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Germany begins return of Benin bronzes to Nigeria

An artifact being returned to Nigeria by Germany, an intricately designed 16th-century plaque featuring a king with four attendants. The renowned artifacts were given back to Nigeria on Friday, July 1, 2022, and Germany intends to give the African country ownership of some 1,100 more. Claudia Obrocki/Preu▀ischer Kulturbesitz via The New York Times.

by Alex Marshall

NEW YORK, NY.- Germany returned two of the priceless artifacts known as the Benin Bronzes to Nigeria on Friday, after reaching a political agreement that could soon see hundreds more return to the country from which they were looted more than 100 years ago. The return of the two artifacts — a head of a king, known as an oba, dating from the 18th century, and an intricately designed 16th-century plaque — happened as Germany’s and Nigeria’s culture ministers met in Berlin to sign an agreement paving the way for the African country to take ownership of the some 1,100 Benin Bronzes currently in Germany’s museums. Once ownership is transferred, it will be up to Nigerian authorities to decide which artifacts they want back, and which they want kept in German museums as cultural ambassadors for Nigeria. Andreas Goergen, a German official who helped negotiate the agreement, said in a news conference that, in the future, if Nigeria ever asks for an item back, “it will be shipped. ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Visiting Venice? Make a reservation and be ready to pay.   Sotheby's announces auction of critical precursor to the Bill of Rights   Director of the Chinati Foundation in Marfa to step down

A motorboat on the Grand Canal, seen from the Rialto Bridge, in Venice, Italy, May 4, 2022. Laetitia Vancon/The New York Times.

by Elisabetta Povoledo

ROME.- Traveling to Venice? Get ready to pay for the privilege of visiting the city, one of the most beautiful on Earth. Oh, and be sure to reserve your spot. Beginning in January, visitors must make a reservation through a new digital system and many will have to pay a daily fee — from 3 to 10 euros depending on how crowded Venice is at the time — as part of a plan to better control the masses of tourists that can overwhelm the fragile city. The system will allow city officials to know ahead of time how many visitors they can expect on any particular day, and can then deploy staff and services accordingly. Those making early reservations will be charged at lower rates. The reservation system and entry fee is part of a “revolution” when it comes to visiting Venice and its islands, Simone Venturini, the city councilor in charge of tourism and economic development, told reporters Friday. He said it aims to balance “the needs of residents, the needs ... More

Copy of Virginia’s Official Ratification of the United States Constitution to star in Sotheby’s Fine Books and Manuscripts Including Americana Auction. Estimated to achieve $3/5 million. Courtesy Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- To commemorate the anniversary of America’s Independence on July 4, 1776, Sotheby’s announces a copy of Virginia’s Official Ratification of the United States Constitution as a highlight of Sotheby’s Fine Books and Manuscripts Including Americana auction on 21 July in New York. Within its proposed amendments, this official record of Virginia’s ratification contains the nucleus of the what would become the United States Bill of Rights – one of the three founding documents of the nation, along with the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. On offer with an estimate of $3/5 million, the document is one of just three surviving copies from the original set of twelve, each intended to be sent to the other state governors or legislatures in order to gain support for a national Bill of Rights. The present copy is one of only two in private hands, and comes to auction for the very first time after bei ... More

Jenny Moore, the director of the Chinati Foundation, who is leaving the contemporary art museum established by Donald Judd, after nine years as the director. Douglas Friedman via The New York Times.

by Hilarie M. Sheets

NEW YORK, NY.- Jenny Moore and the board of trustees of the Chinati Foundation announced Friday that Moore will step down July 31 after nine years as the director of the contemporary art museum in Marfa, Texas. Marella Consolini, chief operations officer of the Chinati from 2010 to 2014, is returning as the interim director while the board conducts an international search for Moore’s replacement at the museum, which was established in 34 repurposed industrial and military buildings on 340 acres in remote Marfa by artist Donald Judd in the 1980s. Moore, the first director without personal ties to Judd, who died in 1994, sought to professionalize the organization, with annual attendance growing during her tenure to nearly 50,000 before the pandemic — up from 11,300 in 2013. Under her directorship, the Chinati created a multiyear master plan in 2017 for the preservation of ... More

"Imagine a world without photojournalism" exhibit marks Monroe Gallery's 20th anniversary in Santa Fe   Foreland, an art complex with big ambitions, grows in Catskill   New-York Historical Society's new exhibition showcases the works of Winold Reiss

David Butow, March 15, 2022. Two of the millions of refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine, this woman and her son leave for Poland and a completely unpredictable future. ę David Butow. Courtesy Monroe Gallery of Photography.

