Articles & News in the Art World

Articles and news about recent issues involving litigation, new and upcoming artists, art pieces and the business that surrounds the art world.

  1. Art Brief: Desert XXX

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    There are plenty of deserts around the world. As President Trump memorably said when he abruptly pulled American troops out of Syria as a favor…...

    January 7, 2020
  2. ART BRIEF: Blood Money?

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    In September during a visit to Paris, I got lost in the Louvre, a common occurrence caused by its diabolical mazelike layout (maps are useless)…...

    November 5, 2019
  3. CREATIVE INFERNO: MR. CHOW Restaurateur/Artist Mr. Chow Sets Off Smoke Alarms

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    Before I interview Mr. Chow, he sets my copy of his book on fire. After smashing large Sharpies onto a blank page of the book...

    September 3, 2019
  4. Art Brief: Artists & Bad Behavior

    art brief artists and bad behavior

    The Me Too movement has pushed the private behavior of artists and performers into the public square. Accusations of sexual harassment have damaged the reputations...

    July 2, 2019
  5. Art Brief: Theater of the Absurd

    art brief theater of the absurd

    “Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World”—intended to be the most important show of Chinese dissident art in recent years—limped into California late...

    March 5, 2019
  6. Art Brief: Russian Oligarch Jolts the Art World—Again

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    The bitter years-long dispute between billionaire Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev and Swiss art-freeport mogul Yves Bouvier (reported in this column previously) has spawned a multi-million-dollar...

    January 2, 2019
  7. Art Brief: Ai Weiwei Goes Hollywood

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    The first week of October was Ai Weiwei week in Los Angeles—a triple-header of shows including the Marciano Foundation, the opening show of former MOCA...

    November 6, 2018
  8. Art Brief: Trump Gives Arts the Hook

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    President Donald Trump is no fan of the arts. His first budget proposed entirely eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National...

    September 4, 2018
  9. New Chief For Moca (Again)

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    This week’s announcement that Klaus Biesenbach, director of New York’s PS1, the Museum of Modern Art’s satellite in Queens, was chosen to be the new...

    August 6, 2018
  10. Art Brief: The Whitewash

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    Whenever I mention the V.A.R.A to artists, I’m invariably met with a blank stare. The Visual Arts Rights Act, passed by Congress in 1990, grants...

    July 2, 2018
  11. Art Brief: Fending Off Censorship Today

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    Censorship of art must always bear a high burden—especially after an entire generation of work was nearly destroyed by the Nazis’ war on Modern Art...

    May 1, 2018
  12. The Mona Lisa of the Middle East?

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    Salvator Mundi, a portrait of Christ attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, was sold to a Saudi Arabian prince for $450 million (including fees) at Christie’s...

    March 6, 2018
  13. Ed Moses: A Remembrance | 1926-2018

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    Last Tuesday night (January 16, 2018), a day before he died, Ed Moses had an art opening of his latest work at a gallery space...

    January 20, 2018
  14. Selling the Crown Jewels: Norman Rockwell

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    Although I’m not a big fan of Norman Rockwell’s artwork, a painting of his caught my eye after becoming the centerpiece of a controversy that...

    January 2, 2018
  15. Inside the Glass Menagerie

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    Does anyone really believe that Michelangelo or Rubens painted all their works—every single stroke? Of course they didn’t. They had assistants working on their art...

    November 7, 2017
  16. Art Brief: All in the Family

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    In the past two years two art museums endowed by Los Angeles billionaires have opened. Eli Broad opened The Broad museum in 2015 and the...

    September 5, 2017
  17. A New Law That’s Bad for the Art Business

    stephen j goldberg los angeles lawyer salvador dalí swans reflecting elephants

    Sometimes legislation in Sacramento is rushed through with unintended consequences, an unfortunate example being a newly expanded law posing problems for art dealers. This 2016 amendment to California Civil Code Section 1739.7 was intended to broaden a law that provided sports memorabilia collectors protections from unscrupulous dealers who sold supposedly “autographed” items that often turned […]...

    July 4, 2017
  18. Ivanka Dearest

    stephen j goldberg los angeles lawyer ivanka trump with her richard prince piece

    President Trump’s proposed plan for a $54 billion increase in the defense budget would be paid for by drastically cutting many agency budgets, including the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) with its relatively modest annual budget of approximately $150 million (the cost of a single top-of-the-line fighter jet). This is a […]...

    May 2, 2017
  19. Freeport Shenanigans: Secret, Secure, Unseen

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    Rybolovlev filed lawsuits over the world attempting to seize Bouvier's assets, claiming that Bouvier had defrauded him of hundreds of millions of dollars....

