A rendering of the newly green-lit project from UNStudio and Cox Architecture, which will become the tallest building in Australia when completed.
Photo: UNStudio

Galerie’s Weekly Art and Design Industry News Brief

Here's the week's news you need to know, from Martin Puryear's selection for the Venice Biennale to the Smithsonian's tribute to Aretha Franklin

Here are this week’s must-read news stories in the fields of art and design.

A poster of Aretha Franklin at age 26, rendered by graphic designer Milton Glaser and originally featured in Eye magazine. The artwork will be on view at the National Portrait Gallery August 17-22, 2018. Photo: National Portrait Gallery, © Milton Glaser

1. National Portrait Gallery to Present Portrait of Aretha Franklin

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery will honor the life of acclaimed singer and musician Aretha Franklin, who passed away yesterday at age 76, by exhibiting a portrait of the late singer. On display is a poster by legendary graphic designer Milton Glaser. In the work he uses his characteristic kaleidoscope palette and innovative geometric forms to convey the creative energy of Franklin’s performances. This color lithographic poster was created in 1968, the same year the National Portrait Gallery opened its doors to the public. Her portrait will be installed tomorrow morning in the museum’s In Memoriam space, and it will remain on display through August 22.

Recommended: Remembering Aretha Franklin and the Art She Inspired

2. Martin Puryear will represent U.S. at the Venice Biennale

It was confirmed this week that artist Martin Puryear has been chosen to represent the United States at the 2019 Venice Biennale. Puryear, a recipient of the National Medal of the Arts and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, has received wide renown for his subtle, exquisitely crafted wood sculptures, many of which were showcased in a retrospective of his work at the Museum of Modern Art in 2007. The selection of the 77-year-old artist marks the second year in a row that an African-American artist (in 2017, it was Mark Bradford) has been chosen to represent the United States.

A few of the stolen artifacts that will soon be on display at the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad. Photo: British Museum

Recommended: Martin Puryear Selected for U.S. Pavilion at Venice Biennale

3. The British Museum returns looted Iraqi artifacts

In an August 10th ceremony the British Museum returned artifacts that had been looted from Iraq after the 2003 fall of Saddam Hussein. The items, now returned to the Iraqi people, will be displayed at the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad. Among the eight objects are three fired-clay cones, around 4,000 years old, featuring Sumerian script, which helped an archaeologist at the British Museum to identify them. The artifacts were seized by the police from an art dealer in London in 2003 and identified by staff from the museum only this year.

4. Gagosian hires veteran art dealer after he exits rival gallery

Gagosian Gallery, which has 16 exhibition spaces worldwide, has hired veteran art dealer Andrew Fabricant shortly after his departure from rival Richard Gray Gallery. “Gagosian’s global platform and broad embrace of both historical and contemporary artists was inspirational and important to me in this decision,” Fabricant said in a statement. “The gallery’s international profile has influenced and informed the tastes and interests of both a seasoned and new generation of collectors.”

A rendering of the tower, dubbed the Green Spine. Photo: UNStudio

5. UNStudio and Cox Architecture to design Australia’s tallest building

A collaborative proposal between Dutch firm UNStudio and Australian firm Cox Architecture has won a competition to design a super tall skyscraper in Melbourne, Australia, with a pair of twisting green towers. Called Green Spine, the bigger of the projects’s twinned towers will be the tallest building in Australia. The Dutch firm plans to top the taller tower, which will be a high-end residential building, with a public botanical garden.

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