Wooden figure of Jesus Christ bought by Italian government for £2.5m is a
fake, not Michelangelo:
Tomaso Montanari, Professor of Art history at Naples University, has criticised the Italian government for spending £2.5 million on a wooden sculpture of Christ which they believe to be by Michelangelo. The Culture Ministry, which has been forced to cut its budget and jobs recently, bought the sculpture without a third party opinion, and critics argue that Michelangelo never used the style employed in the sculpture. Since its purchase late last year, the figure has toured Italy and been seen by 60,000 people – including the Pope.
Louvre Abu Dhabi to preview exhibition:
The beginning of construction on the Louvre Abu Dhabi, due to open 2013, was celebrated on Tuesday this week by an exhibition featuring 19 works from the new collection, only 18 months young, including two Manets and a Mondrian. The French President Nicolas Sarkozy attended, which is unsurprising considering that Abu Dhabi is paying the Louvre $555 million (£348.6 million) for the use of its name, as well as for loans from its collection and management advice.
Director of the Art Institute of Chicago hopes to achieve free entry:
Having only just raised the entrance fee by 50% on Saturday to $18 (£11.50), Art Institute Director James Cuno has indicated that discussions are taking place with the trustees to set up a $250 million (£157 million) endowment which would eliminate the need for entry-fee revenue, allowing free entry for the public. Cuno is optimistic following the success of the fund-raising for the new Modern Wing.
Honk Kong: Christie's sale of Southeast Asian Art beats its estimates, following similarly encouraging results at Sotheby's last month:
HK$181.7 million (£14.7 million), double the pre-sale estimate, was raised as 34 of the 38 lots were sold in the Southeast Asian art sale. The trend set by the Sotheby’s auction last month continued, with works by Chinese artists attracting the highest bids. A painting by Sanyu fetched a record HK$42.1 million (£3.4 million), while fellow Chinese artist Zao Wou-ki’s 'Nous Deux' was the second most expensive at HK$35.4 million (£2.8 million).
Sikhs are claiming treasures in the Royal Collection taken from India in the days of the Raj:
A Sikh rights group based in Slough has written to the Queen asking for ‘access rights and the eventual return’ of items such as religious writings and swords and armour belonging to the Sikh gurus. They claim that they were plundered from India during the British rule and are now in the Royal Collection, part of which is housed in Windsor Castle. Spokesmen from the Royal Collection and the Royal Archives are denying knowledge of their possession.
A Henry Moore 'shelter' drawing almost doubles last record price:
A drawing of people huddled in a London Underground station during the Blitz in 1942 went for almost four times its pre-sale estimate to smash the record price reached at auction for a Moore ‘shelter’ drawing. The drawing was from the collection of the composer Sir Arthur Bliss and his wife, Lady Bliss, and fetched £223,250, almost doubling the previous highest price of £120,000.
Musée Magritte opens in Brussels
The house in Brussels where René Magritte had his most productive years has been transformed into a museum dedicated to the artist, and will house the largest single collection of his works in the world. As well as his works of art, a collection of his personal effects, photos, film and over 400 documents which catalogue his life are also on display.
Obama rings changes for White House art:
President Obama is making sweeping changes to the art exhibited on the walls of the White House, and is looking to increase the proportion of art by African-American, Asian, Hispanic and female artists. Artists whose works that have already been borrowed include Alma Thomas, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.
Wall Street Journal article
Chapmans rebuild Emin's tent?
Jake and Dinos Chapman have used the unusual platform of the Hay Literary Festival to announce that they have re-made Tracy Emin’s famous Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995. The work was destroyed in 2004 by a fire in an East End warehouse that also claimed over 100 pieces from Charles Saatchi’s famous collection, including works by the Chapman brothers and Damien Hirst. The Chapmans remade the work they lost, Hell, but risk the wrath of Emin in re-creating her tent, a job she was offered by the Saatchi Gallery for a fee of £1 million and turned down saying that it would be ‘morally wrong’ to recreate the work without the original ‘inspiration and inclination’.
East London again the stage as emerging artists work harder to combat the slump:
Students leaving the art colleges of London, such as St. Martins and The Royal College of Art, are taking extra steps to flaunt their art in an effort to prevent the recession from denting their sales. Similar to the catalyst for Damien Hirst’s Freeze warehouse exhibition in the summer of 1988, which featured artists from Goldsmiths and is often cited as the beginning of the YBA movement, painting students from the Royal College have created a show titled Through the Wall, to be shown at the Rochelle School in Shoreditch from June 17 to 25.
Exhibition titled elle@centrepompidou presents female art at the Pompidou Centre:
On Wednesday the Pompidou Centre opened a year-long exhibition titled elle@centrepompidou, featuring 500 works done by 200 female artists. No works by male artists will be on show in the permanent galleries until the 24th May 2010, almost a year on from the start of the exhibition. The curator Camille Morineau has described her show as ‘a revolutionary gesture of affirmative action’.
San Diego Director to move to Seattle
The Director of the San Diego Museum of Art since 2004, Derrick Cartwright, will move to the Seattle Art Museum in the autumn, replacing the current Director Mimi Gates, who is retiring at the end of June after 15 years at the helm. The head of the Seattle search committee said Cartwright had the ‘perfect combination of an accomplished track record and a bold vision for the future’.
LA's MOCA cuts jobs and exhibits to balance budget:
Los Angles’ Museum of Contemporary Art has cancelled four exhibitions and cut 17 jobs in an attempt to balance the budget for the fiscal year. Their budget for the year has been cut by almost a quarter from $20 million (£12.5 million) to $15.5 million (£9.7 million), leading to suggestions of a merger with the LA County Museum of Art.
The Pauline and Daniel Auerbach ARTISTS WITHOUT STUDIOS PRIZE announced:
The Ben Uri Gallery has announced a new prize that will offer four artists residency and the chance to exhibit their work. The studios have been created by dividing up the exhibition space at the gallery, and will be dismantled to make space for the final show. Artists under the age of 28 without studios of their own are invited to apply, and a panel of three judges will decide the four winners. The residency will take place from 11 August-6 September 2009 and the exhibition will be held from the 1-6 September 2009. For further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Art grant for ‘Cultural Leadership’ to benefit organisations across the UK
An award of £260,000 has been given by the Government-funded Cultural Leadership Programme to promote leadership skills in the cultural sector, estimated to be worth £23 billion to the UK economy.
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