Sunday Art Brunch: From the grants of National Endowment for the Humanieties to the galleries responses to the impact of climate change


Come and be part of our Sunday Art Brunch series, where we share the latest news and developments of the art world. From upcoming exhibitions to market trends and industry insights, we have everything you need to stay informed. So come and enjoy a curated selection of art news to kick off your Sunday in style!

Grants worth over $35m awarded by National Endowment for the Humanities
The National Building Museum in Washington DC received an NEH grant to develop an exhibition focused on the built environment in children's books | Photo by dbking via Flickr

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has granted $35.63m to 258 projects, including some museum exhibitions and initiatives at regional art institutions and non-profits. The Art Newspaper reports that the awards are under the “Spotlight on Humanities in Higher Education” programme, which aims to cater to populations at US colleges and universities. Among the museums that received grants were the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Art which co-organised a forthcoming travelling exhibition; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma) which will explore the role of colour in Mesoamerican art; and the National Building Museum which will create an exhibition exploring the built environments in children’s books.

Damien Hirst receives $20 million in just nine days from new A.I. venture that invited collectors to create their own Artworks
Damien Hirst with a Beautiful Painting, 2023 | Ph: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

Artist Damien Hirst's recent project of AI-generated works, called The Beautiful Paintings, has generated $20.9 million in revenue. The project was a digital remix of Hirst's Spin Paintings from the 1990s that outsourced creativity to collectors with the use of HENI's dashboard. The largest size, extra-large, 100cm in diameter, generated $11.6 million and physical works were more popular than digital ones with fewer than 10% of the works created being NFTs. Hirst has faced criticism in the past for unusual market practices such as buying back his own work. Enjoy more on artnet.

Over 300 female artists featured in worldwide account of women’s photography
Zanele Muholi | “Bona III, ISGM,” Boston, from the series Somnyama Ngonyama (2019) |© Zanele Muholi | Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town/Johannesburg and Yancey Richardson, New York

A newly translated book from French publishers Luce Lebart and Marie Robert aims to redress the balance of historical erasure in the photo industry. A World History of Women Photographers describes the contributions of 300 women photographers, who were overlooked as men were lauded for the same work in the field. As Hyperallergic tells, the book uses “equal real estate” to give each photographer accompanied text and photo space. A Women in Motion project, funded by Kering and Rencontres d’Arles, the book illuminates contributions from female photographers across the globe, with sections on early colonisers and White European women who had access to photography in non-Western countries.

Basquiat's tribute to jazz on grand scale up for auction after 40 years
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Now’s the Time, 1985 | Courtesy of Sotheby's

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s artwork Now’s the Time (1985) will be auctioned by Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening Auction in May. The seven-foot homage to saxophonist Charlie Parker, with a minimum estimated value of $30m has been owned by the collector Peter Brant. Artnews reports that the work represents a change of style for Basquiat, with its austerity differing from his bright, jazz-influenced abstracts. Though Now’s the Time is a significant piece, another Basquiat painting belonging to Valentino Garavani, called Warrior (1982), is estimated to sell at Christie's for $45m.

Galleries responses to the impact of climate change
Leanne Russel | Their father is buried under the wreckage II, 2020 | Courtesy of TERN Gallery

Galleries in regions impacted by climate change are struggling with access to essential resources, such as affordable shipping methods and packing materials, prompting strategic changes, according to Amanda Coulson, gallery director of the Nassau, Bahamas-based TERN Gallery, and Lagos, Nigeria-based Omenka Gallery. The Lagos gallery has reduced its attendance at international art fairs in favour of increasing its online presence, while both exhibitions have sought to use sea rather than air freight to transport art. They have also set sustainability standards for their art and, in Omenka's case, encouraged artists to use recycling and sustainability concepts in their work. Enjoy more on Artsy.

Written by
Giulia Manca