- The Kimbell Art Museum Shows "The Age of Impressionism ~ Great French Paintings from the Clark"
- Paris' Decorative Arts Museum honors two men, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs
- The Amon Carter Museum exhibits "The Watercolors of Charles M. Russell"
- The Museum of Fine Arts Houston to Show First Exhibition Devoted to Willem van Aelst
- FotoFest Presents Russian Artists and Exhibitions for its 2012 Biennial in Houston
- The ArtScience Museum in Singapore to Exhibit "Andy Warhol ~ 15 Minutes Eternal"
- L’Hôtel des Ventes in Geneva Announces Major Spring Auctions
- Heather James Fine Art opens "Earl Cunningham ~ American Fauve"
- The Norman Rockwell Museum hosts "Everett Raymond Kinstler ~ Pulps to Portraits"
- The Art Gallery of Alberta Shows "Alberta Mistresses of the Modern"
- The Weinstein Gallery Opens ~ "Surrealism: New Worlds", A Major Exhibition
- Takashi Murakami retrospective at The Brooklyn Museum
- Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein Shows Works From the Migros Museum of Contemporary Art
- Renowned Multi-faceted German Artist Sigmar Polke Dies at Age 69
- Kurt Wenner Creates 3D Chalk Illusions In New York & Worldwide
- Bellevue Arts Museum Showcases Major Northwest Artists
- Cabinet Secrets ~ Exhibition of Prints and Drawings at Tel Aviv Museum of Art
- The Anchorage Museum to Show Preston Singletary's Tlingit Inspires Glassworks
- Francois Pinault opens The New Punta della Dogana Contemporary Art Centre in Venice
- This Week in Review in Art Knowledge News
Posted: 10 Mar 2012 09:45 PM PST
Fort Worth, Texas.- The Kimbell Art Museumis proud to present "The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Clark", on view at the museum from March 11th through June 17th. With "The Age of Impressionism", the Kimbell Art Museum presents the first-ever international touring exhibition of masterpieces from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institutein Williamstown, Massachusetts.
The Clark is best known for its holdings in French Impressionist painting, which include over thirty works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The seventy-three paintings in the exhibition include twenty-one by Renoir, along with four by Edgar Degas, two by Edouard Manet, six by Claude Monet, two by Berthe Morisot, seven by Camille Pissarro, and four by Alfred Sisley. Accompanying these will be works by other prominent French painters of the period, including William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Camille Corot, Paul Gauguin, Jean-Léon Gérome, Jacques-Joseph Tissot, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Many are celebrated masterpieces that visitors will recognize from reproductions even if they have never made the pilgrimage to Williamstown to see them in the flesh.
The exhibition offers not only a feast of French nineteenth-century painting but also an insight into the personality and taste of the remarkable collectors who founded the Clark Art Institute. Sterling Clark was an heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune. Active from the 1910s to the 1950s, he and his wife Francine assembled an outstanding collection of paintings, sculpture, and drawings, as well as British silver and European porcelain. Their range extended not only to Impressionism, but also to Renaissance paintings and to American works, one of the most famous of which is John Singer Sargent's Fumée d'Ambre Gris, an early venture in "Orientalist" subject matter. They founded the Clark Art Institute as a showcase for their collection in 1955. Although the Clark's holdings have been expanded greatly since then, notably through the addition of a growing collection of early photography, its scope and character continue to represent the interests of the founders. Among the highlights of The Age of Impressionism is one of the most beautiful of Degas's behind-the-scenes paintings of ballet dancers, Dancers in the Classroom, its off-centered composition reflecting the artist's love of Japanese woodblock prints. The scintillating landscape paintings most closely associated with the Impressionist movement––with their near-magical re-creation of natural light effects––are strongly represented by such works as Monet's The Cliffs at Étretat. The Renoirs are virtually an exhibition within the exhibition, representing the range of his subject matter and the evolution of his style from the 1870s to the 1890s. They include some of the most sensuous and seductive of all his works––unabashed celebrations of youth and beauty such as A Box at the Theater and Child with a Bird. Meanwhile, paintings such as Gérome's The Snake Charmer give a sense of the smooth realism and high "finish" beloved of more conservative taste during the Impressionist era. It is to the credit of the Clarks that they were open to such artists as well as to the Impressionist avant-garde who were their greatest passion. "Academic, yes, tight, yes," Sterling Clark said of the Gérome, "but what drawing and mastery of the art."
Set amidst 140 bucolic acres in the picturesque Berkshires, the Clark is now both a major art museum and a leading center for research and scholarship. It offers an international fellowship program and regular conferences, symposia, and colloquia. The occasion for the present exhibition is the launch of a further phase in its ongoing campus expansion program, during which the paintings would otherwise have had to be put into storage. The exhibition is touring for a period of three years (2011–14) and will be shown at major venues in Italy, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, and China. The Kimbell is its only American venue. At the Kimbell it follows in a series of exhibitions that celebrate the great Impressionist collections of the world, from the landmark presentation of the Barnes Collection in 1994 to the exclusive showing of the Art Institute of Chicago's Impressionist holdings in 2008. The 240-page catalogue that accompanies the exhibition features essays by James A. Ganz and Richard R. Brettell. Ganz provides an introduction to the life and collecting of Sterling Clark, and Brettell discusses the Clarks in relation to other great American collectors of the early twentieth century.
