- The Boca Raton Museum of Art Presents "American Treasures"
- The Whitechapel Gallery Presentations of Art from the British Government's Collection
- The Sammlung Verbund in Vienna Presents Cindy Sherman's Early Works
- The Crocker Art Museum Opens “Edgar Payne ~ The Scenic Journey”
- The Irvine Museum Shows Porcelains & Paintings by Franz A. Bischoff
- Retrospective of video & new works by Santiago Sierra at Lisson Gallery
- The Tel Aviv Museum of Art Showed Contemporary Art From the Teplitzky Collection
- New book "Francesca Woodman, The Roman Years ~ Between Flesh & Film"
- BOZAR Presents a Retrospective of Per Kirkeby & Paintings of Kurt Schwitters
- Our Editor Visits the Musée National d'Histoire et d'Art (MNHA) ~ The National Museum of History and Art (Luxembourg)
- The Fred R. Jones Jr. Museum of Art Reinstalls Their Modern Collection
- New Book Tells How U.S. Soldiers Saved Works of Art During World War II
- The Bank Austria Kunstforum Explores the Fernando Botero Phenomenon
- The Museo Correr Features Julian Schnabel ~ 'Architecture of Seeing'
- Portrait by William Etty York's Most Famous Artist Bought by York Art Gallery
- Augustus John: A Life in Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in London
- Exhibition at Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts Presents "Dreamscapes"
- The Serpentine Gallery presents Richard Hamilton ~ Modern Moral Matters
- The Phillips Collection presents Georgia O'Keeffe ~ Abstraction
- Art Knowledge News Presents "This Week In Review"
Posted: 12 Feb 2012 12:18 AM PST
Boca Raton, Florida.- The Boca Raton Museum of Art announces its season highlight, "American Treasures: Masterworks from the Butler Institute of American Art", featuring 35 works created by renowned American artists. The exhibition will run through March 18, 2012. What characterizes a "treasure" and what defines "greatness" in art? The criteria of a "treasure" – whether historical or contemporary – is decided by history. In these revisionist times, artworks, no matter how important they may have been at the time of their creation, are subject to reassessment of how we view the past. The BRMA opened American Treasures an exhibition featuring thirty-six artworks by renowned American artists. The exhibition offers viewers the opportunity to review two centuries artistic achievement and reflect on the diversity of period styles and individual voices that make up the history of American Art.
These enduring masterworks help illuminate our view of modern and contemporary art, by refreshing our sense of historical aesthetic memory. American Treasures presents exquisite examples of old and modern American masterworks, as a checklist of ideas and social values, hopes, dreams and perceived realities. Included are masterworks by Milton Avery, George Bellows, Albert Bierstadt, Charles Burchfield, Thomas Cole, John Steuart Curry, Thomas Eakins, Adolph Gottlieb, Marsden Hartley, Childe Hassam, Robert Henri, Edward Hopper, Jack Levine, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, Georgia O'Keeffe, Jackson Pollock, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Andy Warhol, and Andrew Wyeth among others. The Butler Institute of American Art, located in Youngstown, Ohio, opened in 1919 as the first museum dedicated exclusively to American art. It is recognized nationally and internationally as one of America's finest art museums, with holdings now exceeding 20,000 individual works, including important masterpieces spanning four centuries.
Deeply rooted in the history of its city, the Boca Raton Museum of Art exemplifies the cultural impact and "ripple effect" of the arts in small towns across America. In Boca Raton, the Museum's roots reach back to the late 1940s, when a group of socially active women came together to form the town's first organization, a civic club, with the goal to build a small library. Two library board members, philanthropist Hildegarde Schine and socialite Roberta MacSpadden had been appointed to organize an Open House. They met in the 1920s Town Hall, where an estimated 1,000 people flooded the Library Open House, which included an exhibition of paintings, borrowed from friends and loaned by galleries from Palm Beach to Miami. There and then, the Library Association decided they should form an organization to further this interest in the fine arts. In 1950, The Art Guild of Boca Raton was born. In 1961, construction of the first Art Guild building commenced, and in the fall of 1962, the Art Guild dedicated the building on Palmetto Park Road that the Museum occupied until January 2001, and that now houses its school of art. Growth and expansion have been steady ever since those first years. Within seven years, the building required an expansion, and three studio classrooms were added. In 1973, the Art Guild officially became a not-for-profit corporation, and twelve years later - in 1985 - changed its name to the Boca Raton Museum of Art. In 1978, the Museum hired its first full-time Director, and began a serious program of collections acquisition and changing exhibitions. By the late 1980s, the Board of Trustees began to address the need for future expansion to accommodate the growth of the Museum's collections.
