A stash of free photos, the art repatriation debate reignited, Larry Gagosian's sushi gets reviewed and George Lucas' museum unveils its initial design schematic. Plus: the literary roots of Cheviot Hills, the controversy behind Marcel Duchamp's urinal, and why L.A. is currently the Marcia Brady of the art world — all in the Round-Up:
— Let's start with the awesome sauce: The Metropolitan Museum of Art has posted a trove of 400,000 images online for noncommercial use. This means that you can see every last brush stroke in Rembrandt's 1660 self-portrait. (Colossal)
— Was Marcel Duchamp's urinal really the work of another artist? A report in the Art Newspaper says that it may have belonged to a German baroness and artist by the name of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven.
— The Getty's James Cuno has penned a salvo in Foreign Affairs on why not every ancient artifact should be subject to repatriation. "Cultural property should be recognized for what it is: the legacy of humankind and not of the modern nation-state, subject to the political agenda of its current ruling elite."
— Which brings us to: Why a Seattle museum is returning artifacts to Peru.
— A Swiss museum may be opening itself up to an "avalanche" of lawsuits if it accepts the trove of work accumulated by hoarder Cornelius Gurlitt, who was found to have Nazi-looted art in his Munich apartment during a tax investigation.
— OMG, you guys, L.A. is, like, having this totally huge cultural boom. Yet another story, this time from The Guardian…
— In related news: New York's Team Gallery (which represents the digitally minded Cory Arcangel, among others) has opened up a space in L.A. — in a bungalow in Venice of all places. Owner Jose Freire said he wanted to avoid opening another white cube. Sounds great, except that part of having to cross the 405 to get to it…
— A European pianist has asked that a bad review be removed by the Washington Post under Europe's "right to be forgotten law." This could be bad…
— Speaking of which, a New York Times critic has responded to criticisms of a review in which he referred to a female artist as a "soccer mom."
— Arts organizations are hiring their own in-house journalists to tell stories.
— Italian art prankster Maurizio Cattelan is now the subject of a full-length doc. I'm not always in love with his art, but I have a feeling that this is going to be a good romp. (See the trailer embedded in this post.)
— "There's a contradiction between how universal or important contemporary art thinks it is to society, and how small it actually is." Guernica has an interesting interview with Ben Davis, author of "9.5 Theses on Art and Class" and recently named national art critic at Artnet. I hope "national" means that we'll be seeing this wise and hilarious gentleman in L.A. soon…
— Hyperallergic has an interesting interview with Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, director of the Colección Patricia Phelps Cisneros, about the place of Latin American art in museums.
— Interesting fact: Isamu Noguchi made playgrounds.
— And Frank Gehry made a purse.
— How the tony L.A. enclave of Cheviot Hills helped shape the fiction of Ray Bradbury. And why that landscape may be obliterated by too much McMansion building.
— A new book by San Francisco housing activist James Tracy focuses on how to prevent cities from becoming rich-only playgrounds.
— And last but not least: A book you can drink. Good thing to have on hand for a zombie apocalypse.