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The New York Times

May 17 2019
Czech Culture Minister Resigns After Firing Museum Directors
Antonin Stanek faced international complaints after he dismissed two museum chiefs. He said they had committed crimes, but many saw the moves as personal.
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The New York Times

May 17 2019
Contemporary Art Evening Sales Bring $981 Million, Led by Koons and KAWS
Demand for a former graffiti tagger named Brian Donnelly transforms a speculative market for paintings.
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The New York Times

May 17 2019
XX Marks the Spot: KAWS Goes Global
The artist known as KAWS is famous for his commercial collaborations. Now his paintings are fetching ever-higher auction prices.
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The New York Times

May 17 2019
New Statue of Liberty Museum Illuminates a Forgotten History
The museum, opening Thursday on Liberty Island, reminds visitors of the vague and often dubious ideal of “liberty for all.”
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The Guardian

May 17 2019
Buy a photograph of bees, by Gerrard Gethings

In the latest of our Guardian Print Shop series, we have an image of bees, shot by Gerrard Gethings, which will feature as part of the World Bee Day Gallery that launches on Monday

Every summer for the past five years, since the birth of his son, photographer Gerrard Gethings has had a bumble bee hive delivered to his home. In 2016, he decided to try to shoot them. He set up a backdrop next to the entrance to the hive, lit the scene, positioned the tripod and camera six inches away with a remote control – and waited. “I had to pull the trigger as soon as I saw the shadow of a bee emerging, as there was a tiny delay,” says Gethings. “It was a pleasurable way to spend the weekend.” Up close, you can see the bees’ extraordinary anatomy, their punky yellow buzz cuts. “They are so un-aerodynamic,” he says. “You can see how heavy their bodies are, how flimsy their wings. Theoretically, they shouldn’t be able to fly at all.” Ahead of World Bee Day on 20 May, photographs like this can remind us to appreciate these wonderful creatures afresh, and how important they are to the health of our planet.

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The Guardian

May 17 2019
IM Pei obituary
Doyen of architects who enriched the world with a series of bold cultural monuments

Ieoh Ming Pei, known always as IM Pei, who has died aged 102, lived and worked long enough to become the doyen of American architects and perhaps the most renowned of all Chinese-born Americans. His resolute intervention in the form of a glass pyramid at the Louvre in the 1980s marked the high point of his fame. A series of cultural monuments followed all over the world, culminating in the Museum of Islamic Art at Doha, jutting out like a fortress on a manmade island from the coast of Qatar.

But Pei’s greatest and subtlest achievement, as well as the turning point in his career, was the East Building that he added to Washington DC’s National Gallery of Art (1968-78). Its geometrical and sculptural virtuosity gave fresh hope to those who feared at the time that modern architecture was losing its way. It perfectly embodies the blend of boldness and suavity that lay at the heart of Pei’s architectural personality, and is arguably the noblest art gallery of the last half-century.

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The Guardian

May 17 2019
Cartoon cats, doomed sunbathers and the sound of Hogarth's London – the week in art

The British Museum is turning Japanese for Manga, Gin Lane is making a racket at the Foundling Museum, and the V&A has a lot on its plate – all in your weekly dispatch

Manga
The wildly popular contemporary comic strip art from Japan gets the BM’s blockbuster treatment. Wot, run out of old pots?
• British Museum, London, 23 May to 26 August

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The Guardian

May 17 2019
Stephen Shore's Los Angeles – in pictures

Photo London has named Stephen Shore as its master of photography for 2019. New work will be shown at Somerset House alongside this classic series Los Angeles, which features 60 photographs taken in one day in 1969

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The Guardian

May 17 2019
IM Pei: an audacious daredevil who built the impossible

From his provocative Louvre pyramid to his inverted wedge for Dallas, the Chinese-American architect was too modern for his time – but his angular marvels look perfect now

So bold were IM Pei’s designs, they were often regarded as wilfully controversial, designed to shock. But Pei himself never saw it like that. He was possibly the last living link to such founders of modernism as Le Corbusier and Bauhaus stalwarts Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer, all of whom he met. He carried their torch, abiding by their principles and adding flourishes of his own – usually too many for the general public. To those modernist foundations of proportion, simplicity, geometry, Pei added audacious angles and structural daring. The result is a body of work that is instantly recognisable – more so than their retiring creator, who died this week aged 102.

Pei’s Dallas Civic Center was a statement of intent. Commissioned as part of a drive to rebrand the city following the assassination of President John F Kennedy, it was a statement of civic grandeur with more than a touch of sci-fi. It was later used as a location in the movie RoboCop. Its huge, inverted wedge of office floors looked too precarious in early designs: Pei had to express the stairwells as cylindrical columns, to give the impression they were holding up the seven-storey overhang when in fact they served no structural purpose.

