Prospect.6 and Whitney Biennial Artists Named, Stolen Baudelaire Letters Returned, Artes Mundi Prize Awarded, and More: Morning Links for January 26, 2024 - The World News

Prospect.6 and Whitney Biennial Artists Named, Stolen Baudelaire Letters Returned, Artes Mundi Prize Awarded, and More: Morning Links for January 26, 2024

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The Headlines

NAMES ARE IN. The participating artists were announced for two major exhibitions known for bringing attention to young, emerging creators: New York’s Whitney Biennial opening March 20, and New Orleans’s Prospect.6 opening in November, with 71 and 49 artists and art collectives, respectively listed. Chrissie Iles and Meg Onli will curate the Whitney Biennial’s 81st edition titled, “Even Better Than the Real Thing.” Meanwhile, Prospect.6 is organized by artist Ebony G. Patterson and Miranda Lash, a senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, and is titled, “the future is present, the harbinger is home.” Three artists made it into both events: Clarissa Tossin, Eddie Rodolfo Aparicio, Karyn Oliver, and several participants in Prospect.6 are veterans of past Whitney Biennials.

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People walking amid freestanding abstract paintings set beneath a coffered ceiling.

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE. Stolen letters by 19th century, French literary giants Charles Baudelaire and Guy de Maupassant have emerged on the market and were restituted, reports Le Monde. The letters were snatched in 1980 from the Société des gens de lettres (SGDL) in Paris, along with over a hundred other letters from the 19th and 20th century, by authors including Victor Hugo and Colette. The thieves also made off with an original edition of the poet Arthur Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell, the equivalent of about $3,800, and jewelry. Baudelaire’s 1852 letter surfaced at an antique art auction, and the Maupassant message was spotted in an unrelated antique sale. A third letter from the same loot, by a lesser-known French science writer, popped up on eBay, all mysteriously within the last few months.

The Digest

Taloi Havini, an artist who depicts Indigenous narratives, was awarded the Artes Mundi prize, one of the UK’s most prestigious awards, which comes with £40,000 [$50,900]. Havini is from the small Pacific Island of Buka, in Bougainville, and her work is being shown through Feb. 25 in the Mostyn art gallery in Llandudno, north Wales, as well as Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff. “Artists don’t do it for the money, they do it for other things,” Havini told reporters. [The Guardian]

Phillips has reinstated Ed Dolman, its executive chairman, as the leader of the auction house after the abrupt departure of its former CEO Stephen Brooks last month. Dolman will assume a newly created position that combines both his current role and the CEO position as Philips reorganizes some of its executive staff. [ARTnews]

Metropolitan Museum exhibit of Cycladic antiquities has opened following a special agreement between the Met, American collector Leonard N. Stern, and the Greek government, which is being lauded as an “exciting new model for repatriation,” according to Met curator Sean Hemingway, speaking to The Art Newspaper. The new exhibit featuring 161 Early Bronze Age pieces from Stern’s collection, was made possible via a 50-year partnership stipulating the objects are on loan and legally belong to Greece. Some works will travel to Greece in exchange for other artifacts. [The Art Newspaper]

Newly appointed French culture minister Rachida Dati may be facing a fresh controversy. Her “political support,” and undeclared visits to the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, whose political regime is ranked “not free” by the non-profit Freedom House, are under scrutiny in a new investigation by the French daily Liberation. [Liberation]

Lisson Gallery recently announced representation of two artists: Hiroshi Sugimoto, previously represented by Pace, and then Marian Goodman Gallery, as well as sculptor Elaine Cameron-Weir, who showed with the now closed JTT gallery in Tribeca, known for discovering emerging artists. [Artnet News and Lisson Gallery]

Art industry titan Larry Gagosian and art market sensation, the painter Anna Weyant, have apparently split, writes Artnet News’s Annie Armstrong in her ‘juicy art world gossip’ column. Gagosian has been representing the artist. [Artnet News]

The Kicker

Martin Luther King, African American slaves, and adopted by the civil rights movement, was written by none other than a slave ship captain, writes James Walvin in his new book, Amazing Grace: The Cultural History of the Beloved HymnJohn Newton, the English clergyman who wrote the song in 1772, later became an abolitionist. Before that, he captained two slave ships. “He says this was a great wickedness that he regrets and then he moves one,” Walvin told the BBC. “He doesn’t dwell too much on the details. He says he knew people who put Africans into thumbscrews. What he doesn’t say is he himself had done it.” A modern version of the song as we know it, was written in 1909. 

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