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The Guardian

Oct 20 2020
New faces in contemporary African portraiture – in pictures

Portr-8, the inaugural exhibition of the contemporary African photography gallery Doyle Wham, showcases innovative and experimental portraits by eight new African artists at ECAD in south London. The artists, from Gabon, Nigeria, Namibia, Kenya and Mozambique, are united by a desire to challenge traditional ideas and narrow interpretations of Africa, African art, and African society

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The Guardian

Oct 20 2020
Arctic review – stark eco warnings from the ice-braving hunters who battled whales

British Museum, London
From sleds made of bones to supernatural sealskin hunting suits, this stirring show celebrates the heroism and ingenuity of humans who survive in balance with nature

A whaling suit towers up, as if some muscular occupant is still inside, looming over you. The suit, one of the highlights of this mind-expanding dive into Arctic cultures, is the Moby-Dick of clothes. Created by the Kalaallit people of south-west Greenland some time before 1834, it is like a modern survival suit: it could even be inflated by blowing into a tube. Except – it’s made of sealskin. Wearing this watertight armour, a hunter would leap from a small boat on to a whale’s back and spear it with a harpoon. But it’s not just a buoyancy aid. It is also a magical garment, thought to give its occupant the power of a seal, allowing them to stay afloat and endure the iciest water.

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artforum.com

Oct 20 2020
Baltimore Museum of Art Faces Multiple Calls to Cancel Artwork Sale
The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) has come under fire from a host of critics demanding the institution cancel its imminent sale of three major works in an attempt to raise money to support curatorial
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The Guardian

Oct 20 2020
Berlin: vandalism of museum artefacts 'linked to conspiracy theorists'

Use of oily substance across three galleries reportedly related to claims they are centre of ‘global satanism’

At least 70 artworks and ancient artefacts across three galleries on Berlin’s museum island were vandalised with an oily substance earlier this month, German media has reported.

Objects including Egyptian sarcophagi, stone sculptures and 19th-century paintings held at the Pergamon Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie and the Neues Museum sustained visible damage during the attack on 3 October, according to reports in the weekly Die Zeit and broadcaster Deutschlandfunk on Tuesday.

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The New York Times

Oct 20 2020
With Black Artists’ Input, One Gallery Is ‘Starting to Look Different’
With Black Artists’ Input, One Gallery Is ‘Starting to Look Different’
The Los Angeles dealer David Kordansky is using this moment to get more serious about helping and hiring people “left out of the conversation.”
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artforum.com

Oct 20 2020
Annika Lundgren
In Swedish theater, “collations” are procedures in which actors read through scripts for the first time, without dramatization. This impassive ritual informs Annika Lundgren’s exhibition “In This Country,
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The Guardian

Oct 20 2020
Frenzied, terrified, horny, lurid: in lockdown I crave art that’s as unhinged as I feel

For Nick Buckley, the pandemic has been defined by vivid outbursts of fear, anger and lust. He wants chaotic art that reflects this

Right now, living through lockdown, existence is reductive. Few friends, wilting joy, silenced laughter, nowhere to get lost. These feelings have impregnated the things creative people are creating, too: empty cityscapes, socially distanced portraits, solemn poems and soliloquies and earnest, livestreamed solo shows abound.

This type of art undoubtedly helps some, and it’s important to continue documenting this moment – but for me these works have become depressing totems of the things I crave. Their dourness doesn’t reflect the vibrant, roiling emotions many of us are carrying, and sometimes hiding for the sake of those we live with.

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The New York Times

Oct 20 2020
The East Village, Home of Punks and Poets: Here’s a Tour
The East Village, Home of Punks and Poets: Here’s a Tour
Luc Sante, author of “Low Life,” chats about the neighborhood’s history, including CBGB, Warhol’s Electric Circus and the Tompkins Square Park riots.
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The Guardian

Oct 20 2020
Larissa Wakefield obituary

My wife, Larissa Wakefield, who has died aged 61, after being diagnosed earlier this year with a brain tumour, was a naturalist, scientist and potter. She had a highly successful research career both before and after a 10-year break, during which she devoted herself to bringing up our children and running a pottery.

