Adele Buys Warhol, Prada Foundation Resurrects Legendary Szeemann Show, and More

Adele Buys Warhol, Prada Foundation Resurrects Legendary Szeemann Show, and More
Adele
(Photo: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)

Adele Buys Warhol: Looks like British songstress Adele has, shall we say, skyfallen for Andy Warhol. The superstar spent "tens of thousands of pounds" on two rare butterfly prints from the Pop artist's "Vanishing Animals" series. (A similar work sold at Christie's last year for $23,750.) The prints now hang in the home she shares with partner Simon Konecki. Rumor has it the pair is seeking to add more contemporary art to its collection, including works by Damien Hirst and Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy. [The Sun]

Prada Foundation Recreates Legendary Szeemann Show in Venice: For its annual exhibition during the Venice Biennale, the Prada Foundation is going vintage. The organization will restage "Live in Your Head. When Attitudes Become Form," a legendary exhibition of conceptual art, Arte Povera, and land art organized by Harald Szeemann at the Bern Kunsthalle in 1969. The updated presentation, which kicks off June 1 at the Ca' Corner della Regina, features work by Walter de Maria, Eva Hesse, and Sol LeWitt, among others. It is curated by Germano Celant in collaboration with architect Rem Koolhaas and artist Thomas Demand. [Press Release]

 

– Mendelssohn Family Fights Bavaria Over Nazi-Looted Picasso: Three relatives of the composer Felix Mendelssohn have filed a suit against the state of Bavaria in Manhattan federal court, seeking the return of Pablo Picasso's 1903 blue period portrait "Madame Soler." Estimated to be worth $100 million, the canvas was part of Berlin-based Jewish banker Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy's formidable collection of modern art, which he began to sell off for cash after the Nazis came to power. He sold the Picasso to Justin Thannhauser, a Berlin gallerist who fled to New York in 1937 before selling the painting to the Bavarian State Paintings Collection "through its agent and incoming director," who, according to the lawsuit, was alleged former Nazi party member Halldor Soehner. "This is a case of great historical importance involving Germany’s most famous Jewish family," John Byrne Jr., the plaintiffs' lawyer, said. "We are perplexed and disappointed by Bavaria’s failure to properly address the important issues involved in this matter." [NYPost]

– Suspects Arrested for Stealing Tusk of Louis XIV's Elephant: At about 3 a.m. on Saturday morning a young man broke into the gallery of comparative anatomy at Paris's Museum of Natural History and took a chainsaw to one of the tusks of an elephant skeleton that had belonged to Louis XIV. The man and two accomplices fled the scene when the museum's alarm went off and were quickly arrested. The royal tusk — which belonged to an elephant that lived at Versailles after it was given to Louis by the king of Portugal in 1668 — was recovered. [AFP]

British Youth Can't Identify Renoir: On the eve of the release of Gilles Bourdos's new "Renoir" biopic, online art retailer Artfinder surveyed British youth to determine their knowledge of the Impressionist painter. More than a third of participating 16- to 24-year-olds did not correctly identify him; more than one in 10 guessed he was one of David Beckham's teammates. [Telegraph]

Jeff Bridges, Photographer?: Turns out the "True Grit" star is as active behind the camera as he is in front of it. The International Center of Photography in New York will honor well-known actor and little-known photographer Jeff Bridges at its annual gala next month. The ICP will mount a special presentation of his work at the Infinity Awards celebration on May 1, which also honors South African photographer David Goldblatt. A monograph of Bridges's photography will be published in 2014 by Chronicle Books. [Gallerist]

– Luxury Hotels Put Up Artists: Artists-in-residence are the latest amenity catching on at the world's top-tier hotels. The practice dates back to at least 1901, when Claude Monet was the artist-in-residence at The Savoy in London, where his top-floor room offered an ideal vantage point from which to paint the Thames. Since the program has been resurrected, the Savoy's current residents include painter David Downes, who has set up his studio in the hotel's lobby. Meanwhile, at Shanghai's Swatch Art Peace Hotel, artist residents can stay for between three and six months in exchange for a work of art — provided they get picked by the selection committee, which for some reason includes actor George Clooney. [Telegraph]

– Doyle Preps Second Street Art Sale: After a successful inaugural outing last year, Doyle New York is preparing its second annual street art sale on April 8. Featuring more than twice as many artworks (nearly 100 in total) — including pieces by Shepard Fairey, Cope2, Faile, and Miss Bugs — the sale carries an estimate of between $280,000-$400,000. "The thing that links them is that all these artists did at one time — or still do — paint public spaces illegally," said Angelo Madrigale, Doyle's street art specialist. [WSJ]

 International Billionaires Join Museum Boards: When the Russian billionaire Leonid Mikhelson joined the New Museum's board of trustees last month, he brought its international membership to 20 percent, an increasingly common phenomenon at U.S. museums, which are adding super-wealthy Eastern European and Asian businessmen to their boards in droves. "If you are on a museum board in the West, you are actively engaged in creating art history," said Maria Baibakova, a member of the Tate's Russian and Eastern-European art acquisitions committee, noting that Russian museums don't offer the same opportunities. "They are not buying art, they are not accepting gifts, they are stagnant." [Bloomberg]

Pipilotti Rist Nabs Zurich Festival Honors: The Swiss artist has been named the winner of this year's Zurich Festival Prize. She is the first visual artist ever to receive the $50,000 award — for the last seven years, it has gone to musicians and composers. Rist, who the jury called "one of the most important artists working today," will accept the honor at a Zurich Festival ceremony on June 26. [Artforum]

VIDEO OF THE DAY

Herald Szeeman's "Live in Your Head. When Attitudes Become Forms" from 1968

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