Art News - Worldwide

U.S. reaches deal in principle on trade with China: source

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 14:44

The United States has reached a "phase-one" trade deal in principle with China, a source briefed on talks between the two nations said on Thursday, saying a statement from the White House was expected soon. Ahead of the meeting, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told senators that announcements were possibly "imminent" on U.S. tariffs, senior Republican Senator John Cornyn told reporters. U.S. negotiators have offered to reduce tariffs on about $375 billion in Chinese goods by 50% across the board, two people familiar with the negotiations said, and suspend tariffs on $160 billion in goods scheduled to go into effect on Sunday.


Civil rights lawyers stake claim in Confederate statue case

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 14:34

A national civil rights group has warned the leaders of the University of North Carolina that they should reconsider a $2.5 million settlement involving a statue of a Confederate soldier that protesters toppled last year at the system’s flagship campus. The department’s attorneys had no role in negotiating the agreement, she said.


Stolen Gustav Klimt Painting May Have Been Discovered in an Italian Gallery’s Wall

ArtNews News Feed - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 14:21

Earlier this week, a gardener clearing ivy at the Ricci Oddi Modern Art gallery in Italy made an astonishing discovery: behind a metal panel adorning the gallery’s exterior wall was a painting half-hidden by a black trash bag. Immediately, staff at the gallery began to wonder if the vivid picture they found was Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of a Lady (1916–17), a painting valued at a $66 million and stolen from the space almost 23 years ago.

Now, police have confiscated the canvas as they investigate its authenticity. Could one of the world’s most sought-after paintings have been hidden at the scene of the brazen crime all along? The gallery has declined to make an official announcement until the painting’s authenticity is confirmed, but the director of Ricci Oddi Modern Art, Massimo Ferrari, told the Italian newspaper La Libertà that “the stamps and wax behind the picture are original.”

Portrait of a Lady was created by the Viennese art nouveau painter as part of a series of female portraits. Ten months before the theft in 1997, art student Claudia Maga discovered via X-ray analysis that Klimt made Portrait of a Lady by painting over another piece—Portrait of a Young Lady, a canvas considered lost since its last sighting in 1917.

Portrait of a Lady went missing amid preparations for an exhibition at Ricci Oddi in which the painting was to be its centerpiece. Investigators at the time suspected it had been removed three days earlier, possibly by a suspect connected to the gallery. Its broken frame was found on the gallery’s roof, leading investigators to believe that the work may have been hauled off the wall and reeled with fishing line through an open skylight. An investigation was reopened in 2016, following the discovery of DNA traces of a possible thief on the frame. This week, investigators said that the painting was in excellent condition and that its colors were still vibrant.

“If the findings confirm the authenticity of the painting, it would be a sensational discovery and we would be ready to exhibit it in the gallery as early as January,” Jonathan Papamerenghi, a member of the Piacenza council, told the Italian publication La Repubblica. “We are talking about the most sought-after stolen painting in the world after Caravaggio’s Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence.”

2nd suspect in Kansas bar shooting that killed 4 arrested

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 14:18

One of two men who is accused of opening fire inside a crowded bar in Kansas City, Kansas, killing four people and wounding five others, has been captured in Mexico, authorities said Thursday. Authorities have been searching for Hugo Villanueva-Morales, 29, since the shooting at the Tequila KC bar on Oct. 6. Kansas City, Kansas, police spokesman Jonathan Westbrook said he was arrested Wednesday in Mexico but did not immediately release further details about the arrest.


Germany says it wasn't aware Russia had requested extradition of Georgian man

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 14:15

Germany contradicted Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, saying it was not aware Russia had requested the extradition of a Georgian man who was killed in Berlin in August.


Criminal Charges Against Swiss Dealer Accused of Fraud Dropped in Monaco, as Bouvier Affair Continues to Churn

ArtNews News Feed - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 14:14

Never let it be said that the “Bouvier affair” is a dull one.

A criminal case in the Principality of Monaco against Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier was dismissed on Thursday, according to court documents reviewed by ARTnews, marking the latest twist in a long-running legal affair that has seeped into the highest echelons of the art world.

In 2015, Bouvier was charged with fraud and money laundering in Monaco. (He denied the allegations.) He had sold more than $2 billion in artwork to Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian oligarch, and is accused of peddling some of the world’s most expensive artworks to the billionaire at a secret markup of nearly $1 billion. Artwork that Rybolovlev bought from Bouvier includes Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi (ca. 1500), which has since become the world’s most expensive painting ever to hit the auction block, selling for $450.3 million in 2017.

