Selasa, 01 Mei 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 National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) ~ Collecting Great Australian and International Masterpieces For Over 150 Years

Posted: 30 Apr 2012 08:30 PM PDT

artwork: This year (2011) the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is celebrating its 150th anniversary year, a major milestone in the history of Australia's first public art gallery. Founded in 1861, it is the oldest and the largest public art gallery in Australia. - Photo © Courtesy of Donaldytong

This year (2011) the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is celebrating its 150th anniversary year, a major milestone in the history of Australia's first public art gallery. Founded in 1861, it is the oldest and the largest public art gallery in Australia. When the gallery first opened in 1861, Victoria had been an independent colony for just ten years, but in the wake of the Victorian gold rush, it was easily the richest part of Australia, and Melbourne the largest city. Generous gifts from wealthy citizens, notably industrialist Alfred Felton, made it possible for the National Gallery to start purchasing large collections of overseas works from both old and modern masters. It currently holds over 67,000 prime works of art. The National Gallery of Victoria Art School, associated with the gallery, was founded in 1867. It was the leading centre for academic art training in Australia until about 1910. The School's graduates went on to become some of Australia's most significant artists. In 1959, the commission to design a new gallery and cultural centre was awarded to the architectural firm Grounds Romberg Boyd. In 1962, Roy Grounds split from his partners Frederick Romberg and Robin Boyd, retained the commission, and designed the gallery at 180 St Kilda Road (now known as NGV International). The building was completed in December 1967 and opened on 20 August 1968. One of the features of the gallery buildings are famous for is the Leonard French ceiling, one of the world's largest pieces of suspended stained glass. Grounds subsequently designed the adjacent Victorian Arts Centre with its iconic spire. A new gallery space, The Ian Potter Centre, in Federation Square opened in 2003 and houses the Australian art collection. Grounds' building just south of the Yarra River now houses the international collection. It reopened in December 2003 after four years of renovations by architect Mario Bellini. The gallery's name has caused some confusion over the years, as Victoria is not, and never has been a nation, but a state of Australia, and there is also the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) in Canberra. However, the NGV was founded some 40 years before the founding of the Commonwealth of Australia, when Victoria was a self-governing British colony and the name alludes to that period, when Victoria was a discrete political entity. It was also established more than a century before the National Gallery in Canberra. According to former Victorian Premier Steve Bracks, "We won't be renaming the National Gallery of Victoria. It has a great tradition. It is the biggest and best gallery in the country and it's one of the biggest and best in the world." A famous event in the history of the gallery was the theft of Pablo Picasso's painting "The Weeping Woman" in 1986 by a person or group who identified themselves as the "Australian Cultural Terrorists". The group took the painting to protest the perceived poor treatment of the arts by the state government of the time and sought as a ransom the establishment of an art prize for young artists. The painting was returned in a railway locker a week later. Visit the museum's website at …

artwork: Russell Drysdale - "Airport at night", 1944 - Pen and ink, brush and ink, watercolour - 67.0 x 91.0 cm. © National Gallery of Victoria

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Victoria, which is a short walk north up St Kilda Road from the gallery, houses an extensive collection comprising more than 23,000 Australian works. Australian Art from 1900 is represented by many important works from the colonial period and iconic Australian Masters from artists of the Heidelberg School and the pre-Federation era. Works from 1900 to 1950 include representation of the divergent streams of art practice in the first half of the 20th century and singular works produced at the time of Federation and during First and Second World Wars. It includes examples of the significant role women played in the development of post-Impressionism and Modernism in Australia. Works from the 1950s explore the topical social issues and notions of identity, whilst the 1960's collection maps the various forms of abstraction across a range of media, and documents the trend to re-examine Australia's myth, legends and urban life. Contemporary Australian art is focused on young or emerging Australian artists. It embraces key developments in Australian art of the past 30 years, with a particular emphasis on the practices of Melbourne artists of national and international importance. Post-colonialism, social identify, hybrid art practices and artists' engagement with the natural and built worlds feature in this collection. The collection also includes fashions and textiles, with a particular focus on Melbourne, which has been a major fashion centre since the 19th century. There are important holdings of printed and painted textiles, and the representation of ATSI designs in considered the most comprehensive in the country. The collection of Australian prints and drawings features works by most of the major figures of Australian art from the time of European settlement to the present day. In addition to prints and drawings in various media, the collection includes watercolors, collages, miniatures, artists' books and sketches. The NGV was the first Australian public gallery to establish a separate curatorial area to collect photography as a creative medium. The collection aims to comprehensively represent the development of creative photography in Australia and it includes many outstanding and rare items from the beginning of the medium to the present day. NGV seeks to represent the best practice of contemporary Victorian-based photographers and to selectively acquire the work of photographers working in other parts of Australia. Since 1984-85, when funds were first allocated for purchase of Aboriginal art, the NGV has built a diverse and comprehensive collection of over 2300 Indigenous Australian works, in a wide range of media, that is representative of most of the art producing communities of Aboriginal Australia. The NGV collection is unique in its focus on communities of artists rather than individuals, and in its strong contemporary emphasis. The benefits of this energetic, communal collection policy are evident in the number of special exhibitions, large and small which have been mounted solely from the NGV's holdings.

artwork: John William Waterhouse - "Ulysses and the Sirens", 1891 - Oil on canvas - 100 x 201.7 cm. From the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria

The NGV International at 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne contains a whole world of international art, and displays the NGV's collections of European, Asian, Oceanic and American Art. Since the NGV opened in St Kilda Road in 1968, the total collection has doubled in size to more than 70,000 works of art, one of the most impressive collections in the Southern Hemisphere. International painting and sculpture from 1300 to 1800 is represented by major collections of Italian, Dutch and Flemish artists including works by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Marco Palmezzano, Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Tintoretto, Paolo Uccello, Paolo Veronese and August Friedrich. The NGV's painting galleries also include fine examples of eighteenth-century French portraiture and pastoral paintings and sculptures and the great masters of British 18th century portraiture are represented by major examples along with landscape paintings and allegorical and narrative works, by artists including John Constable. The 19th century collection includes iconic works by renowned British landscape and marine painters as well as Pre-Raphaelites works enabling the gallery to present the development of British art in the nineteenth century in extraordinary depth. The NGV has the most comprehensive collection of French pre-Impressionist and Impressionist paintings in Australia. The Gallery's holdings of nineteenth and twentieth-century British and French sculpture are also significant. French painting of the first half of the twentieth century is represented with spectacular paintings. There are also outstanding examples of twentieth-century British painting. The international contemporary art collection includes excellent works by some of the most influential artists of the past two decades, and represents works in all media including decorative arts. The most recent major acquisitions encompass painting and sculptural installation practices, and represent internationally acclaimed artists working in Australia, Great Britain, Korea and the United States of America. The NGV also includes major collections of international fashion & textiles, prints and drawings, decorative arts and photography as well as Asian, Oceanic and Pre Columbian collections.

artwork: Gustave Moreau - "The sirens" - Oil on canvas - 89 x 118 cm. On view in exhibition "Gustave Moreau and the Eternal Feminine" showing at the National Gallery of Victoria until 10 April 2011.

Amongst a number of temporary exhibitions, "Gustave Moreau and the Eternal Feminine" features powerful and beautiful women like the legendary Cleopatra and the vampiric Messalina, the deadly but fascinating Salomé and Lady Macbeth, and luscious, hapless victims of male lust such as Helen of Troy – beauties whose names are the stuff of legend. Moreau brings them alive for us, as well as men like Oedipus whose lives were bound by tragic destiny. Gustave Moreau is one of the radical artists of the nineteenth century whose imagination seems to anticipate the cinematic. His art is one of spectacle and alive with fabulous stories. Unique in his own time, especially for painting the great mythological and exotic stories of the ancient world, erotic and often violent, Moreau's painterly bravura is vivid, his colour dazzling and jewel-like. At times he applies paint and uses mixed media with a freedom verging on the abstract - so that he seems to possess a modern sensibility. His is an intriguing tale in itself – alternately ignored and fêted in his own time he remains an enigmatic figure whose relationships with the female sex are elusive. Visitors will be seduced by this exhibition of 117 ravishing paintings drawings and watercolours, which explores the artist's obsession with the "Eternal Feminine" and provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these works in Australia, direct from the acclaimed Musée Gustave Moreau in Paris. "Gustave Moreau and the Eternal Feminine" is on view until April 10th 2011. "Stormy Weather: Contemporary Landscape Photography" on view through 20th March 2011 charts some contemporary approaches to the landscape through the work of eleven Australian photographers including Rosemary Laing, Harry Nankin, David Stephenson, Richard Woldendorp, Nici Cumpston, Anne Ferran and Jill Orr. Photographers' interest in the landscape has increased in the last few years. Perhaps as a result of heightened environmental awareness, or an evolution in engagement with Australian history, practitioners are again turning to the natural world as a site for critical practice and inspiration. Drawn from the permanent collection the National Gallery of Victoria, the selected photographers in this exhibition have a particular focus that comes from their active relationship to various environments. The artists displayed reveal history in a landscape, provoke ecological concerns, use the landscape as a site of performance, or reveal the distinctive beauty of a place.

Charlie Chaplin's Photographic Archive Gifted to the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne

Posted: 30 Apr 2012 08:29 PM PDT

artwork: English comic actor Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) enjoys the high life, attended by two butlers in a scene from his film 'City Lights'. The silent film legend was knighted at the age of 85 in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London, 4 March 1975. Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Musée de l'Elysée announced a major event: the arrival of the Chaplin Photographic Archive. A large collection of 10,000+  photographs belonging to British comedian Charlie Chaplin will be given to the museum. The prints and negatives, that trace the actor's career, date as far back as 1910, when Chaplin first toured the United States. "I am thrilled that the Musée de l'Elysée in Lausanne will take care of my father's archive. My siblings and myself totally trust that the museum will preserve this heritage which is so dear to us." - Joséphine Chaplin, daughter of Charlie Chaplin

The Fahey/Klein Gallery Shows Mark Laita's New Photography

Posted: 30 Apr 2012 08:27 PM PDT

artwork: Mark Laita - "North Pacific Giant Octopus", 2010 - Archival pigment print - Edition of 15 - 24" x 41 3/8" - Courtesy the Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles. On view in "Mark Laita: Amaranthine, Sea, and Serpentine" from July 28th until September 3rd.

Los Angeles.- The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present three new bodies of work from photographer "Mark Laita: Amaranthine, Sea, and Serpentine". Mark Laita's previous exhibitions at the Fahey/Klein Gallery were based on an eight year body of work entitled Created Equal, consisting of American diptych portraits that succeed in challenging or reinforcing our perceptions of American archetypes, and explore themes such as wealth, beauty, occupation, and age. In this most recent exhibition however, Mark Laita strays away from human subject matter all together, and instead focuses on beautifully preserved birds, mesmerizing snakes, and ethereal sea life. "Mark Laita: Amaranthine, Sea, and Serpentine" is on view at the gallery from July 28th  through September 3rd, with a reception for the Artist on Thursday, July 28th from 7 – 9 p.m.

Peggy Guggenheim Collection Presents Exhibition of Gallerist Ileana Sonnabend

Posted: 30 Apr 2012 08:26 PM PDT

artwork: James Rosenquist - "Sliced Bologna", 1968 - Oil on slit Mylar, 259.1 x 266.7 cm. - The Sonnabend Collection. On loan to MART (Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto), Rovereto, Italy  - ©James Rosenquist, by SIAE.

