Gareth Harris

Chief contributing editor at The Art Newspaper

Preview
The Year Ahead 2020

New museums and major expansions opening in 2020

From Tutankhamun's new king-sized home in Cairo to Munch's sleek space in Oslo, here is our pick of the big openings this year

News
Statues

City of London to remove statues of politicians with slavery links

The decision to take down historic William Beckford and John Cass sculptures could go against new UK government policy

News
Acquisitions

Trove of Surrealist publications and paintings donated to Dutch museum

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen's gift from collectors Laurens Vancrevel and Frida de Jong “opens up new horizons on surrealist activities”, says expert

News
Art market

New York art dealer Helly Nahmad pardoned by Trump

Hours before leaving office, former US president granted a pardon to Nahmad, who pleaded guilty to a federal gambling charge in 2014 and owned an entire floor of Trump Tower

News
coronavirus

Museums around the world step up to be transformed into vaccination centres

London's Science Museum and a West Midlands museum where Peaky Blinders was filmed are just some of the venues doubling up as Covid-19 vaccine hubs

News
Awards

Singer RM from Korean boyband BTS named 'art sponsor of the year'

The Bangtan Boys musician was recognised for donating $90,400 to the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul last September

News
Public art

UK government announces new laws to protect controversial historic monuments from 'woke worthies and baying mobs'

Proposed plans have been criticised as distraction tactics from the state's "lethally failed response to the pandemic and the consequences of a disastrous Brexit"

News
Heritage

From mummies to mosques—new Google Arts & Culture initiative brings Egypt’s archaeological treasures to the masses

New online platform aims to turn traditionally scholarly subject into something "easily digestible and fun to explore"

News
Auctions

Rejected Tintin cover design sets record for comic book art with €3.2m auction price

Sale of controversial 1936 painting criticised by organisation behind artist Hergé’s estate

News
Pablo Picasso

Saga of Picasso murals ripped from Oslo building continues as heirs head to court

Family of artist Carl Nesjar—who collaborated on the works with Picasso—say they have a copyright claim and should help decide where the pieces are relocated

News
George Floyd

Giant painting of George Floyd murder displayed on Los Angeles billboard after being cancelled in Minneapolis

Advertising firms in Minneapolis—where Floyd was killed by police—refused to show the work saying it was too violent, but advocacy group says it will try again

News
Celebrities

Cate Blanchett is building her own art gallery at her English country home

Old outbuildings on the actor's estate will be knocked down to make way for the studio—and provisions will be made for the protected bats that live there

News
US politics

Storming of US Capitol: art world condemns police hypocrisy in pro-Trump riot

Artists Dread Scott and Glenn Ligon among cultural figures pointing out stark contrast in how law enforcement handled the mob compared with Black Lives Matter protestors

News
Museums

Closure of London's Florence Nightingale Museum fuels fears that the pandemic will force smaller UK institutions to shut

Williamson Art Gallery & Museum in Birkenhead is also under threat of closure as part of cost-cutting measures by local council

News
Discoveries

Is this ‘enormously powerful’ painting of Jesus Christ by El Greco? Spanish expert questions new attribution

Art history scholars disagree over possible discovery of work by Renaissance master, which is owned by private collector

News
Anniversary

Remembering Dante—Uffizi unveils online exhibition of 'Divine Comedy' drawings by Federico Zuccari

Florence gallery also planning vast exhibition dedicated to the poet in Forlì featuring works by Michelangelo

Preview
Book Club

A selection of 2021 art publications—Musa Mayer on her father, Philip Guston; Jean Dubuffet in the spotlight

A monograph on Catherine Opie, an analysis of museums in the 21st century and an overview of Joseph Beuys also make the grade

News
Obituaries

In memoriam: remembering art world figures who died in 2020

John Baldessari, Beverly Pepper, Irina Antonova and Christo were among those who died last year

Preview
The Year Ahead 2021

Our guide to the top biennials and triennials coming up in 2021

Previews of the 34th Bienal de São Paulo, Prospect.5 and the 11th Liverpool Biennial—plus, lots of dates for your diary

