Front Page of the Art World: What’s Hot & What’s Not — 11 March 2022

What’s on the front page news of the art world this week? Read on to discover what’s hot and what’s not this week — from the hyperlocal to the global.

1. “We Are Safe, the Bomb Shelter Is Fine,” Ukrainian Cartoonists Draw Under Siege

“We Are Safe, the Bomb Shelter Is Fine,” Ukrainian Cartoonists Draw Under Siege
Notes from Ukrainians during the start of the Russian invasion. | Anya Ivanenko and Jenya Polosina

Yesterday, Hyperallergic published a comic by two artists in Ukraine who are currently finding refuge in bomb shelters as Russian forces continue to bomb the country. “We’re honored that the two artists (Anya Ivanenko and Jenya Polosina), who are working in impossible conditions, have decided to share their work with Hyperallergic readers.” — Hrag Vartanian, editor-in-chief.

View the cartoon.

2. Scenes from Kyic captured by photographer Timothy Fadek

Posted on Kradek’s Instagram page.

Photographer Timothy Fadek has been in Ukraine since January, documenting the country’s crisis both before and after the Russian invasion.

Timothy is an American photographer known for covering social issues and conflicts. His photographs have appeared in hundreds of publications worldwide and have been exhibited in major galleries and museums. He is represented by Redux Pictures, a photo agency based in New York and he was a professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, The International Center of Photography, and the Institut für fotografische Bildung in Berlin.

Follow Timothy Fadek’s work in Ukraine — @timothyfadek on Instagram.

3. LETTERS FROM KYIV — A daily wartime diary by Yevgenia Belorusets

Sandbags protecting a door at City Hall on March 01, 2022, in Kyiv. Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images.
“For International Women’s Day, someone gave flowers to women waiting in line at the pharmacy. This city lives on.” | Photo: Yevgenia Belorusets
“An abandoned stroller (right) in my favorite park in Kyiv, which I finally dared to visit.” | Photo: Yevgenia Belorusets

“The city is sinking into spring fog, but it is still cold. Since yesterday, here, in the center of Kyiv, you can tell a story about the war on every street corner. Almost every intersection is guarded day and night by armed members of the Territorial Defense. There are more groups of saboteurs in the city, more violence. I look with relief into the eyes of the men and women of the defense. In one of the faces yesterday I recognized with amazement a barista who was popular in our neighborhood because he painted particularly beautiful swans on the milk foam of the coffee.”

Yevgenia Belorusets posts daily reports from Kyiv, where the photographer and writer is sheltering with family and friends as war rages.

Copublished with Isolarii, the diary is published daily here.

4. Glyndebourne Opera House stands with Ukraine

On Sunday 3 April, East Sussex opera house Glyndebourne is putting on a special one-off concert to raise funds for the people of Ukraine. Robin Ticciati unites the London Philharmonic Orchestra and a host of Glyndebourne artists — all of whom are donating their time — for an afternoon of music as we stand in solidarity with those affected by war.

All ticket sales and any other proceeds from this event will be donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

Tickets are on sale now:
3:00pm Sunday 3 April
Tickets £50

More information about the programme for this concert will be released on the Glyndebourne website over the coming weeks.

5. Auckland Arts Festival NOW ON

The Auckland Arts Festival is a globally recognised celebration of art and culture, which takes place in Auckland each March. Despite COVID-19 disruptions, the festival will still go ahead for the 14th year.

AAF is one of the ‘World Premieres Refuse to Be Cancelled’ finding ways to bolster its 2022 line-up, despite the pandemic disruptions. Its abridged, Omicron enforced line up offers fresh positives, with the announcement of new shows added to the programme — including premieres of long-anticipated work.

View the AAF programme.

6. What’s On at Wallace Arts Centre this March — with new John Reynolds exhibition

TWENTY TWENTY (2020), John Reynolds, marker, rain water and acrylic on canvas.

The Wallace Arts Centre, Auckland, is open from TODAY Friday 11 March.

We return with the unveiling of John Reynolds’ solo show, Smoke & Mirrors — which runs until 12 June.

John Reynolds has established a reputation over the past three decades, with work in painting, sculpture and installation — including projects in architecture, fashion, music and publishing.

Smoke & Mirrors sees his return to painting with significant newly produced work. As well as hosting “New Zealand’s smallest paintings”, the exhibition features four-metre wide canvases, engulfing the audience’s sense in a swirl of colour and text. The solo show aims to clear the smoke on climate change

In this interview, the Auckland-based artist discusses how he is driven to address the swelling tide of climate change using humour.

“If you’re going to be serious, the best way to be serious is to bring humour to the party because…to be serious implies you are considering the human condition. And ultimately, the human condition is absurd. And the way we talk about absurdity is with humour.”

