Muhammad Ali's Paintings & Johnny Depp's Basquiats: Last Week in Art

Also last week: Helen Mirren and Ted Cruz teamed up for the sake of art, a SFMOMA visitor damaged a Warhol, and controversial Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky was released.

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Jun 13 2016, 12:30pm

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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:

+ You can buy a signed work of art by the late, great Muhammad Ali for a mere $400. The auction begins June 15th at Ro Gallery in New York. [Time]

+ In apparent preparation for his impending divorce with Amber Heard, Johnny Depp is auctioning off his collection of Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings. The Pirates of the Caribbean actor has elected for Christie’s to manage the selling of the nine works. [Hypebeast]

+ Helen Mirren and Ted Cruz have formed an unlikely alliance over a bill that would expedite the return of art stolen by the Nazis to Holocaust victims and their families. [Newsweek]

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+ Less than a month after its great reveal alongside a Nevada desert interstate, Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains installation was spray painted with a penis, “666,” and the words, “HELLA SPIDER.” [artnet News via ArtFCity]

+ The latest in museum mishaps: a visitor to SFMOMA grazed Andy Warhol’s Triple Elvis with his/her elbow, damaging the famed work (albeit minimally, conservators report). [SF Gate]

+ Police are investigating Moscow’s National Center for Contemporary Arts' former director Mikhail Mindlin for suspicion of involvement in an embezzling scheme that has already placed a deputy culture minister behind bars. [The Art Newspaper]

+ Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky has been released from prison after serving seven months for setting fire to the country’s Federal Security Service building. [ARTnews]

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+ Adding insult to the injury that was last week’s flooding, on Monday, a fire ravaged a construction site right outside the still-closed Louvre Museum. [The Telegraph]

+ The upcoming exhibition of Cuban contemporary art at The Bronx Museum of the Arts has been postponed. Reportedly, the nation of Cuba fears that the valuable works, loaned to the museum from Havana’s Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, could be seized to satisfy part of the $7 billion in claims from former American property owners whose land was seized under the Castro regime. [The Art Newspaper]

+ Artist duo Gilbert & George are opening a nonprofit art space in Spitalfields, in London’s East End. [The Guardian]

+ The revered Brazilian artist Tunga passed away at the age of 64. [Artsy]

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+ Finally, an Election 2016 read that won’t induce (as much) fear-induced vomiting: “The Art History of Hillary Clinton & Bernie Sanders.” [Artspace]

+ Alan Nakagawa, an artist-in-residence at the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (no, seriously), is investigating traffic deaths in L.A. through sound art and oral histories. [Gizmodo]

+ Moscow’s Garage Museum is organizing the world's first triennial dedicated to Russian art, which is scheduled to launch in March of 2017. [Artforum]

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+ Last but certainly not least, the Met’s Director and CEO, Thomas Campbell, #keptitreal about his smelly dog on Instagram. [Instagram]

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

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