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The Guardian

May 17 2019
Susan Meiselas’s New Girl: exploitation and empowerment

The American photographer captures the grim reality and the fantasy associated with carnival strippers

In the late 1970s, Susan Meiselas’s images of civil war and insurrection in Nicaragua and El Salvador established her as one of the great humanitarian photographers. But she had earned her place on Magnum’s books via a rather different series, capturing carnival strippers performing across rural New England.

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The New York Times

May 17 2019
Can We Start Appreciating Indigenous Art on Its Own Terms?
What Australia’s Aboriginal artists and filmmakers are teaching Americans in two radiant shows.
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The New York Times

May 17 2019
New York Art Galleries: What to See Right Now
Josh Smith’s Reaper paintings; David Taylor and Marcos Ramírez ERRE’s border markers; and Alina Tenser’s shape-shifting boxes.
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The New York Times

May 16 2019
An Art Show for Hundreds of Women. And That’s Just the Artists.
Like so many good ideas, the Every Woman Biennial was born of a joke. Now it’s in its third edition, displaying the work of over 600 female and nonbinary artists, and expanding to Los Angeles.
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The New York Times

May 16 2019
Critic’s Pick: Jeff Wall Takes Photography Into a Painterly Realm
The conceptual photographer’s transfixing show at Gagosian includes confounding diptychs and a cinematic triptych.
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The New York Times

May 16 2019
Last Chance: Karrabing Film Collective Reflects a Disturbing Reality at MoMA PS1
Mermaids, mud and the nightmare of colonialism and environmental destruction get swirled into a toxic soup in the Indigenous collective’s 2018 film.
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The New York Times

May 16 2019
A Hirshhorn Museum Garden Redesign Looks Forward. Others Look Back.
Some fear that the landscape architect Lester Collins’s modernist vision from 1981 will be lost.
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The Guardian

May 16 2019
Voodoo dolls and angry artists: Ballarat biennale's ‘heartbreaking’ trainwreck

The festival’s downfall has left artists hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. What went wrong?

The voodoo doll sat for several weeks in March on the bar of Barboaa, the pop-up drinking establishment opened by the inaugural Biennale of Australian Art (Boaa), on Lydiard Street in Ballarat.

Small and not particularly spooky, the doll bore an uncanny resemblance to the director of the National Association of the Visual Arts (Nava), Esther Anatolitis.

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The Guardian

May 16 2019
In pictures – IM Pei's finest works

IM Pei, one of the most celebrated and prolific architects of the 20th century, has died aged 102. The son of a prominent Chinese banker, he favoured stone, steel and glass in his creations that bore his hallmark geometry and reverence for light

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The Guardian

May 16 2019
IM Pei: celebrated architect behind Louvre pyramid dead at 102

Pei, whose portfolio included the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was one of the most prolific architects of the 20th century

IM Pei, whose modern designs and high-profile projects made him one of the best-known and most prolific architects of the 20th century, has died. He was 102.

A spokesman at Pei’s New York architecture firm confirmed his death to the Associated Press.

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The New York Times

May 16 2019
15 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

May 16 2019
Critic’s pick: The Whitney Biennial: Young Art Cross-Stitched With Politics
The look is personal, the message quietly topical.
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The Guardian

May 16 2019
'Especially relevant': Susan Meiselas wins 2019 Deutsche Börse photography prize

From displaced Kurds to carnival strippers, documentarian praised for carving ‘a new form of socially engaged photography’ by getting close to long-term subjects

The prestigious Deutsche Börse photography prize has been won by Susan Meiselas, an American whose work over five decades has seen her engage deeply with her subjects, from the scattered communities of the Kurdish diaspora to the women in her still edgy Carnival Strippers series.

The award, which in the past has tended to favour more conceptually driven artists, is a vindication of sorts for this socially committed documentarian. At the Photographers’ Gallery in London, which hosts the prize, Meiselas chose to exhibit In the Shadow of History, her long-term engagement with the plight of the Kurdish people, which was part of her recent touring retrospective, Mediations. Begun in 1977, it traces the lives of ordinary Kurds living in exile across the globe using photographs, film, text and projections, all of which reflect the depth of her collaboration with scholars, historians and local communities.

