- The Whitney Museum of American Art Presents a Major Lyonel Feininger Retrospective
- "The Luminous Interval" Exhibition at The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
- Djanogly Art Gallery exhibits 'The American Scene ~ From Hopper to Pollock'
- Recent Paintings by world-renowned artist Odd Nerdrum at Forum Gallery
- Six New World Auction Records Set at Christie’s NY sale of Impressionist & Modern Art
- The Cleveland Museum of Art Presents Prints From the John Bonedrake Donation
- Museum in Leuven Opens with New Building and Rogier van der Weyden Exhibition
- The City Gallery Prague is Staging a Retrospective of Václav Radimský
- Museum Fritz Mayer van den Bergh exhibits Brueghel's " Mad Meg "
- National Portrait Gallery in Washington Presents "Calder's Portraits"
- The Elms Lesters Painting Rooms to exhibit "The Adam and Ron Show"
- Salvador Dalí On Loan
- Thomas Kinkade ~ Painter of Light ~ Dies at 54
- The Morgan Library & Museum opens "In the Company of Animals"
- Indianapolis Museum of Art Announces Major Design Initiatives
- AKN Editor Visits The Traditional Wallraf-Richartz Museum In Cologne, Germany
- This Week in Review in Art Knowledge News
Posted: 30 May 2012 11:49 PM PDT
New York City.- The Whitney Museum of American Artis proud to present "Lyonel Feininger: At The Edge of the World" from June 30th through October 16th. "Lyonel Feininger: At the Edge of the World" is organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York in collaboration with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, where it will be exhibited in 2012. The exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated monograph with a feature essay that provides a broad overview of Feininger's career, tracing his relationships with movements and organizations that defined the development of modern art, including Cubism, the Blaue Reiter, the Blue Four, the Bauhaus, and Black Mountain College. Additional essays focus on Feininger's comics, his photographs, his musical compositions, and his reputation in Germany.
Born and raised in New York, Lyonel Feininger (1871–1956) moved at the age of sixteen to Germany, where he became one of the leading practitioners of German Expressionism and the Bauhaus. In the late 1930s, when the Nazi campaign against modern art forced him to flee back to New York after an absence of fifty years, his marriage of abstraction and recognizable imagery made him a beloved artist in the United States. Long acknowledged as a major figure of the Bauhaus,
Feininger is renowned for his romantic, crystalline paintings of architecture and seascapes. Less well known are the whimsical aspects of his work: his pioneering Chicago Sunday Tribune comic strips; his figurative, Expressionist compositions; his photographs; and his miniature hand-carved wooden figures and buildings, known as 'City at the Edge of the World'. This retrospective is the first in Feininger's native country in more than forty-five years, and the first ever to include the full breadth of his art.
Feininger was one of the very few fine artists also to draw comic strips as a cartoonist. His short-lived Chicago Tribune comic strips, The Kin-der-Kids and Wee Willie Winkie's World, were noted for their fey humor and graphic experimentation.
Feininger also had intermittent activity as a pianist and composer, with several piano compositions and fugues for organ extant.
His son, Andreas Feininger, became famous as a photographer of New York City.
As the preeminent institution devoted to the art of the United States, the Whitney Museum of American Art presents the full range of twentieth-century and contemporary American art, with a special focus on works by living artists. The Whitney is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting American art, and its collection—arguably the finest holding of twentieth-century American art in the world—is the Museum's key resource. The Museum's signature exhibition, the Biennial, is the country's leading survey of the most recent developments in American art. Innovation has been a hallmark of the Whitney since its beginnings. It was the first museum dedicated to the work of living American artists and the first New York museum to present a major exhibition of a video artist (Nam June Paikin 1982). Such figures as Jasper Johns, Cy Twombly, and Cindy Sherman were given their first museum retrospectives by the Whitney.
The Museum has consistently purchased works within the year they were created, often well before the artists became broadly recognized. The Whitney was the first museum to take its exhibitions and programming beyond its walls by establishing corporate-funded branch facilities, and the first museum to undertake a program of collection-sharing (with the San Jose Museum of Art) in order to increase access to its renowned collection. The Whitney's collection— comprising more than 19,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, films, videos, and new media by more than 2,900 artists—contains some of the most significant and exciting work created by artists in the United States during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Visit the museum's website at ... http://whitney.org
Posted: 30 May 2012 11:47 PM PDT
Bilbao, Spain - Until September 11, 2011, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is showing "The Luminous Interval: The D. Daskalopoulos Collection". "The Luminous Interval" presents the work of more than 30 international artists drawn from the D.Daskalopoulos Collection, one of the world's most significant private collections of contemporary art. The exhibition's title is derived from the writings of the Greek philosopher Nikos Kazantzakis (1883–1957), who envisioned life as a "luminous interval" during which decomposition and decay are necessary prerequisites to creation and renewal.
