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Wildenstein art-dealing tax fraud trial in France suspended on technicality

Franco-American art-dealer Guy Wildenstein (L) and his lawyers Herve Temime (R) leave the Paris courthouse on January 4, 2016, after the first day in the trial of several members of the Wildenstein art-dealing dynasty on charges of tax fraud and money-laundering. Several members of the Wildenstein art-dealing dynasty went on trial in Paris on January 4 charged with stashing hundreds of millions of euros in inheritance money out of reach of the French taxman. Family patriarch Guy Wildenstein, 70, faces up to 10 years in prison for tax fraud and money laundering in a multi-generational inheritance squabble worthy of a soap opera. AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD.

PARIS (AFP).- A French court on Wednesday suspended a trial involving the Wildenstein art-dealing dynasty, accused of hiding hundreds of millions of euros in inheritance money from the taxman, on a legal technicality. Dynasty patriarch Guy Wildenstein, 70, faces up to 10 years in prison for tax fraud and money laundering in a multi-generational inheritance squabble worthy of a soap opera, which has been dubbed "Dallas-Upon-Seine". The trial opened in Paris on Monday, with Wildenstein's lawyers arguing there was a legal precedent which demanded the case be suspended. Franco-American Guy Wildenstein is the heir of three generations of wealthy art dealers and thoroughbred racehorse breeders. French tax authorities have demanded a tax adjustment, saying he owes them more than 550 million euros ($600 million) in family money hidden after the death of his father Daniel in 2001 and brother Alec in 2008. Lawyers for Guy and his late brother have argued that carrying out the tax ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld suspected of hiding 20 mn euros from French taxman: report   Vintage gelatin silver exhibition prints by Christer Strömholm on view at Pace/MacGill Gallery   India's Mumbai, home to famous neighborhood in "Slumdog Millionaire, to get 'world's first slum museum'

This file photo taken on March 28, 2015 shows German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld arriving for the annual Rose Ball at the Monte-Carlo Sporting Club.

PARIS (AFP).- Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is suspected of having hidden more than 20 million euros ($21.5 mn) from French tax authorities using complex transactions between various companies, L'Express weekly reported Wednesday. French authorities declined to comment citing the privacy of tax affairs. A spokesman for Lagerfeld, who is artistic director for fashion house Chanel as well as having his own label, also declined to comment when contacted by AFP. French tax authorities "suspect that in the space of six years the man with the ever-present black sunglasses omitted to declare 20 million euros" in France, wrote L'Express. Lagerfeld, also an artist and photographer, is known for his trademark dark shades. An investigation is focusing on the 7L bookshop in Paris, which Lagerfeld founded in 1999. According to L'Express, the bookstore houses a photo studio owned by a British-based company, ... More

Untitled, 1962. Vintage gelatin silver print mounted to Masonite image, paper and mount, 23 x 19 3/4 inches. © Christer Strömholm; courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York and Grundemark Nilsson Gallery, Berlin and Stockholm.

NEW YORK, NY.- Pace/MacGill Gallery presents Christer Strömholm, a selection of vintage gelatin silver exhibition prints by the Swedish photographer. Featuring portraits of the Parisian transgender community from Strömholm’s signature series, Les Amies de Place Blanche (1958-68), alongside images from his expeditions to France and Spain, the exhibition marks the premier presentation of the artist’s work at the gallery and will be on view from January 7 through February 20, 2016. Revered as the father of Scandinavian photography, Christer Strömholm (1918-2002) and his contributions to the history of the medium remain relatively unknown to audiences outside of Europe. Born in Stockholm, Strömholm discovered the expressive possibilities of photography via the graphic arts in the late 1940s and ... More

An Indian commuter climbs a flight of steps decorated with a colourful pattern in Mumbai on January 6, 2016. AFP PHOTO/ Indranil MUKHERJEE

MUMBAI (AFP).- The teeming Indian metropolis of Mumbai -- home to the neighbourhood made famous by the film "Slumdog Millionaire" -- is to get the world's first slum museum, organisers said on Tuesday. The museum will showcase some of the myriad of objects that are produced every year in Dharavi, one of Asia's biggest slums and the setting for Danny Boyle's hit 2008 movie. "It will be the first museum ever created in a slum," Spanish artist Jorge Rubio, who is behind the initiative, told AFP. The small mobile museum will open in February for two months and display everything from pottery and textiles to recycled items, Rubio added. The organisers of 'Design Museum Dharavi' say they want to challenge people's perceptions of slums by highlighting the creative talent that resides in them. More than a million people live in the maze of alleyways that make up Dharavi with many working in the area's mini- ... More

Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei to display bamboo, kites in first French exhibition   One of Italy's leading post-war cinema stars, Silvana Pampanini, dead at 90 according to local media   Music, film impresario Robert Stigwood, who produced "Saturday Night Fever", dies aged 81

Chinese activist and artist Ai Weiwei waits before a press conference in Athens on January 1, 2016. Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei paid on December 28, 2015 a holiday visit to refugees and migrants flocking to the Greek island of Lesbos, tweeting out photos and videos in appeals for their plight.

PARIS (AFP).- Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei will for the first time display his creations in France at the upscale Parisian department store Bon Marche, the emporium announced on its website Wednesday. The exhibition, dubbed "Er Xi, Air de Jeux" ("Child's Play") will run from January 16 to February 20 and will centre on the theme of childhood -- with pieces including huge bamboo structures, 3D dragons and kites. "Exhibiting at the Bon Marche is using a new medium, a big store, to meet a new audience, as large as a museum's, but which in principle does not come to see art," the Berlin-based artist said on the store's French web page. The Bon Marche website offers previews of the works -- with ... More

This 1953 photo taken at an unknown location shows Italian actress Silvana Pampanini and French actor Robert Lamoureux during the shooting of the film "L'Incantevole nemica"

ROME (AFP).- Silvana Pampanini, an Italian actress and beauty who was one of the country's leading post-war cinema stars, has died at the age of 90, local media reported on Wednesday. Pampanini, who had been hospitalised since October according to Corriere della Sera, starred in over 50 films during her 1950s heyday. She came to prominence as a Miss Italy contestant in 1946 (her failure to win caused a tabloid outcry) and went on to work with a long list of famous film figures, including Buster Keaton, Marcello Mastroianni, Alberto Sordi, Toto and Jean Gabin. With her voluptuous, wide-eyed looks, Nini Pampan, as she was nicknamed in France, became a symbol of Italian beauty around the world. The brunette was seen as having paved the way for fellow screen sirens ... More

Robert Stigwood produced the hit film "Grease".

LONDON (AFP).- Robert Stigwood, who managed bands including the Bee Gees and Cream and produced the hit films "Grease" and "Saturday Night Fever", has died aged 81, friends and his godson said Tuesday. Spencer Gibb, son of Bee Gees star Robin Gibb, reported Stigwood's death on Facebook. "I would like to share the sad news with you all that my godfather, and the longtime manager of my family, Robert Stigwood, has passed away," he wrote. He called Stigwood "a creative genius with a very quick and dry wit". "Robert was the driving force behind the Bee Gees' career, as well as having discovered Cream, and subsequently managing Eric Clapton," he said. "I would like to thank Robert for his kindness to me over the years as well as his mentorship to my family. 'Stiggy', you will be missed." Born in Adelaide in Australia in 1934, he moved to England in 1954 and started a small theatrical agency. He then got involved in m ... More

Oklahoma City Museum of Art receives 50 photos from Brett Weston Archive and Christian K. Keesee Collection   One-person exhibition of over 60 paintings and works on paper by Ilse D'Hollander opens at Sean Kelly   Survey of paintings by Beijing-based painter Zhu Jinshi opens at Blum & Poe

Brett Weston (American, 1911-1993). sculpture, Europe, ca. 1970. Gelatin silver print. Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Gift of the Christian Keesee Collection, 2015.025, © The Brett Weston Archive.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA.- The Oklahoma City Museum of Art has received 50 gelatin silver prints by American photographer Brett Weston (1911-1993) from the Brett Weston Archive and Christian Keesee Collection. The photographs in the donation were taken between 1937 and 1980 and consist predominantly of the natural and material abstractions for which the artist became known. Photographs such as lily pad, water, Europe (1968), terraced fields, Mexico (1964), and sculpture, Europe (ca. 1970) reference Brett's extensive travels. He also spent a considerable amount of time in California and Hawaii, photographing images such as lava, Hawaii (ca. 1980) and desert landscape, California (ca. 1950). "Thanks to Mr. Keesee's vision and generosity, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art has one of the largest collections ... More

