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Gareth Harris

Chief contributing editor at The Art Newspaper

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The Year Ahead 2020

New museums and major expansions opening in 2020

From Tutankhamun's new king-sized home in Cairo to Munch's sleek space in Oslo, here is our pick of the big openings this year

News
Controversies

Pace Gallery shuts down homophobic slurs on Instagram over Peter Hujar photographs

In Pride Month post, gallery speaks out against "individuals who wish to degrade marginalised communities"

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Auctions

Waning market for African artefacts? Controversial Benin bronze fails to sell at Christie's

Academics challenge the provenance of the Edo plaque as well as two Igbo alusi figures that sold under estimate for €212,500

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Exhibitions

Derek Jarman's love of gardening is subject of new London show

Exhibition at the Garden Museum focuses on the late artist and film-maker's time at Prospect Cottage in Dungeness

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Three to see

Three online exhibitions honouring Pride Month

From the history of discriminatory blood donation policies at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art to the history of the rainbow flag

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Crime

Teenager who threw boy from Tate Modern is given a life sentence with minimum term of 15 years

Jonty Bravery intended to kill, judge says

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Exhibitions

Major slavery exhibition heads to MFA Houston and the National Gallery of Art in Washington

Afro-Atlantic Histories, which opened in São Paulo in 2018, tells the story of the transatlantic slave trade and its legacies

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Arthur Jafa

Arthur Jafa’s searing chronicle of Black America to be screened by museums worldwide for 48 hours

Fourteen institutions including Tate will livestream Love is the Message, The Message is Death

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Museums & Heritage

Facebook and Instagram ban trading of historical artefacts

Heritage group Athar were part of a campaign highlighting the social media giants' “black market in antiquities”

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Museums

UK museums can reopen from 4 July—but for some it's too soon

News of the government's latest easing of lockdown measures today has been welcomed by the art world but "huge problems still remain for the sector"

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Restitution

National museum in Stockholm to return stolen 16th-century painting to Poland

Officials in Poland and Sweden piece together provenance of work by School of Lucas Cranach the Elder

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Sculpture

Windrush sculptures honouring UK's Caribbean immigrants to be unveiled in London

Leading black artists Thomas J. Price and Veronica Ryan's works in Hackney are due to be completed in 2021

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coronavirus

Works of art hung in hospital staff rooms are a tonic for UK healthcare workers

Rana Begum and the Chapman brothers have donated works to the #100NHSRooms initiative

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Guerilla Girls

Guerrilla Girls focus on Black Lives Matter in new video

Art Night’s Trailers series also includes works by Mark Leckey and Oona Doherty

Review
Three to see

Three projects celebrating Juneteenth, the holiday marking the end of slavery in the US

From freedom papers on view at the National Museum of African American History and Culture to Issac Julien's film about famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass

Feature
Book Club

In Pictures | Eva Hesse and Hannah Wilke compared in new catalogue

A selection of photographs, plus the curator Eleanor Nairne tells us how the two artists had a love for liquid latex and were fuelled by grief

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Controversies

Racism on walls of UK government? British Empire murals spark controversy

Politician raises concerns over Sigismund Goetze painting in the Foreign Office depicting Africa as a naked boy

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Exhibitions

'Radical black resistance': Dresden exhibition to focus on legendary activist Angela Davis

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, Albertinum show explores impact of her visit to East Germany in 1972

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Protests

Protestors seize African artefact from Paris's Quai Branly museum in bid to 'bring to Africa what was taken'

Five demonstrators will go to court on charges of theft

Review
Three to see

Three cultural projects exploring racial injustice and black resistance

From the artist collective Forensic Architecture's investigation into the UK police killing of Mark Duggan to an interactive platform chronicling the legacy of lynching in the US justice system

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Monuments

Museum world rallies behind curator investigated for tweets on how to damage bronze statues

UK arts professionals express support for Madeline Odent whose comments prompted a backlash on Twitter

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Monuments

Artist of African descent must create France's new slavery memorial, campaign group says

Culture ministry launches open call for monument that will be sited near the Musée du Louvre

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Protest

Oxford council says controversial Cecil Rhodes statue should go to museum after long-running stalemate

Thousands of protestors are demanding removal of statue of the Victorian imperialist from Oriel college

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Monuments

Statues of slavers around London could be pulled down under mayor’s new diversity plan

Sadiq Khan wants to review and improve "the diversity of public landmarks" after protestors toppled the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol

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Art market

La Biennale Paris dealers will consign works to Christie’s online sale as part of new partnership initiative

Art fair and auction house boundaries blurred in wake of the coronavirus outbreak

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Monuments

Protesters topple monument to slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol—mayor wants to place it in a museum