Posted: 30 May 2012 11:45 PM PDT
NOTTINGHAM, UK.- Djanogly Art Gallery presents The American Scene - From Hopper to Pollock, on view through April 19, 2009. The American Scene: From Hopper to Pollock features spectacular images of American society and culture made during a period of great social and political change from the early 1900s to 1960 and charts the emergence of a consciously American subject matter and artistic identity in the twentieth century.
Posted: 30 May 2012 11:41 PM PDT
NEW YORK, NY.- An exhibition of 13 recent paintings by world-renowned artist Odd Nerdrum is on view at Forum Gallery from March 8th through May 5th. The iconoclastic Norwegian painter is well known for compelling portraits, stark landscapes, and apocalyptic narratives that depict unearthly scenes. Influenced by Rembrandt and Caravaggio, Nerdrum is admired internationally for his unequalled skill and technique, as well as his extraordinary subject matter, which transports the viewer to another time and place. In his new body of work made in the last four years, Nerdrum continues his exploration of the universal human condition revealing danger, misery, struggle, fear, helplessness, and yet, at times, optimism, as his figures all possess a fierce integrity in the face of adversity. In You See We Are Blind, three women are seated in a primeval world, holding sticks to help guide them, perhaps as they await an unlikely rescue. Two of the women are in conversation, while the third is deep in thought, the down turned corners of her mouth revealing a painful sadness.
In Stranded, the vulnerable mother and child, sleeping in a vast desert-like wasteland, are bathed in a golden light offering protection from the wilderness. In another painting, Night Jumper, four figures sleep around a fire in an inhospitable world, while one appears above them, magically suspended in the air, as if the fire has propelled the jumper upward.
Nerdrum has said that the figures in his work represent, "modern man having returned to primeval society in his flight from civilization. He no longer has any roots in our time. He is back in a prehistoric existence."
In his 2001 book on Odd Nerdrum, Richard Vine writes, "The anxious dialectic between self and world, self and group, will go on, Nerdrum's images attest, for as long as the human race persists. The sea, that enduring metaphor for eternity and the fathomless unconscious, laps at many of his scenes. ... Thus on the luminal shore between land and sea, time and eternity, consciousness and unconsciousness, the wanderers pause to confront the realm from which all life emerged. … The implicit sexuality of their quest, made manifest in those pictures where the actors are pregnant, highlights the aloneness one can feel even in the most passionate encounters, even at the climactic moment of putative fusion."
Odd Nerdrum lives and works in Maisons-Laffitte , France , near Paris . He was born in 1944 to Norwegian parents who were working in Sweden as Resistance fighters during World War II. The family moved back to Norway after the war. Nerdrum studied classical painting at the Art Academy of Oslo and later, with Joseph Beuys at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. As Nerdrum's work has become known internationally, he has inspired, at times, what has been described as a devotion bordering on worship among his students. A painting by Odd Nerdrum influenced a scene in the 2000 science fiction film The Cell. A traveling retrospective was organized by Oslo 's Astrup Fearnley Museum in 1998. Work by Nerdrum can be found in major public collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden , Washington , D.C.; Walker Art Center , Minneapolis ; and the National Gallery, Oslo .
Visit the Forum Gallery at : www.http://forumgallery.com/
Posted: 30 May 2012 11:38 PM PDT
NEW YORK CITY - The evening's sale of Impressionist and Modern Art at Christie's New York totaled $277,276,000/£140,749,239/€178,887,742, Christie's third highest result ever for the category. The auction featured particularly strong results for both 19th and 20th century paintings and sculpture created by some of the leading masters of art history. The sale was 82% sold by value, 76% sold by lot.
Posted: 30 May 2012 11:37 PM PDT
Cleveland, Ohio.- The Cleveland Museum of Art is pleased to present "A Passion for Prints: The John Bonebrake Donation" on view at the museum through January 29th 2012. "A Passion for Prints: The John Bonebrake Donation" features a selection of nearly 60 prints from the collection of John Corwin Bonebrake (1918-2011). John became a devoted print collector after joining the Print Club of Cleveland in 1961. An architect, John began by choosing images of cathedrals, castles, and other structures, but soon broadened his outlook to include a wide range of material. His outstanding collection of about 1,000 19th- and 20th-century graphics includes figural subjects as well as landscapes and works of historical interest executed in a range of printmaking techniques. Knowing his collection would eventually be donated to the museum, John sometimes made acquisitions to enhance strengths and fill gaps in the CMA's print collection.
