Titillated or appalled (or a bit of both) by the new record set at Christie’s in mid-November for the priciest piece of art ever sold at auction (142.4 million USD for Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud, 1969)? That sale came in the middle of a fall season in which discussions about private wealth and public access (and bringing contemporary art to the people) seemed to be springing up everywhere in connection with the cultural capital of art. Drawing the line between serious engagement, philanthropy, populist rhetoric, and slick marketing talk can at times feel like an exercise in vertigo. Recent art-agenda reviews on these topics cover some of this ground.
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// From our friends at E-Flux