The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, hosts a small but excellent art collection as well as traveling art exhibitions, educational programs and an extensive research library. Its initial artwork came from the private collection of Kay and Velma Kimbell, who also provided funds for a new building to house it. Kay left much of his estate to the Kimbell Art Foundation, and Velma bequeathed her share of the estate to the foundation as well, with the key directive to "build a museum of the first class." Construction for the Kimbell Art Museum began in the summer of 1969. The new building opened in October 1972 and quickly achieved an international reputation for architectural excellence. The museum's first director also expanded the Kimbell collection by acquiring several works of significant quality by artists like Duccio, El Greco, Rubens, and Rembrandt. In 2007 the Kimbell announced plans to construct an additional, separate building across the lawn from the original building. Designed by Renzo Piano, the new structure is expected to be completed in 2013. The museum's collection today consists of only about 350 works of art, but they are of notably high quality. The European collection is the most extensive in the museum and includes Michelangelo's first known work, "The Torment of Saint Anthony", the only painting by Michelangelo on exhibit in the Americas. It also includes works by Duccio, Fra Angelico, Mantegna, El Greco, Carracci, Caravaggio, Peter Paul Rubens, Guercino, La Tour, Poussin, Velázquez, Rembrandt, Boucher, Gainsborough, Vigée-Lebrun, Friedrich (the first painting by the artist acquired by a public collection outside of Europe), Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, Gutave Caillebotte, Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrianand Pablo Picasso. Works from the classical period include antiquities from Egypt, Assyria, Greece and Rome. The Asian collection comprises sculptures, paintings, bronzes, ceramics, and works of decorative art from China, Korea, Japan, India, Nepal, Tibet, Cambodia, and Thailand. Precolumbian art is represented by Maya works in ceramic, stone, shell, and jade, Olmec, Zapotec, and Aztec sculpture, as well as pieces from the Conte and Huari cultures. The African collection consists primarily of bronze, wood, and terracotta sculpture from West and Central Africa, including examples from Nigeria, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Oceanic art is represented by a Maori figure. The museum does not own any pieces created after the mid-20th century (believing that era to be the province of its neighbor, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth) or any American art (believing that to be the province of its other neighbor, the Amon Carter Museum). The museum also houses a substantial library with over 59,000 books, periodicals and auction catalogs that is available as a resource to art historians and to faculty and graduate students from surrounding universities. Visit the museum's website at ... https://www.kimbellart.org
Posted: 10 Mar 2012 09:44 PM PST
PARIS (AP).- "Fashions fade, style is eternal," Yves Saint Laurent once said. An immutable fashion list must include the LV Vuitton bag, on display demurely but proudly in Paris' Decorative Arts Museum like the historical artifact it should be. The bag pattern was first patented in 1877 but it can still be seen — almost unchanged — on the Parisian boulevards more than 130 years later. This is thanks to house founder Louis Vuitton, and since 1997, creative director Marc Jacobs. Both their stories are woven together in a colorful exhibit that spans over a century of fashion history. The exhibit takes the visitor from the founder's humble beginnings as a case-packer to the fantastical runway shows that transformed the house into one of the world's biggest names, with a revenue last year of euro2.5 billion. Though both men are from different centuries, the exhibition asks whether they have more in common than meets the eye. The exhibit "Louis Vuitton-Marc Jacobs" runs from March 9 to Sept. 16.
Posted: 10 Mar 2012 09:44 PM PST
Fort Worth, Texas.- The Amon Carter Museum is proud to present "Romance Maker: The Watercolors of Charles M. Russell" on view at the museum on now through May 13th. More than 100 of the finest and best-preserved watercolors by Charles M. Russell (1864–1926) will be featured in this special exhibition. Never before have so many of these singular depictions of the Old West been brought together Russell's advice to a fellow artist to "sinch your saddle on romance" defined his work, where vivid subjects culled from his own youthful experiences were fused with the power of his artistic imagination to create unforgettable images of the mythic American frontier. Russell died on October 24, 1926 at his home in Great Falls, Montana. Charlie Russell completed approximately 4,000 works of art during his lifetime. He was the first "Western" artist to live the majority of his life in the West. For this reason, Charlie knew his subject matter intimately, setting the standard for many western artists to follow.
Posted: 10 Mar 2012 09:13 PM PST
Houston, Texas.- The Museum of Fine Arts Houston is proud to present "Elegance and Refinement: The Still-Life Paintings of Willem van Aelst", on view at the museum from March 11th through May 28th 2012. This is the first-ever exhibition devoted to 17th-Century Dutch painter Willem van Aelst and premieres at the museum before travelling to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Co-organized by the MFAH, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, "Elegance and Refinement: The Still-Life Paintings of Willem van Aelst" features 28 of the artist's finest works culled from private and public collections in the United States and Europe. Recognized as one of the leading painters in the Dutch Republic during the "Golden Age" of Dutch painting, he was largely forgotten by the 19th century. The exhibition aims to restore Van Aelst's stature by showcasing his technical brilliance, attention to detail and ingenious brushwork for 21st-century audiences to discover.
Posted: 10 Mar 2012 08:55 PM PST
Houston, Texas.- The FotoFest 2012 Biennial to be held between March 16th and April 29th is the Fourteenth International Biennial of Photography and Photo-related Art, and it is the United States' first and longest-running international photographic art event. The Biennial explores modern and contemporary Russian photographic history over the last five decades, from the post-Stalinist period of the 1950s to the present day. Three main exhibitions, created for the FotoFest 2012 Biennial, present three periods of Russian modern and contemporary photography, with the works of 142 artists from Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine: After Stalin, "The Thaw", The Re-emergence of the Personal Voice (1950s-1970s), Perestroika, Liberalization and Experimentation (1980s-2010), and The Young Generation (2009-2012). Of the works, on loan from private collections and the archives of the artists themselves, many are being shown for the first time outside of Russia.
With a population of 143 million people, Russia spans two continents and nine time zones, while its citizens speak 28 languages. It is a global powerhouse fitfully engaged with capitalism, consumerism and an ongoing struggle to define itself as a modern nation in the context of its own history and culture.
FotoFest's 2012 Biennial will serve to introduce an international audience to never- or little-before-seen contemporary Russian art practice and culture through the medium of photography. The three main FotoFest 2012 Biennial exhibitions feature 800 historic and contemporary works including classical photography, video and mixed-media installations. These exhibitions look at the evolution of creative photographic art in Russia from the beginning of "The Thaw" through the late 1970s, the early and late periods of Perestroika reforms (late 1980s to 2010), to the current period (2009-2011). These exhibitions are accompanied by a special exhibition of Soviet photojournalists who were winners of World Press Photo Awards from 1950-1991. An international team of curators from Russia and the United States has organized the main Biennial exhibitions. The Russian curators are Evgeny Berezner, head of the "In Support of Photography in Russia" Project, The Iris Foundation, Moscow; Irina Chmyreva, Senior Researcher at the Russian Academy of Fine Arts; and Natalia Tarasova, a writer and cultural affairs consultant for the "In Support of Photography in Russia" Project. Leading figures in Russian photography and culture, Mr. Berezner, Dr. Chmyreva and Ms. Tarasova have organized more than 200 exhibitions with Russian artists over the past 15 years. The Russian curators are joined by Wendy Watriss, Senior Curator and Artistic Director of FotoFest.
Portfolio Review for Artists. Four Artist-Curator Forums will feature dialogues between exhibiting Russian artists and the Russian curators. Russian artists will present artist books at special book signings in conjunction with the portfolio review. The Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the Russian Cultural Center "Our Texas" are organizing a Russian Film Program of feature films and documentaries in April 2012. A public performing arts event Russian Spring Celebration will be presented with the Russian Cultural Center "Our Texas," featuring Russian music and dance at Downtown Houston's Discovery Green Park in April 2012. Concurrent with FotoFest's own exhibitions of Contemporary Russian Photography, over 100 independent venues, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Menil Collection, and the city's major commercial art galleries, will participate in the 2012 Biennial by mounting exhibitions of photography. FotoFest's pioneering Meeting Place, Portfolio Review for Artists is the largest and most international event of its kind in the world: It brings together 500 artists from 33 countries to show their work to 200 leading curators, gallery directors, publishers and collectors from around the world.
