Weekly Roundup: Picasso Museum Reopens, Degas Inspires Musical, Warhol Foundation Sues Bodyguard, and More


In case you missed it, here’s what made headlines in the art world this week:

Picasso Museum set to open after delays and debt
The Picasso Museum in Paris will reopen on Saturday, three years behind schedule and €22 million over budget. The museum, originally a 17th century mansion, was due to reopen in 2011 with an expanded exhibition space to display far more of its collection, left to the French state by the Picasso family in lieu of inheritance tax in 1973. Executed in collaboration with MoMa, the museum’s inaugural exhibition will focus on Picasso’s sculpture. It is scheduled to open in mid-2015. [Telegraph]

University of Hong Kong to launch new course for young art collectors
The University of Hong Kong, in collaboration with Art Basel and Central St. Martins in London, is launching the first course in Hong Kong aimed at educating novice art collectors. Starting in January, students at the university will be able to study how to buy and manage a contemporary art collection, as well as how to spot emerging trends and investments. The eight-day course includes a module taught by a lecturer flown in from Central St. Martins and culminates in tours of Art Basel Hong Kong and local galleries. There will be a focus on painting, although the program covers a variety of Western, Asian and local perspectives. [The Art Newspaper]

Strong sales in London for Italian Postwar market
Twentieth-century Italian art appeared to be more buoyant than international contemporary art in London last week as two successive sales at Christie’s and Sotheby’s beat the previous record for a sale in this category. On Thursday evening, Christie’s sold 49 of 53 lots, 94 percent of them, for $44 million–plumb in the middle of its $32 million presale estimate. But the record lasted just 24 hours. The following evening Sotheby’s took in $66.4 million, surpassing the $33.5 million presale estimate with ease, and selling 48 of the 49 lots, or 98 percent. Ten artists’ records were broken in all. [artnet news]

New York man charged after vandalizing Jeff Koons show
A man was charged with criminal nuisance after spray-painting an interior wall of the Whitney Museum this past Saturday. The incident occured when a rouge museum-goer graffitied large black letters on a wall near Jeff Koons Hanging Purple Heart. The suspect tagged the strategically chosen wall before strolling away, leaving behind the word “PPRRiceless” reflected in the nearby piece of art. The suspect was charged on a variety of counts and was released on $1,000 bail. All of the art was unharmed and the wall was repainted over night. [New York Observer]

Warhol Foundation sues bodyguard over Liz Taylor painting
Andy Warhol’s foundation sued the iconic pop artist’s former bodyguard, accusing him of a stealing a 1964 painting actress Elizabeth Taylor entitled Liz, and hiding it for more than 30 years. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, established by the artist’s will to hold his works, alleged in a civil complaint that the former body guard is a “patient thief” who stole the work in 1984 and now trying to sell it “after everyone he thought could challenge his ownership of the work had died.” The bodyguard claims Warhol gave him the 42.5-inch-by-44.25-inch painting in return for helping him renovate an apartment and assisting on several works of art. On Friday, a Manhattan justice signed an order blocking the painting from being moved or sold pending a hearing on October 27th, said the plaintiff’s attorney. The order couldn’t immediately by confirmed in court records. [Bloomberg News]

Degas sculpture inspires new musical
Little Dancer Age Fourteen, Edgar Degas’s groundbreaking wax sculpture is the inspiration for a new musical that opens at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, this weekend. The production’s book and lyrics are written by Lynn Ahrens, who was intrigued by a bronze copy of the statue she encountered at the Clark Institute in Massachusetts. Little Dancer begins previews on October 25th, and will run through November 20 at the Kennedy Center. It is accompanied by the National Gallery of Art exhibition Degas’s Little Dancer which includes the original wax statue and a number of related works, including 13 pieces from the museum’s collection. It is on view through January 11, 2015. [artnet news]

Image: Andy Warhol, “Liz”, 1694