02/05/2013 09:34 am ET

Andy Warhol Foundation Advocates Against Censorship And More Arts News

In 2008, the Sanctuary for Independent Art, a small media arts organization based in the lower-income town of Troy, New York, made news when it was abruptly shut down after exhibiting the politically charged work of Iraqi-born artist Wafaa Bilal. Now, with the help of the Andy Warhol Foundation, the nonprofit is making a comeback with a new public art program.

The Warhol Foundation has been an outspoken advocate for the organization since the Sanctuary showed Bilal's "Virtual Jihad," a contentious video-game based artwork that tasked the players with shooting and killing George Bush. The Foundation donated $10,000 to the Sanctuary to address the local government's alleged reason for closing the institute (narrow doors that violated building codes) and called in the New York Civil Liberties Union to help file a lawsuit against against the city, amounting to a $50,000 grant that the government was required to match dollar for dollar. “In the end. this very dark moment in our organizational history had a really great ending," remarked Sanctuary director Steve Pierce to Blouin Artinfo. "[The Warhol Foundation] was like the arts cavalry."

11 Shocking Acts by Artists


Art Basel Announces 2013 Lineup: Switzerland's Art Basel has announced details of its 44th edition, featuring 304 galleries from 39 countries and 5 continents. (Art Basel)

Fashion Week Begins: New York's Fashion Week officially kicks off this week, attracting emerging and high-profile designers to the tends of Lincoln Center. With a lineup of runway shows, film screenings and art exhibits it can be hard to decipher what the festival is all about. Here's Donna Karan's take: "Are we here about art? Are we here about film? Are we here about hose? It's about connecting the dots." (Wall Street Journal)

Museums Battle The Strings Attached To Gifts: Wonder why an art collection at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is still illuminated by candlelight? Because it, along with other museums, are faced with strict stipulations attached to donations. (The New York Times)

Collectors Open A Non-Profit Art Space To Exhibit Private Collection To The Public: Collectors Brian and Eva Sweeney seek to use a 2,000-square-foot space to showcase their impressive array of visual art to the public. The new gallery will be called the El Segundo Museum of Art and will be open to teachers and the rest of the greater Los Angeles community. (The LA Times)

Auction Sales Tank In China, Last Year's Largest Art Market: Total sales at two of China’s major auction houses -- Poly Auction and China Guardian -- suffered significant drops in sales in 2012, followed by declines at Sotheby’s and Christie’s in Hong Kong, reportedly costing the nation's art market $2.4 billion dollars. “Certain factors, including political uncertainty, did see buyers press the pause button. This had an effect on the supply to the Asian art market,” said Steven Murphy, chief executive of Christie's. (The Art Newspaper)

Jeff Koons' 'Tulips' Find A Home: Hotel Mogul Steve Wynn bought Koons' 'Tulips' sculpture for $33.7 million and now the large, shiny sculpture has found a home in the rotunda of the Wynn Theater in Las Vegas. (Business Insider)

Tired Of Typical Stock Photography?: is here to help, offering an entire collection of "subversive" stock images that blow Shuttershock out of the water. (Hyperallergic)

Lucian Freud Leaves Pricey Painting To The National Gallery: Freud donated the valuable Jean-Baptist Camille Corot portrait to the UK institution, which is reportedly worth $2.86 million. “Lucian loved the girl in the painting,” says Freud’s assistant, David Dawson. (The Telegraph)