Minggu, 20 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...

Cabinet Secrets ~ Exhibition of Prints and Drawings at Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Posted: 19 May 2012 09:23 PM PDT

artwork: Leonora Carrington (1917) - The Dogs of the Sleeper, 1942, Etching - Courtesy of the Tel Aviv Museum

The publication of the Surrealist VVV Portfolio in 1943 is considered to be one of the highlights of Surrealist activity in New York in the early 1940s. This album features works by 11 artists – including both European artists in "exile" and American artists living in New York and its environs. It includes etchings by Alexander Calder, Leonora Carrington, Marc Chagall, André Masson, Yves Tanguy and Kurt Seligmann (in whose workshop the etchings were printed). In addition, the album contains hand- duplicated drawings by Roberto Matta and by the young American artist Robert Motherwell; an experimental, altered photograph by David Hare that was printed from a burnt negative; and a frottage by Max Ernst. Also featured in the album is a poem-object by André Breton – a collage composed of a postcard to which the artist added several hand-written sentences, thread and sequins.

Originally, the album was planned to be published in a limited edition of 50 copies, yet only 20 were actually printed. For this reason, VVV Portfolio is considered today to be especially rare. The works are gathered in a wrapper bearing the large thumbprint of Alexander Calder, which marks the point where the wrapper should be withdrawn from the slipcase.1 Also included is a list of the participating artists. Each copy of the album was numbered and personally dedicated to a specific owner.

According to Bernard Reiss, the idea to put out this album came up during a Thanksgiving dinner he hosted in 1941, which was attended by artists including Seligmann, Chagall and Breton (who had arrived in the US that same year). The artists were invited in order to raise funds for the publication of the Surrealist review VVV. Although the review was intended to be a quarterly, only three issues were eventually published in New York between 1942 and 1944. Reiss, who also helped market the album, suggested that each artist contribute a print that would be sold for 100 dollars, in order to help fund the review.

Although David Hare was its official editor, the review was conceived of and ran by Breton, with the participation of additional editor-consultants: Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst. In addition to poems and visual art, this experimental project included essays in anthropology, sociology and psychology, ready-made works and variously-sized pages characterized by their colorfulness and bold typography. Each issue was illustrated with works by numerous artists and poets, including Giorgio de Chirico, Irving Penn, Victor Brauner, Oscar Domínguez, Wifredo Lam, Jacqueline Lamba, Joan Miró, Kay Sage, Dorothea Tanning, Philip Lamantia, Guillaume Appolinaire, Benjamin Péret and others. The review's editors also enlisted a number of thinkers and writers, including Claude Lévi-Strauss and Charles Henri Ford – the editor of the art periodical View, which was published between 1940 and 1947 and was sympathetic to Surrealist art.

The title VVV Portfolio alludes to a number of words beginning with the letter V: "veil," "victory," "vow." The word "view" was also noted in this context, due to its association with an eye oriented outwards toward the external, superficial world that Breton – who came up with the review's name – was out to battle. This choice also involved implicit criticism of the periodical View. Motherwell argued that this title was also related to the language barrier confronted by the French artists in the US. According to him, Breton also conceived of VVV as a new letter – the 27th letter in the French alphabet and an extension of the letter W, which in French is called a "double V." Motherwell claimed that Breton intentionally gave the review a name that had no meaning in English. Since the Americans did not immediately grasp this, the need arose to explain this choice to them.

artwork: Multiplication of the Arcs by Yves Tanguy  -  Not in this exhibition.
The circumstances in which the VVV review was published are directly related to the history of the Surrealist movement in the US and to its affinity with American Abstract Expressionism – a development that stemmed from the encounter between American and European artists. The presence of Surrealism was already felt in the US beginning in the early 1930s. The first exhibition featuring Surrealist painting took place in Connecticut in 1931, and was called "Newer Super Realism." This exhibition introduced American viewers to European artists such as De Chirico, Dalí, Ernst, Masson, Miró, Picasso and others. Two months later, Julien Levy presented a selection of these same works in his New York gallery, together with the works of three American artists – Joseph Cornell, Charles Howard and Man Ray, who was living in Paris at the time. The collages by Cornell and the drawings by Howard were among the first Surrealist works created in the US. Levy titled this exhibition "Surrealism," arguing that the French world could not be translated into English – an argument that would also recur later on in relation to VVV Portfolio. 4

In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Surrealism became one of the leading art movements in the US, and its influence was also strongly felt in the worlds of fashion and design. This development was mainly due to the arrival of numerous Surrealist artists who fled Europe during the Second World War. Their presence in the US was regarded with mixed feelings both by the "exiles" themselves and by their American hosts. Yves Tanguy, who arrived in New York in November of 1939, expressed his feelings in a letter he sent Breton, who was still in France at the time: "I have many things to tell you about life here – a strange life. No way to really get in contact with people… European artists seem to be completely hated here, one talks only about American art."5 Yet despite the ambivalence and reciprocal suspiciousness that characterized the relationship between French and American artists, in some ways America also served a source of inspiration for the French exiles. Matta and Masson, for instance, developed a new painterly iconography based on the unconventional, rugged and majestic character of the American landscape, its particularity and its strange fauna and flora.