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artforum.com

Oct 20 2020
Kapwani Kiwanga Wins 2020 Prix Marcel Duchamp
Canadian-born multidisciplinary artist Kapwani Kiwanga has won the prestigious Prix Marcel Duchamp for her sculptural series “Flowers for Africa,” which addresses African independence. The $41,000 prize,
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The Guardian

Oct 20 2020
Frida Kahlo review - portrait of the intriguing Mexican painter

The pioneering artist is the subject of this watchable documentary profile that strikes a fine balance between her life and work

Having gone quiet for a few months since lockdown, the reliably informative Exhibition on Screen series returns with a profile of Frida Kahlo, the Mexican painter who has long been venerated as a pioneer of feminist iconography as well as a champion of the country’s indigenous culture. While the series tends to use large-scale exhibitions as a cue, this film spends only brief periods inside a gallery spaces – primarily the Museo Dolores Olmedo in Mexico City, which holds significant amounts of Kahlo’s work, as well as her husband’s Diego Rivera. Instead, we get a straightforward, meat-and-potatoes overview of Kahlo’s life, peppered with copious commentary from the usual top-notch academic and curatorial talent, as well as family members.

While it’s perhaps not fair to make grandiose claims for this sober-toned film, I suspect it’s trying to somehow reclaim the artist from “Fridamania”, the surge of admiration that swept the cultural world in the 70s and 80s when Kahlo’s preoccupations – her brutal physical realities, the adoption of costume and imagery, the use of her body as a personal theatre – became fashionable, decades after her death. There’s a measured tone throughout, as well as some great photographs: Kahlo with Rivera, who always seems to look as if he’s just woken up; Kahlo’s father, whose spiffy goatee is surely the source of the shadowy facial hair Kahlo liked to paint on to herself; and Kahlo herself as a radiant teenager and twentysomething, despite the horrific bus crash that affected her from the age of 18.

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artforum.com

Oct 20 2020
Gillian Wearing
Gillian Wearing continues her exploration of identity, fiction, reality and the mask presenting a series of new works on paper, board, sculpture and film. Conceived over the course of the Covid-19
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artforum.com

Oct 20 2020
Adrian Ghenie
Tim Van Laere Gallery presents the fifth solo exhibition of Adrian Ghenie, featuring nine new paintings and three new charcoal drawings. Adrian Ghenie was born in 1977 in the Romanian city of Baia
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The Guardian

Oct 20 2020
Andres Serrano: 'Some people bristle when they hear my name'

The Piss Christ artist talks about his latest exhibition showcasing the darkest and most politically incorrect items he found on eBay

The controversial New York artist Andres Serrano has found himself in an unlikely corner of the internet: the darkest auctions of eBay. Ever since he became a fervent bidder for his 2019 exhibition The Game: All Things Trump, collecting 1,000 items of Trump memorabilia in New York, he found a disturbing number of online auctions.

His findings will be displayed at Fotografiska in New York City on 23 October, as part of his new exhibition, Infamous. More than 30 photographs are on view from the 19th century onward, of what the artist calls “America’s infamous past”.

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The Guardian

Oct 20 2020
Stormzy vest and 3D Covid virus among Designs of the Year nominees

Design Museum in London announces 74 contenders on show until 28 March 2021

A vegan burger, the 3D rendering of the virus causing Covid-19 and the union flag stab-proof vest worn by Stormzy are contenders in the Designs of the Year, which its curator says tells the story of a tumultuous 12 months before the coronavirus pandemic.

The Design Museum in London has announced the 74 nominees for the 13th annual exhibition and awards, which are drawn from designs created throughout 2019 and up to January 2020.

