Why A.I. Tools Could Be Good for Artists – A.I.-generated imagery may disrupt the fields of graphic design and illustration, but it is no threat to artists according to art critic Sebastian Smee. After all, these platforms are almost too easy to use, quickly saturating the internet and, consequently, failing to keep our interest, especially when compared to models being built from scratch by leading artists in the field like Refik Anadol. Artwork made simply by writing image prompts is failing to get much critical attention.
Musée D’Orsay Ordered to Return Four WWII-Looted Artworks – A court in Paris has ordered the Musée d’Orsay to return two works by Renoir, one by Cézanne, and another by Gauguin to the heirs of the French art dealer Ambroise Vollard, who had a huge influence on each of these artist’s careers. It has been confirmed that the works were stolen from his possession after his death in 1939 and passing into the hands of Nazi officers in some cases.
Princess Diana’s Turbulent Personal Letters Sell for Nearly $175,000 – A collection of 32 letters penned by the late Princess of Wales sold at a Cornwall-based auction house for a total of £145,550 ($174,484) on Thursday. The letters were addressed to two of her closest friends, Susie and Tarek Kassem, in the last two years of her life, and detailed her turbulent divorce proceedings, including her fears about having her phone tapped. (BBC)
Freezer Removed Again From Banksy Mural Site – Freezer-gate continues, as the main prop around which Banksy’s latest mural was modeled has been removed once again. The freezer was removed after the council cited safety concerns. It was then returned, and now it is gone again. Valentine’s Day Mascara, which depicts themes of domestic violence, was valued at around £2 million ($2.4 million), but only with the freezer. (Guardian)
MOVERS & SHAKERS
Collector Adrian Cheng to Co-Chair China’s Modern Media Group – China’s largest fashion and luxury media corporation, Modern Media Group, has named Adrian Cheng as its new co-chairman. Among the company’s media assets are and its ArtPower100 list. Cheng was previously CEO of New World Development, which specializes in property, hotels, and department stores.
Whitney Museum Names First Latino Senior Curator – Marcela Guerrero has been appointed senior curator at the Whitney, taking on some of the duties of David Breslin, who left the museum to be a curator of contemporary art at the Met. Guerrero previously served as associate curator at the Whitney; her promotion comes as a wave of institutions in the U.S. dedicate more resources to the study and exhibition of Latinx art. (New York Times)
James Turrell ‘Skyspace’ Slated to Open in Texas – One of Turrell’s illuminated meeting houses is headed for Fort Worth, Texas, later this year, to the grounds of the Keith House, a two-acre estate named for the late philanthropist Met Alice Keith Bratten. The Entrada of Texas will manage the building alongside the estate of Bratten. (Fort Worth Report)
National Archaeological Museum’s Revamp Plan – David Chipperfield Architects revealed their designs the 19th century museum in Athens, which is set to undergo a major restoration. Greece hopes it will host the Parthenon marbles, which are currently in the British Museum. The announcement was marred by a crowd that gathered to protest the proposed government plan to change the status of institutions, including the National Archaeological Museum, under government-appointed boards instead of the culture ministry. (Archaeology Newsroom) (Artnet News)
FOR ARTS SAKE
American Museum of Natural History Opens Expansion – The Studio Gang-designed $431 million Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation is opening at the New York institution. Highlights include a new atrium inspired by Manhattanhenge (an event where the sun sets or rises in alignment with the east–west streets of the main street grid of Manhattan) and its famous droid namesake and a live butterfly garden. ()
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