From Van Gogh’s Hidden Treasure to the Death of Barbara Hammer: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this week's news—fast.

Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat (1887). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, bequest of Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot.
Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait with a Straw Hat (1887). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, bequest of Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot.

BEST👍

The Met Unveils Plans for the Future – Under the leadership of new director Max Hollein, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will use the building’s famous front steps as a stage for contemporary artists to display new works.

Introducing a New Art Prize – A Japanese financial services company has unveiled the Nomura Art Award, which will gift $1 million to one lucky artist.

Candidate in a Crop Circle – The artist Stan Herd transformed more than two acres of rural land in Texas into a portrait of Beto O’Rourke, a Democratic US presidential hopeful.

Redefining the “Contemporary” – The new artnet Intelligence Report offers a solution to the muddied categorization of the art of our day with a new term: “Ultra-Contemporary.”

Tributes to Curator Okwui Enwezor – Figures including Adrian Piper and El Anatsui have written moving remembrances of the Nigerian-born curator, who died last week.

Socially Savvy – Just how do art world heavyweights dominate the social media landscape? Five internet-savvy influencers tell us their secrets to success.

Hidden Treasure – While restoring a terrace house in London where Vincent van Gogh once lived, construction workers stumbled upon a sheaf of papers and books that almost certainly belonged to the Dutch artist.

 

WORST👎

Filmmaker Barbara Hammer Has Died – The pioneering artist died at 79 after a long battle with cancer, and is remembered for having helped pave the way for a generation of queer artists with her stirring portraits of women.

Institutions Ice Out Sackler Funding – The National Portrat Gallery in London rejected a $1.3 million gift from the Sackler Trust and Tate said it would no longer pursue funding from the family just days later, in response to their close association with the opioid epidemic.

Trump’s Budget Cuts – The president’s 2020 budget proposes entirely eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts for the third year in a row.

Hudson Hopefuls – artnet News’s critic Ben Davis finds that the new Hudson Yard development in New York is lacking in cultural substance.

Artforum’s Legal Woes Continue – Former employee Amanda Schmitt is appealing her lawsuit against Artforum and its former publisher, Knight Landesman, reigniting the #MeToo conversation in the art world.

Tainted Legacy – The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis made the decision to remove memorabilia related to Michael Jackson from its current exhibitions, proving that the fallout from the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland continues to send ripples across the cultural landscape.

Biennale Blues – The dark side of art biennales is revealed—and it means that artists are often left to pay the exorbitant costs of participating in international events.


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