Senin, 07 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 Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) ~ The Finest Art Collection In South America

Posted: 06 May 2012 09:28 PM PDT

artwork: The Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP). Widely considered to be the finest art museum in the Southern Hemisphere. MASP has occupied the iconic concrete and glass structure designed by Italian architect Lina Bo Bardi since 1969.

The São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP) is located on Paulista Avenue in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. It's well-known for its current home in a 1968 concrete and glass structure designed by Lina Bo Bardi, the main body of the building is supported by two lateral beams over a 74 meter freestanding space. The building is considered a landmark and a symbol of modern Brazilian architecture. MASP is internationally recognized for its collection of Western art, considered the finest in Latin America and indeed, the entire Southern Hemisphere. It also houses an impressive collection of Brazilian art, prints and drawings, as well as smaller collections of African and Asian art, antiquities, decorative arts, and others, amounting to almost 15,000 pieces. MASP also has one of the largest art libraries of the country. The museum's history started in the 1940s. Assis Chateaubriand, founder and owner of Diários Associados ("Associated Dailies"), the largest media and press conglomerate of Brazil at the time, launched a campaign, with the bold intent of acquiring masterpieces to form an art collection of international standard in Brazil. Originally, he intended to locate the museum in Rio de Janeiro, but chose São Paulo where he believed it would be easier to gather the necessary funds, since the city was booming. At the same time, the European art market had been deeply influenced by World War II, making it possible to acquire fine artworks for reasonable prices. Chateaubriand recruited Pietro Maria Bardi, an Italian professor, critic and art dealer, to help him create a "Museum of Classical and Modern Art". The museum was inaugurated and opened to the public on October 2, 1947, displaying the first acquisitions, including canvases by Picasso and Rembrandt on the first floor of the Associated Dailies headquarters. In the 1950s the museum expanded, creating the Institute of Contemporary Art (offering workshops of engraving, drawing, painting, sculpture, dance and industrial design), the Publicity School (presently the 'Superior School of Propaganda and Marketing'), organizing debates about cinema and literature and creating a youth orchestra and a ballet company. Alongside the educational program, the museum expanded its collections and began to organize travelling exhibitions from the collection. Between 1953 and 1957, a selection of 100 masterpieces of the museum's collection traveled throughout European museums, such as Musée de l'Orangerie (Paris) and the Tate Gallery (London). In 1957, the collection was displayed in the United States, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and in the Toledo Museum of Art. The following year, the museum's holdings were presented in other Brazilian institutions, such as the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, in Rio de Janeiro. These exhibitions served to gain publicity for the fledgling museum, increasing attendance and providing funds for further expansion of the collection. It soon became clear that the museum needed its own, much larger site, and in the 1950s plans were drawn up to move into a purpose-built gallery on a site donated by the city council and Italian-born architect Lina Bo Bardi (wife of Pietro Maria Bardi) was commissioned to design the new building. The construction is considered to be unique worldwide for its peculiarity: the main body of the building stands on four lateral supporting pillars, creating a void underneath the building. Built between 1956 and 1968, the new museum was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. The museum building has 13,000 sq. meters of floor space spread on five levels, including the permanent and temporary exhibition rooms, library, photo gallery, film gallery, video gallery, two auditoriums, restaurant, a store, workshop rooms, administrative offices and restoration facilities. More than 60,000 visitors a month make the MASP the most visited museum in São Paulo. Visit MASP's website at …

artwork: Candido Portinari, - "Criança Morta" (Criatura muerta), 1944 Oil on canvas, 176 x 190 cm. Collection of the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Brazil

