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artforum.com

Jul 04 2018
PASSAGES: Sabina Ott (1955–2018)
Chris Kraus on Sabina Ott (1955–2018)
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The Guardian

Jul 04 2018
Leonard McComb obituary
Artist who caused controversy when he exhibited a nude sculpture in Lincoln Cathedral

In terms of publicity, the high point of the career of Leonard McComb, who has died aged 87, came in 1990 when his sculpture Portrait of a Young Man Standing was shown at Lincoln Cathedral. The work, modelled on one of McComb’s students at the West of England College of Art in Bristol, had first been cast in the early 1960s; originally in plaster, then in bronze (1977), then finally – the version exhibited at Lincoln – in 1983, in bronze that had been gilded by the artist’s wife, Barbara.

McComb’s claims for the piece were modest: he wanted it, he said, to be “an image of a whole person, his physical and spiritual life inseparably fused”. This, however, was not how the sculpture was viewed by the then dean of Lincoln. If its clenched right fist lent Portrait of a Young Man Standing a vulnerable air, the work’s nudity and anatomical exactness struck the priest as brazen. Accordingly, McComb’s gilded man was fitted with a loin cloth; when this proved insufficiently chaste, he was moved from the nave to a side aisle.

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The Guardian

Jul 03 2018
Crazy critters and strange street scenes – in pictures

Blow-up unicorns, a pig on a pulley and chickens on the lam populate the polychrome pictures in this year’s LensCulture street photography awards

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The New York Times

Jul 03 2018
Critic’s Notebook: Coney Island’s Newest Wonder: Sharkitecture!
A New York Aquarium pavilion, with 115 marine species, finally opens this weekend, and the overall effect makes it more of a visible, welcoming presence and neighbor.
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artforum.com

Jul 03 2018
FILM: Creative Nonfiction
Nick Pinkerton on the 2018 Sheffield Doc/Fest
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The Guardian

Jul 03 2018
Theaster Gates: 'The male, Caucasian world as we've known it is over'

Whether he’s saving condemned buildings, playing jazz or redistributing Frankie Knuckles’s record collection, the artist wants to spread the word about the black experience – and point the way to salvation

“Maybe Basel will believe in black women, ’cos they’re going to see a lot of ’em,” says Theaster Gates with a laugh. He is standing in the middle of a room in the Kunstmuseum Basel, where he is preparing an exhibition on the theme of the Black Madonna. Amid the packing materials and exhibits waiting to be hung stands a roughly life-sized sculpture of a seated Virgin Mary. She holds an orb in one hand. On her lap sits baby Jesus, also holding an orb. Her features are eroded as if she has been cast from a weathered medieval statue. And she is very black – made of a shiny, plasticky-looking material that turns out to be tar. Gates uses tar a lot in his work; his father was a roofer and bequeathed his son his tar kettle. “I feel like this is the Mary of my youth, ’cos it’s in tar,” says Gates. He leans in and sniffs her head. “Oh yeah, I know her.”

He explains that this tar Mary was not based on a medieval statue but a plastic keyring, just a couple of inches high, that a friend gave him as a good luck charm. “The keychain was already old, so the limbs had been busted off. She was probably carried in someone’s purse or their pocket with their keys, and then the cares of this world tore her apart.”

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The Guardian

Jul 03 2018
'Click, click, click, I never wait': the everyday genius of Sabine Weiss

She immortalised street kids and sculptors with an eye to rival Cartier-Bresson. As the Pompidou holds a retrospective, the 93-year-old veteran of street photography praises the power of the ‘instant picture’

‘I am coming!” Sabine Weiss shouts as she descends from her studio to greet me. At 93, the Swiss-French photographer is immaculately presented and immediately comes across as a force to be reckoned with – holding court in her Lilliputian home and studio that nestles in a plant-filled courtyard hidden behind a row of 19th-century apartment buildings, in Paris’s wealthy 16th arrondissement.

The photographer and her late husband, the American painter Hugh Weiss, built the diminutive structure themselves, gradually converting a disused sculpture workshop measuring 5m x 5m into a place to live and work. This incongruous dwelling – home to Weiss for the last 69 years – proudly endures, much like its inhabitant, despite its perpetually changing backdrop. Hugh found the place in 1949, she says, through a connection in a Montmartre paintshop. “He told me, ‘It has no running water and only an outside toilet – it’s perfect!’” She laughs. “But we were happy. That is the most important thing, no?”

