Sabtu, 14 April 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...

Goodbye . . Sadly Our Last Day Online Will Be April 16th

Posted: 14 Apr 2012 12:54 AM PDT

artwork: GOODBYE ~Adios ~ Auf Wiedersehen & Au Revoir. Our Art Knowledge News  magazine is closing forever with the very last posting on Monday, April 16th.  We have published daily for 7+ years.  We transferred ownership of our website, and sadly the new owner will not continue publishing art. Therefore they will  wipe clean all of the vast content from our servers. That is sad for us, and we will miss our subscribers worldwide, and all the many art related contributors.  We truly enjoyed bringing you art news and great art images every day.

The Laing Gallery to display "Family Matters ~ The Family in British Art"

Posted: 14 Apr 2012 12:40 AM PDT

artwork: Jonathan Leaman - "A Jan Steen Kitchen", 1995-6 - Oil on canvas - 123.5 x 170.5 cm. - Collection of the Tate, London. At the Laing Gallery, Newcastle in "Family Matters: The Family in British Art" from May 19th until September 2nd.

Newcastle, England. The Laing Gallery is proud to present "Family Matters: The Family in British Art" on view afrom May 19th through September 2nd. The British family has been and continues to be a challenging and popular subject for artists. Major works from Tate, Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service, Laing Art Gallery and Museums Sheffield will show how the family has been subject to the regional, cultural, ethnic and economic diversity over the last 500 years in Britain. This includes an exciting mix of contemporary and historic art, including works by Thomas Gainsborough, Joshua Reynolds, David Hockney and Paula Rego.

The Family in British Art charts the depiction of the family over 400 years of British Art. What is a family and what is the idea of family? How have notions of the family changed over time? The Family in British Art explores the ways artists have formulated and explored these questions. It looks at how artists have shown the importance of the family in private and public life, and asks what role ideas of family have played in shaping our national and cultural identity. The family is at the heart of complex human relationships and encounters, so we should not be surprised to find representations of family that are full of argument, contradiction and paradox.

artwork: David Hockney - "My Parents", 1977 - Oil on canvas - 182.9 x 182.9 cm. Collection of the Tate, London. On view at the Laing Gallery, Newcastle in "The Family in British Art" from May 19th until September 2nd.

Previous explorations of the family in British art have focused on particular social and economic issues, or art historical periods. By contrast "The Family in British Art" brings together representations of the family across different periods and media to examine the changing nature of the family and its representations over time. By placing historical and contemporary works side by side, "The Family in British Art" traces how artists have explored notions of family for personal or political purposes. Four galleries are working together to use historic British Art collections to explore questions about nationhood and identity today. Four exhibitions, "Watercolour", "John Martin", "Restless Times" and "Family Matters", all address different aspects of British artistic heritage and contemporary practice and form "The Great British Art Debate". The different artists, time periods and techniques in each exhibition will show different views on Britain and the British people.

The Great British Art Debate is a partnership between Tate Britain, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service and Museums Sheffield, supported by The National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, and by the MLA's Renaissance programme.

artwork: Joseph Clover - "The Harvey Family of Norwich", circa 1820 - Oil on canvas - 102.8 x 126.5 cm. Collection of Norfolk Museums  -  On view at the Laing Gallery, Newcastle in "Family Matters: The Family in British Art" from May 19th until September 2nd.

The Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne, England is located on New Bridge Street. It was opened in 1904 and is now managed by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The gallery holds oil paintings, watercolours and Newcastle silver. In the early 1880s, Newcastle was the greatest glass producer in the world and enamelled glasses by William Beilby are on view along with ceramics (including Maling pottery), and diverse contemporary works by emerging UK artists. It has a programme of regularly rotating exhibitions and has free entry. The Laing is home to an impressive collection of art and sculpture and its exhibition programme is renowned for bringing the biggest names in historic, modern and contemporary art to the North East. The gallery boasts an extensive collection of paintings by John Martin, including the dramatic "The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah", as well as important works by Sir Joshua Reynolds, Edward Burne-Jones ("Laus Veneris"), Holman Hunt ("Isabella and the Pot of Basil"), Ben Nicholson and others. There is also an extensive collection of 18th- and 19th-century watercolours and drawings, including work by J M W Turner, John Sell Cotman and others. The Gallery has a packed programme of free events which include gallery talks, family activities and artists' events. There are events throughout the year including talks from leading contemporary artists and fun activities for families. Many of these events, like the gallery, are free of charge. Visit the museum's website at ...

The Baltimore Contemporary Print Fair comes to Baltimore April 28th

Posted: 14 Apr 2012 12:32 AM PDT

artwork: Hung Liu - "Unofficial Portraits: The Martyr", 2001 - Color lithograph w/collage - 30" x 30" - Edition of 30 - Courtesy Shark's Ink. Shark's Ink will be exhibiting at the Baltimore Contemporary Print Fair on April 28th and 29th.

Baltimore, Maryland.- This spring, take a closer look at prints by leading contemporary artists and innovators in printmaking when the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) brings 20 presses, printers, and galleries from around the U.S. for the Baltimore Contemporary Print Fair on Saturday, April 28th 11 a.m.–6 p.m., and Sunday, April 29th 12–6 p.m. This biennial event provides new and established collectors the opportunity to peruse and purchase limited editions, single prints, portfolios, photographs, and drawings by artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Faith Ringgold, Richard Serra, and Kiki Smith. Visitors are also encouraged to take advantage of the museum's intimate and informal setting to talk with artists, curators, and printers to learn more about contemporary art and printmaking techniques. Additionally, the Print Fair weekend includes a talk with acclaimed artist Trenton Doyle Hancock, a lecture by the founders of, and the presentation of the sixth Artist & Editions Award. Tickets are $10 per person for one day or $15 per person for both days, and free for BMA Members. Students and teachers are free with valid ID at the door. Proceeds from the Print Fair are used to acquire contemporary works on paper for the BMA's collection.

Vendors participating in this year's event include: Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop (New York, NY); Brodsky Center at Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ); Carolina Nitsch (New York, NY); Carroll and Sons (Boston, MA); Clay Street Press (Cincinnati, OH); David Krut Projects (Johannesburg, South Africa and New York, NY); Durham Press (Durham, PA); Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moysant Weyl (New York, NY); Goya Contemporary & Goya-Girl Press (Baltimore, MD); Graphicstudio–USF (Tampa, FL); Harlan & Weaver (New York, NY); Highpoint Editions (Minneapolis, MN); Jim Kempner Fine Art (New York, NY); Manneken Press (Bloomington, IL); Paulson Bott Press (Berkeley, CA); Shark's Ink (Lyons, CO); Tamarind Institute (Albuquerque, NM); Tandem Press (Madison, WI); Universal Limited Art Editions (Bay Shore, NY); and Western Exhibitions (Chicago, IL).

New this year! Look for a special Print Fair poster designed by Trenton Doyle Hancock and produced by students from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) using the archives of the famed Globe Poster Company. The Globe Poster Company created iconic posters for vaudeville, rock 'n roll, and R&B acts for 80 years using wood type and wood and metal cuts before closing and selling their materials to MICA. In addition, a limited-edition benefit print will be created by Trenton Doyle Hancock. Sales of the print will benefit the BMA's acquisition funds and MICA.

artwork: Jessica Harrison - "The Appointment", 2007 - Lithograph - Edition of 30 - 57 x 72 cm. - Courtesy of David Krut Projects, exhibiting at the Baltimore Contemporary Print Fair on April 28th and 29th.

The Baltimore Contemporary Print Fair is presented by the BMA's Print, Drawing & Photograph Society. The BMA's Print, Drawing & Photograph Society fosters the appreciation, collecting, and study of prints, drawings, and photographs. PDPS sponsors lectures by curators, critics, and artists, and schedules trips to special exhibitions and private collections. Through the generosity of its members, PDPS provides support for programs and acquisitions of the BMA's Department of Prints, Drawings & Photographs. Visit the museum's website at ...

The Art Gallery of New South Wales to exhibit "Australian Symbolism ~ The Art of Dreams"

Posted: 14 Apr 2012 12:18 AM PDT

artwork: Rupert Bunny - "Pastoral", circa 1893 - Oil on canvas - 142 x 251 cm. - Collection of the National Gallery of Australia. On view at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney in "Australian Symbolism: The Art of Dreams" from May 11th until July 29th.

