“Rising seas, raging storms, melting ice and forest fires are revealing artefacts that have much to tell us about our history on Earth – from sunken shipwrecks in Svalbard to the ancient waste dumps filled with bones, shoes and carvings emerging all over the Arctic and further south, including in Scotland.”
“At the major visual-art museums in the Seattle region, all of the directors are women. At smaller museums, like the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience or the Northwest African American Museum, the directors are women. At the Seattle Art Museum, all seven curators are women. At many of the region’s art nonprofits, the top positions are also held by women.”
“Also known as ‘opaque couché,’ the drab hue of greenish brown has drawn endless comparisons to baby poop.” (We think it looks more like guacamole that’s been in the fridge too long.) “Researchers first discovered widespread repulsion to this particular tone in a 2012 study intended to help the Australian government come up with unappealing packaging for cigarettes.”
“The Bibliophile is a painting by Susan Macdowell Eakins, wife of the celebrated Philadelphia painter Thomas Eakins. An accomplished painter, Susan had studied with Thomas at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts. … Now a graduate student in the Winterthur/University of Delaware program in art conservation has detected, beneath the surface, a separate painting.”
“Art fraud officers detained the two dealers for questioning were both Paris-based experts in 18th century furniture. They are suspected of selling two fake chairs out of a batch of four to the Chateau at Versailles, home of Louis XIV, for €1.7m … sending France’s high-end antiques world into ‘panic’.”
“Designed by the Nigerian architect Kunlé Adeyemi, the [Makoko] Floating School [in Lagos] was the winner of multiple awards for architecture and urbanism, attracting great international attention and acclaim. … At 10.30am on [last] Tuesday, the Floating School collapsed during a heavy seasonal thunderstorm.”
“Although it wasn’t a total surprise — the full-time faculty was expected to shrink in proportion to budget cuts, a shrinking student body, and as part of the school’s ongoing integration into George Washington University (GW) — no one expected this many beloved professors to lose their jobs. Of the school’s 19 full-time faculty who taught last semester, only 9 will be back to teach in the fall.”
“Of course it would be a beautiful thing if there could be a standard, but the reality is that there’s so many different considerations that cultural institutions have to take into account, based on their collections or jurisdictions or educational missions.”
“I love Brutalism, and am increasingly clear that it is not merely the equal of any other period’s architecture, it is better. There has never been a more remarkable period of architectural achievement.” Barnabas Calder makes the case.
“Visitors will traverse an arc of galleries that lead chronologically through the revolution, from its beginnings in disgruntled Boston to its conclusion on the fields of Yorktown and beyond, to the treaty of Paris and the writing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia. The dramatic highlight of this presentation will be a full gallery for display of the museum’s most intriguing artifact – Washington’s field tent [from Valley Forge].”
For one thing, explains historian and archaeologist Matthew Champion, there’s a lot of it, especially in churches – faces, hands, personal marks, horses, geese, “witch marks” made with compasses, sailing ships, demons (but no angels) – and it provides some of the only direct evidence we have of the medieval European 99%.
“Rising on the Plaza de la República [in Mexico City], the massive structure marks the first time the Vatican has given permission to reproduce the chapel on this scale … Michelangelo’s paintings are photographic reproductions printed on canvas, their religious scenes composed of over 2.6 million images each about an inch large.”
“Artists’ Union England (AUE) has been formally certified as the first trade union representing visual, applied and socially engaged artists in England. … The founding group of visual artists initially launched the union in May 2014, but obtaining [certification] was a three-year process that began in 2013.”
“The new cities were found by firing lasers to the ground from a helicopter to produce extremely detailed imagery of the Earth’s surface. The airborne laser scanners had also identified large numbers of mysterious geometric patterns formed from earthen embankments, which could have been gardens. Experts in the archaeological world agree these are the most significant archaeological discoveries in recent years.”
“The Medici recognized the value of a physical space that would demonstrate their position and power: the Palazzo Medici, a domineering Renaissance palace, commissioned by Cosimo de’ Medici in the 1440s, was where it all began.”
“Archaeologists … used high-resolution satellite imagery followed by aerial drone photography and ground surveys to locate and document the structure. They report that the monument is roughly as long as an Olympic-size swimming pool and twice as wide. It sits only about half a mile (800 meters) south of the center of the ancient city.”
“The Smithsonian has abandoned its plan to open its first stand-alone exhibition space in London, deciding instead to partner with the Victoria and Albert Museum in its new space at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, officials said Monday. The decision represents a significant retreat from the Smithsonian’s original plan to occupy a 40,000-square foot venue in the cultural complex.”
“In the artist Duke Riley’s project Fly by Night, he sets two thousand homing pigeons, outfitted with L.E.D. lights, into motion. Riley’s objective? For people simply to notice the birds, the people, and the city that surrounds them.”
“Welcome to the LOL biennial. And brace yourselves.”
“Most rationales for public art programs emphasize civic-minded virtue. On this view, public art — fiber in the salty diet of the polis — is considered an inherent good for the citizenry, believed to promote a robust sense of community and place.”
“What we found is very understated compared to today’s graffiti. We’re used to thinking of it as in spray paint, really colorful. What we found was the underside of a bridge with completely undisturbed writing from 1914 to 1921 and it was the graffiti of hobos written in things like charcoal from their fires or chalk.”
“Which images from our age will endure? Will they be Turner prize-winning artworks, or will they be pictures such as those taken by the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite, which launched in 2009 and over the next four years collected the first light in the universe?”
“For most of her life, Gilot has been waiting for the world to catch up with her. She has always pointed out that it does her a great disservice as an artist to identify her as ‘Picasso’s lover’ or ‘a friend of Matisse’.”
“In recent months, much of the conversation over the work has focused not on the particulars of its provenance but on whether Mr. Nahmad went to great lengths to conceal his ownership.”
“The current landscape of contemporary figurative painting is particularly strong, not only due to the commercial market for it, but perhaps more so the way that artists are portraying people in response to salient topics and issues of the 21st century—from race, gender, and war, to privacy, social media, and love.”
“For 30 years, Bulgarian-born artist Christo has wanted to build a monumental ‘Mastaba’ – a type of ancient Egyptian tomb – out of oil barrels in the desert of Abu Dhabi. His project has just materialised on a smaller yet still impressive scale: nine meters high, 17 meters long and nine meters wide, the work is on display at the Fondation Maeght, a museum of modern art in the south of France.”
“Their aim is to use touch and smell in addition to language to elicit the same emotions for blind visitors that others have when they view works by Bourgeois or Dalí or Monet” – for instance, the softness of cotton balls (Monet), the viscosity of a silicone breast implant (Dalí)
“Rome will have what city officials are calling its first ‘archaeological station’ after a construction team recently uncovered 2nd-century CE Roman barracks during ongoing work on the city’s third metro line.”
Closed for the past four years due to ongoing renovations, the Musée Girodet was set to reopen next year but will have to push back that date due to the flood, which Montargis Mayor Jean-Pierre Door described as a “cultural catastrophe.” The museum’s building sits at the center of a narrow strip of land bordered by the Loing river and a canal, but during the renovations most of its collection has been stored off-site, even closer to the water, in the underground vault of a former bank.
The seismographic range of institutions, causes, and charities staging sales creates a constant barrage for artists. “It’s a side business keeping up with all the auctions,” said Simmons, who gave away 16 works last year. “It takes an amazing amount of, for lack of a better word, administrative time. It’s very hard to keep it all going.” Artist Marilyn Minter said she receives requests for donations every week. Rob Pruitt fields about 20 solicitations a year.