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The New York Times

May 13 2019
Spring Art Sales: Yawns or Records?
Trophy names and a few surprises: For the first time, all three auction houses will include works by KAWS.
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The Guardian

May 12 2019
'There is less fear': restoration of Kabul repairs the ravages of war

Afghanistan rebuilds the old town and creates register of dwellings to promote peace and help residents feel safer

Amir Gol first arrived in Kabul after fleeing his home – a Taliban stronghold – in Nangahar. He had no idea where to settle, so he rented a small mud house and started collecting and selling used plastic to make a living. Almost a decade later, little has changed for the 60-year old father of eleven. He sits cross-legged on a cushion outside the house he rents for 600 Afghani (£5) a month. Occasionally, he says, members of insurgent groups come to his neighbourhood, a settlement specked with poorly constructed mud houses and plastic tents in the city’s outskirts.

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The Guardian

May 12 2019
Mawkish monuments and the beach from hell: our verdict on the Venice Biennale

It has dancing monsters, a smoking pigeon and a ship full of migrants that sank. But this year’s haunting, standout show is Lithuania’s beach full of doomed sunbathers

A black and white cow travels in endless circles on a circular track, going nowhere on a carpet of artificial grass. Chinese artist Nabuqi’s bovine installation is far from the most stupid and unnecessary thing you’ll find in this year’s Venice Biennale, which sprawls across the city, from the Giardini to the Arsenale, from the national pavilions to the dockyard warehouses, from the museums and churches to the palaces on the canals.

Dumb art for dumb times, then. Belgium’s pavilion is filled with animatronic figures, folkloric weavers, a baker rolling pastry, a tinkling pianist, a beggar quivering with the cold and other assorted personages going through their dismal mechanical motions. Some are locked behind bars, as though the pavilion, and perhaps the country itself, were a 19th-century asylum. Its German counterpart looks half-finished, a ruin in the making, one huge wall a concrete dam that appears about to break. Echoing Hans Haacke’s memorable 1993 intervention in the pavilion – when he tore up the floor with a jackhammer, referencing both German history and the splintered ice floes in a Caspar David Friedrich painting – the whole thing tells us that we are doomed to repeat ourselves.

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The Guardian

May 12 2019
Howzat! LS Lowry's cricket match painting may sell for £1m

Rare painting of cricket match in Salford unveiled for first time in more than 20 years

The hopeless child at deep midwicket is facing the wrong way and the bowler is surely delivering a no ball but there is still much to enjoy in a rare painting being unveiled for the first time in more than 20 years.

Sotheby’s has announced the auction, from an American collection, of a 1938 painting by LS Lowry showing a cricket match on a wasteground in Salford.

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The New York Times

May 12 2019
Art Review: Looking Good Is Not the Point: What Artists Bare in Self-Portraits
More than 30 painters examine themselves with unsparing honesty in a show of self-portraits bookended by Egon Schiele and Max Beckmann.
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The Guardian

May 12 2019
Grand Parc, Bordeaux review – a rush of light, air and views

French architects Lacaton & Vassal have bucked the trend by renovating a 1960s apartment block rather than demolishing it

Ten minutes by tram from the centre of Bordeaux brings you to the housing estate of Grand Parc. Here the scene shifts from the city’s picture postcard historic core, thronged by tourists, oenophiles and gilet jaunes, to a more expansive urban prospect of hulking apartment blocks set in parkland. Constructed in the post-second world war era, the architecture is functional and repetitive but the atmosphere is far from irredeemably grim like many French banlieues. Now starting to show its age, Grand Parc was an attempt to create decent mass housing for working-class families, incoming immigrant communities and those displaced from the city centre as a result of slum clearance.

While not a conspicuously problematic estate, there was a sense of slow decline and quiet languishing on the periphery. In France, a country that has built huge quantities of modernist grands ensembles, the question of what to do with its unwieldy legacy of ageing slabs and towers is a growing preoccupation. The authorities began eyeing up Grand Parc, calculating their next move. As planners and politicians are only too aware, few things play better with the public that the spectacle of modernist apartment blocks being unceremoniously demolished and replaced by spanking new models.

