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The Guardian

Sep 12 2021
Work begins on wrapping Arc de Triomphe for Christo artwork

Operation combining art and engineering on a massive scale fulfils dream of late artist couple

Shortly after the sun rose over central Paris, the first of the orange-clad rope technicians hopped over the top of the Arc de Triomphe and began to abseil down the landmark unrolling a swathe of silvery blue fabric that shimmered in the early light.

Someone clapped as the first abseiler went over the top – 50 metres from the ground – but most in the crowd of onlookers just held their breath. It was a slow and meticulous operation, requiring them to stop make adjustments to the folds in the material every few metres while avoiding touching the arch itself.

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The Guardian

Sep 12 2021
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The Guardian

Sep 12 2021
Three-decade-old Floating Head sculpture revived in Glasgow

Richard Groom’s 26-tonne buoyant artwork is back in the water following restoration project

Bobbing in the water in the Canting Basin, by the shiny crescent of the Glasgow Science Centre, the Floating Head remains impassive as a seagull lands on its broad forehead.

The seven-metre-long, 26-tonne buoyant sculpture could be a refugee from Easter Island, brought to the Clyde by the tide, only to have a bird peck at the moss covering its cheek and chin like a lopsided beard.

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The Guardian

Sep 12 2021
Mixing It Up: Painting Today review – a showcase of devotion to an age-old medium

Hayward Gallery, London
Lisa Brice, Rose Wylie and Oscar Murillo are among the 31 UK-based artists united in this superb survey of painting’s deep connection to our times

A stunning image opens this show: of a small woman balancing on a towering stool to paint a substantial canvas on the wall. Look twice and you see that she is working on a picture of herself, larger than life and clearly made without any use of a mirror. Her shadow on the rear wall is larger still, and so gracefully painted by the South African artist Lisa Brice as to amount to a third portrait of this woman, namely the Dutch painter Charley Toorop (1891-1955), whose art has only recently received its due.

Brice’s triple portrait of Toorop, painted in hazy monotones, literally raises her up, enlarging upon her gifts, her self-knowledge and struggle. It is a highly intelligent hymn of praise, a spellbinding commemoration.

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The Guardian

Sep 12 2021
How the cruel death of a little stray dog led to riots in 1900s Britain

Novelist campaigns for statue of terrier experimented on by scientists to regain its place in a London park

An animal in peril can inflame British public opinion like nothing else. Nearly 120 years ago, the fate of one small brown dog caused rioting in the streets of London, to say nothing of the protest marches to Trafalgar Square and questions asked in parliament.

Now the astonishing, little-known story – involving anti-vivisectionist campaigners, an eminent doctor, a legal battle and a controversial memorial statue in a park – is the subject of a new book and of a fresh campaign to honour the lowly terrier at the heart of it all.

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The Guardian

Sep 12 2021
A grove, not Gove – the primary school with nature at its heart

Wintringham primary academy, St Neots
You won’t find any little rows of government-sanctioned classroom cells at this new Cambridgeshire primary school, whose bright, timber-built design lets the outdoors in

It shouldn’t be controversial that schools should be well designed: that the spaces where much of everyone’s childhoods are spent should, as a minimum, be well lit, well proportioned and well planned; that there should be signs of care and glimmers of human spirit in their design and construction; that there might be reminders of nature in the materials and the views out. Even if narrow educational outcomes are your only concern, there’s evidence that these are helped by the quality of school environments.

This point should not be lost, in particular, on a government whose members, in many cases, experienced the handsome architecture of private schools and Oxbridge colleges. But lost it is. Ever since 2014, when Michael Gove was secretary of state for education, new school buildings have been subject to functionalist documents called Building Bulletins. These state, with as much aspiration and joy-in-learning as the instructions for a dishwasher, exactly how much floorspace is allotted per child, how much storage and other ancillary space, and what are the optimal layouts of zones.

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The Guardian

Sep 12 2021
Gay Hussar art: grandees who struck a pose for a free lunch

Cartoonist Martin Rowson captured the giants of Westminster as they dined in the famous London restaurant. Now the 63 sketches that once adorned its walls are heading to the National Portrait Gallery

For nearly two decades a series of irreverent political cartoons graced an entire wall of the celebrated Gay Hussar restaurant in London’s Soho – a snapshot of Westminster life that delighted tourists and regulars alike.