In late 1997, the Museum made a commitment to build a new facility in downtown Boca Raton's Mizner Park. On January 24, 2001, the new Museum at Mizner Park was officially opened to the public debt-free. The 44,000 square foot facility makes possible increased exhibition, education and collection galleries; to add public meeting and program areas; and to enhance fourfold the Museum's programming capabilities. It is a permanent architectural symbol of the City's pride in its past, commitment to the present, and faith in the future. In June 2001, the Museum began expansion of its Art School on Palmetto Park Road, which now includes eight classrooms and a faculty/student exhibition gallery. The school offers over 100 weekly classes taught by more than 50 highly experienced instructors with annual attendance of nearly 3,000 students of all ages. The Museum continues to attract people of all ages with its permanent and traveling exhibitions, educational gallery, and sculpture garden. Lectures, film & video series, docent and cell phone tours, special events, and children and family programming expand the visitors experience throughout the year. A Grand Hallway, stunning Sculpture Garden and large catering kitchen makes the Boca Raton Museum of Art the ideal place for meetings and social gatherings. As "The Official Fine Arts Museum for the City of Boca Raton." the Museum plays a key role in enhancing the cultural, educational, and economic vitality of Boca Raton and its surrounding communities, and has maintained the reputation of being one of South Florida's leading cultural institutions, attracting more than 200,000 visitors annually to its galleries and programs. Visit the museum's website at ... http://www.bocamuseum.org
Posted: 12 Feb 2012 12:12 AM PST
London.- The Whitechapel Gallery is pleased to present the latest in the series of exhibitions featuring works from the British Government Art Collection, with "Travelling Light", a personal selection chosen by historian and TV presenter Simon Schama, on view through February 26th. The exhibition sees Simon Schama explore ideas of travel in the works of British artists from the 16th century to present day. Britain has always been an island nation of explorers, from aristocrats embarking on the Grand Tour to romantic exiles like Lord Byron. In this display, Schama explores the nature of British culture that longs to go abroad, and the way artists have brought a distinctly British view to their depictions of people and places overseas. Simon Schama said: 'Travelling Light is what British artists have sought and – sometimes – how they've found it. Known for our contrasting characters, we often look inwards to the insular pastoral before breaking loose offshore towards bluer horizons and palmier strands; only to then better understand what it is to be at home. Travelling Light is all about - setting off, trying to picture something, never-quite-catching it but in the process doing something beautiful.'
Posted: 11 Feb 2012 11:56 PM PST
Vienna.- The Sammlung Verbund is proud to present "That's Me - That's Not Me: Early Works by Cindy Sherman" in the vertical gallery at the collection's headquarters through May 16th. Cindy Sherman began studying painting in 1972, at the age of eighteen, at the State University of New York, Buffalo. In 1975, she changed her major from painting to photography. She graduated in 1976 and left Buffalo the following year to move to New York City. Contrary to previous assumptions, the famous "Untitled Film Stills" (1977-1980) were not Sherman's first works. In fact, during the time from 1975 to 1977 in Buffalo, she produced an extensive body of early work that would become the foundation for her future oeuvre. Sherman developed her understanding of the contemporary art movements of the era at Hallwalls, an exhibition center run by the artists themselves, which was founded in November 1974 by Sherman's then boyfriend Robert Longo and Charles Clough.
Posted: 11 Feb 2012 10:13 PM PST
Sacramento, California.- The Crocker Art Museum is proud to present a career-spanning retrospective of the work of Edgar Payne (1883–1947), one of the most gifted of California's early plein-air artists, in the exhibition "Edgar Payne: The Scenic Journey." This exhibition features nearly 100 paintings and drawings, as well as photographs and objects from the artist's studio. The exhibition will be on view at the Crocker from February 11th through May 6th before traveling to additional venues in Pasadena, California and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Payne utilized the animated brushwork, vibrant palette, and shimmering light of Impressionism, but his powerful imagery was unique among artists of his generation. While his contemporaries favored a quieter, more idyllic representation of the natural landscape, Payne was devoted to subjects of rugged beauty. His majestic, vital landscapes are informed by his reverence for the natural world.
Posted: 11 Feb 2012 09:34 PM PST
Irvine, California.- The Irvine Museum is proud to present "Gardens and Grandeur: Porcelains & Paintings by Franz A. Bischoff" on view at the museum through March 8th. The work of Franz A. Bischoff (1864-1929), both in porcelain and easel paintings reflects the highest standards of American art. Furthermore, those works that focus on landscapes encapsulate the unique qualities of California Impressionism by combining great beauty with historical significance and, most of all, a deep reverence for nature. This exhibition was organized and toured by the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Recognized during his career for use of color and vivid composition, his paintings always displayed reverence for nature. One critic commented that some of his later works flirted with Expressionism and his use of colors were reminiscent of Fauvism. Franz Bischoff died of heart failure at home in his adopted city of Pasadena, California on February 5, 1929.
Posted: 11 Feb 2012 08:27 PM PST
LONDON.- Lisson Gallery presents a major retrospective of video and new works by Santiago Sierra. The exhibition features fifty-three videos that fall into three distinctive groups; performance based works, video documents of sculptural projects and programmed films. New works include NO, Global Tour (2011) - a film documenting the manufacture and transportation of a monumental sculpture in the form of the word "NO". Conceived to be understood in as many contexts as possible, the "NO" gradually assumes a complex semantic load during a journey full of eventualities, accidents and unexpected events in various world cities. A three metre high "NO" sculpture accompanies the film's pared down minimalism presenting a powerful portrait of humanity asserting itself everywhere and at all times by forcefully saying: "NO".
