The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Thursday, May 28, 2020

What do you do with a stolen van Gogh? This thief knows

Octave Durham, who stole two van Goghs in 2002, near the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, May 15, 2020. “I didn’t have a buyer before I did it,” he said. “I just thought I can either sell them, or if I have a problem I can negotiate with the paintings.” Ilvy Njiokiktjien/The New York Times.

by Nina Siegal

AMSTERDAM (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- The televised security footage clearly showed the man smashing glass doors at the Singer Laren Museum, then walking out moments later with a painting by Vincent van Gogh under his arm. “Look at that,” Octave Durham said as he watched. “His gear is not even professional. If you’re a professional you’re fully in black. He’s got jeans and Nike sneakers on.” Durham’s exasperation is not that of some couch potato who has seen one too many crime shows. He’s a thief who 18 years ago stole not one but two van Gogh paintings from Amsterdam’s famous Van Gogh Museum. One of two burglars convicted of the crime in 2004, he served just over 25 months in prison. In 2016, Italian police found the two paintings he stole in the kitchen wall of a house in the town of Castellammare di Stabia, near Naples, belonging to Raffaele Imperiale, a member of an Italian drug trafficking gang. They were returned to the museum. ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Exhibition at Hauser & Wirth explores a concept that Maria Lassnig coined as 'body awareness'   Sotheby's to offer the first work of classical African art in any Contemporary Art Evening Sale this June   Paul Cadmus and His Circle: Property from the Estate of Jon F. Anderson achieves $1,163,055

Maria Lassnig, Hellgrünes Selbst / Bedrücktes Selbst /Malflussselbstportrait (Light-Green Self / Sad Self /Self - Portrait in Paint Flow), 1996. Oil on canvas, 100.3 x 83 x 2 cm / 39 1/2 x 32 5/8 x 3/4 in. © Maria Lassnig Foundation. Courtesy the Foundation and Hauser & Wirth.

LONDON.- The work of Maria Lassnig, one of the most significant painters of the contemporary era, is marked by its unrelenting probing into themes of the body and its meaning. The online exhibition, ‘Maria Lassnig. Me, Encircled by a Fly’, is a special selection of the artist’s works on paper and canvases between 1987 and 2005. It explores this preoccupation with the physical presence of the body – a concept the artist coined as ‘body awareness’. ‘I searched for reality that was more fully in my possession than the exterior world’, Lassnig remarked. ‘I found it waiting for me in the body house in which I dwell, realest and clearest reality…’ Taking its title from an eponymous self-portrait painted in the 1990s, the presentation considers myriad ... More

The Clyman Fang Head. Fang-Betsi Reliquary Statue, Gabon. Estimate $2.5/4 million. Courtesy Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s announced that they will offer The Clyman Fang Head – one of the most important works of African Art ever to appear at auction – in their Contemporary Art Evening Auction to be held in New York the week of 29 June. On offer from the The Collection of Sidney and Bernice Clyman with an estimate of $2.5/4 million, the reliquary statue will be the first work of classical African Art to be presented in any contemporary art evening sale. During the marquee sale week this June, Sotheby’s will also present African Art from the Collection of Sidney and Bernice Clyman in a dedicated auction and a selection of fine art from the collection will be offered across the Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern and American art sales. Clients and visitors can expect extra precautions to ensure the safety of employees and visitors, as well as creative opportunities for those wishing to preview the exhibitions and participate ... More

Workers at Harbor, by Margaret Hoening French, Egg tempera on board.

NEW YORK, NY.- With a 98% sell-through of 402 lots, Paul Cadmus and His Circle: Property from the Estate of Jon F. Anderson –presented by Lark Mason Associates– achieved $1,163,055 including buyer’s premium. Spirited bidding amongst international museum curators, art dealers, interior designers and private collectors necessitated extending the sale to May 21st, two days beyond its original closing date. Says Charlene Wang, fine art specialist at Lark Mason Associates: "We were honored to work with the estate of Jon F. Anderson and are pleased that we fulfilled our goal– which was to represent his legacy. “Traditionally the sale would have been divided into three parts, but we made the bold decision to proceed with a single sale. With record prices, often skyrocketing above high estimates, it turned out to be the right choice.” The collection consisted of three artists’ estates—Paul Cadmus, Jared ... More

Legendary Los Angeles artist Peter Alexander dies at age 81   Online auction spans Pablo Picasso's entire oeuvre   Rijksmuseum given unique painting to remember virus victims

