Art Movements

Irma Stern, “Arab in Black” (1939), oil on canvas (courtesy Bonhams)

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

Irma Stern’s “Arab in Black” (1939) was discovered in a London apartment during a valuation visit by Bonhams’ specialist Hannah O’Leary. According to the Guardian, the painting — which was once sold to fund Nelson Mandela’s legal defense — was being used as a noticeboard by its owners. The work is estimated to fetch $1.1–1.6 million at auction this September.

Gerhard Richter excluded his early figurative works from his catalogue raisonné, effectively disavowing them.

True to his word, Georg Baselitz withdrew nine paintings and a sculpture that were on long-term loan to Dresden’s Albertinum museum in protest over the German government’s proposal to require export permits for all artworks more than 50 years old and valued at over €150,000 (~$163,000).

UNESCO completed its reconstruction of 14 mausoleums that were destroyed three years ago by Islamic extremists in Timbuktu.

(via Instagram/@aiww)
(via @aiww/Instagram)

Ai Weiwei was issued a new passport by the Chinese government. The authorities revoked the artist’s travel rights in 2011 after accusing him of tax evasion.

A mural in North Philadelphia featuring a portrait of Bill Cosby was erased after someone spray-painted “RAPIST” over the disgraced comedian’s image.

Miami Beach officer Jorge Mercado will not face criminal charges in the tasering death of 18-year-old street artist Israel Hernandez-Llach in 2013.

Texas resident Ray Riley believes that a painting he purchased for $90 at a thrift store is a work by German artist Sigmar Polke. He intends to submit the work to an authenticator in California.

Louis Vuitton ended its 13-year partnership with Takashi Murakami.

The Board of Regents of New York State voted to approve a five-year provisional charter for the Climate Museum Launch Project.

On November 6, at the World Congress of the Organization of World Heritage Cities, Philadelphia may become the first US city designated a World Heritage City.

An exhibition based on the work of the San Diego Union-Tribune‘s longtime art critic Robert L. Pincus that was scheduled to open in November at the Oceanside Museum of Art has been cancelled.

Rirkrit Tiravanija’s first commercial restaurant — Unclebrother in Hancock, New York — passed its health inspection.

Art collectors Eskandar and Fatima Maleki settled a High Court dispute with art dealer Amir Shariat. The couple accused the dealer of pocketing undisclosed commissions from their purchases; Shariat denied the couple’s claim that he agreed to purchase works uncompensated in order to develop a professional reputation.

Rome's Trevi Fountain (photo by Andy Rusch/Flickr)
Rome’s Trevi Fountain (photo by Andy Rusch/Flickr)

Rome’s Trevi Fountain, which is currently undergoing renovations, is crawling with rats.

Jan Preisler’s painting “Koupání” (“Bathing”), which was stolen from a gallery in Central Bohemia in 1996, was recovered by police in Prague.

A monument designed by 3RW was unveiled on Norway’s Utøya island commemorating the 2011 terrorist attack in which 69 people were killed.

A long-stalled performing arts venue at Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan must now be completed with a maximum budget of $200 million.

Christian Deydier, a collector of Chinese antiquities, and billionaire collector François Pinault are irate after the French government forced them to return to China more than 30 ancient gold artifacts believed to have been looted.

Recently recovered French documents suggest that the remains buried in Drumcliffe, Ireland, which were long believed to be the body of W.B. Yeats, are more likely only part of the beloved poet’s skeleton “mixed pell-mell with other bones.”

This spacesuit was worn by astronaut Neil Armstrong, Commander of the Apollo 11 mission, which landed the first man on the moon on July 20, 1969. (photo by Eric Long, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution)
This spacesuit was worn by astronaut Neil Armstrong, Commander of the Apollo 11 mission, which landed the first man on the moon on July 20, 1969. (photo by Eric Long, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution) (click to enlarge)

The Smithsonian Institution launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the conservation of the spacesuit Neil Armstrong wore when he first set foot on the moon.

Robert Gentile, the alleged mobster the FBI believes may be the only living person with knowledge that could lead to the solving of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist, has filed a complaint against the Bureau for inducing him to commit crimes it could then use as leverage to question him about the stolen art.

An autonomous underwater vehicle dubbed Sentry discovered a shipwreck 150 miles off the coast of North Carolina dating to the time of the Revolutionary War.

