2011 in art
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The year 2011 in art involved some significant events and new works.
- February 28 – Museo Soumaya in Mexico City, designed by Fernando Romero, is officially opened.
- April 3 – The Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei is arrested and detained and his studio sealed off, by the government of the People's Republic of China, during an apparent crackdown by the regime on activists and dissidents. The government later states that Weiwei is being held while investigated for economic crimes.
- April 16 – Turner Contemporary art gallery, designed by David Chipperfield, opens in Margate, Kent, England.
- May 1 – UK publication of @earth.
- May 21 – The Hepworth Wakefield art gallery, designed by David Chipperfield, opens to the public in West Yorkshire, England.
- June 22 – The Chinese legal authorities release Ai Weiwei on bail after three months detention, after being charged for alleged tax evasion. His incarceration is widely viewed as an attempt to silence a prominent critic while authorities had time to decide on legal grounds for prosecuting him, and his detention prompts worldwide condemnation of the Chinese government. According to the China's Foreign Ministry, he is prohibited from leaving Beijing without permission for one year. After his release Weiwei declines to give interviews saying that he is not allowed to talk.
- September – firstsite's new art gallery, designed by Rafael Viñoly, opens in Colchester, UK.
- September 8 - Release of Gerhard Richter - Painting, a documentary about the German artist, written and directed by Corinna Belz.
- September & October – 2011 Montreal Museum of Fine Arts thefts. In two separate incidents, antique stone pieces are taken from the museum. One was recovered two years later in Edmonton; the other remains missing.
- October 28 – ArcelorMittal Orbit, designed by Anish Kapoor, erected at Olympic Park, London.
- November 8 – Rhein II by the German photographer Andreas Gursky sells for $4.3m (£2.7m) at Christie's, New York becoming the most expensive photograph ever sold.
- November 15 – Ai Weiwei pays 8.45 million yuan in taxes after receiving a large number of donations from supporters who believe the debt was politically motivated because of his criticism of the Chinese government.
- February 24–June 5 - Thomas Lawrence: "Regency Power and Brilliance", Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut
- April 12 – September 11 - "The Luminous Interval: The Dimitris Daskalopoulos Collection at the Guggenheim Bilbao
- April 14–July 15 - "Picasso and Marie-Thérèse: L’amour Fou", curated by John Richardson and Diana Widmaier Picasso, at the Gagosian Gallery, 522 West 21st Street in New York City
- May 4–August 7 - Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
- June 4–November 27 - Julian Schnabel: "Permanently Becoming and the Architecture of Seeing" curated by Norman Rosenthal, Museo Correr, Venice, Italy
- June 29–September 25 - "Twombly – Poussin, Arcadian Painters"at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London
- September 18 (to January 9, 2012) - "de Kooning: A Retrospective", Museum of Modern Art, New York,
- November 9 (to February 5, 2012) - "Leonardo da Vinci, Painter at the Court of Milan", National Gallery, London
- Maurizio Cattelan
- L.O.V.E. (sculpture)
- Turisti (installation, second version)
- Martin Creed - Work No 1059: Scotsman Steps (Edinburgh)
- Lee Kelly - Moontrap, Oregon City, Oregon
- Lei Yixin - Statue of Martin Luther King Jr. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington D.C.
