July 2022: News roundup

From an abstract artist rapid ascension in the art world to environmentalists gluing themselves to centuries-old artworks, here is July’s news roundup.

Carmen Lean, one of the young activists who glued themselves to McCulloch’s art


Abstract Artist Jadé Fadojutimi Continues Her Rapid Ascension into the Art World by Joining the Gagosian

The 29-year-young London-based artist has already achieved many forms of greatness in her artistic career–most recently, signing with the largest gallery in the world, Gagosian. Just last year, Fadojutimi reset her sales records two nights in a row, first starting at a Sotheby’s sale where her piece A Muddled Mind That’s Never Confined sold for $1.4 million. The following day, Myths of Pleasure went for $1.6 million–approximately fifteen times the presale estimate. In 2018, she became the youngest artist whose work had been bought by the gallery Tate Britain; at Art Basel Miami Beach, she opened a solo show, from which the Metropolitan Museum of Art obtained Hope and now has on display in their facility. Fadojutimi will first exhibit with Gagosian at their Frieze London booth in October. 

Sticky Statements: Environmental Activists Protest Oil Usage By Gluing Themselves to Centuries-Old Artworks

Members of the activist group Just Stop Oil have begun adhering themselves to artworks in museums displayed across Great Britain. Two of these protests against the oil and gas industries have occurred at the Courtauld Gallery in London with Vincent Van Gogh’s Peach Trees and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow with Horatio McCulloch’s My Heart’s in the Highlands. Carmen Lean, one of the young activists who glued themselves to McCulloch’s art, referenced the landscape imagery when questioning that although works like that are sacred, “what is more sacred than life itself?” 

Margaret Keane, Influential Creator of ‘Big Eyes’ Paintings, Has Passed Away at 94

Her signature composition of doe-eyed children with monotonous expressions were glorified and sought after by many; especially amid the 50s and 60s. Her story, one of stolen credit and neglected praise, was retold by Director–and collector of Keane’s–Tim Burton in the film Big Eyes (2014). The artist’s husband, Walter Keane, sold her pieces, but under the guise that they were his creations, which she only discovered later on. This continued throughout her career until a court hearing in 1986 when the duo participated in a paint-off. Expectantly, Margaret succeeded and Walter did not. 

Museum’s 25 Basquiat Paintings of Questionable Legitimacy Confiscated by the FBI for Investigation

The bureau’s art crime division is now investigating the pieces in their possession to determine if they’re the actual makings of legendary Artist Jean-Michael Basquiat. The institution in the hot seat, the Orlando Museum of Art, said they would cooperate with the FBI’s case regarding the 25 works on cardboard that were displayed in the exhibition, Heroes & Monsters: Jean-Michael Basquiat. Uncertainty was initiated when it was discovered that the cardboard medium’s imprinted FedEx typeface came about in 1994–six years post the artist’s passing. Furthermore, the paintings’ owners alleged that Basquait previously sold the works to Screenwriter Thad Mumford, however in 2014, he told an FBI agent he never purchased such artworks.

Admission Fee Increased at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to Bring In More Revenue

On July 1, the institution officially raised their general admission fee by five dollars, now making it $30. Until March 2018, the museum had a “pay-what-you-wish” policy, which suggested admissions and donations, but the President and Chief Daniel H. Weiss stated it was discarded after many stopped paying anything and basic funding for proper functionality was at risk. This most recent increase in price will apply to all types of admission. Adults will now pay $30; seniors, $22; students, $17. Residents of NY state and students of NY, NJ and CT may continue paying as much as they prefer. 

The Drawing Center Explores the Potential of Ornamental Arts in Its Latest New York Exhibition 

The Drawing Center’s new exhibition The Clamor of Ornament: Exchange, Power, and Joy from the Fifteenth Century to the Present displays nearly 200 examples of objects from various cultures, histories, and geographies. The show explores alternative approaches that go beyond mere beautification and adornment, focusing on ornament as a form of communication, currency, and exchange across miles and epochs. 

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