Posted: 30 May 2012 11:34 PM PDT
LEUVEN, BELGIUM.- In 2002 the City of Leuven decided that the Vander Kelen-Mertens municipal museum should be substantially enlarged and adapted to meet modern-day requirements. In 2004 an international competition was launched and from the short-list of five the jury chose the Stéphane Beel firm of architects which has international experience of museum architecture. Stéphane Beel's past achievements include the Central Museum in Utrecht (1994/99) and the Rubens' House pavilion in Antwerp (1997). Current projects include extending the deSingel arts centre in Antwerp and renovating the Royal Museum for Central African in Tervuren.
Posted: 30 May 2012 11:32 PM PDT
Prague.- Earlier this year, sixty-five years had elapsed since the death of the landscapist Václav Radimský, and in the year 2012, one hundred and forty-five years will have passed from his birth. To mark these two anniversaries, City Gallery Prague is staging a major retrospective of his work in the galleries of the Municipal Library, and Arbor vitae is publishing Radimský´s first comprehensive monograph. "Vaclav Radimsky (1867 - 1946)" is on view through February 5th 2012. The present exhibition brings together around two hundred paintings, with a special place being assigned to the triptych "View of Kolín", a grandiose work of three by eight-and-a-half metres. Here, it also marks a watershed between the section featuring pictures created in France, and the part showing works painted by Radimský after his return to Bohemia.
Václav Radimský was a member of the first generation of Czech Impressionist. Unlike most of his peers who embraced the Impressionist style, however, he was not a pupil of Julius Marák. Rather, he studied at Eduard von Lichtenfels´ private school of landscape painting in Vienna, which he followed up by a brief stint with Eduard Schleich in Munich, before setting out for Paris in 1888. At the behest of the painter Zdenka Braunerová he moved to Barbizon, probably in 1891, where he made a first-hand acquaintance with French Impressionist painting, and in particular with the output of Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro which he took as his model. Monet, by then a celebrated artist, lived in Giverny, surrounded by a large colony of painters who had gathered there from around the globe. From 1895 they were joined by a Czech artist with an Austrian passport: Václav Radimský. Like the majority of artists based in Giverny, Radimský was initially lodged at the hotel Baudy, then took a house in town, and eventually settled in a disused flour-mill which he purchased in the village of Le Goulet. He set up his studio there, and also used a dinghy at anchor on the Seine as a floating studio, and in which he would reportedly be occasionally joined by Monet. It was there that Radimský did an extensive series of views of the Seine in different seasons of the year.
His favourite themes, however, were sunlit parts, views of the water surface, and reflections of trees in water, in all of which he focused on the rendition of flickering light, sunbeams, and the palette capturing a day´s atmosphere. Radimský built up a successful career in France. He exhibited his work at the Paris salons, in 1894 becoming the youngest artist ever to win an award, for the painting "Etudes de Fougères". In the following year, he received a medal in Rouen, and in 1900 another one, at the World Exhibition in Paris. At the same time, he maintained regular contacts with his native country, sending his works to exhibitions mounted by the Czech Fine Arts Association. His series of eighty-eight paintings on view at Prague´s Topi gallery in 1899 offered to the Czech public the first taste of the Impressionist style, and reproductions of his paintings were regularly published in the pages of the magazines Zlatá Praha, Svetozor, and Volné smery.
In Paris, Radimský married Louise Fromont, a native of Vernon, and he would likely have settled in France for the rest of his life, were it not for the First World War. Officially blacklisted as "hostile alien," he was at first jailed then interned, to be released only at the intercession of Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau who had previously purchased a painting by Radimský. Disillusioned by France, Radimský returned to his native country after the war, and settled in his birthplace, at the estate of Pašinka near Kolín, central Bohemia, which was then owned by his half-brothers. He went on living and working there until his death in 1946. When Radimský returned to Bohemia after the end of the First World War, Czech painting, including that produced by members of his own generation, was already on its way towards a new, different expression. Radimský remained alone in his continued adherence to the Impressionist tradition. His painting, ever permeated with light in keeping with its French model, and content-wise focused predominantly on the nature of the central part of the Elbe Valley, began to draw increasingly critical response. Radimský was a diligent artist, he worked hard, one exhibition following the next in close succession; all of them were selling shows, which accounts for the fact that the larger part of his output is today in private hands. Václav Radimský died of pneumonia in a hospital in Kolín, in 1946, aged seventy-nine. He and his wife, Louise, are buried in the family grave near the church in Kbel near Kolín.