Considered by many to be among the greatest gallerists of late 20th century contemporary art, Ileana Sonnabend (1914-2007) also brought together a major art collection of her own. The exhibition Ileana Sonnabend. An Italian Portrait, on view at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, from May 29 to October 2, 2011, presents works from the Sonnabend Collection, New York, on the theme of Italy: works by Italian artists, and works by international artists which reference Italian culture, tradition, and topography.

Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden to Celebrate 450 Years of Collecting

Posted: 30 Apr 2012 08:22 PM PDT

artwork: Exhibition Hall view - © Grünes Gewölbe, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. Foto: David Brandt, Dresden

Dresden, Germany - In 2010 the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden will be celebrating the past and the future of 450 years of collecting art with a lavish anniversary exhibition. It will include historical sources showing how August I, Elector of Saxony founded the royal Kunstkammer (literally "art chamber") in the attic of the Residenzschloss in 1560. In doing so he laid the foundations for one of the oldest and most important collections in Europe, which have ultimately developed into many of the museums of today's Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. The works they display testify to the diverse interests and far-reaching vision of the Saxon rulers. To this day, the museums are committed to preserving traditions, developing new visions and helping to shape the future. On exhibition 18 April through 7 November, 2010.

artwork: See-Einhorn als Trinkgefäß, Leipzig, um 1600, Elias Geyer Foto: Jürgen Karpinski © Grünes Gewölbe The early Kunstkammer combined hand-crafted and scientific items with works of fine art. This broad spectrum is reflected in the anniversary exhibition, which includes works from the museums' own collections such as paintings, sculptures, drawings, historical weapons and armour, clothing, medals, porcelain, jewellery and scientific instruments and tools. Other Dresden-based collections that used to belong to the royal collections, such as the Sächsische Landesbibliothek – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (Saxon State Library – Dresden State and University Library), the Staatliche Naturhistorische Sammlungen (State Natural History Collections) and the Staatliche Ethnographische Sammlungen (State Ethnographic Collections) have also provided key display pieces.

Outstanding items on loan from museums elsewhere in Germany and the world complete the exhibition and reflect the strong relationships that have existed between Dresden and other courts and countries from the 16th century to the present day. Some of these loan items have not been displayed in Dresden for centuries.

The first recorded collection rooms of the Kunstkammer were located in the Residenzschloss of the Dresden court. The spatial design of the exhibition on the second and third floors of the palace makes reference to this, although nothing remains of the original interior of these rooms. Rather than focusing on a chronology, the exhibition aims to generate unusual comparisons, new points of view and associations between the different temporal planes. Five themes – creation, longing, curiosity, confrontation, appeal – highlight the main considerations and impulses associated with the presentation of these works, and guide visitors through the exhibition.

The act of collecting is depicted as a way of appropriating the world and of displaying social status. In early modern times, it expressed an attempt to understand the universe. The microcosm of a collection represented the diversity of creation and, as a collector, the royal owner believed himself to be part of God's salvation plan. With the advent of modern science in the late 18th century, attention turned to recording and organizing collected items.

artwork: Caspar David Friedrich - Two Men Contemplating the Moon, c. 1819. Oil on canvas; unframed: 13 x 17 1/2 in. - Galerie Neue Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.

The exhibition will include initial results from "Daphne", the recently launched large-scale inventory project that aims to record every item belonging to the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.

The exhibition also addresses events in recent German history and their impact on the museums. Some outstanding examples of the works that the National Socialists classed as "degenerate art" and removed from the collections will be returning to Dresden for the duration of the exhibition. For the first time, the exhibition reveals the influence and significance of Hans Posse, director of the Dresden Gemäldegalerie (Picture Gallery) from 1910 to 1942, as a dedicated collector of contemporary art on the one hand and Hitler's commissioner for the "Führer Museum" in Linz on the other hand.

The exhibition also looks at a divided Germany: the GDR was characterised by a balancing act between conformity and self-assertion, but dedicated museum directors, who made the most of every creative leeway even at times when cultural policy was at its most restrictive, were among those to leave a lasting mark on the era.

The anniversary exhibition unravels the history of collecting and the transformation of the Kunstkammer into a public museum, a "sanctuary of art". It shows how the Dresden collections are becoming increasingly famous as a result of modern tourism, and how their communication strategies tap into the potential of new media – from early descriptions in books and the first photographs in the 19th century, to modern film and the visual formats offered by today's media. It spans different centuries, includes a huge variety of exhibits and sheds light on the major developments in the history of collection and presentation. Thus, when looking back over a 450-year history that was, as the exhibition shows, dynamic, innovative and visionary, the future also invariably shines through -  state of the art since 1560

Visit the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden at:

New Major Exhibition Highlights the Collection Frieder Burda

Posted: 30 Apr 2012 08:21 PM PDT

artwork: Pablo Picasso - 'Le Couple', 23 October 1969, 114 x 146 cm. - Oil on canvas, signed below - Courtesy of Museum Frieder Burda

BADEN-BADEN, GERMANY- From March 25, 2010 to June 20, 2010, a selection of works from the Collection Frieder Burda will be on display at the Museum Frieder Burda, making for an inspiring encounter with important works from its inventory, as well as with recently acquired paintings. The exhibition, entitled "There is something about these pictures…", will comprise more than 100 paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs and art installations by Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko, Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer, Isa Genzken, Neo Rauch, Robert Rauschenberg, Sigmar Polke, Willem de Kooning, Gregory Crewdson, Anton Henning, Nedko Solakov, Axel Hütte, Max Beckmann, as well as by Johannes Hüppi, John Chamberlain and William N. Copley. The title "There is something about these pictures…" refers to a quotation by the collector Frieder Burda, while talking about his passion for art and the intuitive way in which he built his collection.

Lovebird Studio Displays New Works by Michael X. Rose

Posted: 30 Apr 2012 08:19 PM PDT

artwork: Michael X. Rose - "Bacchanalia", 2011 - Oil on canvas - 24" x 28" - Courtesy the artist. On view at Lovebird Studio, Rosendale, New York in "Michael X. Rose: The Garden of Eden and After".

