1. At Tate Britain It’s Okay to Touch & Smell the Art
Tate Britain has announced a new exhibition that allows you to not just see art, but truly experience it. Opening August 26, “Tate Sensorium” will include works from leading 20th century painters Francis Bacon, David Bomberg, Richard Hamilton and John Latham.
However, the show will also include a 3D sound machine — a perfume release system coordinated with the exhibition — and haptic technology that will recreate specific textures for visitors to touch, in reference to pieces on display. The exhibit was imagined and proposed by creative agency Flying Objects, whose proposal won Tate’s second annual IK Prize, which seeks to discover new ways to experience British art. It promises to be a new and interesting re-visioning of museum exhibitions.
2. Slovakian Lawsuit Questions Getty’s New $33 Million Bernini Bust
In June, Los Angeles’s J. Paul Getty Museum announced the acquisition of an early Gian Lorenzo Bernini bust of Pope Paul V. The bust was reportedly purchased for $33 million via a private sale with Sotheby’s London. However, Slovakia’s cultural minister has filed a criminal complaint against an unnamed individual to question why a Slovakian auction house undervalued the Bernini bust, causing Slovakia to lose the historic artwork.
A collector acquired the work — which was not yet associated with Bernini due to authentication issues — from the auction house for $24,000. After the collector began trying to sell the work, questions about its provenance began to emerge, some suggesting that it had been looted by Nazis. It remains unclear when the work was re-attributed to Bernini and, according to a spokesman for the Slovakian cultural minister, officials are “…suspecting that the persons who participated in the statue’s sales process could have known the value of this artwork.”
3. Danh Vo Loses His Lawyer in Case Against Collector
The legal showdown between artist Danh Vo and Rotterdam collector Bert Kreuk continues…Kreuk filed a lawsuit against Vo and Isabella Bortolozzi Gallery for $1.2 million in 2014. The lawsuit sought damages after Vo allegedly failed to deliver a piece for an exhibition of Kreuk’s personal collection and instead sold the pieces intended for the show.
And in June a court ruled against Vo, ordering that he produce a work priced up to $350,000 for Kreuk. However, this past week Vo’s lawyer withdrew from the case as Kreuk investigates allegations of witness intimidation by the attorney. Kreuk told artnet News that Vo’s lawyer had leaked confidential emails to “influence the judicial process.” Amid the judgement against Vo and the added strifes to the artist’s legal battle, Kreuk has suggested that the two parties make a join donation to a Dutch or American museum, recognizing that any artwork made at this point would not be be with “the right artistic intention or ambition.”
4. Hawaiian Museum Seeks Almost $1 Million for Allegedly Smuggled Art
The Honolulu Museum of Art has filed a lawsuit against Joel Alexander Greene seeking $880,000 for a series of pieces the collector donated that the institution now fears were acquired through an illegal smuggling ring. In 2004 Greene and the museum agreed upon an arrangement through which Green would give over 40 works of art to the institution in exchange for an annual payment of $80,000.
Greene has so far given 5 of the promised works — worth approximately $1.3 million — but has yet to provide proper documentation for the pieces from his personal collection. The museum believes that the works were illegally acquired and are taking the matter very seriously, considering that the theDepartment of Homeland Security seized seven of the museum’s artifacts in April. Those works served as part of an investigation into art dealer Subhash Kapoor, who was charged with smuggling $100 million worth of artwork in 2011.
5. German Billionaire Threatens to Move Art Collection to USA
German cultural minister Monika Grütters is not making many friends in the art world. Resistance to new heritage laws proposed by the German cultural ministry is only growing within Germany’s art community. After Gerhard Richter threatened to remove his work on loan to museums andGeorg Baselitz actually did so, German billionaire and art collector Hasso Plattner is threatening to move his collection of art to the US.
Plattner is the first collector to speak out against the proposed legislation that would limit the movement of older or high-worth artworks from German artists. He previously promised 250 pieces from his private collection to Postdam’s future Barberini Museum, a project to recreate the Barberini Palace that was destroyed during WWII. However, if the new regulations pass Plattner said he would rather build his own museum in the Palo Alto area of California, and display his collection there. While Grütter largely dismissed Plattner’s comments and is adamant on passing the legislation, Germany’s artistic loss may be California’s cultural gain.