"Danish police today announced that they are on the hunt for two suspects who robbed a Copenhagen museum in broad daylight and made off with a bronze bust by sculptor Auguste Rodin, reportedly worth as much as €270,000 ($300,000). The theft took place on July 16 at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Museum in Copenhagen, and only took the two men, who were posing as tourists, 12 minutes to pull off, reports the Danish newspaper Politiken. The robbers removed the bust from its pedestal, slipped it into a paper bag, and walked off. The bust, The Man with the Broken Nose (1863), is thought to depict an elderly Parisian workman, and is one of the artist's early works. The Glyptotek's bust was one of many casts the artist made of the clay original. The Musée Rodin in Paris has a version done in marble. "It's terrible. We lost an important work in the collection," Glyptotek director Flemming Friborg told Politiken. The brazen robbers aren't the first to stage a daytime heist: a man tucked a £40,000 (about $63,000) Elisabeth Frink statue under his arm and walked out of a London gallery in July, while thieves made off with three paintings at Milan's Sforza Castle one day this past August. The The Man with the Broken Nose has been with the Copenhagen museum for 95 years. According to Politiken, international auction houses in London appraised the statue at $300,000 this past year. Police have released security footage from the Glyptotek that shows two men of average build and between five foot seven and five foot nine, stealing the statue. "The perpetrators visited the museum to explore the premises about a week before the theft, and they must have known what they were stealing," said police spokesman Ove Randrup to Politiken. Authorities from Interpol and Europol are investigating the case, under suspicion that it was an internationally-organized operation. Here's hoping it doesn't take 24 years to track down the stolen artwork this time around." By Sarah Cascone
For years, Art Basel has put a spotlight on Miami Beach, drawing the best of the international art community to the city each winter. Now West Palm Beach gallery operator Nicole Henry has organized what she calls an “outdoor version of Art Basel,” Canvas, to serve as an opener and draw some of the tens of thousands of Art Basel visitors up for a new experience. “There’s nothing like it anywhere in the world,” she said. The event, to run from Nov. 8 to 22, will feature 20 murals on selected West Palm buildings, sculptures, installations and video art. There’ll be a series of receptions on yachts and a New York City-style fashion show in the “graffiti garden” behind Henry’s gallery at 501 Fern St. An early launch party and art auction is scheduled for Oct. 10 to raise money for the nonprofit event, at a location to be announced. Henry says she’s bringing in well-known national and international artists to paint murals and create installations. The out-sized murals will be painted on condo towers, a hotel, a city garage and the Royal Park Bridge. The artists include 2Alas; Bik-Ismo; Cheryl Maeder; David Walker; Eduardo Kobra; Faith47; Jean-Luc Moerman; Jeremy Penn; José Bedia; Kai; Katja Loher; Lonac; Michael Dweck; Registered Artist; ROA; Ron English; Sean Yoro (a.k.a. Hula); and Zeus. Local talent will participate, as well. Seven local artists will participate in a Canvas event in the city’s Northwood neighborhood Nov. 13, where they’ll each paint a garage door. A special app will be available for the public to vote for their favorite works of art, and also to help guide visitors from installation to installation. Palm Beach Atlantic University students will serve as docents. “It’s a culmination of my experiences around the world,” Henry said. “I wanted to bring an art experience to our area,” Henry said. “It was important to me that it would be a free event and wouldn’t be confined by walls. … The idea behind Canvas is to captivate the imagination and ignite both ideas and inspiration by bringing public art to the forefront of our collective consciousness here in West Palm Beach.” During the first week of Canvas, artists will be creating their works and the public will be free to watch. There’ll also be a program where children will be able to help the artists fill in sections of the murals. “People get to see the artists create in real time and can see their techniques,” Henry said. Henry, whose nonprofit Canvas Art Charities has been raising money to stage the event, said she’s hoping it will become an annual affair in West Palm Beach. “Hopefully it will be the beginning of a big push toward art in our community.” By Tony Doris
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — I can’t imagine I’m the only one who found ArtPrize 7 a little underwhelming. Last year was, arguably, peak ArtPrize, with a glut of artworks and a massive turnout of people. Every space in Grand Rapids was packed with human traffic trying to take in the sights and vote for their favorite. This year feels a little dialed-down in comparison — perhaps the natural growing pains of an event still trying to accommodate the huge surge in visitors that ArtPrize stimulates, in a city that is not otherwise a major destination, for art or otherwise. But that isn’t to say ArtPrize 7 lacks for interesting artwork on display. In fact, it seems as though the major venues have changed tactics, investing more heavily in fewer pieces. This made it much easier to navigate some of the high-flow downtown destinations, such as the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM), the Fed Galleries at Kendall College of Art and Design, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA), and the B.O.B. (Big Old Building). For its theme, UICA chose “Sense,” and accordingly features six projects that are meant to engage the five senses, plus a bonus sense of “intuition.” These include Relic, by Tamara Kostianovsky — a series of incredibly detailed fiber sculptures that resemble butchered meat and bird carcasses (included on the juried shortlist for 3D work). Created from reclaimed pieces of what seems to have been an incredibly red-and-pink-heavy discarded wardrobe, and rendered in incredible detail — down to fiber fascia made of stocking fabric — Relic strikes a masterful balance of beauty and horror, taking the visceral realities of our food system and making them appealing, approachable, maybe even huggable? On the UICA basement level, Jihyun Hong has created a fantastical paleo-futuristic installation, with every surface of a small room covered in silvered pop-bubble insulation fabric. The Fed is often the place for think pieces and works with deeper sociopolitical meaning — such as last year’s “Capitalism Works for Me! True/False” by Steve Lambert. This year, that space is occupied by “The Last Supper,” a stunning collection of plates by Julie Green, painted to depict the last meals requested by 600 death row inmates around the United States prior to their execution. Green uses the traditional blue-and-white stylings of toile and porcelain to create a wall of shapes and symbols that’s both aesthetically and emotionally charged (another piece to receive the 3D shortlist nod). In a smaller gallery nearby, Christopher Baker’s time-based “Murmur Study” features a dozen receipt printers, programmed to monitor Twitter for specific conversational utterances and print them out in real time. The amassing pile of tape feed-out serves as a potent visual metaphor for the psychic waste of small talk, both on and off the internet. One of the most thoughtful pieces of all is stashed upstairs at the B.O.B. — a venue better known as a place to take a break from ArtPrize than for housing its most provocative work. Behind beleaguered ArtPrize attendees downing pizza and beer is “Rebellion Chess Set” by Detroit artist Andy Malone. This masterwork, which took Malone more than three years to complete, uses the chessboard to characterize the massive 1967 race conflict that was an irreversible turning point in Detroit’s history. Each of the approximately foot-high pieces is a gear-driven woodwork, equipped with a handle that can be turned to activate a repetitive action (the “Blind Pig” rooks depict an illicit transaction between a patron and a lady, for example); Malone bravely decided to leave this feature open to the public, and a number of the pieces are already showing signs of destruction, pieces broken or injured by wear, that echo, on a microcosmic level, the violence of the historic uprising. Rather than a black/white delineation, as is common in chess, each piece is rendered in two shades of wood — which conveniently obscures the role of race in Malone’s rethinking of the conflict that casts politicians as kings, media as queens, and citizens engaged in the altercation as pawns. These are just a few of the more memorable pieces from ArtPrize, proving that even in a quiet year, there is an awful lot going on in Grand Rapids. It is heartening, in an age of easy entertainment and at the start of football season, to see the streets crowded with regular folk, turning out to participate in art as a spectator sport. Sort of the best this advocate of art as equal-opportunity recreation could hope for.
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