From Basquiat’s Triumphant Brooklyn Return to Riley the Mouse-Hunting Museum Puppy: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on what you missed—fast.

Yusaka Maezawa with his prized Basquiat, Untitled (1982). Image courtesy of @yusaku2020.
Collector Yusaku Maezawa with his record-setting purchase: Basquiat's Untitled (1982). Courtesy of @yusaku2020.

BEST👍

Basquiat Returns to Brooklyn – The world-famous skull painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat kicks off its world tour at the Brooklyn Museum on January 26. The record-setting canvas comes to the borough courtesy of mega-collector Yusaku Maezawa, who bought the work for a staggering $110.5 million at Sotheby’s last spring.

Meet Riley, the Pest-Hunting Museum Puppy – The MFA Boston has an adorable new way to protect its artwork: a 12-week-old puppy, hired to assist in safeguarding the priceless artworks from pesky infestations, thanks to his keen sense of smell.

Attention Art-Underworld! – The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston is still offering a whopping $10 million reward for information regarding the infamous heist of priceless artwork almost three decades ago, despite speculation that it would return to its prior $5 million limit at the end of 2017.

Keeping Pace in Hong Kong – To inaugurate its fourth Asian-outpost, an exhibition of Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara will open at Pace’s newest Hong Kong space. The show comes just in time for Art Basel in the booming art city, while the New York artist Loie Hollowell’s work will be on display at the existing Hong Kong location.

David Zwirner‘s World Domination – Gallerist extraordinaire David Zwirner is set to open a new $50 million gallery in Chelsea, designed by starchitect Renzo Piano. This year marks the gallery’s 25th anniversary, and with an outpost opening in Hong Kong later this month, the mega dealer is showing no signs of slowing down with age.

Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Shares the Wealth – The internationally-renown Latin American art collector just donated more than 200 artworks by Latin-American artists to six museums across the US, Latin America, and Europe. Visitors to MoMA will enjoy the bulk of Phelps de Cisneros’s generosity, with 90 works added to its collection.

WORST👎

 

Trump’s London Snub – President Trump, whose reputation has gone all pear-shaped in Britain’s capital, will not be attending the newly renovated and art-laden US embassy opening January 16 in London; the billion-dollar project boasts site-specific work by Rachel Whiteread and Sean Scully, and is expected to feature one of Jenny Holzer‘s text-based missives.

The Met Ticketing Backlash Continues – Along with the mounting voices of criticism, and suggestions for alternative fund-raising in response to the Met’s new admission fee, an online petition has also picked up steam. The petition is gathering thousands of signatories who are railing against what it deems a “classicist and nativist policy” imposed by the museum last week.

What Is the Real Price of Admission? – Meanwhile, artnet News’s Tim Schneider makes a bold claim about how entrance fees really affect visitor engagement and diversity.

Germany’s Gender Gap – Despite the rising tide of female curators who are taking over the reigns at Germany’s most impressive cultural institutions, studies find that a glass ceiling remains in place compared to other European countries.

Kynaston McShine’s Legacy – The former curator-at-large for the Museum of Modern Art passed away at age 82 this week. McShine rose to art-historical fame thanks to his landmark exhibitions “Information” and “Primary Structures.”

Cracking Down on Looted Art –  Manhattan investigators are cracking down on allegedly looted artifacts, and now hedge-fund billionaire Michael Steinhardt’s art collection was the target of a seizure carried out by the city’s district attorney’s office.

Antiquities Dealer Gets Raided Too – Authorities also seized works from Phoenix Fine Art, an antiques dealer in Manhattan, where they found multiple works dating to the fifth century BC with dubious provenances.

Goodbye Rokeby – London’s stalwart Rokeby Gallery announced it would be calling it quits; the gallery owner previously curated David Bowie‘s collection, and is closing after 13 years in operation.


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