Art World Bits and Pieces


1. BEIJING (AFP).- A Chinese newspaper with close links to the Communist Party on Thursday called on famed artist Ai Weiwei to abandon his "previous politics" after the dissident was allowed to stage a rare exhibition in China. China's best known contemporary artist abroad, Ai's outspoken criticism of China's ruling Communist party has caused much of his work to be censored domestically. China has denied Ai a passport since 2011 in an apparent attempt to limit his international influence. But authorities allowed his first solo exhibition to open in Beijing on Saturday. Lacking his usual political commentary, the show -- which reports said local authorities had approved -- consists of a reconstructed 400-year-old wooden ancestral hall. More Information: http://artdaily.com/news/79243/China-media-calls-on-contemporary-artist-Ai-Weiwei-to-change-politics-after-rare-show#.VXtOfbN0zIU

2. PARIS.- Too much love can be a bad thing: Paris city officials, exasperated with lovers sealing their passion by clipping padlocks all over the city, are set to remove 45 tonnes of the locks next week. Starry-eyed tourists from all over the world flock to the Pont des Arts bridge spanning the Seine River to attach a lock representing their eternal love, and throw the key into the river. But the now-iconic bridge is buckling under the weight of such devotion, and authorities are desperate to stop the craze. Last year police hurriedly ushered tourists off the Pont des Arts when a section of the footbridge collapsed under the weight of the locks covering the 155-metre-(509-foot-)long bridge. More Information: http://artdaily.com/news/78925/Paris-to-break-hearts-with-removal-of-a-million--love-locks--from-the-Pont-des-Arts-#.VXtO6rN0zIU

3. ORANGE (AFP).- Amelia Earhart took off from southern California in 1937 on her ill-fated around-the-globe flight. A photographer documented the journey's start. But the world was unaware -- until Tuesday -- that a home movie was also made as she prepared to leave. A publisher has released a grainy but extraordinarily well-preserved 3.5-minute film which he says depicts the legendary aviatrix, smiling and self-confident, climbing aboard her plane the day before she departed on a trip that led to her mysterious disappearance over the Pacific six weeks later. More Information:http://artdaily.com/news/79199/Well-preserved-3-5-minute-film-of-Amelia-Earhart-shot-the-day-before-she-departed--surfaces#.VXtb7LN0zIU

4. THE HAGUE (AFP).- In a potentially major reverse for the heirs of Tintin author Herge, a Dutch court has ruled that they do not own all the rights to the famous boy reporter's image. Moulinsart SA, the Belgium-based company that manages the lucrative Tintin business, took a small Dutch fanclub to court in 2012 saying they did not have the right to print extracts in their fanzine. But in court, the lawyer for fanclub the Herge Society produced a document from 1942 in which Herge, whose real name was Georges Remi, signed over the rights to Tintin to his publisher Casterman. More Information: http://artdaily.com/news/79170/Dutch-court-rules-Herge-heirs-don-t-have-famous-boy-reporter-Tintin-monopoly#.VXtd-7N0zIU

5. BERLIN (AFP).- German police Wednesday recovered two life-sized bronze sculptures of horses worth millions that once stood outside Adolf Hitler's chancellery but vanished in the year the Berlin Wall fell. Police said they had found the long-lost masterpieces, commissioned by the Third Reich, in a warehouse after staging 10 raids in five states targeting eight suspected members, aged 64 to 79, of a ring of illegal art dealers. More Information: http://artdaily.com/news/78712/German-police-find-Hitler-s-lost-horse-sculptures-that-vanished-the-year-Berlin-Wall-fell#.VYRyrrN0zIU

6. SYDNEY (AFP).- An Australian museum has defended an artist who suggested that teenagers be given marijuana to unlock their potential, describing the proposal as "brave and creative". Leon Ewing will raise the idea of "educational marijuana" at an event focusing on challenges faced by high schools in the southern state of Tasmania next month at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart. More Information: http://artdaily.com/news/78714/Museum-of-Old-and-New-Art-defends-artist-s-call-for-drugs-to-fuel-teens--creativity#.VYR3hrN0zIU

7. BUENOS AIRES (AFP).- Call it a clinic to restore marred beauty: arms, noses, hands and other appendages missing from sculptures due to vandalism or old age are replaced in a unique Argentine workshop. Patiently waiting their turn, some 100 artworks from parks, gardens and other public spaces are scattered over the grounds of the outdoor facility in Buenos Aires. More Information: http://artdaily.com/news/78674/Vandalized-statues-from-parks--gardens-and-public-spaces-restored-at-Argentine--hospital--#.VYR-gbN0zIU

8. WASHINGTON (AFP).- The dean of Washington National Cathedral called Thursday for two stained glass windows that depict the controversial Confederate flag to be replaced. Reverend Gary Hall said the windows -- installed in 1953 and depicting Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson -- were no longer appropriate. "It is time to take those windows out," Hall said in a statement, eight days after a young white supremacist murdered nine blacks in an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina. "Here, in 2015, we know that celebrating the lives of these two men, and the flag under which they fought, promotes neither healing nor reconciliation, especially for our African-American sisters and brothers." More Information: http://artdaily.com/news/79597/Confederate-flag-furor-spreads-to-stained-glass-windows-at-Washington-National-Cathedral#.VZLrd1xViko

