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MULTITASKING. Art historian and curator Iwona Blazwick—who stepped down as director of the Whitechapel Gallery in London last year, after some two decades at the helm—is staying busy. Last summer, she was named chair of the Royal Commission for AlUla’s Public Art Expert Panel in Saudi Arabia. Now, Artforum reports, she has been tapped to curate the next Istanbul Biennial, which is slated to run September 14–November 17 next year. That biennial appointment is one of the most high-profile posts on the international art circuit and has previously been held by Elmgreen & Dragset (in 2017), Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (2015), and Adriano Pedrosa and Jens Hoffmann (2011). Blazwick’s plans for Istanbul have not yet been announced. Watch this space.
MODERNIST ARCHITECT MYRON GOLDFINGER, who made his name designing inventive residences in the New York area, died on July 20 at the age of 90, the New York Times reports. He made “homes by amassing basic shapes—half-circles, blocks, triangles—into dramatic sculptural statements that seem both modern and ancient,” Clay Risen writes. His “houses are omnipresent in the New York metropolitan region yet little known to the architecture or art communities at large,” art dealer Mitchell Algus wrote in ARTnews last year. Goldfinger was a student of Louis Kahn and decided to specialize in homes to avoid having to be part of a huge studio; his wife, June, handled their interior design. Algus wrote, “In a profession where publicity had become essential in building reputations and getting commissions, Goldfinger let his work speak for itself.”
Beating out heavyweights like David Chipperfield and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the Spanish architecture firm Nieto Sobejano was selected by the Dallas Museum of Art for an expansion estimated to cost up to $175 million. It will be the studio’s first project in the United States. [The Dallas Morning News]
Indian American artist Anil Revri, who began making abstract paintings informed by landscapes and went on to create beguilingly intricate geometric works that were inspired by texts from different religions, died at 67. [ArtReview]
Coal miners in Serbia discovered an ancient Roman ship that archaeologists are now working to preserve. It is believed to date to the third or fourth century, though its exact age has not yet been determined. [Reuters]
Some people have all the luck. An aristocratic British couple appearing on the television show Millionaire Hoarders found a John Constable painting tucked away in their 16th-century Scottish castle. It has been estimated at more than $2 million; they plan to sell it to help cover maintenance on the place. [Artnet News and Daily Mail]
No, a French auction house is not selling artifacts from a nearly 1,000-year-old Ukrainian Orthodox monastery. Reports of the nonexistent sale have been circulating on social media with an image of billboard advertisement that Reuters determined had been doctored. [Reuters]
KAWS has struck again. The artist is staging the latest iteration of his “KAWS:HOLIDAY” project at the Prambanan temple compound in Indonesia, displaying a pale-pink “Accomplice” balloon that measures about 150 feet long. Naturally, limited-edition collectibles will soon be available. [Hypebeast]
A KIND OF MAGIC. Handwritten lyrics, clothes, furniture, art (Picasso, Chagall), and more that belonged to Queen singer Freddie Mercury go on view at Sotheby’s in London today in advance of an auction next month, the Associated Press reports. A handwritten draft of “Bohemian Rhapsody” has a high estimate of £1.2 million (about $1.53 million), but there are also more affordable items, like chopsticks, for which bidding will begin under £100. In total, more than 1,400 lots are on offer. A Sotheby’s exec told the AP that Mercury once wrote: “I like to be surrounded by splendid things. I want to lead a Victorian life, surrounded by exquisite clutter.” Words of a true collector. [The Associated Press]