Appropriately punny for a museum that celebrates the author of The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach (not to mention Matilda), “Isabelle Reynolds, from the museum, said: ‘We hope the closure hasn’t put a dampener on things.'”
There was an uproar from critics who argued that the gesture was clumsy and opportunistic, if not cynical, as Mr. Koons didn’t have a direct connection to the terrorist attacks. “The general outcry was in part caused by a form of outdated anti-Americanism, but it was also a sincere, offended one,” said Guillaume Piens, the director of the Art Paris Art Fair. “Whenever artists touch on memory and victims, it’s hard to see an uninterested, mere artistic act only.”
Jonathan Jones rounds up all of the scuttlebutt – and there’s a lot. “A crucial piece of evidence that Leonardo painted Salvator Mundi also suggests that its restoration has been excessive and has muffled its power. Ironically, this seems to make the work both an original and, in my view, a kind of kitsch concoction.”
The artist fought hard for her place in the art world. And when men punished her for it, “she turned the horror of her own life into scenes of women’s vengeance on the men at whose hands they had suffered. She used biblical stories to portray, in exquisite paintings, her fury at the sexual violence she herself had endured.”
Hm. “For years, nonprofits from museums to major universities have been strengthening ties with the oil kingdoms of the Middle East as a way to broaden their offerings, foster cross-cultural dialogue and obtain access to those countries’ considerable riches.” Great goals! But … museums have a lot to evaluate right now.