No one knows the whereabouts of the most expensive painting ever sold, but it won’t be the first time the painting has disappeared and resurfaced. Let’s recount the history and mystery of this Dan Brown-like saga: “Salvator Mundi”, painted by Leonardo da Vinci, was commissioned by Louis XII of France in 1506. It took da Vinci seven years to complete the painting, making late 1512 the year of its arrival in England. It was brought to England by Henrietta Maria upon her marriage to Charles I in 1625. She kept it at the Queen’s House in Greenwich until it was sold to John Stone, a mason in 1651 when, following Charles I’s execution in 1649, it was returned to his inheritor, James II of England in 1660. It then went to his mistress, Catherine, Duchess of Dorchester whose illegitimate daughter’s illegitimate son, Sir Charles Sheffield, 1st baronet, auctioned it in 1763. It disappeared from … [Read more...] about ARE WE NEARING THE FINAL CHAPTER IN DA VINCI’S ‘SALVATOR MUNDI’ STORY?
New York, NY - Mary Boone’s two New York galleries will close in April, due to the January 18 sentencing of Ms. Boone to 30 months in prison and 180 hours of subsequent community service, the shortest prison term recommended by the prosecution. The date for her incarceration was postponed until May 15. As she has repaid the Internal Revenue Service more than six million dollars in fines and restitution, no additional penalties were imposed. Her conviction of two counts of tax fraud specifically named misrepresenting purchases and falsifying transactions, with Manhattan district attorney Geoffrey Berman saying that her “personal tax returns were more a work of impressionism than realism.” She used part of the gallery’s unreported income to fund her son’s education. Jerry Saltz, Ai Wei Wei, Julian Schnabel, Jeffrey Deitch and Jack Shainman were among the 100 letter writers vouching for her … [Read more...] about COMMENTARY/NATIONAL NEWS: MARY BOONE GALLERY CLOSING; OWNER SENTENCED
Washington, D.C. - The government shutdown of United States government institutions, including museums, during the end of last year and start of 2019, encouraged me to find the best art then available for free, public viewing in Washington, D.C. Ministerial visits at the Irish embassy prevented me from seeing the collection during February, but Ms. Siobhan Miley kindly arranged a visit in early March. It was worth the wait. The Embassy of Ireland’s site was purchased by Henrietta Halliday in 1906, with the mansion built by architect William Penn Cresson between 1908 and 1909. The semi-detached limestone building at 2234 Massachusetts Avenue NW, at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Sheridan Circle, was purchased by the government of Ireland in 1949. From my first visit at Passport DC, an annual tour, open to the public, of EU embassies during a May weekend, and other … [Read more...] about A VISIT TO THE EMBASSY OF IRELAND AND THE RESIDENCE OF THE IRISH AMBASSADOR, WASHINGTON, D.C.
New York, NY - Following the near debacle of the Volta show, rescued by Peter Hort, David Zwirner, the Scope Art Fair, and other generous gallerists in New York, the satellite shows, Plan B and Scope, exhibited better art and were happier and more exciting places than the Armory show. SPRING/BREAK, occupying space in United Nations Plaza, also showed some interesting work, although less risky than last year’s. Although Hort claimed to be a total, though willing novice at producing arts shows, he did an amazing job, with cooperation from curators, gallerists and artists, producing a show of interesting, well-executed art that hung together quite well. Greeted by a coffee car parked in front of Zwirner’s gallery space on West 21st St., in New York, due to the inability of those running Plan B to secure a coffee truck, I was struck by the volunteer effort and love of the project by all … [Read more...] about Satellite Fairs During Armory Show 2019, New York
With approximately 900 fine-tipped Sharpie pens, Ethan Murrow blends storytelling with history, community and labor on the white walls of the Currier Museum in Manchester, New Hampshire. In his new exhibition, “Hauling,” globular collages of hundreds of tools including a saw, wooden wheel, speedometer, nail, net and modern high-tech machinery, tower over visitors. Alongside them, drawn people hold ropes and play a kind of tug-of-war with the mechanic entities, while some carry the weight of them in their hands or on their shoulders. The diagonal tugging of ropes creates movement across the walls, where visitors stand in the center of a laborious scene. The exhibit draws upon the industrial history of Manchester, which during the mid-19th century, held the largest cotton mill worldwide. Today, old mill buildings house restaurants, shops and art galleries. Murrow combines the tools that … [Read more...] about WEIGHT OF THE WALLS: ETHAN MURROW’S “HAULING” AT THE CURRIER
The Boston Ballet’s world premier presentation of “Full on Forsythe" opened on Thursday, March 7 and will run through March 17 at the Boston Opera House. Madeleine, my wife and partner in this critique, sat beside me for the full two hour and 30-minute performance with two intermissions. Madeleine was restive during the first of the three pieces, which I could sympathize with, since this first work, titled, obscurely, “Pas/Parts 2018,” is packed with so much raw energy, helicoptering dancers, electronic bonging and shearing and vibrating that I too sat back in my seat feeling the ice in my veins from the outside temperature begin to boil and bubble. And yet, as avant-garde a choreographer as William Forsythe is, he is also a performer, and knows when to slow down, just as the month of March proverbially “roars like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” The second piece, titled … [Read more...] about PERFORMANCE: BOSTON BALLET’S FULL ON FORSYTHE AT THE BOSTON OPERA HOUSE