T/art

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Best Art Books of 2020
Weekend, Yesterday

The art critics of The Times select their favorites from this year’s crop of art books.

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Theaster Gates Turns the Stain of the Past Into Art
Weekend, November 25

In his show at Gagosian, he merges the language of abstract art with the legacies of racial injustice.

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The Myth of North America, in One Painting
Interactive, November 25

How Benjamin West remade a bloody battle as a founding romance.

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Iconic or Sexist? Palm Springs Mulls a Marilyn Monroe Statue
Culture, November 25

The City Council has voted to place the sculpture near the Palm Springs Art Museum, but local cultural leaders oppose the move.

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5 Art Gallery Shows to See Right Now
Weekend, November 25

Cecily Brown’s new paintings, Sam Gilliam’s sculptures and monochromes, Gideon Appah’s otherworldly vistas, Tishan Hsu’s first museum survey and works from the Purvis Young trove.

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The T List: Holiday Gift Guide, Part I
T Style, November 25

Tropical fruit, small-batch chocolate, gold earrings — and more.

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A Homey Party House in SoHo
T Style, November 24

Susan MacTavish Best’s New York loft gets fewer guests these days, but it’s still full of art and objects that tell stories of their own.

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A Weird Monolith Is Found in the Utah Desert
Express, November 24

A team surveying bighorn sheep for Utah’s wildlife agency found the strange object, 10 to 12 feet tall, embedded in the ground in a remote part of Red Rock Country. It’s probably art, officials said.

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How to Pretend You’re in Hawaii Tonight
Travel, November 24

With a few easy-to-find items, you can discover the archipelago’s breathtaking biodiversity, savor its flavors and music, even delight in an island-inspired Thanksgiving.

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Cook an Indigenous Meal or Dance with Dua Lipa
At Home, November 21

Spend this holiday week experimenting with turkey bones, painting botanical art or running a virtual race.

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Melania Trump Announces a Noguchi Sculpture for the White House
Culture, November 20

Isamu Noguchi’s 1962 installation, “Floor Frame,” will be the first piece by an Asian-American artist in the White House collection.

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Elders and an Artist Bring a Social Sculpture to Life
Culture, November 20

Elizabeth Turk imagined illuminated umbrellas spreading hope during the pandemic. A retirement community said yes, and became her canvas.

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A Night at the Sock Hop
T Style, November 20

In this new painting, Honor Titus explores a bygone era.

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Nina Chanel Abney Imagines a Queer Black Utopia
T Style, November 19

The artist’s new body of work depicts life outside of the city, in a rural idyll free of the white gaze.

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3 Art Gallery Shows to See Right Now
Weekend, November 19

Leilah Babirye’s luminous sculptural figures, Luigi Ghirri’s vintage photographs, and Paul Chan’s Wittgenstein drawings

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Derek Fordjour, From Anguish to Transcendence
Weekend, November 19

Woven into his new work at Petzel Gallery are lessons drawn from his own journey to art stardom, and from a year of Black grief.

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The T List: Five Things We Recommend This Week
T Style, November 19

Japanese strawberries, a Bohemian Baja-based hotel — and more.

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Director of Mass MoCA, Playground for Artists, Moves On
Culture, November 18

After three decades, Joseph C. Thompson feels ready to let go (sort of).

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Frederick Weston, Outsider Artist Who Was Finally Let In, Dies at 73
Obits, November 18

For decades he made his art in dingy Manhattan hotel rooms, living hand-to-mouth, hoping for his big break. It finally arrived, just a few years before his death.

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A Festival of New Asian Art, Seeking a Direction
Weekend, November 18

“We Do Not Dream Alone,” the first Asia Society Triennial of contemporary art, is in search of a reason for being.

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5 Art Accounts to Follow on Instagram Now
Weekend, November 18

A look at a photographer who follows graffiti artists, a student chronicling Black art, a collective devoted to social justice and more.

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German Police Arrest 3 Suspects in Heist of Royal Jewels
Foreign, November 17

Officers searched homes, garages and vehicles in Berlin, detaining two 23-year-olds and a 26-year-old in connection with the theft of gold, diamonds and other precious stones in Dresden last year.

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How to Pretend You’re in Paris Tonight
Travel, November 17

There are countless ways to invite Paris into your home. All you need is a little creativity. And perhaps a glass of Champagne.

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An Artist Who Paints in Cryptic Pastel Symbols
T Style, November 16

Caroline Kent’s canvases explore the power and limits of language — and challenge the modernist canon of abstraction.

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A Chagall Curtain Needs a New Home With a Tall Ceiling
Culture, November 15

A 65-foot-tall stage curtain that the artist created for the Metropolitan Opera in the 1960s will go up for auction Tuesday at Bonhams.

