Plus: the uncertain market for Old Masters, the Cambridge colleges that have turned to wood, the artists who have taken young women seriously, and reviews of Guido Reni, Edward Hopper and the new museum at the Bibliothèque nationale
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.
Science Magazine (January 27, 2023) – The Amazon forest is changing rapidly as a result of human activities, including deforestation for agriculture, such as these soybean fields in Belterra, Pará, Brazil. Remaining areas of forest are experiencing an increased incidence of fires, drought, and the effects of neighboring land uses. These changes threaten local biodiversity and communities and alter the global climate.
It’s an age-old question: how should nations around the world adjust to their elderly societies?Japan has faced such realities for a while now, but the challenges are becoming increasingly common across the developed world where families are getting smaller, and people are living longer.
Even India – which will soon overtake China as the world’s most populous country – is now seeing an older demographic become more prevalent in some states. The countries of sub-Saharan Africa, meanwhile, look most likely to enjoy the benefits of a younger population as the century progresses. For the Guardian Weekly magazine’s big story this week, Emma Graham-Harrison and Justin McCurry assess what ageing populations hold in store for the world. And Verna Yu reports on the reasons why many young people in China seem reluctant to start families.