Art Recovered in $400,000 Colorado Theft, Portland Museum Picks Architects for $100 M. Expansion, and More: Morning Links for January 10, 2023

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The Headlines

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GROW OR GO. The Portland Museum of Art in Maine has hired a firm for its $100 million expansion: LEVER Architecture, of (confusingly) Portland, Oregon, and Los Angeles, the Boston Globe reports. The outfit has done work for the Princeton University Art Museum, and has proposed a design for the PMA that will add 60,000 square feet of space for various uses. Across the Atlantic, in beautiful Switzerland, the Kunstmuseum Bern is embarking on a redevelopment project and has invited 39 architects to submit proposals, Building Design reports. They include big names like the Bjarke Ingels Group and Diller Scofidio & Renfro. Also in the architecture press: Dezeen asked 13 Indian architects to pick their favorite buildings in the country; their answers amount to a thrilling tour of the place.

POLICE BLOTTER. At a hotel in Lakewood, Colorado, police recovered five paintings that went missing from an art-transport van last month in Boulder, and arrested a 31-year-old manFox 31 reports. The paintings—by Elaine de KooningJane Freilicher, and others—had been valued at more than $400,000, and were found with other stolen items (guns, electronics), almost 2,000 fentanyl pills, and methamphetamine. According to an arrest report, the suspect had offered to sell the hot art for $6,000 to a person who notified police, per 9 News . That tipster had already made a down payment of $1,000 (in bitcoin, naturally), but said he came forward because he wanted to “do the right thing.” He also apparently said that he regularly wastes $1,000 a day on “dumb sh—.” OK! In other legal news, another 31-year-old man was arrested for allegedly stealing 1,500-year-old relics from a church in Subaico, Arkansas, the New York Times reports.

The Digest

An indicator that seems positive for the art market: Though there are concerns that the global economy is slowing, the rich are still buying Rolls-Royces. The luxury carmaker’s CEO said, “We haven’t seen any downturn in order intake here over the last months. I’m cautiously optimistic about this year.” [Bloomberg]

Artist James Turrell will create one of his deeply satisfying “Skyspaces” for the Kansas City Museum in Missouri. The plan is for the piece—the first in either Missouri or Kansas—to be operational in time for the 2026 World Cup, which will take place in various North America cities, including the Heart of America. [KMBC News]

What a run! After 50 years at the helm of Film Forum, the beloved New York arthouse cinema with storied banana bread, Karen Cooper is stepping down. Sonya Chung, its deputy director, will take on the role, with Cooper becoming an adviser. [Artforum]

The Chicago-based Hindman art auction house has named its chief business development officer, Alyssa Quinlan, to be its CEO. [Crain’s Chicago Business]

Curator Robert Leonard has been tapped to be director of the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane, Australia. It’s a homecoming of sorts for Leonard, who led the institution between 2005 and 2013. His most recent post was chief curator of the City Gallery Wellington in New Zealand. [ArtAsiaPacific]

Actor Vicky Krieps, who stars as the 19th-century Austro-Hungarian Empress Elisabeth in the new film Corsage, paid a visit to New York’s Neue Galerie, hunting for a portrait that she was told resembles her. While there, she also took in some Egon Schiele drawings. The empress would have been a fan, she said. [The New Yorker]

The Kicker

THE CITY OF LIGHTS. One of the big stories on the international art scene over the past few years has been the ascendence of Paris as an important capital for contemporary art, with big-league dealers opening up shop and billionaires building bountiful museums. In Bloomberg BusinessweekJames Tarmy charted the developments, and spoke to a stalwart local, the venturesome dealer Kamel Mennour. “People used to think of Paris as an old lady—a museum city only, with no blood in its veins,” Mennour said. “Now there’s a lot of energy and people and collectors.” [Bloomberg]


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