Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Gauguin painting in Washington DC attacked by woman

Two Tahitian Women, by Paul GauguinA woman who attacked a painting by Paul Gauguin hanging in the National Gallery in Washington DC said the French artist was "evil", court records show.

Susan Burns pounded Two Tahitian Women and tried to rip it from a gallery wall on Friday, officials said.

The 1899 painting, which depicts two women's bare breasts, was behind a plastic cover and was unharmed.

She was charged with attempted theft and destruction of property and is being held pending a mental evaluation.

On Friday afternoon a woman slammed her hands against the plexiglass cover between the canvas and the frame... A museum security officer intervened and restrained and detained her.

Ms Burns later told police she thought the painting should be burned, according to court records viewed by the Associated Press.

The 94cm by 75.4cm (37in by 30in) oil-on-canvas painting is on loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It is expected to go back on display on Tuesday morning, National Gallery spokeswoman Deborah Ziska told the BBC.

The work depicts two serene, golden-skinned Tahitian women offering a bowl of flowers.

"The painting captures Gauguin's mythical idea of Tahiti as a paradise of beautiful, mysterious women," museum curators write.

The incident was the first act of vandalism at the museum since the 1970s, when over the course of about five years, one man destroyed a Renaissance-era chair and another defaced 25 works, including by Renoir and Henri Matisse, with a "sharp object", Ms Ziska said. ...

via BBC News - Gauguin painting in Washington DC attacked by woman.

Screaming “This is evil,” a woman tried to pull Gauguin’s “Two Tahitian Women” from a gallery wall Friday and banged on the picture’s clear plastic covering, said Pamela Degotardi of New York, who was there. “She was really pounding it with her fists,” Degotardi said. “It was like this weird surreal scene that one doesn’t expect at the National Gallery.” Gallery spokeswoman Deborah Ziska said no damage to the 1899 painting was immediately apparent after the 4:45 p.m. incident. But she said a more thorough examination will be conducted Monday. In the painting, both breasts of one woman are exposed, as is one of the second woman’s breasts. The woman who allegedly attacked the painting was “immediately restrained and detained” by the museum’s federal protection ser vices officers, who charged her with destruction of property and attempted theft, Ziska said in a statement. The painting’s alleged attacker was “tackled by a guy who was visiting the gallery,” Degotardi said. She described him as a social worker from the Bronx. ...
According to the police report obatained by the folks over at the Smoking Gun, the 53-year-old, who was at the museum to celebrate her birthday, told police: "I feel that Gauguin is evil. He has nudity and is bad for the children. He has two women in the painting and it is very homosexual. I was trying to remove it. I think it should be burned. I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you." ... Read more: http://wendyista.blogspot.com

Weird:  Notice that Susan and the woman on the left in the Gauguin painting have strikingly similar facial structures.

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