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Art Movements

This week in art news: the 12th-century Grand Al-Nuri Mosque was destroyed in Mosul, Leonardo DiCaprio handed over Picasso and Basquiat paintings implicated in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad fund scandal, and an anonymous artist painted bathing suits on Antony Gormley’s beach figures.

One of Antony Gormley's "Another Place" figures following the recent vandalism (photo by @chris_henry_photos/Instagram)
One of Antony Gormley’s “Another Place” figures following the recent vandalism (photo by @chris_henry_photos/Instagram)

Art Movements is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world. Subscribe to receive these posts as a weekly newsletter.

The iconic Grand Al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul, Iraq, and its distinctive “hunchback” minaret, were destroyed during the Battle of Mosul. Iraqi and US officials blamed ISIS; the terror group blamed US forces.

Leonardo DiCaprio has handed over paintings by Picasso and Basquiat that were given to him by a financier involved in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad fund scandal to the US Justice Department. Authorities in the US are hoping to recover some $540 million they claim were stolen from the fund.

Antony Gormley’s outdoor installation of life-size human figures on a beach in Liverpool, “Another Place” (1997), was painted with colorful swimsuits by an anonymous artist. Several were tagged with the name “Mokie.” One was also inscribed with the phrase, “I am art.” Gormley has requested that the sculptures’ new and unsanctioned paint jobs be removed.

Three men were charged with selling $400,000 worth of fake Damien Hirst prints. One of them, Vincent Lopreto, was recently arrested in New Orleans and had previously served time in prison in New York for selling forged Hirst works. He faces up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted this time.

Over 75 Nazi artifacts were discovered by Argentine police during a raid on a collector’s home in suburban Buenos Aires. The objects were stored in a secret room hidden behind a bookcase.

Hidden trove of Nazi artifacts discovered in Argentina (courtesy Ministerio de Seguridad de la Nación Argentina)

Thieves stole artworks worth $12 million from a storage unit in Sunnyside, Queens, including pieces by Frank Stella and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

On June 13, nearly every employee of the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art — five full-time staff members, at least two part-time workers, and seven contract workers — resigned in protest of alleged mismanagement by the institution’s executive director, David Dadone.

The Irish artist Richard Mosse says he was arrested by Greek police while observing an anti-refugee rally on the island of Chios. He was released after being held overnight at a local jail.

Shortly after it was installed outside Cairo’s opera house, a sculpture of Marilyn Monroe by artist Ehab Al Asiouty became the subject of widespread ridicule, with many likening it to Seward Johnson’s infamous “Forever Marilyn.”

A local MP in Dover has filed an application for listed building status for the structure where Banksy recently painted his “Brexit” mural; the building had been slated for demolition to make way for an urban renewal project.

The charity Art UK plans to create an online database for all 170,000 public sculptures in the UK by 2020.

New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a plan to add a glass curtain wall to the Brutalist addition at the back of the Brooklyn Museum.

Norway’s government abandoned “Memory Wound,” a long-planned memorial by artist Jonas Dahlber to the victims of the 2011 massacre on the island of Utøya, due to opposition and a lawsuit from local residents.

Rendering of Jonas Dahlberg, “22 July Memorial at Sørbråten” (courtesy Jonas Dahlberg Studio)
Rendering of Jonas Dahlberg, “22 July Memorial at Sørbråten” (courtesy Jonas Dahlberg Studio)

Transactions

The Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros will donate 119 works to five museums: 83 pieces will go to the Blanton Museum of Art, 25 to the Denver Art Museum; the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston will receive seven; the Hispanic Society Museum & Library will receive an 18th-century armchair; and the Museo de Arte de Lima will receive a portrait painting by Jose Gil de Castro y Morales.

Philanthropist David Rubenstein donated $18.5 million to the National Park foundation for a major renovation of the Lincoln Memorial.

Dr. Dre will donate $10 million for a performing arts complex at the new Compton High School.

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery revealed details of its forthcoming, $80-million expansion.

The Anderson Collection at Stanford University was gifted 13 works for its permanent collection by Bill Jensen, Manuel Neri, and Mary Weatherford.

The Cleveland Museum of Art acquired 11 works, including a nearly 14-foot-wide photograph by Richard Mosse, three Japanese porcelain dishes from the Edo period, and a limestone statue of Saint John the Baptist by Jan Crocq from around 1500.

