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May 17, 2013
Why Is China Copying Western Icons, Towns, Cities?
Hallstatt, Austria, is in China. So is the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, Christ the Redeemer, and a soon-to-be-completed Manhattan. There are others, too, and it's all part of this weird (at least to us Westerners, or this one Westerner who is writing this) proliferation of what are being called "copy towns."
Pacific Standard 05/16/13
Raid On Prominent Manhattan Gallery
"As newspaper photographers gathered around, agents hauled away computers and boxes of documents as part of a sweeping investigation involving the gallery's owner, Hillel Nahmad, 34, who is known as Helly and is accused along with several others of playing leadership roles in a $100 million gambling and money-laundering network with connections to Russian organized-crime figures."
The New York Times 05/17/13
Nearly Half A Billion Dollars: Christie's Holds Richest Art Auction In History
"Record prices for 12 contemporary artists including Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein and Jean-Michel Basquiat made history on Wednesday night. The sale of postwar and contemporary art at Christie's in Rockefeller Center totaled $495 million, the highest sales figure at any art auction."
The New York Times 05/16/13
Cambodia Presses More US Museums To Return Antiquities
"Buoyed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's decision this month to return two stolen statues, Cambodia is asking other museums to examine any Khmer antiquities they acquired after 1970, when a 20-year period of civil war and genocide gave thieves free range to loot the country's ancient temples."
The New York Times 05/16/13
Unknown Dalí Watercolors Come To Light
"At a glance they seem like familiar 19th-century botanical lithographs, the type you see on endless hotel room walls. But look closer and the plum appears to be running away, the raspberries look embarrassed and the grapefruit ... well, it's enough to make the viewer blush."
The Guardian (UK) 05/15/13
Interpol On The Lookout For Qaddafi Art Holdings
"The UK government has confirmed that art is likely to be among the items seized as part of a drive to recover billions of dollars worth of assets siphoned off by the Qaddafi family during four decades in power." The late dictator's son Saif al-Islam "was known to be a keen art collector and reportedly active on the Islamic art circuit."
The Art Newspaper 05/16/13
On The Art Market As An Arbiter Of Quality
May 16, 2013
Christopher Knight: "So the art market is a
judge of quality, just like Mom and cousin Fred are, but hardly the best
judge. There's a simpler explanation as to why collectors and dealers aren't the ones deciding who, finally, are the important artists. (Nor, for that matter, do curators, critics or the general public.) It's because artists do."
Los Angeles Times 05/16/13
Mayan Pyramid Demolished For Road Gravel
"A construction company has essentially destroyed one of Belize's largest Mayan pyramids with backhoes and bulldozers to extract crushed rock for a road-building project, authorities announced on Monday."
Yahoo! (AP) 05/14/13
Is Money Laundering A Problem In The Art World? (Yes)
"April's federal charges against the New York dealer Helly Nahmad included that he worked 'to launder tens of millions of dollars on behalf of the illegal gambling business.' While Nahmad has pleaded not guilty to all the charges in the indictment, the accusation raises the questions of whether (and if so why) art would be used in this way."
The Art Newspaper 05/13/13
Artists Occupy Budapest Museum Over Replacement Of Director
"Around 30 activists from the group 'United for Contemporary Art' have been occupying the entrance hall of Budapest's Ludwig Museum in the Palace of the Arts since last week. The protest, which is still ongoing, is directed at the 'lack of transparency' in the selection process of the Ludwig's new director."
The Art Newspaper 05/15/13
German Galleries Fight Against Hike In VAT On Art
May 15, 2013
"The German federal association of galleries and dealers ... has, for the moment, won a major battle to keep VAT rates down on the purchase of original works of art. The European Commission has been trying to raise German VAT tax on original works of art from 7% to 19% to bring it in line with higher VAT rates in the rest of Europe."
The Art Newspaper 05/15/13
That's A Surprise - Vatican To Show Art At This Year's Venice Biennale
"For the first time in the contemporary art festival's history, one of its pavilions will showcase art commissioned by the Vatican. The Holy See said on Tuesday that the works inside its debut pavilion were not overtly religious but had been inspired by the book of Genesis."
