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The Guardian

May 22 2018
Plans for £100m Nobel Centre blocked by Swedish court

David Chipperfield-designed centre would harm Stockholm waterfront, court rules

A Swedish court has blocked the construction of a major new Nobel Centre in Stockholm intended as the future venue for the world’s most prestigious arts and science awards.

The 1.2bn krona (£100m) brass-clad structure, designed by the British architect David Chipperfield, would harm the capital’s picturesque waterfront, a cultural heritage site, the land and environmental court ruled on Tuesday.

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The Guardian

May 22 2018
Vase that 'we didn't like too much' is worth small fortune

Sotheby’s predicts that artefact from Qing-dynasty China, found in shoebox in French attic, will sell for upwards of €500,000

A Chinese vase discovered in a battered shoebox stuffed in an attic in France is set to be the star of a Sotheby’s auction next month.

Experts have identified it as an exquisite porcelain vessel made for the 18th century Qing dynasty Emperor Qianlong. The guide price for its auction on 12 June starts at €500,000 (£438,000/US$590,000).

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The New York Times

May 22 2018
Robert Indiana, 89, Who Turned ‘Love’ Into Enduring Art, Is Dead
Mr. Indiana’s depiction of the letters L, O, V and E was one of the best-known images of the 20th century, widely reproduced but also widely imitated.
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The New York Times

May 22 2018
Robert Indiana Had All but Vanished in Recent Years. Some Friends Wondered Why.
A company that represented the artist says in a lawsuit that Mr. Indiana’s caretaker on a Maine island had shut him off from the rest of the world.
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artforum.com

May 22 2018
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The Guardian

May 22 2018
The big bangers: grime smashes into the Hadron Collider

They rapped in its tunnels and played instruments made out of old science equipment. Could this be Cern’s most amazing experiment yet?

‘Anyone attending the performances,” says Jack Jelfs, “will find themselves in a 12-dimensional quantum superposition.” This superposition, adds the artist, will contain three overlaid elements: our mythic past, our scientific present and our unknown future. “So,” concludes Jelfs, “you may wish to prepare appropriately.”

Jelfs is talking about The Wave Epoch, a high-concept performance piece that is the result of four British artists spending time at Cern (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research), where particles are accelerated and bashed into each other to reveal the secrets of the universe. When it’s described as “something between an installation, a music performance and a rave”, The Wave Epoch might not sound like anything particularly new, but it all becomes a lot more original when you realise it was conceived 175 metres underneath the Franco-Swiss border in the presence of the Large Hadron Collider, the biggest single piece of machinery in existence.

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artforum.com

May 22 2018
500 WORDS: Hsu Chia-Wei
Hsu Chia-Wei talks about his work in the Biennale of Sydney
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artforum.com

May 22 2018
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The Guardian

May 22 2018
For Robert Indiana, LOVE was the message | Jonathan Jones

The undying fame of Indiana’s artwork is proof that love still has blazing energy as a political force

Love is just a four letter word – and it was a much ruder one when Robert Indiana, who has died aged 89, first thought up the work of art that was to define him and an entire decade. Indiana’s 1966 pop masterpiece Love originally said Fuck. Even after he changed it to the more heartwarming and universally acceptable word – he would spend the rest of his life turning it into sculptures and even adapting it to Hope to support Barack Obama – there was a secret meaning to this artwork.

Love is power declaimed Bishop Michael Curry in an address at the royal wedding that invoked the spirit of the 1960s

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The New York Times

May 22 2018
Show Us Your Wall: Want a Warehouse of Art? Try the Installment Plan
Art can be full of surprises. Sometimes it speaks to you.
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The Guardian

May 22 2018
Pop artist Robert Indiana, creator of LOVE, dies aged 89

The reclusive artist’s stacked-letter Love sculptures were instantly recognisable, overshadowing his other work – though he had a retrospective at New York’s Whitney

American pop artist Robert Indiana, best known for his 1960s Love series, has died at his island home off the coast of Maine. He was 89.

Indiana died on Saturday from respiratory failure at his Victorian home in a converted Odd Fellows hall, a fraternal order lodge, where he had lived for years on Vinalhaven Island, said James Brannan, his attorney.

