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A view of the entrance to the Rothko Chapel in Houston (via flickr.com/patita)

The Brooklyn Rail has published David Novros’s talk on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the Rothko Chapel in Houston. It reflects on the role of arts patrons and a space that is one of the most wondrous in America:

I believe that Rothko (and his contemporaries, Pollock, Newman, Still, and Kline) would have been muralists in a better time. They would have been able to make painting in a context that would have been consistent with their architectural and existential ambitions.

Also in the Rail, there’s a good piece about artists and their audiences. The article suffers from focus but it is certainly worth your time.

In the WG News, a New York scholar talks about discovering Ai Weiwei 25 years ago. At the time, Professor Philip Gould encountering a still unknown Ai:

I encountered many newly arrived Chinese artists in the streets of Manhattan. They were making portraits of people for five dollars a pop to make a living. They were without exception excellent draftsmen, knocking out terrific likenesses of New Yorkers. But I knew they had another mission, namely to live and study in the proximity of the art and artists they emulated … I recruited some of these artists to form the show Artists from China—New Expressions and Ai Weiwei was among them. They were very talented, and they skilled and outclassed most of the Western artists. That show was in 1987.

It’s good to know how artists live around the world and this post talks to a young female photographer in Dubai, who discusses how ageism impacts her pay.

If you don’t listen to CBC tech program Spark, you should. Hosted by Nora Young, it grapples with many important topics involving tech and often touching upon issues of art and its new digital frontiers. This week’s episode includes discussions of Canadian concept designer Vanessa Harden’s new design process that fosters a collaboration between honeybees and humans to create bespoke furnishings and the art and commerce of fan art.

Just in case you thought the Venice Biennale is only about contemporary art, the Art Newspaper writes about three works by renowned Venetian Renaissance painter Tintoretto that are in Venice for the big art orgy. Why are they there? The curator of the Biennale had this to say:

Curator Bice Curiger said she is determined to warn visitors to steer away from the dangers of traditionalism. “Tintoretto too was worried about overturning the conventions of his time, through a near reckless approach to composition that overturns the well-defined, classical order of the Renaissance,” she said in 2010. “I am interested in the light in those paintings, which is not rational but ecstatic.”

Over at the New York Review of Books, Bill Hayes writes about AIDS at 30. It might feel like a lifetime away when the media was consumed with images of death and fear about a disease that devastated (and continues to impact) the gay, art and black communities, but it’s good to remember how far we’ve come and how much is left to go. Recently, there has been a lot of news about the decline of HIV infections around the world.

IBM and the Metropolitan Museum are collaborating to detect the environmental impact on art at their Cloisters collection in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan.

Did you know that Kickstarter is the third largest publisher of comic books in the United States? Unbelievable.

Required Reading is published every Sunday morning, and it is comprised of a short list of art-related links (10 or less) to long-form articles, videos, blog posts or photo essays worth a second look.

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This week, the National Gallery of Art finally acquired a major work by Faith Ringgold, the director of The Velvet Underground talks film, North America’s Hindu Nationalist problem, canceling legacy admissions, and more.

Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.