Cheat Sheet: Jackson Pollock, Anne Boleyn, and 50 Shades of Grey

Catch up on this week's most-clicked stories.

VIEWER’S CHOICE
A recent cleaning and conservation of Jackson Pollock’s 1947 masterpiece Alchemy has yielded an exciting breakthrough for art historians. An in-depth study of the piece by experts has led to the conclusion that Pollock actually used a structural plan to paint it. It was previously believed that the composition was the result of random drips and splatters, but the recent analysis revealed delicate traces of white paint devising a sort of grid structure. What does this mean for our understanding of Pollock as an artist and drip painting as a style? For the full story, check out Jackson Pollock Masterpiece Reveals Drip Paintings’ Secret.

PLAGIARISM 
Swiss watchmaker Omega has been slapped with a plagiarism suit after allegedly ripping off an artwork by Saudi artist Ahmed Mater for a recent print ad. The artist claims he never agreed to the commercial use of his work, and is suing Omega, which is owned by the Swatch Group, for copyright and moral rights infringement. Mater’s original work features a black cubic magnet neatly encircled by steel dust, and is supposed to be evocative of a pilgrimage to the Ka’aba, a sacred building at Mecca. In the advertisement, the Ka’aba has been replaced with a watch, which Mater’s lawyer argues makes it look like the artist is mocking religion. How did Swatch’s reps respond to the claims? Read Saudi Artist Ahmed Mater Sues Swiss Watchmaker Swatch For Plagiarism.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Critic and artnet News columnist Christian Viveros-Fauné shares his ten favorite works in New York City museums, including Picasso’s Les Demoiselles D’Avignon at MoMA, Arbus’s A Young Man in Curlers at Home on West 20th Street at the Met, and Mark Tansey’s The Triumph of the New York School at the Whitney. Agree? Disagree? Want to see the rest and then make up your mind? Check out What Are the 10 Best Works of Art in New York Museums? Let the Debate Begin. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this one.

PICASSO TRIAL
Electrician Pierre Le Guennec, who worked for Picasso shortly before his death and claims that he and his wife Danielle were gifted a trove of 271 artworks, finished a three-day hearing this week on charges of handling stolen goods. The verdict will be announced on March 20, and the septuagenarian couple could face a five-year prison sentence. Public prosecutor Laurent Robert stressed in court that the offense has been “detrimental to humanity,” and that “the amount of works is incompatible with any notion of gift.” For the prosecution’s full argument, read Prosecutor Asks for Five-Year Suspended Prison Sentence for Picasso’s Electrician Pierre Le Guennec.

50 SHADES OF ART HISTORY
You had to have seen this one coming. In honor of the recent release of the new sexually provocative It film 50 Shades of Grey, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite BDSM-themed artworks from the likes of Paul Chan, Andres Serrano, and Man Ray. Check it out, but maybe make sure you’re by yourself for this one: 12 Artists Who Do BDSM Better Than 50 Shades of Grey.

NEWS TO KNOW
Jeremy Deller, Ed Atkins, and Hundreds of UK Artists Support Cultural Boycott of Israel

Oculus World Trade Center Transportation Hub is $2 Billion Over Budget and Seven Years Late

Appalling Restoration Destroys Giotto Frescoes at the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi

Rare Portrait of English Queen Anne Boleyn Identified Using Facial Recognition Software

Alexander McQueen-Mania Sweeps Over London


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