Headlines: Basel, Van Gogh and Snowflakes

1) Miami Basel's Sculpture Park Boasts Meaningful Public Art

A side view of Glenn Kaino's sculpture, Invisible Man


Art Basel Miami Beach is now underway, and here’s a look at some of the outdoor sculpture that’s being displayed as part of the fair. The full outdoor public art exhibition is titled “Ground Control,” and features separate works from 20 different participating artists. Though this Hyperallergic article notes that the equal gender representation of last year’s sculpture garden roster is sadly nowhere to be found, the works themselves do not disappoint. One of the most powerful works in the show is Glenn Kaino’s “Invisible Man,” which starkly addresses the shooting death of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014.


2) New York Firm  Creates World's Largest 3-D Printed Object

A photo of Flotsam and Jetsam by SHoP Architects


Speaking of outdoor sculpture, Miami Basel this year is also host the current world’s largest 3-D printed object. The object, a pavilion with a woven texture, is made from bamboo filament and is completely biodegradable. Flotsam and Jetsam, as the pavilion is titled, was created by the New York-based design firm SHoP Architects, who used a set of three robots to print the object in a number of sections that each weigh around 50 pounds. After the fair, the pavilion will be moved to a new home in the Design District by ICA Miami, where it will be used as a space for artist talks and performances.


3) Van Gogh Museum Criticizes Scholarly Authentication of Sketchbook

A page from a sketchbook controversially attributed to Van Gogh


A battle is raging between the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and a pair of Van Gogh scholars, over a recently released a sketchbook that’s being attributed to the artist. University of Toronto professor emeritus of art history Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov and Ronald Pickvance, an author who has extensively written about and studied Van Gogh, believe that the sketchbook, which contains 65 drawings in a similar style to many of the artist’s painted works, was created by Van Gogh during his time in Arles, France. Experts at the Van Gogh Museum, however, believe that the sketchbook is merely an artefact from an unknown copycat of Van Gogh’s style, going so far as to criticize the scholars for their “excessively easygoing attitude” around the authentication of the book.


4) A Look Back at the First Snowflake Photographs

A photograph of an individual snowflake

December is upon us, so here’s a seasonally appropriate look back at the first ever photographs of snowflakes! These incredibly crisp documents are attributed to a Vermont farmer named Wilson Bentley, who in 1885 captured the first known snowflake photo using a handmade contraption that combined a microscope with a camera. Bentley was 19 at the time, and continued photographing snowflakes until his death (from pneumonia, after walking through a blizzard) in 1931. Though Bentley admitted to having retouched some of his photographs, he stated that he did so in order to have the images appear as true to life as possible. While they may not have been properly appreciated at the time, today these snowflake photos are still some of the clearest images of individual flakes.


Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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