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The Guardian

Oct 27 2018
George Butler: ‘Because people are watching as I draw, it’s by permission and honest’

The reportage illustrator on sketching in war zones and refugee camps, and the joys of unexpected encounters

A reportage illustrator specialising in travel and current affairs, George Butler, 33, has worked in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2014 he helped establish the Hands Up Foundation to fund health and education services in Syria. A new exhibition of his work, Anima Mundi: Drawn Stories of Migration, will be at Bankside Gallery, London, 20-25 November. Butler grew up in Oxforshire and is now based in south London.

What is it like trying to draw in the thick of a war zone or humanitarian crisis?
I actually find it quite peaceful in a funny sort of way. You have, in the worst moments, a job to do and a way of distracting yourself. It becomes your way of comprehending what’s going on. And at the beginning, when you’re trying to work out who to speak to, it’s just a wonderful introduction. Lots of stories have led from that moment, where people come and sit next to you and say: “Why don’t you come into my shop?” or “Let me show you round this prison”.

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The Guardian

Oct 27 2018
The 20 photographs of the week

Turmoil in Latin America and partying in New Jersey – the week captured by the world’s best photojournalists

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The New York Times

Oct 26 2018
Alley Oop Will Return (Spoiler Alert)
Alley Oop Will Return (Spoiler Alert)
The cave man Alley Oop will be back, and readers get to learn about his preteen years through a new character: Li’L Oop.
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The New York Times

Oct 26 2018
The Week in Arts: Pistol Annies’ New Album; Return of ‘House of Cards’
The Week in Arts: Pistol Annies’ New Album; Return of ‘House of Cards’
Miranda Lambert leads the female trio, whose third album, “Interstate Gospel,” is timeless and harmony-laden.
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The New York Times

Oct 26 2018
The Auction Season’s Real Gems
The Auction Season’s Real Gems
Colored diamonds and more contemporary designs are among the trends as Christie’s prepares for Magnificent Jewels, a much-anticipated sale.
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The New York Times

Oct 26 2018
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer Is a Crowd Pleaser. He’s Also Obsessed With Death.
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer Is a Crowd Pleaser. He’s Also Obsessed With Death.
This Canadian artist with Mexican roots is opening a show at the Hirshhorn that showcases his sometimes eerie melding of technology and human biology.
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The New York Times

Oct 26 2018
Man Arrested in Britain on Suspicion of Trying to Damage Magna Carta
Man Arrested in Britain on Suspicion of Trying to Damage Magna Carta
The document, which is more than 800 years old, has been temporarily removed from display in Salisbury, England.
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The Guardian

Oct 26 2018
A portrait created by AI just sold for $432,000. But is it really art?

An image of Edmond de Belamy, created by a computer, has just been sold at Christie’s. But no algorithm can capture our complex human consciousness

From a distance, Portrait of Edmond de Belamy, which has just sold at Christie’s in New York for $432,000 (£337,000), looks almost plausible. Up close, however, the paintwork becomes a grid of mechanical-looking dots, the man’s face a golden blur with black holes for eyes. Look into those eyes. They show no sign of feeling or life. Did a computer make this?

The answer is yes. The first artwork generated by AI to be sold at Christie’s, its impressive price would seem to suggest that in future we will get computers to make art for us. Robot van Gogh will harmlessly cut its ear off and robot Picasso will be a genius, minus the misogyny.

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The Guardian

Oct 26 2018
Vuillard thanks his mum and Jean Genet meets the Black Panthers – the week in art

Sydney’s seaside is resculpted, boulders roll in Liverpool and Artes Mundi gets political – all in our weekly dispatch

Vuillard
This sensitive painter of everyday life portrays his mother in his many homages to her support for his work.
Barber Institute, Birmingham, until 20 January.