At the same time, various art-world figures and tastemakers detected an affinity between certain European and American artists. The interest in art reviews was prevalent in Europe, yet less so in the US. For this reason, the October-November 1941 issue of View, which was devoted to Surrealism in New York and in Europe, featured an interview with Breton. Breton played an important role in representing the community of artists in exile, and in creating a sense of affinity and continuity between the two cultures. Both View and VVV made an important contribution to the cross-cultural introduction of different repertoires and tastes. These reviews functioned as a point of encounter for French and American artists, and provided a sense of continuity between American and European culture. A similar role was filled by Kurt Seligmann's studio and by Stanley William Hayter's Atelier 17, where most of New York-based printmaking activities took place during the war.

Most of the French artists residing in New York, however, refused to learn English and tended to associate with other French friends and colleagues, while only few American artists spoke French. Motherwell was an exception in this context, since he had studied philosophy at Stanford University and formed close relations with the French Surrealists, especially with Seligmann and Matta. Yet despite the language barrier, the French and American artists were aware of each other's activities, and often exhibited in the same museums and galleries. Prominent among these exhibition venues was Peggy Guggenheim's gallery Art of This Century, which opened in New York in October 1942. Guggenheim's collection included both Surrealist and abstract works. The texts for the catalogue published in conjunction with the gallery's opening exhibition – which were written by Breton, Arp and Mondrian – supplied the Americans with in-depth, up-to-date definitions of these two artistic trends, which were presented together in a manner that underscored the affinities and reciprocal relations between them. This approach is also reflected in the works of the American artists supported by Guggenheim – including Pollock, Rothko, Motherwell and Hare – some of whom were represented in VVV Portfolio.

artwork: Robert Motherwell (1915-1991), Yellow Abstract Composition, 1942. Pen and ink and watercolor on paper. Courtesy of The Tel Aviv MuseumThe model established during those years tended to examine modern art in terms of a dichotomy between Surrealism and abstraction. Do to its concern with literary, symbolic and poetic themes, Surrealism was considered an anti-thesis to pure abstraction. Surrealist automatism, however, contributed to changing definitions of abstraction, which had previously been narrowly defined according to the principles of geometric abstraction. This more liberating approach led to the formation of a new repertoire of amorphous forms, using technical means which were often based on automatist principles. The connection between abstraction and spontaneity represented a dynamic model, which enabled the fusion of approaches that were previously considered antithetical to one another. Indeed, artists affiliated with both of these movements exhibited together at various venues. This trend could already be detected in the two large exhibitions staged at the Museum of Modern Art between 1936 and 1937. Although these exhibitions seemingly presented Surrealism and abstraction separately, in order to underscore the differences between them, they actually created an affinity between them by featuring the works of artists that mediated between them – such as Duchamp, Ernst, Klee and Miró.

Prominent among the artists who attempted to mediate between Surrealism and abstraction was Jean Arp, who was a member of the Abstraction-Creation movement. This movement, which was active between 1931 and 1936, affiliated itself with an approach defined as international "non-figuration," which reflected the cosmopolitan status of Paris. Under the influence of Arp, who also exhibited with the Surrealists, Surrealism and abstraction were synthesized into organic-amorphous abstraction. Among the artists affiliated with this approach one may note Calder, Seligmann, Arshile Gorky, Wolfgang Paalen and others – some of whom would eventually join the ranks of Surrealism.

Roberto Matta held workshops devoted to automatism in his studio, allowing American artists such as William Baziotes, Motherwell and Pollock to encounter Surrealist ideas. In the course of these workshops, the participating artists explored new creative approaches and focused on accessing primordial psychic experiences by forging a connection between collective myths and techniques of automatism. These myths represented the origins of humanity, while the liberation of the unconscious through the use of automatic techniques was designed to expose the primordial aspects of the individual. The clearest attempt to combine the goals of Surrealism with geometric abstraction appears in the works of Robert Motherwell. His collages and paintings from the early 1940s combine geometric structures with expanses in which he experimented with automatism – a fusion reflective of his desire to create art that would be at once spontaneous and rational. Some of the artists represented in the portfolio employed automatic techniques, as a means of seeking inspiration and encouraging the creative process. So, for instance, Ernst used the frottage technique, which consists of copying existing forms by rubbing oily pastels across a support. In this manner, he created amorphous man-bird hybrids. Hare created another automatist technique known as brûlage, which involved the heating of an unfixed negative, thus leading to the distortion and expansion of the photographed image.

