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Art Movements

This week in art news: anti-immigration protesters demonstrated at the unveiling of Manaf Halbouni’s monument to the people of Aleppo, Sotheby’s sued a dealer and a collector over an allegedly forged Frans Hals, and the Louvre reopened 24 hours after a man attacked a French soldier with a machete near its main entrance.

Opening of “Monument,” a temporary art installation by Manaf Halbouni on the historical Neumarkt in Dresden, in front of the Church of Our Lady, Tuesday 7th of February (photo by David Brandt, courtesy Kunsthaus Dresden)

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

Around 150 anti-immigration protesters gathered in Dresden to disrupt the unveiling of Manaf Halbouni‘s “Monument,” a public sculpture dedicated to the people of Aleppo. The sculpture, which consists of three upturned buses fastened together with wire, refers to a photograph of a barricade built on the streets of Aleppo in 2015. According to Christiane Mennicke-Schwarz, the artistic director of the Dresden Kunsthaus, the opening was disrupted by chants of “traitors” and “get lost.”

Sotheby’s filed a second lawsuit over the sale of a group of Old Master paintings that it believes to be forgeries. The auction house filed a lawsuit against art dealer Mark Weiss and collector David Kowitz in order to recover the profits of the 2011 private sale of “Portrait of a Man,” which Sotheby’s attributed to Frans Hals at the time. In a statement, Weiss said that he “intends to contest the claim vigorously.”

The Louvre Museum was reopened less than 24-hours after a man attacked a French soldier with a machete. An Egyptian Interior Ministry official identified the attacker as 28-year-old Abdullah Reda Refaie al-Hamahmy.

German prosecutors announced that a 36-year-old Tunisian man arrested on terrorism charges is also being held for his suspected involvement in the 2015 attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunis.

The Bombay High Court rejected Chintan Upadhyay‘s bail application. The artist stands accused of murdering his wife Hema and her lawyer Haresh Bhambani.

Pontormo, “Portrait of a Young Man in a Red Cap” (1530) (courtesy DCMS)

American hedge fund manager Tom Hill rejected a £30.7 million ($38.4 million) matching offer from London’s National Gallery for the purchase of Pontormo’s “Portrait of a Young Man in a Red Cap” (1530), a decision he attributes to the fall in the pound’s value. The UK government is likely to refuse a permanent export licence as a result. An export bar was placed on the work in 2015.

Hundreds of artists, dealers, critics, and curators signed an open letter opposing President Donald Trump’s executive order banning non-US citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.

A report by Bloomberg identified Oprah Winfrey as the former owner of Gustav Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II” (1912). The work was privately sold to an Asian buyer last year for a reported $150 million. An unnamed source told Bloomberg that it was Winfrey who purchased the work at Christie’s for $87.9 million in 2006.

The New Art Dealers Alliance announced that it will donate half the ticket proceeds from its upcoming New York fair to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Tracey Emin and gallerist Xavier Hufkens are two of five benefactors funding a four-year scholarship for three Syrian refugees at Bard College Berlin. The scholarships are part of the Program for International Education and Social Change.

A book of Tahitian photographs taken by Jules Agostini is thought to contain images of Paul Gauguin and his mistress Pahura. Two albums of Agostini’s photographs — a friend of the artist — were sold at auction in July 2015, one of which was acquired by art dealer Daniel Blau.

A group photograph by Jules Agostini allegedly showing Gauguin in Tahiti (© Daniel Blau, Munich)

Archaeologists discovered a cave in the Judean desert that is thought to have housed a collection of Dead Sea scrolls.

The FBI repatriated Franse Verzijl’s “Young Man as Bacchus” to the Max and Iris Stern Foundation.

A search of the State Hermitage Museum’s Staraya Derevnya restoration and repository center by the Federal Security Service (FSB) was part of an investigation into “operational procedures” according to the museum’s director, Mikhail Piotrovsky. As noted by the Art Newspaper, the FSB’s search coincided with Piotrovsky’s criticism of the Russian government’s decision to transfer control of St Isaac’s Cathedral from museum officials to the Russian Orthodox Church.

A portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by photographer David Bailey was reissued to mark the monarch’s sapphire jubilee.

Attendance to the UK’s major museums and galleries fell by almost 1.4 million last year according to a report by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport — the first decline in almost a decade.

