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Headlines: Tower Fire, Fearless Reproductions, Afrofuturism

1) Trump Tower Fire Victim Identified as Art Dealer and Collector


A Facebook photo of Todd Brassner with a portrait of him by Andy Warhol

 

Art dealer Todd Brassner died after a fire enveloped his apartment on the 50th floor of New York’s Trump Tower on Saturday. Brassner was a friend of Andy Warhol, and had his portrait painted by the late artist in 1975. The 67-year-old had reportedly been trying to sell the apartment since 2016, but had had little luck in offloading a property associated with the…

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Headlines: Escher, Brooklyn, Bader

1) M.C. Escher Exhibition Coming to Brooklyn


M.C. Escher's artwork Relativity

 

The works of M.C. Escher are coming to Brooklyn. Escher. The Exhibition and Experience is set to open in June and will feature over 200 of the artist’s works, including some early landscapes from the period before he transitioned into optical illusions. The show will reportedly see a few of the artist’s works converted into photo booths so that visitors can truly enter the world of…

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Headlines: Cloud Column, News, Food Tours

1) A Cloud Column Kerfuffle in Houston and Chicago


 

A “precursor” to Anish Kapoor’s beloved Cloud Gate sculpture was installed in Houston, TX, this week (Cloud Gate resides in Chicago) and for a while relations between art appreciators in the two cities became downright adversarial. Cloud Column is a 32-foot oblong shape in the same mirrored chrome as the better-known work. Art critic Kim Janssen derided Houston as a…

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Headlines: Spring, Luna, Molesworth

1) Animal Rights Activists Call for Another Art Takedown


A still from Adel Abdessemed's Spring

 

An artwork has been removed from the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lyon, France, following backlash from animal rights activists on social media. The work, titled “Spring,” comprised a video depicting a row of chickens that had apparently been set on fire. Though artist Adel Abdessemed did not harm any chickens in the making of the work (he used digital special effects to…

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Headlines: Meier, H&M, Stormtrooper

1) Architect Richard Meier Accused of Sexual Assault


A photograph of the architect Richard Meier

 

Artist Richard Meier has become the latest high-profile art world figure to be accused of sexual harassment. According to a report published in the New York Times, five women have come forward with allegations against the award-winning architect. Four of the women worked for Richard at his firm, Richard Meier & Partners. Sotheby’s S2 gallery in New York, which was hosting an…

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Headlines: Instagram, Art Rentals, Dia

1) Instagram is Changing Art: But for Better, or Worse?


A photo of artist Lauren Rokas' Instagram feed

 

The LA Times offers an interesting look at the way Instagram is changing the art world. Increasingly, the social media platform has become a popular place for artists to not only showcase their works, but to communicate with other artists, collectors, and gallery owners. Many emerging artists, in particular, feel that Instagram is a more democratic way to get their art out there…

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Headlines: Venus, Akari, Backfire

1) Facebook Removes Photo of Venus of Willendorf

The Venus of Willendorf

 

Facebook’s image censorship algorithm caused controversy again this week when a photograph of the ancient “Venus of Willendorf” statue was taken down after being deemed “pornographic.” The 30,000-year-old statue is currently housed in the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria. Though Facebook’s own descriptions of the algorithm have suggested that nude artworks are…

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Headlines: Stolen Thumb, X-Rays, Petition

1) Terracotta Thumb Thief Charged


The warrior in question

 

A man from Delaware has been charged with theft after he was caught with the thumb of a Chinese terracotta warrior statue which was on display at the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia. On December 21st, 2017, security cameras at the Institute recorded the man, Michael Rohana, taking a selfie with the statue at a Christmas party before breaking off its thumb and pocketing the fragment of the…

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Headlines: Magnus, Vantablack, Melgaard

1) Truck Driver Damages Nazca Lines


An aerial photo of a geoglyph, part of the Nazca Lines

 

A truck driver who intentionally ignored road signs and drove into a protected area of the Peruvian countryside has caused significant damage to the nation’s famed Nazca Lines. The lines, dating back over 2,000 years, are an artefact pre-dating Inca society, and have been declared a United Nations World Heritage Site. A video shows the truck being driven off the Pan-American Highway and into the…

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Headlines: Christo, Instagram, Photographs

1) Koons' Former Representatives Defend Bouquet


A rendering of Jeff Koons Bouquet of Tulips

 

Jeff Koons’ former gallery representatives in Paris, Jerome and Emmanuelle de Noirmont, have issued a letter in response to the public backlash against Koons’ proposed memorial artwork, Bouquet of Tulips. As we reported in last week’s Headlines, the sculpture is planned to be installed in Paris’ Palais de Tokyo, and consists of a large, realistic hand holding a bouquet of 11…

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Headlines: Paris, Jack Whitten, Pastry

1) Artists and Art Workers Speak Out Against Proposed Koons Sculpture


A mock-up of the proposed Koons sculpture in Paris' Tokyo Square

 

French artists and museum workers are panning Jeff Koons’ gift of his Bouquet of Tulips sculpture to the city of Paris as a memorial for the terror attacks of November 2015. The sculpture, a giant hand clutching a bouquet of half-inflated balloons designed to look like a bouquet of flowers, is very much in keeping with Koons’ pop-art influenced, appropriative…

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Headlines: Stickers, Google, Sculpture Theft

1) Whitney Museum Releases Laura Owens iMessage Stickers


One of the Laura Owens stickers in action

 

In conjunction with its mid-career survey of the artwork of Laura Owens, New York’s Whitney Museum has released a series of iMessage stickers designed by Owens herself. The stickers are photographic reproductions of sculptures that the artist produced based on some of the most popular Apple emojis. Carved by hand and rendered in three-dimensions before being digitized, the…

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Headlines: Sprinkles, One Basquiat, La Salle

1) Museum of Ice Cream Creates Sprinkle Crisis


A photo of a woman at the Museum of Ice Cream sprinkle pool

 

The Miami installation of the travelling Museum of Ice Cream exhibition is facing some steep fines after being found guilty of contaminating local waters with (what else?) candy sprinkles. Local authorities have charged the institution with $5,000 in fines for contaminating the waters and endangering local marine wildlife. The so-called Sprinkle Plague originates from a pool of…

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Headlines: Ceramics, Social Media, 2018

1) Ceramicist Betty Woodman Dies at 87


A 2006 retrospective of Betty Woodman's artwork at MoMA

 

Beloved ceramicist Betty Woodman passed away on Wednesday at the age of 87. Woodman was born in Connecticut and began working with ceramic as an art medium at the age of 16. Early in her career, the artist worked professionally as a ceramicist, creating functional objects, but after travelling to Italy in the early 50’s, Woodman started experimenting with the aesthetic possibilities of the…

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Headlines: Reward, Rushmore, Round-Up

1) Isabella Steward Gardner Museum Offers $10 Million Reward


A photo of an empty frame at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

 

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston is searching for information regarding a 1990 art heist in which thieves made off with 13 artworks by the likes of Vermeer, Dega, and Rembrandt. The trail of the artworks has been cold for nearly three decades, and the theft remains the largest unsolved art heist in recorded history, with the value of the works totalling around…

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