Sabtu, 09 Juni 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 Scottish National Gallery shows Old Masters From the Bute Collection

Posted: 08 Jun 2012 09:05 PM PDT

artwork: Guillam van Haecht  -  "Art Cabinet with Anthony van Dyck's Mystic Marriage of St Catherine",  circa 1630  -  Oil on panel  -  73 x 104 cm. The Bute Collection. At the Scottish National Gallery in "Masterpieces From Mont Stuart: The Bute Collection" to December 2nd.

Edinburgh.- The Scottish National Gallery is proud to present "Masterpieces From Mount Stuart: The Bute Collection" on view through December 2nd. "Masterpieces From Mount Stuart" will present a selection of some of the finest Old Master paintings from the famous Bute Collection and will be a highlight of the spring exhibition programme at the Scottish National Gallery, featuring superb landscapes, stunning portraits and fascinating scenes of everyday life by artists such as Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch and Jacob Jordaens. Mount Stuart, a magnificent Victorian Gothic mansion on the Isle of Bute in the Firth of Clyde, was built by the 3rd Marquess of Bute and is home to one of the greatest collections of Old Master pictures in the UK. 19 Dutch, Flemish, Early Netherlandish and French masterpieces will be on show and this will be the largest display of works from the estate seen in public since the 1949 Edinburgh Festival.


Among the highlights will be two fabulous rural landscapes by Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1691), an artist enormously popular with British collectors in the 18th century, and an important winter landscape by Aert van der Neer (1603/04-1677). Jacob van Ruisdael's impressive Mountain Landscape with a Waterfall (c.1665-70) will be shown alongside a rare winter view of Amsterdam by the artist, appearing for the first time in a public exhibition. Among the portraits on show will be Jacob Jordaens's beautiful picture of a girl (probably his daughter) with cherries, from the late 1630s, and Joos van Cleve's enigmatic Portrait of a Lady (c.1530). The exhibition will also include a remarkable group portrait by Antoine Le Nain (c.1600-48), depicting the artist and his two painter brothers in the studio that they shared in Paris.

artwork: Cornelis Pietersz Bega - "A Girl and her Master Singing", 1663 - Oil on canvas 39.5 x 34.4 cm. - The Bute Collection at Mount Stuart.  -  On view at the Scottish National Gallery in  "Masterpieces From Mont Stuart"until December 2nd.

One of the most outstanding works in the Bute Collection is Guillam van Haecht's picture of an imaginary art cabinet – a room housing a rich collection of paintings and artifacts – which is one of only five such works by this Antwerp artist. The painting dates from around 1630 and, although the collection it depicts is an imagery one, most of the artworks can be identified, including Van Dyck's Mystic Marriage of St Catherine at centre front, which is now in the Royal Collection. Genre paintings, depicting everyday scenes, will include famous examples by Vermeer's contemporaries Pieter de Hooch (1629-84) and Gabriel Metsu (1629-67), as well as by Adriaen van Ostade (1610-85), Cornelis Bega (c.1631/32-1664), Jan Steen (1626-1679) and David Teniers the Younger (1610-1690). Masterpieces from Mount Stuart will also feature a superb and rare guardroom scene by Rembrandt's pupil Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (1621-74), a cityscape of Haarlem by Gerrit Berckheyde (1638-98), showing the majestic Church of St Bavo and an unusually large picture by Bartholomeus Breenbergh (1598-1657), depicting the biblical story of Joseph selling corn in Egypt. The Bute Collection was primarily formed in the late eighteenth century by John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute and Prime Minister to George III.  The collection was displayed at Luton Hoo, the 3rd Earl's house in Bedfordshire, until it was destroyed by fire in 1843.  Over the years, the paintings were placed in a number of Bute family residences, including properties in London and later at Dumfries House and Cardiff Castle. During the 1940s and 1990s, the paintings were transferred to Mount Stuart.

artwork: Aelbert Cuyp - "A Horse, Cattle and a Cowherd Resting in a Landscape", circa 1650 - Oil on panel - 58.7 x 73.6 cm. The Bute Collection. At the Scottish National Gallery in "Masterpieces From Mont Stuart" to Dec. 2nd.