Posted: 11 Feb 2012 08:26 PM PST
Tel Aviv, Israel.- The Tel Aviv Museum of Art was pleased to present "Roundabout: Face to Face", viewed at the museum through January 30th. "Roundabout" is an international collection of contemporary art that includes artists from Asia, Australia and New Zealand, as well as from the United States, Israel, Russia and Britain. The exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art featured 60 works by 50 artists, whose art reflects a wide range of cultural, ideological, religious, and political conflicts. The presentation of these works one alongside another constitutes an attempt to foster dialogue between these different artists, and between the various cultural and ideological worldviews underlying their works.
Posted: 11 Feb 2012 07:53 PM PST
ROME.- This superb volume takes a new look at the life and work of Francesca Woodman through a fresh analysis of the photographs and writings from her Roman sojourn. A precocious artist and a figure caught between two cultures –American and Italian– Francesca Woodman reached the acme of her artistic parable in Rome, where she fully defined her aesthetic and stylistic sensibilities. Drawing from extensive research, the author analyzes the relationship of Woodman's work to Surrealism , as well as the artist's use of the body as its own artistic language, and her interest in metamorphosis and the post-mortem, questioning the finality of death and thus also of critical readings that define Woodman's work by the tragic nature of her own death. Readers will come to know her photographs intimately, drawn into the intensely personal conversations which echo through her images.
Posted: 11 Feb 2012 07:52 PM PST
Brussels, Belgium - The Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR) is proud to present "Per Kirkeby and the Forbidden Paintings of Kurt Schwitters" on view at the museum from February 10th through May 20th. The exhibition is centered on a retrospective of the work of Per Kirkeby (born in 1938), one of the key painters of the Danish avant-garde. But just what does avant-garde mean: rupture, minimalism, abstraction, borrowings, subversion? One can find all of those in a prolific body of work that began in the 1960s in the wake of the Fluxus movement. But that is only one aspect of a very diverse oeuvre that draws just as much on the figuration of Danish classicism and the experiments of 19th-century French masters such as Eugène Delacroix. Kirkeby cannot be pigeonholed, nor does he want to be: he prefers to relentlessly question the position and the perceptions of the observer. An artistic process that has seen him turn to different media (canvas, blackboards, paper, bronze, etc.) in an assertion of the freedom he finds, as a trained geologist, in the omnipresence of nature.
It is in this context that the Kurt Schwitters enclave in the exhibition is so relevant. Here, Kirkeby is not confronted with the Dadaist, but with an unfamiliar, figurative Schwitters, in love with landscape. "Forbidden paintings" – from the point of view of the modernist mainstream, that is. The Danish artist recognises in this work his own credo: a visceral assertion of his freedom as an artist.
Per Kirkeby was born in Kopenhagen on 1 October 1938 as the son of an engineer. In 1962 Kirkeby joined the avant-garde art group "Den Ekperimenterende Kunstkole". Per Kirkeby had his first exhibition in Kopenhagen in 1963, his debut as a lyricist followed in 1965. Kirkeby made his first short film "Brigitte Bardot", the first of his 25 films, in 1668, influenced by Andy Warhol's film theory. In 1978 he was appointed professor at the Academy of Arts in Karslruhe, in 1983 he went to the Berlin University of the Arts. Exhibitions like documenta 1972, 1982, 1992 or the Venice Biennale in 1980 and 1982 as well as museums like the MoMA and the Guggenheim Museum in New York or the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven showed Kirkeby's work on a regular basis. In the 1980s Kirkeby worked on monolithic brick sculptures. Kirkeby then became a professor at the Städelschule in Frankfurt/Main in 1988. The artist was also assigned to create eight big bronze sculptures for the German upper house building in 2000.
Kurt Schwitters was born Herman Edward Karl Julius Schwitters on June 20, 1887, in Hannover. He attended the Kunstgewerbeschule in Hannover from 1908 to 1909 and from 1909 to 1914 studied at the Kunstakademie Dresden. After serving as a draftsman in the military in 1917, Schwitters experimented with Cubist and Expressionist styles. In 1918, he made his first collages and in 1919 invented the term "Merz," which he was to apply to all his creative activities: poetry as well as collage and constructions. This year also marked the beginning of his friendships with Jean Arp and Raoul Hausmann. Schwitters's earliest Merzbilder date from 1919, the year of his first exhibition at Der Sturm gallery, Berlin, and the first publication of his writings in the periodical Der Sturm. Schwitters showed at the Société Anonyme in New York in 1920. With Arp, he attended the Kongress der Konstructivisten in Weimar in 1922. There Schwitters met Theo van Doesburg, whose De Stijl principles influenced his work.