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The Guardian

May 12 2019
Your pictures: share your photos on the theme of 'dramatic'

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


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

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

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The Guardian

May 12 2019
Reframing Lee Krasner, the artist formerly known as Mrs Pollock

Lee Krasner’s huge contribution to abstract expressionism was overshadowed for years by the work of her husband, Jackson Pollock. On the eve of a major London show, we trace her story

In the autumn of 1945, two artists – not young, but not quite middle-aged, either – moved from New York to a village called Springs, near East Hampton on Long Island. These newlyweds had no money. It would be a while before they could make the small clapboard farmhouse that was to be their new home any less freezing in winter, let alone install an indoor bathroom. But this isolated spot, with its ramshackle outbuildings and its view of the Accabonac Creek, was for them a bit of heaven – in the beginning, at least. Together, they cooked and gardened. Together, they went digging for clams, travelling to the beach on their bicycles (they did not own a car). Above all, they worked: he in their barn, she in an upstairs bedroom. Life was, for them both, mostly about painting. Their allegiance to it was fierce: as intense as their loyalty to each other, from which it could never fully be separated.

One of these artists, Jackson Pollock, would one day become very famous – the hard-living central figure of American abstract expressionism, known the world over for his drip paintings, made by allowing the paint to drop from his brush or a can on to a canvas laid on the floor – and, thanks to this, the house is now a US historic landmark, open to the public. It’s an intensely special place. I know I’m lucky: when I visit on a crisp, blue-bright April morning, its director, Helen Harrison, has opened up specially for me. But I’m also certain that even if there were a crowd here, it would still cast a spell. The atmosphere is so intimate. You half expect to smell onions frying, or to hear the fuzzy crackle of a needle hitting a jazz record. In the kitchen, a pair of greasy oven gloves still hang on a hook. On the stove sits a kettle, waiting to be boiled. On top of the refrigerator are the china pots, decorated with windmills, in which the couple kept their sugar and their rice, their pepper and their cloves. People have made a lot of Pollock’s macho tendencies down the years, but he was a keen baker; if he wanted to eat an apple pie, he would get on and make one.

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The Guardian

May 12 2019
Arts and crafts masterpiece Dunshay Manor reopens after legal wrangle
Dorset country house left to the nation by pioneering sculptor Mary Spencer Watson is finally going on show

Cut from the prized Purbeck stone that surrounds it, Dunshay Manor in Dorset has always cast a spell. A close neighbour to the towering ruins of Corfe Castle, it was once home to a popular society portraitist and a dancer, then to a renowned aircraft designer and finally to a pioneering female sculptor.

But in recent years it has languished in the middle of a courtroom tug-of-love between a former wife of film director Ken Russell and the heritage trust to which the property was bequeathed. Now, after a lengthy legal battle and extensive building work, Dunshay is finally reopening its doors. Carefully restored, it stands again as a monument to the arts and craft’s movement’s idealised vision of rural simplicity and to the bohemian lifestyle of the artists who have lived there.

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The Guardian

May 12 2019
Venice Biennale 2019 review – preaching to the converted

There is much to praise from Ghana, India, France, and a stunning international pavilion. Less admirable is a true horror on the Arsenale…

The tide is rising. The ice caps are melting. The oceans are awash with trash. That is the main message from the Giardini in Venice, where the 2019 Biennale has just opened. But apparently we should not abandon all hope. For there is always birdsong, and another dance class.

This is what the international pavilions seem to be saying, over and over again. If I saw one doomed pavilion, the floor wrenched up, the walls torn down (ever so politely) to reveal the gardens beyond, I saw four. The entrance to the French pavilion is through the dug-out earth below, sending you back to nature. The Spanish pavilion sends you outside to witness the threatened vegetation beneath spouts of bright acid rain. In the German pavilion, a toxic brown stain pours down the walls to a thrumming soundtrack of inchoate menace. There are barren rocks everywhere.

