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MARCUS LEATHERDALE, A SHARP-EYED AND SENSITIVE PHOTOGRAPHER of the 1980s counterculture in Manhattan, died last month at the age of 69, of suicide, Penelope Green reports in the New York Times. Though Leatherdale’s name is not as well known as his onetime lover, Robert Mapplethorpe, he also produced some of the most indelible portraits of the era, shooting Madonna, Andy Warhol , himself, and countless artists, writers, and other Downtown types in perfectly pitched black and white. He later worked in India, photographing Hindu holy men and members of Adivasis tribes. “My work can be viewed as anthropological portraiture, even the vintage New York City work of the 1980s,” Green quotes him saying in a 2016 interview.
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HUMAN RESOURCES. The director of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf, Germany, Susanne Gaensheimer, has received a seven-year contract extension, putting her at the helm of its K20 and K21 venues through August 2031, Die Zeit reports. Michelle Yun Mapplethorpe has been named director of the Katonah Museum of Art in that Upstate New York hamlet, according to Art Daily. Yun Mapplethorpe comes from Asia Society in New York, where she was vice president for global artistic programs and director of the Asia Society Museum. And the Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University has named its first-ever director of curatorial affairs: Danielle Johnson , who was previously curator of modern and contemporary art at the Vero Beach Museum of Art in Florida.
Police are searching for five people who allegedly made off with a portfolio of 27 photographs from the Fergus McCaffrey gallery in Manhattan’s Chelsea art district last month. The material is reportedly worth $45,000. [PIX11]
Selling your house? Take down your explicit or obscene art, some realtors advise. “I definitely think shocking art can negatively impact the sale of a home including driving down the price,” one broker opined. One work cited in the story is a piece by the late, great John Giorno that reads, “I want to cum in your heart.” [New York Post]
Tate Modern in London is preparing a Cézanne exhibition that it is billing as a “once-in-a-generation” affair, with some 80 pieces, including 22 paintings never before shown in the United Kingdom. One work is a still life owned by fellow artist Paul Gauguin. It opens in October. [The Guardian and The Art Newspaper]
Amid the war in Ukraine, up to 68 buildings of “historical significance” have been damaged or destroyed in Kharkiv, according to people on the ground there. UNESCO has confirmed 27 of those. [The Guardian]
Novelist Benjamin Myers writes in defense of crop circles, which delighted and disturbed the public in the 1980s. “The esoteric designs represented freedom, trespass and never asking permission, which is why their makers were highly criticized,” Myers argues. [The Guardian]
REVELATIONS. While cataloging the Leeds Central Library in England during lockdown, staffers found a 1911 replica of a tiny bible, under two inches tall, that required a magnifying glass to read, BBC News reports. On the other end of the size spectrum, one of the largest statues of Jesus on earth has been completed in Encantado, Brazil, Architectural Digest reports. It is 141 feet tall.
‘I CONTAIN MULTITUDES.’ The Bob Dylan Center is set to open next week in Tulsa, Oklahoma, showing some of the roughly 100,000 items acquired from the artist for around $20 million by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the University of Tulsa in 2016. For the New York Times, Ben Sisario took a tour , and spoke to people involved in the project. One intriguing bit: Dylan has not been personally involved in the center, but he did create an ironwork gateway for its entrance. Will the institution help to pin down some facts about the notoriously cagey figure? “I’m more interested in this as a living archive than as a museum,” architect Alan Maskin, who worked on the center, told the Times. “Museum implies a voice that everyone accepts as truth.” [NYT]