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The Guardian

Sep 26 2021
‘Excessive tourism can destroy a place’: artist Tony Foster on the rush to the countryside

The painter expresses sadness at how social media, Covid and new buildings have made it a challenge to find places to create art

The far south-west of Britain has long been regarded as a wild and romantic spot, a place where you can lose yourself in rugged landscapes beloved of artists and dreamers.

But a renowned Cornish-based artist celebrated for his images of the world’s great wildernesses has expressed sadness and frustration that social media, new building and the rush to the countryside caused by Covid has made it a challenge to find remote, lonesome places in his backyard to paint.

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The Guardian

Sep 26 2021
Home tweet home: how an illustrator captured the intricacy of bird nests

When Susan Ogilvy starting painting nests in her garden she realised there were few pictorial accounts of these complex creations

One day about five years ago, while she was clearing up her Somerset garden after a storm, Susan Ogilvy found a curious object under a fir tree. “I had no idea what it was,” she recalls of the small, sodden green lump. “It clearly hadn’t grown naturally; it had been made by something. I picked it up and brought it inside and put it on a wodge of newspaper and, as the weight of water drained out of it, it sprang up into this absolutely fantastic nest.”

Her immediate response to her discovery – an unfinished chaffinch nest as it turned out – was to sit down and paint it. Ogilvy, a veteran botanical illustrator, had recently published a book about tree leaves, but on this occasion she was painting “just for the sheer pleasure of it”. She chuckles: “I didn’t know anything about nests. I was one of those people who thought of them as little twiggy things.”

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The Guardian

Sep 26 2021
Frans Hals: The Male Portrait review – painting as performance art

Wallace Collection, London
Revered by Manet and Van Gogh, scorned by Kenneth Clark, the great 17th-century portraitist captures each sitter in the moment with astonishing force and freedom

The brewer is mighty: a man of outsize prowess looking down on you with all his shrewd vigour, satin doublet straining to contain his huge girth. The hat is so large it has its own planetary halo; the lace collar could cover a table. It is not hard to imagine the awful strength of his grip.

He was the owner of the Swan’s Neck brewery, this gentleman of Haarlem. But he was also a lavish collector of Dutch portraits, and none can have exceeded this one. From the affable yet undeceived eyes to the reddening jowls, the shaggy pelt of hair to the elbow jutting out of the frame in a dazzle of creased satin, everything is painted with an apt and equivalent force. The portrait rises to meet the man at every turn.

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The Guardian

Sep 26 2021
The Cosmic House review – a dizzying house for all seasons

The extraordinary west London home of the late architect Charles Jencks is nothing short of the built embodiment of his teeming postmodern ideas. And now we’re all welcome

“A failure of recent architecture,” wrote the critic, theorist and architect Charles Jencks 45 years ago, “has been one of communication.” He believed buildings should speak, that they should mean something to their inhabitants and passersby. “An architect’s primary and final role,” he also said, “is to express the meanings a culture finds significant.”

Jencks himself loved to communicate. He liked to talk, to debate, to disagree. He was a maniacal book engine, elaborating and (sometimes) elucidating his theories in publication after publication over a period of 40-plus years. He was sociable and witty. He and his wife, the garden designer Maggie Keswick, were generous and public-spirited: the UK’s Maggie’s cancer centres, conceived by them while she was dying of the disease, bear witness.

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The New York Times

Sep 26 2021
Sculptures That ‘Show the Beauty of Each Watch’
Sculptures That ‘Show the Beauty of Each Watch’
Berd Vay’e suspends vintage parts in Lucite shaped like skulls and baseball bats — a way to show ‘passion for watchmaking in ways that extend beyond the wrist.’
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The Guardian

Sep 26 2021
Richmond’s Confederate statues are gone. What should replace them?

The removal of Gen Robert E Lee’s statue – a target for Black Lives Matter protesters – from Monument Avenue has sparked a debate on public art in Virginia

All but one plinth is now bare on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia.

Where once stood enormous statues glorifying Confederate leaders, on a thoroughfare that memorialized a white supremacist past in the former capital of the Confederacy, there is now empty space. The only monument that remains is of a black man: the Richmond native and renowned tennis player and activist Arthur Ashe.

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The Guardian

Sep 26 2021
Was famed Samson and Delilah really painted by Rubens? No, says AI

Long-held doubts about the authenticity of the National Gallery’s masterpiece, bought for £2.5m in 1980, are backed by pioneering technology

The National Gallery has always given pride of place to Peter Paul Rubens’s Samson and Delilah, listing it among the “highlights” of its collection, since it purchased the picture at Christie’s in 1980 for a then record price.