The Meeting Place takes place March 16 – April 3, 2012 at FotoFest's Headquarters Hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Houston Downtown. As part of the Meeting Place, FotoFest sponsors four public Evenings with the Artist - Open Portfolio Nights, where the public is invited to meet with artists participating in the Meeting Place, view their portfolios, and possibly buy work. Throughout the first three weeks of the Biennial, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and photoEye in Santa Fe, NM, will have Bookstores with rare, vintage and contemporary photo books for sale. FotoFest will sponsor eight artist and curator Book Signings as well. The bookstores are located at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel with the Meeting Place. FotoFest's three Workshops on media and photography are open to the public and participants in the Meeting Place Portfolio Reviews at the DoubleTree Hotel.
In conjunction with the Meeting Place, a special and popular part of the Biennial is FotoFest's exhibition of work from the previous Biennial's portfolio reviews. Envisioned as a showcase for some of the best work discovered at the Biennial portfolio review, the 2012 Discoveries of the Meeting Place presents work chosen by ten reviewer/curators from the 2010 Meeting Place. It is the ninth exhibition of this series. Like the Meeting Place itself, the Discoveries exhibitions often travel beyond Houston and have been a launching pad for many photographic careers. Visit the Fotofest website at ... www.fotofest.org/2012biennial
Posted: 10 Mar 2012 08:38 PM PST
Singapore.- The ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands is proud to present "Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal" on view from March 17th through August 12th. "Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal" is the largest retrospective of Warhol's artwork to travel to Asia, spanning his career from the 1940s to 1980s. The exhibition is arranged by decade and features more than 300 paintings, photographs, screen prints, drawings, and sculptures. The exhibition, sponsored by BNY Mellon and curated by The Warhol Museum, chronicles the breadth of Warhol's career and demonstrates the scope of his interests. It will travel to five Asian cities over 27 months. Following Singapore, the exhibition will then tour to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, and finally Tokyo in 2014. Iconic works in the exhibition include "Jackie" (1964), "Marilyn Monroe" (1967), "Silver Liz" (1963), "Mao" (1972), "Campbell's Soup" (1961), "The Last Supper" (1986), and "Self-Portrait" (1986).
Posted: 10 Mar 2012 07:46 PM PST
Geneva, Switzerland.- The major spring sales at the l'Hôtel des Ventes in Geneva will take place from 12th to 15th March, with an overall estimate of CHF 2.5 million (Euro 2 million, USD 2.7 million). Once again, Bernard Piguet is creating a sensation with the sale by auction of an exceptional collection: the estate of Countess Lillan Ahlefeldt-Laurvig, the sole legatee of Serge Lifar. Serge Lifar was one of the most celebrated dancers and choreographers of his era, embodying the renewal of French ballet from the beginning of the 1930s. He was born in Kiev on 15 April 1905 and died in Lausanne in 1986. Here we discover Serge Lifar immortalised in his art or next to the outstanding personalities of his age: Ingrid Bergmann, Marc Chagall, Coco Chanel, Charlie Chaplin, Jean Cocteau, Giorgio de Chirico, Aristide Maillol, Francis Poulenc, Jacques Prévert, Picasso, Paul Valéry, the Comte de Beaumont, the Marquis of Cuevas, Marie-Laure de Noailles and many more.
Posted: 10 Mar 2012 07:45 PM PST
Palm Desert, California.- Heather James Fine Art is pleased to present " Earl Cunningham : American Fauve", on view at the gallery from March 10th through April 28th. Earl Cunningham was a twentieth century American modernist who romanticized the American landscape with simplicity. A self-taught artist who painted mostly landscapes of the coasts of Maine, New York, Michigan, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, Cunningham used vivid colors, flat perspective, and a few recurrent themes. Cunningham's works depict the many small interactions of the Atlantic coastal ecosystem, the dockworkers, harbor pilots, fisherman, farmers, waterfowl and American Indian tribes. Cunningham's work is modern and nostalgic at the same time, flattened forms with a palette often described as "fauve", characterized by the emphasis of painterly qualities and strong color comparable to the paintings of Fauve leaders Henri Matisse and André Derain .
Posted: 10 Mar 2012 07:33 PM PST
Stockbridge, Massachusetts.- The Norman Rockwell Museum is proud to present "Everett Raymond Kinstler: Pulps to Portraits", on view at the museum through May 28th. There are many ways to succeed as an artist. For Norman Rockwell, one of the ways to navigate the changing field of illustration was to accept commissions to create portraits of politicians, musicians, and movie stars. Contemporary artist Everett Raymond Kinstler faced the same issues during the 1950s, as the popularity of television, graphic design, and photography challenged the role of illustration in modern culture. Shifting his focus to portraiture, Kinstler went on to become one of America's leading portrait artists, creating a veritable Who's Who gallery of some of the most recognizable faces of American history and culture through the last seven decades.
This new exhibition at the Norman Rockwell Museum examines Kinstler's career in both the art of illustration and fine portraiture, and his ability to capture realistic likenesses infused with a passion for storytelling. Like Rockwell, Kinstler notes that "painting people was always what I enjoyed most." This made the artist's transition into portraiture a natural progression, and over the years his clients have included such notable figures as Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, Will Barnet, Tony Bennett, Dave Brubeck, Alexander Calder, Benny Goodman, Katharine Hepburn, Paul Newman, Liv Ullmann, and Tom Wolfe. Original oil-on-canvas paintings of each of these figures will be featured in the exhibition, along with dynamic portraits of fellow illustrators Howard Chandler Christy, James Montgomery Flagg, Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss), and Norman Rockwell. The exhibition will document Kinstler's transition from the illustration field, through early examples of book covers, magazine illustrations, and comic book pages, created in a variety of mediums. A collection of Kinstler's current projects reveals the continued influence of illustration and motion pictures on the artist's canvas.