Peter Alexander in his studio, 1960s.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Parrasch Heijnen Gallery (Los Angeles) and Franklin Parrasch Gallery (New York) announced the passing of legendary Los Angeles artist Peter Alexander on the morning of May 26, 2020. He was 81 years old. Born in Los Angeles, CA in 1939, Alexander’s six-decade career was an active exploration of environments through color, transparency, and translucency using innovative media. He was an integral part of the intrinsically Californian Cool School and Finish Fetish movements. Whether through resin sculpture or velvet painting, Alexander actively sought to capture light through environmental sensation. Initially intent on becoming an architect, Alexander attended the University of Pennsylvania from 1957-1960, studying there under Louis Kahn. In 1957, Alexander began working with California modernist architect Richard Neutra during summers where he executed drawings for numerous projects. Alexander moved to ... More

Pablo Picasso, Le Poussin (Baer 214), 1907, woodcut printed by hand in dark blue and bright blue gouache (est. £30,000 – 50,000). Courtesy Sotheby's.

LONDON.- Pablo Picasso was an individual who shaped art history like no other. Turning his hand to virtually every medium, Picasso suffused every element of culture with his signature – instantly recognisable, yet constantly evolving – style. This online auction will celebrate the enduring legacy of the artist with works from across Picasso’s entire oeuvre in both date and scope, including paintings, drawings, unique ceramics, editions, photographs, and even paint palettes. Over sixty works in the sale come from the personal collection of the artist’s granddaughter, Marina Picasso, and with estimates starting from £400, going up to £400,000, this is the perfect opportunity to dive into the life and work of this exceptional artist. The works will be exhibited to the public, with appropriate safety restrictions in place, from 15 to 18 June, and viewing is available by appointment on request ... More

Bartholomeus Spranger (Antwerp, 21 March 1546 – Prague, before 27 September 1611) The Body of Christ Supported by Angels, (Angel Pietà), ca. 1587 Oil on copper, 33.7 x 26.6 cm Gift of B.P. Haboldt, in memory of the victims of COVID-19.

THE HAGUE (AFP).- Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum will display a famous 16th-century painting donated to commemorate victims of the coronavirus when it re-opens next week, almost three months after closing its doors, the museum said Wednesday. The 1587 painting by Flemish master Bartholomeus Spranger called "The Body of Christ Supported by Angels" was given to the museum by Dutch art collector and dealer Bob Haboldt. "In the first place, it is a gift to everyone to commemorate the victims of COVID-19," Haboldt said in a statement, released by the Rijksmuseum. "It also serves as an example, encouraging everyone to do good for museums." Haboldt said the donation was to make a contribution "and on how we could best memorialise this period." "Coronavirus has affected ... More

A rare Chinese Red Revenue Stamp Collection hammers $170,195 on   Xavier Hufkens opens an exhibition of drawings by Pierre Guyotat   Will Cotton offers a new take on the myth of the cowboy in new exhibition at Galerie Templon

1897 Red Revenue Figure Surcharge.

NEW YORK, NY.- For International stamp lovers, rare postage stamps are always their target, and Chinese stamps are among some of the most famous, valuable and sought-after items in the world. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the recent sale of a Chinese Red Revenue Stamp Collection–the first presented by the Dallas Auction Gallery on, was a resounding success. With a 97% sell-through of 269 lots, the sale achieved $170,195 including buyer’s premium. The top lots achieved strong prices with an 1897 Red Revenue small figure surcharge selling for more than $12,000; 1967-68 People’s Republic of China, Poems of Mao Ze Dong sold $10,945, and a 1962 People’s Republic of China Mei Lan-fang hammered $10,000, more than 3 times its estimate. Says Lark Mason III, vice-president of iGavel, “The results of this sale illustrate what can happen when discerning and eager bidders are brought to the table no mat ... More

This is the largest presentation of his works to date.

