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RENAISSANCE REVELATIONS. It may be time to add one more achievement to Leonardo da Vinci’s long list of them. It seems that the artist-architect-scientist-inventor conducted trailblazing, previously unknown experiments on gravity, according to a new paper in the journal Leonardo, the New York Times reports. Morteza Gharib, an aeronautics professor at CalTech who is an author of that paper, found a small sketch in the Codex Arundel (a famed collection of Leonardo’s papers) that shows him calculating what is known as the gravitational constant, which is used to ascertain its effect on objects. He got within 10 percent of value used today. “It’s mind boggling,” Gharib said. Meanwhile, the British Observer reports, art historian Paul Joannides believes he has identified a preparatory drawing that Michelangelo used for a figure in the Sistine Chapel. Showing a nude man from behind, it is held by a European collector and was once attributed to one of the artist’s followers, Rosso Fiorentino .
THE MEXICAN AMERICAN ARTIST JESSE TREVIÑO, who taught himself to paint with his left hand after his right arm was paralyzed in a Vietnam War battle, has died at 76, the Washington Post reports. At the time that Treviño was drafted into the army, he had been finding his way as a young artist in New York. Thrown into an explosion in Vietnam and severely injured, he decided that if he made it back, he would devote himself to painting his family and the community that surrounded them in San Antonio, Texas. He made it, and after a wave of depression, he relearned painting. He would go on to earn renown for vibrant, inventive, and imaginative paintings and murals. In 2013, his work was included in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s exhibition “Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art.” Fellow artist Rudy Herrera told Spectrum News 1, “Whatever kind of storm he had in him, it was big, it was heavy, it was influential.”
At the VIP opening of the Art Wynwood fair in Miami on Friday, a woman accidentally knocked over a small Jeff Koons balloon dog multiple. It shattered on the ground. It was reportedly valued at $42,000. [ARTnews]
David Chipperfield Architects said that it lost £1.2 million (about $1.44 million) in business in Russia after halting projects there last year, following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Its parent company extended debt financing to help cover the revenue loss. [Architects’ Journal]
Are you in the market for an art adviser? Journalist Victoria Woodcock has a rundown of some of the major players in the field, from Allan Schwartzman to Patti Wong. Want to hire Philip Hoffman’s Fine Art Group? You should be spending $1 million or more on art annually, he said. [Financial Times]
In a new film, titled Inside, actor Willem Dafoe plays an art thief who gets trapped inside a collector’s apartment after its security system locks down the exits. It will be released in the United States next month. [Variety]
Theater giant, composer, and former ARTnews Top 200 Collector Andrew Lloyd Webber has written the anthem for the forthcoming coronation of King Charles III. The ceremony is slated to take place on May 6 at Westminster Abbey in London. [The Associated Press]
ARTISTS IN DETAIL. Pittsburgh sculptor Thaddeus Mosley—a master with wood—spoke with critic Will Heinrich in the New York Times, in advance of his March show at the Karma gallery in New York, and the New Yorker ran a 2021 interview between the great New York photographer Stephen Shore and critic Peter Schjeldahl, who died last year.
PET PROJECT. Yes, Joan Brown—now being feted with an SFMOMA survey—was a smart, skilled painter. But it turns out that she was also gifted at filing taxes. Because she painted her cat, Donald, so frequently, she deducted the expenses for caring for him, SFMOMA curator Nancy Lim told All Things Considered. The Internal Revenue Service ended up auditing Brown, but she won, and so the cat got a special nickname. “Her friends called him ‘Donald the Deductible,’” Lim said. [All Things Considered/NPR]