Rosie O'Donnell Paints to Save Her Wife, Gagosian's $130-Million ArtRio Display, and More Must-Read Art News

Rosie O'Donnell Paints to Save Her Wife, Gagosian's $130-Million ArtRio Display, and More Must-Read Art News
Rosie O'Donnell with her wife Michelle Rounds
(Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Caesars Entertainment)

– Rosie O'Donnell Is a Painter: The comedian and TV personality is selling her paintings on eBay to raise money for the Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation. (Her wife, Michelle Rounds, is currently undergoing surgery to treat desmoid tumors.) At the moment, only one painting made for the cause — a blue abstract composition — has turned up on the site. (Bidding is still going at $820.) The only other O'Donnell original available is being resold by a fan who purchased it in 2010 and needs the money to pay off her student loans. [AP]

 Gagosian Is Bringing $130 Million Worth of Art to ArtRioGagosian is bringing a whopping 80 works of art by 30 artists worth a total of $130 million to Brazil for the ArtRio fair, which kicks off next month. “We don’t know if there’s a market there for works in the $10 million to $15 million price range but we hope if we bring real masterpieces, people will respond,” said the gallery's Victoria Gelfand-Magalhaes. The government will exempt the art sold during the fair from an 18 percent tax, helping to promote sales in the world's sixth-largest economy. [Bloomberg]  

– Singapore Won't Participate in 2013 Venice Biennale: Singapore has opted out of the 2013 Venice Biennale. The decision is part of the National Art Council's review of all its commitments; the council will "critically re-assess Singapore's long-term participation" in the event, according to a spokesperson. The country has been participating in the Biennale since 2001, and in recent years has made major investments in its own arts infrastructure, beginning work on a museum and supporting several art fairs in the country. [Straits Times]

– The Politics of the RNC's Wright-Inspired Stage Design: The stage design for the Republican National Convention, which kicked off in Tampa on Monday night, is Frank Lloyd Wright's residential architecture. It's a curious choice, says critic Christopher Hawthorne — Wright was hardly a standard-bearer for conservative values, though he does have a connection to Ayn Rand, from whom VP nominee Paul Ryan is trying to distance himself. Wright was the chief inspiration for the headstrong architect Howard Roark, hero of Rand's 1943 novel "The Fountainhead." [LAT]

 British Nun Says She's Munch's Granddaughter: British-born, Connecticut-based nun Janet Weber, 72, claims that she and her brother Bent, 79, are the only two living descendants of Norwegian Surrealist Edward Munch. She says her grandmother Eva Mudocci spent time with the world auction record-holder between 1903 and 1908, when Weber's mother Isobel was born. "I would be fine to do any test," Weber said, "it would lay to rest whether he is or isn't, and because I'm the last one who can tell the story, for the sake of my nephews and nieces." [Guardian]

– Swedish Museum Pits Duchamp Against Picasso: This month, Stockholm's Moderna Museet becomes the first institution to ever pitt Marcel Duchamp against Pablo Picasso, when "Picasso/Duchamp: 'He Was Wrong'" opens to the public. "There is a significant difference between Duchamp's detachment and Picasso's subjectivity," said co-curator Ronald Jones, who seems to suggest this exhibition is some kind of smackdown. "When those two elements come together, it doesn't end well." [AFP]

– UBS Gets In on Art Loan Game: Want to make your Picasso earn its keep? UBS Wealth Management America has joined a cluster of top U.S. brokerages offering loans collateralized by works of art. UBS will now offer loans of up to $150 million backed by art, rare musical instruments, and fine silver. The loans are underwritten by Emigrant Bank Fine Arts Finance. "We have significant investor appetite," said UBS spokeswoman Megal Stinson. [Reuters

– Venice Biennale Hosts Pigeon Performance, Courts Controversy: Animal activists ruffling their feathers over Swiss artist Julian Charrière and German photographer Julius von Bismark's performance for the Venice architecture Biennale, which involves painting the pigeons in Saint Mark's square vibrant shades of purple, yellow, and blue. Charrière said he hoped the project would confer recognizable personality onto birds that are routinely harassed and reviled. [Guardian]

303 Gallery Scouts Second Location: The veteran 303 Gallery, which represents such established names as Doug Aitken, Mike Nelson, and Karen Kilmnik, is on the hunt for a second location in Chelsea. Gallery owner Lisa Spellman is considering a new space under the High Line that is currently under construction by the major Chelsea developer Alf Naman. [Gallerist]

– No Boys Allowed, Says Women's Art Fest: As part of the Edinburgh Art Festival, curator Sarah Wilson has organized "Only Women, Women Only" — an exhibition of work by women artists that has a somewhat controversial admission policy. For the first month, it only allowed female visitors. "There are still golf clubs that exist in 2012 where women are not allowed in," said Wilson. "Let's see if this is possible as an art exhibition." [BBC]

– Abraham Cruzvillegas Nabs Yanghyun Prize: Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas has won the fifth-annual Yanghyun Prize, given to an artist whose work actively engages with international issues. Cruzvillegas, who will participate in this year's Gwangju Biennale in Korea, will be awarded $89,000 as well as the opportunity to show at a Korean art gallery of his choosing. [Korea Herald]  


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