Dish with Maple Leaves in Waves, Japanese, Edo period (1615–1868), Genroku/Shōtoku eras (1688−1716), porcelain with underglaze blue and overglaze color enamel (Hizen ware, Nabeshima type); diameter 7 3/4 in (courtesy the Cleveland Museum of Art)
Dish with Maple Leaves in Waves, Japanese, Edo period (1615–1868), Genroku/Shōtoku eras (1688−1716), porcelain with underglaze blue and overglaze color enamel (Hizen ware, Nabeshima type); diameter 7 3/4 in (courtesy the Cleveland Museum of Art)

The National Lottery has given London’s National Portrait Gallery £9.4 million (~$11.9 million) toward its planned, £35.5 million (~$45 million) development project.

The Pinakothek der Moderne has acquired five works by Anselm Kiefer.

The Frick Pittsburgh adopted a five-year strategic plan and acquired three new pieces for its collection.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art acquired new works, including contemporary video art, 18th-century American decorative art, and a stained-glass window from 16th-century France.

The Corning Museum of Glass established the David Whitehouse Artist Residency for Research, which will welcome its first resident in 2018.

The Yale Center for British Art acquired Yinka Shonibare MBE’s sculpture “Mrs Pinckney and the Emancipated Birds of South Carolina” (2017).

Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA), "Mrs Pinckney and the Emancipated Birds of South Carolina" (2017), fiberglass mannequin, Dutch wax-printed cotton textile, birdcage, birds, leather, and globe (courtesy Yale Center for British Art, photo by Stephen White)
Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA), “Mrs Pinckney and the Emancipated Birds of South Carolina” (2017), fiberglass mannequin, Dutch wax-printed cotton textile, birdcage, birds, leather, and globe (courtesy Yale Center for British Art, photo by Stephen White)

Transitions

The Alice Austen House on Staten Island was designated a landmark for LGBTQ history. Austen lived there for decades with her longtime partner Gertrude Tate.

ABC No Rio completed the demolition of its former building. The pioneering art space plans to build a new home on the now-empty lot at 156 Rivington Street.

Twenty-three new sites were added to the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves, while the United States withdrew 17 sites from the program.

Sylvie Patry will leave her post as the chief curator at the Barnes Foundation to become the deputy director for curatorial affairs and collections at the Musée d’Orsay.

Lower East Side gallery Envoy Enterprises will close on August 4.

Ireland’s National College of Art and Design appointed Sarah Glennie — currently the director of the Irish Museum of Modern Art — to be its new director.

Jonathon Glus was hired to lead the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission.

John Outram's Isle of Dogs Storm Water Pumping Station (1987–88) in London (photo by Tom Bastin/Flickr)
John Outram’s Isle of Dogs Storm Water Pumping Station (1987–88) in London (photo by Tom Bastin/Flickr)

Architect John Outram’s postmodern Isle of Dogs Storm Water Pumping Station in London was awarded a Grade-II listing.

Jan Prasens was named a managing director for Sotheby’s Europe.

Yassaman Haj Mohammad Ali was appointed a client advisory manager for Phillips in London.

William J. Chiego, who served as director of the McNay Art Museum for 25 years, was appointed its Director Emeritus.

Erin B. Coe will leave her position as the director of the Hyde Collection to become the director of the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State.

London gallery The Sunday Painter will relocate from Peckham to Vauxhall.

The Fine Art Dealers Association elected Steve Hartman as its new president.

CalArts hired Dimitri Chamblas to be the school’s new dean of dance.

Heather Woofter was appointed the director of the College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design at Washington University in St. Louis.

Accolades

Benjamin Sullivan won the 2017 BP Portrait Award for a painting of his wife nursing their baby daughter.

Artists Martha Atienza and Sam Pulitzer won the 2017 Baloise Art Prize.

The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage announced the recipients of its 53 grants for 2017.

Artist and women’s rights activist Sheba Chhachhi won the 2017 Prix Thun for Art and Ethics Award.

Eighteen artists were named Kresge Artist Fellows for 2017.

The National Endowment for the Arts named nine artists as its National Heritage Fellows for 2017.

Obituaries

Outdoor sculptures by Olbram Zoubek in Litomyšl, Czech Republic (photo by Petr Doležal, via Wikimedia Commons)
Outdoor sculptures by Olbram Zoubek in Litomyšl, Czech Republic (photo by Petr Doležal, via Wikimedia Commons)

John G. Avildsen (1935–2017), filmmaker. Best known for directing Rocky (1977).

Carla Fendi (1938–2017), fashion mogul.

A.R. Gurney (1930–2017), playwright.

Branden Klayko (1984–2017), urbanist, journalist, and former editor at The Architect’s Newspaper.

Prodigy, real name Albert Johnson (1974–2017), rapper. Best known as one half of the duo Mobb Deep.

Khadija Saye (unconfirmed–2017), artist. She was one of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire in London last week.

Olbram Zoubek (1926–2017), sculptor.

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