Rosendale, NY.- Lovebird Studio is pleased to present "Michael X. Rose: The Garden of Eden and After", opening on September 3rd. In The Garden of Eden and After, Michael X. Rose presents a new body of work that examines the Fall of Man.  These oil paintings draw upon the great Romantic tradition of Peter Paul Rubens, Nicolas Poussin, and Eugène Delacroix and depict the eternal battles of Good against Evil.  Evil in its most hideous form, the UnDead Nazi Zombie.  Who can withstand and prevail against that great Evil? In his artist statement, Rose says: "Thematically I seek to discover or create that pivotal moment in human events when there is no turning back; disaster or salvation is imminent. The scene is a finely balanced fulcrum about to tip; the viewer can speculate on the outcome. Romantic influences combined with a realization that in the greatest Shakespearean works all the main characters end up dead, to me,  are the ingredients of a great painting.

Ackland Art Museum explores Cuban Politics & Culture through Cinema Posters

Posted: 30 Apr 2012 08:15 PM PDT

artwork: Alberto Korda in front of his famous snapshot "Guerrillero Heroico" and holding a 3 Cuban Peso banknote, which also bears his photo.

CHAPEL HILL, NCThe Ackland Art Museum presents the special exhibition Almost Now: Cuban Art, Cinema, and Politics in the 1960s and 1970s (August 29 – December 6, 2009), offered in conjunction with The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Institute for the Study of the Americas' presentation The Cuban Revolution at 50: Art and Cinema. Featuring sixteen Cuban cinema posters (and a signed and numbered print of Alberto Korda's iconic photograph of Che Guevara) recently given to the Ackland by eminent art historian, collector, and Carolina alumnus David Craven.

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza opens Monographic Exhibition Devoted to Henri Fantin-Latour

Posted: 30 Apr 2012 08:14 PM PDT

artwork: Henri Fantin-Latour - Coin de table. - Oil on canvas,160 x 225 cm. - Musée d'Orsay, París. Donated by M. & Mme Emile Blémont, 1920.

MADRID.- The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid is presenting Fantin-Latour (1836-1904), the first major monographic exhibition to be devoted in Spain to this French painter. It has been organized in conjunction with the Fundaçao Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon, where it can be seen this summer. The exhibition features a comprehensive selection from the artist's oeuvre comprising 70 paintings, drawings and prints loaned from museums and institutions around the world. Using a chronological arrangement that follows Fantin-Latour's career through the second half of the 19th century, the exhibition includes some of his most famous paintings, among them group portraits of family members and friends, interiors with figures and realist still lifes, as well as allegorical and musical fantasies. On exhibition 29 September through 10 January, 2010.

Fantin-Latour was a pupil of Courbet for a short period, a travelling companion of Whistler and a friend of Monet and Degas. Henri Fantin-Latour (Grenoble, 1836 – Buré, 1904) is an artist difficult to position within the history of French painting in the second half of the 19th century. His group portraits, conceived almost in the manner of manifestoes, suggest an artist passionately committed to a new approach to painting, his still lifes are close to realism, while his mythological and allegorical scenes convey the idea that he was allied to academic Symbolism. Fantin-Latour's work coincided with the birth and development of Impressionism but he declined to participate in the group's first exhibition and was never involved in the movement as an active member although he shared many of its aesthetic aspirations.

Possibly for this reason, Fantin-Latour has been less studied and is less celebrated than his Impressionist contemporaries, and few major exhibitions have been devoted to him in recent years. The present one, which is the first to be seen in the Iberian Peninsula, aims to reassess and champion the figure and work of this French painter whose oeuvre has been unjustly eclipsed and who has not been judged over time as one of the great figures of modern art. Fantin-Latour's illustrious contemporary, the writer Émile Zola, said that his canvases "do not arouse an immediate attraction; it is necessary to look at them carefully, introducing oneself into them so that one fully grasps and is captivated by their mood and the simplicity of their truth."

The exhibition's aim is thus to do justice to Henri Fantin-Latour and to reveal him to the visiting public not just as an exquisite, refined and elegant painter but also as an artist of great quality, subtlety and profound sensibility. This is the intention behind the ambitious selection of works made by Vincent Pomarède, Curator at the Musée du Louvre and curator of the exhibition. The works are arranged with a dual chronological and thematic presentation, organized into seven sections:

Flowers and fruits
artwork: Henri Fantin-Latour Flores y objetos diversos 1874, Oil on canvas 101 x 82 cm. / Göteborg, KonstmuseumFlowers are a constantly recurring motif in the work of Fantin-Latour and his flower paintings could be described as the genre that he most brilliantly mastered. Particularly appreciated in England, these works are characterized by their balanced, elegant and disciplined compositions, constructed through meticulous relations of forms and colors.

Fantin-Latour executed his first still lifes in 1861 for the surgeon and printmaker Francis Seymour Haden during a period in England. Seymour Haden's enthusiastic promotion of these works was largely responsible for the success that the artist enjoyed in that country.

In France, however, these works were ignored or even maligned due to their subject matter and because any sort of commercial success was synonymous with mediocrity in the opinion of French writers and critics of the day. They only appreciated Fantin-Latour's largescale "homages", his group portraits, single figures and musical compositions, almost entirely disregarding the flower paintings.

Self-portraits were the primary focus of Fantin-Latour's activities during his early years and he engaged in this genre in a regular manner between 1854 and 1861. This introspective activity, which recalls that of other artists such as Rembrandt and Dürer, resulted in around 50 self-portraits in the form of paintings, drawings and prints. They reveal the artist's profound investigation into the expression of emotions based on a study of his own image.

This was an almost daily activity in which it was possible to discern an increasing reduction in the motifs that the artist would select to paint, as well as his need for solitude and for time given over to reflection and study. "How beautiful nature is! I come back from the Louvre, have dinner, and from 5 to 8 in the evening I sit down in front of my mirror and alone with nature, we say things to each other that are a thousand times more worthwhile than anything the most beautiful woman could have to say. Oh art!", he wrote to his friend Whistler in 1859.

