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The Guardian

May 02 2019
Tuscan village pays tribute to Leonardo da Vinci, 500 years on – in pictures

Residents of Vinci, the Italian village in which Leonardo da Vinci was born, are marking the 500th anniversary of his death on 2 May. The lush vineyards, fields and brooks that inspired his art have changed little over the centuries

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The Guardian

May 01 2019
Signs of the times: America's fading shopfronts – in pictures

John Lehr trains his lens on the shabby facades lining Main Street USA, from payday loan outfits to hair salons and pawn shops. Devoid of people, these images advertise a bleak outlook for small bricks-and-mortar businesses

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The Guardian

May 01 2019
Yuri Kozyrev's best photograph: Norilsk, one of Earth's most polluted places

‘This Arctic city was built by Russian prisoners in the late 1930s to meet wartime demand for metal. There are graveyards everywhere’

I shot this in Norilsk last summer. This city, 1,500 miles from the North Pole, is one of the coldest and most polluted places on Earth. It is a place most photographers dream of going to. Getting there, though, is extremely difficult. The city was closed in Soviet times, then briefly opened, and is now closed again. To gain access you have to get permits from the owner, Norilsk Nickel (or Nornickel as it is now known), which is almost impossible.

I travelled there as part of the Arctic project I did with Kadir van Lohuizen. We divvied up the continent: he covered the western regions, and I, the Russian side, the longest Arctic border. Kadir’s main interest was to show climate change: the evidence is everywhere, especially in the east. I wanted to document how Russia is taking advantage of this situation to explore for gas and oil. I travelled on an ice-breaker from the port of Dudinka to Murmansk, and there was no ice at all. Kadir battled the elements – there is snow in his photographs. There is grass in mine.

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The New York Times

May 01 2019
Whitney Biennial Artists Call for Board Member Linked to Tear Gas to Step Down
Whitney Biennial Artists Call for Board Member Linked to Tear Gas to Step Down
Warren B. Kanders, of the Safariland Group, has been the target of protests since tear gas his company makes was said to have been used at the border.
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The Guardian

May 01 2019
A powerful moment for the Archibald prize: could a portrait of a black woman win? | Shantel Wetherall

Only 15 paintings of women and three of non-white Australians have been Archibald winners in 97 years

The sensation of being alien has been with me as long as I can remember. I think it’s common to many descendants of displaced people. After 10 years in Australia, I’m a citizen but I’m still a settler on someone else’s country. But this was the work of an altogether different power, as subtle as it is violent, and a feeling that is distinctly Australian, integral to a culture built on “not noticing”.

One afternoon while enjoying an exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, I simply ceased to exist. The Archibald prize claims to feature “a who’s who of Australian culture”. But the finalists for the Archibald portrait prize are a window into how the cultural establishment imagines Australian aspiration and identity. It’s one of Australia’s most prestigious art awards, with $100,000 at stake and the power to transform “outsiders into insiders”. Curious, then, that no representation of a black woman – in many ways, the ultimate outsider – has ever won the prize.

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The Guardian

May 01 2019
Archibald prize 2019: Leigh Sales, Benjamin Law, David Wenham and others – in pictures

The Archibald is one of Australia’s most prominent art prizes, awarded annually for the portrait of a person ‘distinguished in art, letters, science or politics’ and painted by an Australian resident. The finalists for 2019 include the artists Anh Do, Mirra Whale, Vincent Namatjira and Tessa MacKay, who won the Packing Room prize for her portrait of the actor David Wenham. Other portraits of public figures include the playwright Nakkiah Lui, the singer Megan Washington and the Bidjigal elder and artist Esme Timbery. The winner of the $100,000 prize will be announced on 10 May

• A powerful moment for the Archibald: could a portrait of a black woman win?

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The New York Times

May 01 2019
Court Rules Spanish Museum Can Keep a Painting Seen as Nazi Loot
Court Rules Spanish Museum Can Keep a Painting Seen as Nazi Loot
A claim for the Pissarro painting had been filed by the American heirs of a German Jew who sold it in 1939 as she fled the Nazis.
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The Guardian

May 01 2019
Newly identified sketch of Leonardo da Vinci to go on display in London

The portrait shows the artist as ‘more troubled, more wistful’, says expert

A drawing of a melancholic, thoughtful old man caught off-guard has been identified as only the second image of Leonardo da Vinci made in his lifetime.

