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THE WRITING ON THE WALL. It’s been a strong week for amateur archaeologists. The New York Times just had a story about three Norwegian friends who hunt petroglyphs. Now the Guardian has a piece on a self-described “person off the street” in Britain who has investigated the dots and markings that appear near depictions of animals in 20,000-year-old cave art in Europe. Studying photos, the sleuth, Ben Bacon, determined that they amount to a system of keeping time, denoting when various creatures were mating and giving birth, on a lunar calendar. Bacon has coauthored a paper with some pros, and said, “As we probe deeper into their world, what we are discovering is that these ancient ancestors are a lot more like us than we had previously thought.”
ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST. Two new buildings for Columbia University’s business school in Manhattan are named for ARTnews Top 200 collectors Henry R. Kravis and David Geffen, and were designed by art-world favorite Diller Scofidio + Renfro (with FxCollaborative ). Their layout “reflects the close fit of the architecture to person-to-person connection and intensified interaction—what the school’s leadership sees as essential to the sprawling aspirations it has for its graduates to do good as they make money,” James S. Russell writes in the New York Times. Meanwhile, the National Museum of the U.S. Navy has shortlisted five firms, including Frank Gehry Partners and Bjarke Ingels Group , to develop proposals for a potential home in the Washington Navy Yard in D.C., the Washington Times reports.
For the first time, the United States has repatriated a looted antiquity to the Palestinian Authority. The returned item is an Assyrian ritual spoon from the 8th century B.C.E. that is believed to have been stolen from the West Bank. It was seized from the collection of Michael H. Steinhardt. [The New York Times]
The Louvre, regularly the most-visited art museum in the world, reported attendance of 7.8 million for last year: still down 19 percent from the pre-pandemic 2019, but a very healthy 170-percent increase over 2021. Interesting datapoint: 45 percent of the visitors were under 25. The kids are alright! [AFP/Yahoo! News]
The Seoul art world is continuing to heat up, with Peres Projects planning to open a gallery in the Samcheong area, where South Korean powerhouses like Kukje and PKM are headquartered. [The New York Times]
The French architect Renée Gailhoustet, who made affordable, social housing the focus of her long and decorated career, has died at 93. [Dezeen]
The Los Angeles home of actor-producers Viola Davis and Julius Tennon features a statue of an Agojie warrior that they acquired in Cape Town and a work by the South African photographer David Ballam. [Architectural Digest]
Glasgow, Scotland is enjoying a “street art renaissance,” and officials are developing a plan to make walls available for renegade artists to work legally. [The Guardian]
A CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY. Last month, Marina Abramovic wrote about her admiration for the work of fellow artist Anne Imhof in the Financial Times—and admitted that she mistook a wall of lockers in Imhof’s Stedelijk Museum show for, well, actual lockers, rather than an installation involving lockers. (Thank you to the Art Newspaper for surfacing that item.) In any case, judging by this one essay, Abramovic would make a solid art critic. She writes of the exhibition, “I left feeling I had just witnessed something important—something that’s happening right now with the humans in this world. I was also left with a strong feeling of beauty, sadness, melancholy and loss.” [Financial Times and The Art Newspaper]