This almost obsessive passion for depicting himself could also, however, be explained in more practical terms, such as the advantages offered by the genre of portraiture with its "always available model", "which is precise, obedient and already familiar with itself before being painted", as the artist noted. More flexible and available than a professional model, his own physiognomy seemed to him better suited to the freedom that he was looking for in his work.

At the Louvre
Fantin-Latour's activities as a copyist were motivated not just by the need to survive financially at the outset of his career. As was the case with other artists of his generation such as Manet and Degas, this activity was a preferred method of study, interpretation and creation.

For more than twenty years, Fantin-Latour was an almost daily visitor to the Louvre, where he undertook commissions for copies of works by the great masters, notably Titian, Veronese, Rubens and Delacroix, his "spiritual master". The influence of these painters is reflected in his conception of portraiture, in which he constantly referred to a wide range of Dutch and French models. It is also evident in his still lifes, which synthesise all the known examples of 16th- and 17th-century flower painting.

artwork: Henri Fantin-Latour Inmortalidad, 1889 Oil on canvas, 117 x 87 cm. Cardiff, National Museum of WalesMusical and poetic allegories
Henri Fantin-Latour loved music almost as much as painting. Far from being an inhibiting and competitive factor, this passion constantly enriched his sources of pictorial inspiration and he established a close relationship between the two art forms in a manner imbued with Romantic sentiments but one that heralded his Symbolist interests.

These musical "adaptations" in painting were the only subjects that encouraged him temporarily to abandon realistic themes and devote himself to the creation of imaginary, poetic and totally original worlds. Schumann, Brahms, Berlioz and above all Richard Wagner were his sources of inspiration.

In 1864 Fantin-Latour presented Scene from Tannhäuser (Venusberg) at the Paris Salon. This was the first of his pictorial variations based on a musical source. With this work the artist had clearly found the subject and aesthetic mood that would enable him to achieve his desired end, that of creating the "painting of the future". To do so he consciously looked to Wagner, whose aim was to create "the music of the future".

From 1880, Fantin-Latour's work was initially indebted to Romanticism then subsequently came close to realism and to the "painters of modern life" before moving on to reveal an interest in the work of the early Symbolists. When he returned to "themes of the imagination" at the end of his career the artist revived the idea of contributing to the "painting of the future", championing the pre-eminent role of the dream in art through works inspired by religious, mythological and allegorical themes.

In addition, the works of this late period are characterized by a vitality and evident sense of joy, expressed in the use of refined, pleasing colors and intense luminosity. In particular, they express a vibrant, sensual eroticism.

The principal themes of these works, reading and study, were subjects that encouraged a focus on a pictorial description of concentration, mental reflection and silence. They are intimate portraits, imbued with a sense of mystery and complicity, that evolved into genre compositions that look back to the restrained tradition of Dutch 17th-century painting.

They are formally realist works of an almost photographic nature, but behind their apparent order they conceal an unexpected disorder that is conveyed in the self-absorbed poses of the figures, which seem to conceal a mystery.

In the words of the writer Anatole France, these scenes "expressed a gentle seriousness, bathed in a calm light", adding that: "in them, the figures are involved in a life that is at once domestic and sublime."

Fantin-Latour's sisters, friends and the individuals whom he admired received his full attention and the artist devoted himself to them unreservedly when he painted their portraits. However, when he moved away from this close circle and had to execute portraits of unknown sitters he lost all interest and his powers of formal and psychological analysis disappeared.

This marked difference between his private and public works is almost unparalleled in the history of art and is even more surprising in the case of an artist whose reputation is largely based on his brilliance as a portraitist.

Besides, Fantin-Latour produced some of the most notable group portraits within the history of art, returning at the end of the 19th century to the lessons of Rembrandt and Frans Hals.

This is clearly evident in A corner of the Table, loaned by the Musée d'Orsay, Paris, which is one of the four large-scale compositions executed by Fantin-Latour as a celebration of painting, literature and music and which can be seen as true artistic manifestoes.

Fantin-Latour paid homage to the art of painting on two occasions in his work and also felt the need to pay tribute to literature. So enthusiastic was he about this project that he declared: "I am painting for myself." The central figure was originally intended to be Baudelaire, but a row in the Parisian literary world resulted in a complete change in the concept, and the painting ultimately became a homage to the poets of the nouvelle vague, with Verlaine and Rimbaud as the central figures.

artwork: Henri Fantin-Latour - "La leçon de dessin ou Portraits" - Oil on canvas, 145 x 170 cm. Musées Royaux des Beaux-arts de Belgique, Brussels.

Portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Edwards (1875), of whom the latter was one of his most notable supporters and promoters in England, together with others from the 1880s such as those of his sister-in-law Charlotte Dubourg and of his friend León Maître, can be considered among the artist's masterpieces. Fantin-Latour endowed French portraiture with a unique aesthetic due to the special attention he paid to his models, his interest in a truthful representation, the simplicity of the clothes in which they are depicted and his exquisitely refined palette. His canvases were restrained, subtle and austere without being somber. They reflected the mood of the late 19th century in a way that few other artists were able to achieve.

Henri Fantin-Latour (1836 – 1904)
Son of Théodore Fantin, a painter and drawing master, Henri Fantin-Latour was born in Grenoble on 14 January 1836. In 1841 his family moved to Paris where he trained as a painter, first in the studio of Lecoq de Boisbaudran and later at the École des Beaux-Arts. For a period of a month he also studied at Courbet's "School of Realism" but it would seem that the artist learned most from the Louvre where he executed numerous copies.

