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The Guardian

Jun 26 2018
Letter: Malcolm Morley obituary

While the painting that Malcolm Morley entitled B25 Liberator Over Independence is certainly striking, as a depiction of a second world war scene it isn’t to be taken literally. The aircraft shown are B-24 Liberators, used by the US 8th Air Force in the bombing of Germany, rather than twin-engined B-25 Mitchell bombers.

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The Guardian

Jun 26 2018
Beyond stereotypes: how Iranian art is challenging preconceptions

In two new US shows, artists are using their work to dispel myths and present a modern vision of Iran to others

In a country where the law considers homosexuality, drug-related offenses and “insulting the prophet” crimes punishable by the death penalty, freedom of expression in Iran is limited for journalists, activists and artists.

Related: AfriCOBRA: the collective that helped shape the black arts movement

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The Guardian

Jun 25 2018
How to hurricane-proof your house – in pictures

After Hurricane Sandy, homeowners on the devastated shoreline of New Jersey had their houses raised. Photographer Ira Wagner caught the properties at their most precarious

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The Guardian

Jun 25 2018
When 77 hats do the lotus position: the cosmic world of Younes Rahmoun

On a journey around the bustling, sun-filled medina of his hometown, the Moroccan artist – a contender for the Jameel prize – shows our writer where he finds inspiration

On a bright spring day, the artist Younès Rahmoun is showing me around his home town of Tétouan, a city in Morocco at the foot of the Rif mountains. Inside the medina – the old walled area and a Unesco world heritage site – he spots a bead on the ground. It’s small, plastic and the least interesting thing I can see. Nearby, men in striped, hooded djellabas sell spices while women in traditional Berber straw hats walk past. But in Rahmoun’s art – which has been nominated for the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Jameel prize – simple objects such as this bead can contain worlds of meaning.

The 43-year-old is dressed in an understated style – muted grey checked shirt and baseball cap – but talks like a mystic, seeking signs in everything. He is one of Morocco’s most important artists, but is unassuming, apologising for his (excellent) English as he looks for the words to explain how his spiritual life informs his work.

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The New York Times

Jun 25 2018
Preservationists Protest New Frick Collection Expansion Plan
Critics say the plan would still destroy the mansion’s gated garden as well as its music room, a chamber concert venue.
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artforum.com

Jun 25 2018
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artforum.com

Jun 25 2018
500 WORDS: Are.na
The founders of Are.na talk about the history of their online platform
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The Guardian

Jun 25 2018
David Goldblatt, the photographer who was South Africa's conscience – in pictures

Goldblatt, who has died aged 87, chronicled the racial divide imposed by apartheid in his homeland

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artforum.com

Jun 25 2018
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The Guardian

Jun 25 2018
Photographer David Goldblatt, South Africa's visual conscience, dies aged 87

Documenting the racial divide during apartheid, he was credited with bringing a strong moral and ethical dimension to his work

The photographer David Goldblatt, whose work chronicled apartheid-era South Africa, has died, aged 87.

Goldblatt documented the racial divide of his home country during some of its most turbulent years, and was credited with bringing a strong moral and ethical dimension to his work. Through photographing simple scenes, such as children playing or exhausted workers sleeping on their bus journey home, he revealed the power imbalance at the heart of South African society.

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The Guardian

Jun 25 2018
Martin Hunt obituary
Influential designer who produced remarkable tableware and glass

Martin Hunt, who has died aged 75, was one of Britain’s most distinguished designers. He exercised influence as a member of the faculty of Royal Designers for Industry from 1981 and reached generations of students through his association with the Royal College of Art, where he was successively a star student, a tutor, head of the college’s department of glass (1976-86), senior fellow (1984) and a visiting professor (1997-2000).

But it was as a partner, with David Queensberry, in the design group Queensberry Hunt for 52 years that he produced tableware and glass that reached countless households.

