This week sees a star-studded auction by Leonardo DiCaprio including a piece by Damien Hirst of the actor himself (pictured) as well as more news on Van Gogh’s ear and artwork seized in Malaysian fraud case.
1. This week The Art Newspaper revealed the identity of the not-so-lucky recipient Van Gogh’s infamous, severed ear. Using evidence from Bernadette Murphy’s book, Van Gogh’s Ear: The True Story; The Art Newspaper uncovered the name of the woman in the brothel to be a Gabrielle Berlatier – a farmer’s daughter who’s name has remained a secret for the last 130 years. (via The Art Newspaper)
2. The Fenimore Art Museum in New York is hosting an exhibition of works by Henri Toulouse-Lautrec – the man who revolutionized poster-art with his images advertising cabarets and theaters. The exhibition features rare original posters, prints, letters and drawings of 19th century Paris. It will be on view until Monday 5 September. (via Fenimore)
3. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Foundation held its annual fundraising gala in St Tropez last week, raising a record $45 million to go towards funding more projects to protect the earth. Guests at the event included George Clooney, Cate Blanchette and Bono. DiCaprio having been a major fixture in the modern art world for years, it was no surprise there were some of the most collectable painters on the planet up for sale; including works by Pablo Picasso (a painting, Femme Assise; and earthenware plate, Trois Poissons), Jeff Koons, Marc Quinn, George Condo and Damien Hirst (the work, pictured is one of his spin series – titled Beautiful Leonardo DiCaprio Looking Away Painting).
4. An exhibition of portraits by the celebrated American photographer William Eggleston is on view at the National Portrait Gallery (London), spanning his entire career from the 1960s to the present day. The exhibition includes over 100 works by Eggerston, including portraits of Dennis Hopper and Joe Strummer (The Clash), as well as many works of dreamy Americana never seen before. (via The Telegraph)
5. As part of an investigation into alleged massive fraud against the Malaysian state fund 1MDB, three paintings have been seized in Geneva following a request form the United States. The works included one by Vincent Van Gogh, and two by Claude Monet. The US justice department filed lawsuits with the aim of reclaiming over $1 billion worth of assets in connection with stolen or laundered 1MDB funds – this includes the royalties from the film The Wolf of Wall Street.
Authorities in the US, Switzerland and Singapore are investigating claims that the Malaysian prime minister, Najib Razak, and his family have been syphoning off large sums of money. Razak denies any wrong doing, claiming the allegations are political attacks by those who oppose him. (via Art Daily)