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A Mammoth first: 52,000-year-old DNA, in 3D

Olga Dudchenko and Erez Lieberman Aiden, both with the Center for Genome Architecture at Baylor College of Medicine, look at the skeletal cast of a wooly mammoth at the Houston Natural Science Museum, July 10, 2024. An international team of scientists probed a skin sample from a 52,000-year-old woolly mammoth with an innovative experimental technique that successfully captured the original geometry of long stretches of DNA, a feat never before accomplished with an ancient DNA sample. (Brandon Thibodeaux/The New York Times)

NEW YORK, NY.- In 2018 an international team of scientists — from labs in Houston; Copenhagen, Denmark; Barcelona, Spain; and beyond — got their hands on a remarkable biological specimen: a skin sample from a 52,000-year-old woolly mammoth that had been recovered from the permafrost in Siberia. They probed the sample with an innovative experimental technique that revealed the 3D architecture of the mammoth’s genome. The resulting paper was published Thursday in the journal Cell. Hendrik Poinar, an evolutionary geneticist ... More


The Best Photos of the Day







It turns out the Picassos anchoring a gallery's exhibit were not by Picasso   Director who resigned from British Museum in scandal has a new job   Dorothy Lichtenstein, philanthropist and a rare 'artist's widow,' dies at 84


Artist and curator Kirsha Kaechele striking a pose with a painting that imitates the style of Pablo Picasso. (Museum of Old and New Art via The New York Times)

NEW YORK, NY.- The New Guinean spears were presented as antiques collected by the artist’s grandfather on an expedition to the Pacific but were, in fact, brand-new. The jewelry, advertised as precious heirlooms from the artist’s grandmother, was plastic. A mink rug was low-grade polyester. And the three Picassos that were at the ... More
 

Hartwig Fischer at the British Musem in London on Aug. 27, 2020. (Tom Jamieson/The New York Times)

LONDON.- Last summer, Hartwig Fischer resigned as the director of the British Museum, just days after it emerged that the museum had fired a curator who was suspected of looting gems from its storerooms. Less than a year later, Fischer is back at the top of the museum world. This week, the Saudi Museums Commission announced in a news release that it had appointed Fischer, ... More
 

Dorothy Lichtenstein, wife of artist Roy Lichtenstein, in the previous headquarters of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation. (Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times)

NEW YORK, NY.- Dorothy Lichtenstein, a prominent arts patron and widow of the acclaimed pop artist Roy Lichtenstein, died July 4 at her home in Southampton, New York. She was 84. The cause was heart failure after a brief illness, according to Jack Cowart, the executive director of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation. An elegant and ... More



Art in good faith: Where devotion and divine inspiration meet   Group exhibition brings together twelve artists with ties to Southern California   James Cohan announces the death of Bill Viola


Rachel Rossin at her studio in the Financial District of Manhattan, July 5, 2024. (Graham Dickie/The New York Times)

NEW YORK, NY.- In February 2022, new to New York and seeking bleeding-edge culture, I found myself at a poetry reading at KGB, an Eastern Bloc-themed bar in the East Village. The night’s second reader took the stage, a solid black crucifix tattooed on her sternum, and read the King James ... More
 

Hings Lim, Flaming Tower (detail), 2024- ongoing.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Tanya Bonakdar Gallery will present Signal Fires, a group exhibition which brings together twelve artists with ties to Southern California, all of whom are negotiating concepts of communication across vast distances: conceptually, formally, spiritually, and geographically. In both recorded and fictional history, the act of lighting signal fires or beacons on high ... More
 

Bill Viola at James Cohan, 2018.

NEW YORK, NY.- James Cohan shared news of the death of Bill Viola, one of the world’s leading video artists. He passed away peacefully at home on July 12, at the age of 73. The cause was Alzheimer’s Disease. Viola is survived by his wife and longtime creative collaborator, Kira Perov, Director of Bill Viola Studio, sons Blake and Andrei Viola and daughter-in-law Aileen ... More



National Portrait Gallery and the Archives of American Art to present "Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Always to Return"   Pangolin London announces the debut exhibition of Hannah Lim   David Kordansky Gallery presents its first exhibition of important works by Keith Sonnier


“Untitled” (America) (1994), Twelve parts, each: 42 light bulbs, waterproof rubber light sockets, and waterproof electrical cord. Overall dimensions vary with installation. Copyright Estate Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Courtesy Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation. Photo: Roberto Ruiz, Image courtesy of Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona. Installed on Las Ramblas, Barcelona, as part of Felix Gonzalez-Torres: The Politics of Relation. Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Barcelona, Spain. 26 Mar. – 19 Sep. 2021. Cur. Tanya Barson.

