Jumat, 23 Maret 2012

Art Knowledge News - Keeping You in Touch with the World of Art...

Art Knowledge News - Keeping You in Touch with the World of Art...

The Kunsthaus Zurich shows "The Winter's Tale" ~ A Major Exhibition

Posted: 23 Mar 2012 02:22 AM PDT

artwork: Pieter Brueghel - "The Drunkard is Led Home by his Wife", 1616 - Oil and tempera on wood - 40.8 x 64.5 cm. - Collection of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. On view at the Kunsthaus Zurich in "The Winter's Tale" until April 29th.

Zurich, Switzerland.- The Kunsthaus Zurich is pleased to present "The Winter's Tale", on view at the museum through April 29th. The approximately 120 works in the exhibition provide a comprehensive thematic exploration of how artists have portrayed winder, and includes paintings by Pieter Brueghel the Younger, Jacob van Ruisdael, Francisco de Goya, Kazimir Malevich, Claude Monet, Edvard Munch and many other European painters.

We've all dreamt of riding on a golden sleigh pulled by four white horses. And just such a vehicle – possibly the most valuable sleigh in the world and once the property of the Empress Maria Theresia – is one of the many surprising treasures of our winter tale. With everything from burlesque Dutch scenes of fun on ice to frolics in a warm alcove bed, fur-clad courtesans to shivering farmers' children, carnivals and Lenten fare, winter sun and snow flurries, no other season offers such a rich variety of artistic ideas in all fields, from applied art and painting to sculpture.

artwork: Edvard Munch - "Winter Night", 1900 - Oil on canvas - 80.5 x 120.5 cm. Collection of the Munch Museum.  At the Kunsthaus Zurich in "The Winter's Tale" until April 29th.

Until the Middle Ages, the arrival of winter imperiled food supplies and health in a society that was entirely dependent on nature. Since then, social and technological progress have combined to progressively mitigate its impact. And, as our exhibition shows, the cold season has its pleasurable aspects, too. The timing has also been deliberately chosen to herald the arrival of spring. Having fallen out of fashion after the Renaissance, the winter landscape was rediscovered by artists in the late 18th century. Initially it is romanticized; later, artists turn their attention to the subtle palette of winter colours. The display in the large exhibition gallery of the Kunsthaus Zürich ranges from large-format depictions of Napoleon's army stranded amid the ice and snow – the very picture of misery and suffering – to crystalline ponds and rivers, magnificent still lives and the pleasures of ice skating.

Kunsthaus Director Christoph Becker and curator Ronald de Leeuw present a wide-ranging, eclectic and international selection of more than 120 works of art from various genres created in Western Europe between 1450 and the 1920s. They include Dutch painting, a wealth of landscapes and Impressionist works together with Dutch allegories of the months, scenes of winter festivities and folk customs as well as still lives. Portraits and interiors offer an insight into the changing winter fashions and furnishings with which people sought to shield themselves from the cold and damp. The selection of paintings, arranged by genres and schools, is complemented by a number of superb objects: large-format tapestries and a magnificent sleigh pulled by life-size horses, cups and goblets, delicate porcelain figures and vessels cut from semi-precious stones offer a captivating illustration of the exquisite craftsmanship deployed by supreme practitioners to satisfy their clients. The many loans successfully negotiated over a three-year period in cooperation with the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna are drawn from some of the world's leading museums, including the Musée d'Orsay and Musée du Louvre (Paris), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the National Gallery (London), Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam) as well as private collections and the museums' own holdings. Paintings by Pieter Brueghel the Younger hang side by side with works by Jacob van Ruisdael, Hendrick Avercamp, Jan van Goyen, Aert van der Neer, Francisco de Goya, Kazimir Malevich, Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro and Edvard Munch. In addition to these celebrated artists, the exhibition also presents painters whose work is rarely shown outside their country of birth; for some they will be a revelation, for others a chance to renew old acquaintances. Often they feature surprising motifs that are unique in the context of the exhibition. They include the monumental, part-frozen Niagara Falls by Hippolyte-Victor-Valentin Sebron and an autumn painting in the Japanese style by the Finnish artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela. Edouard Alexandre Odier's painting depicts an episode in Napoleon's retreat from Moscow, while Pierre-Maximilien Delafontaine portrays an ice skater in triumphant pose. From the serenity of German Romantic Carl Friedrich Lessing's 'Monastery Courtyard in the Snow,' you will be transported into the turbulent world of Roman carnival in around 1650, as depicted by Johannes Lingelbach.

artwork: Kazimir Malevich - "Morning in the Village After Snowstorm", 1912 Oil on canvas - 80 x 80 cm. Collection of Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NYC.   -  On view at the Kunsthaus Zurich until April 29th.

In 1895 the association of the 'Künstlerhaus Zurich' was founded and opened a salon for temporary exhibitions in the Börsenstrasse. In the following year the 'Zürcher Kunstverein' and the 'Künstlerhaus Zürich' amalgamated to form the 'Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft' and intensified their efforts to build a real museum. In 1898 Heinrich Schulthess von Meiss bequeathed his collection of 80 paintings by famous contemporary German and Swiss painters to the Kunstgesellschaft. But it was not until 1910 that the 'Kunsthaus' was opened on a plot of land donated by city councillor Landolt – neither 'museum' nor 'art gallery', as the architect Karl Moser pointed out, but both. The name 'Kunsthaus' (house of art ) consciously reflects its democratic aspirations and wish to bring art to a broad public. Due to the small size of the collection the first curator, Wilhelm Wartmann (director until 1949), initially concentrated on Swiss art and alongside the most interesting works of the time he put together groups of late Gothic painting and pictures by Johann Heinrich Fuseli. When the Kunsthaus held a large Ferdinand Hodler exhibition in 1917, it became clear that the financial resources of the 'Kunstgesellschaft' were insufficient, and Alfred Rüetschi responded by founding the 'Vereinigung Zürcher Kunstfreunde' (Society of Zurich Friends of Art), which even today regularly helps to extend the Kunsthaus collection with significant acquisitions. Rüetschi himself made many large compositions and important landscapes by Hodler available to the Kunsthaus. In 1920 the Kunsthaus received as a legacy the collection of Hans Schuler and with it for the first time works of French Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Vincent Van Gogh, Pierre Bonnard. After many years of preparation Wartmann organised his first exhibition with Edvard Munch in 1922 and began to build up the largest collection of works by the Norwegian artist outside of Scandanavia.

In 1925 Karl Moser extended the Kunsthaus. In 1929 Dr. Hans E. Mayenfisch began to buy works by living Swiss artists for the Kunsthaus; by the time of his death in 1957 the collection had increased to over 450 works. The Nobel prize winner Leopold Ruzicka set up a foundation in 1949 with his outstanding collection of Dutch 17th century painting. When in 1950 René Wehrli replaced Wilhelm Wartmann as director he moved the focus on to French painting since Monet; subsequent to the Monet retrospective the two large water lily panneaux were acquired. In 1958 the large, adaptable exhibition gallery which had been planned since 1944 by the Pfister brothers and was financed by Emil G. Bührle was opened. A group of art lovers close to the Bechtler brothers created a foundation in 1965 with the most important collection of works by Alberto Giacometti, to which the artist donated additional pieces. In 1966 Nelly Bär endowed the Werner-Bär gallery, donating a group of sculptures from Rodin to Richier.

artwork: Carl Friedrich Lessing - "Klosterhof in the Snow", 1829 - Oil on canvas - 61 x 75 cm. Collection of the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud, Köln. On view at the Kunsthaus Zurich until April 29th.

