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Cold War nuclear bunker lures tourists worried about new threats

Several generations of mainframe computer systems in the continuity-of-government bunker built in the 1960s by the Canadian government outside Ottawa, on Jan. 18, 2023. Amid renewed tensions with Russia, tourists are flocking to this decommissioned nuclear fallout shelter, now operated as a museum and known somewhat mockingly as the Diefenbunker after the prime minister who commissioned it. (Ian Austen/The New York Times)

by Ian Austen

OTTAWA.- Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine last year, Christine McGuire’s museum began receiving inquiries unlike anything she’d previously encountered during her career. “We had people asking us if we still functioned as a fallout shelter,” said McGuire, the executive director of Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum. “That fear is still very real for people. It seems to have come back into the public psyche.” The Diefenbunker still has most of the form and features of the nuclear fallout shelter it once was for Canadian government and military VIPs. But the underground complex, decommissioned in 1994, has shifted from being a functioning military asset to being a potent symbol of a return to an age when the world’s destruction again seems a real possibility with a nuclear-armed Russia raising the specter of using the weapons. ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Baltimore Museum of Art taps its Chief Curator as its next Director   Balkrishna Doshi, first Indian architect to win a Pritzker, dies at 95   Editions Studio Recreates Jeff Koons Balloon Dogs and Rabbits in Metal, Just Like Originals

Asma Naeem in an undated photo. (Christopher Myers via The New York Times)

by Hilarie M. Sheets

NEW YORK, NY.- The Baltimore Museum of Art announced Tuesday that Asma Naeem, its chief curator since 2018 and interim co-director, will become director effective Feb. 1. Born in Karachi, Pakistan, and raised in Baltimore, Naeem practiced law for almost 15 years before switching careers and finishing her doctorate in American art. She becomes the first person of color to lead the museum, founded in 1914, and will oversee its collection of more than 97,000 objects and an annual operating budget of $23 million. Naeem, 53, has been interim co-director of the museum since Christopher Bedford, the former director, left in June for the top post at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Naeem had a central role in shaping and implementing the Baltimore museum’s strategic plan, adopted in 2018 ... More

An undated photo provided Iwan Baan shows the architect Balkrishna Doshi. (Iwan Baan via The New York Times)

by Fred A. Bernstein

NEW YORK, NY.- Balkrishna Doshi, an architect who helped bring modernism to his native India, at first collaborating with Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn and then developing his own approach to building in his country, died Tuesday at his home in Ahmedabad, India, which he designed and named Kamala House, after his wife. He was 95. The death was confirmed by his granddaughter Khushnu Hoof. In 2018, Doshi — who was known professionally as B.V. Doshi but was called just Doshi by nearly everyone — became the first Indian architect to receive the Pritzker Prize, considered architecture’s highest honor. It was the latest in a long string of awards, conferred in India and abroad, that cited his achievements as both a designer and an educator ... More

Editions Studio, Rabbit, metal-pink. XL box inside.

NEW YORK, NY.- Jeff Koons’s balloon dog sculptures are cultural icons. ‘Blown up’ to an exceptional size, these balloon animal sculptures take on a life of their own and reflect the world around them in cartoonish colors. The original Celebration sculptures are crafted with mirror-polished stainless steel that is coated in transparent colors to create a faux latex finish. Although the broad collection includes roses, tulips, hearts, snakes, eggs, and more, two specific styles have dominated the art world’s attention: balloon dogs and balloon rabbits. Koons’s pop culture-inspired artwork is clearly reminiscent of postwar greats, including Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali. Just like Warhol, the Koons balloon dogs and rabbits have cemented their position in world-renowned art galleries and at-home display shelves. Unsurprisingly, Koons celebrates this far-reaching level of accessibility. In an interview with The Guardian ... More

Marilyn Stafford, a photojournalist rediscovered, dies at 97   Louisiana opens a comprehensive exhibition of works by the Indian photographer Gauri Gill   Jane Lombard Gallery announces representation of Margarita Cabrera

