Adolf Trump & Albino Gorilla Suits: Last Week in Art [Basel Edition]

Art Basel heralded the usual influx of wacky installations, celebrity sightings, and clickbait headlines (guilty).

20 June 2016, 1:15pm

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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:

+ Art Basel opened last week in, well, Basel, Switzerland. As usual, the media (and social media) had a field day, discussing notable sales, evaluating the fitness of the art market, and philosophizing over creative capitalism. Meanwhile, we had a field day pa-trolling #ArtBasel Instagrams for the weirdest sculptures we could find.

+ Also at Basel, an albino gorilla (f.k.a., artist William Pope.L) rolled up throwing white plantains out of a white limo and walking through the crowds with a clear umbrella and a shiny white bag. [W Magazine]


+ Not to mention, an unclaimed Donald Trump rendition of Maurizio Cattelan’s famed kneeling Hilter statue (Him) popped up at a high-end Basel hotel. [artnet News]

+ For this critic, the 9th annual Berlin Biennale, called “The Present in Drag” by its DIS organizers, goes too far... or rather, falls too short. “I have seen spambots with greater sensitivity,” he says. [The Guardian]

+ Calligrapher Sun Ping was banned from the China Artists Association after a recent performance that featured women painting with brushes in their vaginas. In the past, the artist became known for his use of pubic hair brushes. [The Independent]

+ Ai Weiwei has signed on with the Fine Arts division of Hollywood agency UTA, joining the likes of Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. [Page Six]


+ Guy Clark’s last wish was for his friend, fellow musician, and artist Terry Allen to make a sculpture out of his ashes...which is exactly what Allen is planning to do. [Rolling Stone]

+ Zaha Hadid’s last project opened last week in Zurich’s Galerie Gmurzynska and it's beautiful. [The New York Times]

+ From cityscapes to landscapes, the new frontier of Chinese architectures is the countryside. [The New York Times]

+ 55 artworks, totaling upwards of $20 million, were found in a house in Istanbul during a police raid. [Artforum]


+ Londoners took to the streets during the artists’ preview of the Tate Modern’s new building to protest the exclusion of Ana Mendieta’s work from the extension and the inclusion of the work of her husband—her alleged killer—Carl Andre. [Hyperallergic]

+ After months of legal battles, Leon Black is indeed keeping the highly controversial sculpture, Bust of a Woman (Marie-Thérèse). [The Wall Street Journal]

+ A long-lost Paul Gauguin still life was found in the home of a retired antiques dealer in Connecticut. [The Art Newspaper]


+ And finally, three rounds of applause for this foray into the convoluted psychology of illustrator Aubrey Beardsley. [The New Yorker]

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


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