The hastily-drawn sketch, buried away in Queen Elizabeth II’s enormous and unrivalled collection of Leonardo drawings, will this month go on public display at Buckingham Palace for the first time.

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The New York Times

May 01 2019
Move Over, Richard Prince. Here Comes Bootleg Art From ‘Christy’s.’
Move Over, Richard Prince. Here Comes Bootleg Art From ‘Christy’s.’
An artist knocks off Christie’s Post War and Contemporary evening sale — Koons, Warhol, Thiebaud — and gets a thumbs up from the real auction house.
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The New York Times

May 01 2019
Who Is Ruth Asawa, the Artist in Today’s Google Doodle?
Who Is Ruth Asawa, the Artist in Today’s Google Doodle?
Asawa, who died at 87 in 2013, was known for her intricate wire sculptures. She learned to draw in a World War II internment camp for Japanese-Americans.
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The Guardian

May 01 2019
Old Norse, mystics and race cars: is Älvdalen the weirdest village in Sweden?

It is the place where the witch hunts began – and it still boasts its own language and strange rituals. Photographer Maja Daniels relives three freezing years in a cabin in Älvdalen

In 1926, the yearbook of the Swedish Tourism Association described the village of Älvdalen as “a community with a dark insular spirit” where locals were “shadowed by distrust and unease”. It was there in 1668 that the Swedish witch-hunts began, resulting in the execution of 19 girls and one man suspected of occult practices. One senses that the tourist association thought the stigma had lingered on into the 20th century. “It is not easy to get close to them,” the yearbook added, “particularly if you don’t speak their language.”

Today, Älvdalen, in the west of Sweden, still has its own language, Elfdalian, which has been traced back to Old Norse, the tongue of the Vikings. Swedish-born photographer Maja Daniels spent many childhood summers there, in a cabin built by her grandparents in the woods by the river.

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The New York Times

May 01 2019
Frieze Week 2019: Want to Check Out Frieze? All You Need Is an App and a Headset
The art fair introduces virtual reality so the curious can view some works from afar.
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The Guardian

May 01 2019
Kathy Acker review – a voyage to hell with the pirates of desire

ICA, London
This Babylonian beast of a show crashes the New York avant garde of the 80s into today’s transgressive talents, with Acker as its visionary guiding spirit

There was something piratical about Kathy Acker. This New York poet, novelist, self-styled plagiarist and social visionary, who died as a result of cancer in 1997, gleefully sailed the seven seas of literature stealing what she wanted and leaving nuggets of savage rhetoric in her wake. That’s the impression I got from this sprawling, many-voiced, Babylonian beast of an exhibition. It begins with a TV clip of Acker on Channel 4 telling the story of the real-life 18th century pirate Mary Read. Acker celebrates Read’s gender freedom as she put on male clothes to become a pirate - then evaded the noose because she was pregnant. At the end of the show, another video shows Acker performing with the Mekons, who are all dressed as pirates in a playground-style pirate ship.

I say “begins”, “end”, but I’ve actually got no idea if I followed this exhibition’s intended route – and to impose a narrative on Acker would be a betrayal. “Do you think I write so that you can name me?” asked the philosopher Michel Foucault, whose books, covered in her annotations, are on show in vitrines. Acker turned the post-structuralist ideas of Foucault and other French academics into blistering, erotic, prophetic language. She put postmodernism on the mean streets.

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The Guardian

May 01 2019
Turner prize 2019: thrilling shortlist offers sci-fi sculpture and gunshot sonics

There’s not a dud among this year’s contenders, from Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s mesmerising acoustics to Helen Cammock ‘ventriloquising’ the Caribbean sugar trade

The Turner prize has had some lacklustre years, uneven rosters and years when only one possible winner has been apparent from the time the shortlist has been announced. But winning isn’t everything, and what really matters is an interesting show that reflects the particular vitality of the moment, rather than mere fashion or the fortitude of the older artists who are now eligible for the prize. This year, all the artists are under 50.

