BY Frieze News Desk in News | 26 FEB 19

Mary Boone to Close New York Galleries Following Tax Fraud Trial

In further news: mystery behind Georgia O’Keeffe’s acne-ridden paintings solved; Pompidou picks artwork mascot

BY Frieze News Desk in News | 26 FEB 19

Mary Boone, 2005. Courtesy: Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

The veteran New York art dealer Mary Boone, who was sentenced to 30 months in prison last week for two counts of tax fraud, will close two galleries in Manhattan. The move marks a significant closure for the New York art scene. Once referred to as the ‘new queen of the art scene’, Boone supported artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat and Ross Bleckner. In a statement issued to ARTnews, Boone said: ‘I had 49 wonderful years in art. If I’m going to be the Martha Stewart of the art world, I would hope to do it with the same humility, humour, grace, and intelligence that she did.’

Georgia O’Keeffe paintings appear to be breaking out in acne. Most of the late artist’s paintings are covered in tiny bumps, which were long-thought to be grains of sand from the New Mexico desert, where O’Keeffe lived and worked. However, a research team at Northwestern University has discovered that the cause is chemical: fatty acids found in paint binders have reacted with metal ions found in lead and zinc pigments to generate the strange, pimple-like bumps. The research team has now developed an app to map the surface structure of O’Keeffe’s canvases and hope to use it to help restore works by high-profile painters including Rembrandt and Van Gogh.

Paris’s Centre Pompidou has shortlisted 17 works to become a symbol for the French art museum, including Duchamp’s iconic Fountain (1917). The scheme aims to boost the museum’s profile among tourists. However, the initiative has divided staff and critics with some ‘Marxist-minded staff’ claiming that it turns artworks into a ‘fetish’ while others have pointed out that the list only includes one woman (Louise Bourgeois). Pompidou President Serge Lasvignes told Liberation that he hopes the chosen work will function like Guernica does for Madrid’s Reina Sofía.

The Sakura art gallery in Paris has been forced to cancel an upcoming exhibition by artist Guillaume Verda, after he was accused via social media of copying the style of the late Jean-Michel Basquiat. The controversy began after a Twitter user pointed out the evident similarities between Verda and Basquiat’s work and accused the Paris-based artist of misrepresenting his work by failing to list Basquiat as an influence. Sakura Gallery has defended Verda saying: ‘A lot of artists work like that, they draw inspiration from another artist or movement’.

In appointments news: deputy director and chief curator of the California African American Museum (CAAM) Naima Keith will move to Los Angeles County Museum of Arts (LACMA) as vice president of education and public programmes; Ghana will participate in the Venice Biennale for the first time, and has unveiled an all-star line-up, presenting works by Felicia Abban, John Akomfrah, El Anatsui, Ibrahim Mahama, Selasi Awusi Sosu, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, while Nana Oforiatta Ayim will curate, David Adjaye will design the pavilion and Okwui Enwezor will act as strategic advisor.