Thanks to Gustav Zumsteg and the support of a number of patrons and the artist himself the Marc Chagall gallery was created in 1973. In this period, Erna and Curt Burgauer began donating works from their collection of modern art to the Kunsthaus. In 1976 the extension was opened by Erwin Müller. Felix Baumann replaced René Wehrli as Director. In 1980, thanks to numerous donations, an extensive collection of works documenting the Dada movement was established. The Johanna and Walter L. Wolf collection added significant new works of French art from Impressionism to Classic Modern in 1984. Betty and David M. Koetser gave their important collection of Dutch paintings, Italian baroque and the Venetian Settecento to their foundation in 1986 and in 1995 Walter Haefner presented the Kunsthaus with twelve outstanding paintings by artists from Monet to Renee Magritte.

From 1998 to 2000 the Villa Tobler was restored in a manner befitting its status as a new renaissance palazzo to become the new home of management and to serve as a venue for representational purposes. In September Christoph Becker succeeded Felix Baumann as the new director and the electorate of Zurich voted in favour of a loan of 28.5 million Swiss francs for renovation of the Kunsthaus. In 2001 the Kunstrat decided on a new artistic guiding strategy: internal working groups and a public commission of experts dealing with the future of the Kunsthaus underpin reforms of internal structures, during which time the renovation work begins. On the 28 May 2002 the departing President of the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft, Thomas W. Bechtler, Director Christoph Becker and the Chairman of the City Council, Elmar Ledergerber, presented plans for a further extension of the building at Heimplatz. Since June of 2002, Walter B. Kienholz, the new president of the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft, one of the largest European art associations with its 20'000 members, supports the plans that also aim at creating more space for the growing collection. The extension building is scheduled to be realized by 2015. Visit the museum's website at ... http://www.kunsthaus.ch

The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza hosts "Into India" from the San Diego Museum of Art

Posted: 23 Mar 2012 02:04 AM PDT

artwork: Unknown artist - "Mahalakshmi Riding Her Lion", circa 1750 - Opaque watercolor on paper - 12.2 x 21.5 cm. - Collection of the San DIego Museum of Art (Edwin Binney 3rd Collection). On view at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in "Into India: South Asian Paintings From the San Diego Museum of Art" until May 20th.

Madrid.- The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is proud to present "Into India: South Asian Paintings From the San Diego Museum of Art", on view at the museum through May 20th. The exhibition will offer visitors a unique opportunity to appreciate the entire evolution of Indian painting from the 12th to the mid-19th centuries through 106 paintings, prints and manuscripts. Together they reveal the remarkable capacity of the artists who created them to adapt and modify their traditional styles without losing their uniquely Indian character. Assembled by Edwin Binney (1925-1986) and comprising more than 1,000 works, this exceptional collection is defined by its encyclopaedic, academic nature, as a result of which it offers a comprehensive survey of the history of Indian art. Binney's aim was to ensure that every expert in South Asian artist found a key work in relation to their particular subject of research in his collection.

The Missoula Art Museum exhibits "Ansel Adams: A Legacy"

Posted: 23 Mar 2012 01:51 AM PDT

artwork: Ansel Adams - "Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite National Park", circa 1942 - Gelatin silver print. - © 2011 The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust. On view at the Missoula Art Museum (MAM) in "Ansel Adams: A Legacy" until April 15th.

Missoula, Montana.- The Missoula Art Museum (MAM) is proud to present "Ansel Adams: A Legacy", on view at the museum through April 15th. This is a definitive exhibition by one of America's most legendary photographers and consists of over 130 gelatin silver prints by the artist whom many consider an American master. We cannot overstate Adams' role in the construction of a contemporary visual language to interpret nature. Adams married his craft with an intense love for the environment and his deeply rooted expressions will not be lost on the Montana audience. As he once stated, "I make photographs for personal expression. If it is used for the cause—why, I'm very happy." The San Francisco born photographer was raised in a nurturing and cultured environment by parents who believed in the Transcendentalist ideas of individuality and the direct union with God in nature. Bored and disheartened by school as a boy, Adams instead found intellectual freedom in the liberal arts, his father arranging tutelage in studies including ancient Greek and the piano.

The Boca Raton Museum of Art to exhibit "Will Barnet at 100"

Posted: 23 Mar 2012 01:21 AM PDT

artwork: Will Barnet - "Midnight" (Left) and "The Great Grandmother" (Right), 1983-1984 - Oil on canvas - each approximately 48" x 28" - Private collections. On view at The Boca Raton Museum of Art in "Will Barnet at 100: Eight Decades of Painting and Printmaking" from March 27th until May 20th.

Boca Raton, Florida.-  The Boca Raton Museum of Art is marking the 100th birthday of pioneering painter, printmaker, and educator Will Barnet (born May 25, 1911) with an exhibition of nearly fifty works exploring the momentous evolution of Barnet's art from realism to abstraction during one of the most distinguished careers in American art. Barnet's paintings, drawings, and prints are in major museums around the world — and at the age of 100, he is still creating the works of a true American master. "Will Barnet at 100: Eight Decades of Painting and Printmaking" will be on view at the museum from March 27th through May 20th.
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.

The Hong Kong University Museum & Art Gallery to show “Paintings by Jeffrey Lo Wan-shu & Esther Tam Mei-yung”

Posted: 22 Mar 2012 11:45 PM PDT

artwork: Left - Esther Tam Mei-yung - "Purple Peonies and Two Birds", 1997 - Hanging scroll, ink and colour on paper - 87.5 x 47 cm. Right - Jeffrey Lo Wan-shu - "Celestial Beauty of Longevity", 2011 - Hanging scroll, ink and colour on paper - 128 x 66 cm. The University Museum and Art Gallery of The University of Hong Kong, on view from March 29th until May 6th.
Hong Kong.- The University Museum and Art Gallery of The University of Hong Kong is delighted to present an exhibition "Paintings by Jeffrey Lo Wan-shu and Esther Tam Mei-yung" as part of the University's centenary celebrations. The Exhibition opens on March 29th and will remain on view through May 6th. Husband and wife couple Jeffrey Lo Wan-shu and Esther Tam Mei-yung emigrated to Canada in 1973. They established the Chun Wah Chinese Arts Studio and have been Chairman and Honorary Director of the Ontario Chinese Artists' Association for many years.

The Grand Palais showcases "Animal Beauty"

Posted: 22 Mar 2012 11:17 PM PDT

artwork: Jacopo da Ponte (Called Jacopo Bassano) - "Two Hunting Dogs Tied to a Tree Stump", 1548-1549 - Oil on canvas -  61 x 80 cm. Collection of the Musée du Louvre, Paris. -  On view at the Grand Palais in "Animal Beauty" until July 16th.