In a family photo, the photojournalist Marilyn Stafford in 1960. (Marilyn Stafford via The New York Times)

by Alex Williams

NEW YORK, NY.- Marilyn Stafford’s journey from aspiring Broadway singer and actress to noted photojournalist and fashion photographer started with a drive to New Jersey and a spasm of fear. One morning in 1948, Stafford, who was 23, was tagging along with two friends who were driving to the home of Albert Einstein in Princeton, New Jersey, to make a short documentary about him and his views, as one of history’s greatest physicists, on the dawning of atomic weapons. On the car ride down, one of the friends handed Stafford a 35 mm camera and asked her to take some stills between takes. “I’d never used one before, and I went into a panic,” she recalled in a 2021 interview. There was little to worry about, it turned out. Einstein, wearing baggy pants and a sweatshirt, seemed gentle and modest ... More

Gauri Gill, Gurgaon 2004 (a), from the series ‘Rememory’, 2003–ongoing. Archival Pigment Print, 60.9 x 40.6 cm © Gauri Gill.

HUMLEBAEK.- Louisiana kicks off 2023 with a comprehensive exhibition of works by the Indian photographer Gauri Gill (b. 1970). The exhibition is the first major survey of the artist’s work and features more than 200 works from her most significant series. From her base in New Delhi, Gauri Gill has made an impact on the international art scene, not least at documenta in 2017 and the Venice Biennale in 2019, with an original body of work characterized by a mix of several photographic genres – from classical documentary to staged performances for the camera and numerous works created in collaboration with others. Over the last two decades, Gauri Gill has especially captured the lives of marginalized rural communities outside India’s urban centres. Several topics interweave in the works and across the series: identity ... More

Margarita Cabrera. Photo: Porturas Photography

NEW YORK, NY.- Jane Lombard Gallery has announced their representation of Mexican born Texas based artist Margarita Cabrera. Following a successful solo booth at Untitled Art Miami Beach 2022, the artist will have her debut solo exhibition at the gallery in Spring 2024. Cabrera’s work is currently on view at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas; with forthcoming exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio; the Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado; and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.. We are pleased to welcome Cabrera to our roster of artists whose work further bolsters the gallery’s mission to highlight important social and political issues of today. A self-defined social practices artist, Margarita Cabrera’s work is often fueled by collaboration from community engagement in order to get a holistic view of social issues. Materials such as US Border Patrol uniform ... More

Art Gallery of Ontario opens "Radical Remembrance: The Sculptures of David Ruben Piqtoukun"   Nantucket Historical Association acquires significant Eastman Johnson painting   Success for the Cohen & Cohen collection of fine Chinese Export Porcelain

David Ruben Piqtoukun, Mystical Shape, unknown. Stone, hair, antler, with antler 'horns" in place: 30 × 12 × 28.5 cm. Private Collection. © David Ruben Piqtoukun. Photo AGO.

TORONTO.- This past January 21st the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) opened the exhibition "Radical Remembrance" Inuvialuit sculptor David Ruben Piqtoukun’s ᑎᕕᑎ ᐱᑐᑯ ᕈᐱᐃᓐ first major AGO solo exhibition. Recipient of a Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Arts in 2022, this career-spanning exhibition showcases new artworks, alongside visitor favourites from the Samuel and Esther Sarick Collection at the AGO, to reveal the artist’s material inventiveness, humour and narrative power. Reclaiming through his art the oral histories stolen from him during his years in residential school, Radical Remembrance will be on view through June 25, 2023, in the AGO’s Philip B. Lind Gallery on Level 1. Born in 1950 in Paulatuk, Northwest Territories, in what is now the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Piqtoukun lives and works in Southern Ontario ... More

Cranberry Pickers, Eastman Johnson, 20" x 30". Oil on cradled panel. Photo courtesy of Nantucket Historical Association.

NANTUCKET, MAINE.- The Nantucket Historical Association announced the acquisition of the painting Cranberry Pickers by Eastman Johnson, thanks to an outpouring of generous support from numerous private donors, NHA board members, and the Friends of the Nantucket Historical Association. Cranberry Pickers depicts a woman and man harvesting cranberries on Nantucket’s north shore. Painted around 1877, it is one of approximately twenty works Johnson created in preparation for his masterpiece Cranberry Harvest, Island of Nantucket (1880), which is now in the collection of the Timken Museum in San Diego. “The NHA is thrilled to add this important painting to our permanent collection. Eastman Johnson is one of the most significant nineteenth-century American painters, and Cranberry Harvest is his most iconic work. This major acquisition allows us to better preserve Johnson ... More

A ‘US Hong at Canton’ documentary bowl sold for US$138,900. Photo: Bonhams.

