Art Movements

Édouard Manet, “Chez Tortoni” (about 1875), oil on canvas, 10 1/4 x 13 3/8 in (courtesy Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum)

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

Wednesday marked the 25th anniversary of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist, during which two thieves – who posed as police officers – stole more than a dozen works by artists such as Rembrandt and Degas. The museum launched an interactive site — Thirteen Works — detailing the crime itself, and the history of the stolen works. The museum is offering a $5 million reward for the return of the works.

Thousands of displaced Yemenis in the country’s southern regions have resorted to sheltering in empty museums and theaters during ongoing fighting between the military and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Pilar Abel, a woman claiming to be the daughter of Salvador Dalí, lodged a paternity suit.

In an interview with Howard Stern, Madonna revealed that Jean-Michel Basquiat reclaimed paintings he had gifted her after their breakup in the early 1980s. The artist subsequently painted over the works with black paint.

Pierre Le Guennec, Pablo Picasso’s former electrician, received a two-year suspended prison sentence over the possession of 271 works by the artist. Le Guennec’s wife, Danielle, received the same sentence. The couple claimed that Picasso’s wife Jacqueline gifted them the works.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a 66-year lease for the Mexican Museum, which will house over 18,000 works of art and artifacts. Construction on the museum will start in July.

Alec Soth’s “Disappear With Me” (2015), one of the works included in the “Intangibles” pop-up store (via

The Walker Art Center opened “Intangibles,” a pop-up store of ephemeral art.

The Musée d’Orsay reversed its ban on visitor photography after the French Culture Minister, Fleur Pellerin, openly flouted the rule during a recent visit to the museum by posting a photo of a Pierre Bonnard painting on Instagram.

Sotheby’s new live auction platform, created in partnership with eBay, will launch next week

Canadian rapper Drake will provide the soundtrack to a Sotheby’s exhibition of work by black American artists. According to the New York Times, auction preview visitors will be able to tune into Drake’s mix at listening stations.

British art critic and historian Julian Spalding proposed his theory that Stonehenge was used as a foundation for a circular platform, or in his words, an “ancient Mecca on stilts.” Buzz Aldrin recently posed with the stones to promote future expeditions to Mars.

Judge Gerald Rosen’s rough sketch outlining Detroit’s “grand bargain” — which was made on the back of a legal pad — will be donated to the Detroit Institute of Arts.

New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer hosted a public meeting in Long Island City to hear residents concerns’ regarding a recently commissioned work of public art. Designed by Ohad Meroni, the sculpture — a bright pink, abstract figure of a sunbather — has been the subject of fierce criticism.

A rendering of Ohad Meromi’s “Sunbather” (via LIC Post)

The National Gallery of Australia announced a series of naked tours of their James Turrell retrospective, a collaboration with Melbourne-based artist Stuart Ringholt.

Bartomeu Marí, the director of the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), cancelled an exhibition due to its inclusion of an offensive sculpture by Austrian artist Ines Doujak. The work depicts the Bolivian labor leader Domitila Chúngara engaged in a sex act with Spanish king Juan Carlos and a dog, atop of a bed comprised of SS helmets.

A sculpture assembled from the wreckage of the 9/11 attacks will be permanently installed at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

Artist Danielle Mastrion plans to paint a mural of Christopher Wallace (aka Biggie Smalls or Notorious BIG) in Clinton Hill this Spring. The mural will be placed outside the Key Food on Fulton Avenue where Wallace used to work.

New York’s Department of Transportation is looking for five artists to create murals for the 191st 1 train tunnel.

Artist Michel Leah Keck is suing FX Networks over the appearance of her artwork in the adult animated series Archer.

The Google Art Project now has over 10,000 high-resolution images of public artworks and street art.

The Textile Museum will open at its new location on George Washington University’s campus on March 21.

Gilda Mantilla and Raimond Chaves will represent Peru at the 2015 Venice Biennale.


Jasper Johns, "Painted Bronze" (1960), oil on bronze, 13 1/2 x 8 inches diameter. Promised gift of Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis in honor of David Rockefeller (© All rights reserved Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York)
Jasper Johns, “Painted Bronze” (1960), oil on bronze, 13 1/2 x 8 in diameter (promised gift of Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis in honor of David Rockefeller, © all rights reserved Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York; courtesy MoMA)

The Museum of Modern Art in New York acquired Jasper Johns’s “Painted Bronze” (1960), the artist’s hand-painted bronze sculpture of an old Savarin coffee can filled with used paint brushes.

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts received a gift of around 700 Japanese paintings and ceramics from the estate of Mary Griggs Burke, whilst the Metropolitan Museum received around 300 works from Burke’s estate. Both institutions will also receive $12.5 million each for future acquisitions, programming, and fellowships.

An original storyboard from Asterix and the Laurel Wreath (1971) was sold for €150,000 (~$160,000). The proceeds will go to the families of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack.

The US returned 60 ancient Iraqi artifacts to the Republic of Iraq following investigations into smuggling by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security.

A painting purchased for ¢50 at a yard sale is expected to sell for around $10,000 at auction. The painting’s owner, Jesse Ronnebaum, discovered that the work was a collaboration between several artists from Chicago’s Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts.

Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig and his wife, Suzanne, donated $2.5 million to the Phoenix Art Museum.

Ronald and Sylvia Hartman donated $2 million to the Long Beach Museum of Art, the single largest donation given to any cultural institution in Long Beach, California.

Gavin Brown plans to open a new space in Rome. The British-born, New York-based dealer plans to renovate the Sant’Andrea de Scaphis, an 8th century church.


George Condo, "The Cracked Cardinal" (2001) (via Wikipedia)
George Condo, “The Cracked Cardinal” (2001) (via Wikipedia)

Gabriele Finaldi, the deputy director for collections and research at the Prado Museum, will succeed Nicholas Penny as the director of London’s National Gallery.

The Dia Art Foundation appointed four new members to its Board of Trustees: George Condo, George Economou, RaHee Hong Lee, and Irene Panagopoulos.

Sotheby’s Board of Directors appointed Tad Smith as its new president and chief executive officer.

Michael Taylor, the director of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, has allegedly been dismissed.

Michael J. Garcia will succeed Tony Bechara as the chairman of El Museo del Barrio’s Board of Trustees.

Michael Conforti is retiring as director of the Clark Art Institute, a position he has held for 20 years.

Alma Ruiz, senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, is retiring after working for 31 years at the institution.

Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto unveiled architectural plans for the Odawara Art Foundation, a non-profit he established in 2009.


Danh Vo was awarded the Arken Prize.

Louise Erdrich will receive the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.

The Sharjah Art Foundation announced the recipients of the 2015 Sharjah Biennial Prize.

“Torqueing Spheres,” a proposal by architecture firm IK Studio, was the winning entry in the 2015 Folly Program. The work will go on display at the Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, New York, beginning May 17.

A rendering of IK Studio's "Torqueing Spheres" (via
A rendering of IK Studio’s “Torqueing Spheres” (via


Fay Chandler (1923–2015), artist and philanthropist.

William King (1925–2015), sculptor and former president of the National Academy of Design.

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