Paris paid more than $ 103 million for the François Pinault House Building

The Pinault Collection reveals the cost of the French billionaire’s planned private museum as the Mayor of Paris comes under fire.

Hili Perlson, January 3, 2018

Francois Pinault attends the presentation of the project to install his art collection at the Paris Commercial Exchange on April 27, 2016. Photo Chesnot/Getty Images.
Did Paris overpay millions of euros for the building that will be the home of François Pinault’s planned museum in the French capital? Recent articles in the French media claim that the city shelled out an inflated amount for the historic Bourse de Commerce near the Centre Pompidou, when it was bought in 2016. Last week, the French satirical weekly Le Canard enchaîné published a story claiming that the city of Paris had bought the site slated to become a museum housing François Pinault’s contemporary art collection for more than $103 million when it could have been acquired for one Franc (around 15 cents).

Pinault, the mega-collector and billionaire owner of Christie’s, subsequently signed a 50-year lease on the site, and is footing the bill for the

Anarchy Breathing Robot at the Chelsea Art Gallery

The artist Mark Pauline has a reputation for creating chaos. Over four decades, working under the name Survival Research Laboratories, he has earned a devoted following for pioneering violent, large-scale performances by custom-built machines and robots.

One of those shows might include a flamethrower mounted on a walking frame the size of an elephant, a pile of 20 pianos set ablaze, a menacing claw just the right size to grab a human head in its pincers and a bin full of rotting vegetables.

Now, after years as an art-world outlaw, Mr. Pauline is bringing his machines to the marketplace. This latest project, opening at Marlborough Contemporary on Saturday, will be less pungent but promises to be nearly as spectacular in a white-cube Chelsea gallery.

On the opening day, Mr. Pauline’s “Pitching Machine” will hurl wooden planks at up to 200 miles an hour into a bulletproof containment vessel, where they will disintegrate in calamitous fashion.

Running the Pitching Machine at ACE Auto in SF 2001 Survival Research Labs Video by Genuine Survival Research Labs
The exhibition, “Inconsiderate Fantasies of Negative Acceleration Characterized by Sacrifices of a

Looted Antiques Seized From Billionaire’s Home

Investigators raided the office and the Manhattan home of the billionaire Michael H. Steinhardt on Friday afternoon, carrying off several ancient works that prosecutors say were looted from Greece and Italy.

Mr. Steinhardt, a hedge-fund manager and philanthropist, has been collecting art from ancient Greece for three decades and has close ties to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where one of the galleries is named for him.

In a telephone interview, Mr. Steinhardt, 77, declined to comment, “for now,” on the seizure of at least nine pieces from his private collection at his Fifth Avenue apartment at 79th Street, a three-floor home that overlooks Central Park. The authorities also searched Mr. Steinhardt’s office at 712 Fifth Avenue.

The seizures marked the latest action in an effort by the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., to repatriate looted antiquities discovered in New York City to their countries of origin.

Over the last year, Mr. Vance has roiled the city’s rarefied art world, seizing work from major museums, auction houses and private collections. In recent months, he has returned three ancient statues to Lebanon, a mosaic from one

The Nazi Art

The discovery of almost 1500 artworks including examples by Picasso, Munch, Matisse, Kirchner and Klee in the properties of Cornelius Gurlitt in 2012 stunned the art world. The ‘Munich Art Hoard’, as it became known, was immediately suspected of being looted during the Nazi era, not least because Cornelius’s father was the celebrated art historian and dealer, Hildebrand Gurlitt – a man who it transpires was prepared to exploit every aspect of Nazi policy to personally enrich himself, despite his Jewish heritage.

In 2012, nearly 1500 artworks were found in the properties of Cornelius Gurlitt, in Munich, Germany (Credit: Bundeskunsthalle Bonn)
Perhaps the publicity pricked Cornelius’s conscience, for on his death in 2014 he controversially left the hoard to the Kunstmuseum in Bern, stipulating that the provenance of the works be examined and any looted art returned to the heirs of the original owners.