The collection contains almost 10,000 pieces, mostly of Western art from the fourth century BC to today. The collections of French and Italian artworks are particularly strong. Italian artists are represented by Raphael, Botticelli, Mantegna, Giovanni Bellini, Titian, Tintoretto, Perugino, Piero di Cosimo, Guido Reni and Guercino. Notable French works include paintings by François Clouet, Poussin, Jean-Marc Nattier, Delacroix, Courbet, Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cézanne, Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec. MASP also has the complete collection of 73 sculptures by Edgar Degas as well as three of the artist's paintings. Spanish Art is represented by El Greco, Francisco Goya and Diego Velazquez with British Artists include works from Thomas Gainsborough, Joshua Reynolds, John Constable, George Romney and J. M. W. Turner, among others (including a Winston Churchill oil painting "The Blue Room, Trent Park"). Among the works by Flemish, Dutch and German artists which are on show are paintings by Hieronymus Bosch, Memling, Cranach, Quentin Matsys, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Anthony van Dyck and Jan van Dornicke. American artworks in the collection include pieces by Torres Garcia, Diego Rivera, Siqueiros, Alexander Calder and among many Brazilian artists, including Frans Post, Victor Meirelles de Lima, Nicolas Antoine Taunay, Tarsila do Amaral, Nicola Antonio Facchinetti, Candido Portinari, Di Cavalcanti, Anita Malfatti, Lasar Segall, Almeida Junior, Victor Brecheret and Flavio de Carvalho. Modern and contemporary works include paintings and drawings by Pablo Picasso, Fernand Leger, Modigliani, Matisse, Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, Andy Warhol and Jim Dine. MASP also have small but significant collections of African and Asian arts. The core collection also includes archaeological artifacts (Egyptian, Etruscan, Greek, Roman and pre-Colombian American), sculptures (including Rodin bronzes, pieces by Ernesto di Fiori and Victor Brecheret among others), drawings, prints, photographs, majolica (Italian pottery), as well as tapestries, clothing and design.

artwork: François-Auguste-René Rodin - "The Eternal Spring", 1897 - Bronze - 67 x 84 x 41 cm. Sculptures by Rodin feature in

MASP have a large program of temporary exhibitions, featuring both works from their own collection and loan items. Amongst the former, a special exhibition of sculpture from the collection under the title "Fashionable Obsessions: Sculpture from the MASP Collection" (until March 27th 2011) features 50 works by masters of three-dimensional art from the 19th century to the present day (and a pair of Tang-dynasty Chinese terracotta warriors). Among works by Renoir, Degas, Brecheret, Felicia Leirner, Alexander Calder, Bruno Giorgi, Rodin, Arcangelo Ianelli, Duke Lee, Jim Dine and others, particular highlights include "Greta Garbo" by Ernesto de Fiori, "Venus" by Pierre Renoir, "14 year old dancer" by Edgar Degas, "Birds" by Wesley Duke Lee and "Winged Bicho" by Emanuel Araújo. Until May 1st 2011, "Brzilian Papers: The Art of Printmaking" features a selection of over 120 works by masters of the different techniques of engraving. "The Art of Printmaking" collects works by Volpi, Tarsila, Babinski, Samico, Manny Araujo, Gruber, Garden, Segall, Grassmann, Valentine, Hudinilson, Leirner and many others from the MASP collection. These works illustrate the history of printmaking in Brazil. An ongoing exhibitions "Gods and Madonas – The Art of the Sacred" features 40 works from the 14th to 19th centuries, including Andrea Mantegna's "St. Jerome in the Wilderness", on display for the first time since undergoing restoraration. Besides the museum, MASP is a cultural center that provides various activities to the public as an art school, workshops, dance performances, music and theater, lectures and debates, courses for teachers, among many other activities held throughout the year.

artwork: Nicolas Vinet - "Landscape Vicinity of Rio de Janeiro", 1874 - Oil on canvas - 106 x 151 cm. Collection of the Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Brazil

Among the sculptures stand out the marbles of the Greek goddess Higéia the fourth century BC and the collection of 73 sculptures by Degas, which can only be seen fully in the MASP, the Metropolitan Museum in New York or the Museum D'Orsay in Paris . Collections of prints, photographs, drawings, archeology, majolica, tapestries and European decorative arts, plus a large collection of kitsch pieces, are also part of the museum. The museum has broadened its collection through donations from individuals and partnerships with companies and institutions. Since 1990, it is considered essential to the exchange and partnership between museums in the world, is to upgrade skills or to restore our works. Responsibilities of the Department of Conservation and Restoration. The Department of Conservation and Restoration of MASP conservation, preservation and restoration of works belonging to the museum, as well as assist in the conservation area for temporary exhibitions from other museums or institutions. Whereas the museum's works are stored, displayed and transported in accordance with international museums, the department of conservation and restoration develops an important role in preventive conservation, treatment and safety of the collection. The mission of MASP is to "encourage, promote and sustain, by all means at its disposal, the arts in general and in particular the visual arts, promoting the development and cultural improvement of the Brazilian people"

Gustav Klimt's Reconstruction of The Beethoven Frieze at Tate Liverpool in May

Posted: 06 May 2012 09:26 PM PDT

artwork: Gustav Klimt - The Beethoven Frieze (detail) , 1901-2 (copy 1984) Credit: Belvedere, Vienna - To be shown at Tate Liverpool 

Liverpool, UK - This summer, Tate Liverpool will present a full-scale reconstruction of The Beethoven Frieze (1901-2 / 1984) a monumental installation by Gustav Klimt. The Frieze is a major highlight of Gustav Klimt: Painting, Design and Modern Life in Vienna 1900, the first comprehensive exhibition of Klimt's work ever staged in the UK and a key event in Liverpool's programme for European Capital of Culture 2008.  On Exhibition 30 May through 31 August, 2008.

