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Helsinki Biennial on Vallisaari Island Explores Relationship to Nature, Time, and Change

When approaching Vallisaari Island by ferry from Helsinki, a leaky, 20-foot-tall scaffolding with a bright-red roof is one of the first things visitors see. It is not a sign of reconstruction after some weather-related damage, but rather an installation by Finnish artist Jaakko Niemelä titled Quay 6 set to welcome arrivals at the first Helsinki Biennial, whose theme is “The Same Sea.” Running through September 26 and featuring work from 41 local and international artists, “The Same Sea” centers on universal, environmental, and interpersonal levels of interdependence and interconnectedness. Every element of Quay 6 perfectly embodies this theme: Remove remove any...
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MakersPlace Raises $30 M. in Venture Funds, Acquavella & Ruprecht Participate

MakersPlace, one of the original NFT marketplaces, announced a $30 million Series A round of venture financing today. The deal was led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Pantera Capital. Significantly, it also includes a range of backers from the venture arm of Coinbase, a crypto-currency exchange and Sony Music Entertainment to a number of individuals who play important roles in the worlds of sports, music and art. The most prominent art names involved in the funding round are Acquavella Galleries, former Sotheby’s CEO Bill Ruprecht, and Sabrina Hahn, who is a director at Pace as well as an investor in NFT...
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World’s Oldest Cave Paintings May Have Been Made by Neanderthals, Study Reveals

A group of archaeologists has uncovered new evidence suggesting that elusive red ochre pigment in Cave of Ardales in Spain was applied by Neanderthals. Their findings, published in a recent study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), are a key contribution to a long held debate in the archaeological community over the paintings’ origins.  The study, “The symbolic role of the underground world among Middle Paleolithic Neanderthals” by Africa Pitarch Martí et al. sought to determine whether or not the red pigmentation found on a group of cauliflower form stalactites in the Cave of Ardales was naturally occurring...
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Texas Oil Magnate’s Impressionist Art Collection Expected to Fetch $200 M. at Auction

The Impressionist art collection of Dallas oil tycoon and philanthropist Edwin L. Cox will be sold at Christie’s in November. The group of 25 works including paintings by Vincent van Gogh and Gustave Caillebotte, and is expected to fetch $200 million. The sale will mark the first time that many of these works have been seen publicly since before World War II. Cox died at the age of 99 in November. The Texas billionaire served on the board of the museums such as the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and the Dallas Museum of Art, as well as those...
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Dutch Man Faces Trial Over Failed Robbery of Roman Coin Collection in Germany

A Dutch man is currently facing attempted robbery charges for the failed theft of ancient Roman coins from one of Germany’s largest archeological museums. In 2019, a group of men broke into the Rhineland State Museum with the intention to steal the Trier Gold Hoard, a collection of over 2,500 solid gold coins. While the defendant was apprehended, his two accomplices are still on the run, according to Deutsche Welle. The group entered the museum by scaling scaffolding and prying open a window. Inside, they discovered a thick pane of glass reinforced with steel mesh protecting the collection, which proved too difficult...
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The Artwork That Saved Bill Murray’s Life, Photographer George Forss Dies, and More: Morning Links for August 3, 2021

To receive Morning Links in your inbox every weekday, sign up for our Breakfast with ARTnews newsletter. The Headlines IN A BIG WIN FOR NEANDERTHALS, a new paper marshals fresh research that they painted stalagmites in a cave near Málaga, Spain, more than 60,000 years ago (before modern humans were in Europe). The theory has been debated since it was proposed in 2018, the Guardian reports; some scholars have maintained the ocher patches occurred naturally on the rocks. Analysis of the pigment showed that it did not originate in the cave. The material, found in clay, may have chewed and applied by blowing from the mouth or through a bone straw (oddly enough, a certain presidential son has also been using...
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Pristine Visigoth Sarcophagus Discovered at Ancient Roman Complex in Spain

