The week that was – a round up of art stories that caught our attention.
1. In New York, The Bernarducci Meisel Gallery in conjunction with the Louis K. Meisel Gallery has announced the up-coming exhibition The Lost Paintings of 1962: A Look Back at POP!, an exhibition filled with new works by legendary pop-artist Mel Ramos. Considered one of the most captivating (if at times controversial) Pop Artists, Ramos is noted for his scantily clad, or nude, females wound round elements of popular and commercial culture. The exhibition came about as Louis Meisel discovered some of Ramos’ long-forgotten sketches, and was struck particularly by a drawing of the super heroine, Black Cat. When Meisel returned to the States he encouraged Ramos to depict the image as a painting – this was the catalyst for the entire body of work in the exhibition. The exhibition will run from the 5 May – 26 May 2016, so catch it while you can. (via Art Daily)
2. A cab driver from London who bought an eye-catching picture at a car boot sale 30 years ago for £40 has found himself unexpectedly flush after decided to redecorate for the first time. Upon taking the painting – a scene of the Golden Temple – to Roseberry’s Auction House in West Norwood, Bill Forrest of Roseberry’s, believed the painting to in fact be by the much celebrated Baba Bishan Singh; who, along with the rest of his family was responsible for the upkeep of the temple’s murals. The painting sold for £92,250; Forrest said of the moment he told the cab driver: “He was having a bad day – he had a flat tire, and when we called him to tell him we just sold this painting, he was a bit speechless.” (via the Daily Mail)
3. Grayson Perry (pictured), the self-proclaimed “life-long sissy”, has a new three-part documentary out. Grayson Perry: All Man started this week on Channel 4 (and is available to watch on 4OD) and explores the ideas, preconceptions and misconceptions of masculinity. During the first episode Perry speaks to, among many others, cage fighters and the mother of a young suicide victim; whom while comforting, Perry tells, “Sometimes I don’t think men even know they’re sad.” Statistics back Perry up, with suicide being the biggest killer of men under 45. Eighty per cent of people who commit suicide are men. The episode culminates with Perry making a pot depicting moments and things that struck him (including a tattoo), and a tapestry based on those carried in the miners’ gala. (via The Guardian)
4. A female cartoonist, Atena Farghandi, who was sentenced for 12 years following her satirical depiction of Iran’s supreme leader and his consortium as various animals in suits in 2015, (Farghandi later faced “indecency charges”, because she shook the hand of her lawyer) has been released after a reduced sentence of 18 months. Farghandi is physically free but as Raha Bahreini, Amnstey International’s Iran researcher told artnet news: “For the next four years she has to keep a low profile or the authorities may at any time convict her of another offense,” Bahreini said. It’s also worth noting Farghandi was forced to undergo a “virginity test”, as if her imprisonment alone wasn’t outrageous enough. (via Art Net)
5. He’s been dead 500 years, but, like Shakespeare, the interest in polymath Leonardo Da Vinci shows no signs of waning. After recent news that Da Vinci’s living relatives have managed to be traced using church and birth records, a team of researchers from ‘Leonardo Project’ are keen to access dust on Leonardo’s Adoration of the Magi, which is being restored in Florence at the moment to get access to the Renaissance man’s DNA – the purpose of which would be to confirm the remains under the Saint-Hubert Chapel at the Chateau d’Amboise, in France, to be that of the archetypal genius. (via Art Net)
6. The Sunday Times reported this week that fears are gathering for Iran’s much-loved £2 billion art collection (housed in Terhan’s Museum of Contemporary Art) that culminated in protests in Tehran during the week. The collection donated by the exiled Empress of Iran, includes works by Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon and Jackson Pollock, is set to be broken up and loaned to other museums after Terhan’s Museum of Contemporary Art will hand over control of the collection to the Roudaki Foundation, which protesters believe are ill equipped to manage the collection. The loaning of the collection comes about after UN sanctions have been lifted form Iran after they toned down their nuclear weapons programme; and as many of the works have not been seen for the last 40 years there is also great excitement from the rest of the world. The first museum in receipt of the pieces will be The State Museum in Berlin, which will house 30 western works and 30 Iranian works from the collection this autumn. (Read more on this story here)