— John Reynolds

See what else is on at Wallace Arts Centre this month.

7. Tickets on sale for the New York premiere of “MOBY DICK; or, The Whale”

MOBY DICK; or, The Whale (2022), Dir. Wu Tsang, Prod. Schauspielhaus Zürich. Courtesy Wu Tsang.

For four performances only, Herman Melville’s great American novel will be told through captivating silent film with live orchestration by the New York Philharmonic.

Tickets are now available for MOBY DICK; or, The Whale directed by Wu Tsang, featuring an original score composed by Caroline Shaw and Andrew Yee with Asma Maroof conducted by Daniela Candillari.

April 15–17 at The Shed art center in New York.

Learn more & get tickets.

8. Art Dubai Opens TODAY — Its Largest Edition to Date With a Special Focus on Digital Art

Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Photo: Robert Bock/Wikipedia Commons.
Left: Orkhan Mammadov’s Singularity in Heritage, part of the Revival of Aesthetics series (2022)Courtesy of GAZELL.iO. Centre: Lawrence Lek, Nepenthe Valley (2022). Courtesy of Horizons (So-Far X Aora). Right: Aisha Juma’s The Sufi Darweesh (2022)Courtesy of the MORROW Collective.

The fifteenth edition of Art Dubai opens to the public TODAY, featuring more than one hundred galleries from forty-four countries, as well as site-specific works and a new digital section that brings together the worlds of art and crypto. The Art Newspaper points out how the new digital arts section and a series of talks on all things metaverse are flexing the city’s futuristic credentials.

Runs March 11 — March 13, 2022

Read the story from Artnet and the preview from The Art Newspaper.

Natia Bukia, a co-founder of Gallery Artbeat, based in Tbilisi, Georgia, covered the booth table in a Ukrainian flag and wore Ukrainian colours for the VIP preview of Art Dubai. Courtesy of Gallery Artbeat.

As part of Art Dubai, this Georgian gallery lays down Ukrainian flag in its booth while fair says it will donate 25% of ticket sales to Ukrainian refugees.

9. Fiji gets to tell its own climate story in new books for children

Sea Change tells the story of Maku and Tutu who are forced to leave their home because of rising seas [Ropate Kama/Asia Foundation]

Publishers hope new series will inspire the children of the Pacific to protect an ocean deeply connected to their culture.

Read the story from Aljazeera.

10. Nadya Tolokonnikova on the Future of Russian Politics

‘I’m in a panic, I’m crying every day’ … Nadya Tolokonnikova at a concert in Tennessee earlier this month. Photograph: Paul A Hebert/LiveMusicToday/REX/Shutterstock

Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova says the $6 million she raised from her Ukraine DAO NFT has already been distributed to the organization Come Back Alive, which aids the Ukrainian army.

Who is Pussy Riot?

Pussy Riot is a Russian feminist protest punk rock and performance art group based in Moscow. Founded in August 2011, it has had a variable membership of approximately 11 women.

The group gained global notoriety when five members of the group staged a performance inside Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in 2012. The group’s actions were condemned as sacrilegious by the Orthodox clergy and eventually stopped by church security officials. Tolokonnikova, along with two other members of Pussy Riot, were sentenced to two years in prison for hooliganism, separated from their very young children, went on hunger strike, endured unimaginably harsh conditions and were named prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International.

She was declared a “foreign agent” by the Kremlin, as was the independent news outlet she founded upon her release from prison, Mediazone.

“Putin just signed a law that said you’re going to get 15 years in jail for even discussing the war in Ukraine,” she says matter-of-factly. “You cannot even call it a war, you have to call it a special military operation.”

Read the story from The Guardian.

11. Directors of Russia’s Top Art Museums and Fairs Are Resigning En Masse

An employee and a visitor at the Gallery of 19th and 20th Century European and American Art at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. (Photo by Alexander ShcherbakTASS via Getty Images)

Leaders at the Pushkin Museum, the VAC Foundation, and the Cosmoscow fair have stepped down.

High-profile leaders of Russian art and cultural institutions have been resigning from their jobs en masse in the wake of the country’s invasion into neighboring Ukraine.

Most of the statements from these curators and directors suggest that the decision to leave was voluntary, but there is some evidence to suggest that many have been forced out by colleagues and bosses over their perceived lack of support for president Vladimir Putin’s war.

In a post on Instagram, longtime Pushkin Museum deputy director Vladimir Opredelenov praised the museum’s digital development and other achievements over the course of his career. He went on to add: “My attitude to current world events does not coincide with that of my colleagues from the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. I hope this will change in the near future, but with things as they are, I am forced to leave my beloved museum.”

