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The New York Times

Mar 25 2020
Broadway Is Shuttered but Its Buildings Sing: A Virtual Tour
Broadway Is Shuttered but Its Buildings Sing: A Virtual Tour
David Rockwell, the architect and Tony-winning show designer, talks about the stories and history behind his favorite theaters.
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artforum.com

Mar 25 2020
UK and Germany Launch Emergency Funds for the Arts as US Museums Call for Aid
The novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 and causes the respiratory illness COVID-19 has disrupted the lives of billions of people around the world. As countries employ
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The Guardian

Mar 25 2020
Private view: our art critic's favourite online galleries

The world’s great art museums have closed their doors – but you can travel within their walls virtually to see treasures up close

Two weeks ago, Andy Warhol opened at Tate Modern, then closed again. The artist barely got his 15 minutes. If you need an Andy fix, why not visit the website of the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, which has the largest holdings of the artist’s work in the world? If you never got to see the National Gallery’s Titian exhibition (or even if you did), there are three Facebook Live conversations about the show are also available on the National Gallery’s YouTube channel along with many other videos about other works in the collection, and key ideas.

“There is no need for you to leave the house,” wrote Franz Kafka. “Stay at your table and listen. Don’t even listen, just wait. Don’t even wait, be completely quiet and alone. The world will offer itself to you to be unmasked; it can’t do otherwise; in raptures it will writhe before you.” I have to be careful with writhing, as my back is not what it was, and we are currently not allowed visitors, especially those who arrive unmasked. Nevertheless, a bit of rapture or ecstasy wouldn’t go amiss for any of us.

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The Guardian

Mar 25 2020
Visions of blackness: New York’s photography pioneers – in pictures

In 1963, Louis Draper set up a group of African American photographers dedicated to documenting black experiences. It was called the Kamoinge Workshop, meaning ‘people working together’. Now the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts have gathered 180 pictures from its first 20 years

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The Guardian

Mar 24 2020
'It feels like wartime': how street artists are responding to coronavirus

The pandemic may have closed museums and galleries down but artists have found other ways to comment on the crisis

With the pandemic closing museums and galleries across the US, artists have been heading to the street to find a way of making an impact through their work. Whether it’s with villainous cartoon-like germs, soldiers armed with Purell or even just a friendly reminder to wash your hands, creatives have found a collective coping strategy for dealing with Covid-19.

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artforum.com

Mar 24 2020
"The discovery of what it means to be Brazilian"
In Paris, in 1959, James Baldwin wrote, “The very word ‘America’ remains a new, almost completely undefined and extremely controversial proper noun.” São Paulo–based curator Hélio Menezes argues that
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artforum.com

Mar 24 2020
Andrew Russeth considers the role of art in a pandemic
THERE HAVE BEEN  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/17/podcasts/the-daily/italy-coronavirus.html harrowing interviews with doctors, sobering https://nypost.com/2020/03/18/how-barstool-landed-dr-anthony-fauci-on-pardon-my-take-for-coronavirus-talk/
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artforum.com

Mar 24 2020
Maurice Berger (1957–2020)
Critic, curator, and cultural historian Maurice Berger, whose work examined the role of race in visual culture, has died of complications related to the novel coronavirus. He was sixty-three years old.
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artforum.com

Mar 24 2020
Maria Safronova
Actual and fictional, or fictionalized, catastrophes have been increasingly mixed up in modern consciousness. From recent ecological disasters resonating with HBO’s Chernobyl and the disintegration of
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artforum.com

Mar 24 2020
Phoenix Art Museum Appoints Helen Jean Curator of Fashion Design
The Phoenix Art Museum has named Helen Jean its new curator of fashion design. Jean first joined the institution as a curatorial assistant in 2007, when curator emerita Dennita Sewell ran the fashion
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The Guardian

Mar 24 2020
Asterix: a world of joyful innocence born in the aftermath of war

Goscinny and Uderzo’s cheery comic-book parodies reflected none of the real horror of Roman imperialism – and painted an irresistible portrait of postwar Europe

As a child, devouring every Asterix book I could lay my hands on, I failed to notice what now, with the sombre perspective of adulthood, I can recognise as perhaps the single most glaring inaccuracy in the series’ portrayal of Caesar’s conquest of Gaul: nobody dies. Even by the standards of Roman imperialism, the Gallic war was unspeakably violent. When Vercingetorix, the most formidable of Caesar’s adversaries, finally surrendered at Alesia, he did so surrounded by innumerable corpses, the limbs of horses and humans horribly tangled, their bellies swollen, their blood fertilising muddied fields.

