News

  • Pulheim Pulls Plug on Sierra's Gas Chamber

    The New York Times' Sarah Plass reports that the town of Pulheim, Germany, has suspended an installation by Spanish artist Santiago Sierra that resembles a gas chamber after Jewish leaders and Holocaust survivors complained. For the piece, 245 Kubikmeter (245 Cubic Meters) the artist hooked the exhaust pipes of six cars up to the Stommeln Synagogue, flooding the interior with carbon monoxide. Stephan J. Kramer, the general secretary of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, has called the work deeply offensive, but the mayor of Pulheim, Karl August Morisse, defended it, saying that the gruesome

    Read more
  • Artist Jeroen de Rijke Dies at Thirty-Five

    Artnet reports that Jeroen de Rijke, thirty-five, one half of the Dutch art team de Rijke/de Rooij, died of unknown causes last week while vacationing alone in Ghana. Early reports have speculated that the cause of death may be heart failure. Born in Brouwershaven, Holland, de Rijke trained at the Rietveld Akademie and then the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, meeting his collaborator Willem de Rooij in the process. The duo became known for films, photographs, slide-projections, and videos, often incorporating flower arrangements into works conceived of as investigations of the codes of social meaning.

    Read more
  • Picasso and Warhol Most Actively Traded Artists in 2005

    Bloomberg's Linda Sandler reports that Pablo Picasso, who painted the world's most expensive picture, held his place as 2005's most actively traded artist, and Andy Warhol bumped Claude Monet from number two, according to French data service Artprice.com. Canaletto's Venetian views propelled him to fourth place from 239th, and Picasso collectors raised $153.2 million last year from 1,409 works sold at auction. Fine-art auction prices worldwide last year rose ten percent, slowing from a nineteen percent run-up in 2004. The hottest art movement in 2005 was Dada, with an Artprice index of Dada

    Read more
  • Moore Sculpture Recalled in Wake of Thefts

    Agence-France Presse reports that a bronze sculpture by British artist Henry Moore on loan to a university has been recalled to the Henry Moore Foundation early following a spate of thefts of other works of art. Reclining Connected Forms, a seven-feet long piece, had been on show at the entrance to Exeter University in southwest England. The recall follows a security review of works currently on loan after the theft of a two-ton Moore bronze, Reclining Figure, 1969-70, from the foundation's base. There have been about twenty thefts of large bronze sculptures in the London area in the last twelve

    Read more
  • Schneider Sculpture May Find Home in Hamburg

    Sarah Plass reports for the New York Times that a sculpture by German artist Gregor Schneider of a large black cube resembling the Kaaba at Mecca may have found a home in Hamburg, Germany, after being rejected by Venice and Berlin. Last year Schneider wanted to install the work in Saint Mark's Square in Venice, but the city turned it down for security reasons, and a similar plan in Berlin also failed. But Hamburg has expressed interest in including the piece in an exhibition next year of work by Kasimir Malevich. Schneider, who won the Golden Lion at the 2001 Venice Biennale for his design of

    Read more
  • Carbon Monoxide Incident Delays Opening of Scope Show

    The New York Times' Randy Kennedy reports that the Scope show, one of the major art fairs being held in Manhattan this weekend along with the Armory Show and Pulse, was disrupted by an odd carbon monoxide incident during a press preview which forced the evacuation of the show's space. The Fire Department said it received a call at 4:30 PM about a “hazardous condition.” Scope's president, Alexis Hubshman, said that it was still unclear who called the Fire Department. “We don't know if it was a competitor or who it was,” he said. “We have our suspicions.”

    Read more
  • Saatchi Gallery in Court; Francisco Franco Artwork Disputed

    The Guardian's Hugh Muir reports that Danovo, the company launched by Charles Saatchi to run his art gallery on London's South Bank, has wound up in court after failing to pay debts of about £1.8 million ($3.1 million). The gallery, home to Saatchi's private collection of art, launched in April 2003. Saatchi has already announced plans for a new gallery to display his collection, which will open in London's Chelsea district in 2007. Meanwhile, Dale Fuchs reports for the New York Times that a planned auction of oil paintings by Spanish dictator Francisco Franco has ignited a dispute with Franco's

    Read more
  • New Museum Annexes in Moscow and Savannah, Georgia

    Bloomberg's John Varoli reports that the State Kremlin Museum, the repository of Russia's national regalia and home to some of its most important historical landmarks, is celebrating 200 years since its founding with a fifty million dollar building to increase exhibition and office space. Once construction is completed, it will be the museum's first building beyond Kremlin walls since Czar Alexander I created it in 1806 to preserve imperial treasure. In other museum news, the Associated Press' Russ Bynum writes on the opening of the $24.5 million Jepson Center for the Arts in Savannah, Georgia,

    Read more
  • Gordon Parks Dies at Ninety-Three

    The New York Times' Andy Grundberg writes that Gordon Parks, the photographer, filmmaker, writer, and composer who used his prodigious, largely self-taught talents to chronicle the African-American experience and to retell his own personal history, has died at his home in Manhattan. He was ninety-three. Gordon Parks was the first African-American to work as a staff photographer for Life magazine and the first black artist to produce and direct a major Hollywood film, The Learning Tree, in 1969. “I had a great sense of curiosity and a great sense of just wanting to achieve,” he said. “I just

    Read more
  • Denver Museum to Receive Large Donation of Contemporary Art

    The Denver Post's Kyle MacMillan reports that collectors Kent and Vicki Logan are donating more than thirty million dollars in contemporary artworks by artists such as Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, and Cindy Sherman, plus fifteen million dollars in cash and a house and gallery in Vail, to the Denver Art Museum. “It is the single biggest dose of jet-propulsion fuel that we have ever had,” said Dianne Vanderlip, the museum's curator of modern and contemporary art. Though relatively young, the couple decided they were ready to make the bequest, which becomes official upon

    Read more
  • New Grants for Downtown NY Arts Organizations

    The New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Flea Theater, and the National Museum of the American Indian are among sixty-three New York arts and civic organizations that are to benefit from more than twenty-seven million dollars in federal grants, the New York Times' Robin Pogrebin reports. The grants, ranging from twenty thousand dollars to two million dollars, will be funneled through the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation with the goal of reviving cultural activity downtown. The biggest chunk goes to the New Museum, which is building a new sixty million dollar home on the Bowery. “You can

    Read more
  • Artifacts Stolen from Museum in Second Rio Art Heist

    BBC News reports that priceless artifacts have been stolen from a Rio de Janeiro museum in the city's second art theft in ten days. Two armed men burst into the Rio City Museum and took gold and silver relics from Brazil's empire era said to be of “incalculable historic value.” The eleven stolen items include an ivory saber and a pearl and silver foil. The robbery resembled a heist at the Chacara do Ceu museum in late February that saw gunmen steal paintings by Picasso, Dali, Matisse, and Monet. As before, the latest raid saw thieves disarm guards and take advantage of the museum's poor security

    Read more