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The New York Times

May 16 2019
Watch Report: For Spring, Six New Watches With Blue Dials
The season’s most stylish timepieces — whether refined or sporty — come in navy, midnight and sapphire.
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The New York Times

May 16 2019
Critic’s Notebook: Chicago Finds a Way to Improve Public Housing: Libraries
Other cities have combined books and subsidized housing, but the outgoing mayor, Rahm Emanuel, has embraced the concept with three striking new projects.
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The Guardian

May 16 2019
Titian masterpieces to be displayed together for first time since 1704

The 16th-century paintings will be shown as a series in London, Edinburgh, Madrid and Boston

One of the most important groups of high Renaissance paintings is to be brought together for the first time in more than 300 years.

A partnership between galleries in London, Edinburgh, Boston and Madrid was announced on Thursday which will allow five of Titian’s greatest paintings to be seen as they were intended – together as a series.

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The New York Times

May 16 2019
Jeff Koons ‘Rabbit’ Sets Auction Record for Most Expensive Work by Living Artist
A shiny and enigmatic steel sculpture sold for $91.1 million at Christie’s on Wednesday, edging past David Hockney.
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The New York Times

May 16 2019
Rediscoveries: A Villa Built During Milan’s Fascist Period Finds a Second Life
Born in the troubling Italian era, one classic Piero Portaluppi home has reopened as a contemporary art gallery.
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The Guardian

May 16 2019
Lore of the Jungle: unearthing treasures from the Calais camp

A new exhibition tells the human stories of the infamous refugee camp through the objects created, used and discarded there.

Sarah Mallet calls herself a “normal” archaeologist. An expert on how English diets changed between the iron age and the medieval period, she is a member of a discipline whose bread-and-butter work might involve recording and dating, say, Saxon fibulae. But today, at Pitt Rivers anthropological museum in Oxford, she is holding out for inspection not of an ancient coin or a shard of prehistoric pottery, but a decidedly modern teargas canister.

“I’ve recorded quite a few of these,” she says. “This one’s dated 2009, which means it must have been out of date by the time it was used. Some of the ones I’ve seen as are old as 1998 – and teargas gets more potent over time. There are a lot from 2015 and 2016.”

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The Guardian

May 15 2019
The best British press photography – in pictures

The Assignments exhibition is an annual chance to see the top images by UK photojournalists, as chosen by the British Press Photographers’ Association. Warning: readers may find some of the images upsetting

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The Guardian

May 15 2019
Whodunnit! The secret artists' auction – in pictures

Pictures on a Postcard auctions anonymous signed works by big-name photographers from Larry Clark to Roger Ballen, Todd Hido and Karen Knorr. Here are our favourites …

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The Guardian

May 15 2019
David Severn's best photograph: men hunting rabbits for beer

‘They’re out on the site of the old Newstead Colliery. They do eat the rabbits they catch – or trade them for beer. Thirty years ago, they would have been miners’

I started my Thanks Maggie project back in 2012. The title is definitely sarcastic. It’s a series of photographs about culture and social life in the former coalfield areas of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, and the evolution of old colliery sites from places of industry to landscapes of leisure. Much photography work about these postindustrial parts of England often focuses on deprivation, and it’s usually from the perspective of a concerned outsider. Thanks Maggie is semi-autobiographical – my dad worked in the pits, as a shaftsman – and I wanted to take photos that were more of a celebration of the people and places I grew up with.

The project looks at different ways that people interact with this landscape. This is one of the first photos I took, of locals hunting rabbits on the site of the old Newstead Colliery. When I was a teenager, hanging out on these former mining sites, you’d see people with air rifles and stay well away from them. They looked intimidating. But I had an “in” with Andy, the guy in the camo cap, and he took me out rabbiting with his mates on a Saturday.

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The New York Times

May 15 2019
The Met Will Turn Down Sackler Money Amid Fury Over the Opioid Crisis
The decision by one of the world’s leading museums could spur other institutions to turn down philanthropy from the family behind OxyContin.
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The Guardian

May 15 2019
'I've seen more self-aware ants!' AI: More Than Human – review

Barbican, London
This crowd-pleasing show throws robots, shiny toys and interactive paintings at viewers. But there’s little sign of creativity amid the chaotic overload

In 2016, a machine beat the world’s best (human) player at the ancient strategy game Go, which up to then was said to be too intuitive for a computer. AlphaGo’s victory was doubly stunning because it taught itself Go by trial and error. Does the fact that computers can now learn mean that artificial intelligence (AI) has moved from science fiction to reality?

