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Review of the Week: Maurizio Cattelan’s Stolen America, Marina Abramovic’s blue-sky thinking, and Goodbye to Marlborough Gallery

4 min read  ·  05 Apr 2024

Exhibition view: “Marina Abramović”, on view at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, (until 14 July). Courtesy the Stedelijk Museum. Photo: Peter Tijhuis

Here are the artists and the places making the headlines over the past seven days.

Legal: Maurizio Cattelan’s America, an 18-carat gold toilet, is still missing but a man has pleaded guilty to burglary. The Italian artist’s sculpture was stolen from Blenheim Palace during a private view of his high-profile show in the historic house near Oxford in England.

Milan: Gaetano Pesce, who has died aged 84, was best known for his playful designs and sculptures that are back in fashion. “Right now everyone wants my work,” he recently told the Italian magazine Abitare in one of his last interviews. Two of Pesce’s projects can be enjoyed at Milan Design Week later this month.

New York and London: Marlborough Gallery will shutter after 78-years-in business amid management turmoil. The venerable gallery’s inventory, which is due to be “dispersed”, could be worth more than $200m at auction and private sales.

"‘I went to the military base and asked if I could have 25 planes to paint the sky [with vapor trails]. They called my father saying I was crazy and sent me home. At that moment, I understood I could make art with earth, fire, the body, water—everything.’ Marina Abramovic, on the Yugoslav Air Force’s unwitting role in her becoming a performance artist, with a show at the Stadelijk and new work recently unveiled in Brazil"

- Ocula

Marina Abramović, Generator (2024). Exhibition view: Usina de Arte, Pernambuco, Brazil. Courtesy of the artist and Usina de Arte. Photo by Andréa Rêgo Barros

In the Market

Market: Endeavor, the talent management company that owns Frieze art fairs, is going private three years after it went public. It has been acquired by private-equity firm Silver Lake in a $13bn deal.

Market: Peter Hujar’s Self-Portrait (with string around his neck) set a new auction record for the late artist. The photograph sold for $252,000 at Christie's Online, 60% above the artist’s previous record sale. HENI News

Market: Dallas collectors Howard and Cindy Rachofsky are selling a Lucio Fontana canvas for between $20m to $30m at Sotheby’s New York, which could set a new auction record for the Italian artist, The Art Newspaper reports.

"'Every collector needs to realize you can't take it with you. The works will either go to an institution, which might not be able to show them; to your kids, who might not want them; or to an auction house,' the late museum founder Rosa de la Cruz once said. 'It seems she decided to take the third option,' as Christie’s handles the sale of her collection."

- Miami New Times

Theaster Gates "Afro-Mingei" opens at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo on April 24.

Must-See Shows

Berlin: Nancy Holt’s survey show, “Circles of Light”, transforms the ground floor and atrium of the Gropius Bau. Her sculptures are, in the late artist’s own words: “exposed fragments of vast hidden systems”, notes Made in Bed.

Paris: The big Brancusi show at the Centre Pompidou celebrates the “effortless magic” of the first Modern sculptor, writes The Financial Times.

Los Angeles: Ed Ruscha “NOW THEN”, which opened at the MoMA in New York last fall, has not arrived at LACMA, the culmination of a 10-year collaboration between artist and the two museums.

Paris: The latest group show at the Bourse de Commerce mirrors the sad state of the world and reveals “the dark side” of the Pinault Collection, writes Le Monde.

Tokyo: Theaster Gates's first solo exhibition in Japan is due to open at the Mori Art Museum on April 24. The US artist’s largest show in Asia will feature never-before-seen works that demonstrate the influence of Japanese culture on Gates. Tokyo Art Beat

"‘I think there's a long painting tradition of having assistants. I'm just following a painting tradition. And every painting I do is different,’ says Jamian Juliano-Villani when asked whether some of her works on show at Gagosian in New York were actually painted in China."

- Hell Gate

And in other news

Legal: Paintings stolen from a Ukrainian museum by Russian forces have featured in a program broadcast on Russian TV. “Looters document their crimes with their own hands,” the Kherson Art Museum posted on social media, ARTnews reports.

"'Could this be the moment to bring the monumental sculpture back from artistic purgatory?' asks the academic who tracked down Richard Serra's monumental sculpture Clara-Clara (1983), which has been banished to a yard on the outskirts of Paris. "

- Hyperallergic

Richard Serra’s Clara-Clara in the Tuileries Garden, Paris, June 2008. Photo by Tybo via Flickr/Hyperallergic