Following the interest in these processes, the influence of Surrealism in the early 1940s was mainly related to its abstract, automatic dimension. When the artists in exile returned to Europe at the end of the war, and following the rise of Abstract Expressionism as a central artistic trend, the interest in Surrealism waned in the US. The Surrealist repertoire that had infiltrated American art did much to pave the way for the rise of this new American repertoire, which elevated the international status of American art in the post-war period. Motherwell saw automatism as a key element enabling American artists to build on Surrealist principles in order to develop an independent style, which came to be known as Abstract Expressionism.

The American art field was thus shaped by a struggle between these two repertoires, and by changing tastes. This dynamic was already noted by art critics in the early 1940s. In 1942, for instance, Rosamund Frost wrote in Art News that: "In less than a decade, America has made room for the biggest intellectual and artistic migration since the fall of Constantinople. Outwardly the infiltration has been peaceful enough, yet the conflict is already on, and as there is no melting pot which fuses ideas, one side or the other must inevitably dominate. Another ten years will tell us which." 6Frost described the influence of French Surrealist models on American art as a process of cultural interchange that infused American culture with new life. These processes led to innovations in abstract art that stemmed from models based on the principle of automatic action, the processing of images culled from ancient myths and primitive art, and the use of amorphous shapes. Abstraction, which largely ruled the American field in the form of rigid geometricism prior to the arrival of Surrealism, set off on a new path. Abstract Expressionism – a new version of abstraction – subsequently became the leading style of the American avant-garde, in large degree thanks to Surrealism.

This portfolio thus points to the importance of the Surrealist repertoire – and especially of the abstract, organic-amorphous works created by European "exiles" such as Arp, Masson, Tanguy and Matta – for American artmaking. Moreover, the portfolio reveals the Surrealist influence on American artists such as Calder, Motherwell and Hare – an influence that, as noted above, both heralded the rise of Abstract Expressionism and marked the decline of Surrealism in the US. Emanuela Calò, Exhibition Curator.

Tate Britain explores how British Art has been shaped by Migration

Posted: 19 May 2012 09:21 PM PDT

artwork: James Tissot - "Portsmouth Dockyard" c.1877, Oil on canvas  © Tate. -  On view at Tate Britain presents an exhibition exploring how British art has been shaped by migration.

LONDON.- In January Tate Britain presents an exhibition exploring how British art has been shaped by migration. Featuring artists from Van Dyck, Whistler and Mondrian to Steve McQueen and Francis Alÿs, Migrations traces not only the movement of artists, but the circulation of art and ideas. Beginning with works from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the exhibition will show that much British art from this period was made by artists from abroad, including Antwerp-born Anthony Van Dyck, the court painter whose famous portraits such as Charles I 1636 (The Chequers Trust) have come to shape our perceptions of the British aristocracy of this time. It also explores the establishment of the Royal Academy, with works by the Swiss-Austrian Angelica Kaufmann, the Anglo-American Benjamin West and others who were fundamental to its foundation in 1768. On exhibition 31st January through 12th August.

The Hofstra University Museum Presents Drawings from the Museum Collection

Posted: 19 May 2012 09:19 PM PDT

Hempstead, NY.- "From the Hand; Drawings from the Hofstra University Museum Collection", on view until September 11th in the Hofstra University Museum's David Filderman Gallery, located in the Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library, ninth floor, south campus, features 32 drawings completed in a wide variety of styles with examples from the 18th and 19th century and showcasing a number of 20th century artists.

ReDot Fine Art Gallery Hosts Paddy Japaljarri Stewart's First Solo Show

Posted: 19 May 2012 09:17 PM PDT

artwork: Paddy Japaljarri Stewart  -  "Possum and Native Cat Dreaming",  "Wedge-Tailed Eagle Dreaming"  and  "Yam and Bush Tomato Dreaming" Acrylic on Belgian linen - each 107 x 46 cm. - Courtesy RedDot Gallery, Singapore. On view in "Panu" until March 31st.

Singapore.- ReDot Fine Art Gallery is proud to present "Paddy Japaljarri Stewart: Panu" on view through March 31st. This is the first ever Solo Exhibition of Stewart's works, titled 'Panu' (meaning "All") and is a fitting climax to the career of a man whose knowledge of the desert and its mystical laws is all-encompassing. This amazing man is a force to be reckoned with and has accomplished so much in his lifetime – from a school bus driver, to a remarkable artist. ReDot Fine Art Gallery are fortunate enough to have the only exhibit of replicas of the Yuendumu door school project along with the artist proof version of the works on paper. Paddy has painted this entire series, recounting and re-telling each of the dreamings depicted on those iconic doors so many years ago. In the early 1970's the people of Yuendumu began transferring their traditional stories, dreamings (tjukurrpa) and ground paintings to western mediums such as canvas boards and plywood; then to the doors of the Yuendumu school.

