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MUSEUMS UP NORTH. Huguette Vachon, the widow of the painter Jean-Paul Riopelle, who died in 2002, has proposed opening a museum devoted to his art on the Isle-aux-Grues in Quebec, the Art Newspaper reports. The 3,000-square-foot Musée-Atelier Riopelle, which would present Vachon’s holdings of his work, is estimated to cost about US$3.3 million to build and could be open by mid-2024. Meanwhile, two provinces to the east, an effort to build a new home for the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax has been paused amid concerns about soaring costs tied to construction and inflation, CBC News reports. Initially budgeted at about US$106.6 million, the project was recently estimated to cost US$126.9 million. Nova Scotia’s premier, Tim Houston, said that he is committed to creating a new building, but said, “The cost of this is out of control right now.”
RETURNING HOME. On Wednesday, the Albuquerque Museum Foundation returned 12 ancient Indigenous sculptures that it recently found in storage to the local Consulate of Mexico, the Associated Press reports. Mexico has made an effort to repatriate such material in recent years, and its officials “definitely have the most concerted effort to stop auction sales of these pieces,” Tessa Solomon, of ARTnews, told the AP. Separately, the AP examined efforts by various organizations to give back such material to Indigenous groups in the United States. “Some 870,000 Native American artifacts—including nearly 110,000 human remains—that should be returned to tribes under federal law are still in the possession of colleges, museums, and other institutions across the country,” the wire service wrote of its findings.
Amid a string of high-profile exhibitions in recent years, artist Barbara Kruger is seeing her prices rises, James Tarmy reports. Dealer Mary Boone, who long represented Kruger, said, “Next to Warhol, there’s not another artist, aside from perhaps Cindy Sherman, who’s been as influential for what things look like and how people see the world as Barbara.” [Bloomberg]
Painter Habibollah Sadeqi, who served as director of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art from 2003 to 2008, and gained attention with works about Iran’s Islamic Revolution, died on Wednesday at his home in the capital city. He was 65. [Tehran Times]
The Chauvin Sculpture Garden in Louisiana was vandalized, with three concrete sculptures damaged and another going missing. The site was created by the self-taught artist Kenny Hill, who worked as a bricklayer, after he moved to the area in the late 1980s. About a decade later, he disappeared. [The Associated Press]
After a public fundraising call, some £50,000 (about $60,800) was donated to conserve what is believed to be the world’s largest watercolor, Edward Burne-Jones‘s The Star of Bethlehem (ca. 1885–90), and now it is ready to go back on view at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in England, officials said. [BBC News]
Paying $105 million, Google will acquire Chicago’s Thompson Center, a grand monument to postmodernism conceived by architect Helmut Jahn, who died last year. The structure will be renovated with an emphasis on respecting “its iconic design,” an exec for the tech giant said. [Block Club Chicago]
The Ford and Mellon foundations announced the latest class of their Disability Futures Fellows program, which includes artists Alison O’Daniel, Rev. Joyce McDonald, and M.Eifler. Each fellow will receive $50,000 in unrestricted funds. [NPR]
COLLECTORS’ ITEMS. In the Los Angeles Times, journalist Deborah Vankin offered an in-depth look at the wave of New York dealers setting up shop in L.A.—and had locals offer their thoughts. Greg Ito, who runs the Sow & Tailor gallery in Downtown L.A., had this to say about current art-market dynamics: “A lot of these bigger galleries, they’re opening multiple spaces globally but also locally, so they go from having to schedule 10 shows a year to 20, 30, 40 shows a year, and they’re just churning out artists. The market is hot and everyone is buying everything, but it turns an artist’s work from intimate and critical into what feels like trading cards.” [LAT]