Houston's Picasso Vandal on the Lam, Heizer Hysteria in Los Angeles, and More Must-Read Art News

Houston's Picasso Vandal on the Lam, Heizer Hysteria in Los Angeles, and More Must-Read Art News
Houston-based painter/vandal Uriel Landeros

— Houston's Picasso Vandal on the Lam: A tipster has identified 22-year-old Houston-based painter Uriel Landeros as the vandal who stenciled Picasso's "Woman in a Red Armchair" at the de Menil Collection earlier this month, but the rogue artist has disappeared. (As Julia Halperin pointed out in her initial report, Landeros had been named in a YouTube video posted of the vandalism, and was just recently featured at a group show at Houston's Summer Street Studios.) Crime Stoppers of Houston is offering a $5,000 reward for any information leading to Landeros's arrest, and the Harris Country District Attorney's Office has officially charged him with criminal mischief and felony graffiti. [CultureMap]

— "Levitated Mass" Opens: After months of anticipation and decades of planning, Michael Heizer's Land Art installation on the LACMA campus, "Levitated Mass," finally opened to the public on Sunday, and the L.A. Times devoted not one but four articles to the momentous art event, even asking first-day visitors what they thought of the piece. "We’d like to put this in our backyard," said Nicole Mirante-Matthews of Silver Lake, "but it’s bigger than our house." [LATimes 1234]

— Koons Gets Art Historical in Frankfurt: Continuing his European takeover on the heels of his Fondation Beyeler retrospective, Jeff Koons is showing a new series titled "Antiquity" in a two-part exhibition in Frankfurt that includes the shiny "Metallic Venus" — an eight-feet-tall copy of a Hungarian porcelain figure from the 19th century — at the Liebieghaus museum. The other half of "Jeff Koons: The Painter and Sculptor," at the Schirn Kunsthalle, features Koons's works on canvas, included the infamous series portraying himself and his former pornstar ex-wife in bed. [Bloomberg]

— Christo and Jeanne-Claude Project Gets Traffic Review: The artist duo's "Over the River" project, a plan to drape large swaths of fabric over a 5.9-mile stretch of the Arkansas River, will be reviewed by the Colorado Department of Transportation for its possible impact to traffic on Route 50. "CDOT's local employees appear to have turned a blind eye to the predicted impacts on traffic on U.S. 50," said Dan Ainsworth, president of Rags Over the Arkansas River, a group that opposes the project, "as well as the risks posed to the public during the proposed OTR project." [DenverPost]

 Claudel's Rodin Bust Found in Truck: A bronze bust of the famous sculptor Auguste Rodin created by his student, muse, and lover Camille Claudel that was stolen from the Museum of Art and Archaeology Guéret in 1999 was found Tuesday in the truck of a French antiques dealer who had been under police surveillance for several weeks. The recovered sculpture, said to be worth some €800,000 ($1 million), will soon be returned to the institution. [Telegraph]

— Tunick Turns Munich Square Red, Gold, and Naked All OverSpencer Tunick, the American photographer of large numbers of naked people gathered in public places, made his first foray into body paint on Saturday when he launched the Munich Opera Festival by shooting a crowd of 1,700 in front of the Bavarian State Opera in a series of compositions meant to evoke Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle. "What was I doing, standing shivering and stark naked – except for a shimmering layer of gold body paint – in the middle of Munich at six on Saturday morning," asked one participant. "I wasn’t even drunk." [The LocalNY Daily News]

— London Gets Lathery Statue: The Korean artist Meekyoung Shin will clean up London's public art program when he unveils a grandiose equestrian statue of the Duke of Cumberland in Cavendish Square made entirely of soap on July 10. The temporary installation is a replica of a statue that occupied the same spot from 1770 to 1868, though Meekyoung's sculpture seems destined to be much more shortlived. [TAN]

— Shary Boyle to Represent Canada in Venice: The 40-year-old Toronto-based artist was selected by the National Gallery of Canada to represent the country at next year's Venice Biennale. "The Canadian pavilion has a long reputation of causing frustration to artists and curators alike," Boyle says. "It is a tricky space for many types of work. I, however, love it." [Globe and Mail]

— Roman Forum's Looted Menorah Was Once Yellow: New spectrometry readings of a bas-relief sculpture of the Menora that was looted by Romans after they destroyed Jerusalem's Second Temple in 70 CE revealed that the sculpture, which was repurposed in the construction of the Roman Forum, was originally painted bright yellow. “The Bible said it was gold, but the monument, as it was seen for centuries, told us it was white,” said Yeshiva University professor Steven Fine. “Isn’t it cool to be that much closer to the viewers of the first and second century?” [NYT]

— Rogue L.A. Sculptors Unmasked: A clandestine street art duo who have been creating surreal and very popular installations around downtown Los Angeles since last month — including a family of bathers at the bottom of an empty lot, and a herd of papier maché deer in an overgrown patch of weeds — have identified themselves as transplanted New Yorker Calder Greenwood and a local man known simply (but appropriately) as Wild Life. [LA Times]


Trailer for "Jeff Koons: The Sculptor and the Painter" at the Liebieghaus and the Schirn Kunsthalle


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