Our most-talked-about stories in Art, Design & Fashion, and Performing Arts, May 21-25, 2012:
— Damien Hirst's exhibition of new paintings at White Cube Bermondsey took an exceptionally fierce critical beating, even by his standards.
— Another British art star appeared over-extended, as Anish Kapoor's two new exhibitions at Gladstone Gallery in New York seemed to signal creative exhaustion — understandable, given the sculptor's monumental tower for the London Olympics.
— The sale of the Gunter Sachs collection at Sotheby's in London exceeded expectations for a total of £35,628,250 ($56,353,203), thanks in part to Allen Jones's creepy-sexy sculptures, but mostly on the strength of the German playboy's Warhol trove.
— Shane Ferro delved into the murky and emerging niche industry of firms that insure valuable artworks against restitution should they turn out to have been stolen.
— Priscilla Chan — the new Mrs. Mark Zuckerberg — became an overnight fashion star after a photo her hubby posted on his social network of his bride in her Claire Pettibone (daughter of artist Raymond) wedding dress notchned north of a million likes.
— Kelly Chan argued for the value of oft-disparaged Brutalist architecture, while two hulking concrete theaters by John M. Johansen faced down wrecking balls.
— Ann Binlot and Nate Freeman perused the fashion offerings from the Cannes Film Festival's many, many red carpets, including serial changer Jessica Chastain, show-stealer Asia Argento, and Shia LaBeouf's inappropriate facial hair.
— Young star painter Allison Schulnik revealed her must-have outfits and accessories, most of which involve cats.
— Chloe Wyma sat catwalk-side during K8 Hardy's riotous fashion show at the 2012 Whitney Biennial.
— J. Hoberman reviewed Wes Anderson's latest film, "Moonrise Kingdom," calling it "a kinder, gentler, altogether more soulful 'Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.'"
— Nate Freeman was on the scene during experimental performance space The Kitchen's annual gala, where composer Steve Reich and artist Joan Jonas were honored.
— Patrick Pacheco interviewed Tom Meehan, the librettist behind “Annie,” “The Producers,” and “Hairspray,” about his forthcoming (and rather dramatic) Charlie Chaplin musical, which opens on Broadway in the fall.
— "Moon" director Duncan Jones announced that he'll be helming an action-packed biopic of James Bond author Ian Fleming — just as the trailer for the new Sam Mendes-directed 007 flick, "Skyfall," was released.
— The Western film genre made a huge comeback, as Quentin Tarantino screened a few minutes of “Django Unchained“ at Cannes, Tom Cruise signed on for a "Magnificient Seven" remake, and Natalie Portman took the lead in "Jane Got a Gun."
— Renowned stage director and set designer Robert Wilson discussed his video art series "Video Portraits," which will play on Times Square's jumbotrons every night until the end of May.