NEW YORK, NY.- Bonhams presented 50 years of Chinese Export Porcelain from the renowned gallery Cohen & Cohen on January 24 in New York. The 155 lots featured the best examples from the unique category that artistically fuses Western aesthetic with Chinese craftsmanship. The sale made a total of US$1,740,000 with 85% sold by lot and 98% by value. Highlights from the sale include: • A furry of bidding for the ‘US Hong at Canton’ documentary bowl finally achieved US$138,900, well above its estimate of US$60,000 - 80,000. The bowl is an important record of a short period of time through its British and Dutch flags, a pentimento of the American flag in its prior location, as well as the Philippine flag for The Real Compañia de Fliipinas (Royal Philippine Company). • Over three times its estimate, a pair of famille rose 'reclining ladies' (circa 1750) sold for US$75,900. The figures suggestion of pregnancy ... More

"Rebekah Goldstein: Paintings and Sculpture" now on view in Boca Raton   Americas Society opens the first solo exhibition in the US of Afro-Brazilian artist Arthur Bispo do Rosario   John Riepenhoff named Sculpture Milwaukee's 2023 curator

Rebekah Goldstein, Party Girl, 2011. Oil on shaped canvas, 59 1/2 x 45 inches, (151.1 x 114.3 cm).

BOCA RATON, FLA.- Rebekah Goldstein: Paintings and Sculpture is now on view at Rosenbaum Contemporary (150 Yamato Road) in Boca Raton, Fla. The exhibition began on January 24th and will continue through April 22, 2023. The exhibition, a concentrated survey of Goldstein’s work, includes her rectangular paintings, sculpture and the shaped canvases she has become known for. It will be viewable during regular gallery hours, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as online at Goldstein’s work has been compared to that of Elizabeth Murray, Frank Stella and other modern and contemporary masters for her “abandonment of rectangular constraint.” Her paintings explore color, form and structure and their relationship to the human body and the built environment. They also play with perceptions of space. ... More

Untitled [Miss Tanzania (Miss Tanzania)], n.d. Fabric, thread, ink, plastic thread, unidentified material, metal, fiber.

NEW YORK, NY.- Americas Society presents Bispo do Rosario: All Existing Materials on Earth, the first solo exhibition in the United States of Afro-Brazilian artist Arthur Bispo do Rosario (b. 1909, Japaratuba, Brazil, d. 1989, Rio de Janeiro)—known as “Bispo.” During his career, Bispo created more than 1,000 artwork objects from Colônia Juliano Moreira, a psychiatric institution in Rio de Janeiro where he lived most of his life. The exhibition runs through May 20, 2023. “His commitment to his craft was the result of a mandate, an offering, and a mission to replicate, catalogue, and organize the world around him,” said the exhibition curatorial team. “His endless activity helped him to survive the hardships of many years of psychiatric institutionalization.” Co-curated by Aimé Iglesias Lukin, Ricardo Resende, and Javier ... More

John Riepenhoff, Sculpture Milwaukee's 2023 curator. Photo courtesy of Sculpture Milwaukee.

MILWAUKEE, WIS.- Sculpture Milwaukee announced John Riepenhoff will serve as curator for the 2023 exhibition, which will open this summer and be on view through October 2024. Now in its seventh year, Sculpture Milwaukee is an annual outdoor exhibition of public sculpture in downtown Milwaukee. The organization serves as a catalyst for community engagement, economic development, and creative placemaking. John Riepenhoff is an internationally renowned artist, curator, and gallerist who lives and works in Milwaukee. “I'm thrilled to join the succession of artist-curators at Sculpture Milwaukee,” Riepenhoff said. “After watching the organization innovate exhibition-making and engage the local and international scenes over the past six years, I am honored to help continue to grow its legacy with a new cohort of contemporary artists ... More