SANTA FE, NM.- Monroe Gallery of Photography opened a major exhibition celebrating the Gallery’s 20th anniversary in Santa Fe. “Imagine a World Without Photojournalism” is a multi-photojournalist presentation of news events of the 20th and 21st Centuries. The exhibition will continue through September 18, 2022. A special program with gallery photojournalists Nina Berman and David Butow will be held on Friday, July 22 at 5:30 PM, RSVP required, please contact the Gallery for information. Across America and throughout the world, photojournalists working to bring the world vital news have come under attack, often from authorities, governments, and groups using violence and repression as a form of censorship. Combined with deliberate misinformation creating public skepticism, the photojournalist’s mission of ... More

The photographer Lyle Ashton Harris reviews images for a new book, in his studio at the Foreland complex in Catskill, N.Y., on June 16, 2022. Nate Palmer/The New York Times.

by Hilarie M. Sheets

CATSKILL, NY.- When artist Stef Halmos moved to New York City in 2012 with a master's degree in fine art, she tried in vain to find a decent and affordable studio space. “The sprinklers didn’t work, there was no natural light, there was a curtain for a door — that’s what you would get,” Halmos said. “I just knew I could do it better.” It helped to have a family in the real estate business. With the backing and mentorship of her father, Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based developer Steve Halmos, the young artist began scouting the boroughs for a warehouse to renovate into studios for herself and her peers. The search eventually led her to the Hudson Valley, in the footsteps of so many artists who have migrated from the city looking for a better all-around deal. Eating an ice cream cone at the edge of a creek with her wife, McKenzie Raley, an artist ... More

Winold Reiss, 1886–1953, Langston Hughes, c.1925. Pastel on illustration board. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of W. Tjark Reiss, in memory of his father, Winold Reiss.

NEW YORK, NY.- This summer, the New-York Historical Society presents an exhibition of German American artist Winold Reiss’ work, spanning the fields of painting, drawing, graphic design, interior design, and decorative arts. The Art of Winold Reiss: An Immigrant Modernist, on view July 1 – October 9, 2022, presents 150 works of art, many on view for the first time, that demonstrate how the artist’s European modernist sensibility fused with his profound observations of American society to create a distinctive style that embraced his new home. “Winold Reiss is a quintessentially New York artist: an immigrant attuned to the nuance of cultural and artistic diversity, with a broad creative range and a bold, graphic approach that was influenced by European modernism yet stylistically all his own,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of New-York Historical. “His intellectual and artistic curiosity took him to many lo ... More

Exhibition explores fiber as a medium for critical and exploratory possibility   M 2 3 opens an exhibition of new work by Erik Nilson   45 designers from over 20 countries feature in landmark Africa Fashion exhibition

Phyllis Yao, Too much unrequited love, 2022. Photo by JSP Art Photography.

NEW YORK, NY.- Hales announces Fiber of my being, a group exhibition in New York which brings together seven interdisciplinary artists: Teresa Baker, Bhasha Chakrabarti, Kite, Senzeni Marasela, Hardeep Pandhal, LJ Roberts and Phyllis Yao. The exhibition showcases the strand of their practice that explores fiber as a medium for critical and exploratory possibility. In both figuration and abstraction, the works investigate the language of textiles to communicate personal, historic, and cultural connections to identity, through materiality, texture and touch.  Material hybridity is found in the respective practices and works — combining and recontextualising the vocabularies of painting, drawing and performance through fiber making. Fiber is used as an expressive medium to embrace contemporary themes and techniques whilst drawing upon legacies and ... More

Erik Nilson, Stinger (type A), 2022. Cast aluminum, found plastic, cast bondo, ceramic bushings, found hardware, cable clamp, machined plexiglass, 6 x 32 x 12 inches (15 x 81 x 31 cm).

NEW YORK, NY.- M 2 3 is presenting Of the dregs: Genera - an exhibition of new work by Erik Nilson. The exhibit is on view 30 June - 14 August 2022. In the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy declared that any disaster henceforth could no longer be dispensed as “a misfortune whose consequences can be more or less easily circumscribed.” Not when our technological, economical, and political structures are necessarily imbricated; and especially not when we are responsible for helming such “interdependent totality of civilization,” as we march towards the end of time in blissful precarity. So much for our hopes for salvation, Nancy’s enjoinder is a bleak dagger: “Let us think that it is we who are arriving, or who are leaving.” To ... More

Africa Fashion at the V&A Installation view.

