Morning Links

Takashi Murakami Unveils Giant ‘Stupid Cat Painting,’ King Tutankhamun Opera to Debut in 2020, and More: Morning Links from November 4, 2019

Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami.

EARL GIBSON III/SHUTTERSTOCK

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Museums

Takashi Murakami’s newest work—a roughly 30-foot-long painting with references to Japanese folklore—is now on view at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Australia in an exhibition titled “Japan Supernatural.” In a talk at the museum, the artist called the work, which depicts a monumental feline at its center, a “stupid cat painting.” [The Guardian]

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s ninth annual Art + Film gala, at which artist Betye Saar was honored, raised over $4.6 million for the institution. Among the event’s 800 guests were Mark Bradford, Luchita Hurtado, Barbara Kruger, Mary Weatherford, Lauren Halsey, and Julie Mehretu. [Los Angeles Times]

Egypt’s former minister of antiquities, Zahi Hawass, announced last week that his opera based on the life of King Tutankhamun will be presented at the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo next year. [The Art Newspaper]

Exhibitions

The final show organized by celebrated contemporary art curator Okwui Enwezor, who died earlier this year at age 55, will be presented as the Sharjah Biennial in the United Arab Emirates in 2021. Titled “Thinking Historically in the Present,” the biennial will feature 30 commissions by 30 international artists. [The New York Times]

Controversies

A team of architects, including Coldfly & Associés with RDAI and HHCP Architects, have been selected to create a memorial to the victims of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida. Some survivors and victims’ families oppose the plan, which includes a museum. One organizer of the Community Coalition Against A Pulse Museum said, in part, that the design “creates a spectacle of the murder of LGBTQ people.” [The Art Newspaper]

In case you missed it, Zöe Ligon, a Detroit-based sex educator and sex-toy store owner, criticized Richard Prince’s decision to use her image without her permission for a work in his “New Portraits” series. She called the artist’s project “a reckless, embarrassing, and uninformed critique of social media and public domain.” [ARTnews]

Books

“I don’t suppose that muses will ever disappear, but perhaps now they will less regularly take that wearying, inadvertently comic form: old man, young girl,” Zadie Smith writes of Self-Portrait, a new memoir by the artist Celia Paul, who was a lover and muse of Lucian Freud. [The New York Review of Books]

And more

Naomi Fry on photographer Abigail Heyman’s images from the 1960s and 1970s: “Women, Heyman showed, are always at risk of being seen as an abstraction—something less than fully human. In such a context, photography itself becomes a feminist act.” [The New Yorker]

Finally, step inside a sewing machine repair shop in New York, which has become a museum of curiosities, including taxidermy, 19th-century ship anchors and buoys, neon signs, and so much more. [The New York Times]

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