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The New York Times

Jul 03 2018
Show Us Your Wall: A Connoisseur of Saviors in Capes and Tights
The busts this collector amasses vary in size, depending on costume, pose, wingspan or octopus-like appendages.
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The New York Times

Jul 03 2018
French and Swiss Museums to Share a Cézanne With a Murky Past
It was found among 1,500 works, some of them Nazi-looted, that Cornelius Gurlitt had hoarded inside his homes in Austria and Germany.
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The Guardian

Jul 02 2018
Global visions: the 49th Arles photography festival – in pictures

Robert Frank, Laura Henno, and Feng Li are featured at this huge event exploring everything from African spirituality to marriage in China and death in Ukraine

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The Guardian

Jul 02 2018
Architecture: ‘People from social housing should build cities’
With 95% of British architects white and 75% male, a new campaign is encouraging diversity in the profession

At 16, Mark Warren says he struggled to spell “architecture”, let alone think he might enter the profession one day. Now aged 30, he’s an architect at a leading London practice.

His passion was inspired by a teacher, Neil Pinder, who taught him design and technology at Graveney school, south-west London. Had it not been for Pinder, Warren is sure he would not be designing buildings for a living.

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artforum.com

Jul 02 2018
DIARY: Attention Deficit
Isaac Butler at a benefit for the Michael Friedman Legacy Fund
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artforum.com

Jul 02 2018
500 WORDS: Bracha L. Ettinger
Bracha L. Ettinger discusses her life and work
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The New York Times

Jul 02 2018
Critic’s Notebook: As the Frick Expands, New York City Music Suffers
The Frick Collection’s music room, reminiscent of a 19th-century salon, is an ideal space for chamber music. So why is the museum getting rid of it?
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artforum.com

Jul 02 2018
SLANT: Nocturne
A.B. Huber on the politics of darkness
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artforum.com

Jul 02 2018
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The Guardian

Jul 02 2018
How design is helping people with dementia find their way around

For people with Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases, just navigating around the house can be difficult and disorientating. But some pioneering approaches are offering new solutions

One sunflower painting looks like another here, each numberless door is identical and I am hopelessly disoriented; desperate to find an exit, a shaft of light, even. I turn right, up another featureless corridor, and then left and then right again – but is this really the way I came?

It’s a relief when a researcher removes my virtual reality headset, but it takes a few moments for my heart rate to return to baseline. I am at Bournemouth University’s department of psychology, where Jan Wiener and his team are researching the difficulties people with dementia have with wayfinding (orienting oneself in physical space). I have just briefly experienced the spatial disorientation that characterises Alzheimer’s, but for Wendy Mitchell, who lives near Hull in Yorkshire, it’s a perpetual experience. Diagnosed with the condition almost four years ago, when she was 58, she now travels around the country raising awareness of dementia. Her journeys demand precision planning. “I have a pink file that’s stuffed with information,” she says. “Walking maps to and from venues, pictures of venues, so they look familiar. My phone with Google maps talking to me. The occasional venue has a video walking map – these are wonderful. It’s important not to panic. I look for the first smiley face to come along and ask them the way or where I am.”

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The Guardian

Jul 01 2018
Blowing hot air: glass artists in Dorset - in pictures

Amanda Notarianni and Charlie Macpherson, glass artists at Notarianni Glass in Poundbury in Dorset

  • See more of The Artisans series as we showcase craftspeople in their workplaces
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The Guardian

Jul 01 2018
Letter: Michael Noakes had an independent streak as a portrait painter

It may well be that Michael Noakes “was never known to exercise”, but he made an exception in 2006 when he and his wife, the writer, editor and critic Vivien Noakes, walked around on a tour of Whitechapel in the East End of London, the culmination of an Isaac Rosenberg study day at Toynbee Hall.

During it Vivien had spoken of her then recently published edition of Rosenberg’s poems and plays, then introduced a selection of poems and letters, read by Elliot Levey. Michael and Vivien also spoke about how difficult it had become for younger independent scholars to get started, and artists too. Just as Vivien was a fine example of the former, Michael certainly displayed an independent streak as a portrait painter.