9.NEW YORK  The news that Richard W. Matt, the convicted murderer who was killed by the police on Friday after a weeks long manhunt, spent most of his time behind bars painting technically skilled portraits of Julia Roberts, President Obama and fellow inmates’ relatives, and bartering them for preferential treatment, has come as a surprise to many. But to those who have spent years teaching art in prisons or making it themselves as inmates, such a trade is a deeply ingrained ritual of incarcerated life. It is practiced informally or as part of established programs by a wide range of prisoners, many of them, like Mr. Matt, with profoundly violent pasts and little art experience. More Information: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/29/arts/richard-matt-dannemora-escapee-known-for-his-paintings.html?ref=arts


10. NEW YORK Misty Copeland, whose openness about race in ballet helped to make her one of the most famous ballerinas in the United States, was promoted on Tuesday by American Ballet Theater, becoming the first African-American female principal dancer in the company’s 75-year history. More Information: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/01/arts/dance/misty-copeland-is-promotedtoprincipal-danceratamericanballettheater.htmlhpw&rref=arts&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=wellregion&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well


11. MOSCOW (AFP).- Scaffolding surrounds the vast clay sculpture-in-progress inside a warehouse on Moscow's outskirts, yet already the statue of Vladimir the Great has caused an outcry as big as the monument itself. The 24-metre (78-feet) high likeness of the man who brought Christianity to Kievan Rus -- the forerunner of modern Russia and Ukraine -- is set to tower over the capital, the latest potent symbol in a surge of patriotism taking hold in Russia. Prince Vladimir is revered as a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church and a hero by others, including the noted sculptor of the work, Salavat Shcherbakov. But not all Moscow agrees. More Information: http://artdaily.com/news/79263/Giant-statue-of-Orthodox-prince-by-sculptor-Salavat-Shcherbakov-stirs-controversy-in-Moscow#.VZMeAlxViko

12. ATHENS (AFP).- Strapped for cash in crisis-hit Greece but desperate to visit the Acropolis? Tourists faced with empty ATMs need not despair, visitors to the ancient site can now pay by card for the first time. People have long been asking to be able to use debit or credit cards to purchase the 12 euro ($13.5) entrance tickets to Athens's hill-top citadel, the culture ministry said Monday, insisting that families wanting to admire the Parthenon up close would not be penalised for running short on cash. More Information: http://artdaily.com/news/79650/Greek-cash-crisis-prompts-Acropolis-to-accept-visitors--credit-cards-for-the-first-time#.VZWdXLN0zIU


13. NEW YORK Artists (and Others) Talk About Art and Destruction."Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction." ― Pablo Picasso More Information:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-seed/artists-and-others-talk-a_b_7707948.html



14. NEW YORK In honor of Independence Day, we at HuffPost Arts & Culture are exploring all the many artistic interpretations of the grand ol' flag. From the thought-provoking work of Barbara Kruger to the unabashedly crafty wit of Olek, these artists have taken America's iconic bit of design to new heights. Behold, the many ways artists have interpreted the stars and stripes. More Information: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/02/american-flag-art_n_7683910.html?utm_hp_ref=arts


15. NEW YORK (AFP).- First day sales for Harper Lee's novel "Go Set a Watchman" made history for adult fiction at America's largest retail bookseller, the company announced on Wednesday. Barnes and Noble said the previous record was held by Dan Brown for his 2009 bestseller "The Lost Symbol," which is to be made into a film expected to star Tom Hanks. More Information: http://artdaily.com/news/80024/On-its-first-day--Harper-Lee-novel--Go-Set-a-Watchman--makes-United-States-bookstore-history#.VafvcRNViko

16. CAIRO (AFP).- Egyptian-born film legend Omar Sharif, who died Friday aged 83, captivated audiences worldwide for more than half a century, but will forever be remembered as the eponymous "Doctor Zhivago". Known for his debonair style, raffish good looks and often mischievous joie de vivre, Sharif, who also gained worldwide fame as a bridge player, had Alzheimer's disease. He died in Cairo of a heart attack, his agent Steve Kenis said in London. More Information: http://artdaily.com/news/79911/Egyptian-born-film-legend-Omar-Sharif--the-eternal--Doctor-Zhivago---dies-at-age-83#.VafythNVikp

17. NEW YORK The New York Times has a late story trying to situate Bert Kreuk’s legal victory over the artist Danh Vo within the context of last year’s frenzied panic over art flippers. And though the Times itself commissioned a study that showed there was no more art flipping today—given the relative size of the art market—than there has been in previous periods, this story suggests otherwise. Nevermind that the last two cycles of sales in New York and London showed little evidence of demand in the day sales for the very artists the story mentions. More Information: http://www.artmarketmonitor.com/2015/07/14/the-nytimes-cant-recognize-regulation-in-the-art-market/

18. ATLANTA The famous outdoor relief sculpture depicting Confederate leaders on Stone Mountain in Georgia has come under attack from the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP. The chapter's leader is calling for the removal of the Confederate Memorial Carving that depicts Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. More Information: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-stone-mountain-georgia-naacp-20150714-story.html

19. NEW YORK Outsider art is a hairy term. Outside of what exactly? According to whom? In 1994, in a review of the Outsider Art Fair, Roberta Smith valiantly attempted to define the expression, stipulating outsider art to be "a somewhat vague, catchall term for self-taught artists of any kind." More Information: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-the-self-taught-genius-went-from-the-norm-to-the-outlier_55aeccd9e4b07af29d56bcff?utm_hp_ref=arts