A survey undertaken in the US quizzed over 124,000 people on their thoughts on the role of arts and cultural institutions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. From an overwhelming nod to the idea that the arts should offer escapism and entertainment as opposed to fulfilling other roles, to less than 10% of respondents listing ‘visiting an art museum’ as one of the activities they look forward to partaking in post social distancing, the survey puts forth quite interesting data.
The latest beautification drive at Mumbai’s Mahim railway station is one that’s a lot more meaningful too. Under the initiative of the Western Railway in partnership with St+art India Foundation, the walls of the station have been covered in bright murals that pay tribute to essential workers who have been at the frontlines against the coronavirus pandemic.
Artists Garima Gupta, Rithika Merchant, Sarah Naqvi and Saubiya Chasmawala, will be exhibiting a series of artworks each as part of ‘Inherited Memory,’ a new online exhibition at Tarq. The show will run from 5 June to 26 June 2020, and will feature the artists working to contextualize the current pandemic and subsequent lockdown using the lens of their memories, and much more.
From memes to street art, protective masks are now a rather usual feature in visuals from around the world just as are Covid-19 fears and preventive measures. Here’s a roundup looking at how artists are using mask-clad imagery to inform, reflect, mock and even raise funds for pandemic relief.
As many as one in eight museums around the world may not recover from the extended closures imposed upon these institutions due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, as per reports from UNESCO and the International Council of Museums (ICOM). Around 90 percent of the world’s museums – numbered at about 85,000 institutions – have been temporarily closed in response to the pandemic.
From pattachitra works showing mythological figures wearing face masks to elaborate Phad paintings that stress the importance of social distancing, India’s indigenous and tribal artists have been creating artworks with important messages about precautionary measures against Covid-19 of late.
From John Berger’s Ways of Seeing (1972) to Raiders of the Lost Art (2014-2016), this list of seven television series on art history and education is timely for art enthusiasts quarantined at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The bond between mother and child has been a uniquely potent theme for art around the world and across the ages. From Kitagawa Utamaro’s ‘Midnight: Mother and Sleepy Child’ (1790) to Gustav Klimt’s ‘Hope II’ (1907-08), here are eight pieces to revisit in time for Mother’s Day.
A 2000-year old bun of human hair taken from a grave, an eerie plague mask from the 17th century, and a mummified dog stuck in a tree – these are among the objects museums around the world have been rolling out on their twitters as part of a challenge calling for curators to showcase the creepiest objects in their collections.
Starting mid-March 2020, The New York Historical Society has been collecting artifacts from around New York City with the goal of documenting the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown for future learning. Starting with hand sanitizers, masks, gloves and household items, their collection has now expanded to include photographs of empty New York streets, quarantine artworks – a rock with “This Too Shall Pass” painted on to it, paintings of rainbows made by children and other ephemera.
Worldwide lockdowns may have left most of the world’s population without options to physically visit museums or galleries for the foreseeable immediate future. The exception? Gerbills Pandoro and Tiramisu, whose bored and quarantined owners toiled hours to build a rodent-sized gallery stocked with rodent-versions of famous artworks. From The Scream to the Mona Lisa, the collection here is full of stars.
From Edvard Munch’s haunting self-portrait made after he survived the deadly Spanish Flu (unlike many of his contemporaries) to a Benetton ad that brought AIDS imagery to the mainstream, art that has emerged from epidemics in the past are all around us. Read what they tell us about what it is to be human.
From wall murals calling to fight the epidemic in the South Gaza Strip to vividly colorful depictions of viruses painted onto Russian apartment complexes, the COVID-19 global pandemic has worked itself into street art around the world in the span of weeks. Check out this roundup of 23 images from around the world.
A prized Van Gogh painting was recently stolen from a small museum in the Netherlands, sparking fears across global museums and galleries that have currently shut their doors in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The painting, Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring, is estimated to value up to £5m. The day of the theft was also the 167th anniversary of the celebrated artist.
Among the many challenges faced by health care workers on the frontlines of the battle against the coronavirus pandemic is an alarming shortage of protective medical gear – N95s, surgical masks, gloves, protective suits, shoe covers and more. Here’s how museums, art galleries, auction houses and other organizations from the art world are helping in addressing this.
There are few fields that have not been touched by A.I. in recent years. The art world, though traditionally a little lagging technology-wise, isn’t entirely immune either. Here’s a report that suggests at least seven practical ways that the world of art business is likely to be affected by A.I. in the coming years.
Legendary artist, sculptor and architect Satish Gujral passed away on 26 March 2020, at the age of 94. His most celebrated works of art include “Days of Glory” and “Mourning en masse,” which capture the anguish and suffering that he felt in the decades post partition. He had also designed prominent buildings as an architect, including the Belgian Embassy and UNESCO buildings in New Delhi.
What can art do during a time of crisis, such as the coronavirus pandemic that is current raging worldwide? Olivia Laing, author of ‘Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency,’ propositions that while art can’t alter the course of calamity or stop a global health crisis, it can serve as “an antidote to the times of chaos.” Looking at artistic responses to catastrophe across the ages, she suggests that art can foster the empathy and clarity that such times reveal the need for.
How can governments support the arts and cultures sectors from the economic damage caused by the global coronavirus pandemic? Germany and UK are among the earliest countries to have set forth examples, launching aid packages for both individuals and organizations during the arts and culture sector.
As a large portion of the world’s population takes up social distancing and self imposed quarantines to slow the spread of covid-19, here are fifteen artworks that may prove particularly relatable. From Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s ‘Veronica Veronese’ (1872) to A$AP Rocky’s ‘Lab Rat ‘(2018), they explore themes of social isolation and loneliness, and capture the bleakness of the times.