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The Guardian

May 12 2019
The big picture: an outing with nanny and photographer Vivian Maier

This striking photograph by Chicago’s ‘real-life Mary Poppins’ showcases her skill as she transitions to colour

Vivian Maier was one of the great secret artists of the last century. She took more than 150,000 photographs in her lifetime, but hardly showed them to anyone. Maier, who died in 2009, aged 83, had worked for more than 40 years as a nanny for families on Chicago’s North Shore. She was known to the children she looked after as “a real-life Mary Poppins”. On her days off, or on outings with the kids in her charge, she wandered the streets of Chicago with her camera, often interviewing some of the people she photographed.

This picture was among those thousands of negatives, recordings and prints that were discovered only when Maier fell behind on payments for a storage space she rented in Chicago in 2007. The contents of the lock-up were put up for sale and bought by three collectors of photography. One of those collectors, John Maloof, who happened to be researching a book on the history of a particular Chicago suburb, bought 30,000 negatives unseen. When he pieced together a little of Maier’s life he put a selection of her images out on Flickr and they became a viral phenomenon.

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The Guardian

May 12 2019
Simone Lia on mating rituals

When a noted performance fails to pay off

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The Guardian

May 11 2019
Images from Nigeria, land of the 'inseparable two'

In the west African country where there are many more twins than anywhere else in the world, photographers Bénédicte Kurzen and Sanne de Wilde explore ‘double birth’ and its mythology

Ten young people pose for a group shot, boys in front, girls behind. Almost identically dressed, they stare straight to camera with a mixture of shyness and defiance familiar from school photographs the world over. But the brightness of their uniform, the playfulness of their headgear, suggests that this is no ordinary gathering – and indeed it is not. These children, togged out in their holiday best, were among more than 2,000 sets of twins who poured into the Nigerian town of Igbo-Ora last autumn for the state of Oyo’s first twins festival – an event celebrating the town’s claim to be the twins capital of the world.

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The Guardian

May 11 2019
Beauty in ruins: the wonder of abandoned buildings – a photo essay

I created Lost Collective to document neglected and now rarely seen places that once played important roles in their communities. From a derelict power station in central Sydney to an elegantly decaying Japanese hotel, these sites still unite the people who made them matter

It was like hell on earth; everything coated in red dust and rust. The noise was immense, with steam and chemicals belching from all over – at one point I walked into a cloud of ammonia without a respirator. It was a massive nickel refinery and I was there to help shut it down.

I’d started my career as an apprentice fitter and turner in a hot and dirty workshop in the north Queensland city of Townsville. It was such a shit job – every day was stinking hot and we were working on heavy machinery smeared with grease, chemicals or both. But I wanted a trade to fall back on so felt compelled to stick it out. The nickel refinery was one of my first onsite jobs and one I’ll never forget.

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The Guardian

May 11 2019
Saved for the nation: Quaker meeting houses where silence is cherished

Some of the oldest and most historically important Friends meeting houses in Britain now have protected status

For almost 350 years, Quakers have been opening a gate in a brick wall in Hertford, crossing a small, peaceful courtyard, and taking a seat on wooden benches in a simple, timber-panelled room to commune silently with God.

The Quaker Meeting House in the county town of Hertfordshire is the oldest in the world still in continuous use by the Religious Society of Friends, the proper name for Quakers. The town has grown around it, now with new-build developments housing young families pushed out of London and there’s a proposal for a chain hotel to be built opposite the meeting house.

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The Guardian

May 11 2019
Observer archive: Students demonstrate in Paris, 10 May 1968

David Newell-Smith covered the events in the French capital, which culminated in “the night of the barricades.”

Buy your exclusive print here

In a spectacular surrender, the French government late tonight bowed to student violence in an attempt to defuse what has become a state of near insurrection. After conferring with President de Gaulle, Prime Minister Georges Pompidou conceded the principal student demands. (He had flown back to Paris from Afghanistan barely three hours before making a radio-television statement at 11.15 p.m.)

In a voice hoarse with fatigue and emotion, he declared first that the Sorbonne (which had been under the guard of armed police all week) would be open on Monday morning.

