Covid-19 Memorial Goes On View in D.C., $3 M. Urs Fischer Bread House Heads to Basel, and More: Morning Links for September 17, 2021

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The Headlines

WO KEY UNIVERSITY ART MUSEUMS HAVE NEW LEADERS. In New Orleans, Tulane University has tapped Maurita Poole to be the director of its Newcomb Art Museum. Poole comes from Clark Atlanta University, where she was director and curator of its art museum. She said in a statement that the Newcomb “is an ideal place to explore how the visual arts can help to alleviate suffering and promote social change.” Meanwhile, in Minneapolis, Alejandra Peña-Gutiérrez has been hired to direct the University of Minnesota‘s Weisman Art Museum. Peña has been led the Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puerto Rico since 2013. She will take up the new job in November, succeeding Lyndel King, who retired in 2020 after nearly 40 years at the helm.

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A FRIDAY ARCHAEOLOGY DIGEST: Researchers believe that animal bones found in a cave in Morocco were used more than 90,000 years ago to make clothing, according to the Courthouse News Service. In a new study, they write that the material represents “highly suggestive proxy evidence for the earliest clothing in the archaeological record.” In North Carolina, NPR reports, archaeologists are undertaking a series of new digs to try to locate the Lost Colony founded by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1587. Its more than 100 inhabitants soon vanished, leaving almost no trace. And life-size stone carvings of camels that were discovered three years ago in Saudi Arabia may be older than previously thoughtSmithsonian Magazine reports. Initial estimates pegged them as 2,000 years old. Chemical analysis and other research methods now suggest they are at least 7,000 years old, making them older than the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt.

The Digest

More than 660,000 white flags—one for every person in the United States who has died from Covid-19—have been installed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., as an installation by Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg. It will be on view for 17 days, and flags will be added as people die. Recently, some 1,900 coronavirus deaths have been reported daily in the U.S. [Roll Call]

A newly identified Vincent van Gogh drawing is going on view in public for the first time, at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The piece is on loan from an unidentified collector who had asked the museum to inspect it. “It’s quite rare for a new work to be attributed to Van Gogh,” the museum’s director, Emilie Gordenker, said in a statement. [ARTnews]

The New York alternative space The Kitchen is embarking on a $28 million capital campaign over the next five years that will include a renovation of its Chelsea home. The architecture firm Rice+Lipka will handle the work; $19 million has already been raised. [Artforum]

Damien Hirst recently gave Drake a pair of Nike Air Force 1s painted in a style that recalls his “Spin” paintings. Judging from the photos that Hirst posted on Instagram, the musician appreciated the gift. The cover of Drake’s latest album was made by the formaldehyde-loving artist. [Hypebeast]

At Chrystals Auctions on the Isle of Man, auctioneer Murray Keefe sold the same L.S. Lowry streetscape that his fathered hammered down some 40 years ago. Alas, the piece went on a single bid of £350,000 (about $483,000), well below the £500,000 that the house had hoped it would draw. [BBC News]

Toronto is the latest city to get a gallery weekend. A total of 22 spaces are participating in the inaugural edition later this month, which has been started by the Contemporary Art Galleries Association. Montreal got its own back in June. [Ocula]

The Kicker

EAT YOUR HEART OUT. Next week, Art Basel will open in Switzerland for the first time in more than two years, with some 270 dealersJeffrey Deitch, of New York and Los Angeles, is presenting a doozy of a sculpture in its section for large-scale works, Bloomberg reports: Urs Fischer’s classic 2004 Untitled (Bread House) . True to its name, the work is a house made of bread (around 2,500 loaves). In an interview, Fischer said, when he was creating it in Vienna, not everyone was smitten with it. “Austria’s a very Catholic country, and everyone there thought the bread was somehow about the body of Christ,” he said. The work is priced “in the range” of $3 million, per Deitch. [Bloomberg]


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