Schwitters's Dada activities included his Merz-Matineen and Merz-Abende at which he presented his poetry. From 1923 to 1932, he published the magazine Merz. About 1923, the artist started to make his first Merzbau, a fantastic structure he built over a number of years; the Merzbau grew to occupy much of his Hannover studio. During this period, he also worked in typography. Schwitters was included in the exhibition Abstrakte und surrealistische Malerei und Plastik at the Kunsthaus Zürich in 1929. The artist contributed to the Parisian review Cercle et Carré in 1930. In 1932, he joined the Paris-based Abstraction-Création group and wrote for their organ of the same name. He participated in the Cubism and Abstract Art and Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism exhibitions of 1936 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Nazi regime banned Schwitters's work as "degenerate art" in 1937. This year, the artist fled to Lysaker, Norway, where he constructed a second Merzbau. After the German invasion of Norway in 1940, Schwitters escaped to Great Britain, where he was interned for over a year. He settled in London following his release, but moved to Little Langdale in the Lake District in 1945. There, helped by a stipend from the Museum of Modern Art, he began work on a third Merzbau in 1947. The project was left unfinished when Schwitters died on January 8, 1948, in Kendal, England.
Playing a key role in the cultural life of Brussels for over 70 years, the Palais des Beaux-Arts (or BOZAR) is a not just a home for art exhibitions, but also a mecca for the city's music and dance and also the home to the Belgian National Orchestra. The Palais des Beaux-Arts owes its existence to Henri Le Boeuf, a music-loving financier. He commissioned the architect Victor Horta to design a centre that would bring together multiple artistic disciplines under the one roof. Horta's brief was to design a centre that would house concert halls and exhibition space that would cater for music, theatre, cinema and art. The design had to make art accessible to as many people as possible and in as many different forms as possible, but without compromising on standards. Several challenges were faced by Horta in his design, not least of which was the sloping land he had to work with. The location's close proximity to the Palais Royale also meant that his building was not to allowed to obstruct the palace's line of view down to the city. Horta had therefore to look underground to find his space. It took seven years (from 1922 to 1929) for the art deco complex to be completed, requiring him to alter his plans six times. There are three concert halls: The Henry Le Boeuf Hall seats 2,200 concertgoers and its oval shape is a delight to both the ear and the eye. The 476-seat Chamber Music Room is located under the Great Sculpture Hall. And, there's the Studio which seats 210. In 1962 the Musee du Cinema was established in the Palais. Apart from its fine archive and exhibition of old cameras and lenses, it also screens classic films. There's a range of music, expo, theatre and dance events taking place at the Palais des Beaux-Arts daily. Visit the BOZAR Center's website at ... http://www.bozar.be
Posted: 11 Feb 2012 07:39 PM PST
The Musée National d'Histoire et d'Art (MNHA). The idea of a public museum in Luxembourg dates back to the late 18th century, and at the time Luxembourg was annexed by the French, proposals were put forward for the creation of a "Museum of the Department of Forêts". Although this proposal never came to fruition, the first steps in building a collection were taken, and objects (including an astronomical clock) were removed from public sale in 1796 to form the kernel of the collection. In 1845 historians and artists founded the "Society for Research and Conservation of Monuments in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg" later called the "Archaeological Society". This society maintained and expanded the collection. However, the museum project finally became reality in 1922 through the acquisition of the house-of-Collart Scherff, located in the Marche aux Poissons (old fish market). Over the following years, the museum was able to move into its first permanent home and the collection was expanded, fueled by acquisitions, donations, bequests and loans. In 1958, a purchasing commission was created to build up the collection of modern art. This gradual expansion reached its climax in 2002, with the completion of a new modern building, designed by Christian Bauer and Associates, which more than doubled the exhibition space to 4,500m2. The exhibits are displayed in chronological order over ten floors, half of which are below ground. From the depths of Prehistory to the most recent artistic experiments, the visitor climbs from floor to floor as if walking through the corridors of time. The departments of Decorative Arts and Popular and Traditional Arts are situated in well-preserved townhouses of the 17th and 18th century next to the main museum building. Besides the temporary exhibitions held each year, the museum features all the archeological finds in the country, as well as collections of coins, jewels and pictures. The museum fills 10 floors, and the exhibits are displayed chronologically, beginning with the ones from the prehistoric age. The archaeological collections show the development of the human settlement in Luxembourg from Prehistory to the end of the Middle Ages. Among the highlights are a spectacular series of late iron age aristocratic graves and the sumptuous Roman Muses mosaic discovered in Vichten. The decorative and folk art section goes far beyond its title by capturing the period from 16th to 20th century in other respects also. This results in synergies that contribute to the richness of the overall cultural project. One room showcases a selection of decorative arts from neighboring countries and another room shows paintings on glass from several regions of Europe, but the bulk of the collection is devoted to Luxembourg artifacts. This department is housed in exceptionally well preserved former