From the Mutant Art Aficionado at the Met to the Guggenheim’s Golden Trump Taunt: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on what you missed—fast.

Michelangelo met Michelangelo. Image courtesy of the Met Instagram.

BEST👍

The Other Michelangelo Has Nunchucks – The blockbuster show “Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer” on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art just got a major endorsement from the teenage turtle himself.

Power to the Posters – Following the widespread success of the Women’s March in 2017, more curators are deciding to keep the handmade signs as art objects that are emblematic of contemporary culture.

Behind the Curtain of Private Sales – Christie’s and Sotheby’s prove that the art of the deal is in private sales; although the auction block is the most public place for art sales, the biggest houses conduct serious business beyond the block.

Little Acts of Independence – During the government shutdown earlier this week, the government-funded Smithsonian Institution refused to close its doors, relying instead on “rainy-day” funds to remain open to the public.

Artists Pay Homage to New York – New York Magazine has enlisted the work of 50 artists to help commemorate its half-century anniversary, and the names are pretty impressive.

The Hayward’s Long Awaited Heyday – London’s Hayward Gallery is showing off its new and improved space with a show of Andreas Gursky‘s gargantuan photographs.

The Academy Is ‘Loving’ This Art Film – More than 100 artists collaborated to create Loving Vincent, and their hard work paid off: the world’s first-ever painted film depicting the life of Van Gogh nabbed an Oscar nomination this week.

WORST👎

The White House Gets Flushed – The outspoken chief curator of the Guggenheim, Nancy Spector, had a golden counteroffer to the White House’s request to borrow a Van Gogh painting: a gilded toilet by the notoriously impish artist Maurizio Cattelan.

A Painter’s Legacy Will Live on in “Odyssey” Show – Artist Jack Whitten passed away at age 78; the multifaceted painter will be the subject of a survey at the Baltimore Museum of Art before it travels to the Met later this year.

Controversy at the Queens Museum – Laura Raicovich is no longer director of the Queens Museum; her outspoken political stances led to disagreements with the board.

The National Gallery Says “Time’s Up” – Drawing a hard line against accusations of sexual misconduct, the DC-based museum cancelled upcoming shows for both Chuck Close and Thomas Roma in light of recent allegations.

Salvator Mundi and the Spy – The former employee of Christie’s Hong Kong now accused of leaking information to China was entrusted to guard the world’s most expensive painting.

Paris Is Not So Into Jeff Koons This week, more than 20 art world professionals signed an open letter denouncing Jeff Koons’s Bouquet of Tulips, a candy-colored sculpture meant to honor victims of a 2015 terror attack, with artists and curators vehemently denouncing the proposed memorial as “product placement.”

What Austrian’s Right-Wing Reign Could Mean for the Arts – As the new government settles in, arts and cultural institutions worry over the implications, including potential funding cuts and a crackdown on subversive art aesthetics.

Torrential Rain Threatens French Museums – Weeks of flooding are leading French officials to fear for the safety of the art at the city’s great cultural institutions, including the Louvre.


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