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The Guardian

Oct 26 2018
Hepworth Prize for Sculpture 2018 – from messy misery to a dash of magic

Firehoses, grenades and fibreglass sombreros feature in a shortlist that takes in Michael Dean’s evocation of economic despair and Cerith Wyn Evans’s sublime floating instrument

‘SORRY”, reads the incident-scene tape, again and again, that makes its way around Michael Dean’s wreck of an installation in the second Hepworth Prize for Sculpture in Wakefield. I say wreck positively. More an apology than a cordon, the tape droops its way about the room. The scene is extremely bleak and intermittently funny. More tape repeats the word BLESS, as if some faint hope might be found here. No such luck. Flattened drinks cans and casts of crossed fingers and decaying plastic and hardened sacks of concrete create a mock-up pavement crossing the room, a scene from Britain’s economic war zone. Drifts of spilled pennies count out 24 hours’ worth of minimum wage and a single person’s three-day emergency food bank allowance. No wonder you keep your fingers crossed. Padlocks festoon miserable love hearts, tokens of togetherness when the world is ripped apart, and bent metal bars and lengths of plastic guttering spell LOL as you make your way over the grim terrain.

Related: Artes Mundi 8 review – engrossing works blunted by limp liberal agenda

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The Guardian

Oct 26 2018
Oxford students persuade Jeff Koons to stage rare UK art show

US artist to stage Ashmolean show after accepting award from Oxford University society

Jeff Koons, one of the superstars of the contemporary art world, is to get a rare UK museum show and it is largely thanks not to curators, but the Edgar Wind Society for Art History.

The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, the world’s oldest public museum, announced on Friday that it would stage a major Koons show in 2019 displaying works, most of which have never been seen in the UK.

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The Guardian

Oct 26 2018
Sympathy with small things: the luminous fragility of Rinko Kawauchi

The Japanese photographer’s dreamlike images have been honoured with a Taylor Wessing show. She tells us about her meditative approach and why ‘thinking too much is boring’

A translucent bubble floats in the air next to a picture of a baby’s head cradled tenderly in an adult’s arms. Nearby, among an arrangement of similarly intimate images, an infant’s tiny hand is gently enfolded in an elderly grandparent’s grasp. On a single wall in the National Portrait Gallery, amid the contrasting styles and subject matter of the 2018 Taylor Wessing portrait prize, Rinko Kawauchi’s vivid images of four generations of her family create a quietly intense space in which to pause and ponder the beauty and fragility of the everyday.

She is the fourth photographer to be commissioned for the In Focus section, which highlights new work by established artists in a mini exhibition. (Pieter Hugo, Cristina de Middel and Todd Hido preceded her.) “I need many elements to come together in a series to create a mood,” she says, “not just portraits, but landscapes and tiny details and also the mood, the sky, the air. It’s about creating mystery, but also expressing my own feelings about time passing, the fragility of life. They are metaphorical images, really, [about] how fragile our world is.”

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The New York Times

Oct 26 2018
Restoring the House the Ringling Circus Built
Restoring the House the Ringling Circus Built
Ron McCarty spent his career refurbishing and refurnishing the 56-room palazzo owned by John and Mable Ringling, bringing back an array of memorabilia.
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The New York Times

Oct 26 2018
Pérez Art Museum Miami Recalls Pink Islands
Pérez Art Museum Miami Recalls Pink Islands
A new exhibition looks back at “Surrounded Islands,” Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s popular but controversial 1983 project, which draped 11 uninhabited islands in fabric.
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The Guardian

Oct 26 2018
Yayoi Kusama’s Pumpkin: dot to dot veggie or metaphor for obliteration?

The Japanese pop artist combines her famous polka dots with Halloween’s motif of choice, the pumpkin

The polka dots that make Yayoi Kusama’s 2018 Pumpkin appear to pulse go back to the Infinity Net paintings, which first established her in New York’s art firmament in 1960. Channelling the disturbing visions of all-consuming patterns she’d had since girlhood, these canvases were partly a challenge to tired abstract expressionism.