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Reinventing the Newspaper, Week After Week
Summary, November 15

What can you make out of The Times? Catapults, roller coasters and piñatas for starters, thanks to the At Home team.

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Take the Edge Off With Video Games
At Home, November 14

Unlike loud, stress-inducing shoot-’em-ups, these ones are meant to calm the mind and offer moments of quiet and clarity.

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Cook Up Some Scallion Pancakes or Horror Stories
At Home, November 14

Spend the week getting swept up in classic dance, admiring a sloth or listening to Soccer Mommy.

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Rome Tracks Down the Man Behind All That Graffiti. No, It’s Not Banksy.
Foreign, November 14

The tagger known as Geco is not as famous as the British provocateur, but he has made a name for himself in Italy.

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Undreamed Waters, Unexpected Shores
Book Review, November 13

Two remarkable new picture books about ships that pass in the night.

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New Director for the Bronx Museum of the Arts? It’s a Familiar Name
Culture, November 13

After two stints as de facto director, Klaudio Rodriguez gets the top job, joining a growing group of Latino leaders of art museums.

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A Bride Changes Her Mind
T Style, November 13

The Atlanta-based artist Dawn Williams Boyd shares one of her vivid, life-size textile works, this one inspired by a wedding ceremony gone awry.

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Inspiration From South of the Border Moves Center Stage in Houston
Arts & Leisure, November 13

A new building at the Museum of Fine Arts showcases works by Latin American and Latino artists, many of whom are rarely shown in the United States.

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A New Museum to Bring the Benin Bronzes Home
Culture, November 13

The architect David Adjaye discusses his plans for an institution to house the looted treasures on their to return to Nigeria.

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Aldo Tambellini, Avant-Garde Filmmaker and Video Artist, Dies at 90
Obits, November 12

A fixture of the Lower East Side’s ’60s art scene, he had an abiding interest in black. “‘Black,’” he wrote, “is not the opposite of white; it is a state of being.”

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The Word at MoMA Is ‘Rotation, Rotation, Rotation’
Weekend, November 12

On Saturday, the museum opens with changes to 20 of its 60 permanent collection galleries. A critic’s guide to the standouts on each floor.

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A Naked Statue for a Feminist Hero?
Culture, November 12

Newspaper columnists and social media users are furious about a new statue dedicated to Mary Wollstonecraft in London. But they’re missing the point.

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Sky Hopinka: Songs of the Earth and the Road
Weekend, November 12

The Indigenous American artist and filmmaker is the subject of two concurrent shows. His work “rivals in visual and linguistic beauty any new art I’ve seen in some time,” our critic says.

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A Pledge to Help Artists Becomes a Lucrative Lifeline
Culture, November 12

With galleries and fairs shut, a British painter created a campaign to help others sell their work online during the pandemic. Estimates suggest that millions of dollars in sales have been generated.

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The Nude Pictures That Won’t Go Away
Styles, November 12

Emily Ratajkowski accused the photographer Jonathan Leder of assault and using photos against her wishes. Other women say they have similar experiences.

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John Waters, Droll Bard of Baltimore, Promises Art to Hometown Museum
Culture, November 11

The filmmaker will donate 372 works to the Baltimore Museum of Art. His collection tends toward the perverse, the ironic and the cheerfully nihilistic — and much of it is still here on his walls.

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‘I Am My Own Subject’: Celia Paul on Lucian Freud, Motherhood and a Life in Art
Culture, November 11

In her mesmerizing “Self-Portrait,” Paul recounts her fraught relationship with Freud and the challenges of realizing her artistic ambitions.

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4 Art Gallery Shows to See Right Now
Weekend, November 11

Jonathan Lyndon Chase’s cowboy paintings; objects with personality; Catalina Ouyang’s sculptural grotesques; Jordan Nassar’s new textile works.

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A Vibrant Screen That Resurrects an Artist’s Vision
T Style, November 11

The Italian Futurist Giacomo Balla’s sketch for a colorful room partition had remained unrealized since 1917. Now, Cassina has brought it to life.

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Nick Cave’s Truth May Be Writ Large, but Is It a Sign?
Culture, November 10

The village of Kinderhook, N.Y., is not thrilled with the mark this artist made on a gallery, so the municipal government is demanding that it come down.

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Met Museum Board Will Have Two Leaders for the First Time
Culture, November 10

Hamilton E. James, a financier, and Candace K. Beinecke, an attorney, will share the chair role.

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Biden Video Uses Artist’s Vision to Project a Unified Country
Culture, November 9

This postelection campaign offering employs Lorraine O’Grady’s concept of placing people inside frames to promote images of an inclusive, diverse America.

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An Artist’s Continuing Exploration of the Human Form
T Style, November 9

Almost 50 years after the debut of her arresting womb-like sculptures, Senga Nengudi is still challenging what it means to live in a body, especially when that body is Black and female.