The Heckscher Museum of Art 90th Anniversary Exhibits ~ Then and Now

Posted: 06 May 2012 09:24 PM PDT

artwork: Daniel Ridgway Knight (American, 1839-1924) - "Waiting for the Ferry", 1885 - Oil on canvas, 35-3/4 x 50-3/4 in. Heckscher Museum of Art, August Heckscher Collection.

HUNTINGTON, NY.- As part of its 90th anniversary celebration, The Heckscher Museum of Art presents The Heckscher at 90: Then and Now, featuring favorite works from the Permanent Collection and new acquisitions. From its founding in 1920, with a gift of more than a hundred works from the industrialist and real estate magnate August Heckscher, the Museum's collections have grown to more than 2,200 objects. This exhibition opens with a selection of Old Master works, including portraiture and sculpture, and a broad range of 19th century American and European paintings that reflect the romantic sensibility of August Heckscher's collecting aesthetic.

The Sheldon Museum of Art features "MIGRATIONS"

Posted: 06 May 2012 09:23 PM PDT

artwork: Sheldon Museum of Art through April 25, 2010, visitors are invited to view new directions in Native American art, such as My Three Sister, 2004, above, by Star Wallowing Bull.

Lincoln, NE - Organized by the University of New Mexico Art Museum and Tamarind Institute, includes works from six Native American artists who have completed residencies at the Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, or Crow's Shadow Institute of the Arts in Pendleton, Oregon The artists are: Steven Deo (Creek), Tom Jones (Ho Chunk), Larry McNeil (Tlingit/Nisgaa), Ryan Lee Smith (Cherokee), Star Wallowing Bull (Chippewa, White Earth Reservation) and Marie Watt (Seneca). On exhibition through 25 April, 2010.

Atlas Gallery hosts Exhibition of Polaroid Photographs / Film Now Expired Forever

Posted: 06 May 2012 09:21 PM PDT

artwork: Elliot Erwitt - "The Painting Studio" No.2653 · December 11, 2009 · Satirical Humor with a Polaroid Camera.

LONDON.- Early last year, the Polaroid Corporation ceased producing its iconic film. The 9th October 2009 will see the final "Use by" or Expiration date of the last batch of Polaroid film manufactured. The exhibition at Atlas Gallery features a wide selection of Polaroid prints by photographers who have either worked directly with the Polaroid Corporation as part of their research program or who have become famous for the quality of their Polaroid prints either alongside or independent from their traditional camera-based work. It thus traces the development and use of this unique medium up to the present day.

artwork: Andy Warhol with his now famous Polaroid cameraThe Polaroid or 'one-step photography' was invented by Edwin H. Land, founder of the Polaroid Corporation, in 1947. Land believed from the beginning that artistic inquiry was a critical element in the exploration of Polaroid products, recognising the importance of photographers experimenting with the medium to push Polaroid film to its limits. Land met Ansel Adams in 1948 and he became the first of several artist consultants hired to test the cameras and films. Adams wrote of Polaroid, "I think it promises to be one of the greatest steps in the development of photography".

In the 1950s and 1960s, Land commissioned additional artists and young photographers. Some artists experimented with the medium, using the print as a blank canvas to manipulate and further enrich. In the 1960s, Lucas Samaras embellished his Polaroid self-portraits with designs in ink and paint. When Polaroid introduced the revolutionary SX-70 camera system in 1972, Samaras pushed the emerging dyes with a stylus to create malformed versions of himself.

artwork: New York's World's Fair Lion on a Carousal that has turned red and green using early Polaroid film. Remember ? Over a period of six decades, Land's invention captured the imaginations of artists from Ansel Adams to Andy Warhol and shaped the careers of many others, notably Robert Mapplethorpe. Jeff Rosenheim, photographs curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, credited the Polaroid SX-70 camera and instant film, which debuted in 1972, with allowing an aging, infirm Walker Evans to continue taking pictures. "He couldn't hold a heavy stand camera, but he could work an SX-70" says Rosenheim of Evans, who died in 1975. Evans' Polaroids, he adds, are "a recapitulation of his whole career in photography. It was his last major body of work".