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The New York Times

Oct 26 2018
Allison Janae Hamilton’s Spirit Sources
Allison Janae Hamilton’s Spirit Sources
Pine tar and turpentine, climate change and hurricanes affect her fantastical art of the rural South, in a show at Mass MoCA.
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The New York Times

Oct 26 2018
Why Are Antiques So Cheap? Because Everyone Lives in the Kitchen
Why Are Antiques So Cheap? Because Everyone Lives in the Kitchen
Changes in the way we live in our homes have created a serious problem for the art and collectible industry.
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The Guardian

Oct 25 2018
LS Lowry exhibition: 'an unaggressive painter' - archive, 26 October 1948

26 October 1948: Direct, unpretentious, and refreshingly honest, Lowry’s work gains greatly from being seen in quantity

Mr. LS Lowry is a very original painter. Many other artists are that and originality has become a rather overrated virtue in a civilisation which needs above all to settle down and get its breath back. Yet Mr. Lowry has other basic qualities which too many of his more fashionable colleagues lack: he is direct, unpretentious, and refreshingly honest. These are characteristics of a primitive or childish painter, and yet he is not that. Like them he sees what interests him, and sets it down clearly and firmly in a shorthand of his own which, though far from photographic, has a perfectly plain meaning. There is, however, a subtlety to his colouring – look at Doctor’s Surgery, with the scarves and hats of the waiting patients gently lightening the general drabness – and a delicacy in his painting of the smudgy, watery atmosphere which add great depth to his surface simplicity.

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The New York Times

Oct 25 2018
Critic’s : Bruce Nauman Reappears: Pay Attention
Critic’s : Bruce Nauman Reappears: Pay Attention
“Disappearing Acts” lets us see with clarity where the artist stands and why he is pertinent to our wrenching moment.
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The New York Times

Oct 25 2018
At the Tefaf Fair, Old Masters and Powerful Women
At the Tefaf Fair, Old Masters and Powerful Women
Objects that were made for kings and queens and remarkable examples of American art lead the exceptional displays here.
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The New York Times

Oct 25 2018
AI Art at Christie’s Sells for $432,500
AI Art at Christie’s Sells for $432,500
A portrait produced by artificial intelligence sold for more than 40 times Christie’s initial estimate of $7,000-$10,000.
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The New York Times

Oct 25 2018
22 Art Exhibitions to View in N.Y.C. This Weekend
22 Art Exhibitions to View in N.Y.C. This Weekend
Our guide to new art shows and some that will be closing soon.
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The New York Times

Oct 25 2018
Critic’s Pick: Reverent Beauty: The Met’s Armenia Show Is One for the Ages
Critic’s Pick: Reverent Beauty: The Met’s Armenia Show Is One for the Ages
The Metropolitan Museum of Art gives the blockbuster treatment to Armenia, the oldest Christian country in the world.
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The New York Times

Oct 25 2018
Sugar Hill Museum Brings Art to New York’s Youngest (and Poorest)
Sugar Hill Museum Brings Art to New York’s Youngest (and Poorest)
The Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling is the capstone of an innovative mixed-use building that also includes a preschool and low-income housing.
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The New York Times

Oct 25 2018
To Draw Viewers, Museums Show That What’s Old Is New Again
To Draw Viewers, Museums Show That What’s Old Is New Again
Across the country, institutions are mounting exhibitions that connect ancient and modern periods, demonstrating the continuing influence of the art of the past.
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The New York Times

Oct 25 2018
Critic’s Pick: German Artists Who Blazed a Path Cut Short by War
Critic’s Pick: German Artists Who Blazed a Path Cut Short by War
Before their deaths on World War I battlefields, the painters Franz Marc and August Macke helped open the door to abstraction.
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The New York Times

Oct 25 2018
A Sculpture in Kosovo That Tracks a Country’s Struggle
A Sculpture in Kosovo That Tracks a Country’s Struggle
Fisnik Ismaili created the 10-foot letters of “Newborn” to celebrate independence 10 years ago. He repaints it each year to reflect the nation’s development.
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The Guardian