News
Acquisitions

A 'milestone' moment—US National Gallery of Art acquires 40 works by Black Southern artists

Works were purchased from Souls Grown Deep Foundation in a move that could ‘alter the canon of American art'

News
Museums

Spanish government sets January deadline to break deadlock over Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum collection

Culture minister wants to move the ‘red lines’ in negotiations with Baroness Carmen Cervera

News
Awards

UK New Year’s Honours 2021: awards for artists Michael Landy and Denzil Forrester

Former Tate Britain chief Stephen Deuchar is knighted; curator Lesley Fitton and ceramicist Jennifer Lee also recognised

News
Monuments

Vilified statue of Abraham Lincoln and kneeling slave removed from Park Square in Boston

Artist’s campaign and petition prompted dismantling of ‘Emancipation Group’ piece—but original still stands in Washington DC

News
Brexit

Art specialists pore over the Brexit trade deal—and deliver their verdict

Artist’s resale right, import VAT, red tape, and smuggling directives are addressed by our experts

News
Obituaries

Artist David Medalla—the kinetic art pioneer known for his Cloud Canyons foam sculptures—has died, aged 82

Tributes paid to Manila-born trailblazer who co-founded hugely influential Signals gallery in 1960s London

News
Emergency grants

Numbers game: UK cultural emergency funds in the spotlight

Despite a £1.57bn pot, an algorithm-based grant-making process and complex criteria have left some major institutions empty-handed

News
Museums

Rehung and revamped Mona museum in Tasmania opens its doors after nine-month closure

Collector David Walsh’s celebrated subterranean gallery marks tenth anniversary next month

News
Antiquities & Archaeology

Ancient ‘fast food’ stall comes to light during Pompeii dig

Thermopolium snack bar is revealed in full, providing "extraordinary evidence of the Mediterranean diet', says director

News
Media

Belgian artist Wim Delvoye’s ‘human canvas’ piece inspired new body tattoo movie

‘The Man Who Sold His Skin’ is about a Syrian refugee who gets inked and exhibited in a Brussels museum

News
Redundancies

Curators responsible for Queen’s art collection lose their jobs in Covid-19 cost-cutting exercise

Surveyor of The Queen's Pictures post, held by Desmond Shawe-Taylor, will be ‘lost and held in abeyance’

News
Acquisitions

Acquisitions round-up: European museums co-purchase El Anatsui sculpture from collector Uli Sigg

Woodland scene by Jan Brueghel the Elder heads to Washington DC; London’s National Portrait Gallery gets a Gainsborough via acceptance in lieu

News
Denmark

Rector at Danish art academy steps down over royal bust drowned by artist protesting school’s colonial legacy

Row over plaster cast of monarch dumped in the canal escalates after Danish culture ministry steps in

News
David Hockney

David Hockney appoints Royal Academy curator Edith Devaney as his new managing director

Devaney, previously at the RA for 22 years, will oversee artist’s catalogue raisonné among other projects

News
Restitution

Congolese activist who tried to seize an artefact from the Louvre is fined €5,000

Mwazulu Diyabanza says that “museums do not deserve respect” as restitution debate intensifies

News
Auctions

Warhol, Oldenburg, Fontana: star works from Christo and Jeanne-Claude collection go on the block

Proceeds from the pieces sold at Sotheby’s Paris in February will go towards the artist duo's estate

News
Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst installs giant sculpture in middle of frozen St. Moritz Lake

UK artist is showing more than 40 works in his Mental Escapology exhibition in the Alpine Swiss city

Podcast

2020: the year in review

The Art Newspaper team picks apart this year's biggest art stories, from the art market heading online to the fight for racial justice

News
Philanthropy

Billionaire Leonard Blavatnik donates £10m to the Courtauld Institute of Art

Suite of galleries in refurbished Courtauld Gallery will be named after the Ukraine-born industrialist

News
Exhibitions

Botticelli bonanza in Paris next year with major show of masterpieces

New exhibition at Musée Jacquemart-André presents 15th-century artist as an entrepreneur and prolific designer

News
Redundancies

London's Southbank Centre rehires 40 workers who lost their jobs in the wake of Covid-19