With its procession of complex film installations, last year’s exhibition was marked by the degree of concentration and time all of the works needed. This year’s judges clearly wanted to shift the focus, and are probably mindful that Turner Contemporary in Margate, where the current exhibition will be shown, is a very different venue to Tate Britain. It is a smaller space with a different core audience – and the variety of works has to be distinct, too.

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The Guardian

May 01 2019
Leonardo da Vinci events marred by Italy and France row

500th anniversary of artist’s death overshadowed by escalating diplomatic tensions

Events to commemorate Leonardo da Vinci will take place in France and Italy on Thursday, the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death, with the French president, Emmanuel Macron, hosting his Italian counterpart, Sergio Mattarella.

The two heads of state will meet at Amboise in the Indre-et-Loire region to visit the Château du Clos Lucé, where Da Vinci lived from March 1516 until his death in 1519.

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The New York Times

May 01 2019
Turner Prize Shortlist Promotes Political Artists
Turner Prize Shortlist Promotes Political Artists
The shortlist for this year’s prize included an artist who creates fantasy worlds “beyond patriarchal limits” and one who recreated a Syrian prison using sound.
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The Guardian

May 01 2019
Turner prize hosts choose sponsor chaired by anti-gay rights campaigner

Turner Contemporary teams up with section 28 backer Brian Souter’s Stagecoach company

Stagecoach, a company co-founded and chaired by a businessman who campaigned against gay rights, has been named as lead sponsor of the Turner prize 2019.

The sponsorship was announced as Tate Britain revealed the shortlist for the 2019 prize, to be hosted this year by Turner Contemporary in Margate.

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The New York Times

May 01 2019
At War: The Price of This Artist’s Work? A Conversation About the Horrors of War
At War: The Price of This Artist’s Work? A Conversation About the Horrors of War
Ehren Tool wants his visually brutal stoneware cups to start conversations about the grief and suffering of armed conflict. But his work can’t be bought.
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The Guardian

Apr 30 2019
Streetkid visions: Russia's Instagram star

Dmitry Markov posts evocative images of everyday Russian life on Instagram. ‘Addiction,’ he says, ‘is the kind of thirst that might be very useful for a photographer - you always want more’

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The Guardian

Apr 30 2019
Anniversary portrait of the Royal Academy – archive, 1 May 1968

1 May 1968 The Royal Academy celebrates 200 years of schools and exhibitions

The Royal Academy is 200 years old. It was in 1768 that George III was presented with an instrument of Foundation which recited that the great utility of such a society had been fully and clearly demonstrated, that his Majesty did therefore institute and establish the said society, under the name of the Royal Academy of Arts in London, and did graciously declare himself patron, protector, and supporter thereof. There followed XXVII articles.

For 200 years the Academy has continued, some would say unchanged, to conduct its schools and its exhibitions, though not in the same place. The exhibitions were held at first in Lambe’s auction rooms in Pall Mall, from 1780 to 1836 in the old and new Somerset Houses, from 1837 to 1868 in the building in Trafalgar Square which is now the National Gallery, and from 1869 at the Academy’s present home at Burlington House, Piccadilly. The doings of these years are recorded in a bicentenary history* by the present librarian of the Academy, Mr Sidney Hutchison, which is published today.

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The New York Times

Apr 30 2019
Poor No More, but Still Sexy? Berlin Seeks Its Art World Niche
Poor No More, but Still Sexy? Berlin Seeks Its Art World Niche
The slickly organized Gallery Weekend hopes to attract international visitors to the city, which lacks a significant collector base of its own.
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The Guardian

Apr 30 2019
Doreen Spooner obituary
First female staff photographer on a British national newspaper

Doreen Spooner was the first female staff photographer on a British national newspaper. In a career stretching from the late 1940s to the 90s, mostly at the Daily Mirror, she became, unintentionally, something of a feminist icon.

Her big break came in 1963 when, during the Profumo affair, she scooped a picture of Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies in a London pub, shot from inside the ladies’ loo in murky conditions. Doreen fled before the irate landlord could grab her camera. The photograph made the front pages in the UK and the US – and also made her name.