Paris.- The Grand Palais is currently showing "Animal Beauty" until July 16th. Since the Renaissance, artists and naturalists have observed animals and saught to represent them with as much accuracy as possible. This exhibition explores animals and their relationship with artists down through the ages. The 160 works on display, from the Renaissance to the present day, represent only animals, with no humans present. Visitors will be treated to a variety of paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures by famous and lesser-known artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, Eugène Delacroix, Vincent van Gogh, Mark Chagall, Rembrandt, Louise Bourgeois, Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons. Just like human beauty, animal beauty must meet specific criteria, which vary with different periods and milieus. A revolution occurred at the Renaissance: outstanding artists such as Dürer, and then the pioneers of zoology studied animals closely and described them in minute detail. This was also when the discovery of the New World revealed new animals, such as parrots and turkeys. Repertoires were soon built up. As soon as they could study animals, painters kept a record of them in their albums, which they dipped into for motifs which had already inspired other works.

Through a set of major works, the exhibition looks at the relationships that artists, often great painters and sculptors, have developed with animals. It shows that there is still a close link between art and science, between our desire to know about animals and our fascination for their beauty. Paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, famous or unfamiliar... the exhibition brings together about 130 masterpieces of Western art from the Renaissance to the present day, and takes a radical new approach by choosing works in which the animal is shown on its own and for itself, without any human presence. This marvellous menagerie, laid out in a clear design accessible to all audiences, will mingle wild and domestic beasts, the strange and the familiar.

artwork: Alexandre Gabriel Decamps - "The Monkey Painter", circa 1833 - Oil on canvas - 32 x 40.5 cm. Collection of the Musée du Louvre, - At the Grand Palais in "Animal Beauty" until July 16th.

Artists also worked on anatomical studies and tried to analyse motion, such as the movements of a galloping horse. But man was not content to represent animal beauty; he modified it, transforming the animals themselves, with all the means that science put at his disposal. New breeds of cows, dogs and cats appear in works of art. And conversely, paintings show us breeds that have gone out of fashion. We have all been influenced by Buffon and his Natural History, published shortly before the French Revolution, because of the irresistible portraits of animals it contains. But Buffon also distinguished between noble and ignoble animals. Good and beautiful were confused. His arbitrary classifications help explain our phobias for insects for example. As a result, some species were neglected by scientists and artists alike. Art these days overturns these values and artists look at animals that have long been denigrated. César's Bat and Louise Bourgeois' Spider are good examples. The publication of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species in 1959 was a shock for Judeo-Christian civilisation. The naturalist developed his theory of natural selection, based on the struggle for life, and suggested that men and monkeys were cousins. Artists were keenly interested in these theories. The image of the monkey, previously ridiculed and conventional, changed radically and gave rise to disquieting portraits, like François Pompon's extraordinary Orang-utan.

Biblical stories tell how animals were created and later saved from destruction by Noah's Ark. These myths tell of man's right of life or death over his so-called "inferior brothers". The suffering of animals was long denied and finally recognised under the impetus of writers such as Montaigne and Lafontaine. The question of whether or not animals had a soul was raised. Then empathy won the day and soon there were associations protecting animal rights (SPA in France in 1845) and a legislative arsenal (Grammont Act in France in 1850) to enforce them.  Artworks demonstrated animal sensitivity and the whole range of their irresistible expressions. In the Renaissance, exotic animals were highly sought after by the high and mighty. Kings and popes collected them in menageries to which some artists had privileged access. Their works have become precious testimonies.

artwork: Jeff Koons - "Poodle", 1991 - Polychrome wood - 100.3 x 58.4 x 52.1 cm. © Berardo Collection Museum/Foundation of modern and contemporary art. - On view at the Grand Palais, Paris in "Animal Beauty" until July 16th.

Visitors to the exhibition will learn of the extraordinary fate of Leo X's rhinoceros or Charles X's giraffe, whose journey through France from Marseille to Paris was a sensation. In 1793, the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes sparked a craze for zoos and their popularity has never waned. France thus enabled artists to come close to animals: this was the beginning of animal painting with major figures such as Barye and Delacroix. The artist found an increasingly varied range of models in the menagerie. Many creators now explore the relationship between men and animals and are alarmed by the threat that hangs over biodiversity. After China's panda, and the baby seals, the polar bear has become the symbol of this threat. A powerful symbol which warns men about the future of the planet. Will a sculpture as magnificent as Pompon's Polar Bear end up being principally a testimony to an extinct species? Will animal beauty soon be no more than a memory?

Constructed in just three years for the 1900 Universal exhibitions in Paris, the Grand Palais is a true architectural achievement. For over a century it has been inseparably associated with key artistic movements, major technological breakthroughs in aviation, the automotive industry, and radio broadcasting, and has hosted a wide range of events from show jumping to high fashion, as well as the most avant-garde and offbeat themes. The Grand Palais offers visitors a rich and diversified programme of events in its enormous 72,000 m2 (over 250,000 sq. ft) of floor space, separated into three distinct areas: the Nave, the Galeries Nationales and the Palais de la Découverte. Refurbished between 2001 and 2008 the Grand Palais is one of the major exhibition venues in Paris and currently hosting 5 separate exhibtions. Visit the Grand Palais website at ... http://www.rmn.fr/

Jim Shaw presents a large mural & 20 drawings at Metro Pictures Gallery

Posted: 22 Mar 2012 10:11 PM PDT

artwork: Jim Shaw - "Rinse Cycle", 2012.  -  Acrylic on muslin, 150 x 230 inches / 381 x 584.2 cm. - Photo: Courtesy Metro Pictures and the artist.

NEW YORK, NY.- For Jim Shaw's exhibition at Metro Pictures the Los Angeles-based artist presents a large mural and 20 drawings comprising a comic book that center on his fictional religion Oism, a narrative Shaw has been developing for more than 20 years. The works draw on eccentric aspects of American history and quirky old imagery to illustrate part two of Shaw's proposed, four-part Oist prog rock opera. Its story, told through the comic book, follows two small-time crooks as they break into the Museum of Oist History in Omaha. Seeking refuge from encroaching FBI agents the pair ducks into a 24-hour wig museum where a helpful curator hides them beneath wigs that inexplicably render them invisible and transport them to the ancient homeland of the religion's founding deity O. Exhibition on view until April 21st.

Philip Mould & Company hosts "The Painted Face during the Age of Photography"

Posted: 22 Mar 2012 09:43 PM PDT

artwork: Arthur 'Serres' Bennett (1869-1952) - "Portrait of a Lady", 1922 - Courtesy of Philip Mould & Co, London

LONDON.- This March, art consultant and portrait miniature specialist Emma Rutherford is curating and exhibiting a collection of Edwardian portrait miniatures from 1870 to 1970, from private collections. The exhibition is set to coincide with the release of a book written by Roger and Carmela Arturi Phillips, "A Dictionary of Miniature Painters 1870 -1970", at the leading Old Master gallery Philip Mould & Co, 29 Dover Street, London, W1S 4NA. Portrait miniatures, after experiencing a dip in popularity upon the invention of photography, enjoyed a revival in the early 20th century, and this exhibition aims to reflect this well known era through the 'lens' of the artist, and the social legacy of miniatures. The exhibition showcases the best of the elegant Edwardian society portrait miniature through to more contemporary examples reliant upon both photography and sittings.

