Your Weekly Art News: From the Margins to the Headlines (March 12-19)

  • The Armory Show opens in New York, welcoming 66 new exhibitors, presenting over 200 international galleries and a series of public programs. 

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Armory Show #spinningwheel #armory #changingcolors

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  • Frida Kahlo’s Family members are threatening legal action against Mattel over Frida barbie doll, via

The great-niece of Frida Kahlo is threatening to take action against Barbie manufacturer Mattel for including a new doll based on the Mexican artist in its “Inspiring Women” series, alongside Amelia Earheart and Katherine Johnson. But the Miami-based Frida Kahlo Corporation, which partnered with the US toy-maker, insists it owns of the rights to the artist’s likeness and is free to license the doll (even if it doesn’t have a unibrow)

The Frieda Kahlo Barbie. Courtesy Mattel

  • Queen Marina Abramović to make opera debut, as per The Art Newspaper:

Almost 30 years after she first conceived the idea, Marina Abramovic is to finally realise her Seven Deaths project. The Belgrade-born artist has turned the work into an opera, which she will direct herself. The production is due to debut at the Munich Opera House in 2020, with plans for it to tour to Covent Garden in London.

The project will see Abramovic play her lifelong hero Maria Callas dying in seven operas including including Madame Butterfly, who stabbed herself, and Tosca, who jumped to her death from a parapet. Abramovic’s performances will be filmed and screened as part of the new production. “I have been thinking about this romantic idea of dying for love for a long time,” she says, adding that Callas “died of a broken heart”.

Marina Abramovic will turn Seven Deaths project into an opera Manfred Werner/Tsui

  • Heirs to Peggy Guggenheim lose the case against the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, as per the AFP:

The case lodged by Peggy Guggenheim’s heirs against the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation has been dismissed by France’s court of final appeal. The New York-based foundation has been tied up in court since 2013 after a branch of the family objected to the display of works from other donors alongside her art in her Venice Palazzo.

  • Director of Ghent’s Museum of Fine Arts suspended following the controversy surrounding the mishandling of a recent exhibition of Russian avant-garde art of highly disputed provenance, via Apollo Magazine:

Following her alleged mishandling of a recent exhibition of Russian avant-garde art of disputed provenance, Catherine de Zegher is being suspended from her position, accused of misleading officials from the institution’s cultural committee when she claimed that the works in question had been examined by two external experts prior to the exhibition.

  • Anonymous artist crochets a toilet in the Guggenheim, as per Hyperallergic:

On Saturday, the otherwise unremarkable fourth-floor bathroom in the Guggenheim Museum saw an artistic intervention whereby the currently installed, stock white toilet was completely enveloped in coarse, glimmering gold yarn. The bathroom in question was previously and rather infamously activated by Maurizio Cattelan’s gold toilet (“America,” 2016). While that work stayed in place for a full year, Saturday’s unsanctioned intervention remained in place for roughly two hours.

guerrilla intervention in the Guggenheim Museum’s fourth floor bathroom (photo by Ruat Caelum)

  • In recognition of International Women’s Day, C& asks a selection of female art practitioners about #metoo–where do we take it from here? Read the collection of responses here

Since the #metoo campaign resurfaced in 2017 in the wake of the Weinstein scandal much has been said and written about sexual assault. The focus also keeps changing. It’s moved back towards #metoo founder Tarana Burke and even to the art world. Some say it’s gone too far, others say it hasn’t gone far enough. Some say it should be more inclusive of women beyond the West, while others think it should focus on the men now.

Black Mother, 1912, oil on canvas, Art Museum of Bahia


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