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The Guardian

Jun 04 2018
Heartstopping horrors – Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War review

Tate Britain, London
This shocking, fascinating show doesn’t just capture the nightmare of battle. It also features one of the 20th century’s greatest sculptures – The Fallen Man, which cost its creator his life

A body hurled into space and impaled on a stake, like a discarded coat flung on a fencepost. A soldier, his clothes blown off, coy in his nakedness and shock. Michelin Guides to the battlefields and ruins of Ypres, with their before-and-after views, and double page spreads of the devastation. An airship flies over the destruction, filming the view. Below, people walk in twos and threes. They might be tourists, or people looking for their lost lives. A painting by Richard Carline shows a similar elevated view: a road, a convoy of trucks, the pockmarked landscape. It could be a drone’s-eye view of Basra. Nothing changes except the name of the war.

The first room of Aftermath: Art in the Wake of World War One is a wasteland of churned mud and body parts, flooded craters and hollow helmets. Jacob Epstein’s Rock Drill overlooks it all, a sinister, insectile machine-man, a Terminator robot before his time. Below Epstein’s creature is Wilhelm Lehmbruck’s Fallen Man, on hands and knees, his buttocks raised, the top of his head against the ground, his inverted face looking back between his legs at his own drooping cock. Stalled in a position of extreme vulnerability and abjection in his attempt to crawl off somewhere.

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The New York Times

Jun 04 2018
Van Gogh’s Yellow ‘Sunflowers’ Could Start to Turn Olive Green
A pigment the painter used in the work is very sensitive to light and has a tendency to turn to a green hue over time, the authors of a technical study say.
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The Guardian

Jun 04 2018
Brush with death: first world war art goes on show at Tate Britain

London exhibition shows impact of conflict on British, German and French artists

Tate Britain is inviting members of the armed forces and veterans to view for free an exhibition on art created in the aftermath of the first world war – however, they may find the experiences and emotions recorded almost a century ago disquietingly close to their own.

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The Guardian

Jun 04 2018
Hidden figures: the importance of remembering black classicists

A new exhibition celebrates the role of African Americans in the study of classics, important figures who often been ignored by many historians

Last summer, the Cambridge professor Mary Beard – a classics scholar with a cult following – found herself the unlikely center of a days-long Twitter feud against the collective forces of the far right. The instigating event: a tweet responding to an Infowars editor in which Beard defended the notion that Roman Britain was ethnically diverse. In the backlash that followed, Beard – whose academic accomplishments earned her an OBE in 2013 – was derided as a “pretentious know-nothing”, a “batty old bird”, and a dispenser of “hearsay bullshit”.

Related: The cult of Mary Beard

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The Guardian

Jun 04 2018
Corpus Christi devotees in Spain – in pictures

Residents of the Spanish village of Lagartera wear elaborate costumes for the event, a Catholic festival, which dates back to 1590

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The Guardian

Jun 04 2018
International Living Statues festival – in pictures

At the event in Bucharest, artists dress up as characters in vivid outfits and hold very still. The festival, which is the largest European festival of its kind, aims to change perceptions of the artform as an occupation associated with amateurs or begging

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The Guardian

Jun 03 2018
Is Chongqing's 'horizontal skyscraper' the answer to overcrowded cities?

A 42nd-floor ‘skybridge’ in the dazzling Raffles City project could help solve overcrowding – or will it simply let the super-rich escape to the skies?

An army of 6,000 construction workers is hard at work at a large site overlooking the conflux of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers in the south-western Chinese megacity of Chongqing. Eight skyscrapers are rising from the river banks: two above 350m and six above 250m.

Raffles City Chongqing, a project headed by the architect Moshe Safdie, will boast 134,000 sq m of homes, shops, offices, entertainment, transportation links and a public park. It also features a more unusual claim to fame: a “horizontal skyscraper” 300m in length, stretching across four of the main towers at the 42nd floor. With the building situated in an earthquake zone, it “floats” on top of the towers to create the necessary sway.