This is also true of André Kertesz, who after the loss of his wife Elizabeth was emotionally and physically exhausted. His remarkable recovery began when he was compelled to buy a small glass bust, which he began to photograph in his apartment, using a Polaroid SX-70 camera enabling him to work quickly and autonomously. The immediacy and intimacy of the Polaroid process afforded Kertesz the opportunity to explore a rawness of feeling in which he otherwise might not have engaged, which lead to an important body of work at the very end of his life.

From the outset, the Polaroid was an integral part of fashion photography, adopted as a proofing device for composition and exposure. As photographers like David Bailey and Helmut Newton became celebrated internationally and embraced by the art world, their Polaroids were transformed from throw away test prints to highly sought after works of art, revered for being the first formulation of the photographer's concept. Helmut Newton's 'Pola Woman' (1992) was a landmark publication demonstrating the Polaroid's higher status. A number of images in this book will be included in the exhibition. Newton wrote in the introduction "…why is it that the first Polaroids often contain a freshness and spontaneity that is lacking in the carefully planned final shots on what I call 'real film'?"

The exhibition also features special commissioned works by Contemporary artist Marc Quinn, legendary Pop artist Peter Blake, and iconic Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt. Quinn wrote of this experience: "What I like about Polaroid's is that they are like a sculpture of a photograph. In other words, when you press the button, the Polaroid comes out of the camera, and image is transformed into an object" (May, 2009).

Nelson-Atkins Museum presents 'The Photographs of Homer Page ~ New York, 1949-50'

Posted: 06 May 2012 09:20 PM PDT

artwork: Homer Page, American (1918-1985) - New York, June 18, 1949 (boys and manikin) - Gelatin silver print. Image: 26.67 x 33.02 cm. Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc., 2005 

KANSAS CITY, MO - Homer Page, a brilliant but nearly forgotten photographic talent, is reintroduced to the public when The Photographs of Homer Page: The Guggenheim Year, New York, 1949-50 opened Feb. 14 at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The exhibition of rare vintage black-and-white prints, on view through June 7, will focus on the innovative work he produced in New York in 1949 and 1950, funded by a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. These works are drawn from a total of about 100 prints by Page in the Museum's Hallmark Photographic Collection, acquired by the Nelson-Atkins in 2006.

Applause greets return of stolen Picasso to Sao Paulo Museum of Art

Posted: 06 May 2012 09:15 PM PDT

artwork: President of Sao Paulo's Museum of Art, Julio Neves, left, a police officer stands guard next to the recovered paintings  

SAO PAULO, Brazil  (AP news) - Stolen paintings by Pablo Picasso and Candido Portinari returned home to applause on Wednesday while police tried to find out who masterminded the robbery. The paintings, worth millions of dollars, were recovered Tuesday when a suspect led police to a house on the outskirts of Sao Paulo, said chief police inspector Mauricio Lemos Freire.

Kunsthalle Basel features Goshka Macuga ~ "I Am Become Death"

Posted: 06 May 2012 09:13 PM PDT

artwork: Goshka Macuga - Study for a portrait of Lord Byron (Lord Byron Table), 2006 - Wood, paint, ink, pen nibs, scissors, paper & glass 100 x 150 cm. - Courtesy of The Art Appreciation Foundation 

Basel, Switzerland - Kunsthalle Basel presents  Goshka Macuga – "I Am Become Death", on view through March 8, 2009. Goshka Macuga (b. 1967), a Polish-born artist based in London, tests and transcends the boundaries of sculpture, installation, exhibition design and photography. She ventures into a variety of disciplines, including art making, curating, art history, ethnology, psychology and esoteric science. Macuga's many exhibition projects and publications converge in a multi-faceted oeuvre that cannot be squeezed into such pigeonholes as "politically committed" or "formalist." In short, her work is rigorous in form and anarchistic in content.

Masters of Photography Sale Including 275 Items at artnet Auctions

Posted: 06 May 2012 09:11 PM PDT

artwork: Ruth Orkin - "An American Girl in Florence, Italy", 1951, printed later. Gelatin silver print, signed on recto and verso. Estimate: $16,000 - $20,000.

