Morning Links

Morning Links: Grasshopper in the van Gogh Edition

A grasshopper, having hopped on a leaf.



For the New York Times, Patti Smith walked a reporter with a video camera around the Paris Photo fair, starting with the Gagosian Gallery display that she—Smith, that is—curated herself. Shaky camera moves and awkward interview bits abound! But so do some genuinely moving moments, including a formative tale involving a Polaroid camera and Rudolf Nureyev’s slippers. (And a fantastic pair of Robert Mapplethorpe’s slippers too.) [Facebook/The New York Times]

An art burglar absconded with a sculpture by Fernando Botero, swiped from the Bartoux gallery in Paris in broad daylight. As France 24 reports, “The thief simply walked into the gallery and helped himself to the statue,” and then, his arms full, “coolly walked unchallenged down one of the most closely guarded streets in France.” [France 24]


Officials at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City said they found a dead grasshopper in the materials used by Vincent van Gogh for Olive Trees (1889). “I came across the teeny-tiny body of a grasshopper submerged in the paint,” a conservator told the Guardian. A paleo-entomologist was then called in and found that “the insect’s thorax and abdomen were missing and there was no sign of movement in the surrounding paint”—meaning it was already dead when it found its way into the annals of art history. [The Guardian]

The New York Post, always angling to stir the proverbial pot, surveys five of New York’s “most notorious, most explosive public-art controversies.” Among them: Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc and Keith Haring’s Crack Is Wack. [New York Post]


Sebastian Smee, the art critic at the Boston Globe since 2008, is moving to the Washington Post. A notice about it on the Post’s PR blog says Smee will team with Philip Kennicott to “review major exhibits nationwide and report engagingly on the art world for a wide audience,” and sets his hiring in the context of a “an expansion of the Post’s fine arts coverage.” Smee will work in his new post from Boston. [The Washington Post]

An investigation by the Boston Globe found “a culture of blatant sexual harassment” at the Berklee College of Music involving at least three professors who were allowed to “quietly” leave after complaints were filed. [The Boston Globe]

The Future

In Durham, North Carolina, an open call went out for public art to anoint a new police station. The combined budgets for two areas is $200,000, though the local publication Indy Week notes: “While submissions can take pretty much any form—sculpture, mural, photography, mosaic, lighting or electronic installation—there are some caveats regarding the subject matter.” [Indy Week]


For W magazine, Diane Solway has the story of “how the family-run Underground Museum became one of L.A.’s most vital cultural forces.” Before his death at 32, founder Noah Davis “wanted to sidestep the gallery system, preferring to bring museum-quality art to a community that had no access to it ‘within walking distance,’ as he once put it.” [W]

For the Los Angeles Times, Carolina A. Miranda has the story of “how Ed Sullivan, girls gone wild, an alligator, and blindfold painting shaped the art of Kim Dingle.” Among the artist’s tools of choice, thanks to the progeny of a friend: “a 6-year-old gone berserk on a sugar high.” [Los Angeles Times]


As previewed in the Guardian, an exhibition related to the late, great musical bard Leonard Cohen is opening at Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Conceived in a way that secured the artist’s blessing before his death last year, it has taken on the spirit of a memorial. “What was special about Leonard Cohen’s work was its calm mystery,” said Julia Holter, a musician who covered a Cohen song for the show. “The world needs this subtle beauty right now.” [The Guardian]

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