It depicts the Old Testament hero in the lap of the lover who betrayed him, having beguiled him into revealing that his God-given strength lay in his uncut hair. As Samson sleeps, Delilah’s accomplice cuts his locks, rendering him powerless, with soldiers ready at the door to capture him.

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The New York Times

Sep 25 2021
Gira Sarabhai, Designer Who Helped Shape Modern India, Dies at 97
Gira Sarabhai, Designer Who Helped Shape Modern India, Dies at 97
The youngest daughter of an influential family of industrialists, she trained with Frank Lloyd Wright before returning to India and founding design institutions.
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The Guardian

Sep 25 2021
The big picture: challenging fashion stereotypes

Londoner Nadine Ijewere cheerfully explodes the industry’s narrow notions of beauty with an image that typifies her work

Nadine Ijewere grew up in Peckham in south-east London and until she picked up a camera in sixth form she planned to study medicine. At school, there was a darkroom where she could process film and the excitement of watching the colours of her first rolls come to life changed her career path and won her a place at the London College of Fashion. At weekends, she and friends would get suitcases full of clothes from their wardrobes and drag them to the local park to dress up and have fun; she was the designated photographer. Within a few years, she was much in demand, shooting a campaign for Stella McCartney in Lagos, seeing some of her pictures of siblings exhibited at Tate Britain; in 2018, aged only 26, she made headlines as the first woman of colour to shoot a cover for Vogue, with a photograph featuring Dua Lipa and celebrating “the future”.

Ijewere took this image for the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ. Magazine in 2019, in a fashion feature devoted to the spring dress. Its energy is typical of her work, which is collected in a new monograph called Our Own Selves. The photos demonstrate her commitment to cheerfully exploding any narrow ideas of beauty that the fashion industry still clings to. Interviewed for her book, Ijewere talks about how, “when I started exploring photography in the magazines I’d flick through, I would think to myself, ‘Well…’ I never saw anyone that really looked like my friends or anyone I could relate to in those images. If they were people of colour or Black women, they were all light-skinned and had European features. If they had curly hair, it was blow-dried straight to match the white women. None of my friends really looked like that.”

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The Guardian

Sep 25 2021
Patricia’s Room: a loving tribute defying the invisibility of living with dementia

In a new photo series tracing her 90-year-old mother-in-law’s memory loss, Jennifer Blau aims to break down the stigma associated with the disease

During the pandemic last year, photographer and art therapist Jennifer Blau was looking for a project to work on. She turned to her mother-in-law, Patricia, who is 90 years old.

“She was elegant, intelligent, glamorous,” Blau tells Guardian Australia. “She was always out, and involved in the arts. I wanted to document that in a woman at 90.”

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The Guardian

Sep 25 2021
Marina Abramović: ‘I think about dying every day’

The artist, 74, talks about embracing mortality, her purely emotional art, spirituality and communism, and sex getting better after the menopause

I’ll be 75 in November. My grandmother, who lived to be 103, told me that 70 is when life starts to be really interesting. You’re free to do whatever you want, you have all the wisdom to do that. What sucks is if you’re sick; but if you’re healthy then life at this stage is incredibly enjoyable.

I think about dying every single day. It’s only when you think about dying that you fully enjoy your life. It means you can’t bullshit; everything that’s not important falls away, and you know death can happen any minute, any time – you are in the last act. You have to think about what you’re going to leave society: as an artist you have that obligation. Because if you have a gift, you have to handle it carefully. The gift isn’t given to you personally, it’s given to you to give to society. You have to think carefully about how you’re going to leave meaningful work behind.

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The Guardian

Sep 25 2021
‘My art is a protest’: disrupting ideas about black people in British rural areas

Madinah Farhannah Thompson’s art is informed by her experience as a black primary schoolchild

Growing up as one of the only black pupils at her primary school in Norwich, Madinah Farhannah Thompson says she felt isolated and that it affected her mental health.

Now the artist is using her complicated experience with the countryside in her work, which grapples with themes of rejection and racism felt by black people in rural areas.

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The Guardian

Sep 25 2021
A happy baby on a train: Dina Alfasi’s best phone picture

‘That the young girl in the foreground was a soldier with a gun on her knee is an integral part of that moment’

Dina Alfasi has often said that her favourite place to shoot is on the train. It’s not only a mobile studio with, as she puts it, great natural light and interesting subjects; it also lends itself to contemplation, to being in the moment.