Controversial statue was dismantled and thrown into the harbour during a Black Lives Matter rally

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Art market

Art Basel cancels Swiss edition in September due to coronavirus concerns

Flagship fair will relaunch next June in Basel as organisers focus on delivering Miami Beach show in December

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Three to see

Three initiatives that explore racial inequality and the long fight for justice in the US

From Google Arts & Culture's digital platform exploring the culture of black experience to the Smithsonian's new Talking About Race portal

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Biennials & festivals

Saudi Arabia moves ahead with plans for 2021 biennale at historic Ad Diriyah site

New contemporary art event is yet to confirm participating artists

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Art market

Historic Tunisian items withdrawn from Paris auction after heritage body claims works left country illegally

More than 100 objects once belonging to the Tunisian politician Habib Djellouli, including an ancient Quran, are at the centre of the controversy

Interview
Book Club

Q&A | Would Bauhaus artists have loved the iPhone? The writer of a new book called iBauhaus thinks so

Nicholas Fox Weber tells us what inspired his book and which visionary he would not like to spend lockdown with

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Artists' houses

Controversial artist Gregor Schneider leads lockdown tours of Nazi chief Joseph Goebbels’s house

German artist and Golden Lion winner is inviting people on personal tours of his hometown

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Protest

Art world presses pause for #BlackOutTuesday

Mixed reactions for the social media campaign, whereby millions are posting black squares in support for the Black Lives Matter movement—but is it reductive?

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Obituaries

'A healing machine meant to bring people together': art world figures pay tribute to Christo's vision

Pamm director says Miami island project brought the community together after 1980s race riots

Feature
Book of the month

Reviewed: Warhol, A Life as Art by Blake Gopnik

Three Andy Warhol devotees give their take on the near-1000 page biography

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Art market

Freshly graduated from art school? New online platform aims to help emerging artists sell work amidst pandemic

Inaugural show on Kovet.Art features eight graduates with prices under £10,000

Review
Three to see

Three artist-led initiatives that are chronicling the coronavirus experience

From printed masks made by Ai Weiwei to art historical masterpieces recreated at home

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Art fairs

No boys allowed: this year’s Chart art fair will only exhibit women artists

Event across five Nordic cities tackles issue of male-dominated art world head on

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Book Club

Extract | Tribal identity, Tories and Tracey Emin: Grayson Perry reveals (even more) in updated book

Excerpts from the expanded monograph include how he was inspired by outsider art and the stresses of building a “Taj Mahal on the River Stour”

Comment
coronavirus

Why I made a mountain of fortune cookies in my little London flat during lockdown—all in the name of art

Biscuit sculptures have sprung up worldwide as part of a global initiative to celebrate the late artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres

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Appointments

'As reassuring as Mr Bean'? London's National Portrait Gallery appointment attracts criticism

Conservative MP Chris Grayling has been named a trustee of the museum

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Prizes

Turner prize 2020 is cancelled and replaced with £100,000 fund for artists

Ten £10,000 "Turner Bursaries" to be announced late June

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Climate Change

Inverleith House reinvents as climate crisis venue in partnership with Serpentine Galleries

Historic Edinburgh gallery will become ‘Climate House’ following £150,000 lifeline funding award from Outset

Blog
Book Club

What has the Whitechapel Gallery chief Iwona Blazwick been reading during lockdown?

The London-based curator has been perusing publications on science fiction, avant-garde cabarets and all things witchy

Review
Three to see

Three virtual readings to check out this weekend

From Maurizio Cattelan's Bedtime Stories to Neïl Beloufa's post-capitalist fable featuring camels and foxes

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Protest

'Impeach Bolsonaro': artist hangs black cloths on Brazilian Embassy in Paris to protest against president

Julio Villani's banners symbolise his “ongoing determination, revolt and despair” at the Brazilian leader's handling of the coronavirus crisis

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Media & broadcast

BBC Four—UK's specialist arts TV channel—saved from the chop

Critics say new strategy means station will become a home for repeats with less investment in arts programming

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Charity

Put your art where your mouth is: leading British artists design masks for charity

David Shrigley, Linder, Eddie Peake and Yinka Shonibare have created facemasks to raise funds for UK museums and artists

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Digital Age

DIY curating: UK galleries mount virtual shows on lockdown using new digital tool

Art UK's Curations initiative enables “anyone anywhere with internet access” to create an exhibition using the national image database

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Biennials & festivals

Venice Art Biennale delayed until 2022, now the same year as Documenta

Organisers say "it is impossible to move forward within the set time limits in the realisation of such a complex and worldwide exhibition"

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Social media

What are some of Tracey Emin's favourite works? Musée d'Orsay invites artists to delve into its collection on Instagram

