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The Week in Art

Art at Qatar’s World Cup; New York auctions; Mozambican artist Luis Meque

Ben Luke talks to Hannah McGivern, a correspondent for The Art Newspaper who has just been to Qatar, about the vast number of public art projects that will accompany the FIFA Men’s World Cup that begins there on Sunday 20 November. She also discusses the museums that Qatar plans to open by 2030. How does this explosion of cultural initiatives sit with Qatar’s record on human rights and treatment of low-paid migrant workers in the building of its cultural venues and World Cup stadia? It has been a heady fortnight of auctions in New York. Ben speaks to Georgina Adam, an editor-at-large at The Art Newspaper, about the highs and lows, and whether we can expect even more sales of blockbuster collections in the coming years. And this episode’s Work of the Week is an untitled painting by Luis Meque, an artist born in Mozambique who came to fame in the 1980s and early-1990s in Zimbabwe. Tandazani Dhlakama, the curator of the exhibition When We See Us: A Century of Black Figuration in Painting at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town, tells us about Meque’s painting and his brief and brilliant life.


When We See Us: A Century of Black Figuration in Painting, Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa, 20 November-3 September 2023

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  • Black figuration, Surrealism is 100, Tonita Peña’s Eagle Dance mural

    01:10:32
    The exhibition The Time Is Always Now, featuring 22 artists from the African diaspora whose work takes the Black figure as its starting point, is now open at the National Portrait Gallery in London, and will tour to Philadelphia later in the year. We explore the show with its curator Ekow Eshun. 2024 marks the centenary of the the first Surrealist manifesto by André Breton, and the first of a series of exhibitions focusing on the movement this year opened at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium in Brussels this week, before travelling to the Centre Pompidou later in the year and Hamburg, Madrid and Philadelphia (again) next year. But what did that first manifesto contain and how did it influence the course of the movement? Alyce Mahon, a Surrealism specialist and professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of Cambridge, tells us more. And this episode’s Work of the Week is Eagle Dance (1934) by Tonita Peña, one of the leading Native American Pueblo artists of the 20th century. It features in a new exhibition, Native American Art of the 20th Century: The William P. Healey Collection, at the Saint Louis Art Museum in the US. Alexander Brier Marr, the associate curator of Native American art at the museum, joins us to discuss the painting.The Time Is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure, National Portrait Gallery, London, 22 February-19 May; The Box, Plymouth, UK, 29 June-29 September; Philadelphia Museum of Art, 9 November-9 February 2025.Alyce Mahon is the co-editor of a new International Journal of Surrealism, published by Minnesota University Press; Dorothea Tanning: A Surrealist World, by Alyce Mahon, Yale University Press, published in September. IMAGINE! 100 Years of International Surrealism, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels, 21 February-21 July; Centre Pompidou, Paris, 4 September-13 January 2025; Fundación MAPFRE, Madrid, 4 February–11 May 2025; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany, 12 June 2025-12 October 2025; Philadelphia Museum of Art, US, autumn 2025–spring 2026.Native American Art of the 20th Century: The William P. Healey Collection, Saint Louis Art Museum, US, until 14 July.Last chance: buy The Art Newspaper’s magazine The Year Ahead 2024, an authoritative guide to the world’s must-see art exhibitions and museum openings at theartnewspaper.com until 1 March for just £9.99 or $13.69.
  • Yoko Ono at Tate Modern, Elton John’s collection, a Roman colossus remade