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The Guardian

Apr 30 2019
Bananas in art: a short history of the salacious, disturbing and censored fruit

Natalia LL’s 1973 artwork of a model sucking on a banana has been taken down by Poland’s rightwing government. But bananas aren’t just suggestive – they can be subversive, too

Bananas are not the only fruit but in art they are the most outrageous. The rightwing government of Poland has taken such exception to a 1973 video and photowork of a model sucking on a banana by Natalia LL that last week it was removed from display at Warsaw’s National Museum. But Natalia LL is not alone. Artists have been aroused and even troubled by this suggestively shaped fruit for more than a century. The real question here is: why has a woman been censored for getting off on bananas when men have been at it so long?

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The Guardian

Apr 30 2019
Full story behind iconic Dutch wartime portrait finally emerges

Truth about Charley Toorop’s Working Class Woman revealed after its sitter was misidentified

It has been described by the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam as one of its most popular paintings but the cause of its sitter’s anxious gaze has remained a mystery.

Standing in front of a crumbling wall under a menacing sky, Charley Toorop’s Working Class Woman stares ahead, her thoughts elsewhere.

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The Guardian

Apr 30 2019
'Instagram is like junk food': the woman out to improve our visual diet

Marine Tanguy thinks our eyes deserve more than narcissistic soft porn – so she’s building a stable of talents to rival Kim Kardashian

One day Marine Tanguy decided to do a test. She posted a picture of her bottom in a bikini to her 24,000 Instagram followers. The post received 75% more views than usual – and most of the viewers were other women.

“I’m a grown woman,” says the 29-year-old French founder of arts talent agency MT Art. “But imagine if I was a 16-year-old girl. What would this tell me? It would tell me that my body is more valued than anything I could say, more valuable than, say, posting my exam results. Quite possibly it would mean I would put up more photos of my body to increase my profile.”

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The Guardian

Apr 30 2019
Banksy artwork likely to remain in Port Talbot

Deal reached to house Season’s Greetings in former police station in Welsh steel town

The future of a Banksy that appeared in a south Wales steel town is more certain after the local authority announced that an agreement had been reached to house it in a former police station a mile from where it appeared.

The artwork, Season’s Greetings, has attracted thousands of Banksy fans to a formerly nondescript garage in Port Talbot since it was created just before Christmas last year.

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The Guardian

Apr 29 2019
Keep out! The 100m² countries – in pictures

Rubén Martín de Lucas pokes fun at the arbitrary nature of borders – by creating small geometric shapes and then living in them

Minimal Republics is part of Circulation(s) European young photography festival, Paris, until 30 June

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The New York Times

Apr 29 2019
A New Kind of ‘Hamilton’ Show, This Time on Lake Michigan
A New Kind of ‘Hamilton’ Show, This Time on Lake Michigan
With a deeper dive into early American history, a gigantic exhibition based on the musical “Hamilton” opens in Chicago.
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The New York Times

Apr 29 2019
Venice Beach May Lose a Landmark: A Mark di Suvero Sculpture
The 60-foot-tall sculpture, a popular meeting point for nearly two decades, will be dismantled and moved by the end of the year unless Los Angeles finds a way to keep it.
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The New York Times

Apr 29 2019
Asia Society Announces a Contemporary Art Triennial for 2020
The museum continues its shift toward new art with a free exhibition that will extend past its Park Avenue headquarters.
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The New York Times

Apr 29 2019
Louvre Says Leonardo Show Will Be Reservation-Only
Louvre Says Leonardo Show Will Be Reservation-Only
Anticipating huge demand, the museum in Paris announced that visitors to the exhibition, which starts in October, must book tickets online.
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The New York Times

Apr 29 2019
Art Review: The Pain and Sweat of Merce Cunningham Dancers, Captured in Latex
Art Review: The Pain and Sweat of Merce Cunningham Dancers, Captured in Latex
With “Répétiteur,” the artist and architect Jorge Otero-Pailos preserves both the fingerprints and the spirit of Cunningham and his company in their rehearsal space.
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The Guardian

Apr 29 2019
Italians try to crack Leonardo da Vinci DNA code with lock of hair

Hair tagged as polymath’s in US collection to be tested against remains in French grave

Two Italian experts are set to perform a DNA test on a lock of hair that they say might have belonged to Leonardo da Vinci.

The hair strand was found in a private collection in the US and will go on display for the first time at the Ideale Leonardo da Vinci museum in Vinci (the Tuscan town where the artist was born), from 2 May, the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death.

