News

  • Lukewarm Results at Christie's Impressionist and Modern Sale

    Christie's International failed to sell a third of the art at a fifty-three-million-dollar auction of Impressionist and modern paintings in London Tuesday night as collectors sought later, higher-priced works, Bloomberg reports. Nineteenth- and twentieth-century paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Pablo Picasso, and Marc Chagall were among those that didn't reach the minimum prices set by Christie's. Works by artists such as Alfred Sisley and Eugene Boudin sold below the low estimate of their value, while pricier works by Henri Matisse and Wassily Kandinsky exceeded predictions.

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  • Paul McCartney: A Menace to Art?

    One of Russia's top cultural gurus, Hermitage Museum director Mikhail Piotrovski, has blasted as “totally unacceptable” the staging of large-scale public events in Saint Petersburg or any of the country's historic centers, the Globe and Mail reports. Paul McCartney's sold-out open-air show late Sunday drew sixty thousand fans to the city's central square outside the Winter Palace, part of the Hermitage. “We prepared for this concert like we would for a flood, all the museum's departments were put on alert,” the director said, contending that the noise level alone was “damaging” for some of the

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  • Maurizio Cattelan on “Art Rage”

    Maurizio Cattelan is recovering from an attack of “art rage,” writes The Guardian's Sophie Arie, who spoke with the artist about recent career developments—namely, an incident that took place in May, when a Milanese man became so incensed by Cattelan's installation of three children hanging by their necks from a tree that he cut them down. It is not clear whether this was a triumph for Cattelan or a tragedy. He is not suing the attacker, but Milan authorities are busy determining whether the installation was really a work of art, in which case the saboteur would face charges.

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  • Asia Society Names New Director

    Melissa Chiu has been selected to become the next Museum Director of the Asia Society, Art Museum Network News reports. Since 2001, Chiu has been the Society's curator for contemporary Asian and Asian American art, the first ever post of its kind in the United States. The appointment is effective July 1, 2004, when Vishakha N. Desai, the institution's president-designate, becomes the sixth president of the Society following thirteen years as its museum director.

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  • Art World Detours to Athens for Collector's Show

    If there were an Olympic medal for the most respected contemporary-art collector in the world, Greece's Dakis Joannou would be a firm favorite, Colin Gleadell writes in The Telegraph. Joannou, who owns around three thousand works by most of the leading contemporary artists of the past twenty years, is Greece's equivalent of Charles Saatchi. The Greek government has organized a flagship exhibition of works from his collection—“Monument to Now,” opening today in Athens—as part of the cultural program for this year's Games, and collectors, dealers, and curators have already begun putting

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  • Sotheby's Sale Reflects “Buoyancy of the Market”

    About sixty works by impressionist and modern artists sold for more than $111 million at a Sotheby's auction, with Amedeo Modigliani's 1918 work Boy With Blue Waistcoat drawing the highest amount: $11.2 million. As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports, Monday's largest sale of masterpieces in Britain for a decade also featured works by Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, and Vincent van Gogh. “The results of this evening's sale are truly indicative both of the buoyancy of the market and of the fine quality of the works we had on offer,” said Melanie Clore, the deputy chairman

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  • New Developments in Moscow “Blasphemy” Trial

    A Moscow court has sent the criminal case against Andrey Sakharov Museum director Yury Samodurov, his staffer Lyudmila Veselovskaya and artist Anna Mikhalchuk back to the prosecutor, citing “irregularities in the indictment” that must be corrected before the case can proceed. As Mosnews reports, the three are on trial for curating an art exhibiton, “Caution: Religion,” that prosecutors say incited religious hatred. As Mosnews also reports, Nikolai Girenko, a political commentator and museum director who recently testified against two men who had been arrested for vandalizing the exhibition, was

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  • Previewing This Year's Carnegie International

    The fifty-fourth installment of the Carnegie International is set to open at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh on October 9, with more than two hundred works by thirty-eight artists. The last edition of the international survey, in 1999, capped off a decade characterized by what Carnegie Museum director Richard Armstrong called “material ecstasy.” By contrast, this year's Carnegie, curated by Laura Hoptman, will feature art that explores “profound questions” about life, death, God, and belief, Armstrong told the Kansas City Star's Alice Thorson.

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  • Louvre and High Museum Plan Long-Term Collaboration

    A new arrangement between the Louvre in Paris and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta has been in the works ever since their directors collaborated on “Paris and the Age of Impressionism: Masterworks From the Musée d'Orsay,” Carol Vogel writes in the New York Times. With the High opening three new buildings designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano in autumn 2005, it is planning to have a series of long-term loans from the Louvre, including works by Raphael, Rubens, Rembrandt, Velázquez, and Watteau. The two museums are also planning curatorial exchanges.

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  • Looking for Good Investments, Collectors Flock to Basel

    Lackluster stock markets and modest interest rates are persuading the rich to look again at art as an interesting haven for surplus cash, Antony Thorncroft writes in the Financial Times. These days, the new rich in particular, who are often young and entrepreneurial, favor the modern and the contemporary rather than Old Masters and antique furniture. Against this backdrop, dealers this week at Art Basel were purring with expectation.

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  • Artists Refuse to Testify Before Grand Jury

    A number of artists and art professors refused to testify this week before a federal grand jury that is investigating Buffalo artist Steve Kurtz, Dan Herbeck reports in the Buffalo News. At least six people who were called to testify before the grand jury in the Kurtz case Tuesday refused to appear, invoking their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, legal sources said Wednesday. Several defense lawyers involved in the case said federal prosecutors refused to tell their clients whether they might become targets of the probe, and also refused to grant them immunity from prosecution

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  • Curators on Trial in Moscow

    Three defendants went on trial in Moscow Tuesday, accused of organizing a blasphemous art exhibit, the International Herald Tribune reports. Yuri Samodurov, who manages Moscow's Andrei Sakharov Museum, faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to 500,000 rubles ($17,000) if found guilty of inciting religious hatred. He and the two others—Lyudmila Vasilovskaya, who works at the museum, and Anna Mikhalchuk, an artist—organized an art exhibit in January 2003 called “Caution, Religion.”

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