+Sotheby’s long time chief auctioneer Tobias Meyer steps down, with controversy resounding as to why, in the wake of some of the biggest sales to date.
+Museo Jumex opened in Mexico City, attracting the entirety of the jet-setting art world scene, as well as a slew of various celebrities to the grand opening of what promises to be the most significant contemporary art museum in Latin America. It holds a 2,700 piece permanent collection of top-notch work from the collection of Eugenio López, millionaire heir to the juice empire Jumex whose personal collection has long been the centerpiece of Mexico City’s art scene. It used to be that you had to travel 90 minutes to the Jumex corporations’ industrial headquarters to see the collection, now it is housed in a 43,000 square foot David Chipperfield building next door to Saks in the D.F.’s posh Polanco district, continuing the trend of glamorizing Mexico City.
Read an interview with the Curator of the Jumex Collection Michel Blancsubé in SFAQ issue 12, here.
+Restoration Hardware’s venture into the gallery business is met with mixed reviews, and furthers an open question as to if the seamless integration of corporate commerce and contemporary art are inevitable consequences of the continued popularity of art as luxury goods. Part of the reason they have gotten positive reviews is due to the marketing, the gallery most certainly feels like, well, a contemporary art space, complete with its own dedicated journal, thought out curatorial schema, artist representations, as well as its overall neo-minimalist aesthetic. You can be the judge here: rhcontemporaryart.com
+The Vatican has revealed new Frescoes in the fabled catacombs of the Priscilla, an underground maze that stretches miles beneath the streets of northern Rome, and is famous for purportedly containing the earliest imagery ever made of the Madonna with Jesus. The freshly revealed ‘cubicle of Lazzaro” houses fourth-century Biblical scenes of the apostles among its burial chambers, but the Frescoes which have brought about the most clamor are thought to contain evidence of a time when there may have been women priests. One of the decorated chambers portrays a woman in robe only worn by clergy, with her hands orchestrating a form of worship over the Eucharist that is reserved for priests. The Vatican denies this particular meaning.
+The Art Newspaper has brought the court papers to the light of day consisting of the list of collectors, dealers and museums who purchased fake abstract expressionist master works from New Yorks’ Knoedler gallery, all embroiled in the scandal of Glafira Rosales, as SFAQ wrote about in early October.
+Former President George W. Bush continues to march forward with vigor into his newfound vocation as an artist by unveiling a portrait he made of Jay Leno while appearing on The Tonight Show Tuesday. Originally inspired by reading Painting as a Pastime by Winston Churchill, a favorite statesman of Bush, the former president has gone from being a Sunday painter, to a painter of daily production, and has most recently had miniature replicas of a painting of a cardinal (the bird, not the Catholic) produced on a Christmas ornament. He originally painted the work for Warren Tichenor, former ambassador to the U.N., and its recent incarnation is available for purchase through his presidential center for 30 bones. You can watch him and his wife Laura speak about his artistic calling here, and why she chose this image of her husbands to grace their families Christmas cards, in this heartwarming holiday video. “She liked the greens on the foliage”
+Artists from the former Soviet Union that were part of the “New Artists” group have taken legal action against Sergei Bugaev, originally a vocal part of the group who showed many of the artists work in the exhibition “Assa: the last generation of Leningrad’s avant-garde” last spring at the Russian Academy of Fine Arts Museum in St. Petersburg. The district court has ruled he must return the works to the artists who never gave permission for their exhibition. This is a legal proceeding that is unheralded in Russian politics and is seen as somewhat of a breakthrough for the rights of artists.
+Kanye West visits Harvard, and stands on a desk to extol the virtues of architecture.
Contributed by Peter Dobey
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