Thursday, July 19, 2012

It's the Art News Round-Up!

Just a few interesting stories from the art world over the last week:

Earlier this year, the arrest of 2 art-handlers by the Chinese government bewildered the art world, giving life to fears that have yet to subside. Mr. Jennrich (a German national) and Ms. Chu are being held indefinitely on charges of smuggling, due to an allegedly inaccurate valuation on customs forms. While it is not uncommon for art dealers to want (at least) to avoid the onerous 35% duty, it seems there is much more to this story. It would appear the Chinese government wants to get in on the art-handling game, establishing Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group 2 weeks before the arrests. Can we definitively say that the Chinese are attempting to scare privately-held businesses into falling in line? Perhaps not- but it sure doesn't look good. Read more here.

The looting of antiquities is notoriously difficult to police, as many objects are taken straight from the earth or sea to a seller; they've never been recorded and could not be registered by the Art Loss Register. Such difficulties are compounded by the existence of freeports, most notably in Geneva, that prove a safe haven for looters and smugglers. Hopefully, the nascent WikiLoot can help to change that. Learn more.

FBI agents recover Matisse's Odalisque in Red Pants in Miami during an undercover sting. See more here.

Downtown L.A.'s monthly ArtWalk turned into a chalk art protest fostered by the Occupy Movement, as the LAPD accused participants of vandalism and aggression. Learn more.

One of the rare commissioned art thieves, Laessio Rodrigues de Oliveira has been running an international art theft ring from Brazilian federal prison. See more here.

Tate Modern opens the Tanks, the first space dedicated to live art performances and installations. Learn more.

Michael Brand, former director of the Getty, resigned in 2010. Speaking out now, he lambastes the management hierarchy and professes a deep concern over Italian and Greek artifacts in the museum's collection. Read more here.

Resignations continue at MoCA, the chief curator following a number of artist-trustees. It seems that the  style of management, laid out by the billionaire businessmen-trustees, is not sitting well with those who have dedicated their lives to art. Learn more.

Leticia Rodarte creates art from found objects, thanks to hard economic times and conservation concerns alike. Read more.

The recently rediscovered Klimt painting may not be by Gustav after all, but by his brother, Ernst. See more here.

A fascinating look at an art forger's criminal career and his transition to "genuine fakes". Read more here.

Art and science working hand-in-hand, pushing each other to greater heights. Learn more.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art reports record-breaking turnout this fiscal year. See more here.

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