Istanbul Biennial Appoints New Director, Artist Klee Benally Dies, and More: Morning Links for January 8, 2024

Istanbul Biennial Appoints New Director, Artist Klee Benally Dies, and More: Morning Links for January 8, 2024

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The Headlines

RIP. Sunday, The New York Times paid tribute to musician Klee Benally, a Navajo man who has died at a Phoenix hospital. He was only 48 years old. The cause of death has not been disclosed. The musician, who was known for advocating on behalf of Indigenous people and defending environmental causes, was also an artist. “I rarely have an opportunity to offer or exhibit my artwork. This piece is up for silent auction until July 10th to benefit the Coconino Center for the Arts”, he posted on Instagram in 2021, about “Ástł’aldahgo íłka’inídaajahígííi”, a digital print, matte paper & ink, which spoke to movement, transformation and Indigenous survival through mutual aid. “I performed there numerous times with Blackfire [his punk rock band] including a multimedia piece with modern dancer David Ramos that addressed mental health, incarceration, and colonial violence many many years ago […]”. May he rest in peace.

STEEL’S STEAL. Over 30 years ago, Flora Steel bought a unique brooch at an English antique market for about $25. She had no idea then that it was designed by William Burges (1827-1881), a Victorian-era Gothic Revival virtuoso. Now, the brooch is scheduled to go under the hammer in the spring for up to $19,000 at Gildings. Steel contacted the auction house after coming across a 2011 clip from BBC’s “Antiques Roadshiw” where jewelry expert Geoffrey Mann presented a page of sketches from London’t Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) depicting similar pieces to hers, all made by “the greatest genius of the 19th century design”. 

The Digest

Steven Salvat’s series “The Petite Nature” was the subject of a focus by Kathryn Bromwich. Her works start with dried flowers and plants collected from forests and fields around Paris, around which she draws small creatures, such as salamander, mise, geckos… “The first time I pasted in the street was a gamechanger…” [The Guardian]

On Sunday, “Van Gogh: Poets and Lovers” (from 14 September to 19 January 2025) made The Guardian’s list of cultural highlights for 2024. The “once-in-a-lifetime” exhibition, which follows the painter’s days in Provence, from Arles to Saint-Rémy, will be part of the celebrations for the bicentennial year of The National Gallery in London. [The Guardian]

The “Welcome to Wet Paint in the Wild” gossip column continues in 2024. The artist invited to chronicle a week of her life with a disposable camera is Jeanette Hayes, who takes the readers to the unveiling of her collages in a Swedish subway station. [Artnet]

The Istanbul Biennial at the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) has announced that curator Kevser Gülerwas was appointed as the new director of the event. She will be filling in for Bige Örer, whose departure after 15 years at the job was made official on 2 January. İKSV’s announcement highlights that Güler has worked with the biennial between 2007–2014. [ArtReview]

The Kicker

A prospective site for the proposed $20-million ArtMuseum of Kangaroo Island (AMKI) in South Australia, meant to show works by local artists-in residence, as well as from traveling exhibitions, has been revealed. The AMKI Establishment Association has announced that it intends to secure a block outside Kingscote, overlooking the Bay of Shoals. The committee will be seeking a combination of state and federal funding, in addition to philanthropic financial support. [ArchitectureAU]

Christmas is officially behind us. Without the pressure of having to buy gifts, you may appreciate more a top 7 of the most beautiful department stores around the world. Whether the plan is to treat yourself or to window-shop only, this selection by Katherine McLaughin invites you to step inside stunning shops, “where architecture and design rival with the products themselves”, starting with Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II in Italy. The fun may not lie in purchasing, but rather in the simple act of walking with your eyes wide open. [AD]

The article “Istanbul Biennial Appoints New Director, Artist Klee Benally Dies, and More: Morning Links for January 8, 2024” by Tessa Solomon was published on 08/01/2024 by