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How does one assemble a $3bn modern art collection? (Also: A list of the world’s most Instagrammed paintings!)


While we focus on Indian art, we can’t obviously function in a vacuum. It’s a small world and everything is connected, especially on the web. So, let’s train our spotlight across the world map to see what’s going on — from art trends to socio-political issues to everything that affects the great aesthetic global consciousness. Or, let’s just travel the world and have some fun!

Assembling Iran’s art collection


In 1975, curator Donna Stein took on a semi-secret, two-year whirlwind effort to acquire the greatest collection of contemporary and modern art you’ve seen — for the Empress of Iran. Her new book, ‘The Empress and I: How an Ancient Empire Collected, Rejected, and Rediscovered Modern Art’ outlines the adventure that led to her accessing some of the 20th century’s greatest artworks, including 350 paintings, sculptures, prints, and photographs. These include pieces by names like Jackson Pollock, Alberto Giacometti, Henry Moore, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Roy Lichtenstein, Mary Cassatt, and more. Bloomberg elaborates.

Eating in the middle of art


As museums open up too slowly in the post-pandemic world, there seems to be emerging an alternative way to feast one’s eyes on art — at restaurants. From Atlanta to London, chefs and restaurateurs are giving now people another way to see art, just since the opportunities to stroll into all our favorite museums remain limited. Iconic and historical pieces from artists like Pablo Picasso, Tsuguharu Foujita, David Hockney and many more are now hanging on the walls of upscale eateries. From celebrating renowned artists and their works to hosting exhibits, from which sales proceeds will go to charity, these eateries are also encouraging young artists, or inspiring conversation around the abundant African-American influence on visual arts, and a whole lot more. Architectural Digest checks it out.

The classics take to Insta


The results are not too surprising in the checklist of the most Instagrammed paintings in the world, counted by listing the hashtags used on the image-sharing platform, as well as surveying people about the most recognisable paintings. Naturally, the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci came out on top, clocking 1,787,366 posts. In second place is Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss, although its hashtags number only around a sixth of the top one’s at 247,346. Also in the top 15 are The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci at third place; Edvard Munch’s The Scream at fourth; The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh at fifth and Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer at sixth place. Creative Boom explores the details.

Mexican op-art leader is no more


One of the leading figures of the Mexican Op-art movement, Ernesto Mallard, has died this week at the age of 89. He was also an early proponent of Kinetic art. In the 1960s, Latin America had plenty of modern artists, but Mallard was the first to cause a sensation and then retreat — and was only recently re-acknowledged. By the late 1960s, Mallard had produced a number of sculptures and visual art pieces, including posters for the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. He had memorably said “a line is created by a dynamic point that generates a plane and then a poem” — his use unique implementation of this idea in works such as Heliogonia won him critical acclaim. The Art Newspaper condoles.