    57:49
    A vast survey covering seven decades of art by Yoko Ono has just opened at Tate Modern, and we take a tour of the show with Juliet Bingham, its curator. The collection from Elton John’s home in Atlanta in the US is up for auction at Christie’s and ahead of its big Opening Night auction next week, The Art Newspaper’s associate digital editor Alexander Morrison spoke to Tash Perrin, Christie’s deputy chairman in the Americas, about the works and John’s particular taste in art and objects. And this episode’s Work of the Week is a reconstructed and reimagined statue of the fourth-century Roman emperor, Constantine the Great. The colossus has been remade from the 10 known fragments of the original sculpture by the Madrid-based Factum Foundation, and was installed last week in a garden in Rome’s Capitoline Museums. Adam Lowe, the founder of the Factum Foundation, tells me more.Yoko Ono: Music of the Mind, Tate Modern, until 1 September; K20, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfalen, 28 September-16 March 2025The Collection of Sir Elton John: Goodbye Peachtree Road auctions begin at Christie’s New York on 21 February; online sales are now open.The Colossus of Constantine, Capitoline Museums, Rome, until at least the end of 2025.Get The Art Newspaper’s magazine The Year Ahead 2024, an authoritative guide to the world’s must-see art exhibitions and museum openings—many of which were discussed on our podcast from 12 January—at theartnewspaper.com for just £9.99 or $13.69.
  • Tania Bruguera on censorship, Frank Auerbach, an Indian painting from Howard Hodgkin’s collection

    01:02:38
    As she stages a non-stop reading of Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism for five days at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, Tania Bruguera reflects on growing concerns about the censorship of artists in Germany in relation to the Israel-Hamas war. She also discusses the comments made by Ai Weiwei this week that censorship in the West was now “exactly the same” as in Mao’s China. The Courtauld in London this week opened an exhibition of the monumental charcoal drawings made by Frank Auerbach in the 1950s and early 1960s, and we take a tour of the exhibition with the show’s curator Barnaby Wright. And this episode’s Work of the Week is Mihrdukht Aims Her Arrow at the Ring, a folio from the Hamzanāma (Story of Hamza). Made in India in around 1570, during the Mughal period, it is one of the works acquired by the British painter Howard Hodgkin in a lifetime of collecting Indian art. The collection is the subject of an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which opened this week. Navina Najat Haidar, one of the co-curators of the show, tells us more.Tania Bruguera: Where Your Ideas Become Civic Actions (100 Hours Reading “The Origins of Totalitarianism”), Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart, Berlin, until 11pm on Sunday, 11 February. You can hear a discussion about Hannah Arendt’s legacy and her influence on artists in our episode from 15 January 2021.Frank Auerbach: The Charcoal Heads, The Courtauld, London, until 27 May.Indian Skies: The Howard Hodgkin Collection of Indian Court Painting, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, until 9 June. And you can hear my interview with Antony Peattie, Hodgkin’s partner for the last few decades of his life, about the artist’s final paintings, on the episode from 25 May 2018.Offer: you can still buy The Art Newspaper’s magazine The Year Ahead 2024, an authoritative guide to the world’s must-see art exhibitions and museum openings—many of which were discussed on our podcast from 12 January. Get a print and digital subscription to The Art Newspaper at theartnewspaper.com before the 15th of this month to receive a copy of The Year Ahead with your next printed issue. Or you can buy the magazine on its own on the website for just £9.99 or $13.69.
  • Venice Biennale, the immersive art explosion, Barbara Kruger by Hans Ulrich Obrist

    01:02:12
    This week: Adriano Pedrosa, the artistic director of the 60th Venice Biennale, on his exhibition, Foreigners Everywhere. As he announces the themes, concepts and the list of artists in the show, we speak to the Brazilian curator about his plans. Hugely popular immersive art experiences are popping up across the world from London to Las Vegas, Tokyo and Abu Dhabi, and we discuss this phenomenon and its implications for museums and galleries with Chris Michaels—an art and technology consultant and former director of digital, communications and technology at the National Gallery, London. And this episode’s Work of the Week is Barbara Kruger’s Untitled (Forever), an installation first made in 2017 and now on view in the Serpentine South gallery in London, where Kruger’s career survey arrived this week after spells in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. Hans Ulrich Obrist, the Serpentine Galleries’ artistic director, explores the installation.The 60th Venice Biennale: Foreigners Everywhere, Giardini and Arsenale, Venice, Italy, 20 April-24 November.Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You, Serpentine South, London, until 17 March.Offer: you can still buy The Art Newspaper’s magazine The Year Ahead 2024, an authoritative guide to the world’s must-see art exhibitions and museum openings—many of which were discussed on our podcast from 12 January. Get a print and digital subscription to The Art Newspaper at theartnewspaper.com before the 15th of this month to receive a copy of The Year Ahead with your next printed issue. Or you can buy the magazine on its own on the website for just £9.99 or $13.69.
  • The masters market, India’s controversial Hindu temple, Honoré Daumier

