Morning Links

Cuban Artist Arrested, New NEH Grants, Detroit’s Growing Art Scene, and More: Morning Links for August 14, 2019

The Cuban flag.

The Cuban flag.


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After staging a performance using his nation’s flag, Cuban artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcantara was arrested. [Artforum]

A long-brewing controversy over the El Museo del Barrio in New York has come to a head, with members of its community wondering “whom, exactly, El Museo represents,” according to a report on the matter. [The New Yorker]

Read a report from a protest at El Museo this past June in which activists read a manifesto about the demands of the community. [ARTnews]

Charles Desmarais writes on a controversial mural of George Washington that one San Francisco school has chosen to cover rather than to remove entirely. Desmarais asks: “What obligations do our cultural and education leaders have to protect our cultural heritage?” [San Francisco Chronicle]


The National Gallery of Art in London will show an “immersive experience” exploring how Leonardo da Vinci designed the composition of The Virgin of the Rocks (1491–1508). [The Art Newspaper]

One month after its founder was discovered murdered, Baton Rouge’s Odell S. Williams Now And Then African American Museum has been defaced. [Jezebel]

Despite being repeatedly targeted by Donald Trump, the National Endowment for the Humanities has released the latest round of grants, with $29 million being awarded to 215 projects, including the improvement of the environmental controls at Puerto Rico’s Ponce Museum of Art. [The New York Times]


Detroit’s art scene is growing, but artists worry about the downsides of such expansion—gentrification is following an influx of people into the city. “There’s room for collaboration and growth, but we hope that you have respect,” one artist said. “Don’t try to Columbus it.” [Artsy]

The Critics

Jason Farago writes on the Phillips Collection’s exhibition “The Warmth of Our Suns,” which surveys art about migrations and is “poignant, solemn and utterly shaming.” [The New York Times]

Philip Kennicott: “It took seeing the [Barnes Collection’s] powerful survey of Bill Viola’s rich, deep and deeply moving video work to fully understand what is so hollow and dispiriting about the main galleries of the collection.” [The Washington Post]


Sotheby’s will sell the holdings of longtime WWD and W editor Patrick McCarthy. Among the works set to hit the block are pieces by Brice Marden, Louise Nevelson, and Ed Ruscha. [WWD]

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