Born in New York City in 1926, Everett Raymond Kinstler was recognized early in life for his artistic talents and supported by his parents, who taught him that it is a gift to be able to work and do something one loves for a living. Kinstler developed an early appreciation for the illustration arts during this period, becoming an avid fan of the periodicals that were filled with the work of the top rate illustrators of the day. Kinstler began his own career at age 16, drawing comic books, book and magazine illustrations, as well as covers for paperback books. As one of the "golden age" era of comic book artists, he created illustrations for such classic pulp magazines as The Shadow and Doc Savage. Kinstler studied at the Art Students League, under American illustrator and impressionist painter, Frank Vincent DuMond (1865-1961). DuMond's influence on the artist was reflected in his oft-repeated statement, "I won't try to teach you to paint, but to see and observe." Kinstler would later teach at the school himself, from 1969 to 1974. In 1949, a touchstone year in his life and career, Kinstler moved into his own "real" studio when DuMond helped him secure a space in the historic National Arts Club, where he continues to work today. That same year, he sought out and befriended one of his artistic idols, James Montgomery Flagg, creator of the iconic I Want You World War I recruiting poster. Their friendship continued until Flagg's death in 1960, a professional relationship that Kinstler remembers as "my greatest influence." In the 1960s, the artist approached Portraits, Inc., a New York-based company connecting portraitists with sitters. Following several successful commissions, Kinstler soon established himself as one of the nation's foremost portrait painters. The artist has been awarded honorary doctorates by Rollins College in 1983 and the Lyme Academy College of Art in 2002. The National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., has acquired 75 of his original works for its permanent collection. He is represented in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Butler Institute of American Art, Brooklyn Museum, among others. In 1999, Kinstler received the Copley Medal from the Smithsonian, National Portrait Gallery, its highest honor. Memberships include: National Academy of Design (N.A.), Allied Artists of America, American Watercolor Society, Pastel Society of America (Hall of Fame), Audubon Artists, Copley Society of Boston (life), and the National Arts Club. Through almost seven decades in the arts, Kinstler has kept his skills sharp and his approach fresh by painting from life. Whether he is devoting time to painting portraits or landscapes, or his recent series of art inspired by classic cinema and popular American icons, Everett Raymond Kinstler continues to express his love of the artistic process and connection with his subjects and viewers.
Norman Rockwell Museum is the preeminent museum of American illustration art. Dedicated to art education and art appreciation inspired by the enduring legacy of Norman Rockwell, the Museum stewards the world's largest and most significant collection of Rockwell art, and presents the works of contemporary and past masters of illustration. The Museum's holdings include Rockwell's last studio, moved from its original location to the Museum grounds, and the Norman Rockwell Archives, a 200,000-object collection undergoing digital preservation through ProjectNORMAN, "A Save America's Treasures Project." The Museum is also home to the new Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies, the nation's first research institute devoted to the art of illustration. In 2008, Norman Rockwell Museum became the first-ever museum recipient of the National Humanities Medal, America's highest honor in the field. Founded in 1969 with the help of Norman and Molly Rockwell, Norman Rockwell Museum is dedicated to the enjoyment and study of Rockwell's work and his contributions to society, popular culture, and social commentary. The Museum, which is accredited by the American Association of Museums, is the most popular year-round cultural attraction in the Berkshires. The Museum houses the world's largest and most significant collection of Rockwell's work, including 574 original paintings and drawings. Rockwell lived in Stockbridge for the last 25 years of his life. Rockwell's Stockbridge studio, moved to the Museum site, is open to the public from May through October, and features original art materials, his library, furnishings, and personal items. The Museum also houses the Norman Rockwell Archives, a collection of more than 100,000 items, including working photographs, letters, personal calendars, fan mail, and business documents. Having spent its first 24 years at the Old Corner House on Stockbridge's Main Street, the Museum moved to its present location, a 36-acre site overlooking the Housatonic River Valley, in 1993. Internationally renowned architect Robert A. M. Stern designed the Museum gallery building. Visit the museum's website at ... http://www.nrm.org
Posted: 10 Mar 2012 07:32 PM PST
Edmonton, Alberta.- The Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) is proud to present "Alberta Mistresses of the Modern: 1935-1975", on view through June 3rd. Focusing on the work of ten women artists, all born by the end of 1918, the exhibition shines new light on the establishment of modernism in the province. Working largely in Edmonton and Calgary, the work of these artists reveals the important role that women played in the development of modernism, particularly early forms of abstraction, in Alberta. Of the ten-member "Calgary Group," whose 53 oil paintings were featured in an exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1948, four of the artists were women, including: Marion Nicoll, Janet Mitchell and Dorothy Willis.
Posted: 10 Mar 2012 07:13 PM PST
San Francisco, California.- The Weinstein Gallery is pleased to announce "Surrealism: New Worlds", on view from December 10th through January 27th 2012 at 301 Geary Street in San Francisco. The exhibition will be the largest survey of Surrealism to be mounted by a private gallery on the West Coast and includes over 80 original paintings & sculptures by 22 leading Surrealists, This comprehensive exhibition represents five decades of this long-lasting, influential, and ever-present art movement and features many works that have until now been held for decades in private collections.
The exhibition includes work by the original members —Yves Tanguy, Max Ernst, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, and Marcel Duchamp. It also features artists who came into the movement in the 1930s, drawn to the magnetism of its leader, André Breton, and his promise for a surrealist revolution, including Kurt Seligmann, Oscar Dominguez, Victor Brauner, André Masson, Marcel Jean, Alexander Calder, Wolfgang Paalen, Roberto Matta, and Gordon Onslow Ford. And, the exhibition looks at New World artists, who had studied surrealism from afar and then had it land in their backyard when the European surrealist artists were forced to flee to America during World War II. Among these are Enrico Donati, Jimmy Ernst, William Baziotes, David Hare, and Gerome Kamrowski. This show also features work by some of the underrepresented women artists, who were integral to the movement but who have received less attention for their critical role: Leonor Fini, Leonora Carrington, and Stella Snead. The accompanying 152-page catalogue features a new essay by Surrealism scholar, Mary Ann Caws. In it she writes that as the movement transitioned to America, "Surrealism reencountered a revolutionary aspect of which this remarkable exhibition is a manifestation, another sort of new world manifesto in visual terms."
The word surrealist was coined by Guillaume Apollinaire and first appeared in the preface to his play Les Mamelles de Tirésias, which was first performed in 1917. World War I scattered the writers and artists who had been based in Paris, and in the interim many became involved with Dada, believing that excessive rational thought and bourgeois values had brought the conflict of the war upon the world. The Dadaists protested with anti-art gatherings, performances, writings and art works. After the war, when they returned to Paris, the Dada activities continued. During the war, André Breton, who had trained in medicine and psychiatry, served in a neurological hospital where he used Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic methods with soldiers suffering from shell-shock. Meeting the young writer Jacques Vaché, Breton felt that Vaché was the spiritual son of writer and pataphysics founder Alfred Jarry. He admired the young writer's anti-social attitude and disdain for established artistic tradition. Later Breton wrote, "In literature, I was successively taken with Rimbaud, with Jarry, with Apollinaire, with Nouveau, with Lautréamont, but it is Jacques Vaché to whom I owe the most." Back in Paris, Breton joined in Dada activities and started the literary journal Littérature along with Louis Aragon and Philippe Soupault.