Robert Capa's Images of War History Recovered

Posted: 19 May 2012 09:15 PM PDT

artwork: Robert Capa in Spain in 1937, by Gerda Taro 

New York City - To the small group of photography experts aware of its existence, it was known simply as "the Mexican suitcase." And in the pantheon of lost modern cultural treasures, it was surrounded by the same mythical aura as Hemingway's early manuscripts, which vanished from a train station in 1922. The suitcase — actually three flimsy cardboard valises — contained thousands of negatives of pictures that Robert Capa, one of the pioneers of modern war photography, took during the Spanish Civil War before he fled Europe for America in 1939, leaving behind the contents of his Paris darkroom.

The Jason McCoy Gallery Exhibition Inspired by Pollock Family Letters

Posted: 19 May 2012 09:09 PM PDT

artwork: Charles Pollock - "Man at the Well", circa 1937 - Tempera on board - 40.6 x 38.1 cm. - Courtesy the Jason McCoy Gallery, New York. On view in "American Letters 1927-1947: Jackson Pollock & Family".

New York City.- In collaboration with the Charles Pollock Archives, Paris, Jason McCoy Gallery is pleased to present "American Letters 1927-1947: Jackson Pollock & Family", an exhibition comprising painting, sculpture, works on paper, photographs and letters. The exhibition celebrates this year's release of the book with the same title (Polity Press, April 2011), a compilation of the personal correspondence between the five Pollock brothers (Charles, Marvin Jay, Frank, Sanford and Jackson), their parents, and wives. "American Letters" now on view at the gallery.  While making a significant contribution to the literature on Jackson Pollock, 'American Letters' also provides an intimate overview of the unique social, political, and intellectual currents of an era devastated by the Great Depression and the Second World War. Through fragmented accounts of several individuals a somewhat cohesive tale emerges that introduces a family who, despite long distances and financial hardships, remained united and engaged with the world.

Large-Scale Wall Installation by the Artist Chitra Ganesh at P.S. 1

Posted: 19 May 2012 09:06 PM PDT

artwork: Chintra Ganesh - The Silhouette Returns, 2009. - Courtesy P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center.

NEW YORK, NY.- P.S.1 presents a large-scale wall installation by the artist Chitra Ganesh, for the second installment of the new series "On-site" which continues P.S.1's long standing tradition of commissioning site-specific, wall based projects. Ganesh's new wall piece, The Silhouette Returns (2009), was put on view in the P.S.1 lobby this October 1, 2009 and will continue through April 5, 2010.
Chitra Ganesh creates wall installations, paintings, drawings, photographs, and animations that make use of an expansive visual vocabulary that ranges from Bollywood films, comics and graphic novels, to iconic feminist imagery.

The Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga Shows William Kentridge

Posted: 19 May 2012 09:03 PM PDT

artwork: William Kentridge - "Untitled VI" 2007 - Bronze - 42 x 46 x 19 cm. - Courtesy CAC Malaga. On view in "William Kentridge: Won't you join the dance?" until May 13th.

Málaga, Spain.- The Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga presents "William Kentridge: Won't you join the dance?", on view at the museum until May 13th. This is the first exhibition of this South African artist's tapestries to be held in  Spain. Mosaics, sculptures, preliminary studies, collages, videos and Kentridge's unique drawings will also be included in this exhibition, which is curated by Fernando Francés. The central work is a tapestry based on a 19th century map of Malaga, which will be shown to the public for the first time at the CAC Málaga. The exhibition offers an overview of the most recent output of one of the most influential and prolific artists working today.

In the work of  William Kentridge (born Johannesburg, 1955) we frequently encounter porters  who carry  objects such as a  bed, a lamp or a typewriter, in reference to the fact that his characters "bear the weight of the world on their shoulders". Elsewhere, the shadows in his tapestries suggest the movement and migration of peoples from one place to another and between one idea and another, as has always  happened over the course of history. Kentridge's work reflects the transformation of humanity and the evolution of peoples, cities and countries as they  move towards their present state of existence. More than twenty tapestries are  to be seen in the exhibition now presented by the CAC Málaga, which offers a comprehensive overview of William Kentridge's most  recent work, including mosaics, videos, sculpture, collage and the artist's celebrated drawings. In a way comparable to the threads that are knotted together in his tapestries, William Kentridge creates works that express his interpretation of social changes. The new, previously un-exhibited work to be shown in this exhibition is based on a 19th century map by Luis Thuillier. Measuring 315 x 415cm, this tapestry has been specially designed for Malaga. Its large scale will allow visitors to appreciate the artist's detailed, painstaking work, which reproduces every detail of the original  map. The tapestries are done in Marguerite Stephens's workshop in Johannesburgo.

artwork: William Kentridge - "Camera (Central Boiler Station)", 2010 - Indian ink, charcoal & pastel on page from Central Boiler Station ledger book - 47 x 67.5 cm. Courtesy CAC Malaga. On view in "William Kentridge: Won't you join the dance?"

