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The Week’s Muse: 11 April

11 April 2015

A round-up of recent news and comment from The Muse Room

How ‘Saint Neil’ MacGregor saved the British Museum

Neil MacGregor is stepping down as director of the British Museum in December 2015.‘[E]ven when made uncomfortable by MacGregor’s actions, I have found it hard not to be impressed by his audacity.’ This week, the British Museum’s director Neil MacGregor announced his decision to step down. He’ll be a tough act to follow, says Tiffany Jenkins.

Horrible Art Histories

What exactly do we mean by the ‘grotesque’ in art? Is it frivolous or sinister at heart? In the April issue of Apollo, Tim Smith-Laing takes a look at art’s ugly side, from Raphael’s Renaissance caprices to Jake and Dinos Chapman’s obscene hybrids.

Art, or Architecture? Does it even matter?

(2014), Smiljan Radić, at Hauser & Wirth Somerset, 2015.‘”Who is in any position to judge an object’s utility?”, she said. ‘I’m going to say me’, I retorted – and I almost crashed into a building (or was it a sculpture?).’ Jack Orlik gets into a heated debate about the nature of art and architecture on a trip to Hauser & Wirth Somerset.

Kader Attia on the archival impulse

(2013), Installation view at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2013.Kader Attia takes historical images and artefacts and rearranges them in unexpected ways. On the eve of a major retrospective of his work in Lausanne, he spoke to Hannah Gregory about why he feels the need to refashion the past. From Apollo’s April issue.