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THE PUBLIC SQUARE. A statue of segregationist John C. Calhoun that was taken down by the city council in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2020, is without a permanent home, the Associated Press reports. The Charleston Museum does not want it, though the State Museum in Columbia is in talks to store it. LAXART in Los Angeles has requested to borrow it for its forthcoming show of monuments to Confederate and segregationists, but a lawsuit has been filed to block that, and another is calling for it to be returned to its pedestal. Meanwhile, scholars are criticizing a barely clothed statue of a contested Muscogee figure, Chief Tomochichi, which is slated to go on view in an Atlanta park alongside civil-rights leaders like John Lewis, saying it “presents an offensive and historically inaccurate conception of Native Americans,” the AP also reports.
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ARTISTS’ ACTIVITIES. The master of intricate web sculptures, Tomás Saraceno, is opening a show at the Shed in New York, and was profiled by Arthur Lubow in T: The New York Times Style Magazine. Mickalene Thomas, virtuoso portraitist in multiple mediums, discussed her just-published Phaidon monograph—”a labor of love”—with Tiana Reid in WSJ. Magazine . Street art kingpin Shepard Fairey has designed a watch for Hublot, a brand “dedicated to innovation,” he informed Nadja Sayej in Penta. And last but not least, Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody, who painted in his youth, has returned to the art form of late, and created a piece while being interviewed by the New York Times. “This is the problem, you just can’t stop,” he said after an hour of working.
A number of Ottawa cultural institutions, including the National Gallery of Canada, that shuttered in early January amid a coronavirus spike are staying closed as the contentious protests against coronavirus rules continue in the Canadian capital. [The Globe and Mail]
Mexican president President Andrés Manuel López Obrador slammed auction houses in France for selling pre-Hispanic artifacts that he says should be returned to the country. The houses have maintained that they offer material in line with existing law. [Associated Press]
Art collector and philanthropist Jerome “Jerry” Chazen, whose last name adorns the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s art museum, has died at 94. The onetime chief of the Liz Claiborne clothing company and his wife, Simona Chazen, were on the museum’s advisory board for two decades. [WWD]
Nannette Maciejunes, who has led the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio since 2003, said that she will retire at the end of the year. [The Columbus Dispatch]
Author, curator, and activist Kimberly Drew has joined the Pace Gallery as an associate director. “I looked into Pace because, though it is a commercial gallery space, there’s a dynamism and agility there,” Drew told Alex Greenberger. “As an outsider looking in, I was like, ‘This looks like an appetizing place to pivot.’ ” [ARTnews]
Researchers are on the hunt for a long-missing 12-foot-wide Paolo Veronese painting, and have evidence that it was last recorded in 1904 in the collection of the Arbuthnot Museum in Peterhead, Scotland. An area council said, “We are doing our bit, and ask anyone with information or memories of this piece to get in touch.” [BBC News]
THE POPE OF TRASH. In what has to be one of the most unusual lots ever to grace a charity auction, artist and filmmaker John Waters is hosting a dinner for ten at the town dump in Provincetown, Massachusetts, to raise money for the Provincetown Film Society. “I like the idea of elegance in a very low place and I think ‘the dump’ just has a good ring to it,” Waters told the Cape Cod Times . He noted that “a dump is a place where all people meet, to find things and throw away things they’re embarrassed by.” With more than five days of bidding left, the price for two tickets stands at $1,375, a bargain for what sounds like an unforgettable experience. [Cape Cod Times]