January 27, 2023: This week: as robotic figures of the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama appear in windows of Louis Vuitton stores in New York, London and Tokyo, Ben Luke talks to Federica Carlotto, a specialist in art and luxury, about the latest collaboration between Kusama and the LVMH brand.
What does it tell us about what the former creative director of Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, called the “monumental marriage between art and commerce”? Also this week, the artist Michael Rakowitz hopes to give a public sculpture he made for Trafalgar Square in London to Tate Modern and an Iraqi institution. He explains how it prompted Iraq to request the return of one of the lamassu, the ancient Assyrian sculptures that inspired Rakowitz’s work, from the British Museum to its country of origin.
And this episode’s Work of the Week is I didn’t put myself down for sainthood (2018), a piece made by Rosy Martin in collaboration with Verity Welstead. The photographic ensemble is in the opening displays of the new Centre of British Photography in London. We speak to James Hyman, the art dealer, collector and co-founder of the centre, about the work.
You can hear our interview with Michael Rakowitz when he unveiled the sculpture in Trafalgar Square in the episode from 22 March 2018 and an in-depth conversation with Michael in the episode of the A brush with… podcast from 9 June 2021.Headstrong: Women and Empowerment, Centre for British Photography, London, until 23 April.
Plus: reframing the Fitzwilliam Museum, a brief history of mulled wine, what’s next for NFTs and, in reviews: the triumph of the Tudors, ways of seeing at the Wellcome Collection and the unfashionable art of Ruskin Spear
You enter a troubling parallel universe in Henry Fuseli’s drawings of women: a place of exaggeration and highly sexualised imagery, where his subjects engage in role-play and the theatrical and erotic and idiosyncratic collide. It’s an inventive, private realm: not one of the drawings in the Courtauld’s fascinating exhibition was displayed in public during the artist’s life.
This week: as the exhibition Velvet Terrorism: Pussy Riot’s Russia opens at the Kling & Bang gallery in Reykjavik, Ben Luke talks to Masha Alekhina, one of the founding members of Pussy Riot, and the artist Ragnar Kjartansson, one of the co-curators of the show.
As protests continue across Iran, Aimee Dawson, The Art Newspaper’s acting digital editor, speaks to Shirin Neshat, the artist whose work expressing solidarity with women in Iran was recently installed outside the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin.
And this episode’s Work of the Week is by the Puerto Rican artist Gabriella Torres-Ferrer. Their 2018 sculpture—called Untitled (Value Your American Lie)—is part of a major new show at the Whitney Museum in New York, exploring art in Puerto Rico in the five years since the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Maria in 2017.
Velvet Terrorism: Pussy Riot’s Russia, Kling & Bang, Reykjavik, until 15 January 2023. Pussy Riot: Riot Days, National Theatre of Iceland, Reykjavik, 25 November. Proceeds from the concert and the exhibition go to supporting Ukraine. You can hear an in-depth interview with Ragnar Kjartansson from 2020 on our sister podcast A brush with… on the usual podcast platforms.No existe un mundo poshuracán: Puerto Rican Art in the Wake of Hurricane Maria, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, until 23 Apr 2023.
This week: uproar over the National Gallery in London’s building plans—is it a sensitive makeover or like “an airport lounge”?
We talk to the director of the National Gallery, Gabriele Finaldi, about the gallery’s controversial plans for changes to its Sainsbury Wing, and to Rowan Moore, architecture critic at the Observer, about his views on the designs by the architect Annabel Selldorf, and how they respond to Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown’s original Post-Modern building.
