Pam Anderson Hangs Out With Jeff Koons's Mom, Were Neanderthals Artists?, and More Must-Read Art News

Pam Anderson Hangs Out With Jeff Koons's Mom, Were Neanderthals Artists?, and More Must-Read Art News
Pamela Anderson
(Courtesy Getty Images)

– Pam Anderson Loves Jeff Koons: The former "Baywatch" star stopped by Jeff Koons's book signing event at the Fondation Beyeler, where an exhibition of his art is currently on view. Apparently, Koons and the bodacious actress go way back: "His mom was showing me all my body parts that are in different paintings of his," Anderson said. "He said to me, 'You have to go to my show in Frankfurt because there are three or four paintings.' It's the ultimate compliment." We will suppress our curiosity as to why and when Pamela Anderson was hanging out with Jeff Koons's mom. [TAN]

 Neanderthals May Have Made First Cave Paintings: Researchers working at 11 caves in northern Spain have concluded, based on samples from 50 paintings, that Neanderthals were not the proto-sapien simpletons we once thought, and may have been the planet's first artists. "This is currently Europe's oldest-dated art, by at least 4,000 years," said University of Bristol's Alistair Pike. "We know the modern humans arrived in Europe between 42,000 and 41,000 years ago." [GuardianNYT]

Albright-Knox Director Leaves for Austin: Louis Granchos is leaving Buffalo's Albright-Knox Art Gallery after nine years to become executive director at AMOA-Arthouse in Austin. The New York museum will begin a national search for his replacement after he departs in December. [Buffalo News

– Don't Forget, Gagosian Has Expensive Art at Basel: While most reports from this year's Art Basel are focusing on the massive Mark Rothko painting offered by Marlborough Gallery for $78 million, another gallery (can you guess which one?) is quietly asking nearly as much for an Andy Warhol silkscreen of Marilyn Monroe. The price is keyed to the $100 million said to have been paid privately for Warhol's "Eight Elvises." [AMM]

– Pinault Buys Painting of Paula Cooper: Reporting from Art Basel, the New York Times's Carol Vogel notes the insouciant spending of top-level collectors, like Christie's owner François Pinault, who bought Rudolf Stingel's photorealistic painting of dealer Paula Cooper, priced at around $3 million at her booth. [NYT]

A Brief History Of Celeb-Studded Video Art: Richard Phillips's new video starring Lindsay Lohan, which is premiering at Art Basel, is merely the latest in a growing trend among video artists to tap celebrities for their projects. Recent examples include Tilda Swinton's cameo in Doug Aitken's "Song 1" at the Hirshhorn, Francesco Vezzoli's ballet starring Lady Gaga — with an assist from Frank Gehry — and Tony Oursler borrowing David Bowie's face for one of his talking sculptures. [WaPo]

– Downtown L.A. Scores Major Arts Grants: The national cultural initiative ArtPlace has given $1.2 million in grants to organizations in downtown Los Angeles, with the lion's share — $470,000 — going to the development of the Broadway Arts Center. Among other projects, the center will put its grant money towards converting long-abandoned movie theaters into some 100 housing units for artists. [LAT, Backstage]

– Gugg Lab Opens in Berlin After False Start: Though its first choice of site backfired, the BMW Guggenheim Lab's Berlin presentation opened today in, appropriately, a converted 19th century brewery. The temporary pavilion's second stop on its six-year world tour will remain open through July 29. [Press Release]

– On Jeff Koons's Yo-Yo Market: The art star may be popular with museums — he has no fewer than four major exhibitions on the horizon — but Koons has a historically unsteady relationship with the art market. In some cases, buyers who offered big money for the artist's works before the stock market crash found themselves unable to pay for them just a few months later, and were forced to flip them for much lower prices. [TAN]


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