William Kentridge studied Politics and African Studies at the University of Witwatersrand  then studied  at the Art Foundation in Johannesburg. He  subsequently moved to Paris to train at the Jacques Lecoq International Theatre School. Kentridge began his career as an actor and as a theatre producer and director. He is still active in these fields, making use of multimedia technology in his productions. His short animation films have earned him numerous international awards. In 2009 Kentridge directed  Woyzeck on the Highveld at the Teatro Cánovas in Malaga, a work based on Georg Büchner's play. In March of last year he directed The Magic Flute by Mozart at La Scala in Milan, which was transmitted live to the Albéniz Cinema in Malaga. This June he is invited artist at Documenta XIII in Kassel. Since the 1990s William Kentridge's work has been exhibited in numerous museums and galleries worldwide. Particularly outstanding has been his participation in Documenta in Kassel, Germany (1997 and 2003), the exhibitions held at the MoMA in New York (1998 and 2010), the Albertina in Vienna (2010) and the Jeu de Paume in Paris (2010). His production of Mozart's The Magic Flute was performed at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, the Aix-en-Provence festival and at La Scala in Milan (2011). To coincide with the most important exhibition of his work to date, held at the MoMA in New York, William Kentridge directed The Nose by Shostakovich at the Met in New York in 2010 (also performed at the Aix and Lyons festivals in 2011). Again in 2010, this time at the Louvre in Paris, the artist presented  Carnets d'Egipte, a project specially designed for the museum's Egyptian gallery. That same year Kentridge  was awarded the prestigious Kyoto Prize for his contribution to the arts and philosophy. In 2011 he was elected an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The CAC Málaga is a cultural initiative of The City Council of Málaga. Its aim is the promotion and dissemination of 20th and 21st century visual art by bringing the most recent trends in contemporary art to the public, expressed through visual and audiovisual means. The project is an innovative one within Spain as it combines models of private management with the aims and ideals of public administration. The CAC Málaga was officially opened on 17 February 2003 by Their Royal Highnesses the Infanta Cristina and her husband, Iñaki Urdangarín, Dukes of Palma. Without forgetting its support for local and national artists, the CAC Málaga opened with a clearly stated mission that was directed towards international art, with the intention of becoming a reference point both on the national as well as the European circuit. A pioneering new project was thus launched, based on the model of the German "Kunsthalle". According to this model, the Centre has been conceived as a "House of Art" which is dynamic and open to new trends and forms of expression in contemporary art and characterised by its dynamic nature, its emphasis on the dissemination of contemporary art and reflection on the issues involved in this field. The result is a wide variety of activities and a permanent reflection on contemporary art, its sources and influences. The Centre is a place which encourages local participation and places great emphasis on teaching and education. The CAC Málaga holds exhibitions and other events of a pioneering nature within the context of Spain, strengthening the presence of artists who have never been exhibited in this country. It also offers seminars and courses with the intention of broadening knowledge and reflecting on different aspects of contemporary art. The opening of the CAC Málaga has opened up new cultural possibilities in the south of Spain and the centre was specifically created with the intention of becoming an international reference point. Since it was inaugurated, CAC Málaga has acquired a total of 57 works by local, Spanish and international artists, an increase of 15% on the total of the collection. Despite its youth and small budget, the Centre is already ranked amongst the 150 most important art centres and museums in the world. Visit the museum's website at ... http://cacmalaga.org

The Bowes Museum showcases A British Sporting Art Exhibition

Posted: 19 May 2012 08:53 PM PDT

artwork: George Stubbs (1724-1806) - "Fighting Stallions", 1791 - The British Sporting Art Trust. The Alfred Gates Bequest.

DURHAM, UK - The Bowes Museum is forecasting a Great British Summer, with the launch of a major new exhibition and the opening of new galleries. British Sporting Art, which opened on Tuesday 11 May, will explore the genre of Sporting Art in Britain, from horseracing and hunting to boxing, football and cricket. Central to the theme of the exhibition, which will include works by George Stubbs, Sir Alfred Munnings, Sir Edwin Landseer and George Morland, is John Bowes, the founder of the Museum and the first man to lift the renowned Triple Crown. Inspired by Bowes' love for horseracing and its importance to the story behind The Bowes Museum, this exhibition will explore his prolific racing career and the wider genre of Sporting Art. On view until 10 October.

Sotheby's London Evening Sales of Old Master Paintings Totals $60 Million

Posted: 19 May 2012 08:48 PM PDT

artwork: Pieter Brueghel the Younger - A Flemish Village in Winter with the Massacre of the Innocents - Oil on oak panel, 122 by 170 cm. Estimate: 2,500,000—3,500,000. Sold for £4,633,250. Photo: Sotheby's.

LONDON.- Tonight in London before a lively saleroom, Sotheby's sales of Old Master Paintings and Renaissance & Baroque Masterworks from the Collection of Barbara Piasecka Johnson brought a combined total of £36,022,625/ $57,917,177/ €41,645,761, a strong figure comfortably within the pre-sale expectations for the evening of £29,222,500-42,470.000. The Old Master Paintings Evening Sale made an individual total of £26,134,050/ $42,018,326/ €30,213,578, within the pre-sale estimate of £24,010,000-34,760,000, and achieved solid sell-through rates of 69% by lot and 82% by value.

