National Gallery Visitor Attacks "Evil" Gauguin Nude, Frank Gehry Gets Appeased in Paris, and More Must-Read Art News

National Gallery Visitor Attacks "Evil" Gauguin Nude, Frank Gehry Gets Appeased in Paris, and More Must-Read Art News

Art Attack: A woman visiting the Gauguin exhibition at D.C.'s National Gallery on Friday suddenly launched a frenzied attack on one of the painter's more famous works, trying to tear "Two Tahitian Women" from the wall and striking the work's protective plastic covering with her fists while shouting, "This is evil!" A male fellow museumgoer "tackled" the woman and prised her from the painting, an 1899 portrait of two partially clothed women (one is bare-breasted), which is on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The painting was not damaged, a museum rep told the Washington Post, and the woman, whose name has not been released, appeared in court yesterday on chargers of destruction of property and attempted theft. The incident "was a scary, scary thing for everyone who was there,” said one museumgoer. Another Kathy Folden? [WaPo]

Vindicated?: Could Frank Gehry's rage and invective over opposition to his plan for Bernard Arnault's new Parisian art museum, the Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation, have paid off? After being halted by city authorities, construction on the controversial project now seems able to continue thanks to a bill approved by the French Senate. [Forbes]


9/11 Museum Controversy: Plans to install the unidentified remains of 1,123 victims of the World Trade Center attack in a wall of the coming National September 11 Memorial and Museum have drawn fire from victims' families, who object to the bones and ashes being "put in a museum, really for gawkers." The remains would be commemorated with a quote from book nine of Virgil's "Aeneid" — "No day shall erase you from the memory of time" — which, while a not uncommon memorial slogan, has an odd literary context: it comes from the poet's apostrophe to Nisus, a Trojan warrior, who threw himself into certain death (a suicide mission, essentially) to avenge Euryalus, his close friend and understood lover. The victims of 9/11, one might add, were emphatically not warriors, making the line an especially weird place to source a cliché sentiment. [NYT]  


Venice is Sinking... Under Ads: Italy's new minister of culture Giancarlo Galan has said that the "mega-ads" located in Venice's St. Mark's Square and lining the Grand Canal must go, following a campaign signed onto by many of the biggest names of the international art world. [TAN]


A Very Big Bear: Christie's New York will install a 23-foot-tall, 20-ton bronze teddy-bear sculpture by Urs Fischerin a Park Avenue plaza this week. "Untitled (Lamp/Bear)," as the piece is called, is due to be auctioned off next month, with estimates in the $10 million ranges. [WSJ]

The Superdoctor Will See Your Art Now: New York magazine critic Jerry Saltz will get his third honorary doctorate next month, this time from the Kansas City Art Institute. This gives him a slight lead over his wife, Roberta Smith, and friend Peter Schjeldahl, who each have two honorary doctorates thanks to their their indispensable criticism. James Franco, meanwhile, is so incredibly jealous. [Artnet]

Jonesing for "Work of Art"?: While waiting for that reality show to return with its announced second season, why not tune into the most recent episode of "Celebrity Apprentice," in which Meat Loaf, Gary Busey, Mark McGrath, La Toya Jackson, et alia faced the ultimate challenge: opening a successful art gallery. Who will be the next Leo Castelli? Stay tuned. [Houston Chronicle]

Lip Service: Zany artist Yayoi Kusama has teamed up with Lancôme to create a line of special lip glosses festooned with her signature dots… on the packaging, not within the gloss itself, so it won't look like you've come down with a case of the interstellar mumps. [Vogue]

Sundays in the Park With Richard: The Pritzker Prize-winnng architect Richard Meier, who has designed beautifully spare buildings around the world (as well as ARTINFO's office, so thanks!), has a delightful-seeming Sunday routine, where he takes a book to Central Park and reads on a bench for a few hours and then works a bit on some collages he's creating for a book of his own. (From the photograph accompanying the story, he also seems to have a nice collection of old wooden boxes.) [NYT]

Anselm Kiefer Speaks: "Germany needs a strong Europe, because you still cannot completely trust Germany," Anselm Kiefer tells the Guardian in a recent profile, voicing rather directly the dark crux of his life's work. Other interesting tidbits include that Kiefer studied law for a time because "I thought I was already an artistic genius and so didn't need art school," but then transferred to the art school in Düsseldorf, where Joseph Beuys was teaching. While Kiefer never studied with the social sculptor, he says Beuys approved of his controversial early Hitler-salute self-portraits because "it was a good action, and for him, action was art." [Guardian]

"What If the Stuckists Are Right?": So asks Jonathan Jones in a rare wavering of opinion, ceding that the radical-lite movement — which preaches that the vogue for conceptual art, encouraged by the Turner Prize, has doomed quality painting — might have a point. "Will there be any Lucian Freuds around a century from now?" the critic asks. "Not unless we find space for talented and disciplined painters in our idea of art." But aren't we seeing a gigantic profusion of painters at this very moment? [Guardian]

Full Frontal Charity?: In a decidedly indie effort to raise money to help benefit the Japan Society's aid initiative, Jeremy Kost has teamed with artists Nicola Formichetti, Charlie Welch, and Edward Kim to sell a charitable edition "Flowers for the Land of the Rising Sun" that features three ripped male models "posing the way we enter and leave the world" — i.e. naked — "with a plethora of white flowers." [Jeremy Kost]

Reich On: Minimalist music legend Steve Reich's son is a musician too. Ezra Reich fronts the L.A.-based Ezra Reich Band, "an unabashed throwback to 1980s synth-pop with big and marvelous hooks." The younger Reich professes himself a fan of his father's earlier, more melodic work, but adds, "In his heart, my dad's really into harmony and melody and rhythm." [LAT]

Schnabel Speaks: Bad-boy artist and man behind the new, hotly contested movie "Miral," Julian Scnhabel talks to filmmaker Alison Chernick about his now front-and-center Jewishness ("I'm a Jewish person, and my perspective is that of a Jewish person") and doesn't like certain things about filmmaking, like "talking on the telephone." [Nowness]

Wooded Landscape With or Without Sportsman: At the Minneapolis Institute of Arts a sportsman's very existence hangs in the balance. Upon the discovery that the jaunty man in the foreground of a pastoral scene —
"Wooded Landscape with a Windmill" by Meindert Hobbema — was added at a later date, the museum is calling for a public vote to determine whether or not the painting-crasher should be removed. [press release]

Max Mara Art Prize Shortlist: See the work of the five finalists for the Whitechapel gallery's women-artists-only biannual award, which comes with a six-month residency in Italy, a show at Whitechapel, and funds to complete a project. [Guardian]

Diane von Furstenberg by Chuck Close: After a skiing accident that broke her nose and fractured her face — and left the iconic wrap-dress designer lamenting, "Oh no, my cheekbones, They're my best asset" — von Furstenberg allowed Chuck Close to take her portrait, an image that is included in the new show "Diane Von Furstenberg: Journey of a Dress" at Pace Beijing. [NYM]

Thorsten Brinkmann Wins Finkenwerder Prize: The Hamburg-based artist will receive the art prize this June, after which Brinkmann's multidisciplinary work will be shown this July and August in the Kunsthaus Hamburg. Previous prize-winners include Neo Rauch, Candida Höfer, and Daniel Richter. [Artfacts]

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Watch Kobe Bryant catch an art thief.