WASHINGTON, DC.- The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and Archives of American Art will present “Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Always to Return,” the largest presentation of the artist’s work in Washington, D.C., in 30 years. With no formal start or end point, “Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Always to Return” unfolds at the intersection ... More
 

Hannah Lim, Spirit House Snuff Bottle, 2022, Jesmonite, polymer clay, chalk & resin gloss, 15 x 17 x 12 cm, Unique.

LONDON.- Pangolin London announced the debut exhibition of Hannah Lim, the latest artist in residence. The Enchanted Orchid will unveil a series of Lim’s enchanted creations, crafted from Jesmonite & polymer clay, alongside a new departure working in bronze. ‘While I was intrigued by the exuberant, ornamental and fantastical nature of Chinoiserie I was also aware of its colonial history and its similarities to cultural appropriation. I wanted to reimagine Chinoiserie in a more appropriate way.’ Hannah Lim’s work is deeply rooted in her mixed Singaporean and British heritage, a fusion that infuses her work with a unique perspective on the dialogue between East ... More
 

Keith Sonnier, Dyad Cut Ba-O-Ba, 1969. Glass, neon, and transformer, 55 x 135 x 26 inches (139.7 x 342.9 x 66 cm) © 2024 Keith Sonnier / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- David Kordansky Gallery is presenting Keith Sonnier: Inside Light, 1968–1970, its first exhibition of important works by Keith Sonnier (1941–2020), a major postwar American artist whose unique vision encompassed advances in sculpture, painting, installation, and performance. The exhibition is on view in New York at 520 W. 20th St. through August 9, 2024. Best known for his pioneering use of light, Sonnier authored a complex body of work that challenges dogmas at the heart of twentieth- and twenty-first-century art historical narratives. His association with the artists grouped under the post- ... More


Vardaxoglou to open Thérèse Oulton's first solo exhibition in London in 10 years   Elena Ferrante's novels are beloved. Her identity remains a mystery.   Exploring the essence of truth: 'Circle of Truth' exhibition to open at the Biggs Museum of American Art


Thérèse Oulton, Score 2 (Paris), 1996. oil on canvas, 69.8 x 91.4 cm (27 1/2 x 36 ins).

LONDON.- Vardaxoglou will present a solo exhibition with British artist Thérèse Oulton (b. 1953, Shropshire, UK) opening on 30 August 2024. It is Oulton’s first solo exhibition in London in 10 years and consists of paintings made between 1984 and 2024. Oulton lives and works in London. For the past 40 years Oulton has held a critical position in painting towards both abstraction and figuration, challenging the orthodoxies of both. Oulton evolved a way of working ... More
 

Books by Elena Ferrante are displayed for a photograph in New York on June 10, 2024. (Julia Gartland/The New York Times)

NEW YORK, NY.- Seemingly overnight, Elena Ferrante — or rather, the novelist writing as Elena Ferrante — found worldwide acclaim. Her novels were everywhere: You couldn’t swing a tote bag without spotting one of her pastel-hued paperbacks on the subway, at the beach, in the airport. The four novels that make up the Neapolitan quartet rocketed her to fame. Beginning with “My Brilliant Friend” in 2011, the books, which include ... More
 

Circle of Truth will be on view at the Biggs Museum from July 25 to September 22.

DOVER, DE.- The Biggs Museum of American Art announces the opening of an evocative exhibition titled Circle of Truth I 49 Paintings Ending with Ed Ruscha, curated by Laura Hipke and Shane Guffogg. This unique project delves into the concept of truth, revealing how individual interpretations and perceptions shape our understanding of reality. As society increasingly grapples with questions about the nature of truth—especially in politically charged times—the exhibition offers ... More



Quote
The things that I have apparently parodied I actually admire. Roy Lichtenstein