From Michael Foot’s distinctive white tresses to a glowering Alastair Campbell, the 63 caricatures of leading political figures drawn over lunch are now to be shared with a wider audience, thanks to a joint gift to the National Portrait Gallery by their creator Martin Rowson and Corus Hotels, which ran the Soho establishment until its closure in June 2018. A new restaurant opened on the site in September 2020.

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The Guardian

Sep 11 2021
The big picture: a glimpse of tenderness in New York, 1980

British photographer Bob Watkins captures a little moment of intimacy in the heat and noise of the Big Apple

Bob Watkins took this photograph of a couple in New York on his first visit to the city from England in August 1980. In the years before Mayor Giuliani’s zero-tolerance crackdown on crime, and the advance of gentrification, the city was a place of maximum tolerance, where anything could happen at any moment. For Watkins, who had specialised in photographing the ironies of Englishness and its traditions, this was both a challenge and a liberation.

That summer, he recalls, in a monograph of his pictures from that time, “both the city and myself were out of money and there was a sense of danger on every corner. Emerging from the subway on to Fifth Avenue for the first time I was assaulted by the humidity, stench and magnitude of that canyon. It was like stepping into Springsteen’s Born to Run album. Garbage and broken people filled the streets as I walked the same sidewalks as my photographic heroes and drank Dr Pepper to replace the sweat.” There were moments where the energy of the streets coalesced – “Democratic Convention rallies and Iranian hostage demonstrations added extra visual opportunities,” Watkins recalls, but it was the unpredictability of those streets that he remembers most clearly.

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The Guardian

Sep 11 2021
Dismissed and derided when they stood, it’s time to reassess the twin towers | Rowan Moore
Twenty years after their destruction, we can finally see Yamasaki’s landmark pillars in all their glory

Few buildings illustrated architecture’s power to be different things to different people at different times than the twin towers of the World Trade Center. To their architect, Minoru Yamasaki, they were “a living symbol of man’s dedication to world peace”. The terrorists who destroyed them made them symbols of conflict. To a generation of New Yorkers, they represented the faceless civic-corporate bodies who razed a thriving and diverse district called Radio Row in order to build the towers. When I studied architecture, they typified vacuous modernism – the “largest radiators in the world”, said one of my tutors.

Yet the Japanese-American Yamasaki was dismissed by his contemporaries for being “dainty”, “prissy”, “epicene”, “ballet school”, for example, on account of the slender gothic-looking arcades that ran around the bases of the towers. Now, looking at the old images republished with the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the towers look stately and graceful, magically capturing the changing light, serene counterparts to the frenetic city stretched out beneath them. Not to mention pillars of the world that changed for ever with their collapse.

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The New York Times

Sep 11 2021
Art Gallery Shows to See Right Now
Martine Syms’s “Loot Sweets” at Bridget Donahue; and Oscar yi Hou’s “A sky-licker relation” at James Fuentes.
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The Guardian

Sep 11 2021
Photographer David Bailey reveals he has vascular dementia

‘It’s just one of those things,’ says the British celebrity snapper, 83, who is still busy with new work

David Bailey has revealed he has dementia, a life-limiting condition the British photographer described as a bore.

Speaking to the Times, Bailey, 83, said: “I’ve got vascular dementia. I was diagnosed about three years ago.

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The New York Times

Sep 11 2021
Rebuilding Ground Zero Was a Mess. Lower Manhattan Bloomed Anyway.
Rebuilding Ground Zero Was a Mess. Lower Manhattan Bloomed Anyway.
A fraught reconstruction was a missed opportunity, but it helped foster a new urbanism and a broader vision of what a neighborhood can be.
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The New York Times

Sep 11 2021
Art Fairs Come Blazing Back, Precarious but Defiant
Art Fairs Come Blazing Back, Precarious but Defiant
New and overlooked artists shine at the Armory Show, New York’s largest in-person fair since the pandemic, and other shows across the city.
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The New York Times

