Whitney Houston's Last Meal Remade as Art, Taking Bets on "The Scream," and More Must-Read Art News

Whitney Houston's Last Meal Remade as Art, Taking Bets on "The Scream," and More Must-Read Art News
Whitney Houston performing in Berlin, May 2010
(Courtesy Lennart Preiss/AFP/Getty Images)

– Restaging Whitney Houston's Last Meal — For Art: German photographer Thomas Demand was so struck by the widely circulated photograph of Whitney Houston's last supper — first posted on TMZ after her death — that he decided to immortalize it as art. (Ignore, for the moment, that one of Germany's most famous photographers may have just admitted to reading TMZ.) Demand checked into a room at the Beverly Hilton with the exact same layout as the late singer's, ordered the same food, and recreated the Dutch still life-esque tableau, which will be shown at Demand's upcoming exhibition at Matthew Marks Gallery. [NYT]

– Handicapping "The Scream" SaleEdvard Munch's "The Scream" is being rated and ranked in all kinds of unexpected ways before it hits the block at Sotheby's next week. The British bookmakers at Ladbrokes say the odds are 3-2 that it will become the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction, and 5-2 that the buyer will be a Russian (weirdly, no odds have been set for a Middle-Eastern buyer). Meanwhile, the Art Market Monitor ranks this version of the iconic artwork as the second-best of the four Munch made, right behind the version hanging in Oslo's National Gallery. [NYTAMM]


– Operation "Waistcoat" Recovers Stolen Degas: Police in Zurich have recovered the final missing painting stolen at gunpoint from Zurich's Emil Georg Bührle gallery in 2008. The suspects were looking to sell the Edgar Degas painting, found in the door panel of a car, for as little as €3.5 million. Earlier this month, the most valuable of the four paintings stolen in the heist, Paul Cezanne's "Boy With a Red Waistcoat," was recovered in Serbia. Police waited to reveal the whereabouts of the Degas painting until the key Cezanne was secure. [Reuters]

– Contemporary Art Festival Comes to Detroit: A new contemporary art festival, Dlectricity, promises to light up midtown Detroit with some 30 site-specific installations featuring light, video projections, and sound art by local, national, and international artists like Jacco Olivier and Evan Roth. [Detroit Free Press]

– United States Returns Cache of Stolen Art to Italy: Seven works of ancient art and other antiquities that had been looted or smuggled out of Italy,  including a $1.6 million painting by Renaissance painter Lelio Orsi, were returned to that country's government by U.S. officials yesterday. [Reuters

— Amherst Art Museum Gets $1 Million Challenge Grant: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will award Amherst College's Mead Art Museum $1 million if the school can raise an equal amount over the next three years. The money will go toward better integrating the museum into the school's curricula. [Artforum]

– Critic Says Olympics Arts Programs Not Medal Material: The Guardian's Jonathan Jones considers the 2012 London Olympics' extensive art schedule a losing proposition, from the BMW Art Car retrospective to Anish Kapoor's towering monument. "This is about sport, not culture, and after all the fuss, the London 2012 festival implicitly recognizes that by foregrounding entertainment," Jones writes, "and going easy on the brainwork." [Guardian]

– Met's Director Records New Audio Tour: With some 200,000 attentive listeners annually, the Metropolitan Museum's audio tours remain very popular, and the museum's director, Thomas P. Campbell, recently recorded a new one — the first by a director of the museum since his predecessor, Philippe de Montebello, recorded one in five languages back in 1999. Campbell, for his part, just stuck to English. [Press Release]

– Ai Weiwei Returns to London With Cactus: For his first London installation since flooding the Tate with ceramic sunflower seeds, Ai Weiwei placed a tiny cactus and a crab inside a brightly lit 15-inch cube at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery. "A Living Sculpture," on view through May 26, was surprisingly difficult to assemble. "Ai was very specific on the variety," said a gallery official. "I was calling dozens, hundreds of garden shops." [Guardian]

– RIP Irish Painter Louis Le Brocquy: The renowned Dublin painter died this week at his home after struggling with illness for a year. He was the first Irish artist to have his work purchased by the National Gallery of Ireland in his lifetime. [Guardian]


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