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Home at last: After 14 years the stolen Van Goghs are back in the museum

Restorer Kathrin Pilz researches 'Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen' under the microscope. Photo: Jan-Kees Steenman.

AMSTERDAM.- After an absence of 14 years, the two paintings by Van Gogh that were feared lost are again on display in the Van Gogh Museum. The works were stolen from the collection in 2002 by thieves who needed only a few minutes for the entire operation. The theft was a major blow to the art world. Last September, a team from the Italian Guardia di Finanza stumbled upon the two paintings during a house search in the vicinity of Naples. Thanks to the concerted efforts of the Italian and Dutch authorities, the works could be released relatively soon and begin their journey back to the Netherlands. Starting today, they have resumed their place in the museum’s collection and are on display in the state in which they were found, without their frames. ‘The homecoming of the recovered paintings means that our collection is once again complete, and we can close the door on this particularly painful period in our history. I’ve been loo ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

The National Gallery opens first new gallery in 26 years   Christie's to offer Cy Twombly's great clandestine masterpiece in New York   Exhibition dedicated to the years shared between Pablo Picasso and Olga Khokhlova opens

New Gallery B with Rubens and Rembrandt display © The National Gallery, London.

LONDON.- The National Gallery announced that on 22 March 2017 it will open Gallery B to the public. This will be the first new gallery space created at the National Gallery in 26 years. Gallery B – which was designed by architects Purcell – adds an additional 200 square metres of display space to the main Wilkins Building and opens up the ground floor. This creates a direct public route from the Portico Entrance on Trafalgar Square through to the Pigott Education Centre Entrance on Orange Street (at the rear of the Gallery). For the first time, visitors can now explore all of the Ground Floor Galleries and progress up to the Main Floor whilst enjoying a continuous viewing experience. It is intended that these now interconnected galleries will host a wide range of education programme activities along with special displays and exhibitions. The launch of Gallery B also marks the daily opening of Gallery A, previously open ... More

Cy Twombly, Leda and the Swan, 1962 (detail). Estimate $35-55 million. © Christie’s Images Limited 2017.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s will offer Cy Twombly’s Leda and the Swan, 1962 as a highlight of its May 17 Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale. This unequivocal tour de force has resided within a private collection for over 25 years and has not been seen publicly in all that time. One of two large format masterpieces to emerge from this unbridled subject, Leda and the Swan’s heroic sister painting of the same title is among the most popular works on view within the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Never before at auction, the painting has only had two private owners and is completely fresh to the market (estimate $35-55million). Koji Inoue, International Director, Post-War and Contemporary Art, remarked: “Hidden from public view for over 25 years, we are thrilled to present one of Cy Twombly’s absolute masterpieces ... More

Pablo Picasso, Femme lisant, 1920. Huile sur toile, 100 x 81,2 cm. Grenoble, musée de Grenoble. Don de l'artiste, 1921. Photographie © Musée de Grenoble.

PARIS.- From 21 March to 3 September 2017, the Musée national Picasso-Paris presents the first exhibition dedicated to the years shared between Pablo Picasso and his first wife, Olga Khokhlova. Through a rich selection of more than 350 works of art, paintings, drawings, unseen written and photographic archives, the exhibition attempts to understand the execution of Picasso's major artworks between 1917 and 1935 by recreating his artistic production filtered through the social and political history of the interwar period. Olga Khokhlova was born to a colonel in 1891, in Nizhyn, a Ukrainian town located within the Russian Empire. In 1912, she entered the prestigious and innovative Russian Ballet directed by Sergei Diaghi-lev. It was in Rome, spring 1917, where she met Pablo Picasso while he was producing, upon invitation of Jean Cocteau, the decorations and costumes of the ... More

Sotheby's NY to unveil Diego Rivera's 'Retrato de la Actriz Matilde Palou"   Jane Austen faked her own marriage twice   With record-breaking blockbuster sales, Asia Week New York rings up over $423 million

Diego Rivera, Retrato de la Actriz Matilde Palou, 1951 (detail). Oil on canvas. Estimate: $2/3 million. Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s announced that it will offer Diego Rivera’s iconic painting, Retrato de la Actriz Matilde Palou, in its Latin American Modern Art Evening Sale on 25 May in New York. Regarded as one of the artist’s finest portraits to have ever appeared at auction, this late work transcends the legendary beauty of this Mexican Golden Age film star, transforming her into an icon of Mexican identity. Having last appeared at auction at Sotheby’s in 1988, the painting returns to the market during a time of renewed interest in Mexican Modernism, as evidenced by recent exhibitions at both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Dallas Museum of Art. The portrait will travel this week to Los Angeles, and will be on public exhibition for the first time in nearly 30 years from 22 through 25 March from 10AM-5PM in the new Sotheby’s Galleries (2029 Century Park E #2950, Los Angeles). Rivera’s larger-than-life painting is ... More

This file photo taken on April 16, 2007 shows a detail of "The Rice Portait of Jane Austen" by British painter Ozias Humphry (1742-1810). STAN HONDA / AFP.

