News stream

Egyptian court finds ex-finance minister’s brother guilty of antique trafficking
18 February 2020 - 18:00
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By La Gazette Drouot

Raouf Boutros-Ghali, the brother of Egypt’s former finance minister, was convicted in two 2017 cases of smuggling artefacts to Italy and sentenced to 30 years and a 6M Egyptian pounds fine. As the items, among them masks, coins, and statues, lack museum records, they were likely excavated and smuggled surreptitiously.

Banksy Valentine’s Day mural vandalised
18 February 2020 - 16:00
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By La Gazette Drouot

A mural depicting a young girl shooting a catapult of flowers appeared on a wall in the artist’s hometown of Bristol in the early hours of February 13. It was confirmed as a genuine Banksy the same day, but less than two days after the artwork first appeared, it had already been graffitied with bright pink obscenities.

V&A Museum of Childhood in London's Bethnal Green to close for 2-year renovation
18 February 2020 - 14:00
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By La Gazette Drouot

As part of the V&A’s East London developments, the museum will close on May 11 to undergo a £13 million redesign including three new galleries titled “Play”, “Imagine”, and “Design”, the latter featuring an artist-in-residence programme. The museum will reopen in 2022, in time for its 150th anniversary. 

Aspen Art Museum forced to close Yayoi Kusama infinity room over building codes
18 February 2020 - 11:30
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By La Gazette Drouot

"Yayoi Kusama: Where the Lights in my Heart Go" opened at the Colorado museum on December 20, expected to run until May 10. Its closure has now been pushed forward eleven weeks to February 23, as the works block access to an elevator which building codes mandate must be available for emergencies and disabled access.

MoMA appoints Clément Chéroux chief photography curator
17 February 2020 - 17:30
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By La Gazette Drouot

Chéroux, whose CV boasts such reputable institutions as the Centre Pompidou, succeeds Quentin Bajac, who left to lead the Jeu de Paume. He leaves his role as senior curator at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Pritzker Center for Photography to oversee MoMA New York’s 30,000-strong photographic collection in June.

Mr Brainwash to open new museum in former Los Angeles media centre
17 February 2020 - 16:14
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By La Gazette Drouot

The French-born artist (real name Thierry Guetta) acquired a lease to use the Beverly Hills building, which until recently housed the Paley Center for Media, as a museum until it is converted to a hotel; set to open in Spring, it will initially show Guetta’s works before inviting artists for solo or group exhibitions.

Damien Hirst in process of creating a chapel for the South of France
17 February 2020 - 14:48
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By La Gazette Drouot

The renowned British artist revealed the project with an Instagram post depicting part of the planned chapel, two large fingertips being taken for casting. The final product will reflect a bronze hand reaching upwards to the sky and will be installed at the Chateau La Coste in Provence, France.

New auction records at Phillips’ 20th Century Contemporary Art Sale
17 February 2020 - 11:55
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By La Gazette Drouot

The February 13 sale in London totalled £21,183,600 and broke the record for a Damien Hirst ‘Medicine Cabinet’ (Bodies, 1989, £1,368,600), the leading lot offered from The Robert Tibbles Collection. Amoako Boafo’s The Lemon Bathing Suit (2017) opened the sale with a bang, achieving £675,000, 14 times its high estimate.

Marian Goodman Gallery will represent the estate of Robert Smithson
14 February 2020 - 18:00
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By La Gazette Drouot

The gallery has teamed up with the Holt/Smithson Foundation, dedicated to continuing the legacy of contemporary American artist Robert Smithson and his wife, artist Nancy Holt. The partnership will be inaugurated with the first solo UK exhibition on Smithson at Marian Goodman Gallery in London, from May 5 – June 27.

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac appoints Tom Hunt director in London
14 February 2020 - 16:00
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By La Gazette Drouot

Having previously worked at Hauser & Wirth and Simon Lee, Hunt will leave international advisory firm Murphy & Partners to take the helm of Thaddaeus Ropac’s London gallery; in the position he will be responsible for exhibition curation, artist liaison, and managing primary and secondary market sales.