The celebrated painting completed in 1899 by Lionel Reyer, Vercingetorix Throws His Arms at the Feet of Caesar, barely hints at the scale of this slaughter. Even less so do the parodies of the painting in which Goscinny and Uderzo, the authors of Asterix, so delighted. In these, the most vivid display of agony is likely to be a howl of pain from Caesar as Vercingetorix dumps a pile of armour on his foot. The entire theme of the series is the aftermath of a near-genocidal occupation – and yet the worst that ever happens to anyone in any of its various books is to be left hanging from the branch of a tree with a black eye and stars revolving round the head. The Gaul of Goscinny and Uderzo is a land of cheery, almost jovial, innocence.

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artforum.com

Mar 24 2020
Instituto de Arte Contemporânea’s New Headquarters Opens in São Paulo
The Instituto de Arte Contemporânea (IAC) in São Paulo, a private nonprofit organization founded by dealer Raquel Arnaud in 1997, has opened its permanent headquarters in São Paulo. Dedicated to the
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The New York Times

Mar 24 2020
San Francisco’s Top Art School Plans Closing After Almost 150 Years
San Francisco’s Top Art School Plans Closing After Almost 150 Years
Efforts to save the alma mater of Annie Leibovitz and Kehinde Wiley collapsed as the coronavirus sent the Bay Area on lockdown.
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artforum.com

Mar 24 2020
Basma Alsharif
Basma Alsharif’s exhibition here centers around A Philistine (2019), a novella written by the artist that tracks a train journey down the historic Haifa–Beirut–Tripoli line that moves backwards through
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artforum.com

Mar 24 2020
San Francisco Art Institute to Lay Off Staffers as It Struggles to Remain Open
The San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), a cultural force in the Bay Area for nearly the last 150 years, announced on Monday, March 23, that it may have to partner with a larger institution or cease
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artforum.com

Mar 24 2020
Javier Montes on cultural uncertainty amid the coronavirus
THREE WEEKS AGO, ARCO art fair closed in the same pavilions on the outskirts of Madrid that have just reopened as an emergency field hospital. It will treat mild COVID-19 and allow regular hospitals
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The Guardian

Mar 24 2020
The art of Asterix: illustrator Albert Uderzo at work – in pictures

The French comic-book artist created the beloved character Asterix – scourge of the Roman invaders in ancient Gaul – with writer René Goscinny

Asterix creator Albert Uderzo dies at 92

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The Guardian

Mar 24 2020
Arts workers: what effect has coronavirus had on your job?

As redundancies are suddenly made across arts venues forced to close their doors, we want to hear from you

As the UK government introduces measures to protect workers who will lose earnings during the coronavirus, amid calls to introduce similar measures for the self-employed, there are reports of employers letting staff go with little or no notice.

The arts sector is particularly at risk: cinemas, concert venues, theatres and galleries have all been closed. Last week, employees of the Edinburgh cinema Cameo, part of the Picturehouse chain, were made immediately redundant; now, workers at chains including Cineworld and Empire say the same has happened to them. Meanwhile, the Musicians Union estimates that UK artists have lost £13.9m in earnings so far from the crisis, while numerous TV shows and films have paused production.

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The Guardian

Mar 24 2020
Students criticise Royal College of Art's plan to hold degree show online

Students say online degree shows due to coronavirus would be unworkable and a waste of their tuition fees

The Royal College of Art (RCA) is facing a backlash from thousands of students and artists over their decision to make their degree shows online-only for the first time ever due to the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 4,500 people, including Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Leckey, have signed a petition calling on the RCA to suspend its programmes and postpone the exhibition until it is safe to return to the college.

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artforum.com

Mar 24 2020
Francis Alÿs Wins $40,000 Rolf Schock Prize in Visual Arts
The Swedish Royal Academy of Fine Arts has named Belgian artist Francis Alÿs the winner of the Rolf Schock Prize in Visual Arts. The nearly $40,000 award is one of four prizes that were established and
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artforum.com

Mar 24 2020
KW Institute for Contemporary Art Expands Its Curatorial Team
The KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, which is currently closed until at least April 19 due to COVID-19, has added four new members to its curatorial team. Kathrin Bentele and Léon Kruijswijk
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The Guardian

Mar 24 2020
Asterix creator Albert Uderzo dies at 92

French comic-book artist, who created Asterix with the writer René Goscinny, dies at home ‘from a heart attack unrelated to the coronavirus’

Asterix illustrator Albert Uderzo has died at the age of 92, his family has announced.

