Art Movements is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world.
Pierre and Danielle Le Guennec have gone on trial for allegedly stealing 271 artworks by Pablo Picasso. Pierre Le Guennec, an electrician and handyman, worked for Picasso between 1970 and 1973. Claude Picasso has dismissed the couple’s claim that the works were a gift.
Police seized a portrait of Isabella d’Este during a raid on a Swiss bank. The work, which some believe is by Leonardo da Vinci, was recovered as part of an investigation into tax crimes and insurance fraud. Carlo Pedretti, the director of the Leonardo Center at the University of California, denied claims that he attributed the painting to the Renaissance master.
The Hayward Gallery installed a 6.5-ton ground-to-air defense missile on its balcony as part of its latest exhibition, History is Now. The missile, which is on loan from the RAF Defense Radar Museum in Norfolk, is part of Richard Wentworth’s curatorial contribution to the show.
The Louvre cancelled its plans to display a selection of Jeff Koons sculptures in its 19th century galleries due to “a lack of funding.”
The Rudolf Staechelin Family Trust withdrew its long-term loan of 19th and 20th century works to the Kunstmuseum Basel. The announcement follows news that the Trust reportedly sold Paul Gauguin’s “Nafea Faa Ipoipo” (“When Will You Marry”) (1892) for a record $300 million.
An appellate court ruled that the Metropolitan Museum of Art can legally ask visitors to “pay what they wish.” Critics have long argued that the Met’s “recommended” $25 ticket price is misleading.
The Federal Circuit court ruled that the US Postal Service is to pay Frank Gaylord 10% of the revenue generated by a stamp depicting the sculptor’s Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, a figure amounting to over $500,000. Although the Postal Service sought the permission of the stamp’s photographer, John Alli, it did not ask Gaylord for permission to sell stamps and retail merchandise depicting his work.
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio nominated artist Hank Willis Thomas for the Painter seat of the city’s Public Design Commission.
The United Talent Agency, known for representing Hollywood stars such as Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, launched UTA Fine Arts, a management company for contemporary visual artists.
The Arts Council England announced that the English National Opera will have its funding cut unless it improves its business model.
Applications are open for “Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives,” a program which will award $4 million to “institutions holding collections of high scholarly value.”
The archives of Avalanche magazine (1970–76) are now available for researchers visiting MoMA QNS.
French choreographer Boris Charmatz will transform the Tate Modern into a “museum of dance” for 48 hours in May.
Conceptual artist Sarkis Zabunyan (aka “Sarkis”) will represent Turkey at the Venice Biennale.
The Thomas Cole National Historic Site and Olana State Historic Site will co-host an exhibition of contemporary art in May. Artists include Martin Puryear, Maya Lin, Chuck Close, and Cindy Sherman.
Matthew Day Jackson is selling his two-story home and studio in Greenpoint for $11 million. Jackson purchased the property, the former Studio B nightclub and music venue, in 2010 for $2 million.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi purchased a portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart from the Armand Hammer Foundation.
The Lannan Foundation donated $750,000 to the Chinati Foundation’s Robert Irwin Project.
The Walker Art Center acquired 4,000 objects collected by Martin Wong. The assorted bric-a-brac, which includes Disney figurines and Chinese tea dishes, was transformed into an installation by artist Danh Vo in 2013. The work is currently on display at the Barbican Center as part of the exhibition The Artist as Collector.
Bill Millis donated Norman Rockwell’s “Boy and Girl Gazing at the Moon (Puppy Love)” (1926) to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
The New York Public Library received a $500,000 grant from the Polonsky Foundation to digitize 50,000 pages of historic American manuscript material.
The Kröller-Müller Museum acquired Roni Horn’s “Opposites of White” (2006–07).
The Stedelijk Museum acquired three works by Ed Atkins.
CafePress Inc. sold its art business to Circle Graphics Inc. for $31.5 in cash. CafePress’s art brands include Canvas on Demand, Great Big Canvas, and ImageKind.
Christie’s bought Collectrium, an online collection management tool, for a figure reputed to be between $16-25 million.
The Victoria and Albert Museum raised the funds to acquire four bronze figures designed for the tomb of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. The Cardinal died en route to his trial for treason in 1530, after failing to procure an annulment for Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon.
The Centre Pompidou announced plans to establish temporary domestic outposts throughout France, each of which would be open for a period of four years.
Anne Hawley, the director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, will step down at the end of the year.
Zelfira Tregulova was appointed the director of the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow following the dismissal of Irina Lebedeva.
The ICA Miami denied claims that its interim director, Suzanne Weaver, resigned from her post.
Ole Bouman was appointed the director of the Shekou Design Museum. The museum is due to open in Shenzhen, China, in late 2016.
Brian Wallis will step down as the director of exhibitions and collections and chief curator of the International Center of Photography at the end of the month.
Shauta Marsh stepped down as executive director of the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art.
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles appointed four new trustees. They include philanthropist Aileen Getty and former Dodgers president Jamie McCourt.
MoMA appointed Leah Dickerman as Marlene Hess curator of painting and sculpture, a newly endowed position.
Grela Orihuela was appointed director of the Art Wynwood art fair.
Lucy Lippard received the College Art Association’s Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art. In her acceptance speech, Lippard expressed her discomfort with the term “art criticism,” while advising young writers to “keep [their] standard of living extremely low”.
Ann Naustdal was awarded the inaugural Cordis Trust Prize, a tapestry award established by crime writer Ian Rankin and his wife Miranda Harvey.
Kenji Ekuan (1929–2015), industrial designer.
Tomie Ohtake (1913–2015), abstract painter, sculptor, and printmaker.
Rex Ray (1956–2015), artist and graphic designer.