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A man who punched a hole through an £8million Claude Monet painting has been jailed for six years and banned from all galleries - despite claiming he collapsed onto it due to a heart condition.

Andrew Shannon strolled calmly into the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin before attacking the 1874 work "Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sail Boat," which was left needing two years of repairs.

The 49-year-old, who later underwent a quadruple heart bypass, denied deliberately tearing the painting and told police he had felt dizzy and lost his balance.

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Art Basel’s 13th edition in Miami Beach closed Sunday, December 7, 2014, amidst strong praise from gallerists, private collectors, museum groups and the media. Highlights of the show included the introduction of the new Survey sector, which brought 13 art-historical projects to the fair, including many rare works never before exhibited in an art fair context; and Art Basel's staging with Performa of Ryan McNamara's "MEƎM 4 Miami: A Story Ballet About the Internet" at the Miami Grand Theater. Solid sales were reported across all levels of the market and throughout the run of the show. Featuring 267 leading international galleries from 31 countries, the show – whose Lead Partner is UBS – attracted an attendance of 73,000 over five days. Attendees included representatives of over 160 museum and institution groups from across the world – and a surging number of new private collectors from the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Following a 100 percent reapplication rate for the Galleries sector and with new galleries coming from across the world, the list of exhibitors was the strongest to date in Miami Beach, firmly solidifying the show's position as the leading international art fair of the Americas.

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A hard-hat tour on Thursday of the galleries currently under renovation at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford showed a lot of what one would expect at a hard-hat tour — ladders, primered walls, workmen with power tools — and one fun surprise.

On one wall of what was once the management office of the Amistad Center for Art & Culture in the second-floor Colt mezzanine area is a room-wide, three-primary-color mural by Sol LeWitt. "Wall Drawing #352" has been there since 1980.

Employees have always known about the mural. They put their office furniture in front of it and sat there every day. But the area has been off-limits to the public for 15 years.

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A new pedestrian bridge by architect Michael Maltzan that crosses the courtyard of the Hammer Museum will open early next year, officials said Wednesday, and will connect the most trafficked galleries to those that new visitors are most likely to miss.

The 33.5-foot bridge will probably open for use at the beginning of February, the Westwood museum said. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 24.

"We have long wanted a bridge built to improve the flow of our space and connect the permanent and temporary galleries," Hammer Director Ann Philbin said. She added that the bridge will help new visitors find their way to the permanent collection gallery.

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M. Melissa Wolfe will join the Saint Louis Art Museum as curator and head of the Department of American Art, the Museum announced today. She assumes her duties in January.

“Melissa Wolfe is an impressive and prolific curator, having organized dozens of groundbreaking exhibitions, symposia, and publications over her career that speak to her creativity and intellectual rigor,” said Jason T. Busch, the Saint Louis Art Museum’s deputy director for curatorial affairs and museum programs. “Her vision will guide the comprehensive evaluation and reinstallation of the Museum's American art galleries over the next two years.”

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Wednesday, 12 November 2014 11:50

The Outsider Art Fair Announces 2015 Exhibitor List

From January 29 to February 1, 2015, the Outsider Art Fair will host its New York edition (the last at Center 548 before the building is sold), featuring over 40 galleries spanning seven countries — from Haiti’s Galerie Bourbon-Lally to Japan’s Yukiko Koide Presents. In addition, a special exhibition titled “If I Had Possession over Judgment Day,” curated by Jay Gorney and Anne Doran, will showcase the work of Melvin Way, Emery Blagdon, Adolf Wölfli, Mark Lombardi, and the Philadelphia Wireman, uniting these artists from disparate eras and methods under themes of paranoia and controlling chaos. Check out the list — and a few preview images from the special exhibition.

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Friday, 07 November 2014 11:58

V&A to Unveil Refurbished Cast Court

The V&A have announced the re-launch of  the newly refurbished Italian sculpture Cast Court. Measuring 24 meters in height, the two galleries house some of the V&A’s largest objects and are among the most visited galleries in the museum.

Collecting plaster cast reproductions and electrotypes reached the height of popularity in the mid to late 19th-century when few people could afford to travel abroad. The South Kensington Museum (as the V&A was then known) was at the forefront of this enthusiasm, enabling visitors to admire and study faithful reproductions of important European monuments and works of art.

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For its third edition (though the first to take place in March), Art Basel Hong Kong has racked up 231 galleries hailing from 37 countries — over half of them with spaces in Asia and Asia-Pacific. New additions include Paris’s kamel mennour, Zurich’s Mai 36 Galerie, Berlin’s Mehdi Chouakri, and New York’s Andrea Rosen Gallery, among others. Running from March 15 to 17, 2015, the fair will consist of five sections: “Galleries,” featuring 177 of the exhibitors; “Insights,” dedicated to 34 galleries with Asia-Pacific spaces; “Discoveries,” featuring one- and two-person emerging artist showcases from 20 galleries; “Encounters,” for large-scale sculpture; and the “Film” section, which debuted last year, and will be curated again by Li Zhenhua.

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German painters Gerhard Richter and Georg Baselitz sold works for more than $2 million each, and American artist Mike Kelley’s mixed media that used buttons, beads and shells fetched more than $1 million, as the Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain ended on Sunday in Paris.

Organizers said 74,567 people attended the main fair at the Grand Palais and more than 14,000 visitors went to (Off)icialle, a new sister event with 68 galleries that focused on younger or overlooked artists on a dock along the Seine in east Paris.

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It has been obvious for many years that few areas of the Museum of Fine Arts’s permanent collection were more poorly presented to the public than its stupendous Greek and Roman holdings. The relevant galleries, on the eastern side of the building, had almost no climate control, which meant that in summer they were baking. This made for uncomfortable viewing, but it was also, of course, totally inappropriate for the fragile objects on view. The glass cases were often dusty. Wall labels were typed out on cards.

Now, three contiguous galleries devoted to aspects of Ancient Greece have been opened to the public, and the difference they make is enormous.

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