To receive Morning Links in your inbox every weekday, sign up for our Breakfast with ARTnews newsletter.
COMING ATTRACTIONS. It is a fine day for fans of art documentaries. One on the storied Los Angeles–based Chicano art collective Asco is in the works from director Travis Gutiérrez Senger, Variety reports. Mexican film superstars Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna are backing the project with Exile Content and others. Meanwhile, another film, on Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci, is coming from doc king Ken Burns, Variety also reports. It notes that this will be Burns’s first project set “entirely outside the continental United States,” which Leonardo regrettably never had the opportunity to visit.
COUNTING DOWN. The Venice Biennale is opening in just over two months, and while many projects have been announced, a few countries have just detailed their plans. For one, Uganda will stage its first-ever pavilion, ARTnews reports, with Shaheen Merali curating a show of work by Acaye Kerunen and Collin Sekajugo, at the Palazzo Palumbo Fossati . Meanwhile, Romania has tapped artist and filmmaker Adina Pintilie to present a solo outing. Cosmin Costinaș and Viktor Neumann are curating. A multi-channel film will take over the nation’s pavilion in the Giardini, with a VR project on offer at the New Gallery of the Romanian Institute for Culture and Humanistic Research in the most serene city’s Cannaregio district.
The Orlando Museum of Art in Florida just opened a show of 25 works that it says are Jean-Michel Basquiat paintings discovered in a storage unit for which the late screenwriter Thad Mumford failed to pay rent. However, experts have greeted the show with “a stony public silence,” Brett Sokol reports, and a clue on one piece raises questions about its authenticity. [The New York Times]
More news from the Sunshine State: The University of South Florida’s Contemporary Art Museum, which is located in Tampa, will open a 3,100-square-foot branch called Generator: USF Contemporary Art Museum in nearby St. Petersburg. [The St. Pete Catalyst]
Workers in Richmond, Virginia, taking apart a pedestal that once held a now-toppled monument to Confederate President Jefferson Davis discovered a box that may be a time capsule. It will be transferred to the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, which the city has designated to receive Confederate monuments and artifacts. [Richmond Times-Dispatch and Associated Press]
Sotheby’s will offer “the biggest vivid blue diamond” ever to hit the block at an April auction in Hong Kong with an estimate over $48 million. Patti Wong, Sotheby’s Asia chairman, noted that the 15.10-carat gem has been “hundreds of millions of years in the making.” [CNN]
Galerie Jacques De La Beraudiere, of Brussels, withdrew a suit against Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art, of New York, in which it had claimed that Nahem’s refusal to name the prior owner of a Mark Rothko it once handled was affecting its own ability to sell the painting. The Brussels dealership called it a “misunderstanding” in a statement, and said that Nahem had not “hindered the future marketing or sale of this painting in any way.” [Artnet News]
A limited-edition BMW conceived by artist Jeff Koons has been revealed. Only 99 have been made. [Car and Driver]
Writer Roxane Gay profiled painter Jordan Casteel, “one of the most vibrant and exciting artists working today.” [The Cut/New York]
VIBE CHECK. For New York magazine, Allison P. Davis chatted with Sean Monahan, a cofounder of the erstwhile art collective and trend-forecasting venture K-HOLE. The trend-forecasting continues for Monahan, who now works as a consultant. Where is the culture headed? He has no precise answer but hazards that “people want to make things personal again,” after an era dominated by globe-spanning tech platforms. As for specific stylistic tropes, we could see a return to early-2000s markers like “American Apparel, flash photography at parties, and messy hair and messy makeup,” he says. Collectors of today, take note. Artists of that bygone era, take heart! [The Cut/NYMag]
Thank you for reading. See you tomorrow.