The French comic book artist, who created the beloved Asterix comics in 1959 with the writer René Goscinny, died on Tuesday. He “died in his sleep at his home in Neuilly from a heart attack unrelated to the coronavirus. He had been very tired for several weeks,” his son-in-law Bernard de Choisy told AFP.

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The Guardian

Mar 24 2020
Life in Earth's deepest deep freeze – in pictures

It is one of chilliest spots on the planet. But it’s warming up three times faster than the rest of the world. Alexis Pazoumian captures life in the snow forests of Yakutia

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The Guardian

Mar 23 2020
Hard-partying ex-YBA Sarah Lucas: 'I was pretty wild'

As the shamelessly bawdy artist thunders towards her 60s, she talks about knobby guys, life in metal-detecting country – and coping with all her hair falling out last year

There are three people in the foyer of the gallery grappling with a very large crate, easily two metres tall. “What’s in that?” I ask, edging around them. “It’s empty,” says the woman who seems to be in charge. “But it contained a sculpture called Elf Warrior. We’ve just set it up.” I ask why an elf would need such a big crate. “Because of its knob,” she says. “It’s huge.”

Upstairs in the gallery a little later, Sarah Lucas introduces me to Elf Warrior, a bronze arrangement of loose limbs curling around the base of one very long and upright member. “This is kind of a portrait of a friend of mine,” says the artist, who is taking me on a tour of Honey Pie, her latest show, which was about to open at Sadie Coles HQ in London before the coronavirus crisis closed the gallery. “He’s called Olivier, which means Elf Warrior.”

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artforum.com

Mar 23 2020
Vivian Suter
After her studio in Panajachel, Guatemala, was destroyed by Hurricane Stan in 2005, Vivian Suter began adapting her painting practice to her temperamental environment. She started painting large abstract
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artforum.com

Mar 23 2020
Paul Kasmin (1960–2020)
Paul Kasmin, the august New York City art dealer who helped turn Chelsea into the city’s central art hub, died on Monday at age sixty following a long period of illness, his eponymous gallery announced.
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The Guardian

Mar 23 2020
'Remarkably talented': the epic photography of Kenny Rogers

Looming mountains, ghostly presidents, trees that stand like gods … the country star was a trained photographer – and his brooding images caught the sinister side of America

From the fatalistic blues of The Gambler to the mournful lament of Lucille, Kenny Rogers sang songs full of emotion, courage, drama and heartache. Although his cautionary Americana fables didn’t always have a happy ending, the raspy-voiced musician delivered them with more warmth than a shot of bourbon around a campfire, somehow ensuring that you always ended up smiling.

But the celebrated country singer, who has died of natural causes at the age of 81, wasn’t just great at telling stories through song. He also used photography, releasing several books, and receiving an honorary degree from the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). “He’s obviously well-known as an entertainer,” said PPA president Ralph Romaguera when giving Rogers his award in 2014, “but he truly is a remarkably talented photographer, too.”

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The Guardian

Mar 23 2020
10 of the world’s best virtual museum and art gallery tours

The originals are out of reach for now, but you can still see world-class art – without the queues or ticket prices – with an online tour of these famous museums

Art lovers can view thousands of paintings, sculptures, installations and new work online – many in minute detail – as well as explore the museums themselves. There are various platforms: from interactive, 360-degree videos and full “walk-around” tours with voiceover descriptions to slideshows with zoomable photos of the world’s greatest artworks. And many allow viewers to get closer to the art than they could do in real life.

So, take a break from the news, enter full-screen mode and start your art adventure in sunny California …

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artforum.com

Mar 23 2020
“Pine’s Eye”
One possible translation of Pinocchio, the Italian children’s tale immortalized by Disney’s 1940 film, is “pine’s eye.” This animistic interpretation, with its evocation of nature looking back at—and
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The New York Times

Mar 23 2020
After the Fire, a Chinatown Museum Sifts Through What Survived
After the Fire, a Chinatown Museum Sifts Through What Survived
Families are celebrating hundreds of boxes of heirlooms that were unloaded from the scorched interior of 70 Mulberry Street.
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artforum.com

Mar 23 2020
Biennale of Sydney’s 2020 Edition Goes Digital
The Biennale of Sydney announced today that it will close its twenty-second edition, which only opened to the public on March 14, because of the worsening COVID-19 pandemic and will move the entire
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artforum.com

Mar 23 2020
As Curricula Moves Online, Yale Art Students Demand Tuition Refund
Over one hundred MFA students from the Yale School of Art (SoA) have called for a partial tuition refund following the university’s decision to empty its campus and shift curricula online in order to
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artforum.com

