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Whatever Happened To....

Wednesday 20th January 2016

Over the course of the last year we presented a number of fascinating art news pieces, and many of the stories were just developing as we posted about them. Much more (or in one case, a surprising amount of nothing) has happened since then, so we thought we'd take the time to do a quick update on some of our favourite stories from 2015 that kept developing.

First of all, you might remember earlier in 2015 when we wrote about a huge trove of artwork that was found in the possession of Hildebrand Gurlitt in Germany. Totalling over 1200 pieces, the collection was amassed by his art dealer father and was comprised of pieces which were looted by the Nazis during World War Two and the years leading up to it. A massive investigation has been ongoing to determine the original owners of the pieces, spanning months and nearly $2 million, but only 5 pieces have been properly evaluated by the task force, with another 500 still to be sorted out. Of those 5, 4 of them have already sold at auction, including a painting by Max Liebermann titled "Two Riders on a Beach" that sold for $2.9 million.

On a lighter note, Edward Snowden seems to be headed for the Brooklyn Museum - or at least, the bust of him that appeared on a monument in Fort Greene Park will be. Who knows when the man himself, made famous for leaking a number of classified documents from the National Security Agency, will ever be able to return to the United States outside of a jail cell, but his bust will join a three-part exhibition about political art at the Brooklyn Museum during February. The bust appeared anonymously overnight at the park, but eventually a trio of local artists - Jeff Greenspan, Andrew Tider and Doyle Trankina - stepped forwards to reclaim the piece, though Greenspan and Tider were each fined $50 for being in the park after hours by the NYPD.

Last but not least, we follow up on our chronicle of the struggles of Ai Weiwei, the Chinese political activist and artist who was last in a spat with the LEGO company (yes, the makers of the famous children's toy). Lego was refusing to complete the bulk order of brick pieces Ai needed to finish a series of portraits of political figures, claiming that it was against their policy to allow their works to be used in any kind of political statement. However after a huge publicity campaign by Ai, they have finally relented and changed their policy, saying "the Lego group no longer asks for the thematic purpose when selling large quantities of Lego bricks for projects."
 

Posted on January 20th 2016 on 12:21am
Labels: art, news

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