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The New York Times

Oct 20 2020
African-American History Museum Displays Kobe Bryant’s Jersey
The jersey, which Mr. Bryant wore during the 2008 N.B.A. finals, will be on view at the National Museum of African American History and Culture starting Wednesday.
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The Guardian

Oct 20 2020
Top Gun's jacket to Pretty Woman's boots: film memorabilia auction highlights – in pictures

Hundreds of rare props and costumes from more than 350 films, including Alien, Batman and Gladiator, will be going up for auction in early December

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The Guardian

Oct 19 2020
'My fascination with myself': Billy Childish's life story – in pictures

Family gatherings, naked bodies, in bed with Tracey Emin ... a new exhibition examines the punk polymath’s intimate side through five decades of his photographs

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The Guardian

Oct 19 2020
'Race is never far from the surface': Lesley Lokko on quitting New York

The Scottish-Ghanaian architect resigned as dean at the Spitzer school after less than a year citing ‘a lack of respect and empathy for black women’

When the Scottish-Ghanaian architect Lesley Lokko was appointed to head the architecture school at the City college of New York last year, her arrival was hailed as bringing “renewed energy and an exciting new vision” to the school. But after less than a year in the post, Lokko has resigned, citing a “crippling workload and lack of respect and empathy for black women”.

She became the dean of the Bernard and Anne Spitzer school of architecture in December 2019, after five years running the graduate school of architecture at the University of Johannesburg, the first such postgraduate school of architecture in Africa, which she founded in 2015. With 25 years of teaching experience across the UK, US and Africa, Lokko is widely regarded as one of the most progressive voices in architectural education. But the obstacles that she encountered in New York were unlike anything she had come up against before.

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artforum.com

Oct 19 2020
Winston Roeth
“Light and dark, dry and wet, reflective and absorptive, these qualities give the different multiples of the painting a distinct visual rhythm...The rhythms change with the light and with the position
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The New York Times

Oct 19 2020
Europe’s Museums Are Open, but the Public Isn’t Coming Due to Pandemic
Europe’s Museums Are Open, but the Public Isn’t Coming Due to Pandemic
Attendance at some major institutions is a third of what it was last year. Their ability to cope depends almost entirely on how they are funded.
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The Guardian

Oct 19 2020
The Guerrilla Girls: 'We upend the art world's notion of what's good and what's right'

The art world rebels have spent 35 years fighting against sexism and inequality in the art world and they have only just begun

In 1984, a group of women in New York gathered outside the Museum of Modern Art as part of a protest. A group show, An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture, was showing 165 artists, 152 male artists exhibited alongside just 13 women.

Outraged, they attended the protest, bringing placards and chanting outside the museum. But a handful of women within the larger crowd learned something.

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The Guardian

Oct 19 2020
The Billion Dollar Art Hunt review – the case that stumped the FBI

Crisscrossing tracks and clues make for high-stakes viewing in this BBC Four documentary about a sensational haul of art that vanished into thin air 30 years ago

Charley Hill is a retired detective for the Metropolitan police’s art and antiques squad. He helped to recover Edvard Munch’s The Scream after it was stolen from the Oslo National Gallery, and assorted other old masters, including a Vermeer, a Goya and a Titian – functioning as a one man A(rt)-Team. If you have a missing painting problem, if no one else can find it and if you can find him …

Last year he got a tipoff from one of the many contacts he has made in the shadows over the years about the location of 13 art works – including three Rembrandts, five Degas, a Manet and a Vermeer – that were stolen 30 years ago from the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in Boston. They were, says his informant, a career criminal called Martin Foley, taken out of the US and have resided ever since behind the wall of a safe house somewhere in Dublin. The Billion Dollar Art Hunt (BBC Four), written and presented by the arts journalist John Wilson, follows Hill as he chases down the latest lead in a case that the FBI (and private hires, and hobbyists, and fellow retirees, and bloggers and assorted recidivists) have never ceased pursuing. The reward for their safe return now stands at $10m (£7.6m).

