Morning Links: Obama Portrait Edition

Two portraits of Barack Obama by Chuck Close.COURTESY SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION

Two portraits of Barack Obama by Chuck Close.


Dana Schutz

The coverage of the protest surrounding Dana Schutz’s painting of the slain Emmett Till continued into the weekend, with news stations investigating the uproar and resulting reaction. [NBC]

Adam Shatz has an insightful look at the controversy, concluding that “What is most troubling about the call to remove Schutz’s painting is not the censoriousness, but the implicit disavowal that acts of radical sympathy, and imaginative identification, are possible across racial lines.” [The London Review of Books]

And here’s a long, detailed recap of the whole saga. [Flavorwire]

Matters of State

The “America’s Presidents” exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery had been closed for the last month, and when it reopened Friday, there was one more commander-in-chief accounted for: Barack Obama. Granted, this isn’t his official commissioned portrait, which will be handled by the White House Historical Association at a later date. But two lovely Chuck Close portraits will certainly work as a placeholder. [WJLA Washington]

Culture evangelists in Hays, Kansas show how small-town America can embrace the arts even if Trump succeeds in defunding or drastically cutting the NEA. [The New York Times]

Fair Game

Here’s a look at the more social side of Art Basel Hong Kong, with a pretty epic tableau from the bash at Le Baron as the header image. [W]

TEFAF once cornered the market in the art fair report game, but this year, it has new competition from Art Basel. The world’s biggest fair network has a new report helmed by the former TEFAF analytics maestro, Clare McAndrew. [Forbes]

And here are “the movers and shakers” who made a splash at Art Basel Hong Kong this year. [Mr. Porter]

The YBAs

Rachel Whiteread says the YBAs set up a situation at art schools where “students were only interested in being famous.” [The Telegraph]

Meanwhile, publications are churning out breathless prose about Damien Hirst in advance of his shows at the Palazzo Grassi and the Punta della Dogana. [The Guardian]


An antiques dealer thinks a statue of King David at the Met is likely a fake, as he bought a very similar one at a shop in Greenwich Village for $600. [The New York Post]

Take a look at this deep dive investigating the psychological circumstances that compel people to try and damage or destroy works of art. [Salon]

Around the World

In New York, Ai Weiwei will install fence-likes works at 100 locations throughout the metropolis, thanks to the Public Art Fund. [The New York Times]

In Berlin, a look into three of the city’s many excellent spaces hosting private collections. [Deutsche Welle]

In Cleveland, the local paper calls a recent rehang of the museum’s contemporary galleries “a serious mind-bender.” [The Cleveland Plain Dealer]

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