From Rihanna’s Photo Shoot With Lorna Simpson to Futura’s Lawsuit Against the North Face: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this week's news, fast.

Rihanna by Lorna Simpson for Essence Magazine 2020.


Guggenheim Director Makes History – Naomi Beckwith will become the first Black chief curator at the museum, replacing veteran curator Nancy Spector.

Smithsonian’s Rapid Response – In the wake of the pro-Trump rioters storming the Capitol, Smithsonian curators are collecting flags, signs, and other ephemera to preserve for history.

Oldest Artwork Discovered – Archaeologists believe they’ve found the oldest work of art ever, a 45,000-year-old painting of a pig.

Lorna Simpson Shoots Rihanna – Artist Lorna Simpson and Rihanna collaborated on a phoot shoot featured in Essence magazine’s January/February issue.

Cate Blanchett Is Bats for Art – The actress is turning a cottage into a private gallery for her collection, but with the provision that it must protect endangered bats were that living in the residence.

Using Art to Enact Change – Co-host of the “Ear Hustle” podcast Rahsaan Thomas, an inmate at San Quentin, spoke out about how art can instill more empathy, and help end the era of mass incarceration.

Germany Boosts Security for Culture – A $39 million grant from the German government will help culture institutions beef up security.

Oh, Champs-Élysées! – Paris is investing more than $300 million to overhaul the historic avenue and transform it into a public garden.

French Government Invests in Galleries – Commercial art galleries hit hard by another lockdown will get assistance from a $2.4 million aid package.

Cuomo Bets Big on the High Line – The governor’s plan features two expansions of the elevated park, calling it “the most ambitious redevelopment” for the city in decades.



The Met Unframed – The Metropolitan Museum teamed up with Verizon to launch an Augmented Reality “experience.” Art critic Ben Davis takes it for a spin and finds it odd.

Under Investigation – French artist Claude Lévêque’s work was pulled from a museum while authorities investigate him for allegations of child sexual abuse.

‘Vogue’ Cover Unfit for the VP – Vogue faced swift backlash for its cover photo of vice president-elect Kamala Harris, shot by Tyler Mitchell, from critics who called it too casual for its history-making subject.

Fined For Protest – Activist Mwazulu Diyabanza was fined for removing an African statue from a Dutch museum as part of his restitution activism.

Total Meltdown – A wax museum in Brazil went viral for its terrifyingly bad replicas of Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana, and others.

Futura Is Suing the North Face – The legendary street artist says the outdoor apparel company stole his signature design for a new line of outerwear.

Smithsonian Scales Down Plans – The institution scrapped its $2 billion plan for a redesign, opting for a more economical project instead.

Expo Chicago Postponed – As the pandemic continues to ravage the United States and beyond, the Midwestern art fair has opted to postpone its IRL edition in favor of a virtual event.

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