'Looking and Listening' at The Smart Museum of Art

Posted: 19 May 2012 08:46 PM PDT

artwork: Émile-René Ménard - Homer, c. 1885 - Oil on canvas -Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, Purchase, Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Davidson  

CHICAGO, IL - The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art presents Looking and Listening in Nineteenth-Century France, on view through March 23, 2008. Audiences in different eras look at art and listen to music in dramatically different ways. The experience of looking or listening is not historically constant, but rather varies with social settings, technologies, and trends. During the nineteenth century, the habits and fashions associated with looking and listening changed rapidly.

The Jewish Museum Presents a Major Exhibition of Abstract Expressionism

Posted: 19 May 2012 08:44 PM PDT

artwork: Jackson Pollock - Convergence, 1952 - Oil on canvas -  Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, N.Y Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1956 - © The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

NEW YORK CITY - The Jewish Museum presents Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art, 1940-1976 from May 4 through September 21, 2008. In the first major U.S. exhibition in 20 years to rethink Abstract Expressionism and the movements that followed, fifty key works by 31 artists – among them Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Mark Rothko – will be viewed from the perspectives of influential, rival art critics Clement Greenberg and Harold Rosenberg, the artists, and popular culture. Following its New York City showing, the exhibition will travel to the Saint Louis Art Museum from October 19, 2008 to January 11, 2009, and the Albright–Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY from February 13 to May 31, 2009.

Beginning in the 1940s, artists such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning created paintings and sculptures that catapulted American art onto the international stage, making New York City the successor to prewar Paris as the mecca for the avant-garde. Two rival art critics played a crucial role in the reception of the new American painting and sculpture: the highly influential New York intellectuals Clement Greenberg and Harold Rosenberg. In the pages of magazines as diverse as Partisan Review, The Nation, ARTnews, and Vogue, these critics wrote incisively about seismic changes in the art world, often disagreeing with each other vehemently.

artwork: Willem de Kooning Gotham News, 1955 Oil on canvas. Albright-Knox Art Gallery Buffalo, NY - Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1955 - © 2008 The Willem de Kooning Foundation /Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY By interpreting the significance of the most daring art of their times, their advocacy propelled the artists and their art to the forefront of the public imagination. In 1949, when Life – then the nation's most popular magazine and a barometer of mainstream taste – featured a piece on Jackson Pollock, it was clear that Clement Greenberg's influence had begun to be felt beyond the world of art. By the late 1950s, Pollock and de Kooning were virtually household names and Abstract Expressionism was widely known throughout America and internationally.

In a period fueled by Cold War politics, the mushrooming of mass media, and surging consumerism, Rosenberg promoted action – his idea of the creative, physical act of making art – against Greenberg's belief in abstraction and the formal purity of the art object. The artists they championed included Pollock and de Kooning, Hans Hofmann and Arshile Gorky, Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell, Jules Olitski and Philip Guston, Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still. Action/Abstraction presents major paintings and sculptures from this decisive era, surveying the first generation of Abstract Expressionists as well as later artists who built on their achievements. Context rooms in the exhibition will feature personal correspondence, magazines and newspapers, film and television clips, and photographs that shed light on the cultural and social climate of the 1940s to the 1970s. The works in the exhibition, arranged in thematic sections, are grouped to evoke the rivalry of Greenberg and Rosenberg and the epic transformation of American art in the postwar period.

artwork: Hans Hofmann Sanctum Sanctorum,1962, Oil on canvas - Berkeley Art Museum - Gift of the artist Photo: Benjamin Blackwell © Renate, Hans & Maria Hofmann Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY Visitors will see important Pollock paintings, including Convergence (1952), hanging near classic masterpieces by de Kooning, such as Gotham News (1955). Despite the fact that the roster of Abstract Expressionist artists included many outsiders – among them immigrant Greeks, Russians, Armenians, and Jews – and showed the influence of non-Western art, such as Native American and African works, Greenberg and Rosenberg often disregarded minority artists, particularly women and African Americans. Notable among the critics' "blind spots" were the painters Lee Krasner, Grace Hartigan and Norman Lewis. Krasner is represented in the exhibition by two pictures, including Untitled (1948) – one of her transformative Little Image paintings. Grace Hartigan's energetic canvases fused figuration with abstraction. Norman Lewis created vibrant, abstract works that referenced jazz and African textiles.