Untitled, 1996. Oil on canvas, 28 x 21 5/8 inches (71 x 55 cm) © The Estate of Ilse D’Hollander. Photo: Guy Braeckman. Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sean Kelly presents a one-person exhibition of over 60 paintings and works on paper by Belgian artist Ilse D'Hollander (1968 – 1997). This will be the first comprehensive solo exhibition of D’Hollander’s remarkable body of work ever presented in the United States. An opening reception will take place on Thursday, January 7 from 6:00 to 8:00pm. Created during a very brief period, from 1989 until her early, unexpected and tragic death at the age of 29, D'Hollander’s oeuvre exhibits a highly developed sense of color, composition, scale and surface, through the use of subtle tones and pared down compositions. An artist’s artist, her canvases and works on paper favor abstraction, yet subtly allude to the everyday, hinting at nature and the landscape of the Flemish countryside where she spent the last and most productive years of her life. D’Hollander’s subtly ... More

Zhu Jinshi, Dancing with the Devil 1 (detail), 2013. Oil on canvas, 63 x 55 1/8 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo.

NEW YORK, NY.- Blum & Poe presents a survey of paintings by Beijing-based painter Zhu Jinshi. This is Zhu's first solo exhibition in New York and his second solo presentation with the gallery. Zhu’s painting practice is divided into two parts: all-over paintings which literally cover the canvases end to end with paint often the depth of the human hand, and what are known as Liu Bai paintings (direct Chinese translation: “leaving blank”). Liu Bai, a traditional aesthetic approach to compositional balance in Chinese painting, was conceived as a form of “blankness,” rather than “emptiness,” embodying great philosophical nuance. In parallel with works such as these, Zhu has recently explored the flat application of the black monochrome, with all of its minimalist and philosophical implications. One all-black painting, Kant (2015), will be on display, its one-inch deep surface scored by ... More

Christie's announces its annual Ski Sale – the only auction dedicated to ski posters worldwide   France's Pierre Boulez, world-renowned avant-garde composer who 'opened minds', dies   Hirschl & Adler Modern opens first comprehensive exhibition in America of works by Frank Walter

Alex Walter Diggelmann (1902-1987), GSTAAD. Lithograph in colours, 1934, printed by J.C. Müller, Zürich, condition A-/A; not backed, 40 x 25 in. (102 x 64 cm.). Estimate: £10,000-15,000.

LONDON.- On 21 January 2016 Christie’s will host its annual Ski Sale – the only auction dedicated to ski posters worldwide. The Ski Sale continues to present collectors with colourful, decorative and skilful vintage poster designs, perfect for anyone looking to decorate their home or chalet. The 2016 auction features a superb selection of vintage posters advertising Europe’s iconic ski resorts, as well as a striking group from the United States, Canada and New Zealand. There is a poster for every budget in The Ski Sale, with estimates ranging from £700 up to £25,000. During the early 20th century, the first resorts began competing against one another to be recognised as the most beautiful and glamorous, with some of the finest designers and artists commissioned to create stylish advertisements urging holiday-makers to visit. This resulted in a great range of ... More

Picture taken on October 17, 2008 shows French conductor and composer Pierre Boulez conducting the SWR Symphony Orchestra during the opening concert of the Donaueschinger Musiktage music festival in Donaueschingen.

PARIS (AFP).- World-renowned French conductor-composer Pierre Boulez, one of the most influential voices in modern classical music who was no stranger to controversy, has died aged 90, his family said Wednesday. A seminal figure in abstract music, Boulez constantly pushed the envelope by challenging the status quo, once suggesting: "We should burn down the opera houses." It was not that he disdained opera, but rather Boulez, who died Tuesday in Baden-Baden, Germany, felt that operatic productions had become too amateurish and catered too much to popular demand. "He helped open minds and hearts to new musical forms," said France's former culture minister Jack Lang. "He really invented a unique musical language." Intrigued by maths, Boulez composed around 30 often demanding works, notably "Le ... More

