The Whitney Biennial Arrives, Architect Christopher Alexander Dies at 85, and More: Morning Links for March 30, 2022

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The Headlines

THE BIG SHOW. After a pandemic-induced delay, the Whitney Biennial has arrived in New York, with work from 63 participants. Curated by David Breslin and Adrienne Edwards, it is a “tender, understated survey of the American art scene as it stands right now that also acts as a means of processing the grief of the last two years,” Alex Greenberger writes in ARTnews. Meanwhile, Maximilíano Durón has selected 12 standout works from the exhibition, by Alfredo JaarRayyane Tabet, and more. The biennial opens to the public on April 6. Want more on the show? ARTnews has a deep dive on its artist list and an interview between Edwards and Legacy Russell, the director of the Kitchen in New York.

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THE MARKETPLACE. Amid the ongoing war in Ukraine, the German auction house Ketterer Kunst has cut off its Russian clients, according to the Art Newspaper. “In order to take a stand against the war, we also decided to stop doing business with Russia altogether,” the firm’s owner, Robert Ketterer, told the paper. Other auction houses have also reportedly taken steps to bar some Russian clients, and compliance departments are monitoring sanctions. Meanwhile, an anti-war Banksy print sold for about $106,505 through the MyArtBroker platform, and those proceeds will go to the Ohmatdyt Children’s Hospital in Kyiv, the Washington Post reports. The donor of the work and its buyer are remaining anonymous.

The Digest

The freethinking architect and theorist Christopher Alexander, who coauthored 1977’s A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction, has died at 85. An opponent of severe modern architecture, he once said, “I am trying to make a building which is like a smile on a person’s face.” [The New York Times]

Musician and sound artist Mira Calix, whose work ranged from DJ sets to a piece for a commuter bus in Nanjing, China, has died at 51. Calix was the first woman signed to the storied Warp label, which said in a statement that she “pushed the boundaries between electronic music, classical music and art in a truly unique way.” [Pitchfork and The Guardian]

The Institute for Digital Archaeology said it will file legal action against the British Museum for denying its request to 3D scan the Parthenon marbles that the institution holds. The IDA, which supports the return of those disputed pieces to Greece, said that it wants to create a replica of one part as a “proof of concept.” [The Guardian]

Maurizio Cattelan is donating a sculpture to Milan that he made in 1994 in response to a bombing the prior year by the Sicilian Mafia that killed five. It is now on view at the Monumental Cemetery in the city. [The Art Newspaper]

Under the leadership of Ken WissokerDuke University Press “has become known as a press that blends scholarly rigor with conceptual risk-taking, where high and low art boldly intermingle on principle,” Jennifer Wilson writes in a profile of the editor. In 2020, the outfit appeared on the ARTnews “Deciders” list[The New Yorker]

Using Covid-19 recovery funds from the European UnionItaly is putting together a €250 million (about $278 million) plan to shield its many historic churches from earthquakes. [The Art Newspaper]

The Kicker

THE SKY HAS ITS LIMIT. It is getting tough out there for private-jet types. With travel by PJ booming, plane parking is becoming harder to come by in choice locales, the New York Times reports. Naturally, developers are moving quickly to build more hangars. But even getting an aircraft can present difficulties. “Every jet for sale in the U.S. has been purchased,” a charter operator told the paper. “It’s just nuts. We’re now sourcing planes from all over the world and trying to bring them in.” [The New York Times]


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