The rise of the National Socialists meant that anyone seen to promote ‘degenerate art’ came under pressure

The first exhibitions to analyse the collection, jointly organised between the Kunstmuseum in Bern and the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, are not art historical in any conventional sense. Instead they focus on the circumstances

Exhibitor List for Art Los Angeles Contemporary 2018

Next month, Art Los Angeles Contemporary will once again take over the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California, and present a bounty of galleries from around the world, some of them no doubt pleased to be escaping wintry climates for some Golden State sunshine. This year, 67 galleries will be participating, including longtime local stalwarts such as David Kordansky Gallery, Ibid and Ghebaly Gallery. Other return clients include Jack Hanley from New York, Peres Projects from Berlin and Shane Campbell Gallery from Chicago.

But there are also some newcomers from various parts of the globe: Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran in Montréal, Instituto de Visión in Bogotá, LAZY Mike in Moscow, Revolver in Lima, and Vigo Gallery in London. And the Freeway sector, which focuses on young galleries, returns for the third year, and will feature exhibitors such as Marinaro from New York, Galerie Derouillon from Paris, and the North Little Rock outfit Good Weather.

“As the international art community looks towards Los Angeles as a new global epicenter, it is essential to have an event that draws upon a comprehensive notion of the city,” Tim Fleming, the fair’s founder and director, said in a release. “ALAC is a product of Los Angeles’ unique

Odysseus Edition

World War II

The New York Times reports that “the mayor of Düsseldorf has backtracked on his last-minute cancellation of an exhibition at the city’s Stadtmuseum about Max Stern, a Jewish art gallery owner who fled Nazi Germany in 1938.” Ronald Lauder, and many others, had called for the show to go forward, which the mayor had previously scuttled because of “current demands for information and restitution in German museums in connection with the Galerie Max Stern.” [The New York Times]

Some 500 academics have condemned Poland’s right-wing government for changes it has orchestrated at the Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk, the Art Newspaper reports. “Poland is losing one of the few truly cultural and scientific institutions of international importance,” they said in an open letter. [The Art Newspaper]

Market Action

The record-breaking Leonardo sold at Christie’s for $450.3 million last month was widely touted as the last picture by the artist in private hands, but Bloomberg‘s Katya Kazakina spoke with experts on the Renaissance master, and they point to two—and, perhaps, three—works by the artist that are not in museums and could, conceivably, one day be sold. [Bloomberg]

The absolutely indefatigable painter Mark Bradford, fresh off shows at the Hirshhorn and

John Russell on Works by David Hockney for a Production of ‘Ubu Roi,’ in 1966

With a David Hockney retrospective having recently opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we’re turning back this week to the September 1966 issue of ARTnews, in which John Russell, in a column about the London art world, addressed the British artist’s work for a production of Ubu Roi and a publication of Constantine Cavafy’s poetry. (Ubu Roi, it should be noted, has a history with artists; Rainer Ganahl recently became the latest to make work related to the famed Alfred Jarry play.) Russell’s thoughts on Hockney’s then-new work follow below. —Alex Greenberger

In a sense, the most rewarding one-man show of the late summer in London was not in an art gallery at all but on the stage of the Royal Court Theater, where David Hockney had designed the sets and costumes for Ubu Roi. As a production, this was no masterpiece: the play had been re-written, rather than translated or adapted, and very little remained of its demonic energy, radical social criticism and weird flights of linguistic parody. Hockney at least had enough respect for Jarry to keep his costumes within the gamut indicated by the author and his decors within the limits laid down in Jarry’s first-night speech

Archives: The Most Notable Art

With 2017 coming to a close, many have to taken the opportunity to reflect on noteworthy exhibitions from the past year. But why not have a look back and see what past years had to offer as well? We’ve collected writings from the ARTnews archives about some of the best and most noteworthy art from 25, 50, 75, and 100 years ago. (In most cases, the editors didn’t name best shows, so we’ve picked the exhibitions at our own discretion.) Below, excerpts from our archives about some of the best art from years past, from the inaugural Society of Independent Artists exhibition to the first “Young British Artists” show at the Saatchi Collection in London. —Alex Greenberger

100 Years Ago

“Exhibitions on Now: America’s First Art Salon”
By James B. Townsend
April 14, 1917

The much heralded and long anticipated first annual exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in its planning and scope modeled upon the comparatively old and famous Salon des Artistes Independents (Salon of the Independents) of Paris is now on to May 6 on the first floor of the Grand Central Palace at Lexington Ave and 46-47 Sts.

