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The Guardian

Feb 12 2021
A bear let loose and the wall of death: Friday's best photos

The Guardian’s picture editors select photo highlights from around the world

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The Guardian

Feb 11 2021
The Great British Art Tour: what Oliver Dowden has on his wall

With public art collections closed we are bringing the art to you, exploring hidden gems from across the country in partnership with Art UK. Today we choose Whitehall’s Le Rodeur: The Pulley by Lubaina Himid

A striking scene of two black women in a theatrical setting against the backdrop of a raging sea draws us into the complex practice of Lubaina Himid. In Le Rodeur: The Pulley, the 2017 Turner prize winner marries human relationships with a broader shared cultural and political history.

Himid’s work hangs in the office of culture secretary Oliver Dowden. It was acquired by the Government Art Collection in 2017, since when it has also been exhibited at 10 Downing Street and, in 2019, shown at Tate Britain.

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The New York Times

Feb 11 2021
Leslie Robertson, Who Engineered the World Trade Center, Dies at 92
He remained proud of the towers, which stood long enough for thousands to escape on 9/11, but carried with him “a troubled heart.”
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artforum.com

Feb 11 2021
Cuba Names Journalism, Music Production, Cultural Programming as Among Banned Private Professions
The Cuban government, which this past weekend announced the expansion of its private sector from 127 professions to more than two thousand, yesterday published a list of 124 professions that it has said
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artforum.com

Feb 11 2021
Summer Kim Lee on Isaac Lee Chung’s Minari (2021)
THROUGHOUT MINARI, seven-year-old David Yi is told not to run. He has a heart murmur, so his parents and older sister just want him to be safe. But how could he not run, surrounded by all the open
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The New York Times

Feb 11 2021
5 Things to Do This Weekend
5 Things to Do This Weekend
Our critics and writers have selected noteworthy cultural events to experience virtually.
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The New York Times

Feb 11 2021
Goya: The Dreams, the Visions, the Nightmares
In more than 100 drawings and prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the brilliant Spanish artist navigates the turbulence of politics and looks deep within the chambers of his heart.
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The New York Times

Feb 11 2021
Alex Da Corte Will Bring His Riotous Sensibility to the Met Roof
The Philadelphia-based artist has been selected for the museum’s annual site-specific installation, which opens in April.
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The New York Times

Feb 11 2021
The 19th-Century Church One Artist Calls Home
For the painter Angel Otero, a former place of worship in upstate New York is a sanctuary in which to live and work.
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artforum.com

Feb 11 2021
Joan Mitchell Foundation Refocuses Funding Model with Extended Fellowship
The New York–based Joan Mitchell Foundation has announced the launch of the Joan Mitchell Fellowship, a new program that will provide fifteen artists working in the fields of painting and sculpting with
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The Guardian

Feb 11 2021
Uffizi Gallery acquires street art piece from London artist Endless

Self-portrait featuring his trademark ‘crotch grab’ figure will be first work by a street artist in Italian gallery

The Uffizi Gallery, renowned for its Renaissance collection of Botticellis and Michelangelos, has acquired a work by a British street artist who began spray-painting in London a decade ago.

The gallery in Florence unveiled a self-portrait by the UK-based artist Endless on Monday. The montage, a comment on advertising and consumer culture, will become the first piece by a street artist to go on display in the Uffizi.

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The Guardian

Feb 11 2021
Bulldoze the high street and build a giant park: is Stockton the future of Britain?

What do you do when M&S, Debenhams and New Look are all gone? Knock down the shopping centre and replace it with a riverside oasis. Could the ‘visionary’ plan of Stockton-on-Tees spark a revolution?

An empty Debenhams, a shuttered Marks & Spencer, an abandoned New Look: the town centre of Stockton-on-Tees has suffered a similar fate to countless high streets up and down the UK, struggling to survive in the online shopping, Covid-stricken era. But, while some towns scramble to convert empty department stores into flats, or fill vacant shops with community pop-ups and urban farms, Stockton Council has come up with an altogether bolder proposition for the post-retail age. It plans to demolish half the high street and replace it with a park.

