Have a minute? Get caught up with art news people are talking about this week. In this edition, Dia acquires its first monumental earthwork by a female artist, The Frick Collection sends art by Old Masters to Puerto Rico for a show opening at the Museo de Arte de Ponce and court battles over Picasso paintings make headlines in both France and Providence, Rhode Island. Meanwhile, an unusual class at the New York Academy of Art has students applying their anatomical art training to reconstruct the faces of deceased people who cannot be identified by forensic science alone. Keep reading to discover art news unfolding this week.

Dia Art Foundation has acquired two works by Nancy Holt (1938-2014), marking its first acquisition of land art by a female artist, reported The New York Times. Holt's monumental Sun Tunnels, 1973-76, is sited in the Great Basin Desert in Utah. Dia also acquired Holt's room-size installation Holes of Light, 1973, which is slated to be exhibited at DIA: Chelsea in September 2018. Nancy Holt was the wife of artist Robert Smithson (Spiral Jetty, 1970). The acquisition was facilitated by the newly-formed Holt-Smithson Foundation which is charged with securing the legacy of both Holt and Smithson.

Sun Tunnels is made up of four hollow tubes with small holes formed in constellations that allows light to illuminate the interior in patterns. The concrete forms are arranged in the form of a cross with each providing a lens to frame the landscape. They are also aligned to match up with the setting sun during winter and summer solstices, according to The New York Times.


"Sun Tunnels" in Lucin, Utah by Nancy Holt. Photo: Calvin Chu. Courtesy of Wikipedia.


The Frick Collection in New York City is sending 10 art works to Puerto Rico for a show planned to open this month at the Museo de Arte de Ponce, signaling a return to normalcy for the island, reported The Art Newspaper. The Frick is sending oil sketches and watercolors by European masters including Albrecht Dürer, Claude Lorrain, Eugène Delacroix for the previously planned exhibition "Small Treasures from the Frick." Originally planned for November 2017, the show will be on view from March 17 to August 6, 2018.

Pablo Picasso's former electrician and his wife get a reprieve from a French court stemming from their conviction of possessing around 271 stolen Picasso art works stolen from the estate, reported The Art Newspaper. The French High Court annulled the conviction on February 28, 2018, stating that the theft itself hadn't been demonstrated so a conviction for handling stolen goods couldn't stand, according to The Art Newspaper. The couple will undergo a new trial in Lyon at a date not yet set. The couple claim Picasso and his wife, Jacqueline, gave them the cache of artwork as a gift which was then forgotten in their garage for 40 years. 

Meanwhile, the RISD Museum continues to defend its claim of lawful ownership of a Picasso in its collection and contends it was not stolen by the Nazis from Jewish art dealer Alphonse Kann (1870-1948) as alleged by Kann's heirs, reported The Art Newspaper. The Rhode Island School of Design Museums purchased Pablo Picasso’s  Femme assise au livre (Seated Woman with a Book), ca. 1910, from the Carstairs Gallery in 1951, reported The Art Newspaper. Kann's heirs made their first claim of ownership to RISD's Picasso eight years ago but was abandoned in 2012 after findings by a provenance expert concluded the painting was not stolen by the Nazis's, according to The Art Newspaper.

In 2015, Kann's heirs opened the case in the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York to scrutinize all newly-available information, according to the article. The findings by multiple experts match the earlier findings, according to The Art Newspaper.  Picasso's Femme assise au livre (Seated Woman with a Book), ca. 1910, has been on view at the Providence museum since its purchase as part of the museum's permanent collection.

Cheryl Henson joins The Museum of the Moving Image as a museum trustee, announced the New York City museum. Henson is the daughter of Jim Henson, president of the Jim Henson Foundation and produced the award-winning biennial Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater. The Museum of the Moving Image has on permanent view nearly 300 objects by Jim Henson (including 47 of his famous puppets) in the exhibition "The Jim Henson Experience." The exhibition opened in July 2017.

Charles C. Bergman, a founding organizer and longtime champion of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, died on February 25, 2018 at the age of 84,announced the Pollock-Krasner House & Study Center. He had helped guide the Pollock-Krasner Foundation for more than three decades, after working to establish it in tribute to the legacies of the married painters Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner. In addition, he played an active role in numerous art organizations including the Aspen Institute, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, the New York City Cultural Affairs Commission, the New York State Council on the Arts and the Pollock-Krasner House & Study Center in East Hampton, NY.

Graduate art students at the New York Academy of Art in New York City have reconstructed faces of unidentified individuals who died along the United States / Mexican border or in other locations through forensics in a class led by Joe Mullen, a forensic artist with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Childrenreported The New York Times. To recreate the person's identity, art students integrate their classical art training and instincts as an artist with forensic science to coax faces from 3-D printed replicas, formed through CT-scans, of skulls of the unidentified deceased, according to The New York Times. Rendered in clay, the artworks are currently on view in The Academy's windows in Tribeca through March 29, 2018. Click here to read the entire story written by Patricia Leigh Brown for The New York Times.


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