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Art Outlook

7 May 2015

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

Madrid museums clash over key paintings

Spain’s National Heritage office has its eye on four paintings in the Prado for a new Royal Collection museum due to open in 2016. But the Prado isn’t giving them up without a fight. They claim the paintings were officially transferred to the museum in 1943, but the Heritage office maintains it was just a ‘temporary storage’ arrangement.

Artists speak out against the Frick’s expansion plans

The debate over the Frick Collection’s proposed expansion – which would involve building a new wing on the site of its much-loved garden – has been simmering for some time, and was reignited recently when a group of artists including Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman and Frank Stella wrote an open letter to the city’s mayor urging him to block the works.

Party week in New York: Michelle Obama opens the new Whitney Museum…

The First Lady came to town and the Empire State Building lit up to celebrate the reopening of New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art. The new building, designed by Renzo Piano, has been the subject of a huge amount of hype – and by all accounts it seems to have lived up to it.

…and celebrities channel China at the Met Gala

The Metropolitan Museum won back the limelight at the weekend with its star-studded annual Gala. Guests were invited to don ‘Chinese inspired’ outfits to celebrate the museum’s latest exhibition. Cue some rather interesting interpretations of the brief, from Sarah Jessica Parker’s flaming headdress to Rihanna’s fluffy golden avalanche of a coat.

Dipping into the Venice Biennale

Meanwhile in Europe, the art world elite has been seeing in the 56th edition of the Venice Biennale with the usual flurry of press releases, party dresses and champagne – and, for a few unsuspecting Prada Foundation guests, an impromptu dip in the canal.