“The government asked for ‘transformational’ proposals for our high streets,” says councillor Nigel Cooke, cabinet member for regeneration. “If this is not transformational, I don’t know what is.” If the plans go ahead, the project will see an ailing shopping arcade ripped up and replaced with a riverside park three times the size of Trafalgar Square, providing grandstand views across a bucolic scene of rowing, sailing and waterside promenading along the Tees. As retail continues to retreat, might our future high streets embrace the great outdoors?

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The Guardian

Feb 10 2021
Some people are on the pitch! Sports photos with a twist – in pictures

Combining thousands of images, Pelle Cass’s photographs of tennis, basketball and more perfectly evoke the chaos and physicality of sport

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The Guardian

Feb 10 2021
London's Chinatown gets ready for the year of the ox – in pictures

The Chinese lunar new year falls on Friday, but with the parade and festivities cancelled this year because of coronavirus, London’s Chinatown is deserted. Martin Godwin takes a look around the quiet streets

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The Guardian

Feb 10 2021
The Great British Art Tour: Witton Park honours its war heroes

With public art collections closed we are bringing the art to you, exploring highlights and hidden gems from across the country in partnership with Art UK. Today’s pick: County Durham’s The Ball and the Bradford Boy

A dejected, uniformed soldier returns home from war. Head bowed beneath his tin hat, he appears burdened with the weight of the rifle on his back and the horror of his battlefield experiences. A second figure in civilian dress, a miner, and a friend, wears the familiar broad flat cap. He reaches out to the soldier, placing a reassuring hand upon his shoulder.

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The New York Times

Feb 10 2021
3 Art Gallery Shows to See Right Now
Photographs by Black artists; Reggie Burrows Hodges’s New York debut; and He Xiangyu’s first solo show in the United States.
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The New York Times

Feb 10 2021
Hear the Sound of a Seashell Horn Found in an Ancient French Cave
Hear the Sound of a Seashell Horn Found in an Ancient French Cave
Music from the large conch probably hadn’t been heard by human ears for 17,000 years.
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The New York Times

Feb 10 2021
Closed Nearly a Year, Empty Museums in Los Angeles Struggle
Closed Nearly a Year, Empty Museums in Los Angeles Struggle
While many museums around the country have resumed operations, those in Los Angeles remain an exception. They have been shut since March.
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The Guardian

Feb 10 2021
In the Absence of Light: celebrating the history of black artists in America

In a compelling new HBO documentary, film-maker Sam Pollard speaks to prominent creatives to tell the struggle and success of African American art

“I get up at 7.30 in the morning and then I’m at my computer working, thinking about new ideas, pushing along the projects that I’m involved in,” 70-year-old Sam Pollard explains. The documentary film-maker, as an editor, frequently collaborated with Spike Lee on films such as Mo’ Better Blues, 4 Little Girls and Bamboozled. His storied directing career features the seminal civil rights docuseries Eyes on the Prize, the electrifying blues documentary Two Trains Runnin’, and the Academy Award-shortlisted MLK/FBI.

Related: Black on both sides: the African diaspora around the world – in pictures

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The Guardian

Feb 10 2021
The model who made Instagram apologise: Alexandra Cameron's best photograph

‘My first picture of Nyome Nicholas-Williams was removed by Instagram. This one was taken as a celebration after it agreed to change its policies’

When I noticed the model and activist Nyome Nicholas-Williams on social media early last summer, I felt hugely appreciative of how confident she was in her images. She was celebrating who she was. I base a lot of my work around photographing women and trying to encourage self-acceptance, which is motivated by my own low confidence. I lived through the 90s and 00s heyday of gossip mags and size zero. So when I saw Nyome, who is confident in front of the camera and boldly herself as a plus-size black woman – a marginalised and censored group of people – I reached out because I really wanted to capture her.

She came to visit me in Cambridge in July, when we were recently out of the first lockdown. I shoot only with natural light, in a barn that is open to the elements along one side. I hang my backdrops in there, and the light enters from one direction only, like in studio photos. I prefer it because it creates the most beautiful, diffused light, with depth and a soft feel to it. I would never have thought it possible to create photos like this – you don’t need a big fancy studio! Shooting out of a glorified shed is an ice-breaker, too. I have to move the bikes to one side and we’re looking out into the garden with the dogs running about, which makes everyone relax and that has an impact on the photo.

