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In the wake of last week's frenetic and much-watched contemporary art auctions, the art world quieted down a bit this week as the movers and shakers begin packing their bags for Basel and Venice... and the rest of us start thinking about the beach. But there were a few developments of note, so here they are.
In a long-anticipated move, heavyweight Swiss gallerists Hauser & Wirth announced they're opening their first New York outlet on the Upper East Side--and shutting down their longtime resale partnership with dealer David Zwirner, who will now open his own secondary-market gallery in Chelsea, to be called Zwirner. Elsewhere times continued to be tight, with the economy exerting a much-debated influence on the state of art. The Baltimore Museum of Art became the latest institution to dramatically cut costs, but instead of laying off staff they creatively gave employees two weeks of unpaid vacation, saving almost $1 million. The organizers of New York's International Art & Design Fair and Asian Art Fair took a blunter approach to the economy, canceling the next editions of both events.
Meanwhile in Hong Kong, Richard Prince pulled off his latest feat of appropriation by taking a page from Christo and covering the city's contemporary art museum in blown-up pulp-novel covers (the inspiration for his famous "Nurse" series, and an abiding interest of the book-collecting artist). In less savory "appropriation" news, British investigators determined that a beloved Henry Moore sculpture stolen from the artist's estate in 2005 was melted down into scrap metal--giving the still-at-large thieves a $2,300 payoff for the $4.6 million artwork. A Joseph Beuys artwork in Kassel consisting of 7,000 trees planted in the city also suffered vandalism when two of the trees were chopped down.
On a more upbeat note, a range of art accolades were doled out this week. MoMA, the Jewish Museum, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art all received the Association of Art Curator's awards for excellence for shows they mounted. Argentinian artist Thomas Saraceno was given this year's Calder Prize, L.A.-based art collective the League of Imaginary Scientists won Apexart's first international competition, architect Norman Foster received Spain's prestigious Prince of Asturias prize for arts, and the late Ana Mendieta was honored with the Cintas Foundation's 2009 visual arts lifetime achievement award. Finally, in a coveted job appointment, former Walker Art Center curator Yasmil Raymond was named the new curator of the Dia Art Foundation, replacing Lynne Cooke, who is now at Madrid's Reina Sofia.
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