World Art News

April 16, 2024

Major Leonora Carrington painting poised to smash Surrealist’s auction record

Sotheby’s is once again tapping into the robust market for works by top female Surrealists. The auction house expects to smash Leonora Carrington’s auction record when it offers one of her most dramatic canvases during its evening sale of Modern art on 15 May in New York.

Even if Les Distractions de Dagobert (1945)—which a Sotheby's spokesperson confirmed is backed by a guarantee—sells for the auction house’s low estimate of $12m, the result would more than triple the artist’s current auction record of $3.2m (including fees), achieved by the tenebrous composition The Garden of Paracelsus (1957) two years ago at Sotheby's in New York.

April 16, 2024

Meditations on mortality: Venice exhibition revisits the photography of Peter Hujar

Photography “converts the whole world into a cemetery”, wrote Susan Sontag. “Photographers, connoisseurs of beauty, are also—wittingly or unwittingly—the recording-angels of death.”

Sontag was writing a year before the publication of her book On Photography (1977), expanding on the subject in what remains a key text on the medium and its influence on society. The words appeared in an essay to go with a book by a photographer who was little known beyond his bohemian circle of friends and acquaintances, the demi-monde of New York’s downtown scene in the mid 1970s.

April 16, 2024

Artificial intelligence takes a deep dive in new Venice show

How can we break free from Western ways of categorising the world? That is a question at the heart of Josèfa Ntjam’s collateral exhibition at this year’s Venice Biennale, which tells a creation story that blends mythology, marine biology and science fiction. It also, crucially, puts artificial intelligence (AI) in the hands of visitors—helping to grow the technology’s data sets beyond the Western canon.

April 15, 2024

Denmark’s ‘Notre Dame moment’: passers-by rescue paintings from blazing Boersen building in Copenhagen

Passers-by helped save some of Denmark’s most valuable paintings from Copenhagen's 17th-century Boersen building—the city's former stock exchange—as it was consumed by fire today (16 April).

In what the Danish defence minister, Troels Lund Poulsen, described as the country’s “Notre Dame moment”, the building caught fire while undergoing renovation, five years and a day after the great Parisian cathedral went up in flames.

April 15, 2024

Willem de Kooning’s Italian adventures explored in Gallerie dell’Accademia show

Two visits to Italy made by Willem de Kooning in 1959-60 and 1969 made a hitherto under-explored impact on his art. Both prompted intense periods of creativity and somewhat unexpected results in the realms of drawing and sculpture. But the Gallerie dell’Accademia’s Biennale blockbuster, Willem de Kooning and Italy, offers a significant representation not just of those bodies of work, but of his last three decades of activity.

April 15, 2024

Luca Cerizza, curator of the Italian pavilion at Venice Biennale 2024, on his favourite La Serenissima hang-outs

Best place to get a pizza

Birraria La Corte in Campo San Polo: the best pizza in town, loved by Venetians. And if you don’t feel like eating pizza, I suggest the frittura di Sant’Erasmo: fried vegetables from Sant’Erasmo, the small island that has always been Venice’s vegetable garden.

April 15, 2024

Palestine references abound at the 60th Venice Biennale

Multiple artists taking part in the 60th Venice Biennale have featured Palestine in their work and installations as the art world continues to grapple with the Israel-Hamas war.

As attendees entered the Venice Arsenale on Tuesday (16 April) for the Biennale’s media preview day, the first work they were confronted with was Rage Is A Machine In Times of Senselessness (2024), a massive oil and embroidery on canvas by Mexican artist Frieda Toranzo Jaeger.

April 15, 2024

Flip Through More than 5,000 Pages of This Sprawling 19th-Century Atlas of Natural History



Flip Through More than 5,000 Pages of This Sprawling 19th-Century Atlas of Natural History

April 16, 2024

Kate Mothes

an 18th-century natural history book illustration of numerous long-legged birds

Courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library

In the early 19th century, German naturalist Lorenz Oken quickly established himself as a leader in the Naturphilosophie movement, a current of Idealism, which attempted to comprehend a total view of nature by investigating its theoretical structure—a precursor to the natural sciences as we know them today.

April 15, 2024

Study for Winston Churchill portrait that was famously burned is up for sale

"How are you going to paint me? As a cherub or the Bulldog?” Winston Churchill famously asked the artist Graham Sutherland before work began on a portrait commissioned by the Houses of Parliament to celebrate the public figure’s 80th birthday.

“It entirely depends on what you show me, Sir,” Sutherland responded.

As it turns out, the Bulldog appears to have dominated the remaining process of creating studies and completion of the portrait, in 1954, with the painting famously being destroyed in a fire by the brother of Churchill’s secretary, a couple of years later.