Red Sky Yellow Sunrise, Oil on paper (polaroid box cover), with metal cartridge, 3 3/4" x 3 3/16". Courtesy of Hirschl & Adler Modern, New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- The first comprehensive exhibition in America of works by the recluse artist, poet and philosopher Frank Walter (1926-2009) of Antigua will open at Hirschl & Adler Modern on Thursday January 7, 2016. More than seventy examples of painting and sculpture will be on view, many before the public for the first time. This self-taught artist spent years living in a small cabin without running water or electricity high above Antigua’s remote Ding-a-Ding Nook. His death brought to light a remarkable trove of paintings, sculpture, photographs, and constructions, along with at least 25,000 pages of his writing, that reveal a talent and intelligence not fully appreciated or understood during his lifetime. Born to a family of both African and European origin, Walter’s mixed ancestry complicated his sense of identity, a struggle that shaped both his art and life. He enjoyed an elite upbringing that nurtured his keen intellect a ... More

I would like not to reproduce but to reinvent the structure of light in a way pertinent to painting rather than to optics. Piero Dorazio

More News
Indianapolis Museum of Art announces new Deputy Director for Horticulture and Natural Resources
INDIANAPOLIS, IN.- Dr. Charles L. Venable, the IMA’s Melvin & Bren Simon Director & CEO, announced today that Jonathan M. Wright has been named the institution’s Ruth Lilly Deputy Director for Horticulture and Natural Resources following a national search. Jonathan Wright holds a bachelor’s degree from Temple University where he graduated magna cum laude in ornamental horticulture. He also completed Longwood Gardens’ Professional Gardener Program and the Getty Leadership Institute’s Museum Leaders: The Next Generation Program. He is a non-profit garden specialist who has distinguished himself in the horticultural field through his creativity and extensive knowledge of plants and international garden design. Previous to his IMA appointment, Wright was a horticulturist for nearly 12 years at The Chanticleer Foundation in Wayne, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia. ... More

Penelope Umbrico's inaugural exhibition at Bruce Silverstein Gallery opens in New York
NEW YORK, NY.- Bruce Silverstein announces their representation of Penelope Umbrico and her inaugural exhibition at the gallery. For Silvery Light, Umbrico creates an installation of new photographic and video works related to her continued practice of utilizing the limitless archive of photographic images online. This new work investigates projective and reflective light in relation to the history of photography, digital imaging technologies, and the screen as light source. In the front gallery, Umbrico has installed the video piece Four Photographs of Rays of Sunlight in Grand Central…, a collection of hundreds of iterations the artist found online of the iconic black and white photograph of sun rays through windows at Grand Central Station. Umbrico identified four versions of this original image of Grand Central Station, repeated over multiple websites selling the images ... More

University of Michigan Museum of Art presents Ferhat Özgür’s "Metamorphosis Chat"
ANN ARBOR, MI.- In Turkish artist Ferhat Özgür’s Metamorphosis Chat, two women, clearly dear friends, are chatting over a cup of tea in a traditional Turkish living room. One of the women is neatly dressed in modern clothes, wearing makeup and jewelry. Her friend’s attire, with headscarf and no other adornment, is representative of a more conservative Muslim culture. It is apparent that we are watching a “real” conversation unfold, one that is relaxed and lighthearted, as opposed to a scripted scenario. The critical moment occurs when the woman in secular dress kindly asks her friend if she ever wishes to remove her scarf to be more comfortable. While we might predict that her answer would have something to do with the scarf’s religious and cultural significance, she answers simply that she doesn’t think about removing it, as she has worn it since childhood and is used to it. ... More

Pig character in film poster gets the chop in Malaysia
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP).- Cinema posters and a billboard advertisement for a Hong Kong blockbuster film have been modified in Muslim-majority Malaysia to erase a half-man, half-pig character. "The Monkey King 2," an action-fantasy movie set to hit cinema screens during the Lunar New Year next month, has a star-studded cast including Gong Li and Aaron Kwok. It is based on a Chinese novel about a monk who travels far and wide with his three disciples, including a half-man, half-pig character called Zhu Bajie. Reports said the original posters showed the monk with all three disciples. The film's distributor Golden Screen Cinemas said the pig character was not censored on government instructions. It gave no reason for the modification. "Movie distributors have the discretion to modify the movie poster to suit the local environment," a spokeswoman told AFP on Wednesday. ... More

