Posted inNews

Crimes of the Art

On this week’s art crime blotter: a trucker took down an Antony Gormley statue, vandals hammered a shiny public sculpture, and a Swiss dealer got in trouble for selling stolen Picassos to a Russian billionaire.

Posted inArt

Where Do Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds Begin and End?

BERKELEY, California — At Haines Gallery in San Francisco’s Financial District, I finally got to see Ai Weiwei’s notorious “Kui Hua Zi” (Sunflower Seeds). There has been much hype around Ai Weiwei and this particular installation, and seeing it caught me by surprise. The Haines Gallery installation was smaller than I expected and much calmer than the media surrounding it. Yet as I looked on, the piece and its maker’s history withdrew into the background, while its powerful implications and art historical relevance grew. It is a truly remarkable piece.