Oct 25 2018
Artes Mundi 8 review – engrossing works blunted by limp liberal agenda

National Museum of Wales, Cardiff
This year’s shortlist features industrial angst, a cryptic shadow play and hypnotic images of American paranoia – but the artists are be being used as human slogans

Artes Mundi is Wales’s window on global art. It is also, it claims, “the UK’s leading political art prize”. The five artists on this year’s shortlist offer perspectives from Thailand, Egypt, Morocco and Nigeria as well as the US, and yet the shadow of America looms largest. Well it does, doesn’t it? Growing up in Wales, I dreamt of America because it was not England. Now Trump’s America is a nightmare that keeps the world awake, and electrifies the best work in this uneven exhibition.

I can’t immediately see the politics in American artist Trevor Paglen’s crystal-clear telescopic photograph of the moon. This beautifully detailed image of rugged craters and dark dust seas appears simply to be glorious astrophotography. Perhaps it refers to conspiracy theories about the Apollo moon landings. Because, guys, this is a very large photograph of the moon and I cannot – repeat, cannot – see any evidence of a human landing. Just saying. #moonlandingsfaked

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The New York Times

Oct 25 2018
In Auction World, Edward Dolman Aims to Make Phillips a Player
In Auction World, Edward Dolman Aims to Make Phillips a Player
Since becoming the house’s chief executive four years ago, he is closing in on his target of $1 billion in annual sales.
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The Guardian

Oct 24 2018
The forgotten cinemas of Baltimore – in pictures

Since the 1890s, the city in Maryland has been home to more than 240 cinemas and while many of these buildings have survived, only a few of them still show films. On 17 November, the National Building Museum in Washington DC is opening an exhibition to celebrate the artistry behind them, entitled Flickering Treasures: Rediscovering Baltimore’s Forgotten Movie Theaters

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The New York Times

Oct 24 2018
Show Us Your Wall: For Two Architects, the Art They Own Is Entwined With Their Lives
Show Us Your Wall: For Two Architects, the Art They Own Is Entwined With Their Lives
The collection of Hilary Sample and Michael Meredith is like a visual autobiography. It’s also the first thing they see when they leave their office.
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The Guardian

Oct 24 2018
2018 Bowness photography prize – in pictures

The Melbourne-based, Iranian-born artist Hoda Afshar has taken out the 2018 Bowness photography prize with the image Portrait of Behrouz Boochani, Manus Island. Here is a selection of the finalists which you can view at the Monash Gallery of Art until the 18th of November

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The New York Times

Oct 24 2018
Last Chance: Four Knockout Group Shows to See Now
Last Chance: Four Knockout Group Shows to See Now
From eight centuries of the art now called Surrealist to startling new takes on assemblage from Port-au-Prince, our critic finds a heady mix of old and modern, sex and politics in these powerhouse gallery shows.
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The New York Times

Oct 24 2018
Dianne Wiest Is a Boulder, but Not for Halloween
Dianne Wiest Is a Boulder, but Not for Halloween
The star is revisiting her role in Samuel Beckett’s “Happy Days” at Madison Square Park, in a costume by Arlene Shechet, whose art is on display there.
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The New York Times

Oct 24 2018
Craving Some Americana? The Saturday Evening Post Archive Is Online
Craving Some Americana? The Saturday Evening Post Archive Is Online
The nearly 200-year-old magazine has a new website with a digital archive of its pages and more than 3,500 covers.
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The New York Times

Oct 24 2018
What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week
What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week
Noah Purifoy’s first solo on the East Coast; Henning Christiansen’s first survey in America; Charles White’s “Truth and Beauty”; and Storm King’s climate-change show.
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The Guardian

Oct 24 2018
Michele Palazzo’s best photograph: a blue Beetle going nowhere in Soweto

‘After a delicious lunch of brain, liver and lung stew, we drove around – and spotted these guys just hanging out in a car’

I went to South Africa with my girlfriend in the autumn of 2016 for a friend’s wedding. We had a six-hour layover in Johannesburg airport before flying back to New York, so we decided to take one last trip before we boarded the plane.

