Murakami Sues Dealer Over Wallpaper, Duty-Free Hirsts Land at Airport, and More

Murakami Sues Dealer Over Wallpaper, Duty-Free Hirsts Land at Airport, and More
Takashi Murakami
(Photo by Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images)

Murakami Sues Boesky Over Wallpaper: Takashi Murakami is suing dealer Marianne Boesky in a dispute that began over her decision to loan his limited-edition psychedelic "Cosmos" wallpaper to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for its "Regarding Warhol" exhibition. The Japanese artist claims that Boesky has been reproducing the design without his permission, while the gallerist's lawyers maintain that Murakami did, in fact, orally agree to the arrangement. The artist is demanding that Boesky return the digital file containing the wallpaper design. He is also seeking compensation "to be proven at trial." [Daily News]  

– Buy a Hirst at the Duty Free: Thanks to a partnership between London-New York gallery Haunch of Venison and the new initiative Artliner, passengers flying through London's Farnborough Airport can now grab blue chip at the duty free before boarding their planes. Offerings fall in the £55,000-500,000 ($87,700-797,000) range and include works by London 2012 torch designer Barber Osgerby and Damien Hirst, whose spin paintings also adorn the airport's halls. [Independent]


– An Art Fair Imitating Life: Before heading down to Art Basel Miami Beach next month, you'd do well do read "Back to Blood," a new novel set in Miami by Tom Wolfe. Though the narrative focuses on immigration, a chapter set at ABMB is littered with characters that appear to be based on real-life art world personalities. From "Harry Goshen," a tall dealer with silver hair and "eerie pale-grey eyes" (Larry Gagosian, perhaps?) to the artist "Jeb Doggs," who photographed himself having sex with a call girl and then had the pictures transformed into glass art (Jeff Koons?), there are plenty of colorful characters with which to play who's who. [Independent]

– Paul Schimmel Speaks: In one of his first interviews since being forced out of L.A. MOCA, Paul Schimmel discusses his final project as chief curator at the museum: the well-reviewed group exhibition "Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949-1962." The show explores art history after WWII, when Abstract Expressionism gave way to Pop art; it also integrates previously marginalized movements like Tachisme, Gutai, and Viennese Actionism. "As much as you think of wars as things that destroy culture, one can see again and again in the exhibition that out of destruction comes rebirth," he said. [AiA]

 Stockholm Artists Revamp City Subway: The Swedish capital's 100-station subway system has seen 90 of its stops turned into sprawling art installations after 150 artists were given free reign to spruce up its subterranean transit hubs. The most eye-catching interventions include a tunnel-spanning rainbow mural, a faux Roman ruin, and a monumental statue of a caveman donning a lion-pelt cape. [AFP]

– No Buyer for Bargain Titian: At just €1.95 million ($2.47 million), Titian's former home in Venice's Cannaregio district may be the most affordable thing with the Italian master's name attached to it. But Julia Panama, the British interior designer and former model who has owned the house for the past 12 years, is having a hard time selling. "We have historic records to show it was Titian's house and there is a plaque on the wall saying that he lived there," said Venice Real Estate's Serena Bombassei. "We've had lots of inquiries from the UK, France and Italy. The price can be negotiated a little." [Telegraph]

Met Buys Jusepe de Ribera Painting: The Metropolitan Museum of Art is beefing up its Spanish painting collection. The Fifth Avenue institution recently purchased an early canvas by 17th-century painter Jusepe de Ribera entitled "The Penitent Saint Peter." It has been more than 40 years since the museum bought a Spanish painting, and this canvas — which was discovered only last year by an Italian art historian — "gives us a link between Caravaggio and the young Velázquez, so we can tell the story of Spanish painting more fully," according to curator Xavier Salomon. The work was rumored to cost around $1.3 million. [NYT]

– Munich Revisits Nazi Degenerate Art Exhibit: Sixteen sculptures from Adolf Hitler's infamous 1937 "degenerate art" exhibition — which brought together works by the major European avant-gardes of the period and proved infinitely more popular than the neighboring exhibit of state-sanctioned art — found underground by construction workers in Berlin two years ago, are now on view at Munich's Neue Pinakothek through January 28. "The fire's damage makes them look like completely different sculptures," said Matthias Wemhoff, who oversaw the works' excavation and restoration. [WSJ]

– Chicago Art Institute Gets New Antiquities Galleries: On Sunday the Art Institute of Chicago will open its renovated exhibition spaces for Greek, Roman, and Byzantine antiquities, completing the final phase of the museum's top-to-bottom overhaul begun when it started construction on its Renzo Piano-designed modern wing in 2008. The galleries' inaugural exhibition, "Of Gods and Glamour," boasts some 550 objects, including 150 works on loan, many of which have never been exhibited in the U.S. before. [TAN]

Does "30 Rock" Expose More People to Art Than the Met?: Here's a piece of potentially depressing news: Some of the most-viewed artworks in the United States are tucked into the opening credits of NBC's sitcom "30 Rock." The 20-second sequence features a series of rapid-fire close-ups of the Art Deco masterpieces that decorate Rockefeller Center. The show's audience, which peaked at 8.7 million viewers during its third season, is substantially greater than the 6.28 million people who visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art during its most recent fiscal year. See the full story for a closer look at the art in the show. [WSJ]


An animated version of Takashi Murakami's "Cosmos" wallpaper  


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