Crikey Worm: terror plane plot thickens, marriage equality back on the agenda, and Mooch out 

By Charlie Lewis

Good morning, early birds. Further details have emerged on the Sydney terrorist plot to bring down a plane, while the marriage equality push escalates, and the Donald and the Mooch part ways. It’s the the news you need to know, with Charlie Lewis and Max Chalmers.

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Matisse in the Studio review – genius crowded out by bric-a-brac

By Jonathan Jones

Royal Academy, London
Instead of providing insight into the mind of Matisse, this collection of the artist’s antique chairs and chocolate pots belittles his art and highlights his conservatism

The women who posed for Henri Matisse are long gone. A black and white photograph, taken in 1928, portrays a model known as Zita reclining in culottes amid a carefully contrived boudoir of colourful throws and hangings – at least we imagine the furnishings and her clothes were colourful when this was a living world, instead of its silvery monochrome echo. Matisse sits by her bed, bearded and bespectacled, sketchbook in hand. Zita looks at him with what might be dry amusement. The photographer wondered about their relationship, and so do we. Yet it is gone, that human electricity.

Related: How to paint happiness: a masterclass from Matisse

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How art is being used to explore America's shameful legacy of lynching

By Anna Furman

A new exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum examines the history of racial persecution in the US while steering clear of explicit violence

In eerie, welded sculptures, tar-coated gold panels and a menacing piano affixed to a tree, a set of black American artists explore the history of racially motivated violence in the US in a new exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America – now on view – traces the connective links between slavery, segregation and mass incarceration.

Related: Why Kara Walker’s incendiary slavery art is as relevant as ever

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If we find Chris Lilley’s blackface racist (and it is), what do we make of Sacha Baron Cohen? 

By Luke Buckmaster

Chris Lilley offensive

The offensive Chris Lilley performance nobody talks about — and why his comedy is graceless.

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