They began experimenting with automatic writing—spontaneously writing without censoring their thoughts—and published the writings, as well as accounts of dreams, in the magazine. Breton and Soupault delved deeper into automatism and wrote The Magnetic Fields (1920). Continuing to write, they attracted more artists and writers; they came to believe that automatism was a better tactic for societal change than the Dada attack on prevailing values. The group grew to include Paul Éluard, Benjamin Péret, René Crevel, Robert Desnos, Jacques Baron, Max Morise, Pierre Naville, Roger Vitrac, Gala Éluard, Max Ernst, Salvador Dalí, Man Ray, Hans Arp, Georges Malkine, Michel Leiris, Georges Limbour, Antonin Artaud, Raymond Queneau, André Masson, Joan Miró, Marcel Duchamp, Jacques Prévert, and Yves Tanguy.
In 1924 they declared their philosophy in the first "Surrealist Manifesto". That same year they established the Bureau of Surrealist Research, and began publishing the journal La Révolution surréaliste. Breton initially doubted that visual arts could even be useful in the Surrealist movement since they appeared to be less malleable and open to chance and automatism. This caution was overcome by the discovery of such techniques as frottage and decalcomania. Soon more visual artists became involved, including Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst, Joan Miró, Francis Picabia, Yves Tanguy, Salvador Dalí, Luis Buñuel, Alberto Giacometti, Valentine Hugo, Méret Oppenheim, Toyen, and later after the second war: Enrico Donati. The group included the musician, poet, and artist E. L. T. Mesens, painter and writer René Magritte, Paul Nougé, Marcel Lecomte, and André Souris. Giorgio de Chirico, and his previous development of metaphysical art, was one of the important joining figures between the philosophical and visual aspects of Surrealism. In 1924, Miró and Masson applied Surrealism to painting, explicitly leading to the La Peinture Surrealiste exhibition of 1925, held at Gallerie Pierre in Paris, and displaying works by Masson, Man Ray, Paul Klee, Miró, and others. The show confirmed that Surrealism had a component in the visual arts. Breton published Surrealism and Painting in 1928 which summarized the movement to that point, though he continued to update the work until the 1960s. Throughout the 1930s, Surrealism continued to become more visible to the public at large. A Surrealist group developed in Britain and, according to Breton, their 1936 London International Surrealist Exhibition was a high water mark of the period and became the model for international exhibitions.
Dalí and Magritte created the most widely recognized images of the movement. Dalí joined the group in 1929, and participated in the rapid establishment of the visual style between 1930 and 1935. From 1936 through 1938 Wolfgang Paalen, Gordon Onslow Ford, and Roberto Matta joined the group. Paalen contributed Fumage and Onslow Ford Coulage as new pictorial automatic techniques. Long after personal, political and professional tensions fragmented the Surrealist group, Magritte and Dalí continued to define a visual program in the arts. This program reached beyond painting, to encompass photography as well, as can be seen from a Man Ray self portrait, whose use of assemblage influenced Robert Rauschenberg's collage boxes. World War II prompted an artistic exodus from europe, and many of the surrealists including Yves Tanguy and Max Ernst became influential in the USA. Arshile Gorky, Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Roberto Matta and later, Mark Rothko all became involved with the surrealist movement, while in England Henry Moore, Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon and Paul Nash used or experimented with Surrealist techniques.
The Weinstein Gallery in San Fransico is situated on 3 floors in Union Square. The Gallery specializes in contemporary and modern masters, including Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dalí, Enrico Donati, Raoul Dufy, Jimmy Ernst, Leonor Fini, Roberto Matta, Joan Miró, Robert Motherwell, Gordon Onslow Ford and Pablo Picasso. The gallery made the news in 2011 when a Picasso was stolen from its walls in broad daylight, although it was quickly recovered and is now no longer for sale, its fame generating so many more gallery visitors! Fortunately, the gallery have not allowed the theft to deflect them from their aim of making art as accessible as possible, and they are well-known for their friendly and knowledgable staff who are helpful to every visitor, whether they can afford the art on the walls or not. Visit the gallery's website at ... http://www.weinstein.com
Posted: 10 Mar 2012 07:12 PM PST
Brooklyn, NY - The most comprehensive retrospective to date of the work of internationally acclaimed Japanese artist Takashi Murakami includes more than ninety works in various media that span the artist's entire career, installed in more than 18,500 square feet of gallery space, at The Brooklyn Museum. Born in Tokyo in 1962, Murakami is one of the most influential and acclaimed artists to have emerged from Asia in the late twentieth century, creating a wide-ranging body of work that consciously bridges fine art, design, animation, fashion, and popular culture.
Posted: 10 Mar 2012 07:11 PM PST
Liechtenstein.- The Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein will show a thematic exhibition of selected works from the collection of the Migros Museum of Contemporary Art Zurich. The exhibition, called "Theatre of the World: The Migros Museum of Contemporary Art Collection", confronts works by artists since the 1990s with works by masters of Concept Art, Arte Povera and Minimal Art. The Migros Museum of Contemporary Art opened in Zurich in 1996 and is an important facet of the cultural works programme financed by the Migros retailing group. Its professional collecting activities extend back to the 1970's and it now owns an outstanding collection including numerous internationally renowned artists. The current refurbishment of the Löwenbräu building in Zurich gave those responsible at the museum the idea of inviting other museums to curate an exhibition featuring works from the collection and show these in a larger context. On view from May 27th until September 4th.
Posted: 10 Mar 2012 07:10 PM PST
Bloomberg News - Sigmar Polke, one of Germany's best-known artists, died last night from cancer at the age of 69, his dealer Erhard Klein said in a phone interview. Polke, a painter, graphic artist and photographer, was "one of the most important and most successful representatives of German contemporary art," German Culture Minister Bernd Neumann said in a statement. "He was a critical, ironic and self-ironic observer of postwar history and its artistic commentators."
Posted: 10 Mar 2012 07:09 PM PST
New York (NY1 News). - A New York sidewalk was transformed into the 3D deck of a cruise ship, thanks to the work of aclaimed 3D chalk artist Kurt Wenner. The temporary piece was recently done in Manhattan's Financial District as a promotion for Celebrity Cruise's new Silhouette in order to allow passersby a chance to step inside the ship's Lawn Club Grill. Wenner has mastered the technique of "trompe l'oeil" or making a 2D picture seem like a 3D world, and how he does this is understandably complicated. He paid lots of attention in his math classes and used what he learned to trick the human eye. In addition to creating 3D Street Painting for Publicity and Advertising, Kurt Wenner designs Villas and Residential architecture. He also creates lavish Interior design and classically inspired Product Design. Wenner also creates public and private commissioned oil paintings, murals, sculpture and architecture all over the world.
