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last week in art

Neuroscientists Finally Cracked the Secret Behind Mona Lisa’s Smile | Last Week in Art

And a team of archeologists uncovered a 3,000-year-old statue in a Cairo slum.

A lot went down this week in the weird and wild world of Art. Some things were more scandalous than others, some were just plain wacky—but all of them are worth knowing about. Without further ado:

+ Neuroscientists at the University of Freiburg have finally cracked the secret behind Mona Lisa's smile: Participants in a study were shown eight slightly altered images of the painting, in a addition to a black-and-white photograph. The results? 97% of the time, people think she's happy.  [The Independent]


+ An artist-run protest organization called the Halt Action Group tagged the streets of New York with a placard-like poster showing President Trump's face above a transcript of the "grab 'em by the pussy" remarks made while taping an episode of Access Hollywood. [Daily Kos]

+ A set of rare etchings by Spanish painter Francisco Goya were, by chance, found at the Château de Montigny, in Eure-et-Loir, Northern France. Sotheby's is scheduled to auction off the La Tauromaquia series of 33 etchings in April. [The Guardian]

+ A number of galleries and art publications participated in International Women's Day. [ARTnews]

+ German and Egyptian archeologists uncovered a 3,000-year-old statue of Pharaoh Ramses II in a slum in Cairo.  [CNN]

+ China's renowned Terracotta Army are accompanying 160 other ancient works of Chinese art in an upcoming exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. [artnet News]

+ Turner prize-winning painter, Sir Howard Hodgkin, died on Thursday in London at the age of 84. [BBC]

+ A bearded museum-goer smashed a bottle over the head of a Metropolitan Museum of Art security guard after the staffer refused to fix a painting the man said was crooked. [CBS New York]

+ London's National Gallery is getting its first new display space in 26 years. The 200 square meter location is slated to open later this month and will feature display dedicated to the 17th-century Old Masters, Rembrandt and Rubens. [The Art Newspaper]


+ Robert Smithson's massive land artwork, Spiral Jetty, was just chosen as Utah's state work of art.  [The Salt Lake Tribune]

+ Chaos erupted at the Louvre this week as a new blockbuster Vermeer exhibition drew in thousands of visitors. The museum's faulty reservation system spawned long lines of frustrated ticket holders and threats to strike by the security staff. [The Art Newspaper]

+ The Powerhouse Environmental Arts Foundation tapped Architects Herzog & de Meuron to convert Brooklyn's Batcave, a former Rapid Transit power station turned graffiti haven, into an arts center. [The New York Times]

+ Manhattan's 80-year-old art supply store, A.I Friedman, will permanently close its doors on April 30. [The New York Post

+ Following the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism have pledged to institute new legislation that would protect artist from political discrimination. [Korea Herald]

+ Turkish painter and journalist, Zehra Doğan, was just sentenced to two years and ten months in prison for painting the destruction caused by Turkish security forces in Mardin, a city in the Kurdish region of Turkey. [Hyperallergic]

+ On international women's day, a four-foot-tall bronze statue of a defiant girl was installed in front of Wall Street's iconic Charging Bull. [Creators]

+ A street artist named Plastic Jesus put up 50 future internment camp signs on construction lots across the U.S. Each sign was marked with Trump's signature and the seal of the President of the United States. [Hyperallergic]


+ A French court issued a $46,500 fine to Jeff Koons LLC and the Centre Pompidou in a plagiarism lawsuit over the artist's Naked sculpture. The court ruled in favor of the estate of photographer Jean-François Bauret, arguing that the photographer has the rights to the image that Koons made into a sculpture in 1988. [Art Market Monitor (via Le Monde)]

Did we miss any pressing art world stories? Let us know in the comments below!


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