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The New York Times

Feb 10 2021
Subtle Ceramics, Modeled After the Simplest of Forms
Inside a former bottling factory in Brooklyn, the artist Danny Kaplan creates hand-thrown lamps and objects that feel at once ancient and modern.
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The Guardian

Feb 10 2021
Can Addis Ababa stop its architectural gems being hidden under high-rises?

While Ethiopia’s ancient sites are valued, urban heritage is an afterthought in a city forced to expand ever upwards

Only rubble remains of the former home of Dejazmatch Asfaw Kebede, a member of Emperor Haile Selassie’s government. Built in the early 1900s, and inspired by Indian as well as Ethiopian architecture, the building was demolished in early January without the knowledge of Addis Ababa’s conservation agency, the Culture and Tourism Bureau.

Demolition and reconstruction are now the most common sights along Addis Ababa’s unrecognisably altered skeleton skyline. The collateral damage is the city’s heritage.

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The Guardian

Feb 10 2021
Familial gaze: the black photographers drawing on their family albums

A global selection of artists are all seeking inspiration in images related to their own pasts

Gabriel Moses regularly flicked through his family photo albums as he grew up in south London. Shot by a local photographer, the images are simple snapshots that capture his Nigerian family at home in Catford.

“You could see that there’s a lot of personality in the images,” he says. “You can feel that there’s a lot of energy and for me now as a photographer that’s what I want to produce for my generation.”

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The Guardian

Feb 09 2021
Meet 'the girls': the last two northern white rhinos on Earth – in pictures

Najin and Fatu are the only two rhinos of their species in existence. Jack Davison visited Ol Pejeta in Kenya to document a story that transcends tragedy

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The Guardian

Feb 09 2021
Underwater photographer of the year 2021 winners – in pictures

Underwater photographer of the year, a global annual competition based in the UK, celebrates photography beneath the surface of the ocean, lakes, rivers and even swimming pools

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The Guardian

Feb 09 2021
Not fade away: the art of taking a ghost-sign spotting walk

An urban stroll can become a journey into the past for those alert to the faded beauty of hand-painted adverts on old buildings

During a recent lockdown refurbishment of my local pub in Glasgow, it wasn’t the aesthetic changes to the Titwood Bar’s exterior that piqued people’s curiosity. Most eyes were drawn instead to the detail of a faded sign that began to appear on the wall above, eventually displaying “The Elbow Room” in handsome, intricate lettering.

Shared stories on social media from enthusiastic locals followed, revealing that this was one of Glasgow’s most sophisticated drinking dens in the 1950s: a cocktail lounge where dapper barmen in white suits and black bow ties served Celtic and Rangers players. Despite living only a 10-minute walk from this pub in Strathbungo, in the south of the city, and spending many hours socialising in it, I had no knowledge of its vibrant past. It took a ghost sign, and those who remembered it before it was a ghost, to bring it to life.

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The Guardian

Feb 09 2021
The Great British Art Tour: the fairy folk who made the house stink

With public art collections closed we are bringing the art to you, exploring highlights from across the country in partnership with Art UK. Today’s pick: Dundee’s Riders of the Sidhe

The Riders of the Sidhe (pronounced Shee) is John Duncan’s masterpiece. It is an iconic image of the late 19th-century Celtic revival – a movement that evoked the ancient cultural identities of Scotland and Ireland. Remarkably, it was Duncan’s first major work in the challenging medium of tempera. His adoption of tempera demonstrated his admiration for Renaissance painting but there was a major drawback for his family. His experiments with tempera combined coloured pigment with egg yolk and mastic varnish. Not only did the house stink but, his daughter Bunty recalled: “We ate meringues for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

In Celtic myth, the Sidhe are fairy folk. They are shown in procession, riding out on the May festival of Beltane to initiate mortals into their faith. Duncan intended the pose and expression of each rider to reflect the qualities of the Celtic symbol they carry. From left to right: the tree of life denotes wisdom; the grail cup love; the sword symbolises strength and power: and the stone (or crystal) of quietness is hope, as it reflects the past and the future.