NEW YORK, NY.- artnet Auctions offers continuous online auctions of fine art, prints and photographs. Starting April 15, artnet Auctions will present 275 exquisite photographs by artists from Berenice Abbott to James Van Der Zee in a special sale that ends April 29th. Leading the sale is an extraordinary group of photographs by f/64, a group of seven San Francisco artists known for their modernist images of natural forms and found objects. The magnificent gelatin silver print Dunes, Oceano 31SO, 1971 is one of 20 works by Edward Weston offered in this section (estimate: $25,000-$30,000). Other works by the f/64 include Two Callas, 1925, one of five floral prints by Imogen Cunningham (estimate: $2,000-$3,000) and Mandenhall Glacier, c.1935 by Brett Weston (estimate: $7,500-$8,500).

New York photographers Berenice Abbott, Louis Faurer, William Klein and Todd Webb are also featured in the sale. Abbott's New York Portfolio: Twelve Prints, c.1935 captures New York life in the 1930s, including the glittering New York at Night (estimate: $48,000-$54,000). Klein's photographs celebrate the 1950s New York from 42nd Street (estimate: $3,500-$5,500) to the Staten Island Ferry (estimate: $2,500-$3,500).

The sale also features a stunning collection of photographs by Parisian masters Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau and Willy Ronis. Twelve photographs by Cartier-Bresson range from the 1930s to the 1960s including the classic House Painter, 1930 (estimate: $10,500-$15,500). Brassaï offers five views of Paris in the 1930s, from the Place d'Italie (estimate: $9,000-$12,000) to Montmartre ($3,500-$4,500).

Post-war and contemporary artists also figure prominently in the sale with a strong selection of works by women artists such as Nan Goldin, Sally Mann, Marilyn Minter, Ruth Orkin and Cindy Sherman. Among the post-war highlights is the 1951 classic, American Girl in Florence by Ruth Orkin (estimate: $16,000-$20,000).

artwork: Nan Goldin - Kate Moss on a white horse as Lady Godiva, Highgate Cemetery, London - 2001  - at artnet Auctions

Top contemporary lots include several works by Nan Goldin, each inscribed by the artist: Joey in the Bathtub, 2000 and Geranium in the Window of My Apartment, 2001 (estimates: $8,000-$10,000 each).

Other post-war and contemporary artists represented in the sale are Irving Penn, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Andres Serrano and Vik Muniz. Known early in his career for his glamorous portraiture, Irving Penn later turned his lens to grittier subjects. Penn's Cigarette #37, 1972 is an extremely rare vintage platinum print from this era (estimate: $100,000-$130,000). Sugimoto's technical sophistication is apparent in two 1993 works, Centinela Drive-In, Los Angeles (no. 707) from the artist's Theatres series (estimate: $34,000-$45,000) and Ionian Sea, Santa Cesarea (estimate: $40,000-$50,000). Vik Muniz' Lincoln, After Brady, 2000 is one of three portraits from the artist's Pictures of Ink series offered in the sale (estimate: $30,000-$40,000).

Rounding out the sale are classic nudes by artists including Lucien Clergue and Robert Mapplethorpe, portraits by Annie Leibovitz and Yousuf Karsh, documentary photographs by photojournalists Gordon Parks and Weegee and fashion photographs by George Hoyningen-Huene and Horst P. Horst.

The Tullie House Museum & Gallery Celebrated Mervyn Peake's Centenary

Posted: 06 May 2012 09:10 PM PDT

artwork: Mervyn Peake - Illustration from "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson - Courtesy Tullie House Museum and Gallery © Estate of Mervyn Peake. Was on view in "Lines of Flight: Mervyn Peake, the Illustrated Work"

Carlisle, UK.- Mervyn Peake (1911 – 1968) is the best-selling author and illustrator who became internationally recognised for his Gormenghast trilogy of books, often placed alongside great imaginative works of fiction such as J R R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia. 2011 is the 100th anniversary of Peake's birth and a range of exhibitions, events, publications and broadcasts are being presented to celebrate the centenary year. On Saturday 23 July, one of the largest exhibitions ever staged of the artist's work, "Lines of Flight: Mervyn Peake, the Illustrated Work" showed at Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle.