    01:04:14
    This week: masters week in New York—can the market for historic works be revived? Scott Reyburn, a market reporter for The Art Newspaper, has for some time been exploring the decline in the trade for Old Master paintings. He looks ahead to the auctions in Masters Week in New York, which begin this weekend. In India on Monday, the prime minister Narendra Modi inaugurated a vast temple to the Hindu god Ram in the city of Ayodhya. The temple replaces a 16th-Century mosque that was destroyed by Hindu mobs in 1992, an event that provoked riots in which nearly 2,000 people died, most of them Muslim people. Our deputy art market editor and regular correspondent in India, Kabir Jhala, is in Mumbai, and joins us to discuss this pivotal issue in modern Indian history, what it means ahead of India’s general election in the spring, and whether it is affecting the Indian art market. And this episode’s Work of the Week is Madame déménage (1867), a political cartoon by the French artist Honoré Daumier that was deemed so provocative in its time that it was not published. The lithograph is part of an exhibition at the Städel Museum in Frankfurt that features 120 Daumier works from the Hellwig Collection. Hans-Jürgen Hellwig, the who is donating the collection to the Städel, joins us to discuss this incendiary image.Honoré Daumier: The Hellwig Collection, Städel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany, until 12 May.Offer: to get The Art Newspaper’s magazine The Year Ahead 2024, an authoritative guide to the world’s must-see art exhibitions and museum openings, get a print and digital subscription to The Art Newspaper at theartnewspaper.com before 15 February. Your copy of The Year Ahead will arrive with your next printed issue. You can buy the magazine on its own on the website for just £9.99 or $13.69.
  • An oligarch vs Sotheby’s in a New York court, Singapore Art Week, Zanele Muholi

    50:09
    This week: the astonishing civil trial in Manhattan between a Russian oligarch and Sotheby’s. The Art Newspaper’s acting art market editor, Tim Schneider, witnessed the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev’s testimony in the trial in New York in which he accuses Sotheby’s of aiding the Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier in an alleged fraud. It relates to the sale of major works of art, including the controversial Leonardo painting Salvator Mundi. Tim joins us to tell us about this extraordinary case. The second edition of Art SG art fair in Singapore has opened—with a 29% fall in the number of galleries. It takes place amid a wider festival, Singapore Art Week, and Lisa Movius, our reporter in Asia, tells us about the mood in Singapore and the wider art scene beyond Art SG. She also reflects on last weekend’s election in Taiwan. And our first Work of the Week of 2024 is the South African artist Zanele Muholi’s photograph ZaVa III, Paris (2013). The image is one of more than 100 works in Zanele Muholi: Eye Me, an exhibition that has just opened at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Shana Lopes, one of the curators of the exhibition, tells us more.Art SG, until Sunday; Singapore Art Week until 28 January, artweek.sgZanele Muholi: Eye Me, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, US, until 11 August.
  • 2024: market predictions and the big shows