Sydney, Australia. The Art Gallery of New South Wales is proud to present "Australian Symbolism: The Art of Dreams", on view at the gallery from May 11th through July 29th. "Australian Symbolism" is the first major exhibition to explore the influence of the Symbolist movement on Australian art at the turn of the nineteenth century. While Australian painting from this period is known for its depiction of the landscape as a national emblem, figures of fantasy and mythology also gained an increasing presence in art at this time, reflecting the impact on Australian artists of the Symbolist movement flourishing in Europe. In Paris in 1886 poet Jean Moréas published a manifesto eloquently describing the Symbolists' aim as to 'clothe the idea in sensuous form' and to turn the artistic gaze inwards to register the terrains of the imagination, dreams and desires. By the 1880s Symbolism could be identified across the visual arts, literature, music and theatre.

Australian Symbolism: the art of dreams features 70 paintings, sculptures, photographs and decorative art objects that showcase the diversity of Australian artistic responses to Symbolist themes and ideas. Works by some of the era's most well known artists are included, such as Charles Conder, Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts, Rupert Bunny, Sydney Long, Bertram Mackennal and George Lambert. The exhibition investigates two main streams of Symbolist art in Australia: works by artists who trained or lived overseas and drew directly from European Symbolist genres; and works by artists in Australia who referenced Symbolism to define a local experience.

artwork: Sydney Long - "Spirit of the Plains", 1897 - Oil on canvas mounted on wood - 62 x 131.4 cm. - Collection of the Art Gallery of Queensland. -  At the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney in "Australian Symbolism: The Art of Dreams" from May 11th until July 29th.

In Paris in the 1890s Rupert Bunny's Pastoral c1893 and Abbey Alston's The Golden Age 1893 were acclaimed at the Salon and depict Arcadian dream worlds with figures transfixed by music. Another Salon work, Bertram Mackennal's exceptional life-size sculpture Circe 1892–93, portrays the quintessential Symbolist femme fatale and is a direct outcome of the sculptor's experiences in Paris. While Australian expatriates in France painted European idylls as dreams of a modern Arcadia, artists working in Australia were similarly adopting Symbolist subjects to redefine the environment in terms of a spiritual reading of place. With suggestions of dreams, legends and mythologies, and depictions of personified elements of nature, Symbolism inspired artists to characterise a poetic rather than material reality. Charles Conder was one of the most influential Symbolist artists in Australia and his work appealed directly to his fellow painters, especially Arthur Streeton and Tom Roberts. Conder's Symbolist painting Hot wind 1889, in which he depicts nature in the guise of a treacherous woman, will be displayed alongside Streeton's painting Spirit of the drought c1896, in which the influence of Conder is evident in the form a nymph descending from a parched hilltop to administer her powers of destruction. Of all the Australian artists influenced by Symbolism, Sydney Long is perhaps the most well known and loved. Two seminal works by Long – Spirit of the plains 1897 and Pan 1898 – are included in the show. Rarely seen together, these works are key achievements of Symbolist expression and show Long's use of Art Nouveau stylisation to portray an emotionally charged and mythologically enhanced Australian environment. Denise Mimmocchi, a curator of Australian art at the Art Gallery of NSW, is curator of Australian Symbolism: the art of dreams and author of the accompanying book, the first publication devoted to the subject of Australian Symbolism. The richly illustrated book will be available from the Gallery Shop and online for $35, and selected bookstores nationally for $45.

artwork: Abbey Alston - "The Golden Age", circa 1893 - Oil on canvas - Collection of the National Gallery of Victoria. - On view at Art Gallery of New South Wales, in "Australian Symbolism: The Art of Dreams" from May 11th until July 29th.

Established in 1874, the Art Gallery of NSW is proud to present fine international and Australian art in one of the most beautiful art museums in the world. We aim to be a place of experience and inspiration, through our collection, exhibitions, programs and research. Modern and contemporary works are displayed in expansive, light-filled spaces, offering stunning views of Sydney and the harbour, while the splendid Grand Courts are home to a distinguished collection of colonial and 19th-century Australian works and European old masters. There are also dedicated galleries celebrating the arts of Asia and Aboriginaland Torres Strait Islander art. Alongside our permanent collection are regularly changing temporary exhibitions – more than 30 each year – including flagship annual exhibitions such as the Archibald Prize and ARTEXPRESS. One of the most popular art museums in Australia, visited by over 1.3 million people annually, the Gallery is far more than just a destination for looking at pictures. It's also a place to enjoy lectures and symposia, films, music and performances, meet friends for a meal or coffee in the cafe or restaurant, or browse in the Gallery Shop. The gallery's range of access programs is aimed at engaging diverse audiences with different needs. And more than 100 000 students visit each year to take part in our engaging and stimulating education programs. Visit the museum's website at ...

Granville Fine Art shows New Works by Janice Robertson

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 10:27 PM PDT

artwork: Janice Robertson - "Turning Point", 2012 - Oil on canvas - 30" x 40" - Courtesy Granville Fine Art, Vancouver. On view in "New Works by Janice Robertson" from April 14th until April 19th.

Vancouver, British Columbia.- Granville Fine Art is pleased to present "New Works by Janice Robertson" on view at the gallery from April 14th through April 19th. There will be an opening reception with the artist on Saturday April 14th from 1 to 4pm, and the artist will give a demonstration starting at 1pm. Janice Robertson was born on Vancouver Island in 1952, into a family with a long history of women artists. She lives in the historic village of Fort Langley, BC with her artist husband, Alan Wylie. Janice launched her career as a professional artist in 1989. She has received many awards including the Foreign Award in the Houston Watercolor Society's Exhibition in Texas in 2004, the William and Margaret Foley Award in the Adirondacks National Exhibition of Watercolors in 2008, and she has won the Bronze Medal three times in the Federation of Canadian Artists Annual Signature Members exhibition. Janice is a signature member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, Landscape Artists International and the Northwest Watercolor Society.

The National Museum of Wildlife Art to show “Bob Kuhn ~ Drawing on Instinct”

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 10:00 PM PDT

Jackson Hole, Wyoming.- A lifelong student of drawing, the late great wildlife artist Bob Kuhn left behind more than 5,000 studies in his studio after his death in 2007.  Now a new retrospective, "Bob Kuhn: Drawing on Instinct," opening May 10th at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, mines that amazing record dating back to his youthful sketching at the Buffalo Zoo to explore the artistic process behind Kuhn's masterful work. The exhibition will be on display at the museum through August 19th, and then travel to the National Sporting Library and Museum in Middleburg, Virginia, the Sam Noble Museum at the University of Oklahoma, and the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block.

The Metropoilitan Museum of Art to host Chinese Prints from the British Museum

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 07:05 PM PDT

artwork: Shao Keping - "Morning on the Huangpu River", 1962 - Woodblock print, oil-based ink and colours on paper - Collection of the British Museum © Shao Keping. Highlights from the Chinese prints collection are on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in "The Printed Image in China, 8th-21st Century" from May 5th until July 29th.

New York City.- The Metropolitan Museum of Art will showcase some of the finest and most celebrated prints ever produced in China in the special exhibition "The Printed Image in China, 8th-21st Century", opening May 5th and on view through July 29th. The more than 130 works on view will be drawn from the full range of the Chinese print collection at the British Museum — one of the most comprehensive such collections outside Asia. The exhibition will survey the evolution of the art of Chinese printing, from the time of its inception around the early eighth century through its burgeoning as an artistic medium in the 17th century and its continued vitality as a medium for both popular culture and political commentary in the 20th century.

Works on view will include Buddhist prints from the Silk Road, the earliest example of multiple block color printing, striking anti-war images from the Modern Woodcut Movement, and contemporary prints by acclaimed artists. As the first exhibition of this scope to survey the Chinese print, it will offer the visitor an opportunity to glimpse China's past from a fresh perspective. Printing on paper is believed to have been invented in China around 700 A.D., establishing China as the country with the longest history of printing in the world. Organized in roughly chronological order, the exhibition will explore various aspects of Chinese pictorial printmaking including production techniques, aesthetic principles, and cultural context.

artwork: Wu Jide - "Chatting over Tea", 1984 - Multi-block woodcut print with water-soluble ink on paper Collection of the British Museum. - The Chinese prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC in "The Printed Image in China, 8th-21st Century" from May 5th until July 29th.

