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Billionaire Ron Perelman Claims $410 Million In Damage To Art Collection After Hamptons House Fire

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Billionaire financier Ronald Perelman is suing a group of insurance companies for more than $410 million over five multimillion dollar paintings Perelman claims were damaged in a 2018 fire at his East Hamptons estate, though the insurers say the artwork wasn’t hurt, according to Artnet.

Key Facts

Court documents reported on by Artnet Wednesday revealed a 2020 lawsuit brought by Perelman against his insurers, in which three LLCs tied to Perelman — together known as AGP Holdings — claimed they were owed $410 million for five insured pieces of art they said were hurt in the fire: two Andy Warhol pieces, two by Ed Ruscha and a Cy Twombly work, according to Artnet.

The defendants include “certain underwriters” at Lloyds of London, Great Lakes Insurance SE of Germany, Swiss Re International of Luxembourg, AIG Property Casualty of New York, and Federal Insurance Company of New Jersey, according to Artnet.

Perelman said in court documents seen by Artnet that after the fire the five pieces “lost their luster, lost their depth, lost some of their definition, and lost a lot of their character.”

The insurers–which have already shelled out about $141 million for fire damage under the policies–deny the allegations, claiming the damage predates the 2018 blaze and that Perelman’s lawsuit launched before their investigation was completed.

Big Number

$125 million. That’s what Perelman’s side claims is the estimated worth of the most valuable of the five works, Cy Twombly’s “Untitled (1971).” The alleged $125 million value is significantly more than the most expensive Twombly piece to ever sell at auction, “Untitled (New York City)” which went for $70.5 million in 2015. AGP claims the two Warhol paintings, “Elvis 21 Times” and “Campbell’s Soup Can” are worth $75 million and $100 million, respectively. Ed Ruscha’s “Standard Station” is valued at $60 million, while the artist’s “Vicksburg” is claimed to be worth $50 million. Perelman purchased all five works through art megadealer Larry Gagosian, according to Artnet.

Contra

The insurers said in court documents the lawsuit coincided with a period in time in which Perelman was reportedly “desperately seeking cash to satisfy debts that had come due.” The five paintings the lawsuit deals with also happen to be insured for the highest values under Perelman’s insurance policies, they said.

Crucial Quote

“It just didn’t have its spark. It didn’t have its distinctive definition in the lines, in the swirls. It just lost—it just lost its oomph,” Perelman said of the Twombly’s alleged damage, according to Artnet. He compared the issues with the artwork to music, saying that “if the piano is out of key, and you’ve heard the piece performed on a piano that’s in tune, you know the difference.”

Our Valuation

Perelman is worth $1.9 billion, according to Forbes’ estimate. He was once worth more than $14 billion.

Key Background

Starting in the 1970’s, Perelman built an empire investing in a wide range of industries, including chocolate, cosmetics, entertainment, retail and pharmaceuticals through his holding company MacAndrews & Forbes. But the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 took a toll on many of his companies, he said. His biggest blow came when Revlon, which he took control of in a 1985 hostile takeover, filed for bankruptcy in June after facing increased competition over the past few years. Perelman has reportedly been unloading billions worth of assets. He’s parted with millions of dollars in art and real estate along with his Gulfstream 650.

 

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ACCC discontinues investigation into 'white hands on black art' allegations – ABC News

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ACCC discontinues investigation into ‘white hands on black art’ allegations  ABC News

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Home + Away artwork opens in Vancouver’s Hastings Park

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A new art installation now towers over Vancouver’s Hastings Park fields in celebration of the city’s history of spectators and sports.

Home + Away is a sculpture by Seattle artists Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo of Lead Pencil Studio, which opened Monday in the southeast end of the historic park.

It’s a 17-metre-tall structure that resembles a narrow set of bleachers — similar to the stands of the Empire Stadium, which stood on the site of the park from 1954 to 1993 and hosted The Beatles, among many others. It recalls a covered ski jump that stood there in the 1950s and the nearby wooden rollercoaster at the PNE.

The city says the public is invited to walk the stairs and sit on the benches.

“In addition to being visually striking, this artwork is intended to be ascended, sat on and experienced. It offers exciting experiences of height and views and provides 16 rows of seating for up to 49 people, making for a unique spectator experience when watching events at Empire Fields,” the city said in a release Monday.

The idea for the park to include public art was outlined in the Hastings Park “Master Plan,” first adopted by the city in 2010. The city says Han and Mihalyo first presented their design in 2015.

“It’s wonderful to see this piece realized within the context of such a well-used public space,” said Han.

