Teresa Burga, an artist whose indefinable output made her one of the most important conceptual artists in Latin America, has died at 85. The Peruvian Ministry of Culture announced her death on Twitter on Thursday.

Today, Burga is considered a major figure for her boundary-pushing works focused on authorship, forms of labor, and the status of women in Peru, her home country. Her work has taken the form of sculptures, installations, drawings, paintings, and conceptual projects, in the process expanding what art could be.

Burga’s best-known work is one that during its day generated confusion. Perfil de la mujer Peruana (Profile of Peruvian Woman), from 1980–81, marked a collaboration with the psychotherapist Marie-France Cathelat, with whom Burga founded the Investigaciones Sociales y Artísticas, an institution through which they facilitated social research. For Burga’s project, she and Cathelat interviewed 290 middle-class women between the ages of 25 and 29 in … Read the rest

As part of its annual conference, which runs through February 13, the College Art Association, a U.S.-based professional organization that promotes art history scholarship, announced the winners of its awards for 2021.

The association’s biggest prize, the Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement, has been awarded to Samella Lewis, an artist and scholar. Lewis was mentored by Elizabeth Catlett and Charles White, whom she met while studying at Dillard University in New Orleans, and she is best known for creating a vast number of figurative works on paper that depict various aspects of the Black experience in the United States. Her art was included in the Hammer Museum’s acclaimed exhibition “Now Dig This!: Art and Black Los Angeles 1960–1980.”

Lewis, the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in art history from Ohio State University, has also been influential as an art historian, carving out space for Black … Read the rest

A drawing by Vincent Van Gogh made during the artist’s final years will sell at Christie’s as part of the drawing collection sale titled “A Family Collection: Works on Paper, Van Gogh to Freud” on March 1 in New York. Estimated at $7 million–$10 million, the work is titled La Mousmé (1888).

The rare drawing comes from the family collection of London dealer Thomas Gibson and depicts an anonymous young female sitter. It is the last work of a group of 12 originally gifted by the artist to Australian painter John Russell that still remains in private hands. Other works from that gift, which include 9 landscapes and 2 portraits are held by the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Saint Louis Art Museum, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

“The work is incredibly rare,” said … Read the rest

Collectively, we use a staggering amount of single-use plastic each year—we buy one million plastic bottles each minute around the world—most of which ends up in landfills, oceans, and other natural spaces. Nzambi Matee, a 29-year-old entrepreneur from Nairobi, is combatting this global crisis by recycling bags, containers, and other waste products into bricks used for patios and other construction projects.

Prior to launching her company, Gjenge Makers, Matee worked as a data analyst and oil-industry engineer. After encountering plastic waste along Nairobi’s streets, she decided to quit her job and created a small lab in her mother’s backyard, testing sand and plastic combinations. Matee eventually received a scholarship to study in the materials lab at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she ultimately developed a prototype for the machine that now produces the textured bricks.

Made from a combination of plastic and sand, the pavers have a … Read the rest

Jean-Michel Basquiat, one of the most expensive contemporary artists, is set to continue his reign next month at Christie’s in Hong Kong. His 1982 painting Warrior will be auctioned on March 23 during a single-lot sale titled “We Are All Warriors.” The work, which carries a third-party guarantee, is expected to achieve a price between $31 million and $41 million (HKD 240 million–HKD 320 million). If the present lot meets its low estimate it will be among the top 10 Basquiats to ever sell at auction, surpassing the price of $30.7 million paid for Flesh and Spirit (1982), from the collection of Herbert Neumann, at Sotheby’s in 2018.

“It is simply a masterpiece,” Cristian Albu, Christie’s international director of postwar and contemporary art, said of Warrior.