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The Guardian

Jun 25 2018
'The train came insanely close': graffiti artists on why they risk their lives

After three graffiti artists were killed by a train, our writer speaks to veterans of the scene – and enters a clandestine world of kings, tags, throw-ups and toys

‘We sometimes stand on station platforms,” a young graffiti artist tells me. “When a train comes in on the opposite side, we jump on the tracks and start painting the train in front of the bemused passengers. One time someone shouted, ‘Train!’ – meaning there was one coming down the line. Everyone jumped back onto the platform except me and another guy. We looked at each other, daring each other to break first. I won but the train came insanely close to hitting me. It had its horns blaring.”

The death this month of three London graffiti artists has raised many questions, in particular this one: why would young men risk their lives to write their names in prominent places? The bodies of Jack Gilbert, 23, Harrison Scott-Hood, 23, and Alberto Carrasco, 19 – known by the tags Kbag, Lover and Trip – were found on the tracks at Loughborough Junction. They are thought to have been struck by a train during the night. It was, say police, a particularly risky location, offering no refuge and no means of escape.

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The Guardian

Jun 24 2018
Van Gogh leggings and Tracey teacups: how art merch broke out of the gift shop

Jackson Pollock socks, Louise Bourgeois eyemasks, Guerrilla Girls air freshener … what’s behind the explosion in art merchandise – and who’s really making the money?

You could, if you were fanatical about such things, live your entire life kitted out in your favourite artists. You could wake up and remove your Louise Bourgeois eye mask, take a swig from your Damien Hirst coffee cup, then you check your Ai Weiwei-covered phone before pulling on your Van Gogh leggings. Tea sets, tote bags, dinner trays, model figures, swear boxes, snow globes and even room spray: artist merchandise has moved far beyond the kitsch of Mona Lisa tea towels. It’s now a burgeoning industry that straddles high art, high fashion and the high street.

“Museum shops are getting bigger and more museums are getting shops,” says Victoria Hooper, head of copyright licensing at DACs, a not-for-profit organisation that negotiates royalties for artists whose work is reused. With arts organisations having their funding cut, she says, “everyone in the sector is looking at different ways to monetise”.

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The New York Times

Jun 24 2018
Can an Artist Shift the Gun Debate?
At the Guggenheim, Shaun Leonardo encouraged those on all sides of the gun control issue to find common ground with their opponents, by connecting physically.
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The New York Times

Jun 24 2018
‘A Catharsis Sculpture’: An Artist Makes a Monument to Cancer Survivors
Prune Nourry’s new work, on view in Manhattan’s meatpacking district, is a tribute to women like herself who have battled breast cancer.
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The Guardian

Jun 24 2018
What next for the Glasgow School of Art? | Letters
Readers respond to the fire that destroyed Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s masterpiece

The Glasgow School of Art should be reconstructed as it was (Editorial, 20 June). Mackintosh did not, after all, physically build it himself – his genius resides in the design and a faithful rebuild is no less a Mackintosh building than the original. Unrealised buildings by Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright have been constructed long after their deaths from original plans. The only difference is that Mackintosh’s art school had a previous existence. If there is an opportunity to return this marvellous building to three-dimensional life, so it can be physically experienced by future generations rather than only surviving as plans and photos, it should be taken.
Ian Simmon
Monkseaton, Tyne and Wear

• I agree with Ian Jack (Brick by brick, Glasgow must recreate its lost masterpiece, 23 June). Glasgow without its art school would be like London without St Paul’s. In addition to the massive negative impact on students and Glaswegians, its absence would dismay the many visitors to the city who come to wonder at Mackintosh’s masterpiece.

