Art in Print

Teju Cole’s Essays Build Connections Between African and Western Art

Writer, art historian and photographer Teju Cole has released a scintillating collection of essays in a tome titled “Known and Strange Things”. The essays reflect Cole’s consistently global outlook, touching on topics of race, art and politics from both personal and international perspectives.  


Cole’s fascination with photography comes through in the collection, which features essays on a variety of photographers, including Seydou Keita, Malick Sidibe, Zanele Muholi, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Saul Leiter, Richard Renaldi and Thomas Demand. For Cole, these photographers are democratising the history of photography by reframing stereotypes and applying a curatorial eye to the world around us.


Via The New York Times

Stellar display of rare illuminated manuscripts at the Fitzwilliam is a treat for the eyes

The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge houses an exceptional collection of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts that is only rivalled by the Vatican. To celebrate the museum’s bicentenary, curator Dr. Stella Panayotova has pulled together a selection of more than 100 masterpieces from the collection in the new exhibition Colour: The Art and Science of Illuminated Manuscripts.  


Many of the treasures on view are displayed to the public for the first time. The exhibition unfolds through 12 sections, with themes of of power and status, trade, war, religion, patronage, migration, money and fashion revealed along the way in lavishly embellished pages. The show culminates with a section on symbolism, showcasing the myriad ways colour enriched and informed medieval and Renaissance culture.   


Via The Times


Chengdu’s Museum of Contemporary Art fights for survival

Chengdu’s Moca was considered among the premier modern art museums in China after it opened in 2011. But the institution has since taken a downturn as a result of a recent political shake-up that has left its benefactors in prison on corruption charges.


 With no permanent collection and scant funding for new exhibitions, filling space has become a challenge for the museum. Currently, only one floor of its 2000 square metre space is in use. The museum’s former success depended heavily on the financial input of Ping Xing, former chairman of a Chengdu investment company. Xing, who is a noted contemporary photographer himself, championed the development of the art scene in Chengdu. In 2013, Ping was arrested on corruption charges, putting a stop to his major financial contributions to the museum. Moca’s current struggle highlights the precarious position of art museum in China, which rely heavily on governmental and corporate support.


Via The Financial Times