News
The Year in Review 2019

From a Paris inferno to the Leonardo tussle: the art world's top stories of 2019

We look back at the major events that made the headlines this year

Blog
The Buck stopped here

Oscar Murillo hosts 'fun-raising' feast in London studio

News
Conservation & Preservation

Looted in Germany by Stalin’s brigades, a restored goddess goes on view at the Hermitage

Bronze sculpture gets new wings in a collaboration with Berlin’s Antikensammlung

News
Appointments & departures

Frieze LA director Bettina Korek appointed chief executive of Serpentine Galleries

Los Angeles art veteran takes the reins at the London institution in its 50th anniversary year

News
Accessibility

How to make museums more accessible for disabled people? Ask them

Research groups have designed new technologies and initiatives for the V&A, Kunsthistorisches Museum and Thyssen-Bornemisza

News
Appointments & departures

Charles Saumarez Smith steps down as senior director at Blain Southern

Gallery is going through a “period of restructuring”, according to founder Harry Blain

News
Censorship

Artists call for Kyrgyz minister of culture’s resignation in wake of censorship scandal

Open letter argues that censorship of the exhibition Feminnale violated a number of constitutional protections

Latest in Video

Podcast

Anselm Kiefer on why size matters

Auctions

Hammer Time: Sotheby's picks up the pace during a sluggish art week with $270.7m contemporary art sale

Auctions

Hammer Time: records set but reserves remain low at Christie's post-war and contemporary art sale

Auctions

Hammer Time: consistency and caution are key at Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern evening sale

Auctions

Hammer Time: Christie's Impressionist and Modern evening sale November 2019

Preview
Exhibitions

Welcome to the world of Rufus Porter: painter, publisher and prophetic inventor

Legacy of 19th-century artist and maverick, who founded longest-running US magazine and foresaw networking potential of technology, is examined in new show

News
Arts funding

Washington, DC’s mayor and arts commission locked in conflict

Muriel Bowser launches rival office of creative affairs and blocks access to the city’s public art vaults

News
Banksy

Banksy transforms bench into Santa's sleigh in new mural highlighting UK homelessness

Street artist posts video of the work praising passersby in Birmingham for stopping and offering food and drink to a man sleeping rough

News
Acquisitions

Permanent a-peel: $120,000 banana will enter museum collection

Miami collectors William and Beatrice Cox will donate the fruit piece to an unnamed institution

News
Museum attendance

Influx of millions of Chinese tourists wreaks havoc for Russian museums

Electronic visas pave the way for ever greater visitors numbers, creating major logistical problems at Tsarskoe Selo and the Hermitage

Latest in Podcast

Podcast

Turner Prize shocker: what next? Plus, Teresita Fernández in Miami

Podcast

Troy: the show and the problem with BP sponsorship

Music

John Lennon wanted Hitler on cover of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album

Podcast

Dora Maar and Jann Haworth: acclaim at last

Podcast

Anselm Kiefer on why size matters

News
Poland

Lublin governor files defamation suit against art historian sparking free speech fears in Poland

Case against Tomasz Kitliński follows row over installation that marked pogrom sites in the city

News
Museums & Heritage

Brighton Pavilion gets its glitter back as fanciful treasures return on long-term loan from the Queen

More of the startling objects collected by George IV will return from Buckingham Palace in early 2020

Preview
Exhibitions

New perspectives on an Old Master: Andrea Mantegna show to open in Turin

Exhibition at Palazzo Madama promises an impressive number of works—and a fresh view of the Renaissance master's legacy

News
Art Basel in Miami Beach 2019

Get your shine on at Art Basel in Miami Beach

There is plenty to keep magpie collectors happy at the fair

News
Art Basel in Miami Beach 2019

Art Basel helps Hong Kong exhibitors offset extra costs

Fair organisers says the discounts are not "incentive to do the fair" but are "part of an effort to mitigate their additional expenses"

News
Art Basel in Miami Beach 2019

Text and slogan 'statement pieces' draw Instagram crowd to Art Basel

But it's not all about selfies, many art pieces with a motto carry a socially conscious message

News
Art Basel in Miami Beach 2019

From Miami to Margate: Ellen Harvey’s mural depicting a slice of South Florida travels abroad

The hand-painted designs for her permanent installation will be included in the artist’s solo show at Turner Contemporary next year

News
Art Basel in Miami Beach 2019

Montreal dealer Robert Landau to move his headquarters to Lucerne in 2022

He has secured a 40-year lease on a 35,000 sq. m castle-like complex, with plans to create a sculpture park and private freeport

News
Conservation & Preservation

Weaver uncovers hidden patterns beneath Old Master paintings

For artisan Helena Loermans, uncovering the intricate weaves of artists' canvases is like “a detective story”