BRUSSELS.- Xavier Hufkens is presenting an exhibition of drawings by Pierre Guyotat (1940-2020). The exhibition was conceived with the author and artist who passed away on 7 February 2020. This is the largest presentation of his works to date, encompassing close to sixty drawings from 2016, when he returned to drawing after a near 40 year hiatus, to his last works in 2019. Guyotat is primarily known as a radical and subversive author. For over fifty years, since the original French publication of Tomb for 500,000 Soldiers (1967), and Eden, Eden, Eden 1(1970, which was immediately censored upon its release), he brought revolution into poetry, altering the very structures of language and culture. His visions of war and sexual exploitation, as well as his account of the cosmological nature of existence, have given many artists new ways to express themselves. His heroic stature as an uncompromising artist and poet makes him a model for creat ... More

Will Cotton, Roping (Study), 2018. Oil on paper, 76,2 x 53,34 cm ; 30 x 21 in. Courtesy Templon, Paris – Brussels and the artist © Adagp, Paris, 2020.

BRUSSELS.- Ten years after his last exhibition at Galerie Templon, the New York painter Will Cotton, famous for his depictions of all kinds of sweets, is unveiling a provocative and quirky exhibition at the gallery's Brussels space: The Taming of the Cowboy. In a nod to his country’s political schizophrenia in the midst of the electoral campaign, Will Cotton offers a new take on the myth of the cowboy, symbolizing the conquest of the West. His large, ostensibly classical oil paintings portray a surprising encounter between triumphant cowboys and their fantastical steeds: pink unicorns. The figure of the cowboy evokes a strong sense of American masculinity, associated with freedom, manifest destiny and a culture of violence. In contrast, the unicorn -- particularly when pink -- reminds us of a more contemporary mythology that has in recent years taken possession of the ... More

Sperone Westwater showcases a group of recent paintings and photographs by Rochelle Feinstein   'Shelter in Place' organized by Ryan Muller on view at Metro Pictures   France names first indigenous director of top museum

Rochelle Feinstein. Photo: Jay Patel. Courtesy the artist and Sperone Westwater, New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sperone Westwater is showcasing a group of recent paintings and photographs by Rochelle Feinstein. Feinstein is constantly on the lookout for what she calls “a good problem to work with,” and her work embodies this sense of alertness. Possibilities present themselves in the course of everyday life, with motifs and headlines drawn from daily newspapers, truisms and enigmatic phrases drawn from conversations and advertisements. Like snags in the fabric of the everyday, these minor details and incidents come to register issues much larger in scale and scope. Since her most recent New York gallery exhibition in April 2017, Feinstein has completed a prestigious fellowship at the American Academy in Rome (2017-18) and mounted institutional exhibitions at Kunsthaus Baselland (2018) and the Bronx Museum of the Arts (2018-19). This online presentation includes work from these exhibitions and focuses on a ... More

B. Wurtz, Untitled (relic), 1975. Pen on wood, 7 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches, 19.1 x 8.9 x 8.9 cm.

NEW YORK, NY.- Offices are closed, schools have been reduced to a screen, and museums are perused online. Restaurants are using only the back kitchen and front window if anything at all. Interior walls have become our entire world. We are learning to use every inch, pushing domestic spaces to capacity, while the mammoth buildings that defined business as usual sit vacant. It is profound to see the infrastructure of our society laid so bare. For many the only evidence of the tragedy surrounding us is the strange quiet that has enveloped our cities. With people removed, examples of efficiency suddenly look absurd. The most banal structures once easily ignored amidst the buzz of commerce now stand out, like looming architectural follies. Open office plans and packed elevators that once seemed like visions of a highly functional future now appear as allegories of our demise. How will the vessels that contain our society ... More

Emmanuel Kasarherou, curator of the exhibition "Kanak, l'art est une parole" (Kanak, art is word), poses at the Quai Branly museum. Martin BUREAU / AFP.

PARIS (AFP).- Emmanuel Kasarherou will make history Wednesday as the first indigenous person ever to head a major French national museum when he is named director of the Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac museum in Paris. A Kanak from New Caledonia in the Pacific, the expert in Oceanic cultures -- whose treasures form a major part of the museum's collection of indigenous art from Africa, Asia and the Americas -- is a former head of the breathtaking Renzo Piano-designed Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre in the New Caledonian capital Noumea. Kasarherou, 60 -- who has co-curated two major exhibitions at Quai Branly including "Kanak: Art is a Word" -- has been the museum's deputy head of collections since 2014. He was the founding director of the much-praised museum which ... More

