Robbie Conal, Hammer & Pickle, 2017, Courtesy of Track 16.

ART BRIEF

Artists Unite

On February 15, 2019, President Donald Trump issued a fake declaration of a national emergency at the southern border of the U.S., claiming that criminals…
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Huang Yong Ping’s Theater of the World, 1993, installed at SFMOMA, photo by Stephen Goldberg.

ART BRIEF

Theater of the Absurd

“Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World”—intended to be the most important show of Chinese dissident art in recent years—limped into California late…
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Leonardo da Vinci, Salvator Mundi, c. 1500

ART BRIEF

Russian Oligarch Jolts the Art World—Again

The bitter years-long dispute between billionaire Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev and Swiss art-freeport mogul Yves Bouvier (reported in this column previously) has spawned a multi-million-dollar…
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Stephen Goldberg with Ai Weiwei at Deitch opening, photo by Eric Minh Swenson

ART BRIEF

Ai Weiwei Goes Hollywood

The first week of October was Ai Weiwei week in Los Angeles—a triple-header of shows including the Marciano Foundation, the opening show of former MOCA…
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Chris Ofili, The Holy Virgin Mary, 1996, collection of MoMA NY.

ART BRIEF

Trump Gives Arts the Hook

President Donald Trump is no fan of the arts. His first budget proposed entirely eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National…
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Klaus Biesenbach

New Chief for MOCA (Again)

Does New Director Mean a Calm in the Los Angeles Contemporary Art Museum?

This week’s announcement that Klaus Biesenbach, director of New York’s PS1, the Museum of Modern Art’s satellite in Queens, was chosen to be the new…
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5Pointz in its glory days.

ART BRIEF: THE WHITEWASH

Graffitist Scrawl New Rights For All

Whenever I mention the V.A.R.A to artists, I’m invariably met with a blank stare. The Visual Arts Rights Act, passed by Congress in 1990, grants…
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Balthus, Therese Dreaming, 1938.

ART BRIEF: DO NOT DISTURB

Fending off censorship today

Censorship of art must always bear a high burden—especially after an entire generation of work was nearly destroyed by the Nazis’ war on Modern Art…
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Leonardo da Vinci, Salvator Mundi, c.1500, oil on walnut, 25.8 x 19.2 in.

ART BRIEF

The Mona Lisa of the Middle East?

Salvator Mundi, a portrait of Christ attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, was sold to a Saudi Arabian prince for $450 million (including fees) at Christie’s…
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Ed Moses at his art opening at William Turner gallery, surrounded by admirers. Photo by Lynda Burdick.

Ed Moses: A Remembrance

1926-2018

Last Tuesday night (January 16, 2018), a day before he died, Ed Moses had an art opening of his latest work at a gallery space…
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Norman Rockwell, Shuffleton’s Barbershop, 1950

ART BRIEF

Selling the Crown Jewels: Norman Rockwell

Although I’m not a big fan of Norman Rockwell’s artwork, a painting of his caught my eye after becoming the centerpiece of a controversy that…
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Dale Chihuly, Red Reeds on Logs, 2017

ART BRIEF

Inside the Glass Menagerie

Does anyone really believe that Michelangelo or Rubens painted all their works—every single stroke? Of course they didn’t. They had assistants working on their art…
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Façade of Marciano Foundation on Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, courtesy of Marciano Art Foundation.

ART BRIEF

All in the Family

In the past two years two art museums endowed by Los Angeles billionaires have opened. Eli Broad opened The Broad museum in 2015 and the…
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An edition of how many? Salvador Dalí, Swans Reflecting Elephants, 1937

ART BRIEF

A New Law That’s Bad for the Art Business

Sometimes legislation in Sacramento is rushed through with unintended consequences, an unfortunate example being a newly expanded law posing problems for art dealers. This 2016…
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Ivanka Trump with her Richard Prince piece.

ART BRIEF

Ivanka Dearest

President Trump’s proposed plan for a $54 billion increase in the defense budget would be paid for by drastically cutting many agency budgets, including the…
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Pablo Picasso, Les Noces de Pierrette, 1905

ART BRIEF

Freeport Shenanigans: Secret, Secure, Unseen

The greatest collection of art in the world may not be at the Met or the Louvre any longer. The secret vaults of the wealthiest…
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