The current owner of the Villa Ambron, the historic Alexandria home where author Lawrence Durrell lived and which inspired his series The Alexandria Quartet, intends to bulldoze the building and put up a residential high-rise in its place.

China launched the Kaogu-01, a $12.9 million archaeological vessel equipped with powerful cranes and decompression and air-lock chambers.

The head of a giant Vladimir Lenin statue that was decapitated and buried in Berlin in 1991 will be unearthed and put on display at the Citadel Spandau.

Bristol City Council will rewrite its graffiti laws to specifically target tagging, while allowing for more elaborate works of street art.

As they attempt to cope with budget cuts, galleries and museums throughout the UK that are currently free are drawing up plans for charging admission.

The Reykjavik Art Museum’s website was redesigned. The site now features detailed records on every exhibition held at the museum since it opened in 1973.

A box of “alphabet flashcards” designed by Theodor Seuss Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) was discovered by the author’s widow, Audrey Geisel, and Seuss’s longtime assistant Claudia Prescott.

Kanye West’s new music video, “All Day/I Feel Like That,” will be screened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art this Saturday through Tuesday. The video is directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker and artist Steve McQueen.

A 16-year-old in Derry, Ireland, was sentenced to become an unofficial court sketch artist.

The inaugural London Design Biennale will open at Somerset House on September 14, 2016.


New York University’s Fales and Special Collection Library will acquire and maintain the archive of online publication Triple Canopy.

Grants issued by the California Arts Council toward “Local Impact” projects and “Creative Communities” total $3.8 million for 2015–2016, up by $1 million from 2014–2015.

The development of San Francisco’s Treasure Island will reportedly include $50 million in public art.

Five medals that belonged to British spy Violette Szabo — who was captured and tortured by the Nazis, and died in a concentration camp — sold for £260,000 (~$403,000). They were purchased on behalf of Lord Ashcroft and will soon be on public display at the Imperial War Museum.


Margaret K. Hofer was appointed vice president and director of the New-York Historical Society.

Alejandro Aravena was appointed director of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Jackie Milad was appointed curator of contemporary art at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts.

The new Rizzoli store nearly ready for its opening on Monday. (photo by @caroaskew/Instagram)
The new Rizzoli store nearly ready for its opening on Monday. (photo by @caroaskew/Instagram)

Beloved New York City bookstore Rizzoli will reopen in its new home at 1133 Broadway on Monday. The store was forced to leave its longtime space on West 57th Street last year.

The ICA in Philadelphia hired Anthony Elms, Alex Klein, and Kate Kraczon as chief curator, curator, and associate curator, respectively.

Anita Chung left the Cleveland Museum of Art, where she had been the curator of Chinese art, to become the chief operating officer of Hong Kong’s Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation.

Ferran Barenblit was hired to be the new director of the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona.

Brian Whiteley, a co-founder of the now-defunct Select art fair, will launch a new art fair during Art Basel Miami Beach in December, named Satellite. Fellow Select co-founder Matthew Eck is launching a satellite fair of his own, called X Contemporary.


Jill Frank, Elizabeth Lide, and Masud Ashley Olufani were announced as the winners of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia’s Working Artist Project.

The winners of a competition to revitalize three viaducts in Midtown Detroit were announced. Each team will receive $75,000 toward executing its design.

The Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans revealed its first lineup of artists-in-residence.

The New York Foundation for the Arts released the list of its 2015 fellowship recipients.


(via Wikipedia)
(via Wikipedia)

E.L. Doctorow (1931–2015), author. Best known for Ragtime (1975) and Billy Bathgate (1989).

Elio Fiorucci (1935–2015), fashion designer.

Susan Hauptman (1947–2015), artist.

Chenjerai Hove (1956–2015), novelist and poet. Opponent of the Mugabe regime.

Dieter Moebius (1944–2015), musician and electronic music pioneer.

Tom Moore (1928–2015), artist. Worked as an illustrator for Archie Comics, Underdog, and Mighty Mouse.

Ingrid Sischy (1952–2015), journalist, critic, and former editor at Artforum (from 1979 to 1988).

Vera Stern (1927–2015), arts administrator. Stern and her husband, the violinist Isaac Stern, were instrumental in saving Carnegie Hall from demolition in 1960.

James Tate (1943–2015), poet and Pulitzer Prize winner.

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