From a Sudden New Super-Gallery to Drake and Damien Hirst’s Odd Album Art: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this week's news, fast.

Detail of the Damien Hirst album art for Drake's "Certified Lover Boy."

BEST👍

Shredded Banksy Makes a Pricey Return The infamous Banksy painting that self-shredded at auction in a Sotheby’s auction in October 2018 is returning to the auction house this fall—with a now-quadrupled low estimate of $5.5 million. 

Virginia Gets the Greenlight The state can now finally take down a Confederate monument of Robert E. Lee after a ruling against two lawsuits that sought to block its removal.

A New Museum for Uruguay  One of Uruguay’s more prominent artists is bankrolling the creation of the country’s first contemporary art museum and is slated to open in the beginning of 2022. 

Arthur’s Stone Excavated Archeologists have found the original form of Arthur’s Stone, an ancient stone structure that inspired C.S. Lewis’s “Chronicles of Narnia.”

Bank of England Bids Portraits Good Riddance  – The Bank of England has removed 8 paintings and 2 busts depicting former directors connected to the Slave Trade. 

Rule of Two? Johanna Burton has been named executive director of L.A. MOCA, a new position that will essentially split the duties of Klaus Biesenbach, the museum’s current director.

The Met Uncovers a Hidden Neoclassical Portrait Conservators at the Met discovered a hidden composition under Jacques Louis David’s portrait of famed chemist Antoine Laurent Lavoisier and his wife. While the final painting pictures the pair as liberal leaders of science, the earlier composition had presented the two as self-satisfied nobles. Talk about rebranding!

A Duped Banksy NFT Collector Refunded by Scammer A scammer with a heart of gold returned $336,000 to a digital art collector who bought a fake Banksy NFT. 

Gallery Tetrarchy Forms in the Upper East Side Lévy Gorvy, Salon 94, and Amalia Dayan have consolidated power to form a new gallery which shall be called… LGDR.

Michelangelo Left (Literally) Small Shoes to Fill? Undoubtedly a giant of art history, Michelangelo might actually have been petite in stature. Researchers in Italy have estimated his height based on studies of the Renaissance artist’s shoes. 

Bored Apes, Explained  Artnet News Pro columnist Amy Castor explains just what the “Bored Ape Yacht Club” is and why people are paying big money for ape avatars at auction (hint: it involves a secret serum). 

 

WORST👎

The Monuments Men Call Out the MFAHIn an op-ed, Head of the Monuments Men foundation Robert Edsel lays out the case that the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston should return an artwork in its collection that was once purchased by the Nazis.

Hard Times in the Big EasyWhile New Orleans museums and cultural organizations escaped the worst of Hurricane Ida’s damage, ongoing power outages pose lingering threats.

A Battle for Equitable Arts Funding Rattles D.C. –  Zachary Small reports that the cultural sector in Washington, D.C., is turning in on itself, with institutions and activists at odds. 

Guggenheim Bilbao Debuts a Head-Scratching Rap Video This week the Guggenheim Bilbao dropped a rap video in the hope of raising funds to repair its Jeff Koons puppy sculpture: “It’s the ‘P’ with the ‘U’ with the ‘P’ with the ‘P’ with the ‘Y.’ So please don’t kill my vibe.” God help us, it’s been in our heads all week.

Drake’s Bizarre New Album Cover Designed by Damien Hirst –  When Drake revealed the album art for his forthcoming “Certified Lover Boy” designed by Hirst, Twitter users went wild with speculations over the odd emoji-centric composition.

An Immersive Banksy Show Opens in New York (to the Artist’s Chagrin)  Brian Boucher headed to “Banksy: Genius or Vandal?” to give us the lowdown on the latest (unauthorized) immersive experience.

Auctions Go Into Orbit – Ben Davis digs into the burgeoning, dubious movement to take art auctions into outer space.


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