Christie's Russian works of art sale Features exceptional Fabergé and Cloisonné

Posted: 22 Mar 2012 09:25 PM PDT

artwork: A silver-gilt cloisonné and en plein enamel box, 4¼ in. (10.8 cm.) long. - Estimate: 180,000 – 250,000 U.S. dollars. - Photo: Christie's Images Ltd.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie's sale of Russian Works of Art on Monday, April 16th in New York features one of the strongest offerings of cloisonné enamel to come to the market in years, including works by the master craftsman, Feodor Rückert , and the house of Fabergé . The auction comprises fresh to the market works from distinguished European and American private collections and includes more than 175 lots of silver, enamels, objects of vertú, porcelain and bronzes, with a pre-sale estimate of $3 – 4.3 million. Leading the works by Fabergé is a silver cloisonné and en plein enamel box (estimate: $180,000-250,000), which is set with a fine enamel plaque depicting Departure of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich for the Hunt, after the painting by Victor Vasnetsov . The box is one of many lots of exceptional enamels from a New York private collection.

Compton Verney to feature British & French Paintings From Impressionism to the 1920's

Posted: 22 Mar 2012 09:24 PM PDT

artwork: Claude Monet - "The Museum at Le Havre", 1873 - Oil on canvas - 75 x 100 cm. - © The National Gallery, London. On view at Compton Verney, Warwickshire in "Into the light: French and British Painting from Impressionism to the Early 1920s" from March 31st until June 10th 2012.

Compton Verney, Warwickshire, UK - The Compton Verney Art Gallery is proud to present "Into the light: French and British Painting from Impressionism to the Early 1920s" on view at the museum from March 31st through June 10th. This era marks a decisive period in the history of European art. This exhibition surveys the production of paintings on both sides of the Channel during this time, revealing connections and allowing a comparison of the artist's work.  It will offer a rare opportunity to challenge the common perception that during this time British artists' were following and rarely developing French traditions rather than producing work that was more suited to contemporary British interests and values. The exhibition comprises 54 paintings and drawings from major galleries throughout the UK including works by Vanessa Bell, Eugène Boudin, Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Walter Sickert, Alfred Sisley, Alexander Stanhope Forbes and Philip Wilson Steer.

"Into the Light" illustrates some of the major trends in the practice of painting over this 50 year period.  One of the most significant was artist's investigations into the representation of light. New developments in the materials and implements the artist used and the way they could transport them allowed them to develop new approaches and techniques. As this exhibition shows the result offered a more spontaneous response to place and stunning depictions of the shifting of light over the landscape which often challenged academic standards.

artwork: Eugène Boudin - "A Beach near Trouville", 1895 - Oil on canvas - 79 x 128 cm. © The Barber Institute of Fine Arts,The University of Birmingham.  -  At Compton Verney, Warwickshire in "Into the light" June 10th.

The exhibition explores what unites and separates the artistic response to similar subject matter concentrating exclusively on rural and coastal scenes from both France and Britain. These have often been perceived as representing a rural idyll, the antithesis of modern urban life, but a closer examination in this exhibition reveals that on both sides of the channel the spread of leisure culture and the growth of modern communications in the later 19th century blurred such a distinction. This exhibition is organised by the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, Exeter.

Until the early twentieth century Compton Verney was home to the Verney or Willoughby de Broke family for almost 500 years. It has now been transformed from a derelict eighteenth-century mansion into a gallery of international standing, offering a combination of high quality attractions and facilities. The project took ten years to complete and over twenty gallery spaces have been created. Compton Verney is unique in that it is a place where art, architecture, landscape and learning fuse, to offer the visitor an experience that is completely integrated and accessible. The Georgian mansion and adjacent service buildings have been conserved and extended in a contemporary idiom, a transformation executed by two architectural practices: Stanton Williams and Leamington-based Rodney Melville & Partners. The sensitive combination of restored Grade I-listed buildings and new spaces has been realised in construction and craftsmanship of outstanding quality. Attention to detail in the use of appropriate materials, natural lighting and works of art on open display complement the collections and the site itself. The qualities of the materials chosen - handmade bricks, hand-tooled stone, glass and steel - reflect the spirit of the original buildings, while bringing a new dynamic to the architectural composition. The buildings are linked from a single point of entry and the family of service buildings have been developed to incorporate a Learning Centre and offices. The historic importance of the site meant extensive consultations with English Heritage, Stratford District Council and the local Parish Council were required, resulting in a careful restoration of the core fabric of the building, with the contemporary extension providing an added dimension and focus. Inside the mansion, restored eighteenth-century rooms on the ground floor lead to progressively more abstract and flexible spaces on the upper floors, where new galleries have been created within the existing shell of the historic building. The galleries at Compton Verney are of an international standard enabling the hosting of loaned works of art from all over the world.

artwork: Robert Polhill Bevan - "Devonshire Valley No. 1", circa 1913 - Oil on canvas. © Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery  -  At Compton Verney, Warwickshire in "Into the light" from March 31st until June 10th.

Compton Verney houses six permanent collections, focusing on areas currently under-represented in British museums and galleries. The collections are owned by the Compton Verney Collections Settlement and continue to grow, supported by funds from the Peter Moores Foundation. The temporary exhibitions programme offers both historic and contemporary shows and is designed to appeal to a wide audience. Paintings and objects from Naples during the 'Golden Age' of Baroque Art (1600-1800) inlude exquisitely carved sculptures by artists such as Tilman Riemenschneider seen alongside panel paintings by Lucas Cranach and Martin Schongauer in the collection of Northern European art from 1450-1650. The British Portraits collection which features portraits of well-known Tudor Royals and important figures from the Georgian period. It also includes a portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds and two views of London by Venetian artist Canaletto who worked in Britain in the mid 1700s. An impressive selection of Bronzes and pottery is included in the Chinese collection, dating from between the Neolithic period (about 4500-2000 BC) and Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Compton Verney also hosts the UK's largest collection of British Folk Art objects and paintings, made as everyday objects by everyday people and objects of inspiration and original textile designs by Enid Marx in our Marx-Lambert collection. Marx was most famous for her fabric designs for the London Underground in the 1930s. Visit the museum's website at ... http://www.comptonverney.org.uk

Norman Gorbaty ~ 2 Exhibitions At The Fairfield University In Connecticut ~ A Rediscovered Master

Posted: 22 Mar 2012 09:09 PM PDT

artwork: Norman Gorbaty - "Torah", 2006 - Oil on canvas - 30" x 40". Courtesy of the artist. A selection of Gorbaty's Judaic art is exhibited in "To Honor My People: Reflections of a Jewish Artist" at the Thomas J. Walsh Gallery through March 27 2011.

Fairfield, Connecticut (New York Times).- Norman Gorbaty, now 78, has been making artworks, many of them large, for more than half a century. Hundreds, probably thousands, of pieces in more than a dozen media. For most of that time, the pieces were set aside, leaned against a wall, thrown in a drawer or folder, relegated to the basement or attic, and rarely seen by anyone other than friends or relatives. But after Mr. Gorbaty's wife died in 2003, his son thought that organizing and perhaps showing the art would be therapeutic, so he secretly entered a drawing into a juried show."It was the clear winner," recalled the juror, Susan Greenberg Fisher, then associate curator of modern and contemporary art at the Yale University Gallery. She described Mr. Gorbaty's work as "the highest level." Ms. Fisher was the first of many experts to praise the work as Mr. Gorbaty. Now shared with hundreds of galleries and museums.

