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$200M Van Gogh Will Stay at Yale, Obamas Opt for Abstract Art, and More

$200M Van Gogh Will Stay at Yale, Obamas Opt for Abstract Art, and More

— $200M Van Gogh Will Stay at Yale: A $200 million stolen painting by Vincent van Gogh will remain at Yale University, after a federal appeals court backed the university in a dispute over its ownership. During the Russian Revolution, “The Night Café” by the Dutch master was taken by the Soviets from Pierre Konowaloff’s family and sold to the school in 1961. The federal judge cited the doctrine that US courts do not honor foreign governments’ expropriation demands. [GuardianWP

— Obamas Opt for Abstract Art: The Obamas are swapping out some of the fusty portraiture and landscapes in the White House for more modern and contemporary works, such as pieces by Mark Rothko and Robert Rauschenberg. “There was discussion about the president and first lady liking more abstract art,” said William Allman, the curator of the White House art collection. “Our collection doesn’t really have any of that,” he said of the 500-piece collection. Melissa Chiu, the director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, which has let the Obamas borrow several paintings, said: “The recognition of African-American artists is a big piece of that. At many levels, you are seeing a diversification of the selection of artwork and artists that reveals the story of the United States.” [NYT]

— Beirut’s Aishti Foundation Opens: A fixture of Beirut’s proposed cultural renaissanceTony Salamé’s $100-plus million Aishti Foundation opened on Sunday. The David Adjaye-designed “museum-cum-shopping mall” combines 90 retail spaces, for brands like Gucci and Prada, with 4,000 square meters of art exhibition space. “We’re thinking of having yoga classes in between the sculptures,” Salamé added. “This is a place where art is not intimidating.” The opening show, titled “New Skin” and drawn from Salamé’s personal collection, was curated by the New Museum’s Massimiliano Gioni, who noted that the shopping sector is, in his opinion, “not challenging or problematic. Tony makes the money behind the [gallery] wall and he spends it in here. Fashion can really open up the audience to art.” [TAN]

— Islamic State Detonates Palmyra Columns in Execution: On Sunday, the Islamic State executed three people by tying them to historic columns in Palmyra and blowing them up, according to Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Activist Mohammad al-Ayed added: “IS is doing this for the media attention, so that IS can say that it is the most villainous, and so it can get people’s attention.” [ArtDaily]

— Eduardo Chillida’s US Renaissance: Spanish modernist sculptor Eduardo Chillida is getting renewed attention in the US, including a pop-up show opening this Friday on Madison Avenue. [WSJ]

— Hammer Museum Plans Expansion: After acquiring a full city block of property from Occidental Petroleum in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles for $92.5 million, the Hammer Museum plans to use the additional 40,000 square feet to expand its galleries, including permanent display space for works on paper and the Hammer Contemporary Collection. [LAT]

— Melik Ohanian wins 2015 Marcel Duchamp PrizeBasel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rame win Abraaj Group Art Prize. [ArtforumTANArtnews]

— Oops, cleaners have thrown away more art — this time, a piece made up of party debris by Sara Goldschmied and Eleonora Chiari at the Museion in Bolzano, Italy. [Telegraph, Independent]
— And in light, pleasant news, French artist Christian Boltanski is counting down the seconds to his own death. [Guardian]

$200M van Gogh Will Stay at Yale, Obamas Opt for Abstract Art

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