Chinese President Urges Culture War With West, Alicia Keys Humors Mr. Brainwash in L.A., and More

Chinese President Urges Culture War With West, Alicia Keys Humors Mr. Brainwash in L.A., and More
Chinese President Hu Jintao
(Photo courtesy Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images)

– Hu Jintao Warns of “Long-term Infiltration” by Western Culture: In an essay recently published in the Communist Party policy magazine Seeking Truth, the Chinese president argued for greater state control over the arts and entertainment industries. Tightening censorship laws and restricting imports on foreign films, music, and television is expected to be a major priority for Hu’s administration in 2012. [NYT]

– In Tune With the Art World?Alicia Keys and her art-loving producer husband Swizz Beatz made a visit to Mr. Brainwash’s latest oversize exhibition in Los Angeles over the weekend. “It’s like a fantasy!” Keys wrote on her Tumblr page, where she also posted photos of herself at the show. The singer’s favorite piece? A portrait of a young Michael Jackson made out of broken records. [Rap-Up

– Helen Frankenthaler Was a “Beacon,” Says Anthony Caro: In a touching email to the Boston Globe’s Sebastian Smee, Caro remembers the late painter, with whom he was close friends: “She was a beacon to young artists especially to women. She had no axe to grind: she took her place naturally among the greats.” [Boston Globe]

– Crystal Bridges Drawing Walmart-Sized Crowds: Heiress Alice Walton’s museum, located in Bentonville, Arkansas, has hosted about 90,000 visitors since it opened in November. For what it’s worth, the museum was the only U.S. location listed in Travel and Leisure magazine’s “Hottest Travel Destinations of 2012.” [AP]

– Polish Art Student Pulls a Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy-14779">Banksy: Last week, while museum guards were looking the other way, art student Andrzej Sobiepan hung one of his paintings at the National Museum in Wroc?aw. Sobiepan said he didn’t want to “wait 30 or 40 years” before seeing his work in such places. It took museum staff three days to notice. [Warsaw Business Journal]

– Tehran's Iranian House of Cinema to Be Shut Down: The Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance told the organization — which has been in conflict with the Iranian government since 2009, when it invited a Hollywood delegation to Tehran — that it must stop all activities by tomorrow as a result of unnamed "illegal acts." [Tehran TimesPayvand]

– Art Fund's Membership Increases by 15 Percent: UK state funding for the arts might be thin, but the public is coming to the rescue. In 2011, almost 90,000 individual members joined the charity which fundraises for contemporary art acquisitions for public museums. Last year, the organization offered 71 grants for artworks produced since 1965, including pieces by Ai WeiweiPeter Blake, and Jake and Dinos Chapman. [Press Release]

– Reshaping an Art World: The L.A. Times profiles sculptor Abdul Hameed, who recently returned to Iraq to lead the sculpture department at Baghdad’s Institute of Fine Arts after 10 years in exile. Although he, like all Iraqi sculptors, was previously pressured to make art exclusively for — and of — Saddam Hussein, Hameed opposes the a recent city decision to remove all statues and sculptures related to the dictator. [LAT]

– The Nanny’s Secret: Over 100,000 negatives of photographs taken by New York-born nanny Vivian Maier, discovered only after her death in 2009, now form the basis of two concurrent gallery exhibitions, a photo book, and two Web sites. [WSJ]  

– Barriers Removed from Wall Street Statue (For, Like, A Minute): Blockades in front of Wall Street’s “Charging Bull” were removed during a brief ceremony on Monday commemorating the sculpture’s 22nd anniversary. Police put the barriers in place three months ago amid fears of vandalism by Occupy Wall Street protesters. [NYP]

– King Airbrushed Out of Coronation Portrait: A long-lost proof of the 1936 coronation edition of “The Illustrated London News” reveals that a portrait of Britain’s King Edward VII was painted over after he abdicated the throne before being officially crowned. His face was simply replaced by that of his successor, King George VI. [CNN

– France Honors Arts ProfessionalsFrançois Pinault has been deemed a Grand Officier of the French Ordre de la Légion d'Honneur. Other honorees include the former president of Christie's Europe, Jeanne-Marie de Broglie; former Palais de Tokyo president and Fondation Maeght director Olivier Kaeppelin; and the artists Pierre Buraglio and Véra Molnar. Belgian art dealer Chantal Crousel has been knighted in the "foreign personality living in France" category. [Artclair

– Larys Frogier Takes the Helm of Shanghai's Rockbund Art Museum: Frogier, who was director of the contemporary art centre in Rennes, France, took up the post on January 1. His arrival is seen as an opportunity for the institution to increase international collaborations. [AMA

– Joan Mitchell Foundation Grants AnnouncedNicole AwaiWilliam Cardova, and Liz Miller are among the 25 painters and sculptors to receive the $25,000 grant. [ITA]