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Atlanta’s High Museum of Art Receives Landmark Donation of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and Modernist Paintings & Other Art World Headlines


by Jana Farmer on September 5, 2019

ALB_Sept6-Post-440x293UNITED STATES

Local Patrons Donate Impressionist Collection to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta
Doris and Shouky Shaheen donated their collection of Impressionist paintings to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, constituting one of the largest donations in the museum’s history.  The gifted collection includes 24 Impressionist, post-Impressionist, and Modernist paintings, including works by Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Édouard Vuillard. The High Museum will open a gallery later this year named after the Shaheens to display the works.

New York State Court Allows Suit over Delayed Jeff Koons Work to Proceed
Steven Tananbaum, art collector and Museum of Modern Art trustee, is suing the Gagosian Gallery for its delay in delivering a $13 million sculpture by Jeff Koons. In a recent decision on a motion to dismiss, New York State Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla dismissed some of Tananbaum’s claims, but the breach-of-contract claims survived the dispositive motion.

Ariana Grande Settles a Copyright Lawsuit for “God is a Woman” Video
Ariana Grande settled a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by artist Vladimir Kush. Kush claimed Grande violated a copyright in his painting, The Candle (1998), when her silhouette appeared as the flame of a candle against a cloud-filled sky in her own music video (“God is a Woman”).

United States Raises Tariffs on Works of Art from China
The U.S. import tariff on Chinese goods was raised from 10 to 15 percent and now applies to all Chinese works of art. Critics predict that American art dealers will feel the impact of the new tax as sales are redirected to Chinese dealers and a Chinese clientele.

The Knoedler Gallery’s Forgery Saga Comes to an End as the Final Lawsuit Settles
The tenth and final federal forgery lawsuit by the Hilti Family Trust against the Knoedler Gallery over a fake Mark Rothko painting settled last month, ending an eight-year legal saga over millions of dollars of forged artworks. When reports questioning authenticity of some works sold through Knoedler began circulating in 2011, the Trust submitted a segment of paint from its painting for forensic analysis to confirm the forgery. When forensic testing of this and many other artworks revealed paint components that were not commercially available at the time the works were allegedly created, a string of lawsuits followed. The U.S. Department of Justice investigation showed that the subject paintings were actually created by a man named Pei-Shen Qian in Queens, New York, and then were artificially aged with techniques such as staining with tea bags. Litigants argued that the Knoedler had helped invent the details behind a shadowy collector called “Mr. X,” who had ostensibly collected a treasure of Abstract Expressionist paintings in the 1950s and 1960s.

Artist-Activist Nan Goldin Arrested for Disorderly Conduct Following Opioid Protest
Nan Goldin and several other members of her protest group, P.A.I.N., were arrested for disorderly conduct during a protest outside New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office. Artist-activist Goldin, who was personally addicted to opioids, traveled across the United States and Europe staging multiple “die-ins” and protests at art institutions that have received funding from the Sackler Family, which has been pegged with responsibility for sparking and sustaining the opioid crisis. This protest sought to express the activists’ view that New York’s governor is not doing enough to reduce opioid and prescription drug addiction deaths.


Banksy’s Brexit Mural Vanishes
Banksy’s three-story Brexit mural on a wall in Dover, England, has disappeared. The mural, which first appeared in the English port city in January, depicted a man on a ladder chipping away at a star on a Blue European Union Flag. There has been no comment from Banksy or the town of Dover on the reason for the mural’s disappearance.

Lost Sketches from the Classic French Tale “The Little Prince” Were Located in Switzerland
A series of early drawings from The Little Prince were discovered in the archives of a recently deceased Swiss collector Bruno Stefanini. The delightful watercolor and ink sketches by French artist and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry permit a glimpse into the early stages and character development that led to the beloved children’s classic.

Giacometti Sculpture Sold for $612,000, Following Reality TV Show’s Claim It Is “Worthless”
A broken sculpture by Alberto Giacometti was sold for $612,000 after the BBC realty show Fake or Fortune called it “worthless.” The sculpture, titled Tete qui Regarde (The Gazing Head), had been cracked after a cat knocked it off the owner’s mantle. An updated episode on the sculpture that re-aired last week revealed that once the spackling paste and paint that had been used to repair it were removed by the Giacometti Committee in Paris, the artist’s signature and date were uncovered, confirming the piece’s authenticity.

Form over Function: Spanish Architect Fined for Construction of Venetian Bridge that Cannot Withstand Pedestrians
Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava was fined €78,000 (about $86,000) by the City of Venice for the allegedly negligent construction of a glass and steel bridge over the Grand Canal. The bridge has experienced numerous issues requiring restoration and repair. The City accused Calatrava of failing to account for the wear and tear of tourists in Venice when he designed the bridge.


Hong Kong Artist-Activist Detained in Connection with Protest
Chinese police detained Hong Kong artist-activist Sanmu Chan on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”; Chan was released after seven hours of questioning. Chan has been a vocal protestor in Hong Kong of the controversial extradition bill, withdrawn since Chan’s detention. The protesters now demand greater democracy in Hong Kong and an official investigation into allegations of instances of brutality by Chinese police.

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