    September 16, 2016
  20. The Naked City Sexual Politics, West Hollywood Style

    Naked City Sexual Politics Brooke Mason, Glass Ceiling

    The City of West Hollywood is well known as one of the most liberal cities in America, so it’s more than a little ironic that the city officials have been accused of censoring the artistic work of photographer Brooke Mason who curated shows of women’s artwork at three venues in that city in conjunction with […]...

    May 3, 2016
  21. Why Art? DIEM Panel

    stephen j goldberg los angeles lawyer why art diem panel

    Art DIEM Panel: Talks Design symposium on November 13, 2015, curated by Mallery Roberts Morgan with KCRW’s Frances Anderton. New York, Paris, London, LA, Berlin, Hong Kong… in major capitals the big story is art. Why? Is it pure commerce, a new form of spirituality or a branch of interior design? And how much of […]...

    March 3, 2016
  22. Sacked and Pillaged; Simchowitz vs. Mahama

    stephen j goldberg los angeles lawyer sacked and pillaged simchowitz vs mahama

    Stefan Simchowitz is a controversial figure in the art world. He doesn’t own an art gallery yet maintains a large network of art collectors. He eloquently expounds upon art theory but is not associated with an art institution. He provides advice and monetary support to numerous artists whom he claims to have discovered but isn’t […]...

    February 23, 2016
  23. Keeping it Real

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    Last year I was invited to view a controversial painting that the owner claimed to be a genuine Rothko he bought at a small LA auction many years ago. The painting was not officially included in the Rothko catalogue raisonné despite the fact that the owner discovered photos in the Rothko archive which seemed to […]...

    January 5, 2016
  24. ART BRIEF: All That Glitters is Not Gold

    stephen j goldberg los angeles lawyer danh vo untitled coca cola 2011

    In April I received a catalog for Sotheby’s May 2015 contemporary art auction with a cover image of a cardboard Coca-Cola crate embossed in gold leaf, an artwork created by Danish artist Danh Vo. This untitled 2011 work sold at that auction on May 13 for $466,000. I was puzzled by the hype for Vo […]...

    November 8, 2015
  25. ART BRIEF: Is California’s Resale Royalty Act Doomed?

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    In May of this year, headlines trumpeted that the contemporary art auctions in New York hit a new record of over $1.2 billion in sales for the major auction houses. There’s no doubt that a fair number of sellers of these marquee artworks were California residents. And that means that hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions […]...

    September 8, 2015
  26. Art Brief: My Afternoon with Ed

    stephen j goldberg los angeles lawyer ed moses with fans

    I’ve come to know Ed Moses as a result of a friendship with his son, artist Andy Moses. In the last few years Ed became my client and a friend who, at the age of 89, continues to work early each morning on his art. It’s been inspiring to witness an artist who continues to […]...

    June 30, 2015
  27. Art Brief: Clash of the Titans

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    The Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills had its annual Oscar week art opening in February with an after-party for its top Los Angeles patrons at nearby Mr. Chow’s. The show this year was a selection of eye-popping oil paintings by John Currin depicting Rubensesque young women in various states of undress—mostly in lace negligees. Among […]...

    May 5, 2015
  28. The Disappearing Red Dot

    stephen j goldberg los angeles lawyer the disappearing red dot

    Art Basel Miami was such a social swirl (what did that Miley Cyrus concert at the Raleigh Hotel have to do with art?), that it’s hard to remember the actual works of art that were on display. Collectors jostled to be seen at the first Art Basel viewing at 11 a.m. You dare not show […]...

    April 21, 2015
  29. Degenerate Art

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    In September I managed to view the last day of the remarkable “Degenerate Art ” exhibition at cosmetics heir Ronald Lauder’s Neue Galerie in New York City, a museum which regularly displays pre-war German and Austrian art. Subtitled “The Attack on Modern Art in Nazi Germany, 1937,” the show was smaller than the groundbreaking exhibit […]...

    January 13, 2015
  30. Dubious Transformations

    In September, while in New York, I popped into the Whitney to check out the occupation of the entire museum by Jeff Koons. While I’m not under the spell of what The New York Review of Books recently proclaimed “The Cult of Koons,” the “Banality” series of the 1980s is perhaps Koons’ most fully realized […]...

    November 12, 2014
  31. Art Brief: Art in the Digital Age

    I attended the opening of a show of the recent work of David Hockney at the L.A. Louver gallery titled “The Arrival of Spring.” These colorful prints of the East Yorkshire English landscape were composed by Hockney on his iPad with an app that allowed him to create the “art work” from a digital palette […]...

    October 24, 2014