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Politics

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Politics

As constitutional showdown nears, 'artivism' abounds in Chile

The country's artists and galleries are using their platforms to press for social change and support protestors

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US politics

Shepard Fairey—creator of famous Obama 'Hope' poster—makes new Time cover image ahead of US election

For first time in 100-year history, magazine replaces logo with the imperative to vote

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Protests

Art X Lagos fair supports frontline photographers in Nigeria who are documenting anti-police brutality protests

Images capturing unrest will be shown during the next edition of the fair

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Politics

Nicaraguan government moves to tighten its grip on free expression

A trio of pending laws has human rights groups raising the alarm that artists and institutions critical of President Ortega could be forcefully silenced

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Art education

European academies issue joint manifesto to protect freedom of arts

Signatories of the “Berlin Manifesto” include the Académie française and Arts Council England. It has been endorsed by Wim Wenders, Ken Loach and A. L. Kennedy among others

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Russia

For Putin’s birthday, Pussy Riot hangs rainbow flags on Moscow’s government buildings

The activist performance artists called their actions “a gift as a symbol of the love and freedom that are lacking” for LGBTQ communities in Russia

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Exhibitions

Trump descends into hell—the state of America as seen by artist Jim Shaw

New London show at Simon Lee Gallery also takes a swipe at art world excess

Comment
Politics

Philip Guston drew Richard Nixon's face as a hairy scrotum and phallus—what would he make of President Trump?

The physiognomy of deviousness, greed, ruthless opportunism, risible self-importance and gobsmacking albeit garden variety stupidity provides artists of Guston’s bent and calibre with a virtually bottomless well of imagery

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Politics

Activist groups condemn 'unjust' imprisonment of Sudanese artists including award-winning filmmaker Hajooj Kuka

Human Rights Watch among the organisations criticising the decision by Khartoum court to convict pro-democracy collective that were rehearsing a performance

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Belarus

Belarusian opposition leader and arts promoter Maria Kolesnikova charged with organising a coup d'état

Aleksandr Lukashenko regime continues to crackdown on Belarus’s contemporary arts community

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Cultural heritage

Jair Bolsonaro, long criticised for anti-black statements, removes a painting of Afro-Brazilian deities from presidential offices

The Brazilian president allegedly requested the removal of Os Orixás by the artist Djanira da Motta e Silva at the behest of his wife, an Evangelical Christian

Comment
Funding

'Be commercially minded or lose future funding': UK government's threat puts museums in peril

In a letter leaked to The Art Newspaper, the culture minister Oliver Dowden tells directors they must raise their own funds during the pandemic—but how?

News
Brazil

Cinemateca Brasileira, the largest audiovisual institution in South America, under threat by Bolsonaro government

The government has fired all 41 technical staff, who safeguard an important collection of more than 250,000 works

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Art market

Belarus art collector Viktor Babariko, rival to President Alexander Lukashenko, jailed before election

Former chairman of Belgazprombank, which owns works by Chagall and Soutine, was arrested in June on charges of laundering $430m but many suspect it was politically motivated

News
Museums & Heritage

First Hagia Sophia, now Turkey's 'Sistine Chapel of Byzantium' will be turned back into mosque

The 14th-century mosaics at Chora Church—which was converted to a museum in 1945—risk being covered up and remaining part-restored

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Politics

German activist art group sells 'anti-fascist' works on eBay to support left-wing organisations

Peng collective auctions off ten objects bought from committed anti-fascists for €10,000

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Politics

Belarus protest work—painted with a police baton—sells for three million rubles

Contemporary artists in the country are reacting to the crisis after allegations of election fraud and police brutality

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Museums & Heritage

Cultural love-in between Italy and Russia sets ‘soft power’ alarm bells ringing

Growing unease as the special relationship between the two countries gains momentum during the Covid-19 crisis