LONDON (AFP).- British author Jane Austen, known the world over for her insightful take on 19th century society, created fake marriage documents with two separate men, archives have revealed. In her novels, Austen wove tales of heroines navigating the patriarchal customs of the time to find stability and social status through advantageous marriages. But the author herself never wed. However, two fake marriage entries, written by Austen herself and announcing her union with two men believed to be imaginary, will soon go on display to mark the bicentenary of her death, the Hampshire Archives announced. The documents were found in the marriage register in the parish of Steventon, in Hampshire in southeast England, where Austen grew up. They announce the banns -- a public announcement by the church of imminent nuptials -- between Austen and Henry Fitzwilliam of London and then ... More

A Buddha from Burma, circa 12th century, from the Pagan period. Photo: Courtesy of Kapoor Galleries.

NEW YORK, NY.- Despite the frigid temperatures, Asia Week New York—the ten-day Asian art extravaganza—which concluded on March 18, 2017 roared to a close with a record-breaking $423 million in combined sales which included the fifty galleries and five auction houses: Bonhams, Christie’s, Doyle, iGavel, and Sotheby’s. The annual event was celebrated with a gala reception on March 13, co-hosted with the Asian Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Thomas P. Campbell, the director of The Metropolitan Museum, Mike Hearn, Chair of the Asian Art Department and Lark Mason, chairman of Asia Week New York welcomed 750 collectors, curators and Asian art specialists. The event ignited excitement even further when the Asian art world buzzed with recording-breaking auction sales that were packed with international buyers from Mainland China, Taiwan, India, Japan, Korea, Europe and the United States. “With the influx of ... More

Pace Gallery to open new gallery space at H Queen's, following recent expansion into Korea   Sotheby's to offer quintessential Hammershøi interior from the Estate of Jens Risom   New Facebook bot for visitors to Anne Frank museum

H Queen’s rendering image. Photo: Courtesy of H Queen’s.

HONG KONG.- Pace Gallery announced the opening of the second space in Hong Kong in the H Queen’s building, an award-winning development on 80 Queen’s Road Central, by end of the year. Having recently expanded into Korea with the opening of Pace Seoul, the gallery looks forward to a greater reach throughout Asia and beyond. The new space at H Queen’s will showcase a strong line up of exhibitions by the most prominent artists represented by Pace Gallery, including Julian Schnabel, Chuck Close, David Hockney, Alexander Calder, Robert Rauschenberg, Lee Ufan, Adrian Ghenie, Robert Mangold, Li Song song, Zhang Xiaogang and Yue Minjun. The existing gallery in The Entertainment Building will continue to operate, with exhibitions by Leo Villareal, Kevin Francis Gray and Prabhavathi Meppayil which are confirmed for 2017. As one of the world’s leading galleries, Pace has long been deeply involved with Asian artists and the Asian a ... More

Vilhelm Hammershøi, White Doors. Interior, Strandgade 30 (detail), oil on canvas, 39.5 by 42.5cm., 15½ by 16¾in. Estimate: £400,000 - 600,000. Photo: Sotheby's.

LONDON.- This June, Sotheby’s will offer at auction a quintessential interior by Vilhelm Hammershøi, long revered as one of Denmark’s most celebrated artists. Painted in 1899, White Doors perfectly reflects the interests and sensibilities of its distinguished owners, aesthetes from three generations of the same family. The work comes to sale from the estate of Jens Risom, the renowned Danish American furniture designer, best known for his mass-produced ‘Risom Chair’. Estimated at £400,000-600,000, the painting will be offered in Sotheby’s sale of 19th Century European Paintings in London on 6 June 2017. Claude Piening, Head of Department, 19th Century European Paintings, commented: ‘White Doors is a jewel-like interior, and quintessential Hammershøi in every respect. It is tremendously exciting to be handling this work which has ... More

Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands talks during the presentation of a initiative between the Anne Frank Foundation and Facebook Netherlands. Freek van den Bergh / ANP / AFP.