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The New York Times

Jun 24 2018
He Couldn’t Refuse a Deathbed Plea. Now He’s Got 10,000 Pieces of Art.
A Seattle man agreed to watch over his grandfather’s artworks. They were not acclaimed or even known, but this was more about the promise than the art.
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The Guardian

Jun 24 2018
Sunday's best photos: ugly dogs and naked yoga

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world, including Turkey’s elections and England’s 6-1 win over Panama in the World Cup

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The Guardian

Jun 24 2018
James Henry Pullen, inmate, inventor and modelmaker extraordinaire

Exhibition highlights life and work of one of the strangest geniuses of the 19th century

In 1878, James Henry Pullen, a man who did not speak until he was seven and barely spoke a comprehensible word for the rest of his life, drew his own autobiography.

At a glance, it could be an account of the long, successful career of an eminent architect or engineer, full of drawings of beautiful ship models and handsomely equipped workshops. In fact, Pullen spent all but his earliest years in mental hospitals, but as a new exhibition reveals, gradually became modestly famous as one of the strangest geniuses of the 19th century.

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The Guardian

Jun 24 2018
Observer archive: Marlene Dietrich, 24 June 1955

Photographer Michael Peto went backstage at the London Palladium to capture the star.

Marlene Dietrich is having a nightly success in London at the Café de Paris restaurant singing ‘Knocked ‘em in the Old Kent Road.’ She delivered this old favourite at the Palladium for a charity performance with equal success. I went with our photographer to see her rehearse for this appearance.


She was dressed in a simple cream-coloured suit, with a small velvet hat of bright crimson, diamond ear-studs and a single strand of pearls. Stretching her fingers in what looked like short white cotton gloves, playfully like a child wearing them for the first time, she was not at all like a film star. She looked stunning, and her voice was, as ever, most attractive.

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The Guardian

Jun 24 2018
Architectural Association awaits its ‘Spanish tornado’

The association’s first permanent female leader, Eva Franch i Gilabert, takes up her post on 1 July. Is it ready for this ‘force of nature’ with radical ideas?

The Architectural Association is an architecture school like no other. It is a hothouse, beneath its sober Georgian facade in London, a laboratory, finishing school, club and catwalk wherein genius and absurdity are nurtured, a never-ending carnival of creativity, pretension, inspiration, ambition and debate out of which, over the decades, individuals that change the world of architecture keep on emerging: Richard Rogers, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Amanda Levete, the recently departed Will Alsop. It is English in its way, like a gentleman wearing exotic lingerie beneath his Savile Row suit, but international in its input of people and output of ideas.

Yet it has never had a leader like Eva Franch i Gilabert, a woman described as “a tornado… truly a force of nature” by those who have worked with her, and who will officially start as its new director on 1 July. She is someone for whom, as she puts it, “every single act in life is a creative action”, but without a single agenda or view of the world. She is, I put it to a former colleague, an incredible cloud of energy, intelligence and sociability without it always being clear where it all goes. “Exactly,” is the reply.

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The Guardian

Jun 24 2018
Christo: London Mastaba; Tomma Abts – reviews

Serpentine galleries, London
Christo’s floating installation makes a big first impression, but can’t match the brilliance of Tomma Abts’s canvases

“All interpretations accepted”: so said Christo at the launch of his floating sculpture on the waters of the Serpentine lake last week. Given its shattering size – about three times the height of a three-storey house – it’s amazing that this multicoloured object appears to float so lightly. A trapezoid with two vertical and two sloping sides, soaring up to a flat top, it is constructed out of 7,506 barrels painted red, blue and mauve and attached to an invisible structure. You are meant to gasp. Any additional response is frankly a plus.

Artist of the Wrapped Reichstag and the Colorado Curtain, in which 400 metres of orange cloth was strung among the Rocky Mountains, Christo is addicted to scale. The Serpentine Gallery show that accompanies this muckle polyhedron is stuffed with drawings and models for unrealised projects that would dwarf the Colossus of Rhodes. A further version of the London Mastaba, as it’s called, designed for the deserts outside Abu Dhabi, would be almost six times larger – the biggest sculpture in the history of the world.

