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MARINA LAMBRAKI-PLAKA, the director of the National Gallery in Athens since 1992, died on Monday, Kathimerini reports. She was 83. Trained as an archaeologist and art historian, Lambraki-Plaka led the museum as it opened venues in Corfu, Nafplio, and Goudi. Numerous Greek politicians paid tribute to her following her passing, the Greek Herald reports. “I personally thank her for her friendship and the art lessons she offered us generously, charmingly, and unforgettably,” the nation’s culture minister, Lina Mendoni, said. During her three decades at the institution, it added some 3,000 works to its collection, including two El Grecos.
ON THE MOVE. Artist Stanley Whitney, who has won critical acclaim and increasing market heat for his sumptuously colored paintings of off-kilter grids, has joined the powerhouse Gagosian gallery, Maximilíano Durón reports in ARTnews. Previously repped by Lisson, Whitney will have a show at Gagosian’s Grosvenor Hill location in London next year. In other Gagosian news, its Paris branch is currently hosting a Christo show, and founder Larry Gagosian told Artnet News about volunteering to help construct the artist’s Running Fence in Northern California in 1976, saying that “to have played a very small part in the project was a thrill.”
Archaeologists at work at the Sanxingdui site, near Chengdu, China, have discovered some 13,000 relics from more than 3,000 years ago, according to Chinese state media. [CNN]
Police in Vienna cuffed two suspects for allegedly stealing seven bronze works by the late Greek-Austrian sculptor Joannis Avramidis and selling them as scrap metal. Officials put the total value of the pieces at north of €1 million ($1.05 million). [Newsweek]
Critic Christopher Knight looked at the curious case of the Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld show at the Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Gallery at the Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum at Cal State Long Beach, the result of a donation that Kleefeld made of her art—and $10 million. “It’s a train wreck, and a serious disservice is being done to students,” Knight writes. [Los Angeles Times]
Amy Smith-Stewart has been named chief curator of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, where she has been a curator since 2013. Smith-Stewart just opened the exhibition “52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone,” which runs through January 8. [Artforum]
As a grand new hotel opens in Dimes Square, that hotly discussed hothouse of art and lifestyle in Manhattan, columnist Nate Freeman took a look at its history. Dealer Michele Maccarone, who set up her gallery there in 2001, said, “As it was getting gentrified I was like, Fuck this, I don’t have to be here anymore.” [Vanity Fair]
ARTIST ARTICLES: Today brings Louis Menand on Yoko Ono in the New Yorker, Kelly Burke on street artist Christian Thompson in the Guardian, and Ajesh Patalay on beach artist Brighton Denevan in the Financial Times.
CATCHING THE BUG. In Curbed, writer and curator Laura Raicovich, who previously directed the Queens Museum in New York, discussed her first job in the city, which was at the Cloisters . At the time, its conservator “was in the midst of this crazy project to get these bugs out of medieval polychrome sculptures without damaging the wood or the paint,” Raicovich said. “She came up with this ingenious way of suffocating the bugs with plastic bags she put all over the sculptures and sucked the air out and they died. I was like, That’s a museum job?! Cool.” [Curbed]