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The Guardian

Jun 03 2018
The allure of the swimming pool – in pictures

The Swimming Pool in Photography, published in July by Hatje Cantz, explores the pool as object and enigma

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The Guardian

Jun 03 2018
Indian winter: Howard Hodgkin's final frames

A 2016 trip to Mumbai resulted in what would be Howard Hodgkin’s last paintings. Throbbing with colour and feeling, they are a vivid and furious epitaph

Howard Hodgkin would sometimes lose heart and his partner Antony Peattie would say: “Shall I get the scissors?” They both knew what he meant, says Peattie, as we look at Hodgkin’s final paintings in a back room at the Gagosian gallery in London. It was a joke about the great colourist Henri Matisse, who started snipping paper cutouts when illness and age left him too weak to paint.

In fact, although he used a wheelchair in his final years, Hodgkin never needed the scissors. He was to die practically brush in hand. In 2014, sitting in his skylit studio close to the British Museum, the painter told me: “I know that once I can’t paint any more, they should start measuring for my coffin.” An exhibition of his final, powerful paintings at the Gagosian shows how true those words were. Even as his health failed, Hodgkin found a way to paint. When he stopped, it was to go to hospital for the last time.

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The New York Times

Jun 03 2018
Bringing a 5Pointz Vibe to Lower Manhattan
Street artists are painting — with permission — on corrugated metal sheds at the World Trade Center site.
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The New York Times

Jun 03 2018
8 Outdoor Art Installations in New York to Get Excited About
Art exhibitions — colorful, monumental or immersive — are popping up all over New York City. Here’s a guide to what’s happening.
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The New York Times

Jun 03 2018
A Public Art Campaign Will Commission Political Billboards Across the Country
Artists including Sam Durant, Theaster Gates and Marilyn Minter will create billboards to be put up in advance of the midterms.
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The New York Times

Jun 03 2018
Did Christie’s Do Its Homework? Buyer of Nazi-Tainted Work Says No
The buyer of a Sisley painting, now recognized as having been stolen by the Nazis from a Jewish collector, says he wants his money back, plus interest.
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The New York Times

Jun 03 2018
Irving Sandler, Art Historian Who Was Close to Artists, Dies at 92
Mr. Sandler drew on his relationships with artists in the New York City scene of the 1950s and ′60s in compiling authoritative histories.
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artforum.com

Jun 03 2018
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The Guardian

Jun 03 2018
Matisse drawing of Mary Hutchinson may fetch £3m at auction

Hutchinson’s husband paid 8,000 francs for the work and it remained in the family estate

A charcoal portrait of Mary Hutchinson, elegant in a designer blouse and leaning gracefully on one elbow, by Henri Matisse is expected to fetch up to £3m when it comes up for auction this month.

The 1936 drawing is rather different from a celebrated portrait of the same woman by her lover’s wife, the artist Vanessa Bell, now in the Tate collection.

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The Guardian

Jun 03 2018
Grayson Perry: ‘RAs have to fight it out with Joe Bloggs – that’s what's great about it’

A walk round the Royal Academy’s 250th Summer Exhibition with the artist, who is coordinating this year’s landmark show

What fun it is to walk around the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition with Grayson Perry. It’s a few days before it opens, and the galleries are in chaos, like the house in The Cat in the Hat before the Cat clears up. Paintings are stacked against walls, sculptures huddle in mismatched families. Trapdoors gape open and elevators bring up works; people with clipboards point at walls; there’s the constant buzz of a drill.

Still, you can just about see how things will look. Perry is this year’s coordinator of the Summer Exhibition, and in the rooms where he’s chosen the work, much of the space has already been filled. Other galleries are coming together too: Conrad Shawcross’s room is looking fairly finished, as is Phyllida Barlow’s. Still, everywhere we go we have to pick our way through paintings laid out on the floor (ooh, there’s a Sean Scully!), hop over wires and pulleys, scoot round random sculptures of a leopard, a strange spotted gnome, a very realistic donkey…

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The Guardian

Jun 03 2018
Observer archive - Butlin's holiday camp, Skegness: 5 June 1983

Photographer Barry Lewis travelled to the pleasure palace on the east coast of England, to document Brits having fun.