More News
Unique 1855-S three dollar gold to shimmer at Heritage Auctions' Long Beach Expo
DALLAS, TEXAS.- It’s one of the oldest rules of collecting: The scarcer something is, the greater the demand among collectors. It therefore is no surprise that an 1855-S Three Dollar Gold, PR64 Cameo is among the most coveted prizes at Heritage Auctions’ Long Beach Expo US Coins Signature® Auction Feb. 9-12. This magnificent coin, from the Bender Family Collection, Part III, is the only example known to collectors, making it one of the most elusive in the U.S. federal series. The 1855-S was produced to commemorate the first striking of the three dollar denomination at the San Francisco Mint, which had opened for coinage operations just one year earlier. “Remember, virtually all coins from that era were struck in the Philadelphia Mint,” says Todd Imhof, Executive Vice President at Heritage Auctions. “Coins from any other Mint are prized among collectors, and with good reason ... More

Gen Z's distorted sense of selfie
NEW YORK, NY.- Mercedes Jimenez-Cortes often takes pictures of herself in the domed mirrors that hang in parking garages. The mirrors turn an everyday scene surreal, bending concrete like it’s jelly and exaggerating the size of Jimenez-Cortes’ face, her iPhone or her extended middle finger. Jimenez-Cortes, 24, who works for Instacart and lives in Atlanta, liked the look of the mirrors so much that she recently purchased one for her apartment. The stylishly named PLX18 Circular Acrylic Indoor Convex Security mirror cost $37 on Amazon and came equipped with a swivel mounting bracket to extend its range of visibility in loading docks and driveways. Jimenez-Cortes hung the mirror near a disco ball in her living room, where her cat, Pixie, uses it to gaze at his own contorted reflection. “It looks funny,” Jimenez-Cortes said. “But it looks funny on purpose ... More

MACRO in Rome presents an exhibition of works by Fatima Al Qadiri
ROME.- Fatima Al Qadiri (Dakar, 1981) is a composer and artist from Kuwait whose musical and material output escapes any form of genre specificity or definition other than the one suggested by the title of the exhibition that MACRO is dedicating to her: Isekai. Japanese for otherworld, Isekai refers to a type of novel, film, anime, manga or video game in which the central characters are transported into a virtual universe, while the reader or audience follows the protagonist(s) as they discover a parallel world. Deeply influenced by the narrative and immersive aspects of video games, Al Qadiri conceives and composes music that explores cultural translation, mis-translation and re-interpretation across time and place. The artist’s unique approach toys with the boundaries of genre and subverts the predominantly abstract nature of electronic music, with each EP or LP ... More

HRD Antwerp announces the winners of the 18th HRD Design Awards at Vicenzaoro
ANTWERP.- In the fully packed Teatro Palladio at Vicenzaoro, the reinvented design competition came to its conclusion with the announcement of the 3 category winners, the two runners-up and the overall competi- tion winner. That final honor falls upon the young and new talent Wang Xuerui from China. CEO Ellen Joncheere also launched a new initiative to support young designers worldwide: the young Designers Community. The jury, under the professional guidance of CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri, selected 3 winners that made a design within the selected theme: peace. Storytelling, technical skills and the ability to translate this into the design were the decisive factors that led to the choices of the jury. More than 1500 participants entered about 1600 designs, which is a big jump from the 800 contestants we had at the last edition ... More

Postal Service salutes author Ernest J. Gaines
LAFAYETTE, LA.- The U.S. Postal Service today celebrated the life of author Ernest J. Gaines, best known for the novels “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” and “A Lesson Before Dying,” as the 46th honoree in the Black Heritage Stamp series in a first-day-of-issue ceremony at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. “Dr. Gaines brought worldwide attention to generations of men and women who asserted their human dignity in the face of racial oppression and violence,” said Donald Lee Moak, a member of the USPS Board of Governors, who served as the dedicating official. “His novels would shine a light on individuals who were too often overlooked and remind us of the dignity present in every human being, especially those being oppressed. That is just one reason the United States Postal Service is privileged to honor him with this new stamp ... More