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The Guardian

Jun 23 2018
The big picture: beauty amid the flipside of the American dream
French photographer Laura Henno captures life – and light – in an apocalyptic squat in the California desert

In the heart of the California desert, the photographer and film-maker Laura Henno immersed herself in Slab City, a vast, apocalyptic, open-air squat, symbolic of the flipside of the “American dream”.

Here, members of an almost exclusively white underclass – the excluded, the poor and those riddled with debt, drugs and drink – live without running water, sewers or electricity apart from the little they can generate with solar panels.

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The Guardian

Jun 23 2018
Nigerian women's elaborate hairstyles – in pictures

In Nigeria, women’s hairstyles can carry a number of different meanings and messages. These plaits and elaborate structures take anywhere between 30 minutes and five hours to create and can mark special occasions such as weddings and birthdays, denote a particular family or region or respond to political and artistic movements of the day. The acclaimed Nigerian photographer JD ’Okhai Ojeikere spent 40 years immortalising nearly 1,000 of these hairstyles, until his death in 2014. “Apart from being fascinated by their beauty and the artistic nature of each hairstyle, he documented them for posterity,” says his son, photographer Amaize Ojeikere. There is a danger, he adds, that these skills will be lost. “Particularly now the younger generation think it is ‘old-school’. That is one of the reasons the images were taken: to showcase the beauty of our people.”

Structures of Identity will be at the Foam photography museum in Amsterdam from 29 June to 29 August.

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The Guardian

Jun 23 2018
The 20 photographs of the week

Family separations on the US-Mexico border, the eruption of the Fuego volcano in Guatemala, demonstrations in Nicaragua and Germany’s defeat to Mexico at the World Cup – the week captured by the world’s best photojournalists

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The Guardian

Jun 22 2018
Vandalism or art? Graffiti artists' deaths reignite debate

The three young men killed in London were part of a flourishing subculture vying for a ‘king spot’

On the side of a railway bridge over Barrington Road in Brixton, south London, are the last three tags painted by Harrison Scott-Hood, 23, Alberto Fresneda Carrasco, 19, and Jack Gilbert, 23 – “Lover”, “Trip” and “‘Kbag”. They are likely to stay there for some time, as a poignant memorial to the three young men whose bodies were found 350 yards down the track on Monday morning. All three had been hit by a train.

All week, graffiti artists – or “writers”, in the language of the subculture – from around the world having been paying tribute to the three men. An Instagram page has been collating pictures of their graffiti, as well as artistic tributes. At Loughborough Junction station – the stop closest to where the three died – graffiti writers were among the mourners who have contributed to a shrine, with spray cans nestled among bouquets, and messages sprayed on the wall.

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The Guardian

Jun 22 2018
Brick by brick, Glasgow must recreate its lost masterpiece | Ian Jack

To rebuild Mackintosh’s great work would be a long and costly project. But the School of Art has a place in the city’s heart

It has been said that a certain class of person can spend their entire life inside the same kind of institutional architecture, never leaving the mellow English stone of the 17th century in their inevitable progress from boarding school to Oxbridge college to an inn of court. But most of us make a less splendid and more various journey. My primary school dated from 1912, my secondary school from 1934, and my tertiary place of education from 1931.

The first of these was the most attractive: “blocky red sandstone art nouveau”, says the Fife volume of the Buildings of Scotland series. Nothing much can be said for the other two, though it was from a classroom on the top floor of the third, the Scottish College of Commerce, that I first noticed the structure that has since become one of the most famous buildings in Scotland – perhaps, since its destruction, the most famous of all.

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The New York Times

Jun 22 2018
Large-Scale Art Protest Outside OxyContin Maker Ends in Arrest
A large sculpture of a “heroin spoon” was placed in front of Purdue Pharma headquarters, an emblem of what critics say is its role in the opioid crisis.
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artforum.com

Jun 22 2018
500 WORDS: Viva Ruiz
Viva Ruiz talks about Thank God for Abortion
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The Guardian

Jun 22 2018
Grenfell inquiry sacks expert architectural witness

Architect title protected in UK and John Priestley was last registered in 2010

The public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster has sacked its expert architectural witness after it emerged he was not a registered architect.