News
Conservation & Preservation

Conserving canvas: from tear-mending to 'mist lining’, conservators share their techniques

Hundreds gather as the Getty convenes the first major international conference on the issue in 45 years

Review
Three to see

Three exhibitions to see in London this weekend

From the UK's hottest graduates to forgotten Indian masterpieces

News
Restitution

Archaeologist launches private bid to retrieve priceless Egyptian treasures from European museums

Zahi Hawass, former Egyptian minister of antiquities, corrals international team of experts to press institutions for return of important artefacts

Podcast

Turner Prize shocker: what next? Plus, Teresita Fernández in Miami

We talk to Louisa Buck about the decision to award the Turner Prize to all of the nominees. Plus, Miami-born artist Teresita Fernández tells us about her homecoming show at Pérez Art Museum Miami. Produced in association with Bonhams, auctioneers since 1793

Blog
Adventures with Van Gogh

Ten myths about Vincent van Gogh

Why stories—from the mutilated ear to the eventual suicide—can distort our view of the art

News
Art Basel in Miami Beach 2019

Discounts give younger galleries a leg up at Art Basel in Miami Beach

A 20% fee reduction for new galleries exhibiting contemporary art has enabled smaller players to join the fair's main section

News
Censorship

Censored queer photographs get second chance at Miami's Nada fair

City officials cancelled a planned display by Pacifico Silano in Bal Harbour last year

News
Photography

David Goldblatt's photographic legacy lives on through digital archive project

South African collection withdrawn from University of Cape Town over censorship row forms the heart of Goodman Gallery’s new initiative

News
Opioid Crisis

Citing opioid crisis, Tufts University strips Sackler name from its buildings and programmes

Institution declares that the name “runs counter to the school’s mission”

News
Museums

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston names new director

Hesse McGraw has served at San Francisco and Nebraska art institutions

Blog
Diary

Salvator Mundi-mania comes to Brooklyn

News
Museums

Freer/Sackler rebrands its identity as the National Museum of Asian Art

Museum officials say the decision is unrelated to protests over the Sackler family's ties to Purdue Pharma

Comment
Politics

Chile’s neoliberal ideology has co-opted artist’s creativity

The failed economic experiments of the 1970s laid the groundwork for today’s socio-economic crisis

News
Repatriation

Penn Museum hands over fragments of 387 ancient clay tablets to Iraqi Embassy

Archaeologists say the tablets, unearthed nearly a century ago, are akin to receipts

News
Museums

The Leslie-Lohman Museum announces its first director of curatorial programmes

Stamatina Gregory will take the new position as the LGBTQ art museum undergoes a series of changes

News
Museums

'Xavier Bray, end low pay!': Wallace Collection staff fight for London Living Wage

Museum is in discussion with trade union after 'final offer' 1.5% salary increase was deemed too low

Feature
Art Basel in Miami Beach 2019

Design Miami is a real glass act

The material is hot at the design fair, where the line between decorative and fine art is becoming increasingly blurred

News
Musee du Quai Branly–Jacques Chirac

Quai Branly to send fragment of feather belt worn by first King of Tahiti back to Polynesia

Rediscovered maro 'ura will go on show at Museum of Tahiti and the Islands on long-term loan from 2021

News
Three to see

Three exhibitions to see in Miami this weekend

From the Rubell Museum’s inaugural display to Sterling Ruby’s first solo museum exhibition

News
Censorship

UN condemns threats against Kyrgyz museum director who staged feminist art exhibition

Museum hosted a 'Feminnale' that included performance work highlighting plight of sex workers

Feature
Music

The artist’s composer: Steve Reich's percussive experiment returns to the Hayward Gallery this week

Drumming was first performed at the London venue in Mark Rothko's 1972 exhibition—now it will be surrounded by Bridget Riley's show

Analysis
Art market

'Christmas dinner without the turkey': little festive cheer at Sotheby's Old Masters sale

December auction generates less than half the total of last year's sale, with several lots failing to sell

News
Art Basel in Miami Beach 2019

Immigrant artist residency launches—steps from Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort

The Peru-born, North Carolina-based painter Renzo Ortega is the inaugural artist-in-residence at Palm Beach’s New Wave Art Wknd festival

News
Art Basel in Miami Beach 2019

South American galleries face down turmoil

Civil unrest and economic shifts have Latin American dealers doubling down on Miami's international market

News
Feminism

Women artists fight for reproductive rights with US election fundraising show

"I want to normalise abortion as a life-saving medical procedure, mentally and physically," says Marilyn Minter

News
Museums

Strikes hit France: here are the museums that are affected

Several institutions have closed, others have cut back their opening times as protests against Macron's retirement reforms sweep the country

