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LEGAL AFFAIRS. When Russia annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014, the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam was faced with a thorny legal issue. It was hosting a show of some 300 prized historical artifacts from Crimea that were on loan from museums in the region and the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv. Where should the material go when the exhibition came to a close? Talks in 2014 with the loaning institutions and the Ukrainian government did not definitely resolve matters, but now the highest court in the Netherlands has, ruling that they should be returned to Ukraine, the Associated Press reports. “Although the museum pieces originate from Crimea and can therefore also be regarded as Crimean heritage, they are part of the cultural heritage of Ukraine,” the court said in its ruling, which upheld a lower court’s earlier determination.
HELEN THORINGTON, who made daringly experimental sound works before becoming a pioneer of internet art in the 1990s, died in April at 94, Alex Williams reports in the New York Times. (Her passing had not previously been reported in the mainline press.) Thorington’s many collaborators over the years included Bill T. Jones and the late filmmaker Barbara Hammer, whose short “Optic Nerve” she soundtracked; it appeared in the 1987 Whitney Biennial, Williams notes. In 1996, she created Turbulence.org, which bills itself as “the oldest net art commissioning site in the world.”
Kisho Kurokawa’s famed Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo was demolished last year, after 50 years of offering a vision for the future that never quite arrived. But 23 of its capsule apartments were preserved, Carolina A. Miranda reports, and SFMOMA has acquired the one that was owned by the late architect. [Los Angeles Times]
All press is good press? The Brooklyn Museum said that, on the weekend that it opened its highly controversial Hannah Gadsby–curated Pablo Picasso show, its attendance was up 51 percent over the prior weekend. [The New York Times]
Superstar artist Takashi Murakami just opened an exhibition with Gagosian in Paris, and weighed in on AI. It “will certainly do damage to technical trades but I don’t think it will be able to block our ideas,” he said. “The wackiest ideas, those that even AI cannot generate, will become even more valuable.” [AFP/The Japan Times]
Olga Viso, who was director of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis from 2008 to 2017, has been named chief curator and director of curatorial affairs and engagement at the Phoenix Art Museum. Viso came to the Arizona institution last year and had been serving as a senior curatorial adviser and a curator-at-large. [Press Release/ArtDaily]
In an interview, artist Anna Genger described inappropriate behavior she allegedly encountered in the art industry, like a collector and curator asking her about her sexual preferences in an Art Basel lounge and being inviting on a private jet on the understanding that she would sleep with the person paying for the trip. [Blick]
ARTISTS IN PROFILE. Hiroshi Sugimoto has a new sculpture on San Francisco’s Treasure Island, and is in the New York Times, as is Gary Simmons, who opens a retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago tomorrow. Doris Salcedo is exhibiting at the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, and spoke with the Financial Times, while Roger Ballen talked to the Associated Press about his outing at the Inside Out Centre for the Arts in Johannesburg, South Africa.
THE REVIEWS ARE IN. The new Spider-Man film, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, features a battle in the Guggenheim Museum in New York, where a number of Jeff Koons“Balloon Dog” sculptures are on view, the Art Newspaper reports. Koons posted some stills on Instagram, saying that he was “thrilled to be part of” the movie, which hauled in $120.5 million over its opening weekend earlier this month (only a bit above the artist’s $91 million auction record). The team behind the blockbuster “created a new high bar for animation!” the artist added. “When viewing the film, a whole new world of perception opens up to us.” [TAN and @jeffkoons/Instagram]