Issue 240 - November 2012

News | Art Market | Books | Comment | Conservation | Exhibitions | Features | Focus | Museums | Obituary | TAN2 |


Brand names slip as market starts to correct Free

After the party, the hangover: art stars Koons, Hirst and Murakami lose their shine

Elusive smile, elusive artist: is this really by Leonardo?

Despite a lavish, 300-page book and a high-profile presentation, strong doubts remain

LA says bienvenue to French artists Free

Multi-venue project aims to inject French contemporary art into Southern California

Come and join the dance Free

Why museums are making performance and dance the focal point of exhibitions

Artists boycott New York forum over Israeli link

Creative Time Summit sees last-minute walkout

We will not forget Pinochet’s victims

Spencer Tunick to create work at notorious National Stadium

The wrong sort of sculpture?

The contemporary versus trad and kitsch battle is being fought out all over the UK, while major commissions are in the offing

Olympic show ‘rip-off’ claim

Artist upset by Games’ ceremonial hillock, which he says resembles his spiral mound

Mystery of the Frieze Masters gargoyles

Were they payment-in-kind to the masons?

Nations less wedded to their artists at the Venice Biennale

Germany will continue the tradition it started and other pavilions will show foreign talent in 2013

Rembrandt database gets a mixed reception at launch

Museums, researchers and academics invited to contribute

Thomas Schütte builds a home for terrorists in the Tyrol Free

Polish art dealer Rafael Jablonka commissions work for his property in Austria—but doesn't plan on moving in

Disharmony over Signac painting

Artist’s great-granddaughter wants the work moved

Shanghai Biennial breaks the speed limit Free

China’s imminent Politburo change and a vast new venue were just two of the challenges facing the organisers

Art Market

Spiegler in sole charge of Basel

Joint director takes overall control of fairs

The London gallery shuffle Free

On the great art Monopoly board, Americans are moving in, Cork Street is in crisis and Victoria is on the up

Two-way stake in Vienna

Art fund launches at Viennafair, Russian businessman has money in both

Growing pains as Frieze expands

Old Masters had a hard time at Frieze Masters, but Modern works fared well

More serious art appeals at auction

Hirst, Prince and Warhol go begging, while Richter breaks record

Islamic sales prove unpredictable

But sales were stronger despite fears that this market will always follow the whims of a few powerful buyers

Off the wall: Banksy murals move from West Bank to Miami Free

Palestinian protest paintings fail to sell on eBay, spend a season in the Hamptons and are now heading for Florida fair

Seven-year Schiele case is concluded in court

Ruling goes against dealer’s heirs and others who alleged Nazi looting

Is the coffee economy grinding to a halt? Free

Brazil, once the rising star, has seen virtually no growth so far this year. And its tax regime does the art market no favours whatsoever

A bullish atmosphere at Fiac

Dealers rejoice as French government backtracks on art tax, while collectors almost cause a stampede

The writing goes on the walls

The co-founder of Yahoo is showing part of his Chinese calligraphy collection in San Francisco

Calligraphy: desirable and demanding

Prices are high but understanding it means doing some homework


The fake’s progress

The history and scholarship of art forgery, and a faker’s delighted account of a life of deception

First at the bar

The stained glass of Rheims Cathedral and how it influenced later Gothic windows

Another renaissance

A much needed survey of the arts under the Mamluk Sultans

The Master and the Marchesa

Isabella d’Este was not satisfied with an objet d’art and a drawing; she was determined to have Leonardo da Vinci paint her portrait

Titian and his times

A superb, all-encompassing life of the great painter

Ford Madox Brown’s moment

This catalogue is the first comprehensive examination of the pre-Raphaelite artist’s career for half a century

A portrait of Rome in four biographies

Research results in rich life stories of Bernini, Costanza Piccolomini and Cardinal Camillo Massimo

The dynamism of oblique angles in architecture

The life and works of J.B. Fischer von Erlach

The rectangular aspect of London

A history of the city’s squares

Behold, thou art fair, my beloved

The last view of beautiful tribes whose lands will soon disappear


Go to the back of the class

The new English schools examination system will marginalise the arts

Tough, yes, but is it fair?