Monaco’s court of appeals found on Thursday, December 12, that the 2015 investigation into Bouvier was “conducted in a biased and unfair way.” The court case has rocked the tiny principality, especially after its top judicial official was removed from his post when evidence of bias in the case was uncovered.

The court said that actions of Montaguese investigators violated the principality’s judicial code.

The court decision said that Rybolovlev’s lawyer, Tetiana Bersheda, “actively participated in the investigation strategy and the investigators regularly sent her reports as if she acted as an unofficial investigator.” Philippe Narmino, formerly the top justice official in Monaco, was apparently invited to Rybolovlev’s vacation home in the Swiss Alps by Bresheda. He subsequently left his post. “We will use tomorrow’s confrontations to reinforce the competence to Monaco,” Christophe Haget, then head of Monaco’s Criminal Investigation Division, wrote in a 2015 email to Bresheda, a lawyer representing Rybolovlev.

Speaking to ARTnews from his Paris apartment in the week before the criminal charges were dropped, Bouvier said that “from day one there was something not normal with Monaco. There was no jurisdiction with Monaco. The only thing linked with Monaco was the fact that Rybolovlev was the president of the Monaco football club.”

Bouvier said that as a result of the court cases he has essentially been blacklisted in the art world. He claims to have suffered significant financial losses in the process, and to have had virtually no business when it comes to art dealing.

“Deceived by this fraudulent scheme, the companies of the Rybolovlev family paid [Bouvier] hundreds of millions in unauthorized markups for more than ten years,” a lawyer for Rybolovlev said, adding that his legal team was planning to appeal the decision.

Thursday’s decision is not the end of the winding legal feud between Bouvier and Rybolovlev, however. There are also open legal cases involving both of them in France, Singapore, and Switzerland. Rybolovlev has also launched a $380 million lawsuit against auction house Sotheby’s in the United States, alleging that it “materially assisted” Bouvier in marking up the price of a number of works sold to him. (The auction house denied this, and has said it will “vigorously litigate” the case.)

Bouvier told ARTnews that the affair was not finished. “When it is over,” he said, “this will be a Netflix series.”

Israel bars Gaza's Christians from visiting Bethlehem and Jerusalem at Christmas

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 14:12

JERUSALEM/GAZA, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Christians in the Gaza Strip will not be allowed to visit holy cities such as Bethlehem and Jerusalem to celebrate Christmas this year, Israeli authorities said on Thursday. Gazan Christians will be granted permits to travel abroad but none will be allowed to go to Israel and the occupied West Bank, home to many sites holy to Christians, a spokeswoman for Israel's military liaison to the Palestinians said.


New Kentucky governor sued for alleged abuse of power

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 14:12

For nearly four years as Kentucky attorney general, Andy Beshear filed a series of lawsuits accusing then-Gov. Matt Bevin of abusing his executive powers. Now Beshear is being sued by the people he ousted from the state school board on his first day as governor.


As Arts Institutions Expand Digital Programming, Rhizome Names New Editor and Curator

ArtNews News Feed - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 13:57

While museums have been rapidly expanding their digital programming in recent years, the New Museum in New York has been at it longer than most, thanks to its 2002 acquisition of the art-and-technology nonprofit Rhizome. Now that closely watched organization has tapped one of its staffers for a new leadership position.

Rhizome has named Aria Dean as its new editor and curator. Dean, who also works independently as an artist, was previously the organization’s assistant curator of net art and digital culture.

“I grew up on reading Rhizome in college and really came to contemporary art and net art through it, so it has a special place in my heart as a publishing platform,” Dean told ARTnews.

Among Dean’s biggest projects for Rhizome to date, which oversees a blog as well as exhibitions, public programming, and the commissioning of new works, has been the Net Art Anthology, an essential resource that offers restored versions of pioneering digital works and historical texts related to them that she oversaw with Michael Connor, Rhizome’s artistic director. The anthology surveyed nearly three decades of art, and its offerings were later turned into a book and a New Museum show.

Such research-based work will continue to be a focus for Dean at Rhizome. She said that, over the coming year, the group will focus on several themes—radicalization online, the use of digital currencies, and the role of technology within indigenous cultures.

Dean’s promotion comes amid major changes in the art-tech field, with the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow launching an ambitious new website for art that exists online, and the Serpentine Galleries in London investing in augmented and virtual reality works.

“The niche that Rhizome has existed in gives us a very particular sort of expertise,” Dean said. “Our lens is useful as a way to think about all these things museums are already looking at, but we can dig deeper into certain sides of it.”

