The Week in Art
Italy’s far right weaponises culture; Carnegie International; Maria Bartuszová
Amid growing support for hard-right parties in Europe, Ben Luke speaks to James Imam, The Art Newspaper’s Italian correspondent, about the far-right party Brothers of Italy, whose leader Georgia Meloni looks set to win power in the general election on 25 September. The party has given culture unusual prominence in its election campaign. The longest-running contemporary art exhibition in the US, the Carnegie International, opens this weekend in Pittsburgh, and Ben talks to its curator, Sohrab Mohebbi about the show and the institution. And this episode’s Work of the Week is Endless Egg (1985) by Maria Bartuszová. Juliet Bingham, co-curator of a new show of Bartuszová’s work at Tate Modern in London, tells us about this enigmatic sculpture.The 58th Carnegie International: Is it morning for you yet?, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 24 September-2 April 2023.Maria Bartuszová, Tate Modern, London, until 16 April 2023.
Art and the British Royal Family; museums’ energy crisis; Fuseli’s The Nightmare
Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the proclamation of King Charles III, Ben Luke speaks to the former Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures, Desmond Shawe-Taylor. They discuss the Royal Collection, the late Queen’s taste in art, the new King’s commitment to art education, and how the modern era compares to the past in terms of Royal patronage of visual art. As lights in museums and on monuments are turned off across Europe, UK institutions are facing soaring energy bills that could prove an existential threat. Lisa Ollerhead, director of the Association of Independent Museums, discusses how they can respond. And this episode’s Work of the Week is The Nightmare by Henry Fuseli—the Swiss-born artist’s most famous work. Two versions of the painting are in Fuseli: the Realm of Dreams and the Fantastic, a new show at the Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris.Association of Independent Museums: aim-museums.co.ukFuseli: the Realm of Dreams and the Fantastic, Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris, until 23 January 2023
Art and censorship; Diane Arbus; Guggenheim Bilbao at 25
This week: is art censorship on the rise? The Art Newspaper’s chief contributing editor, Gareth Harris, joins Ben Luke to discuss his new book, Censored Art Today. We look at the different ways in which freedom of expression is being curbed across the globe and at the debates around contested history and cancel culture. This episode’s Work of the Week is Diane Arbus’s Puerto Rican woman with a beauty mark, N.Y.C., 1965, one of the 90 images that feature in Diane Arbus: Photographs, 1956-1971, which opens at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada, on 15 September. Sophie Hackett, the exhibition’s curator, discusses Arbus’s remarkable eye and technical brilliance. As the Guggenheim Bilbao celebrates its 25th anniversary, Thomas Krens, the director and chief artistic officer of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation from 1988 to 2008, reflects on the genesis and development of a museum that had a dramatic impact on contemporary art and museums’ role in the cultural regeneration of cities across the world. Gareth Harris, Censored Art Today, Lund Humphries, 104pp, £19.99 or $34.99, out now in the UK, published in December in the USDiane Arbus: Photographs, 1956-1971, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 15 September-29 January 2023Sections/Intersections: 25 Years of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Collection, Guggenheim Bilbao, 19 October-22 January 2023
Brazil turns 200; a £50m Reynolds painting; Michael Heizer’s City
Ben Luke talks to Alexander Kellner, the director of the National Museum of Brazil, about how he plans to mark Brazil’s bicentennial and to restore the museum in the wake of the devastating 2018 fire, which destroyed most of the building and millions of objects. The Art Newspaper’s London correspondent Martin Bailey tells us about the National Portrait Gallery’s ambition to acquire the £50m Portrait of Omai (1776), arguably the greatest work by the 18th-century British artist Joshua Reynolds—the latest installment in a long-running saga relating to the painting. And this episode’s Work of the Week is City, the land artist Michael Heizer’s magnum opus in the Nevada desert, which is complete and open to the public after more than 50 years. Our editor in the Americas, Ben Sutton, discusses this monumental piece with Kara Vander Weg, a member of the board of the Triple Aught Foundation, which manages the work.
Summer of Seoul: why the South Korean capital is a new art world hub
On 29 June, Frieze announced the details of the first edition of its art fair in Seoul, South Korea. So for this last episode of the current season, we’re exploring the art scene and market in the Korean capital. Ben Luke talks to the art historian and curator Jiyoon Lee about contemporary art in Seoul and beyond, and the origins of the current art scene in 1990s globalisation. The Art Newspaper’s associate editor, Kabir Jhala, speaks to two gallerists—Joorhee Kwon, deputy director at the Kukje Gallery and Emma Son, senior director at Lehmann Maupin, about the growing market and collector base, and the effect Frieze may have on the existing scene. And this episode’s Work of the Week is Dahye Jeong’s A Time of Sincerity, a basket made with horsehair that this week won the Loewe Foundation Craft Prize. Kabir talks to the creative director at the fashion brand Loewe, Jonathan Anderson, about Jeong’s piece.Frieze Seoul, COEX, Seoul, 2-5 September.The Space Between: The Modern in Korean Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 11 September-19 February 2023.The 2022 Loewe Foundation Craft Prize, Seoul Museum of Craft Art, until 31 July.