The story of AlphaGo is told in a specially isolated display, almost like a little temple, at the heart of the Barbican’s sprawling survey of the past, present and future of machines that can think for themselves. It’s a show that’s sorely needed. AI is everywhere in the media, but public understanding of it is confused. It sometimes seems vested interests want to keep it that way. Why do tech companies create uncannily humanoid interfaces if not to fool us into believing their algorithms are consciously speaking to us? AI: More Than Human should be the exhibition that clarifies our understanding of AI and where it’s really at, but instead it opts for chaotic overload and a groovy utopianism that perpetuates the current blur in public discussion of reality and fantasy of this potentially earth-shaking technology.

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The Guardian

May 15 2019
Parliament's art collection to include more women

Works depicting dozens of female politicians and campaigners to be introduced

Parliament is to receive an overhaul of its publicly displayed art work, with dozens of former and current female politicians and campaigners to be introduced to the walls of the Palace of Westminster.

A painting of Nancy Astor, the first female MP to take her seat in the Commons, and photographs of the MPs Yvette Cooper and Seema Kennedy, are among the works to be introduced following discussions among a committee of MPs.

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The Guardian

May 15 2019
Rooftop pool? Notre Dame proposals defy traditionalists

Designs from architects around world also suggest glass, crystal and metal spires

An architecture firm has proposed replacing the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral with a swimming pool, as France prepares to launch an international competition to restore the fire-damaged gothic edifice to its former glory.

After the roof and spire of Notre Dame were damaged in a fire watched worldwide in April, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, said he was open to a “contemporary gesture” in rebuilding it “more beautiful than before”, and the prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, called for a new spire “adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era”.

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The Guardian

May 15 2019
Sterile or stirring? Britain's love-hate relationship with new towns

Paternalistic social engineering or make-Britain-great-again utopianism? A new archive film compilation takes a look at the UK’s controversial postwar towns

“People sometimes say to me, ‘You must get a terrific kick out of having been responsible for a huge thing like a new town,’” said Sir Frederick Gibberd in an interview in 1982, 35 years after he created the new town of Harlow. “Well, I get a lot of misery out of it, in fact. I go around and think, ‘My god, that’s unbelievably bad, and it could have been so good.’”

If that was what the designer thought, imagine how everyone else who moved to Harlow felt. The interview comes in a short film at the end of New Towns, Our Towns, a new compilation of archive films from the Independent Cinema Office chronicling Britain’s pioneering postwar new town movement – and our ongoing love-hate relationship with it. Paternalistic social engineering or make-Britain-great-again utopianism? Textbook example of the failures of macro modernism, or the type of bold, ambitious government initiative we need more of?

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The Guardian

May 14 2019
'The Glastonbury of art': Venice Biennale 2019 – in pictures

A hypnotised live dove, a migrant boat, a cow on rails, a Lithuanian beach … the Guardian’s David Levene on how he captured the vast art fair

Mawkish monuments and the beach from hell: our verdict on this year’s arts celebration

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The Guardian

May 14 2019
Whitney Biennial 2019: why is this year's show so safe?

The show, increasingly typified by controversial resistance art, is presenting a mostly safe front this year despite a growing protest over a Whitney trustee

When the doors open on the sixth floor of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the first thing one sees is a snowman painting by Calvin Marcus. It’s an underwhelming statement for the Whitney Biennial, arguably America’s most politically charged art event, which opens on Friday.

The curators, Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley, both staffers at the museum, wanted to take a more subtle approach for this 79th edition of the biennial, which features 75 artists, half of whom are women. Despite the country’s political upheaval and the looming elections in 2020, it comes as a surprise that resistance art is so little represented.

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The New York Times

May 14 2019
A Monet Sells for $110.7 Million, an Auction High for an Impressionist Work
A work from Monet’s “Meules” (“Grainstacks”) series that sold at Sotheby’s in New York on Tuesday was the ninth-most-expensive painting ever sold at an international auction house.
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The Guardian

May 14 2019
Floods, fires and desert mice: $100,000 Hadley’s Art prize  – in pictures

Hadley’s Art prize is an annual acquisitive prize for Australian landscape art which, at $100,000, is believed to be the richest in the world. Selected from more than 630 entrants, the 33 finalists among this year’s shortlist – 12 of them from Tasmania – were chosen by Tasmanian artist Raymond Arnold, Mona’s senior research curator Jane Clark, and Tasmanian art writer, curator and gallerist Susan McCulloch.