Sep 11 2021
Adam Pendleton Is Rethinking the Museum
Adam Pendleton Is Rethinking the Museum
“Who Is Queen?” at MoMA is the artist’s most personal and ambitious show yet, exploring how we might live beyond labels in American society. “I want to overwhelm the museum,” he said.
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The Guardian

Sep 10 2021
Twenty photographs of the week

The Taliban in Kabul, the removal of the statue of Robert E Lee in Virginia, Emma Raducanu in the US Open and the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks – the most striking images from around the world this week

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The New York Times

Sep 10 2021
Klaus Biesenbach Leaving Los Angeles Museum for Post in Berlin
Klaus Biesenbach Leaving Los Angeles Museum for Post in Berlin
Biesenbach, who went from being director of the Museum of Contemporary Art to sharing power with another executive, will run the Neue Nationalgalerie.
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artforum.com

Sep 10 2021
Cao Fei Wins 2021 Deutsche Börse Prize
Guangzhou-born, Beijing-based artist Cao Fei, whose work across media including film, photography, digital media, and sculpture explores the impact of technology on modern society, has won the prestigious
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artforum.com

Sep 10 2021
“Hummings”
Sound, increasingly central in contemporary art, creates space through a variety of small, at times imperceptible movements in this group exhibition. In the video Urdiendo Ritmos (Weaving Rhythms),
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artforum.com

Sep 10 2021
Klaus Biesenbach to Head Neue Nationalgalerie
Klaus Biesenbach has been announced as the next director of Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie and of its forthcoming Museum of the 20th Century. Biesenbach, who is currently artistic director of the Museum
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artforum.com

Sep 10 2021
Oscar Chan Yik Long
Hong Kong’s annual Hungry Ghost Festival, an event which pays tribute to the deceased who return to roam the city during the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar, serves as an ideal backdrop for
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artforum.com

Sep 10 2021
Tavia Nyong’o on Rashid Johnson’s The Hikers at Storm King
STORM KING ART CENTER is located in the Hudson Valley, about thirty miles south of the birthplace of nineteenth-century black abolitionist, feminist, and utopian seer Sojourner Truth. It sits on the
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artforum.com

Sep 09 2021
Art Basel UBS Report Suggests Galleries’ Recovery Gaining Strength
Citing “resilience” as the buzzword characterizing the international art scene, a mid-year survey released today by Art Basel and UBS and written by Clare McAndrew shows gallery sales up 10 percent
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artforum.com

Sep 09 2021
London’s Barbican to Receive $208 Million Makeover
Citing a “pressing need to make changes to the Barbican building so that it continues to meet the needs of twenty-first century artists, audiences and communities,” the City of London has launched a
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artforum.com

Sep 09 2021
San Francisco to Welcome New Institute of Contemporary Art
The Institute of Contemporary Art San Francisco (ICA SF), a new noncollecting art museum, will open in summer 2022 in the city’s burgeoning Dogpatch neighborhood. Occupying a refurbished 11,000-square-foot
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The New York Times

Sep 09 2021
Still Independent, and Still Exceptional
Still Independent, and Still Exceptional
Let your fall re-entry begin at the Independent Art Fair in Manhattan, which features painting, photography and the pioneers of net art.
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The Guardian

Sep 09 2021
Artist who explores obsession with tech wins Deutsche Börse prize

Chinese artist Cao Fei, whose work was described as gripping and prescient, wins one of the most prestigious prizes in photography

An artist who explores the modern obsession with technology has won one of the most prestigious prizes in photography, with judges saying her work is a perfect fit for a world adjusting to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Chinese artist Cao Fei was awarded the £30,000 Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation prize 2021 at the Photographer’s Gallery in London. The judges called her work, which was made before the pandemic, “gripping and prescient”.