The exhibition at the Thomas J. Walsh Gallery ("To Honor My People: Reflections of a Jewish Artist") will run in tandem with "Works in Dialogue" at the Bellarmine Museum of Art, both shows running through March 27. These consitute Mr. Gorbaty's third solo show. His work was previously displayed at the Hotchkiss School's Tremaine Gallery in Lakeville, Connecticut, in 2008, and at Queens Community College in 2009. Ben Gorbaty says that about a dozen drawings, paintings and pastels have been sold, and that smaller works are priced at $2,500 to $5,000. "To Honor My People" will showcase a dynamic and vital selection of Gorbaty's work never seen before and represents Gorbaty's first comprehensive gallery exhibition of his Judaic works, whilst "Works in DIalogue" highlights the artist's smaller works on paper and his carved "stele."

artwork: Norman Gorbaty - "The Animals" from the "Creation" series, 1973 - Pine - 48" x 72". Courtesy of the artist. A selection of Gorbaty's Judaic art is exhibited in "To Honor My People: Reflections of a Jewish Artist" at the Thomas J. Walsh Gallery through March 27 2011.

"He draws like an old master and yet has this contemporary flair," said Charles Noyes, co-head of the arts department at Hotchkiss. "The wood carvings, the bas reliefs, were stunning," said Sylvia Herskowitz, then the director of the Yeshiva University Museum in New York. "Very finely done; and to think that he was working all this time and never showing it. I couldn't understand it."

Norman Gorbaty, a faux curmudgeon with a twinkle in his hazel blue eyes, trained at Yale with the artist Josef Albers and the architect Louis Kahn, and won a spot in a 1954 Young American Printmakers show at the Museum of Modern Art. But he chose Madison Avenue as a more reliable way to support his new wife and, eventually, two children, becoming art director at Benton & Bowles and then opening his own agency. "I was in advertising at a time that I considered was the great period in advertising," he said. "We had fun. Oh, God, did we have fun." Mr. Gorbaty designed ads for Crest toothpaste, Post cereals and I.B.M.'s then-groundbreaking Selectric typewriter, and also created covers for Time magazine, titles for Woody Allen films and illustrations for more than 85 children's books. But he said he sometimes "felt like a traitor" to fine art. So, night after night, year after year, he created.

There were small carvings and sculptures from ivory, scrimshaw, stone, plaster and even the children's clay Sculpey. There were enormous wood pieces that fit only in the garage of his home on Long Island. Endless pastels, using the leftovers from the advertising world's premagic marker days; the occasional oil painting; and, always, drawings (his favorite) in pencil, charcoal, pen, brown ink, even crayon. The subjects were similarly varied, naturescapes and other sights from yearly trips to Europe and elsewhere, portraits, both realistic and abstract and Judaica, a passion borne of his Russian-Jewish heritage and Brooklyn upbringing. Some works reflect religious practices; some explore persecution from the Crusades through World War II. "Struma," at the Walsh (Mr. Gorbaty's first all-Judaica exhibition) is named for a ship of Jewish refugees from Romania who died after their boat was set adrift at sea by Turkish officials and then sunk by a Russian submarine.

"To me, the whole thing was the doing," not the display, Mr. Gorbaty said of his work. "One advantage," he said, was that because "I was not in art full time, I would do things that weren't up for criticism. I could just do them and put them away" and not have to field comments like " 'Oh, he's losing it; oh, he's getting it; oy, he should be making this.' " And, he added, "Maybe I was a little scared." Preparing the vast collection for the public was a painstaking task. Works had not been named, cataloged or photographed. "It was 'CSI' in the art world," said Ms. Kaiser. Ben Gorbaty added: "It was just like uncovering a tomb from a dead artist." Ben Gorbaty and his wife have moved much of Mr. Gorbaty's large work into storage, though Mr. Gorbaty's home (which now has a large studio, where he continues to make art) remains stuffed with art, some of it dating to the 1950s. There are pieces, Mr. Gorbaty admitted, that he cannot remember making. "Not only that, I don't know which is up and which is down on some of them," he said, laughing.

But sometimes some of his old works stun him. "Boy, could I draw," he said. "Now it's not the same. I don't have the same hand. So now I do other things." Mr. Gorbaty said that "it would be nice" to be appreciated commercially at this stage, but that he knew it was unlikely. Galleries, he said, prefer younger people who can keep producing. And he does not relish the preparations required for a show like the one now at the Walsh. "It ruins the whole day," he said. "I can't wait until this is over so they leave me alone. So I can carve a little statue, do a little this; something that I feel like doing at the time."

artwork: Norman Gorbaty - "Jewish Wedding", 1998 - Pastel - 40" x 78". Courtesy of the artist. A selection of Gorbaty's Judaic art is exhibited in "To Honor My People: Reflections of a Jewish Artist" at the Thomas J. Walsh Gallery through March 27 2011.

As Norman Gorbaty says on his website: "When I think of my work two words come to mind: Movement and Drawing. These concepts, as I understand, study and explore them, are recurring themes. When I refer to "drawing" I don't just mean the physical works on paper or the finished picture. I am also referring to the process I use in the actual "doing" of the art. This approach was greatly influenced by both Joseph Albers and Louis Kahn while at Yale. I make a mark. That mark tells me where the next mark should go and so on until the image begins to have a life of its own. It begins to tell me what it wants to be. It's for me to recognize what it wants to be and help it to become that. Sometimes I don't give in and force a different direction, but again the piece begins to tell me what it wants to be and so on. It is this "doing" of pictures that I am about. I am fascinated by the motion around us and often try to capture this in my work. There is movement in life as we "do" it. Everything moves. Images are constantly in motion. Whether we are physically moving or our surroundings are moving, or just our eye is moving we sense motion constantly. This movement combines with our differing perspectives of an image to create unique experiences which I artistically explore.

My journey formally began over fifty years ago while attending Amherst and Yale. At that time my focus was print-making. My works were shown in Brooklyn Museum's Print Annual for several years and included in a modest show at MOMA entitled Young American Printmakers. At around that time I married Joy, and made a switch to the less risky field of graphic arts in order to provide my family with more certain stability and comfort (or so I told myself). At the same time I continued doing my art outside the confines of my career.

After the passing of Joy, my "Old Beauty" in 2003 I have retired from my career as a graphic artist to focus completely on fine art. Joy was not only my inspiration, but she was also my audience and with her passing I found I have the need to once again show my work in more public forums. Jules Michelet's quote sums up both my journey and my passion for art: The end is nothing, the road is all. When a picture is finished it no longer belongs to me. You can hang it, show it, look at it, turn its face to the wall, say about it what you want, and do with it what you will. But the doing of the picture is mine. Only I own the doing."

Metropolitan Museum Exhibits Modern British Prints 1914-1939

Posted: 22 Mar 2012 09:08 PM PDT

artwork: Cyril E. Power (British, 1872-1951) - The Escalator  ca. 1929 - Color linocut - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Promised Gift of Johanna and Leslie Garfield, 2005 - ©Courtesy The Artist's Estate & Osborne Samuel Ltd.

