Royal Academy celebrates anniversary with Grayson Perry-designed stamps The Turner Prize winner joins Norman Ackroyd, Tracey Emin, Fiona Rae, Barbara Rae and Yinka Shonibare in creating new artworks for a series of stamps issued to mark the Royal Academy of Arts’ 250th anniversary. Perry is coordinating this year’s summer exhibition, which opens on 12 June. The stamps will be available the previous week, from 5 June.
Perry’s design features the artist as inspiration for other works on display in the summer show, while Yinka Shonibare’s stamp depicts the crowds queuing to enter the building.
Taking a different approach, Barbara Rae has captured Inverleith Allotments and Edinburgh Castle, with Tracey Emin’s stamp showing two faces close together.
The final two artworks include Norman Ackroyd’s portrait of rock formations off the coast of a Hebridean archipelago. Meanwhile, Fiona Rae has presented an impressionistic vision of birds in flight.
Houston’s Rothko Chapel vandalised The non-denominational chapel in Houston, Texas, which was founded by John and Dominique de Menil, has 14 paintings by Mark Rothko on display. According to the Houston Chronicle, paint was poured into a reflecting pool near The Broken Obelisk, a Barnett Newman sculpture dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. Leaflets featuring the text ‘It’s okay to be white’ were also found in the grounds.
Belgian Art Prize nominees withdraw following all-male shortlist controversy The five nominees have pulled out of the competition after an open letter on change.org criticising the prize for ‘flagrant exclusivity’ received almost 1000 signatures. The all-male list included: Sven Augustijnen, Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Gabriel Kuri, and the duo Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys.
In a joint statement on Artnet, the artists explained their decision by saying: “This shortlist is surely not something that we, nor anyone, should be put in a position to have to defend. We, the selected artists, were short-sighted by simply assuming that each one of us could follow on to be seen for our approach, or the content of our work. The all-too rapid shift of public attention from artistic discourse or content – let alone merit – towards white male privilege is frankly something that we regret.”
Turkish artist Zehra Dogan jailed for ‘spreading terrorist propaganda’ continues to paint on scrap paper from prison Artist and journalist Doğan was jailed after posting a painting depicting a Kurdish town draped in Turkish flags. According to a campaign group lobbying for her release, she has resorted to making paintings on scrap paper using her menstrual blood.
A spokesman for the group told the Art Newspaper: “Turkey has created problems for artists and journalists for decades, but this period [under President Tayyip Erdogan] is the worst. Artists who express ideas that the [Turkish] government dislikes find themselves threatened, excluded from projects or in prison, like Zehra.”
Next month, human rights organisation Amnesty International has organised an exhibition of the artist’s works at the city library in Detmold, North-Rhine Westphalia in Germany.
Gerhard Richter donates artworks to raise money for homeless people The artist has donated 18 artworks to help finance 100 housing units for the homeless across the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The sale, which is taking place at fiftyfifty gallery in Düsseldorf, is expected to raise around £1.2m, which will go to the country’s Housing First Fund. Richter previously donated work to the fund in 2015.
Artists contemplate the outcome of Ireland’s abortion referendum Today (25 May) Ireland will go to the polls on its Eighth Amendment, which was introduced in 1983 and gives a foetus the same rights as the woman carrying it. Its critics cite examples including cases of rape and also if there is a risk to the mother’s health as reasons why the amendment should be repealed.
The Art Newspaper asked figures involved with the Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment about the possible consequences if voters decide that the amendment should not be repealed. Artist Rachel Fallon said: “I don’t think there can be any return to the way things were. The journey to this point has been long and arduous and we will not lie down and take it for another 35 years. We will not be quiet.”
The campaign has received a number of high-profile backers, including actor Cillian Murphy. He commented: “Think of the women in your life and all of the times they have supported you. It’s time to trust, respect and support them by saying yes on 25 May.” Actress Cathy Belton, in a video posted on Vimeo, said: “My decision. My body. My vote. I’ll be voting yes, for care, compassion, fairness, equality, and safety.”
1. Grayson Perry, The Royal Academy stamp. Courtesy: The Royal Academy
2. Yinka Shonibare, The RoyalAcademy stamp. Courtesy: The Royal Academy
3. Barbara Rae, The Royal Academy stamp. Courtesy: The Royal Academy
4. Tracey Emin, The Royal Academy stamp. Courtesy: The Royal Academy
5. Norman Ackroyd, The Royal Academy stamp. Courtesy; The Royal Academy
6. Fiona Rae, The Royal Academy stamp. Courtesy: The Royal Academy