Our daily round-up of news from the art world
Hilla Becher (1934–2015) | Photographer Hilla Becher has died aged 81. Becher, who often worked in partnership with her late husband Bernd, was known for her images of industrial architecture. The Bechers’ achievements are widely credited with paving the way for the wave of German photographers who emerged from Düsseldorf’s Kunstakademie, where they taught the likes of Thomas Struth, Andreas Gursky and Candida Höfer.
Venice to Sell Masterpieces in Order to Balance Books | The mayor of Venice has provoked a ‘stupor’ in Italy by declaring that the municipality is to sell works in the city collection to help pay off a mountain of public debt, reports Le Journal des Arts. The masterpieces in question are thought to be Klimt’s Judith II (Salome) and Chagall’s Rabbi of Vitebsk. Venice has a debt of €60 million: whether the forthcoming sales will make a dent remains to be seen.
Hirshhorn Museum Receives $2 million Donation | The Hirshhorn Museum has received the biggest donation in its history, courtesy of trustee Joleen Julis and her husband Mitch. The money will be put towards a ‘Future Fund’ aimed at redesigning the museum’s lobby and sculpture garden. The happy announcement comes just 10 days after the death of Olga, the widow of founder Joseph Hirshhorn.
Gargoyles Modelled on Charlie Hebdo Cartoonists Unveiled in France | Gargoyles modelled on two of the cartoonists shot dead in the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January have been unveiled on the walls of a 13th-century church in La Rochelle, reports Le Figaro. The effigies are intended as a gesture to promote artistic freedom of speech. As for the aesthetic worth of the likenesses, readers will have to judge for themselves.