Highlights of the exhibition will include a woodblock image of Avalokiteshvara from the ninth century that was recovered from the desert oasis of Dunhuang. Depicting the deity of infinite compassion, it is a rare example of a printed text and image with hand-tinted color. The image is framed by dark blue mounts, also printed, that make the piece resemble a hanging scroll. The first picture collection in China to be printed in color is a deluxe set of books dating to around 1633 called the Ten Bamboo Studio Collection. The British Museum edition is one of the earliest versions known. A unique feature of the exhibition will be popular prints, such as Flower Basket, that can be dated with certainty to before 1750 because they were collected by the British Museum's founder Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753). The exhibition will also include politically charged works created by artists of the Modern Woodcut Movement. Among them is a powerful image executed by a leader of the group, Li Hua (1907-1994), entitled Struggle (1947) from his series Raging Tide; it exemplifies the iconic images Li created to bring about a more democratic China. The exhibition will also include Struggle on the Front Line (1974); created toward the end of the Cultural Revolution, this print highlights the "Red Chinese" communist party's insistence on ever greater demonstrations of loyalty—the caption reads "The Furnace Fire is Even Redder." In conjunction with the exhibition, a series of education programs will be offered, including gallery talks; a special Met Escapes hands-on printmaking workshop for visitors suffering from dementia and their care partners; and a lecture on May 11th by Clarissa von Spee, curator of Chinese and Central Asian collections, Department of Asia, The British Museum, on the collection and its history. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by the British Museum.

artwork: Shi Handing - "Sunrise on Nanhu" - Woodblock print, ink and colour on paper - Collection of the British Museum. -  The Chinese prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC until July 29th.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (colloquially The Met) contains more than two million works of art, divided into nineteen curatorial departments. The main building, is one of the world's largest art galleries; there is also a much smaller second location, at "The Cloisters", in Upper Manhattan, which features medieval art. Represented in the permanent collection are works of art from classical antiquity and Ancient Egypt, paintings and sculptures from nearly all the European masters, and an extensive collection of American and modern art. The Met also maintains extensive holdings of African, Asian, Oceanic, Byzantine, and Islamic art. The museum is also home to encyclopedic collections of musical instruments, costumes and accessories, and antique weapons and armor from around the world. The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 by a group of American citizens. The founders included businessmen and financiers, as well as leading artists and thinkers of the day, who wanted to open a museum to bring art and art education to the American people. It opened on February 20, 1872, and was originally located at 681 Fifth Avenue. Today, the Met measures almost 1/4-mile (400 m) long and occupies more than 2,000,000 square feet (190,000 m2). The Met's permanent collection is cared for and exhibited by seventeen separate curatorial departments, each with a specialized staff of curators and scholars, as well as four dedicated conservation departments and a department of scientific research. Represented in the permanent collection are works of art from classical antiquity and Ancient Egypt, paintings and sculptures from nearly all the European masters, and an extensive collection of American and modern art. The Met also maintains extensive holdings of African, Asian, Oceanic, Byzantine and Islamic art. After negotiations with the City of New York in 1871, the Met was granted the land between the East Park Drive, Fifth Avenue, and the 79th and 85th Street Transverse Roads in Central Park. A red-brick and stone "mausoleum" was designed by American architect Calvert Vaux and his collaborator Jacob Wrey Mould. Vaux's ambitious building was not well-received; the building's High Victorian Gothic style being already dated prior to completion, and the president of the Met termed the project "a mistake." Within 20 years, a new architectural plan engulfing the Vaux building was already being executed. Since that time, many additions have been made including the distinctive Beaux-Arts Fifth Avenue facade, Great Hall, and Grand Stairway. These were designed by architect and Met trustee Richard Morris Hunt, but completed by his son, Richard Howland Hunt in 1902 after his father's death. The wings that completed the Fifth Avenue facade in the 1910s were designed by the firm of McKim, Mead, and White. The modernistic sides and rear of the museum were the work of Roche, Dinkeloo, and Associates in the 1970s and 1980s. Visit the museum's website at ...

Blain|Di Donna to show "André Masson, The Mythology of Desire ~ Masterworks from 1925 to 1945"

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 06:51 PM PDT

artwork: André Masson - "Portrait du Poète Heinrich von Kleist", 1939 - Oil on canvas - 55 x 38 cm. Courtesy Blain|Di Donna - © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris. On view in "André Masson, The Mythology of Desire: Masterworks from 1925 to 1945" from April 27th through June 15th.

New York City.- Blain|Di Donna is delighted to present its second exhibition, "André Masson, The Mythology of Desire: Masterworks from 1925 to 1945", on view at the New York gallery from April 27th through June 15th. Bringing together paintings and works on paper created during one of the most important periods of the artist's career, this is the largest and most comprehensive survey of Masson's art to be exhibited in New York since the 1976 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. André Masson was an initial component of the Surrealist movement from 1925-28 (and again in the late 1930s), closely associating with artists and writers such as André Breton, Joan Miró and Georges Bataille. From his early Cubist paintings to his late calligraphic abstract works, Masson's elusive stylistic developments situate him beyond simple categorization.

The Ukrainian Museum to feature "A Singular Vision ~ Ilona Sochynsky"

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 06:50 PM PDT

artwork: Ilona Sochynsky - "Purple Glove", 1986 - Oil on canvas - 121.9 x 121.9 cm. - Courtesy of the artist. At the Ukrainian Museum, NYC in "A Singular Vision: Ilona Sochynsky" from May 13th until October 7th.

New York City.— "A Singular Vision: Ilona Sochynsky, Retrospective of Painting", a comprehensive exhibition of more than 50 paintings, including many largescale works from all phases of the artist's development, opens to the public on May 13th and will be on view through October 7th at the Ukrainian Museum in New York. Ilona Sochynsky's painting career, entering its fourth decade, presents an oeuvre of visual beauty, intelligence, intensity and complexity. At its core, it is a profoundly personal journey of discovery. Her earliest paintings explore the imagery of Pop Art (she was especially drawn to the works of James Rosenquist) and Photorealism, a movement prominent in the 1970s. She responded to the latter's hyperrealism and its subject matter of cars, motorcycles and street scenes, which she reinterpreted in her work to extraordinary effect.These works are at once exhuberant and complex in their formal presentation and in their content. They are, as well, among the artist's most compelling images. To engage them is to discover the richness of the creative process.

Elmgreen & Dragset to unveil new Sculptural Mate for Denmark's "Little Mermaid:

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 06:23 PM PDT

LONDON.- This Summer, Denmark's national icon – The Little Mermaid – has a new male counterpart. Situated on the harbour in the city of Elsinore, Han is the latest sculptural project by duo Elmgreen & Dragset, the artists behind the current Fourth Plinth sculpture in Trafalgar Square, London. Han depicts a young man positioned on a stone by the seaside - just like his famous "sister" The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen. The new sculpture has been created in contemporary materials: both the male figure and the stone have been cast in polished stainless steel, mirroring the surroundings in the sculpture's curved surface thereby creating a distorted imagery reminiscent of a psychedelic aesthetic. With true Elmgreen & Dragset chicanery and courtesy of a hydraulic mechanism, the eyes of the sculpture will close for a split second once every hour – just one blink – before it becomes a traditional static statue once more.

New Zealand's National Museum Te Papa (Our Place) ~ A Comprehensive National Museum

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 05:48 PM PDT

artwork: New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa (Our Place), one of the world's most comprehensive national museums. Te Papa was designed by Ivan Mercep for Jasmax Architects and opened in 1998. Along with a huge collection of New Zealand art, the museum includes fine artwork from around the world, natural history exhibits and historic artifacts.

