A new report focused on the Dutch Restitutions Commission, a government apparatus that manages restitution claims involving Nazi-looted art in the Netherlands, urges the panel to become “more empathic” and “less formalistic” in its handling of such claims, according to the New York Times. The newspaper reports that two members of the Dutch Restitutions Commission, including its chairman, resigned upon the release of the new assessment, which was executed by a committee appointed by the country’s culture minister.

The new report recommends that the Dutch Restitutions Commission abolish its “balance of interests” methods, which takes into account the concerns of both claimants and museums. The committee that created the report was headed by Jacob Kohnstamm, who works as a lawyer, and its research involved interviews with claimants, attorneys, restitution experts, museum leaders, and others.

“If it’s looted art and there’s an heir, the interests of the museum shouldn’t be … Read the rest

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Figuring out what to buy the creative souls in your orbit isn’t always easy, especially if you aren’t an expert on their craft. But we’ve got winning gift ideas for painters, photographers, illustrators, casual makers, and everyone in between. Whether your recipient is a master watercolorist or someone who picked up sewing during the pandemic, we’ve got you covered.

FOR PEN FREAKS AND JOURNALERS

A fancy (and hefty) rollerball pen
Ideal for anyone who approaches writing as an art, this new pen from Faber-Castell is a true keepsake (although we’d recommend it for those with larger hands). Users can load it with either a fast-drying cartridge or a fineliner cartridge—either way, the nib glides across the page like a dream. And it comes gift ready, presented in a nice … Read the rest

Against the backdrop of protests over artistic freedom in Cuba, artist Tania Bruguera, a celebrated figure whose work has frequently spoken out against her country’s government and its policies, was detained on Friday, according to a message posted on social media by her sister, Deborah Bruguera. On Saturday, the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, which is currently hosting an exhibition of Bruguera’s work, said the artist had been released.

In a Facebook post, Deborah Bruguera said that her sister had been “kidnapped” by “people in civilian clothes” after attending a party held by artist Sandra Ceballos Obaya. In a follow-up message posted early Saturday morning, Deborah said that multiple officers questioned Bruguera about the push toward artistic freedom that has become a flashpoint in the country, in an attempt to identify the movement’s leader.

Last week, on November 27, a group of 300 protests gathered outside … Read the rest

Jackie Saccoccio, whose abstract paintings made via an intensely physical process generated significant attention in the New York art world, died on Saturday at 56. Her New York gallery, Van Doren Waxter, confirmed the news, saying that she had been battling cancer for the past five years.

“We at Van Doren Waxter are deeply saddened by the death of Jackie Saccoccio, who was widely praised and admired for her powerful canvases, and also deeply respected as a true painter’s painter,” the gallery said in a statement. “We have lost a tremendously talented and beautiful friend, and our condolences go out to her loving husband and daughter.”

Saccoccio’s paintings exude a formal panache that, to some critics, felt charmingly old-school. Postwar abstraction—in particular the all-over canvases of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Joan Mitchell—was a frequent point of comparison for those writing about Saccoccio’s art, but she often said … Read the rest

The Upstate New York sculpture park, Storm King Art Center, is among the most idyllic places to see large-scale outdoor sculpture in the country. “There really aren’t very many other places, particularly in the United States, where you can see artwork on this type of scale and this type of ambition,” Storm King senior curator Nora Lawrence recently told Brooke Jaffe for “ARTnews Live,” our ongoing IGTV series of interviews with a range of creatives. “It’s a place to really see art in nature.”

Founded in 1960, the Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, New York, was initially intended to spotlight visual art and music, focusing on the Hudson River School of landscape painting. Founder Ted Ogden felt inspired by a visit to the late artist David Smith’s studio in the Adirondack Mountains, where he saw “80 large-scale Smith works displayed outdoors over rolling hills, as Smith … Read the rest

Artist Khari Turner has recently begun introducing a new medium into his paintings, which are often portraits of figures with exaggerated features. Ahead of an upcoming solo exhibition at Nō Studios in Milwaukee, which opened in October, Turner collected water from the Milwaukee River, as well as water from Lake Michigan, to incorporate in some of his works.

Incorporating water in his work, Turner wants to use the medium “in a way of trying to conceptually talk about masculinity and Blackness and strength, but also vulnerability and beauty,” he said in a recent conversation with Brooke Jaffe for “ARTnews Live,” our ongoing IGTV series of interviews with a range of creatives.

Turner, who recently completed a residency at Iris Project in Venice, California, and is currently pursuing an M.F.A. at Columbia University, explained that he uses the collected water as a sort of primer before adding a layer … Read the rest

The London-based publication ArtReview has published the 2021 edition of its annual “Power 100” list, and while the top position is usually held by an influential figure within the art world, this year the #1 spot went to a movement: Black Lives Matter.

In a press release announcing this year’s list, ArtReview said, “In a period of social and cultural upheaval, the social justice movement’s unprecedented influence is signaled not only by its overarching position on the list—and this is the first time a movement rather than an individual has been at the top of the Power 100—but also in the shaping of this list.”

The editors of the list acknowledged that the coronavirus pandemic has also had sweeping effects on the world, but said it was the Black Lives Matter movement—in particular the protests across the U.S. sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis … Read the rest

Roger Mandle, a prominent figure within the museum world, has died at 79, according to the Associated Press. He reportedly died of a long illness in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, on Saturday.

Over the course of his career, Mandle served in various high-ranking positions at several U.S. museums, including the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. And, toward the end of his life, from 2008 to 2012, he served as executive director at the Qatar Museums Authority, a Doha-based network that operates the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Islamic Art, and other institutions in the country.

Mandle’s longest tenure in a leadership role was at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he served as president from 1993 to 2008. While at the Providence institution, Mandle quadrupled the art school’s endowment to … Read the rest

James T. Demetrion, a longtime museum director whose tenure made the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden one of the country’s most important art museums, has died at 90. An obituary released by the Hirshhorn Museum said that Demetrion died on Sunday of complications relating to a stroke.

The Hirshhorn Museum, which opened in 1974, did not have the status it currently does when Demetrion arrived in 1984 as its second director. By the time he stepped down from the top post in 2001, he had helped turn it into a major institution, dramatically growing its collection and cachet.

When Demetrion started as the Hirshhorn’s director, the museum’s acquisition fund was a mere $150,000. When he left, he had grown it to $30 million. The Hirshhorn’s permanent collection was first established through a donation of some 12,000 works from collector Joseph H. Hirshhorn, but Demetrion soon realized that the museum’s … Read the rest

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News

Six months after protests erupted over the killing of George Floyd, a pair of activists have collected at least 593 plywood boards bearing art of different kinds from around Minneapolis and St. Paul that could otherwise have been destroyed or defaced. [ABC News]

Starting in Cleveland, Kelsey Ables reports on African American museums across the country and the unfortunate ways that “today, those museums—like their communities—are uniquely vulnerable to the effects of the coronavirus.” [The Washington Post]

In a visually striking “Close Read,” Jason Farago takes a deep look at Benjamin West’s 1770 work The Death of General Wolfe and finds “the myth of North America, in one painting.” [The New York Times]

Plans to move Seward Johnson’s giant sculpture of Marilyn Monroe with skirt aswirl to a site near the Palm … Read the rest