Some friends who lived in Johannesburg said it wasn’t the safest of cities – they told us to do some shopping to kill time. Five hours in a mall sounded awful, so we got chatting to one of the tour guides that hang around the airport and he agreed to take us to Soweto, the township south of the city.

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The Guardian

Oct 24 2018
Life on the tiny island of Migingo - in pictures

A rounded rocky outcrop covered in metal shacks, Migingo Island rises out of the waters of Lake Victoria like an iron-plated turtle. The densely populated area covers barely a quarter of a hectare. Its residents are crammed into a hodge-podge of corrugated-iron homes, bars, brothels and a tiny port

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The Guardian

Oct 23 2018
Crazy concrete: Yugoslavia's war memorials – in pictures

Donald Niebyl crossed the Balkans in search of spomenik – abstract memorials built in Tito’s Yugoslavia to celebrate the defeat of Axis forces in the second world war

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The New York Times

Oct 23 2018
Taking a Dip in History: A Pool Party at Hearst Castle
Taking a Dip in History: A Pool Party at Hearst Castle
Hollywood luminaries once cavorted in this pool designed for a media tycoon, and regular people recently got a chance to dive in, too, for a price.
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The New York Times

Oct 23 2018
Museum of Bible Removes Dead Sea Scrolls It Suspects Are Fake
Museum of Bible Removes Dead Sea Scrolls It Suspects Are Fake
Five fragments once associated with the famous scrolls were shown to have “characteristics inconsistent with ancient origin” according to a statement from the museum in Washington this week.
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The New York Times

Oct 23 2018
Up for Bid, AI Art Signed ‘Algorithm’
Up for Bid, AI Art Signed ‘Algorithm’
Preparing to test the art market — and young buyers — with “Edmond de Belamy, from La Famille de Belamy.”
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The Guardian

Oct 23 2018
'It's meant to shine a light': exhibiting the lives of Chinese New Yorkers

Photographers showcase different sides of the Chinese American experience in a new exhibition, combatting stereotypes and bringing unseen stories to the forefront

In New York, there is a seasoned florist in Chinatown who puts on red rubber gloves when handling the exotic flowers in his dark storefront. Chinese newspapers hang behind him and down below, a cat walks towards him. This simple, charming photograph details the life of one Chinese immigrant – who has a hint of loneliness on his face.

“New York City is a place where there’s millions of things happening, everyone lives their own story,” said An Rong Xu, the photographer. “Even when there are so many people around you, it could feel like the loneliest place.”

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The Guardian

Oct 23 2018
New-builds suited to working from home | Letters
Most UK tenancy agreements continue the Victorian practice of restricting or prohibiting home-based work, writes Dr Frances Holliss

Gary Porter’s idea to transform council housing (Self-build plan ‘could put 100,000 homes on council list’, 22 October) is a good one, but it needs to go beyond the colour of the bricks. Fundamental change is needed in how we conceive and manage housing, in the context of a steadily growing global home-based workforce; 80% of the 700 homes built at Dutch architect MVRDV’s self-build scheme at Nieuw Leyden, for example, include an office, workshop or studio. However, most UK standard tenancy agreements continue the Victorian practice of restricting or even prohibiting home-based work, despite its well-documented social, economic and environmental benefits – and positive impact on the city. This results in covert practice – which leads to widespread frustration, inefficiency and stress – and housing poorly designed to meet the needs of occupants. It needs to change.
Dr Frances Holliss
Emeritus reader in architecture, Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture & Design, London Metropolitan University

• Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com

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The Guardian

Oct 23 2018
Tonnes of blood: artist seeks to draw world back to refugee crisis

Marc Quinn hopes ‘first migrating artwork’ will also raise $30m for charities

For Aghiad Malik, a refugee from Syria, blood had only ever symbolised one thing: death. “It was a nightmare, seeing red on the streets,” he says. “Even to think about blood was horrific.”