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The New York Times

Sep 09 2021
At Future Fair, Discovering Emerging and Undersung Players
The new art fair wants to be a “change agent” with more collaboration, global locations and a hyperlocal New York scene.
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The New York Times

Sep 09 2021
5 Things to Do This Weekend
Our critics and writers have selected noteworthy cultural events to experience virtually and in person in New York City.
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The New York Times

Sep 09 2021
A Blue-Chip Art Bonanza: Macklowe Collection Goes to Sotheby’s
A Blue-Chip Art Bonanza: Macklowe Collection Goes to Sotheby’s
The trove, which is going on sale because of a court order, includes pieces by Cy Twombly, Gerhard Richter and Andy Warhol, and is valued at more than $600 million.
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The New York Times

Sep 09 2021
A Vermeer Restoration Reveals a God of Desire
An image of Cupid was covered over in “Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window” for nearly 300 years. Now that he’s back on show, the famous painting looks quite different.
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artforum.com

Sep 09 2021
Candice Lin
Candice Lin has installed something like a posthuman wellness clinic for her exhibition “Seeping, Rotting, Resting, Weeping.” The centerpiece is a delicate canvas pavilion on whose surfaces proliferates
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The Guardian

Sep 09 2021
The Lost Leonardo: has a new film solved the mystery of the world’s most expensive painting?

Is the $450m Salvator Mundi a fake? This film – featuring tearful sycophants, sneering experts, dodgy dealers and a secretive superyacht – may finally settle the great da Vinci controversy

It is almost exactly 10 years since Salvator Mundi was unveiled, this “lost Leonardo” instantly triggering astonishment around the world. Since those giddy days, the work has had a turbulent time. As well as becoming the most expensive painting in history, going for $450m (£326m) at auction, Salvator Mundi was denounced by many as a fake and subsequently vanished from view. The painting is now the subject of The Lost Leonardo, a documentary by Andreas Koefoed that opens in cinemas this week.

“I would be surprised,” says Luke Syson, “if I went to see this documentary.” Syson is the curator who, back in 2011, first displayed The Saviour of the World, as its title translates, at the National Gallery’s Leonardo da Vinci blockbuster. Syson is probably making a wise choice. He’s in the film and the way he clams up mid-interview makes him look like the archetypal embarrassed expert caught out on screen.

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The New York Times

Sep 09 2021
A Writer’s Deathbed Portrait of Francis Bacon
A Writer’s Deathbed Portrait of Francis Bacon
Max Porter’s new novel imagines the last days of a painter who shares his obsession with mortality.
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The Guardian

Sep 09 2021
Berlin’s bizarre new museum: a Prussian palace rebuilt for €680m

A cross between a Disneyland castle and a chilling concrete block, the Humboldt Forum is set to teach visitors about Germany’s colonial era. But is the past being examined – or exalted?

A museum gift shop has never been such an ideological battleground. At one end of the store in Berlin’s new Humboldt Forum is a display of souvenirs adorned with the gilded silhouette of the Stadtschloss, the city’s former royal palace, which was bombed to pieces in the second world war. Racks of silk scarves and Christmas baubles hang above rows of candles in regal colours, emblazoned with an image of the stately Prussian pile.

At the other end of the shop is a rival range of merchandise, themed around the former East German parliament and leisure centre, the Palast der Republik, which was triumphantly built on top of the ruins of the palace in the 1970s. With its sharp white marble walls, bronze-mirrored windows and space-age chandeliers, it was designed to showcase the wonders of socialism. You can buy keyrings and enamel mugs in a retro Soviet style, as well as a model kit of the building in Formo, the East German version of Lego, for €250.

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The New York Times

Sep 09 2021
Kehinde Wiley Portrait Inspired by ‘The Blue Boy’ Will Be Unveiled in October
Kehinde Wiley Portrait Inspired by ‘The Blue Boy’ Will Be Unveiled in October
The Huntington commissioned the artist, best known for his portrait of Barack Obama, to create a large-scale painting in response to the Thomas Gainsborough masterpiece.
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The Guardian

Sep 08 2021
Experiments with reality: Photo London’s Emerging Photographer award – in pictures

Marguerite Bornhauser uses vivid colours, leafy shadows and ultra-obscure printing techniques to create her brave new worlds

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artforum.com

Sep 08 2021
Hong Kong’s M+ Gears Up to Open, Removes Ai Weiwei Work
Officials at Hong Kong’s hotly anticipated M+ Museum have announced that the institution will welcome the public on November 12 with an exhibition titled “Hong Kong: Here and Beyond,” and a show of
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The New York Times

Sep 08 2021
Don’t Mind the Gap in Intergenerational Housing
Don’t Mind the Gap in Intergenerational Housing
Several new developments make a point of mixing age groups, because who wants to enter the golden years surrounded by only old people?
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The New York Times

