The Week in Short: Statues draw ire, ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ sparks surge in chess set sales

The Week in Short: Statues draw ire, ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ sparks surge in chess set sales
Anya Taylor-Joy in "The Queen's Gambit." Photo: CharlieGray/Netflix.

This week’s art stories, in short.

  • An amateur restorer in Spain is facing backlash after an attempt to improve conditions of a statue went awry. The sculpture sits atop a bank in Palencia, Spain, and depicts a smiling woman. The altered visage has been compared to a potato. [The Art Newspaper]
  • A naked sculpture of feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft drew sharp criticism for its nudity and size. Created by sculptor Maggi Hambling, the statue (which now has its own Wikipedia page) features a small figure described as an “everywoman” at the top of a swirling base. [BBC News]
  • In related news, a fundraiser for a monument dedicated to Virginia Woolf has received renewed interest after the Hollstonecraft controversy. [The Guardian]
  • Netflix’s latest streaming sensation “The Queen’s Gambit” has sparked a spike in chess set sales. Just how big is the surge? The retailer eBay reported the website saw a 237% increase in searches after the show’s release. [NME]
  • On the heels of the election, a Biden-Harris campaign video thanked voters and paid homage to artist Lorraine O’Grady’s “Art Is …” work, which was staged in Harlem in 1983. The original performance, which was captured in photographs, had attendees of an African-American Day Parade pose inside of gold frames, effectively centering them as art. [The New York Times]

  • New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, who has covered the Donald Trump administration, will write a book chronicling the president’s political years. [Publishers Weekly]
  • A stagehand working at the Winter Garden Theatre died Thursday after falling from scaffolding while removing the set of “Beetlejuice.” [Playbill]
  • The auction house Sotheby’s is facing a lawsuit filed by the New York State Attorney General for allegedly aiding clients to “evade taxes to boost its own sales.” [Artnet News
  • Techno is music, a German court ruled. [NPR]
  • Britney Spears lost a bid to remove her father from the head of a court-ordered conservatorship, which has given him control over the singer since 2008. [Pitchfork]
  • Brooklyn Academy of Music President Katy Clark will leave the company in 2021. In a statement, Clark said that she will be pursuing a “new position where [she] can have a focused impact on work that is especially meaningful to [her].” She took the helm of the organization in 2015. [The New York Times]
  • Recommended reading: Author Alexander Chee has penned a new shorty story. It’s about ghosts and love. [T Magazine]

New on the ALL ARTS feed: Watch Martha Graham Dance Company in “Appalachian Spring” and “The Auditions”Meet artist Lindani NyandeniWandering through Green-Wood CemeteryArt and the militaryImagining a decolonized futureA new mural pays tribute to Carmen HerreraBroadway on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Top Image: Anya Taylor-Joy in "The Queen's Gambit." Photo: CharlieGray/Netflix.