But soon it will have another meaning. He is one of around 5,000 people whose blood will be used to create Odyssey, a new work by British artist Marc Quinn that will be displayed outside the New York Public Library from next September . The not-for-profit work intends to shine a spotlight on the refugee crisis while raising $30m (£23m) for charities working to alleviate it.

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The Guardian

Oct 23 2018
Jamie Reid XXXXX review – Britain's longest-reigning rebel

Humber Street Gallery, Hull
The Sex Pistols artist continues to unpick the normal order with a cacophony of ideologies, kaleidoscopic paintings and British history in his 50-year retrospective

Jamie Reid’s name might not be familiar, but his work will be. The fluorescent Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols album cover was not dreamt up by a clever marketing agency but created by Reid, who suits both the title of “artist” and “anarchist” quite comfortably. In fact, Reid’s newspaper clipping text and photomontage style of work came to define the punk era and his portrait of Queen Elizabeth II with a safety pin through her lip still stands as an emblem of rebellion today.

Ironically, Reid’s anti-establishment album cover is now emblazoned across mugs, T-shirts and posters. The intent behind the cut out ransom note inspired lettering was to enable political groups access to cheap print. He explains this in notes plastered on the wall at Humber Street Gallery in Hull for his 50-year retrospective. Suitably titled Jamie Reid XXXXX: Fifty Years of Subversion and the Spirit, the exhibition unites his varied output of painting, photography, drawing, collage and print, acknowledging his dual interests in protest and spirituality in the process.

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The Guardian

Oct 23 2018
Party palaces and funky funhouses: Freddy Mamani's maverick buildings

With pinball machine interiors and animal-shaped facades, Mamani’s wild venues have transformed Bolivian architecture. Now the former bricklayer is taking ‘neo-Andean’ style to Paris

A bright green sunburst rises above the entrance to a building in El Alto, Bolivia, its mirror-glass rays tapering out to meet a yellow ziggurat-shaped pediment, beneath a momentous circular window. Polka-dot pilasters climb either side, zig-zagging this way and that, before terminating in an elaborate cornice, the whole ripe confection crowned with a surreal pitch-roofed chalet.

It looks like a one-off party palace, but turn the corner and you see several more of these things marching down the street in eye-searing palettes of reds, pinks, blues and greens, as if an army of building-sized slot-machines had taken over the city.

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The New York Times

Oct 23 2018
Looking Back to the ’90s, When Berlin Was the Height of Cool
Looking Back to the ’90s, When Berlin Was the Height of Cool
A multimedia exhibition aims to capture the spirit of creative chaos that came after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
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The Guardian

Oct 23 2018
The lost city of Atlanta

Atlanta is known as a city where they would knock down a historic building to put up a parking lot. We look at what’s gone and what might be next

“We really are a tear down city,” says Boyd Coons, executive director of the Atlanta Preservation Center. “It’s not difficult for people to knock down a historic building in Atlanta. In fact, it’s quite easy.”

We’re talking in the restored rooms of an 1856 Italianate mansion built for railroad magnate Lemuel P Grant. One of only three pre-Civil War structures to survive General Sherman’s burning of Atlanta, it had been neglected for decades and was scheduled for demolition when the APC bought it in 2001. They saved the first floor and it is now their headquarters.

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The Guardian

Oct 23 2018
Graffiti homages to hip-hop heroes – in pictures

In homage to the early 80s, when graffiti and rapping were inextricably linked, British photographer Janette Beckman asked some of the world’s most important street artists to reinterpret her archive photographs of hip-hop legends

• Janette Beckman: The Mash-Up is at Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, until 24 November

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