With no personal fortune and without an acquaintance that could become his patron, Fantin-Latour was thus forced to paint copies throughout his life, and then flowers, to make a living. Soon, the young artist gained reputation as a copyist of the works of the masters, particularly specializing in the Venetian School, above all Titian and Veronese, but also Delacroix, Géricault, Rubens, Murillo or Rembrandt. He was admired but his skill as a copyist somewhat worried his friends, who were afraid he would turn it into a career. Nonetheless, the Louvre was for Fantin, for over twenty years, a place of sometimes lucrative work, but also and especially a place of study, interpretation and creation.

In 1859 he went to England for the first time in the company of Whistler and he came back in 1861 and 1864. In this country he found the best purchasers for his flowers and still lifes paintings. He painted also portraits and group portraits of members of his family and friends.

In 1836 Fantin-Latour participated in the Salon des refusés and in 1864 exhibited Homage to Delacroix, the first of his group portraits of writers, painters and musicians. Despite his friendly relations with the Impressionists, in 1874 he declined to exhibit with them in the group's first exhibition. Fantin-Latour's compositions on musical themes and "themes of imagination", from the last period of his career, associate him with Symbolist tendencies. The artist retired in 1876 to his country house at Buré (Orne) where he died on 25 August 1904. Visit :

Singapore Art Museum (SAM) hosts "This is Not a Print!"

Posted: 30 Apr 2012 08:12 PM PDT

artwork: Roy Lichtenstein - Reflection on Minerva ('The Reflections' series) 1990 - Edition 68/AP-16 / 142.2 x 117.5 cm. Print, planographic, stencil, relief, collage, woodcut, embossing - Singapore Art Museum Collection - (C) Estate of Roy Lichtenstein 

Singapore - Singapore Art Museum's new contemporary wing, 8Q sam presents This is Not a Print!, a selection of over 70 multiples and prints from the Singapore Art Museum's 1500-piece Tyler Art Collection. Acquired by the museum from master printer Kenneth Tyler's collection in 1999, this exhibition explores the relationship between the development of multiples in print making from the 1960s that embody the core ideas of contemporary art practice. On view through 26 July, 2009.

Alejandra Laviada Presents Her First Solo Exhibition in Madrid

Posted: 30 Apr 2012 08:11 PM PDT

artwork: Alejandra Laviada - "a,b,c,d_Typologies", 2008 - Courtesy of the artist. © Alejandra Laviada

MADRID.- The young Mexican artist Alejandra Laviada took part in the portfolio presentation which took place in Mexico City in 2009, later receiving the Descubrimientos PHE (Discoveries PHE) Brugal Extra Viejo Award for her series Photo Sculptures, in which she photographs ephemeral sculptures created from discarded objects. This group of photographs alters the concept of daily objects, it registers spaces which are completely demolished or transformed and implies the stories of the people who live there.   She was awarded honorable mention at the XII Photography Biennial in Mexico, and her work was singled out by critics when it was most recently shown as part of the exhibit "Chisel" at the first New York Photo Festival.

Claudia Schiffer Poses For Vogue ~ Very Similar to Annie Leibowitz Epic Demi Moore Nude

Posted: 30 Apr 2012 08:09 PM PDT

artwork: Supermodel Claudia Schiffer in the most recent German 'VOGUE' magazine EPA/CLX EUROPE KARL LAGERFELD / VOGUE.

BERLIN.- Supermodel Claudia Schiffer posed nude and pregnant on the cover of the German edition of Vogue and was photographed by her discoverer, the German designer Karl Lagerfeld. Schiffer's image recalls the legendary photograph of Demi Moore when she was seven months pregnant, who was photographed by Annie Leibowitz, an image that caused a stir in August 1991. Under the heading "Claudia by Vogue', the article includes other snapshots taken by Ellen von Unwerth and Francesco Carrozzini. "There are very few women who have been photographed as many times as Claudia," explains the German editor of the magazine, Christiane Arp.

The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium presents "Surrealism in Paris"

Posted: 30 Apr 2012 08:08 PM PDT

artwork: Salvador Dalí - "Swans Reflecting Elephants", 1937 - Oil on canvas - 51 x 77 cm. - Private collection - © 2011, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí / ProLitteris, Zurich. On view at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of  Brussels in "Surrealism in Paris" from March 16th until July 15th.

Brussels, Belgium.- The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium are proud to present "Surrealism in Paris", on view at the museum of Modern Art from March 16th through July 15th. Organised in collaboration with the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, the exhibition on will feature major works by all the leading artists of this movement. Together, they provide an important overview of some of the most famous artists of the twentieth century: Hans Arp, Hans Bellmer, Salvador Dalí, Giorgio de Chirico, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti, René Magritte, Man Ray, André Masson, Joan Miró, Meret Oppenheim, Francis Picabia, Pablo Picasso and Yves Tanguy. The core of the exhibition consists of paintings, sculptures and works on paper but, because the Surrealists challenged the traditional classification of artistic disciplines, composite objects, photographs and assemblages will also be shown.

Surrealism was one of the most crucial artistic and literary movements of the twentieth century. After emerging in Paris in 1924, it unfolded a worldwide effect that continues to this day. Major modern artists belonged to the movement, were associated with it, or inspired by it. Its aim was radical change and expansion of the expressive means of art and poetry and their impact on society. Aspects of the psyche and creativity that had previously lay fallow were to be made fertile for artistic activity and human life as a whole. Profoundly shaken by the experience of the First World War and under the leadership of its chief theoretician, André Breton, the Surrealists developed innovative approaches and lent form to an art that tapped poetic imagination, the world of dreams, and the unconscious mind. Their idols included Sigmund Freud and many writers, such as the scandalous Marquis de Sade, the poets Charles Baudelaire, Comte de Lautréamont, and Arthur Rimbaud, Edgar Allan Poe, and the German Romantics.

artwork: Max Ernst - "The Entire City", 1935–36 - Oil on canvas -  60 x 81 cm. - Collection of the Kunsthaus Zürich. On view at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels in "Surrealism in Paris" from March 16th until July 15th.

