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UCCA to Expand to Chengdu, David Adjaye Designs Ghanaian Hospitals, and More: Morning Links for August 30, 2021

UCCA to Expand to Chengdu, David Adjaye Designs Ghanaian Hospitals, and More: Morning Links for August 30, 2021

VISUAL ART NEWS

UCCA to Expand to Chengdu, David Adjaye Designs Ghanaian Hospitals, and More: Morning Links for August 30, 2021

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The Headlines
THE ARCHITECTURE BLOTTER IS OVERFLOWING. Ghana said it will use a design by David Adjaye to create 101 hospitals throughout the country, Quartz reports. In France, on the Côte d’Azur, two storied modernist homes have reopened for tours after extensive renovations: Eileen Gray‘s E-1027, and Le Corbusier‘s Cabanon, according to Dezeen  (which has photos). In New York, the debate is raging about how to prevent more suicides at Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel. “At this point after four deaths, artistic vision doesn’t matter any more,” Lowell Kern, who chairs the local community board, told the Associated Press. And in Chicago, per the AP, seven finalists have been selected to redesign Helmet Jahn’s James R. Thompson Center , which has been dividing opinion since it opened in 1985. The proposals for the 17-story structure include turning it into a school or a waterpark. Jahn died in May at the age of 81.

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RECKONING WITH HISTORY: In London, the Bank of England has taken off view ten paintings and busts depicting governors and directors who were linked to slavery, Al Jazeera reports. In Washington, D.C., the Postal Museum has removed a quotation praising the U.S. Postal Service by Vice President John C. Calhoun, an ardent supporter of slavery, the Washington Post reports. Meanwhile, the Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw is hosting a show called “Political Art” that “its organizers describe as a celebration of free speech, and a challenge to political correctness and ‘cancel culture’ on the political left,” the AP writes. However, protesters have accused the museum of showcasing racist material, and an anti-fascist network has said that Poland, where the right-wing Law and Justice party holds power, is using “art institutions to platform artists infamous for their neo-Nazi sympathies.”
The Digest
Beijing’s UCCA Center for Contemporary Art is expanding again. Just months after opening a Shanghai outpost, it is laying the groundwork for a fourth venue in Chengdu. (It also has one in Beidaihe.) It is also planning to inaugurate a cultural space called “U2 by UCCA” in collaboration with Young Talent Media in December atop a mall in the Chinese capital. [The Art Newspaper]

Just days after news broke that Amsterdam’s mayor was in talks about returning a 1909 Wassily Kandinsky painting to the heirs of the Jewish couple who sold it in 1940, the city said it will do so. The battle over the work had been closely watched; a panel had previously ruled that it could remain in Dutch hands. [The Associated Press]
New York art fairs are plotting their return amid travel restrictions and the ever-present Delta variant. The Armory Show is on deck for September 9, and its director, Nicole Berry, said, “We are putting on this event and have a Plan A, B, C, D and E.” [The New York Times]
The Cuban conceptual artist Arturo Cuenca, whose outspoken activism led to his exile, has died in Miami at the age of 65. In a remembrance, journalist Silvana Paternostro recalled him as an “independent spirit imbued with Caribbean duende who was enthralling, witty—and infuriating.” [Financial Times]
The Elda Museum in Alicante, Spain, has restored a 1st-century chandelier-style oil lantern that is the largest of its kind known to exist. It was made by a man named Lucius Eros in the Iberian-Roman town of Elo. [El País]
Happy days for the Worcester Art Gallery and Museum in England: An anonymous donor has offered it £300,000 (about $413,000) to acquire new work for its collection and upgrade its visitor services. The city council has to sign off on the gift. [BBC News]
The Colt single-action revolver that Sheriff Pat Garrett used to shoot and kill the notorious outlaw Billy the Kid in 1881 sold at Bonhams for $6.03 million, twice its high estimate. On a very different note, the Los Angeles Lakers jersey that Magic Johnson wore while winning the NBA Finals in 1980 went for $1.5 million at Heritage Auctions. [Thomson Reuters/KFGO and ClutchPoints]
The Kicker
DO NOT WORRY. People are still making crazy amounts of money by minting NFTs. The latest example: A 12-year-old boy named Benyamin Ahmed has hauled in £290,000 (about $399,000) by selling his Weird Whale works. “I chose whales because in cryptocurrency a whale is someone with 1,000 bitcoin,” he told the Guardian. (Kids these days!) His father, Imran Ahmed , likened the pieces to Pokémon cards, and explained, “People find the art secondary. Imagine when the printing press came out, if you managed to get hold of a book that was an original, written by a 12-year-old that went viral, you can imagine how that would accrue value over time because of the historical significance.” [The Guardian]


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