aristocratic and bourgeois houses that are situated next to the main museum building.The section of Fine Arts is devoted primarily to painting, sculpture and photography. The ancient arts collection includes Italian paintings from the twelfth to the sixteenth century as well as some representatives of the Northern Schools. The collection is also enriched with Flemish paintings of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and several examples of Dutch, French and Italian schools in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The collection of modern and contemporary art provides an overview of various trends that have travelled the twentieth century and focuses on impressionism, neo-impressionism, cubism, abstraction, surrealism, the School of Paris, and New Figuration. Stand-out works include the famed Rosso Fiorentino's Bacchus, Venus and Love (1530-1531), as well as modern works depicting various aspects of the daily life in Luxembourg. Visit the museum's website at : www.mnha.public.lu
The collection of modern and contemporary art provides an overview of various trends that have traveled the twentieth century and focuses on impressionism, neo-impressionism, cubism, abstraction, surrealism, the School of Paris, and New Figuration. Currently the MNHA is showing "The Age of Symbolism in Latvia" (until 27th March 2011) - a selection of works from the most important Latvian symbolists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Velvety impressions, gray-white landscapes and strange and mysterious scenes: a selection of some 50 works including works by the classic Latvian painters Janis Rozentals, Vilhelms Purvitis, Johans Valters, Jekabs Belzens, Aleksandrs Romans and Rudolfs Perle, ranging from the end of the 19th century to the Second World War. The collection additionally features drawings and graphic works by Adams Alksnis, Alise Dmitrijeva, Peters Krastinš, Janis Rozentals, Teodors Uders and Rihards Zarinš. Symbolism as an art movement emerged in cosmopolitan atmosphere of late 19th century Western Europe, and its essence is associated with general human ideas; however, in Latvian art, expression is also given to the spirit of the time, reflecting on the direction of the national art towards creative maturity. Its multi-layered language, synthesizing influences from German, Finnish and French art, was created with the contribution of the Art Nouveau style. The human image is found not only in portraits of the artists' contemporaries, but also in studies of mythology and folklore, while nature is expressed through the colorful landscapes of the Latvian countryside, forests and rivers in the light of the northern dusk.
Posted: 11 Feb 2012 07:38 PM PST
Oklahoma City.- In preparation of the reopening of the museum's Stuart Wing in October 2011, the Sandy Bell Gallery of the Fred R. Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma will be reinstalled with selected works from the permanent collection of modern and contemporary art, as well as works on loan from a private collector. Works by Leon Polk Smith, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha and other important contemporary artists will be included in the installation. The opening reception on June 3rd and 4th will feature a special choreographed dance inspired by Rauschenberg's "The Lotus Series" and a live concert in conjunction with the Norman Music Festival.
Posted: 11 Feb 2012 07:37 PM PST
NEW YORK, NY.- Farrar, Straus and Giroux, recently published The Venus Fixers : The Untold Story of the Allied Soldiers Who Saved Italy's Art During World War II. In 1943, with the world convulsed by war and a Fascist defeat in Europe far from certain, a few visionaries—civilians and soldiers alike—saw past questions of life and death to realize that victory wasn't the only thing at stake. So was the priceless cultural heritage of thousands of years. In the midst of the conflict, the Allied Forces appointed the monuments officers—a motley group of art historians, curators, architects, and artists—to ensure that the great masterworks of European art and architecture were not looted or bombed into oblivion. The journalist Ilaria Dagnini Brey focuses her spellbinding account on the monuments officers of Italy, quickly dubbed "the Venus Fixers" by bemused troops.
Posted: 11 Feb 2012 07:36 PM PST
Vienna.- The Bank Austria Kunstforum is proud to host the first ever comprehensive presentation in Austria of the painted oeuvre by the Columbian painter and sculptor Fernando Botero (b. 1932 in Medellín). "Botero", on view at the gallery until January 15th 2012, includes 70 paintings ranging from the late 1950s until today telescope a view for us into Botero's artistic universe. The artist interprets his portraits, nudes and still life with allusions to his South American origins. They are pictures of seeming cheer and innocuousness, but at the same time are ambivalent and infused with dark, unfathomable cunning. Botero has been astonishing the world now for more than fifty years with his opulent, "blown up" figures, whose aesthetics as it were contradict the precise rendition of form and colour. Botero does nothing other than force art history to question its own canon. The exhibition includes the sensational Abu Ghraib Cycle of 2004/2005 and explores the "phenomenon of Botero", which is today more topical than ever.
The exhibition is sectioned into various chapters: Everyday Life in South America, Catholicism, Bull Fight, or paraphrases of the most famous works in the history of art – images in which the sensuousness of life keeps colliding with its transience. "I am the most Columbian among Columbian artists," says Fernando Botero. He makes us understand with incredible consistency what a picture has to achieve according to his ideas: an unambiguous message, a dialogue between artist and observer that is unequivocally understood. Botero's subjects seem to come from another age and are full of melancholy and nostalgia. In this way Botero – exactly like contemporary South American literature and music – is placed entirely in the tradition of his home continent.
