News Recap: February 22, 2019

A weekly recap of art world news.

“Double Portrait of Elector John Frederick of Saxony and His wife Sibylle of Cleve,” which was stolen by Stéphane Breitwieser and presumably destroyed (via  Wikimedia Commons )

“Double Portrait of Elector John Frederick of Saxony and His wife Sibylle of Cleve,” which was stolen by Stéphane Breitwieser and presumably destroyed (via Wikimedia Commons)

Prolific Art Thief Arrested Again
Stéphane Breitwieser has been linked to nearly 250 stolen pieces of art and artifacts. In 2001, Breitwieser was arrested for theft and black market art sales and served two years of his three-year sentence. He subsequently wrote a book titled Confessions of an Art Thief. During the investigation into his large list of stolen objects, it was revealed that his mother had aided in the destruction of at least 100 pieces in efforts to protect her son from even more evidence of his crimes coming to light. Jail time, however, did not err him of his ways. Since 2016 he had been under close surveillance after attempting to sell stolen artifacts on eBay and was arrested again in connection with that and other linked heists in Europe.
Read the full story (Hyperallergic)

Karl Lagerfeld Dies at 85
The esteemed fashion designer, artist, and photographer more Karl Lagerfeld died February 19 at the age of 85. Throughout his career, he worked for top tier fashion companies Chanel and Fendi, as well as owning his own self-titled company. His work as a fashion photographer was just as lively as his designs, often telling bizarre stories and portraying some of the fashion industries most prominent models and designers. With a prolific career in his past, he did not stop his fashion design passion, or his artistic passions, even as he entered his 80s, producing an average of 14 new collections per year as well as participating in collaborations and other special projects he came across.
Read the full story (New York Times)

See Kevin Hart at Oscars Anyway
Around the corner from the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles where the Oscars will be held, is a life-sized sculpture, made by street artist Plastic Jesus, of once-host Kevin Hart standing on a red-carpeted soapbox with a plaque that reads “HOLLOW APOLOGY.” This eerie, stiff, shiny gold sculpture is representative of Hart harboring an ear-to-ear grin with one hand holding the LGBTQ flag and the other tensely by his side. This sculpture was erected as number six in Plastic Jesus’ Oscar installation series. Previous works include a statue of Harvey Weinstein in a robe on a couch with the plaque reading “Casting Couch.” This installment is a response to old homophobic tweets that surfaced from Kevin Hart’s twitter account after he was announced as the host for this year’s Oscars. The comedian initially refused to apologize for his actions and later gave an apology that many considered insincere.
Read the full story (ArtNet News)

The Intersections of Medical Science and Historic Art Analysis
With the help of the University of Chicago School of Medicine, researchers at the Art Institute of Chicago have used CT scans to identify a set of five terracotta sculptures. The Malian artifacts that are thought to be some of the oldest surviving sculptures from the sub-Saharan Africa region created as a group rather than separately. The scans also revealed that the sculptures were much older than previously believed. As technology advances, it is important to recognize the uses of complex machinery as multidisciplinary and to think outside the box when it comes to the physical analysis of historic objects. These methods of analysis will aid in a more precise mapping of our world history of arts, crafts, and culture.
Read the full story (Hyperallergic)