The prize, now in its third year, is presented by the Hadley’s Orient hotel in Hobart, where all 33 finalists will be exhibited until 18 August. Below is a selection

  • Hadley’s Art prize will be awarded on 19 July 2019. Out of respect for the artist’s moral rights, please refrain from saving any image. No reproductions may be made
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The Guardian

May 14 2019
Let me into your home: artist Lauren McCarthy on becoming Alexa for a day

She livestreams her dates, once became a real-life Alexa and built a light that dims in boring company. As AI: More Than Human opens at the Barbican, meet an artist for the tech age

In a gallery in downtown Manhattan, people are huddling around four laptops, taking turns to control the apartments of 14 complete strangers. They watch via live video feeds, and respond whenever the residents ask “Someone” to help them. They switch the lights on and off, boil the kettle, put some music on – whatever they can do to oblige.

The project, called Someone, is the latest in a series exploring our ever more complicated relationship with technology. It’s by the American artist Lauren McCarthy and is a sort of outsourcing of Lauren, an earlier work in which she acted as a real-life Alexa, remotely watching over a home 24 hours a day, responding to its occupants’ questions and needs like a flesh and blood version of Amazon’s voice-operated virtual assistant.

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The New York Times

May 14 2019
At Venice Biennale, the Art’s for Sale, if You Know the Right People
The event’s organizers want to play down the market’s influence. But for those in the know, it’s the world’s biggest art fair.
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The New York Times

May 14 2019
The Don’t-Miss Shows and Pavilions at the Venice Biennale
There are more than 100 exhibitions and presentations taking place in this year’s extravaganza. Our critic soaks up the highlights.
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The Guardian

May 13 2019
From bin bags to utopia: the best of Photo London 2019 – in pictures

Brooklyn gangs and a glimpse behind North Korea’s closed regime are just two of the highlights of this year’s Photo London festival

Photo London is at Somerset House London, 16-19 May 2019

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The Guardian

May 13 2019
City with a female face: how modern Vienna was shaped by women

The Austrian capital has been pioneering ‘gender mainstreaming’ for nearly 30 years. How did the city come to be so far ahead – and could its gains be lost?

At 240 hectares, the neighbourhood of Aspern, Vienna, is one of the largest urban developments in Europe. By the time it is complete in 2028, it is due to be home to 20,000 people, plus another 20,000 workplaces, and with an explicitly family-oriented design. Centred on an artificial lake and with half of the entire area devoted to public space, it is billed as “Vienna’s Urban Lakeside”: a model city-within-a-city, in a place that already has the one of the highest qualities of life of any city in the world.

When Christina Atta moved to Aspern four years ago, she was one of its rare single women. “I was alone with my cats, and everybody had children,” she says. Now she is pregnant with her second child, however, Atta, 35, can better appreciate its design. Her only complaint is that the bus to the city can’t accommodate all the young children.

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The New York Times

May 13 2019
Cézanne Painting Owned by S.I. Newhouse Jr. Draws $59.3 Million at Christie’s
But the fireworks are yet to come, perhaps at the contemporary sales starting on Wednesday.
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The Guardian

May 13 2019
Baroque masterpiece to go on show next to pupils' GCSE artwork

Artemisia Gentileschi’s 17th-century work to be displayed at secondary school in Newcastle

A baroque period masterpiece bought by the National Gallery for £3.6m last year is to go on display alongside the GCSE artwork of probably apprehensive schoolgirls.

Artemisia Gentileschi’s Self-Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria (about 1615–17) will begin a four-day visit to Sacred Heart Catholic high school in Newcastle upon Tyne on Tuesday.

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The New York Times

May 13 2019
Venice Biennale’s Top Prize Goes to Lithuania
“Sun & Sea (Marina),” which features opera singers on an artificial beach, was the second successive performance piece to win the Golden Lion for best national participation.
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The New York Times

May 13 2019
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as a Super Hero? This Comic Book Thinks So
The representative from New York inspired a comic book anthology that arrives in stores on Wednesday.
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The Guardian

May 13 2019
The UK desperately needs new homes - but not these hideous boxes

Even the housing minister admits the soulless developments gobbling up Britain’s countryside will soon have to be bulldozed

A glance through the window of virtually any long-distance train reveals how much countryside is being gobbled up by identikit, soulless, mediocre housing designed around cars. Earlier this month, the housing minister, Kit Malthouse, predicted that many of the boxes being thrown up on the outskirts of towns would soon be “ripped down and bulldozed” as unsuitable.

The evidence for his claim is simple. As Malthouse observed, housing is the one thing that virtually everyone likes to buy secondhand – and that means the issue of housing quality is now critical, particularly given the government’s aim to get 300,000 new homes built every year by the mid-2020s. But despite new planning guidance, billions being poured into financial support for housebuilding and land supply and growing political and public pressure over the shameful growth in homelessness, this government is no nearer to working out how to build enough good quality, affordable homes that will adapt to people’s changing needs.

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