Gaza: damage to historic sites, Emily Kam Kngwarray in Canberra, a Gauguin manuscript01:05:03The tragic human cost of the bombardment of the Gaza Strip in the Israel-Hamas war is well documented. What is now becoming clear is how many historic buildings and sites have also been destroyed. We talk to Sarvy Geranpayeh, a correspondent for The Art Newspaper in the Middle East, about the fate of heritage in Gaza. As a huge exhibition of the work of Emily Kam Kngwarray, perhaps the most celebrated of all Indigenous Australian artists, opens at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, we speak to the show’s curators Kelli Cole and Hetti Perkins, about her life and work. And this episode’s Work of the Week is a manuscript written by Paul Gauguin just months before he died in French Polynesia—Martin Bailey, our London correspondent, tells us more about the document, which has been acquired by The Courtauld in London.Emily Kam Kngwarray, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2 December-28 April 2024
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US museums’ financial woes, Documenta’s new crisis, Kim Lim49:57This week: The Art Newspaper’s editor, Americas, Ben Sutton discusses redundancies and ticket price-hikes at several museums across the US, and what it tells us about the economic climate for American museums in the wake of the pandemic. After a troubled 15th edition in 2022, Documenta—the influential exhibition that takes place twice a decade in Kassel, Germany—is at the centre of another controversy. The entire committee intended to appoint its artistic director has resigned following disputed allegations of antisemitism against one of the panel. Our correspondent in Germany, Catherine Hickley, tells us more about this and the wider crisis in the German art world relating to the war in Israel and Gaza. And this episode’s Work of the Week is Ronin (1963), a sculpture by the Singaporean-British artist Kim Lim. The work is part of the first survey of Lim’s work at a British gallery since 1999, at The Hepworth Wakefield. Marie-Charlotte Carrier, the curator of the show, tells us more about Lim’s life and art.To hear more about Documenta in 2022, listen to our episode from 24 June last year and our Review of the Year on 16 December 2022.Kim Lim: Space, Rhythm & Light, The Hepworth Wakefield, 25 November-2 June 2024.
New York auctions, radical Central Eastern European art, Terry Adkins x Grace Wales Bonner59:47This week: the New York auctions. Tim Schneider, The Art Newspaper’s acting art market editor, joins us to discuss two weeks of major sales in New York and whether they have calmed a jittery art market. Multiple Realities: Experimental Art in the Eastern Bloc, 1960s–1980s, an exhibition exploring radical art made in six countries under communist rule in Central Eastern Europe, has just opened at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, US, before travelling to Phoenix, Arizona and Vancouver. We talk to the curator in Minneapolis, Pavel Pyś. And this episode’s Work of the Week is Terry Adkins’s Last Trumpet (1995). This sculptural installation is included in the latest edition of Artist’s Choice, a regular series of shows exploring the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, selected by notable figures outside the museum. This latest iteration, Spirit Movers, has been chosen by the fashion designer Grace Wales Bonner. We talk to Michelle Kuo, a curator of painting and sculpture at the museum, who has worked with Wales Bonner on the show.Multiple Realities: Experimental Art in the Eastern Bloc, 1960s–1980s is at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, until 10 March 2024, it then travels to the Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona, US, 17 April-29 September 2024 and then the Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada, 2 November 2024-23 March 2025.Artist’s Choice: Grace Wales Bonner—Spirit Movers, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 18 November-7 April 2024
Protest and performance in New York, UK National Trust row, Hans Holbein56:09This week: live art and activism. Performance art has long been used as a vehicle for protest and political activism and now, in its tenth edition, the Performa Biennial in New York has a new programme dedicated to artists exploring the subject. Protest and Performance: A Way of Life, which started as part of the 19-day festival this week, features eight events involving artists from across the world but with particular links to the Middle East, While it was programmed months ahead of the present war in Gaza, it has inevitably gained further relevance. We talk to Defne Ayas, the senior program advisor, and Kathy Noble, the senior curator at Performa, about the programme. In the UK, the National Trust, which looks after historic buildings and landscapes across Britain, has become the subject of a row between its current management and campaigners who argue that it has strayed from its essential remit. The Art Newspaper’s associate digital editor, Alexander Morrison, speaks to Martin Drury, a former director-general of the Trust, about why it has prompted such an intense debate. And this episode’s Work of the Week is Hans Holbein the Younger’s portrait of Derich Born from 1533, a newly restored painting that features in an exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery in London, one of the principal venues for the UK’s Royal Collection. The show, Holbein at the Tudor Court, is curated by Kate Heard, and she tells us about the picture.Performa Biennial 2023, New York, until 19 November. Visit performa2023.org for details of events in the Protest and Performance strand.Holbein at the Tudor Court, Queen’s Gallery, London, until 14 April 2024