The new house was a replacement for the early Georgian one destroyed by fire in 1877. Mount Stuart is one of the finest examples of Gothic revival architecture in Britain.  It was built under John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute, and the architect was Sir Robert Rowand Anderson who later designed the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.  The Medieval inspirations behind the design contrast with its modern technology and building techniques: it had the first electric lighting, modern central heating system, telephone and passenger lift of any house in Scotland; it is also the first house in the modern world to possess an indoor heated swimming pool. Since its opening to the public in 1995, Mount Stuart has been a major visitor attraction in the West of Scotland.

The Scottish National Gallery is one of Scotland's top free visitor attractions and Edinburgh's second most-visited attraction after the Castle. It is made up of three interconnected buildings, right in the heart of Edinburgh. The Gallery is home to a major part of Scotland's sensational national collection of fine art; the Academy is one of Europe's premier venues for international exhibitions; and the Gardens Entrance, which lies beneath the two buildings, connects them together with areas for shopping, learning, eating and drinking. The Gallery houses the national collection of fine art from the early Renaissance to the end of the nineteenth century. Spend an hour strolling around this peaceful setting and you'll find masterpieces from Raphael, El Greco, Velázquez and Peter Paul Rubens to Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas and Paul Gauguin. For a nation of Scotland's size, the collection is rightfully regarded as one of the very best in the world. The most comprehensive part of the collection covers the history of Scottish painting. All the major names, including Allan Ramsay, Henry Raeburn, David Wilkie and William McTaggart, are represented in depth. Works on show include Raeburn's much-loved "The Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch" or, as it has become known, the 'Skating Minister'. The newly refurbished Academy, in front of the Gallery, re-opened in 2003 as a world-class venue for special temporary exhibitions. It has two floors of exhibition space, and current exhibitions are listed in the What's On calendar. Both of these buildings give access to the Gardens Entrance – a state-of-the-art space containing a restaurant, café, cloakroom, shop, IT gallery and information desk. The Gardens Entrance also houses a lecture theatre and centre in which we deliver our award-winning educational programmes. The Gardens Entrance also offers spectacular views over Princes Street Gardens. Visit the galleries website at ... http://www.nationalgalleries.org

Blain|Southern highlights New Paintings and Sculptural Works by Jonas Burgert

Posted: 08 Jun 2012 08:15 PM PDT

artwork: Ivan Le Lorraine Albright - "Roaring Fork, Wyoming", 1948 - Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. © Estate of Ivan Le Lorraine Albright.  -  On view in "Signs & Symbols" from June 28th until October 28th.

Berlin.- Blain|Southern are pleased to present "Gift Gegen Zeit (Poison Against Time)" on view at their Potsdamer Straße gallery in Berlin through July 7th. For this exhibition, German artist Jonas Burgert unveiled a series of new paintings, some monumental in scale, alongside sculptural works. Jonas Burgert paints a stage every time that he lifts his brush. With every stroke, with every composition, his works depict the inexhaustible theatre play that is human existence: man's need to make sense of his purpose in life. It is a quest that by its very nature is inconclusive, but which opens doors to every sphere of reason, imagination and desire. Oversized canvases are peopled with fantastical creatures of unlikely proportions. Some are towering, gigantic figures, others as small as infants. The cast includes monkeys and zebras, skeletons and harlequins, amazons, children, sometimes even the painter himself. The supernumerary present a gruesome pageant. Walls disintegrate and floors gape open to reveal heaps of bodies or a lurid, glowing liquid; people wear masks and strange costumes, war-paint adorns the faces, and the distinction between carcass and animate, living and dead, is often unclear.


An inexplicable darkness looms everywhere within Burgert's work, a pervasive aura that calls to mind the Freudian interplay between life and death, between libido and cessation. According to Burgert, humanity's need to find a meaning in existence beyond the corporeal creates an intense desire for an overarching narrative; a unifying theme that invests our lives with purpose: "In our mind, we create existences as heroes, gods or clowns. They lead unbearably loud, malicious, cynical, witty and passionate lives, in wonderfully strange or terrible places. In my art, I merely try to paint the scene of this ongoing process of debate and negotiation, with all its peculiarities." Attempts to find assured and final answers however, ultimately fail: in the end, there is no certainty. The darkness, the brutal and the grotesque in Burgert's work underline this failure. Bergung II, (Recovery II) graphically illustrates this dilemma: figures haul shaman-like creatures from a chasm onto higher ground, where they are sorted into shelves that Burgert describes as "categories" of our imagination. "The picture is (depicting) a recovery of all our failed attempts" – attempts to give life meaning before and beyond death.

artwork: Adolph Gottlieb - "Vigil", 1948 - Oil on canvas - 91.4 x 121.9 cm. - Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art © Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, NY. - On view in "Signs & Symbols" until October 28th.