It is difficult indeed to give any adequate idea of the huge

Leonardo Copies Edition

Photographer Nan Goldin writes, in the pages of Artforum, that she became addicted to OxyContin after a surgery in Berlin several years ago, but is now clean. She has started a group called P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) that aims to pressure the Sackler family, and their company, Purdue Pharma, which has sold the drug, “to use their fortune to fund addiction treatment and education.” Goldin adds, “To get their ear we will target their philanthropy. They have washed their blood money through the halls of museums and universities around the world.” [Artforum]


In case you missed it in the rush to the holidays: the latest episode of Call Your Ball Friends, a video series in which “women artists shoot hoops and discuss art,” features Wendy White, who notes that “there’s a lack of images of women in painting, in art, and there’s also a lack of documentation of female athletes.” White talks about her art and tennis great Billie Jean King, and nets some balls. [Call Your Ball Friends/YouTube]

A clarification: last week we told you that the Hammer Museum is looking to audition dancers to perform a Tino Sehgal piece. That is a paying gig, not a volunteer one as

Hands-on Art

Participatory art seemed to be everywhere in 2017, with artists asking viewers to become chess pieces, stick stickers on walls, and rip hunks of clay out of sculpture. Why the omnipresence of the form? Perhaps it is that, in this screen-filled world, artists and institutions are aiming to return to tactile, physical experiences to put us back in our bodies. A less generous read might be that they are engineering encounters that beg to be documented and shared on social media, filtering out onto all those screens. Whatever the reason, there was a lot to do in 2017. Below, a list of ten memorable moments from the year in participatory art.

1. Urs Fischer x Katy Perry, Bliss, at 39 Spring Street in New York
All who entered had a chance to take a chunk out of Katy Perry’s head as embodied by an Urs Fischer sculpture that, in its conception, recalls his Rodin replica, The Kiss, seen at Art Basel this past summer. The difference here? Once whittled away, the first layer of white oil-based modeling clay that covered Bliss revealed a rainbow of colors. It seemed that people were just as excited about defacing Perry’s face as they were

Museum Groups Slam La Salle University’s

La Salle University in Philadelphia sent out word on Tuesday that it plans to sell more than 40 works from its art museum, including pieces by Ingres, Thomas Eakins, Matisse, and Alex Katz. The sell-off through Christie’s—which is estimated to raise between $4.8 million and $7.3 million for use in educational programs, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, which first reported the news—marks a break with professional guidelines that typically allow museums to deaccession work only to benefit its collection.

Not surprisingly, the American Alliance of Museums and the Association of Art Museum Directors today released a joint statement saying that they “are strongly opposed” to the plan by the school, which has faced financial hardship in recent years.

“College and university art museums have a long and rich history of collecting, curating, and educating in a financially and ethically responsible manner on par with the world’s most prestigious institutions,” the statement says. “A different governance structure does not exempt a university museum from acting ethically, nor permit them to ignore issues of public trust and use collections as disposable financial assets.”

The move comes as a messy legal battle continues in Massachusetts over whether the Berkshire Museum, in Pittsfield, is allowed sell

The Arborealists: The Art of Trees 2017; Into the Woods

The Arborealists are a loose collective of artists who like to paint trees. They came together in 2013, though at whose behest, exactly, I’m unable to say: not only is the catalogue that accompanies their first London show one of the most confusing such documents ever written, but on the afternoon of my visit there is no information on its walls either – not even the names of the artists (though I’m told this will soon be rectified). What I can say is that they take some of their inspiration from the Brotherhood of Ruralists, the 70s anti-modernist group of which Peter Blake and David Inshaw were probably the most famous members: their instincts are, in other words, broadly Romantic, though this doesn’t preclude the possibility of abstraction in their work.

Challenging as an exhibition like this is to review effectively (it includes the disparate work of some 22 Arborealists), as a tonic for calm it works like a dream, the artistic equivalent of the Japanese practice of forest bathing. Yes, it has its sinister corners, not least Joanna Greenhill’s 2015 film Grey Cranham, in which a pair of headlights appear in the darkness at the edge of a forest (it

The hottest art shows of 2018

Revolt and Revolution
Get the new year off to an angry start with this exhibition about art, popular culture and protest. Peter Kennard’s classic CND photomontages of the 1980s and a raw, intimate recording of The Internationale by Susan Philipsz are among the political artworks in a survey of how art is inspired by dissent, resistance and rebellion. Yet can protest art really change anything? The most pungent political art of modern times includes Picasso’s Guernica and John Heartfield’s anti-Nazi photomontages, but neither stopped Hitler.
• 6 January-15 April, Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

William Blake
Britain’s most political and most mystical artist saw himself as a radical prophet crying out against war, poverty and enslavement. Blake’s passion for liberty and human fulfilment blazes in his illuminated books. He spent some of his most introspective years at a cottage in Felpham, Sussex, and this exhibition explores how that part of England infuses his vision of Albion, in which the whole of history plays itself out amid stone circles and village greens.
• 13 January-25 March, Petworth House, West Sussex.