The Guardian (UK) 05/15/13
Did Vermeer Have A Secret Female Apprentice?
About six of his roughly 30 surviving paintings differ noticeably in style from the others, despite depicting the same people and rooms. Art historians have wondered if Vermeer had an apprentice, though there's no surviving record of one. Scholar Benjamin Bistock suggests that this mysterious artist was one of Vermeer's daughters.
These Intricate Sculptures Are Turning To Mush (By Design)
May 14, 2013
After James Grashow found several of his older papier-mâché works gradually disintegrating as they were stored outdoors by their owner, he coped with the shock by creating Corrugated Fountain
, "an assemblage of figures inspired by the Roman fountains of the Baroque sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini" - made out of cardboard.
The New York Times 05/14/13
Plan To Sell Banksy Mural Raises Protests
"This is a piece of art given to the community for public enjoyment, and people will find it galling that you can only view this work at an expensive champagne reception, when it belongs with the people of north London, not a private owner."
The New York Times 05/13/13
Is This India's Greatest Architect?
May 13, 2013
"From cultural and civic monuments to modest housing developments, Charles Correa's influence and style has spread far beyond the subcontinent."
A Cautionary Tale From Art's Bad Boy
"However pure his motives, traditional his ultimate values or exemplary his professed commitment to old-school American painting, Eric Fischl is destined to be ever cast as American art's oldest living bad boy."
The Wall Street Journal 05/11/13
Why Can't We Take Pictures In Museums?
May 12, 2013
"Even in the most locked-down spaces, people will still take pictures and you'll still find a million of these images online. So why not support it in an open way that's constructive and embraces the public?"
Art And The Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy
"Across the tristate area, dripping, silt-streaked canvases from galleries had to be parceled out to dry in warehouses in New Jersey and Long Island City, and corralled to contain mold spawned by moisture."
The New York Times 05/11/13
Are Cute Neighborhoods Supposed To Make Us Forget Montreal's Issues?
"The sweetness of the small architectural intervention is sadly being offset these days by the weight of large public works gone wrong. The corruption charges levelled against Montreal politicians have contaminated the reputation of the venerable metropolis."
The Globe & Mail (Canada) 05/10/13
Keep Your Soul, MoMA, And Don't Kill The Museum Of Folk Art
"The stakes go beyond the Modern to civic health. Midtown and MoMA could both use more variety, serendipity and soul. The former folk art museum building, having all those things, isn't an obstacle to progress but an opportunity."
The New York Times 05/12/13
Holy Batman, Batman!
May 10, 2013
"It's the most iconic subject matter Burden has tackled, and it's also the most labor-intensive painting he's ever produced. He started in February 2012 and finished in late November of that year, spending an estimated 1,200 hours on the painting and its elaborate frame, which is ornamented with resin Batman heads."
Yet Another Client Sues Defunct Knoedler Gallery
"The once-celebrated Knoedler & Company gallery has been closed for more than a year and a half but the lawsuits keep coming. Last week, the philanthropist and former ambassador to Romania, Nicholas F. Taubman, became the sixth former client to sue the gallery in federal court."
The New York Times 05/09/13
Getty Splurges On A Rembrandt And A Canaletto
"Stepping up the effort to strengthen its European art collection, the Getty Museum has acquired two major Old Masters paintings: an exuberant early self-portrait of Rembrandt from around 1628, and a classic scene of the Grand Canal in Venice by Canaletto from around 1738."
Los Angeles Times 05/09/13
Artists Sue Honda, Ad Agency For Copyright Infringement
"Dan Havel and Dean Ruck, the artists behind the famous 2005 Houston art piece Inversion
have filed a copyright infringement suit against the Honda Motor Company and commercial directors for using their iconic inverted sculpture in a TV ad for their relaunch of the Honda CR-V."
The Houston Chronicle 05/06/13 (includes slide show and video)