His figures have the effect of being captured in an anachronism: they exist unconcernedly, they eat, drink, play cards, go for walks, sew, weep, go on picnics; they always seem isolated, plunged into some world deep inside themselves. Botero moreover inserts metaphors of impending threat into his pictures – such as erupting volcanoes or collapsing buildings – which turn the seeming idyll upside down into the negative. The reproach, also repeatedly made by art critics, that Botero deals only with cosy and "appetising" motifs, is not true by any stretch of the imagination, as is proven above all in his Abu Ghraib Cycle. Here the artist wants to bear emotional witness to the shame that rises when watching the terrible scenes of torture perpetrated by US American soldiers. With this cycle Botero brought political events of everyday into his art.
Fernando Botero was born the second of three children in Medellín, in the mountains of Colombia. His parents were David Botero and Flora Angulo. David Botero, a salesman who traveled by horseback, died when the boy was age four, and his mother worked as a seamstress. An uncle took a major role in his life. Although isolated from art as presented in museums and other cultural institutes, Botero was influenced by the Baroque style of the colonial churches and then the rich life of the city. In 1944, after Botero attended a Jesuit school, Botero's uncle sent him to a school for matadors for two years. In 1948, at the age of 16, Botero published his first illustrations in the Sunday supplement of the El Colombiano daily paper. He used the money he was paid to attend high school at the Liceo de Marinilla de Antioquia. His first solo show was held at the Galería Leo Matiz in Bogotá, a few months after his arrival. In 1952, Botero travelled with a group of artists to Barcelona, where he stayed briefly before moving on to Madrid. In Madrid, Botero studied at the Academia de San Fernando. In 1952, he traveled to Bogotá, where he had a solo exhibit at the Leo Matiz gallery. Later that year, he won the ninth edition of the Salón de Artistas Colombianos.
In 1953, Botero moved to Paris, where he spent most of his time in the Louvre, studying the works there. He lived in Florence, Italy from 1953 to 1954, studying the works of Renaissance masters. In recent decades, he has lived most of the time in Paris, but spends one month a year in his native city of Medellín. He has had more than 50 exhibits in major cities worldwide, and his work commands selling prices in the millions of dollars. While his work includes still-lifes and landscapes, Botero has concentrated on situational portraiture. His paintings and sculptures are united by their proportionally exaggerated, or "fat" figures, as he once referred to them. Botero is an abstract artist in the most fundamental sense, choosing colors, shapes, and proportions based on intuitive aesthetic thinking. Though he spends only one month a year in Colombia, he considers himself the "most Colombian artist living" due to his insulation from the international trends of the art world.
In 1980, with the support and backing of the popular Viennese actor Heinz Conrad, the first exhibitions were organised in the former banking hall of the Österreichische Creditanstalt für Handel und Gewerbe (Austrian Bank of Trade and Commerce), premises built in 1914, which was then standing empty. The curtain-raiser was a comprehensive show on Austria's cultural and intellectual history from 1880 to 1980: "Aufbruch in die Moderne" (Starting out into the Modern Age), curated by Rupert Feuchtmüller and organised by Ivo Stanek, which attracted 28,000 visitors. Subsequent exhibitions, such as "Fotografis" – a presentation of the superlative photograph collection of the Länderbank, as it was then called – also proved to be great attractions for the public. The success of these exhibitions was as surprising as it was overwhelming, so that the director of the Länderbank and later Federal Chancellor Franz Vranitzky initiated a resolution to set up a permanent exhibition venue oriented on international standards – the Länderbank Kunstforum was born, and the present director of the Albertina, Klaus Albrecht Schröder, was its first director. In 1988, the Austrian star architect Gustav Peichl was commissioned to design the first reconstruction of the Kunstforum, making it the most modern exhibition building in Austria at the time.
The re-opening was in March 1989 with "Egon Schiele und seine Zeit" (Egon Schiele and his Time). This exhibition attracted 186,000 visitors and was successful not only in Vienna; it created a sensation on tour in London, Munich and Wuppertal. The Schiele exhibition in the Kunstforum was the first major debut of the then little known Leopold Collection; it thus functioned as a booster for the Austrian Republic to purchase the collection and set up the present-day Leopoldmuseum. Since then, the objective of the Kunstforum has been very clearly defined: the presentation of international top exhibitions on classical modern art and its forerunners: Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka, J. M. W. Turner, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Kazimir Malevich, Kurt Schwitters, Wassily Kandinsky, Tamara de Lempicka and many more. Visit the gallery's website at ... http://www.bankaustria-kunstforum.at
Posted: 11 Feb 2012 07:35 PM PST
VENICE.- The Museo Correr in Venice presents a major exhibition dedicated to Julian Schnabel, the famed New York artist and eclectic creative spirit. The exhibition is on view from 4 June to 27 November. The show "Julian Schnabel. Permanently Becoming and the Architecture of Seeing" is produced and organized by Arthemisia Group in collaboration with Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, and staged thanks to the key contribution of Maybach, the event's main sponsor, and BNL Gruppo BNP Paribas.