LONDON.- Opening this Saturday 2 July, Africa Fashion is a landmark exhibition celebrating the irresistible creativity, ingenuity and unstoppable global impact of contemporary African fashions. The exhibition is the UK’s most extensive exhibition of African fashions to date, celebrating the vitality and innovation of this vibrant scene, as dynamic and varied as the continent itself. Over 250 objects are on display for the exhibition, with approximately half of these drawn from the V&A Museum’s collection, including 70 new acquisitions. Many of the garments on show are from the personal archives of a selection of iconic mid-twentieth century African designers – Shade Thomas-Fahm, Chris Seydou, Kofi Ansah and Alphadi, marking the first time their work will be shown in a London museum. The exhibition also celebrates influential contemporary African fashion creatives including Imane Ayissi, IAMISIGO, Moshions, Thebe ... More

Exhibition of new works by Todd Bienvenu opens at Almine Rech New York   "Passion and Patronage Gifts from the Gerald Mead Collection" on view at the Castellani Art Museum   "Elemental Matters": Jonathan Prince sculpture exhibit opens at Chesterwood

Tiny Wedgie, 2022. Oil on canvas, 40.6 x 30.5 x 1.9 cm. 16 x 12 x 3/4 in. Courtesy Almine Rech New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- Almine Rech New York is presenting an exhibition of new works by Todd Bienvenu. This is Bienvenu's third solo exhibition with the gallery, on view from June 23 to August 5, 2022. Raucously raunchy, hilariously disastrous, and blissfully chill, Todd Bienvenu’s pictorial imaginarium is a hotbed of flailing heroics, hot messes, and heated moments. By way of a thematically wide selection of paintings, collages, and sculptures in JOMO, the artist exploits everything in his toolkit and playbook in an attempt to evoke some sense of how joy, as opposed to fear, might be elicited by the relatively minor social tragedy of ‘missing out. ’There’s no time for FOMO, as it were, since YOLO. As for joyful imagery, Bienvenu’s offerings are as generously genial in their spins on genre as they are generously sympathetic, generously colorful, generously scaled, and generously, decadently painted. The ... More

Cindy Sherman, Untitled (Under the WTC), 1980/2001, gelatin silver print, edition 80/100. Promised Bequest Gift of Dr. Gerald C. Mead, Jr.

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, NY.- Passion and Patronage Gifts from the Gerald Mead Collection opened at the Castellani Art Museum on Friday, July 1 and is on view until Sunday, December 18, 2022. This exhibition features noted Buffalo art collector Dr. Gerald C. Mead, Jr.’s gifted artworks to the museum since 1997 as well as his promised bequest gift of 54 works by 43 artists. These works in all media, dating from 1905–2017, represent 112 years of artistic achievement by nationally and internationally renowned artists who predominantly are associated with Western New York by birth or residency. This hallmark exhibition aligns with another celebratory moment: Dr. Mead’s 60th birthday. Passion and Patronage also marks the first major gift from Dr. Mead’s collection to a public institution. The works in this magnanimous new gift were selected from Mead’s expansive ... More

Torus 340, CorTen / stainless steel, 162 x 144 x 96 in. (411 x 366 x 244 cm) Property of the artist.

STOCKBRIDGE, MASS.- Elemental Matters: The Sculpture of Jonathan Prince, is on view July 1 - October 24, 2022 at Chesterwood. Featuring 12 monumental outdoor sculptures by Prince, Elemental Matters is Chesterwood's 44th annual contemporary sculpture show. A site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Chesterwood is the former summer home and studio of sculptor Daniel Chester French in Stockbridge, MA. French (1850-1931), best known for his statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Born in New York City, Jonathan Prince is an American artist known for his monumental sculptures fabricated from steel and stone that explore the human connection between our inner and outer selves. Prince’s artworks are uniquely influenced by his background in science, technology and medicine. Having received a ... More

More News
Maruani Mercier announces representation of Nigerian artist Johnson Eziefula
BRUSSELS.- The gallery announced the exclusive European representation of Nigerian artist Johnson Eziefula, who will have his debut exhibition entitled From Time to a Time in Brussels. Eziefula’s contemplative portraits interrogate the circumstances that cloud the beauty in his life. Engrossed in subject matters such as fate, faith, and love, these themes were instigated by the terminal illness of his brother, to whom this exhibition is dedicated. He embarks on a journey towards self-reflection, soul-searching, and introspection, characterized by a strong sense of nostalgia. As a self-described naturalist painter, he aims to capture the essence of the human condition, focusing on attributes such as identity, psyche, and cultural hybridity. His early influences include illustrations in works of canonical African literature, such as Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, ... More

