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Art Movements

Carl Kahler, “My Wife’s Lovers” (1893), oil on canvas 70 x 101 3/4 inches (courtesy Sotheby’s) (click to enlarge)

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

Carl Kahler‘s “My Wife’s Lovers” (1893), a monumental painting depicting millionaire Kate Birdsall Johnson’s 42 favorite cats, sold at Sotheby’s for $826,000 (including buyer’s premium). The title of the painting, which took Kahler three years to complete, was supposedly suggested by Johnson’s husband.

Chile’s government issued a statement acknowledging that Pablo Neruda may have been murdered. The Nobel-prize winning poet supposedly died of natural causes shortly after the 1973 coup that brought General Augusto Pinochet to power.

Trade unions representing Italy’s culture workers have threatened to go on strike should the senate approve a law that would reclassify museums as an “essential public service.” The law, which would require 10 days advance notice for any industrial action, would also allow the government to impose a minimum interval between strikes.

Cover of LIFE Magazine, May 29, 1964 (photo by George Silk, © Time Inc.) (click to enlarge)

Time Inc. donated its archive of over 7 million documents to the New-York Historical Society.

Three editors at Samandal (Salamander), a non-profit Lebanese comics publisher, were fined $20,000 for “inciting sectarian strife.”

A recent unearthing of stone engravings in Jersey may predate the earliest known art discovered in the UK.

The first of four auctions dedicated to the collection of A. Alfred Taubman, brought Sotheby’s a total of $377 million, far below the high estimate of $527 million.

The Victoria and Albert Museum seemingly U-turned on a widely reported decision to reject a collection of clothing owned by Margaret Thatcher. A number of Conservative Party politicians, including London’s mayor Boris Johnson and UK business secretary Sajid Javid, criticized the museum’s decision. A V&A spokesperson told the Guardian that a formal offer had yet to be discussed “at a senior level or with trustees”.

“Floral patterns” and “homo-erotic” are amongst the top 10 search terms entered into the V&A Museum‘s website.

Nigerian customs officials impounded Sokari Douglas Camp‘s sculptural memorial to environmental campaigner Ken Saro-Wiwa. The activist, who campaigned vigorously against the petroleum industry’s destruction of Ogoniland, was executed alongside eight other MOSOP members (The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People) in 1995. Shell paid $15.5 million to the relatives of the “Ogoni nine” in 2009, following claims that the company collaborated in the violation of their human rights.

The British Film Institute (BFI) is hosting a screening of “Sleigh Bells” (1928), a six-minute cartoon featuring the first Disney character — Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. The long-lost film was recently re-discovered at the BFI National Archive.

MoMA will instigate a timed-ticket policy for its Picasso Sculpture exhibition in a bid to accommodate an anticipated surge in visitors over the holiday period.

Performance artist Poppy Jackson sat naked on a London rooftop for four hours.

Amazon opened its first bookstore. The news was met with a mixed reception among rival booksellers. James Daunt, the managing director of Waterstones, told the BBC that he hopes Amazon’s latest venture “falls flat on its face.”

Authorities plan to erect a fence around the East Side Gallery in a bid to stop tourists from defacing the largest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall.

A €2 million (~$2.15 million) renovation of Rome’s Trevi fountain was completed. The project, which took 18 months to complete, was funded by the Italian fashion house Fendi.

Thomas F. Schutte, the president of Pratt Institute, issued a statement “reassuring” staff and students that Conrad Milster, the school’s chief engineer for the last 47 years, will not be forcefully evicted as part of a renovation of campus housing.

The poster for ‘Flaming Creatures’ (1963) (via Wikipedia)

Gerald Harris, the assistant district attorney who successfully prosecuted Jonas Mekas for screening Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures in 1963, wrote a letter to the filmmaker and archivist apologizing for his actions.

ArtPrize decided not to set up a franchise event in Dallas due to the resistance of “a few who saw the concept as threatening to the status quo.”

Priska Juschka, the former Chelsea gallerist with a history of being sued by artists and clients, launched a new “cultural platform and artist’s management site” named Lichtundfire™.

French artist Alexandre Ouairy admitted to using the pseudonym Tao Hongjing in order to sell his work to buyers in Asia.

A clay bust of Queen Elizabeth II was unfavorably said to resemble Tom Hanks and Mrs. Doubtfire. The work, which was described as a “gesture of reconcilation” between China and Britain, was created by Chinese artist Chen Dapeng.

Rhizome unveiled its new website and logo.

According to Page Six, actor Adrien Brody will debut a series of “pop-art” paintings at Art Basel Miami next month.

A 15-foot effigy of David Cameron was burned to celebrate Guy Fawkes night.

Transactions

Angela Strassheim, “Untitled (Janine Eight Months Pregnant)” (2014), archival pigment print, 60 x 75 inches, unique exhibition print from ‘Project Atrium: Angela Strassheim,’ 2014 (gift of the artist, courtesy MOCA Jacksonville) (click to enlarge)

The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville acquired Angela Strassheim’s “Untitled (Janine Eight Months Pregnant)” (2013). MOCA’s display of the work last year led to a demand by Clay Yarborough, the president of Jacksonville’s city council, that a $230,000 grant be rescinded from the museum.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded a $150,000 grant to the Detroit Institute of Arts for the digitization of the museum’s collection of prints, drawings, and photographs.

The George Eastman Museum acquired over 775 prints of contemporary Indian films.

Stephen M. Salny donated 48 works on paper to the Rose Art Museum. The gift includes pieces by Joseph Albers, Helen Frankenthaler, Jasper Johns, and Sean Scully.

Transitions

The newly renovated Musée Rodin in Paris will reopen to the public on November 12.

The York Quilt Museum and Gallery, the UK’s first museum dedicated to the history of quilt-making, will close due to a lack of funding.

The Cascadia Museum, a new institution dedicated to the art of the Pacific Northwest, opened to the public.

The Vancouver Art Gallery established an international Asian Art Council to advise its Institute of Asian Art.

The American Museum of Natural History revealed the designs for its $325 million expansion.

Proposed interior of the Gilder Center central exhibition hall, the American Museum of Natural History (courtesy of Studio Gang Architects) (click to enlarge)

Christopher Y. Lew and Mia Locks will curate the 2017 Whitney Biennial.

Jorrit A.M. Britschgi was appointed director of exhibitions, collections, and research at the Rubin Museum of Art.

Sylvie Patry was appointed chief curator and deputy director of collections at the Barnes Foundation.

John D.M. Green was appointed deputy director of the Corning Museum of Glass.

Robert Cozzolino was appointed curator of paintings at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Kim Conaty was appointed curator of the Rose Art Museum.

Yvette Y. Lee was appointed executive director of the Skystone Foundation, the non-profit responsible for the maintenance of James Turrell’s Roden Crater.

Anastasia Rygle was appointed associate curator of the Contemporary Jewish Museum.

Accolades

The Steins Collect
Cover for ‘The Steins Collect’ catalogue

The Frick Prize was awarded to the exhibition catalogue for The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-garde (2011).

The Rema Hort Mann Foundation announced the recipients of its 2015 emerging artists grants.

The Karrabing Film Collective won the Visible Award for socially engaged art.

Rosa Barba was awarded the Prix International d’Art Contemporain for her film Subconscious Society (2014).

 

Obituaries

George Barris (1925–2015), car customizer. Designed the Batmobile for the Batman television series (1966–68).

Anita Besson (1933–2015), ceramics dealer.

Judy Cassab (1920–2015), artist.

Penelope Houston (1927–2015), former editor of Sight & Sound magazine.

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