New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa (Our Place), faces the sea in the national capital, Wellington, at the southeastern end of the North Island. It is one of the world's most comprehensive national museums and presents a vision of New Zealand's past, present and future, the strands of its nationhood, and the spirit that brings the nation together. It traces the flowering of a rich culture, the growth of a people, and the weaving of a tapestry that encompasses not only the past but the future as well. Exhibitions range from historic artifacts to modern interactive displays. A living Nature environment, Bush City, transports the visitor into a recreated habitat island which includes native trees and shrubs, a lagoon, stream and underground caves. Te Papa is on Cable Street on the Wellington waterfront, easily accessible on foot from the city's central business and retail district. The museum was designed by Ivan Mercep for Jasmax Architects. Built on a site the size of three rugby fields, it has a total floor area of 38,000 square meters. The building has its own New Zealand-invented shock absorbers which isolate Te Papa from most ground movement during an earthquake. It took four years to build. Te Papa's first predecessor was the Colonial Museum, which opened in a small wooden building in 1865. The tiny Colonial Museum opened behind Parliament Buildings shortly after Parliament moved to Wellington in 1865. In 1907, the Museum became known as the Dominion Museum. The idea of developing a public art gallery in Wellington was gathering support around this time. In 1913, the Science and Art Act provided for the establishment of the National Art Gallery in the building. But not until 1930 did the idea start to become a reality under the National Gallery and Dominion Museum Act. In 1936, a new building to house the Dominion Museum and new National Art Gallery opened in Buckle Street, Wellington. It incorporated the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts. They sold their land and donated the proceeds to the new organization. The way the National Museum functioned was also in need of review. The Museum had been much loved for many years but no longer represented its increasingly diverse community. Society had changed, and so had views about New Zealand's history and identity. In 1988, the Government established a Project Development Board to set the scene for a new national museum. This Board consulted people nationwide, including iwi (tribal groups), about their visions for the museum. The goals for the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (Te Papa) emerged. In 1992, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Act was passed. Te Papa would unite the National Museum and National Art Gallery as one entity, unite the collections of the two institutions so that New Zealand's stories could be told in an interdisciplinary way, be a partnership between Tangata Whenua (Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand) and Tangata Tiriti (people in New Zealand by right of the Treaty of Waitangi), speak with authority, represent and appeal to New Zealand's increasingly diverse society, be a place for discussion, debate, involvement, and celebration and link the past, present, and future. On 14 February 1998, Te Papa opened in Cable Street, Wellington. Since Te Papa opened, more than 17 million people have visited the Museum. The narrative-based, interdisciplinary, and interactive approach has attracted international attention, as has the commitment to biculturalism. The Marae, Rongomaraeroa, reflects Te Papa's bicultural nature and observes Māori customs and values. It is a fully functioning marae, an inclusive place where all New Zealanders can meet, discuss, debate, and celebrate. It is also a place to welcome the living and farewell those who have passed on. The Marae is unique because the kawa (protocols) change according to the iwi (tribal group) in residence. Every few years, a different iwi works with Te Papa to develop an exhibition. Kaumātua (elders) from the iwi are in residence at the Museum throughout. They set and uphold the kawa on The Marae. The idea of the waharoa, or gateway, is particularly meaningful at Te Papa. Two important waharoa are on display , a contemporary one on The Marae and a traditional one in Wellington Foyer. The entire Museum is also a waharoa, a gateway to New Zealand's natural and cultural heritage. As well as significant collections of New Zealand art, the taonga (treasures) looked after by Te Papa comprise the largest Maori collection held by any museum in New Zealand, and number almost 17,000. These cover the broad spectrum of Maori art and culture, from the most highly revered and significant cultural heirlooms through to the most humble of day-to-day items, from very early pre-European times to today. . .Visit the museum's website at … www.tepapa.govt.nz2011-03-25

artwork: James Gilray - "The Plum Pudding in Danger:- or State Epicures Taking un Petit - Souper", 1805 Hand colored etching - 25.3 x 35.6 cm. - Collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa

The development of the national art collection began in about 1905 under the guidance of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts and gathered momentum with the establishment of a National Art Gallery, housed with the Museum in a new building in Buckle Street in 1936. Artworks purchased between 1905 and 1936 formed the basis of the collection and included early New Zealand and international works with an emphasis on Britain. The proportion of local art collected by the National Art Gallery increased steadily as confidence in the significance of the art and of the Gallery itself grew. The collection now houses a broad range of predominantly New Zealand, but also international, painting, sculpture, prints, watercolors, drawings, photographs, and archival material. The strengths of the collection of early New Zealand sculpture come from the close connection between the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts and the National Art Gallery, one of Te Papa's predecessors. Because of this association they have a strong collection of works by New Zealand artist Margaret Butler and some works by early New Zealand sculptors Francis Shurrock and William Wright. In the 1970s, the collection was developed to include New Zealand ceramics. Works by Barry Brickell, Doreen Blumhardt, Len Castle, and Anneke Boren were all purchased at this time. In addition, in 1996, all the works by New Zealand artists that had been commissioned for the 1992 Expo New Zealand in Seville were added. With the 1993 acquisition of works from the Stone Bone Shell exhibition of New Zealand jewelry, decorative arts also began to form a component of this collection. In the early 1980s, efforts were made to acquire works by significant contemporary New Zealand sculptors. As a consequence, we have a strong collection of works by Greer Twiss, Don Driver, Andrew Drummond, Neil Dawson, Christine Hellyar, and Vivian Lynn. In addition, efforts were made at this time to acquire sculptures by modern New Zealand artists who were not represented in the collection, such as Russell Clark. With a growing awareness of the cultural heritage of sculptural forms within New Zealand came a significant recognition of contemporary indigenous artists. With exhibitions specifically dedicated to contemporary Maori art, the collection gathered important examples of contemporary Maori and later Pacific work. Well-known examples here are works by Fred Graham, Para Matchitt, and Michel Tuffery. As the collection of New Zealand sculpture developed so too did the definition of sculptural form, which began to move towards incorporating installation, assemblage, site-specific works, and post-object and new media art. Because of the nature of these forms, there are only a few in the collection. There are good examples by Ralph Hotere, Pauline Rhodes, Derrick Cherrie, Billy Apple, and Jacqueline Fraser. For the opening of the new Museum and exhibition spaces, nine site-specific sculptures were commissioned, some of which now form part of the fabric of the new building. The focus of the New Zealand Prints is in the area of works created after the drawings and watercolors that recorded the eighteenth and early nineteenth century voyages of exploration in the Pacific and those that record first settlement in New Zealand. These include prints after paintings by artists such as Sidney Parkinson, Louis de Sainson, George French Angas, and Charles Decimus Barraud, and appear as both individual prints and in bound volumes. Highlights include a selection of the botanical prints of Banks' Florilegium, early imprints of the Cook folios and D'Urville folios, and lithographs by Edith Halcombe. The New Zealand print collection contains examples of 2oth century artists' prints whose work is also represented in other media, for example, woodcuts by Philip Clairmont, screen prints by Gordon Walters, etchings by Robyn Kahukiwa, and lithographs by Tony Fomison. There are also collections of work by artists whose work is primarily graphic. These include a large collection of etchings by A H McLintock and E Heber Thompson, wood engravings by Mabel Annesley and E Mervyn Taylor, and linocuts by Eileen Mayo and Stewart Maclennan. The work of contemporary printmakers such as John Drawbridge, Gordon Crook, Robin White, Kate Coolahan, Barry Cleavin, Max Hailstone, and Paul Hartigan are strongly represented. New Zealand watercolors and drawings are represented by large collections of works by a diverse group of artists including Maori and military subjects by Horatio Gordon Robley, T J Grant, and W F Gordon; landscape and early settlement works by Nicholas Chevalier, William Swainson, John Gully, and J C Richmond; and New Zealand flora and fauna by John Buchanan, Sarah Featon, and F E Clarke. The work of turn-of-the-century artist Petrus van der Velden is extensively represented by drawings and sketchbooks. Artists of the first half of the century are well represented. These artists include Raymond McIntyre, Jenny Campbell, Roland Hipkins, Mina Arndt, James Nairn, Dorothy Kate Richmond, Christopher Perkins, and John Weeks. More recent acquisitions include major works by John Pule, Tony Schuster, and William Dunning. Highlights of this collection include substantial representation of the works of Rita Angus, Frances Hodgkins, Colin McCahon, Sir Tosswill Woollaston, and John Pule.

artwork: Geoff Thornley - "Ocean Within", 1967 - Oil and acrylic on canvas on board - 120 x 135.5 cm. Collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa © Te Papa Museum