Staff who have been made redundant are being recruited again following extension of furlough job retention scheme by UK government

News
Museums & Heritage

Museums and galleries in London to close from Wednesday under new Covid Tier 3 restrictions

But arts professionals heavily criticise the government decision, saying there is “no logic” behind the move

News
Saudi Arabia

Philip Tinari appointed curator of inaugural Ad-Diriyah Biennale in Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom’s largest ever contemporary art exhibition will aim to deliver a more "open" image of the country

News
Museums

Leeds museum makes history by hosting Covid-19 vaccination hub

High-risk patients get Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at Thackray Museum of Medicine

News
Funding

Historic Royal Palaces gets £40m lifeline loan and Southbank Centre gets £11m in latest round of UK Covid-19 funding

Rem Koolhaas’ Factory arts hub in Manchester—scheduled for completion in 2022—gets £21m grant

News
Musee d'Orsay

French politicians want Musée d’Orsay named after late French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing

Former minister Rachida Dati calls on Emmanuel Macron to authorise the change

News
Institute of Contemporary Art, London

ICA London to reopen early 2021 after closing for almost a year

Exhibition on advocacy group Tottenham Rights—with a focus on Mark Duggan shooting—scheduled for next Spring

News
Art market

New online platform puts London’s emerging art scene on the map—literally

Credit X has created digital map and database of less established art spaces and galleries in the hopes of balancing out an art world "shaped by market forces", it says

News
Politics

Tania Bruguera under house arrest in Cuba as anti-government protests escalate

Authorities are “building a case against” the artist, says sister

News
Prizes

New art prize allows London's National Gallery to tour Dutch masterpiece around UK

Tech entrepreneur Frédéric Jousset wants to shake up long-standing museum models through the ambitious award

News
Manifesta

Biennial on the beach: Barcelona to host 2024 edition of Manifesta

German city lined up for 2026 edition but the next edition will vie with Venice Biennale and Documenta

Blog
Book Club

What was the best art book you read in 2020? The art world’s biggest names give us their top tips

The directors of the Met, Tate Modern, British Museum, Centre Pompidou and more, as well as artists such as Tracey Emin, tell us all about their favourite book—just in time for Christmas shopping

Feature
Book Club

Extract | Why I made Love is the Message—Arthur Jafa describes the inspiration for his seminal film

In a recently published Cahiers d’Art monograph, the US artist speaks about responding to “a tsunami of footage of Black people getting killed”

News
Tate Modern

Tate will cut 120 jobs to 'survive crisis'

The institution has launched a voluntary redundancy scheme but could ‘move to compulsory redundancy in 2021’

News
Exhibitions

Vivian Maier, reclusive nanny turned photographer, gets biggest ever show in Paris next year

Unseen works and Super 8 films reveal new aspects of her practice

News
Stonehenge

Stonehenge campaign group plans to sue UK government over controversial tunnel scheme

£1.7bn project breaches Unesco’s World Heritage convention says campaign group

News
Cuba

Hunger strike against Cuba's human rights abuses left artist in ‘critical condition’

Activists and artists were trapped in Havana building following demonstrations against police action

News
UK politics

Spending Review: UK museums to receive £320m during ‘biggest economic decline in 300 years’

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces slight boost to culture department's budget, but some institutions face extended closure under new tiered system

News
Museums & Heritage

'Rent has increased by 3,100% since 2012': London heritage society says it may sell collection after UK government hikes costs

The Society of Antiquaries is launching a campaign to stay in historic home of Burlington House, close to Piccadilly

News
Antiquities & Archaeology

Pompeii dig unearths incredible preserved remains of two men engulfed in volcanic ash

Plaster casts were made of the newly discovered victims of Vesuvius eruption, which are believed to have been a wealthy landowner and his slave

Feature
Book Club

In Pictures | Andy Warhol's explicit drawings from the 1950s that he never got to publish

New book brings together hundreds of images of nude young men, which “are imbued with an emotional vulnerability that few of his later works exhibit”

