News

  • Something for Everyone at Art Basel

    A survey conducted at last year’s Art Basel (which is open until June 23) revealed that twenty-seven percent of the works exhibited were on sale for less than five thousand euros (5,800 dollars), Richard Dawson reports on Swissinfo. “We did the survey in response to people who said the event was aimed at buyers with huge budgets,” said Art Basel director Samuel Keller.

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  • Libeskind Will Oversee Design of WTC Transit Hub

    Architect Daniel Libeskind has reached an agreement with rebuilding officials that will allow him to influence the design of the new transit hub at the World Trade Center site. The agreement, reached Wednesday between Libeskind's firm, Studio Daniel Libeskind, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, calls for Libeskind to design the main hall at the terminal, Newsday reports. While he will not create detailed architectural drawings, his guidelines will determine its size, prominent architectural features and other elements.

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  • Rarely Seen Gauguin May Fetch Fifteen Million Dollars

    A painting by Paul Gauguin, not seen in public since it was sold almost sixty years ago to a private collector, will be auctioned at Sotheby's next week and is expected to fetch up to nine million pounds (fifteen million dollars). The London auction house's sale of nineteenth and early twentieth century art includes other masterpieces, such as Paul Cezanne's Sous Bois, 1898. The total estimate for Monday's auction is up to forty-three million pounds (seventy-two million dollars), Maeve Kennedy reports in The Guardian.

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  • Politics and Pavilions

    In The Scotsman, Duncan MacMillan laments the obscure location of the pavilions allotted to Wales and Scotland at the Venice Biennale, and blames politics—specifically, the “iron grip” of the British Council, which controls the British pavilion—for their out-of-the-way placement. MacMillan exhorts Welsh and Scottish artists to lobby for space at the British pavilion, which occupies a coveted spot in the Giardini.

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  • High Success Rate For Women in UK Arts

    Women in the UK are outperforming men in the climb toward the upper echelons of major arts institutions, James Morrison writes in The Independent. A study by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport has found that more than sixty percent of people appointed to chief executive level posts in the arts over the past three years were women.

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  • Prison Guards Arraigned in Dali Theft

    Four prison guards accused of stealing a valuable Salvador Dali drawing from Rikers Island and replacing it with a copy are expected to be arraigned Tuesday, NY1 reports. A grand jury in the Bronx handed down felony indictments last week.

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  • Iraqi Museum Staff Demands Directors' Resignation

    Iraq's national museum has been plunged into a new crisis, Rory McCarthy reports in The Guardian. More than 130 of the 185 staff at Iraq's state board of antiquities office, which runs the museum in Baghdad, have signed a petition demanding the resignation of its directors, saying they believe that some of the thefts from the museum were an inside job. They have also accused Donny George, the board's head of research, of arming them and ordering them to fight US forces.

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  • Nefertiti Video Provokes Outrage in Egypt

    The bust of Nefertiti, one of the most famous antiquities in the world, was recently used in an artwork by the Hungarian duo Andras Galik and Balint Havas, who videotaped it perched on the shoulders of a nude statue. That video is now on display at the Venice Biennale, and it has prompted an outcry in Egypt, reports CBS News. Zahi Hawass, director of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, is one of many Egyptians who say that the tape is deeply offensive, and who are demanding that the bust, which resides in the collection of Berlin's Egyptian Museum, be returned to its native land.

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  • This Year's Biennale Prizewinners Announced

    The prizes for this year's Venice Biennale have been announced, Peter Goddard reports in the Toronto Star. The Golden Lion for best work went to Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss. British artists Oliver Payne and Nick Relph won the award for artists under thirty-five years of age. The prize for best young Italian artist went to Avish Kheberhzadeh, who was born in Iran. And the Golden Lion for best national pavilion went to Luxembourg, represented this year by Su-mei Tse.

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  • A Modest Proposal for the World Trade Center Memorial

    The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. has announced an open competition to design a memorial for the victims of September 11 on a 4.7-acre site within Daniel Libeskind's planned building complex. In the end, Christopher Benfey writes in Slate, the winner is likely to be a celebrity sculptor who burnishes his or her reputation with an inevitably “controversial” monument, or a sentimental and crowd-pleasing idea like the “soaring” memorial envisaged by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. “So,” writes Benfey, “I have a simple proposal. My proposal is that we put nothing at all in that space—that it be

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  • Watts Towers Are “Falling Apart,” Activists Say

    Two years after a 1.9 million-dollar seismic repair job at Simon Rodia's Watts Towers, a committee of longtime activists is complaining that Los Angeles city officials are letting the quirky urban landmark fall apart, Christopher Reynolds reports in the Los Angeles Times. In response, state officials have hired outside experts to give a third opinion on the site's safety and preservation.

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  • Raising the Profile of the National Design Awards

    The roster of previous winners of the National Design Awards, which are awarded annually by the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, reads like a who's who of the most creative and influential designers in America, from Frank Gehry to Robert Wilson. But, as Linda Hales writes in the Washington Post, the awards have thus far not made it onto the cultural radar. There are few events attached to it, and there is no venue in Washington, DC devoted to showcasing the winners. Many people in the Washington and New York design communities would like to see this change.

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