The emphasis on local, New Zealand artists carries through into the painting collection. Over time, this collection has been shaped by Te Papa's and its predecessor's relationship with the government, the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, and the city of Wellington. As a consequence of these relationships, the Paintings Collection shows strengths in the work of particular New Zealand artists, in particular genres of painting (portraiture, for example, because of a quantity of 'national' portraits), and in subject matter relevant to the events and geography of Wellington city. Te Papa's collection has strengths in the work of Petrus van der Velden, in both his New Zealand and his Dutch subjects, and J M Nairn, from his time working in and around Wellington as a professional artist. In portraiture, Te Papa has a number of works by painters such as Mary Tripe, Archibald Nicoll, C F Goldie, and Gottfried Lindauer. Of early modern New Zealand painters, the collection holds good examples of works by John Weeks, Charles Tole, Russell Clark, Sir Tosswill Woollaston, and Lois White. The Rita Angus loan collection, from the Angus Estate, together with Te Papa's collection of this New Zealand painter, forms a body of many excellent works. In the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, there was a push to strengthen the New Zealand Paintings Collection. As a result, the collection has good examples of works by many artists of this time - in particular, paintings by Jeffrey Harris, Michael Smither, PhilipTrusttum, and Gretchen Albrecht. Te Papa's collection of late modern New Zealand painters (Colin McCahon, Ralph Hotere, Tony Fomison) is a reflection of the perceived need to have a good representation of significant New Zealand painters. Te Papa also has a collection of some 600 international (mainly British) drawings and watercolors. Highlights of this collection are works by Thomas Girtin, John Sell Cotman, David Cox, Samuel Prout, and Thomas Rowlandson and a larger collection of twentieth century British paintings, that includes works by Winifred Knights, Anthony Gross, Paul Nash, David Jones, Edward Burra, and John Tunnard. There is collection of International sculpture in the collection which includes works by British and French artists, including Aime-Jules Dalou, Jacob Epstein, Auguste Rodin, Charles Wheeler, and Barbara Hepworth. This collection was extended significantly in 1983 by the bequest of Judge Julius Isaacs, which included two works by Marcel Duchamp. A small number of sculptures were purchased as illustrative examples of artistic styles and trends in international art. The international print collection includes a strong representation of German, Dutch, and Italian prints from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries; French prints of the nineteenth century; and twentieth century British prints. There is also a smaller group of Japanese woodblock prints. Particular highlights are large holdings of engravings and woodcuts by Albrecht Durer and etchings by Rembrandt. English satirical prints of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries by William Hogarth and James Gillray are well represented, as are the etchings and aquatints of James McNeill Whistler. A highlight of the collection dating from the early twentieth century is the large number of etchings, including some rare versions of prints, by Australian artist Lionel Lindsay. A large collection of linocuts by artists influenced by English artist Claude Flight, who pioneered a particular kind of linocut print, is also held. These works from the 1930s are a highlight of the extensive and comprehensive collection of twentieth century British prints. There is a collection of early twentieth century European prints by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Eric Heckel, Wassily Kandinsky, Max Ernst, and André Masson. Experimental prints by Pop artists of the 1960s and 1970s form a distinctive group within the collection and feature the work of artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Eduardo Paolozzi, Richard Hamilton, and Robert Rauschenberg. New directions in printmaking in the 1980s by international artists are represented by, among others, Bea Maddock, William Wiley, Susan Rothenberg, George Baselitz, and Dorothea Rockburne. Photography was first collected as art for the national collection in 1976. The focus since has been primarily on New Zealand contemporary work, with some forays into collecting international photography. There are about 1700 photographs by contemporary New Zealand photographers in the collection. Large groups of work are held by artists including Laurence Aberhart, Mark Adams, Wayne Barrar, Peter Black, Glenn Busch, Anne Noble, Peter Peryer and Ans Westra. The International photography collection includes approximately 130 images by mostly American photographers acquired in the 1980s. Many of the famous names are represented, such as Edward Weston, Minor White, Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander, and Diane Arbus. The other group of international work is by photographers from the famous photo agency Magnum. This was acquired by the gift of the 1989 travelling exhibition "In our time: the world as seen by Magnum photographers". Photographers include Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eugene Smith, Elliot Erwitt, and Marc Riboud. The museum also have large collections of historical artifacts, Māori and Moriori cultural treasures, a collection of Pacific Island artifacts that reflects not only the diversity of Pacific Island cultures but also New Zealand's relationships with Pacific communities at home and abroad and a large natural history collection (that includes the world's largest giant squid). Amongst the interactive features are a virtual bungee jump and an 'earthquake room'.

artwork: Brian Brake - "'Offerings to the Unknown Dead, Kyoto' [Toshi Satow Offering a Candle]", from a series on Japan for 'Life', 1964,  Color photograph. © Brian Brake/Photo Researchers, Inc. On exhibit at the Te Papa Museum in Wellington until 8 May 2011.

On temporary exhibition at the Te Papa, you can currently see "Brian Brake: Lens On The World" (until 8 May 2011). Brian Brake (1927–1988) was New Zealand's best known photographer from the 1960s to the 1980s, though his career spanned more than 40 years. He first made his name as an international photojournalist, photographing for picture magazines such as Life, National Geographic and Paris Match. His most famous work was on the monsoon rains in India in 1960. This essay yielded the widely reproduced Monsoon girl, an image of a young woman feeling with pleasure the first rains on her face. Brake was also well known in New Zealand for his 1963 best-selling book, New Zealand, gift of the sea and, in the 1980s, for his images associated with the Te Maori exhibition. Brian Brake's early grounding in photography came about in three ways. Each activity shaped Brake's later work. The camera club period fuelled an interest in scenic and spectacular landscapes; studio portraiture influenced the way he lit his later studio photographs of museum objects; and the film experience developed his ability to create a story by assembling individual shots – a valuable skill for a photojournalist. He was involved in camera clubs in Christchurch and Wellington as a teenager, then became an assistant in a Wellington portrait studio. Finally, before going overseas in 1954, he worked as a cameraman at the National Film Unit in Wellington. Brake joined the prestigious Paris-based photo agency Magnum in 1955. This set him on course for the life of a globe-trotting photojournalist through to the early 1960s. The 1950s were the heyday of black and white magazine photojournalism. A host of large-format picture magazines such as Life, Look, Paris Match, and Illustrated provided a window on the wider world. Their success was possible mainly because television was not yet widespread, but also perhaps because relatively few people were able to travel themselves. In the 1960s, Brian Brake moved from small assignments, mostly involving black-and-white photography, to more extended picture stories – usually in color and often taking up to a year or more to shoot. This shift resulted from the close relationship he formed with the international picture magazine Life, then in an era of grand projects and big budgets. It was also a time when magazines were increasingly using color reproduction. This suited Brake well. His study of color cinematography for the National Film Unit in 1951–52 had given him greater expertise and comfort with working in color than most photographers at that time. Although Brian Brake left New Zealand in 1954 and lived overseas for most of the next two decades, he always thought of himself as a New Zealander. He began photographing the New Zealand landscape as a teenager, and returned to this theme in a 1960 photo essay on the land and its people. These photographs became New Zealand, gift of the sea, a best-selling book that struck a chord with New Zealanders looking for a more sophisticated vision of their country. When Brake returned home permanently in 1976, he continued photographing the landscape but became equally known for his images of craft objects and taonga Maori – work that contributed to a growing interest in rethinking New Zealand's collective heritage.

Maira Kalman ~ Various Illuminations at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 05:47 PM PDT

artwork: Maira Kalman - "New York, Grand Central Station", 1999 - Gouache and ink on paper. 15 3/8 x 22 1/4 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Julie Saul Gallery, New York.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- The Contemporary Jewish Museum presents Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World), the first major museum survey of the work of award-winning illustrator, author and designer Maira Kalman. Well-known for her covers and drawings for The New Yorker, Kalman has also written and illustrated over a dozen books for children and adults, authored two celebrated illustrated blogs for The New York Times, and has collaborated with the likes of fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi and choreographer Mark Morris. Kalman's art appears everywhere in the foreground of today's visual culture illuminating contemporary life with joy and humor, intelligence and insights, curlicues and question marks. On view until 26 October.

