Our daily round-up of news from the art world
Exhibition attendance figures published for 2016 | The Art Newspaper has published its annual attendance survey, confirming that Christo’s site specific ‘Floating Piers’ installation was the world’s most visited work of art last year. The work, which consisted of fabric-covered pontoons spanning the waters of an Italian lake, attracted a total of 1.2m people over the course of its 16-day run. The survey also highlighted an intriguing change in trends at New York’s museums, with the Whitney hosting no less than five of the city’s ten most visited exhibitions in 2016. The Royal Academy’s ‘Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse’ proved to be last year’s most popular paying exhibition in London, attracting around 5,100 visitors per day.
Arts Council England to investigate benefit of the arts to children | In his first speech since taking up his new post at the head of Arts Council England, Nicholas Serota is to announce a new investigation into children’s experience of art and culture. As the Guardian points out, the investigation comes at a moment of great debate over the value of a creative education. Serota has called for all children to ‘get the kind of opportunities that are currently available only in the best of schools’.
Iranian gallery pulls out of Aipad Photography Show citing travel ban | An Iranian art gallery has pulled out of exhibiting at New York’s Aipad Photography Show later this week, citing President Trump’s recently proposed move to prevent citizens of several Muslim majority countries from entering the USA. A short statement on the gallery’s website states: ‘Due to the recent travel ban and the uncertainty of international travel from countries identified in the ban, Ag Galerie, Tehran, is unable to participate in the Photography Show this year.’ According to the New York Times, the space that would have housed Ag Galerie’s stand at the show will host only a single sheet of paper explaining why it has been left vacant.
Restored Gainsborough painting returns to view after attack | A painting by Thomas Gainsborough that was damaged after a man attacked it with a sharp object earlier this month has gone back on display at London’s National Gallery. Mr and Mrs William Hallett (‘The Morning Walk’) received relatively minor damage, allowing for a rapid restoration. Keith Gregory, the man accused of attacking the painting, has been released on bail after appearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court shortly after the incident. He will appear before a higher court next month.
Suspect arrested in connection with artist’s murder | Police in Washington D.C. have arrested a man in connection with the murder of artist Corrina Mehiel, reports NBC News. El Hadji Alpha Madiou Toure, 28, was taken into police custody on Monday night and charged with first degree murder. Police described Toure as ‘a fugitive from another jurisdiction for an outstanding warrant’.