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The Guardian

May 21 2018
Bohemians and boxers: August Sander's Germany – in pictures

Early 20th-century androgyny, rural conservatism and dapper aviators make up pioneering photographer August Sander’s portrait of pre-Weimar Germany

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The Guardian

May 21 2018
Interview magazine closes, ending a 50-year survey of Manhattan cool

Magazine founded by Andy Warhol closes after months of turmoil, including a lawsuit brought over back pay and the resignation of a fashion director accused of sexual misconduct

Interview magazine, the famous art, fashion, entertainment and pop culture journal of downtown New York founded by Andy Warhol in 1969, has closed down, according to company sources.

The magazine was owned by Peter Brant, a billionaire art collector, who acquired the magazine in 1989. Its closure comes after months of turmoil, including staff being locked out as part of rent dispute, a lawsuit brought by a former editorial director over back pay and the resignation of a fashion director accused of sexual misconduct.

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artforum.com

May 21 2018
DIARY: From Bratwurst to Bulgari
Louisa Elderton on Gallery Weekend Berlin and Art Monte-Carlo
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The Guardian

May 21 2018
Roger Michell obituary

My husband, the potter Roger Michell, who has died aged 70 after a short illness, was best known for the Walking Ware tea service he designed in 1974, its quirky pieces mounted on legs, clad in shoes and stripy socks, and ready to stride out. His highly decorative style came as a breath of fresh air in the world of pottery.

Roger’s pots are held in public collections including that of the V&A, the Glasgow City Museum, the Norwich Castle Museum, the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Staffordshire, and the Tea and Coffee Museum in London. In 2009 I published a book about his work, Walking Ware: A Collector’s Guide.

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The Guardian

May 21 2018
Antony Gormley: Subject review – this art thesis fails the viva

Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge
As the famous artist returns to his alma mater’s town, he could do with a rigorous professorial interview about his art

Antony Gormley floats in space with his eyes fixed on infinity. His arms and legs are straight and relaxed, his posture passive and meditative as he hangs about half a metre above the floor.

Wake up, it’s time for a tutorial. What does this cast-iron replica of your own body bolted to a wall by its feet mean, exactly? I don’t want to hear a lot of vacuous guff about “activating spaces” and “undermining our assurance about the stability of the world”, Gormley. Finals are in a few weeks and you urgently need to clarify your thinking.

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The Guardian

May 21 2018
MFON: women photographers of the African diaspora – in pictures

The MFON journal and book by Laylah Amatullah Barrayn and Adama Delphine Fawundu is committed to establishing and representing a collective voice of female photographers of African descent and features more than 100 from across the diaspora. MFON is named in memory of Mmekutmfon ‘Mfon’ Essien, a visionary photographer who died from breast cancer aged 34 in 2001. MFON has a legacy grant available to emerging black female photographers of African descent

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The Guardian

May 21 2018
Pipe dreams: can 'nano apartments' solve Hong Kong's housing crisis?

The city with the world’s tiniest and costliest living spaces may soon convert drainpipes into homes. The aim is to get young people on the property ladder – but how small is too small?

“Both indoors and out, life in Hong Kong can feel pretty suffocating at times,” says 39-year-old finance worker Wai Li, who rents a 200 sq ft (19 sq m) “nano flat” by herself in Hong Kong’s Sheung Wan neighbourhood. Li’s living area is little more than the size of two standard Hong Kong parking spaces.

“I’ve just learnt to work around the lack of space by keeping things tidy and only holding on to the stuff I really need. My bed is the largest piece of furniture here and so that’s where I tend to hang out. There isn’t room for much else.”

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The New York Times

May 20 2018
Advertising: Hot Wheels Hits the Road to Reach Its Fans
As part of an effort to stay connected with people in the digital age, Mattel is sponsoring a nationwide search for a custom vehicle that can be a model for a 50th anniversary Hot Wheels car.
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The New York Times

May 20 2018
Ai Weiwei Plans Three Los Angeles Exhibitions This Fall
Mr. Ai has never had a substantial exhibition in Los Angeles, but by October he will have three.
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The New York Times

May 20 2018
A Trinity of Opinions on the Met’s ‘Heavenly Bodies’
An art critic, a fashion writer and a Catholic columnist from The Times walk into a museum. What followed was a lively debate about clothing and faith.
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The Guardian

May 20 2018
Maggie Riegler obituary

My wife, Maggie Riegler, who has died aged 73, was a talented and successful painter and tapestry-maker.

