract paintings and lightbox photography. Graham himself is the main subject of the five lightbox portraits. The large-scale pieces not only showcase the artist's social commentary, but also demonstrate his many avenues of inspiration, drawing from film, literature, art history, and music (he was also a musician). The show will be on view at the gallery through March 23, 2024.

About the Author

Carlota Gamboa

Carlota Gamboa is an art writer based in Los Angeles.

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