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Presumed lost Giacometti drawings found in antiques shop

Plus: Inaugural Battersea sculpture commission winners announced | Sadiq Khan says £46.6m spent on aborted Garden Bridge will not be recovered | MoMA to auction over 400 photographs at Christie’s | and Henry Wrong, Barbican’s first managing director, dies

9 August 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Presumed lost Giacometti drawings found in antiques shop | Two pencil sketches discovered among the personal effects of antiques dealer Eila Grahame, who died in 2010, have been confirmed as the work of renowned Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti. The Cambridge auction house Cheffins had been instructed in 2016 to clear and sell the contents of Grahame’s shop in Kensington, west London, but the Giacometti drawings were not immediately found and were presumed lost or sold. Signed and dated 1947, the works – which depict several head studies and a nude female figure – were later found buried beneath other objects, and have since been authenticated by a committee of the Giacometti Foundation. Proceeds from the sale of the drawings, valued between £40,000 and £60,000, will go to the UK’s Art Fund.

Inaugural Battersea sculpture commission winners announced | The joint winners of the inaugural Powerhouse sculpture commission to create new outdoor works for the Battersea power station have been announced: British artist Jesse Wine and Haffendi Anuar, who is from Malaysia. The two artists were selected from a nine-entry shortlist. The commission, which will be awarded annually, is co-organised by the Cass Sculpture Foundation, which hopes to sell the works in order to invest in future projects. Wine and Anuar’s sculptures will be unveiled in September at Battersea’s Circus West village development, where they will remain on public display for three months.

Sadiq Khan says £46.6m spent on aborted Garden Bridge will not be recovered | In an interview given on LBC radio yesterday morning, London’s mayor Sadiq Khan said that the £46.6m given by Khan’s predecessor Boris Johnson to the Garden Bridge Trust for its aborted project ‘has been spent’, and is unlikely to be recouped. The controversial plans for a garden bridge running across the Thames were cancelled in April this year after a report, commissioned by Khan from Labour MP Margaret Hodge, found that the bridge’s costs had soared from £60m to over £200m, with most of this money coming from government funds. The bridge was initially intended to be 100 per cent funded by private donors.

MoMA to auction over 400 photographs at Christie’s | Over 400 photographs from the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York will be sold over the next nine months, Artnet reports. Christie’s will auction the works, by famed photographers including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans and May Ray, in a series of sales beginning this autumn, with asking prices ranging from $1,000 to $300,000. The proceeds will go towards the purchase of new works for the museum’s photography department, in accordance with the requirements of the American Alliance of Museums, which allows for the deaccessioning of works only in order to fund other acquisitions.

Henry Wrong, Barbican’s first managing director, dies | The Barbican Centre’s first managing director, Henry Wrong CBE, has died aged 87. Wrong became director of the Barbican in 1970, championing the project twelve years before its eventual opening in 1982, and guiding it through its early years until his retirement in 1990. ‘It was Henry, with his powerful combination of pugnacity, patience, humour, and artistic vision, who drove forward the idea of the arts at the Barbican,’ wrote the institution’s current director Sir Nicholas Kenyon in a statement released this morning.

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