NYPD Investigates Vandalism of Brooklyn Museum Director’s Home, British Artist Faces Scrutiny in Germany, and More: Morning Links for June 13, 2024

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THE HEADLINES

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SUSPECTS SOUGHT. An investigation is underway into the vandalism of the home of Brooklyn Museum director Anne Pasternak. Per images shared on X by New York City Mayor Eric Adams, red paint was splashed across the front door and windows of Pasternak’s home. Between two columns, a banner was hung that read: “Anne Pasternak / Brooklyn Museum / White Supremacist Zionist,” an apparent reference to her institution’s ties to Israel. The residences of several Brooklyn Museum board trustees were also reportedly targeted. The vandalism follows a pro-Palestine protest at the museum on May 31 that saw approximately 1,000 demonstrators occupy its front lawn. Amid a heavy (and, later, heavily criticized) police presence, at least 34 demonstrators were arrested. In the case of Wednesday’s vandalism, Adams has vowed to find and “bring the criminals responsible here to justice.”

MEANWHILE, IN SWITZERLAND. While the art world eagerly takes stock of exhibitor sales at Art Basel, we’ve compared the wares of the 285 galleries on hand to determine the can’t-miss booths. Among the standouts are Sfeir-Semler Gallery, with exquisite masks by Egyptian artist Wael ShawkyLisa Brice’s cobalt-blue riff on Gustave Courbet at Sadie Coles HQ; and a buzzy spread of textile works—some you can even sit inside!—at Meyer Riegger . Meanwhile in the Feature sector, dedicated to works made in the 20th century, São Paulo’s Almeida & Dale has debuted with pieces by Brazilian master Heitor dos Prazeres, who is well overdue recognition beyond his home country. Check out the full roundup here.

THE DIGEST

Hamja Ahsan, a British artist and curator, is facing prosecution from German authorities over 2022 social media posts that allegedly insult two German politicians, a violation under German law. The posts were made while he was in Germany as a participating artist in Documenta 15. [The Art Newspaper]

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has announced two significant leadership changes: Dee Minnite, the current interim chief collections, exhibitions, and design officer, who will now permanently take up the role. Meanwhile, Sheila Shin has been promoted from chief experience officer to chief operating officer. [SF Chronicle]

new study of ancient DNA from the remains of 64 people who were sacrificed at the Maya city of Chichén Itzá has led archaeologists to conclude that the vast majority of the remains belonged to men, upending popular (and, as the study notes, rather lurid) notions that the Maya only sacrificed young maidens. [CNN]

Pritzker Prize winner Fumihiko Maki, the architect of elegant, understated buildings in his native japan and the United States, has died at 95. [The New York Times

A Davenport couple has donated $14 million worth of art to Iowa’s Figge Art Museum, in what the institution has dubbed a “transformative” gift for its holdings. [KWQC]

More than 100 years after the birth of Yannis Gaitis, one of Greece’s most prominent modern artists, the country is set to open the first museum dedicated to his legacy. [Ekathimerini]

THE KICKER

SERIOUSLY SILLY. Can’t make (or can’t afford) Coachella? Fear not, there’s always Clownchella. Rob Goyanes, writing for the Paris Review , compares the two events, the latter of which he actually attended. Coachella is a luxe music and art festival in California for see-and-be-seen social media users. Clownchella is a one-night clown festival consisting of five acts and costing sixteen bucks. Goyanes, who’d long figured the history of clowning “had reached its terminus,” was tipped off to a “diverse and burgeoning clown scene” in Los Angeles that is revitalizing the form. He’d expected the conventional clown, red-nosed circus denizens, but the offerings were startlingly eclectic—and serious about silliness. The night reportedly ended with a session of “goat yoga,” in which the whole audience performed yoga while “goats jumped on people’s backs and ran around, chewed on people’s hair and pissed on the stage.” Mark your calendars for 2025.

Source: artnews.com

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