NEW YORK CITY - Rhythms of Modern Life: British Prints 1914-1939, the first major exhibition in the United States to examine the impact of modern artistic movements – especially Italian Futurism – on British printmaking from the outbreak of World War I to the beginning of World War II, will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Featuring the work of 14 artists, Rhythms of Modern Life will showcase more than 100 prime examples of graphic works that celebrate the vitality and dynamism of modern life. On exhibition through 7 December, 2008.

David Zwirner Displays an Exhibition by German artist Neo Rauch

Posted: 22 Mar 2012 09:07 PM PDT

artwork: Neo Rauch - "Ware", 2011- Oil on canvas, 78 3/4 x 98 3/8 inches (200 x 250 cm.) - Photo: Courtesy David Zwirner, New York

NEW YORK, N.Y.- David Zwirner presents an exhibition of new works by Neo Rauch, on display at the gallery's 533 West 19th Street space. The exhibition, the artist's fifth solo show at the gallery, consists of small and large format paintings—several larger-than-life—as well as a bronze sculpture, representing one of the first instances Rauch has worked in three-dimensional form. Rauch's paintings are characterized by a unique combination of realism and surrealist abstraction. In many of his compositions, human figures engaged in manual labor or indeterminable tasks work against backdrops of mundane architecture, industrial settings, or bizarre and often barren landscapes. These figures, though squarely centered in his paintings, often have the appearance of being part of still lifes devoid of a human presence or collaged elements belonging to different time zones. Scale is frequently arbitrary and non-perspectival, which adds to an overall dream-like atmosphere; the spatial relationships construct their own imaginary realm.

Wener Herzog's New Film Brings The Oldest French Art To Life In 3 Dimensions

Posted: 22 Mar 2012 09:06 PM PDT

artwork: A mammoth hunt on the wall of the Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc cave in Southern France. These works of art (some as old as 32,000 years and believed to be the oldest in the world) are now brought to life in Werner Herzog's "Cave of Dreams" 3-D movie.

London, England (CNN).- Untouched for 20,000 years, the awe-inspiring Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc cave in Southern France is now brought to life in 3D by visionary German director Werner Herzog. As the camera drops into the cave, to the sounds of eerie chanting, breath-taking scenes of glittering, calcite formations and large halls littered with the bones of now extinct cave bears are not only illuminated but made to seem close enough to touch. Most important are the numerous paintings on the undulating walls of the cave, of animals including rhinoceros, bison, mammoths, lions, hyenas and horses, some painted up to 32,000 years ago and which are so vivid as to seem alive. "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" is Herzog's first foray into 3D filmmaking and he says in this case for format was an obvious choice. "The films I have made so far should not have been made in 3D but I think in this case that it was imperative," he said. "I am still in general skeptical about 3D." His approach has allowed the viewer into Chauvet cave, which was only discovered in 1994 and is otherwise shut off to the public for fear of upsetting its delicate climate and damaging the irreplaceable wall paintings. And for Herzog, the medium also lent itself to the cave's layout: "If you look at the formation of the cave, it's not that there are flat walls and paintings on them; there's a great drama in the formation of wild, undulating walls, and bulges and niches, which were all used and utilized by the artists." Herzog's film was completed in September 2010, only just in time for its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was the first 3-D film to screen at the festival's Bell Lightbox theatre.  It is expected to go on general release in Spring 2011 and will be shown on the History Channel who part-funded it.

Museo Picasso in Malaga opens Alberto Giacometti ~ A Retrospective Exhibition

Posted: 22 Mar 2012 09:05 PM PDT

artwork: The Museo Picasso Málaga presents Alberto Giacometti. A Retrospective, an exhibition that precisely reflects the different stages in the career of one of the outstanding artists of the last century. - Installation view of the exhibition at the Museo Picasso Malaga.

MALAGA, SPAIN  - The Museo Picasso Málaga presents Alberto Giacometti. A Retrospective, an exhibition that precisely reflects the different stages in the career of one of the outstanding artists of the last century. Giacometti's work is crucial to understanding the development of the avant-gardes and the subsequent evolution of contemporary art, while as an artist he nevertheless defies classification. This project challenges the conventional reductionist view of Giacometti's oeuvre. This is the first Alberto Giacometti retrospective to be held in Spain in more than 20 years, and it will bring together 198 artworks in the Palacio de Buenavista. The 20 photographs and 166 of the other works are from the collections of the Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti, in Paris, created by the artist's widow.

artwork: Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) Head of a Man on a Base c. 1949-1951 Painted plaster 22.3 x 7.5 x 9.5 cm Collection Fondation Giacometti, © Sucession Giacometti/VegapThe show is completed by three works by Gioacometti that are on loan from private collections and from the Zurich Kunsthaus, along with a work by José Ruiz Blasco and a selection of eight works by Pablo Picasso from private collections, the MPM's own permanent collection and the Fundación Picasso Casa Natal. On view 17 October through 5 Februay, 2012.

The activities that have been scheduled to take place alongside this exhibition include workshops, jointly organized with ONCE, that involve six resin copies of sculptures by Alberto Giacometti; a seminar that will examine the subject of Architects, Film-makers and Artists in their Studios; a series of talks to be held in Malaga and Paris on The Artist's Studio; guided tours of the exhibition for adults and schoolchildren, and workshops for school group during term-time and for children in general during the Christmas holidays.

With his exhibition of Alberto Giacometti (Borgonovo, Switzerland, 1901 - Chur, Switzerland, 1966), the Museo Picasso Málaga presents the work of a key figure in twentieth-century art and a contemporary of Pablo Picasso, with whom he coincided in Paris, although, though the Swiss artist was a generation younger. Despite the evident aesthetic and existential differences that characterize their work and their attitudes, there are significant points in common in the two artists' careers, such as being sons of artists, their academic training, their move to Paris during their youth from peripheral countries to the artistic centre of the time, and their shared interest in the Old Masters.

The exhibition also addresses other key facets of Giacometti's life and work, such as his obsession with inventing new modes of representation by stripping traditional genres such as the portrait, the still-life, the human figure and landscape down to the barest minimum. The show also explores his belief in the existence of a reality beyond the realm of appearances, as evidenced by his brief foray into Surrealism – a reality he perceived as being in constant flux and transformation.

The 169 works by Giacometti brought together for this exhibition, which include oil paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, furniture and textiles, and the 20 photographs by other artists documenting the artist at work, are grouped in different sections and arranged chronologically to show the successive stages of his aesthetic evolution: the earliest works, his arrival in Paris and first exposure to non-academic influences, his interest in late Cubism, his artistic relationship with creative talents such as Picasso and Cézanne, the notion of the cage as delimited space and the human as an artistic genre, among other topics. Alongside them are displayed a small selection of works by Pablo Picasso that illustrate the common features of both artists, as described above.

It should be pointed out that twenty of the works that have been brought to Malaga - amongst them two oil paintings - have never before been on loan from the Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti for exhibition purposes. This is therefore the first time they have been on show. Also on display is an interactive digital version of a 1932 sketchbook of Giacometti's drawings that reveals the Swiss artist's explicit interest in a group of works by Pablo Picasso that are specific in terms of period and form.

artwork: Installation courtesy of (Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti, Paris)

A journey through his work

A painter, sculptor, draftsman, printmaker, creator of decorative objects and writer, Giacometti never ceased to explore new artistic paths. The exhibition as a whole bears witness to his disturbing and wonderful world and the coherence of his aesthetic position.

artwork: Pablo Ruiz Picasso - Self and Monster, 1929 Oil on canvas - Courtesy of Fundación Picasso Casa NatalAlberto Giacometti. A Retrospective begins with works from the family setting of his early years, and the first portraits and anatomical studies. One of the key sections of the exhibition traces the artist's development from his arrival in Paris in 1922 and his attempts to engage as a sculptor with late Cubism in the second half of the twenties and the early thirties and with the tenets of Surrealism, from his first contacts with Jean Cocteau and André Masson in 1929 through to his admission into André Breton's circle in 1931.