Related: Grenfell inquiry: fire brigade report shows blaze's rapid progress

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The New York Times

Jun 22 2018
Lens: The Transformative Nature of the Photographs of Diane Arbus
Diane Arbus’s portfolio “A Box of Ten Photographs” was pivotal in the acceptance of photography by the art world. A book published by Aperture and the Smithsonian American Art Museum examines the portfolio and its impact.
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The Guardian

Jun 22 2018
Lee Miller and Viviane Sassen review – photography and the female gaze

The Hepworth Wakefield
The contrast between Miller’s monochromes and Sassen’s colourful scenes belies the surreal energy their work shares

At the entrance to the Hepworth Wakefield’s new exhibition Lee Miller and Surrealism in Britain sits Man Ray’s Object of Destruction, a ticking metronome with an image of Miller’s eye affixed to the pendulum. Ray designed the piece in 1932 after his relationship with Miller broke down (this is a reconstruction by Andrew Lanyon). Ray’s disturbing instructions – “Cut out the eye from a photograph of one who has been loved but is seen no more ... with a hammer well-aimed, try to destroy the whole at a single blow” demonstrate the force of her influence on his life.

Deconstructed women are a familiar surrealist trope, and Miller’s eye appears again more than 10 years later in Roland Penrose’s Surrealist Composition – this time engulfing her face. At this point it would be easy to plonk Miller in the category of muse, where the men who love her obsess over her best features and then throw hammers at them. But that would ignore the fact that Miller’s eyes give her agency as a photographer. Ray and Penrose admire her creative sight, so much so it becomes the essence of who she is.

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The New York Times

Jun 22 2018
Reporter’s Notebook: A City at the Crossroads Examines Migration, Through Art
Italy’s new government is making strong gestures to deter migrants. But Manifesta, a major international art exhibition in the capital of Sicily, takes a more open view.
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The Guardian

Jun 22 2018
Alison Wilding review – pure sculpture from an artist whose time has come

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea
This English sculptor is an alchemist, transforming primeval natural forms into dreamlike abstractions full of romance and mystery

Red Skies, which Alison Wilding created in 1992, is a hollow metal column split down its centre to let you peer inside. Within its dark interior floats a brass globe covered in enigmatic bumps and markings, like a magician’s occult signs. Around that hangs a red acrylic sleeve that transfigures the world framed by the narrow opening. Right now, installed in a long white gallery with a glass wall facing Bexhill beach, it frames the blue sea and sky. When you look through it they are set on fire.

Wilding is an alchemist whose art is full of romance and mystery and sudden transformations. She is also, her mini-retrospective at the De La Warr Pavilion makes plain, an artist of nature. Her abstract forms may not at first glance appear to have any connection with the natural world. A black fibreglass balloon nestling inside a ring of galvanised steel? Then you see the title: Cuckoo I. The menace begins to make sense. This bulging black cuckoo’s egg promises death. It contains a murderous embryo. Jagged, tooth-like cuts in the metal “nest” add to the sense of impending violence.

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The New York Times

Jun 22 2018
In an East Boston Shipyard, a Watershed Idea for Art
As museums groan under costly expansions, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, found a modest alternative a ferry ride across the harbor.
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The New York Times

Jun 22 2018
Critic’s Notebook: Oprah Earned This Museum Show. And It’s a Potent Spectacle.
An exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture captures what Oprah Winfrey and her TV show have meant.
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The New York Times

Jun 22 2018
How Tastes Have Changed: ‘Imps and Mods’ Stutter at London Auctions
Standout lots were few and far between at sales of Impressionist and modern works that finished 22 percent down compared with last year.
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