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Russian artist allegedly beaten by police

Plus: Phillips raises threshold for buyer’s premium | Director of Scottish National Gallery to retire | Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego names new director | and recommended reading

18 May 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Pyotr Pavlensky suffers cracked ribs after alleged police beating | Russian artist Pyotr Pavlensky, who was arrested by authorities last year after setting fire to the doors of a government building, has allegedly been beaten by police whilst in transit between jail and a court hearing. According to Pavlensky’s lawyer, Pavlensky has been left with several broken ribs as a result of the treatment. ‘Every breath gives me pain,’ the artist stated in a letter posted on Facebook.

Phillips raises threshold for buyer’s premium | Phillips has upped the thresholds for its buyer’s premium to bring it into line with Sotheby’s, reports The Art Newspaper. The new strategy means that buyers will need to add an extra 25 per cent to any work with a hammer price of up to $200,000, having previously set the upper threshold for this rate at $100,000. As TAN’s report states, Christie’s, which has stuck to the $100,000 mark, is left ‘looking relatively cheap.’

Director of Scottish National Gallery to retire | Michael Clarke, who has headed the Scottish National Gallery since 2001, is to retire in September. He first joined the Scottish National Galleries in 1984, and has since led numerous initiatives, including the Playfair Project, which linked the SNG with the neighbouring Royal Scottish Academy building.

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego names new director | Kathryn Kanjo has been appointed director and CEO of San Diego’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Kanjo will replace Hugh Davies, who has headed the museum since 1983. She is currently deputy director of the institution, and so is well placed to oversee MCASD’s ambitious expansion plans over the next few years.

Recommended reading | The Art Newspaper carries a report on the opening of the Palestinian Museum, which as previously reported here, will not be exhibiting any objects for the time being. Meanwhile at The Guardian, art critic Adrian Searle meets Turner Prize winner Martin Creed on a visit to Hauser & Wirth in Somerset. ‘I keep hair,’ Creed tells Searle. ‘It isn’t a methodical “I’m gonna keep all my hair” thing. I think I’ll just try making a modest wee sculpture with it.’ Interesting…

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