During the thirties Giacometti devoted a part of his energies to applied arts, designing and making furniture and decorative objects, a number of examples of which are included in the show. This line of work gave added impetus to his experimentation and his sculptural exploration of a new idea of ​​place, with an aesthetic far removed now from Cubism and Surrealism. He now set himself to question the value of abstract art as a credible vision of reality, and in engaging with and reworking the traditional genres made a unique contribution to the history of twentieth century art.

During the second half of the thirties, after he was expelled from the surrealist group, he began to focus on the relation between figure and pedestal, on the expression of architectural and spatial qualities, highlighting the work of art as the nucleus that facilitates the experience of place. One of the most innovative departures here is the affirmation of the value of real movement in sculpture.

From 1946 on, are the stretched and elongated threadlike figures sculpted in bronze that inhabit a space shared with the viewer. These are complemented by a series of oil paintings in which the representation of the protagonists strips them of subjectivity in order to endow them with objective intensity and luminosity. For Giacometti, sculpture was of interest to the extent that it embodied his vision of the outside world. The exhibition concludes with the impressive figure of the Walking Man I from the sixties, the culmination of a life and a career of absolute dedication to his work.

The exhibition also includes a remarkable selection of Giacometti's prints and drawings, which focus on the modes of representation of the artist's studio and models, and a series of works that bear witness to his appreciation of the art of other cultures, notably those of Africa and Oceania.

The exhibition is curated by art historian Véronique Wiesinger, director of the Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti in Paris and one of the world's foremost experts on the artist's work, in collaboration with José Lebrero Stals, artistic director of the Museo Picasso Málaga.

Visit The Museo Picasso Málaga at : http://www2.museopicassomalaga.org/

Paintings on Paper by Reeve Schley at James Graham & Sons Gallery

Posted: 22 Mar 2012 09:04 PM PDT

artwork: Reeve Schley - "Posing Patterns", 2009 - Oil on canvas, 46 x 60 inches. - Photo: Courtesy James Graham & Sons Gallery.

NEW YORK, NY.- James Graham & Sons Gallery presents an exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Reeve Schley, Outdoor Light, which marks the artist's eighteenth solo exhibition with the gallery. Schley has been exhibiting with James Graham & Sons for close to 40 years. The show will be on exhibit from May 5th through June 18th, 2010. The show will feature over two dozen new watercolors as well as four large-scale oil paintings, conveying imagery personal to the artist and painted en plein air.

Lowe Art Museum to feature a Charles Biederman Retrospective

Posted: 22 Mar 2012 09:03 PM PDT

artwork: Charles Biederman - Untitled, Paris, April 1937 - Oil on canvas Museum purchase, Weisman Art Museum

Miami, FL - Charles Biederman: An American Idealist, a touring exhibition organized by the Frederick Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota will be on view at the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, from November 22, 2008 through January 18, 2009.  The exhibition offers a comprehensive overview of the life and work of  Charles Biederman (1906-2004), an acclaimed American modernist, important in the Constructivist movement, who pioneered new directions in geometric abstract art. The exhibition features a broad array of paintings and sculptures created during a prolific and influential artistic career. 

artwork: Charles Biederman #9-A, Paris, designed May 1937, created 1982 - painted wood Collection Weisman Art Museum, Gift of Charles J. BiedermanThe retrospective includes early oils inspired by American scene painting, biomorphic abstractions from the 1930s, early wood and string constructions also from the 1930s, and finally Biederman's late metal reliefs. Fifty-three works in all complete the show. A new catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

As a young artist, Biederman lived in the thriving art centers of Chicago, Paris, and New York, where he experimented with most of the new artistic styles known as modernist. He developed his most notable and original work, however, while living in Red Wing, Minnesota, where he moved in 1942 and remained until the end of his life. During his years in rural Minnesota, Biederman ventured on a personal search for a new way of seeing, a new vision of nature, and a new art. Also during this time, he published a number of works on philosophy, science, and art.

Born in Cleveland in 1906, Biederman studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, then gravitated to New York City in 1934. There he was honored with important exhibitions that launched him into the American modernist community. Pierre Matisse gave Biederman his first one-person exhibition. Like other young American modernists, Biederman also made a pilgrimage to Paris, then the international art capital. He stayed nearly a year, absorbing the art and critical discourse of the avant-garde and investigating currents of European modernism. There he encountered artists who shaped 20th-century art history, including Picasso, Kandinsky,  Léger, and Miró.  In 1937 Biederman returned to New York in the hope that America would be more conducive to creating art that "legitimately belongs to our times."

artwork: Charles Biederman #5, Red Wing , designed 1981, created 1983 - painted aluminum Collection Weisman Art Museum, Gift of Charles J. BiedermanBiederman progressed through a variety of styles before making his most distinctive work. In his formative years, he painted still lifes after French painter Paul Cézanne, landscapes and self-portraits inspired by the geometry of cubism, non-representational images of organic forms, then geometric abstractions. Sculptures, collages, and wood reliefs followed. By the late 1930s Biederman gave up painting and sculpture altogether, concentrating instead on the painted aluminum constructions he believes most fully represent his ideas about art and nature.

Biederman's lasting achievement resides in his late work and the ideas that shaped it. Beginning in 1942 he developed a set of theories about art, wrote extensively on his ideas, and constructed reliefs with projecting forms that reflect a vision of nature inspired by Cézanne. The interlocking planes and patches of unmodulated color in Cézanne's canvases became the touchstone for Biederman's mature artistic vocabulary. Structurism, his self-defining label for what he saw as his most important body of work, holds nature as the ultimate root of art and insists upon a wholly abstract translation of nature into the pure visual elements of color, plane, and form.  In these works, small metal forms project from the surface and enliven the monochromatic background planes.

Charles Biederman died on December 26, 2004, at the age of 98, at his home in Red Wing, Minnesota. His work testifies to a significant contribution to the history of the utopian modern project of abstract art.

Biederman is represented in distinguished collections across the United States and Western Europe, including New York's Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Tate Gallery in London, among many others. Drawings, paintings, constructions, notes, manuscripts, and papers form the Charles Biederman Archive at the Weisman Art Museum. Visit the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, at : www.lowemuseum.org/

Willie Bester ~ Apartheid Laboratory

Posted: 22 Mar 2012 09:02 PM PDT

artwork: Willie Bester Trojan Horse II

Cape Town, SA - Regarded as one of South Africa's foremost contemporary artists, Willie Bester is also recognized as having played an important role in bringing about social change as part of an artist collective during the Apartheid years. Despite the reforms of the recent past the narrative of liberation continues for Bester, who asserts that "remaining apolitical is a luxury that South Africans simply cannot afford." We thank the lenders to the exhibition, Jerome and Ellen Stern, New York, and Gilbert and Lila Silverman, Detroit.

