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The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

13 February 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.

It must take guts to correct Jasper Johns, but in a New York Times interview Deborah Solomon found herself in the unenviable position of having to bring the grand old man of American painting up to speed.

Speaking on the eve of his retrospective at the Broad Museum in Los Angeles, Johns revealed that the main reason he had agreed to show at the institution was the chance to reach a younger audience. ‘I like that the show is free,’ he said, apparently unaware that, erm, it isn’t. ‘I was sorry to have to break the news to him,’ Salomon wrote. ‘An adult ticket for “Something Resembling Truth” costs $25. There is no discount for students at all.’


Last week saw the Conservative Party’s Black and White Ball take place at the Natural History Museum in London. Your correspondent cannot be the first to point out that, for a political party intent on attracting younger voters, an institution celebrated for its impressive collection of fossils might not have been the wisest choice of venue…


Many artists exhibiting with Gagosian might claim to be big cheeses, but few have done so quite as lyrically as Glenn Brown, whose works are currently on show at the gallery’s Mayfair venue. ‘People like eating things which are slightly unpleasant’, he told the Telegraph’s Alastair Sooke. ‘[My work] is the stilton cheese or ripe camembert of painting: it’s not to everybody’s taste.’


To New York, where a show called ‘Cats on Glass’ opens this week. Its name is pretty much self-explanatory; the display will incorporate a (literal) glass ceiling, above which, says The Times, a clan of cats will ‘prowl, or sit and lick their paws’. ‘Cat and art lovers alike will be surrounded by stunning Instagram-ready rooms of feline-inspired creativity,’ promises the exhibition promoter – a cat-litter company, no less.


Speaking of cats, author Dick King-Smith has some news for Anish Kapoor…

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