"Actually I solved a bit of a problem that baffled Renaissance artists, and that was how to show the width of human vision," says Wenner. "Our vision is very wide and geometry of perspective tends to blow out after a certain angle of vision, which is why lenses are more narrow on cameras and so forth. But I did figure out a way to reverse the distortion of the eye and project it out on to the pavement." Just to be clear, the works only appear to be 3D when viewed from a single, exact spot. Wenner says it took a good 15 years from the time he started doing these until other artists with computers started to mimic the effect, but even then he says computers are not quite there yet. "This type of distortion I use is hyperbolic distortion, which is the reverse of a curved lens, and people who do this kind of work in the computer, it has to remain straight-line, so it's called rectilinear, straight-line geometry," he says. Wenner says while he prefers to do work on mythological creatures, these days he finds himself doing more pieces that viewers can interact with and insert themselves in for a souvenir.
Kurt Wenner produced his first commissioned mural at the age of sixteen and by seventeen was earning his living as a graphic artist. He attended both Rhode Island School of Design and Art Center College of Design. He was employed by NASA as an illustrator to create conceptual paintings of future space projects and extraterrestrial landscapes. In 1982, he left NASA, sold all of his belongings, and moved to Italy to study art. Living in Rome, Wenner studied the masters and classical sculptures in the museums. In 1991, he was commissioned to create a piece to honor the visit of Pope John Paul II to the city of Mantua. The event was broadcast live on television throughout Italy.
While studying classical architecture and perspective, Kurt Wenner applied the principles of classical drawing and classical design to the sidewalk, completely transforming the art form. Masterpieces in Chalk was the National Geographic documentary that established 3D Street Painting as a new art form. All 3D Pavement Artists, 3D Sidewalk Artists, and 3D Chalk artists can all trace the roots of their work back to the street art of Rome in 1982, where Kurt Wenner transformed the complex geometry of Classical Italian Architecture into a new form of Popular Art. Whether they are called Street Paintings, Chalk Paintings, Sidewalk Paintings or pavement art, if they have a three-dimensional illusion they can be traced back to Kurt Wenner pastel drawings.
One of his largest U.S. murals (18 ft/6 m square) is located on Wilshire Boulevard in Westwood, California and appeared in the movie "Sneakers". Another large mural titled The Magic Flute hangs in the current Fresno, California City Hall. Visit the artists website at ... http://www.kurtwenner.com
Posted: 10 Mar 2012 07:08 PM PST
BELLEVUE, WA.- There is an art in discovering art. Line, color, shape, luminosity are just some of the foundation bricks on which a work of art is built, some of the ways in which we engage with it. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Junior League of Seattle's Northwest Art Collection has focused since its inception on teaching these concepts to King County school-age children. On exhibition 22 June through 19 September, 2010.
Posted: 10 Mar 2012 07:07 PM PST
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL -The publication of the Surrealist VVV Portfolio in 1943 is considered to be one of the highlights of Surrealist activity in New York in the early 1940s. This album features works by 11 artists – including both European artists in "exile" and American artists living in New York and its environs. It includes etchings by Alexander Calder, Leonora Carrington, Marc Chagall, André Masson, Yves Tanguy and Kurt Seligmann (in whose workshop the etchings were printed). In addition, the album contains hand- duplicated drawings by Roberto Matta and by the young American artist Robert Motherwell; an experimental, altered photograph by David Hare that was printed from a burnt negative; and a frottage by Max Ernst. Also featured in the album is a poem-object by André Breton – a collage composed of a postcard to which the artist added several hand-written sentences, thread and sequins.
Originally, the album was planned to be published in a limited edition of 50 copies, yet only 20 were actually printed. For this reason, VVV Portfolio is considered today to be especially rare. The works are gathered in a wrapper bearing the large thumbprint of Alexander Calder, which marks the point where the wrapper should be withdrawn from the slipcase.1 Also included is a list of the participating artists. Each copy of the album was numbered and personally dedicated to a specific owner.
According to Bernard Reiss, the idea to put out this album came up during a Thanksgiving dinner he hosted in 1941, which was attended by artists including Seligmann, Chagall and Breton (who had arrived in the US that same year). The artists were invited in order to raise funds for the publication of the Surrealist review VVV. Although the review was intended to be a quarterly, only three issues were eventually published in New York between 1942 and 1944. Reiss, who also helped market the album, suggested that each artist contribute a print that would be sold for 100 dollars, in order to help fund the review.
Although David Hare was its official editor, the review was conceived of and ran by Breton, with the participation of additional editor-consultants: Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst. In addition to poems and visual art, this experimental project included essays in anthropology, sociology and psychology, ready-made works and variously-sized pages characterized by their colorfulness and bold typography. Each issue was illustrated with works by numerous artists and poets, including Giorgio de Chirico, Irving Penn, Victor Brauner, Oscar Domínguez, Wifredo Lam, Jacqueline Lamba, Joan Miró, Kay Sage, Dorothea Tanning, Philip Lamantia, Guillaume Appolinaire, Benjamin Péret and others. The review's editors also enlisted a number of thinkers and writers, including Claude Lévi-Strauss and Charles Henri Ford – the editor of the art periodical View, which was published between 1940 and 1947 and was sympathetic to Surrealist art.
The title VVV Portfolio alludes to a number of words beginning with the letter V: "veil," "victory," "vow." The word "view" was also noted in this context, due to its association with an eye oriented outwards toward the external, superficial world that Breton – who came up with the review's name – was out to battle. This choice also involved implicit criticism of the periodical View. Motherwell argued that this title was also related to the language barrier confronted by the French artists in the US. According to him, Breton also conceived of VVV as a new letter – the 27th letter in the French alphabet and an extension of the letter W, which in French is called a "double V." Motherwell claimed that Breton intentionally gave the review a name that had no meaning in English. Since the Americans did not immediately grasp this, the need arose to explain this choice to them.
The circumstances in which the VVV review was published are directly related to the history of the Surrealist movement in the US and to its affinity with American Abstract Expressionism – a development that stemmed from the encounter between American and European artists. The presence of Surrealism was already felt in the US beginning in the early 1930s. The first exhibition featuring Surrealist painting took place in Connecticut in 1931, and was called "Newer Super Realism." This exhibition introduced American viewers to European artists such as De Chirico, Dalí, Ernst, Masson, Miró, Picasso and others. Two months later, Julien Levy presented a selection of these same works in his New York gallery, together with the works of three American artists – Joseph Cornell, Charles Howard and Man Ray, who was living in Paris at the time. The collages by Cornell and the drawings by Howard were among the first Surrealist works created in the US. Levy titled this exhibition "Surrealism," arguing that the French world could not be translated into English – an argument that would also recur later on in relation to VVV Portfolio. 4
In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Surrealism became one of the leading art movements in the US, and its influence was also strongly felt in the worlds of fashion and design. This development was mainly due to the arrival of numerous Surrealist artists who fled Europe during the Second World War. Their presence in the US was regarded with mixed feelings both by the "exiles" themselves and by their American hosts. Yves Tanguy, who arrived in New York in November of 1939, expressed his feelings in a letter he sent Breton, who was still in France at the time: "I have many things to tell you about life here – a strange life. No way to really get in contact with people… European artists seem to be completely hated here, one talks only about American art."5 Yet despite the ambivalence and reciprocal suspiciousness that characterized the relationship between French and American artists, in some ways America also served a source of inspiration for the French exiles. Matta and Masson, for instance, developed a new painterly iconography based on the unconventional, rugged and majestic character of the American landscape, its particularity and its strange fauna and flora.