The Israeli photographer was on her way to work in Haifa, Israel when this baby started laughing. It was 8am, on a June morning. The child was seated on the table: the rolling landscape beyond the window and the young women on the seats opposite vying for her attention. When they got her to laugh, the whole coach joined in. “There was a dreamy sense of joy,” Alfasi says, “a pure moment of unity and innocence.” It is that feeling she sought to retain with any image adjustments – the gentle colour, the Magritte clouds, the painterly highlights along chin and cheek. That the young woman in the foreground was a soldier with a gun on her knee is an integral part of that moment.

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The Guardian

Sep 25 2021
The Man Who Sold His Skin review – tattooed refugee story offers up art-world satire

Serious themes are undercut by the flippant tone of this story about a Syrian refugee who becomes a conceptual art object

Here is a muddled caper of movie that doesn’t know what it wants to say; it doesn’t work as a satire of the international art market, nor as a commentary on the racism of white European culture. And its attitude to Syria is undermined by a silly and unconvincing ending that leaves a strange taste in the mouth. It is inspired by the Belgian conceptual artist Wim Delvoye and his human artwork called Tim: in 2008, Delvoye tattooed an elaborate punk-crucifixion scene on the back of a Zurich tattoo parlour owner named Tim Steiner, who in return for a cash payment agreed to sit still with his tattooed back on show in galleries for a certain number of times a year and have his tattooed skin surgically removed and put on display after his death. And of course it is this macabre destiny that lends fascination to the ongoing live events.

This movie from writer-director Kaouther Ben Hania imagines a Syrian man, Sam Ali (Yahya Mahayni) in love with a well-born woman Abeer (Dea Liane). But when he is wrongfully arrested by the tyrannical Assad government, Abeer’s family pressures her into marrying a smooth diplomat, Ziad (Saad Lostan), who takes her to live with him in Brussels where he is an embassy attache. Sam Ali manages to escape from police custody (the least of the film’s implausibilities) and get over the border into Lebanon where, hungry and hard up, he gatecrashes art exhibitions and gobbles the free canapes. And this is where he is approached by a preeningly arrogant artist, Jeffrey Godefroi (Koen De Bouw), who looks like Roger De Bris, the theatre director in Mel Brooks’s The Producers. If Sam will agree to the humiliation of having a massive “Schengen visa” tattooed on his back, then Jeffrey will be legally able to transport him to Brussels as a conceptual art object rather than a human being, as part of a show about the commodification of humanity, and Sam will be able to see Abeer.

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The Guardian

Sep 24 2021
How one family turned a derelict garage into a home

Thanks to an online search error, an architect transformed a tumbledown building into a three-bedroom house

Melanie Schubert and partner Paolo Vimercati didn’t set out to buy a derelict double garage when they were looking for a new home. In one online search, Schubert forgot to include a minimum value – “and this was the cheapest property you could buy here”, she says. As architects, the couple realised that, with planning permission, this seven-metre-square plot with no garden in south-east London might just be a route to the best possible home for their budget.

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The Guardian

Sep 24 2021
Going out, staying in: a complete guide to this week’s entertainment

Whether it is a live gig, a new film or a game to play at home, our critics have your plans for this week covered

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artforum.com

Sep 24 2021
Saudi Arabia’s First Biennial Announces Participating Artists
The Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale, the first event of its kind to be held in Saudi Arabia, has released a partial list of participating artists,The Art Newspaper reports. Among the international
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artforum.com

Sep 24 2021
Sarah Thornton at Art Basel
“LET'S JUST SAY that the Italian Ambassador is a great friend,” said Isa Lorenzo, owner of Manila’s Silverlens Gallery, from her Art Basel Features booth, when asked how she managed to get into
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The Guardian

Sep 24 2021
Twenty photographs of the week

Haitian migrants attempt to reach the US, the Taliban in Kabul, wildfires in California and tributes to Jimmy Greaves – the most striking images from around the world this week

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The New York Times

Sep 24 2021
Paranormal Play in Denver From Meow Wolf
Paranormal Play in Denver From Meow Wolf
“Convergence Station,” the company’s third installation, may be good business. But is it good art?
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The New York Times

Sep 24 2021
At Art Basel, Everyone’s Playing It Safe
At Art Basel, Everyone’s Playing It Safe
Dealers brought familiar works to the flagship Swiss fair, and the event’s organizers soothed nervous exhibitors with reassuring gestures.
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The Guardian

Sep 24 2021
‘A few of the legends’: the 39-year journey to put a face to the world’s great photographers

In 1982 Peter Adams finished a photography course in Australia. As the celebratory drinks flowed an idea materialised that would take him on a journey spanning 374,592km (he did the maths) around the world. The purpose of this grand endeavour was to photograph and interview some of the world’s best-known photographers. Thirty-nine years later the result is being bound at the printers in the form of a book that documents 300 of the world’s most prolific photographers

