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THE ARTIST, CURATOR AND HISTORICAL SAMELLA LEWIS, whose work has helped define and preserve the history of African American art, died friday at the age of 98, Alex Greenberg reports in ART news. Lewis’ vast accomplishments include writing the canonical books Black artists on art (1969), published by his own press, and Art: African American (1978); found the African American Art Museum in Los Angeles; and the creation of a large body of art, with particular emphasis on prints. “Because Lewis’s prints were frequently reproduced in literature, they were widely viewed,” writes Greenberger. “And yet, Lewis’s art is not as commonly exhibited in institutions as that of his colleagues.” Conservative Naima J. Keith described the artist’s works as “pictorial manifestations of the era of civil rights and black liberation”.
REAL TALK. An art dealer in Palm Beach, Florida, Daniel Elie Bouazizwas indicted on federal charges for would have sold false works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein, Banksyand more, Alex Greenberg reports in ART news. The dealership’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment. During this time, the New York Times reports that the FBI Artistic Crime Team has been investigating 25 works presented as Basquiats in a show at Orlando Museum of Art in Florida. The owners of the works say they were discovered in 2012 in a storage locker that had been used by the screenwriter Thad Mumford. Some experts have raised questions about the authenticity of the coins; the director of the museum, Aaron Degroftwho maintained that they are real, did not comment in the Time story.
Billionaire fund manager, collector and philanthropist Fayez Sarofim died Saturday at his home in Houston at the age of 93. Sarofim acquired parts through Edward Hopper, Willem de Kooning, El Greco, and much more. His charitable efforts included donating $75 million to Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts for its recent expansion. [Forbes]
French artist Claude Rutaultwho pursued a rigorously conceptual approach to painting, died Saturday at the age of 80. Perrotinsaid. [ARTnews]
An unidentified man has been taken into custody after smearing cake on the bulletproof glass that protects the mona-lisa to louver. The Leonardo was not injured. Video from the scene shows the man declaring the action was an environmental protest. [ARTnews]
A Maya city was discovered at a construction site near Mérida, Mexico. Archaeologists believe the area, which has buildings for people in various places in a social hierarchy, was inhabited by some 4,000 people around the 600s to 900s. [Reuters]
HUMAN RESSOURCES. The Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, appointed Tyler Blackwell contemporary art curator, Weekly Leo reports. He is currently associate curator at the Blaffer Art Museum to University of Houston. And the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, Massachusetts, operated Simon Morsin be its executive directorthe Telegram and gazette reports. Since 1994, he has directed the Morsink Icon Gallery in Amsterdam with his brother Hugo Morinsk.
HOME IS WHERE THE ART IS. Lehmann Maupin partner Jessica Kreps gave Cultivated magazine a look at her Upper West Side Housewhich includes parts of Hillary Pecis and Mel Bochnerand Architectural Summary ventured inside a newly remodeled dallas residence who has Andy Warhol, Ugo Rondinoneand Sam Giliam on the walls.
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN TILDA SWINTON ASLEEP IN A BOX? New Yorkers may remember that the modern Art Museum presented this show – a performance designed by the artist Cornelia Parker—back in 2013. The piece appeared in a new New York Times Parker profile which probes the links his work has with Catholicism. Critic and historian Marina Warner offered that the sleepy actress “looked a bit like one of those mummified saints who weren’t meant to be mummified, but were miraculously preserved because of their sanctity.” [NYT]