A Floating World ~ Photographs by Jacques Henri Lartigue at CaixaForum Madrid

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 05:46 PM PDT

artwork: Jacques Henri Lartigue - "Sala Au rocher de la vierge", 1927. Biarritz.-  ©Jacques Henri Lartigue. - What it all comes down to is the miraculous response of the body to the human mind—an energy propelling nature's cycle forward from origin to experience and back to origin. We are not trees. We are not stones. We are what William Wordsworth describes as "Transitory Beings." Lartigue, then, is a master of this transition.

Lluís Reverter, secretary general of "la Caixa" Foundation, opened A Floating World. Photographs by Jacques Henri Lartigue (1894-1986), accompanied by the exhibition curators, Florian Rodari, Martine d'Astier de la Vigerie. The exhibition was organised and produced by "la Caixa" Social Outreach Programmes in cooperation with the Donation Jacques Henri Lartigue, the body established to conserve and disseminate the donation that the photographer made to the French government in 1979, and which loaned all the pieces in the exhibition at CaixaForum Madrid.

As part of its cultural programmes, "la Caixa" Social Outreach Programmes focuses particularly on the most contemporary art, work created in the 20th and 21st centuries. In exhibitions devoted to the cinema cine and photography, "la Caixa" seeks to illustrate the influence that images exercise on contemporary sensibilities and to highlight the role that the great 20th-century visual artists play in defining our vision of the world. To this end, "la Caixa" has organised anthological exhibitions devoted to such great names in photography as Eugène Atget, Robert Doisneau, William Klein, Diane Arbus, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Willy Ronis and filmmakers like Charles Chaplin and Federico Fellini.

On this occasion, "la Caixa" Social Outreach Programmes presents the first major anthological exhibition devoted in Spain to Jacques Henri Lartigue (Courbevoie, 1894 – Nice, 1986), without doubt one of the greatest photographers of the last century. Entitled A Floating World. Photographs by Jacques Henri Lartigue (1894-1986), the show illustrates the interests of a man devoted to exploring, with the greatest sensitivity and under an appearance of happiness and nonchalance, the emerging concerns of a period marked by radical change.

The fact that Lartigue took photographs for his own pleasure has made it impossible for either curators or critics to really classify his work. As a result, his photographs are usually presented in chronological order, or grouped by theme. On this occasion, however, the organizers have decided to go one step further and to demonstrate, from a approach never before taken with this artist, the extent to which these images, admired for their grace and beauty, form a unique document that illustrate a period and a way of life that have since disappeared; that of the French bourgeoisie in the last century.

A Floating World. Photographs by Jacques Henri Lartigue (1894-1986) features more than 230 exhibits. Of these, 182 are modern prints of Lartigue's photographs, whilst the show also includes 18 modern recreations of his stereoscopic pictures with their original three-dimensional effect. Lartigue took these pictures with a stereoscopic camera, a device very much in fashion at the time, in the attempt to capture reality in all its dimensions.

artwork: Jacques-Henri Lartigue - "Bichonnade Leaping" - © Jacques-Henri Lartigue

The Passing of Time

Even from childhood, Jacques Henri Lartigue was obsessed with remembering all his experiences, and it was this obsession that led him to make photography an instrument of memory. This need to remember, so deeply rooted in the young Lartigue, was closely related to his desire to "trap" happiness. He saw memory and happiness as two realities that are exposed to the same threat of disappearing, and his genius was in photographing neither memory nor happiness, but what constitutes their essence: fragility. In Lartigue's photographs, happiness is always related to the human body and its interaction with the space around it. Happy people are buffeted by waves or gusts of wind, struck by sunlight. Bodies constantly lose their verticality and rise up again from the ground. To photograph happiness, the artist needs the ability to capture almost imperceptible movements: a sudden, fleeting gaze, a gesture made whilst falling off-balance.

1894-1986: a lifetime devoted to taking photographs
Jacques Henri Lartigue occupies a very special place in the history of photography: that of a talented amateur who always spoke of painting as his principal passion and regarded photography as a secondary occupation. However, from 1902, when he was eight years old, until his death in 1986, taking photographs was like breathing for him. Lartigue was born in Courbevoie, near Paris, in 1894, into a family of industrialists. His father bought him his first padre camera when he was eight years old, and at a very young age Jacques Henri began to keep a diary formed by photographs and short texts. This habit stayed with him all his life, and the diaries now form an extraordinary document portraying the lifestyle of a generation that discovered, amongst other things, fashion, sport, and motor racing. Throughout his life, Lartigue conserved the fresh outlook of childhood and the insatiable curiosity of youth. His photographs celebrate the present moment whilst concealing the anguish that the passing of time caused him.

Discovered by chance, late in life, in 1963, when he was nearly 70 years old, by John Szarkowski, then curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Lartigue became known and recognized in his native France and throughout the world thanks to the glory he achieved in the United States. In 1974, the French president, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, invited Lartigue to take his official photograph. It was the firm friendship that grew up between the two that persuaded Lartigue to donate his entire work to the Republic in 1979. 

artwork: French photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue (1894-1986) on display in an exhibition, entitled 'A Floating World Photographs by Jacques-Henri Lartigue', at the CaixaForum in Madrid. The retrospective dedicated to Lartigue opened to the public until 19 June.

Feminine Beauty
There are only young, beautiful women in Lartigue's universe. The constant quest for happiness and beauty that he had embarked on in youth completely excludes all deformity, all sign of aging, staying at arms-length from anything that might mar a sunny day or remind us of ugliness and death.

In spring 1910, when he was not yet 16, Lartigue discovered fashion and, above all, models. For months, his camera slung over his shoulder, he patrolled the avenues around the Bois de Boulogne, near his home, where distinguished ladies used to walk out at particular times to show off their new dresses. However, every jump is followed by a fall, every ascent by a descent. Leaps, somersaults and climbs nearly always end in the crash to earth, in a big splash, and in laughter. Lartigue's photographs are imbued with a light tone as they defy gravity.

However, what our young photographer sought to capture was not their fashionable garments but, rather, the elegance of the women themselves. His first portraits of these promenading ladies are marked by new distance, revealing the fear he felt towards the female universe, a fear caused by the difference in ages and by his sexual desire. Affected by his erotic feelings, Lartigue hides. Hence the oblique framing he uses to portray these women, the very low angle he adopts. As he gains in experience, however, Lartigue's gaze changes, and he looks his lovers in the eye. In contrast to the rest of his work, Lartigue explicitly asks these languid ladies to do nothing, not to move.

In Search of the Unknown
In the early-20th century, everyone dreamed about enjoying the new pleasures offered by speed and sport and of exploring the new territories that this modern age was constantly discovering. The young photographer and his brother Zissou also played out such dreams as children, dressing up as their favorite heroes: aviators, racing drivers, explorers of distant worlds, etc. Caps, goggles and fur coats turn their wearers into extraterrestrials. This group of photographs features a new type of explorers, masked figures weighed down by their peculiar attire, practically unable to move.

Finally, the last section in the exhibition illustrates Lartigue's fascination with the infinite and nature, where people confront their solitude. In this part of Lartigue's work, individuals appear to have little more consistency than a blade of straw; they are like ghosts swayed by winds or drifting at the mercy of the waves. Our time on earth is ephemeral; that is what these images repeat to us constantly as they show the impossibility of holding onto happiness and remind us that we are but transitory inhabitants of this world.

Visit CaixaForum Madrid at :

Colored Woodcuts From 19th Century Japan at the Benton Museum of Art

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 05:45 PM PDT

artwork: Toyokuni III - "Untitled", 1847–1852 - Colored woodcut. Collection of the Benton Art Museum, on view in "The Colored Woodcut in 19th-Century Japan: Edo and Osaka" until August 7th.

Storrs, CT.- The Benton Museum of Art at the University of Connecticut is currently showing "The Colored Woodcut in 19th-Century Japan: Edo and Osaka" until August 7th. The colored woodcut was ubiquitous in 19th-century Japan, and for Europeans a source of artistic influence and of pleasure in collecting them. The late 19th-century artistic influence of the woodcut lay in its disavowal of Western perspective, an ingrained facility for two-dimensional patterning, and an unwavering sense of coloration. The pleasure of collecting the color woodcuts in the late 19th and 20th centuries lay in a more profound interest in Asian arts, Chinese as well as Japanese, than had been expressed by the decoratively brilliant but very western Chinoiserie of the 18th century.