British artist chooses some of the Paris museum's sexiest art in new lockdown project

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Book Club

Extract | The story of Ruth Asawa and the secret gift from her teacher Josef Albers

An excerpt and images from a new biography on the sculptor who studied at the famous Black Mountain College and was interned during the Second World War

Preview
Three to see

Three shows to see online this weekend

From a collaborative series between the New Museum and Rhizome to Modern Art Oxford's virtual tours

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Social media

Long lost families reunited: social media campaign uncovers the links between objects across UK museums

Galleries on lockdown connect online during coronavirus pandemic using #CollectionsUnited

Blog
Book Club

What has the art world been reading during the coronavirus lockdown? Part two

Curators, directors and art historians tell us about the books they have been reading and revisiting

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Heritage

Battle to save concrete Picasso murals in Oslo intensifies after MoMA steps in

“Workers at the Y-Block site have started drilling, but it’s worrying as once they start moving the mural, it will crack,” says co-creator’s daughter

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Prizes

Hong Kong artist's sombre still life with a tear gas canister vase wins Human Rights arts prize

Jeremy Deller judged the sixth edition which is backed by the European Union

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Museums

Blockbuster Edward Hopper show is relaunched as Swiss museums come out of 'recent slumber'

Museums in South Korea and Hong Kong have also started reopening after coronavirus lockdowns

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Exhibitions

Salisbury Cathedral marks 800th anniversary with virtual show featuring Mark Wallinger and Grayson Perry

Works were installed throughout the historic building before lockdown

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Biennials & festivals

‘In two and a half years, who knows where the world will be’—Lyon Biennale curators reveal why exhibition was pushed back from 2021 to 2022

Pressure on resources play a part as well as ethical issues in the wake of coronavirus

Review
Three to see

Three artsy culinary challenges for homebound cooks this weekend

From the Museum of Modern Art's home cooking interviews to the Blanton Museum's bakeoff

News
Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s fortune cookie piece to pop up in 1,000 locations worldwide

“Writers, curators, artists and friends of Felix’s” will be asked to take part in participatory work

Book Club

Greatest myths? Did he always wear his wig? Would he be on Instagram? Biographer Blake Gopnik speaks about Andy Warhol

An Instagram Live interview with the writer of a new biography on the famous US artist

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Cathedral of Notre Dame

Notre Dame spire competition has stalled, says artist Wim Delvoye who submitted a 'fireproof' design

Debate about the spire is intensifying with battle lines drawn between traditional and contemporary camps

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Prizes

Artist Gary Hume says National Portrait Gallery should 'bite the bullet' and cut ties with oil giant BP

Fuel company's decision to withdraw from the BP Portrait Award judging panel was a missed opportunity to end sponsorship relationship, artist believes

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Prizes

Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight wins Pulitzer prize

Writer was recognised for his criticism of Lacma’s controversial expansion plan

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Frieze New York

Wanted: land-art sponsor to bury Christoph Büchel's aircraft in sand

The Swiss artist is seeking sponsors this week at Frieze New York for his new project Terminal, which involves burying a Boeing 727 jetliner in the California desert

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Controversies

Director of France’s national furniture collection defends plans to sell 100 items at auction to aid healthcare workers

Move prompts fears that works from national museum collections could be sold off too

Blog
Book Club

What is the curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist reading during lockdown?

The artistic director of the Serpentine Galleries has been inspired by his daily walks and ‘animal interviews’ to revisit one of his favourite books about trees

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coronavirus

Reopenings update: Uffizi Galleries drastically cut capacity and launch TikTok account

Perrotin Gallery leads commercial charge by launching two-month rotating show involving 26 Paris dealers

Review
Three to see

Three museum collections to explore from home this weekend

From the Centre Pompidou's #PompidouVIP to the Whitney's focus on recent acquisitions by living artists

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Controversies

'Intrusive addition': Antony Gormley’s memorial to mathematician Alan Turing draws fire

Some critics support the proposed sculpture for Cambridge University while others question the competition process

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Book Club

What is the collector Eugenio Re Rebaudengo reading during lockdown?

The Turin-based art patron enjoys learning about artist rivalries and delving into the Francis Bacon catalogue raisonné, among other things

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coronavirus

One-way visitor traffic and a ban on audio tours: guidelines for reopening museums emerge

Brussels museums release their planned safety measures along with the museum ethics organisation Cimam

Blog
Book Club

What is the curator Chrissie Iles reading during lockdown?

The Whitney Museum of American Art curator delights in learning about the global culture of the Middle Ages and finds lessons for the future in a Cauleen Smith monograph

Blog
Book Club

What is the art world reading during the coronavirus lockdown?

Curators and directors tell us about their new favourite books as The Art Newspaper launches its Book Club