January 2023: News Roundup

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Yayoi Kusama’s Seven-Decade Career

The M+ Exhibition in Hong Kong “Yayoi Kusama: 1945 to now” has brought together more than 200 works arranged chronologically and thematically, surveying Kusama’s career from the earliest drawings she made as a teenager during World War II to her most recent immersive art pieces divided into major themes: Infinity, Accumulation, Radical Connectivity, Biocosmic​, Death, and Force of Life. Kusama’s artwork has always been a source of admiration and inspiration in the art world.

Photo by Yusuke Miyazaki. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Victoria Miro, and David Zwirner. © YAYOI KUSAMA

Greece Rejects The British Museum’s claim of Parthenon Marbles ‘Loan’ in the Ministry of Culture’s New Statement

Days after the British Museum confirmed actions towards the signing and return of the Parthenon Marbles to Athens, the Greek Ministry of Culture released a statement renouncing affirmations of the United Kingdom’s claim to ownership of the contested antiquities.

Parthenon marbles at the British Museum
A view of the Parthenon marbles at the British Museum. Photo: Joyofmuseums/Flickr.

“We repeat, once again, our country’s firm position that it does not recognize the British Museum’s jurisdiction, possession, and ownership of the Sculptures, as they are the product of theft,” reported by the Greek newspaper Kathimerini.

Five Paintings of Great Value are Stolen in Boulder, Colorado

Five paintings valued at more than $400,000 were stolen from a locked truck in Boulder, Colorado. These paintings include The artworks include “View of the Taos Pueblo” by Joseph Henry Sharp, “Laguna Pueblo” by Ernest Martin Hennings, “Untitled (Madrid Series #3)” by abstract expressionist Elaine de Kooning, “Burnett’s Barn” by representational painter Jane Freilicher, and “Taos Pueblo at Night” by Eanger Irving Couse. Officials did not specify where the artworks were traveling to or from.

Brazilian Rioters Damaged Modernist Masterpieces as They Stormed Government Buildings in Nation’s Capital

Brazil has released a list of the artworks that were damaged as thousands of protesters stormed government buildings in the capital of Brasília to protest the presidency of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was sworn in on January 1. The protesters, as reported, descended on the Palacío do Planalto, the National Congress, and the Supreme Court. Along the way, they defaced artworks and damaged the buildings, which were designed by Oscar Niemeyer, an iconic modernist architect. Rogério Carvalho, a curator in charge of the art at the Palacío do Planalto, said “The value of what was destroyed is incalculable because of the history it represents. From an artistic point of view, Planalto certainly has one of the most important collections in the country, especially Brazilian Modernism.”

Huge Tapestries Tell the Story of a South African Town

Art has always had the power to move people and pass down stories and traditions through their visual language. The Keiskamma Art Project in Hamburg, South Africa, was created to teach local women embroidery skills to help them at a tough time economically and socially, but it has grown into something much bigger. Having been shown at international art galleries, many of their tapestries are now being displayed under one roof for the first time, at an exhibition in Johannesburg.

The Keiskamma Art Project in Hamburg, South Africa
The Keiskamma Art Project in Hamburg, South Africa, has become known for its large-scale embroidery projects. Many are inspired by other works of art — for example the “Keiskamma Tapestry” from 2003, a 120-meter (394-foot) work reminiscent of the 11th Century Bayeux Tapestry. It and other artworks are now on display at Constitution Hill, in Johannesburg.Anthea Pokroy/Keiskamma Trust

More than 150 women are part of the initiative. Selling their work provides a source of income, but the project has also created a meeting place and support system for women. “I realized together we could make a monumental work — our first 120-meter tapestry telling the story of our area,” says Dr. Hofmeyr.

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