AMSTERDAM (AFP).- Seven decades ago, the young Jewish diarist Anne Frank is unlikely to have imagined that her story would be kept alive for new generations via a computer-generated bot. But now visitors to the Amsterdam museum, lodged in the house where the teenager wrote her famous diary as she hid from Nazi occupiers, can learn about her history thanks to a unique collaboration with Facebook. "In these troubling times we live in, the story of Anne Frank is more relevant than ever," said museum director Ronald Leopold, unveiling the initiative. "We are concerned about the fact that more the 70 years after the war, half of the visitors are under 30 and they know less than my generation. So it's important to give more historical context and more historical information to connect with that history," he added. The ... More

Janet Borden Inc. opens new exhibition of work by Jim Dow   Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery celebrates the centenary of the Dada movement with exhibition   Exhibition at Ben Brown Fine Arts includes rare examples of ZERO period works by Heinz Mack

Coca-Cola Sign along the Highway, US 72, Burnsville, MS, 1978. 16 x 20” pigment print on 24 x 28” paper Edition of 25.

BROOKLYN, NY.- Janet Borden Inc. announced an exciting new exhibition of work by Jim Dow. Using an 8×10” view camera, Dow painstakingly photographs the light, the atmosphere, the colors, of international dining options. The alluring glow of neon beckons. His signature style elevates and ennobles these quirky locales. He has also eaten in most of them, being a connoisseur and fan of barbecue, tacos, ice cream, and all other foods encountered in his travels. Long exposures allow Dow to illuminate the scene in a way that articulates every detail. This is definitely not the same as an iPhone snap. Dow’s images capture a sense of place, a sense of longing, and a sense of excitement. Jim Dow was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1942. He lives in Belmont, Massachusetts. Dow holds both a BFA and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Jim Dow has a both an encyclopedic interest and appetite for photographs. His typologies include baseb ... More

Man Ray (American, 1890–1976), The Meeting, plate IV, from Revolving Doors. Conceptualized as collage 1916–1917. Printed in Paris, 1926. Pochoir on paper, 22” x 15” © Man Ray Trust/Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY/ADAGP, Paris 2017. Courtesy Hampshire College Art Gallery.

NASHVILLE, TENN.- Recognizing the centenary and far-reaching importance of a pivotal modern art movement, the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery has partnered with Vanderbilt’s W. T. Bandy Center for Baudelaire and Modern French Studies to present The Dada Effect: An Anti-aesthetic and Its Influence. The exhibition opened March 16. Dada was an artistic and literary movement that took form in New York and Europe during World War I (1914–1918). Seeking to break from tradition, artists and writers were encouraged to focus on the creative process itself rather than the end result. As early as 1915, while proto-dadaists such as Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray worked in New York forming their anti-nationalistic, anti-war, and anti-bourgeois philosophy, Zurich Dada was beginning to develop independently. From its ... More

Heinz Mack, Chromatische Konstellation, Schwarzes Quadrat auf rotem Grund, 2004. Acrylic on canvas, 140 x 106 cm.

HONG KONG.- Ben Brown Fine Arts presents Heinz Mack: Structures, the revolutionary artist’s second solo show at the Hong Kong gallery. The exhibition includes paintings, works on paper and reliefs ranging from the artist’s renowned ZERO period to the present, examining his lifelong interest in light, colour, form, vibration and sensory perception. The exhibition will run concurrently with Art Basel Hong Kong 2017. Mack made his initial impact on post-war discourse with the ZERO movement, founded with Otto Piene in 1957 in Dusseldorf, Germany, and later joined by Günther Uecker in 1961. ZERO was considered a blank slate or starting point for these young German artists recovering from the ravages of World War II. They strove to challenge and transgress the traditional dictums of art making, to transport art into new spaces, to create an experience for the viewer, and to dissolve boundaries between nature, art and technology, all ... More

More News
Dual exhibition of work by Adam Ball and Oliver Barratt opens at Encounter Contemporary
LONDON.- Encounter Contemporary presents One and Other, a dual exhibition of work by leading contemporary British artists: painter Adam Ball (1977) and sculptor Oliver Barratt (1962). In their abstract works, both artists meditate on the complex interactions between different forms, drawing attention to points of contact and the animated spaces between. Brought together for the first time, these distinct artistic practices generate a compelling dialogue on the art of relation. Both Ball and Barratt have exhibited in an impressive range of international spaces from the Goss Michael Foundation (Dallas), to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection (Venice), Paul Kasmin Gallery (New York) to Cass Sculpture Foundation (Sussex). Now they return to London to exhibit together at The Economist Building in the heart of Mayfair. In One and Other, the proximity staged ... More

