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TOKYO DRIFT. The inaugural edition of the Tokyo Gendai art fair opened to VIPs yesterday, and Maximilíano Durón has a rundown of the best displays in ARTnews. They include Jonathan Lyndon Chase at London stalwart Sadie Coles HQ, Tatsuki Masaru at Tokyo’s Gallery Side 2, and Keita Miyazaki at Maho Kubota Gallery, which is also based in the Japanese capital. The fair, which has 73 exhibitors, runs at the Pacifico Yokohama convention center through Sunday. Its cofounder, Magnus Renfrew, said at a press conference that the event is “the first step on a longer journey,” and that his team’s “aspiration is that over the coming years we can really build this into a fair of global importance. It’s really time now for the Japanese art scene to step into the spotlight.”
HSIAO CHIN, the pioneering modernist painter who was born in Shanghai, educated in Taiwan, and exhibited around the world, died last Friday at the age of 88, ArtAsiaPacific reports. Hsiao traveled widely, and long lived and worked in Milan. His best-known works are punchy, invigorating expressionistic and Hard Edge paintings that are informed by his understanding of Asian philosophies. His work is held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, M+ in Hong Kong, the Long Museum in Shanghai, and other notable international collections. Earlier this year, 3812 Gallery presented a survey of his work at its Hong Kong location that was on view during Art Basel’s run in the city.
The celebrated Indian painter and sculptor KM Vasudevan Namboothiri (better known as just Namboothiri), whose career included large-scale public works, numerous illustration commissions, and serving as art director on G. Aravindan’s 1975 film Uttarayanam, died today. He was 98. [Mathrubhumi]
Tokyo–based Whitestone Gallery will open a location in Seoul in September in a five-story space designed by Kengo Kuma. First up is a group show that will include works by the Japanese painter Miwa Komatsu. The firm also has locations in Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Beijing, and Karuizawa, Japan. [The Korea Times]
The recent bust of an alleged burglary ring that targeted sports and art museums in at least four states over more than two decades came about, in part, because of DNA from blood that local police collected at the scene of a 2015 break-in at the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York, officials said. [The Post-Standard]
The Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, repatriated to Nigeria an ancient basalt monolith from around 1600 that was recently identified as having been looted from a southern village in the country. The institution acquired the piece in 2012 in a bequest from collectors who had paid €4,200 for it seven years earlier. [The Art Newspaper]
The executive director of Atlanta Contemporary, Veronica Kessenich, will depart in September, after a decade there. Kessenich came to the nonprofit art institution in 2013 as development director and was tapped to lead it in 2015. “I accomplished the goals I set for myself,” she said. [ArtsATL]
Novelist J.S. Marcus has an essay on “a late, imaginative masterpiece” by architect Gio Ponti—La Concattedrale Gran Madre di Dio, built in 1970 in Taranto, Italy. It has a “highly fanciful, almost Disneyesque, Annunciation scene, in which the figure of Mary is rendered in what seem like 10 variations of green,” he writes. [The Wall Street Journal]
RARE CANDOR. During a session of the UIA World Congress of Architects in Copenhagen, architect Anna Heringer offered an apology to the “Global South for the worldwide impact of work done by architects from the developed world,” Dezeen writes. Heringer, who has won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and the Obel Award, said that architecture was “supposed to bring us a safe life, comfortable life, a healthy, easy, happy life, when in fact we contributed to social injustice by serving mostly the rich and by contributing largely to climate change.” She did not stop there, adding that the discipline “brought us fame, money, carbon-emitting conferences with nice dinners where we felt all-so important. But it didn’t make us happy.” Dezeen has more of her remarks. [Dezeen]