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Week in Review: Remembering Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly Is the Toast of Paris and Mary Miss’s Legal Win

3 min read  ·  10 May 2024

Michael Craig-Martin, Common History: Conference (detail) (1999), Copyright the artist. Courtesy of Gagosian, London, and the Royal Academy of Arts

This was the week the art world bid farewell to Frank Stella (1936-2024). A towering figure in the New York art world, he made history in 1970 when MoMA organized his retrospective. Stella was only 33. He was and still is the youngest artist ever to have enjoyed this honor.

Paris: A major Ellsworth Kelly exhibition “Shapes and Colors” opened at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, highlighting France’s formative influence on the young artist.

London: Michael Craig-Martin will present a large-scale, immersive digital experience as part of the artist and influential teacher's retrospective at the Royal Academy of Arts. The show is due to open in the fall.

Metz: Deborah de Robertis and another feminist activist tagged Gustave Courbet's painting Origin of the World with the words “Me Too” at the Metz branch of the Centre Pompidou. The artist claimed their action was performance art.

Market: A painting by the veteran French artist Andre Brasilier led Sotheby's Modern Discoveries online auction. La vallée de la Muze (1988), sold for $89,400, 150% above its low estimate. HENI News.

New York: Arlene Shechet unveiled six new, monumental sculptures at Storm King Art Center, part of the in-demand artist’s solo show at the Hudson Valley sculpture park.

Hobart: Kirsha Kaechele plans to turn her Ladies’ Lounge installation at MoNA into a toilet to keep it women-only after the museum lost a court ruling.

Legal: Mary Miss's fight to preserve her work of land art at the Des Moines Art Center was backed by a judge who served an injunction against its destruction without the artist’s approval.

And in other news

New York: The Independent received the thumbs up from The Times, which described the booth-free fair a “stylish affair”. Ruby Neri's ceramic sculptures in the fair’s special 15th-anniversary exhibition were among the eye-catching works on offer.

New York: Who are the real-estate moguls and major art collectors on the city’s most prestigious museums’ boards? The Real Deal New York lists the major players.

Coming next week

The big spring auctions get underway in New York, with a Cubist portrait of Dora Maar by Picasso expected to sell for $20m-$30m among the star lots.

Photo London returns to Somerset House with the fair’s preview day on May 15.

"‘People may look back at the ’60s and see a division between abstract painting and painters who were doing Pop, but at the time it wasn’t a question of taking sides, because there really weren’t any sides. Everybody was in it together.’ Frank Stella on the New York art scene back in the day. "

- Artforum

Frank Stella, who loved fast cars, created the second BMW Art Car in 1976. It was raced by his close friend, the Swedish driver Ronnie Petersen in a World Championship event in France. Stella created a poignant series titled “The Polar Coordinates for Ronnie Peterson” after his friend's death in a Grand Prix race in Monza. Image copyright BMW.