Morning Links

Morning Links: Stolen Markus Lüpertz Sculpture Edition

Markus Lüpertz.


Thefts, Possible Looting, and Fakery

Although Markus Lüpertz just had his first U.S. retrospective, at the Phillips Collection and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden simultaneously, he may not be the luckiest guy. Artnet News reports that, for the second time in two years, a work has been stolen from the German artist. The missing work this time is Athena, a seven-and-a-half-foot-tall bronze sculpture taken from a foundry. [Artnet News]

A group of scholars and dealers vented against the Belgian Museum of Fine Arts Ghent for showing 26 allegedly fake works by Wassily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, and others. “All the works exhibited could be defined as highly questionable,” they wrote in an open letter republished by the Art Newspaper. [The Art Newspaper]

According to a Reuters report, the Kunstmuseum Basel in Switzerland owns 120 works that originally belonged to Curt Glaser, who sold his collection at fire-sale prices during World War II. The works were once the subject of an investigation into Nazi-looted art, and Glaser’s family now wants the case re-opened. [Reuters/The Jerusalem Post]

A New Artforum Editor

In his first interview as the editor of Artforum, David Velasco told Ssense about his vision for the magazine and the aftermath of allegations of sexual misconduct by former publisher Knight Landesman. “One thing to note is the difference between ‘Landesman’ and ‘Artforum,’ two entities that seem to get confused,” Velasco said. [Ssense]

Business Interests

The Wall Street Journal reports that Jared Kushner was warned by U.S. officials that Wendi Deng Murdoch, a close friend of his and an investor in Artsy, may have been using him to promote Chinese business interests. Of particular concern was a $100 million construction project planned for Washington, D.C., which they feared would be used by the Chinese government for surveillance. [The Wall Street Journal]

Following her photography portfolio published in the current issue of Artforum, artist Nan Goldin has launched a petition to have Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family respond to an epidemic of people suffering from addiction to the drug OxyContin. Goldin aims to obtain 1,500 signatures, and she is nearing her goal. []


According to a new ArtTactic report, global art auction sales were up 25 percent in 2017, effectively reversing a market slump between 2014 and 2016. Christie’s, which sold Salvator Mundi for a record-breaking $450.3 million, had the highest growth rate, at 34 percent, the Art Newspaper noted. [The Art Newspaper]

The Digital Sphere

According to USA Today, a new app engineered by Google that analyzes your selfies and finds similar-looking artworks is “the talk of Twitter.” After going live in mid-December, it’s currently the top product in Apple’s app store. [USA Today]

Dis, formerly a blog that featured commissions and essays about digital culture, has officially rebooted itself after a pivot to video. Currently available on its redesigned site are new works by Darren Bader, Chantal Mouffe, Will Benedict & Steffen Jørgensen, and Ilana Harris-Babou. [Dis]

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