Mar 23 2020
As Curricula Move Online, Yale Art Students Demand Tuition Refund
Over one hundred MFA students from the Yale School of Art (SoA) have called for a partial tuition refund following the university’s decision to empty its campus and shift curricula online in order to
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artforum.com

Mar 23 2020
Donny Hathaway: “For All We Know”
Donny Hathaway, “For All We Know.”
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artforum.com

Mar 23 2020
Ariana Reines’s new moon report
“ALL OF HUMANITY’S PROBLEMS stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone,” wrote Blaise Pascal, but it is the peculiar trick of his—will it do anymore to call it “Occidental”?—culture,
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artforum.com

Mar 23 2020
Merry Norris (1940–2020)
Merry Norris, a staunch advocate for the arts and a cofounder of Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art (LA MoCA), died on Monday, March 16, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center at the age of eighty.
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artforum.com

Mar 22 2020
Terry Riley: “Shri Camel: Morning Corona,” Part One
Terry Riley’s “Shri Camel: Morning Corona,” part one.
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artforum.com

Mar 22 2020
Terry Riley and Don Cherry: “Köln”
Terry Riley and Don Cherry ‎perform “Köln,” February 23, 1975.
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The Guardian

Mar 22 2020
Ai Weiwei: ‘An artist must be an activist’

The Chinese artist answers questions from Observer readers and art world luminaries on creativity and protest, Chinese politics – and why he never cooks the same dish twice

Ai Weiwei’s studio can be found behind unmarked, black metal doors in a grand square in the old east Berlin. You immediately descend two flights of very steep stone stairs before emerging, blinking for light, into a vast, brick-lined cavern that has the proportions of a church. The temperature drops a few degrees. The space was originally, back in the mid-19th century, the cooling warehouses for the Bavarian brewer Joseph Pfeffer. But, since Ai fled China five years ago, this has been his main place of work – and, given that the 62-year-old artist and activist is almost always working, more besides.

“When I’m here, it’s like my home,” says Ai, who wears a blue hoodie and comfortable shoes, his beard less unruly than it appears in photographs. “Like my home,” he clarifies. “I’ve never had a home. In China, my studio was often destroyed. So for me, it’s a shelter – a shelter not so different from refugees in the camps that gradually build up. I can leave, of course, but since 2015, I have stayed here, never had a holiday or weekends. I’m working all the time.” His face crinkles into a smile: “I love work.”

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The Guardian

Mar 22 2020
Parr’s makeup ad for Gucci has a brush with controversy

The shoot, featuring musician Dani Miller in mascara, has reignited debate about realistic standards of beauty

One is famed for warts-and-all realism, the other for high-end gloss, so there was always going to be something spectacular in the offing when British photographer Martin Parr was asked to shoot a make-up advertising campaign for the Italian fashion house Gucci.

The imagery – for the brand’s new L’Obscur mascara – features New York punk musician Dani Miller and her now-famous gap-toothed smile. With lashings of heavy black mascara, natural eyebrows (complete with, shock horror, regrowth), and minimal foundation, it has divided customers and started yet another debate about diversity, even in these times of increased body positivity.

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The Guardian

Mar 22 2020
Your pictures: share your photos on the theme of ‘relief’

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

The next theme for our weekly photography assignment, published in print in the Observer New Review is ‘relief’.

Share your photos of what relief means to you – and tell us about your image in the description box.

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The Guardian

Mar 22 2020
Titian: Love, Desire, Death review – wild at heart

National Gallery, London
The great Venetian artist took Ovid’s Metamorphoses and made them miracles of expression, reunited here for the first time in centuries – for now, behind closed doors

Titian – painter of kings, king of painters – was carried off by the virulent pandemic that devastated Venice in 1576. He was working at home in Cannaregio when a fever overtook him in the last days of August. His body was buried in the church of the Frari, for which he was painting his gravely beautiful Pietà, accompanied by a written plea for mercy for himself and his son Orazio. Orazio died too, not many weeks later.

Among the works left in the studio, it seems, was a painting called The Death of Actaeon, one of seven pictures commissioned by Philip II of Spain. Titian had an open brief; he chose to depict scenes from classical mythology, mainly drawn from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Actaeon has, alas, stumbled on a naked goddess, completely by accident, while out hunting with his friend in a wood. He is now being punished for his glance.

