Sunday Art Brunch: From a Contemporary Art Museum in Saudi Arabia by Centre Pompidou to NFT Avatars on Social Media


Welcome to Sunday Art Brunch, the weekly rendezvous where we serve up a deliciously curated menu of the latest and greatest news from the world of art. Whether you're a seasoned art lover or simply looking to creative inspiration, our brunch is the perfect blend of entertainment and education. So take a sit and let us dish out the juiciest art gossip and most tantalizing trends of the week. Bon appétit!

Contemporary Art Museum to be opened in Saudi Arabia by Centre Pompidou

Left to right: Nora Aldabal, Prince Badr bin Farhan, Rima Abdul Malak and Laurent le Bon | Courtesy of Centre Pompidou

The Centre Pompidou in Paris has signed a deal with the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) to develop a museum of contemporary art in Saudi Arabia's AlUla region. As The Art Newspaper reports, the new museum will feature immersive installations by artists from every inhabited continent, as well as examples of 21st-century land art and a public art commissioning programme. The Centre Pompidou aims to support the development of the cultural, artistic and creative aspects of the AlUla site by contributing its scientific and technical expertise in the training of staff and supporting cultural and event programming. The proposed museum is the latest France-driven arts initiative to be launched in Saudi Arabia, but the Centre Pompidou has not responded to a request for comment regarding human rights issues in the country.

Arts for LA releases report advocating for equity and sustainability in the city's creative sector

An artist paints graffiti at Venice Beach | Ph Mario Tama via Getty Images

Arts for LA, a non-profit organisation, has released its 2023 Policy and Advocacy Agenda, calling for more equitable and sustainable funding for the arts in Los Angeles. Despite Los Angeles being the top per capita provider of arts in the US, the city ranks 259th in government funding allocation. Hyperallergic specifies that the report is divided into four areas: resources and capital, equitable arts education, creative jobs, and affordable space. Arts for LA has also set a goal to create 10,000 living wage jobs in the city's arts and culture sector by 2030, as part of its Creative Jobs Collective Impact Initiative. The recommendations call for community land trusts, cooperative approaches, and education for civic leaders on the importance of art and culture in economic development.

A guide to Land Art by ARTnews

Michael Heizer, City, 1970–2022 | © Michael Heizer | Courtesy of Triple Aught Foundation | Ph Eric Pias

ARTnews has created a fantastic guide to land art.

City, a monumental structure measuring one and a half miles long and a half mile wide, rises from the Nevada badlands in the US, built over 50 years by artist Michael Heizer at a cost of $40m. The handiwork is a hallmark achievement of Land Art, which is site-specific and linked directly to its location, unable to exist anywhere else. Heizer is credited with pioneering the genre, which emerged during the late 1960s and early '70s as a rejection of the entire system for creating and distributing art, and is considered to be the most radical expression of that idea. Enjoy more on ARTnews.

Artworks and artists in Museums get renamed as Ukrainian, not Russian

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has changed the way it labels works by Degas, Illia Repin and Arkhyp Kuindzhi | Ph Jeenah Moon for The New York Times

Museums around the world are re-examining their artworks and artists from the former Russian Empire and Soviet Union to reflect their Ukrainian origins. Many are re-classifying artworks to better represent Ukrainian culture, spurred on by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. For instance, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has reclassified some artworks from "Russian" to "Ukrainian," and renamed a pastel by Edgar Degas from "Russian Dancers" to "Dancers in Ukrainian Dress." However, this process is not always straightforward, as museums try to reflect the nationality of the artists, and not just where they were born. New York Times adds that museums in Europe and the US have been urged to rethink how they label artworks and artists, arguing that it's important to honor the artistic contributions of Ukrainians, given Ukraine's history of subjugation under the Russian Empire and Soviet Union. Critics argue that museums are complicit in Ukraine's colonization if they don't distinguish Ukrainian artists and artworks from those of their rulers.

Can NFT Avatars Become the Next Major Trend on Social Media in 2023?

Courtesy of NFT WORLD NEWS

NFT WORLD NEWS discusses NFT avatars, which are algorithm-generated digital images used as profile pictures on social media. NFT avatars combine a type of digital identity, investment, and source of community benefits. The inherent value of social media NFTs and discusses the psychological aspects of scarcity, social proof, and tribalism that play a significant role in individuals' market behavior. NFT WORLD NEWS explains how NFT avatars have utility for brands and organizations, such as granting entry to private chatrooms and voting privileges. Enjoy more here.

Written by
Giulia Manca