The first impulse to establish the Prague city picture gallery arose from the pictorial department of the newly established Art Forum headed by Josef Mánes in the eitheen sixties. The main intention was public benefit as well as support of contemporary artists. The city council then began to buy their works even though only occasionally. The municipal collection proliferated gradually also thanks to gifts from individuals as well as institutions. A grand set of Jaroslav Cermák´s paintings from Hippolyta Gallait and a set of work of Václav Brožík from the knight Václav Špacek of Starburg enriched the collection on the turn of the 19th and 20th century. The idea of a city gallery in the capitol came to the forefront again after the constitution of the independent Czechoslovak Republic. At the end of the twenties in the newly built Municipal Library exhibition halls were assigned to the gallery. At around the same time, in 1928, the city of Prague obtained a generous gift from Alfons Mucha: the cycle of monumental canvases "The Slav Epic". The city council ensured a better systematic nature of the purchases for the intended gallery by establishing administrative procedures and in 1927 the sculptor Ladisla Šaloun became a permanent artistic consultant. Up until the beginning of World War II the gallery acquired many important and now classic works of the 20th century modern art, msotly by purhcasing works from exhibitions it hosted, including; E. Filla, R. Kremlicka, O. Kubín, J. Bauch, F. Muzika, J. Šíma, V. Špála, J. Štyrský, J. Zrzavý, carvings of O. Gutfreund, J. Wagner and others. After the war the plans to establish a city gallery gained intensity again in the second half of the fifties and the National Committee of Prague has been pointedly buying the works of contemporary artistic displays. Many years of effort and endeavor were fulfilled on May 1, 1963 when the City Gallery Prague was founded. Visit the gallery's website at ... http://www.citygalleryprague.cz
Posted: 30 May 2012 11:24 PM PDT
Antwerp, Belgium - The museum preserves the art treasures that the Antwerp collector Fritz Mayer van den Bergh (1858-1901) was able to gather during his too short life. The lion's share of his collection and its most famous works illustrate the era with paintings of the Flemish Primitives, with altarpieces and monumental sculptures. Fritz Mayer van den Bergh was one of the first to show a special interest in Pieter Brueghel the Elder and was the discoverer of his "Mad Meg ".
Posted: 30 May 2012 11:20 PM PDT
WASHINGTON, DC.- Best known for his abstract mobiles and stabiles, Alexander Calder (1898–1976) was also a prolific portraitist who created hundreds of likenesses over the course of his lifetime. An exhibition of these works is being shown at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery March 11 through Aug. 14. "Calder's Portraits: A New Language" sheds light on an often-overlooked aspect of Alexander Calder's career and on broader narratives of 20th-century American culture. In addition to paintings and drawings, "Calder's Portraits" features a number of the artist's famed wire sculptures. Working with the unorthodox medium of wire, Calder shaped three-dimensional portraits, achieving nuanced likenesses and vivid characters. His inventive technique was referred to as "drawing in space" and reconceived both portraiture and sculpture. A critic writing for the Chicago Tribune in 1929 opined that "the longer one observes [Calder's sculpture] the more one is convinced … that here is a new language." "Sculpturing by Wire Is New Achievement of Alexander Calder at Galerie Billiet," Chicago Tribune.
Posted: 30 May 2012 11:16 PM PDT
LONDON - The Elms Lesters Painting Rooms will present The Adam and Ron Show, on view May 2-31, 2008. When Adam Neate was still an unknown artist leaving his painted cardboard works out on the street, he wrote to Ron English in New York to say how much he admired his work. For the first time, The Adam and Ron Show brings together these two urban art painters, both masters of their own style, in a major heavyweight show at the Elms Lesters Painting Rooms.
The exhibition will include a 50' site-specific painting by Ron English, recreating Picasso's Guernica. Over the past few years, Ron has created dozens of versions of Picasso's masterpiece, transforming the original Spanish civilian characters into Disney characters, Peanuts characters, soccer players, schoolchildren, and many others. As part of this series he painted the world's largest version of Guernica at the Station Museum in Houston, being one foot longer and one foot wider than Picasso's original and featuring schoolchildren playacting the violent scene of the original.
Adam Neate is a fearless painter who is constantly experimenting with styles and techniques, and continually pushing forward with his work. Paintings selected for this forthcoming show will demonstrate how he is mastering the mediums of both cardboard and canvas, with complex layering and bold use of paint. As well as a series of his coveted self portraits, the show will include a collection of his narrative, social documentary paintings. His fluid brush strokes, and impeccable line are apparent in both his two dimensional pieces and his multi-layered three dimensional works.