Edo Pop: The Graphic Impact of Japanese Prints at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 05:44 PM PDT

artwork: Gajin Fujita - "Crew", 2002 - In his piece "Crew," Fujita and his fellow graffiti artists are transformed into Kabuki actors sporting traditional attire with contemporary logos. American born Gajin Fujita got his start as a graffiti artist on the streets of East Los Angeles before attending art school. There he combined his American street art with Eastern techniques and elements in a way that presents modern culture through the lens of history.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN.- The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) is home to one of the world's great collections of ukiyo-e ("pictures of the floating world") prints. The museum's new exhibition, "Edo Pop: The Graphic Impact of Japanese Prints" features more than 160 masterworks that reveal the great breadth of ukiyo-e production as well as the individual artistry of about 40 artists. Organized thematically, the exhibition provides a kaleidoscopic view of popular culture in pre-modern Japan. "Pop" also aptly describes ukiyo-e produced in Japan during the Edo period (1615–1868), which reflected the tastes and proclivities of a rising class of urban commoners, known as chonin. Chnin merchants and artists grew rich providing goods and services to the inhabitants of Japan's rapidly growing cities. Strict stratification of Japanese society, however, prevented prosperous townspeople from advancing socially despite their wealth. As a result, many pursued hedonistic pleasures and pastimes.

"Pop Art" usually describes the artistic movement of the 1950s, when artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein gleaned inspiration from contemporary urban life, mass-produced consumer products, and slick advertising. Picturing film stars and comic-book heroes in bright colors and crisp forms, Pop Art referred largely to the popular culture from which the movement emerged.

Most ukiyo-e artists created both paintings and designs for woodblock prints, depicting the pleasures and pastimes associated with the floating world. Fine paintings commanded high prices, but mass-produced woodblock prints were within the reach of almost everyone. Low cost alone, however, did not account for the immense popularity of ukiyo-e prints. The subversive subject matter made them irresistibly intriguing. Images of women, especially entertainers and the denizens of the licensed (and unlicensed) brothels, were purchased as reminders of their sex appeal and fashionable style. Depictions of actors were procured by devotees of Kabuki, the robust and lowbrow theater.

artwork: Katsushika Hokusai - "The Manor's Dishes" detail from "One Hundred Tales," c. 1831-1832 - Courtesy of  Minneapolis Institute of Arts

artwork: Kabukido Enkyo "Ichikawa Yaozo III as Umeomaru", 1796 Color woodblock print. Collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.Other figural themes included sumo wrestlers, dandies and male prostitutes, ghosts and demons, mythological and legendary heroes, and ordinary townspeople engaged in seasonal pastimes. Consumer products were featured in these images, including the latest fashions and textiles, makeup, elegant pipes, lacquers, ceramics, clocks, rare plants and flowers, and even pets. Landscapes, too, became an important sub-genre, first in the form of illustrated guidebooks in the 18th century and then as single-sheet prints in the 19th. Interest in landscapes reflected the government's loosening of restrictions on travel, prompting city dwellers to take to the road in search of adventure and exotic pleasures.

Ukiyo-e masters evolved a distinctive style that featured fluid yet descriptive outlines, novel vantage points, bold areas of clear color unimpeded by chiaroscuro, and audacious compositions with off-center subjects and dramatic cropping. Meanwhile, block carvers and printers developed innovative printing techniques. Consequently, ukiyo-e images were fresh and contemporary, appealing to the popular tastes of the townspeople.

"Edo Pop: The Graphic Impact of Japanese Prints" also features works by contemporary artists inspired by ukiyo-e and the social and conceptual underpinnings that inform them. Iona Roseal Brown, based in Washington, D.C., sees parallels between hip-hop culture and the floating world. Graffiti artist Gajin Fujita portrays East Los Angeles gang members as Japanese warriors against a backdrop of heavily tagged walls. Nagano-based artist Tabaimo focuses on notions of transience and estrangement in her animated video titled "Hanabi-ra" (Flower Petal), which appropriates imagery from ukiyo-e prints. These works demonstrate that ukiyo-e remains a vital artistic force, as relevant today as when it was created by Japan's pre-modern Pop artists.

The MIA's permanent collection has grown from eight hundred works of art to around eighty thousand objects. The collection includes world-famous works that embody the highest levels of artistic achievement, spanning five thousand years and representing the world's diverse cultures across all continents. The MIA has seven curatorial areas: Arts of Africa & the Americas; Contemporary Art; Decorative Arts, Textiles & Sculpture; Asian Art; Paintings; Photography and New Media; Prints and Drawings; and Textiles. Visit :

Groninger Museum retrospective of Works by Artist John William Waterhouse

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 05:43 PM PDT

artwork: J.W.Waterhouse -  Saint Cecilia, 1895 - Oil on canvas, 123.2 x 200.7 cm. - The Andrew Lloyd Webber Art Foundation 

GRONINGER, NL - The Groninger Museum presents the largest-ever retrospective of works by the world-famous British artist John William Waterhouse (1849-1917). Many splendid paintings and drawings have been borrowed from locations as far afield as Australia, England, Ireland, Taiwan and Canada. The exhibition has been organized in conjunction with the Royal Academy of Arts in London and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Canada. On exhibition through 3 May, 2009.

The Hangram Design Museum Shows a Major David LaChapelle Retrospective

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 05:42 PM PDT

artwork: David LaChapelle - "Madonna: Furious Seasons", 2004 - Digital chromogenic print mounted on Diasec - 127 x 152.4 cm. © David LaChapelle. On view at the Hangram Design Museum, Seoul in a David LaChapelle restrospective until February 26th 2012.

Seoul, Korea.- The Seoul Art Center is pleased to announce the retrospective of the acclaimed American artist and photographer David LaChapelle on view through February 26th at the Hangaram Design Museum.  Hugely anticipated, this is LaChapelle's second Asian museum retrospective after a widely successful reception in Taipei, Taiwan in 2010. With nearly two hundred works, it will present the most comprehensive selection of LaChapelle's photographic works ever seen in Asia, spanning over twenty years of his artistic career from the 1980s to 2011. LaChapelle is known internationally for his exceptional talent in combining a unique hyper-realistic aesthetic with profound social messages. Alongside his earlier works commissioned for fashion and celebrity editorials, the exhibition will showcase LaChapelle's recent artworks such as The Raft of Illusion, the site-specific installation Chain of Life and his most recent work Gaia.

LaChapelle's photography career began in the 1980s showing his artwork in New York City galleries. His works caught the eye of Andy Warhol who offered him his first job as a photographer at Interview Magazine. Since then, LaChapelle has worked for the most prestigious international publications such as Italian Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ and Rolling Stone, photographing personalities as diverse as Madonna, Lance Armstrong, Uma Thurman, Elizabeth Taylor, David Beckham, Leonardo DiCaprio, Hillary Clinton, and Muhammed Ali, to name a few. In 2006, LaChapelle decided to leave the world of publishing and magazines to return to where he started, creating work for exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world. LaChapelle has been the subject of exhibitions in both commercial galleries and leading public institutions around the world. He has had solo museum exhibitions at the Barbican Museum, London (2002), Palazzo Reale Milan (2007), MALBA Museum, Buenos Aires (2007), Museo del Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, Mexico City (2009), and the Musee de La Monnaie, Paris (2009), among many others. In 2010, he mounted two record-breaking solo shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei, Taiwan and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel. In 2011, he has had a major exhibition of new work at The Lever House, New York, and a retrospective at the Museo Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico (open through March 2012).

artwork: David LaChapell - "The Last Supper", 2003 - Color coupler print - 156.2 x 304.2 cm. © David LaChapelle. On view at the Hangram Design Museum, Seoul - David LaChapelle restrospective until February 26th 2012.

After establishing himself as a fixture in contemporary photography, LaChapelle decided to branch out and direct music videos, live theatrical events, and documentary films. His directing credits include music videos for artists such as Christina Aguilera, Moby, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, The Vines and No Doubt. His stage work includes Elton John's The Red Piano and the Caesar's Palace spectacular he designed and directed in 2004. His burgeoning interest in film led him to make the short documentary Krumped, an award-winner at Sundance from which he developed RIZE, the feature film acquired for worldwide distribution by Lion's Gate Films. The film was released in the US and internationally in the Summer of 2005 to huge critical acclaim, and was chosen to open the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.