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artforum.com

Oct 19 2020
April Freely Appointed Executive Director of Fire Island Artist Residency
April Freely has been named the new executive director of the Fire Island Artist Residency, the New York organization founded in 2011 as the first residency to provide resources exclusively to emerging
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artforum.com

Oct 19 2020
Enzo Mari (1932–2020)
Firebrand Italian designer Enzo Mari has died today at the age of eighty-eight, in Milan’s San Raffale hospital. A towering and radical figure in the design world, Mari was as well known for his volatile
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artforum.com

Oct 19 2020
Honoré d’O
The Belgian Conceptual artist Honoré d’O spent the first few months of the coronavirus lockdown in a twelfth-century Romanesque church in Ghent, where, through multiple interrelated interventions inspired
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The New York Times

Oct 19 2020
Richard Avedon’s Wall-Size Ambitions
The celebrated photographer made striking group portraits that he hoped would signal a new level of rigorous intention. Why didn’t the art world notice?
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artforum.com

Oct 19 2020
Jennifer Rose Sciarrino
In Jennifer Rose Sciarrino’s solo show “for Swan,” the artist proposes a science-fiction conceit for a series of sculptures that resemble composite organisms. Cast-glass works in glimmering shades of
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The New York Times

Oct 19 2020
At 77, Howardena Pindell Exorcises a Chilling Memory From Childhood
At 77, Howardena Pindell Exorcises a Chilling Memory From Childhood
The artist’s first new video in 25 years, on view at the Shed, mines the history of violence against African-Americans.
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artforum.com

Oct 19 2020
"FAKTURA (FOR A NERVOUS SPIRIT)"
The term Faktura—which translates literally  to “facture” but encompasses a wider understanding of surface—traces back to Latvia’s avant-garde. In the last year of his life, the Riga-born artist and
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The Guardian

Oct 19 2020
Station to station: imaginative works from Magnum's print sale – in pictures

From the disappearance of Andy Warhol to the march of Martin Luther King Jr, these ‘works of imagination’ are up for sale for just $100

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artforum.com

Oct 19 2020
Tuan Andrew Nguyen on Crimes of Solidarity (2020)
Tuan Andrew Nguyen has in recent years emerged as a maker of hybrid films that conjure national memories of displacement like magic spells, their layered narratives exerting a mesmeric pull on
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The Guardian

Oct 18 2020
Landscape photographer of the year 2020 – in pictures

From dramatic seascapes to misty woodlands, to urban street scenes, cityscapes and detailed closeups, the winning photographs in the Landscape photographer of the year awards aim to inspire visitors to explore and discover the wonders of Britain’s countryside. A shot of Woolland Woods on a spring day in Dorset made Chris Frost the 13th overall winner

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The Guardian

Oct 18 2020
The floating church: inside the holy vessel bringing salvation to Hackney hipsters

The area around London’s Olympic Park is a regeneration hothouse with micro-breweries, tech startups, speakeasys and spas. Now their spiritual needs are being met – with a beautiful chapel on a barge

A narrowboat moored to the towpath is offering passersby a “Shamanic ritual spa experience”. Its roof is decorated with an assortment of gongs, which are bonged occasionally by a man in a homemade cape. Across the water bobs a floating speakeasy cocktail bar that advertises a craft-beer-and-cheese-pairing cruise. Further along, diners are enjoying Szechuan aubergine with cashew cream in a Dutch barge that’s been converted into a restaurant. Beside it, a canoe hire company is running team-building paddleboarding expeditions.

As any Hackney Wick local will tell you, this corner of east London has changed drastically since the Olympic Games landed here in 2012. And this shift hasn’t just affected the kind of boats moored along the towpath. The once gritty edgeland of car-breaking yards, slaughterhouses and mountains of knackered fridges has long been swept away, replaced with all the trappings of hipster-infused regeneration. Tech startups now rub shoulders with microbreweries, while fresh rows of new-build warehouse-style apartments are accompanied by novel floating lifestyle concepts. But the latest arrival to the Lee Navigation moorings takes a more unexpected form.

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The Guardian

Oct 18 2020
Prado's first post-lockdown show reignites debate over misogyny

Exhibition exploring how women have been treated in art world runs into criticism

The last face that meets visitors to the Prado’s first post-lockdown exhibition is one of the very few that appears to look the spectator squarely in the eye.

