1. Kapoor Faces Legal Action After Choosing To Leave Graffiti on Versailles Sculpture
Last weekend, Anish Kapoor’s Dirty Corner sculpture installation at the Palace of Versailles was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti. While the defacement comes just three months after the sculpture was cleaned of paint vandals had thrown onto it, Kapoor decided this week to maintain the hateful graffiti on his work’s facade.
“Dirty Corner will now be marked with hate and I will preserve these scars as a memory of this painful history,” Kapoor told Le Figaro. However, the artist is now facing backlash for his decision, after a Versailles municipal councilor filed an official complaint against both Kapoor and the president of Versailles palace, alleging that the sculpture now incites bigotry and hatred. In response, Kapoor said, “I think it’s a wonderful reversal; I’ll see him in court…“It shows how insane the whole thing is,” (ArtForum).
2. Photo Shanghai Sees Strong Fair Opening
Photo Shanghai opened last week and saw strong sales from both Chinese and international collectors. Art from artists such as Aki Lumi, Taryn Simon, Christy Lee Rogers sold before the first day’s closing. The fair was established in 2007 and will open a “sister fair” in San Francisco in January, 2017.
After several tumultuous months for the Chinese stock market, experts expect Chinese investors to look to the art market as a new realm for investment. Photo Shanghai is exceptionally well-suited for such an influx of interest, as the fair includes more editions at lower, more accessible price-points. The fair itself points to a recent influx of interest both into Chinese art as a growing sector of art sales and from Chinese collectors looking to grow their collections (read more about it here).
3. Protestors Take Aim at 4 London Museums
Over the weekend,a group of over 250 protestors staged a four-part protest across some of Britain’s most major artistic institutions, demonstrating against the museums’ involvement with large oil companies. The demonstration began at the Tate Britain before moving to the National Portrait Gallery, Royal Opera and British Museum.
The protestors targeted these museums because their directors agreed to a 2011 deal with BP, through which the oil company would provide £10 million worth of sponsorship for the institutions. As the deal will expire at the end of next year, demonstrators sought to put pressure on the museums to refrain from renewing it, acting out a dramatization of an oil spill and spelling out the word “NO” with black umbrellas in the British Museum’s pavillion.
4. Curation Announcements from Met, Hammer
The Metropolitan Museum of Art made some major new hires recently.Barbara Drake Boehm will serve as the first-ever senior curator at The Cloisters while Stephen C Pinson will take over as curator of the photography department.
Boehm’s newly created position will place her in charge of budgeting, museum strategy and collections, while she continues to serve as a curator for the Cloisters, where she has worked since 2008. Meanwhile, Pinson joins the Met after curating and managing the New York Public Library’s collection of 500,000 photographs. In other curation news from the past week, actor, comedian and passionate art collector, Steve Martin, will co-curate an exhibit of modernist painter Lawren Harris opening October 11th at Los Angeles’s Hammer Museum. While Martin, who will be co-curating with the Hammer’s director, has no previous experience in curation, he was moved to get involved by his passion for Harris’ rather unknown oeuvre.
5. New Discovery Deepens Stonehenge Mystery
In case Stonehenge was not mystifying enough, scientists have just discovered a new, approximately 4,500 year-old monument a mile from it. The newly discovered “Stonehenge II” was buried 3 feet below ground and is believed to have served a theatrical function, such as a ritual arena.
Radar technology allowed archeologists to locate the estimated 90 stones underground, unearthing what they say is one of the “largest stone monuments in Europe…It’s truly remarkable.” Archeologists believe that the stones were part of the Durrington Walls Neolithic settlement, believed to be Britain’s largest prehistoric henge, having housed 4,000 residents. The discovery comes as many archeologists are rethinking many long time convictions scientists held regarding Stonehenge, such as the idea that it existed as a stand alone structure.