Detail from The Sea of Time and Space (Vision of the Circle of the Life of Man).
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Detail from The

Bristol’s once troubled Arnolfini gallery starts

A dynamic director – and Grayson Perry – are helping to turn the fortunes of Bristol’s Arnolfini around

Grayson Perry’s wall-hanging tapestry, entitled Battle of Britain, at the Arnolfini.
Grayson Perry’s wall-hanging tapestry, entitled Battle of Britain, at the Arnolfini. Photograph: Richard Baker/In Pictures via Getty Images
Mark Brown Arts correspondent

Mon 1 Jan ‘18 20.17 GMT Last modified on Mon 1 Jan ‘18 22.00 GMT
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On a midweek lunchtime approaching Christmas, more than 300 visitors are in the busy, buzzy Arnolfini gallery in Bristol. Around a dozen people are rooted to the spot reading Grayson Perry’s social media tapestry Red Carpet; downstairs, the cafe and giftshop are packed.

It’s a far cry from a busted arts organisation, one that was judged so troubled that in June it was removed from the national portfolio of Arts Council England.

The main reason the Arnolfini is busy is that it is staging Perry’s self-fulfillingly titled The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever! It was first shown at the Serpentine in London, where there were queues to get in.

Claire Doherty, the Arnolfini’s new director, approached Perry about staging it before she formally started in August. She recognised she needed

Cardboard, chewing gum, celebrity spectres

Exhibition at London auction house features ‘hugely inspiring’ work by artists creating outside the mainstream

Ophelia by Rakibul Chowdhury.
Ophelia by Rakibul Chowdhury. Photograph: Sotheby’s
Maev Kennedy

Wed 3 Jan ‘18 16.44 GMT Last modified on Wed 3 Jan ‘18 22.00 GMT
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The first exhibition of outsider art to be held at Sotheby’s will open at the London auction house next week, showing a lifesize cardboard sculpture of a runner, minutely detailed drawings by a former punk rocker, and works in embroidery, found materials and chewing gum.

The exhibition will feature pieces by artists working outside the traditional art world, including some who are self-taught and some who have social, physical or mental health problems. All are supported by the arts charity Outside In.

Frances Christie, the head of modern and postwar British art at Sotheby’s, said she found the works “hugely inspiring”.

Exhaust Dog by Jacob Rock.
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Exhaust Dog by Jacob Rock. Photograph: Mark Heathcote/Sotheby’s
“I think the work of this charity is very important – and perhaps showing this art in a venue in central London, which many of the artists would not otherwise come into, is also important,”

Primary School Utah Dismissed Master of Arts

Utah art teacher and artist Mateo Rudea is out of a job at the Lincoln Elementary School after parents objected to his showing sixth-grade students post cards of historical paintings, some of which included nudity.

The four nude works, by artists Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Amedeo Modigliani, Francois Boucher, and Agnolo Bronzino, were part of a set of postcards that depicted 100 art-historical works, reproduced by Phaidon and called the Art Box. It had been purchased as a teaching tool by the school some years ago, before Rueda was hired, and he was unaware that there was any nudity in the collection, which also features Leonardo da Vinci‘s Mona Lisa and other famous works by Paul Klee, Claude Manet, Marc Chagall, Marcel Duchamp, Paul Gauguin, J.M.W. Turner, and Vincent van Gogh.

“This is not material at all that I would use. I had no idea,” he told the Herald Journal of the December 4 incident. After students spotted the nudes, Rueda took back the cards in question and explained to the class that “‘when you grow up, you’re going to find yourselves going to museums or to places where unavoidably there’s going to be nudity.’”

François Boucher, Brown Odalisque (1745). Courtesy of the Louvre.

Photographer Nan Goldin Launches Addiction Advocacy Group OxyContin Billionaires and Prominent Arts Donors

Photographer Nan Goldin has founded a new group that seeks to hold members of the Sackler family—noted philanthropists who have made billions from the sale of OxyContin—accountable for their role in America’s opioid crisis.

