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The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

17 April 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.

In an interview in the Sunday Times, Rose Wylie discussed achieving recognition for her paintings at a late age, Gillian Wearing (‘she has a good face’), and the nature of artistic skill. Another topic of conversation was her taste in footwear. ‘I used to wear high heels as a student, and I used to wear them gardening,’ she said. ‘I just fancied them. I liked the idea of wearing high heels in a non-high-heel context.’


As previously reported in this column, Brad Pitt has taken an arty turn since separating from Angelina Jolie. Last year, he was spotted hanging out with British artist Thomas Houseago and immersing himself in the art of sculpture. Now, according to the Sun, he has gone one step further, and is reportedly dating MIT professor, architect and artist Neri Oxman. ‘He is mesmerised by her intellect, her cool philosophy on life and of course their shared love of arts and design’, an ‘insider’ told the red top.


Austrian gallerist Thaddaeus Ropac scored a coup last week by securing representation of the estate of Joseph Beuys. Speaking to the press, Ropac discussed how, in his youth, he had interned with the felt and fat-obsessed artist. But he admitted that he had been far from instrumental to the development of Beuys’s work: Ropac’s period at the artist’s studio in Dusseldorf was mostly spent ‘schlepping beer’.


Congratulations to New York Magazine art critic Jerry Saltz, who has won a Pulitzer Prize for criticism. As soon as the news was announced, Saltz took to Twitter to thank his wife, New York Times critic Roberta Smith, and his editors for helping him find his place as an art commentator. He also gave a shout out to his readers. ‘I can’t write if writing is without you’, he said. ‘But am, of course,’ he added. ‘I’m on deadline right now.’


The Hollywood Reporter has run an offbeat feature in which latter-day Picasso Kanye West converses with art dealer and interior designer Axel Vervoordt. The exchange featured no shortage of revelations. The pair, who first met at TEFAF Maastricht in 2013 (they had an ‘immediate connection’ according to Vervoordt), discuss everything from TV to literature (West says he is writing a ‘philosophy book’) to creativity itself. ‘The freer you are, the more creative you will be. Ego is limiting’, says Vervoordt. ‘I fight with that every day,’ comes the rapper’s response.

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