David LaChapelle continues to be inspired by everything from art history and street culture, to the Hawaiian jungle in which he lives, projecting an image of twenty-first century pop culture through his work that is both loving and critical. He is quite simply the only photographic artist working today who has transitioned flawlessly from the world of fashion and celebrity photography to be enshrined by the notoriously discerning contemporary art intelligentsia.

artwork: David LaChapelle - "The House at the End of the World", 2005 - Digital c-print flush-mounted to acrylic glass - 182.9 x 246 cm. © David LaChapelle. -  On view at the Hangram Design Museum, in Seoul in a David LaChapelle restrospective until February 26th 2012.

The Seoul Arts Center, literally the Hall of Arts, is a cultural center in Seocho-gu, the southern area of Seoul, South Korea. Measuring in 12,0350 m², it consists of many different halls and centers for many diverse art forms. It began construction in 1984, and was fully opened in 1993. It was started with the intention of bringing a more solid aspect to the Korean arts and cultural scene, and to bring the Korean arts to an international level. It consists of the main Festival Hall, Calligraphy Hall, Music Hall, Arts Center, Center of Archives, Education Hall which are all housed indoors, and the Circular Plaza, Street of Meetings, Traditional Korean Gardens, an outdoor Theater, and a market place. The central venue, which is the Opera House, was built basing designs on the traditional hat for Korean men, the "gat", worn during the Joseon Dynasty by grown men who had passed the gwageo. The Music Hall was designed with the idea of a Korean fan in mind. The Hangaram Design Museum within the Seoul Arts Center is sSituated in the east wing of the Center, and opened its doors in 1990. It concentrates on modern and contemporary art enabling younger people to enjoy their visits. Measuring in at 15,434 m², its first and second floors are connected so that major works of art can be displayed without difficulty. The museum uses natural lighting installed in many respectable European art museums to illuminate its art works. Visit the arts center's website at ...

Christie's Spring 2007 Photographs Sales In New York Total $16.7 Million

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 05:41 PM PDT

artwork: Irving Penn Woman Moroccan Palace

New York – This Spring , three important auctions of photographs were held at Christie's New York, including two significant single-owner sales with dedicated individual catalogues, Horst: Photographs from the Collection of Gert Elfering and Modernist Photographs from a European Collection, and the various-owner Photographs sale. In their entirety, the sales totaled an impressive $11,176,200.

Christie's Victorian & British Impressionist Art Sale Highlights Include Works by Millais, Rossetti & Burne-Jones

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 05:40 PM PDT

artwork: Simeon Solomon - "A Prelude by Bach", 1868 - Pencil, watercolour and bodycolour on paper laid on canvas - 43.2 x 65 cm. - Courtesy of Christies, London, where it will be auctioned in the Victorian & British Impressionist Art sale on December 15th - Estimate: £200,000-300,000

London – Christie's Victorian & British Impressionist Art sale will offer 90 paintings and works on paper at auction on December 15th 2011, by a variety of artists ranging from the Pre-Raphaelites to the British Impressionists, including John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, Frank Cadogan Cowper, Alfred James Munnings, George Clausen and Wilfred Gabriel de Glehn, for an overall estimate in excess of £4.5 million. The sale is led by the masterly panorama "Derby Day" by William Powell Frith, RA (1819-1909), which is the first original working of the famous "Derby Day" painting, the masterpiece of the artist at Tate Britain. Fresh to the market, this significant picture has been recently rediscovered in New England, North America where it hung on the walls of an unlocked beach house for the past 50 years - it is estimated at £300,000 to £500,000. Based on photographic studies by Robert Howlett, the Tate picture was so popular that it had to be protected by a specially installed rail and a police officer when it was initially shown at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Frith rejected constrained academic high art in favour of genre painting and specialised in narrative subjects and panoramic depictions of the Victorian life. This richly detailed composition shows the crowds attracted to the Derby races at Epsom Downs and includes a complex series of vignettes representing a cross-section of British society: from the aristocratic family in the carriage with its footman laying down the picnic to the card sharps and tricksters besides the tents. The Royal Academician had the idea for the picture following a visit at the Derby in May 1856 where the picturesque crowd of race-goers gave him a taste of the diversity of his contemporaries and the desire to portray everyday life. The final subject took him several years of research, exhaustive preparatory studies and three completed sketches to achieve what is now known as the artist's undisputed masterpiece.

artwork: William Powell Frith, RA - "Derby Day" - Oil on canvas - Courtesy of Christies, London, where it will be auctioned in the Victorian & British Impressionist Art sale on December 15th - Estimate: £300,000-500,000

Another important highlight of the sale is  Frank Cadogan Cowper's (1877-1958) "Our Lady of the Fruits of the Earth", 1917. the artist's classic representation of the Madonna and Child, blending Renaissance and Pre-Raphaelite imagery into a memorable English icon in the national colours of red, white and blue, and sold in the original Italianate altarpiece frame. Painted at the height of the Great War, the religious and universal theme made it a symbol of life and hope  at the time and has been popular as a Christmas card reproduction ever since. Estimated at £150,000 to £250,000, it comes directly from the Estate of Countess Margareta Douglas. "The Pad Groom" (estimate: £120,000-180,000) is a fine example of the signature equine portraiture mastered by Sir Alfred James Munnings, P.R.A., R.W.S. (1878-1959). It depicts the "little dapper second horseman" Mr. Dale, who was a groom to the oldest Master of Hounds in England at the time. Coincidentally, the romantic and summery "A Girl Reading" by Dame Laura Knight (1877-1970) painted at a time when the artist described her pictures as  "an expression of joie de vivre", portrays the artist's friend Florence Carter Wood, who married Munnings in 1912, only to tragically commit suicide two years later (estimate: £100,000-150,000).

One of the most impressionistic works in the sale and ever painted by the artist, "Jane Emmet de Glehn by a stream, Val d'Aosta" (estimate: £80,000-120,000), is a romantic vision of the wife and muse of the artist Wilfred Gabriel de Glehn, R.A. (1870-1951), in the Italian meadow where the family was holidaying in August 1907 with fellow artist John Singer Sargent. Other significant sale highlights include two delicate portraits by Sir John Everett Millais, Bt., P.R.A. (1829-1896). The first is "Mrs Sebastian Schlesinger", 1876 (estimate: £80,000-120,000), a very beautiful American and reputedly a muse to the couturier Charles Frederick Worth, and the other "Miss Gertrude Vanderbilt", 1888, (estimate: £200,000-300,000), the thirteen-year old Vanderbilt heiress commissioned by her family from the artist. Gertrude would later become a serious artist and sculptor and found the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

artwork: Dante Gabriel Rossetti - "Portrait of Annie Miller", 1866 - Pencil on paper Courtesy of Christies, London -  Estimate: £80,000-120,000

Pre-Raphaelite works in this sale are led by the "Portrait of Annie Miller", 1866 by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) which quietly displays the great beauty of the artist's mistress. The drawing – which once belonged to Audrey Withers, the editor of Vogue UK from 1940 to 1960, who gifted it to the present owner – is estimated at £80,000 to £120,000. "A Prelude by Bach", 1868 (estimate: £150,000-200,000) by Simeon Solomon (1840-1905), is one of the artist's most important works to have remained in private hands and a work of exquisite harmony which embodies the ideals of beauty of the Victorian era. The Aesthetic Movement is a recurrent theme throughout the sale, reflecting the recent 'Cult of Beauty' exhibition at the V&A – now at the Paris Musée d'Orsay – and pioneered by artists such as Morris, Millais, Leighton, Rossetti and Solomon.

Christie's, the world's leading art business had global auction and private sales in the first half of 2011 that totaled £2.0 billion/$3.2 billion. In 2010 it achieved global auction and private sales of £3.3 billion/$5.0 billion. Christie's is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's conducted the greatest auctions of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, and today remains a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie's offers over 450 sales annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's has 53 offices in 32 countries and 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai and Hong Kong. More recently, Christie's has led the market with expanded initiatives in emerging and new markets such as Russia, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai. Visit the auction house's website at ...

This Week in Review in Art Knowledge News

Posted: 13 Apr 2012 05:39 PM PDT

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