News Recap: March 15, 2019

A weekly update of art world news.

The Crucifixion by Pieter Brueghel the Younger.

The Crucifixion by Pieter Brueghel the Younger.

Heist Gone Wrong: Art Thieves Steal a Fake  
An art heist that took place in an Italian church this past week went off without a hitch, until police revealed that the £3 million Brueghel the Younger painting was actually a fake. Some time ago, police were made aware that this masterpiece was of interest to a group of art thieves. The same painting was the focus of a previous heist in 1981, but this time local police implemented a plot to deceive the thieves by replacing the original work with a very convincing replica. So convincing that the thieves broke into the church and stole with what they thought were valuable works of art. Little did they know, they were set up and now face the law quicker than they could have imagined.
Read the full story (The Guardian)

Artist Sues National Portrait Gallery for Rejecting His Pro-Trump Painting
In 2015, conservative artist Julian Raven created what is considered his magnum opus. This 16-foot-long painting titled “Unafraid and Unashamed” depicts a closely cropped portrait of Donald Trump on the left side and a swooping bald eagle clutching an American flag over Earth from space on the right. The piece has made its way through many Republican rallies across the country and was featured at the recent CPAC gathering. Raven contacted Kim Sajet, the director of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC, to discuss a possible acquisition. When faced with rejection, Raven filed a lawsuit claiming that his First Amendment rights were violated. The judge rejected his initial case, but now Raven is filing an appeal.
Read the full story (ARTNews)

Marina Abramovic Career Retrospective Met with Protest and Prayer
Two separate protest groups have staged protests against the Center of Contemporary Art in Torun, Poland’s retrospective of well-known performance artist Marina Abramovic. One of the groups consisted of Catholics who sat in prayer outside the museum in protest to long-held conspiracy theories that Abramovic is involved with Satanism. These theories have also long been debunked and traced back to right-wing propaganda. The other group consisted of people from the Polish dance community. This past January, an open letter was released denouncing the conditions offered to dancers in Abramovic’s blockbuster show. The exhibition will continue as planned through August.
Read the full story (Hyperallergic)

Yves Klein’s Proprietary Blue now Available to the Public
In celebration of Yves Klein’s 90th birthday, the French decorative paint company, Ressource, has teamed up with the Yves Klein Estate to produce a new blue paint. Inspired by Klein’s famous proprietary blue color, one can purchase a liter of this special blue hue for $100, which covers about 85 square feet. The paint is not the exact shade of blue used by Klein, but it is possible to purchase the pigment that was created in the 1950’s by the artist himself with paint supplier Edouard Adam at Adam’s store in Montparnasse, Paris, France.
Read the full story (ArtNet News)