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The New York Times

Apr 29 2019
Monir Farmanfarmaian, 96, Dies; Artist Melded Islam and the Abstract
Monir Farmanfarmaian, 96, Dies; Artist Melded Islam and the Abstract
A Persian sculptor, she was known for abstract compositions of mirrors and glass. In her 10th decade she received a Guggenheim retrospective.
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The Guardian

Apr 29 2019
Image of artist's grandmother shortlisted for BP portrait award

Quo Vadis? by Massimiliano Pironti among four works competing for £35,000 prize

A professional dancer who has painted his 95-year-old grandmother as “an example of strength, dignity and authority” is one of four artists shortlisted for the art world’s most prestigious portrait prize.

The National Portrait Gallery, organisers of the BP portrait award, has revealed the names and portraits of the artists who will this year compete for the £35,000 prize.

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The Guardian

Apr 29 2019
'I'm screaming to the choir' – behind Robert Longo's anti-Trump art

The New York artist’s storied career has led him to an incendiary new exhibition called Amerika which takes direct aim at the president and his party

It wasn’t too long ago that the New York artist Robert Longo was seated at a boxing match with his son at Madison Square Garden. Longo described his latest exhibition, Amerika, which has just opened at Metro Pictures in New York – its layout includes a drawing of the White House, a sphere of bullets and a video of presidential tweets.

“My son turned to me and said: ‘Dad, be careful you don’t turn into Kathy Griffin,’” recalls Longo, referencing the comedian who was lambasted for her fake photo of a beheaded Trump. “It was a bit of a wake-up call to me, it reaffirmed what I’m doing.”

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The Guardian

Apr 28 2019
The Da Vincis of the dancefloor – meet the artists capturing clubland

Why take a selfie in a sweaty club when you can buy a painting of your banging night out instead? We meet the ravers turning 3am euphoria into pulsating art

It would be around midnight when Jah Shaka’s truck pulled up outside Phebes nightclub in east London, and his crew would start humping his big sound system speakers into the dark, cramped, low-ceilinged basement ready for an all-night dub reggae session. As the excitement built and the basement filled with people, Denzil Forrester would squeeze behind the long, narrow bar that ran down one side of the room, prop his A1 sketchbook on the counter … and start sketching.

It wasn’t the easiest place to work. It was dark, hot and crowded, the air fogged with weed and tobacco smoke. Then, when Shaka fired up the system and the heavy bass kicked in, it would take a while for Forrester to adjust to the vibrations passing through his body.

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The Guardian

Apr 28 2019
Damien Hirst placemat drawings donated to British Museum

Artist created 70 images of business manager Frank Dunphy as they ate breakfast

More than 70 portraits by Damien Hirst – drawn on placemats at the breakfast table – have been given to the British Museum.

The drawings, some smeared with food and coffee stains, will be displayed at the museum, famous for treasures such as the Elgin marbles and the Rosetta Stone.

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The Guardian

Apr 28 2019
Recording reveals how Francis Bacon was rushed to finish paintings

Pictures at 1957 exhibition in London were still wet and stained attendees’ clothes after they leaned against them

There is nothing more dull than watching paint dry, but great art cannot be rushed. Francis Bacon was irritated that his dealer put him under huge pressure to finish paintings inspired by Vincent van Gogh for his London exhibition of 1957, according to a previously unheard recording that has come to light.

It reveals that the artist got his revenge because his pictures were still wet when guests leaned against them at a crowded preview event, ruining their clothes. His dealer had to pay for dry cleaning and replacing a dinner jacket covered in streaks and smudges of red, blue and yellow oil paint.

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The New York Times

Apr 28 2019
The Most Wondrous Things at the Milan Furniture Fair
The Most Wondrous Things at the Milan Furniture Fair
Designers trotted out their latest creations. Earth-friendly materials, bizarre shapes and coziness were among the themes.
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The Guardian

Apr 27 2019
The big picture: Kwame Brathwaite captures the ‘black is beautiful’ movement
Kwame Brathwaite captures African American women embracing a new ideal of black female beauty in the civil rights era

Photographer Kwame Brathwaite grew up in Harlem during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. He had been a jazz musician and promoter when he first became interested in taking pictures. He saved for a Hasselblad camera with some of the proceeds from the jazz club he helped to run and began documenting some of the artists – Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey – he encountered.