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The Guardian

Mar 22 2020
Who will lead the BBC on the other side of the virus crisis? | Richard Brooks

Meanwhile, with the West End in lockdown, theatre streaming services are in the spotlight

By the time this virus crisis has subsided, the next boss of the BBC should be sorted, since Tony Hall is meant to leave in June. There are now calls for Peter Bazalgette to throw his hat in the ring as the most senior and respected figure in the industry. A former president of the Royal Television Society and current chairman of ITV, Bazalgette has worked in television for more than 40 years, initially at the BBC before becoming an extremely successful producer and creator, with hits like Ready Steady Cook. He ticks many boxes to become the next director general at a time of crisis, especially over future funding. Bazalgette would also bring outsider experience and insider knowledge to an institution that needs radical reform.

But he has been telling friends he is too old, at 66. Really? He is still very active, enthusiastic and clear-headed. It is the BBC board that picks the next DG, and two grands fromages on the board, Nick Serota, former director of the Tate, and Steve Morrison, the veteran TV executive, really count. Maybe the public-spirited Bazalgette (he chaired Arts Council England from 2012 to 2016 and currently sits on several arts and research bodies) can be persuaded, though I suspect Tim Davie, chief executive of BBC Studios, remains the more likely candidate. But Bazalgette has another chance of “running” the Beeb. A new chair of its board, which is a No 10 Downing Street appointment, is to be announced later this year. And politically, he is more right than left

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The Guardian

Mar 22 2020
Nick Cave's inspiration: pictures and notes from his archive

A scrapbook of rarely seen photos and sketches traces Nick Cave’s transformation from Aussie teenager into an international artist

What you see in this book lives in the intricate world constructed around the songs, and which the songs inhabit,” writes Nick Cave in his introduction to Stranger Than Kindness. “It is the material that gives birth to and nourishes the official work.”

That intricate world includes drawings, lists, collages, scribbled notes and lyrics, found photographs and several handmade books, creased and stained, sometimes in his own blood. Therein the sacred and the profane, the biblical and the pornographic, exist side by side as they have done in Cave’s songs for about 40 years of often frantic creativity. There are pin-ups alongside devotional images of saints, sketches of nude female torsos alongside portraits of the madonna, and there are hand-written, home-made dictionaries listing arcane words, such as anchorite (a recluse), and autogamy (self-fertilisation).

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The Guardian

Mar 22 2020
The big picture: a special branch in Finland
Ville Lenkkeri’s photograph captures his sorrow at having to cut down a beloved tree from his childhood

Ville Lenkkeri took this photograph in 2013. The great birch tree, which stood behind his family’s summerhouse in Finland, had been a fixture in his life since childhood. When he was away from the house, he had a sense that it would watch over the place in his absence. And when he saw it once again he was reminded of some “magical and eternal strength”. The photo was taken on the day that Lenkkeri had to chop the tree down.

He had noticed that it had started to wither and rot from within two years earlier, but had resisted admitting that “its eternity was about to come to an end”. That summer, however, he decided that “felling the giant was a more honourable way to let it go”.

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The Guardian

Mar 21 2020
Northern stars: Wakefield's mining life - in pictures

Illustrator and mural artist Seanna Doonan “grew up singing songs about the miners’ strike and other historical and social struggles”. Based in Wakefield, she depicts “parts of the city that no longer exist, such as buildings, pubs and markets”. These artworks use a combination of ink printing, paint and digital colour to encapsulate everyday working-class life, evoking, she says, “many emotions in local people”.

Originally due to go on display at The Hepworth Wakefield. Prints available to buy on seannadoonanillustration.com

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The Guardian

Mar 21 2020
Aussie rules: an old Melbourne bookshop transformed into a modern family home

A designer has breathed new life into a narrow building that was once the city’s first feminist book store

When Kate Challis’s husband was a student in Melbourne in the 1990s, he bought a copy of Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale from the city’s first feminist book store. On a busy street in the then-gritty district of Fitzroy, Shrew women’s bookshop was one of the few places in the city that sold Atwood’s work. Today, that same narrow shop, former centre of feminist and LGBTQ radicalism, is home to Challis, a designer with a PhD in art history, her husband, and their 11-year-old son. It is one of a row of 16 original shops that were built in 1892, of which four remain.

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The Guardian

Mar 21 2020
20 photographs of the week

Social distancing, self-isolation and life before and after lockdown – the best photography from around the world.

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artforum.com

Mar 20 2020
Ana Mendieta Estate Sues Sotheby’s over Rediscovered Work
The estate of Ana Mendieta, the groundbreaking Cuban American artist who often used her body and organic materials such as earth, fire, and blood to create feminist and sometimes violent artworks, is
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