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Art Outlook

14 May 2015

Some of the news and comment we’ve spotted online this week

Chris Burden dies at the age of 69

In the course of his notorious career, Chris Burden allowed himself to be shot, electrocuted, incarcerated, and impaled for the sake of art. His shocking performances won him fame in the 1970s but he went on to focus on installations – the last of which is about to go on show at LACMA.

Picasso’s stepdaughter accuses dealer of theft

Catherine Hutin-Blay has accused the top art dealer Olivier Thomas of stealing from her collection of art by her stepfather, Pablo Picasso. And in a further twist, it has been suggested that some of the missing works may have been sold to Dmitry Rybolovlev, who accuses his former dealer, Yves Bouvier, of fraud…

Royal Academy gets a £50million revamp

David Chipperfield’s designs for a major redevelopment of London’s Royal Academy of Arts were released on Monday. The plan to link its Burlington House and Burlington Gardens sites will make room for a new lecture theatre, exhibition and education spaces.

John Whittingdale is the UK’s new culture secretary

He may be a source of anxiety for the BBC, but snap reactions from within the art world suggest the sector is relatively happy about the new appointment. The Museums Association’s former head of policy and communication, Maurice Davies, tweeted that Whittingdale ‘knows and cares about the brief’, and Bendor Grosvenor reassures us that he is ‘very keen on the arts’ and Caravaggio in particular.

Architects crash the Turner Prize

This year’s shortlist includes three female artists – Bonnie Camplin, Janice Kerbel and Nicole Wermers – and Assemble, a group of 18 young architects. An unusual choice, but then it wouldn’t be the Turner Prize without a bit of faux-controversy.

$179million Picasso sets new auction record

Les Femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’) became the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction when it went under the hammer at Christie’s this week. You could refurbish the Picasso Museum in Paris three times over for that amount of money…