At the same time, various art-world figures and tastemakers detected an affinity between certain European and American artists. The interest in art reviews was prevalent in Europe, yet less so in the US. For this reason, the October-November 1941 issue of View, which was devoted to Surrealism in New York and in Europe, featured an interview with Breton. Breton played an important role in representing the community of artists in exile, and in creating a sense of affinity and continuity between the two cultures. Both View and VVV made an important contribution to the cross-cultural introduction of different repertoires and tastes. These reviews functioned as a point of encounter for French and American artists, and provided a sense of continuity between American and European culture. A similar role was filled by Kurt Seligmann's studio and by Stanley William Hayter's Atelier 17, where most of New York-based printmaking activities took place during the war.
Most of the French artists residing in New York, however, refused to learn English and tended to associate with other French friends and colleagues, while only few American artists spoke French. Motherwell was an exception in this context, since he had studied philosophy at Stanford University and formed close relations with the French Surrealists, especially with Seligmann and Matta. Yet despite the language barrier, the French and American artists were aware of each other's activities, and often exhibited in the same museums and galleries. Prominent among these exhibition venues was Peggy Guggenheim's gallery Art of This Century, which opened in New York in October 1942. Guggenheim's collection included both Surrealist and abstract works. The texts for the catalogue published in conjunction with the gallery's opening exhibition – which were written by Breton, Arp and Mondrian – supplied the Americans with in-depth, up-to-date definitions of these two artistic trends, which were presented together in a manner that underscored the affinities and reciprocal relations between them. This approach is also reflected in the works of the American artists supported by Guggenheim – including Pollock, Rothko, Motherwell and Hare – some of whom were represented in VVV Portfolio.
The model established during those years tended to examine modern art in terms of a dichotomy between Surrealism and abstraction. Do to its concern with literary, symbolic and poetic themes, Surrealism was considered an anti-thesis to pure abstraction. Surrealist automatism, however, contributed to changing definitions of abstraction, which had previously been narrowly defined according to the principles of geometric abstraction. This more liberating approach led to the formation of a new repertoire of amorphous forms, using technical means which were often based on automatist principles. The connection between abstraction and spontaneity represented a dynamic model, which enabled the fusion of approaches that were previously considered antithetical to one another. Indeed, artists affiliated with both of these movements exhibited together at various venues. This trend could already be detected in the two large exhibitions staged at the Museum of Modern Art between 1936 and 1937. Although these exhibitions seemingly presented Surrealism and abstraction separately, in order to underscore the differences between them, they actually created an affinity between them by featuring the works of artists that mediated between them – such as Duchamp, Ernst, Klee and Miró.
Prominent among the artists who attempted to mediate between Surrealism and abstraction was Jean Arp, who was a member of the Abstraction-Creation movement. This movement, which was active between 1931 and 1936, affiliated itself with an approach defined as international "non-figuration," which reflected the cosmopolitan status of Paris. Under the influence of Arp, who also exhibited with the Surrealists, Surrealism and abstraction were synthesized into organic-amorphous abstraction. Among the artists affiliated with this approach one may note Calder, Seligmann, Arshile Gorky, Wolfgang Paalen and others – some of whom would eventually join the ranks of Surrealism.
Roberto Matta held workshops devoted to automatism in his studio, allowing American artists such as William Baziotes, Motherwell and Pollock to encounter Surrealist ideas. In the course of these workshops, the participating artists explored new creative approaches and focused on accessing primordial psychic experiences by forging a connection between collective myths and techniques of automatism. These myths represented the origins of humanity, while the liberation of the unconscious through the use of automatic techniques was designed to expose the primordial aspects of the individual. The clearest attempt to combine the goals of Surrealism with geometric abstraction appears in the works of Robert Motherwell. His collages and paintings from the early 1940s combine geometric structures with expanses in which he experimented with automatism – a fusion reflective of his desire to create art that would be at once spontaneous and rational. Some of the artists represented in the portfolio employed automatic techniques, as a means of seeking inspiration and encouraging the creative process. So, for instance, Ernst used the frottage technique, which consists of copying existing forms by rubbing oily pastels across a support. In this manner, he created amorphous man-bird hybrids. Hare created another automatist technique known as brûlage, which involved the heating of an unfixed negative, thus leading to the distortion and expansion of the photographed image.
Following the interest in these processes, the influence of Surrealism in the early 1940s was mainly related to its abstract, automatic dimension. When the artists in exile returned to Europe at the end of the war, and following the rise of Abstract Expressionism as a central artistic trend, the interest in Surrealism waned in the US. The Surrealist repertoire that had infiltrated American art did much to pave the way for the rise of this new American repertoire, which elevated the international status of American art in the post-war period. Motherwell saw automatism as a key element enabling American artists to build on Surrealist principles in order to develop an independent style, which came to be known as Abstract Expressionism.
The American art field was thus shaped by a struggle between these two repertoires, and by changing tastes. This dynamic was already noted by art critics in the early 1940s. In 1942, for instance, Rosamund Frost wrote in Art News that: "In less than a decade, America has made room for the biggest intellectual and artistic migration since the fall of Constantinople. Outwardly the infiltration has been peaceful enough, yet the conflict is already on, and as there is no melting pot which fuses ideas, one side or the other must inevitably dominate. Another ten years will tell us which." 6Frost described the influence of French Surrealist models on American art as a process of cultural interchange that infused American culture with new life. These processes led to innovations in abstract art that stemmed from models based on the principle of automatic action, the processing of images culled from ancient myths and primitive art, and the use of amorphous shapes. Abstraction, which largely ruled the American field in the form of rigid geometricism prior to the arrival of Surrealism, set off on a new path. Abstract Expressionism – a new version of abstraction – subsequently became the leading style of the American avant-garde, in large degree thanks to Surrealism.
This portfolio thus points to the importance of the Surrealist repertoire – and especially of the abstract, organic-amorphous works created by European "exiles" such as Arp, Masson, Tanguy and Matta – for American artmaking. Moreover, the portfolio reveals the Surrealist influence on American artists such as Calder, Motherwell and Hare – an influence that, as noted above, both heralded the rise of Abstract Expressionism and marked the decline of Surrealism in the US. Emanuela Calò, Exhibition Curator.
