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A former employee of famed glass-blowing artist Dale Chihuly has been charged by authorities in Washington state with first degree theft and three counts of first-degree trafficking of stolen property.

Christopher Robert Kaul is accused of stealing 90 pieces worth over $3 million while working at the Chihuly warehouse in Tacoma, Wash., says the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office.

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The Margulies Collection is organizing an Anselm Kiefer exhibition that is due to open next autumn, in time for the 2015 edition of Art Basel in Miami Beach. The show in the Warehouse, the non-profit institution’s space in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District, will feature a monumental installation by the German-born, French-based artist, which he created specially for his major retrospective at London’s Royal Academy of Arts (until 14 December).

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The Gerhard Richter show inaugurating Marian Goodman’s heavily anticipated London gallery is nothing short of superb. Curated by the artist, it showcases Richter’s recent experiments with abstraction, while subtly inscribing these within the history of his practice. The exhibition is not—as some might have feared—the “greatest hits” of an auction favorite. It represents a thoughtful presentation of an artistic mind at work. And it shows that mind as alert to the yet-untapped potential of the pictorial medium as when Richter first rose to fame a half-century ago.

Spread over two floors of the Victorian-era warehouse—tastefully refurbished by David Adjaye Associates—the exhibition features three bodies of work: “Strip,” “Flow,” and a series of painted photographs, which Richter initiated in 1986.

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Thursday, 13 March 2014 15:18

Missing Norman Rockwell Painting Found in Ohio

A painting by Norman Rockwell that has been missing since October 2013 was recovered in Ohio by a private investigator. ‘Sport,’ which appeared on the cover of the “Saturday Evening Post” in 1939, was sold to an unidentified buyer in May for more than $1 million at Sotheby’s in New York. Before the disappearance, the painting was being kept in a storage warehouse in Queens. When it was found, the painting was still in the wrapping used previously for storage and appeared to be undamaged.

WelPak Corporation, the art moving and storage company that was responsible for transporting and storing the painting after its sale, released the following statement: “WelPak Corporation is pleased to report the successful recovery of the Norman Rockwell painting, ‘Sport’ reported missing from its facility in October 2013 through the diligence and hard work of its private investigator, Dean Golemis, of Global Security and Investigative Services in conjunction with the investigation undertaken by the NYPD.”

The oil on canvas painting features a fisherman clad in a yellow raincoat in a boat smoking an upside-down pipe. No one has been charged in the painting’s disappearance.  

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Tuesday, 05 March 2013 15:00

Stone Sculpture Found in Rubble in Brooklyn

A stone sculpture of what appears to be a goddess was uncovered in Brooklyn, NY last summer at the site of an old spice warehouse hub. Local developer, Two Trees Management Company, discovered the sculpture while building a mixed-use tower at the location.

The armless nude who measures about three feet tall and weighs approximately 400 pounds, was trapped in demolition debris from the mid-20th century. Excavating equipment damaged the sculpture, affectionately named Ginger, before anyone noticed it. Other artifacts such as 18th century foundation stones and pottery shards were also found at the site.

Experts believe that Ginger could have originally served as a garden ornament, brothel advertisement or ship ballast and that the sculptor was most likely not formally trained. Scientists will analyze Ginger this spring in hopes of learning more about the artwork’s maker and age. Until then, Ginger will remain on view at the Two Trees headquarters.

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United States authorities have seized over 2,200 pieces of art by pioneering American photographers including Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) and Edward Weston (1886-1958). The works, which were sent from Texas to New Jersey last year, were relocated to a warehouse in New York in July 2012. Before they were seized, the works were supposed to be shipped to Spain where they would be exhibited in a private home.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark, New Jersey announced in a court filing that the works, which are valued at approximately $16 million, were purchased with funds from a scheme that sold fake credits for renewable energy. The leader of the ploy is Philip Rivkin, owner and CEO of the Houston-based company, Green Diesel. Rivkin is accused of using money fraudulently funneled through his business to buy the photographs. Rivkin has not yet been charged with a crime.

The seized artworks include multiple Stieglitz prints including one his wife, the artist Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986), which was sold for $675,000 and an Edward Steichen (1879-1973) print titled Greta Garbo for Vanity Fair, which was purchased for $75,000. The court filing, which was announced on Friday, March 1, 2013, asks Rivkin to forfeit the works to U.S. authorities.

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Scottish artist, Douglas Gordon, who won a Turner Prize in 1996 and represented Britain at the 1997 Venice Biennale, was told Wednesday, November 28, that his solid gold sculpture, The Left Hand and the Right Hand Have Abandoned One Another (2007), had gone missing from Christie’s London. Worth approximately $800,000, Christie’s was unable to tell Gordon when the piece had disappeared from their warehouse or where it had gone.

The piece had been part of an exhibition curated by Michael Hue Williams and organized in part by Christie’s. Though Gordon owns the work, it was out on consignment when it disappeared and Williams is being held responsible for any information surrounding its disappearance.

Disconcertingly, Christie’s failed to notify Gordon of the work’s disappearance until two weeks after they realized it had gone missing. Christie’s confirmed that the sculpture was returned to its vault on May 24. On August 14 the work was transferred to a small box from its vault and sometime after that, an art handler or technician noticed that the box had no weight. Christie’s reported the work missing to officials on November 8, but a proper investigation did not begin until November 12.

Composed of nearly 9 pounds of gold, Gordon believes that his work was melted down, as it would be easier to sell that way, although the value would decrease. The Left Hand and the Right Hand Have Abandoned One Another was supposed to be prominently featured at an upcoming exhibition of Gordon’s work at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

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