Art News: Van Gogh Paintings Returned, Google Improves Art Searches, ‘Fearless Girl’ Protested With Pug Sculpture

The art world is full of fascinating exhibitions, intriguing discoveries, and moments that shape history. Here are some of the latest news items making art headlines.


Van Gogh Paintings Return 14 Years After Theft

“Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen” (1884-1885), Vincent van Gogh

Two works by Vincent van Gogh have returned to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam more than a decade after they were stolen.

Artsy recounts the story of how the two paintings, “View of the Sea at Scheveningen” and “Congregation,” were stolen in December 2002 by thieves who broke into the museum using a ladder and sledgehammer.

The paintings were sold to Raffaele Imperiale, a chief of the Camorra crime family, who then sent them to Italy. After some legal troubles, Imperiale confessed to owning the paintings. In September 2016, police raided the house of Imperiale’s mother in relation to drug charges and found the paintings hidden between two walls.

The FBI listed the theft as one of its “Top Ten Art Crimes.”


Google’s Improved Art-Related Searches Expand Our Art Knowledge

Happiness Orlando Quevedo Park West Gallery

“Happiness” (2017), Orlando Quevedo

Google has launched a new feature for art-related searches that will turn everyone into art experts.

According to Google, there are more than 500 million art-related searches conducted each month. CNET reports that the search engine giant’s Arts & Culture team collaborated with its search engineers to provide users with more information about artists and their works of art.

When searching for an artist such as Gustav Klimt, users are given more relevant results, including grouping artwork by location or materials used. Google’s Arts & Culture now provides an interactive panel providing an overview of the artist, their art, and where to see their art.

Google also added a feature to its Street View. When virtually navigating a museum, users can click on certain paintings to receive more information.


Artist Protests ‘Fearless Girl’ Statue With Urinating Dog Sculpture

The “Charging Bull” and “Fearless Girl” statues in New York. (Photo by Anthony Quintano)

An artist protested the “Fearless Girl” statue adjacent to the “Charging Bull” statue in New York City’s Financial District with a sculpture of his own.

Fortune highlighted the most recent development in the ongoing controversy surrounding the statue portraying a defiant young girl. Sculptor Alex Gardega told Fortune “Fearless Girl” was “corporate advertising which I think has totally ruined the Bull.”

Gardega created “Pissing Pug,” a stylized dog made out of paper mache, clay, and faux bronze. The dog was placed at the feet of “Fearless Girl” on May 29, but was later removed by Gardega after people kicked and threw the new addition.

Boston-based investment firm State Street Global Advisors commissioned “Fearless Girl” to be installed during Women’s History Month. The statue was only supposed to remain for a week, but the positive reaction it gained led city officials to keeping it in place until February 2018.

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