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artforum.com

Feb 09 2021
An Interview with Farah Al Qasimi
Artist Farah Al Qasimi discusses anime and photography in her exhibition, “Lady Lady” at Cooper Cole, Toronto. “Lady Lady” is on view at Cooper Cole through February 27, 2021.
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artforum.com

Feb 09 2021
Gerhard Richter
Watch installation video Gagosian is pleased to present Gerhard Richter’s Cage paintings (2006) in Los Angeles and New York. The presentation follows their inclusion, as a cornerstone, in the artist’s
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The Guardian

Feb 09 2021
Ceremonial beauty and ancestral connections: Tiwi Islands art and artefacts – in pictures

The art of the Tiwi Islands is intimately connected with the visual, oral and dance culture that anchors Tiwi people’s identity. From carved memorial sculptures to the intricate painted designs worn during ceremonies, Tiwi art is a gateway to understanding the depth and beauty of Tiwi culture. ‘Melbourne is a long way from the Tiwi Islands,’ says Pedro Wonaeamirri, cultural advisor to Tiwi, an exhibition of art and artefacts now showing at the National Gallery of Victoria. ‘But I like to be able to share our stories with others.’

Tiwi is showing at NGV Australia, Federation Square, Melbourne, until 8 March

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The Guardian

Feb 09 2021
From Behrouz Boochani to Bernard Collaery: photographer Hoda Afshar turns her lens on whistleblowers

Three years after her famous portrait of Behrouz Boochani won the Bowness prize, the Iranian-born photographer sees Greek tragedy in those who speak out

“The whistleblower is the modern tragic figure in our current society,” says Hoda Afshar.

The Iranian-born, Melbourne-based photographer is talking about her new series, a collection of striking, monochrome 3D portraits of contemporary Australians who have spoken out about injustice, often at their own risk.

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artforum.com

Feb 09 2021
Al Held
White Cube Bermondsey is pleased to present an exhibition by Al Held (1928−2005), the first solo presentation of his work in London since 2008. Focusing on paintings made in New York during the 1960s,
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The New York Times

Feb 09 2021
The Surprising Ascent of KAWS
The Surprising Ascent of KAWS
Brian Donnelly went from tagger to blue-chip artist, riding the increasingly blurry line between commercial and fine art.
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artforum.com

Feb 09 2021
Neal Benezra to Step Down as Director of SFMoMA
Neal Benezra is leaving his post as director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art after nearly two decades on the job. While there, he expanded the museum’s collection to more than fifty thousand
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The Guardian

Feb 09 2021
London's new diversity commission 'not about removing statues'

Sadiq Khan’s landmark panel aims to inspire all parts of society and better reflect the capital’s diverse population

London’s commission on diversity in the public realm is not about tearing statues down, but addressing the dearth of monuments to people of colour and “instilling hope”, its youngest member has said.

London mayor Sadiq Khan has announced the 15 panellists selected to be members of the new Landmark Commission to improve diversity in the capital’s public spaces.

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artforum.com

Feb 09 2021
Pioneering Singapore Arts Incubator the Substation Loses Longtime Space
The Substation, Singapore’s first independent multidisciplinary arts space, has been told by the National Arts Council (NAC) that it must vacate in July the Armenian Street building it has occupied for
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The New York Times

Feb 09 2021
Director of SFMOMA Steps Down
Director of SFMOMA Steps Down
Neal Benezra has expanded the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s collection, building and attendance over two decades — and navigated a bumpy last year.
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artforum.com

Feb 09 2021
Frick Madison to Open in Iconic Breuer Building in March
The Frick Collection has moved from its tony digs in its founder’s mansion at the corner of Fifth Avenue and East Seventieth Street on New York’s Upper East Side to its temporary home at 945 Madison,
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artforum.com

Feb 09 2021
Johanne Hestvold
The five sculptures here are large, almost brutalist-looking vessels that stand on imposing concrete plinths. Together, they exude both ceremony and mystery, as if constructed by some long-gone
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The New York Times