Brathwaite was inspired by the Pan-African philosophy of Marcus Garvey and with his brother, Elombe, a political activist, he helped to create a new hub of creativity in Harlem – the African Jazz-Art Society and Studios (AJASS) – a radical collection of artists, playwrights and dancers to celebrate the African roots of black American culture. Part of that celebration was a new ideal of black female fashion and beauty that rejected the dominant culture of straightened hair and “candy lipstick” of what was called “hot pants blackness” and embraced natural Afro hairstyles and bold African inspired clothes. Brathwaite and AJASS developed the idea for an arts festival called Naturally ’66 with these new “Grandassa” models.

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The Guardian

Apr 27 2019
International Garden Photographer of the Year: Black & White Photo Project

The International Garden Photographer of the Year has announced the winner of their Black & White Photo Project 2019. Croatian photographer Petar Sabol took first prize with his his image ‘Night Butterfly’. Here are all the finalists from this year’s competition

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The New York Times

Apr 27 2019
Spring Gallery Guide: Four Artists to Watch Now
Spring Gallery Guide: Four Artists to Watch Now
They are fearless, and their works are among the season’s exciting shows. Drawing on memories and research, they propose new ways to live with our histories.
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The Guardian

Apr 27 2019
Shooting hoops: aerial views of basketball courts – in pictures

Auckland-based photographer Petra Leary uses drones to capture aerial images of basketball courts across New Zealand. “My idea was to show the variety of styles and colours of the courts, and the geometry of the markings that people who use or pass these daily would never otherwise see,” she says. Her Daily Geometry project began in 2017 and currently comprises 10 photographs – recently shortlisted for the 2019 Zeiss photography award. She hopes to extend the project across the world. Bird’s Eye, a documentary about Leary and her project, will be ready later in the year. “A friend of mine gave me a turn on his drone a few years ago and I was instantly hooked,” she says. “Drone photography allows people to see how the most basic and simple objects are sometimes the most eye-catching from a different perspective.”

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The New York Times

Apr 27 2019
Spring Gallery Guide: SoHo
A tour of SoHo galleries.
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The New York Times

Apr 27 2019
Spring Gallery Guide: Over 40 Art Shows to See Right Now
From Bushwick to Harlem, with many stops in between, our art critics take stock of the best shows this spring.
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The Guardian

Apr 27 2019
Sixty Years review – adding insult to injury
Tate Britain, London
A lacklustre celebration of female talent shows both artists and gallery in a very poor light

The omens for Sixty Years were dark from the start. To begin with, warned the press office, it was not to be regarded as some kind of separate exhibition, just a rehang of the permanent collection. And even then, only the last 60 years of the permanent collection. And even then, only with the work of 30 artists.

That these artists were all women – a momentous event, entirely without precedent in the history of Tate Britain, originally founded as the National Gallery of British Art in 1897 – was not to be thought of as anything too special. And sure enough, the gallery has managed to make nothing special of it at all. There are no signs, no directions, nothing to indicate the existence of Sixty Years. Why, you might almost think they were embarrassed.

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The Guardian

Apr 27 2019
The 20 photographs of the week

Extinction Rebellion activists in London, the revolution in Khartoum, the suicide bombings in Sri Lanka and the fighting near Tripoli – the week captured by the world’s best photojournalists

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The New York Times

Apr 26 2019
The Week in Arts: Cher, ‘42nd Street’ and ‘At the Heart of Gold’
The Week in Arts: Cher, ‘42nd Street’ and ‘At the Heart of Gold’
HBO introduces the documentary by Erin Lee Carr chronicling the abuse Larry Nassar inflicted on girls and women in the guise of therapy.
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The Guardian

Apr 26 2019
From Woodstock to Vietnam protests: revolution comes to Melbourne Museum

‘Astonishing change can happen,’ says the curator of the V&A’s Revolutions: Records and Rebels

Short of travelling first class, John Lennon’s suit – as worn on the cover of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – gets the VIP treatment on long-haul flights.

In preparation for the journey from London to Melbourne it was carefully dressed onto a mannequin – the fewer times you can dress a garment, the better – and tightly packed into a specialised case for minimum movement, then crated and air-freighted.

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