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PICASSO MANIA. It’s the half-centenary of Pablo Picasso’s death, and that means many are reassessing the artist’s life and work. The New York Times sat down with 10 artists, including George Condo, Mickalene Thomas, Derrick Adams, and Rachel Harrison , the last of whom had this to say: “The interpretation of his work has leaned too heavily on biography. That’s boring.” Hot take! But if you’re in want of more biographical interpretation, there’s a new book by art historian Annie Cohen-Solal that focuses on Picasso’s tormented relationship to France, the country that he long called home and the state whose police surveilled him. Alex Greenberger reviewed it for ARTnews, writing that Cohen-Solal “treats Picasso kindlier” than many contemporary detractors, but that “it is tough to disparage any of her findings.” As for the art itself, the Guardian has a survey of the “fiesta of exhibitions” taking place right now.
SHE’S BACK. Some 142 years after it was first painted, James McNeill Whistler’s famed picture of his mother, Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (1871), is coming back to Philadelphia, the city where it was exhibited for the first time. Later this year, the painting will figure in a Whistler show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where it will be on loan from Paris’s Musée d’Orsay, the Art Newspaper reports. The loose focus of the show is Whistler’s time in Philadelphia and his deep connection to his mother, Anna Mathilda. Despite the fact that the painting is so famous, “there is a strong unknowingness about her, as if she was withholding some information from us,” according to Jennifer Thompson, the show’s curator.
MIMA, a contemporary art museum in Molenbeek, Belgium, was initially going to host a boxing match between around 20 members of the Brussels police department. Then, amid what the institution described as “tensions on social media,” the event was called off. [Politico]
A new profile of collector and philanthropist Agnes Gund reveals that she has sold another Roy Lichtenstein painting for a cause. The funds from this one went to an organization focused on reproductive freedom in Michigan. [W]
A “sure-to-be-controversial” installation by Reynier Leyva Novo at Artpace in San Antonio, Texas, takes the form of box truck that has been transformed into a usable sauna. It has a disturbing reference point: the container that held nearly 50 dead and dying migrants that was found last year in San Antonio. [Texas Monthly]
A 1,800-year-old Venus statuette was discovered in a garbage dump in France. It’s not the first time one has been found—they turn up often in excavations—but rarely ever are they so well-preserved. [Artnet News]
Rafael López Aliaga, the far-right mayor of Lima, has shuttered a museum in the city called the Place of Memory, Tolerance and Social Inclusion amid a dispute over how it presented the violence of 1980–2000. [The Guardian]
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT. The New Yorker is known for the modish, slinky, and generally apolitical illustrations that appear on its cover. Next week’s issue, however, will be something entirely different: a courtroom sketch featuring Donald Trump during a hearing related to his indictment. The person behind this cover, Jane Rosenberg, was one of the three approved sketch artists in the courtroom that day. “I have been doing this job for some forty-three years, but this was my most stressful assignment yet,” she said. The cover is a milestone within New Yorker history, as it’s the first time a courtroom sketch has ever been featured on the front page of the magazine. [The New Yorker]