By Deb A.
An offer accepted, a gift rejected, and a request redirected: art is on the move this year.
Yes, please: The Bayeux Tapestry
Let's begin with the loan that has been hailed as a diplomatic masterstroke: France's Bayeux Tapestry. Woven nearly a thousand years ago, the artwork depicts the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. It has been requested by the UK twice before, in 1953 for the Queen's coronation and again in 1966 for the 900th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. Both requests were denied. French president Emmanuel Macron announced that the tapestry may leave the country for the very first time as early as 2020, as long as it can be safely transported.
No, thanks: Bouquet of Tulips
Back in France, two dozen individuals from the country's art scene are urging the city of Paris to reject a gift from Jeff Koons. Back in 2016 Mr. Koons promised to donate his Bouquet of Tulips to the city to commemorate the 2015 Paris attacks. The 12-metre high sculpture of a hand holding flowers is being criticised on several fronts: its proposed location outside the Museum of Modern Art and the Palais de Tokyo is nowhere near the site of the attacks; there was no call for submissions and therefore no opportunity for a French artist to propose a piece; the artist is too commercial and the artwork too crass; and finally, although the sculpture will be donated, it will still cost taxpayers millions to erect it.
"I would think it would be important to consult with the families of the victims," signatory Stéphane Corréard told artnet News. "The probability that they answer, 'a giant bouquet of inflatable floppy tulips in a morbid hyperrealist hand in front of two museums at the other side of the town’ is close to zero."
Not quite: Landscape with Snow/America
The White House sent a request to the Guggenheim Museum to borrow its Landscape with Snow by Vincent van Gogh for the president's private quarters. The Guggenheim politely declined, suggesting it loan the White House Maurizio Cattelan's America instead:
By Deb A.
Happy 2018, dear Readers! It's time once again for a look at some of the best-loved books of the year, via a marginally scientific examination of the top picks from a range of book review columns, including those from the New York Times, the BBC, the Washington Post, The Guardian, the New Yorker, the CBC and more.
There was little consensus across the board, but two novels appeared on nearly every list: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders and Sing, Unburied, Sing (winner of the National Book Award) by Jesmin Ward.
Other popular selections were Mohsin Hamed's Exit West, Min Jin Lee's Pachinko, Patricia Lockwood's Priestdaddy, Celeste Ng's Little Fires Everywhere, and Hari Kunzru's White Tears.
What were your favourite books of 2017? Leave your recommendations in the comments section.
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