Morning Links

Morning Links: Other Worldly Wonders Editions

Installation view of Vija Celmins’s show at Matthew Marks Gallery in Los Angeles, 2018.


Portrait By an Artist

For the New York Times, Holland Cotter set his art-critic eyes on the newly unveiled Obama paintings for the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and rhapsodizes that “this city of myriad monuments gets a couple of new ones, each radiating, in its different way, gravitas (his) and glam (hers).” [The New York Times]

For the Washington Post, Philip Kennicott writes, “The Obamas took a significant chance on both artists and were rewarded with powerful images that will shake up the expectations and assumptions of visitors to the traditionally button-down presidential galleries.” [The Washington Post]

Jerry Saltz of New York magazine likes both paintings a lot. “Amen,” he writes. [Vulture/New York]

For T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Dushko Petrovich pans back and considers the rise of portraiture of late in the culture at large. Obama’s selection of Wiley as his painter, Petrovich writes, “seemed to signal contemporary portraiture’s new relevance, the reconsideration of a mode that had been thought out of fashion, if not downright taboo, for decades. Long confined to historical museums and musty mansions, it seemed like portraiture had suddenly been rushed out of storage.” [T: The New York Times Style Magazine]

Redemptive Panther

An essay in the New York Review of Books praises LaToya Ruby Frazier’s show at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in New York and the ways it addresses “the endemic racism and hazardous decay of post-industrial America, the bond and burden of home for families caught amid these crises, and the redemptive potential of art to tell these stories.” [The New York Review of Books]

A video for a new song by rapper Kendrick Lamar for the movie Black Panther features imagery that looks awfully close to artwork by Lina Iris Viktor—so close, in fact, that the artist had a lawyer send a letter alleging a violation of copyright. Viktor had been queried by makers of the movie asking for permission previously, but she declined—and yet what looks like her work ended up getting used anyway. [The New York Times]


The L.A. Times has a review of Vija Celmins’s show at Matthew Marks Gallery in Los Angeles and its “chalkboards, ocean waves, and other improbable wonders.” [Los Angeles Times]

For the Guardian, Jonathan Jones reviewed an Emil Nolde retrospective at the National Gallery of Ireland. “Menace and rawness saturate Nolde’s powerful works,” the story goes. “But the hateful views of this Nazi party member eventually become all too evident.” [The Guardian]

Fair’s Fair

“That theme of dispossession runs through this year’s Dhaka Art Summit, the newest hub for contemporary art on the global circuit,” Al Jazeera reports. [Al Jazeera]

A federal judge awarded $6.7 million to graffiti artists whose work was painted over at the contentious Queens graffiti haven known as 5 Pointz, the New York Daily News reports. [New York Daily News]


Paul Clipson, an experimental filmmaker and video artist from the Bay Area, got a proper tribute in Frieze after dying earlier this month at the age of 52. [Frieze]

For the Paris Review, the novelist Francine Prose reflected on a past appearance on TV with recently fallen talk-show host Charlie Rose. “It was May, 2000, and the subject of our interview was Blue Angel, my then-recent novel about—of all things—sexual harassment,” she writes. “Or at least, that’s what Charlie thought the novel was about.” [The Paris Review]

The world is cold and harsh. But this Guardian roundup of “the best of Rio and Sao Paulo carnivals in pictures” can make it better. [The Guardian]

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