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Australia

Sydney's Powerhouse Museum saved from sell-off, but debate rages on

NSW government scraps controversial billion-dollar relocation plan but faces questions from community groups and parliament

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Brazil

Bolsonaro appoints son’s former aide the president of the National Arts Foundation as public ministry files lawsuit to remove him

Luciano Querido, trained as an IT technician, has been in the role provisionally since May despite lacking the federal qualifications for the role

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Politics

As Andrzej Duda narrowly wins Poland’s presidential election, protest posters installed in Warsaw become stark reminder of authoritarian rule

Spanish art group Democracia have taken over LED screens in the city’s metro

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Museums & Heritage

Germany's Holocaust memorial sites fight against surge in far-right threats

Former concentration camps are being increasingly drawn into culture wars by “normal-looking” people challenging guides and disrupting tours

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Racism in the art world

How the art industry is grappling with its systemic race inequality

Galleries, fairs and auction houses are issuing solidarity statements and re-evaluating the diversity of their staffs. But "performative wokeness” will not fix the market’s whiteness

Podcast

Hong Kong: has the new law 'destroyed' the art scene?

Plus, art historian Alyce Mahon on Leonor Fini’s illustrations. Produced in association with Christie's

Analysis
Hong Kong

Some artists planning to leave Hong Kong in response to new national security law

Concerns over freedom of expression and self-censorship on the rise after introduction of new rules

Podcast

The destruction of Australia’s ancient Aboriginal heritage

Plus, art under threat in Putin's Russia and George Shaw on Thomas Jones. Produced in association with Christie's

News
Cuba

Tania Bruguera reportedly detained by Cuban authorities hours before anti-racism protest in Havana

The artist’s final message posted on social media this morning was “they are taking me”

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Brazil

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro appoints actor Mário Frias the new secretary of culture, sparking controversy

Frias is the fifth person to hold the role since Bolsonaro dissolved the ministry of culture after his election in 2019

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Russia

Culture crackdown ahead of Putin's referendum

Artist Pyotr Verzilov was sentenced to 15 days in prison for "petty hooliganism" in latest clampdown on the arts in Russia

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Museums & Heritage

Istanbul Museum of Painting and Sculpture plagued by delays after top curators quit

Turkey’s national modern art collection, closed off for much of its 80-year existence, will be hard-pressed to open $25m new building this year

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Hong Kong

Hong Kong artists abroad launch pro-democracy platform as China's security law looms

Online project documents one year of anti-government protests in the territory and aims to rally support from international art community

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China

Will the loss of Hong Kong’s special trade status and stricter oversight from Beijing end its appeal as Asia’s biggest arts hub?

A new draconian law against protests imposed by Beijing and the end of a more open trade agreement with the US has the city’s arts community worried

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Politics

'Blatant censorship': Polish government issues artists with fines—then withdraws them

Ahead of Poland's ghost election earlier this month, a group of artists carried a 14-metre letter to parliament

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coronavirus

Austrian culture minister steps down after coming under fire over pandemic response

Ulrike Lunacek was in office for less than four months

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Photography

Online exhibition calls for release of ‘disappeared’ Bangladeshi photographer Shafiqul Islam Kajol

The photojournalist went missing after publishing an investigation into a Dhaka sex-ring. Discovered in a remote prison, he now faces a possible seven years behind bars

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coronavirus

Russia’s culture minister has coronavirus

Appointed in January, Olga Lyubimova is the third Russian government minister to announce a Covid-19 diagnosis in the past week

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coronavirus

UK government 'failing' to support its freelancers, leading arts body says

Finance minister Rishi Sunak has attracted criticism for his emergency bailout plan over claims that it discriminates against gig workers

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coronavirus

Germany promises financial support to help arts institutions hit by coronavirus

Grütters sees "massive burden" for arts sector as theatres and concert halls close, ticket sales dwindle

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Brexit

Hundreds of art organisations outraged as UK withdraws from €1.46bn Creative Europe fund

