• Apinan Poshyanada, artistic director and chief executive of Bankok Art Biennale 2020.

    Bangkok Art Biennale Announces Theme of 2020 Edition

    The Bangkok Art Biennale revealed that the theme of its second edition, taking place at various temples across the city from October 10, 2020 to February 21, 2021, will be “Escape Routes.” Apinan Poshyanada, the festival’s chief executive and artistic director, said the exhibition’s artists will offer “‘escape routes’ to make us aware of the paths of sufficiency, sustainability, and inclusivity” as well as to “offer art practice as mind escapism where meditation, contemplation, ritualism, healing and performance become the essence of hope and optimism.” 

    The curatorial team comprises Sook-Kyung

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  • Tony Hall. Photo: BBC.

    Tony Hall Appointed Board Chair of London’s National Gallery

    The National Gallery in London has appointed Tony Hall, Baron Hall of Birkenhead, England, chair of its board of trustees. Hall joined the National Gallery board in November 2019 and is currently the BBC’s director-general. Earlier this month, he was also named president of the European Broadcasting Union.

    Since beginning his post at the BBC in April 2013, Hall has led the company’s global editorial, commercial, and creative operations; he will step down from its helm this summer. Previously, Hall was the chief executive of the Royal Opera House from 2001 to 2013; a non-executive director and

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  • Pablo Picasso’s Head of a Young Woman, 1906, was transferred to the Spanish state. French Customs Office.

    Collector Gets 18 Months in Prison, $58M Fine for Smuggling Picasso Painting from Spain

    Billionaire collector Jaime Botín, the former vice chairman of Santander Bank and the largest shareholder of the Spanish bank Bankinter S.A., was sentenced to eighteen months in prison and fined $58 million for attempting to smuggle Pablo Picasso’s Head of a Young Woman, 1906, out of Spain in 2015, reports The Independent.

    The Spanish National Court declared the painting, an early work from Picasso’s Gósol period that is valued at $29 million, a national treasure in May 2015 and, under the country’s strict heritage laws, required its owner to obtain an export permit to take it out of the country.

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  • Aaron Siskind, Gloucester, 1944. Photo: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond.

    Aaron Siskind Foundation Transfers 8,000-Work Collection to Virginia’s Museum of Fine Arts

    The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond (VMFA) has received a gift of more than eight thousand photographs by Aaron Siskind (1903–1991) from the artist’s New York–based foundation. Established in 1984 to protect Siskind’s legacy, the organization recently decided to cease its operations and transfer its holdings to an art museum that would care for its collection and administer its annual fellowship prize.

    “After a thorough search of the major art institutions across the country, the Aaron Siskind Foundation was delighted to find that the visionary leadership, ambitious plans for the future,

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  • Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait, 1889. Photo: Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design, Oslo.

    Experts Confirm Contested Van Gogh Self-Portrait Is Genuine

    The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the National Museum in Oslo announced that researchers have found evidence proving the authorship of a long-disputed painting—a self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh. After a six-year investigation, experts say that van Gogh painted the work at the end of his first major psychotic episode at the Saint-Rémy asylum in the late summer of 1889.

    Purchased by the National Museum in 1910, the work is the first self-portrait by the Dutch master to enter a public collection. However, due to incomplete provenance information, its authenticity has been questioned since

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  • Zoé Whitley. Courtesy of Chisenhale Gallery.

    Zoé Whitley Named Director of London’s Chisenhale Gallery

    Zoé Whitley, senior curator at the Hayward Gallery in London, has been appointed director of Chisenhale Gallery in the city’s East End. Whitley will take the helm of the contemporary arts space, which prides itself on commissioning and supporting international and UK-based artists, in March. She succeeds Polly Staple, who was hired as director of the Tate’s collection of British art in October and took up the post earlier this month.

    “We are thrilled that Zoé is to be the next director of Chisenhale Gallery,” Alice Rawsthorn, chair of Chisenhale Gallery’s board of trustees, said in a statement.