In England, pop art and fine art stand resolutely back to back. Colin MacInnes

More News
Anthony Bailey, biographer with restless literary spirit, dies at 87
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Anthony Bailey’s mother packed her 7-year-old son off in 1940 for safekeeping to an American foster home, far from the German bombers pulverizing their dockside hometown Portsmouth, England. Two weeks later, Bailey found himself in the Dayton, Ohio, mansion of Otto Spaeth, a wealthy factory owner, philanthropist and art collector who owned paintings by Paul Cezanne, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Edward Hopper and Paul Gauguin. “It was imprinted on him, art, from that moment forward,” his daughter Annie Bailey said in an interview. Bailey would go on to a prolific career as a staff writer for The New Yorker and as the author of 23 books on topics that spanned multiple continents and genres. But those four years of enlightenment and dislocation inspired Bailey’s best-remembered projects — two memoirs ... More

Lehmann Maupin announes representation of Billie Zangewa
NEW YORK, NY.- Lehmann Maupin announced the representation of Malawian artist Billie Zangewa, who currently lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. Zangewa will have her first solo presentation with Lehmann Maupin in New York this September and her first solo museum exhibition at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco in 2021. “We have had our eye on Billie for some time,” explains Rachel Lehmann. “She is extremely innovative, making figurative work that interrogates identity and culture. By using found material and the resources she has on hand, Billie is engaging in larger social and cultural concerns about labor, commerce, and materiality, much like Nari Ward. Like others in our program who have been inspired by the physical landscape and material culture of South Africa, Robin Rhode, Nicholas ... More

Reid Shier selected as curator for the Canada Pavilion at the 2022 Venice Biennale
OTTAWA.- The National Gallery of Canada announced today that Reid Shier will be the curator for the Stan Douglas exhibition at the Canada Pavilion during the 59th edition of La Biennale di Venezia. As announced last week, the Venice Biennale Arte has been postponed a year and will now run from April 23, 2022 until November, 27, 2022 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The exhibition will feature a new work by Stan Douglas. “It is an honour to be chosen as curator for Stan Douglas’ exhibition for the Canada Pavilion at the 2022 Venice Biennale,” said Reid Shier. “Douglas has been a colleague and friend for over three decades, during which I’ve had the privilege of watching his international reputation as one of Canada’s most significant contemporary artists grow and flourish. I’m particularly excited to help realize Douglas’ presentation for ... More

Baltimore Museum of Art launches initiatives to directly support local galleries, artists, & community
BALTIMORE, MD.- The Baltimore Museum of Art announced today that it is launching three new initiatives to provide direct support to Baltimore-based artists, galleries, and communities: BMA Salon, BMA Screening Room, and BMA Studio. The initiatives will provide some immediate financial relief to local artists and businesses, develop new platforms of visibility to ensure the longer-term success of Baltimore’s arts ecology, and extend participatory opportunities to populations that do not have ready access to digital content. The development of these programs stems from the BMA’s popular, ongoing speaker series, The Necessity of Tomorrow(s), which was established to imagine futures that embrace issues of social justice, equity, and creative practice. The BMA’s new initiatives actualize the series’ core principles and respond to the needs ... More

After rare silence, Istanbul's Grand Bazaar prepares to reopen
ISTANBUL (AFP).- An eerie silence has fallen over Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, one of the world's oldest, largest and most visited markets, where a raucous mixture of languages, cultures and commerce has buzzed for centuries. But there are now signs of life at the market as municipal workers roam its deserted alleys, spraying the floor, columns and walls ahead of the doors reopening on Monday for the first time in two months. The bazaar -- home to almost 3,000 shops where more than 30,000 people work -- was closed on March 23 as part of measures to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has killed over 4,300 people in Turkey. Officials say it has been the longest closure in the bazaar's more than 550-year-old history, except for forced shutdowns following fires and earthquakes. The market is usually visited by 150,000 people every ... More

Chris Levine releases new portrait edition of the Dalai Lama through Jealous Gallery
LONDON.- British Contemporary artist Chris Levine announces the release of #compassion, a new edition portrait of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Epitomising peace and empathy during the time of Covid, this artwork, a three-colour screen-print, has been created in order to raise vital funds for anti-poverty charity, the Trussell Trust. The print will be available via renowned Jealous Gallery from Thursday 28 May 2020 for a limited period ending Sunday 7 June at 11.59pm (midnight). Originally created in 2015 on the occasion of His Holiness’ 80th birthday and to raise proceeds for communities affected by earthquakes in Nepal, this portrait has been recreated with neon colourways. As in his portrayal of the Queen, the light and stillness at the core of this image offers a fresh depiction of a world-famous face, intended to convey the message within the work ... More

