AI art, Ai Weiwei price. The first auction of an artwork made through Artificial Intelligence ended with a hammer price more than 400% the estimated price. Stay tuned for an article on the blog!
Buon compleanno. Twenty artifacts recovered by US authorities will be returned to Italy, after the two countries cooperated to seize them. This marks 15 years of cooperation between Italy and the United States in fighting art crime.
Swedish exit. The Swedish Crown Jewels were stolen and returned thanks to an anonymous tip off, leading the police to find them a garbage bag. “Two men escaped from the crime scene on bicycles before taking off on jet skies into Stockholm’s archipelago, leaving in dramatic style with the priceless set of royal jewels.”
No comment. President Donald Trump appointed Mary Anne Carter as the new Chair of the National Endowment for Arts. While Mrs. Carter was holding the post as an interim Chair since June 2018, as opposed to all her predecessors, she has little to none background in the arts.
Art is the cure. Doctors in Canada will start prescribing trips to the museum, as a cure to depression, diabetes or even chronic illnesses.
Pumpkin Season. The Gulbenkian family, one of the biggest names in the art market, is currently being sued before the High Court in London over the claim that they received almost $1.4 million for a Yayoi Kusama sculpture that never materialized.
Dark and Starry. Secret Vincent Van Gogh’s sketches for “Starry Night” subsist in a secret Russian storage facility, the location of which is only known by the government. “Yet one more victim of the Second World War,” say art historians.
After Silence Censorship. It seems that Bal Harbour’s (pop. 2513) Mayor is concerned about public display of two photographs and references to adult magazine in a Florida art exhibition. Pacifico Silano, a New York photographer, was invited to showcase his works in the Unscripted Bal Harbourexhibition for the benefit of that sea-side community. The ‘offensive’ images reportedly come from the gay pornography collection of the former and now deceased Whitney curator Richard Marshall. The future of swimming suits and nude beaches is in limbo in Bar Harbour.
Twice-looted, finally returned. A year after the seizure of a Persian artefact from the TEFAF New York fair, the London-based dealer finally returns the twice-looted work to Iran by New York Supreme Court orders. More on twice-looted art on the blog!
My downstairs Nazi neighbor. The search for a looted Schiele in Vienna revealed that its owner, Elsa Koditschek, of Jewish faith during WWII, lived under the same roof as German officials, and recounted her story in letters found in a relative’s basement. She explains how she spied on the SS officer, how her painting was expropriated from her, and how she escaped deportation.
Cultural troubles. The Met‘s new exhibition “Art of Native America: the Charles and Valerie Diker Collection” is getting negative publicity for failure to consult with the Native American tribes regarding the objects it displayed.
No (Fair) Use for Koons. Jeff Koons lost before the Paris lower court, where he was defending against a claim of plagiarizing brought by the fashion brand Naf Naf for his “Fait d’Hiver” (1988) sculpture. Artist’s company, along with the Centre Pompidou which exhibited his work, are ordered to pay 135.000 euros in damages to the creative director of the advertising campaign which “inspired” Koons’ work. This comes at a time where the government announced that his “Bouquet of Tulips” will be installed in front of the Petit Palais, following public outcry, as it is perceived as a controversial homage to the victims of the 2015 and 2016 attacks.
Spilling the ink. A 17th-century painting, “A Scholar Sharpening His Quill,” by Salomon Koninck was looted from Nazi-occupied France and taken to Adolf Hitler’s personal headquarters in Munich. It resurfaced in 2017 when a Chilean art dealer tried to sell it through Christie’s in New York. The FBI seized the painting,but a court order is required to return it to the original owner’s family.
The elusive Degas. The heirs of Parisian art dealer Paul Rosenberg have been working to reconstitute his collection, which was dispersed during WWII. Although they know its location, one of them in impossible to retrieve, as the owners of “Portrait of Mlle. Gabrielle Diot” (1890) refuse to cooperate. But the Rosenberg are not keen on pursuing the matter in court because “German law is not restitution-friendly.”