Tokini Peterside-Schwebig, the director of Art X Lagos, tells us about the contemporary art scene in Nigeria’s most populous city, and how the fair is addressing the climate emergency, as devastating floods wreak havoc in West Africa. And this episode’s Work of the Week is Marc Chagall’s The Falling Angel (1923/1933/1947), the centrepiece of a new exhibition at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, Germany.Art X Lagos, Federal Palace, Lagos, Nigeria, 5-6 NovemberChagall: World in Turmoil, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany, until 19 February 2023 Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
It is now forty years since Melina Mercouri, the Greek Minister for Culture from 1981 to 1989, famous also as a film star and singer, addressed UNESCO’s World Conference on Cultural Policies to draw international attention to the campaign with which she would be identified until her death in 1994, the repatriation to Athens of the Parthenon sculptures in the British Museum. ‘We are not asking for the return of a painting or a statue’, she said: ‘We are asking for the return of a portion of a unique monument, the privileged symbol of a whole culture’.
The Painters of Pompeii
As images, ancient Roman wall paintings command attention for their bold compositions, vibrant and saturated colours, convincing naturalism and the fantastical mythologies they depict. As objects they also captivate for the dramatic circumstances surrounding their near- destruction, the miracle (or rarity) of their survival and the alchemical nature of lime plaster and pigment.
An artist and a sci-fi scholar share their esteem for novelist Octavia Butler, who extrapolated future worlds from troubled times.
HARD TRUTHS: MIC DROP by Chen & Lampert
Artist-curators Howie Chen and Andrew Lampert offer advice on karaoke and other forms of art world hobnobbing.
There have been very few issues of art magazines devoted to disability. There ought to be more. As Art in America associate editor Emily Watlington, who took the lead on this issue, writes in her essay “Our Work Is Working,” disabled artists have been crucial to progress in disability justice and the art world in general, whether through storytelling, empathy-building, or outright activism. These artists place disability where it belongs: at the heart of creativity itself.
This week: why is Tate rejecting an archive of material relating to Francis Bacon, 18 years after acquiring it?
Our London correspondent Martin Bailey tells us about his recent scoop that Tate is returning a thousand documents and sketches said to have come from the studio of Francis Bacon to Barry Joule, a close friend of the artist, who donated them to Tate in 2004. We then discuss the material with Martin Harrison, the pre-eminent Bacon scholar and editor of the catalogue raisonné of Francis Bacon’s work published in 2016, and to Sophie Pretorius, the archivist at the Estate of Francis Bacon, who went through the Barry Joule archive item by item. Victoria Munro, the director of the Alice Austen House Museum in New York, discusses this still too-little-known photographer, and her documentation of immigration to the United States and the lives of queer women in the 19th and early 20th centuries. And this episode’s Work of the Week is Weißes Bild (1994), a painting by the late Luxembourg-born artist Michel Majerus, now on view at Art Basel—Aimee Dawson, acting digital editor, is at the fair and talks to Giovanni Carmine, curator of the Unlimited section, in which the painting appears.
Sophie Pretorius’s essay Work on the Barry Joule Archive is in the book Francis Bacon: Shadows published by the Estate of Francis Bacon and Thames and Hudson.
For more on the Alice Austen House Museum, visit aliceausten.org. The podcast My Dear Alice is out in the autumn.
This video offers a look at Cezanne’s unique approach to color, form, and space through specialized imaging of a few of the artist’s most influential works in the Art Institute’s collection: The Basket of Apples, The Three Skulls, and The Vase of Tulips.
‘Art In America’ May 2022 – Each May, Art in America brings our readers a sampling of “new talent,” with a special focus on artists whose practice makes them stand out in a sea of competitors vying for attention. “Practice” is very much the operative word here: at a time when many artists are becoming known more for their social-media presence than for their creative endeavors, and when careers are bolstered more by the market than by critical attention, the editors, critics, and curators who contributed to our selection this year remained centered on what matters. As you’ll discover in these pages, the artists showcased are all contributing in some resonant way to the ongoing dialogue around art, aesthetics, and the culture at large, from Alexander Si, who turns an anthropological lens on the culture of whiteness; to Suneil Sanzgiri, whose films engage with anticolonialism; to Laurie Kang, who treats photography as a form of installation art (and who has contributed a compelling print to this issue); to the other notable talents featured. With this issue, we continue a tradition developed over more than a century of this magazine: writing art history as it is being made.