- Mark Patterson - Surfing Madonna (Encinitas, California)
- John Howard Sanden - President George W. Bush
- Lorna Simpson - Momentum (video)
- Valentina Stefanovska - Warrior on a Horse (Skopje)
- Archibald Prize - Ben Quilty for "Margaret Olley"
- Venice Biennale (June 4 - November 27)
- The Lion d'or (Golden Lion) for best national pavilion-Germany exhibiting the work of Christoph Schlingensief
- The Lion d'or for lifetime achievement – Franz West and Sturtevant
- The Lion d'or for best artwork in the main exhibition – Christian Marclay
- The Silver Lion for most promising new artist – Haroon Mirza
- January 4 – B. H. Friedman, 84, writer, author of the first biography on Jackson Pollock
- January 5 – Malangatana Ngwenya, 74, Mozambican painter and poet
- January 9 – Makinti Napanangka, 80s, indigenous Australian Papunya Tula artist
- January 11 – Won-il Rhee, 50, South Korean digital art curator
- January 13 – Ellen Stewart, 91, founder of La MaMa E.T.C., New York, designer
- January 20 – Alan Uglow, 69, British born American painter
- January 21 – Dennis Oppenheim, 72, American sculptor
- February 8 – Charles O. Perry, 81, American sculptor
- February 11 – Roy Gussow, 92, American sculptor
- February 25 – Suze Rotolo, 67, American book artist
- March 10 – Gabriel Laderman, 81, American painter
- March 13 – Leo Steinberg, 90, American art historian and critic
- March 27 – George Tooker, 90, American painter
- March 30 – Jorge Camacho, 77, Cuban painter
- April 8
- April 12 – Miroslav Tichý, 84, Czech photographer
- May 13 – Stephen De Staebler, 79, American sculptor and printmaker
- May 18 – Wlodzimierz Ksiazek, 60, Polish born American painter (body found on this date)
- May 25 – Leonora Carrington, 94, British born surrealist painter, resident in Mexico
- June 4 – Claudio Bravo, 74, Chilean painter
- June 9 – M. F. Husain, 95, Indian painter
- June 11 – Jack Smith, 82, British painter
- June 16 – Twins Seven Seven, 67, Nigerian painter and sculptor
- June 20 – Thomas N. Armstrong III, 78, American curator and museum director (Whitney Museum of American Art and the Andy Warhol Museum)
- June 22 – Robert Miller, 72, American gallerist
- July 5 – Cy Twombly, 83, American painter
- July 17 – Alex Steinweiss, 94, American graphic designer, inventor of the album cover
- July 20 – Lucian Freud, 88, British painter
- July 31 – John Hoyland, 76, British painter
- August 4 – Éamonn O'Doherty, 72, Irish sculptor
- August 6 – Roman Opałka, 79, French-born Polish painter
- August 21 – Budd Hopkins, 80, American painter
- August 23 – Jeanette Ingberman, 59, American curator, co-founder of Exit Art
- September 5 – Vann Nath, 66, Cambodian painter
- September 13 – Richard Hamilton, 89, British painter
- September 16 – Stephen Mueller, 63, American painter
- September 22 – Knut Steen, 86, Norwegian-born sculptor
- October 24 – Bruno Weber, 80, Swiss artist and architect
- November 13 – Pat Passlof, 83, American painter
- November 23 – Gerald Laing, 75, British painter and sculptor
- November 26 – Manon Cleary, 69, American painter
- December 8 – Jerry Robinson, 89, American comic book artist and reputed creator of the Joker
- December 21 – John Chamberlain, 84, American sculptor
- December 26 – James Rizzi, 61, American pop artist
- December 27 – Helen Frankenthaler, 83, American painter
- December 30
- "Museo Soumaya in Mexico City gets asymmetrical new building". Wired. November 26, 2010. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
- "Carlos Slim: At home with the world's richest man". The Daily Telegraph. London. February 21, 2011.
- Casey, Nicholas (March 3, 2011). "Emperor's New Museum". The Wall Street Journal. New York. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
- "Mexico's Carlos Slim Builds a Dazzling Art Palace". Business Week. New York. January 26, 2010.
- Tuckman, Jo (March 2, 2011). "Mexican billionaire's new museum gives The Thinker much to ponder". The Guardian. London. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
- "Carlos Slim's Museo Soumaya: Money Can't Buy Taste". ArtInfo. April 12, 2011.
- Higgins, Charlotte (April 10, 2011). "Amid tough times, gallery building boom brings hope for the future". The Guardian. p. 11.
- "Chinese state media say artist Ai Weiwei released from detainment". LA Times. June 22, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
- "Ai Weiwei 'cannot leave Beijing without permission'". BBC. June 23, 2011.
- "Chinese artist Ai Weiwei: Free in body, not voice". The Associated Press.
- "China's Ai Weiwei pays $1.3 million tax bond". CNN. November 16, 2011. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 3, 2015. Retrieved June 3, 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Surfing Madonna mosaic draws mass following Archived December 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Associated Press. BakersfieldNow.com. 07-06-2011.