Posted: 10 Mar 2012 07:06 PM PST
Anchorage, Alaska.- The Anchorage Museum is proud to present "Preston Singletary: Echoes, Fire and Shadows", on view from February 3rd through April 22nd 2012. For more than 20 years, Preston Singletary has melded the legends of his Tlingit heritage with the beauty of glass to create a distinctive, powerful body of work. "Preston Singletary: Echoes, Fire and Shadows", is a mid-career survey chronicling Singletary's evolution from night watchman at a glass studio to internationally recognized glass artist. The exhibition was curated by the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington, and traveled last year to the National Museum of the American Indian's gallery in New York City. Singletary, who lives in Seattle, was raised with stories about his Tlingit heritage from his great-grandmother, Susie Johnson Bartlett, and other relatives from southeast Alaska. Inspired by this legacy, he dedicated his work to both honoring Tlingit tradition and infusing it with new vitality. He sees the Alaska exhibition as a homecoming.
Posted: 10 Mar 2012 07:05 PM PST
VENICE.- Punta della Dogana, the new art center for contemporary art of the François Pinault Foundation, opens its doors after fourteen months of renovation entrusted to the Japanese architect Tadao Ando. The first exhibition Mapping the Studio: Artists from the François Pinault Collection, curated by Alison M. Gingeras and Francesco Bonami, is shown simultaneously at Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi and is shaped in response to the particular atmosphere of each space. With its triangular shape, Punta della Dogana split the Grand Canal from the Giudecca Canal. As center for contemporary art , the former monumental port of the city present a permanent exhibition of works from François Pinault Collection.
Undisputed masterpieces of contemporary art by such figures as Jeff Koons, Sigmar Polke, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Cy Twombly, Takashi Murakami or Jake & Dinos Chapman are presented alongside pieces by emerging talents such as Matthew Day Jackson, Adel Abdessemed, Wilhelm Sasnal, Richard Hughes, Nate Lowman, Mark Bradford and Kai Althoff.
Conceived as a single exhibition that will unfold over the two venues, this presentation will be shaped in response to the particular atmosphere of each space: the inward-looking private sphere on one side, and the outward looking, world-at-large on the other. The two halves of the exhibition will constitute a dialogue between artists of different generations, covering a vast range of practices and aesthetic sensibilities.
François Pinault has entrusted the renovation of this 17th century edifice to Japanese architect Tadao Ando. Respecting the spirit of the original building, he has renovated the space in order to house a selection of works from the François Pinault Foundation, one of the world's most important collections of contemporary art.
Punta della Dogana project
Tadao Ando drew up his plans for the new centre quickly. In effect, if one looks at his drawings one sees that, from the first, the broad outlines of the project were clear in his mind. The characteristic layout of the former warehouses, which occupy the triangular tongue of land where the Grand Canal meets the Giudecca Canal, was to be maintained.
And while extensive work on the foundations was to be carried out – to safeguard the structure from humidity and high water – the layout of the existing lofts was to be modified in order to create a space able to house the artworks of the François Pinault Collection. At a point almost dead-centre of the triangular floor plan, Ando immediately envisaged the creation of a new space standing the entire height of the building: a sort of pivot for the entire layout, this would occupy one of the middle warehouse aisles and was to be created in smooth and polished cement, a material that is now a recognised leitmotif of Ando's architecture. This axial point – through which run all the routes within the structure – forms a cube, rising vertically within the volume of the building.
The work of restoration had to remove the unwanted accretions that had accumulated over time, with the new partition walls, stairs, walkways and service facilities all clearly identified as such. In effect, there is no attempt to disguise these new additions within the old body of the structure. Instead, there is a continual play of juxtaposition – almost as if Ando's intention were to insert within the ancient building new volumes and levels that seem to mark out the stratifications added over time, organising them into a veritable spectacle of the structure's own history.
Finally, he had the idea of creating gates for the water entrances that are explicit quotations of the wonderful gate that Carlo Scarpa designed in 1956. The design of these new doors and windows, though very modern, effectively employed Venetian traditional craft. Tadao Ando has thus succeeded in establishing a dialogue between old and new elements, creating a link between the history of the building, its present and its future.
François Pinault (born 21 August 1936) is a billionaire French businessman who runs the retail company PPR. He is a friend of former French President Jacques Chirac. According to Forbes List of billionaires (2008) he is ranked 39th in the world, with an estimated fortune of US$16.9 billion.
His holding company Artemis S.A., owns (or owned), among others, Converse shoes, Samsonite luggage, Château Latour, the Vail Ski Resort in Colorado, and Christie's auction house. Artemis also owns Executive Life (now Aurora Life) in California, which was sued by policy holders when the company failed.
Pinault owns one of the biggest collections of contemporary art worldwide. On the magazine ArtReview's 2006 list of most powerful people in modern art, he was ranked in first place. In 2006 he obtained the ownership of Palazzo Grassi in Venice to display the collection.
Pinault led PPR through a long battle over control of Gucci, the Italian fashion house, which began with an attempted takeover of Gucci by LVMH, the world's largest luxury goods company. In March of 1999, Gucci asked PPR to acquire an ownership interest in Gucci to help fend off LVMH. The result was a struggle between the two richest men in France, both self-made billionaires — Pinault and Bernard Arnault, the Chairman of LVMH.
The dispute ended in September 2001, when LVMH agreed to sell its shares in Gucci to PPR for $94 a share. As part of the agreement, PPR promised to tender for the balance of the publicly traded shares at a later date. It completed that buy-in in July 2004 and took full control of Gucci.
In 1998, Pinault purchased a majority share of Christie's auction house. In February 2000, A. Alfred Taubman, majority shareholder of rival company Sotheby's stepped down amidst a scandal after the Federal Bureau of Investigation had investigated commission-fixing between the two companies. Pinault was not implicated, but rather it was his actions which precipitated the scandal. He fired Christie's CEO Christopher Davidge over an allegation of extravagant spending. Davidge then admitted the collusion, which had gone on since about 1995, to Artemis' CEO Patricia Barbizet. In October 2000, Sotheby's CEO, Diana Brooks admitted her guilt in hopes of receiving a reduced sentence, and implicated Taubman. In December 2001, jurors in a high profile New York City courtroom found Taubman guilty of conspiracy. He served a year and a day in prison and Mrs. Brooks got 3 months of home confinement and a penalty of $350,000. International law permitted Christie's to avoid prosecution (other than civil penalties).
Currently partnered to Mexican actress/producer Salma Hayek on March 9, 2007, they confirmed they were expecting their first child. On September 21, 2007, she gave birth to daughter Valentina Paloma Pinault at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. On July 18, 2008, Hayek and Pinault announced the end of their engagement. They later reconciled and were married on Valentine's Day, 2009 in Paris. On April 25, 2009, they were married a second time in Venice.
Posted: 10 Mar 2012 07:04 PM PST
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