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Art & design Culture «TheGuardian»

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Mon, 24 Jun 2019 18:06:40 GMT
Art and design | The Guardian
Latest art and design news, comment and analysis from the Guardian [ + ]
Mon, 24 Jun 2019 16:21:10 GMT
'We're afraid': the queer Brazilian sex artists targeted by Bolsonaro

After the far-right president tweeted a video of their transgressive street performance, the two artists fled São Paulo – but now they’re pushing back

‘Queer people have been afraid since the president was elected,” says Paulx Castello. “He has been demonising us from the start – but this was different. Here we were personally under attack.” The artist, who has a mohican, is now instantly recognisable to most Brazilians. In March, he featured in a sexually explicit video that was tweeted by Jair Bolsonaro, the country’s far-right president. The 40-second clip, filmed at a gay street party during the São Paulo carnival, showed Castello standing on a taxi shelter, exposing his backside and being urinated on.

“I don’t feel comfortable showing it,” Bolsonaro told his 3.5 million followers, “but we have to expose the truth so the population are aware of their priorities. This is what Brazilian carnival street parties have turned into.” The next day, the far-right leader stayed on the offensive, tweeting: “What is a golden shower?”

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Mon, 24 Jun 2019 07:00:08 GMT
Glastonbury through the years: buy a classic Guardian photograph

A selection of Guardian photographers’ favourite images from the festival. Buy your exclusive print here

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Mon, 24 Jun 2019 05:00:11 GMT
Yorkshire Sculpture International review – Ghostbusters and stone-age con men

Various venues, Yorkshire
Trawl through all the self-conscious noodling in this high-pedigree collab spanning four galleries and two cities and you’ll glimpse of authentic, balletic brilliance – but is it worth it?

The Yorkshire Sculpture International ought to be better than it is. A collaboration between Leeds City Art Gallery and the Henry Moore Institute next door, the Hepworth Wakefield and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, it is an up-and-down affair. There is no real sense of collaboration or unified curatorial overview, over and above the idea that “sculpture is the most anthropological of the art forms”, an axiom provided by sculptor Phyllida Barlow. Discuss.

Korean Kimsooja has installed a mirrored floor (not again, you splutter) in Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s chapel, and put film on the windows to refract the light, casting rainbows round the chapel. It doesn’t do it for me. Maria Loboda has dead, exotic insects poking out from behind the specially installed alabaster light fittings in one space at the Henry Moore Institute. Huma Bhabha has installed a specially commissioned, cyborg-like figure between a statue of Queen Victoria and the war memorial in Wakefield. Carved from styrofoam then cast in bronze and painted, it grins at nothing and no one, like a recent arrival from another planet. At least it is an escape from the Damien Hirst sculptures in Leeds town centre, and towering over the sheep in Yorkshire Sculpture Park. I guess they are here to add a bit of oomph. I have nothing to say about them.

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Sun, 23 Jun 2019 14:00:46 GMT
Take me to the Boom Boom Room! Inside the risqué hotel for 24-hour party people

America’s raciest hotel chain has turned a boring British office block into an Austin Powers-style crash pad complete with retro reception, leftie library – and rooftop baths. Groovy baby!

When the clerks of Camden’s highways department were issuing parking fines from their gloomy office in the 1970s, little can they have imagined that jet-setting hipsters would one day be supping cocktails in the public library below them before taking an al fresco dip up on the roof. Maligned for years as the concrete “egg box” of Euston Road, the old council headquarters have been reborn as the glamorous Standard Hotel, the first outpost of the risque boutique chain outside the US.

“People thought we were crazy to suggest open-air bathtubs in London,” says Shawn Hausman, the Los Angeles-based designer behind the Standard’s flamboyant interiors, who started out creating film sets for Saturday Night Fever. “But I think it’s always nice to have a bath outside, even in the rain.”

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Sun, 23 Jun 2019 13:14:09 GMT
Yorkshire sculpture festival hopes to be a force for change

Event arguably makes Leeds and Wakefield area best place in Europe to see sculpture

“When we started here, no one thought it was a good idea,” says Peter Murray, the director of Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP), as he sits in the cafe that overlooks the rolling 202-hectare (500-acre) estate that opened to the public in 1977.

Back then politicians weren’t interested, local residents and businesses didn’t understand it and the only people in favour seemed to be artists, says Murray. “In the early days there was the constant battling and fighting for funds. Then there’s the politics of the art world and the politics of regional and national government. We had to be incredibly strong willed and bloody minded.”

