Marina Abramovic Opera Gets Rave Review, Thomas Kinkade Rescue Call Leaked, and More Must-Read Art News

Marina Abramovic Opera Gets Rave Review, Thomas Kinkade Rescue Call Leaked, and More Must-Read Art News
Marina Abramovic and Antony Hegarty in "The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic"
(© Lucie Jansch (Manchester International Festival))

— The Artist is Operatic: The new opera by Marina Abramovic and Robert Wilson "The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic" opened in Madrid this week, and the WSJ has good things to say. Though "parts of the second act drag," one moment where the artist, playing herself, removes a mask of her own face sounds particularly stunning. And both actor Willem Dafoe, in the "crazed, multifarious role of narrator," and Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons, who wrote the music, are singled out for high praise. [WSJ]

— Did Thomas Kinkade Drink Himself to Death?: The sudden death of the successful painter Thomas Kinkade last week at age 54 may not have been as peaceful as originally thought. Though his family said the "Painter of Light" passed away happily in his sleep, a Santa Clara County rescue worker describes the scene differently in a recording posted to the Daily: "Apparently he has been drinking all night and not moving." A neighbor also claimed that Los Gatos police had recently had to visit the house repeatedly to break up fights between the troubled "Painter of Light" and his girlfriend. [The Daily]

— Palais de Tokyo Reopens: After a ten-month, €20 million ($26 million) renovation that saw its square-footage triple — making it the largest contemporary art center in Europe — Paris's Palais de Tokyo reopened yesterday with 50 artists taking part in a 30-hour art making session. The revamped museum's unfinished look is intentional, the center's president Jean de Loisy explained: "Nothing is perfectly clean, nothing is perfectly painted on purpose. It is so important in art not to control everything." [AP]

— 2012 Guggenheim Fellows Named: The Guggenheim Foundation announced the 181 recipients of the coveted fellowships yesterday. Among the 20 fine artists and 10 photographers included are Dawn ClementsMatt ConorsArnold J. Kemp, and Fazal Sheikh. [Guggenheim Foundation]

— “The Scream” Goes on Display in London: The only version of the iconic work by the Norweigan artist Edvard Munch still in private hands is on public display this week at Sotheby's in London. Next month it will head to the block in New York, where it's expected to fetch as much as $80 million. [TelegraphCNN]

— L.A. Cats Paint Their Way Out of ShelterDavid Hockney isn't the only artist trading in easels for iPads. A Los Angeles Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has its cats run across tablet computers equipped with the app "Paint for Cats" and has begun selling reproductions of the resulting abstract compositions. (Do we smell a plagiarism scandal brewing? The SPCA seems to have stolen the fundraising idea of "Rescue Cats," the viral cat art sensation from Down Under.) [AP]

— German Museum Settles Nazi-Loot Suit: The Kunstmuseum in Bonn has agreed to pay California-based doctor Mike Hulton — the great-nephew of prominent German Modern art dealer Alfred Flechtheim, who fled the country in 1933 — half the market value of a painting by Paul Adolf Seehaus. It's the first settlement for Hulton, who has filed similar claims over paintings that once belonged to his great-uncle, including pieces by Pablo PicassoMax Beckmann, and Paul Klee. [Bloomberg]

— The End of the Line for Art London: The prestigious fair Art London, which has been running for the past 13 years, will not take place in 2012. Founding director Ralph Ward-Jackson listed restrictive planning regulations and the “huge cost” of hosting the site at the Royal Hospital among the reasons for the decision. [This is London]

— RIP John Golding 1929-2012: The 82-year-old English native had one of the most accomplished careers as both an artist and a critic in the 20th century. His book, “Cubism, A History and an Analysis, 1907-1914,” continues to be one of the most readable and authoritative volumes on the avant-garde art movement ever written. [Guardian]

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Time-lapse footage of the photo call for Sotheby's showing of "The Scream" in London:

The Scream by Edvard Munch: A Photo call at Sotheby's from Edmond Terakopian on Vimeo.