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The Guardian

May 11 2019
Pot shots: the plant photographs of Luigi Ghirri – in pictures

Italian photographer Luigi Ghirri created his project Colazione sull’Erba (Breakfast on the Grass), images of trees, pots and plants in Modena, in 1972-74. The title is inspired by Edouard Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe, but instead of focusing on nature’s bucolic side, Ghirri portrays its manmade aspects. He later wrote that “the mythical image of nature and home takes centre stage” in the series, which is being published in a new book. Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino has said Ghirri, who died aged 49 in 1992, was his greatest influence.

Colazione sull’Erba by Luigi Ghirri is published by Mack (£35)

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The New York Times

May 11 2019
Critic’s Notebook: Money, Ethics, Art: Can Museums Police Themselves?
Too expensive to be self-sustaining, museums rely on collectors’ fortunes and corporate money. Now that money is being put under a microscope.
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The Guardian

May 11 2019
Cate Le Bon’s cultural highlights

The psychedelic Welsh singer-songwriter on her favourite pioneering abstract art, a lakeside retreat and postapocalyptic mushrooms

Singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon was born Cate Timothy in 1983 in Penboyr, Wales. In 2008, she released a Welsh-language EP, followed the next year by her debut album, Me Oh My. She has made three further albums, including 2016’s critically acclaimed Crab Day. Le Bon has toured with artists including St Vincent, Perfume Genius and John Grant. Her fifth album, Reward, is out on 24 May on Mexican Summer; she tours the UK later this year.

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The Guardian

May 10 2019
The 20 photographs of the week

The Israeli attacks in Gaza, the Champions League semi-finals, the 2019 Met Gala and the Venice Biennale – the week captured by the world’s best photojournalists

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The New York Times

May 10 2019
22 Movies? This Marvel Universe Has 1,000 Chapters
Marvel Comics No. 1000, due in August, continues a story that began in 1939, with 80 creative teams for its 80 pages.
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The Guardian

May 10 2019
A boat wrapped in chains, and a pop-up embassy: the artist intervening at Venice Biennale

An imprisoned replica of Australia’s pavilion will sail past the world’s largest art fair, in a work Indigenous artist Richard Bell hopes will incite conversation – and activism

Art has ever been both a story and critique of exactly who is afforded access to its pleasures.

It’s a story that will be told in spectacular fashion – and on water – this week at the opening of the Venice Biennale, the world’s largest art festival.

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The New York Times

May 10 2019
whitney biennial: The Whitney Biennial Called. How Will They Answer?
For these eight first-time artists participating in the biennial, it’s a surefire résumé builder. But it also exposes them to heightened scrutiny.
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The New York Times

May 10 2019
Glass, Golden Flames or a Beam of Light: What Should Replace Notre-Dame’s Spire?
Plans for the restoration of the Paris cathedral have begun appearing online even before an official contest opens. Some have been received more kindly than others.
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The New York Times

May 10 2019
Design Destinations in a Citywide Festival
NYCxDesign returns for its seventh edition. Here’s what to see.
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The New York Times

May 10 2019
Italian Museums Secure Leonardo da Vinci Works for 500th Anniversary Shows
The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, plans to lend two prized da Vinci paintings to museums in Fabriano, Perugia and Milan.
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The New York Times

May 10 2019
Art Review: ‘Camp’ at the Met, as Rich as It Is Frustrating
This year’s Costume Institute exhibition is finally here. Will it help you better define camp? Probably not. But the historical journey is thoroughly engaging.
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The Guardian

May 10 2019
Dreams of a modern parliament are as crumbled as the palace | Letters
What a shame that a temporary chamber is to be built in London, writes Matt Dobson. Meanwhile John Rigby and Dr Peter Phillips lament a missed opportunity

If there is any singular image of the state of British politics in 2019 it is surely that of the Houses of Parliament: crumbling, unfit for purpose, leaking, and ultimately another London-centric money pit (Green and pleasantly familiar, 9 May).