Adam Neate's extraordinary development in the past 12 months has not gone unnoticed by international collectors, and his works are contended by major collectors and celebrities and lauded by international critics. Neate's work has recently sold impressively at both Sotheby's and Bonham's auction houses, exceeding original estimates up to tenfold.
Adam Neate – Adam Neate first came to the public's attention by bounteously leaving thousands of his paintings on the street of London, for people to take, or leave, at will. Since then he has rapidly become Britain's most exciting young artist and a much heralded painter at the forefront of a radical new movement in contemporary art. Whilst the world is sitting up and taking notice of a host of emerging urban/ graffiti artists - Neate is a street artist with a difference. His work is technically expert and has won him acknowledgement from Tate, National Portrait Gallery and The National Gallery. Last August, Adam's first one man show at Elms Lesters, the sell-out exhibition entitled Paintings,Pots and Prints demonstrated his masterful use of different materials, garnering global interest; Adam's works have been included in major auctions of Contemporary and Urban Art in the past months. His gallery pieces, the majority of which are still painted on cardboard, have immediacy and a raw energy, through the use of aerosols, marker pens, and acrylic and gloss paints.
Ron English - Ron English first hijacked billboards when he was an art student as a way of displaying his art to as many people as possible – it was later that he realised he could make political statements by the same means. Since then Ron has 'pirated' or 'liberated' over one thousand billboards, replacing existing advertisements with his own hand-painted "subvertisements." getting his own socio-political messages across. He is recognised as the father of AGIT-POP, a hybrid of Pop Art that is fuelled by a more personal, hands-on socially responsible attitude. His gallery works on canvas contain an equally biting commentary whilst being flawlessly painted in a hyperreal style, loaded with the iconography of his generation. His paintings have been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide and his work is included in prominent collections, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Paris and the Whitney Museum in New York; few of them were also featured in Morgan Spurlock's film 'SUPER SIZE ME". His film "POPaganda: The Art and Crimes of Ron English" was released in 2006.
Posted: 30 May 2012 11:13 PM PDT
FIGUERES, SPAIN - The Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí received the temporary loan of Salvador Dalí's most famous oil painting, The Persistence of Memory, also know as "The Soft Watches", thanks to its owner, the MoMA in New York. It will be seen in Room 22 until next 18 March and will coincide two weeks of January with the other temporary loan: the Metamorphoses of Narcissus, on show in Room 6, coming from the Tate Modern, London.
Posted: 30 May 2012 11:11 PM PDT
San Francisco (Associated Press).- Artist Thomas Kinkade once said that he had something in common with Walt Disney and Norman Rockwell: He wanted to make people happy. And he won success with brushwork paintings that focused on idyllic landscapes, cottages and churches — highly popular works that became big sellers for dealers across the United States. The self-described "Painter of Light," who died Friday at age 54, produced sentimental scenes of country gardens and pastoral landscapes in dewy morning light that were beloved by many but criticized by the art establishment.
Posted: 30 May 2012 11:09 PM PDT
New York City.- The Morgan Library & Museum is pleased to present "In the Company of Animals: Art, Literature, and Music", on view from March 2nd through May 20th. Animals have provided a particularly fertile source of inspiration for artists, writers, and composers for centuries. From the carving of ancient seals with fearsome lions and mythical beasts, to the depiction of the serpent in representations of Biblical scenes by such luminaries as Albrecht Dürer, to more recent portrayals of endearing animal figures in children's stories, such as Babar and Winnie the Pooh, animals are everywhere. This exhibition will explore the representation of animals—as symbols, muses, moral teachers, talking creatures, and beloved companions—in eighty works of art, demonstrating the varied roles animals have played in the hands of some of the most renowned artists represented in the Morgan's collections.
Animals are not always simply animals. They can represent gods, saints, myths, sins, temperaments, emotions, and ideas. Since ancient times, artists have repeatedly turned to animals to address eternal questions of life and meaning. The oldest work in the exhibition, a Mesopotamian cylinder seal used to make an impression when rolled over damp clay, is datable about 3500–3100 BC. Lions prowl across the surface of the inch-high engraved stone, symbolizing the potential chaos of the natural world. Order is restored, however, by the one-eyed hero who grasps two lions upside-down. His domination over such feared creatures adds to his strength and power. The fall of Man as depicted in Albrecht Dürer's masterful engraving Adam and Eve, of 1504, is witnessed and aided by animals. A serpent twists itself around a branch to offer Eve the forbidden fruit as four creatures lie at the couple's feet. Jackson Pollock famously commented, "I am nature." Pollock's Untitled (Abstract Ram) dates about 1944, a time when the artist incorporated Jungian theories of the unconscious and imagery of the American Southwest into his work. The drawing is suggestive of a sheep-like animal with a circular horn, elongated head and muzzle, and swirls of curly wool. The exhibition includes three works related to Aesop, including the earliest known manuscript of his life and fables, made in southern Italy in the tenth or eleventh century. Similarly on view in the exhibition is a 1666 edition of the life and fables of Aesop, lavishly illustrated by one of the most accomplished animal and bird painters in seventeenth century England, Francis Barlow. Finally, a 1931 edition of Aesop's fables combines stories collected by the seventeenth-century English author Roger L'Estrange with fifty illustrations by American artist Alexander Calder.