More News
First Seattle presentations of two pioneering contemporary artists: A.K. Burns and Tala Madani
SEATTLE, WA.- This fall, the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington will present two major solo exhibitions by pioneering artists A.K. Burns and Tala Madani, complemented by two focused presentations of works from the Henry’s extensive collection. A.K. Burns applies a feminist, queer lens across video, sculpture, photography, and installation. What is Perverse is Liquid, the first comprehensive Northwest presentation by the New York-based artist, includes works from the Negative Space series (2015–23), a multi-part film project that explores the intersections of gender, labor, and ecology within speculative fiction narratives. Tala Madani takes the next steps in her practice with an all-new, commissioned presentation. The exhibition highlights the Iranian artist’s provocative and often darkly humorous paintings, animations, ... More

Negro Leagues throwbacks let fans wear a 'piece of history'
NEW YORK, NY.- Wearing a Birmingham Black Barons hat on a recent walk through Birmingham, Alabama, proved to be problematic for comedian Roy Wood Jr. “People were literally trying to snatch it off my head,” Wood, former star of “The Daily Show,” said of his black and red New Era throwback. Wood, who has personal and professional connections to Birmingham, was in town for a game between the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals at Rickwood Field — the oldest professional baseball stadium in the country and home of the Black Barons for three decades — as part of Major League Baseball’s effort to honor the contributions of the Negro leagues to professional baseball. The game, which was played June 20, came on the heels of MLB incorporating Negro leagues statistics into its official database, ... More

36 hours in Boston
NEW YORK, NY.- In Boston, oft beset by slush and cynicism, summer brings a deep sigh of relief as hunched shoulders finally relax and beer gardens pop open like tulips. Mayor Michelle Wu, 39, in her first term and the first woman and person of color elected to lead the city, has brought an ambitious environmental agenda and new ways of looking at the urban landscape. The result is a destination steeped in history, as ever, with reinvented outdoor spaces for drinking, dining and recreating, and more change in the air. Waterfront redevelopment has spread farther and wider, spawning new harbor-adjacent art spaces and breweries, while a forward-looking focus on water transportation means more ferries and water taxis to get you where you’re going, while enjoying sparkling views and salty breezes. Kick off the weekend ... More

France's army is singing for Ukraine
PARIS.- When French President Emmanuel Macron refused in February to rule out sending Western troops to Ukraine, he shattered a taboo and spooked his NATO allies. But five months later, his statement looks more like a provocation than a promise, and the idea of French boots on the ground seems a distant prospect. There are other ways, however, that France’s military can aid the Ukrainian cause. In a Paris church Friday, 30 members of the Choir of the French Army lent their voices to a free concert to honor Ukraine’s fighting spirit. “We are here on a mission,” conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson said during a recent rehearsal for the concert, “a mission to support Ukraine, on the artistic and cultural front.” Then she led the singers of the all-male military choir, joined by 30 female members of a Ukrainian vocal ensemble, through ... More

Het Noordbrabants Museum opens 'Veranderland: How the Landscape Is Changing in the Anthropocene'
S-HERTOGENBOSCH.- Artists have long ignored the impact of humans on nature, maintaining a romantic view of our environment. These days, however, many artists are reflecting on current changes, pollution and climate change. Veranderland shows the transformation of the landscape in art over a period of 200 years. Starting with the views of the countryside by, among others: Vincent van Gogh, Henriëtte Ronner-Knip and Piet Mondriaan, the exhibition continues with video works by contemporary artists reflecting on the Anthropocene. The new film The Fen-fire (in Dutch: De Gloeiige), 2024, by Erik van Lieshout (1968) premieres at the Veranderland exhibition. Van Lieshout grew up near the de Peel nature reserve in rural Brabant and decided to live and work there again for eight months. His film focuses on one question: ... More

50 years ago, 'Jaws' hit bookstores, capturing the angst of a generation
NEW YORK, NY.- In 1973, the first chapter of an unpublished novel was photocopied and passed around the Manhattan offices of Doubleday & Co. with a note. “Read this,” it dared, “without reading the rest of the book.” Those who accepted the challenge were treated to a swift-moving tale of terror, one that begins with a young woman taking a postcoital dip in the waters off Long Island. As her lover dozes on the beach, she’s ravaged by a great white shark. “The great conical head struck her like a locomotive, knocking her up out of the water,” the passage read. “The jaws snapped shut around her torso, crushing bones and flesh and organs into a jelly.” Tom Congdon, an editor at Doubleday, had circulated the bloody, soapy excerpt to drum up excitement for his latest project: a thriller about a massive fish stalking a small island town, written by a young author named Peter Benchley. ... More

