25-years-long artwork for Sophie Calle
Creative Time has commissioned French artist Sophie Calle for an ambitious, twenty-five-year-long project that will take place at Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery. Here Lie the Secrets of the Visitors of Green-Wood Cemetery will consist of a hollow grave connected to a marble obelisk, designed by Calle. On the latter will be a small slot where visitors may transcribe confessions or secrets on a piece of paper and deposit them into the structure, slowly filling the grave. Calle will return to the cemetery throughout the next twenty-five years, each time the grave is full, to exhume its contents and destroy them in a ritualistic bonfire. The project will debut during a two-day-long event, scheduled for April 29 and 30.

 sued for plagiarism
Jeff Koons’s Naked (1988), a porcelain work depicting two nude children, has been said to having plagiarised a black-and-white photograph by Jean-François Bauret, titled Enfants (1970). The photographer’s widow saw the Koons sculpture and noticed the similarities, alerting both the artist and the Centre Pompidou ahead of his 2014 exhibition at the Paris museum. She received no response and sued both. As a result, Koon’s company Jeff Koons LLC and the Centre Pompidou, which included the work in the exhibition catalogue, will have to pay €40,000 to the photographer’s family.

The honourable J. Paul Getty Medal
The J. Paul Getty Trust announced that German artist Anselm Kiefer and Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa are being awarded J. Paul Getty Medals. Since it was established in 2013, the J. Paul Getty Trust has only recognised six individuals for their extraordinary contributions to the arts. Past recipients of the award include Harold Williams, Nancy Englander, Jacob Rothschild, Frank Gehry, Yo-Yo Ma, and Ellsworth Kelly.

Documenta 14 asks for funds
Documenta’s CEO Annette Kulenkampff, is asking for more government funding for the contemporary art exhibition.  Documenta 14, taking place this year in Athens and Kassel, has a budget of approximately €35 million. Half of the budget is publicly subsidised and comes from the state of Hesse, the city of Kassel, and the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (Federal Cultural Foundation). The remainder is raised by the exhibition. According to Kulenkampff, competing with sporting events has made securing funding increasingly difficult.

Fourth Plinth’s new commission
Artworks by Heather Phillipson and Michael Rakowitz have been commissioned for Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth (London). Phillipson’s The End, a sculpture of a giant dollop of whipped cream topped by a cherry and invaded by a fly and a working drone, is scheduled to go on display in 2020. Rakowitz’s re-creation of the Lamassu, a winged bull at the entrance to the Nergal Gate of Nineveh from 700 BC—which was destroyed by ISIS—will occupy the plinth in 2018.

New art centre in Dubai
Art Jameel, a nonprofit that supports a wide range of arts initiatives throughout the Middle East, has announced that it is opening up a new arts centre in Dubai and forging a partnership with New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, which will help the museum to more easily acquire modern and contemporary works by Middle Eastern artists. The Jameel Arts Centre Dubai will present exhibitions drawn from the Jameel Art Collection as well as regional and international group and solo exhibitions. The centre’s administrators are currently at work on forming a council made up of art world professionals to advise its curators on collections and exhibitions programming.

The National Gallery expands
London’s National Gallery is opened a new space dedicated to showcasing the works of seventeenth-century Old Masters from the museum’s permanent collection. This is the first new space at the National Gallery in twenty-six years, since the Sainsbury Wing was inaugurated in 1991. It provides the setting for an original display of works by two of the National Gallery’s titans, Rubens and Rembrandt. The inaugural show will have eleven paintings by Rembrandt and nine works by Rubens.

Nicholas Serota for art education
Sir Nicholas Serota former director of the Tate, in his new position as the chairman of Arts Council England, has announced that an investigation into the benefits of exposing children to art will be one of the council’s first major projects under his leadership. The eighteen-month-long inquiry has been formed as a response to concerns that the opportunities to offer arts education to children has been damaged by the government’s English baccalaureate, or Ebacc, which does not make arts study mandatory.

Stolen Van Goghs returned to Amsterdam
On the night of December 7, 2002, Octave Durham and Henk Bieslijn used a ladder to scale the side of the Van Gogh Museum. They smashed one of the windows, climbed inside the building, and took two nearby paintings from the gallery they had entered. After avoiding police, Durham and Bieslijn began work to sell the paintings on the black market. They were sold to an Italian Camorra’s boss who, Perhaps looking for leniency, wrote a letter dated August 29, 2016, to Vincenza Marra, the public prosecutor, saying that he had the van Gogh paintings. The FBI listed the theft as one of its “Top Ten Art Crimes”.

Turner prize for all
Britain’s Turner Prize has announced that it is eliminating its rule stating that only artists under fifty are eligible for the contemporary art award. The Turner Prize wants to acknowledge the fact that artists can experience a breakthrough in their work at any stage. It is also expanding the judging parameters. Previously, artists were only judged based on work for which they were nominated. Moving forward, the selection panel will also take into consideration works created for the Turner Prize exhibition.

Silvia Meloni

Featured Image: Michael Rakowitz, The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist, 2016. Photo James O. Jenkins, courtesy the artist.

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