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The Guardian

Jul 01 2018
Eccentric automaton artworks on show at Warwickshire gallery

Scores of mechanical toys include a tiny Fabergé elephant owned by the Queen

Despite competition from scores of rival mechanical toys and artworks, including a crow that reads all the rejection letters received by one artist, and a tiny Fabergé elephant owned by the Queen, when the bell rings every staff member, volunteer, curator and visitor within earshot drifts towards the gallery at Compton Verney where an eccentric masterpiece creaks and whirs back to life.

Rowland Emett, the cartoonist, designer and inventor who created the flying car for the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, spent years on A Quiet Afternoon in the Cloud Cuckoo Valley but never saw it completed. He first built a fantasy railway line for the 1951 Festival of Britain, but believed Quiet Afternoon his greatest work, a glorious summer outing on the Far Tottering and Oyster Creek railway, complete with butterflies and birds, a driver toasting crumpets at the firebox, a fisherman catching a mermaid and a farmer playing the harp to his cows.

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The Guardian

Jul 01 2018
Need a hygge? Try Copenhagen for a happiness fix

With its startling architecture and world class food the Danish capital is all about enjoying the good life … at a price. Our writer is also struck by the story behind a statue – and it’s not of a mermaid

I arrived at Copenhagen’s Central Station with Danny Kaye’s voice blaring in my head. Maybe he was right when he sang about wonderful Copenhagen. When you get off the train, after a 15-minute journey from the airport you are greeted by the turrets and rollercoasters of a huge theme park. Within seconds of tugging my case across the concourse, all I could hear were the squeals and screams from the funfair rides of Tivoli Gardens (opened in 1843) opposite.

This is Denmark, consistently one of the top five countries in the annual World Happiness Report and home to one of the planet’s most famous storytellers, Hans Christian Andersen. Now the country is pushing for hygge – its unique formula for cosy comfort – to be given world heritage status by Unesco. It’s much in evidence as soon as I check into my hotel, the Radisson, where I relax in my 18th-floor corner room with a cup of organic coffee and a fluffy cinnamon pastry. From my window I can see the whole of the city and beyond, to the bridge that connects Denmark to Sweden.

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The Guardian

Jul 01 2018
Simone Lia on other people

The trouble with summer

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The Guardian

Jul 01 2018
London Wall Place review – a high walk back to the future

The City of London’s neglected postwar ‘streets in the air’ have been opened up and extended at the heart of an inspired new office complex

Of all the things once considered wrong about modernist architecture – dirty concrete, leaking flat roofs, lack of human scale, its supposed propensity to breed vandalism, crime and social isolation – the concept considered most plainly wrong, still outcast after years of revisionism, is the fondness for lifting pedestrians above ground level on to walkways and “streets in the air”. What you want is old-fashioned, non-airborne streets, goes the consensus, feet on pavements in front of the shops. If streets were meant to fly, they would have been given wings. Or something like that.

This is sound advice, much of the time, but all rules have exceptions. And it’s striking that the most enjoyable recent example of what developers like to call “public realm”, a zone beneath what might otherwise be a familiar type of high-end office building in the City of London, is special precisely because you can move around it on different levels. I’d also say it’s the most inspired moment to date in the career of the architectural practice Make, founded in 2004 by an ex-partner of Norman Foster’s practice, Ken Shuttleworth.

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The Guardian

Jun 30 2018
The big picture: diving into memories

With the help of a Portuguese swimming pool, French photographer Karine Laval recalls the summers of her youth

Between 2002 and 2005 the Paris-born and US-based photographer Karine Laval made a series of photographs of public swimming pools and lidos in Europe. The series began with some pictures she took at a pool in Barcelona. Using a Rolleiflex camera she shot from below to capture the modernist jut of diving boards against the clear blue sky.

Laval was drawn to her “poolscapes”, she has said, to recreate some of the languorous summer joy of her growing up; her pools are all about memory. The dazzling reflected light gives her pictures not only a painterly quality, but also the shimmer of half-recollection. Some of her images are all about the exhilaration of water, splash and noise; others, like this one, are more meditative. The best of them, like all the brightest days of summer, seem both real and imagined.