Posted: 11 Feb 2012 07:34 PM PST
YORK, UK - One of the finest portraits ever painted by York 's most famous artist has been purchased by York Art Gallery. William Etty's ambitious Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball was commissioned in 1833 by MP Charles Watkin Williams–Wynn and depicts two of the patron's five daughters. It is one of only a handful of society portraits painted by the artist. The acquisition was made possible thanks to the generosity of Friends of York Art Gallery - which gave £44,000, independent charity The Art Fund - which provided £40,000, the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund which gave £35,000, and £1,000 from the Tomasso Brothers. The painting will go on show in the gallery in the next few weeks.
Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1835, and depicts Charlotte and Mary Williams-Wynn, the daughters of the Hon. Charles Watkins Williams-Wynn MP. Charlotte, the eldest daughter, is shown helping to decorate her younger sister's hair with a ribbon and a rose. The theme of the work reflects the popularity such events had acquired in the period. Indeed, in September 1835 York hosted one of the biggest fancy dress balls the country had ever seen, when Princess Victoria, soon to be Queen Victoria , visited the city with her mother. The ball was held at York 's Assembly Rooms and newspaper reviews of the period vividly describe the 'wonderful variety' of costumes on display, which included a mixture of the 'fanciful', the 'outlandish', and the 'ridiculous'. The choice of dress in the painting responds to Etty's passion for Italy , and particularly Venice , which he had visited in 1822.
Andrew Macdonald, Acting Director of The Art Fund, said: "This striking painting with its warm tones and lively subject matter will be instantly attractive to visitors at York Art Gallery . Etty's York roots make the acquisition doubly significant and The Art Fund is pleased to be helping to bring the work home."
Laura Turner, curator of art at York Art Gallery , said: "This is a remarkable painting and we are delighted that it will now be enjoyed here in the artist's home city. It is a captivating work of art and shows another side to Etty and the variety of commissions he undertook. We could not have purchased this work without the fantastic support of the funders who saw the importance of this work coming to York . We would especially like to thank the Friends of York Art Gallery who have donated their biggest ever grant."
Born in York in 1787, William Etty spent several years as an apprentice to the printer Thomas Peck at the Hull Packet before entering the Royal Academy schools in London in 1806. During the 1820s Etty made several trips abroad, visiting France , Italy and the Low Countries . He completed the the Grand Tour in 1824, spending several months in Venice . Encounters with the Venetian masters helped shape his distinctive painting style, characterised by a rich colour palette.
Etty is nowadays best known for his nude paintings. Yet throughout his career he continued to paint portraits, often of his friends and associates and later in life he began to paint landscapes and still lives. Etty retained close links with his home city of York , campaigning for a new school of design and fighting to save the historic buildings and city walls. In 1911 a statue of Etty was erected in Exhibition Square , in front of York art gallery and the artist is still one of York 's most famous sons.
Preparing for a Fancy Dress Ball is a significant addition to the gallery's Etty collection, the largest public holding of his works in Britain . Part of this collection, together with loans from across the country will feature in the gallery's exhibition on the artist in summer 2011. Visit : http://www.yorkartgallery.org.
Posted: 11 Feb 2012 07:33 PM PST
LONDON.- A new display at the National Portrait Gallery will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Augustus John, one of the most celebrated British artists of the early 20th century. Regarded as an outstanding painter and draughtsman, he was a leading portraitist of his day and his lifestyle epitomized that of the bohemian artist. The display of portraits of the artist drawn from the Gallery's Collection includes photographs by Alvin Coburn, Howard Coster, Bill Brandt, Yousuf Karsh, Norman Parkinson, Ida Kar and Cecil Beaton. Charting his early career, relationships, his fascination with Romany culture, and his success and reputation as an artist the display will also include pivotal figures from his life including Dorelia McNeill, Lady Ottoline Morrell and Talitha Pol. Associated with the New English Art Club and the Camden Town Group he remained largely independent from artistic trends and movements and his sitters included many of his most distinguished contemporaries such as George Bernard Shaw and T.E. Lawrence.
Posted: 11 Feb 2012 07:32 PM PST
ST. LOUIS, MO.- The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts presents "Dreamscapes", on view February 11–August 13, 2011. This exhibition incites questions about the act of dreaming—a succession of thoughts, images, sounds or emotions, which the mind experiences during sleep. The artworks on view and their juxtaposition with Tadao Ando's architecture offer new ways to think about the content and purpose of dreams on numerous levels: physiological, psychological, cultural and spiritual. The concept behind the exhibition began with the Pulitzer's Watercourt. Its meditative reflecting pool and hewed boulder - Scott Burton's Rock Settee (1988-89) - create an insular dreamscape in the middle of our city. A glass wall divides the Watercourt from the rest of the Pulitzer building.
Similarly, René Magritte's Le monde invisible (The Invisible World) (1954) depicts an incongruous boulder in a room with open glass doors that frame a waterscape beyond. This painting, along with others depicting boulders floating in air, create a unified yet disorienting space out of both the Entrance Gallery and the adjacent Watercourt. Mimicked is a dream that presents ambiguity between indoor and outdoor spaces, refutes gravity's powers, and shuffles a mundane object like a boulder into different settings.