Storytellers have long used talking animals to highlight human foibles. Unlike the animals in fables and fairy tales, which maintain their animal characteristics, the talking creatures in this section of the exhibition blur the distinction between animal and human. George Orwell had a difficult time finding a publisher for Animal Farm, his tale of a utopia gone wrong, at the end of WWII. A first edition of the novel (eventually published in 1945) shows Orwell's original subtitle, Animal Farm: A Fairy Story. A life-long equestrian, Anna Sewell was appalled by the way horses, especially working horses, were often treated by their owners. She said that her purpose in writing Black Beauty, her only novel, was "to induce kindness, sympathy, and an understanding treatment of horses." Although a favorite among children, Jean de Brunhoff's Babar faces adult-size challenges. In his illustration for page nine of Histoire de Babar, the young elephant—not yet in his signature green suit—arrives at the edge of the city. The scene becomes melancholy when one realizes that Babar is isolated, his mother having just been killed by a hunter. One section presents works ranging from thirteenth-century Persia to twentieth-century America, including a number of examples from the Renaissance, when a new perspective on the natural world created a lasting interest in observing, categorizing, and understanding animals. Masters of the human figure, Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn and Peter Paul Rubens also made a number of animal sketches. In the sixteenth century when Dutch artist Jacob de Gheyn sketched his Studies of a Frog, Dragonfly, and Fantastic Bird, creatures such as the unicorn and the griffin were still believed to exist. Even Leonardo da Vinci included the occasional dragon in his sketches. Also on display is an anonymous watercolor of a lynx and recumbent unicorn from a fifteenth-century model book—an essential point of reference for medieval artists who wished to depict animals—which shows a similar pairing of reality and myth.
John James Audubon is best known for his meticulous depictions of animals, such as his preparatory study for Gray Rabbit: Old male, female, and young, which later appeared in his The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America (1845–1848). One hundred fifty years after Elizabeth Barrett Browning described her relationship with her dog, Flush, David Hockney made a similar observation about his dachshunds, Boodgie and Stanley, noting, "These two dear little creatures are my friends...I notice the shapes they make together, their sadness and their delight". A nineteenth-century drawing by Nicolas Hüet depicts an unusual variety of companion, a giraffe known as Zarafa with her Sudanese caretaker, Atir. The giraffe was a political gift from Muhammed Ali, the Ottoman Viceroy of Egypt, to Charles X of France in an attempt to convince the King not to interfere in the war between the Ottoman Empire and the Greeks. After a two-year journey from Sudan to Paris (which included two boat rides and a 550 mile walk from Marseilles to Paris), Zarafa lived with Atir in the Jardin des Plantes for eighteen years, where he "slept within scratching reach of her head."
Today, The Morgan Library & Museum is a complex of buildings of differing styles and periods covering half a city block. It began as an intimate palazzo-like structure designed by Charles Follen McKim to serve as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan. "Mr. Morgan's library", as it became known, was built between 1902 and 1906 to the east of his New York residence at Madison Avenue and 36th Street. In the years since the Morgan's incorporation as a public institution in 1924, there have been several additions to the original library building. As the collections grew, the Annex was added in 1928, on the site of Morgan's home. In 1988, the mid-nineteenth-century brownstone on Madison Avenue and 37th Street, where J. P. Morgan, Jr., lived was also added to the complex. A garden court was built in 1991 to unite all three buildings in the complex. A century after the completion of the McKim building, The Morgan Library & Museum unveiled the largest expansion and renovation in its history. The Renzo Piano design integrates the three landmark buildings with three intimately scaled new pavilions constructed of steel-and-glass panels to create an accessible, inviting setting. Pierpont Morgan's immense holdings ranged from Egyptian art to Renaissance paintings to Chinese porcelains. For his library, Morgan acquired illuminated, literary, and historical manuscripts, early printed books, and old master drawings and prints. To this core collection, he added the earliest evidence of writing as manifested in ancient seals, tablets, and papyrus fragments from Egypt and the Near East. Morgan also collected manuscripts and printed materials significant to American history. Over the years—through purchases and generous gifts—the Morgan has continued to actively acquire rare materials as well as important music manuscripts, a fine collection of early children's books and manuscripts, and materials from the twentieth century (as well as earlier periods). Nevertheless the focus on the written word, the history of the book, and master drawings has been maintained. Visit the museum's website at ... http://www.themorgan.org
Posted: 30 May 2012 11:07 PM PDT
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - The Indianapolis Museum of Art announced several major design initiatives, including: The acquisition of 37 new works, 19 of which come from the Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection in Montreal. Liliane Stewart, with her late husband David, amassed one of the most important international twentieth and twenty-first-century design collections in North America. The creation of the IMA Design Center, a retail space opening in November 2008 which will offer contemporary, sustainable design products for sale.