In "Zweiter Tag Nichts (Second Day Nothing)", a green, noxious liquid spills from the ground and begrimes the figures that populate the canvas. It evokes scenes of ecological disasters and radioactive waste, and yet, confusingly, the figures greedily dig for the liquid, ladling it into buckets. This putrid, sickly green, says Burgert, represents the illusions with which people poison their minds: the false hopes and lies that dictate human narrative – our failed attempts. References to Renaissance painting and Flemish masters like Hieronymus Bosch are apparent in Burgert's work; Freud's psychoanalytical theories come alive with imagery that recalls 20th century surrealism. Yet contemporary pop culture is equally present. From works by Mike Kelly to movies by David Lynch; comic strips and the absurd logic of science fiction: the timeless uncanny illuminates Burgert's paintings. They are a fragmentation of scenes we feel we should recognize because they plumb the subconscious, combining styles of the past with a fiction of today. Contradictions fuse and become a heavily referential spectacle – slightly absurd, like a beautiful nightmare. "(To paint) is extremely intimate," Burgert confesses. It is as if "you present your soul on a tray." It is this honesty and intimacy, so conspicuous in Burgert's work, that validates his insistence that he paints the ultimate human narrative. Burgert is not afraid to render himself vulnerable, and in so doing he manages to capture humanity's vulnerability as a whole, in an ever-repeating theatre of colour and form, of fantasy and dream.  As Jonas himself puts it: "I always paint the same painting, in the end."

Jonas Burgert graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Berlin, in 1996 and consecutively studied for a post graduate title (Meisterschueler) under Professor Dieter Hacker in Berlin. Since 1998, his work has been on view in numerous group shows around the world, including Geschichtenerzaehler at Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg (2003), and Triumph of Painting Part VI at London's Saatchi Gallery (2006). In 2008, Cydney Peyton curated Zweiter Tag Nichts at MCA Denver, Promenade Space. Since 2006 Burgert's work has been on view in solo exhibitions around the world, including: Jonas Burgert: Enigmatic Narrative, Victoria H. Myhren Gallery, University of Denver (2008); Jonas Burgert, Arndt & Partner, Berlin (2008); Jonas Burgert: Hitting every head, Haunch of Venison, London (2009); Jonas Burgert: Lebendversuch, Kunsthalle Tübingen (2010-2011).

artwork: Theodoros Stamos - "Ancestral Worship", 1947 - Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art © Estate of Theodoros Stamos. -  On view in "Signs & Symbols" from June 28th until October 28th.

Blain|Southern was established in August 2010 by Harry Blain and Graham Southern. Prior to this, Blain and Southern ran Haunch of Venison, which they co-founded in 2002. Blain|Southern comprises a gallery on Dering Street, Mayfair, an appointment-only gallery in a town house on Hill Street, just off Berkeley Square, and a gallery at Potsdamer Straße in Berlin. The Blain Di Donna gallery in the Carlyle Hotel, New York is a joint venture with Emmanuel Di Donna. Blain and Southern support an international programme. The gallery works with Marius Bercea, Jonas Burgert, Mat Collishaw, Anton Henning, Rachel Howard, Michael Joo, Bill Viola and Jeroen Verhoeven, among others. In October 2012 Blain|Southern will open a further gallery in London; a 12,400 square foot space arranged over two floors on the corner of Hanover Street and Hanover Square, also in Mayfair. Before Blain and Southern worked together, Southern was a Founding Director of Christie's (London) Post-War & Contemporary Art Department, which he ran until 2001, leaving to become a director of Anthony d'Offay, and Blain ran Blains Fine Art in London, which he founded in 1992. Visit the gallery's website at ... http://www.blainsouthern.com/

The Whitney Museum of American Art to display "Signs & Symbols" ~ Abstract Art from its Collection

Posted: 08 Jun 2012 07:41 PM PDT

artwork: Ivan Le Lorraine Albright - "Roaring Fork, Wyoming", 1948 - Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. © Estate of Ivan Le Lorraine Albright.  -  On view in "Signs & Symbols" from June 28th until October 28th.