The large-scale painting, made with acrylic, oilstick and spray paint on wood panel, features a sword-wielding figure with Basquiat’s signature skull-like head. … Read the rest

Category Winner. Underwater Photographer of the Year 2021 © Renee Capozzola (U.S.) /UPY2021. All images courtesy of UPY 2021, shared with permission

An exquisite shot of blacktip reef sharks circling underneath a jewel-toned sky in French Polynesia tops this year’s Underwater Photographer of the Year contest (previously). Captured by California-based Renee Capozzola, the winning entry frames a pair of the white-bellied fish and airborne seagulls, forming a serendipitous composition that combines air, land, and sea. “I dedicated several evenings to photographing in the shallows at sunset, and I was finally rewarded with this scene: glass-calm water, a rich sunset, sharks, and even birds,” she said.

This year’s competition received more than 4,500 entries from photographers in 68 countries, including images of wrecked barges, frogs peering out from a muddy pond, and two ornery blenny mid-tussle. Capozzola is the first woman to ever win the U.K.-based contest since … Read the rest

During the pandemic, our kitchens have become even more the centers of our lives. Most meals are cooked at home; pasta makers, bread makers, and rice cookers have all seen jumps in sales as quarantine created both the need and opportunity for more appliances. KitchenAid, maker of iconic appliances like their stand mixer, chose the dark orange-yellow hue of honey for their 2021 color of the year — a fitting choice for quiet homeyness, though it was decided on in 2018.

The KitchenAid team already had in mind telling a story about connection and empathy for this year, “reaching across differences to make the world a better place, to build a brighter future,” according to Jessica McConnell, a director at KitchenAid, and Katie Remaly, a color, finish, and material designer. The color “is a reminder of the sweetness of coming together in the kitchen and experiencing the irresistible positivity, … Read the rest

All images © Christoph Niemann, shared with permission

For Christoph Niemann (previously), all it takes is a halved apple or pliers lying around his studio to spur a quirky drawing featuring the random object. The illustrator is known for his Sunday Sketches, a weekly drawing series, that play with scale and position. Imbued with humor, the cleverly arranged compositions turn a red pencil into a megaphone or a splayed book into a cat’s whiskers.

Although Niemann usually lives in New York for part of the year, he’s been working from his studio in Berlin since the onset of the pandemic. “I’m spending a lot of time just drawing—cityscapes, animals I saw at the zoo (one of the few places that are still open to visit), and turning these drawings into silkscreens and linocuts,” he tells Colossal.

Prior to lockdown, he was visiting cities like London and Tallin creating … Read the rest

Five hundred years after the conquest of Mexico, Sandy Rodriguez is weaving together old and new stories of the United States borderlands. “There is a kind of communion, a uniting, with the tlacuilos, who were the painters, scholars, scribes of the colonial period… it’s about affirming an indigenous artistic practice and reclaiming an art history that is very much of this region and of our culture,” Rodriguez said of making her series, “Codex Rodriguez-Mondragón.” This ongoing multimedia project includes the “Mapa de los Child Detention Centers, Family Separations and Other Atrocities,” pictured above. 

Rodriguez’s maps and portraits layer images of separated migrant families with Mayan and Nahua iconography and ancient botanical recipes. As part of her artistic process, she camps along the border, studying and gathering traditional materials to make pigments for her paintings. She is institutionally trained and comes from a family of Mexican artists.

Rodriguez is inspired Read the rest

Nanette, an Englewood resident, sits on and Wade’s porch in Edgewater. All images © Tonika Johnson, shared with permission

Though not Chicago’s true geographic center, the intersection of Madison Street, which runs east to west, and State Street, which runs north to south, is the central point for the city’s address system. Chicago native Tonika Johnson, however, has been viscerally aware that the north-south dividing line is not a mere postal distinction since she was a teenaged photographer, an experience she discusses in the latest interview supported by Colossal Members.

Doing this project and talking to so many people across racial lines has taught me that it’s like this self-perpetuating, self-fulfilling prophecy of segregation. If your worlds are so separate, you’re only going to understand it as much as your lived experience allows. You can find truth in whatever silly thing you think because you don’t have anything

Read the rest