The D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts Exhibits "The Real Housewives of Currier & Ives"

Posted: 06 May 2012 09:09 PM PDT

Springfield, Massachusetts.- The D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts is pleased to present "The Real Housewives of Currier & Ives", on view at the museum until June 24th. Just as contemporary television and other media portray and define popular culture today, the ideals of Victorian culture permeated the visual media of that era, often in the form of art work designed by the publishing firm of Currier & Ives. The Real Housewives of Currier & Ives shows women engaged in family life, maintaining the home and wearing the latest fashions. The care of home and family was seen as the duty and fulfillment of all women, and Currier & Ives carefully depicted women as nurturers. However, Currier & Ives could not ignore important events such as the Civil War and the early Women's Rights Movement. Instead, they chose to depict popular trends and political movements in a guarded, sentimental and often overly-optimistic manner, portraying women as a stabilizing influence during troubling times.

Kemper Museum to show Dan Christensen: Forty Years of Painting

Posted: 06 May 2012 09:08 PM PDT

artwork: Dan Christensen - Serpens, 1968 -  Acrylic on canvas, 112 x 173 1/2 in. - Courtesy of Spanierman Modern, NYC - photo: Rosalind Akin 

KANSAS CITY, MO - For more than forty years, American artist Dan Christensen—long associated with the Color Field movement—experimented with colors, shapes, and forms in his large-scale paintings. Featuring 35 of the artist's works of art from 1966 to 2006, the exhibition Dan Christensen: Forty Years of Painting is the first comprehensive Museum retrospective of the artist's work since his death in 2007. The exhibition is on view May 15 through August 30, 2009, at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.

LACMA Receives Gift of Thomas Eakins’s 'Wrestlers'

Posted: 06 May 2012 09:06 PM PDT

artwork: Thomas Eakins Wrestlers

Los Angeles, CA - The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) announced today the recent acquisition of Thomas Eakins's (1844 – 1916) large sporting painting, Wrestlers (1899).  The generous gift of Mrs. Cecile C. Bartman and The Cecile and Fred Bartman Foundation, Wrestlers is one of the last major subject paintings this great American realist created.  Viewed in the trajectory of Eakins's accomplishments, from his first student studies of the figure and early rowing pictures of the 1870s to his late boxing and wrestling paintings, Wrestlers stands as a superb summation of some of the most significant themes of the artist's career.

Mrs. Bartman explained her gift, "LACMA has been a significant part of my life ever since I moved from Chicago, and the eighteen years I served as a docent were quite enjoyable.  I thought it was time to give something back to this great institution."  And Michael Govan, LACMA's CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director, noted, "Wrestlers is one of the most historically significant additions to the museum's encyclopedic permanent collection, which already includes the preparatory sketch of this powerful painting.  Prominently situated in the canon of American Art, Wrestlers will always hold an important place in our galleries as well."

artwork: George Bellows The Cliff DwellersThomas Eakins, alongside Winslow Homer, is considered one of the two greatest realists of American painting of the nineteenth century.  While Homer concentrated on rural themes, and ultimately on the relationship of humanity to nature, Eakins focused on people. He was a determined materialist, and though he was a portrait painter of great psychological depth, his primary focus was the body, the human being embodied in his or her physical reality.  He was also a beloved yet controversial academic teacher, proselytizing drawing from the live model and the study of anatomy.  As such, he stands as the first American artist to base his art on the close and exacting analysis of the body, and is the fountainhead for a realist tradition which extends from him through Robert Henri and the Ashcan School to Reginald Marsh, Fairfield Porter, Philip Pearlstein, and California artist David Park.  Eakins's deep conviction that the human is the central concern of painting, and that the human is composed indissolubly of mind and body, is what made him influential to his younger colleagues and later generations.  Wrestlers is Eakins last completed statement on the subject and is a testament to a lifetime of teaching, painting, and struggling with the dilemmas of representing the body.

In this vein, Wrestlers is also very much a spiritual self-portrait of a frustrated artist towards the end of his career.  Although the focus on two nude figures underscores Eakins's academic training, which extolled and elevated the human body in its most perfect state, the unusual composition suggests that the artist intended the painting to be much more than a literal representation of a new popular bourgeois spectator entertainment.  In Eakins's best and most modern late paintings, the artist compelled the viewer to look again and think again about what is presented.  Often the general effect for the viewer of the most probing late paintings is a feeling of discomfort.  This was intentional as Eakins himself was in the midst of many personal, familial, and professional problems.  The unresolved issues of Wrestlers thereby become echoes of Eakins's own life.

