MUSEUMS IN THE 21st CENTURY

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The 21st century has seen rather an explosion in the number of museum projects worldwide with particularly notable openings in recent years in the Middle East, where Qatar and Abu Dhabi have invested heavily in the cultural sector, and in China, where it is estimated that over 2,000 new museums have been built this century. Elsewhere, examples of major projects are plentiful; from Tate Modern (opened in 2000) to major privately-supported museums including the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, the Punta della Dugano in Venice, the Broad Museum in Los Angeles, and the Long Museum in Shanghai.  And all the while, national museums continue to develop and adapt to modern audiences. We have picked out a few upcoming developments which have recently pricked our interest.
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ART BASEL: THE MODERN & CONTEMPORARY ART WORLD GATHERS

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This week sees the art world descend on Switzerland for the 48th edition of Art Basel, the giant of Modern and Contemporary art fairs. Bringing together more than 290 of the world’s leading galleries and showing works by more than 4,000 artists (with an estimated collective value of over $3 billion), the fair officially opens this Thursday (15th June).  Launched in the 1970s, when art fairs were rarities, the event now welcomes almost 100,000 visitors a year and has also expanded with editions in Miami Beach and Hong Kong, as well as an ever-increasing roster of partnerships and initiatives.
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DON’T MISS! RAPHAEL: THE DRAWINGS, AT THE ASHMOLEAN MUSEUM

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There has been a lot of well deserved buzz this week as the exhibition ‘Raphael: The Drawings’ opened at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. This truly extraordinary show includes 120 drawings by the Renaissance master and is on view until 3 September 2017.  Not since a British Museum exhibition in 1983 has such an extraordinary gathering of his drawings been on view, and this is definitely a show not to be missed.
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BASQUIAT, BRANCUSI AND DOIG: GUARANTEED SUCCESS IN NEW YORK

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In May and November each year, New York becomes the stage for the auction market’s biggest act; the Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art sales. These are by far the biggest sales of the year; the two seasons combined can go on to represent about a third of the annual turnover for the major auction houses. When the global art market hit its peak in May 2015, these sales made well over $2.5 billion in a week – a staggering total.
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MODERN & CONTEMPORARY SPRING AUCTIONS

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Just two weeks into May, and without pausing for breath, focus shifts from this week’s previews at the Venice Biennale and returns to New York for next week’s major auctions of Modern and Contemporary art. Just two weeks ago, the city hosted a busy week with Frieze and TEFAF New York, both of which led to reports of a solid, if not frenzied, market in the private market. The auction season will give a much more public bill of health.
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VENICE – THE 57th BIENNALE BEGINS

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This week sees the opening of the 57th Venice Biennale (until 26 November) – the original showcase for international contemporary art, and probably one of the most frenzied art events in the world. The first Biennale took place in 1895, and it soon became a hugely popular showcase of international art, with countries taking national pavilions in the Giardini to showcase works by their best contemporary artists. The list of greats who have shown there include – among so many others – Gustav Klimt, Renoir, Courbet, Pablo Picasso, Lucio Fontana, Henry Moore, Francis Bacon, Edward Hopper, Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, and Lucian Freud.
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK

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It’s all eyes on New York this week as the Frieze art fair once again seizes the attention of the art world. Opening for its sixth edition in the Big Apple this Friday (5 -7 May, Randall’s Park Island), it includes over 200 of the world’s leading galleries for modern and contemporary art.  New this year is a symposium (5 May) in collaboration with the Getty and the Institute of Fine Arts which will examine questions relating to Latin American art and culture, reflecting the more pronounced international focus of this year’s event. Read More