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The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

15 March 2018

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

With the prospect of negotiations between North Korea and the United States being hinted at for the first time,  Domesday scenarios are perhaps beginning to recede. But can Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un ever see eye to eye? Step forward Oliver Wainwright, the architecture critic of the Guardian, who suggests an interesting potential icebreaker.


Unfortunate news from Russell Crowe, who is auctioning off some of his personal possessions to pay the balance of the settlement agreed in his divorce from Danielle Spencer. In the sale, which is bluntly titled ‘The Art of Divorce’, Crowe will be selling off paintings such as Monkey (1964), by Sidney Nolan, as well as rather more idiosyncratic items. The latter include prop horses from Gladiator, a pair of cased duelling pistols and, since he is after all a film star, a dinosaur skull.


The opening of the Picasso exhibition at Tate Modern has received unanimously positive reviews aross the board, but, to quote Bhupen Khakhar, the subject of a less well-received retrospective at the museum last year, you can’t please everyone. On ArtLyst, Spirit de la Mare and Conrad Armstrong have criticised the Tate for opening a show devoted to an artist not known for his stellar treatment of women on…International Women’s Day. ‘It is distasteful and disrespectful to ignore the violence and pain these women went through on such a historical day,’ they wrote.


Pity Waldemar Januszczak of the Sunday Times, who recently visited Tracey Emin at her new Margate studio, he received a lashing from both the icy Thanet winds and the artist’s tongue. After asking whether Emin’s work has entered a ‘post sex’ phase he was given a furious dressing down that makes him feel like a ‘naughty schoolboy’ being chastised by a ‘matron in a boarding school’. ‘That’s told me,’ he wrote. ‘Yes, it has,’ Emin responded, not without justification.


Damien Hirst has sometimes been described as big-headed, but never quite so sculpturally as in a new work by the duo Danger Dave and Christian Rager. The Art Newspaper reports that the pair have installed a gigantic likeness of a snorkle-swaddled Hirst’s head on a beach on Australia’s West Coast known for its shark sightings. If nothing else, it certainly seems a more inventive seaside attraction than Hirst’s own contribution to the genre.

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.