About the department
The American Art department is one of the oldest curatorial departments of LACMA and is focused on historical American painting and sculpture from the eighteenth century through the 1950s.  Its collection includes some of the most significant icons in the art history of the United States, among them Mary Cassatt's first dated mother and child painting, John Singer Sargent's largest American portrait, Mrs. Edward Davis and her Son Livingston, and George Bellows's famous urban scene, Cliff Dwellers.

Established as an independent institution in 1965, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has assembled a permanent collection that includes approximately 100,000 works of art spanning the history of art from ancient times to the present, making it the premier encyclopedic visual arts museum in the western United States.  Located in the heart of one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, the museum uses its collection and resources to provide a variety of educational and cultural experiences for the people who live in, work in, and visit Los Angeles.  LACMA is located at 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles CA, 90036.  For more information about LACMA and its programming, log on to

Jane Davis Doggett Installation Showcases Unique "Visual Language"

Posted: 06 May 2012 09:04 PM PDT

artwork: Jane Davis Doggett - "IconoChrome (tm)", image from "Talking Graphics", Exartis Publishers, 2007

NEW HAVEN, CT.-The Yale University Art Gallerypresents a special installation of images by Jane Davis Doggett, m.f.a. 1956. Jane Davis Doggett: Talking Graphics features the work of Doggett, a pioneer in the field of architectural and environmental design. She is best known for her career in creating graphic identities and wayfinding systems for massive public spaces, including cultural institutions and forty international airports. On exhibition 26 January through 7 March, 2010.

The Whitney presents "Three Landscapes" ~ A film installation by Roy Lichtenstein

Posted: 06 May 2012 09:02 PM PDT

artwork: Roy Lichtenstein (1923–1997) - "Detail from Three Landscapes", 1970–71. - Three-screen 35mm-film installation, color, silent; one minute (looped). © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.

NEW YORK, N.Y.- This fall, the Whitney Museum of American Art presents Three Landscapes: A Film Installation by Roy Lichtenstein on view from October 6, 2011 to February 12, 2012. This cinematic triptych, the product of a partnership between Lichtenstein, Universal Studios, and Joel Freedman of Cinnamon Productions Inc., has been restored by the Whitney in close collaboration with the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, and is being shown in its entirety and in its original 35mm film format for the first time. The exhibition is curated by Chrissie Iles, the Whitney's Anne & Joel Ehrenkranz Curator.

Wallace Berman Retrospective

Posted: 06 May 2012 08:59 PM PDT

artwork: Wallace Berman - Papa's Got a Brand New Bag, 1964 - mixed media collage 109 x 78cm - Collection of David Yorkin & Alix Madigan - © Wallace Berman Estate 

LONDON - Camden Arts Centre presents the first retrospective exhibition of American artist Wallace Berman (1926 – 1976) in the UK. Considered by many to be the 'father' of Californian assemblage, he was hugely influential on a group of artists and poets to emerge from the legacy of the Beat generation in the late 1950s and 1960s. On exhibition 25 September through 23 November, 2008.

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Honors Henri Rousseau 100 Years After His Death

Posted: 06 May 2012 08:58 PM PDT

artwork: Henri Rousseau - "Surprise !", 1891 - Oil on canvas, 129,8 x 161,9 cm - Courtesy of The  Fondation Beyeler, Basel

BILBAO.- One hundred years after the death of the French artist Henri Rousseau (1844–1910), the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is devoting an exhibition to this pioneer of Modernism—the first occasion that Rousseau has been seen in depth in Spain. Organized by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in co-operation with the Fondation Beyeler, Henri Rousseau presents a selection of approximately thirty masterpieces that provide a concise overview of the development and diversity of his oeuvre. From his famous jungle paintings in the later stages of his career, to the views of Paris and its environs, figures, portraits, allegories, and genre paintings, the exhibition gives a unique insight into the essential visual world of Rousseau. On exhibition 25 May through 12 September, 2010.

A customs official by vocation, Rousseau initially took up painting in his free time and received no formal art training. Many years passed before his art, not academic and long considered naive, found recognition in the Paris art salons.

His importance within art history lies in his groundbreaking compositional mechanisms and painstaking technique, which greatly influenced younger generations of artists. Along with Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, and Paul Gauguin, Rousseau's visual inventions paved the way for the twentieth-century's nascent Modernist movement.

artwork: Henri Rousseau, Portrait of Pierre Loti, 1905-06, Oil on canvas, 24 3/8 x 19 5/8" (62 x 50 cm), Kunsthaus ZurichA new visual idiom
For his works, which combined highly diverse themes of urbanity and the natural world adapted to his own visual conception, Rousseau mined resources beyond the academic tradition, relying heavily on postcards, photographs, and popular journals. His imaginary dreamlike jungle landscapes also took their inspiration directly from books on botany and his visits to gardens, woods and zoos.