The Museo del Prado opens First Monographic Exhibition on Juan Bautista Maíno

Posted: 22 Mar 2012 09:01 PM PDT

artwork: The painting "The Recapture of Bahia de Todos los Santos" by Spanish artist Juan Bautista Maino during the media presentation of the Maino exhibit at Madrid's Prado Museum / Reuters/Dani Cardona.

MADRID.- This October the Museo del Prado is presenting the first monographic exhibition on Juan Bautista Maíno, one of the most original but least known figures within Spanish painting of the first half of the 17th century. For the first time the exhibition, sponsored by the Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, will bring together almost all the artist's known works, together with seven previously unknown ones and others by Spanish and Italian painters that will help to set Maíno's paintings in an international and Spanish context. On view 20 October through 17 January, 2010 at The Prado.

The exhibition Juan Bautista Maíno (1581-1649) includes 37 works by the artist and a further 26 by the painters who most influenced his artistic development, among them Velázquez and Caravaggio. It will allow visitors to see most of the known works by Maíno, one of the most important figures within Spanish painting of the first half of the 17th century but also one of the least known due to the scarcity of surviving information on his life and work and the problems involved in reconstructing his biography and oeuvre.

artwork: Juan Bautista Maino "The Adoration of the Magi" at Madrid's Prado Museum Photo:Reuters / Dani Cardona.The exhibition thus offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore and become familiar with the figure of Juan Bautista Maíno, who has not previously been the subject of a monographic exhibition. Thanks to recent research and the growing interest in his figure new attributions have been added to his small output of around 40 works. Seven of these recent attributions will be included in the exhibition as autograph works by Maíno, in addition to various paintings that were previously only known in photographic reproductions and others that have rarely been exhibited and have not previously been set within the context of the rest of his output.

The exhibition also includes notable paintings by the artist such as "The Repentant Saint Peter" (Galería Barbié, Barcelona), "The Penitent Magdalen" (Swiss private collection) and "Saint Dominic in Soriano," the composition for which he was best known (Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg).

Particularly outstanding are the ten paintings that make up Maíno's masterpiece, "The Saint Peter Martyr Altarpiece," painted for the Dominican monastery in Toledo where he took religious orders in 1613. In the past they were housed in the now defunct Museo de la Trinidad and are now part of the Prado's collection. The four large canvases are the most important within the overall composition and can be considered key works of 17th-century Spanish painting. Of them, "The Adoration of the Magi" and "The Adoration of the Shepherds" are among the finest examples of Spanish painting of the time and immediately suggest the work of painters such as Savoldo, Caravaggio, Orazio Gentileschi and Guido Reni.

"The Recapture of Bahía" (1634-35) was originally in the Spanish royal collection and is Maíno's most famous individual painting, executed for the Salón de Reinos [Hall of Realms] in the Buen Retiro palace in Madrid. Maíno was employed by the Spanish court due to his fame as an outstanding painter and his position as a Dominican monk, and around 1620, when the artist was 42, Philip III appointed him drawing master to the prince, the future Philip IV. At this period Maíno established cordial relations with Velázquez whom he supported and selected as the winner in a competition to paint the subject of "The Expulsion of the Moors" (now lost), preferring his entry to those by rivals of the stature of Carducho and Cajés.

"Portrait of a Gentleman" (1618-23) dates from this period when Maíno was close to Velázquez. Acquired by the Museo del Prado in 1936 it is one of only four signed works by Maíno and is of particular importance within his oeuvre, revealing clear parallels with Velázquez.

Caravaggism and Classicism
The German art historian Carl Justi was one of the first to locate Maíno within Caravaggio's orbit ("It is likely that no one came as close to Caravaggio as this Spanish Dominican monk", he wrote in 1888). The exhibition therefore includes works by Italian artists who can be related to Maíno's years of training in Rome and his Italian roots. In addition to paintings by Caravaggio, the exhibition includes examples by Gentileschi, Reni, Saraceni, Cavarozzi, Elsheimer and Cecco de Caravaggio. Particularly notable is Caravaggio's "Ecstasy of Saint Francis," loaned by the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and exhibited for the first time in Spain.

artwork: Woman with a Dove Cecco de Caravaggio Oil on canvas, 66 x 47 cm. Museo Nacional del PradoTo help provide a context for Maíno's work and in addition to the above-mentioned comparison with contemporary Italian painters, the exhibition also includes works by other contemporary Spanish painters that relate to his years in Toledo and Madrid. They include examples by El Greco, Velázquez, Tristán, Orrente, Bartolomé González, Núñez del Valle and Lanchares. Together they present a broader perspective of the significance of Maíno's compositions within Spanish painting of the day.
The exhibition is arranged chronologically and allows for an appreciation of Maíno's pictorial evolution through its eight thematic sections, starting with his earliest compositions for the Pastrana Altarpiece in Guadalajara. This section is followed by others on the small-format works; landscapes; the two Adorations, "The Resurrection and the Pentecost for the Saint Peter Martyr Altarpiece;" portraits; large-format works; saints; and finally a section on "The Recapture of Bahía."

A little-known Master
Among the great figures of Spanish painting, Juan Bautista Maíno (Pastrana, 1581- Madrid, 1649) is also one of the least well known. Although Lope de Vega, Francisco Pacheco, Jusepe Martínez and Antonio Palomino expressed great admiration for Maíno as both a man and a painter he has not until now been the subject of a major study. In addition, the fact that he entered the Dominican Order in 1613 relegated his artistic activities to a secondary plane, as a result of which his known oeuvre only comprises around 40 works. Despite being drawing master to the future Philip IV, who always respected and paid attention to Maíno's artistic judgments, concrete biographical details have been so scarce that the precise place and date of his birth in Spain were not known until 1958.

It is now known that the artist was born in the town of Pastrana in the area of Spain known as the Alcarria. Maíno was the son of a Milanese silk merchant of the same name and of Ana de Figueredo from Lisbon. He spent his teenage years in Madrid and went to Italy at a date that is still not known but must have been around the end of the 16th century. There he received his artistic training within the context of the two major trends that prevailed in Rome around 1600: Caravaggio's revolutionary naturalism and the revision of Italian classicism undertaken by Annibale Carracci and the Bolognese school. Maíno experienced and assimilated this new combination of manners and styles at first hand, as is evident in his painting, which is characterized by a vigorous, descriptive line and monumental, sculptural figures that are defined through intense, contrasting light and bright, saturated colors with a wide range of yellows, ochres, cobalt blues and vermilions. Maíno painted on a range of supports and in different dimensions and was particularly notable as a portraitist as well as a landscape painter, a genre in which he left a number of compositions that combine a classicizing aesthetic with a minutely detailed, almost botanical focus close to the style of the Flemish landscape painters.

Visit the Museo del Prado at : http://www.museodelprado.es/

This Week in Review in Art Knowledge News

Posted: 22 Mar 2012 09:00 PM PDT

This is a new feature for the subscribers and visitors to Art Knowledge News (AKN), that will enable you to see "thumbnail descriptions" of the last ninety (90) articles and art images that we published. This will allow you to visit any article that you may have missed ; or re-visit any article or image of particular interest. Every day the article "thumbnail images" will change. For you to see the entire last ninety images just click : here .

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