From the Spiritual Revival at Museums to the Whitewashing of Basquiat’s Studio: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this week's news, fast.

Gertrude Abercrombie. American, 1909–1977. Search for Rest, 1951. Oil on canvas, 24 × 36 in. Collection of Sandra and Bram Dijkstra. Photo: Sandy and Bram Dijkstra.
Gertrude Abercrombie, Search for Rest (1951). Collection of Sandra and Bram Dijkstra. Photo: Sandy and Bram Dijkstra.

BEST👍

London Museum Cuts Ties with Big Oil – After years of pressure from activists and artists, the National Portrait Gallery cut ties with BP.

Warhol to Narrate Netflix Show From Beyond the Grave – Death won’t stop Andy Warhol from taking a star turn in an upcoming Netflix docuseries, thanks to A.I.

Belgium Returns Thousands of Artifacts – The country returned 84,000 artifacts that may have been looted to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Met Makes a Pricey Acquisition – The museum just bought a Renaissance roundel for $23 million, making it the second most expensive acquisition in its entire history.

Prague Opens Ambitious Art Foundation – The Pudil Foundation, a $40 million kunsthalle, just opened in the Czech capital.

The Occult Takes Over Museums – The trend of museums exploring spirituality and the unknown is continuing, helping to illuminate unsung voices in art history.

Inside the Ambassadors – Artnet News’s Katie White decodes Hans Holbein’s masterpiece painting, which is chock full of secret riddles and optical illusions.

WORST👎

An Artist’s Decision to Sell Art to Help Arm Ukraine – Artist Pavlo Makov, who was selected to represent Ukraine in Venice is selling his artwork in attempt to buy much-needed supplies to arm the front lines against Russian troops.

A.I. Art Can’t Get Copyright Protection – The copyright office rejected a proposal based on its lack of human authorship.

Ukraine May Not Attend Venice Biennale – The organizers of the Ukrainian pavilion at the Venice Biennale have halted preparations following Russia’s invasion of the country.

Sotheby’s Gets Punked – The auction house thought it would make history with a sale of 104 CryptoPunks for $30 million… instead, the consignor called it off.

Dan Graham Has Died – The protean artist, who worked in text-based art, sculpture, and astrology, died on February 19 at age 79.

Museum Director Axed for Activist Show – The director of a Manchester museum was forced out for exhibiting work of Forensic Architecture that declared solidarity with Palestine.

Artist De Wain Valentine Has Died – The Light and Space artist who was celebrated at the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time, died at age 86.

Artists Protest Transfer of Roosevelt Statue – More than 140 artists and academics signed a letter protesting the move of NYC’s infamous Teddy Roosevelt monument to ancestral tribal lands.

Basquiat’s Former Studio Gets Whitewashed – The downtown site where street artists painted tributes to the late artists was unceremoniously painted over.


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