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ARTIST PHILIP PEARLSTEIN,who forged a path for bracingly realistic figurative painting in the United States in the heyday of Abstract Expressionism,died on Saturday at the age of 98,Harrison Jacobsreports inARTnews. Pearlstein was born in 1924 in Pittsburgh, and studied at what is nowCarnegie Mellon University, with a three-year interruption when he was drafted during World War II. At the school, he struck up a friendship withAndy Warhol, and the two moved to New York after graduation. After experiments with Abstract Expressionism and depicting American symbols (likeSuperman), Pearlstein settled on his mature style in the early 1960s, portraying people, often nude, with unflinching candor. In a 1967ARTnewsinterview, he spoke of trying to create when he called “hard realism,” an art that was “sharp, clear, unambiguous.”
LEGAL MATTERS.The descendants a German Jewish bankerhave filed suitagainst Japan’sSompo Holdings, calling for the return of an 1888Vincent van GoghSunflowerspainting that the firm purchased for $39.9 million atChristie’sin 1987, theArt Newspaperreports. The suit argues thatPaul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdysold the work in 1934 only because of the threat posed by the Nazi government and that Sompo was “recklessly indifferent” to that fact. A Sompo rep said that it “rejects any allegation of wrongdoing.” Meanwhile, heirs of the German Jewish collectorHedwig Sternhavefiled suit over another van Goghthat they say was confiscated from him by the Nazis in 1938,Courthouse Newsreports. They claim that theMetropolitan Museum of Artsold the work around 1972 despite knowing that the work had been looted. The Met and the foundation, which reportedly owns the painting, have not commented.
Peru said this weekend that it was running trains to evacuate tourists who were stranded in the ancient city ofMachu Picchuamid political turmoil and protests that shuttered many transportation services. Rail trips to and from the site had been suspended on Tuesday. Services are resuming throughout the country.[CNN]
As the trial of six suspects in the daring 2019 DresdenGreen Vaultheist continues in that German city, officials said that they had recovered in Berlin a “considerable portion” of the jewels and artifacts that were taken, a haul estimated at more than $100 million. “Exploratory talks” with the defense about a settlement led to the finds, they said.[AFP]
On the orders ofPope Francis, theVatican Museumswill return to Greece three fragments of theParthenonthat have been in their collections since the 19th century. Earlier this month, reports surfaced that theBritish Museum has been in talks with Greeceabout returning the Parthenon marbles that it holds.[The Associated PressandThe Washington Post]
Turkish artistMürüvvet Türkyılmazcriticized BritTony Craggfor loaning a work to the soon-to-openIstanbul Modernmuseum, claiming that civil rights restrictions in the country should have moved him not to do so. Cragg defended the move, saying that “some of the people working in the museum have politically and socially very good intentions.”[The Guardian]
TheHauser & Wirth Institutehas releaseda digital catalogue raisonnéof the 256 oil paintings that artistFrank Klinemade in the last years of his life, between 1950 and 1962. It is free to peruse.[ArtDaily]
PISSED OFF.Pussy Riot—the Russian art collective known for its astonishingly provocative artistic protests—is the subject of a survey at theKling & Banggallery in Reykjavík, Iceland, that was organized by fellow artistRagnar Kjartansson;his wife,Ingibjörg Sigurjónsdóttir;andDorothee Kirch.Washington PostcriticSebastian Smeepaid a visit, and highlights in his story a video that has Pussy RioterTaso Pletnerurinating on a portrait ofRussian President Vladimir Putin, an action that she repeated in a recent performance at Iceland’sNational Theater. Speaking about the group’s methods in an interview, collective memberMaria Alyokhinasaid, “I really think that if you do something in art, you should do it in a way to make all the people of different ages understand it.”[The Washington Post]
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