This Week’s 10 Most Important Art News Stories
Following the release of a surveillance video from the infamous $500 million art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, an anonymous tipster has given authorities information as to the identity of one of the figures in the video. Though the FBI states that the two suspects of the robbery are dead, the informant thinks the man in the video may be the brains behind the operation. The museum has also been forced to move up its $1.5 million roof renovation because of the damage caused to some sculptures after the 110 inches of snow Boston received last winter. (via CBS News, Artforum)
Three former Christie’s employees have been hired by Phillips in an expansion of the latter’s New York office. Jean-Paul Engelen, who was senior director and specialist at Christie’s for 16 years, most recently worked at the Qatar Museums, where he was the head of public art. Hugues Joffre decided to leave Christie’s, where he has worked since 1992, in March. Robert Manley rounds out the new hires, coming from his position as deputy chairman of postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s. (via artnet News)
On Tuesday, approximately 200 employees at the National Gallery in London started an indefinite strike in protest of the institution’s plan to privatize some of its staff—a move that some estimate would affect roughly 400 current staff members. The museum has had to close some sections due to labor shortage throughout the duration of the strike. (via the New York Times)
The city of Karamay, China, has built a copy of Anish Kapoor’s Chicago fixture Cloud Gate (2006), calling it simply a sculpture in the shape of an oil bubble, while refusing to release the name of the artist. Kapoor, in a statement to Hyperallergic, has asserted his plan to pursue legal action against the responsible party. The sculpture will open to the public at the end of the month, unless Kapoor’s efforts to remove it are successful. (via Hyperallergic)
The defunct Knoedler Gallery and its former director, Ann Freedman, have settled three lawsuits over knowingly selling fake Abstract Expressionist paintings. There are six court cases still open against the gallery for a series of sales that totalled $60 million. Among those entangled in the scandal are the Beyeler Foundation and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, both of which have shown fakes that were dealt through Knoedler. (via The Art Newspaper)
Thomas Krens, former director of the Guggenheim and founder of Mass MoCA, has announced plans for a new massive art gallery that would join the growing collection of arts institutions in the Berkshires. The 160,000-square-foot, for-profit Global Contemporary Collection and Museum will find its home on the grounds of North Adams’s Harriman-West Airport, after a construction project that is estimated at $10–15 million. (via Artforum)
After being stolen from Paris’s Centre Pompidou in 2001, Picasso’s La Coiffeuse (1911) is being returned. The painting was discovered by U.S. Customs officials in Newark during an attempt to smuggle it into the U.S. disguised as a Christmas present last December. Worth $2.5 million when it was stolen, the painting is currently valued at $15 million. (via Bloomberg)
After accusations of financial improprieties, Hasted Kraeutler Gallery in New York City has closed for good. In a statement to artnet News, co-owner Joseph Kraeutler described tensions over usage of gallery money between himself and its other owner, Sarah Hasted. But Hasted claims Kraeutler’s assertions are inaccurate—that Kraeutler closed the gallery without informing her. (via artnet News)
The Honolulu Art Museum is sueing collector Joel Alexander Greene after Greene failed to provide provenance and import and export documentation for five donations made in 2003. Museum Director Stephan Jost returned the works, valued at total of $1.3 million, to Greene after the Department of Homeland Security seized another series of works in the museum’s collection due to the suspicion of smuggling. (via ARTnews)
Performa has announced an additional three commissions for its upcoming biennial on top of the five announced last month.
In other news...
Following the court case between artist Danh Vō and collector Bert Kreuk, the artist is no longer represented by Berlin gallerist Isabella Bortolozzi, though Bortolozzi (also being sued by Kreuk) has not revealed the reason for the split. (via The Art Newspaper)
Gagosian Gallery has announced that it now represents the estate of the late video artist Nam June Paik on a worldwide scale, a move that was initiated by its Hong Kong location, which will also be hosting a solo exhibition of the artist’s work this fall. (via The Art Newspaper)
Billionaire Igor Olenicoff owes artist John Raimondi $640,000 after illegally making copies of the artist’s sculptures—the copies will stay in Olenicoff’s possession, but will be attributed to Raimondi. (via Hyperallergic)
A Venice court has rejected the Icelandic Art Center’s (IAC) request to speed up the legal process to reopen Christoph Büchel’s mosque—a decision that means Büchel’s mosque will remain closed for the rest of the Venice Biennale. (via The Art Newspaper)
Lio Malca, a New York-based collector, has transformed a former salt warehouse into a 8,000-square-foot gallery space, which opened this week in Ibiza. (via The Art Newspaper)
The Broad museum is offering the public a glimpse into its storage vault, giving visitors a behind-the-scenes look at some of the daily tasks involved in running the museum. (via the L.A. Times)
The Guggenheim Museum has hired two new curators, Hou Hanru and Xiaoyu Weng, who will be focusing on featuring work by artists born in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. (via the New York Times)
A selection of 50 works from poet Maya Angelou’s private collection are heading to auction at Swann Auction Galleries on September 15th. (via Hyperallergic)
Cover image courtesy Mike from Chicago, Creative Commons.