Posted: 30 May 2012 10:59 PM PDT
The Wallraf-Richartz Museum is one of the great traditional art galleries in Germany. It is located in Cologne, Germany and houses a collection of fine art from the medieval period to the early twentieth century. Part of its collection was used for the establishment of Museum Ludwig in 1976. The museum lies at the heart of the Old Town, within view of the cathedral, right next to the historical city hall. Virtually every school of style and historical period of European painting is also represented here, from the Dutch masters to the late Impressionists of France. The Cologne merchant Johann Heinrich Richartz (1795-1861), who gave his name to the museum, supported the first public museum building which was opened in 1861. After the destruction of the building in the Second World War the museum was housed in 1957 in a new building designed by Rudolf Schwarz and Josef Bernard. After a few years in a modern museum building, which from1986 housed both the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum and the Museum Ludwig, at the beginning of 2001 the museum moved into a new building designed by Oswald Mathias Ungers. A "permanent loan" of numerous Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings by the Swiss collector Gerard Corboud was made a short time later. The new building in the quarter between the town hall and Gürzenich stands on an important site in the history of art: In the Middle Ages this was the artistic centre of the cathedral city with the workshops of the goldsmiths and painters of Cologne. Once the museum moved into their modern new building in 2001 the name was changed for marketing purposes to: "Wallraf, The Museum." Visitors approaching the museum from the cathedral come up against a quiet façade of classical proportions, built on the basis of the ancient canons on a massive basalt base, marked with a series of windows. The facade is then developed toward the top as a blind wall with only a few panoramic windows all in a row in one corner. The smooth, clear upper wall, corresponding to the exhibition halls, is the result of geometric partitioning of the artistic work of Ian Hamilton Finlay. Rectangular slabs of slate arranged in two parallel rows are repeated at intervals all over the tuff block of the complex, revealing to passers-by the names of the artists whose works are kept in that area. On the western side, the building is divided into three staggered towers echoing the church bell tower: they house offices and a multifunctional hall and are clearly separated from the museum block itself. The entrance immediately evident from outside, follows the path of the old medieval road where artist Stefan Lochner lived and on the underground floor. The organization of space inside is very simple: a large entrance hall offers access to the three exhibition floors, divided on the basis of strictly chronological criteria, from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century. The atrium is developed on the basis of the template formed by square units, multiplied and divided over and over again against the luminous ceiling and made up of pillars forming an orderly grid. The works in this internationally prominent collection are not contained in a single hall, but in rooms of different sizes, arrangements and colors. Each floor has its own layout and a color identifying a period in history: terracotta for the Middle Ages, Verona green for the Renaissance, Carrara grey for the nineteenth century. A famous collection of art from the 13th to the 19th centuries occupies a postmodern cube designed by Cologne's own Oswald Mathias Ungers. Works are presented chronologically, with the oldest on the 1st floor where standouts include brilliant examples from the Cologne School, known for its distinctive use of color. Upstairs are Dutch and Flemish artists like Rembrandt and Rubens, Italians such as Canaletto and Spaniards including Murillo. The 3rd floor focuses on the 19th century with evocative works by Caspar David Friedrich and Lovis Corinth. Thanks to a permanent loan from Swiss collector Gèrard Corboud, there's now also a respectable collection of impressionist paintings, including some by heavyweights Monet and Cézanne. A donation by Swiss collector Gèrard Corboud in 2001 greatly expanded the museum's stock of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works. The museum also have a 20th Century collection of American Pop Art Retrospective with works from artist like James Rosenquist. The museum carries out a permanent research and restoration program and on February 14, 2008, the Wallraf-Richartz Museum announced that "On the Banks of the Seine by Port Villez", attributed to Claude Monet, was a forgery. The discovery was made when the painting was examined by restorers prior to an upcoming Impressionism exhibition. X-ray and infrared testing revealed that a "colorless substance" had been applied to the canvas to make it appear older. The picture was acquired by the museum in 1954. The museum, which will keep the forgery, still has five authentic Monet paintings in its collection. Visit website:_ www.wallraf.museum/
