Ai Weiwei

Chinese Authorities Deny Ai Weiwei’s Tax Appeal

Ai Weiwei, right, leaving his Beijing studio late last year with an unidentified person. (Photo by Peter Parks/AFP)

Dissident artist and activist Ai Weiwei has received notice that his challenge to a 15 million yuan ($2.4 million) tax bill served against the company that oversees his art making, Beijing Fake Cultural Development Ltd., has been denied by government authorities, Reuters reports.

Mr. Ai was arrested last year and held for almost three months in a case that many observers believe is related to his vocal criticism of the Chinese government, and later hit with that tax bill. Read More

private sales

Sotheby’s Gets on Keith Haring Bandwagon—Minus Subway Drawings

Keith Haring. Untitled, 1982. Courtesy Sotheby's

The art world is abuzz with Keith Haring these days. With the Brooklyn Museum exhibiting his early work, galleries and cultural institutions like MoMA and Pace Prints have also gotten on board and now Sotheby’s has announced its own selling exhibition, “Keith Haring: Shine On.” Opening March 30, it presents 32 works across a wide range of mediums, like canvases, tarps and sculpture, ranging in value from $25,000 to $1.5 million. Read More

Art Fairs

Red Dot Art Fair to Show During Frieze

Red Dot New York 2011 (Image courtesy Red Dot)

The Red Dot Art Fair is yet another satellite fair that will join the likes of NADA and Pulse when the Frieze Art Fair comes to New York City in May, and the second after the Pulse to make the move from Armory Week to the week of the Frieze fair. Red Dot, which will run May 3–6, 2012, will be presented at a 25,000-square-foot exhibition space at 82 Mercer Street. Read More

Legal Matters

Case Against Nahmad Gallery Dismissed, Fight for Nazi-Plundered Modigliani Painting Will Continue

The work in question.

Philippe Maestracci, an Italian citizen fighting to recover a Modigliani painting once owned by his grandfather, Paris dealer Oscar Stettiner, and allegedly sold without Stettiner’s permission by the Nazis during World War II, has dropped his suit in federal court against the Upper East Side’s Helly Nahmad Gallery, which he argued was in possession of the work.

But the fight appears to be far from over. Read More


Former New York Mag Art Critic Writes a Book About John Cage and Zen Buddhism


A galley came across our desk this morning for a new book published by the Penguin Press called Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists. It is the first book by Kay Larson, the former art critic for New York magazine. It is also the first book to address at length Cage’s relation to Zen Buddhism and its importance to his life and work. Read More

klaus biesenbach

Klaus Biesenbach: A ‘Truffle Hound’ in the Twitterverse

"alanna heiss and i photographed by araki in winter 1997" Courtesy @KlausBiesenbach

In the new issue of Bookforum, Choire Sicha takes on the issue of the rise of celebrity in the tony worlds of art and literature, in particular the boom in renown of “cultural truffle hounds,” people like Klaus Biesenbach, chief curator at large of MoMA and director of MoMA PS1, whose job it is to find and bring to our attention great cultural treasure.

The “quality celebrity” is one, according to Mr. Sicha, like James Franco and Antony Hegarty, who has both recognition and is considered an artist. Then there are those who are great at both and operate in a way somewhat akin to journalists, like Moby. But then there are those whose donning of the journalistic-beat makes us slightly uncomfortable because of their position. Enter @Klausbiesenbach. Read More

the white house

Rauschenberg Will Hang in the White House Dining Room

Robert Rauschenberg "Early Bloomer (Anagram (a Pun))" (1998). (Courtesy The Art Newspaper)

Robert Rauschenberg’s Early Bloomer [Anagram (a Pun)] will be hanging over the fireplace in the White House dining room, where the president hosts formal dinners. It will replace an equestrian portrait, according to The Art Newspaper. This is only the fourth contemporary artwork in the White House collection. Raushenberg will join the ranks of Josef Albers (who has two works on the walls) and Georgia O’Keefe. Read More