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THE YEAR OF PICASSO. Next year is the 50th anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death, at 91, and to mark the occasion, Spain and France are supporting an international initiative that will involve more than 40 shows and events devoted to the artist, the Art Newspaper reports. “Our aim is to revindicate the artistic legacy of Picasso and the relevance of his work,” Spain’s culture minister, Miquel Iceta, said, per the Associated Press. The list of offerings in “Celebration Picasso 1973–2023”—which is being overseen by staffers at the Musée National Picasso-Paris and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, the maestro’s grandson—is long, and includes seven shows alone in the U.S. One intriguing item: A Brooklyn Museum show opening in June will address “interconnected issues of misogyny, masculinity, creativity, and ‘genius,’ particularly around a complex, mythologized figure like Picasso,” according to a statement quoted by TAN. Curators Lisa Small and Catherine Morris and comedian Hannah Gadsby are organizing that one.
THE CURIOUS CASE OF DOUGLAS CHRISMAS. In ARTnews, journalist Catherine Wagley has a deep dive on dealer Douglas Chrismas, who founded Ace Gallery in 1961 in Vancouver, made it a key player in the Los Angeles art scene in subsequent decades, and was forced out amid a bankruptcy in 2016, when Wagley started reporting on him. Chrismas has “been accused of fabricating artists’ works, failing to return unsold artworks, withholding payments, and financial mismanagement,” she writes, and now is staring down a federal trial on embezzlement charges that could send him to prison for 15 years. He has denied wrongdoing. Read the full story at ARTnews.
Emanoel Araujo, the founder of São Paulo’s Museu Afro Brasil, has died at 81. Araujo’s career also included a stretch as director of the city’s Pinacoteca. “His tenure there met with prejudice at first—artists and city officials resistant to having a Black, gay man from the north of Brazil in charge,” ArtReview writes. “Araujo refused to be cowed however, and set about a dramatic reimagining of the museum.” [ArtReview]
William MacDougall, the founder of MacDougall’s Fine Art Auctions in London, which was the the first international auction firm to have staffers on the ground in Moscow and Kyiv, Ukraine, died in the Russian capital last week. He was 67. [The Art Newspaper]
Artist Diane Noomin, an underground comics legend who created the volume Twisted Sisters with Aline Kominsky-Crumb, has died at 75. Among the characters she developed was DiDi Glitz, “a curvy, big-haired, leopard-print-loving, fishnet-stocking-and-miniskirt-wearing and hard-drinking single mother,” Penelope Green writes. [The New York Times]
The United States returned to Israel a silver coin that was minted by Jews in the years 66 to 73 while in rebellion against Roman rule and that was illegally excavated in 2002, according to authorities. The coin, valued at as much as $1 million, was confiscated after being listed as a lot in a sale at an auction house in Denver. [The New York Times]
Artist Duke Riley, who currently has a show up at the Brooklyn Museum, answered “21 Questions” from Curbed, and claimed that he once owned writer “H.P. Lovecraft’s front tooth that was gifted to me by some grave robbers while I was living in Providence.” Alas, a “goth girl” swallowed it at a party, he said. [Curbed]
ART IS WHAT YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH. Designer Tommy Hilfiger’s latest runway show, held on Sunday night at the Skyline Drive-In in Brooklyn, was inspired by Andy Warhol, and featured a set referencing the artist’s famed “Silver Factory,” and Bob Colacello, the former editor of his Interview magazine, walking as a model, the Guardian reports. The way that Warhol brought “all different people together from art, fashion, music, entertainment, celebrity is very similar to what I’ve done and what I’m doing,” Hilfiger told the Associated Press. [The Guardian and AP]