Fashion Designer Vivienne Westwood Dies at 81, Architect Arata Isozaki Dies at 91, and More: Morning Links for December 30,2022

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The Headlines

VIVIENNE WESTWOOD,the freewheeling fashion designer who pioneered punk and became one of her era’s leading cultural lights,has died at 81, theNew York Timesreports. (It also hasa richly illustrated overviewof her work, byGuy Trebay.)Andrew Bolton, the curator of theCostume Instituteat theMet,told theAssociated Pressthat Westwood and her former partner,Malcolm McLaren, “gave the punk movement a look, a style, and it was so radical it broke from anything in the past.” The self-taught Westwood opened a London store with McLaren in the early 1970s that stocked venturesome fashions (fetish gear, for a stretch) and operated under names likeSexandSeditionaries; in the 1980s, she began staging runway shows. In a 2014 memoir, theTimesnotes, Westwood wrote that some “seem surprised still that you can have been in punk and then also be in couture, but it’s all connected.”

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AT THE MOVIES.Are you looking for some films recommendations? ForCultured, artistMickalene Thomascompileda list of fivethat stuck with her this year, includingWakanda ForeverandNeptune Frost(“one of the best films of our time”). In this month’sArtforum, artist and directorJohn Watershas his much-lovedannual listof his favorite films of the year, which includeDetainee 001andDinner in America(“a wonderfully nasty, politically incorrect punk-rock romantic comedy”). And inARTnews,Alex Greenbergerhasa reviewof the art-filledGlass Onionthat may make you opt for something else. “Who gets the last laugh here, the viewers ofGlass Onionor the wealthy being targeted by the film?” Greenberger asks. The answer may not be the one that its director intended.

The Digest

ThePritzker Prize–winning Japanese architectArata Isozaki, who blended Eastern and Western sensibilities in his many high-profile projects, including theMuseum of Contemporary Artin Los Angeles, has died at 91. His survivors include his companion, the Tokyo galleristMisa Shin.[The New York Times]

Careful, long-term efforts to stabilize theLeaning Tower of Pisain Italy have proved a success, and the structure now leans to the same degree it did in the early 19th century. Still, there are concerns that the effects of climate change could make it precarious again.[The Art Newspaper]

PhotographerUta Barth, whose lucid images plumb perception, currently has a show at theGettyin Los Angeles.Paul Mpagi Sepuya, her former student, said in a profile of her, “The thing about great teachers is that you keep their questions with you, and ask them of yourself so you don’t feel stuck.”[Los Angeles Times]

CriticSebastian Smeepaid a visit to the blockbuster “ModiglianiUp Close” show at theBarnes Foundationin Philadelphia. “Do Modigliani’s nudes objectify female bodies?” he asks. “Without a doubt.” However, “at least in my experience, women find these pictures as beautiful as men,” he writes.[The Washington Post]

Hokusai’s famous printThe Great Wave off Kanagawa(1831) is now aLegoset. It features about 1,800 pieces, costs a cool $99.99, and will be released on January 1.[The Economic Times]

Arts-festival organizersSeán DoranandLiam Brownehave been toasting the centenaryof the publication ofJames Joyce’sUlyssesthis year by presenting events all over Europe. They are planning to stage them in 18 cities in total, in an effort that will stretch into 2024 and conclude in Derry, Northern Ireland.[BBC News]

The Kicker

MUSEUM GUIDE.TheGetty,LACMA, and other big names get plenty of attention in Los Angeles, but asAdam Nagourneypoints out in theNew YorkTimes, the county is actuallyhome to hundreds and hundreds of museums—many of them quite obscure, focused on subjects like “bunnies, neon, sneakers, aviation, citrus trees,” and a whole lot more. The delightful-soundingMartial Arts History Museum, for one, holds the headband worn byRalph MacchioinThe Karate Kid Part II. “This is the first and only museum of its kind, can you believe it?” its president asked. “The only one in the world that covers all the martial arts.”[NYT]

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