Justin Peck's new Americana, set to Copland's old
NEW YORK, NY.- “Right now you’re dancing on top of or ahead of the music,” Justin Peck told members of New York City Ballet during a recent rehearsal. As the pianist Craig Baldwin played the gently accumulating “Simple Gifts” section of Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring,” Peck added: “Here, you should be riding the wave of the music. It’s like surfing on a longboard.” It wasn’t the only time Peck, City Ballet’s resident choreographer, spoke in metaphors while preparing “Copland Dance Episodes,” which premieres on Thursday at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. And it wasn’t the only time he encouraged dancers to match the plain-spoken spareness of the music. “It has to have the ease,” he said at one point, “of a tumbleweed blowing.” These dancers are somewhat familiar with Copland; Peck’s exhilaratingly athletic “Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes ... More

'The Appointment' review: A chorus line at the abortion clinic
NEW YORK, NY.- The singing fetuses giggle and taunt, adorable and naughty like a gang of baby clowns. Umbilical cords dangle from their bellies, and when the fetuses break into song, they like to hold those cords up like make-believe microphones. If you wanted to nudge someone’s memory of “The Appointment,” the wild and wily abortion musical that was first seen in New York in 2019, you’d start by mentioning those vividly imagined womb dwellers. In this show by Philadelphia company Lightning Rod Special (“Underground Railroad Game”), they’re the rowdy, trippy part. What’s most arresting about “The Appointment,” though — even more now, in its current engagement at WP Theater on the Upper West Side — is the contrasting quiet calm of its realistic scenes set inside a clinic, where a composed, 30-something woman named Louise ... More

Ishara Art Foundation presents 'Notations on Time', curated by Sandhini Poddar and Sabih Ahmed
DUBAI.- Notations on Time is a group exhibition that explores the philosophical and political dimensions of time through the works of 20 contemporary artists from South Asia and its diaspora. Curated by Sandhini Poddar and Sabih Ahmed, the exhibition stages a dialogue between artistic generations to highlight entanglements between the past, present and future. The exhibition exists as a veritable laboratory of time, exploring art in notational, experimental and fragmentary forms. Standing apart from Western notions of linearity, progress and capitalist domination, Notations on Time explores ontological systems that reveal how artists from this region and its diaspora think about aesthetics, existence, remembrance and futurity. Where and how do we ‘read’ time? On bodies, skins, machines, rivers, landscapes, and stars. Within wormholes in cosmic space and underground ... More

Edra Soto announced as 2022 Ree Kaneko Award winner
OMAHA, NEB.- Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts announced Edra Soto as its 2022 Ree Kaneko Award winner. This annual award is bestowed to artists that have participated in Bemis's exhibition or residency programs and is named in honor of Ree Kaneko, Bemis Center co-founder, first Executive Director, and Board Member Emerita. Her vision and passion embody the spirit of this unrestricted annual award designed to provide financial support to increase the capacity of a Bemis alum’s practice. Established in 2019 at $5,000, the Award has blossomed to $25,000 thanks to individual donors committed to Bemis's ongoing support of its alumni community. The annual award is by nomination only and is selected by a panel of renowned curators and art historians. “I am beyond thrilled to be this year’s recipient of the Ree Kaneko Award, presented by the Bemis Center ... More

6 original paintings by folk artist Maud Lewis will headline Miller & Miller online auction
NEW HAMBURG.- Six original oil on board paintings by renowned Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis (1903-1970) are expected headliners in Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.’s online-only Canadiana & Folk Art auction slated for Saturday, February 11th, beginning at 9 am Eastern time. Nearly 300 lots in a wide array of popular collecting categories will be offered. Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. is no stranger to Maud Lewis. Her work has been featured in several past sales, including one held in October 2022, in which eleven paintings by the artist sailed past their high estimates to bring a combined $559,510. The top lot was Winter Sleigh Ride (est. $20,000-$25,000); it finished at $100,300. All prices quoted are in Canadian dollars. Five of the paintings in the February 11th auction all carry estimates of $25,000-$30,000. The first, lot 263, is titled Oxen in Winter ... More

Peter Liversidge, Either/Or, 2023

On a day like today, French painter Théodore Géricault died
January 26, 1824. Jean-Louis André Théodore Géricault (26 September 1791 - 26 January 1824) was an influential French painter and lithographer, known for The Raft of the Medusa and other paintings. Although he died young, he was one of the pioneers of the Romantic movement. In this imag: Gericault, A Dappled Grey Horse Led by a Groom, c. 1820-21. Sepia wash over graphite on paper, 13 x 16 cm.

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