Apollo Magazine

US museums respond to immigration order

Plus: ‘Spider Man’ art thief goes on trial in Paris | Van Gogh’s grave ‘in urgent need of restoration’ | Saloua Raouda Choucair (1916–2017) | David Moss (1945–2017) | and recommended reading

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Museums respond to US immigration order | President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending entry to the US by nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries (and all refugees) could also put museums’ scholarly exchanges and international collaborations in jeopardy, Metropolitan Museum director Thomas P. Campbell has said. The New York Times also reports that Met curators fear that many of the museum’s ties with the countries in question will be disrupted. A spokeswoman from LACMA has expressed similar concerns.

‘Spider Man’ art thief goes on trial in Paris | Vjeran Tomic, the burglar known as ‘Spider Man’ is to go on trial today, accused of orchestrating the theft of several paintings from Paris’s Palais de Tokyo in 2010. The Guardian reports that Vjeran Tomic, a Serbian national, faces 14 charges related to the robbery, in which works by Matisse, Picasso, Léger, Modigliani, and Braque worth more than €100 million were stolen. When arrested in 2011, Tomic said that he conducted the theft because he ‘liked’ the paintings.

Van Gogh’s grave ‘in urgent need of restoration’ | The council of the town of Auvers-sur-Oise, has launched a campaign to conduct urgent repairs to the church in whose graveyard both brothers are buried.. According to The Art Newspaper, the council is working with the Institut Van Gogh to raise €1.2 million to make the cemetery more accessible and repair the 13th-century church of Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption after it was damaged in a storm in 2015. So far, €100,000 has been raised.

Saloua Raouda Choucair (1916–2017) | Lebanese-born artist Saloua Raouda Choucair has died at the age of 100. Choucair, who studied at the American University in Beirut and worked in Ferdinand Léger’s Paris studio after the Second World War, is now widely recognised for her pioneering approach to Islamic art and modernism. A major retrospective at Tate Modern in 2013 brought her to global prominence. ‘She was an avant-garde who was inspired by the principles of Islamic art, but without any visual references to what people were accustomed to seeing in that art’, Choucair’s daughter Hala told the Wall Street Journal in 2013.

David Moss (1945–2017) | Antiques journalist David Moss has died at the age of 71, reports Antiques Trade GazetteMoss, who was well known in the fine art and antiques business, contributed his expertise in the field to publications such as the Daily Mail, and authored ATG‘s widely consulted ‘Dealers Dossier’ column for over 20 years.

Recommended reading | In the London Review of Books, T.J. Clark visits Tate Britain’s Paul Nash retrospective, observing that ‘surrealism, if an artist is to be influenced by it, is best taken in operatic overdoses for a very short time’. Martin Gayford in the Spectator admires Gagosian’s Michael Andrews show in London, the first substantial retrospective of his work since 2001. In the intervening years, Gayford says, even Andrews’s weaker paintings, Gayford writes ‘have quietly metamorphosed into masterpieces’. And on the New York Review of Books blog, the cartoonist and graphic novelist Chris Ware reflects on the life of Krazy Kat creator George Herriman, whose long-running and best-loved newspaper strip made its debut in 1916. ‘Krazy Kat has been described as a parable of love, a metaphor for democracy, a “surrealistic” poem, unfolding over years and years’, writes Ware. ‘It is all of these, but so much more: it is a portrait of America, a self-portrait of Herriman, and, I believe, the first attempt to paint the full range of human consciousness in the language of the comic strip’.


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