From breaking news and insider insights to exhibitions and events around the world, the team at The Art Newspaper picks apart the art world's big stories with the help of special guests. An award-winning podcast hosted by Ben Luke, The Week in Art is sponsored by Christie's.
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Art Basel Hong Kong bounces back; art censorship online; Brenda L. Croft’s images of First Nations Australian women
52:57This week: Art Basel Hong Kong bounces back. After cancellations, delays and two years of restricted fairs, the fair has returned to something like pre-Covid normality. So, as other Asian art centres like Seoul and Singapore become increasingly influential, what is the atmosphere like in Hong Kong? Gareth Harris, chief contributing editor at The Art Newspaper, joins us to discuss the fair, the M+ museum and more. It is becoming increasingly clear that social media corporations have become self-appointed cultural gatekeepers that decide which works of art can freely circulate, be pushed into the digital margins or even banned. Our live editor, Aimee Dawson, talks to the artist Emma Shapiro and Elizabeth Larison, the Director of the Arts & Culture Advocacy Program at the National Coalition Against Censorship, about the issue and a project to counter this tendency, called Don’t Delete Art. And this episode’s Work of the Week is Naabami (thou shall/will see): Barangaroo (army of me), a photographic project by Brenda L. Croft, in which she depicts fellow First Nations women and girls. The work is part of The National 4: Australian Art Now, a survey across multiple venues in Sydney. One of the show’s curators, Beatrice Gralton, tells us about Croft’s epic series.Art Basel Hong Kong, until 25 March.Visit Don’t Delete Art: dontdelete.artThe National 4: Australian Art Now continues until 23 July. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
“Biggest art fraud in history” in Canada; artists’ pay; the Ugly Duchess by Massys (and Leonardo)
59:19This week: the extraordinary story behind what Canadian police have called “the biggest art fraud in history”. More than 1,000 fake works purporting to be by the First Nations artist Norval Morrisseau are seized and eight people have been charged. The Art Newspaper’s Editor, Americas, Ben Sutton, tells the extraordinary story, involving a rock star, a television documentary and alleged forgery rings, and what it tells us about the market for First Nations art in Canada. A report into artists’ pay in the UK has exposed the inordinately low sums paid to artists for their labour by arts organisations. We talk to the art collective Industria, who wrote the report, and Julie Lomax, the CEO of a-n, The Artists’ Information Company, which has published the study. And this episode’s Work of the Week is An Old Woman (around 1513) by the Northern Renaissance artist Quinten Massys, a painting better known as The Ugly Duchess. A new exhibition at the National Gallery focuses on this work in its collection, exploring its origins in a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, and the combination of satire, folklore, humanism and misogyny from which it emerged. Emma Capron, the curator of the show, tells us more.A PDF of Industria’s Structurally F–cked report can be found at a-n.co.uk. Industria’s website is we-industria.org.The Ugly Duchess: Beauty and Satire in the Renaissance, National Gallery, London, until 11 June. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
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Old Masters at Tefaf; Paris’s Institut du Monde Arabe; Rosalba Carriera in Berlin
52:15Is the Old Masters market struggling? As Tefaf opens its fair in Maastricht, we look at this major moment in the market calendar and what it tells us about the strength or otherwise of the market for historic art. The Art Newspaper’s Acting Art Market editor, Anny Shaw, joins us from the fair. The Institut du Monde Arabe, or Arab World Institute, in Paris has just received a major gift of more than 1,600 modern and contemporary works from the French-Lebanese dealer and collector Claude Lemand and his wife, France—a collection that will transform the displays in the institute’s museum. We talk to the director of the museum, Nathalie Bondil, about her future plans and the €6m project to transform the institute. And this episode’s Work of the Week is a self-portrait in red chalk by the Venetian Rococo artist Rosalba Carriera. Dagmar Kornbacher, the director of the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin, tells me about the drawing, which is a key work in Muse or Maestra?, the museum’s new exhibition of work by historic Italian women artists.Tefaf Maastricht, until 19 March.Muse or Maestra?: Women in the Italian Art World, 1400-1800, Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin, until 4 June. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Art Dubai; MoMA’s political video art show; Lucie Rie
57:08This week: as the Art Dubai fair opens, The Art Newspaper’s acting digital editor Aimee Dawson tells us about this latest edition, its ongoing commitment to displaying the art of the global south and its continued focus on digital art. The Museum of Modern Art in New York opens the largest media exhibition it has ever staged, Signals: How Video Transformed the World on 5 March. It looks at how artists around the globe have used video as a networked technology capable of reaching huge audiences but also how they have employed video to reflect on or engage in activism and urgent political developments. We talk to the show’s curators, Stuart Comer and Michelle Kuo. And this episode’s Work of the Week is a coffee pot and milk jug from 1960 by Lucie Rie, the great modernist potter. Eliza Spindel, co-curator of the exhibition Lucie Rie: The Adventure of Pottery at Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, UK, tells us about these objects and Rie’s life and work.Art Dubai until 5 March.Signals: How Video Transformed the World, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 5 March-8 July.Lucie Rie: The Adventure of Pottery, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, UK, 4 March-25 June. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Nigeria’s pivotal election, The Met: a guard’s memoir, Hubert Robert in Stockholm