Can AI reveal the Herculaneum scrolls? Plus, Venice Biennale political row, Dorothea Lange58:20As global political leaders, key figures in the tech industry and academics meet at Bletchley Park in the UK for a two-day summit on artificial intelligence— discussing in particular the risks of these new technologies and how they could be mitigated—we look at a project that reflects AI’s extraordinary potential. The Vesuvius Challenge aims to use AI to unlock the texts in the papyrus scrolls that were carbonised when the Roman city of Herculaneum was covered in ash and pumice after the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano in 79 AD. Brent Seales, the computer scientist behind the project, discusses the technologies involved and his optimism for a positive outcome. Then, Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, director of research and honorary professor of Roman Studies at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, tells us about Herculaneum and the Villa of the Papyri where the scrolls were recovered, and considers what the papyri might contain. In modern-day Italy, the country’s culture minister has designated Pietrangelo Buttafuoco—a right-wing journalist and author whose books include a literary portrait of the notorious former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi—as the next president of the Venice Biennale. It is the latest in a series of appointments that opposition politicians describe as “chilling”. We talk to The Art Newspaper’s correspondent in Italy, James Imam. And this episode’s Work of the Week is Dorothea Lange’s photograph Maynard and Dan Dixon (1930). Philip Brookman, the curator of a new exhibition dedicated to Lange’s portraiture at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, tells us more.Vesuvius Challenge, visit scrollprize.orgDorothea Lange: Seeing People, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, 5 November-31 March 2024
Kyiv Biennial, sound art and migration, Jem Perucchini’s London Tube mural49:14This week: the first Kyiv Biennial since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year is taking place in various locations across the wartorn country as well as a host of neighbouring European states. We talk to the co-curator, Georg Schöllhammer, about this year’s event. As refugees and displaced people continue to dominate the news, a global sound art project, Migration Sounds, aims to explore and reimagine the sounds of human migration and settlement. We speak to Stuart Fowkes, the founder of Cities and Memory, who has conceived the project with the University of Oxford’s Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (Compas). And this episode’s Work of the Week is Rebirth of a Nation, a mural made for Brixton Underground Station in London by the Ethiopian-Italian artist Jem Perucchini, which is unveiled next week. Jessica Vaughan, the senior curator of Art on the Underground, tells us about the commission.The Kyiv Biennial continues to unfold into 2024, visit 2023.kyivbiennial.orgCities and Memory’s Migration Sounds project, citiesandmemory.com/migration; compas.ox.ac.ukJem Perucchini: Rebirth of a Nation, Brixton Underground Station, London, from 2 November.
Paris +, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Marie Laurencin54:29This week: it’s the second year of Paris +, the event that has taken over from Fiac as the leading French art fair. How is Art Basel’s French flagship faring amid geopolitical turmoil and economic uncertainty, and is Paris still on the rise as a cultural hub? We speak to Georgina Adam, an editor-at-large at The Art Newspaper, and Kabir Jhala, our deputy art market editor, who are in Paris, to find out. The largest ever exhibition of the work of the Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto opened last week at the Hayward Gallery in London, before travelling to Beijing and Sydney next year. We talk to its co-curator Thomas Sutton. And this episode’s Work of the Week is La femme-cheval or the Horse-Woman, a painting made in 1918 by the French artist Marie Laurencin. She is the subject of a major survey, called Sapphic Paris, opening this week at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia in the US. Cindy Kang, who co-curated the exhibition, tells us more about this landmark work in Laurencin’s life.Paris +, 20-22 October.Hiroshi Sugimoto: Time Machine, Hayward Gallery, London, until 7 January 2023; UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 23 March-23 June 2024; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia, 2 August-27 October 2024.Marie Laurencin: Sapphic Paris, Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, US, 22 October-21 January.