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With Help From Herb Alpert, Letting the Light In at the Harlem School of the Arts
Culture, November 8

Dorothy Maynor never sang at the Met, but the school she founded is glowing anew, thanks to the revitalization of its beloved “gathering place.”

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Nick Cave Asks: Who Gets a Seat at the Table?
T Style, November 6

He shares a harrowing work of found sculpture inspired by the national anthem.

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Books for Budding Art Lovers
Book Review, November 6

New picture books explore the life of Keith Haring, the collection of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the work of the Zhou brothers and much more.

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Alison Saar on Transforming Outrage Into Art
Weekend, November 5

Ahead of her biggest exhibition to date, the sculptor talks about Black Panther imagery, the goddess Yemoja and her own quest to balance anger and beauty.

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Voters in Jersey City Embrace a New Tax to Finance the Arts
Culture, November 4

Officials had worried that a new arts tax may be too much to ask in a place still reeling financially from the pandemic, but 64 percent of New Jersey voters approved of the idea.

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5 Art Accounts to Follow on Instagram Now
Weekend, November 4

Here are far-flung accounts showcasing Bavarian castles, Hawaii’s native plant species, Jean Prouvé’s prefab houses and a must-see museum in Singapore.

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San Francisco Reinstates Winning Design for Maya Angelou Monument
Culture, November 3

Last year, officials selected and then rejected Lava Thomas to design the sculpture, opening a rift between public leaders and local artists.

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2 Art Gallery Shows to See Right Now
Weekend, November 3

“Wave of Light,” eight hypnotic works from Minoru Yoshida at Ulterior Gallery; and “Crichoues Indignation,” Caitlin Cherry’s prismatic paintings at the Hole.

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A Poet’s Urgent Questions Fuel ‘November’
Culture, November 2

Five Black women narrate a filmed rendition of Claudia Rankine’s heady play, which was rethought after an initial version was shut down by the pandemic.

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A Poet’s Urgent Questions Fuel ‘November’
Culture, November 2

Five Black women narrate a filmed rendition of Claudia Rankine’s heady play, which was rethought after an initial version was shut down by the pandemic.

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With New Show, Tschabalala Self Explores Black American Identity
Arts & Leisure, November 2

The 30-year-old artist is having her first major gallery exhibition in New York City.

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‘I Still Believe in Our City’: A Public Art Series Takes On Racism
Culture, November 2

After a wave of anti-Asian discrimination, the artist Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya wanted to “turn these hurts into something beautiful.” Her panels will transform a Brooklyn subway station.

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پیامدها در دنیای هنر برای هنرمند مشهور ایرانی زیر سایه جنبش #من_هم
World, November 1

در ایران، نمایشگاه انفرادی آیدین آغداشلو کنسل شده و یک حراجی بزرگ در فکر حذف آثار اوست. در کانادا، دادنامه‌ای خواستار قطع همکاری یک جشنواره هنری با وی شده است.

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Picturing Yourself with Bob Ross as the ‘Experience’ Opens in Indiana
Culture, November 1

Visitors can tour the beloved painter’s recreated studio and take Bob Ross master classes, in the city where “The Joy of Painting” was filmed.

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Famed Iranian Artist Under #MeToo Cloud Faces Art World Repercussions
Foreign, November 1

In Iran, an exhibit of Aydin Aghdashloo’s work was canceled and a prominent auction is considering dropping him. In Canada, a petition calls for an art festival to cut ties with him.

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Dispute Over Pissarro Painting Looted by Nazis Is Back in Court
Culture, November 1

A Holocaust survivor wants to revisit a settlement with an Oklahoma art museum over a painting once owned by her father.

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Obituaries for the American Dream
Op Ed, November 1

If it was ever real, it isn’t anymore.

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This Election Week, Revisit the Constitution, Then Soothe Your Stressed Mind
At Home, October 31

Calm your nerves with a meditation guide, a night at the Seattle Symphony and a day among the sea otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

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Two Museums Tried to Sell Art. Only One Caught Grief About it.
Culture, October 30

The Baltimore Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum both planned on selling works last Wednesday at auction, but Baltimore paused the sale after much criticism.

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Enzo Mari, Industrial Designer Who Kept Things Simple, Dies at 88
Obits, October 30

He railed against material excess, consumerism and fame, but made poetic and useful objects that influenced generations of designers. He died of the coronavirus.

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An Artist’s Portrait of His Brother
T Style, October 30

Henry Taylor shares a new, unfinished work that captures this specific moment in time — and his ongoing fascination with flight.

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Joe Biden and the Arts: No R.B.G. but a Loyal Promoter of Culture
Culture, October 30

The former vice president has been an intermittent consumer of the arts, but cultural leaders credit him as a key source of government financial support.