"Surrealism in Paris" comprises about 290 masterworks and manuscripts by about 40 artists and authors. These include approximately 110 paintings, 30 objects and sculptures, 50 works on paper, 50 photographs, 30 manuscripts and original editions, 15 pieces of jewelry and four films. The exhibits are arranged in the exhibition spaces partly by artist, partly by theme. The introduction is provided by Giorgio de Chirico, a pioneering predecessor of Surrealism whose cityscapes and interiors of the 1910s can be considered decisive forerunners of the movement. On view as well are valuable manuscripts and editions of Surrealist texts, including manuscript versions of Breton's manifestos. A further emphasis is placed on two major artists of the movement, Joan Miró and Max Ernst. Miró, who opened out entirely new spaces for modern art with his hovering dreamlike colored configurations, is represented by works such as Painting (The Circus Horse), 1927, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and Ernst by superb works such as the renowned Wavering Woman (The Slanting Woman), 1923, from the Kunstsammlung NordrheinWestfalen, Düsseldorf. Then follows a room devoted to Yves Tanguy, whose imaginary spaces populated by mysterious objects – as in the monumental The Last Days, 1944, from a private collection – represent one of the most poetic evocations in all Surrealism. The next space is devoted to a key Surrealist medium – the object. The works on view include Meret Oppenheim's famous Ma gouvernante - My Nurse - Mein Kindermädchen, 1936/1967, from the Moderna Museet Stockholm, and Hans Bellmer's major object The Doll, 1935-36,  from the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Also brought together here are major drawings and paintings by Victor Brauner. A special feature of the exhibition is the inclusion of two superb private collections of Surrealism. The presentation of that of André Breton and his first wife, Simone Collinet, represents a premiere. The couple amassed the collection in the 1920s, and after they separated Collinet expanded her share. Among the works in the collection are Francis Picabia's large-scale painting Judith, 1929, and de Chirico's The Evil Genius of a King, 1914-15, now in the Museum of Modern Art New York. On view in a second room are outstanding works from the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, including Max Ernst's The Antipope, 1941-42, which the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice seldom permits to travel. These works constitute an ensemble within the exhibition in which the period of the Surrealists' New York exile during World War II is virtually distilled. In addition, the presentation of the two collections permits us to highlight key aspects of private stagings of Surrealist art.

artwork: Paul Delvaux - "Pygmalion", 1939 - Oil on wood - 117 x 148 cm. - Collection of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium  - © 2011, Fond. P. Delvaux S. Idesbald, Belgien / ProLitteris, Zurich. On view March 16th until July 15th .

The artists prominently represented in further rooms include Hans Arp, and not least Pablo Picasso, who for a time was closely associated with Surrealism. On view is his highly Surrealist painting The Artist's Studio (The Open Window), 1929. This is followed by an outstanding group of works by the visual magician René Magritte. In an inimitable way, Magritte's art captures visual reality only to subvert it again. Fine examples are the early The Interpretation of Dreams, 1930, and later major works such as The Dominion of Light, 1962, both from private collections. A concise selection of outstanding Surrealist photographs, including works by Man Ray, Raoul Ubac, Dora Maar, and Eli Lotar rounds off the picture. A screening room presents key works of Surrealist cinematic art, including ones by Luis Buñuel and Man Ray. The exhibition concludes with the artist who is likely the most famous Surrealist of all, Salvador Dalí. A spectacular group of his masterpieces on view here includes The Enigma of Desire, 1929, from the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, the outstanding Metamorphosis of Narcissus, 1937, from the Tate London, and Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate, one Second before Awakening, 1944, from the Museo Thyssen Bornemisza in Madrid.

The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium are situated in the capital Brussels in the downtown area on the Coudenberg. There are four museums connected with the Royal Museum, and two of them (the Museum of Ancient Art and the Museum of Modern Art, Brussels), are in the main building. The other two (the Constantin Meunier Museum and the Antoine Wiertz Museum) are dedicated to specific Belgian artists, are much smaller, and are located a few kilometers from the city center. The Royal Museum contains over 20,000 drawings, sculptures, and paintings, which date from the early 15th century to the present. The museum has an extensive collection of Flemish painting, among them paintings by Bruegel and Rogier van der Weyden, Robert Campin (the Master of Flémalle), Anthony van Dyck, and Jacob Jordaens. The museum is also proud of its "Rubens Room", which houses more than 20 paintings by the artist. The painting Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, long-attributed to Brueghel, is located here and forms the subject of W. H. Auden's famous poem Musée des Beaux Arts, named after the museum. There are constant changing exhibitions. The main building which now houses the Museum of Ancient Art was built as the Palais des Beaux-Arts, designed by Belgian architect Alphonse Balat and funded by King Leopold II. Balat was the king's principle architect, and this was one part of the king's vast building program for Belgium. The building was completed in 1887, and stands as an example of the Beaux-Arts architecture use of themed statuary to assert the identity and meaning of the building. The extensive program of architectural sculpture includes the four figures of Music, Architecture, Sculpture, and Painting atop the four main piers, the work of sculptors Égide Mélot, Georges Geefs, Louis Samain, and Guillaume de Groot respectively. The finial, gilded Genius of Art was also designed by de Groot. The three rondels of Peter Paul Rubens, van Ruysbroek, and Jean de Bologne, who represent painting, architecture, and sculpture, are the work of Antoine-Joseph Van Rasbourgh, Antoine-Félix Bouré and Jean Cuypers. The two bas-relief panels are Music by Thomas Vincotte and Industrial Arts by Charles Brunin. The two bronze groups on pedestals represent The Crowning of Art by Paul de Vigne, and The Teaching of Art by Charles van der Stappen. Visit the museum's website at ...

Kramersky Art Collection on View at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Esteban Vicente

Posted: 30 Apr 2012 08:06 PM PDT

artwork: Eva Hesse - Untitled, 1963-1964 - Collage, gouache, watercolor, and black ink on paper, 55.9 x 76.2 cm.