Next morning it was raining, but ‘Midday Madness In The Regency Lounge’ was jampacked for the Sports Brain Quiz (sponsored by Holsten lager), the Supercook Quiz (Chesswood Canned Mushrooms) and the Knobbly Knees (Hedges L.260 Snuff). While this last was in progress I talked to Maureen Hawkes, a cashier in a Canvey Island hypermarket, on holiday with her husband, a car salesman, and their two grandchildren.

‘It’s 16 years since we came here last, when our kids were young. It hasn’t really changed a lot. We’ve changed, haven’t we?’ she said, turning to her husband. ‘Yeah,’ he said. ‘We’ve been off holiday camps. Done the better things. Barbados. Things like that.’

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The Guardian

Jun 03 2018
Serpentine pavilion 2018: Frida Escobedo's ‘intimate public space’

Mexico’s Frida Escobedo is the youngest architect to receive the prestigious commission. It will bring her the wider audience she deserves

“Architecture is always the ruin of its own idea,” says Frida Escobedo. I like this. Most architectural talk is so relentlessly promotional, optimistic and optimising, convinced of its own ability to change everything, so unable to acknowledge, as other art forms do, the existence of doubt or shades of light and dark, that it’s refreshing to hear the honest truth. “From the moment you draw it, architecture is a projection of what is going to happen in the future,” as she also says, but it’s an inaccurate one, subject to events beyond the designer’s control.

It is “always incomplete”; architecture, despite its apparent fixity, is always being changed by people who use it and perceive it, which is what makes it interesting. This thinking leads, in terms of Escobedo’s built output, to a series of projects with no obviously unifying style, sometimes possessing a certain looseness, an insouciance to the boundaries between what is found – building materials, existing structures – and the new, authored creation of an architect. Temporary installations and pavilions have made up much of her work. It has some of the properties of art.

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The Guardian

Jun 03 2018
Lee Bul: Crashing review – beauty with menace

Hayward Gallery, London
Some of her shape-shifting work may be lost in translation, but the courage of South Korean artist Lee Bul shines through

The Korean president lies dead in a block of ice. Or not quite dead, perhaps, for his sunglasses still glint with vitality in the depths of the transparent resin. Through a fissure near his head, skeins of black sequins spurt like blood, gathering in bright pools on the floor. The sculpture is deeply sinister and yet somehow pretty; although its title, Thaw, is a clincher. At any moment the ice could melt and President Park Chung-hee might come back to life in all his brutality.

Beauty with menace: that is the classic Lee Bul formula. It has made her the most famous artist in South Korea. Born in Seoul in 1964, she was brought up under Park’s ruthless military dictatorship; the memory lingers in that president on ice. And nearby stands another of Lee’s most renowned sculptures: an immense bath filled with black ink, surrounded by a range of pale mountains reflected in its shivering surface.

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artforum.com

Jun 02 2018
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The Guardian

Jun 02 2018
Yours for £2: artist Chemical X donates ‘ecstasy’ work as prize for drug test charity
Competition to win artwork made with 4,111 pills and worth £50,000 will aid drug harm reduction group

He shot to national prominence with an artwork that depicted supermodel Cara Delevingne in an arrangement of 7,000 ecstasy pills. Now Chemical X, the anonymous artist credited with designing the Ministry of Sound logo, is revisiting his fascination with Britain’s drugs subculture to produce another ecstasy-themed work – this time to help a groundbreaking organisation that provides free pop-up drug testing laboratories around the UK.

Rush features 4,111 pills embossed with the Yin-Yang symbol: these became popular among ravers during the “second Summer of Love” in the 1980s. Valued at £50,000, it is the prize in a text message competition that costs £2 to enter, with all the money going to the Loop, a not-for-profit organisation that works to promote harm reduction among drug users. The circular artwork, measuring 1.2 metres in diameter, will be delivered to the winner’s home and installed for free.