MoMA PS1 and The K11 Art Foundation open first project
HONG KONG.- The K11 Art Foundation and MoMA PS1 are co-presenting .com/.cn, the first project jointly presented by the two institutions as part of an ongoing research partnership. Co-curated by Klaus Biesenbach and Peter Eleey of MoMA PS1 in New York, com/.cn includes work by Darren Bader, Cao Fei, DIS, Aleksandra Domanovic, Greg Edwards, Li Ming, Liang Wei, Lin Ke, Liu Shiyuan, Miao Ying, Laura Owens, Oliver Payne, Sondra Perry, Wang Xin, and Anicka Yi. .com/.cn showcases artistic practices in China and the West that respond to, or are affected by, our digital ecosystem. Frequently described as a “network” or a “cloud,” this system is often assumed to be universal, unencumbered by territory, language, law, or national culture. However, distinct regional internets have developed under varying forms of state control, each conditioning different social ... More

Leading London silver dealer Koopman Rare Art reports a strong response
LONDON.- Lewis Smith, Director of Koopman Rare Art, leading London silver dealer said: “We are delighted to report that the positive response and lively atmosphere which was noticeable from the first day of TEFAF Maastricht 2017 continued until the close of play on Sunday March 19.” Exceptional examples of silver by Paul Storr (1771-1844) remain in demand and numerous pieces by this outstanding English silversmith, including soup tureens, sauce tureens and a set of 18 silver-gilt dessert plates with the arms of Thomas Hope, dating from 1798, all sold. The dedicated “Storr” room, which is now a regular feature of the Koopman Rare Art stand, proves extremely popular and invariably draws people in. In addition a few of the highly important Storr pieces, which were shown at TEFAF have also been spoken for. Among other highlights sold was a magnificent silver-gilt ... More

Kunsthalle Wien opens first institutional presentation of Camille Henrot's work in Austria
VIENNA.- If Wishes Were Horses at Kunsthalle Wien is the first institutional presentation of Camille Henrot’s œuvre in Austria and comprises an entirely new body of work produced for the occasion. The exhibition takes its name from the sixteenth century proverb “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” While the expression is typically associated with repressive desire, Henrot employs it to suggest how imagination, creativity and fantasy can offer hope and the possibility for change. Henrot draws upon a broad range of epistemologies and anthropological research to unravel, fragment, and transform pictorial codes into rich registers of information and idiosyncratic material. The exhibition includes sculpture, installation and a film, which coalesce to consider the binary power structures of sadomasochism, ritual, authority and control, in order to reveal, through the artist’s ... More

Winners of Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth commission announced
LONDON.- Michael Rakowitz and Heather Phillipson were today announced as the two artists who have won the next commissions for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. The designs will be unveiled in 2018 and 2020 respectively, and follow on from the current sculpture Really Good by David Shrigley, a 7m high thumbs up, which will stay on the plinth until March 2018. They were chosen from a shortlist which included Huma Bhabha, Damián Ortega and Raqs Media Collective to win the commissions. The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist is a project begun by Michael Rakowitz in 2006 that attempts to recreate over 7,000 archeological artefacts looted from the Iraq Museum during the war or destroyed in its aftermath. For the Fourth Plinth Rakowitz will recreate the Lamassu, a winged bull and protective deity that stood at the entrance to Nergal Gate of Nineveh from c 700 B.C. ... More

Art for art's sake: Calls for Hong Kong to get more creative
HONG KONG (AFP).- Hong Kong will see a creative surge as Art Basel comes to town, but there's a push for a more permanent change to the visual landscape of the city better known for its business hustle than its art scene. Asia's largest art fair unveils its first preview Tuesday and has boosted Hong Kong's artistic credentials since it first launched in the city four years ago. A vibrant, wide-ranging "art week" of free exhibitions and events has grown up around the fair. But for the rest of the year some feel the city puts too much emphasis on selling, rather than viewing, with the focus on commercial galleries rather than publicly accessible shows. Hong Kong currently lacks a world class art museum, and marquee exhibitions rarely make a stop ... More