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Sun, 23 Jun 2019 07:59:38 GMT
Baroque feminist, pope’s lover 
 the woman behind a lost Velázquez
Donna Olimpia Maidalchini Pamphilj rose to the heights in the Vatican. Now a work by Velázquez, unseen since 1724, is set to fetch millions at Sotheby’s

For almost 300 years, it was thought lost or destroyed. But now a portrait of one of history’s most formidable women by one of the world’s greatest painters has been rediscovered – and it will go under the hammer next month.

The Portrait of Olimpia Maidalchini Pamphilj, painted in the mid-17th century by the Spanish master Diego Velázquez, has undergone painstaking authentication and conservation by Sotheby’s since it was brought to the auction house’s Amsterdam office 18 months ago.

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Sun, 23 Jun 2019 07:00:46 GMT
Serpentine Pavilion; Antepavilion; Colour Palace – review

Kensington Gardens; Brunswick Wharf; Dulwich Picture Gallery, London
While this year’s Serpentine Pavilion struggles under a cloud of controversy, its leaner London rivals are shining

If you happen to be in Kensington Gardens during cocktail hour between now and the start of October, the sound of chinking glasses and tinkling laughter will be inescapable, marking the unfolding of the annual corporate fĂȘte d’étĂ© that is the Serpentine Pavilion. This year’s revels will go on without Yana Peel, who resigned as chief executive of the Serpentine Galleries last week following allegations about her financial interests in a controversial Israeli cybersecurity company. With the gloss coming off a fixture of London’s social circuit, it’s tempting to see this year’s pavilion, an ominous stone cloud by Japanese architect Junya Ishigami, as an apt metaphor for the noxious conflation of contemporary art and big business.

Peel was the successor to Julia Peyton-Jones, originator of the Serpentine Pavilion programme. Inaugurated in 2000 with a design by Zaha Hadid, it alights on architects who have not yet built in the UK and gives them the chance to produce an experimental parkland folly. It’s a kind of five-finger exercise or architectural amuse-bouche, but nearly 20 years on, the landscape has palpably shifted. There’s a growing sense that the notion of architecture as art object has become a bloated irrelevance, despite the Serpentine Gallery putting its pavilion vigorously to work as a space for performance and encounter.

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Sun, 23 Jun 2019 07:00:42 GMT
Cutting Edge: Modernist British Printmaking review – into the fast lane with humble lino

Dulwich Picture Gallery, London
Claude Flight, Sybil Andrews, Cyril Power and co blazed a trail through 1930s Britain and revolutionised the linocut – a true medium for the masses

A bus hurtles down Regent Street in the blue haze of dusk. It seems to bend away from the eye on the fast corner towards Piccadilly Circus. The long curve of John Nash’s elegant crescent rises high above, like a cliff face, dark figures silhouetted against the glowing windows of shops far below. It could be London now – bar the kindly constable shepherding pedestrians across the road – yet this is the scene nearly 100 years ago.

Claude Flight used only blue, black and red – plus a flash of yellow for the bus hoarding that reads Speed, or would do if the last letter wasn’t rushing out of sight – to picture the exhilarating atmosphere of late-night shopping in the modern city in 1922. His linocut is superb: all graphic zip and register, curves playing against rectangles, contrasting two of the medium’s defining characteristics – incisive linearity against soft, muzzy colour. It is one of this show’s sharpest masterworks.

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Tue, 18 Jun 2019 13:48:33 GMT
Serpentine Pavilion 2019: Japan's great conjuror falls foul of health and safety

Junya Ishigami’s hillock of Cumbrian slate was meant to feel ‘primitive and ancient’. But British regulations – and the wind – dashed his dreams. Is it time to rethink the annual event?

Squatting on the lawn like a moody crow, this year’s Serpentine Pavilion is an enigmatic arrival to Kensington Gardens. Formed from hundreds of pieces of rough Cumbrian slate piled up in a gentle mound, it has the look of a bird hunkered down in a hollow in the landscape, making a protective shelter with its outstretched wings. As you approach, you find the great feathered hill is in fact a thin shell, 62 tonnes of slate effortlessly held up on a forest of slender white columns, creating a cave-like space within.

