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Some paintings act like object lessons in tracking the global migration of wealth, bouncing from one owner to the next in timely turns. Such was the case Tuesday when Sotheby’s sold a $46.5 million Mark Rothko abstract that previously belonged to U.S. banker Paul Mellon and later to French luxury executive François Pinault.

Rothko’s latest taker? An anonymous Asian collector who outbid two rivals to win the work.

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The National Portrait Gallery is to hold its first exhibition of abstract portraits featuring no human faces, as it questions whether it is really necessary to see what its famous sitters look like.

A selection of rarely-seen abstract portraits by Jack Smith will make up the gallery’s first display of entirely non-figurative portraits.

Instead, curators will attempt to raise questions about the human form and how artists should “evoke a human presence” in the modern day.

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A Gerhard Richter abstract painting sold Tuesday night at Sotheby’s contemporary art auction in London for £30.4 million, or about $46.3 million, including fees.

The monumental, 10-foot high canvas, “Abstraktes Bild,” numbered 599 and painted with veils of red, blue and green pigment, was bought by a telephone bidder, represented by Cheyenne Westphal, Sotheby’s worldwide co-head of contemporary art, after lengthy competition from another telephone bidder.

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Bright abstracts draw visitors' eyes to one wall, then life-like full sized figures tucked into a corner might startle them. On another wall, a full-sized truck is caught mid-slither. Such displays will continue to offer visual surprises during the Walker Art Center's 75th anniversary celebrations, especially tonight, when the center unwraps some birthday presents.

They are the fruits of an effort that began three years ago, when the Walker launched a campaign to seek donated art to mark the three-quarter-century milestone. Its new show, "75 Gifts for 75 years," gives insight into the importance donations play in a museum's collection.

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Tate Britain has announced that it will host London’s first major Barbara Hepworth exhibition in nearly fifty years. “Barbara Hepworth: Sculpture for the Modern World” will open on June 24, 2015, and run through October 25, 2015. After the exhibition closes, it will travel to the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, the Netherlands (November 2015 – April 2016), and the Arp Museum in Rolandseck, Germany (May – August 2016).  

Born in Wakefield, England, in 1903, Hepworth studied sculpture at the Leeds School of Art and the Royal College of Art, where she befriended fellow sculptor Henry Moore.

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An installation of several paintings by Hans Hofmann, one of the most influential painters of the 20th century, is now on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Drawn from the Museum’s substantial holdings of the artist’s work, "Hans Hofmann: Selected Paintings" commemorates the recent publication of the Hans Hofmann Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings, a comprehensive three-volume compendium.

Known as one of the abstract painters of the New York School, Hofmann (American, 1880-1966) shaped three generations of artists, first in Europe and later in the United States. The list of his illustrious students includes Joan Mitchell, Lee Krasner, Larry Rivers, Allan Kaprow, and Marisol (whose large installation "Self-Portrait Looking at The Last Supper" is on view at the Met through April 5, 2015 in Gallery 909).

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London’s Royal Academy of Arts announced that it will present the first survey of California modernist Richard Diebenkorn’s figurative and abstract works to a UK audience in nearly twenty-five years. Diebenkorn, who rose to fame as the west coast ambassador of Abstract Expressionism, and later, helped establish the Bay Area Figurative movement, oscillated between abstract and representational painting during his sixty-plus-year career. Today, he is widely recognized as one of the most influential American artists of the post-war era. 

“Richard Diebenkorn” explores the three distinct phases of Diebenkorn’s career, beginning in the early 1950s, when Abstract Expressionism was gaining traction in New York.

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Abstract paintings and sculptures were once the gold standard of Modern art. They spoke of adventurous aesthetic expeditions into hitherto unexplored visual realms.

Since the 1950s the figurative banner was held high by marvelous painters such as David Park in San Francisco, Jane Freilicher in New York and many others, but abstraction, nonetheless, ruled. By the late 1970s, though, change was underway.

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There will be permanent, artistic lights at the end of the tunnel — the westbound tunnel of the Bay Bridge leading into San Francisco, that is — come 2016.

After a two-month campaign, the nonprofit Illuminate the Arts announced Wednesday that it had raised the needed $4 million to reinstall the “Bay Lights” as a permanent fixture on the western end of the bridge.

Billed as the world’s largest light sculpture, the display of 25,000 LED lights turns the 1.8-mile San Francisco portion of the span into a nightly show of constantly changing abstract images.

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The Asheville Art Museum will present “What You See Is What You See: American Abstraction After 1950,” on view Nov. 28-March 15. This vivid and dynamic exhibition considers the phases of color field painting from the 1950s through the 1980s.

Beginning in the late 1950s, art critic Clement Greenberg noted a tendency toward all-over color — or color field — in the works of several of the first generation abstract expressionists such as Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still.

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