Sep 08 2021
‘Gender Alchemy’ Is Transforming Art for the 21st Century
‘Gender Alchemy’ Is Transforming Art for the 21st Century
With the growing visibility of gender-nonconforming and transgender people, the scope of feminism is fast evolving. Now two major museum shows in California explore the impact on art.
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artforum.com

Sep 08 2021
António Bolota
On first glance, “Labor,” António Bolota’s first survey exhibition, presents a straightforward selection of the Sintra-based artist’s previous monumental outdoor and indoor projects (all works Untitled),
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The Guardian

Sep 08 2021
‘My family were horrified’: Unseen Sex Pistols photos to go on show in London

Images taken on Christmas Day 1977 include punk band dancing to Boney M and having a food fight

If the Sex Pistols look like they are having fun in these unseen Christmas Day 1977 photographs, it could be down to their afternoon involving a children’s party, food fights and getting down to Boney M.

The images will go on display at Photo London, the first photography fair to take place physically anywhere in the world since the pandemic started.

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The New York Times

Sep 08 2021
Judge Rejects Turkey’s Claim That Ancient Sculpture Was Looted.
Judge Rejects Turkey’s Claim That Ancient Sculpture Was Looted.
The marble figure had been displayed publicly for decades in New York before the Turkish government sued for its return.
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artforum.com

Sep 08 2021
“Light and Language”
Curated by Lisa Le Feuvre, “Light and Language” places the work of Nancy Holt—renowned for her involvement in the Land art and Conceptualism—in dialogue with that of contemporary artists. Anchoring the
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The Guardian

Sep 08 2021
‘Running didn’t even occur to me’: Gulnara Samoilova on photographing 9/11

‘A cop asked me: “How can you take photographs?” I told him: “I have to document this. It’s history”’

I was asleep when the first plane hit. At the time, I lived just four blocks from the World Trade Center, right next to a hospital, a fire station and the HQ of the New York police. The sirens woke me up. They were nonstop. I turned on the television and saw one of the towers on fire. As I watched the second plane hit the south tower on TV, I also heard it because I lived so close.

I was working for Associated Press (AP) as a photo editor. I knew, as their closest staff member, that I should go out and document it. I got dressed, threw some film into my camera bag, and ran out to the World Trade Center. A lot of photography is like muscle memory. Even in a situation like this, your body knows exactly what to do. I remember a cop asking me: “How can you take photographs?” I told him: “I have to document this. It’s history.”

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The New York Times

Sep 08 2021
San Francisco Gets Its Own Institute of Contemporary Art
Ali Gass, formerly of the ICA San Jose and the Smart Museum of Art in Chicago, has raised $2.5 million to start the new institution, with a planned opening in fall 2022.
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The New York Times

Sep 08 2021
The Trouble With Airports, and How to Fix Them
The Trouble With Airports, and How to Fix Them
With all the aggravation associated with flying these days, airport designers are hoping to calm things down with outdoor spaces, wide-open views, less noise and even foliage.
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The Guardian

Sep 08 2021
Intimate portraits of inspiring creative women – in pictures

The Mexican artist Hugo Huerta Marin spent seven years photographing and interviewing creative women who span disciplines, nationalities and generations. These candid portraits and insights into the work of women as diverse as Tracey Emin, FKA twigs and Agnès Varda, are published in Portrait of an Artist: Conversations With Trailblazing Creative Women by Prestel

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The Guardian

Sep 07 2021
Drag queens to cloud surfers: highlights from Photo London 2021 – in pictures

Featuring Malcolm X, Ronald McDonald and a turtleneck-wearing demon, Photo London returns in style with 88 galleries from 15 countries

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artforum.com

Sep 07 2021
Billy Apple (1935–2021)
New Zealand Pop artist Billy Apple, who cast himself as a brand decades before the commercial practice gained widespread prominence thanks to the use of social media, died September 6 at the age of
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The New York Times

Sep 07 2021
Nick Cave Digs Deep, With a Symphony in Glass
Nick Cave Digs Deep, With a Symphony in Glass
For his new installation of mosaics in New York, the artist ventures below Times Square.
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