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THE ENVELOPE, PLEASE.After a whirlwind opening week, theVenice Biennalenamed the winners of its prizes. In a first,both of its highest honors went to Black women,Alex Greenbergerreports.Sonia Boyce, who was representing Great Britain with a video installation that channels and celebrates the work of Black female musicians, took home the Golden Lion for best national pavilion, while Simone Leighgarnered the Golden Lion for the best contribution to the event’s main show, “The Milk of Dreams.” The jury praised Leigh’s soaring 2019 sculptureBrick House, which previously graced theHigh Linein New York,as “rigorously researched, virtuosically realized, and powerfully persuasive.”The Silver Lion, for a “promising young artist” in the central show, went toAli Cherri. For more on the prizes—including the special mentions presented by the jury—head toARTnews.
ART AND POLITICS.The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, akaUNESCO, said that it ispostponinga meetingof itsWorld Heritage Committeethat had been scheduled for June in Kazan, Russia, theArt Newspaperreports. The proposal to postponecame fromRussia’s ambassador to the group, according to theAFP. Some international officials had been calling for the meeting to be relocated due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile,TANreports, Russian artistOleg Kulikwasquestioned by law enforcement officialsabout his statueBig Mother(2015), after lawmakers claimed that it mocked a statue honoring the Battle of Stalingrad, a potential offense. Kulik, who is perhaps best known for acting remarkably like a dog in a series of performances, said that was not his intention in the piece, and that if he knew it would be seen that way “I would not even have started it.”
With Crown PrinceMohammed bin Salmanreducing the amount of income that Saudi royals receive, some are selling prized assets, including real-estate holdings, jewels, and artworks.[The Wall Street Journal]
Iraq’sMinistry of Cultureis currently hosting an exhibition of about 100 works of contemporary art by artists from the country. A number of the pieces were recovered abroad after the pillaging of museums during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of the country.[AFP/France24]
TheMuseum of Modern Artin New York is planning a major survey of the work of German ExpressionistKäthe Kollwitz, and recently acquired a lithograph jointly with Manhattan’sNeue Galerie. The circa 1904 self-portraitit is now on view in a permanent-collection gallery at MoMA.[The Art Newspaper]
Speaking of prints, “unseen etchings thatLucian Freudrejected or reworked are to be published for the first time as part of a definitive study that will document every print he ever created,”Dalya Albergereports. The catalogue raisonné, fromModern Art Press, comes out next month.[The Guardian]
ArtistGary Simmons, who currently has a show atHauser & Wirthin Los Angeles, sat for an interview withLeigh-Ann Jackson. “The work forces you to go down certain parts of memory lane,” he said of his partially erased chalkboard drawings. “It nudges you into rethinking how certain images came into your life.”[Los Angeles Times]
A LIFE-CHANGING EDUCATION.At theNew York Academy of Art’s Tribeca Ball last week, artistKenny Scharfwas the guest of honor, and was toasted by the school’s chairwoman,Eileen Guggenheim, as an “artist who created his own scene,”John Ortvedreportsin theNew York Times. It turns out that Guggenheim and Scharf go back a long way: She was one of his teachers at theUniversity of California, Santa Barbara, before he decided to decamp to New York. Prior to taking her class, the artist said, he wanted only to study the “three B’s: bongs, beers, and babes.”[NYT]