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‘Lamborghini’ Chariot Unearthed in Pompeii, Trump Statue Glows in Orlando, and More: Morning Links from March 1, 2021

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The Headlines

THE WONDERS JUST KEEP COMING FROM POMPEII, the ancient Roman city buried by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the year 79. Late last year, researchers found an ancient snack bar and the remains of two people there. Now they have uncovered a plush chariot with iron wheels and metal decorations depicting figures like cupids and satyrs, NPR reports. “I was astounded,” Eric Poehler, a University of Massachusetts Amherst classics professor, said. Many of the transportation devices he has studied at the site are “your standard station wagon or vehicle for taking the kids to soccer,” he explained. “This is a Lamborghini. This is an outright fancy, fancy car.” Italy’s culture minister, Dario Franceschini, told Reuters , “Pompeii continues to amaze us with its discoveries and it will do so for many years, with 20 hectares still to be dug up.”

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THE PANDEMIC HAS CAUSED SOME DEALERS TO THINK hard about real estate, Scott Reyburn writes in the New York Times. Blue-chippers have followed deep-pocketed collectors to Palm Beach and the Hamptons, and pursued robust digital programs to augment their physical gallery displays. “ ‘Phygital’ is the future of commercial art galleries,” Hauser & With cofounder Iwan Wirth said, using a portmanteau of physical and digital. Gagosian shuttered its San Francisco branch.  Four of the 55 members of the San Francisco Art Dealers Association have closed their spaces during the pandemic, its director, Petra Schumann, told the Art Newspaper. A diversified portfolio of locations can, perhaps, help offset downturns. Pace chief Marc Glimcher told TAN that, while revenue has been off for his international operation, the decline has been less significant at its branch in Palo Alto, California.

The Digest

The head of the Galleries Association of Korea, Hwang Dal-seung, said that the group is in talks with Frieze to invite it to stage a fair in Seoul during the Korea International Art Fair (KIAF). Last November, the group called a rumored collaboration with the British fair company “speculative news.” Hwang also said that KIAF will stage a fair in Singapore during Art SG, the long-delayed fair now set to debut next January.  [Korea JoongAng Daily]

Judy Chicago’s plan to create a giant smoke display for the Desert X exhibition in Palm Desert, California, has been nixed. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, which had planned to present it, pulled out after a local activist questioned its potential impact on the local environment and wildlife. [The New York Times]

Quentin Hardin writes that, in our plague time, Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s 1339 painting The Allegory of Good Government and Bad Government has become “a meditation on history, hope, and the passing of time.”  [Town & Country]

Salamishah Tillet has taken a deep dive into the history of the Studio Museum in Harlem, interviewing Black women artists who have shown at the storied institution over the years in a package that includes photographs by John Edmonds. [Harper’s Bazaar]

Painter Rose Wylie, who’s won increasing attention for her charmingly slapdash figurative paintings, will have her first New York solo show next month, at David Zwirner. Just don’t call her work childlike! “It’s rather sloppy to say,” she said. “Nobody says that about Picasso.” [Town & Country]

At a recent sale of items from New York’s defunct KGB Espionage Museum, a group planning a “museum of communist terror” in the United Kingdom made some purchases. [The Guardian]

Gagosian Rome director Pepi Marchetti Franchi has cofounded a website called Italics through which 63 Italian galleries can share their tips about the best of the country’s offerings. [Financial Times]

Art adviser Kathy Ganley’s home in Minneapolis includes paintings by Richard Kooyman and Tim Braden and prints by Elizabeth Atterbury. [Architectural Digest]

Here’s a recipe for using pulped newspaper to make a sculpture—just like artist Wangechi Mutu. [The New York Times]

The Kicker

AT THE CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL ACTION CONFERENCE in Orlando, Florida, this past weekend, artist Tommy Zegan presented a glimmering 6-foot-tall fiberglass statue of Donald Trump that got a fair amount of attention, as Mediate notes. Zegan said that he made it after seeing negative depictions of Trump. “Is this the best you can do for our president?” he asked. Responding to criticism that his creation had kind of a golden calf feel to it, the artist shot back, “I know the biblical definition of an idol. This is not an idol. This is a sculpture.” Zegan also said that he’s planning to make a bronze version, plated with 24-karat gold, that “is gonna really piss off the liberals.” [Mediaite]

Thank you for reading. We’ll see you tomorrow.

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