Documenta 15: scandal and legacy. Plus, the Warhol-Prince copyright dispute, and Juan Muñoz
This week: our associate editor, Kabir Jhala, and editor-at-large, Jane Morris, have been in Kassel, Germany, to see Documenta, the quinquennial international art exhibition. They review the show and respond to the escalation of a long-running row over antisemitism and broader racism, which has resulted in a work being removed from the exhibition. Virginia Rutledge, an art historian and lawyer, discusses the dispute over Andy Warhol’s appropriation of a photograph by Lynn Goldsmith of the pop icon Prince. The case will be heard in the US Supreme Court this autumn and has potentially huge implications for artistic freedom. And this episode’s Work of the Week is An Outpost of Progress (1992), a drawing by the late Spanish artist Juan Muñoz, inspired by Joseph Conrad’s short story of the same name.Documenta 15, Kassel, Germany, until 25 September.Juan Muñoz: Drawings 1982-2000, Centro Botín, Santander, Spain, 25 June-16 October.
Francis Bacon: Tate archive controversy; NY photographer Alice Austen; Michel Majerus in Basel
This week: why is Tate rejecting an archive of material relating to Francis Bacon, 18 years after acquiring it? Our London correspondent Martin Bailey tells us about his recent scoop that Tate is returning a thousand documents and sketches said to have come from the studio of Francis Bacon to Barry Joule, a close friend of the artist, who donated them to Tate in 2004. We then discuss the material with Martin Harrison, the pre-eminent Bacon scholar and editor of the catalogue raisonné of Francis Bacon’s work published in 2016, and to Sophie Pretorius, the archivist at the Estate of Francis Bacon, who went through the Barry Joule archive item by item. Victoria Munro, the director of the Alice Austen House Museum in New York, discusses this still too-little-known photographer, and her documentation of immigration to the United States and the lives of queer women in the 19th and early 20th centuries. And this episode’s Work of the Week is Weißes Bild (1994), a painting by the late Luxembourg-born artist Michel Majerus, now on view at Art Basel—Aimee Dawson, acting digital editor, is at the fair and talks to Giovanni Carmine, curator of the Unlimited section, in which the painting appears.Sophie Pretorius’s essay Work on the Barry Joule Archive is in the book Francis Bacon: Shadows published by the Estate of Francis Bacon and Thames and Hudson. For more on the Alice Austen House Museum, visit aliceausten.org. The podcast My Dear Alice is out in the autumn.Art Basel, until 19 June.
Crypto crash: what now for NFTs? Plus, Norway’s mega-museum and a Spanish-American screen
We talk to the writer and critic Amy Castor about what effect the tumbling crypto markets might have on the until-now booming world of non-fungible tokens or NFTs. As Norway’s vast new National Museum opens, we speak to its director Karin Hindsbo. And this episode’s Work of the Week is Folding Screen with Indian Wedding, Mitote, and Flying Pole, made in Mexico in the late 17th century. It is one of the major pieces in a new show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, called Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800. Ilona Katzew, the curator of the exhibition, talks in depth about the meanings and purpose of the work.You can read Amy Castor’s thoughts on crypto and NFTs at amycastor.com.The National Museum in Oslo opens on 11 June.Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 12 June-30 October.
Picasso and the Old Masters; the Queen by Chris Levine; political interference in museums
This week, Picasso and the Old Masters: as shows pairing the Spaniard with Ingres and El Greco open in London and Basel respectively, Ben Luke talks to Christopher Riopelle (curator of Picasso Ingres: Face to Face at the National Gallery) and Carmen Giménez (curator of Picasso-El Greco at the Kunstmuseum in Basel) about the profound influence of historic artists on Picasso’s rupturing of tradition. In this episode’s Work of the Week, The Art Newspaper’s contemporary art correspondent, Louisa Buck, talks to Chris Levine, the creator of Lightness of Being, one of the best known recent portraits of Queen Elizabeth II, as the British monarch celebrates 70 years on the throne. And as the Polish government replaces yet another museum director, what can be done about political interference in museum governance? Ben talks to Goranka Horjan, director of Intercom, the International Committee for Museum Management, and Bart De Baere, chair of the Museum Watch programme at the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (Cimam).Picasso Ingres: Face to Face, National Gallery, London, until 9 October. Picasso-El Greco, Kunstmuseum, Basel, 11 June-25 September.You can read the Museum Watch report at cimam.org.