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artforum.com

Sep 24 2021
“The Gift”
“The Gift” is one of four linked exhibitions taking place across Singapore, Jakarta, Berlin, and Chiang Mai, Thailand, as part of “Collecting Entanglements and Embodied Histories,” an ambitious project
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The New York Times

Sep 24 2021
A Broken Frame, and DNA Traces, Led to Arrest in van Gogh Theft
Dutch prosecutors said that DNA evidence tied a man to the thefts of a van Gogh and a Frans Hals painting; he denies the charges.
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The New York Times

Sep 24 2021
Man Convicted in Thefts of a van Gogh and a Hals From Dutch Museums
Man Convicted in Thefts of a van Gogh and a Hals From Dutch Museums
DNA evidence found at the two museums after the burglaries led investigators to the suspect, who has now been sentenced to eight years in prison by a Dutch court.
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artforum.com

Sep 24 2021
Ron Nagle
For more than fifty-five years, Ron Nagle has asserted his quixotic mind and humor throughout a wildly creative life in both sculpture and, perhaps lesser known to art audiences, music. His latest
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The Guardian

Sep 24 2021
Fridays for Future global climate strike – in pictures

Activists marched on cities around the world to demand action on climate change before Cop26 in Glasgow

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artforum.com

Sep 24 2021
Amy Taubin on the New York and Toronto film festivals
EVEN WITH the New York Film Festival kicking off tonight with Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, I thought I had had enough of festivals, at least until 2022. Wild horses could not have dragged me
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The Guardian

Sep 24 2021
Lightning bolts, smart toilets and radical pottery – the week in art

Printmaking genius Hokusai is at the British Museum, the Turner comes to Coventry, and ancient nomads pitch up in Cambridge – all in your weekly dispatch

Hokusai: The Great Picture Book of Everything
A unique cache of drawings by one of the world’s best-loved artists offers a closer look at the genius who created the Great Wave.
British Museum, London, from 30 September

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The New York Times

Sep 24 2021
He Taught Ancient Texts at Oxford. Now He Is Accused of Stealing Some.
Hobby Lobby, the craft chain that helped build a collection for the Museum of the Bible, has sued a former Oxford lecturer, asserting he sold it stolen artifacts.
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artforum.com

Sep 24 2021
Tony Pipolo on “Currents” at the 59th New York Film Festival
WITH FIFTEEN FEATURES and eight programs of shorts, the second edition of the New York Film Festival’s “Currents” sidebar almost qualifies as a festival in itself. Again international in scope, this
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The Guardian

Sep 24 2021
British Museum enters world of NFTs with digital Hokusai postcards

Partnership with new platform LaCollection aims to inspire next generation of art collectors

The British Museum is venturing into the emerging world of non-fungible tokens by partnering with a new platform to launch digital postcards of the work of Katsushika Hokusai.

NFTs – unique digital assets stored on the blockchain – have gripped the arts sector since the digital artist Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple, made history in March by selling an NFT for $69.4m.

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The Guardian

Sep 24 2021
Sponges, blood cells and sound-art: the exhibition hoping to cure my cancer

The UK’s first ever cancer research exhibition pairs up patients with researchers to show the creative paths taken on the cutting edge of human discovery

Shortly before the pandemic hit, I found myself dressed in a red lab coat, trying to find a cure for blood cancer. Although that might be overstating things a little. It’s Professor Dominique Bonnet who is at the cutting edge of cancer research, whereas I was just tagging along for a day at the Francis Crick Institute, hoping to get a feel for what a career in the laboratory looks like.

It was a fascinating experience, especially seeing how Bonnet’s work could be surprisingly hands-on. I learned that she uses sponges of collagen in her research because the material is so similar to the bone marrow in which our blood cells are made. By dipping these tiny sponges into human stromal cells and then inserting them into the backs of mice to develop naturally, scientists are better able to monitor how cancer progresses and reacts to certain interventions. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the sponges can be removed afterwards, leaving the mice unharmed, although of course other cancer research is not able to be as humane.

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The Guardian

Sep 24 2021
‘Better ugly than boring’: book celebrates bizarre Belgian houses

Hannes Coudenys’ Ugly Belgian Houses updated with more from the ‘chaos known as Belgium’

Ever since he was a child, Hannes Coudenys had been annoyed by the “visual chaos” around him. On the road from home to his school in Bruges, he found a mishmash of architectural styles – haciendas, villas, farm-style houses, all mixed up with boxy malls and carpet shops.

One day, as an adult, still exasperated, he took a photo of a house that was split into two jarringly different styles: a grey urban semi whose other half was a jaunty brick cottage. He put the photo online with the title “ugly Belgian houses” and an internet trend was born.

