Art news round-up

  • 30 May 2014

Spall's Turner triumphs, Abramovic trips over nothing and Glasgow School of Art salvage underway – we round up the top art stories of the week.

Timothy Spall as JMW Turner in Mike Leigh's biopic Mr Turner

Timothy Spall as JMW Turner in Mike Leigh's biopic Mr Turner

Fire at Glasgow School of Art

Specialist archivists from the Glasgow School of Art have begun the operation to conserve items damaged by the fire that ripped through the Charles Rennie Mackintosh building. The Telegraph confirmed that the oldest wing of the building, dating from 1897–99, had survived the blaze intact, but said the famous wooden library was lost. According to the Guardian the salvage effort will also retrieve the work of students who were preparing for their final-year degree show in the building at the time of the fire.

King's burial resolved

Descendants of the family of Richard III, the last king of England to die on a battlefield, have lost a legal battle over where his recently discovered remains should be reinterred. The Times reports that the remains will be reinterred at Leicester Cathedral next spring.

Abramovic in tussle over 'nothing'

The Guardian reports that art star Marina Abramovic and the Serpentine Gallery in London have become embroiled in a row over the origins of her latest work. A prestigious group of curators and art historians has written to the gallery questioning why Abramovic’s latest performance piece, which emphasises the importance of 'nothing', fails to acknowledge the influence of another contemporary artist, Mary Ellen Carroll, who has also made the idea central to her work. Carroll has been working on a project titled Nothing since the 1990s.​

Maya Angelou dies aged 86

The celebrated novelist and poet, whose memoirs of racism and abuse in America’s Deep South brought her international acclaim, passed away yesterday aged 86. According to obituaries in the Times and the Guardian she spent her last years restoring a brownstone house in Harlem, New York City, covering the interiors with paintings, including a watercolour of Rosa Parks.  She lived mostly in a house in Winston-Salem, North Caroline – with a six-foot birdcage in the garden and a growing collection of African-American art.

And finally...

Timothy Spall won best actor at Cannes Film Festival for his portrayal of JMW Turner in Mike Leigh's new biopic Mr Turner. He took up painting in order to get ready for the role, and tells the Guardian about his artistic endeavours in an online video.