Isn’t it a sad state of affairs when we attach the words “icon of democracy” to what is essentially just a functional space of bricks and mortar with the odd gothic flourish, green leather and a River Thames setting?

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The Guardian

May 10 2019
Cat videos, clever robots and clapped-out computer games – the week in art

The Barbican peers into the future, the Whitworth heads to the Andes, Cory Arcangel has digital fun and Georg Baselitz takes on old masters – all in your weekly dispatch

AI: More than Human
Anna Ridler and Mario Klingemann are among the artists here whose experiments with thinking machines may or may not reveal art’s future.
• Barbican, London, 16 May to 26 August

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The Guardian

May 10 2019
Climate to fake news: Venice Biennale takes on era's big challenges

Ralph Rugoff’s exhibition also explores rightwing politics, migration and surveillance

A diorama purporting to show the landscape of Mars, in fact gleaned from images of the driest places on Earth; a video of legal cases with evidence obtained through walls; a huge machine that tries to sweep and contain a thick, red, blood-like liquid constantly on the verge of oozing away.

These are some of the artworks that Ralph Rugoff, the director of the Hayward Gallery in London, has gathered for his guest curatorship of the Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest and most celebrated international art event, which opens to the public on Saturday. Rugoff is the first UK-based curator to occupy the prestigious role.

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The Guardian

May 10 2019
Buy a Classic Guardian Photograph: Common Market rally, April 1975

Protestors both for and against remaining in the Common Market at a rally in London, captured by Peter Johns in 1975, is this week’s exclusive image in the Guardian print sale series

On 5 June 1975, the UK held its first referendum on leaving Europe. There were some surprising voices in both camps: Margaret Thatcher, then leader of the opposition, came out for staying in the Common Market, the precursor to the EU, while Tony Benn and Enoch Powell both campaigned to leave. Two months earlier, young people from both sides of the debate marched on Trafalgar Square, captured here by the Guardian photographer, Peter Johns, who worked for the paper from the 1960s. On that occasion, Britain voted to stay – 67.2% of the vote. Today, the rallies are bigger and the banners are more creative, but the concerns remain the same.

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The Guardian

May 10 2019
James Walker Tucker’s Hiking: stylised realism

The 1930s English painter pays tribute to a new generation of young women and the great outdoors

Until recently, James Walker Tucker’s paintings had been consigned to the back of art history’s storeroom. Like other long-overlooked British artists from the interwar years, he eschewed avant-garde experimentation for a stylised realism that was once hugely popular.

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The Guardian

May 09 2019
MPs plan to build themselves a palace. Have they lost all contact with reality? | Simon Jenkins

Parliament’s proposed ‘temporary accommodation’ is costly, unnecessary – and shows contempt for public opinion

You are an MP, staring glumly at the latest election results and wondering how to restore public respect. What is your first idea?

Incredibly, it is to dream up a palatial new debating chamber, vaguely costed at some half a billion, in the heart of the Westminster village. It will be lavishly furnished with sports facilities and guarded with a “security pavilion” inside an armed encampment. The project will be temporary, just for five or six years, since at the same time you will be spending another £4-6bn of taxpayers’ money refurbishing the even more splendid Palace of Westminster, a hundred yards down the road.

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The Guardian

May 09 2019
Tony Costa named winner of 2019 Archibald prize for portrait of Lindy Lee

The Wynne prize was won by APY artist Sylvia Ken, the fourth year in a row the landscape prize has been won by an Indigenous artist

The Sydney-based artist Tony Costa said he is “absolutely overwhelmed, honoured and thrilled” to have won this year’s Archibald prize for his portrait of fellow Australian artist Lindy Lee.

Costa won the $100,000 prize for portraiture, now in its 98th year, at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) in Sydney on Friday.

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The New York Times

May 09 2019
19 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 09 2019
In Studio: A Designer Who Turns Simple Paper Shapes Into Kaleidoscopic Textiles
Working out of her Zurich studio, Sonnhild Kestler makes clothing and objects inspired by travel, folklore and even her own history.
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The Guardian

May 09 2019
Venezuelan upheaval delays pavilion at Venice Biennale

Political chaos leaves country’s artists playing catch-up just days before art event begins

Switzerland is partying, sequin-clad dancers whirling on a vast screen. Russia is staging an elaborate homage to Rembrandt. But between them – or rather between their national pavilions in the public gardens of Venice – Venezuela is deserted and padlocked shut.

