Culture Canvas

BY Annie Strother  October 20, 2011 at 5:04 PM EDT

A roundup of the week’s art headlines.

Julian Barnes has won the Man Booker prize for his short novel, “The Sense of an Ending.” The prize, which was announced Tuesday, comes with an $80,000 prize. It was Barnes’ fourth time on the shortlist. The novel, only 150 pages long, is about memory and tells the story of a middle-aged man exploring his past.

*

 
Eighteen years after his death, River Phoenix’s final film is nearing release, via The Guardian. Phoenix rose to critical acclaim for his portrayals of troubled teenagers, including the part of Danny in Sidney Lumet’s ‘Running on Empty’.

*

A ranking of the nation’s top 400 charities by The Chronicle of Philanthropy includes 14 museums and performing arts groups, via The Los Angeles Times.

*

Chuck Close, Laddie John Dill and the estate of Robert Graham are some of the artists suing New York auction houses Sotheby’s and Christie’s for royalties, via The Wall Street Journal.

*

‘Shine’ appeared on the National Book Awards shortlist last week for young people’s literature by mistake, via The Los Angeles Times. In ensuing days the title was dropped from the list, reintroduced and finally withdrawn by the author at the request of the National Book Foundation.

*

Amazon is branching into e-publishing, via PCWorld. Ruth Franklin at The New Republic is in favor.

*

A sculpture by Henry Moore outside the British Houses of Parliament is in need of restoration, but help is slow in coming because its ownership is in dispute, via The Art Newspaper.

*

The Philadelphia Orchestra Association and its musicians reached a tentative contract last week after a long labor dispute, but monetary troubles remain, via The Philadelphia Inquirer.

*

El Sawy Culturewheel, a culture venue in Cairo that was largely apolitical prior to the riots in Tahrir Square, has become a site for political art and discussion in the city, via Global Post.

*

Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi lost his appeal against a six-year prison term. The Iranian government has charged him with threatening national security and creating anti-regime propaganda, via The Guardian.

*

The authors of a new biography of artist Vincent Van Gogh claim that he didn’t kill himself, via the BBC.

*

Occupy Wall Street protesters rallied outside Sotheby’s to show solidarity with unionized workers locked in a contract dispute with the auction house, via msnbc. The protesters also stopped at Lincoln Center to join protesters against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Closer to Zuccotti Park, a pop-up art exhibit titled No Comment took place in the former J.P. Morgan building and featured anti-capitalist art and protesters’ signs, via The Washington Post.

*

Chilean writer Jose Miguel Varas died on the anniversary of Pablo Neruda’s death at the age of 88, via The Guardian. A former broadcaster with the BBC, he famously hosted the program Escucha Chile from exile in Moscow during the reign of Augusto Pinochet.

*

Costume-designer Ray Aghayan, — who designed clothes for Judy Garland, Barbara Streisand and Diana Ross, among others, died this week. He was 83, via The New York Times.