From the Discovery of ‘Holehenge’ in the UK to Spain’s Epic New Restoration Fail: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this week's news, fast.

The Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes archaeological team created this image using red markers to show the 20 late Neolithic period pits around the Durrington Walls site in southern England. Stonehenge, two miles away, can be seen in the upper left. Image courtesy of EDINA Digimap Ordnance Survey Service.
The Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes archaeological team created this image using red markers to show the 20 late Neolithic period pits around the Durrington Walls site in southern England. Stonehenge, two miles away, can be seen in the upper left. Image courtesy of EDINA Digimap Ordnance Survey Service.

BEST👍

Sister Stonehenge – Archaeologists just discovered “Holehenge,” a ring of underground 33-foot-wide shafts dug just two miles from its above-ground neighbor Stonehenge—and now considered to be the largest prehistoric site in the UK.

Natural History Museum to Move Roosevelt Statue – After years of criticism, New York’s American Museum of Natural History has voted to remove the monument, which depicts Roosevelt on horseback, flanked by an African American man and a Native American man.

Hauser & Wirth Decamps for Hamptons – The international mega-gallery is adding an outpost in the Hamptons, hoping to cater to the Manhattanites who decamped for the beach towns during the pandemic.

Facebook Bans Antiquities Sales – At long last, the social media megalith announced a policy banning the trade of black-market historical relics and artifacts, after serving as a hub for the nefarious dealings for years.

Volta Plans Miami Debut – The art fair Volta is adding Miami’s Art Basel week to its itinerary this December, joining some 20-plus fairs on the crowded seaside strip. The fair is replacing Pulse, which was owned by the same company.

Loïc Gouzer Goes Solo – The former Christie’s wunderkind is striking out on his own, launching a single-lot sale platform called Fair Warning. The surprise return to the art world comes after Gouzer’s surprise exit from the house after orchestrating the record sale of Salvator Mundi.

‘Love Is the Message’ Gets Live-streamed – Arthur Jafa’s poignant video work, Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death will be live=streamed for free by 15 art institutions over 48 hours, followed by roundtable discussions about art and race.

Charging Bull Won’t Budge – The artist behind Wall Street’s famed bronze bull won a lawsuit preventing Mayor De Blasio from moving his sculpture from its longtime home in downtown Manhattan.

Art Meets Wellness – A new venue called Compound is opening in Los Angles, dedicated to contemporary art and wellness, featuring programs like meditation, cooking classes, yoga workshops, and art classes.

Auction Preview Alert – From a Francis Bacon masterpiece to a Roy Lichtenstein tableau, a guide to the mashup of contemporary and Impressionist art auctions happening online and IRL this summer.

 

WORST👎

National Gallery of Australia to Axe Staff – The Canberra-based institution announced a plan to cut 10-12 percent of its staff as it faces a multimillion-dollar deficit stemming from COVID-19.

Restoration Fail – A furniture restorer tried to clean up a copy of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerablesand ended up turning the Virgin Mary into a lumpy mess in yet another restoration fail.

Bid Adieu to the Met Breuer – The Madison Avenue outpost of the Metropolitan Museum of Art won’t reopen in August, instead it will be undergoing construction ahead of its new life as temporary housing for the Frick Collection.

Howard University Sues for Charles White Work – The Washington, DC-based school is suing to get back a drawing by Charles White that was consigned to Sotheby’s, after disappearing from the university in the 1970s.

Upheaval at the Guggenheim – Staff members penned an open letter to the institution decrying its “discriminatory practices” just as the museum announced that senior curator Nancy Spector would go on sabbatical.

Laundered Money – A performance artist is sanitizing $500 worth of $1 bills and displaying them on a silver platter at the Hamptons-based Guild Hall as a commentary on the economics of healthcare.

Trump Unleashes National Guard to Protect Monuments – Amid the ongoing debate about controversial monuments, President Trump deployed the National Guard to protect statues in Washington, DC, threatening to punish against those who vandalize the works.

Beyond Pompeii – Researchers now believe that the Roman Republic may have ended in part due to an Alaskan volcano erupting in 43 BC, affecting climate and vegetation, and leading to widespread famine.

Pussy Riot Member Arrested – Peter Verzilove was detained by Russian authorities for his alleged involvement in anti-corruption protests after Moscow’s city elections last year.


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