The cool gaze of the Portuguese-Spanish artist María Roësset – free of guilt, shame, saccharine virtue or predatory intent – comes as something of a relief after the sanctimonious, salacious and often sad series of pictures that precede it.

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The Guardian

Oct 18 2020
'Something magical': mother-daughter artist duo on reviving the lost art of weaving

For Ngugi/Quandamooka women Sonja and Elisa Jane Carmichael, their works are a link to millennia-old traditions of North Stradbroke Island

The first works you see as you come down the stairs into the Art Gallery of South Australia’s Tarnanthi exhibition – the gallery’s annual show of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art – are large cyanotype prints.

The edges of the deep blue cotton gently flutter, capturing a sense of the life of the ocean that surrounds North Stradbroke Island in Queensland. These prints, by Ngugi/Quandamooka artist Sonja Carmichael and her daughter, Elisa Jane Carmichael – who goes by the name Leecee – express the life of the island. The life in weaving, in shucked shells, in fallen leaves, in sharp white relief against the blue.

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The Guardian

Oct 18 2020
Shalom Schotten obituary

The graphic designer Shalom Schotten, who has died aged 86, worked closely with artists such as David Hockney to design art book covers for Thames & Hudson, where he worked for five decades.

Schotten’s role was not easy as he had to please both publisher and the author, or the artist subject of the book. Naturally, he had his own convictions as to what would make the most aesthetically pleasing design and the best advertisement for the book. Despite this, artists such as Lucian Freud, David Bailey and Hockney found him a pleasure to work with.

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The New York Times

Oct 18 2020
A Mysterious Autograph Hound’s Book Is Up for Auction
A Mysterious Autograph Hound’s Book Is Up for Auction
With Mary Todd Lincoln, Mark Twain and even Oscar Wilde, a mystery remains: How did Lafayette Cornwell get all these people to autograph his book?
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The Guardian

Oct 18 2020
‘Greatest threat in a generation’ faces UK’s heritage buildings

Government’s planning reforms will favour new builds over repurposing old structures

Britain’s architectural heritage is facing a “once-in-a-generation” threat, the head of one of the country’s foremost conservation groups is warning.

Joe O’Donnell, the new director of the Victorian Society, predicted that sweeping changes proposed for the planning system will encourage the demolition of old buildings at a time when heritage groups, reeling from the impact of Covid, have limited resources to protect them.

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The Guardian

Oct 18 2020
Kai Althoff Goes With Bernard Leach; Nalini Malani: Can You Hear Me? – reviews

Whitechapel Gallery, London
The provocative German painter plumps for quantity over clarity, while a son-et-lumière by Indian artist Nalini Malani is simply stunning

Kai Althoff has been the enfant terrible of German painting for almost quarter of a century. It is a curious pose for a man in his middle 50s, but his shows are still designed to bemuse and provoke. Althoff is both as good and as bad as he wants to be, showing the cack-handed alongside the accomplished, the dumb against the tender, the delicate gouache beside the cruddy oil, sometimes painted on what look like chunks of old carpet. He never wants your eye to settle.

Born in 1966, in Cologne, Althoff gave up art school to run a bar, co-found a band and produce dance music in the 90s. He gained early notoriety from peeing on a series of his own canvases before they were sold. This acute ambivalence persists, notably in a letter he wrote to his agent in 2012 explaining that he wasn’t showing anything at the international Documenta show because life had intervened. The letter, needless to say, became the exhibit.

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The Guardian

Oct 18 2020
Weather Photographer of the Year 2020 – in pictures

Snow, lightning and tornados were among the natural phenomena captured in the 7,700 entries to the Royal Meteorological Society’s Weather Photographer of the Year awards. Here is a selection of some of the best

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The Guardian

Oct 17 2020
Artist Rachel Whiteread urges young: don't give up on your dreams

Turner prize winner reveals how drawing gave her comfort in lockdown

Rachel Whiteread, one of Britain’s leading visual artists, has urged creative young people to hold on to their dreams and skills in the face of the pandemic and spoken of the solace she has found in drawing.