Blog
The Buck stopped here

Gavin Turk gives a load of bull at the Christmas Art Car Boot Fair

News
Controversies

German art activists apologise for upsetting Holocaust survivors with monument containing human remains

Centre for Political Beauty concedes “mistakes,” says it will veil monument

News
Obituaries

Stephen Garrett, inaugural director of the Getty and the Hammer, has died, aged 96

“Bon vivant” took over at museum villa and expanded its mission after J. Paul Getty died in 1976

News
Awards

Hepworth Wakefield to stage 'long overdue' survey of Hannah Starkey with £100,000 Freelands Award

Show comes "at an exciting moment" as the photographer is reassessing her art in light of recent political events, museum's director says

News
Exhibitions

#MeToo show manages to evade authorities in Shanghai

Previous iterations of the show were closed early by authorities

News
China

Yuz Museum and Lacma confident they can show Middle Eastern art in China—despite crackdown on Islam

Joint exhibition programme under way between Shanghai and Los Angeles will soon involve Qatar Museums

Analysis
China

Why museum partnerships between China and the West are booming

Cultural institutions have embraced mutual benefits of collaboration, despite challenges of communication and censorship

Comment
Turner Prize

Could the joint win sound the death knell for the Turner Prize?

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani's decision to share the prize reflects the collective nature of their work, but how this could impact the future of the award remains to be seen

Analysis
Art market

Tiepolo and Giovanni di Paolo spark excitement in underpowered Christie’s Old Master sale

Auction raised more than last year but supply still limited as Brexit-dominated general election looms

News
Climate Change

Climate emergency in Miami: large-scale protest march planned during Art Basel fair

With Miami Beach predicted to be 30% underwater by 2045, the convention centre where the fair currently takes place could soon become an island

News
Art market

Rare Tahitian painting by Gauguin sells for €9.5m at Artcurial in Paris

Te Bourao II, which went to an international collector, was on loan to the Met in New York for ten years

News
Art Basel in Miami Beach 2019

Maurizio Cattelan presents first new work for a fair in 15 years—and it is a banana priced at $120,000

The piece of fruit taped to a wall at Art Basel in Miami Beach "offers insight into how we assign worth", Perrotin gallery says

News
Environment

Ai Weiwei confronts Amazon destruction in new film work

Dissident artist is exploring the disappearance of the Brazilian rainforest alongside China’s growing influence in South America

News
Turner Prize

In shock move, all four nominated artists win Turner Prize 2019

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo and Tai Shani will share the UK’s most prestigious art prize

News
Discoveries

Conservator discovers secret scrawls hidden beneath Derek Jarman painting

Pleasures of Italy canvas on show at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin throws light on late activist’s lovers and interests

Review
Exhibition catalogues

Vienna museum's Caravaggio and Bernini catalogue presents the artist's studio as a theatrical site

Exhibition at Kunsthistorisches on the two Baroque heavyweights helps to clarify the relationship between Roman painting and sculpture of the period

News
UK politics

The UK's culture secretary conveyor belt: who will be next?

As the election looms this month and Nicky Morgan announces she is standing down, the department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport prepares for its latest secretary of state

News
Turkey

Court ruling converting Turkish museum to mosque could set precedent for Hagia Sophia

Decision that Kariye Museum must become a Muslim house of worship again could imperil its Byzantine art and have repercussions for other early Christian monuments

Review
Art Basel in Miami Beach 2019

New documentary offers unvarnished view of Clyfford Still

Lifeline/Clyfford Still sheds light on the Abstract Expressionist who despised critics, condemned the work of his contemporaries, and was admired by many

News
Controversies

Art activists anger Holocaust survivors with Berlin monument containing ashes

Centre for Political Beauty says action targets conservatives open to allying with far right

News
Miami

Welcome to Allapattah: two spaces open this week in Miami’s new arts district

Local collectors Jorge Pérez and the Rubells head west of Wynwood in search of more space to show their art

Interview
Art Basel in Miami Beach 2019

Interview with Pepe Mar on his work safeguarding queer histories

The Mexican-born Miami-based artist is presenting Varla TV, a tribute to the South Beach painter and drag performer Craig Coleman, in Art Basel in Miami Beach’s Meridians show

News
Museums

Michael Rakowitz wants to pause his video work at MoMA PS1 as a protest against museum's ties to 'toxic philanthropy'

"It's censorship", the artist says of curators' denials to suspend work that is part of show on the artistic legacy of the Gulf War

News
Valie Export

Valie Export: ‘Female artists are disadvantaged because the market is determined by men’

Austrian performance artist is showing her 1980 Venice Biennale installation for the first time in 40 years in London