The works included in the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao reveal his unique working method of transferring individual motifs such as leaves and trees, figures, and entire compositional schemes from picture to picture, and combining them to create new visual compositions, painted with a painstaking, naturally refined technique.

Rousseau redefined the picture space by staggering pictorial elements from background to foreground, a method that would later be adopted by the Cubists. This built-up pictorial structure, in the form of painted collage, anticipated the autonomy of the picture plane that would become characteristic of Modernism. Younger artists, such as Pablo Picasso and Fernand Léger, both of whom admired and collected his work, were captivated by his technique.

A tour of the exhibition
Initially, Rousseau painted mostly small-format pictures depicting the French suburbs and the surrounding countryside of his immediate environment. In these landscapes, wilderness is represented by dense wooded areas on the background that the artist used to separate the visual realm by means of either a fence or behind a fortification wall, as in House on the Outskirts of Paris (Maison de la banlieue de Paris, ca. 1905, Carnegie Museum of Art). Gradually, he moved away from this rationally organized civilization toward an unorganized, wild depiction of nature. This passage from the well ordered and familiar to the unknown and alien defined his later work as can be seen in Landscape (Paysage, 1905–10, Philadelphia Museum of Art).

In his famous jungle paintings, Rousseau, who never actually set foot in a jungle, finally succeeded in leaving the sphere of domestication behind for his imaginary wilderness. Now working in a significantly larger format, Rousseau lent these invented landscapes a compelling visual reality. The culmination of the exhibition is formed by a significant assembly of Rousseau's famous jungle pictures. Of special mention is the monumental painting The Hungry Lion Throws Itself on the Antelope (Le lion, ayant faim, se jette sur l'antilope , 1895/1905, Fondation Beyeler) included on the occasion of Rousseau's first appearance at the Salon d'Automne in Paris in 1905. In March 1906, art dealer and collector Ambroise Vollard acquired the sensational painting—the first Rousseau ever to enter the art trade—in which the artist's talent for creating an imaginary new world comprised of various figures set against a stage like environment are shown.

artwork: Henri Rousseau - Le liont ayant faim se jette sur l'antilope, 1905 - Collection of the Foundation Beyeler art museum in Riehen, Switzerland.

In addition, the exhibition illustrates Rousseau's well-documented interest in photography for source material. A few of his compositions, such as Old Junier's cart (La carriole du père Junier , 1908, Musée l'Orangerie) were definitively based on photographs. In the course of transferring the photographic image to the canvas, he created an entirely new visual world, arranging its elements into another image layer by layer in front of his imaginary camera lens.

Yet for all his reliance on photographic realism, Rousseau always strove to keep the depicted world at a distance. This is especially seen in The Wedding (La noce, 1904–05, Musée l'Orangerie), a large-format painting whose distortions of scale and proportions with respect to the original model are immediately obvious. Indeed, the simultaneity of character and dream in Rousseau's paintings, the flatness and lack of perspective, and his peculiar manner of lighting the picture plane, with both brilliant sun and shadowless figures, all combine to give his images a highly tuned Surrealist quality.

After the Impressionist painters and the succeeding generation created a new way to look at the visible, Rousseau introduced into his paintings a new approach to imaginative vision. His perception of reality was based primarily on observation, imitation and transformation of the visible. In this way, he taught modern artists how the unknown could be constructed using the building blocks of the known. He established a new logic and mechanics of compositional structure that profoundly affected subsequent generations of artists, most notably the Surrealists Max Ernst and René Magritte.

Many renowned museums and collections in Europe and America have contributed to the success of the exhibition by their generous provision of loans. These include the Musée national de l'Orangerie, the Musée d'Orsay, and the Musée national d'Art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, in Paris; The Mayor Gallery, London; Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel; the Nahmad Collection, Switzerland; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York; the Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts; the National Gallery of Art and the Phillips Collection, in Washington, D.C.; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; the Kunsthaus Zürich; and a number of private collections.

Visit the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao at :

This Week in Review in Art Knowledge News

Posted: 06 May 2012 08:57 PM PDT

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