Barbara Kruger May Sell Art to Save MOCA Show, Auctioneers Battle Deadbeat Chinese Buyers, and More Must-Read Art News

Barbara Kruger May Sell Art to Save MOCA Show, Auctioneers Battle Deadbeat Chinese Buyers, and More Must-Read Art News
Artist Barbara Kruger
(© PMc)

– A Peek at MOCA's Coffers: The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art released its 2010-11 financial statement yesterday, offering a glimpse of director Jeffrey Deitch's fundraising challenges, which recently caused the museum to push back its costly Land art retrospective. Though the museum just about broke even in that period, its fundraising dropped by $4.5 million — prompting artist and board member Barbara Kruger to offer to sell a new work in an effort to keep the Land art show on track. [LAT]

– Auction Houses Go After Deadbeat Buyers: Everyone knows that the auction houses are looking to China for big growth, and Chinese antiquities are fetching soaring prices in salesrooms. But Chinese buyers are also causing mounting woes for auctioneers, amid an epidemic of non-paying clients. Last March, France's Chassaing-Marambat auctioned a Chinese Imperial jade seal for €12.4 million ($16.5 million) to a Chinese buyer, but this week the lot will return to the Toulouse house, as the buyer only paid €2.2 million ($2.9 million). "It will probably make less this time," said Paris-based Asian-art specialist Pierre Ansas, who catalogued the piece. "Once we’ve made the sale, we’ll be suing the non-payer for the difference." [Bloomberg]


– Client Sues Storage Company Over Warhols: California collector Annemerie Donoghue is suing the storage company Extra Space Management for illegally auctioning off four Andy Warhol prints from her unit after she fell behind on payments. But really, who keeps their Warhols in a storage locker? [Courthouse News

– Memorial Commission Gets Behind Gehry: The Eisenhower Memorial Commission has issued a letter in support of its chosen architect, Frank Gehry, declaring that its members are "unanimous in their total and unqualified support" of his vision for the increasingly controversial Washington memorial. At a hearing last week, the committee had not yet reached consensus on whether to support the project. [WaPo]

– Rembrandt's "Old Rabbi" is the Real Deal: In the UK, "The Old Rabbi," a painting that has been hanging in the private apartment of Woburn Abbey, the family home of the dukes of Bedford, for the last 60 years, has been authenticated as a genuine Rembrandt. The family has no plans to sell the work — their collection already includes 10 Van Dycks and 24 Canalettos, all purchased by the 4th Duke during his Grand Tour. Says Chris Gravett, Abbey curator: "We were all so excited at the expert verdict — the Duke was absolutely cock-a-hoop." [Guardian]

– Christo's "Over the River" Project One Step Closer: The environmental artist has mounted the latest hurdle in his quest to stretch reflective panels over the Arkansas River. Yesterday, the project was approved by Fremont County officials. Only three more permits to go! [Denver Post

– Rauschenberg Foundation on a Roll: The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation has plans to become one of the largest grant-making bodies for the visual arts in the United States by 2030 — larger, even, than the Andy Warhol Foundation. The assets of Rauschenberg's estate will be transferred to the foundation to support its growth. Already thinking big, the foundation recently donated a Rauschenberg combine to the White House, where it will hang in the dining room. [TAN]

– Naked Gallery Tours Are a Thing: Are you a nudist who loves museums but hates getting dressed to go visit them? Check out the newly-renovated Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, where you can take an after-hours nude gallery tour led by (nude) artist Stuart Ringholt. "Sydney loves nude people," said curator Rachel Kent. [WSJ]

– Don't Mess With Their Mushroom Cloud: A group called Save Our Sculpture (S.O.S.) has six months to raise the $423,000 required to restore "Chain Reaction," a 1991 sculpture in the shape of a mushroom cloud by Paul Conrad that has been looming over Santa Monica's Main Street since 1991. Some locals would rather pay $20,000 for the removal of the work, which has been badly damaged by the elements. [LAT]

– Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy's Canuck Copycat Smuggles Nude Painting Into Museum: Security guards at Calgary's Glenbow Museum were surprised to discover that a nude painting by little-known artist Gerald Dwight Byron had been smuggled into one of its galleries. The painting was hung during regular museum hours, with a note on its back that explained the mystery art handler was trying to fulfill the wishes of his late father, who had always wanted to show at a museum. [Calgary Herald]


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