A well-preserved Visigoth coffin has been unearthed by archaeologists at Los Villaricos in southeastern Spain. The University of Murcia (UMU) announced the find last month. The sandstone sarcophagus was uncovered during a two-week-long excavation last month led by UMU professor Rafael González Fernández, along with fellow researchers Francisco Fernández Matallana, José Antonio Zapata Parra, and José Javier Martínez García. The six-and-a-half-foot-long sarcophagus is intricately carved with a curving spiral motif. Ivy leaves decorate the lid. Inside the coffin, researchers discovered a set of human remains, with a possible second body laid at the other’s feet. “As we cleaned what looked like a sculptural...
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Workers at New York’s Whitney Museum Vote to Join Union

Workers at the Whitney Museum in New York voted on Monday to join Local 2110, a division of the United Auto Workers union, carrying on the momentum of a wave of organizing that has swept art institutions across the United States. The 96-1 vote was the culmination of a two-month campaign. The union drive followed two rounds of layoffs at the Whitney since the start of the pandemic in the U.S. “We are looking forward to sitting down with Whitney Museum leadership to start the bargaining process,” the Whitney union wrote on Instagram. “Celebrations ahead!” Nearly 200 Whitney workers launched the union...
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ARTnews in Brief: White Cube Now Represents Tunji Adeniyi-Jones—and More from August 3, 2021

Tuesday, August 3 White Cube Now Represents Tunji Adeniyi-Jones  White Cube gallery, which maintains spaces in London and Hong Kong, has added British painter Tunji Adeniyi-Jones to its roster. Known for his vivid color palettes and his expressive images of the body, the artist, who is now based in the U.S., draws on West African artistic traditions and mythology to create lush landscapes. Often, they are populated by Black figures who challenge forms of representation in Western painting. He will continue to be represented by Nicelle Beauchene Gallery in New York and Morán Morán gallery in Los Angeles, which will host shows of his work in...
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Longtime Philadelphia Museum of Art Director Timothy Rub to Retire

Timothy Rub, the longtime director and chief executive officer of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, announced on Friday that he will retire in early 2022. During the course of his 13-year tenure, Rub was responsible for overseeing a major renovation project that opened to acclaim earlier this year. Over the past few years, however, workers at the museum have spoken out against Rub, claiming that he mishandled allegations of sexual harassment among his staff and reacted inappropriately to Black Lives Matter protests. Rub succeeded the museum’s previous director, Anne d’Harnoncourt, following her unexpected death in 2009. During her tenure, d’Harnoncourt launched an...
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Anish Kapoor to Convert 18th-Century Venetian Palazzo into Exhibition Space

The Anish Kapoor Foundation has bought and will be renovating the 18th-century Palazzo Manfrin into a gallery, artist studio, and archival deposit, according to the Art Newspaper. Mario Codognato, Venice native and current director of the Anish Kapoor Foundation, will be leading the new project. Kapoor has previously raised concerns about the state of Venice as a city. This past June, Kapoor and 21 other artists signed a letter urging Venetian officials to consider the negative impacts of tourism on the city. The Palazzo Marin will host rotating exhibitions in a ground-floor gallery. Its second and third floors will display works...
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U.K. Judge Overturns Controversial Plan to Build Tunnel Near Stonehenge

A British court has overturned plans for a $2.4 billion highway project near Stonehenge, saying that the roadway was unlawful because it could damage the World Heritage site. The BBC reported the news on Saturday.  The original plan by Highways England was devised to reduce congestion along the A303, a 64-mile highway that runs past Stonehenge, by digging a new road and an underground tunnel. Campaigners from Save Stonehenge World Heritage Site (SSWHS), who hoped to see the project stopped, crowdfunded the nearly $70,000 needed to bring about a judicial review on the matter.  On July 30, U.K. courts declared that the...
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Guggenheim Museum Workers Push to Unionize Amid Wave of Organizing Across U.S. Museums

After the Guggenheim Museum cut its staff by more than 10 percent last year, workers at the New York institution are pushing to unionize. If their drive is successful, it will be the second union formed at the museum in three years. The conservators, curators, digital marketing, educators, visitor service, and administrative staff taking part in this drive are seeking to join the United Auto Workers (UAW) union. Groups at the New Museum and the Whitney Museum are also part of the UAW. The UAW said that workers at the Guggenheim are seeking to obtain greater wage equity, more transparency, and increased...
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Roman Shipwreck Discovered, Brazilian Film Warehouse Burns, and More: Morning Links for August 2, 2021