The Venice Biennale, the art world’s most celebrated international event, is due to open to the public on Saturday, and the venues have already thrown open their doors to curators, artists, museum directors, press and collectors. But not Venezuela’s pavilion. Winter leaves are piled up in the courtyard; discarded building materials and rubbish are heaped at the side.

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The Guardian

May 09 2019
Van Gogh's gushing letter to art critic goes on show in Amsterdam

In letter artist describes review, one of the first of his paintings, as ‘a work of art in itself’

It was written by Vincent van Gogh a few months before his death aged 37, during his time as a patient at a small asylum on the outskirts of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence where he painted some of his most vivid and celebrated works.

In rapture at one of the first reviews of his paintings, Van Gogh described the critic’s writing as “a work of art in itself” in a tightly packed two-page letter to its author, Albert Aurier. “I rediscover my canvases in your article, but better than they really are – richer, more significant,” Van Gogh wrote.

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The Guardian

May 09 2019
Artist's secret tunnel aims to link France and Britain via Venice Biennale

French-born Laure Prouvost has an underground plan to unite the French and British pavilions

Artist Laure Prouvost is officially representing France at the Venice Biennale, the world’s most prestigious art gathering, which opens to the public on Saturday. But she is married to a Briton, lived in London for 18 years and won the 2013 Turner prize. And, though she is currently based in Antwerp, she considers herself “British. I feel totally belonging to Britain,” she said.

Which is why she is digging a tunnel from underneath the elegant, pillared French pavilion in Venice’s public gardens, the Giardini, to the grandiose British pavilion just next to it. “Every evening I’ve been doing it, without telling the British, and without asking the French Institute for permission,” she said, referring to the state cultural organisation that is presenting her exhibition.

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The Guardian

May 09 2019
Graham Arnold obituary

Graham Arnold, who has died aged 86, was an outstanding painter and an important member of a group of artists who sought to counteract what they saw as the corrosive impact of the modern movement on the traditional strengths and virtues of English art.

Together with Peter Blake, David Inshaw, Graham Ovenden and Annie Ovenden, Graham and his wife, Ann, also a painter, formed the Brotherhood of Ruralists (a conscious echo of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood) in 1975. Discarded, painterly skills would be reasserted. The age-old relationship of the artist with the English landscape would experience a renaissance.

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The Guardian

May 09 2019
Geoffrey White obituary

My friend and former teacher Geoffrey White, who has died aged 90, was a modest master of British graphic design education, in a career spanning 50 years, most of it at the School of Graphic Design at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design (now Ravensbourne University London).

Geoff was born in Hackney, east London. His father, Bernard White, was a tailor and cutter in Savile Row and his mother, May (nee Hudson), was a civil servant who became the personal assistant to the minister of energy, Duncan Sandys. Aged 11, Geoff won a scholarship to the Royal Liberty grammar school, Romford. He gained numerous prizes for art and draughtsmanship, but left at 15.

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The New York Times

May 09 2019
Critic’s Pick: A Visit to the Unfathomable Past of Auschwitz
The Museum of Jewish Heritage’s exhibition about the death camp depicts, in ways large and small, the horrors of the Holocaust.
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The Guardian

May 09 2019
Red Lady to Richard III: Britain's 10 best buried treasures – ranked!

How does ‘Britain’s Tutankhamun’, a Saxon prince’s tomb found near an Aldi in Southend-on-Sea, fit in with the UK’s great archaeological finds?

We really are good at talking up our treasures. Britain’s Tutankhamun? There are lots of reasons why the remnants of a Saxon princely burial, discovered under a verge near an Aldi in Southend, can’t match up to the ancient Egyptian boy king’s treasures. After a 16-year excavation, the artefacts are now going on display – but for one thing, wet British mud just doesn’t have the preserving power of dry Egyptian sand, even if Anglo-Saxon Essex really could have produced an ancient civilisation as glorious as that of Egypt.