At 75, the Aldeburgh Festival is bigger than Benjamin Britten
ALDEBURGH.- When composer Benjamin Britten died in 1976, it wasn’t clear how the public would remember him. There was Britten the rooted composer, firmly set in his native Suffolk, England, and the Aldeburgh Festival with his life partner, tenor Peter Pears; Britten the establishment composer, friendly with the “Queen Mum,” the creator of “Gloriana” and the first composer to receive a peerage; and Britten the immediate composer, whose belief in art’s purposefulness meant he consciously avoided what he called writing for posterity. Others, however, were committed to the posterity of Britten’s work on his behalf. Rosamund Strode, a Britten assistant since 1964, became the founding archivist of the Britten Pears Foundation, and set the guidelines for one of the most comprehensive composer archives in existence. ... More

Review: What makes 'Oh, Mary!' one of the best summer comedies in years
NEW YORK, NY.- Like so many before them, members of the “Oh, Mary!” creative team are proudly reclaiming an insulting epithet as a badge of honor. I don’t mean “queer”; they’re way past that. I mean “stupid.” “Oh, Mary!” is “the stupidest play,” Cole Escola, its author and star, tells anyone who will listen. “I have a huge hunger for deep stupidity,” Sam Pinkleton, its director, chimes in. They protest too much. “Oh, Mary!” may be silly, campy, even pointless, but “stupid,” I think not. Rather, the play, which opened Thursday at the Lyceum Theater, is one of the best crafted and most exactingly directed Broadway comedies in years. Which is a surprise on many levels, and on each level a gift. To start with, we don’t get a lot of comedies these days, not the kind you can feel good laughing ... More

Cigarettes After Sex and Gen Z's passion for dream-pop
NEW YORK, NY.- In 2016, after a 4-year-old track by a struggling Brooklyn band called Cigarettes After Sex blew up on YouTube, the group’s brand of crisp, lovesick minimalism began selling out clubs all over Europe. At a tour stop in Prague, Greg Gonzalez, its leader, saw unticketed fans weeping in the street. “OK, this is bizarre,” Gonzalez remembered thinking. “But that showed me that this is doing what it’s supposed to do. This is music that’s meant for emotional people that are in love. That’s what music did for me. So I thought, that’s what I want my music to do for somebody else.” Eight years later, that pattern has repeated for Cigarettes After Sex, on a far grander scale. Although largely ignored by the mainstream media, the band’s spare, crystalline ballads have again caught fire online — this time on TikTok — racking ... More

Orlando Hernández Ying is named NOMA's first Lapis Curator of the Arts of the Americas
NEW ORLEANS, LA.- The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) has announced the appointment of Orlando Hernández Ying as the museum’s Lapis Curator of the Arts of the Americas. This is the first permanent curatorial role at the museum dedicated to an expanded look at the arts of North, Central, and South America. Hernández Ying began the position in February 2024, and in the coming years, he will have a major role in the full reinstallation of the museum’s permanent collection of American art spanning from prehistory to present day. “With this post, the museum inaugurates a new curatorial role dedicated to the research, care, and presentation of Latin American art across time within the broader banner of the arts of the Americas,” said Susan M. Taylor, The Montine McDaniel Freeman Director of NOMA. “Hernández Ying has distinguished ... More

Book deals with dying and mourning by bringing together two independent photographic styles
SALZBURG.- »Totes Gebirge« is to be understood as a long-term artistic project by Agnes Prammer and Johann Schoiswohl, which also deals with dying and mourning by bringing together two independent photographic styles. In their conception of landscape and portrait, both are united by their insistence on consciously slowing down the photographic depiction process as artistic credo. Agnes Prammer, a visual artist and media educator in Vienna, opts for the collodion wet-plate process, which dates back to the early days of photography, in her portrait works. In this process, a glass plate is prepared with a light-sensitive layer before exposure in a mobile darkroom so that it can be developed while still wet after exposure. The optically faithful, almost petrified-looking portrait studies − the long exposure times demand maximum ... More



Bill Viola Interview: Cameras are Keepers of the Souls






 



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Flashback
On a day like today, Austrian painter Gustav Klimt was born
July 14, 1862. Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 - February 6, 1918) was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other objets d'art. Klimt's primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism. In this image: Lady with a Muff (1916-1917).



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