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Heritage

Leaders from the art world spoke out against President Trump’s threatened destruction of cultural sites in Iran. [ARTnews]

New York Times art critic Jason Farago called the threat barbaric. “A barbarian is someone who looks at culture and finds no beauty at all. A barbarian looks at a mosque or a burial mound, and dreams only of exacting pain.” [The New York Times]

Philip Kennicott, a Washington Post art critic, called it “another line crossed,” wondering “If we are to be a barbarian nation, what are our new limits? Do we have any?” [The Washington Post]

Meanwhile, “Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper sought to douse an international outcry … by ruling out military attacks on cultural sites in Iran if the conflict with Tehran escalates further.” [The New York Times]

Futures

Scott Reyburn wonders if 2020 will be a year of change in the auction business. “Supported by transformational new technology, the sector is ditching its traditional business model in favor of the luxury goods market.” [The Art Newspaper]

Nadja Sayej on “race, resistance and revolution: what to expect from U.S. art in 2020.” Among her picks for notable exhibitions this year are Vaginal Davis in Chicago, Dorothea Lange in New York, and Philip Guston in Washington, D.C. [The Guardian]

Art

A painting by Suha Shoman thought to have been lost for more than three decades is now on view at the Sharjah Art Museum, thanks in part to work by fervent art aficionado and researcher—and ARTnews Top 200 Collector—Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, who rediscovered the work while traveling the Arab world in search of Modernist art by women from the Middle East. [The National]

As part of a series called “The Lost Canon,” Jerry Saltz wrote a tribute to Beaufort Delaney—a gay black painter who “very nearly disappeared from art history.” A sample: “I love his work — especially his highly colored, optically intense, dense figurative paintings.” [New York]

“An 18th-century watercolor described as ‘unparalleled in north Indian art’ will stay in Britain after the British Museum raised the necessary funds.” The fetching painting of trumpeters, from ca. 1735, is staying put after £440,000 (around $579,500) was raised to prevent it from being sold. [The Guardian]

From a music critic’s perspective, Alex Ross reviewed a production of the opera Wozzeck directed by South African artist William Kentridge. “If the staging is considered as an entry in Kentridge’s multimedia œuvre, it delivers a potent distillation of signature motifs … If, however, you measure the work against the emotional breadth of Berg’s opera, you may find it wanting.” [The New Yorker]

Misc.

An art professor from Mount Holyoke College was reportedly involved in a beating of a colleague for which she has been charged for armed assault. [The Washington Post]

There are some good looks in a photo gallery headlined “Art School fashion label afterparty—in pictures.” [The Guardian]



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