    01:18:23
    In the first episode of 2024 we look ahead to the next 12 months. The Art Newspaper’s acting art market editor Tim Schneider peers into his crystal ball to tell us what we might expect from the coming 12 months in the art market. Then, Jane Morris, editor-at-large, Gareth Harris, chief contributing editor, and host Ben Luke select the biennials and exhibitions they are most looking forward to in 2024.Events discussed:60th Venice Biennale: Foreigners Everywhere, 20 April-24 November; Pierre Huyghe, Punta Della Dogana, Venice, 17 March-24 November; Julie Mehretu, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, 17 March-6 January; Willem de Kooning, Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice, 16 April–15 September; Jean Cocteau, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, 13 April-16 September; Whitney Biennial: Whitney Museum of American Art, opens 20 March; PST Art: Art & Science Collide, 14 September-16 February; Istanbul Biennial, 14 September-17 November; Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale 2024, Saudi Arabia, 20 February-24 May; Desert X 2024 AlUla, Saudi Arabia, 9 February-30 April; Frick Collection, New York, reopening late 2024; Grand Egyptian Museum, Giza, Egypt, dates tbc; IMAGINE!: 100 Years of International Surrealism, The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, 21 February-21 July; Centre Pompidou, Paris, 4 September-6 January (travels to Hamburger Kunsthalle, Germany, Fundación Mapfré, Madrid, Philadelphia Museum of Art, US); Paris 1874: Inventing impressionism, Musée d’Orsay, 26 March-14 July; National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, 8 September-19 January; Van Gogh, National Gallery, London, 14 September-19 January; Matthew Wong, Vincent van Gogh, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, 1 March-1 September; Caspar David Friedrich, Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany, until 1 April; Caspar David Friedrich, Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 19 April-4 August; Caspar David Friedrich, Albertinum and Kupferstich-Kabinett, Dresden, Germany, 24 August-5 January; Arte Povera, Bourse de Commerce, Paris, 9 October-24 March; Brancusi, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 27 March-1 July; Comics, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 29 May-4 November; Yoko Ono, Tate Modern, London, 15 February-1 September 2024; Angelica Kauffman, Royal Academy, London, 1 March-30 June; Women Artists in Britain, Tate Britain, London, 16 May-13 October; Judy Chicago, Serpentine North, London, 22 May-1 September; Vanessa Bell, Courtauld Gallery, London, 25 May-6 October; Woven Histories: Textiles and Modern Abstraction, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, US, until 21 January; National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, 17 March-28 July; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 25 October-2 March; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, dates tbc; Unravel: The Power and Politics of Textiles in Art, Barbican, London, 13 February-26 May 2024, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 14 September-5 January; The Harlem Renaissance, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 25 February-28 July; Siena: the Rise of Painting, 1300-50, Metropolitan Museum, 13 October-26 January; Museum of Modern Art, New York, shows: Joan Jonas, 17 March-6 July, LaToya Ruby Frazier, 12 May-7 September, Käthe Kollwitz, 31 March-20 July; Kollwitz, Städel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany, 20 March-9 June; Käthe Kollwitz, SMK-National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen, 7 November-25 February; The Anxious Eye: German Expressionism and Its Legacy, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, 11 February-27 May; Expressionists, Tate Modern, London, 25 April-20 October; Gabriele Münter: the Great Expressionist Woman Painter, Thyssen Bornemisza, Madrid, 12 November-9 February
  • 2023: the biggest stories and the best shows

    01:08:40
    It’s the final episode of 2023 and so, as always, it’s our review of the year. Host Ben Luke is joined by Louisa Buck, The Art Newspaper’s contemporary art correspondent, based in London, and Ben Sutton, editor, Americas, based in New York, to discuss the big art and heritage news stories of the year, from rows over the Israel-Hamas war to thefts at the British Museum and the battle for art-fair supremacy between Art Basel and Frieze. Plus, we discuss the shows and works that made the biggest impact in 2023, from Jaune Quick-to-See Smith at the Whitney Museum of American Art to Philip Guston in Washington and London and Vermeer in Amsterdam to Faith Ringgold in Paris.
  • Art Basel in Miami Beach, the all-women museum in Athens, Pesellino’s David panels

    57:58
    This week: the final big art market event of the year, Art Basel in Miami Beach. The Art Newspaper’s associate digital editor, Alexander Morrison, talks to our acting art market editor, Tim Schneider, in Miami about the fair, as tensions rise ahead of the pivotal 2024 US election. In Athens, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, or EMST, is next week opening a months-long programme which will end up with the entire museum filled with women artists. We talk to EMST’s director, Katerina Gregos, about the programme, called What if Women Ruled the World? And this episode’s Work of the Week is two objects: the 15th-century Florentine artist Francesco Pesellino’s panels telling the story of David and Goliath, made for a luxurious cassone or chest for the Medici family. The panels belong to the National Gallery in London and have just been restored for a new exhibition there, Pesellino: A Renaissance Master Revealed. We talk to Jill Dunkerton, who did the restoration, about these extraordinary paintings.Art Basel in Miami Beach, Miami Beach Convention Center, until Sunday, 10 December.What if Women Ruled the World? begins at EMST, Athens, on 14 December.Pesellino: A Renaissance Master Revealed, National Gallery, London, until 10 March 2024.