Read the story from Artnet.

12. Judd Tully on last week’s London sales at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips

Left: Victor Man, D with Raven, oil on wood. Right: Flora Yukhnovich, Tu vas me faire rougir (You’re going to make me blush).

My dear friend, art critic and journalist Judd Tully, has posted a round up of the London Sales last week.

“Last week’s London and beyond trio of auction house evening sales of modern and contemporary art held at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips (in that order), generated a massive £500.3/$67a.3 million bounty (including fees) and sent strong signals that the international art market remains hungry for what is perceived to be first rate, investment grade property, especially for so-called emerging artists.”

Read her reflections here.

René Magritte, L’empire des lumières (1961). Oil on canvas. 114.5 x 146cm. Courtesy Sotheby’s.

René Magritte’s L’empire des lumières (1961) was the star lot at Sotheby’s Modern & Contemporary Evening Auction in London on 2 March — and sold for a record $79.9m.

In a beautiful show of life imitates art… the Sotheby’s building was decorated to resemble the painting…

13. The Fight Over ‘Maus’ Is Part of a Bigger Cultural Battle in Tennessee

The ban on the graphic novel “Maus” was widely interpreted as disregard for Holocaust education. But school board members cited other concerns: coarse language and a depiction of a partially nude woman.Credit…Nicole Craine for The New York Times

State lawmakers, led by the governor, are rethinking what public school students should read and learn.

Read the story from The New York Times.

14. A Poem (and a Painting) About the Suffering That Hides in Plain Sight

“Landscape With the Fall of Icarus”: Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels; photo of W.H. Auden: Smith Archive, via Alamy.

New York Times has a fabulous series called Close Read, which takes you down a garden path of looking — at art and literature. The most recent piece looks at the poetry of Auden, as inspired by the art of Pieter Bruegel the Elder. I have bookmarked this and will return to it often. Often, people with a love of looking puts this in a box — perhaps because they see no use for it, perhaps because the opportunity to practice it is swathed in the more intimidating aspects of the art world. This series by New York Times may just open that box again. Looking is useful, it is relevant, it is uplifting. And — it sharpens the eye to see the world around us critically.

15. NFT Masterclass for Startup Founders, with Leanne Bats, co-founder of Cool Points Club

From Beyonce to Bored Apes, last week Leanne Bats delivered asuccinct, informative, introductory masterclass on the world of Web2, the NFT and the Metaverse. A must-watch for those still wrapping their heads around the next generation of the internet and how all the different pieces of the puzzle fit together.

“In the near future, every company will require a Web3 strategy.”

View masterclass on Youtube.

16. “Designing A Better Future Resonates With Me On Many Levels”

Lorde at Te Uru Gallery. Photo / Hohua Ropate Kurene

Lorde shares her experience as a guest editor for the latest issue of Viva Magazine.

Read the story from Viva.

17. On now at Te Uru gallery: KATERINA TEAIWA: PROJECT BANABA

The untold mining history of Banaba Ocean Island

5 March — 29 May 2022 at Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery.

Project Banaba by Banaban scholar and artist Katerina Teaiwa is a traveling multimedia installation that commemorates the history of Banaba, also known as Ocean Island in the Moana Pacific. Banaba Island was destroyed by environmentally devastating phosphate mining during the 20th century, leading to the total relocation of its people in 1945, with the 76th anniversary of their displacement being marked recently on 15 December 2021.

18. This Time, Beeple Is Trying His Hand at Artwork for Walls

Mike Winkelmann, center, better known as Beeple, at the Jack Hanley Gallery in Manhattan, where his show “Uncertain Future” opened on Thursday evening.Credit…Landon Nordeman for The New York Times

The digital artist known for NFTs is showing paintings and prints IRL at a Manhattan gallery. Will the art establishment finally take notice?

Read the story from The New York Times.

19. Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby on pirate comedy Our Flag Means Death

Taika Waititi as Blackbeard in Our Flag Means Death, streaming on Neon.

Stede Bonnet was a pirate. But a nice one. He was so nice, in fact, that he earned the not-at-all terrifying name of “the Gentleman Pirate”. Before deciding to become a pirate Bonnet had been a wealthy landowner living quietly on the island of Barbados with his wife and three sons.

Bonnet is the real-life inspiration of Waititi and Rhys Darby’s new comedy series Our Flag Means Death, which is now streaming on Neon and begins screening on Prime later this month. Darby stars as the well-to-do Bonnet, giving the character a boyish sense of adventure and wide-eyed enthusiasm for his fanciful notion of what pirate life is.

Read the story from The New Zealand Herald.

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