Influential designer Richard Sapper dies in Italy
ROME (AFP).- Richard Sapper, a hugely influential industrial designer who created everything from award-winning kitchenware and radio sets to cars and computers, has died at the age of 83. Sapper, who was born and educated in Munich, Germany but spent most of his working life in Italy, was perhaps best known for his design of iconic espresso makers, in both their stovetop and electric, capsule-based forms, for upmarket kitchenware manufacturer Alessi. He died in Milan on December 31, one of his publishers, London-based Phaidon, said on their website. His funeral was held in Milan's Lutheran church on Tuesday. His daughter Carola told the New York Times that her father had died of complications resulting from cancer. Phaidon described Sapper as "one of the most influential industrial designers of his generation", saying his best work synthesized a "formal simplicity ... More

Brittany Nelson's first solo show with Morgan Lehman Gallery opens in New York
NEW YORK, NY.- Morgan Lehman Gallery presents Brittany Nelson: The Year I Make Contact, a methodological critique of photographic material practice, and her first solo show with the gallery. This body of work is an intricate experimentation with the 19th century negative reversal process of Mordançage. Toxic mixtures of chemicals react to the silver content of the paper, subsequently destroying its intended functionality. Nelson takes the involved materials, negatives and silver gelatin, once too precious to afford experimentation, and explores their unbounded formal potential. Altering the associated process drastically, she captures a moment in the negative’s chemical activity via scanner and expands the four by five inch negative to a large-scale chromogenic print. Isolated from the reaction and its dimensionality the violence of the process is apparent ... More

1960 Olympic Gold Medal for Boxing to be featured in Olympic themed auction
BOSTON, MASS.- Extraordinary Gold winner’s medal awarded to boxer Wilbert McClure as champion of the light middleweight division in the Rome 1960 Summer Olympics will be auctioned by Boston based RR Auction. The medal features a ‘Seated Victory’ with the Colosseum in the background. The medal is set in its original cast bronze olive leaf chain, inscribed at the bottom with the name of the sport in Italian, “Pugilato.” Complete with original presentation box; the cover, interior padding, and some sides of the box are detached or loose. Includes a photo of McClure with his fellow American 1960 Olympic boxing champions, Cassius Clay and Eddie Crook, signed and inscribed in gold ink by McClure. An absolutely remarkable Olympic medal in all respects; in addition to its importance as a 1960 boxing gold medal, it holds a place in the history of the prize itself. The winner’s medals ... More

La Biennale de Montréal 2016: Title, curatorial approach and advisory team
MONTREAL.- La Biennale de Montréal announced the title of BNLMTL 2016, Le Grand Balcon [The Grand Balcony], and to introduce the three members of curator Philippe Pirotte's advisory team, Corey McCorkle, Aseman Sabet and Kitty Scott. • Corey McCorkle is an artist living and working in New York. • Aseman Sabet is an independent curator, arts writer and doctoral candidate in Art History at the Université de Montréal. • Kitty Scott is the Carol and Morton Rapp Curator, Modern and Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Canada, and co-curator of the 2018 Liverpool Biennial. Le Grand Balcon [The Grand Balcony] will be on view from 19 October 2016 to 15 January 2017. BNLMTL 2016 is presented by La Biennale de Montréal and co-produced with the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC). ... More

Exhibition of new works by Martha Tuttle on view at Tilton Gallery
NEW YORK, NY.- Tilton Gallery presents Martha Tuttle's first solo show, opening Thursday, January 7th from 6 to 8 pm. The exhibition will run until February 20th, 2016. Filled with light and space, Martha Tuttle's newest works capture the ephemeral nuances of time, spirit and nature in earthbound hanging paintings. Discreet and substantial objects, each piece has a firm hold on conveying its own statement, its own personality, what it is meant to be. In the larger works, two layers of paper, almost silk in feel, have been manipulated and engaged with by folding, rubbing, and dyeing. The artist uses pigments and colors found in the basic elements, including earth from her alternate home of New Mexico. Subtle variations in color and shadow result from the hand rubbing and folding. The outermost layer of these paintings is a loosely draped weaving. Made from hand spun ... More

Is MoMA haunted? | GHOST STORIES



On a day like today, English painter and educator Thomas Lawrence died
August 07, 1830. Sir Thomas Lawrence PRA FRS (13 April 1769 - 7 January 1830) was a leading English portrait painter and the fourth president of the Royal Academy. In this image: Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769 - 1830) Portrait of the Hon. Emily Mary Lamb (1787-1869), 1803. ©The National Gallery.

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