Art Outlook: 25 September

25 September 2014

Racism and censorship rows at the Barbican

The Barbican has cancelled a performance installation by the white South African artist Brett Bailey after protestors labeled it racist. Exhibit B uses black actors to recreate a ‘human zoo’, and while many have praised the way it forces visitors to confront the appalling history of racism, others believe it to be complicit in that story.

Last of the Mitford sisters dies age 94 

Deborah, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, was the youngest of the famous Mitford sisters. Since her marriage to Andrew Cavendish in 1941 she oversaw the transformation of Chatsworth into one of the country’s most successful stately homes, placing great emphasis on both the estate’s historic collection and contemporary patronage.

Victoria Siddall takes over as director of all three Frieze fairs

The director of Frieze Masters will take the reins from Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp in November, once this year’s edition (opening 15 October) is out the way. Siddall is one of this year’s Apollo 40 Under 40: we spoke to her about Frieze Masters over the summer.

Stormy weather in Florence…

A hailstorm wreaked havoc in Florence last Friday. Felled trees, water damage, leaks and flooding forced several of its museums to close temporarily, and the cleanup is ongoing. Meanwhile, Cristina Acidini, the superintendent of Florence’s museums, is under investigation for alleged breach of office. Pathetic fallacy?

Red alert: artist’s speak out against a proposed cadmium ban

The EU could ban cadmium pigments in artists’ paints, in an attempt to limit the leaching of the chemical – which is highly toxic – into the food chain. But are artists being used as scapegoats? And what effect would a ban have on the look and quality of contemporary painting?

The UK National Gallery introduces membership

The gallery is clearly on a roll after introducing Wi-Fi and lifting its ban on photography this summer. Fans of the National Gallery can now pay up for a membership scheme similar to those already in place at Tate and the British Museum.

Starry nights…Van Gogh musical planned in Amsterdam

‘Vincent’ will mark 125 years since the artists’ death, acknowledging his posthumous fame (the director of the Van Gogh Museum likens him to a rock star) by setting the story of his life to music. Have they thought this through?

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