By Abigail R. Esman, Forbes Contributor
Herbert Vogel, who amassed one of the world’s most important collections of Minimalist art along with his wife, Dorothy, passed away earlier today at the age of 89.
Everyone who was part of the New York art scene in the ’70s and ’80s knew the Vogels, at least by sight: the small — some said “mini” — couple, walking often hand-in-hand through SoHo, visiting the major galleries, where they purchased works by Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, Richard Tuttle, Donald Judd, Christo, and other stars of that generation. (They continued to be a fixture on the art scene even as recently as last year, visiting as many galleries as they could manage, as often as they could.)
Slowly, deliberately, but with the eyes of true connoisseurs, the Vogels built up their collection, which some estimate at about 5000 pieces, all on the combined modest salaries of a librarian (Dorothy) and postal worker (Herbert). That collection is now worth incalculable amounts: hundreds of millions of dollars, and climbing,
Yet with all that art, they never left their one-bedroom apartment on New York’s Upper East Side. “Why should we?” Herbert was known to say when asked why they didn’t sell a few pieces and move to more comfortable digs. Not only did the Vogels not want to part with any of the works they owned; they’d far prefer to spend whatever money they did have buying more. (A couple of years ago, Herbert told a friend that he’d never even had a passport, because he “didn’t see spending money traveling abroad instead of buying art.” ) The Vogel’s apartment became legendary the art world for being almost impossible to navigate, crammed full with art works stacked against walls, filling every free space; and still, they wanted more.
The Los Angeles Times
July 13, 2012
Los Angeles police said Friday that they have arrested numerous people for chalking downtown in the weeks leading up to ArtWalk.
Protesters organized a “Chalk Walk” during Thursday’s monthly ArtWalk in downtown Los Angeles to “celebrate our right to free speech and remind the LAPD and the city of Los Angeles that chalking is NOT a crime.”
Los Angeles Police Capt. Horace Frank said that in the last several weeks, the department has been arresting people who have marked downtown with chalk. The chalkers have been targeting the area around the Central City Assn. headquarters, near Wilshire Boulevard and Hope Street, Frank said.
Protesters have characterized Central City Assn. as the “lobby group of the 1%,” according to a handout distributed at ArtWalk.
On Thursday night, their supporters began amassing and chalking at 6th and Spring Streets.
“They decide they were going to turn ArtWalk into a protest,” Frank said. “After about nine arrests for vandalism on the sidewalk and buildings, I decided we should pull back because it was getting dangerous for the officers.”
Frank said the department set up a skirmish line across Spring and 5th Streets. Dozens of officers then donned riot helmets and systematically moved the crowd away block by block.
He said there were a small number of protesters, but the crowd grew to 300 as word spread of the conflict. “Our officers then started taking rocks and bottles from the crowd. At that point we fired some less lethal weapons and eventually gave the order to disperse,” he said.
Frank said four officers were hurt and treated for minor injuries. One female officer suffered a minor concussion after being hit in the head by an object thrown by the crowd.
“The chalking was not limited to the sidewalk, it was also on the buildings,” Frank said. “This was vandalism.”
The captain said he expects further protests Friday and throughout the weekend as the Occupy movement is seeking to have the government release a military officer accused of leaking vast quantities of data to WikiLeaks.
A woman who identified herself as part of Occupy L.A. said protesters attended the ArtWalk with the intention of showing support for people previously arrested for chalking on the sidewalk.
“Free chalk. Free speech,” said Sonny Estrada, 22, who considered himself part of Occupy L.A.
“I came here for the ArtWalk, instead I’m getting street theater from the LAPD,” said 50-year-old Barrie Wild.
By Jamie Wetherbe
July 6, 2012, 11:42 a.m.
Caravaggio, known for causing more than a few brawls in his day, has started another spat in the art world.
Italian art historians claim to have discovered as many as 100 student works by a young Caravaggio that, if proven to be authentic, could be worth $900 million.
The pieces have long been attributed to master Milanese artist Simone Peterzano, who taught in the late 1500s and whose pupils included Caravaggio, then known as Michelangelo Merisi.
Maurizio Bernardelli Curuz, the artistic director of the Brescia Museum Foundation, and his co-researcher, Adriana Conconi Fedrigolli, will soon publish a pair of ebooks supporting their case that the works are Caravaggio’s.
The historians spent two years combing through the Peterzano collection of 1,400 pieces, using computer software to find similarities between the art school drawings and Caravaggio’s more mature hand.
Francesca Rossi, curator of the collection, told the Associated Press on Friday that the pair never set foot in Milan’s landmark Sforzesco Castle, where the drawings are kept.
Curuz counters that the pair worked mainly from photographs and that they had “after-hours” access to the collection, although he didn’t explain from whom.
Critics claim that the estimate of 100 works could be steep and that none of the works in question demonstrates the vivid still life, contrast of light and dark or the scandalous religious themes for which Caravaggio is known.
Claudio Strinati, an expert in 16th-century art familiar with the Peterzano collection, described the drawings as “exercises of no artistic importance,” even if they were by Caravaggio.
“In the best of hypotheses maybe some were done by Michelangelo Merisi but none by Caravaggio,” he said. “If you consider that Peterzano had so many pupils, there were probably 50,000 drawings,” many thrown away, he added. “No one knows which were done by the pupils.”
Caravaggio died in 1610 in his late 30s; about 90 paintings by the artist are thought to exist.