Works by Dürer, Hockney, and Warhol lead sales at IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair Online
NEW YORK, NY.- The IFPDA Fine Art Print FairOnline 2020, the digital initiative launched on May 13th by the IFPDA (International Fine Print Dealers Association, has yielded impressive online traffic and sales in its first week, reports the IFPDA Executive Director, Jenny Gibbs. “I have heard from so many collectors and curators who are just loving this online event. We could never fit 125 exhibitors into the River Pavilion at the Javits. We got lemons and we made lemonade. This is the biggest IFPDA fair -- probably the biggest print fair anywhere -- and we’ve put together a dream team of exhibitors with booths of extraordinary depth.” With more than 125,000 page-views in the opening days and sales across a wide range of works representing 500 years of printmaking, it is a testament to the innovative presentations mounted by the exhibitors ... More

Rare Northern Irish penny sets worldwide auction record at Dix Noonan Webb
LONDON.- A very fine and very rare penny struck in Northern Ireland in the 17th Century fetched a worldwide auction record of £6,200 in a sale of Tokens and Historical Medals on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at International coins, medals, banknotes and jewellery specialists Dix Noonan Webb in a live online auction. The penny from Carrickfergus in Co. Antrim was expected to fetch £240-300 and after selling for more than 20 times its pre sale top estimate, it achieved a worldwide auction record for a 17th century British trade token and was bought by a collector in the US, with the underbidder being from the UK [lot 157]. The highest price of the sale was for an extremely fine and rare 19th century copper halfcrown, dating from 1812 which had been struck in Sheffield (Yorkshire) depicting a seated female. This was the only specimen known to the cataloguer ... More

The National Gallery extends 'Titian: Love, Desire, Death'
LONDON.- When COVID-19 forced the doors of the National Gallery to shut on 18 March 2020, it meant that the long planned, eagerly anticipated, once in a lifetime exhibition Titian: Love, Desire, Death also had to close after being open for just three days. Universally acclaimed Titian: Love, Desire, Death brings together the artist’s epic series of large-scale mythological paintings, known as the poesie, in its entirety for the first time since the late 16th century. The National Gallery announces that thanks to the generosity of its partners and lenders, the exhibition has been extended in London. Titian: Love, Desire, Death will reopen when the National Gallery does. (It was originally due to close on 14 June 2020). Dr Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, says: ‘I am grateful to the lenders and partners who have enabled us to keep the Titian ... More

Larry Kramer, author and outspoken AIDS activist, dies at 84
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Larry Kramer, the noted writer whose raucous, antagonistic campaign for an all-out response to the AIDS crisis helped shift national health policy in the 1980s and ’90s, died Wednesday morning in Manhattan. He was 84. His husband, David Webster, said the cause was pneumonia. Kramer had weathered illness for much of his adult life. Among other things he had been infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, contracted liver disease and underwent a successful liver transplant. An author, essayist and playwright — notably hailed for his autobiographical 1985 play, “The Normal Heart” — Kramer had feet in both the world of letters and the public sphere. In 1981 he was a founder of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the first service organization for HIV-positive people, though his fellow directors effectively ... More

MIT Press and New Museum to publish "Saturation: Race, Art, and the Circulation of Value" this June
NEW YORK, NY.- On June 2, the New Museum and MIT Press will publish Saturation: Race, Art, and the Circulation of Value, edited by C. Riley Snorton and Hentyle Yapp. The fourth installment in the New Museum’s Critical Anthologies in Art and Culture series, Saturation follows Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility (2017), edited by Tourmaline, Eric A. Stanley, and Johanna Burton; Public Servants: Art and the Crisis of the Common Good (2016), edited by Johanna Burton, Shannon Jackson, and Dominic Willsdon; and Mass Effect: Art and the Internet in the Twenty-First Century (2015), edited by Lauren Cornell and Ed Halter. Controversies involving race and the art world are often discussed in terms of diversity and representation—as if having the right representative from a group or a larger plurality of embodied difference ... More

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On a day like today, German painter Jörg Immendorff died
June 28, 2007. Jörg Immendorff (June 14, 1945 - May 28, 2007) was a contemporary German painter, sculptor, stage designer and art professor. He was a member of the art movement Neue Wilde. In this image: Jörg Immendorff, Untitled, 2007.

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