International News Digest

JANUARY 23

Rein Wolfs, the artistic director of Kassel’s Kunsthalle Fridericianum, has announced that he will be leaving his position to become the director of the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, in Bonn. At the helm of the Kunsthalle Fridericianum since 2008, Wolfs was responsible for curating shows by artists including Christoph Büchel, Teresa Margolles, and Danh Vo. Wolfs reflected on the two institutions, saying, “At Kunsthalle Fridericianum, the permanent presence of contemporary art in Documenta’s city, Kassel, can be fostered on a supreme level,” and that “the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn is marked by its wide range of different types of exhibitions, offering a diverse program that is impressive due to its scientific rigor and its great success with different audience types.”

Die Zeit reports that Olafur Eliasson will be this year’s recipient of the Goslar Kaiser Ring prize, given annually by the city of Goslar in Germany. Eliasson will receive a simple gold ring depicting the Goslar-born Emperor Henry IV, and the Goslar Museum will purchase one of the artist's works for its permanent collection. The previous three winners of the prize were John Baldessari, Rosemarie Trockel, and David Lynch.

The Telegraph has reported that Romanian police have arrested three suspects in the brazen art heist that took place last October in Rotterdam’s Kunsthal museum. At the time, works totaling over $100 million were stolen, including pieces by Matisse, Monet, Gauguin, and Picasso. According to the Romanian television station Antena1, two works—by Matisse and Gauguin—have been recovered. The three suspects are being detained and questioned in Romania.

The Netherlands isn’t the only country that will soon be reunited with a stolen Matisse. Stockholm’s Museum of Modern Art just announced today that it has located a Matisse painting that went missing from its collection early one morning twenty-five years ago, when a burglar broke in to the museum with a sledgehammer. The 1920 work, Le Jardin (The Garden), surfaced when a dealer ran its details through the Art Loss Register database after being contacted by an elderly Polish man who wanted to sell the artwork to raise money for his grandchildren, according to the AFP.

Lost art seems to keep appearing all over the world this month: Hundreds of etchings by William Blake have been discovered in a library at the University of Manchester in the UK. The Independent reports that a team of students, led by Manchester university art historian Colin Trodd, had begun to search through the millions of books and records in the university’s John Rylands Library after coming to suspect that a good number of never-before-seen artworks by Blake were hidden in the library's collection. The students unearthed a total of 350 new engravings by Blake, many of which will go on view at the library next month.