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Artist Khadija Saye has died in the Grenfell Tower fire

Plus: 119 Latin American colonial artworks donated to five museums | San Francisco’s $50 million Treasure Island ‘Arts Master Plan’ approved | Picasso painting among $1.7 billion of assets claimed for seizure in 1MDB case | and recommended reading

16 June 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Artist Khadija Saye has died in the Grenfell Tower fire | At least 30 people have died and more than 70 are missing after a fire at Grenfell Tower in West London on Tuesday night. The second named victim is 24-year-old London-born artist Khadija Saye, who lived on the 20th floor of the residential tower block. Saye’s photographic works are currently on show in the Diaspora Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Tottenham’s Labour MP David Lammy, whose wife the artist Nicola Green mentored Saye, described her as a ‘wonderful artist’ with ‘an amazing career ahead of her’.

119 Latin American colonial artworks donated to five museums | The Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC) has donated 119 works of 17th- to 19th-century colonial art from Latin America to five museums in the United States and South America, it was announced today. The works will go to the Denver Art Museum, which currently holds the largest collection of colonial art in the US, as well as the Blanton Museum of Art in Texas, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the Hispanic Society Museum & Library in New York and The Museo de Arte de Lima in Peru.

San Francisco’s $50 million Treasure Island ‘Arts Master Plan’ approved | A $50-million art programme funded by a redevelopment of San Francisco’s Treasure Island has been unanimously approved. The Treasure Island ‘Arts Master Plan’ will see one per cent of the construction costs of the neighbourhood’s private residential development project go to a programme of public and site-specific art commissions in a range of media, from permanent sculpture to performance. The spending is expected to take place over a 20-year period, beginning with an open call for three ‘monumental’ outdoor artworks later this month.

Picasso painting among $1.7 billion of assets claimed for seizure in 1MDB case | The US Justice Department has acted to seize a total of around $1.7 billion in assets, which it claims were purchased with money misappropriated from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad fund (1MDB), the investment fund established by the Malaysian prime minister at the centre of a long-running money-laundering case. Among these assets is included a Picasso painting given to the actor Leonardo DiCaprio. A spokesperson for DiCaprio says he has begun proceedings to transfer the $3.2 million painting to the US government, the Guardian reports.

Recommended reading | In the New Yorker, novelist Zadie Smith has contributed a lengthy meditation on the paintings, and the writings, of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, on the occasion of the artist’s current exhibition at the New Museum in New York. Meanwhile, the Times Literary Supplement (£) has published a review of a reviewer: Richard Dorment, the Daily Telegraph’s chief art critic from 1986 to 2015, who has just published a collection of career-spanning exhibition reviews. Finally, in an essay titled ‘Why We Need to Start Seeing the Classical World in Color’, Sarah E. Bond, assistant professor of Classics at the University of Iowa, investigates the erasure of the tradition of polychromy in ancient sculpture and asks how we can ‘address the problem of the lily white antiquity that persists in the public imagination’.

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