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At the Queens Museum, Home and the World
Weekend, October 29

In three post-lockdown exhibitions, the museum stakes out its role in the life of its neighborhood’s multiethnic citizens.

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How to Staycation in 6 American Cities
Travel, October 29

With business travel all but stopped, city hotels and tourist organizations have made a full-court press to attract local and nearby leisure travelers with bottom-barrel rates and extra perks.

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Four Wasted Years Thinking About Donald Trump
Op Ed, October 29

How this president invaded our brains and destroyed American culture.

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Baltimore Museum of Art Cancels Painting Sale that Drew Complaints
Culture, October 28

The museum was prepared to sell three major works to pay for salary increases and to diversify its collection, but many critics disagreed with the plan.

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2 Art Gallery Shows to See Right Now
Weekend, October 28

Robert Kobayashi’s not-to-be-missed show at Susan Inglett; and Toyin Ojih Odutola’s enigmatic, affecting drawings at Jack Shainman.

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After Backlash, Philip Guston Retrospective to Open in 2022
Culture, October 28

Four museums had delayed the touring exhibition until 2024 because of concerns about works that depict Ku Klux Klansmen.

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Michelangelo Pistoletto Endures. Even Covid Couldn’t Stop Him.
Culture, October 28

His career covers more than 60 years, ranging from Pop to Arte Povera. A New York gallery has mounted a rare show of his work.

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Transforming Pandemic Grief Into Art
Interactive, October 27

Ansel Oommen, an artist and medical lab worker, has turned biohazard labels into an outlet for pandemic grief and trauma.

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Miss Live Theater? You’re Not Alone.
Interactive, October 15

We miss theater. And we know you do too. So we asked you to share some memories with us.

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David Hasselhoff and Cheetos: Pandemic Art Goes ’80s
Interactive, October 9

Take a tour of the inclusive, affordable and hot-pink Satellite Art Club in Brooklyn.

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Black Culture Is Flourishing. How Can It Be Preserved?
Interactive, October 7

Jenna Wortham and Kimberly Dean share a portfolio of favorite works — and discuss curating Black art when so much creativity is online and ephemeral.

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Seeing Our Own Reflection in the Birth of the Self-Portrait
Interactive, September 25

Now it seems self-evident that pictures can represent who you “really” are. That conviction began with Albrecht Dürer, five centuries ago.

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A Picture of Change for a World in Constant Motion
Interactive, August 7

What a masterpiece of Japanese printmaking teaches us about the way images circulate.

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A Portrait of America That Still Haunts, Decades Later
Interactive, June 12

How, in a single photograph, Robert Frank captured the ongoing story of a divided nation.

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Taking Lessons From a Bloody Masterpiece
Interactive, May 28

I’ve become obsessed with Thomas Eakins’s “The Gross Clinic.” Let me show you why.

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‘I Have to Make Use of What Is at My Disposal.’
Interactive, May 20

What Zanele Muholi, Titus Kaphar, Kara Walker and other artists are creating during quarantine.

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Visiting the Museum in My Mind
Interactive, May 15

A consideration of artworks that ask the question: What world will we find on the other side of this?

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17 Artists Capture a Surreal New York From Their Windows
Interactive, April 16

We asked artists sheltering in place across the city to illustrate what it looks and feels like outside their windows.

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The Creative Circles Defining the Culture
Interactive, April 13

Whether united by outlook or identity, happenstance or choice, these communities have shaped the worlds of art, fashion, film and more.

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What Does It Mean When an Artist Retreats From Public Life?
Interactive, April 13

A small and highly influential group has chosen to disappear from society in favor of letting their work speak for itself.

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How ‘Daughters of the Dust’ Sent Ripples Through the Film World
Interactive, April 13

With her lyrical work, made in 1991, Julie Dash and her collaborators recentered the black female gaze.

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The Neighbors of Ninth Street
Interactive, April 13

For decades, two blocks in Greenwich Village have been home to a disproportionate number of New York City’s writers, artists, actors and designers.

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How Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts Birthed the Contemporary Avant-Garde
Interactive, April 13

A city poised on the edge of Europe and the rest of the world became the incubator for talents like Dries Van Noten, Luc Tuymans and Ann Demeulemeester.

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How a Trio of Black-Owned Galleries Changed the Art World
Interactive, April 13

In the 1960s and ’70s, Brockman Gallery, Gallery 32 and JAM led the way in showing the work of artists now among the most influential of our time.

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35 Top African-American Artists on the Work That Inspires Them
Interactive, March 19

Kerry Washington on Beyoncé, Ta-Nehisi Coates on Kendrick Lamar, Oprah Winfrey on Toni Morrison. This is the black art that is defining the century.