-Use of a mobile x-ray has revealed a hidden, unfinished image, possibly depicting Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother Joseph, underneath a work by Francisco Goya at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. Closer inspection of the early-19th century painting has also uncovered a large, comical moustache across the face of the French general, along with a sketch resembling the Chiquita banana lady.
-Amid serious conflict of interest concerns surrounding the selection process of the South Africa pavilion representative at the Venice Biennale, officials at the Department of Arts and Culture have taken the high road and said: virtually nothing. Following the revelation this spring that the commissioner of the South African pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Lethole Mokoena, was in fact an alias of gallerist Monna Mokoena, you might expect a word or two about why two artists in the gallerist’s portfolio ended up representing the country. As Matthew Blackman at The Art Newspaper reports, “When questioned as to how the selection process took place, the DAC stated that it was only “supporting an existing initiative that was well advanced in terms of its planning”.’ Glad to have that cleared up.
-At the New York Times, Sam Sifton has choice words for those looking for a place to eat while visiting the Met, the Frick, the Neue Galerie, and other treasures that bring us to the Upper East Side. For a married couple traveling from Bushwick, he advises:
“For one thing, you could march into the Gagosian Gallery demanding to see Larry, you're in from Berlin for the afternoon, and he said he'd meet you here with a torchon of foie gras. Respond to blank stares with a forceful: ‘What?’ Then: ‘Look, if he's not here with that food in 10 minutes, I'm taking my business to Zwirner.’ Could work.”
Wait a second. There are married couples in the Bushwick art scene?
-If you love and appreciate Land Art for its massive presence, for its overpowering site-specificity, for its humbling, immovable sense of place, then you should appreciate that the thing you love can and will be packed onto a truck and driven to LA. LACMA director Michael Govan has set in motion plans to move Michael Heizer’s “Levitating Mass,” a 340-ton, 211/2-foot-high granite boulder, from a quarry in Riverside to the museum’s grounds by the end of next month. Govan has been described the resulting sculpture as “a gift to the public of Los Angeles.”
-In lighter news (heh-heh), a representative of the committee charged with finishing the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia has given an actual completion date for the icon of Catalan architecture. Setting sights on the year 2026 or 2028 (to coincide with the centenary of architect Antoni GaudÃ’s death), Joan Rigol, the committee’s president, has given AFC’s contributors something to look forward to as they enter middle age.