SEGOVIA, SPAIN - The term "minimalisms" defines the New York private collection from which the exhibition at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Esteban Vicente is drawn. The Kramarsky Collection is one of the most prestigious and active in the scene of American contemporary art, concentrating its interest on drawing as an independent artistic language. The collection consists of over 3000 works of art created from the mid-20th century to the present. While known for its strength in Minimalist drawings of the 1960s, the collection additionally features works that constitute Minimalism's contemporary legacy, as well as abstract works that are gesturally expressive in nature and intent.

Museum Announces U.S. Tour of "Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria" Exhibition

Posted: 30 Apr 2012 08:04 PM PDT

artwork: A woman looks at the mask 'Obalufon', dated back to the 14th century, at the exhibition 'Dynasty and Divinity Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria' during its presentation at the Marcelino Botin Foundation gallery in Santander, Spain.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum for African Art, New York, has announced the U.S. tour of the important exhibition Dynasty and Divinity: Ife Art in Ancient Nigeria. Devoted to the art of Ife, the ancient city-state of the Yoruba people of West Africa (in present-day southwestern Nigeria), Dynasty and Divinity has been co-organized by the Fundación Marcelino Botín and the Museum, in collaboration with the Nigerian National Commission for Museums and Monuments. The exhibition (with the title Kingdom of Ife: Sculptures from West Africa) is on view through June 6, 2010, at the British Museum, London, where it has received widespread critical and public acclaim. Following its presentation there, it will travel to the U.S., opening at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, on September 19, 2010, and concluding its tour in November 2011 at the Museum for African Art, where it will be among the inaugural exhibitions in the Museum's new building, which opens in April of that year.

Michael Hoppen Gallery Announces Exhibition by Fernand Fonssagrives

Posted: 30 Apr 2012 08:02 PM PDT

artwork: Fernand Fonssagrives - "Contours", c. 1954-58 - © Estate of Fernand Fonssagrives - Courtesy: Michael Hoppen Gallery, London

LONDON.- The Michael Hoppen gallery announced an exhibition of work by one of America's foremost fashion photographers Fernand Fonssagrives. Once the highest paid photographers in the world, he was ambivalent about the acclaim he received in his chosen field, preferring to remain anonymous. Little was written about him, even at the peak of his success. He was linked to the early 'Design Laboratory' classes of Alexey Brodovitch, and was a key member of the close knit group of photographers now celebrated as 'The New York School'. On view 14 January through 23 February, 2010.

Russian Avant-garde Art opens at the Caixa Girona Fontana d'Or

Posted: 30 Apr 2012 07:57 PM PDT

artwork: More than fifty of the most representative works of art from the Russian Avant-garde by artists such as Kandinsky and Malevich, on exhibition  

Girona, Spain - - A selection of more than fifty of the most representative works of art from the Russian Avant-garde, by artists such as Kandinsky and Malevich are part of the exhibition "Origins of the Russian Avant-garde", which has never before been presented in Spain is on view now and through January 18 at Caixa Girona Fontana d'Or Cultural Center.

The show gathers a total of 46 paintings made between 1901 and 1915 by 20 artists who apart from Malevich and Kandinsky include such important names from that period such as: Mikhail Larionov, Natalia Goncharova, Pavel Filonov, Elena Guro, David Burliuk, Valentin Serov, Nicolai Roerich, Isaac Brodsky and Ilya Mashkov.

artwork: Natalia Goncharova A Smoking Man. 1911 Oil on canvas, 100x81 cm. Private collection, ParisThe exhibition, which does not follow a chronological order but a thematic one, has as a principal theme a journey through Neo-primitivism which was based on the conventions of traditional Russian art forms such as the lubok, the icon and peasant arts and crafts. With the desire to study the way in which this popular art influenced Russian painting, the work of these artists is compared with a careful selection of 22 traditional Russian pieces, from a dress to toys made at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.

A great part of the exhibition is devoted to Natalia Goncharova, who was among the big leaders of Neo-primitivism in Russia. The artist shows to perfection the characteristics of Neo-primitivism, her works are dedicated to the representation of rural life and introduce in a special way an interest on traditional art and the creativity of the popular masters.

The exhibition has been curated by Yevgenia Petrova, the head of the Russian State Museum, located in Saint Petersburg, where all of the works of art on view come from and most of which have never before been seen in Spain.

artwork: Nicholas Roerich from a painting by his son, Svetslav RoerichThe exhibition starts off with the works by Malyavin, Roerich, Grabar and Brodsky, made in the first decade of the 20th Century in which the visitor can still observe the impressionist and symbolic orientation in treating Russian rural and folkloric themes that pave the way for Malevich's essential contributions.

These are works of art that start to show the influence of popular sources, totems and landscapes of rural life, which clearly reflect the contrast between a self-portrait made by Malevich and an icon from the 17th Century.

The creative activity of the painters who belonged to the Jack of Diamonds group is also represented with works of art made in 1910 by Hililla Mashkov, Lentulov and Konchalovsky, who live for some time in Spain and shows the influence he received from the country with paintings such as Matador, in which a bullfighter appears.

The exhibition closes with works made by different artists; highlights include two pieces made by Kandisnky and one by Bosanova, who take the last step in evolution to other movements such as the Suprematist and Abstraction, a final point that opens the doors to Avant-garde.

A visitor comments : Everyone knows the Fontana d'Or.  We speak of the Centro Cultural Caixa de Girona.

This cultural center occupies a building located in the old town. It's one of my favorite art galleries. The framework is located and where its architectural style has always sparked my interest to see what kind of art was offered to the viewer. In my student days almost every week entered the Fontana d'Or to see their presentations. But not only is a space that contains exhibitions of renowned artists.  In the Fontana d'Or are also samples multidisciplinary courses, seminars and conferences. It's beautiful, combines the Romanesque style of the Gothic facade of the rooms and courtyard.

This Week in Review in Art Knowledge News

Posted: 30 Apr 2012 07:56 PM PDT

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