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  • The entrance to “Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote” at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Photo: John Valceanu. Courtesy of the National Archives.

    National Archives Apologizes for Altering Photo of 2017 Women’s March

    The National Archives in Washington, DC, issued a public apology on Saturday after it altered a photograph of the 2017 Women’s March, which drew hundreds of thousands of activists, by blurring out Donald Trump’s name from signs that were critical of the newly elected president. “We made a mistake,” the National Archives said in a statement. The archives added that it will remove the edited image “as soon as possible” and will “start a thorough review of our exhibit policies and procedures so that this does not happen again.”

    Taken by photographer Mario Tama, the photo shows a massive crowd of

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  • The Louvre, Paris. Photo: Wikipedia.

    Pension Strikers in France Shut Down the Louvre

    A group of about one hundred protesters in Paris forced the Louvre to temporarily close on Friday, January 17. The demonstrators, a mix of Louvre staffers and representatives of other sectors, were striking over the French government’s proposal to change the current pension system by merging forty-two different private and public pension plans into one state-managed plan.

    “Closing the Louvre to prevent tourists from visiting is very important because it’s the most visited museum in the world,” Christophe Benoit, a fifty-two-year-old employee of the French Ministry of Culture, told the New York

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  • Zhijie Qiu, Tattoo II, 1994, collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Gift of the Adelaar Family. Courtesy of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

    Vancouver Art Gallery Receives Major Gifts of Art

    The Vancouver Art Gallery in British Columbia announced that it has been gifted significant works of Indigenous, Asian, and Conceptual art. In December, collectors Claudia Beck and Andrew Gruft donated thirty-six artworks by twenty-six artists, including nineteenth-century practitioners Henri Béchard, Samuel Bourne, James McDonald, and Auguste Salzmann and influential artists such as Eugène Atget, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Lee Friedlander, and Alfred Steiglitz.

    The owners of what is considered one of the most important private photography collections in Canada, the couple assembled the works over

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  • Bruno Racine.

    Bruno Racine to Lead Pinault’s Venice Museums

    French billionaire François Pinault has appointed museum veteran Bruno Racine director of the Palazzo Grassi and the Punta della Dogana in Venice. The eighty-three-year-old Pinault—whose luxury conglomerate company Kering owns Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, and Balenciaga, among other brands—opened the Palazzo Grassi in 2006 and the Punta della Dogana in 2009. Pinault also owns the holding company Artemis S.A., which has a majority stake in Christie’s.

    Racine previously led the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Centre Pompidou, and the French Academy in

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  • Untitled landscape by Robert S. Duncanson from the Walters’ donation. Photo: Howard University.

    Howard University Gifted 152 Works of African American Art

    Howard University in Washington, DC, has received a gift of 152 African American artworks from the collection of arts patron Patricia Turner Walters. Valued at more than $2.5 million, the donation includes works by Robert S. Duncanson, Jacob Lawrence, Norman Lewis, Grafton Tyler, and contemporary artists Barkley Hendricks, Kerry James Marshall, and Kehinde Wiley. Walters also owns some of the earliest surviving works by African American artists in the country as well as paintings, sculptures, rare prints, and photographs from the Harlem Renaissance and other notable eras.

    Walters, who began

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  • Robert William Burke Jr.

    Robert William Burke Jr. (1948–2020)

    Robert William Burke Jr., a distinguished gallerist and collector, died on January 3 at his home in Paris at seventy-one years old. Known by his middle name, Burke was the adopted son of Robert William and Sarah Evelyn Burke of Marianna, Arkansas, where he grew up and went to high school. He went on to study literature and history at Hendrix College in nearby Conway and, after earning his degree in 1971, lived alternately in New York and Paris.

    Burke’s career began at the Gotham Book Mart in New York in the late 1960s. Fascinated with the new French literature, he eventually relocated to Paris,

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