Fashion Designer Paco Rabanne Dies at 88, Paul Signac Thief Sentenced to Five Years, and More: Morning Links for February 6, 2023

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The Headlines

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PACO RABANNE, the inimitable Spanish fashion designer who made his name by constructing garments out of metal and plastic in the 1960s, and then built an empire selling fragrances, died on Friday, at 88, the New York Times reports. Rabanne’s many claims to fame include creating Jane Fonda’s instantly iconic outfit for the 1968 feature Barbarella out of materials like PVC and chainmail, and serving as costume designer for Jean-Luc Godard’s 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (1967). Coco Chanel once quipped that Rabanne was “a metalworker not a couturier,” the Guardian notes, but he found plenty of other admirers, including artist Salvador Dalí, who termed him “the second genius of Spain,” Vanessa Friedman writes in her Times obituary. The designer retired in 1999; Julien Dossenahis is now his firm’s creative director.

TELL THE BOSS YOU ARE NOT COMING IN. There too many major articles on artists to read. Multi-medium maestro William Kentridge has a retrospective at the Broad in Los Angeles, and talked with CBC Radio. Painter Zeng Fanzhi, now showing at Hauser & Wirth, also in L.A., was interviewed by CulturedMasataka Shishido , who makes objects that (rather disturbingly) recall human flesh, was covered by Reutersas was Eugene Komboye, who turns sandals into portraits. Wendy Red Star wrote a moving guest essay about the late Kimowan Metchewais for the New York Times. And Ming Smith, who just opened a show at the Museum of Modern Art, spoke with T: The New York Times Style Magazine. In 1979, she became the first Black woman photographer to have her work enter its collection. But even before she became successful, she was confident in what she was doing. “I didn’t care if I fit in,” Smith told T. “Photography was my sacred space.”

The Digest

A man taking a stroll in the English countryside with his trusty metal detector unearthed a 500-year-old heart-shaped pendant that references Henry VIII and his first wife, Katherine of AragonBritish Museum curator Rachel King termed it the greatest Renaissance-era find in a century. [The New York Times]

The Ukrainian man accused of stealing a Paul Signac canvas from the Musée de Beaux-Arts in Nancy, France, and four other artworks from elsewhere in the country, was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison. [L’Est Républicain/UPI]

Artist Fred Terna, whose abstracted paintings were informed by his imprisonment in Nazi camps, has died at the age of 99. “I’d call his work representing the Holocaust beautiful even if the imagery is not beautiful,” Suzy Snyder, a curator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, told journalist Richard Sandomir.[The New York Times]

The Gwangju Biennale released the full artist list for its 2023 edition, which arrives in April in that South Korean city. The lineup of about 80 artists includes Sky HopinkaMinjung Kim, and Christine Sun Kim[]

Globetrotting artist Kehinde Wiley offered a look at his new home in Lagos, Nigeria, which he renovated with artist Billy Omabegho. “The focal point of the house” is “a lyrical, glass-enclosed interior garden and pond,” Lola Ogunnaike writes, and hanging on Wiley’s walls are pieces by Mickalene Thomas and Amoako Boafo[Architectural Digest]

Artist Refik Anadol contributed extremely trippy digital backdrops for the GrammyAwards show on Sunday night. Anadol currently has an installation on view at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. [@refikanadol/Twitter]

The Kicker

ON GUARD. For 10 years, Patrick Bringley worked as a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Now he has written a book about the experience, All the Beauty in the World. Bringley recently visited the museum for a New Yorker  “Talk of the Town” story that uncorks some delightful, little-known facts about the place. For one, there used to be an underground shooting range. Why become a guard? “I was attracted by this idea of doing something straightforward and honest and useful,” Bringley, “like keeping people’s hands off of some of the most beautiful things human hands have made.” Hard to argue with that. [The New Yorker]


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