Bad Stuff Does Happen

In the last few newsletters I was very critical of the Indiana University Art Museum and their lack of proper care for the Oceanic and African objects bequeathed by Laura and Raymond Wielgus. The security at the Tate was and is certainly better than that in Bloomington, but bad stuff does happen.


Rothko mural defaced by a vandal who scrawled graffiti on the painting at London's Tate Modern

 LONDON (AP).- A vandal scrawled graffiti on a mural by modern American master Mark Rothko at London's Tate Modern on Sunday. The mural, one of Rothko's Seagram series, was defaced when a visitor to the Tate applied "a small area of black paint with a brush to the painting," the gallery said.
A photograph posted on Twitter by a gallery visitor showed words, including the name Vladimir, scrawled in the corner of the painting. The gallery, which attracts 5 million visitors a year, was briefly closed Sunday after the incident. Tate Modern said police were investigating. The graffiti on the painting also appears to read "a potential piece of yellowism." According to an online manifesto, Yellowism is an artistic movement run by two people named Vladimir Umanets and Marcin Lodyga.
This is not the first time an artwork at Tate Modern has been interfered with. In 2000, two Chinese performance artists attempted to urinate on Marcel Duchamp's urinal sculpture "Fountain."
Rothko, who died in 1970, is renowned for his large abstract paintings featuring bold blocks of color. The defaced painting was one of a series intended to decorate the Four Seasons restaurant in New York. Rothko changed his mind about the commission and gave the works to galleries, including the Tate. Earlier this year, Rothko's "Orange, Red, Yellow" sold for almost $87 million at auction in New York.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. 
http://artdaily.com/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=58184

LONDON (AP).- British police on Tuesday charged a 26-year-old Polish national with vandalizing a priceless Mark Rothko work at the Tate Modern museum, an act that caused a minor stir in the U.K. art world. Scotland Yard said in a statement that Wlodzimierz Umaniec would appear at south London Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court in south London court on Wednesday charged with one count of "criminal damage in excess of 5,000 pounds (about $8,000)." Umaniec, who also went by the name Vladimir Umanets, was arrested after patrons discovered a scrawl across the bottom of a Rothko mural on Sunday. The Russian-born Rothko was a leading figure in American abstract painting, renowned for large-scale works featuring bold blocks of color, and the vandalism angered many. The artist's children, Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko, said in a statement that they were "greatly troubled" by the incident. While the Tate Modern has said it does not have a price for the defaced piece, another Rothko piece — "Orange, Red, Yellow" — sold for almost $87 million at auction in New York. This is not the first time an artwork at Tate Modern has been interfered with. In 2000, two Chinese performance artists attempted to urinate on Marcel Duchamp's urinal sculpture "Fountain."

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.