1966 Pink Floyd recording to be released for first time
LONDON (AFP).- Legendary British rock band Pink Floyd will next month put out a track that has never before been released since it was recorded in 1966, record company Legacy Recordings announced on Monday. Out on April 15 ahead of Record Store Day a week later, the instrumental 14-minute, 57-second version of Interstellar Overdrive will be released as a one-sided, 12-inch black vinyl record. The track, written and performed by Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Nick Mason, was recorded on November 31, 1966, before the band was signed to EMI. A shorter version of the single -- nearly 10 minutes long -- featured on the band's debut album, "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" released in 1967. The new release will come out with a fold-out poster and an A6 postcard taken from a 1967 gig in London. In their giant box set "The Early Years - 1965-1972" ... More

Sotheby's New York announces Photographs Sale on 5 April
NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s spring auction of Photographs on 5 April in New York will offer more than 180 exceptional photographs that demonstrate the range of the medium from the 19th century to today. Of special note are masterpieces by Timothy O’Sullivan and William Bell, Ansel Adams, Robert Frank, Edward Weston and Alex Prager, together with rare works by Edward Steichen and F. Holland Day, among many others. The New York exhibition will be open to the public from 30 March through 4 April alongside the online-only auction: In Motion: Photographs by Eadweard Muybridge Sold to Benefit the Acquisition Fund of the Denver Art Museum, open for bidding from 24 March to 10 April. Leading the sale is Timothy O’Sullivan’s and William Bell’s, 'Photographs Showing Landscapes, Geological and Other Features, of Portions of the Western Territory ... More

Rarities by late stars to come out for Record Store Day
NEW YORK (AFP).- Rare music from three stars who died last year -- Prince, David Bowie and Leonard Cohen -- will come out next month for the 10th anniversary of Record Store Day, the celebration of vinyl's rebirth. Launched in 2007 by struggling US shops in hopes of stirring interest, Record Store Day has grown quickly as well as internationally as vinyl finds a renewed audience among collectors. Some 350 limited-edition works will go on sale for the celebration on April 22, organizers announced Tuesday. An original tribute album to Cohen, "Like a Drunk in a Midnight Choir," will raise money for a cancer charity. The album features covers of Cohen songs by artists including Joseph Arthur, the rich-voiced indie singer and painter, and psychedelic folk rocker Avi Buffalo. Reissues from Prince -- himself an avid record collector who frequented the Electric Fetus store ... More

Inspector Morse author Colin Dexter dies at 86
LONDON (AFP).- British crime writer Colin Dexter, best known for his popular Inspector Morse character, died on Tuesday at the age of 86, his publisher said in a statement. "With immense sadness, Macmillan announces the death of Colin Dexter who died peacefully at his home in Oxford this morning," the statement read. Dexter was born in 1930 in Lincolnshire, eastern England, and studied classics at Cambridge University. After a brief stint in teaching, he moved in the 1960s to Oxford, which provided the setting for the 13 Morse novels he published between 1975 and 1999. He was also actively involved in the long-running Inspector Morse television show and its two spin-offs Lewis and Endeavour, even making several cameo appearances. In 2000, Dexter was given an honour by Queen Elizabeth II, for services to literature. His most recent editor at Macmillan, Maria Rejt, paid trib ... More

Steve McQueen Collection claims top-lot honors in $1 million Entertainment Auction at Heritage
DALLAS, TX.- The personally-owned collection of movie star Steve McQueen brought $280,618 across 30 lots in Heritage Auctions’ spring Entertainment & Music Memorabilia auction March 18 in Dallas. The $1 million sale offered private collections by Bruce Willis and Farah Fawcett, as well as a stellar collection of never-before-seen concert posters. “Strong bidding across the spectrum drove this auction past expectations,” said Margaret Barrett, Director of Entertainment Memorabilia at Heritage Auctions. The auction offered 18 annotated shooting scripts from some of McQueen’s greatest movies. His leather-bound, annotated script for the 1968 film Bullitt and his script for Le Mans each sold for $55,000. The script for the 1963 classic The Great Escape – which detailed McQueen’s own requests for the classic motorcycle jump scene – sold for $50,000. The auction ... More

Peek inside Sotheby's Cabinet of Curiosities

On a day like today, American fashion designer Halston died
March 26, 1990. Roy Halston Frowick (April 23, 1932 - March 26, 1990), known as Halston, was an American fashion designer of the 1970s. His long dresses or copies of his style were popular fashion wear in mid-1970s discotheques. In this image: Clothing designer Halston and actress Liza Minnelli arrive for the gala opening of "Stop The World, I Want To Get Off," at the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center in New York, Aug. 3, 1978.

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