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Art Movements

Hans Haacke, "Gift Horse." Commissioned for the Mayor of London’s Fourth Plinth Program (Photo © Gautier Deblonde; Courtesy Bolton & Quinn Ltd)
Hans Haacke, “Gift Horse.” Commissioned for the Mayor of London’s Fourth Plinth Program (Photo © Gautier Deblonde; Courtesy Bolton & Quinn Ltd)

Art Movements is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world.

Hans Haacke’s monumental sculpture, “Gift Horse,” was unveiled by London mayor Boris Johnson in Trafalgar Square. The work, which depicts an equine skeleton, includes an electronic ribbon displaying a live ticker of the London Stock Exchange.

The Iraq Museum reopened in Baghdad. The museum has estimated that about one third of the 15,000 items that were stolen from its collection in the wake of Saddam Hussein’s toppling have been recovered.

An estimated 2,500 additional workers will be hired to complete the construction of the Louvre Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island. Writing for the Art Newspaper, Vincent Noce criticized a progress report by the Human Rights Watch regarding the working conditions of migrant workers, arguing that “the emirate appears to have made a serious effort to address the concern expressed by Western museums and architects.”

"KIDULT "WHITE PRIVILEGE" X APC MODERN SLAVERY #kidult #whiteprivilege #apc #lastniggasinparis #racism" (photo by Kidult/Twitter)
“KIDULT “WHITE PRIVILEGE” X APC MODERN SLAVERY #kidult #whiteprivilege #apc #lastniggasinparis #racism” (photo by Kidult/Twitter)

The French graffiti artist Kidult sprayed the word “Niggas” in bright red paint on the exterior of French clothing label APC’s Paris boutique in apparent retaliation for founder Jean Touitou brandishing a sign that read “Last Ni##@$ IN PARIS” when his latest collection premiered in January.

The Whitney Museum of American Art announced the title of its inaugural exhibition in its new building. America is Hard to See will be the largest installation of the museum’s permanent collection to date. The Whitney will open the doors to its new home in the Meatpacking District on May 1.

Serge Lasvignes was nominated to replace Alain Seban as head of the Pompidou Center. Critics have accused Lasvignes’ nomination as an instance of political maneuvering and nepotism.

The Austrian Art Restitution Advisory Board ruled that the “Beethoven Frieze” (1902) — a celebrated mural by Gustav Klimt — should not be returned to the heirs of its original Jewish owners. Erich Lederer claims that he was forced to sell the painting to the Austrian state in 1972 due to an export ban on the work.

Prince Paul Petrovitch Troubetzkoy, “Mrs. Harry Payne Whitney (Gertrude Vanderbilt)” (1910), bronze, 21 1/8 x 7 1/2 x 12 3/4 inches (courtesy Hirschl & Adler Galleries)

Two bronze sculptures stolen from the Hirschl & Adler Gallery in 1983 were recovered.

Crown Archetype will publish Marina Abramović’s memoir in the fall of 2016.

According to the Art Newspaper, Jeff Koons has tripled the production capacity of Antiquity Store, the artist’s stone workshop in Morrisville, Pennsylvania. The news has fueled speculation that Koons’s next major body of work will be produced through the use of 12 computer-operated stone cutting machines.

Ahead of a vote on Jeff Koons’s proposed sculpture for the new Kings basketball arena in Sacramento, several artists have voiced their opposition to his selection at a city council meeting. A prevalent complaint was that local artists were not allowed to submit their proposals for the project.

Leo Degianni, the truck driver who struck and killed 30-year-old artist Mathieu Lefevre in 2011, refused to testify at a DMV safety hearing. Video footage shows Degianni failing to signal in his truck shortly before striking Lefevre as the artist cycled past a right turn.

The World Press Photo Contest stripped Giovanni Troilo of his first prize in the Contemporary Issues Category. Critics claimed that the photographer’s use of a remote-control flash violated the rules of the contest. Michele McNally, the contest’s lead juror, told the New York Times that “a staged photograph is not acceptable in news pictures that are used to depict real situations and events.”

The Smithsonian Institution banned selfie sticks, as did the Palace of Versailles.

A museum dedicated to whales opened in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The world’s tallest wooden skyscraper will be built in Vienna next year.

68-year-old pensioner Karl-Heinz Kleine believes that the legendary Amber Room — often described as the eighth wonder of the world — is buried somewhere under the town of Wuppertal in Germany. “I only have a small pension, a new [drill] is too expensive for me,” Kleine told Reuters. “But whoever helps will get his share of the Amber Room when we find it.”

Art restorer Claudia Laurenze-Landsberg discovered that Rembrandt’s “Susanna and the Elder’s” (1647) underwent extensive alterations during the 18th century. The culprit is thought to be English painter Joshua Reynolds, who collected works by the Dutch master and is widely known to have altered paintings in his collection.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, "Susanna and the Elders" (1647) (via Wikipedia)
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, “Susanna and the Elders” (1647) (via Wikipedia)

Scott Mueller, the CEO of Dealer Tire, revealed himself to be the anonymous donor who gave $23.3 million to the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Filip Markiewicz will represent Luxembourg at the 2015 Venice Biennale.

Mary Moore, the daughter of sculptor Henry Moore, allegedly told the Guardian that Damien Hirst set art back by 100 years (a quote that doesn’t actually appear in the Guardian‘s article).

Transactions

Lucian Freud’s collection of works by Frank Auerbach will be distributed to galleries across the UK. The 40 works were offered to the UK under the Acceptance in Lieu scheme.

Jim Dine donated 234 prints to the British Museum. Stephen Coppel, the museum’s curator of modern prints, was asked to select the works from Dine’s oeuvre.

David Geffen donated $100 million to the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The money will be used to renovate the Avery Fisher Hall, which will be renamed the David Geffen Hall in September. According to the Wall Street Journal, Avery Fisher’s family will receive $15 million in exchange for dropping his name from the building.

The Ryerson Image Centre in Toronto acquired the archives of photographer Berenice Abbot.

The MacDowell Colony will invest $4.5 million is doubling the number of residencies it offers to journalists and writers working on long form projects.

Computer programmer and philanthropist Peter Norton donated 41 artworks to the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University. The gift includes works by artists such as Mike Kelley, Kara Walker, and Gillian Wearing.

Doug Aitken, "Autumn (1994). Video, 7 1/2 min. Gift of Peter Norton (courtesy Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University)
Doug Aitken, “Autumn” (1994), video, 7 1/2 min (Gift of Peter Norton; courtesy Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University)

Transitions

The Baltimore Museum of Art opened its renovated galleries dedicated to African and Asian art collections.

Jesse Kowalski assumed his role as the Norman Rockwell Museum’s curator of exhibitions.

Frank Music Company, the last store in New York City dedicated to selling classical sheet music, will close permanently tonight.

Joshua Abelow’s prolific art blog, Art Blog Art Blog, will cease its run at the end of the month.

Accolades

Wolfgang Tillmans received the 2015 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography.

Obituaries

Albert Maysles (1926–2015), documentary filmmaker.

Susan O’Malley (1976–2015), artist and curator.

Marc Taraskoff (1955–2015), artist and illustrator.

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