Issue 257 - May 2014

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

News

Artists await call-up as new US Embassy in London arises Free

Site-specific commissions expected for building near the Thames

Crimea’s looted treasure on the political agenda Free

Russian attention is turning to the region’s ancient sites, but some doubt whether it will stop the smuggling

Art school: beyond the reach of the 99%? Free

Students can pay up to $250,000, which is more than an Ivy League education

A new Crystal Palace won’t look like the Victorian original

Chinese developer and mayor of London pledge to rebuild the great glass structure but what they mean is far from transparent

Is Yves Klein’s posthumous work true blue?

Experts disagree on the status of editions of works produced after the artist’s death

Tate’s director criticises government report on Nazi loot

Nicholas Serota says the document, which recommends the restitution of a Constable from the gallery’s collection, contains multiple inaccuracies

National Portrait Gallery moves in for Van Dyck

Price falls after California-based buyer abandons export bid

Hungary keen to acquire Lord Northampton's half of Sevso silver Free

Budapest government strengthens claim for rest of long-disputed hoard after handing over €15m

Crimea’s looted treasure on the political agenda

Russian attention is turning to the region’s ancient sites, but some doubt whether it will stop the smuggling


Art Market

New tech, new art Free

Silicon Valley’s success stories are applying their non-corporate ethos to art investment, finding innovative ways of building their collections

UK cracks down on auction rings Free

New law on joint acquisitions aims to stop market manipulation but could create headaches for dealers

UK cracks down on auction rings

New law on joint acquisitions aims to stop market manipulation but could create headaches for dealers

Heads up Free

New antiquities gallery for London

Leonardo lost to view

Salvator Mundi ended up in private hands, months after Dallas Museum of Art made a similar offer

Marathon battle

Family still fighting for the return of property confiscated by Czech government

New tech, new art

Silicon Valley’s success stories are applying their non-corporate ethos to art investment, finding innovative ways of building their collections

Collector sues adviser over profits Free

Eskandar Maleki alleges deals were undisclosed, Amir Shariat countersues for malicious falsehood and defamation

Furniture with a historic aura on offer Free

Scholar-collector John Hardy’s historic pieces for sale at Christie’s

Risky business can have rewards

A collection of essays that looks at both the positive and negative aspects of doubt

Stick to the vino

Why art may not be such a good investment

Back in the picture Free

Don Thompson has written an entertaining update to his first pre-crash examination of the art market—and we have an excerpt

Brussels packs a punch

Great transport connections and less expensive property are fuelling the city’s contemporary art scene

Tax breaks open doors to imported work

As prices for international artists become more accessible, foreign galleries are successfully pitching to Brazilian collectors

Overseas dealers dip toes in China’s antiques market

New pre-20th century fair launches in Beijing—but dealers cannot sell


Books

What Van Gogh did next

The latest batch of an almost non-stop stream of books on the artist are of a very high standard

The original Renaissance man?

A small catalogue for the Met and a life by an eminent US scholar scrutinise Piero della Francesca

Art clarifies the Restoration and the Glorious Revolution

Two posthumous publications on the Early Modern monarchy and art crown a great scholar’s career

A far from academic set-up

The Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture promoted “diversity of manners” rather than stylistic unity

The politics of papal patronage

St Francis knew the value of poverty, but the frescoes decorating his basilica are rich treasures indeed

No more evangelical bats

Vitriolic, but knowledgable and perceptive, essays on architecture by Gavin Stamp

Should have been a contender

A biography of J. Carter Brown fails to deliver the expected punches

Stripping off the veil of familiarity

A fresh, hard look at Picasso


Comment

Connoisseurs and scientists both rely on ways of seeing

To discover whether a work of art is what it’s claimed to be, we need a better way of judging different kinds of evidence

Shame still hangs over the Sevso hoard Free

The recent return of seven of the 14 pieces of Roman silver to Hungary from the UK is a positive development in the find’s sad history


Conservation

Klimt’s mystery woman unveiled Free

Experts support later dating after recent conservation work—and little-known portrait will go on show in Vienna for the first time

Klimt’s mystery woman unveiled

Experts support later dating after recent conservation work—and little-known portrait will go on show in Vienna for the first time

