From the Toppling of Statues Around the World to the Cancellation of Art Basel: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week
Catch up on this week's news, fast.
Trump’s White House Wall Is Overrun With Art – A black steel fence erected outside the White House has become a makeshift art gallery mourning lives lost to police violence, and celebrating the Black Lives Matter movement.
Stories from the Front Lines – Photographers in cities across the US shared what their experiences have been like at the protests that continue to roil the country.
Protesters Target Columbus – Activists across the US made bold statements against the explorer, tossing a statue of him into a lake in Virginia, beheading another one Boston, and, in Minnesota, Native American protesters toppled one to the ground.
Treasure Hunt, Solved – An anonymous adventurer discovered the $2 million treasure chest that eccentric art dealer Forrest Fenn buried 10 years ago in the Rocky Mountains. Clues were hidden in a poem and map, and at least five people died in pursuit of the bounty.
Banksy’s Back – A year after Banksy’s tribute art to the terrorist attacks at the Bataclan theater in Paris was stolen, authorities found it hidden in a farmhouse in Italy. The anonymous street artist’s latest work, meanwhile, addresses the Black Lives Matter movement.
Collecting History as it Happens – Curators are engaging in rapid-response collecting, hoping to gather signs, face masks, artwork, and other objects relating to the historic protests against police brutality.
UK’s Racist Monuments Come Down – Protesters have taken matters into their own hands, toppling statues of slave traders and other racist figures in history as part of a reckoning with the country’s colonial past.
Philanthropists Pledge Big Bucks – Five major organizations have joined forces to pledge $1.7 billion to arts nonprofits around the world as they struggle with the financial fallout from lockdown.
LaGuardia Gets Arty – Public artworks by artists including Sarah Sze, Laura Owens, and Jeppe Hein were unveiled at the New York airport as the city slowly reopens.
It’s a Bird! – Archaeologists discovered a tiny figurine in the shape of a songbird in a trash heap that turned out to be the oldest work of three-dimensional Chinese art ever.
Rembrandt Comes to Auction – Sotheby’s is offering a rare self-portrait of the artist at its July sale for a cool $20 million.
Companies Botched Attempts at Solidarity – Artist Shantell Martin took to social media to expose a tone-deaf email sent by Microsoft’s ad agency, McCann, asking her to create a mural for Black Lives Matter while the protests were still “relevant.”
Toledo Museum Fumbles – Protesters criticized the museum for decrying looting, while refusing to take a stance in support of Black Lives Matter. The director issued statements attempting to redress his initial missives, but critics say it’s not enough.
Basel 2020 Canceled – After weeks of deliberation Art Basel has canceled its main Swiss edition, which had been slated for mid-September, opting to offer online viewing rooms to dealers and collectors instead.
Critics Balk at the British Museum – One of London’s most famous museums is under fire for its “performative” statement of solidarity, considering it houses scores of colonial-era objects taken from Africa.
A Legal Hurdle Complicates Removing Robert E. Lee – A descendent of two men who signed a deed vowing to protect Richmond’s Confederate monument won an injunction to prevent the city from removing the statue, for now.
SFMoMA Makes More Cuts – The California art museum laid off another 55 staff members as it continues to struggle with financial issues related to the global pandemic.
Kanders Bows Out – Ex-Whitney trustee Warren Kanders is getting out of the tear gas business, as “crowd-control” measures face renewed scrutiny.
A Cancelled Show Draws Ire – Shaun Leonardo’s show of drawings depicting police violence was cancelled in March at MoCA Cleveland, and now the artist (and public) is clapping back.
British Airways to Sell Artwork – BA is selling at least 10 works from its impressive cache as it continues to deal with the financial fallout stemming from the coronavirus.
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