Richard Taruskin, vigorously polemical musicologist, dies at 77
NEW YORK, NY.- Richard Taruskin, a commanding musicologist and public intellectual whose polemical scholarship and criticism upended conventional classical music history, died early Friday in Oakland, California. He was 77. His death, at a hospital, was caused by esophageal cancer, his wife, Catherine Roebuck Taruskin, said. An emeritus professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and a specialist in Russian music, Taruskin was the author of a number of groundbreaking musicological studies, including the sweeping six-volume Oxford History of Western Music. He was also a contributor to The New York Times, where his trenchant, witty and erudite writings represented a bygone era in which clashes over the meaning of classical music held mainstream import. “He was the most important living writer on classical music, either in academia ... More

'The Mutes' gives voice to musical outsiders
PARIS.- The first time I sang, it was by ear. I imagine that’s often the case. Toddlers join their favorite characters in Disney movies or echo their parents with mumbled renditions of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” When children begin to sing in school, they usually learn not from scores but from lyrics memorized through repetition. Then things change. The melodies become notated. Some people develop into disciplined singers and instrumentalists; others abandon musical study altogether. What of that last category, those for whom singing is simply something to be enjoyed, regardless of whether they can carry a tune in the car or at karaoke? Those types of performances — the ones just for pleasure — are typically treated as unfit for the hallowed spaces of musical expression. But “The Mutes,” Lina Lapelyte’s moving, wistful and immersive ... More

Rare bronze 1943 Lincoln cent, called 'most sought-after error coin of all time,' comes to Heritage Auctions
DALLAS, TX.- An extremely rare 1943 Lincoln cent that was struck on a bronze planchet, which has been called the most famous and sought-after error coin of all time, will be offered at auction for the first time ever when it crosses the block in Heritage Auctions' Long Beach Expo/Summer FUN US Coins Signature« Auction July 14-17. The 1943 Cent Struck on a Bronze Planchet AU50 PCGS is an extreme rarity among a common mintage. "This coin has a fascinating story behind it," says Mark Van Winkle, Chief Cataloger at Heritage Auctions. "1943 cents were not uncommon at all — hundreds of millions were struck. When copper was needed for the World War II war effort, for ammunition shell casings, they were struck in zinc-coated steel. This coin was among a few bronze planchets that stuck in the tote bins ... only to get dislodged and fed into the presses ... More

Crescent City announces highlights included in Important Summer Estates Auction
NEW ORLEANS, LA.- Crescent City’s two-day Important Summer Estates Auction slated for Friday and Saturday, July 15th and 16th, starting at 10 am Central time both days, will be packed with nearly 900 choice lots of French, English and American furniture, original paintings by noted regional artists, French clocks, bronzes and porcelain (including Sevres and Royal Vienna). Also up for bid will be a large selection of jewelry (to include diamonds, tanzanites, emeralds, opals, a tennis bracelet and more); couture (to include Louis Vuitton, Celine, Prada and Gucci); a fine selection of English tea caddies, tantalus sets and humidors; and wonderful decorative items. Highlighting the sale will be property from the collection of Robert Sonnier plus other fine items. Gorgeous artwork will feature an oil on panel by James Kendrick III (La., 1946-2013), titled Greenwood ... More

M77 Gallery presents 'Charlotte Perriand: The Avant-Garde is Female curated by Enrica Viganò'
MILAN.- M77 is presenting Charlotte Perriand. L'avanguardia Ŕ donna: an exhibition curated by Enrica Vigan˛, staged in collaboration with the Archives Charlotte Perriand and Admira e Cassina. The exhibition project sets out to shed light on the rich and versatile production of Charlotte Perriand, the famous French designer and photographer, collaborator and friend of Le Courbusier and other great names of her time, placing her photographic production of the 1930s in dialogue with a selection of the iconic furniture items produced exclusively by Cassina. Charlotte Perriand was a complex and eclectic figure, a woman whose path crossed the entire 20th century with great impetus and curiosity, fully experiencing the onset of industrial culture and thus of modernity. A child of the avant-garde of her time, she stood out by virtue of her ... More