55:30This week: Nigeria heads to the polls this weekend; what are the implications for its museums and art scene? Dolly Kola-Balogun, director of the Retro Africa gallery in Abuja, reflects on the candidates and discusses the importance of art, and culture more widely, to the country’s future. We also talk to Patrick Bringley, the author of a new book All the Beauty in the World: the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Me, in which he reflects on his experiences as a guard at the museum and coming to terms with the loss of his brother. And this episode’s Work of the Week is Boats in Front of the Grotto in the Park at Méréville by Hubert Robert. It features in The Garden: Six Centuries of Art and Nature at the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, whose curator, Magnus Olausson, tells us about the painting.All the Beauty in the World: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Me, by Patrick Bringley, Simon and Schuster (US) $27.99, out now. The Bodley Head (UK), £20, 16 March.The Garden—Six Centuries of Art and Nature, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden, until 7 January 2024. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Turkey-Syria: the earthquake and heritage; Alice Neel in London; a Navajo “eye-dazzler” blanket
1:03:22This week: Turkey and Syria. As the countries reel from the devastation of the 6 February earthquake, how can communities and agencies protect damaged heritage? We talk to Aparna Tandon from Iccrom, the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property about culture’s significance in the humanitarian response to the crisis. As Alice Neel: Hot off the Griddle arrives at the Barbican Art Gallery in London, we take a tour of the show’s key moments with its curator, Eleanor Nairne. And this episode’s Work of the Week is a Germantown “eye-dazzler” blanket, made between 1895 and 1905 by a Diné weaver from the Navajo Nation. It’s part of a new show at the Bard Graduate Center in New York, Shaped by the Loom: Weaving Worlds in the American Southwest. Hadley Jensen, the curator of the exhibition, tells us more.Disasters Emergency Committee’s Turkey-Syria Earthquake: dec.org.uk; a PDF of Aparna Tandon’s handbook First Aid To Cultural Heritage In Times Of Crisis is available for free at iccrom.org.Alice Neel: Hot off the Griddle, Barbican Art Gallery, London, until 21 May. The book accompanying the exhibition is published by Prestel, priced £24.99 or $29.95.Shaped by the Loom: Weaving Worlds in the American Southwest, Bard Graduate Center, New York, until 9 July. An online exhibition featuring an interactive catalogue has approximately 250 items from the American Museum of Natural History’s collection of Navajo textiles will be available later this month at bgc.bard.edu. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Vermeer special: the man, the show and an attribution debate
1:14:32In this special episode, we are in Amsterdam for one of the shows of the year: Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum. As an unprecedented 28 of the 37 surviving Vermeer paintings are gathered in the Dutch capital, Ben Luke talks to several people involved in the project: Gregor Weber, one of the exhibition’s curators, tells us about his new biography that reveals the depth of influence of the Jesuits and Catholicism on the artist. In the exhibition itself, we talk to Pieter Roelofs, Weber’s co-curator; Ige Verslype, a conservator who led an extensive research project on Vermeer paintings in the Rijksmuseum, Mauritshuis and Frick collections; and Taco Dibbits, the Rijksmuseum’s director. Plus, we bump into the artist Alvaro Barrington in the exhibition and he tells us what he makes of Vermeer as an artist working today. In this episode’s Work of the Week, we explore a debate around the attribution of a painting: Betsy Wieseman, Curator and Head of the Department of Northern European Paintings at the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington DC, discusses Girl with a Flute (around 1669-75). Wieseman and her NGA colleagues now regard the painting as a work by Vermeer’s studio, even though it appears in the Rijksmuseum show as an authentic work by the master.Vermeer, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, until 4 June. Gregor Weber, Johannes Vermeer: Faith, Light, Reflection, Rijksmuseum, €25 (pb) Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Ukraine museum collections: kept safe or looted? Plus, Okwui Enwezor’s Sharjah Biennial and Ming Smith at MoMA
52:45As we approach the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, The Art Newspaper has published an investigation that raises serious concerns that works of art taken by Russian troops from a museum in Kherson, Ukraine, in November 2022 may not be repatriated once the fighting ends. Our London correspondent Martin Bailey tells us about his story. Plus, the Sharjah Biennial opens next week, and is the final biennial curated by Okwui Enwezor, who died in 2019, but set the blueprint for the show, entitled Thinking Historically in the Present. We talk to Nadine Khalil about the biennial and Sharjah’s place in the Middle Eastern art ecosystem. And this episode’s Work of the Week is Invisible Man, Somewhere, Everywhere (1991) by the American photographer Ming Smith, a key piece in a new exhibition of Smith’s work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Oluremi Onabanjo, the curator of the show, tells us about the work.The Sharjah Biennial runs from 7 February to 11 June.Projects: Ming Smith, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 4 February-29 May. Ming Smith: Invisible Man, Somewhere, Everywhere, by Oluremi C. Onabanjo, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 48pp, $14.95/£17 (pb) Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Kusama x Louis Vuitton: art and luxury. Plus, Michael Rakowitz’s Tate/Iraq gift and photographer Rosy Martin
1:01:12This 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. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Van Gogh’s Sunflowers legal dispute. Plus, Singapore’s art scene and photographer Grace Lau
40:39Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers in Tokyo are the subject of a legal claim in the US relating to Nazi loot. The Art Newspaper’s London correspondent and resident Van Gogh expert Martin Bailey tells us why Sunflowers (1888-89) is at the centre of the dispute, 35 years after it was sold for a record price at auction, and why the heirs of the German Jewish banker Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, who owned it until the 1930s, now value it at a staggering $250m. Our editor-at-large Georgina Adam has just returned from Singapore, where the first Art SG art fair took place last week. How successful was this new event in the art market calendar, and what does it tell us about Singapore’s ambitions to become an art hub? And this episode’s Work of the Week is Portraits in a Chinese Studio, a photographic work by the artist Grace Lau. In the project, which marks Chinese New Year, Lau is subverting the tradition of colonial 19th-century portrait studios in a shopping centre in Southampton on the south coast of the UK.Grace Lau: Portraits in a Chinese Studio, Marlands Shopping Centre, Southampton, UK, 21 January-12 February Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.