Cuts are deeper than expected, and heritage and the visual arts are bearing the brunt of them

The performance era is now Free

The director of Performa, RoseLee Goldberg, asks what took curators so long to catch on to live art?


At the movies with Maximilian I Free

A newly conserved 50m frieze on show in Vienna painted for the Holy Roman Emperor

Italy struggles to repair region ruined by quake

State promises €5m but damage is billions

Mind your own beeswax?

Conserving works made from unusual materials is a tough task—and artists often have conflicting views on how to do it


In by an egg, out by a brain

The Pompidou displays the Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí as the forerunner of performance art, in a layout inspired by his work

Drip, drag and drape: paint in motion

Tate Modern shows that painting and performance are not polar opposites, but have a long history of interaction

Hirst’s ancients and moderns

The Pinacoteca Agnelli in Turin shows works from Damien Hirst’s Murderme collection

Go through Death’s door in Euston with an enthusiast

The Richard Harris Collection of the macabre explores the art, objects and rituals of our inescapable end

When a collection defines style terms and dates

The Royal Collection sets its own boundaries in an exhibition of Northern Renaissance works

The Russian artists who fled

Saatchi’s shows of contemporary Russian and Soviet-era works reveal the country’s artistic exodus

The very long way back to Paradise

How the American Civil War made artists ask tough questions

What it is to be American

Three San Diego museums survey American art

West African biennials begin with bitter battles

Benin waited more than 50 years since its independence for a biennial, and now it has two

Bacon down under

Francis Bacon’s Australian roots

Emin shows her moves in Argentina

The UK artist’s first solo museum show in the Americas focuses on early video works


Lawrence Weiner: man of his word Free

The veteran Conceptualist, showing in London this month, uses text as just another material. And he doesn’t like being called a Conceptualist, either

World Heritage at 40: success or mess?

Some conservationists say Unesco is toothless and penniless and has become too political.

Not such a brief encounter Free

A new film reveals the complex, lengthy set-up that takes place before the photographer Gregory Crewdson takes each shot


Contemporary art: fashionable with the few

£10,000 is a high price in Moscow, and a secondary market barely exists.

The Non-Conformists: the story of a marketing error

How a group of dissident artists was almost catapulted to international stardom. By Kira Sapgir

A brief history of the rise, fall and rise of Socialist Realism

After the fall of the Soviet regime, the regulation style of heroic and sentimental portraits and scenes sold by the yard. By Souria Sadekov

Moscow on the Thames Free

Half a million or so Russians now prefer to live in and around London


Thieves foil high-tech security

Seven works stolen from the Kunsthal Rotterdam as overnight protection fails

‘People have fooled themselves’

The director of the National Gallery on many contemporary artists’ inflated reputations and the folly of the Fourth Plinth commissions

Who massaged the Cultural Olympiad visitor figures?

Festival organisers claim more than 3 million people visited a show of sporting medals

Director aims to bring the world to Michigan Free

Broad Museum opens, putting international relations to the fore

Scenes from the new Stedelijk

Monographic rooms, chronological hang and extra space shaped like a “bathtub”

Politicians dither over new home for Munch

Opening of new Astrup Fearnley increases pressure to make a decision in Oslo

Hell comes to the Hermitage, Chapman brothers style Free

Latest phase of Modern art wing includes temporary displays of work by Goya and instruments of torture

Austerity pain shared in Spain

Prado, Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza face deep cuts

The bronze that got away (temporarily)

Outrage in Sicily as show cancelled because of satyr’s visit to London’s Royal Academy

Collector turns Constructivist cinema into Moscow art space

Soviet-era unofficial artists and videos are on the centre’s agenda


Nicole, Duchess of Bedford

Flying-ace father, French Resistance activist, TV producer and British aristocrat… it was a life that even the most accomplished writer of popular fiction would have struggled to invent


Asian art week looks beyond London

More international dealers have been invited to take part this year