Feb 09 2021
Frick Collection to Open as Frick Madison in March (With Coffee)
Frick Collection to Open as Frick Madison in March (With Coffee)
Moving a grand collection and Gilded Age luxuries into Marcel Breuer’s modernist landmark.
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The Guardian

Feb 09 2021
'It took a long time to get here': behind the National Museum of African American Music

Tracing over 400 years of black music, an ambitious new museum in Nashville celebrates artists we all know and those whose work remains under the radar

In 1967, Jimi Hendrix accidentally cracked his guitar before a concert. Seeing it was pretty much broken, he decided to destroy it on stage.

When he did, the audience went wild.

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artforum.com

Feb 09 2021
Jason Moran
Jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran’s new pigment-on-paper abstractions in this show, created during the pandemic, greatly broaden the relationship between the body and sound. The impressions captured
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The Guardian

Feb 08 2021
Eternally 3am: Baltimore after dark – in pictures

From raucous drag nights to hip-hop battles in boxing gyms, Joseph M Giordano’s photographs from the last 25 years capture the city’s vibrant nightlife – before the pandemic left it shuttered

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The Guardian

Feb 08 2021
Rembrandt and slavery: did the great painter have links to this abhorrent trade?

No artist is more celebrated for their compassion and empathy. So why has the Dutch master’s work been included in a shocking new show linking art and the slave trade?

The title of the show is simple and stark: Slavery. Due to open this spring at the mighty Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, this bold exhibition documents the importance of this abhorrent trade in the rise and wealth of the Netherlands, by juxtaposing shackles and slave inventories with works of art. There is a metal ring that has been in the Rijksmuseum since the 19th century. Previously catalogued as a dog collar, it is now thought to have been used on a human. There are other similarly chilling exhibits in this disturbing show – and at the heart of them all hang two renowned paintings by Rembrandt.

Their inclusion is shocking. After all, there is no artist more overflowing with compassion and empathy than Rembrandt. Yet this exhibition at the Rijksmuseum, home to so many of his masterpieces, reveals a side of the painter’s career that sits badly with our view of him as an artist with an expansive vision of what it means to be human.

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The Guardian

Feb 08 2021
The Great British Art Tour: who's that boy?

With public art collections closed we are bringing the art to you, exploring highlights across the country in partnership with Art UK. Today’s pick: Birmingham’s The Marriage Feast at Cana by Murillo

More than 20 figures crowd around a laden banquet table, with fine silks and glittering tableware adding to the abundant scene. Those in the foreground of this imposing painting are roughly lifesize. They are largely white European in appearance, but one exception is the young boy prominently positioned just right of the centre, who is shown as Black African or Afro-Hispanic.

Murillo’s 1672 work The Marriage Feast at Cana is one of the few known paintings from early modern Spain to depict a Black figure. Yet his presence seems to have been of little scholarly interest; instead, the identities of the bride and groom at the picture’s centre have been energetically debated (perhaps they are the artist’s patrons, the Flemish silk merchant Nicolás Omazur and his wife Isabel Malcampo).

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The New York Times

Feb 08 2021
‘Black Art: In the Absence of Light’ Reveals a History of Neglect and Triumph
An HBO documentary explores two centuries of art by African-Americans, and the path they forged for contemporary Black artists.
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artforum.com

Feb 08 2021
Cindy Nemser (1937–2021)
Art historian and critic Cindy Nemser, who cofounded the influential Feminist Art Journal and was an early and outspoken critic of chauvinism in the art world, died on January 26 at the age of eighty-seven,
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artforum.com

Feb 08 2021
Gideon Jacobs on photography and video games
IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO IDENTIFY exactly when photography “went digital,” but a helpful benchmark is January 19, 2012, the day the Eastman Kodak Company filed for bankruptcy. A little over a decade earlier,
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artforum.com

Feb 08 2021
Met Contemplates Deaccessioning to Cover Deficit
New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, under the direction of Max Hollein, is considering selling some of the rarely or never-shown works in its collection in order to offset a possible $150 million
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