Emma Talbot premieres new work at Whitechapel Gallery
LONDON.- Emma Talbot, winner of the eighth edition of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women, premieres a new body of work, The Age/L’EtÓ, at Whitechapel Gallery from 30 June to 4 September. Following its presentation at Whitechapel Gallery, The Age/L’EtÓ will travel to Collezione Maramotti from 23 October 2022 to 19 February 2023. The Age/L’EtÓ comprises animation, free-hanging painted silk panels, three-dimensional work and drawings. The new work explores themes of representation and ageing, power and governance, and attitudes towards nature. For the Max Mara Art Prize for Women, Talbot imagines a future environment where humankind encounters the disastrous consequences of late capitalism and must look towards more ancient and holistic ways of crafting and belonging – that rethink ancient power structures and celebrate ... More

A beloved Black-run bookstore in Los Angeles is closing
LOS ANGELES, CA.- When James Fugate and Tom Hamilton started Eso Won Books in 1988, their books, almost all by Black authors, were stacked in dozens of crates; some in Fugate’s apartment, the rest in Hamilton’s garage. Nearly every weekend, at least one of them would haul their books to a community event in Los Angeles. Whatever money they made selling books, they spent on books. Soon, customers were coming to their homes, asking for specific titles. In 1989, Hamilton and Fugate opened the brick-and-mortar store Eso Won Books in the bedroom of an old house on Slauson Avenue in South Los Angeles. At the time, it was one of only a few Black-run bookstores in the city. In the more than three decades since, the store has hosted luminaries including Muhammad Ali, Toni Morrison and Alice Walker. It has become a home for Black ... More

'Long live the theater': Mariupol's drama company to perform again
UZHHOROD.- Dressed in black, the actors moved around a sparse rehearsal room preparing a new play — the story of a dissident Ukrainian who died in a Russian prison camp decades ago. As they took a break, they gathered in a circle with their arms around each other, laughing and chattering. Though the play is set in the 1980s, for these actors, the subject is close to heart, and the mere fact of rehearsal a triumph. They survived the siege of Mariupol by Russian forces earlier this year — and the destruction of their home theater. “There is a saying: ‘The king is dead. Long live the king,’” said Liudmila Kolosovych, the acting director of the theater company. “So, the theater died. Long live the theater.” Mariupol’s Academic Regional Drama Theater was destroyed on March 16 by a Russian airstrike in the midst of the weekslong siege of Mariupol, ... More

Maya Vinitsky has been appointed as Curator of Design and Architecture at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art
TEL AVIV.- Maya Vinitsky has been appointed as Curator of Design and Architecture at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. She took up her new position on July 1, 2022, replacing retired curator Meira Yagid-Haimovici. Maya Vinitsky holds a B.A. from the Department of Industrial Design at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, and an M.A. from the School of Cultural Studies at Tel Aviv University. She has worked at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in various curatorial positions since 2007, and since 2012 has served as Associate Curator in the Department of Design and Architecture. In addition, Vinitsky is a senior lecturer at the Department of Industrial Design (B.Des) and in the Visual Communication master’s degree program at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design.In recent years, Vinitsky curated the thematic exhibitions Solar Guerrilla: A Constructive ... More

19th-century Murik mask among highlights in Heritage Ethnographic Art Auction
DALLAS, TX.- An exceptional Murik mask from Papua New Guinea and a magnificent Taino Cohoba Stand from the Dominican Republic each could bring $80,000 or more when they are sold in Heritage Auctions’ Ethnographic Art: American Indian, Pre-Columbian and Tribal Art Signature« Auction July 8. The sale includes exceptional offerings from a number of categories, including beautiful Navajo weavings, eye-catching jewelry, Anasazi pottery and pre-Columbian gold and jade. “This is a fantastic auction, with more than 600 lots, enough to appeal to a wide array of collectors,” says Delia Sullivan, Ethnographic Art Director and American Indian Specialist at Heritage Auctions. “The popularity of Ethnographic Art has grown steadily, and we are extremely excited to have been selected to help some magnificent items find new homes.” The mid- ... More

Collection in Focus: Ravel's Bolero

On a day like today, Italian sculptor and architect Jacopo Sansovino was born
July 02, 1486. Jacopo d'Antonio Sansovino (2 July 1486 - 27 November 1570) was an Italian sculptor and architect, known best for his works around the Piazza San Marco in Venice. Andrea Palladio, in the Preface to his Quattro Libri was of the opinion that Sansovino's Biblioteca Marciana was the best building erected since Antiquity. Giorgio Vasari uniquely printed his Vita of Sansovino separately.

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