More than 680 cultural figures and institutions sign open letter over decision they believe "threatens an impoverished future for British creativity"

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Censorship

Cuban artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara arrested on way to a LGBTQ+ censorship protest

The artist will face a summary trial in ten days while activists say the arrest amounts to "state terrorism"

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Poland

Right-wing director begins overhaul of Warsaw contemporary art centre

Controversial curator Piotr Bernatowicz has cancelled several 2020 exhibitions and cut funding from progressive art journal at Ujazdowski Castle CCA

Comment
Sudan

It is time to support Sudan’s artists in their fight for democracy

Freedom of expression was at the forefront of the fight to overthrow Omar al Bashir, now the political cartoonist Khalid Albaih asks the US to keep an eye on its own dictatorial leaders

Comment
China

Where is the West? Art world should be supporting China during coronavirus crisis

Our beleaguered art colleagues need our help and we must not turn our backs on Chinese art institutions, says Philip Dodd, head of Made in China

Podcast

Who owns the Parthenon Marbles?

Plus, Shirin Neshat on Trump’s America. Produced in association with Bonhams, auctioneers since 1793

News
Parthenon marbles

Leaked draft of EU paper stirs Parthenon Marbles dispute

But the clause is unlikely to refer to the ancient Greek sculptures in the British Museum, expert says

News
Appointments

Cabinet reshuffle: Oliver Dowden appointed new UK culture secretary

The Conservative MP for Hertsmere in Hertfordshire replaces Nicky Morgan

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Politics

US artists and museums join forces to fire up voters

Artists and activists gather in Los Angeles later this month for the first For Freedoms Congress, a three-day event to spur voter engagement

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ColdWar Steve

From Bristol to Bermuda: satirical artist Cold War Steve asks public to download and exhibit his work

Exhibition project You, Me & Cold War Steve: the International Exhibition of the People has already been downloaded 3,000 times with scheduled venues across the globe

News
US politics

'An impeachment tomb stone': Jenny Holzer creates work to mark President Donald Trump's trial

The skateboards are produced in a limited marble edition of 25 and a wood edition of 500

Blog
Diary

Artist creates black-faced portrait of Italian far-right politician Matteo Salvini

Current bid for re-imagined image of the controversial party leader stands at €45,000 in online auction

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Exhibitions

Two Iran exhibitions in Germany put on ice amid political tensions

Insurers refused to cover the transport of loans, including salt-mine mummies and Greek and Roman antiquities

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Appointments

Russia's controversial culture minister ousted in Putin's government reshuffle

But Vladimir Medinsky, who has been replaced by Olga Lyubimova, will 'not be left without work' in culture, the Russian President says

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Politics

Taiwan's re-election of president Tsai Ing-wen is good news for its art world

Politician has been working on professionalising the island nation's cultural sphere

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Controversies

Luanda Leaks: Isabel dos Santos—who owns vast African art collection—accused of making her $2.2bn fortune by exploiting Angola

Dos Santos and her husband Sindika Dokolo own around 3,000 works by artists including William Kentridge and Zanele Muholi

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Politics

Russian government quits as Putin rewrites constitution—with the help of key cultural leaders

Directors of the State Hermitage Museum and State Tretyakov Gallery are part of a team enlisted to create laws that will allow the president to remain in power

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Collectors

Angola freezes assets of billionaire and her art collector husband

Isabel dos Santos, Africa’s richest woman, is married to Sindika Dokolo who has been working for years on repatriating works to the African continent

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UK politics

Artists react angrily to Tory landslide result in UK general election

Issues raised include environmental crisis and future of the Labour party

News
The Year in Review 2019

From the MoMA expansion to ‘artwashing’ ill-gotten wealth: the major museum moments of 2019

We look back at the biggest stories of the year

Analysis
The Year in Review 2019

From cancelled fairs to street art's auction room takeover: the art market's fruitiest stories of 2019

