Gustav Klimt Mystery Deepens, Desert X Opens in Saudi Arabia, and More: Morning Links from February 12, 2020

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Sonia Boyce has made history as the first black woman chosen to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale in Italy, where her work will go on view in 2021. [ARTnews]

A Sotheby’s contemporary art evening sale in London failed to generate excitement, bringing in £92.5 million ($119.8 million). [Art Market Monitor]

Police have questioned the widow of a gallery owner whose enterprise recently discovered a Gustav Klimt hidden its walls. Two men previously confessed to having stolen the painting. [The Guardian]


Amid controversy, Desert X, a biennial-style outdoor sculpture show, has opened Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia. “We’re just here making art,” one participant said, dismissing allegations that artists should not have shown in the government-backed exhibition. [The New York Times]

After some were arrested while filming a video that was critical of the Russian government, members of the art collective Pussy Riot have been freed released from prison. [Monopol]

Artist Ahmad Fuad Osman has accused Malaysia’s National Art Gallery in Kuala Lumpur of censoring his art—and is now demanding that the museum close his mid-career survey there early. [Artforum]


Artist Mat Collishaw has departed the roster of Blain Southern gallery “with immediate effect.” He is the second artist to leave the gallery suddenly, after Jake and Dinos Chapman. [The Art Newspaper]

The Critics

Adrian Searle gives Tate Modern’s Steve McQueen survey five stars, writing, “McQueen is alert to the here and now.” [The Guardian]

Karl Ove Knausgaard profiles artist Anselm Kiefer, whose works, he writes, are “so monumental, so charged with time, so burdened by history, and because the private sphere, the near and the personal, is so completely absent from them.” [The New York Times Magazine]

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