Home + Away was inspired directly by the site history of spectatorship, and we hope it will connect Hastings Park users to that history and the majestic views of the environment for many decades to come,” added Mihalyo.

The artwork features a large light-up sign, in the style of a sports scoreboard, that reads “HOME” and “AWAY.”

 

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Bill Viola, Video Artist Who Established the Medium as an Integral Part of Contemporary Art, Dies at 73

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Bill Viola, whose decades-long engagement with video proved vital in establishing the medium as an integral part of contemporary art, died on July 12 at his home in Long Beach, California. He was at 73 years old. The cause was complications related to Alzheimer’s disease. The news of his passing was confirmed by James Cohan Gallery.

Viola’s works are centered around the idea of human consciousness and such fundamental experiences as birth, death, and spirituality. He delved into mystical traditions from Zen Buddhism to Islamic Sufism, as well as Western devotional art from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in his videos, which often juxtaposed themes of life and death, light and dark, noise and silence. These explorations were achieved by submerging viewers in both image and sound with cutting-edge technologies for their time.

“I first used the camera and lens as a surrogate eye, to bring things closer, or to magnify them, to experiment with perception, to extend vision and make lengthy observations of simple objects,” Viola said in a 2015 interview. “Once you do that, their essence becomes visible. So I suppose I was always interested in the inner life of the world around me.”

Beginning in the 1970s, Viola created videotapes, architectural video installations, sound environments, electronic music performances, flat panel video pieces, and works for television broadcast—all of which expanded the scope of the medium and established Viola as one of its most notable practitioner.

Video still of a man diving into water that has been reversed. The image is mostly black and teal.

In 2003 the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; Tate, London; and the Centre Pompidou in Paris jointly acquired Bill Viola’s 2001 three-channel video installation Five Angels for the Millennium.

Photo Kira Perov/©Bill Viola Studio

Bill Viola was born in 1951. He grew up in Queens and Westbury, New York, and attended P.S. 20 in Flushing, before receiving his BFA in experimental studios from Syracuse University in 1973. There, he studied with visual art with the likes of Jack Nelson and electronic music with Franklin Morris.

Following his graduation, between 1973 to 1980, Viola studied and performed with composer David Tudor in the music group Rainforest, which later became known as Composers Inside Electronics. He also worked as technical director at the pioneering video studio Art/tapes/22 in Florence, Italy from 1974 to 1976. During that time he encountered the work of other seminal video artists like Nam June Paik, Bruce Nauman, and Vito Acconci.

Viola was subsequently an artist-in-residence at New York’s WNET Thirteen Television Laboratory between 1976 to 1983, wherein he created a series of works that premiered on television. He traveled to the Solomon Islands, Java, and Indonesia to record traditional performing arts between 1976 and 1977. Later that year, Viola was invited to show work at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, by cultural arts director Kira Perov, with whom he married and began a lifelong collaboration.

He was appointed an instructor in advanced video at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California in 1983. He was the Getty Research Institute scholar-in-residence in Los Angeles in 1998 and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000.

In 1985, Viola received with a Guggenheim Fellowship for fine arts, and later that decade, in 1989, he was awarded the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship. His work was also featured in some of the world’s most notable exhibitions, including Documenta VI in 1977, Documenta XI in 1992, the 1987 and 1993 editions of the Whitney Biennial, and the 2001 Venice Biennale.

In 1995, he represented the United States at the 46th edition of the Venice Biennale. For the pavilion, Viola produced the series of works “Buried Secrets,” including one of his most known works The Greeting, which offers a contemporary interpretation of Pontormo’s oil painting The Visitation (ca.1528–30). The Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin and New York’s Guggenheim Museum commissioned the digital fresco cycle in high-definition video, titled Going Forth By Day, in 2002.

Viola’s work was the subject of a major 25-year survey at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1997, which subsequently toured internationally. His work has been the subject of major museum retrospectives in the years since, including at the Grand Palais in Paris (in 2014), the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence (2017), the Guggenheim Bilbao in Spain (2017), and the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia (2019), as well as an exhibition pairing his work with that of Michelangelo at the Royal Academy of Art in London in 2019.

Viola is survived by his wife Kira Perov, who has been the executive director of his studio since 1978, and their two children.

“One thing that’s very exciting about video that has turned me on since I first saw this glowing image way back in 1970 is that it can be so much,” Viola said in a 1995 with Charlie Rose on the occasion of this US Pavilion at the Biennale. “Furthermore, what’s really exciting is I don’t think it’s been since really the Renaissance where artists have been able to use a medium that one could say is the dominant communication form in society.”

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