The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week in One Minute

See what you missed this week.

A visitor checks out Meriem Bennani's Ghariba/Stranger (2017), an Art Dubai commission.
A visitor checks out Meriem Bennani's Ghariba/Stranger (2017), an Art Dubai commission.

BEST
One of the country’s highest-profile exhibitions, the Whitney Biennial, has opened its doors (despite a heavy snowfall!), and our national art critic, Ben Davis, has weighed in. The two-word takeaway? “It’s good.” Oh, and Christian Viveros-Fauné followed up with a look at the painting in the show. It is also good. (Not able to see the show in person? Check out a slide show.)

Cultural icons like Marina Abramović, Jasper Johns, Richard Serra, and Cindy Sherman have lent their names to a petition supporting continued funding for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.

Even in the conservative setting of the United Arab Emirates, there are innovative artworks to be found at the Art Dubai fair, which is going on this weekend.

Also in Dubai, Pritzker Prize–winning architect Rem Koolhaas has just opened Concrete, a new exhibition and event venue in the growing Alserkal Avenue arts village.

A London art venue that hosted exhibitions and speakers friendly to causes like the Ku Klux Klan appears to have been shut down after opposition by local groups.

Franck Allais's traffic sign art project was interpreted as an antisemitic "Beware of Jews" message. Courtesy of the Shomrim.

Franck Allais’s traffic sign art project was interpreted as an antisemitic “Beware of Jews” message. Courtesy of the Shomrim.

WORST
Well, we all knew this was coming. President Donald Trump has announced his budget proposal, which would zero out funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

The good news is that Mosul has been reclaimed from ISIS. The terrible news is that the Mosul Museum was decimated during their reign over the Iraqi city.

It doesn’t look good when an institution gives high-level staffers raises and bonuses while running at a deficit and right before laying off staffers, and it has emerged that that’s what happened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Every so often, a well-meaning project goes wrong, as the story behind this artist’s “Jew crossing” street signs shows.


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