To receive Morning Links in your inbox every weekday, sign up for our Breakfast with ARTnews newsletter. The Headlines THE ARCHAEOLOGY BEAT IS BUZZING. Let’s dive right in. A U.K. judge has nixed the government’s approval of a controversial plan to build a highway tunnel near Stonehenge, saying it failed to consider both the possible harm of the project and possible alternatives, the Art Newspaper reports. “We are disappointed in the judgment and are considering it carefully before deciding how to proceed,” a Department for Transport rep told the BBC. Off the coast of Egypt, in the sunken city of Thonis-Heracleion, fruit-filled baskets and bronze artifacts have been found, according to the Guardian. Also underwater: an ancient Roman shipwreck that was just discovered off of Sicily,...
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Led By Strong Asian Buying, Phillips Posts $542 M. in Sales for H1 2021

Phillips released its figures for the first half of 2021 this morning. The data suggests a continuation of a trend seen in earlier results from larger rivals like Christie’s. Total sales for the first half of the year were $542.7 million, representing a 25 percent rise from the occluded sales that took place during the beginning of the global pandemic. Auction results were $452 million, a 15 percent rise, and private sales grew a heady 107 percent to $90.7 million. Phillips’s CEO, Edward Dolman, attributed the success to strong private sales and robust sell-through figures. “Our several ‘White Glove’ sales across...
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Save Your Memories in the Best Scrapbooks

Scrapbooks provide the ideal opportunity for a walk down memory lane while also encouraging personal creativity. The practice of scrapbooking began in 19th-century England; it was particularly popular among those who went on the Grand Tour of Europe and wanted to preserve tokens from their travels. One avid practitioner was Mark Twain, who carried a series of scrapbooks on his journeys in which to save souvenirs, clippings, and pictures. Today scrapbooking is a hobby enjoyed by people of all ages. Scrapbooks come in a wide range of dimensions and designs, but we’ve got you covered: Browse our selection of the...
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Perfect Your Pottery With the Best Tool Sets for Ceramics

Pottery making requires more than just a wheel and a block of clay. To shape your vessels, imprint them with creative etched designs, and trim rims so they’re perfectly even, you’re going to need some tools. The most commonly used implements in ceramics are ribbon tools, which are used to cut away clay; ribs, for perfecting your pot’s shape; needle tools, for piercing and etching; and molding tools, which come with a range of head shapes to create a variety of contours. Whether you’re looking for implements of one particular type or are in the market for a fuller array...
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Achieve Amazing Feats of Clay With the Best Needle Tools for Ceramics

Necessary for etching, trimming, cutting, incising, scoring, and piercing clay, a needle tool is a must-have for any ceramicist—professional or recreational, beginner or advanced. Needle tools come in many forms. If you want to reduce hand strain, look for a product with a rubber grip, or if you want a more traditional model, go with an all-steel option or a tool with a wooden handle. Let us help you make a good choice: Browse our roundup of the best needle tools below.
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Add Luster to Your Handknits With the Best Silk and Silk-Blend Yarns

Silk is a coveted fabric for its smooth, luxurious feel. Unfortunately, it can be a difficult material to work with because of its tendency to slip and its lack of give. For those reasons, many yarns that include silk are blended with more forgiving fibers like wool. With the right combination, a silk-blend yarn can provide a perfect marriage between the lustrous sheen and drape of silk and the elasticity of another material. Our picks below will help you find the best silk-blend yarn for your project, be it knitting, crocheting, weaving, felting, or something else entirely.
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Get a Grip With the Best Needle-Nose Pliers

For many artists and hobbyists, there comes a time when a project demands close-in work with difficult-to-manage materials. Manipulating jewelry wire, for example, or monofilament line by hand can be frustratingly hard to do. That’s when having a pair of needle-nose pliers (also called long-nose pliers) becomes essential. As the name implies, this tool tapers to a fine point, allowing you to firmly grab stuff that would otherwise be inaccessible. But how to choose one that’s right for you? You’ll find the answer below in our top five picks of the best needle-nose pliers out there.