Director of Documenta 14 Adam Szymczyk ‘appalled’ after far-right politician assails artwork in echo of Nazi slur Thomas Materner was quoted by the local paper Hessische/Niedersächsische Allgemeine as calling the 16 metre-high obelisk by American-Nigerian artist Olu Oguibe, ‘ideologically polarizing, deformed art’. The remark recalls the Nazis’ use of the term ‘degenerate art’. In other Documenta news, the quinquennial festival has cancelled Franco Berardi’s Auschwitz on the Beach performance following an outcry. Critics of the piece by the Italian activist and media theorist argue that the parallel it draws between the plight of refugees and the Holocaust is offensive.
Arkansas gets first art school thanks to $120m gift from Walmart family foundation University of Arkansas says gift is largest ever donated to an art school at a US university. The school will emphasise the study of art in the US and Americas says the university’s chancellor Joseph Steinmetz, and administrators hope that the art school will attract a greater number of out-of-state and international students.
Painting by Canaletto’s nephew to stay in UK after £11.7m appeal The Fortress of Königstein from the North by Bernardo Bellotto has been acquired by the National Gallery with donations and an Art Fund grant. The government had placed a temporary export bar because of the painting’s historical importance and the centuries it had spent in British collections, to allow a UK institution time to match the sale price.
Sagrada Familia among sites targeted by Barcelona terrorists According to court testimony given by one of the suspects in last week’s attacks, the cell had originally planned to detonate vans filled with explosives at three crowded sites, including Gaudí’s spectacular church.
Man who made £30,000 faking Norman Cornish artwork told to repay £1 Richard Pearson, jailed in January for selling 14 forged drawings and paintings, is to pay only a nominal sum due to lack of assets. He admitted fraud and forgery charges and was sentenced to three years and seven months.
Artists announced for 2017 Moscow Biennale The exhibition will focus on ‘a new eco-system formed through a circulation of ‘Cloud Tribes,’ who were born on the Internet cloud space, and ‘Forest Tribes’ who are born on cultural origins’, according to a statement released by the biennale’s organisers.
Artists dye Prague’s Vltava River red in act of protest After an unknown substance reddened Prague’s Vltava River last Monday, artist group Bolt958 took credit for colouring the river as an act of protest against the commercial use of the historic Mánes exhibition hall, located on the river’s bank.
National Gallery artwork is not insured and ‘really vulnerable’, chairman admits Hannah Rothschild disclosed none of the works at the gallery are insured because they are worth so much that no institution could afford the premiums. Instead, she said, room attendants are ‘extremely highly trained’ in protecting the works, including on ‘how to intercept lunatics’.
Pantone releases new purple hue in honour of Prince Called ‘Love Symbol #2’ after the singer’s logo and custom-made Yamaha purple piano, the distinct hue became, over his career, emblematic of his persona – from his album and 1984 film Purple Rain, to his wardrobe.
1. Olu Oguibe, Das Fremdlinge und Flüchtlinge Monument (Monument for strangers and refugees), 2017, concrete, Königsplatz, Kassel, Documenta 14. Photo: Michael Nast
2. Sagrada Familia, June 2016. Photo: Jordiferrer, Creative Commons licence