Analysis
Museums

Where next for museums? Four key takeaways from Louvre Abu Dhabi symposium on the post-pandemic future

Event marking anniversaries of the Emirati museum and New York University Abu Dhabi looked at museum collections, buildings and people, and the impact of coronavirus

News
Museum entry fees

London's National Gallery charges £8 for virtual tour of blockbuster Artemisia Gentileschi exhibition

Move reflects how museums could cash in on digital initiatives

News
Gwangju Biennale

Gwangju Biennale artistic directors discuss Korean shamanism and planning in a pandemic

13th edition of the biannual Korean art exhibition will look at queer theory, feminism and how centuries of tradition collide with contemporary art

News
Collectors

Actor Samuel L. Jackson and footballer Samuel Eto’o pay tribute to art collector Sindika Dokolo during six-hour televised memorial

Dokolo was buried at Brompton Cemetery in West London yesterday following his funeral at Westminster Cathedral

News
Museums

Friends forever? Museums rely on generosity of paying members and loyalty schemes to survive pandemic

Many UK institutions are hoping members will continue to support them despite limited benefits and recurring closures

News
Books

Prize-winning Gainsborough publication shines light on lives of painter's female sitters

New book, which reveals how the Old Masters influenced the 18th-century British artist, has won the William MB Berger Prize for British Art History

News
Biennials & festivals

UK's £120m post-Brexit festival selects teams—including art organisations—for next step of controversial initiative

Serpentine Galleries, Tate and historian David Olusoga are on the shortlist for £3m research and development funding

News
Heritage

New heritage body aims to keep Unesco in check by calling on public to report sites in danger

Our World Heritage says it is stepping in to save at-risk locations as “safeguarding has become a secondary concern” for Unesco

News
colonialism

Somerset House to dig into its colonial past

Move follows release of National Trust’s slavery report, which was accused of following a ‘woke agenda’

News
Heritage

Plans for £1.7bn tunnel under Stonehenge—approved by UK government—sparks criticism

Unesco opposes the scheme which could result in "total loss" of archaeological treasures but English Heritage says it will "reconnect the site with its prehistoric landscape"

News
Philanthropy

Freelands Foundation awards £1.27m in diversity funding—including Windrush education programme

The move follows the foundation's launch of a diversity action plan which aims to stamp out racial inequality in the visual arts

News
Performance art

Popular apocalyptic beach performance from 2019's Venice Biennale will pop up in Berlin Bauhaus swimming pool

Sun & Sea (Marina) won the Golden Lion for Lithuania

News
coronavirus

Uffizi director Eike Schmidt has contracted coronavirus

Museum chief is asymptomatic and says he will continue working in quarantine

News
Museums & Heritage

From the Dalai Lama’s tailoring to beekeeping in Kenya, British Museum saves world's dying skills

Endangered Material Knowledge Programme will be extended for seven more years with £8.8m grant from Arcadia fund

News
Arts funding

Will UK government furlough extension make museums rethink redundancy plans?

Petition launched calling for Southbank Centre staff to be reinstated in light of Chancellor’s announcement while Royal Academy confirms coronavirus funding snub

News
US politics

Kara Walker kicks Donald Trump to the curb and more of the best Instagram art responding to the US election

From Jules de Balincourt's painting of Kamala Harris to Rania Matar's photograph of Boston celebrations, we look at artists' reactions to Joe Biden's win

News
Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia continues relentless cultural drive with Jean Nouvel subterranean desert resort

The plans are part of a ten-year agreement between France and Saudi Arabia to develop the AlUla region into a tourism destination

Feature
Book Club

Extract | How artist couple Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore resisted the Nazis with their ‘paper bullets’

New book outlines the campaign led by the gender-fluid artists on the island of Jersey during the Second World War

News
Public art

Marina Abramovic work to show on 'world's largest digital canvas' in London

Curator Marco Brambilla says public art programme on vast screens off Tottenham Court Road will rival Tate's Turbine Hall commissions in impact

News
Museums

Museums and galleries to close across England as second coronavirus lockdown announced

Exhibition schedules disrupted and concerns raised over funding after institutions required to shut down until 2 December

News
Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama on 2020: ‘O demons of unwonted fate. We will stand and face you’

New publication—described as “most personal book to date”—will focus on artist’s use of language

Analysis
Digital Age

The Art Newspaper at 30: how has art criticism changed in the digital age?

