From David Hockney’s Greatest Triumph to the Scandalous New Richard Avedon Book: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on the week's art news—fast.

David Hockney poses in front of his painting The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images.

BEST👍

How a Masterful Exhibition Gets Made Henri Neuendorf spoke to the curator of the Met’s blockbuster Michelangelo show to find out why it was next to impossible to pull off, and required a signature from the Queen of England.

When Spike Lee Needed an Artist…  – Tatyana Fazlalizadeh told artnet News how her grassroots art campaign caught the attention of the fabled director and got her art a starring role in Netflix’s reboot She’s Gotta Have It. 

Cultural Institutions Pledge to “ReACH” Higher – Representatives from 19 of the world’s leading arts organizations joined together to relaunch a 19th-century mission to support digital reproduction and combat threats to antiquities.

The Legacy of Azzedine Alaïa – London’s new Design Museum will open with a show dedicated to the career of Alaïa, the wildly popular fashion designer who died earlier this year.

The Greatness of David Hockney Touring the Met’s David Hockney retrospective, artnet’s critic Ben Davis determined that “his most famous works are also his best works, specifically the late-1960s, early-‘70s cycle making of Los Angeles’s artificial oasis an achieved, if slightly remote, paradise of gay desire.”

Raf Simons Takes Calvin Klein Beyond Soup Cans – Calvin Klein’s creative director Raf Simons has inked a multiyear contract with the Andy Warhol Foundation. The collaboration was teased during fashion week, with Simons’s Pop-heavy designs stealing the show.

Looking Back to Where It All Began – Seven international art connoisseurs took a trip down memory lane and told us about the origins of their world-renowned art collections and how they first caught the art collecting bug.

Curators Are Named for the Biggest Biennials – The UK-based curator Ralph Rugoff—director of the Hayward Gallery in London—has been announced as the artistic director for the 2019 Venice Biennale. Closer to home, the Whitney Museum announced the co-curators for its 2019 Biennial: two members of its staff, Rujeko Hockley and Jane Panetta.

Here’s What Sold at Art Basel Miami Beach – artnet News compiled a handy price list of some of the best-selling artworks at Art Basel in Miami Beach, led by a $9.5 million animal-themed installation by Bruce Nauman.

The Art of Giving (Presents) – ‘Tis the season for art-themed everything, and our definitive gift guide for art lovers has arrived just in time for the holidays.

WORST👎

Catalan’s Art Clash –  Protests erupted in the Spanish city of Lleida as 44 Medieval works of art from the Catalonia Monastery of Sigena were removed by judicial order and returned to the neighboring region of Aragon.

A Very, Very Unauthorized Biography – A new book reveals juicy details about Richard Avedon’s intimate life, name-dropping various male celebrities as supposed romantic partners… but the late photographer’s foundation claims the book is more tabloid than truth.

Women Artists Get a Raw Deal in the Art Market – A new and extensive study from artnet Analytics delves into the many ways that female artists are given short shrift compared to their male counterparts at every level in their careers.

What Does the Tax Bill Mean for Artists? – The Republican tax bill is hurtling toward completion, and its likely effect on artists is not looking good.

The Swindling of a Museum Board – Felix Salmon dove into the startling trove of documents released by the scandal-embroiled Berkshire Museum, and helps to shed light on how the institution decided to sell 40 prized artworks and now faces legal and PR nightmares.

Artists Demand More From documenta – More than 250 artists, curators, and critics signed a letter addressing the financially driven direction the quinquennial is headed. The rift between organizers of documenta and its board has exposed an organization that, according to the petition, “endangers the future autonomy” of the exhibition.

Candice Breitz’s Creative Resistance – The South African artist has renamed a famous artwork of hers in protest of the National Gallery of Victoria’s links to the maligned firm Wilson Security, which has been accused of abusing refugees—and now other artists participating in the NGV Triennial are joining her fight.


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