An exhibition dedicated to one of the foremost artists of 19th century France, Alexandre Cabanel (1823 - 1889) will take place from February 4 to May 15 2011 at the Wallraf-Richartz Museum. The retrospective, "The Tradition of Beauty" will present more than 60 works (paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and sculptures). Star designer Christian Lacroix has been commissioned to design a special interior exclusively for the exhibition. Lacroix studied at the Academy of Arts in Montpellier the hometown of Cabanel and regards the painter as one of his all-time favorites. The organizers have assembled paintings, photographs, sculptures and cinema excerpts in order to reconstruct the vibrant 19th century in which Cabanel lived, a time devoted to the cult of the precious and the beautiful. The exhibition comprises almost 250 artworks, many of which have been loaned from some of the most prestigious museums in the world. Alongside the principal character of Alexandre Cabanel, the great masters of the classical tradition and their work are also highlighted. Originally from Montpellier, Cabanel was one of the most influential academic painters of the Second Empire and his fame was clinched when Napoleon III picked up his "Birth of Venus" at the 1863 Paris Salon. Still his most famous work, the painting is now housed at the Musée d'Orsay. A savvy businessman as well as a skillful painter, Cabanel sold the reproduction rights to the art dealer and publisher Adolphe Goupil. In addition to producing lucrative engravings based on "The Birth of Venus," Goupil had an in-house artist make two smaller copies of the work, which Cabanel later retouched and signed as part of his agreement with Goupil. Showered with awards — including a first-class medal at the 1855 Paris World's Fair and a medal of honor at the 1865 Paris Salon — Cabanel was esteemed not only for his portraits but also for his dramatic depictions of figures such as Phèdre, Cleopatra, and Othello. He was made a professor at Paris' Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1864, training hundreds of young artists during his career, and becoming a major force in 19th-century artistic life.
Cabanel was an excellent painter and a view of his work shows us once again that "academic", a term referring to training, and especially "pompier" , an adjective of still debatable origin, are words which do not reflect a pictorial reality since the styles of the different artists included in this so-called movement are each so different. In fact, and this is at times suggested in the catalogue (notably in Stephen Bahn's essay), Cabanel might be associated to Romanticism. His subjects are often drawn from Shakespeare or themes treated in the first half of the 19th century by Romantic artists. The manner frequently recalls that of Chassériau, more than Delacroix. When one compares his angels in Paradise Lost to Chassériau's, or his figure of Veleda to some of this painter's heroines, there are undoubtedly a certain number of analogies which merit further study. Cabanel was fortunate in that he was quickly taken on by Alfred Bruyas whom he had met in Montpellier at a young age. While in Italy, he had painted three works for him which correspond by their subject and size, La Chiaruccia, a young Italian peasant girl carrying a basket of flowers, A Thinker, a Young Roman Monk and finally, Albaydé, his first painting with a title inspired by a Romantic literary work, Les Orientales by Victor Hugo. The last is a particularly remarkable canvas, notably for its subtle colors and sensuality, devoid of any vulgarity. Orestes, his first work sent from Rome in 1846, is a beautiful painting due to its atmosphere and a palette of brown shades. The awkwardness of the drawing of the right leg, much too short thus disrupting the balance of the composition, seems surprising however for an already experienced painter. The painting dispatched in 1847, on the other hand, The Fallen Angel, is an authentic masterpiece of late Romanticism, as is also, in a very different genre, the last work he sent, in 1850, and for which the Musée Fabre has a second version, The Death of Moses. The fact that he has been criticized for obviously borrowing from Raphael (for God the Father) and Michelangelo (for Moses) is absurd. Painters from all periods have always found inspiration in their illustrious predecessors. This is in no way a pastiche or a copy, but in fact a reinterpretation. Cabanel studied art carefully while in the Eternal City and profited from these contacts. Thus armed and in full possession of his talent, he was set to conquer Paris when his stay there ended. While Impressionism precipitated the collapse of the system of Fine Arts, the confrontation of his Birth of Venus and the Luncheon on the Grass by Manet is one of the most famous artistic controversy over the nude in the nineteenth century. Hundreds of young artists formed in his studio: Aristide Maillol, Bastien-Lepage, Eugene Carriere ... They have perpetuated his teachings in their own way and open new perspectives to the tradition of beauty.
Posted: 30 May 2012 10:58 PM PDT
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