L.A. MOCA Calls Off Glitzy Gala, Shanghai Fair Faces Government Clampdown, and More Must-Read Art News

L.A. MOCA Calls Off Glitzy Gala, Shanghai Fair Faces Government Clampdown, and More Must-Read Art News
Jeffrey Deitch, Ms. Abramovic, Tilda Swinton and Ms. Bell at last year's MOCA Gala
(Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for MOCA)

– MOCA Cancels Fall Fundraiser: Los Angeles's Museum of Contemporary Art, still reeling from the departure of chief curator Paul Schimmel and all four of its artist board-members earlier this summer, has opted to cancel its usual November fundraiser. Last year's gala, directed by Marina Abramovic, raised $2.5 million (and about as many eyebrows). Instead, MOCA plans to hold a fundraiser on an as yet undetermined date in the spring of 2013. [Bloomberg]

– Unprecedented Censorship at SH Contemporary: Censorship at SH Contemporary, an art fair held at the Shanghai Exhibition Center, has reached new heights ahead of the Chinese government's once-a-decade leadership transition set to take place in Beijing next month. Works that were initially approved for the fair have had to be removed or covered up with a white sheet.  [Reuters]


– Knoedler Inventory Hits the Block — But Will Anyone Touch It?: The embattled Knoedler Gallery will offload some of its inventory, including pieces by Helen Frankenthaler and Robert Rauschenberg, at Doyle Auction House on November 13. Though the now-shuttered gallery is currently under investigation by the FBI for selling allegedly fake modernist masterworks, Doyle's modern and contemporary VP Harold Porcher says he will personally scrutinize the provenance of each lot and has only selected works "that are not part of the controversy." [ATEGallerist]

– Three Musketeers of Private Dealing Join Forces: There's a new private superdealership on the scene to replace GiraudPissarroSégalot, which disbanded last year. The firm is called ConneryPissarroSeydoux, and its partners include former Sotheby's private sales director Stephane C. Connery, former Christie's Impressionist and Modern chairman Thomas Seydoux, late-19th- and 20th-century art specialist Camille Pissarro, and his wife, Sandrine. The group — and their unbeatable rolodex — will focus on Impressionist and Modern art. [NYT]

– New Architecture Prize Named After Gehry: After Frank Gehry and his wife Berta donated $100,000 to the Southern California Institute of Architecture — where the starchitect has been a trustee since 1990 — the school announced yesterday that it will name a new prize awarded to the best thesis project the Gehry Prize. The inaugural prize will be given at Sunday's graduation ceremony, with a panel of critics and jurors weighing in to determine the winner. [LAT]

– Stolen Picabia Painting Returned After Three Auction Sales: The 1906 painting "The River" by Francis Picabia that was stolen from France's Musée de Nevers in 1974 was returned to the museum in central France on Wednesday after being sold three times, including by Sotheby's London in 1987 and Christie's the following year without anyone picking up on its suspicious provenance. It was finally recognized as a stolen artwork when its latest buyer tried to sell it again through Christie's in London for an estimated $200,000. [Le Figaro]

– Elad Lassry Makes Ballet Debut at the Kitchen: In conjunction with the Israeli photographer's new exhibition at the Chelsea institution — which features a series of 20 new photographs and his first film — he has collaborated with the American Ballet Theater and New York City Ballet to create a new dance piece. "Untitled (Presence)," which features ten dancers, will be performed on the evenings of September 13, 14, and 16, and mark the first time the Kitchen's gallery an performance spaces have been given over to a single artist. [Press Release]

– A Pollock Drip Painting Heads to Sotheby's: Milwaukee businessman Sidney Kohl and his wife, Dorothy, are selling eight works from their esteemed collection of Abstract Expressionist art at Sotheby's on November 13. The paintings are expected to bring in a total of $80 million to $100 million. The prized lot is Jackson Pollock's "Number 4, 1951" (est. $25-35 million), which was once owned by the artist's psychiatrist. “There hasn’t been a drip painting on canvas at auction for years,” boasted Sotheby's Tobias Meyer. [NYT]

– Playing With Sound in Trafalgar Square: The latest public art installation to take root in Trafalgar Square is not for the eyes to enjoy. The London Design Festival invited five sound artists to produce work that can transform visitors' perceptions of space. From September 19 to 23, the sounds will be released inside a black portal in the middle of the square that was created with pioneering ambisonic technology, changing the way we experience sound in large public places. [WSJ]

– Philadelphia's Pizza Museum Delivers: Today is opening day at Pizza Brain, the world's first museum devoted to pizza, which will serve up both standard and experimental pies in addition to housing the world's largest collection of pizza memorabilia. Located in Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood, the institution's holdings include a pizza-party Barbie and a wall-filling collection of records whose covers feature pizzas. Perhaps its next acquisition will be the Bruce High Quality Foundation's "Pizzatopia"? [NYT]


An update on Philadelphia's Pizza Brain museum from someone who sounds like Morgan Freeman



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