Dasha Zhukova Opens Up, Thieves Target Hot South African Art Market, and More

Dasha Zhukova Opens Up, Thieves Target Hot South African Art Market, and More
Dasha Zhukova
(Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Dasha Zhukova Opens Up: To mark the grand reopening of her Garage Center for Contemporary Art at a new Rem Koolhaas-designed space in Moscow's Gorky Park, Dasha Zhukova sat down with the FT to talk family (her mother "is just involved with everything that I am doing"), Russian bureaucracy ("It's important to know how to operate within the system you are existing in"), and her struggle to talk to the press ("I feel a bit more confident now and feel that it’s OK to have personal preferences"). What's next for the wealthy Russian curator? Transforming New Holland, a 19-acre island and former naval yard in St. Petersburg, into a creative hub. [FT]

Valuable South African Art Spurs Theft: The swift increase in value of South Africa's best-known art inspired the biggest heist in the country's history yesterday morning. A man posing as an art teacher along with two people he said were students held a security guard at gunpoint and stole five paintings worth a combined $2 million from the Pretoria Art Museum. The heist included works by Irma Stern, Gerard Sekoto, and J.H. Pierneef. Fortunately, the thieves weren't experts: They left Stern's "Two Malay Musicians," the museum's most valuable painting, on the sidewalk due to lack of space in the getaway car. [Bloomberg]


– Theaster Gates Wins Vera List Prize: The New School has chosen art world darling Theaster Gates as the recipient of its inaugural Vera List Center Prize for Art and Politics, a $15,000 award that will be given to an artist every two years. The prize includes a long-term commitment by the school to aid the winner with upcoming works. Chicago-based Gates will present a seminar about his "Dorchester Projects," an ongoing transformation of a group of properties on Chicago's South Side, at the New School in 2013. [NYT]

– Putin Opens Jewish Museum in Moscow: The new state-of-the-art Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, a $50-million facility supported by Vladimir Putin and funded in part by his oligarch allies, features interactive exhibits like a virtual Odessa and digital Torah and is intended to lure back the descendants of Russian Jews who left the country. "My mother sang to me in Russian, and at the entrance to this museum, memories of my childhood flooded through my mind, and my mother’s voice played in my heart," Israeli president Shimon Peres said at the opening. "I came here to say thank you. Thank you for a thousand years of hospitality." [NYT]

– Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Acquisitions Unveiled: Guggenheim director Richard Armstrong revealed six works out of the 100-odd acquisitions made so far for the Mideast satellite museum, due to open at the end of 2017. They include a ripped poster work by Jacques Villeglé; a major installation by Algerian Rachid Koraïchi; a mirrored sculpture by Iranian artist Monir Farmanfarmaian; a glass chandelier by Ai Weiwei; a “tapestry” by Ghanaian artist El Anatsui; and a sculpture by Indian artist Subodh Gupta. The international selection is indicative of the museum's interest in acquiring work from non-Western masters. [FT]

– Art Stars Sell Work to Benefit the Brooklyn MuseumChristie's will offer four artworks donated to benefit the Brooklyn Museum at its Post-War and Contemporary art day sale on November 15. The majority of the pieces — by Fred TomaselliTakashi MurakamiMickalene Thomas, and Gilbert & George — were made especially for this auction. The sale kicks off "BKLN: A Celebration of the Brooklyn Museum," a multi-year collaboration between Christie's and the museum that includes additional sales to benefit the institution in 2013. [Art Daily

– Qatari Sheikh's Asset Freeze Extended: Due to ongoing disputes over a string of unpaid auction bills, a London judge has decided to extend a freeze on $15 million worth of assets belonging to Sheikh Saud bin Mohammed Al-Thani, who has not yet paid the more than £25 million ($39.7 million) he owes coin auction houses Baldwin's, Dmitry Markov, and M&M Numismatics. In addition to the UK legal action, the auction houses are pursuing a global asset freeze for the sheikh in order to facilitate a lawsuit already underway in Washington, D.C. [TAN]

– UK Museums' Unseen Paintings Exhibited Online: After ten years of work and support from the BBC, the Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) has launched Your Paintings, an online collection currently counting some 210,000 paintings by more than 45,000 artists, photographed by about 100 workers at small-town museums, libraries, schools, municipal buildings, fire houses, and more all over Britain. "The United Kingdom possesses a very significant collection of paintings, but 80 percent of them are not visible," PCF director Andy Ellis said. "And two thirds of them, probably, had never even been photographed." [AFP]

– Hoarder's Trove Was Worth Hoarding: When emptying the apartment of just-deceased photographer Harry Shunk in 2006, cleanup man Darryl Kelly kept some 2,000 items of the artist and hoarder's work as well as pieces by artists Shunk had known personally, including Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. A total of 24 works from the cache sold for $226,224 at Manhattan's Doyle auction house last week, while some 1,700 were acquired by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation. "You can call me an art man, a hoarder," Kelly said, "it’s on now." [NYT]

– Photographer Sued by Her Daughter Over Childhood Pics: Eva Ionesco, daughter of the French photographer Irina Ionesco, is taking her mother to court to prevent her from reproducing or profiting from highly sexualized photos of Eva taken in the 1970s when she was between four and 12 years old, demanding also €200,000 ($254,000) in damages and that all copies of the works be handed over to her. (The situation is reminiscent of a similar controversy surrounding the work of Larry Rivers.) "How can one ask a four-year-old child to spread her legs and make a photo of it?" asked Eva Ionesco's lawyer Jacques-Georges Bitoun. "Freedom of expression must not become embroiled in such horrors." [AFP]


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