The Design Dispatch offers expertly written and essential news from the design world crafted by our dedicated team. Think of it as your cheat sheet for the day in design delivered to your inbox before you’ve had your coffee. Subscribe now.
Amoako Boafo, Salman Toor, and Telfar Clemens make the 2021 Time100 Next List.
This year’s Time100 Next list, an offshoot of the publication’s Time100 franchise that highlights 100 emerging leaders, presents an assortment of artists, scientists, advocates, and journalists who are actively shaping the future. Among this year’s creative honorees are the artist and Dior collaborator Amoako Boafo, who explores Black identity and the African diaspora through bright colors and textured finger painting; the fashion pioneer Telfar Clemens, whose namesake label upends industry norms and uplifts its community; the painter Salman Toor, who centers openly queer men of South Asian descent; the poet Amanda Gorman, whose hopeful words resonated with millions at Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration; and Icon CEO Jason Ballard, who might be the first human to build a 3D-printed structure on the moon.
Marfa Invitational founder Michael Phelan will open a local cultural foundation this fall.
Piggybacking on the success of his insiders’ Marfa Invitational art fair, the contemporary artist Michael Phelan will open a cultural foundation in the tiny Texas desert town this fall. Phelan designed the structure, a pair of exhibition halls across five acres that will host visual art and sculptural installations, performances, films, and fashion shows. The hope, he says, is “to present a very intimate gathering” since the destination is only equipped to host a limited number of visitors. “One of the beauties of the infrastructure” in Marfa, he added, is that it controls attendance “given the limit of accommodations.”
A dazzling 12th-century Islamic bath house has been uncovered in a Seville tapas bar.
A 12th-century Islamic bath house decorated with geometric motifs and skylights in the form of eight-pointed stars was uncovered from inside the walls of a Spanish tapas bar. This past summer, the owners of Cervercería Giralda took advantage of the coronavirus lull and pursued a long-delayed overhaul. The establishment, which has been serving patatas since 1923, was rumored to have been the site of an ancient hammam, but most assumed the bar’s vintage look was Mudejar or Islamic Revival style. The archeologist Álvaro Jiménez knew the architect Vicente Traver designed the bar and hotel above it in the 1920s and of its rumored pastimes, but ruled the latter out as fanciful.
That is, until this past July, when he was gently chipping away at ceiling plaster to reveal a skylight in the form of an eight-pointed star. Soon, the team had uncovered an exquisite piece of architecture from the 12th century, when the Almohad caliphate reigned over much of what we now call Spain, Portugal, and a large swath of North Africa. While the whitewash needs to be cleaned to reveal the red paint beneath, the hammam-cum-bar has now been conserved and repaired in time for Giralda to open soon.
Damien Hirst once considered “pickling human corpses” like his famed shark tank work.
The English artist Damien Hirst has revealed that he once considered placing human corpses in formaldehyde, like he did with his famous works with a sheep and a shark. Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing of the anatomy of human copulation, Hirst thought about cutting male and female corpses in half and fitting their sexual organs together. He ultimately never realized his human iteration because he preferred working with a “neglected thing like a sheep, which is meat—you’re thinking why am I feeling empathy?” The artist has two exhibitions this year, each including works from his famous “animal in a tank” series: “Mental Escapology” is currently being held across five locations in St Moritz, while his “Cherry Blossoms” show will open at Paris’s Fondation Cartier in June.
MoMA has received a gift of 100 photographs of under-recognized female artists.
The Museum of Modern Art in New York has received a substantial donation of 100 photographs that it hopes will help canonize under-recognized female artists. The gift was made by Helen Kornblum, a psychotherapist, collector, and member of MoMA’s photography committee. An exhibition devoted to the works, which spans 76 artists ranging from Dora Maar to Carrie Mae Weems, will be presented at the museum in 2022. The gift was made in honor of photography senior curator Roxana Marcoci, who said in a statement, “The collection raises a whole set of questions: How do we go about unsettling established art historical narratives? Unfixing the canon? Researching counter-histories? This gift offers the perfect platform to examine women photographers’ self-agency within a diversity of artistic strategies and activate new readings about their contributions to contemporary culture.”
The city of Haikou, China, enlists major architects to create “Pavilions by the Seaside.”
The seaside near Haikou, the capital and largest city in Hainan, a Chinese province, will soon look much different. The Haikou Tourism and Culture Investment Holding Group has revealed that an all-star lineup of architects and artists have been commissioned to realize 16 large-scale permanent pavilions as part of “Pavilions by the Seaside,” which will transform two of the city’s coastal areas. “The development of these pavilions will integrate diverse artistic content and programming and act as multifunctional spaces for public services to educate and support the local community,” reads a press release. The lineup includes Bjarke Ingels, Sou Fujimoto, Ma Yansong, Anish Kapoor, Patrik Schumacher in collaboration with artist Shen Wei, Stefano Boeri, Winy Maas, Thomas Heatherwick, and Kengo Kuma in collaboration with Sakamoto Ryuichi, among others. The pavilions by Fujimoto and Yansong will be the first to open this spring; the rest are slated to open throughout the year.
Charles Venable, head of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, resigns after an insensitive job listing.
After editing and apologizing for an insensitive job listing that appeared on a recruiting site, Charles Venable has stepped down as the president of Newfields, the sprawling 152-acre campus that includes the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The employment listing said the museum was seeking a director who would work not only to attract a more diverse audience, but also to maintain its “traditional, core, white art audience.” Almost immediately after the listing came to light this past week, more than 85 Newfields employees and board members released a public letter demanding Venable’s resignation and asked the museum’s major funders to pause financial support including a number of reforms, which include appointing a more diverse board and curatorial staff, could be implemented.
“We’re ashamed of Newfields’ leadership and of ourselves,” the museum’s board of trustees and board of governors said in a statement on its website. “We have ignored, excluded, and disappointed members of our community and staff. We pledge to do better. We thank [Venable] for his service and agree that his resignation is necessary for Newfields to become the cultural institution our community needs and deserves.”