The Main Gallery presents a compelling, stylistically diverse group of twentieth-century works. Paintings by Paul Delvaux and Max Ernst appear alongside those by Philip Guston and Joan Miró, offering viewers a range of fantastic visions and disconcerting scenes. Visitors entering the Cube Gallery may experience the sensation of walking into a dreamer's world when they become immersed in the vibrant red hue of Do Ho Suh's Staircase, custom-fitted in Korea for this exhibition. The translucent red nylon staircase, disembodied from its original domestic and geographic context, subverts the rational mind's desire to think logically and make valid judgments about objects in space.
Featured in the Lower Gallery is a selection of images created before 1900 that explore dreaming and dream imagery. Albrecht Dürer's The Dream of the Doctor (1498–99), Max Klinger's Glove Cycle (1881), and Katharina Fritsch's enlarged reproductions of nineteenth-century newspaper illustrations (2007-2008) reveal nightmarish personifications of human fears and desires, all of which prefigure the dream symbolism of Freudian and Jungian psychoanalysis.
Numerous dream experiences occur unexpectedly in the smaller spaces and passageways of the Pulitzer. Visitors are invited to pick up a receiver from one of the telephones located deep within the recesses of the building and listen to the raspy, estranged voice of contemporary artist Janet Cardiff as she recalls a dream she had just moments before waking.
Posted: 11 Feb 2012 07:31 PM PST
LONDON.- To start its 40th anniversary year, the Serpentine Gallery presents Richard Hamilton: Modern Moral Matters, a solo exhibition by one of the world's most respected living artists. This will be the first major presentation of Hamilton's work in London since 1992 and will include several new works created especially for the Serpentine Gallery exhibition. Richard Hamilton has embraced many different media since the 1950s, including painting, printmaking, installation, typography and industrial design. This major exhibition will reassess the nature of the British artist's pioneering contribution, focusing on Hamilton's political, or 'protest', works. On view 3 March through 25 April, 2010.
Posted: 11 Feb 2012 07:30 PM PST
WASHINGTON, DC - Although painter Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986), a central figure in 20th-century art, is best known for simplified images of recognizable objects, her contributions to American abstraction over the course of her long career were radical. Her approach-in paintings, drawings, and watercolors-was determined in 1915, when she decided that her art would record her feelings, rather than the appearance of things. For the remainder of her career, she looked to art, whether abstract or objective, to express emotions for which words seemed inadequate. On view through 9 May, 2010 at The Phillips Collection.
In her first abstractions, a series of non-objective charcoal drawings, O'Keeffe reduced her palette to black and white. She filled her compositions with fluid, curvilinear forms reminiscent of Art Nouveau. In 1916, responding to the elemental landscape of western Texas, O'Keeffe reintroduced color into her watercolors. By magnifying and tightly cropping her images, a framing device used by photographers, she found the means to express simultaneously the vastness of nature, the immensity of her own response to it, and a powerful sense of being one with it.
Two years later, seeking recognition as a painter in the circle of modern art dealer and photographer Alfred Stieglitz, she moved to New York and took up oils again.
Unwelcome critical interpretations of her work as expressive of her sexuality and a limited market for abstraction led O'Keeffe to turn away from pure abstraction in the 1920s and 1930s. After 1923, she rarely showed her early abstractions. Indeed, between 1935 and 1941, she produced no abstractions at all. Beginning in 1929, O'Keeffe spent long stretches of time in New Mexico, finally moving there in 1949. It proved to be an inexhaustible source of subjects for her mature works. She approached these as she had her most abstract works, through her feelings, using many of the same stylistic means. As she said, "I had to create an equivalent for what I felt about what I was looking at-not copy it."
Likely stung when critic Clement Greenberg trounced her in 1940 for having chosen representation over abstraction, O'Keeffe returned to it in1942, painting forms she found in the natural world that corresponded to abstract forms in her imagination. With the market more receptive to abstract art, she began to exhibit her abstractions again. By the late 1950s and 1960s she was working almost exclusively in an abstract style, in mural-sized aerial views of clouds and a minimalist, geometric series of patio door paintings. The fields of color of her radical late works set a precedent for a younger generation of abstract artists in the 1960s.
Included in the exhibition are more than 100 paintings, drawings, and watercolors by O'Keeffe, dating from 1915 to the late 1970s, and 12 photographic portraits of her by her husband, Alfred Stieglitz.
In conjunction with Georgia O'Keeffe: Abstraction, co-organized by The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe.
The courtyard includes two major works of art. Ellsworth Kelly's Untitled, 2005, is a large-scale bronze that was commissioned specifically for the courtyard. Mounted on the back wall, it is the first work by Kelly in the museum's collection.
Dual Form, installed near the gallery entrance to the courtyard, is a 1965 work by the British artist Barbara Hepworth. It was acquired by The Phillips Collection in 2006.
Posted: 11 Feb 2012 07:29 PM PST
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