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The Headlines

FOLLOWING THE PASSINGlast week of art criticPeter Schjeldahl—“whose exuberant prose and perceptive mind made him one of the most widely read art critics in the U.S.,” asAlex Greenbergerwrote inARTnews—friends and colleagues have been filing remembrances. In the latest issue of theNew Yorker, where Schjeldahl wrote for almost a quarter-century, editor-in-chiefDavid Remnicksays that“he was openhearted, he knew how to praise critically, and, to the end, he was receptive to new things, new artists.” In theLos Angeles Times, fellow criticChristopher Knight, who counted Schjeldahl as a friend for some 25 years,argues that his articles“radiated his unwavering belief—one I happen to share—that pleasure is the driving impulse behind the best art, even when its subject matter might be grim, as well as a key to any critical response to it.”

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SHI XINGBANG,a leading Chinese archaeologist behind pivotal discoveries,has diedat 99, theSouth China Morning Postreports. Shi’s career was paused by the Cultural Revolution (1966–76), but he still logged astonishing accomplishments over four decades, like helping to organize the excavation of theTerracotta Armyand uncovering the first neolithic village found in the country, in 1953. Named Banpo, it is believed to date back some six millennia and belong to the Yangshao culture, an early agricultural society.

The Digest

On Monday, just a day after climate protestors in Germanythrew mashed potatoeson aMonet, activists inJust Stop OilT-shirts slammed pies into the face ofKing Charles‘s wax sculpture atMadame Tussaudsin London. Four people were arrested.[BBC News]

An octet ofRoyal Institute of British Architectsquestioned the renovation planned bySelldorf Architectsfor the Sainsbury Wing at London’sNational Gallery. Filing public comments, they argued that the proposal is “insensitive and inappropriately changes a finely conceived space into an airport lounge.”[Dezeen]

TheYale University Art Gallery’s decision not to display an offering from a Navajo Diné elder namedJonah Yellowmanas part of a solo show by artistFazal Sheikhhas led to a debate over alleged censorship and how arts institutions interact with Indigenous communities and display their culture.[Yale Daily News]

Spencer Tunick—the artist famed for assembling and photographing large numbers of naked people—is seeking 2,500 people to, yes, get naked at a Sydney beach next month for his latest endeavor, which has been commissioned bySkin Check Champions, a charity that fights skin cancer.[The Guardian]

Joanna Nordin, who has led theCarl Eldh Studio Museumin Stockholm since 2020, has been tapped to become artistic director of the closely watchedBonniers Konsthallin Sweden. She starts in April.[ArtDaily]

ARTISTS!David Shrigleyis in theGuardian,Jeffrey Gibsonis in theFinancial Times,Khushna Sulaman-Buttis inCultured, and last but not least,Bob Dylanis in—or at least written about by—theNew Yorker, in a pieceby David Remnick.

The Kicker

TEENAGE RIOT.When didJordan Wolfsonknow that he wanted to be an artist? “It just sort of hit me like a lightning bolt that I would be an artist,” he offered ina formidably wide-ranging interviewinInterviewmagazine with fellow artistAnne Imhof. “It happened in a flash when I was 16 years old. Before that, I didn’t have much confidence. I was kind of a frustrated person. I thought I could be a professional skateboarder or something, or a comedian or a graphic designer. I didn’t know. And then one night it just hit me like a lightning bolt.” The rest, of course, is history.[Interview]