Elisabeth Wild, creator of fantastical collages, dies at 98
14 February 2020 - 14:00
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By La Gazette Drouot

The Vienna-born artist, who moved to Guatemala at 16, found international prominence at a late stage in her career, notably in 2014 in a mid-career survey for her daughter, Vivian Suter, at Kunsthalle Basel. Wild created other-worldly collages using magazines images; Vienna’s MUMOK is planning a retrospective for 2021.

Perrotin to open small viewing gallery in Paris
14 February 2020 - 10:53
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By La Gazette Drouot

The gallery, which also has spaces in New York, Seoul, Tokyo, and Shanghai, will open a fourth outpost in the French capital measuring just 70 sq. m. Located on Avenue Matignon in the eighth arrondissement, collectors will there be able to view any work at scale on demand, thanks to a high-definition projection device.

House of Representatives votes in favour of Smithsonian Women’s History Museum
14 February 2020 - 09:30
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By La Gazette Drouot

The bill, proposed by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, attained 293 co-sponsors and subsequently passed 374 votes to 37; it would be the 20th museum established by the Smithsonian Institution. Should the act also be passed by the Senate, the board will have six months to choose a site for the monumental museum.

All three Blain Southern galleries to close
13 February 2020 - 17:41
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By La Gazette Drouot

Harry Blain, who has run the gallery alone since co-founder Graham Southern left in November, will close its spaces in London, Berlin, and New York, explaining that its long-term future could not be secured. This follows the departures of several artists: Jake and Dinos Chapman in November and Mat Collishaw yesterday.

Chile will not participate in Spain’s ARCO Madrid fair amid “social unrest”
13 February 2020 - 16:43
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By La Gazette Drouot

The Chilean Ministry of Culture declined the major contemporary art fair’s invite to be its guest country in 2021 due to anti-inequality protests that broke out in October. Some believe the decision is an attempt to stifle artistic freedom and keep potential governmental abuse of protestors from being spread abroad.

Houston’s Rothko Chapel reopening set for June after restoration
13 February 2020 - 15:01
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By La Gazette Drouot

A $30 million renovation, which has seen the interfaith sanctuary shuttered since March 2019, included the construction of a Meditation Garden and a Program Center with an outdoor plaza, as well as new lighting design to better illuminate the fourteen monumental Mark Rothko canvases housed in the chapel.

Delacroix masterpiece to return to Louvre following restoration
13 February 2020 - 12:46
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By La Gazette Drouot

After three months of work, Eugène Delacroix’s Scenes from the massacres at Chios (1824) will return to the museum on February 19; the restoration, funded by a patronage from the Bank of America, involved stripping the large format oil painting of layers of varnish and grime that were giving it a yellowed appearance.

Turin’s Castello di Rivoli to show works from Uli Sigg collection
13 February 2020 - 10:00
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By La Gazette Drouot

Swiss businessman Uli Sigg assembled the world’s largest collection of Chinese contemporary works of art, 1,500 of which he donated or sold to Hong Kong’s M+ Museum in 2012. A selection will feature in “Facing the Collector: The Sigg Collection of Contemporary Art from China”, set to run from February 25 – June 21.

UK to be represented by Sonia Boyce at Venice Biennale
12 February 2020 - 17:48
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By La Gazette Drouot

 Sonia Boyce will fly the flag for the UK at the 59th Biennale, scheduled for May-November 2021. The British Afro-Caribbean artist, who was involved in the Black Arts Movement of the 1980s, addresses race relations in her work which encompasses various mediums including performance, print, and the audio-visual.

Museum of Modern Art acquires 56 Gordon Parks photographs
12 February 2020 - 14:34
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By La Gazette Drouot

The works come from Parks’ 1957 series “The Atmosphere of Crime”, for which he captured police stations, crime scenes, and morgues for Life magazine, which he joined in 1948 as its first African American staff photographer. A selection will feature in the exhibition “Gordon Parks and the Atmosphere of Crime” in May.