I was a mature student about to study ceramics at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen when the school mounted an exhibition of Maggie’s gouache paintings that she had produced during a travelling scholarship to Finland. She was just about to take up a position as lecturer in tapestry.

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The Guardian

May 20 2018
Russia uncovered: writers on the World Cup host nation

With the World Cup kicking off in less than a month and tensions with the west at their worst level in decades, Observer writers and Russia experts go behind the spin to analyse the host nation’s social and political landscape

It is the most politically charged World Cup in recent memory: Russia, resurgent under Vladimir Putin, is set to host the 32-team tournament next month amid scandals ranging from sports doping to spy poisonings. Relations between Moscow and London are at their coolest since the cold war and the recent events in Salisbury even led to brief speculation (aided by Boris Johnson) that England could skip the tournament, recalling the Olympics boycotts of the 1980s.

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The Guardian

May 20 2018
The big picture: Chris Dorley-Brown’s surreal street corner photography

By combining exposures taken in one London spot over the course of an hour, the photographer subverts the idea of a ‘decisive moment’

One man stoops to the ground to pick up his change, while a nearby pigeon pecks at the coins. Another, wearing a trilby, is slightly lost, looking for something (perhaps mirroring the film title displayed behind him). A woman in a hijab seems to float above the kerb in the distance.

Artist Chris Dorley-Brown, who has lived in east London for almost 40 years, has immortalised the area’s street corners in a new book. But rather than normal photographs, taken in one-sixtieth of a second, his are multiple exposures brought together: a simultaneous snapshot of events that happened over an hour. “I’m interested in challenging the dictum of Henri Cartier-Bresson, who defined documentary photography as being about a decisive moment,” he says. “I wanted to put several decisive moments into a photograph.”

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The Guardian

May 20 2018
Your pictures: share your photos on the theme of 'flow'

Wherever you are in the world, this week we’d like to see your pictures on the theme ‘flow’

The next theme for our weekly photography assignment in the Observer New Review is ‘flow.’ Share your photos of what different means to you – and tell us about your image in the description box.

The closing date is Wednesday 23 May at 10am. We’ll publish our favourites in The New Review on Sunday 27 May.

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The Guardian

May 20 2018
Patrick Heron review – brilliant, colourful and completely out of order

Tate St Ives
Patrick Heron’s giant abstracts could make you swoon – if the thematic organisation of this show weren’t so infuriating

Patrick Heron’s Cadmium With Violet, Scarlet, Emerald, Lemon and Venetian: 1969 has about the most prosaic and cumbersome title of any work of art I know: say it aloud, and its pedantry and precision sound close to comical. But to stand before it – all 80 or so square feet of it – is to experience a powerful sense of exaltation. This is a painting that seems so absolutely right, falling on the enthralled visitor, to pinch from Philip Larkin, like an enormous yes. Its colours, its shapes, its scale: what incredible joy and heat these things stir up. From a distance, I stared at it, and thought of something I liked to do as a child, which was to lie on the ground in warm sunshine, and close my eyes, and wait for swirling patterns of rose-red and gold to appear on the inside of my lids. Suddenly, for a fleeting moment, I was that child again.

But there’s more. Stand well back, and Heron’s great mid-period works, painted in the late 60s and early 70s, have a blocky feel, the oil seemingly so smoothly applied, you wonder what thinner he used, what kind of airbrush. Move closer, though, and the ground shifts beneath your feet. Unbelievable as it sounds, these vast canvases were painted end to end with small Japanese watercolour brushes, and once you’re only a few inches away, everything looks at once rougher and yet more beautiful: here are patterns within patterns, a delicacy that is in almost total contrast to the painting’s overall effect. Do the two things work together? Heron certainly believed that they did. “One doesn’t hand-paint for the sake of the ‘hand-done’,” he said. “One merely knows that surfaces worked in this way can – in fact, they must – register a different nuance of spatial evocation and movement in every single square millimetre.”