We look back at the stories that have overturned the art world order this year

News
Censorship

Artists call for Kyrgyz minister of culture’s resignation in wake of censorship scandal

Open letter argues that censorship of the exhibition Feminnale violated a number of constitutional protections

News
Banksy

Banksy transforms bench into Santa's sleigh in new mural highlighting UK homelessness

Street artist posts video of the work praising passersby in Birmingham for stopping and offering food and drink to a man sleeping rough

News
Poland

Lublin governor files defamation suit against art historian sparking free speech fears in Poland

Case against Tomasz Kitliński follows row over installation that marked pogrom sites in the city

Comment
Politics

Chile’s neoliberal ideology has co-opted artist’s creativity

The failed economic experiments of the 1970s laid the groundwork for today’s socio-economic crisis

News
Museums

Strikes hit France: here are the museums that are affected

Several institutions have closed, others have cut back their opening times as protests against Macron's retirement reforms sweep the country

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Controversies

German art activists apologise for upsetting Holocaust survivors with monument containing human remains

Centre for Political Beauty concedes “mistakes,” says it will veil monument

News
UK politics

The UK's culture secretary conveyor belt: who will be next?

As the election looms this month and Nicky Morgan announces she is standing down, the department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport prepares for its latest secretary of state

News
Turkey

Court ruling converting Turkish museum to mosque could set precedent for Hagia Sophia

Decision that Kariye Museum must become a Muslim house of worship again could imperil its Byzantine art and have repercussions for other early Christian monuments

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Hong Kong

Police use tear gas on protestors outside newly re-opened Hong Kong Museum of Art prompting safety fears for visitors and works

Substance was used during a rally calling for the government to meet the protestors' “five demands”

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Hungary

Budapest’s green mayor puts brakes on €250m New National Gallery

Local politicians block construction on cultural quarter backed by right-wing government, citing “enormous impact on environment”

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Politics

Three artists among pro-democracy candidates who scored landslide win in Hong Kong elections

Susi Law Wai-shan, Clara Cheung and Wong Tin Yan ran in the elections which had an unprecedented 71.2% turnout

Comment
Politics

Art is fuelling the protest movements in Latin America

Demonstrators from Argentina to Puerto Rico are relying on traditional art forms, dances, and music to hold their leaders accountable

News
Politics

Culture ministry failed to vet right-wing religious group close to Steve Bannon

Decision to lease Italian medieval monastery to an organisation affiliated with President Trump’s former chief strategist is blamed on staff shortages

News
UK politics

Arts commentators question Conservative Party's controversial £120m ‘festival of Brexit’

Will artists and institutions participate in “national celebration” planned for 2022?

News
UK politics

Boris Johnson’s Conservative manifesto promises £250m funding for culture

Although Tory announcement calls it the “largest cultural capital programme in a century”, pledge is only quarter of Labour’s £1bn culture fund

News
UK politics

Jeremy Corbyn promises £1bn culture fund in Labour Party election manifesto

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats commit to stopping Brexit and protecting arts funding through the National Lottery

News
Politics

What is art for? Why, to help sell arms, silly!

October saw full deployment of culture in Russian and French political and commercial diplomacy with Saudi Arabia

News
Museums

Rio Art Museum could close due to lack of federal funding

Two directors left the museum last week, and 126 employees have received a dismissal notice

News
Venice Biennale 2019

Iraq’s national pavilion at Venice Biennale shut ‘in solidarity with popular youth uprisings’

Iraqi-Kurdish artist Serwan Baran supports the move by the Ruya Foundation, saying “the people will prevail as long as we are with them”

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Performance art

Artist reimagines Louisiana slave uprising with a different outcome

Hundreds to take part in re-enactment of America’s largest slave rebellion, ending with a victorious celebration in New Orleans

News
Politics

London's Roundhouse turns down £1m Sackler grant

The arts and performance venue has refused to accept a £1m grant from the Sackler Trust because of risk it would "distract from its work with young people"