Through blogs, websites and social media, there is more writing than ever on the arts. But whether it adds meaningful insight, or just noise, is a matter of debate

News
Art market

Richard Saltoun Gallery builds entire 2021 exhibition programme around late political philosopher Hannah Arendt

Her work addresses relevant issues today such as tyranny, fascism and totalitarianism, dealer says

News
Heritage

Historic Book of Lismore returns to Ireland from Britain

Medieval vellum manuscript has been donated to University College Cork by Chatsworth, seat of the Dukes of Devonshire

News
Obituaries

'King of colour': tributes paid to Moroccan artist Mohamed Melehi who has died of Covid-19, aged 84

The abstract painter transformed the art scene in post-colonial Morocco

News
Art crime

Man tries to take artefact from Louvre—just two weeks after being charged for the same crime at Quai Branly

Congolese activist Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza, fined €1,000 earlier this month, will go to court again later today

News
US politics

Shepard Fairey—creator of famous Obama 'Hope' poster—makes new Time cover image ahead of US election

For first time in 100-year history, magazine replaces logo with the imperative to vote

News
Protests

Art X Lagos fair supports frontline photographers in Nigeria who are documenting anti-police brutality protests

Images capturing unrest will be shown during the next edition of the fair

News
Prizes

Actor Russell Tovey to judge 2021 Turner Prize

Award's exhibition moves to Herbert Art Gallery and Museum as part of the year-long UK City of Culture 2021 festival

News
Gustav Klimt

Stolen Klimt painting—buried for 20 years—to go back on show at Italian museum

Discovered by the gardener at the Ricci Oddi gallery last year, Portrait of a Lady will be the star of a series of exhibitions on the much-loved artist

News
Art crime

Criminal claims 13 works from legendary Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist are hidden in a Dublin house

BBC4 documentary—released today—unpicks theory that the stolen art was shipped to Ireland

News
Art market

Fancy a free Takashi Murakami work? Perrotin gallery launches art treasure hunt in Paris

French gallery is hiding 20 valuable works in the empty nave of the Grand Palais—and the public have 48 hours to find them and take them home

News
Pace Gallery

Talking Heads singer David Byrne sells his quirky quarantine illustrations

The images, known as dingbats, are offered by Pace Gallery in New York for $3,000 each

News
Venice Biennale

Nordic pavilion gets political for 2022 Venice Biennale as space is renamed after Indigenous Sámi people

"It is a symbolic reversal of colonial claims that have sought to erase Sámi land and culture," says a project statement

News
Venice Biennale 2022

Simone Leigh will be first Black woman to represent US at Venice Biennale

Brooklyn-based artist acknowledges 'depth of white supremacy in America' on social media

News
Funding

'Publicise your grants online': UK culture minister wades into row over rescue funding demands

Oliver Dowden confirms recipients were "encouraged" to acknowledge fund on websites and social media

News
Heritage

Machu Picchu all to yourself? Japanese tourist gets special solo tour of ancient site

Culture ministry gives Jesse Katayama access after being stranded in Peru for seven months because of coronavirus

News
Funding

First government grants for UK art spaces announced with £789,000 for London's ICA and £804,000 for Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Whitechapel, Whitworth, Mary Rose Trust and Photo London are also among the recipients for long-awaited Covid-19 rescue funds

News
Art market

Christie's sale in collaboration with cancelled La Biennale Paris fair flops

Online auction of art and antiques that would have been exhibited at Parisian fair achieves €1.5m with 21 of 91 lots sold

Review
Three to see

Three exhibitions to see in London this weekend

From the National Gallery's long-awaited Artemisia Gentileschi exhibition to Damien Hirst's career-spanning show at his own Newport Street Gallery

News
National Trust

National Trust—UK's largest conservation charity—to cut 1,300 jobs

The coronavirus-hit heritage body looks to save around £100m through redundancies