From Gavin Brown’s New Enterprise to the Death of Neon-Sculptor Keith Sonnier: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this week's news—fast.

Installation view: Keith Sonnier: Until Today, Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York, July 1, 2018–January 27, 2019. Photo: Gary Mamay.

BEST👍

A Picasso Surprise – Conservators at the Art Institute of Chicago discovered an entirely different composition hidden beneath one of Picasso’s paintings, lending new insight to the artist’s practice.

Gavin Joins Gladstone – Gavin Brown has shuttered his eponymous enterprise to team up with Barbara Gladstone in a surprising new art market marriage.

Have You Met the New Frick? – After years of musical chairs, the latest museum to inhabit the Marcel Breuer building on Madison Avenue will be the Frick, which will reside there temporarily while its own mansion undergoes extensive renovation.

Rose Wylie Makes Her US Debut – The octogenarian British artist is enjoying late-in-life success, as many viewers are catching on to her delightfully quirky paintings.

What You Don’t Know About Hopper – Artnet News’s Katie White breaks down the many layers of Edward Hopper’s serene painting Morning Sun in the latest edition of her series exploring the stories beyond the canvas.

Giorno Foundation Forms – Dealer Elizabeth Dee will lead a new foundation housed in the late artist John Giorno’s Bowery apartment. It will house his archive and serve as headquarters for a new grant-giving enterprise.

The Art of the Trick – The offbeat artist Darren Bader briefly conned the art world into thinking he’d joined David Zwirner Gallery, proving that pranks can be an art from unto themselves.

The Future of Experience? – How will immersive art installations fare in the social-distancing era? Artnet News’s Kate Brown breaks down the possibilities for the experience economy.

Is “Radical Chic” Still Relevant? – Ben Davis breaks down the long, strange story of the term “radical chic” and what it means for art’s relationship to politics.

WORST👎

Keith Sonnier Has Died – The innovative artist who made intricate sculptures using neon tubes and wires died after a long illness, at the age of 78.

Hagia Sophia, Under Cover – Now that Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia is being used as a functioning mosque again, some mosaics depicting Christian imagery will be covered up during Muslim prayer.

Curator Kidnapped – German curator Hella Mewis was kidnapped in Baghdad, where she lives and works as a proponent of Iraq’s art and cultural scene. Fortunately, she has since been freed.

Raphael’s Cause of Death, Revealed – Though scholars long believed the Renaissance master died due to a sexually transmitted disease, in fact it was an early form of coronavirus that felled the virulent painter.

Silence Is the Message – Chinese artist Brother Nut took a vow of silence for 30 days to criticize government censorship, particularly surrounding public health news.


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