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Ai Weiwei is China’s most celebrated contemporary artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic. In April 2011, when Ai disappeared into police custody for three months, he quickly became the art world’s most famous missing person. Since then, Ai Weiwei’s critiques of China’s repressive regime have ranged from playful photographs of his raised middle finger in front of Tiananmen Square to searing memorials to the more than 5,000 schoolchildren who died in shoddy government construction in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Against a backdrop of strict censorship, Ai has become a hero on social media to millions of Chinese citizens.
This book, prohibited from publication in China, offers an intimate look at Ai Weiwei’s world in the years after his return from New York and preceding his imprisonment and global superstardom. The photographs capture Ai’s emergence as the uniquely provocative artist that he is today. There is no more revealing portrait of Ai Weiwei’s life in China than this.
The book contains more than 600 carefully sequenced images culled from an archive of more than 40,000 photographs taken by Ai: a narrative arc carefully shaped by an artist keenly aware of photography’s ability to tell stories. It includes a shattering series of photographs taken between 1993 and 1996 devoted to the final illness and death of Ai’s father Ai Qing. The book is a sequel to Ai Weiwei: New York 1983–1993, a privately published book that collected photographs taken by Ai during his years on the New York art scene.
While staying as a house guest, a naked Le Corbusier defiled Gray’s minimalist, color-blocked walls that were only restored in 2015.
Keep your friends close and your bad art friends closer.
Hear from Holly Jean Buck, Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas, Simon Denny, Elizabeth Hoover, Renee Kemp-Rotan, Joseph Kunkel, and more at this free public event.
In his new book, Tyler Green argues that landscape was Emerson’s method of glorifying territories shaped and bordered by white men.
“The 52-hertz Whale,” which sings a song at a frequency no other whale uses, is a social media phenomenon. But this film shows that the phenomenon says more about us than whales.
EFA Open Studios offers a portal into the creative habitats of over 65 artists working in Manhattan’s longest-running studio program, including Dannielle Tegeder, Wafaa Bilal, Cui Fei, and Anina Major.
The unvarnished photographs celebrate the lives, beauty, and resilience of an oppressed group at Chile’s social peripheries in the 1980s, and the series was recently acquired by MOCA in Los Angeles.
51 international publishers and galleries showcase their latest editions in prints and artists’ books at this free public fair, which is fully online this year.
The University of Virginia researchers wrote that the data “provides compelling evidence that these symbols are associated with hate.”
We are waiting for spectacle and when the quotidian, yet incongruous actions occur I wonder whether there is any real payoff coming.
Tanega’s approach to mark-making comes across as stream of consciousness, as if she’s engaged in a conversation with herself.