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The Guardian

Jun 02 2018
Original Observer photography

Laura Linney, Lily Allen and Karen Gibson – the woman who rocked the Royal Wedding. All feature in this gallery of the best work commissioned by the Observer in May 2018

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The Guardian

Jun 02 2018
The 20 photographs of the week

Demonstrations in Gaza, the holy month of Ramadan, lava flow from the Kilauea volcano and Rafael Nadal at the French Open – the week captured by the world’s best photojournalists

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The Guardian

Jun 02 2018
The darker side of Grozny's push to be the Dubai of the North Caucasus

With secret investors and no clear way to make a profit, the $1bn Akhmat Tower may represent something far murkier than Chechnya’s post-war rebirth

Sooner or later, it seems, everything in Chechnya will bear the name Akhmat. The name of the republic’s former leader, Akhmat Kadyrov, now adorns the Russian region’s main mosque, the Heart of Chechnya, its major thoroughfare and its state gallery. When the Egyptian national team arrives in Grozny next week, players will practise at the Akhmat Arena, the home grounds for the region’s football team, the recently renamed Akhmat FC. Ramzan Kadyrov, the region’s strongman, has incorporated his father’s name into his unofficial slogan: “Akhmat is power.”

So it’s no surprise that a planned skyscraper, the latest megaproject in the capital city of Grozny, will be named Akhmat Tower. Billed as the tallest building in Europe at 102 storeys and a staggering cost of $1bn, it is the embodiment of the city’s feverish aspirations to become a kind of Dubai in the North Caucasus.

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The Guardian

Jun 01 2018
A snapshot of Mawson's Antarctica expedition – in pictures

The geologist and explorer Douglas Mawson led the Australasian Antarctic Expedition from 1911 to 1914. Comprising 31 men, including photographer Frank Hurley, it charted large segments of the east Antarctic coastline, and investigated sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island and the Southern Ocean. The party arrived at Commonwealth Bay in March 1912. Mawson lost two men – Belgrave Ninnis and Xavier Mertz – on an expedition to map part of the coastline, but survived an epic return journey alone to the main base

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The New York Times

Jun 01 2018
Fresh Hope That a Stolen Caravaggio ‘Nativity’ Could Be Found
A Mafia turncoat said that a painting taken nearly 50 years ago in Palermo may have been cut into pieces and sold by a Swiss art dealer.
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The New York Times

Jun 01 2018
Roman Tomb Unearthed; to Everyone’s Surprise, It’s Intact
Excavations for an aqueduct happened upon a fourth century B.C. chamber tomb, with four skeletons and funerary wares.
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The Guardian

Jun 01 2018
Former mobster may hold clue to recovery of stolen Caravaggio

The Nativity was stolen in 1969 and could have been hidden in Switzerland

Hopes of solving one of the worst art crimes in history have been reignited after Italian investigators announced they had received new information.

Nativity with St Francis and St Lawrence, a Caravaggio masterpiece stolen in 1969, could have been hidden in Switzerland after it fell into the hands of organised crime, the head of Italy’s anti-mafia commission said on Thursday.

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The New York Times

Jun 01 2018
Critic’s Notebook: A Memorial to the Lingering Horror of Lynching
The powerful National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Alabama is meant to perturb, not console — and to encourage truth-telling far and wide.
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The Guardian

Jun 01 2018
Whitstable makes waves and Howard Hodgkin's last work – the week in art

Whitstable Biennale teams up with Deborah Levy and Shonibare curates African diaspora art – all in your weekly dispatch

Whitstable Biennale
Performances and installations inspired by the writings of Deborah Levy.
Venues around Whitstable, 2-10 June.

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The New York Times

Jun 01 2018
Antiquarian Booksellers Adapt to the 21st Century (Gradually)
The internet is transforming the rare book trade. It’s just doing it very slowly.
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The Guardian

Jun 01 2018
Candida Höfer’s Zoologischer Garten Paris II: the lonely giraffe and painted trees

The German photographer captures the strangeness of zoos by entwining a sense of captivity and escapism

This is less a picture of an animal than how we look at animals, or rather a manmade space that tries – and pathetically fails – to create a particular way of looking at an animal.

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artforum.com

May 31 2018
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The New York Times

May 31 2018
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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artforum.com

May 31 2018
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The New York Times

May 31 2018
Orange County Museum Unveils Thom Mayne Design for New Home
The building in Costa Mesa, Calif., will give the museum 50 percent more exhibition space.
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