Yet archaeology began in Britain in the 18th century, when the antiquarian William Stukely studied Stonehenge and Avebury. And over the past 250 years, some stunning objects – and remarkable human remains – have emerged from the fields, caves and silt to give that intimate thrill of direct contact with the past, which is what makes archaeology magical. Some lovely shiny things, too. Here is my top 10 of British archaeological finds – ranked.

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The Guardian

May 08 2019
Kalifornia Kool: San Francisco punk culture in the 70s and 80s – in pictures

Photographer Ruby Ray found herself at the epicentre of a movement in late-70s San Francisco and started to capture the bands, artists and writers who defined it. In a new book, Ruby Ray: Kalifornia Kool, her greatest shots have been assembled, opening up ‘a portal to a mythic and frenzied scene’

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The Guardian

May 08 2019
EC Tong's best photograph: a huge-scale recreation of Chinese harvests past

‘It’s an open-air show about life in Lijiang long ago, using Jade Dragon Snow Mountain as a backdrop’

Last autumn, I travelled with a group of friends from Malaysia to Yunnan province in China. It is a beautiful region, significantly less polluted than cities such as Beijing and rich in mountains, lakes, rice terraces and gorges. We visited Shangri-La City, Dali, the Tiger Leaping Gorge and the Lijiang national park, where I took this shot.

We were there for a day. We spent the morning seeing the sights of the park, and in the afternoon we went to watch the Impression Lijiang show. It is an open-air theatre performance of song and dance by one of the top directors in China, Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers). It depicts daily life in the area a long time ago. The actors are cast from the Naxi, Bai, Yi and other local ethnic minority tribes.

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The Guardian

May 08 2019
'I used to be afraid of colour!' Eva Rothschild, Ireland's dockside voice in Venice

The Irish artist’s sculptures have taken her from the seafront of Dún Laoghaire to the galleries of the Tate – and now to the industrial docks of Venice

“The weird thing about Venice,” says Eva Rothschild, sitting in her Hackney studio, surrounded by crated sculptural components ready to ship to the Biennale, “is that it’s the shiniest show in the world, and everyone else has done it before, except for the artists.” It’s true: most of the 87 national pavilions at the Biennale are run by teams who set up the same space every two years like a carnival on tour. But for the artists, it’s a once in a lifetime deal.

Not that the artist, who is representing Ireland, is an ingenue. Born in Dublin in 1972, Rothschild grew up near the seafront in Dún Laoghaire. There’s something of the harbour to her sculpture, which often incorporates boldly striped poles, spindly metal frameworks, cabling and casually spray-painted boulder forms that recall improvised portside infrastructure. It should look right at home in Venice, where the Irish pavilion exits on to old industrial docks.

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The New York Times

May 08 2019
At Auschwitz Exhibition, a Witness to a History He Can Never Forget
A survivor of the Nazi concentration camp toured a new exhibition at the Museum of Jewish Heritage that depicts the horrors of Auschwitz.
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The New York Times

May 08 2019
fixtures: These Flowers Have Been Growing for 103 Years
M & S Schmalberg is trying to hold on to the craft it has perfected for more than a century: making silk flora for fashion brands.
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The New York Times

May 08 2019
New York Art Galleries: What to See Right Now
Lina Bo Bardi’s swoon-inducing furniture; Heidi Bucher’s phantomlike sculptures; and Josh Kline’s chronicle of a ‘calamity in progress.’
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The Guardian

May 08 2019
Ghana shakes up art's 'sea of whiteness' with its first Venice pavilion

In curving galleries designed by David Adjaye, artists are putting Africa firmly on the biennale map

The Venice Art Biennale, the world’s most celebrated international art event, has a history that is inextricably bound up with colonialism.

Its first pavilion for the showcasing of a “national” art was established by Belgium in 1907. Britain followed soon after. European countries remain dominant at the event – at least numerically.

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