“I really want people to carry on doing what they were doing. It is important they don’t give up on their dreams, and they follow through with what they have trained for,” Whiteread told the Observer. She was commenting on an advertisement put out last week by a government partner organisation encouraging artists and performers to consider switching to a career in “cyber”.

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The Guardian

Oct 17 2020
The big picture: my mum was a mail-order bride

Diana Markosian captures the dissonance between the California her mother knew from American soap operas and what she found when she arrived

In 1996 Diana Markosian’s mother, Svetlana, decided she had to abandon her life in Moscow. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the collapse of her marriage she had been dreaming of a new start in California, which she mostly knew from the soap opera Santa Barbara. Through an agency, she advertised to be a mail-order bride and, having chosen a new partner, Eli, from a stack of replies, left her home and got on a plane with her two children. Diana was seven years old.

Santa Barbara was not how Svetlana imagined it. And neither was Eli, who was waiting at Los Angeles airport with a bunch of flowers – 20 years older, and a hundred pounds heavier than in the photograph he had sent. They married anyway and lived together for eight years. Diana was asked to call Eli “Dad” and did not see her own father again until she was in her 20s.

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The Guardian

Oct 17 2020
Rare mammoth tusk sculpture on show for first time in Arctic display

Exhibition at British Museum features newly finished Sakha sculpture

Ancient mammoth tusk is a seriously niche material to work in, but there is one place where the skills and carving techniques involved are still passed down the generations.

A major new British Museum exhibition, Arctic: Culture and Climate, which starts this week in London, will feature an extraordinary piece of “very rare” sculpture, one that details an arcane ritual and has been completed in collaboration with the Sakha people of north-eastern Russia.

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The Guardian

Oct 17 2020
Thrills and spills: vintage beer mats – in pictures

When he was young, designer Adam Kimberley would often wake up with beer mats stuffed in his pockets after a night out. When he went on to study graphic design he found his drunken souvenirs inspiring, and two years ago, he began Instagramming a daily mat at @beerstainedpulp.

“They’re a great source of visual communication,” he says, “part of the history of design, print and advertising and a record of popular culture.”

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artforum.com

Oct 17 2020
Marianne Wex (1937–2020)
Marianne Wex, whose short career as an artist yielded enduring contributions to women’s and gender studies as well as the field of conceptual photography, has died at age eighty-three in her native
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The Guardian

Oct 17 2020
On my radar: John Cooper Clarke's cultural highlights

The poet on vintage TV, elegant writing about architecture and Dylan’s endearing take on the Great American Songbook

John Cooper Clarke is a performance poet, comedian and presenter who rose to fame in the 1970s as one of the first “punk poets”. He was born in Salford in 1949 and his third album, Walking Back to Happiness, released in 1979, featured the UK top 40 song Gimmix! (Play Loud). Clarke has toured with Linton Kwesi Johnson, and performed alongside the Sex Pistols, Joy Division and Buzzcocks. He released his first poetry collection, Ten Years in An Open Necked Shirt, in 1983 and has appeared on TV shows including Would I Lie to You? and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. His memoir, I Wanna Be Yours, about growing up in a Salford suburb, is published this month.

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The Guardian

Oct 17 2020
Banksy confirms hula-hoop girl mural in Nottingham is his

Artwork showing girl playing with a bicycle tyre appeared on street corner last week

Banksy has posted a picture of a mural of a girl hula-hooping on social media, ending speculation over whether he was behind the work.

The mural appeared on a wall on Tuesday on the corner of Rothesay Avenue in Lenton, Nottingham.

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The Guardian

Oct 17 2020
Choirs and comedians among recipients of £76m Covid arts aid

Almost 600 cultural groups across England to benefit from latest funding round

Comedy clubs, circuses, choirs and theatres across England are in line to receive a share of £76m of government funding for the cultural sector.

The Military Wives Choirs, Somerset House and Kneehigh Theatre in Cornwall are among the 588 organisations that will share the latest round of grants of up to £1m as part of the £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund.

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