For Gaetz to raise Hunter Biden's substance abuse is 'the pot calling the kettle black,' Johnson says

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 13:54

The House Judiciary Committee debate over articles of impeachment against President Trump took an ugly turn Thursday when Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., brought up Hunter Biden’s past drug use.


Cory Booker Announces He Will Not Qualify for Next Democratic Debate

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 13:52

Senator Cory Booker (D., N.J.) said Thursday that he does not expect to qualify for the sixth Democratic primary debate next week but assured his supporters that he still has a path to victory."While I may not be on the debate stage next Thursday, thanks to the outpouring of support over the past few weeks, we know there’s a path to victory, and we no longer need the debate stage to get there," the New Jersey Democrat wrote on Twitter.Democratic 2020 candidates must meet the Democratic National Committee's newly tightened qualifying criteria before midnight on Thursday. Booker has met one of the criteria, garnering 200,000 separate donors. However, the senator is far from achieving the DNC's polling requirement of 4 percent support in four national or early primary and caucus state polls approved by the DNC, or 6 percent in two approved polls in early states. The polls must be published between October 16 and December 12.Booker currently polls at less than 2 percent nationally, according to the Real Clear Politics average of polls. The next primary debate would be the first time he has failed to make it onto the stage.Booker has vowed to fight on despite the setback. His campaign was showered with donations after Senator Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) dropped out somewhat abruptly earlier this month."We're still here," said Addisu Demissie, Booker's campaign manager. "We're definitely fighting an uphill battle, but we're fighting."The next Democratic debate will be hosted on December 19 in Los Angeles by PBS NewsHour and Politico. So far the candidates expected to qualify are former vice president Joe Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren, South Bend, Ind. mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Amy Klobuchar, tech businessman Andrew Yang, and billionaire Tom Steyer.


Subaru Recalls Over 250,000 Cars That Could Lose Power While Driving

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 13:42

Subaru is recalling certain Crosstrek, Forester, and Ascent SUVs and Impreza hatchbacks and sedans because they can suddenly lose power while driving, which could cause a crash. A faulty part in ...


NASA has pinpointed an area where astronauts could land on Mars. Ice is so accessible there that they could dig it up with a shovel.

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 13:42

Astronauts could harvest the ice, located just an inch below the surface, to use for drinking water and the creation of rocket fuel.


The ARTnews Top 200 Collectors at 30 and Beyond

ArtNews News Feed - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 13:37

Times have changed since ARTnews started the Top 200 Collectors list 30 years ago. Back then, the artworks breaking records at auction tended to be Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. Vincent van Gogh’s Portrait of Dr. Gachet, which sold for $82.5 million in 1990, held the record for the highest-priced painting at auction for 14 years, and the people who bought art at such scale tended to come from small and rarefied circles.

[See the list.]

As the recession of the mid-1990s wore off, the market was dynamized with record pricing, an accelerated pace between the primary market (when works sell for the first time) and the secondary market (when works change hands through private sales or at auction), globalization, and, more recently, a rising interest in the output of an increasingly diverse array of artists. Tastes have shifted toward elevating the historically overlooked and excluded, including women and artists of color.

The prices may be not be as high, but the significance of this latter development is huge. Last October at Sotheby’s London, Jenny Saville’s 1992 painting Propped set the auction record for a work by a living female artist when it sold for $12.4 million. (Compare that with the record for work by a living male artist, set twice in the past 12 months when David Hockney’s Portrait of an Artist [Pool with Two Figures] sold for $90.2 million last November and Jeff Koons’s Rabbit went for $91.1 million in May.)

In the past, if works by African-American artists appeared at auction, they tended to be by young artists and on offer in lower-value day sales. But in the November 2018 sales, Sotheby’s gave pride of place in its New York evening sale of contemporary art to The Businessmen, a 1947 painting by Jacob Lawrence that sold for a record $6.2 million. That same week, Christie’s offered Sam Gilliam’s Lady Day II (1971) in its evening sale, where it sold for a record $2.2 million, nearly doubling a previous record for the artist set only months before at Sotheby’s London. At Sotheby’s New York this past May, 10 of the 63 lots in the house’s contemporary art evening sale were by black artists.

Last month, Sotheby’s offered the vaunted contemporary evening sale platform to paintings by two other African-American artists, both of whom died 40 years ago: Charles White and Norman Lewis. (Those works sold for $1.7 million and $2.78 million, respectively.) And Christie’s, too, offered a painting by White, which sold for $1.22 million.

“There is this great shift in what’s going on in collecting,” said Sara Friedlander, Christie’s head of postwar and contemporary art. “Collectors across the board are looking for something new that is also of great quality—in concert with what’s happening curatorially in museums and in scholarly gallery shows.” The result, she said, is “shifting the conversation away from simply dead white men to artists of color and women.”