News
Politics

Beirut art spaces close en-masse as huge anti-government protests take over the city

Artists and institutions come out in support of protestors who are demanding political reforms in Lebanon

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Investigation

Protesters call for removal of MoMA trustee linked to Puerto Rican debt crisis

As the museum opens an ambitious $450m expansion, activists are demanding that “vulture fund” investor Steven Tananbaum be taken off the board—but he is not the only trustee with financial interests in the island

News
Politics

'Fabricated news': chairman of Contemporary Istanbul defends Turkish military action

Art world condemns Ali Gureli's political comments and say it could affect art fair's future ability to sign up foreign exhibitors

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Politics

Nearly 500 protesters stage Anti-Columbus Day history tour at New York museums

After being blocked from entering the American Museum of Natural History, decolonisation demonstrators took to the streets, ending at the Metropolitan Museum’s steps

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Politics

'No chance for art institutions': fears for freedom of speech as populist party set to win Polish elections

Expected victory for ruling Law and Justice party raises concerns that minority voices will be silenced as museums increasingly come under state control

News
Exhibitions

Major Kandinsky show opens in Saudi Arabia as Vladimir Putin arrives for rare state visit

Cultural programme of Russian art launches to coincide with president's trip to the Gulf state to sign over $2bn worth of deals

News
Desert X

Three board members resign as Desert X announces collaboration with Saudi Arabia, Los Angeles Times reports

Ed Ruscha, Yael Lipschutz and Tristan Milanovich have resigned over the decision to launch the sculpture biennial in Al-Ula next year

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Censorship

Feminist exhibition in China suddenly axed following alleged governmental pressure

Show in Shanghai cancelled after being deemed "too sensitive" to run during 70th anniversary of country's founding

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Frieze London 2019

Frieze returns to safe haven of painting amid threat of recession and political instability

Traditional medium is back in fashion amid looming Brexit

News
Appointments & departures

Uffizi's Eike Schmidt reveals why he cancelled move to Kunsthistorisches Museum at the eleventh hour

Uffizi director says he is able to pursue reforms at Florence museum under Italy's new centre-left government

Comment
Museums & Heritage

A victory for righteousness or just a performance of it?

We need to acknowledge the complexity of our time and not hide in simple political polarities, says the director of the Art Gallery of Ontario

News
Politics

'We want the Babylonian Palace of Tiglath-Pileser!': new book reveals Boris Johnson's thwarted vision for new V&A East

Nicholas Coleridge, the chairman of the Victoria and Albert Museum, tells how Boris laid down the law on his plans for the project

Archive
Antiquities & Archaeology

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s coalition with the ultra-Orthodox splinter parties threatens the future of Israeli excavation

The state of archaeology in Israel today suggests there are bones of contention

Preview
Exhibitions

Woven conflicts: Hannah Ryggen's fascist-fighting tapestries go on show in Frankfurt

Textile-works showing Nazi prison camps and Mussolini with a spear through his head will feature in first German survey of Swedish artist

News
Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson appointed UN Goodwill Ambassador for climate

The Danish-Icelandic artist has long been addressing environmental issues in his work

News
Politics

Tom Watson, deputy Labour leader, wants to put 'creativity back at the heart of our classrooms'

Politician also says Brexit will have 'disastrous' consequences for creative industries

News

Washington, DC mayor's office attempts to take control of the city Arts Commission's collection

Staff members found their keys to the city's Art Bank abruptly deactivated as tensions rose between Mayor Muriel Bowser and the commission

Blog
In the frame

Lounging UK politician Jacob Rees-Mogg sends Twitter collagists into a spin

Comment
UK politics

Politics requires a science degree? Why Boris Johnson's chief strategist is wrong about arts education

“If you are interested in politics you will be far better off if you study maths or physics,” writes aide Dominic Cummings in his blog