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Christie’s posts record sales total of £5.3bn for 2018

Plus: Vancouver Art Gallery staff go on strike over wages | Philipp Kaiser joins Marian Goodman Gallery | and recommended reading

7 February 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Christie’s posts record sales total of £5.3bn for 2018 | Christie’s today announced its global sales total for 2018, which came in at £5.3bn – a new record in pound sterling. A sizeable portion of this figure, a three per cent increase on the 2017 total, came from the Rockefeller sale in New York, which raised $836.6m (the year before the ‘Salvator Mundi’ fetched $450m for the auction house). Throughout the year, American buyers accounted for nearly 40 per cent of global spend: an increase of 9 per cent on the previous year, which made up for a decrease of 8 per cent in the Middle East and Europe.

Vancouver Art Gallery staff go on strike over wages | Some 200 workers at the Vancouver Art Gallery went on strike on Tuesday. The Art Newspaper reports that the striking workers, who are unionised under CUPE 15, have not had a contract since summer 2017; the present action takes place in advance of a vote on a proposed contract, which does not have the support of union members. The gallery has so far remained open, operating with a skeleton staff.

Philipp Kaiser joins Marian Goodman Gallery | Independent curator and critic Philipp Kaiser is joining Marian Goodman in a newly created role as chief executive director of artists and programmes. From 2012 to 2014, Kaiser served as director of the Museum Ludwig in Cologne; prior to that he was senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

Recommended reading | In The Guardian, Hadley Freeman profiles Jeff Koons on the occasion of his show as the Ashmolean Museum. Dan Gilroy, director of Netflix’s new art-world horror film Velvet Buzzsaw, explains his satire of the contemporary art market and LA gallery scene to Emily Yoshida for New York magazine.