All you need to know about the developments in art this week.
1. Banksy had a very busy week in the art world. Earlier in the week it was revealed that his mural in Cheltenham, Spy Booth – depicting spies in traditional spy garb, listening in on conversations inside the phone booth it was painted around – a satirical prod at the near-by GCHQ’s headquarters, had been removed and now it seems, destroyed during building work on an unstable building.
Later in the week we learned that two thieves in Folkestone attempted to steal what they assumed was the Banksy mural Art Buff – it was actual a replica by the street artist Robsci, in homage to the original which was removed and shipped to the US, and is currently part of an on-going legal battle. The would-be thieves were spotted by police as they underestimated the weight of the ply-board panels it was painted on. One has been charged with drink driving, the other was arrested for attempted theft but released without charge.
2. As part of the Edinburgh Art Festival, a fascinating exhibition titled, Facing The World: Self Portraits Rembrandt to Ai Weiwei, has opened at the National Galleries of Scotland. Inspired by the modern cultural phenomenon of the ‘selfie’, the exhibition spans six centuries of self-portraits from the likes of Rembrandt to Edvard Munch and Henri Matisse; to Tracey Emin, Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei; and explores the varying mediums in which artists have decided to render themselves.
Facing The World: Self Portraits Rembrandt to Ai Weiwei will run until the 16 October 2016.
3. After the devastating earthquake (magnitude of 6.2) that primarily hit the historic town of Amatrice on Wednesday and which killed 281 people, Italy has announced that this Sunday all of its state owned museums will donate ticket sales to the relief effort. 15 people are still missing and rescue workers and volunteers continue searching the rubble for survivors. Over 300 historic buildings were damaged within the 20 mile radius of the epicentre of the quake.
The Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini said, “To be able to do a good job of reconstructing cultural heritage we must take action straight away, even as the ruins are being cleared … [it’s] a challenge, but Italy owes it to these communities.” (via The Art Newspaper)
4. The art collective Guerilla Girls – now famous for their Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum? advert/artwork/protest; are now turning their attention to Europe. As part of a new group show opening in Cologne, Germany, at the Museum Ludwig; the Guerilla Girls are highlighting the inequality and disproportionality in the museum (the works in the Museum Ludwig’s collection are 89 percent male, and 97 percent white) – which holds the likes of Marc Chagall, Otto Dix and Pablo Picasso; and had formerly focused on works by German Expressionists and other art deemed ‘degenerate’ by the Nazis.
The activists have unfurled a banner on the façade of the museum, similar to that targeting the Met, titled (and listing) the advantages of owning your own art museum.
The group show, We Call It Ludwig. The Museum is turning 40!, will run until 8 January 2017. (via Art Net)
5. Lucas van Leyden’s (the man who inspired Rembrandt) masterpiece, The Last Judgement (1526-27), has only left the Collection Museum De Lakenhal, Leiden twice in the last 450 years; so it’s loan to the nearby Rijk Museum in Amsterdam is quite an historic event. The painting – a triptych of the divine – will be displayed in the Rijk Museum’s Gallery of Honour for the next two years. Taco Dibbits, Rijksmuseum’s General Director said, “The Last Judgement by Lucas van Leyden is the most important surviving altarpiece in the Netherlands … We are therefore very honoured to be able to show this masterpiece from Museum De Lakenhal in the Gallery of Honour for the next two years.” (via Art Daily)