[Explore the 30th Anniversary Edition of the ARTnews Top 200 Collectors list.]

These recent developments are tied to another one: the opening up of the art world in general. “There was a level of inaccessibility that was daunting 30 years ago,” David Galperin, the head of contemporary evening sales at Sotheby’s, told ARTnews. “As information becomes more quickly transmitted and easily accessible—and works are sold in a radically different way—you’re a seeing a different kind of collector emerge at all levels. You don’t necessarily need to be an ‘insider’ anymore to get access to the best material.”

The rise of social media has also helped art find fashionable status among cross-cultural crowds and collectors of sneakers, skateboard decks, and more. “The art world at this point is hard to miss, whether online, on Instagram, or at an art fair that’s coming to a city near you,” said Jackie Wachter, a contemporary art specialist at Sotheby’s.

In Hong Kong, a significant percentage of active buyers are millennials. According to the latest Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report, 39 percent of collectors in Hong Kong fell into this demographic, while Sotheby’s said 50 percent of their buyers in Hong Kong this spring were millennials.

In addition to more a global reach, the ARTnews Top 200 Collectors list increasingly includes more diverse collectors—among them Pamela J. Joyner & Alfred J. Giuffrida, Raymond J. McGuire & Crystal McCrary, and Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean & Alicia Keys. All have built serious collections focusing on artists of color who are being newly acknowledged as momentous in cultural as well as financial terms.

“This is a defining time, with the long-overdue recognition of these critically important artists to the world as we know it—and as we will know it,” said McGuire, who first ranked as a Top 200 collector in 2014, of the African-American artists he favors. Along with his fellow music star wife, Dean, a new addition to our list this year, actively advocates for artists of color. As he put it, “What we like to do is collect living artists, give them life, and show the world their mission.”

What’s also changed is the sheer volume of information and analysis available to collectors. And that has translated into collectors looking for new opportunities. “As collectors armed with more information look for the best quality, where they’re looking now is in markets where prices are less developed than for what we would traditionally define as blue-chip, like Abstract Expressionism or Pop,” said Galperin, of Sotheby’s.

Joyner, whose collection of African-American abstract art and contemporary art of the African diaspora has been the subject of a recent traveling exhibition, believes the definition is expanding for the better. “Blue-chip is blue-chip,” she said. “What we are experiencing is simply the removal of this artificial barrier that defined blue-chip as Western-white-male-oriented.”

“We at the auction houses are guilty of setting up a system where the highest bidder is rewarded,” Friedlander said. “I don’t know if that’s what makes a top collector. The market is always looking for excellence, and that is not always tied to the highest prices. We’ve often equated the greatest with the highest prices. That’s changing.”

McGuire concurred. “The shift is in the recognition of very important artists who have not been included in the conversation— the result of which is a heightened interest now in making certain that collections represent all important artists, not just a select few.”

Such a commitment can be beneficial to all, Joyner said: “The inclusion of more narratives raises the bar.”

Trump goes on Twitter tear with more than 100 tweets as House debates articles of impeachment

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 13:29

Donald Trump spent the morning frantically tweeting as the House Judiciary Committee moved forward on articles of impeachment, with more than 100 tweets and retweets during the proceedings.It was a busy morning for his account, and the president’s Twitter activity ran the gamut: He tweeted early to express his displeasure with climate activist Greta Thunberg being named TIME’s person of the year. Then, as midday approached, he expressed high hopes for a trade deal with China.


F-35: Would You Spend $1,500,000,000,000 On a Plane That Can't Fly?

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 13:26

That's what the U.S. government did on the F-35.


Italian museum 'optimistic' that painting found is stolen Klimt

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 13:21

Directors of an Italian museum are optimistic that a painting found hidden in a wall this week is a Gustav Klimt work stolen two decades ago, a director said on Thursday. Preliminary indications appear that the painting of a woman found by gardeners on Tuesday inside an external wall on the museum's grounds could indeed by the "Portrait of a Woman" painted by the Austrian artist in 1916-1917. "What interests us the most is whether it's the original or not, rather than the theft investigation," said Massimo Ferrari, president of the Ricci Oddi Gallery of Modern Art, a museum in Piacenza, in northwest Italy.


Bad News for Taiwan: China Has Russia's S-400 Missiles

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 13:00

RIP Taipei's Air Force?


Meet The J-10 Fighter: China's Very Own F-16 That Is Now For Sale

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 13:00

It's a bit behind the curve in terms of what modern air forces are flying.


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