Part bird, part spoil heap, the 19th annual pavilion is the work of Japanese architect Junya Ishigami, 45, who has built an international reputation as an architectural conjuror, concocting daring structures that push the boundaries of what’s technically possible. He made a five-storey metal balloon float in a gallery in Tokyo, and constructed a frame in the Barbican so thin it was practically invisible. He is currently building his most audacious structure yet: a student centre in Japan with a 100-metre-long roof made from a continuous plate of 12mm-thick steel, with not a column in sight. So what drove his slate hillock for the Serpentine?

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Sun, 23 Jun 2019 06:00:47 GMT
The big picture: Jane Bown shoots a day out at Wimbledon
The Observer photographer’s image of schoolgirls in 1952 captures signs of teenage attitude to come

Jane Bown took this picture of schoolgirls on a day out at the tennis at Wimbledon for the front page of the Observer on 29 June 1952. It was the hottest day of the year, 85 degrees, and 200 people had been taken to the hospital tent at the tournament, having fainted. The girls were queuing up for ice creams in a break between matches. “Wimbledon does not mean only tennis to these girls,” the caption noted. “It means also a chance to survey the adult world with the sensitive and critical eye of adolescence.”

Bown’s own eyes never lost those latter qualities. She took this photograph in the third of her 65 years with the paper; she had already an instinct for the intimate life of a crowd. Her camera would have been drawn to the contrast between the girl in the Hollywood shades and the more conventionally bespectacled girl at her side; she would have inveigled her way into the perfect position to capture that small visual drama without commotion. The idea of “teenagers” had not yet been invented, but the girl’s look offers a premonition of that cultural shift.

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Sat, 22 Jun 2019 14:00:13 GMT
The private Polaroids of a celebrated cinematographer
Robby MĂŒller, who shot for Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch and more, was never without a camera

The Polaroids were taken during rare moments of respite from work. On weekends, when he wasn’t completely immersed in his day job, Robby MĂŒller would pull out a SX-70, a 600, a Spectra, or whatever model of Polaroid camera he was using at the time, and start capturing the everyday details he saw around him.

Often it would be an interior shot of his hotel room: he’d notice light seeping through a pair of green shutters, or his own reflection multiplied to infinity in the bathroom mirrors, and take a picture. Or it could be a street scene: a deserted car park in Memphis or the neon-lit exterior of a Santa Fe bar. Pulling the print out of the camera, MĂŒller would write the date and location on the back and tuck it under his T-shirt for safe-keeping. Later, he stored the Polaroids – around 2,000 of them, taken over three decades – in a wooden box at home in Amsterdam.

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Sat, 22 Jun 2019 06:33:46 GMT
The 20 photographs of the week

Demonstrations in Hong Kong, migration in South America, the summer solstice at Stonehenge and daily life in Pyongyang – the last seven days, as captured by the world’s best photojournalists

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Mon, 24 Jun 2019 10:00:09 GMT
Humans v the city: the staggering scale of Chongqing – in pictures

Chongqing’s population is estimated at just below 10 million but that rises to more than 31 million if the built-up surroundings are included. Belgian photographer Kris Provoost finds that in a city so large, individuals can get lost

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Thu, 20 Jun 2019 06:00:12 GMT
Council housing: it's back, it's booming – and this time it's beautiful

Tiled stairwells, lush balconies, curvy roofs and coloured bricks – after a four-decade hiatus, council housing is sweeping Britain, with quality and design now a priority

A broad arched entranceway leads into a tree-lined courtyard where a playground is overlooked by balconies full of plants. Banded brick walls frame stone stairwells with deep oxblood and creamy white tiles. These connect to spacious decks of homes, each identified with a numbered tile.

This splendour is just what you would expect to see in the Bourne Estate in Holborn, which boasts some of the finest public tenement housing of Edwardian London. Yet these blocks are not part of the 1905, Grade II-listed estate but a recent addition built by Camden as part of its new generation of council housing. Designed by architect Matthew Lloyd, the buildings exude a quality rarely found in developer-built flats – handsome proportions and crafted details mirroring the love and care that went into the surrounding estate, only brought up-to-date with bigger windows, higher ceilings and more generous spaces.

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Mon, 17 Jun 2019 23:01:37 GMT
New Tintagel Castle footbridge retraces line of ancient land link

Built using technology usually found in Alps, footbridge will follow path of old land bridge

A spectacular footbridge that will link the Cornish mainland with the island fortress of Tintagel is beginning to take shape thanks to technology usually employed for challenging construction projects in the Swiss Alps.

Hefty sections of steel, each weighing up to 4.5 tonnes, have arrived in Tintagel village having been manufactured off-site and are being manoeuvred into place this week.

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