In an editorial for Artforum, Goldin describes her own battle with OxyContin addiction, for which she entered rehab last January. Her new group P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now) aims to pressure the family into using its deep pockets to fund addiction treatment and education.

In October, the New Yorker and Esquire both published in-depth articles about the Sacklers’ use of philanthropy to burnish their image and distance themselves from the highly addictive drug that made them rich.

Indeed, the Sackler name graces wings, courtyards, and galleries at more than a dozen museums around the world, including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. To date, no institution in the US or UK has been willing to criticize the funders or the source of their wealth, according to a recent investigation by the Art Newspaper. (One branch of the family, the descendants of Arthur Sackler, did not benefit directly from the sale of Oxycontin.)

“To get their ear we will target their philanthropy,” Goldin

What Does Master Art Magazine Have a Rock Band 80s?

You never know what you’re going to find when record shopping in Poughkeepsie, New York. Flipping through the vinyl at Darkside Records recently, I stumbled across a 1983 LP by Detroit band Art in America. Yes, the very same name as the century-old art magazine.

The band’s music engages in some of the aesthetic of contemporaneous prog rock bands like Yes, but focuses on radio-ready, three-minute pop tunes. The cover of the self-titled LP, released on CBS/Epic-Pavillion Records, features a dreamy, lush green landscape superimposed with a number of floating blue orbs, with the band’s name inscribed in red in the sky. The image is the first record cover by the Greek-born, single-named artist Ioannis, who later designed covers for bands like Deep Purple, the Allman Brothers, and King Crimson.

Active in the Detroit music scene in the late 1970s and early ’80s, Art in America consisted of three siblings from Michigan—lead singer and guitarist Chris Ruetenik, drummer Dan Ruetenik, and harpist Shishonee Ruetenik—along with bassist Jim Kuha. To burnish their image, the Rueteniks eventually became the Flynns, a punchier stage name for the first American rock band to employ a concert-size Lyon & Healey pedal harp.

Courtesy Art in America.
Photo courtesy

Art Collector and Dealer (Eugene V. Thaw) Is Dead at 90

Eugene V. Thaw, a major American collector of European old master art and one of the world’s most respected dealers in the field, died on Wednesday at his home in Cherry Valley, N.Y. He was 90.

His death was confirmed by Katie Flanagan, president of a charitable trust established by Mr. Thaw and his wife, Clare E. Thaw, who shared his art-collecting enthusiasms.

Mr. Thaw also earned distinction as the co-author of a monumental catalogue raisonné of Jackson Pollock’s work.

His personal collection featured more than 400 drawings, including rare works by Goya, Van Gogh and Andrea Mantegna and price-setting items by Rembrandt and Samuel Palmer.

But he insisted that “great art collecting need not be based on a great fortune; education, experience and eye are more important.” He spoke from his own history.

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He was born on Oct. 27, 1927, in Washington Heights in Manhattan. His father was a heating contractor, his mother a schoolteacher. They named him for the socialist leader Eugene Victor Debs, who had died the previous year.

As a young teenager, Mr. Thaw took drawing classes at the Art Students League on West 57th Street in Manhattan. But he did not pursue

The death of betty wodmen the multimedia art

Betty Woodman, a sculptor who took an audacious turn when she began to transform traditional pottery, her usual medium, into innovative multimedia art, moving her work from kitchen cupboard shelves to museum walls, died on Tuesday in Manhattan. She was 87.

Her son, Charles, said the cause was pneumonia.

Ms. Woodman’s evolution from artisan to fine artist culminated in a retrospective in 2006 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, its first for a living female artist.

“I am coming out of left field,” she told The New York Times when the exhibition opened. “They don’t know what they’ve got hold of.”

One of the 70 works in the show, “The Ming Sisters,” is a nearly three-foot-high triptych of cylindrical vases arranged side by side — each with irregular, winged cutouts — that depict Asian women in gowns on one side and brightly colored paintings of vases on the other.

Reviewing the show for The Times, the critic Grace Glueck wrote that the “sharply outlined spaces between the figures, ghostly gray intrusions, play an important part in the presentation of the figures.”

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Another work in the retrospective was “Aeolian Pyramid,” which reflects Ms. Woodman’s late-in-life shift to very