Among the many highlights in Action/Abstraction are Barnett Newman's Genesis – The Break (1946) and Onement IV (1949). Such works represent a bridge to the next phase of Abstract Expressionism: Color Field Painting. Helen Frankenthaler's breakthrough painting Mountains and Sea (1952), which was highly influential for a number of other painters, is the opening work in a gallery devoted to Post-Painterly Abstraction. The exhibition culminates in the work of artists who chose divergent paths. In his monumental Marriage of Reason and Squalor (1959), Frank Stella took Greenberg's thinking about art for art's sake, flatness and artistic purity to the next level. Allan Kaprow, in contrast, hewing to Rosenberg's concept of action, invented Happenings and Environments, which redirected the focus from the artist as actor to the audience as creators. Kaprow's 1962 Environment, Words, has been specially reinvented for Action/Abstraction by contemporary artist Martha Rosler.

artwork: Helen Frankenthaler Mountains and Sea, 1952 Oil and charcoal on canvas Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc.The show brings together masterworks from major institutions and collections throughout the U.S. and abroad. Action/Abstraction was conceived and organized by Norman L. Kleeblatt, Susan & Elihu Rose Chief Curator of The Jewish Museum, with consulting curators Maurice Berger, Senior Fellow at The Vera List Center for Art & Politics, New School University and Senior Research Scholar of the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, University of Maryland; Douglas Dreishpoon, Senior Curator of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; and Charlotte Eyerman, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum. Maurice Berger curated the context rooms in the exhibition.

About The Jewish Museum
The Jewish Museum was established on January 20, 1904 when Judge Mayer Sulzberger donated 26 ceremonial art objects to The Jewish Theological Seminary of America as the core of a museum collection.  Today, The Jewish Museum maintains an important collection of 26,000 objects – paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photographs, archaeological artifacts, ceremonial objects, and broadcast media.  Widely admired for its exhibitions and educational programs that inspire people of all backgrounds, The Jewish Museum is the preeminent institution exploring the intersection of 4,000 years of art and Jewish culture.

For general information on The Jewish Museum, the public may visit the Museum's Web site at http://www.thejewishmuseum.org or call 212.423.3200.  The Jewish Museum is located at 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street, in Manhattan.

Singapore Art Museum shows Exhibition of Mexican Modern Paintings

Posted: 19 May 2012 08:43 PM PDT

artwork: Frida Kahlo - "Self-Portrait with Medallion", 1948 - Oil / Masonite. 50 cm x 40 cm. - Private Collection

SINGAPORE.- The Singapore Art Museum and the Embassy of Mexico proudly presents "Camino a la Modernidad, The Path to Modernity: Mexican Modern Painting". The exhibition examines the myriad artistic languages that constitute the formation of Mexican modernism. Camino a la Modernidad, "The Path to Modernity: Mexican Modern Painting" is the largest Mexican art exhibition ever held in Singapore and Southeast Asia. "Camino a la Modernidad: The Path to Modernity: Mexican Modern Painting" is on show at the Singapore Art Museum from 15 November 2009 to 3 January 2010.

Amon Carter Museum to show Barbara Crane ~ 25 Years of the Photographer’s Work

Posted: 19 May 2012 08:40 PM PDT

artwork: Human Forms, 1964-65 - © Barbara Crane, 1964-65 - Gelatin Silver Print, 8 x 10 in. - Courtesy of the Chicago Cultural Center Exhibition at The Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas 

FORT WORTH, TX - On February 14, 2009, the Amon Carter Museum will present Barbara Crane: Challenging Vision, the first major retrospective in more than 25 years of the photographer's work. This exhibition features nearly 200 photographs, from Crane's internationally heralded early studies of human form through her chronicle of Chicago city life to her recent explorations of nature. The exhibition will be on view through May 10, 2009, before moving on to the organizer's venue, the Chicago Cultural Center.

Art the Vote Billboards

Posted: 19 May 2012 08:37 PM PDT

artwork: Anna Shafer-Skelton - Art the Vote Billboard - Saint Louis, MO 

St. Louis, Missouri - More than 70 billboards featuring new, political work of eight renowned contemporary artists will begin to appear today along the highways and byways across Missouri, with concentrations in the state's urban areas and college towns. The initiative, created to mobilize young voters, is made possible by Art the Vote, a Missouri-based, unprecedented effort promoting registration and voting in the November election with original billboard artwork.

'From Van Dyck to Bellotto' at The Center For Fine Arts, Brussels

Posted: 19 May 2012 08:34 PM PDT

artwork: Bernardo Bellotto - 'View of Turin from the Royal Garden' - © Galleria Sabauda

Brussels, Belgium - The Center For Fine Arts, Brussels, will present From Van Dyck to Bellotto - Splendor at the Court of Savoy. In the light of the success of the Ensor to Bosch exhibition in 2005, the Centre for Fine Arts and the Vlaamse Kunstcollectie are getting together again in the spring of 2009, this time with a third partner: the Galleria Sabauda in Turin, home to the magnificent collection of the House of Savoy.

