Editor’s note: The global Coronavirus outbreak has gripped the planet, with people across nations united by feelings of trepidation and uncertainty. Its impact on the artworld has been substantial. The annual Venice Architecture Biennale has been postponed by three months and will open at the end of August. Salone del Mobile has also been pushed back, and with Italy’s nation-wide lockdown, the hope for its opening during its new June dates is also questionable. Art Basel – one of the art world’s most anticipated events – is set to go on as planned, albeit with heightened vigilance, and is scheduled for June 16–21. Art Basel’s Hong Kong edition will not, however, take place as planned in March. Many other major art events are yet to release statements. The general status is one of collective limbo.
But meanwhile, art remains one of our greatest sources of respite. During times of great insecurity, it can bring us back to moments of contemplation, reflection and relative calm. This issue of Artpaper hopefully offers readers a glimpse into some of the exciting events, movements and ideas still prevailing in the art world despite a growing climate of anxiety. Richard England discusses the ruinous beauty of the San Galgano Abbey in Tuscany, while Christine Xuereb Seidu transports us over to Africa to take in the continent’s vibrant art scene. Kenneth Zammit Tabona gives us the history of porcelain; Lisa Gwen Andrews pays homage to the work of multi-disciplinary artist, Joseph Chetcuti; and Erica Giusta outlines the predicament of Pinterest. Ann Dingli positions the work of Sebastian Tanti Burló as a quiet protest amidst a climate crisis, whilst Karen Elizabeth Steed updates us on MoMA’s anticipated re-opening. Finally, Margerita Pulè speaks to Melissa Cowley Wolf, Dr José A Herrera, and Romina Delia about all matters relating to art funding.
We look forward to the global situation becoming calmer and to a feeling of safety being restored amongst all of us. Meanwhile, from my end, I urge everyone to stay safe, support one another, and enjoy this edition of Artpaper as a welcome moment of distraction.