Fears for major Mexican murals Free

Owners close cultural centre as group appeals to senate to save the works

Work begins on Avignon frescoes

Nine-year interruption to restoration of Matteo Giovannetti’s 14th-century works in the Papal Palace is finally over

Watts’s studio to be restored

Grant of £2.4m means the scale of the Victorian artist’s vision will finally be seen


Exhibitions

Carl Andre: brick by brick

The radical sculptor, sidelined by many following tragic and divisive events in the 1980s, has his first full survey in the US in 36 years

When Degas met Cassatt

New exhibition reveals the exchange of creative ideas between the two Impressionists

Down to the wire

The sixth edition of troubled Bucharest Biennale was organised in four months

Far from the madding art crowd

The Berlin biennial spreads from city’s centre to outlying venues

Where the world and Africa meet

Dak’Art builds on the popularity of African art

South eastern promises

The growth and rising popularity of festivals and galleries on the English south coast are a sign of a shift in the region’s art landscape

Off the Richter

Beyeler treads new ground by focusing on the artist’s series since the 1960s

Tehran today

Works by 24 artists span revolution and Iraq war


Features

Mondrian in London

Few records exist of the artist’s time in the city, from 1938-40. So how can we examine its influence?

Biennials in the firing line

Call for Manifesta to be cancelled, demands for higher pay in Moscow and a sponsorship row in Sydney.

Kabakovs go large in Paris Free

The Russian couple are showing across Europe this summer, and their Monumenta commission, opening this month, is their biggest challenge yet

The divine is in the detail

Manuscripts and miniatures painted by the Master of Claude de France have been reunited for a rare public appearance in an exhibition opening in New York this month.


Focus

Art blooms in the ‘land without art’

The rapid modernisation of the Kingdom led to a backlash in the 1980s and 1990s that saw the making of art, along with other cultural production taken for granted in the West, lose popularity. But that was then, and now all is in flux. By Henry Hemming

The Kingdom to spend $1.7bn on building 230 museums Free

Thirty international archaeology teams have been invited to the desert land

A new awareness of conservation Free

The Kingdom is officially opening to tourism

The might of oil flows into culture Free

Saudi Aramco partners with European museums to create a huge arts and natural history centre in the Eastern Province

The prince and his arts village

For a few decades, Al Meftaha in the South West was a cauldron of creativity

Bureaucracy and censorship: a palpable thaw

But words are more risky than art

This art is relevant

The first book about the Saudi contemporary scene shows its community nature

Art shows and talks are hubs of social and intellectual life

Art shows and talks are hubs of social and intellectual life

Are these the most #hip artists in the world?

In a very restrictive society, the internet has linked the younger generation to outside ideas, given them a medium and created an artistic community

Rivalry can be beneficial

Jeddah had two visual arts festivals this year, both very popular

Artists unite

Saudi Arabia has artists, galleries and collectors but very little artistic infrastructure. In recent years, several artist-led initiatives have started to fill that gap

More public works by Moore than Paris

How Jeddah became an extravagant sculpture park


Media

A tale of loss, grief and isolation

Lech Majewski’s “Field of Dogs” demands an understanding of theology and Polish cultural history, but is visually engrossing

Cathedrals built on shifting sand

An enjoyable portrait of an artist who obsessively creates underground caves in New Mexico’s sand dunes


Museums

Don’t charge, make images free

Wim Pijbes has dropped charges for reproductions of the Rijksmuseum’s collection. He explains why others should follow its example

Turkish tomb could regain long-lost head

V&A is willing to lend its fragment to reunite it with the Sidamara Sarcophagus in Istanbul

Will Delaware have a domino effect?

Critics fear once Wilmington’s museum sells work to pay debts others may also take the “easy” route to financial stability

It pays to listen to the experts

Museum staff and lawyers met in Philadelphia to discuss the legal issues that confront America’s museums

Crimea crisis causes deep rift

Russia and Ukraine at odds over Crimea’s heritage and who owns the gold hoard now on loan abroad

The bigger the better as the saying goes

A second Long Museum opens with sprawling survey of Chinese art from contemporary works to a Song Dynasty scroll. International works to follow?


Obituary

Rachel Lambert ‘Bunny’ Mellon

Horticulturist, art collector and generous donor to the arts