The Hammer Museum to show 'The Darker Side of Light ~ Arts of Privacy'

Posted: 19 May 2012 08:26 PM PDT

artwork: Albert Besnard - Morphine Addicts, 1887 - Etching. Plate 23.8 x 37.1 cm, sheet 32.6 x 43.6 cm. National Gallery of Art, Washington, Rosenwald Collection

Los Angeles, CA – The Darker Side of Light: Arts of Privacy, 1850-1900 draws the visitor into the intimate alcoves of Paris, London, and Berlin -- a private world characterized by contemplative and melancholy subjects. The Darker Side of Light presents work one imagines being unveiled in the confines of the smoky interiors of a collector's home or an artist's studio. This was art for those who kept their prints and drawings under wraps, compiled in albums and portfolios; who stored bronze medals in cabinets, set a statuette on a table in a corner, or mounted it above the shelves in the stillness of the library. Such works of art were not an evident part of one's day-to-day environment, like a picture on the parlor wall. Rather, they were subject to more purposeful study on chosen occasions, much like taking a book down from the shelf for quiet enjoyment.

The exhibition explores the appeal of a European print collector's cabinet, and the intellectual pursuits and techniques of artists in the late nineteenth-century. While much of the art from this period is often associated with light -- impressionist depictions of parks and cityscapes, or the buoyant life of cafés and brasseries -- there was another side, a darker side, to public life in Paris at this time. This exhibition investigates the dream-like and often enigmatic subjects of artists such as F é lix Bracquemond, Victor Hugo, Edvard Munch, James McNeill Whistler, and Odilon Redon.

artwork: Edvard Munch -Moonlight,  1895 Drypoint, open bite, and burnishing Plate 35.5 x 26.2 cm, - National Gallery of Art, Washington, Rosenwald Collection.The selected works share the dark naturalism and rebelliousness of the writings of Charles Baudelaire and Edgar Allan Poe, among other literary figures of the time. The revival of the etching technique during this period is particularly evident in this installation. According to Baudelaire, etching compelled an artist to express the most intimate degrees of self-revelation. Not least because of its exploratory latitudes, the etching medium drew attention from many different camps: academic painters, realists, impressionists, and symbolists alike, and became an arena for opposing styles and schools of thought.

The exhibition centers mainly on art from France and Germany, but also includes works by artists in Britain, Belgium, the United States, and Norway. More than 120 works on paper are featured, primarily prints, but drawings, illustrated books and portfolios, as well as several  small sculptures are also featured. Peter Parshall, Curator of Old Master Prints at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., curated the exhibition, and the vast majority of these objects were drawn from the National Gallery's own collection. A catalogue offered in conjunction with the exhibition features four fully illustrated essays that make original contributions to the scholarship of late nineteenth-century art and collecting. The exhibition will be on view at the Hammer Museum from April 5 through June 28, 2009. It then travels to the National Gallery of Art, October 1, 2009 through January 18, 2010 and culminates at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, February 11 through June 10, 2010.


artwork: Käthe Kollwitz At the Church Wall ,1893 Etching with drypoint Plate 25.2 x 13 cm. Sheet 39 x 26 cm. National Gallery of Art, Rosenwald CollectionThe Hammer Museum, a public arts unit of the University of California, Los Angeles, is dedicated to exploring the diversity of artistic expression through the ages. Its collections, exhibitions, and programs span the classic to the cutting-edge in art, architecture, and design, recognizing that artists play a crucial role in all aspects of culture and society.

Founded by Dr. Armand Hammer in 1990, the museum houses the Armand Hammer Collection of Old Master, Impressionist, and Post-Impressionist paintings and the Armand Hammer Daumier and Contemporaries Collection. Associated UCLA collections include the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, comprising more than 45,000 prints, drawings, photographs, and artists' books from the Renaissance to the present; and the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden on the UCLA campus. The Hammer's newest collection, the Hammer Contemporary Collection, is led by works on paper, particularly drawings and photographs from 1960 to the present.

The Hammer presents major single-artist and thematic exhibitions of historical and contemporary art. It also presents approximately ten Hammer Projects exhibitions each year, providing international and local artists with a laboratory-like environment to create new work or to present existing work in a new context.

As a cultural center, the Hammer offers a diverse range of free public programs throughout the year, including lectures, readings, symposia, film screenings, and music performances. The Hammer's Billy Wilder Theater houses these widely acclaimed public programs and is the new home of the UCLA Film & Television Archive's renowned cinematheque.


For current program and exhibition information call 310-443-7000 or visit : www.hammer.ucla.edu

Location The Hammer is located at 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, at Westwood Boulevard - Los Angeles, CA

Art Knowledge News Presents "This Week In Review"

Posted: 19 May 2012 08:25 PM PDT

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

When opened that also will allow you to change the language from English to anyone of 54 other languages, by clicking your language choice on the upper left corner of our Home Page.  You can share any article we publish with the eleven (11) social websites we offer like Twitter, Flicker, Linkedin, Facebook, etc. by one click on the image shown at the end of each opened article.  Last, but not least, you can email or print any entire article by using an icon visible to the right side of an article's headline.

This Week in Review in Art News

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