A collection of water-damaged recordings of Bob Marley‘s concerts were restored following a $31,200 project. The 13 tapes — two of which were blank and one ruined — were discovered in the basement of a run-down hotel in Kensal Rise, London.

Transactions

Jacob Lawrence, “Builders #1” (1968), gouache and tempera on paper, 29 x 21 1/2 in, Colby College Museum of Art, the Lunder Collection (photo by Peter Siegel, Pillar Digital Imaging LLC. © 2017 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society, ARS, New York)

Peter and Paula Lunder donated over 1,100 artworks to the Colby Colby College Museum of Art.

The Canadian government allocated $5.1 million from the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund to the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada.

Jeanne and Michael L. Klein donated 28 video works to the Blanton Museum of Art. The gift includes works by Tania Bruguera, Isaac Julien, Pipilotti Rist, and Javier Téllez.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation donated $400,000 toward the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver‘s “Animating Museums” program.

MCH group acquired a 25.1% stake in art.fair International, the organizer of Art Düsseldorf. The Swiss conglomerate acquired 60.3% of the shares in Seventh Plane Pvt. Ltd in New Delhi, the organizer of the India Art Fair, last September.

The Columbia Museum of Art acquired works by Bing Davis, Renée Cox, Michaela Pilar Brown, and Colin Quashie — all of whom took part in the museum’s 2016 exhibition REMIX: Themes and Variations in African-American Art.

Renée Cox, “Liberation of Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben” (1998), dye destruction print, Diasec mounted, 48 1/2 x 61 1/2 in, museum purchase (courtesy Columbia Museum of Art)

Transitions

Peter Keller was appointed director general of the International Council of Museums.

Manuel de Santaren was appointed president of the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation.

Jock Reynolds will stand down as the director of the Yale Art Gallery next year.

The New York Times reported that Michelle D. Gavin stepped down as the director of The Africa Center over three months ago.

Karen Hindsbo was appointed director of Norway’s National Museum.

Laurel Ptak was appointed executive director of Art in General.

Silvia Filippini Fantoni was appointed director of programs and audience engagement at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Dirk Boll was appointed president, Christie’s Europe, Middle East, Russia and India. Bertold Müeller was appointed managing director, Christie‘s Continental Europe, Middle East, Russia and India.

Sotheby’s appointed Adam Chinn as its chief operating officer.

Harry Dalmeny was appointed UK chairman of Sotheby’s.

Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro was appointed curator of the 2018 São Paulo Biennial.

Jen Graves resigned as art critic for The Stranger.

The 2017 Spring/Break Art Show will take place over two floors at 4 Times Square.

Tim Youd is now represented by the Cristin Tierney Gallery.

Washburn Gallery will vacate its space at 20 West 57th Street amid speculation that the building will be demolished for redevelopment.

Christie’s announced that it will open a new, 5,400-square-foot space in Beverly Hills, California.

Accolades

Hans Haacke, “Gift Horse” (2014), horse: bronze with black patina and wax finish stainless steel fasteners and supports, bow: 5mm flexible LED display stainless steel armature polycarbonate face, 15 ft 3 in x 14 ft 1 in x 5 ft 5 in (© Hans Haacke / Artists Rights Society, ARS, New York, photo by Hans Haacke, courtesy the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York)

Hans Haacke was awarded the 2017 Roswitha Haftmann Prize.

Günter Herzog was awarded the 2017 Art Cologne Prize.

Opportunities

The Lower East Side Printshop is accepting applications for its one-year, Keyholder Residency program. Emerging artists have until March 1 to apply.

Obituaries

Marta Becket (1924–2017), dancer. Founder of the Amargosa Opera House.

Annette Cravens (unconfirmed–2017), artist and arts patron.

Henry-Louis de la Grange (1924–2017), musicologist and critic. Biographer of Gustav Mahler.

Buchi Emecheta (1944–2017), writer.

Gwendolyn Gillen (1941–2017), sculptor.

Walter Hautzig (1921–2017), pianist.

Dame Jennifer Jenkins (1921–2017), former chair of the National Trust.

William Melvin Kelley (1937–2017), novelist.

Harry Matthews (1930–2017), writer.

Howard Frank Mosher (1942–2017), novelist.

David Shepard (1940–2017), film preservationist.

Rob Stewart (1979–2017), filmmaker. Best known for Sharkwater (2006).

Tzvetan Todorov (1939–2017), literary theorist and historian.

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