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The Guardian

Jun 30 2018
From a former cow shed to an avant garde art gallery
Farmer turned gallery-owner Stephen Dale tells how he has brought the world of modern art to a field in Herefordshire

A cow shed and an old tractor barn in rural Herefordshire are not where most people would go in search of the avant garde or the latest in abstract painting. But retired farmer Stephen Dale is challenging the assumption that modern art is best appreciated by city dwellers.

A run of exhibitions staged by the 74-year-old at the free public art gallery he set up two years ago in Checkley, near Hereford, have now drawn big names from the art world and proved the scale of an appetite for the unexpected in the countryside.

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artforum.com

Jun 30 2018
FILM: Women About Town
Amy Taubin on “The New York Woman” at Quad Cinema
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The New York Times

Jun 30 2018
The Philadelphia History Museum Is Closing Its Doors (Maybe for Good)
Revenue is down and talks with Temple University abruptly fell through, city officials said. Now they don’t know when the museum will reopen.
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The Guardian

Jun 30 2018
The Marvellous Mechanical Museum review – marvels ex machina

Compton Verney, Warwickshire
Four centuries of automata whir into wondrous life in a show that’s as much performance as it is exhibition

Standing sentry at the door to this enthralling exhibition is a lively figure known as The Connoisseur. He wears a linen suit and an expression of expert discrimination. Press a button and he leans forward to examine some unseen object, then gradually backwards to give serious weight to his judgment. He might be one of us, a fellow visitor who is also our surrogate.

Tim Hunkin’s sculpture – made out of papier-mache art reviews, some from this very newspaper – is comical, mechanical, exquisitely expressive. It is both a work of art and an automaton. So it was with the earliest automata: the mythical clay figures animated by Prometheus; the female statue that Pygmalion brought to life and loved; and so it remains. This is one crucial difference between an automaton, a robot and a puppet.

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The Guardian

Jun 30 2018
Stick it to the man! American political protest badges – in pictures

For Philip Attwood, the man in charge of the British Museum’s badge collection, protest badges are “a visual record of the crucial events and issues that together constitute history”. While protesters ready themselves for Trump’s visit to the UK on 13 July, Attwood is looking through the archive in advance of an exhibition on the history of dissent, curated by Ian Hislop.

“Badges have an enduring appeal, particularly for protest movements,” Attwood says. “The punchier the slogan and the more striking the imagery, the better.” The pins from the Trump-Clinton election in particular carried, he says, “some very offensive attacks on Hillary Clinton”. And though the heyday for protest badges was the 1960s to the 1980s, “they are still very much in use… from Black Lives Matter to Scottish independence.”

I Object: Ian Hislop’s Search for Dissent runs 6 September-20 January 2019 at the British Museum

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The Guardian

Jun 30 2018
Roman wall painting resurfaces after almost 200 years

Panel once owned by 18th-century collector Horace Walpole to go up for auction

An “ancient” Roman wall painting once owned by the 18th-century collector, connoisseur, wit and gossip Horace Walpole has resurfaced almost 200 years after his treasures were panel of Roman plaster, painted with delicate swags of leaves and flowers, a relief-moulded, garlanded head, and a banquet scene with a sprawled river god, was the real deal.

He placed it over the door to his private library in the cottage to which he retreated when his famous house, Strawberry Hill in west London, was over-run with visitors. “I keep an inn at the sign of the gothic castle,” Walpole once grumbled to a friend.

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The Guardian

Jun 30 2018
Original Observer photography

Kamasi Washington, Arundhati Roy, Tim Minchin and Toni Colette all feature in this month’s showcase of the best commissioned photography in the Observer in June 2018

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The Guardian

Jun 30 2018
The 20 photographs of the week

Wildfires on moorland near Manchester, elections in Turkey and Germany’s exit from at the World Cup – the week captured by the world’s best photojournalists

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The New York Times

Jun 29 2018
Last Chance: In Three Famous Houses, Modern Living Unwinds
Gerard & Kelly weave the linked careers of Philip Johnson, Mies van der Rohe and R.M. Schindler into a performance.
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The New York Times

Jun 29 2018
The Next Case for ‘C.S.I.’ Creator: Graphic Novels by and for Teenagers
As young readers cope with bullying, racism and other issues, Anthony and Michelle Zuiker have joined forces to start a line of books to inspire hope.
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artforum.com

Jun 29 2018
DIARY: Soft Ruins
Andrew Berardini at Art Athina and David Shrigley’s Deste Slaughterhouse project
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