Ukraine Alleges Russia Has Looted Art, Postponed Guston Show Opens, and More: Morning Links for May 2, 2022

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The Headlines

STOLEN ART. Ukrainian officials allege that Russian forces have have confiscated artworks and artifacts from collections in the country. In Mariupol, more than 2,000 pieces were stolen from three museums, according to the city council, the Washington Post reports. Those items are said to include examples by artists Arkhip Kuindzhi and Ivan Aivazovsky . Meanwhile, in the city of Melitopol, Russian officials have taken gold artifacts that date back to the Scythian empire more than 2,000 years ago, the New York Times reports. Workers at the Melitopol Museum of Local History said that they had tried to hide the pieces in cardboard boxes in a basement area. The Russian military has named Evgeny Gorlachev the director of the museum, and he said on Russian TV that the objects “are of great cultural value for the entire former Soviet Union.”

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DAMAGED ART. A painting by the Danish artist Asger Jorn was vandalized on Friday at the Museum Jorn in Silkeborg, Denmark, which some are viewing as a right-wing protest, Alex Greenberger reports in ARTnews. Artist Ibi-Pippi Orup Hedegaard said he is behind the defacement, which involved signing his name and placing a sticker on the piece. Uwe Max Jensen , an artist who appears to have been present, and who has shared right-wing views online, compared the event to a recent anti-colonial protest by artist Katrine Dirckinck-Holmfeld that involved tossing the bust of an 18th-century Danish king into a river. The museum is looking into restoring the picture. Ibi-Pippi (he goes by his first name) was arrested and may face criminal charges.

The Digest

GUSTON RETURNS. The Philip Guston retrospective that four museums postponed following the murder of George Floyd has now opened at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. It includes a pamphlet from a trauma specialist, and a path to avoid the artist’s works featuring Ku Klux Klan imagery. [The New York Times]

Artist Justin Green, an underground comics legend, died late last month of colon cancer at the age of 76. His venturesome, autobiographical volume Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary (1972) inspired peers like Art Spiegelman, who said, “Out of a group of idiosyncratic people, he was the most idiosyncratic.” [The New York Times]

The new chief curator of the Cranbrook Art Museum is Laura Mott, who came aboard the Metro Detroit institution in 2013 as senior curator of contemporary art and design. Mott’s credits at the museum include exhibitions of work by Nick Cave and Maya Stovall[Artforum]

Billionaire philanthropist David Rubenstein gave $15 million to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, which has now exceeded—one year early—a $1 billion fundraising goal it had set. [The Washington Post]

There are major modern and contemporary art auctions in New York this week and next (watch this space!), but that is not all that is hitting the block. Christie’s announced it will sell a dinosaur skeleton—a Deinonychus antirrhopus—on May 12 with a $6 million top estimate. [The New York Times]

PROFILES . . . Dealer Mariane Ibrahim spoke with CNN. Artist Kyle Manning chatted with W. And musician and artist Lonnie Holley is in the pages of the Guardian.

The Kicker

YOU CAN’T SPELL RESTAURANT WITHOUT A, R, AND T. Artist Carsten Höller, the king of slides, has just opened a restaurant in Stockholm called Brutalisten (“The Brutalist,” for non-Swedish speakers), and journalist Laura Rysman was there for the star-studded first night (Miuccia PradaPrecious Okoyomon ). Something of an art piece in its own right, the resto has a 13-point manifesto that emphasizes inventive, medium-specific cooking (and eating). As one of those points reads: “If you’re going to eat chicken, why not eat chicken brain?” [The New York Times]


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