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The Guardian

May 20 2018
Mapleton Crescent: the London high-rise factory-built in Bedfordshire

Wandsworth, London
This stylish new 27-storey residential tower is an exemplar of innovative modular housing, each flat built and fitted out off-site, then craned into place at the rate of one storey a day

It’s a beautiful chimera, now more than a century old, that a house might be built in the same way as a car. It has long seemed so practical, so sensible and at the same time inspiringly progressive that the benefits that Henry Ford discovered in the production line – speed, efficiency, cheapness, quality – might be applied to the places where we live. Le Corbusier had a go in the 1920s. So did Buckminster Fuller, with the aluminium yurt he called the Dymaxion.

Somehow, their machine-age nirvana keeps on not quite happening. The world is not covered with Dymaxia, nor the many other variations on the theme. The nearest Britain came to living the dream was with the postwar prefab – quick and cheap, for sure, but rationed in their comfort and beauty, modern nostalgic revisionism notwithstanding. In the 1960s, government promotion of factory-built housing tended to produce results that were not particularly cheap, or functional, or good-looking, but were at least numerous.

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The Guardian

May 19 2018
The Vatican in Venice (and a cardinal who walks on the wild side)

Norman Foster joins Lou Reed-loving cleric for church’s debut at architecture biennale

When the Venice Architecture Biennale opens on 26 May, the genius of cutting-edge designers from around the world will be celebrated. But the show will also be notable for a different kind of innovation: the involvement for the first time of the Vatican, in collaboration with Norman Foster.

The Catholic church’s debut pavilion will consist of 10 full-scale chapels built on an island in the Venice lagoon, all commissioned from top architects, including Foster. That the Vatican agreed to sponsor such a venture is down to one man – the trailblazing Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, who is bringing a new dimension to the sometimes vexed relationship between church and world. It’s the second time this month that Ravasi has been instrumental in creating such a high-profile arts event. Without him, the New York fashion exhibition Heavenly Bodies and its associated, controversial Met Gala, where pop star Rihanna dressed as a sparkly pope, would never have happened.

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The Guardian

May 19 2018
Lady in blue: the nudes of Lisa Brice – in pictures

South Africa-born artist Lisa Brice first began working on her series of blue female nudes in 2014. “The situations are imagined,” she says, “but based on real experience.” They’ve been all-consuming at times: “I painted a group of 60 continuously day and night for a month,” she says. “Eventually they grew into a small army of feminine figures.”

Brice, who now lives in London after spells in Trinidad, partly chose the colour because of its associations, “from the glow of blue neon signs to the fleeting colour of twilight, to the Trinidadian ‘blue devil’ carnival character”.

The paintings are now on display at Tate Britain. Nudes have long been painted by and for men, and Brice sees hers as an important reclamation of the female body. “Whether her figures are undressing or enjoying a cigarette, “they are not presenting themselves for the pleasure of the viewer – their own pleasure is paramount”.

Art Now: Lisa Brice is at Tate Britain, London until 27 August

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The Guardian

May 19 2018
Art prices at ‘obscene’ levels as Chinese join high-spending elite
Fine art is almost always a good bet for the super-rich, but it’s worth remembering that the $157m paid for a Modigliani last week could have supported 10,000 budding artists for a year

When even the experts are warning that prices for works of art have become obscene, it is probably time to run a dispassionate eye over the multimillion-dollar frenzy for certain works.

Last week, Nu couché (sur le côté gauche) by Amedeo Modigliani sold to an unnamed buyer for $157m, and a new record was set for a David Hockney painting when Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica was bought for $28.5m.

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artforum.com

May 19 2018
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The Guardian

May 19 2018
The 20 photographs of the week

Demonstrations in Gaza, preparations for the royal wedding, the Europa League final and the Cannes film festival – the week captured by the world’s best photojournalists

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artforum.com

May 18 2018
DIARY: She Brakes for Rainbows
Wendy Vogel attends the first annual Wide Rainbow Gala
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artforum.com

May 18 2018
500 WORDS: Amalia Ulman
Amalia Ulman on her new book and internet performances
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The Guardian

May 18 2018
Weatherwatch: should lightning conductors be pointed or blunt?

When St Bride’s church was damaged by lightning in 1764 George III contacted Benjamin Franklin for advice. But the two fell out over the best design

St Bride’s church in Fleet Street, London was a sorry sight on June 19, 1764 having been struck by lightning the day before. The top of Christopher Wren’s tallest spire came crashing down - losing the top 2.5 metres (8 ft) of its total 71-metre (234 ft) height.

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