Have a minute? Get caught up with art news people are talking about. In this edition, a federal judge rules The Met doesn't need to relinquish ownership of a $100 million Picasso painting, Noguchi Museum gets a new director while the Drawing Center loses theirs, talk of Frieze starting up a new fair in L.A. is the subject of serious speculation and more art news to know.

A federal judge ruled that the Metropolitan Museum of Art is the rightful owner of Picasso's painting The Actor, currently valued at $100 million, reported Courthouse News. The Met was being sued by Laurel Zuckerman as grand-niece of Alice and Paul Leffmann, former art work owners who sold the painting in 1938 while fleeing the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini in Switzerland, after escaping from Germany during Hitler's rise to power. First living in Germany, the couple sent The Actor to a friend in Switzerland in sent the painting to a friend for safe keeping in 1936, to prevent the artwork from being seized by the Nazis, according to Courthouse News. They eventually made their way to Switzerland but, find themselves having to flee again, they sold the oil painting to an American art dealer in 1938 for $12,000. Three years later, the painting sold for $22,500 to a member of the Chrysler family, who donated the painting to The Met in 1952, according to Courthouse News.

Zuckerman approached The Met in 2010 and asked for the painting to be returned to the estate, according to Courthouse News. Zuckerman filed suit after the art museum refused. Zuckerman contends the sale was made under duress and should be considered void under Italian law for duress. She sought the return of the painting or $100 million in damages. The judge dismissed the case as not meeting the standards for duress under New York State or Italian law, which are similar, as the sale took place between private individuals and was not ordered by the Fascist or Nazi governments, according to Courthouse News. The Actor is currently on display at The Met. The painting's estimated value is $100 million.


"The Actor" by Pablo Picasso, 1904-5. Oil on canvas, 77 1/4 x 45 3/8 inches. © 2018 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Talk has been flying around the art world that Frieze will open an edition in Los Angeles after Frieze directors met with art dealers during Art Los Angeles Contemporary, reported The Art Newspaper. Talk turned to rumor after the art advisory firm Art Agency, Partners published in its newsletter that Frieze was looking to launch its first Los Angeles edition in January 2019, reported The Art Newspaper. Frieze hasn't confirmed or denied the talk, despite unconfirmed whispers the art fair started searching for a director for its unconfirmed potential California art fair. In an excerpt of a statement reproduced by The Art Newspaper, Frieze wrote, "We are always exploring new ideas and discussing ways to respond to galleries's need but we can't speak to any specific plans at this point," and added, "Frieze is an institution in New York. Any new projects will be complimentary and will build upon its success." Frieze New York will be held on Randall's Island from May 3 to 6, 2018. Tickets are now on sale for Frieze New York, an art fair that has sold out in the past.

Ortuzar Projects, a new gallery launched by former David Zwirner partner Ales Ortuzar, is opening in New York City's Tribeca neighborhood, reported ArtNews. The gallery opens on February 16, 2018 with a solo show by Michel Parmentier. Setting a "two-year timeline" for Ortuzar Projects, they plan to collaborate with artist estates, foundations and galleries representing artists who played critical roles in the 20th and 21st century art history canon, according to ArtNews. Ortuzar Projects is located at 9 White Street, New York, NY 10013. In Tribeca, Ortuzar Projects joins a vibrant Tribeca gallery scene which includes Cheryl Hazan Gallery, Salomon Arts, Art Projects International and others. Neighborhood galleries have banded together for quarterly Tribeca Art + Culture Nights. The next one will be held March 14, 2018.

The Shed, a planned new multi-disciplinary cultural center in New York City, will host a 12-day festival in May 2018 ahead of its planned 2019 opening, according to The Art Newspaper. Titled "Prelude to the Shed," the free festival will offer dance, art, live music, performance and artist talks presented in a temporary structure set on a vacant lot at 10th Avenue and 30th Street, a block away from its planned $500 million home at Hudson Yards. "Prelude to the Shed" is spearheaded by architect Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ Works and the artist Tino Sehgal and will explore the integration of architecture and choreography in works where dancers will reconfigure the space through movement, reported The New York Times.


A rendering of the structure designed by architect Kunle Adeyemi for The Shed's 12-day festival. Courtesy of The Shed.


The Noguchi Museum in Long Island City in Queens has hired Brett Littman as its new director, reported ArtNews. Littman has been the director of The Drawing Center for over 10 years and led a $11 million renovation and expansion of The Drawing Center, which opened in its new space in 2012, according to ArtNews. Prior to The Drawing Center, Littman was a co-director of Dieu Donne and an associate director of UrbanGlass, both now located in Brooklyn. Littman replaces Jenny Dixon, who announced her retirement in June 2017. She spent 14 years at The Noguchi Museum.

Amy Galpin, PhD, has been appointed the new Chief Curator of The Patricia & Philip Frost Art Museum FIU, Miami, announced the museum. She begins her new role on February 12, 2018. Previously, she was Curator at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. The Patricia & Philip Frost Art Museum FIU, Miami, is located at Florida International University campus at 1097 S.W. 17th Street, Miami, FL 33199.


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