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The New York Times

Sep 24 2021
Saving the Artwork of the South: Deep Investment, and a Drone
Saving the Artwork of the South: Deep Investment, and a Drone
From Birmingham to Gee’s Bend, the Souls Grown Deep Foundation is directly investing in Alabama communities where artists and quilters live, work — and struggle.
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The Guardian

Sep 24 2021
Flayed and depraved: the Tunisian film that satirises the art world

Yahya Mahayni, the Syrian star of The Man Who Sold His Skin, discusses Kaouther Ben Hania’s Oscar-nominated work, depictions of refugees on screen and working with Monica Bellucci

The first thing we see in The Man Who Sold His Skin is human hide: flayed, framed and transformed into an artwork. Gloved hands present the canvas of painted skin at auction in all its gruesome glory. It belongs to Sam Ali, a Syrian refugee and fugitive who agrees to have his back tattooed by a conceptual artist in a Faustian exchange for a European visa that turns him into a human artwork, exhibited on gallery plinths and gawped at by the world.

“That was actually a replica of my skin in the opening scene,” says Yahya Mahayni, the Syria-born actor who plays Sam. “They made a mould of my back with all its imperfections and then put it on pigskin because that looks like human skin.”

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The Guardian

Sep 23 2021
Chelsea flower show 2021 – in pictures

The small details catch photographer Sarah Lee’s eye at the late season show

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artforum.com

Sep 23 2021
Alice Neel
“I paint to try to reveal the struggle, tragedy and joy of life.” - Alice Neel David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Alice Neel (1900-1984) from the
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artforum.com

Sep 23 2021
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artforum.com

Sep 23 2021
Lisa Yuskavage
David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Lisa Yuskavage. On view at 533 West 19th Street in New York, this will be the artist’s seventh solo show with the gallery. In this
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The New York Times

Sep 23 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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artforum.com

Sep 23 2021
Benedikte Bjerre
Work is ubiquitous but, for the most part, invisible. Production processes and their impact on social inequality and the global ecology tend to vanish into the objects that make up our everyday life.
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The New York Times

Sep 23 2021
In Rashid Johnson’s Mosaics, Broken Lives Pieced Together
In Rashid Johnson’s Mosaics, Broken Lives Pieced Together
In new exhibitions at the Metropolitan Opera and David Kordansky Gallery, the artist offers a story of recovery — personal and collective — after a “blunt force trauma.”
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artforum.com

Sep 23 2021
Julien Ceccaldi
At Jenny’s, cohost of Julien Ceccaldi’s current exhibition “Centuries Old”—the other half of which unfolds at Lomex—a mannequin constructed from a bodysuit, a wig, lashes, and the artist’s clothes
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The Guardian

Sep 23 2021
‘Privacy is at stake’: what would you do if you controlled your own data?

In an ambitious new installation, artist Refik Anadol used a 17,000 square-foot gallery to mount an immersive exhibit asking questions about online privacy

The trick of Refik Anadol’s Machine Hallucinations, a three-day public art installation at The Shed in New York City, is to transform the processing of data into surreal hypnosis. The immersive audiovisual exhibit towers over a cavernous 17,000 sq ft gallery in Hudson Yards, an outer ring of screens features a shimmering and chameleonic display of what looks like pixelated sand. But each square is a narrative of data: a familiar image – tree, building, lamppost, over 130m publicly available images of New York City searched and collected by Anadol and his team’s algorithms – morphed into a single-colored square and then silenced by a single question: what would you do if you owned your data?

Related: ‘Some people feel threatened’: face to face with Ai-Da the robot artist

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The New York Times

Sep 23 2021
These Are the Art Shows and Events to See This Season
From an enormous roundup of Black American portraits to a two-city retrospective of Jasper Johns, the new art season is buzzing again — and as busy as it ever was.
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The New York Times

Sep 23 2021
Review: 'Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror' Divides and Conquers
Review: 'Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror' Divides and Conquers
“Mind/Mirror,” a monumental retrospective at the Whitney Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, reveals an artist’s protean talent, changing perspectives and resiliency over six decades.
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The New York Times

Sep 23 2021
Port Authority to Host Public Art Photo Project
Port Authority to Host Public Art Photo Project
“Inside Out: NY Together,” which will feature large-scale black-and-white portraits of people who walk by the transit hub, focuses on community.
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The New York Times

Sep 23 2021
New Director for Mass MoCA
New Director for Mass MoCA
Kristy Edmunds is to replace the museum’s longtime leader, Joseph C. Thompson, in October.
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