New York City.- "Signs & Symbols", the third in a series of six exhibitions focused on the Whitney Museum of American Art's collection, takes stock of the period from the mid-1940s to the end of the 1950s, drawing upon the Museum's deep collection of paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, and photographs. This exhibition reconsiders this critical postwar moment—a time perhaps most frequently associated with a select group of Abstract Expressionists and their large-scale, highly abstract canvases and gestural brushwork. By contrast and through a more textured narrative, "Signs & Symbols" highlights primarily abstract work completed on diverse scales, engaged with more figurative signs and symbols, and by a larger group of artists, many of whom are lesser known and rarely exhibited. The exhibition, curated by Donna De Salvo, the Whitney's Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Programs, in collaboration with Jane Panetta, opens on June 28th and remains on view through October 28th in the Mildred & Herbert Lee Galleries on the Whitney's second floor. Donna De Salvo comments: "The postwar period that Signs & Symbols makes its subject has become so identified with the heroic abstraction of New York School painting that it's easy to overlook the broader, more nuanced investigations into representation and abstraction that occupied artists throughout the country at the time.


Andy Warhol and Moscow Artists highlight Ketterer Kunst Auction

Posted: 08 Jun 2012 07:03 PM PDT

artwork: Vladimir Georgievich Bekhteev - "Archers", circa 1910 - Oil on canvas - 80 x 102.5 cm. - Courtesy Ketterer Kunst, Munich, where it will be auctioned on June 9th. -  Estimate: €250,000.

Munich, Germany. - Andy Warhol couldn't believe what he saw: "Pigs, pigs, pigs (…) everywhere. And art." His visit with Karl Ludwig Schweisfurth, the then-owner of the meat company Herta, in February 1980, left a deep impression on Warhol. And that wasn't all: He also made a portrait of Schweisfurth that will be now be sold at Ketterer Kunst in Munich in the auction of Post War/Contemporary Art on June 9th. Next to a great number of self portraits as well as portraits, including Jackie Kennedy, Mick Jagger and Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol executed the "Portrait of Karl Ludwig Schweisfurth" in a typical Pop-Art manner. In his diary Warhol wrote about the deep impression that Schweisfurth, his company and his art collection had left on him: "He owned the complete Picasso portfolio, to which I added the Picasso print of Paloma. We looked at it, then (…) even more pigs, more salami and more ham (…) - smoked and painted. We shot Polaroids for the portrait and had tea." The work from a private German collection will be called up with an estimate of €80.000-100.000. Initial interest has already been shown which comes from the Schweisfurth family. In 1984 Karl Ludwaig Schweisfurth sold the Herta meat factory and began to produce organic food on a farmstead in Upper Bavaria. Today the 'Hermannsdorfer Landwerkstätten' is a model company for species-appropriate breeding and sustainable farming.


Two Moscow artists will also hold top positions in the auction. Vladimir Georgievich Bekhteev and Serge Poliakoff, whose oil paintings will enter the bidding race with estimates of € 250.000-350.000 each. was made during his time in Munich around 1910, which marks the artist's most important period of creation. With his style, strongly influenced by Art Nouveau, Bekhteev anticipated future developments and already hints at Art Déco. He contrasts his slightly mannered idea of man with a landscape working up concepts of Cubism. At the same time he uses impressions of the dancer Sacharoff, who was close to the artist group "Blauer Reiter" (Blue Rider) and especially to Alexej von Jawlensky. On the one hand, Bekhteev's "Archers" captivate the observer with a poised coloristic framework, on the other hand, they emanate an unmatched optical elegance.

artwork: Pablo Picasso - "Les Saltimbanques", 1922 - Etching and aquatint in colors by Jacques Villon after a 1905 painting by Picasso, Edition of 200 - 59.7 x 42.3 cm. Courtesy Ketterer Kunst, Munich to be auctioned on June 9th. Estimate: €16,000.

Space, proportion, rhythm and most of all color are in the focus of Serge Poliakoff's fine abstract composition. "Colors are a wonderful sound, music turned to light" said the Swiss artist and Poliakoff contemporary Johannes Itten. Whether it is because Serge Poliakoff had earned a living as a musician before he became a painter is hard to say, however, the renowned representative of the Nouvelle École de Paris lets the canvas of his oil painting "Composition abstraite orange jaune, vert, lie de vin" from 1964 vibrate. The bright color's rhythm and the slightly bent contours between the color fields make the work pulsate and both the composition's harmony as well as it's optical resonance unfold. The range of offerings in the auction of Modern Art and Post War/Contemporary Art is completed with works by renowned artists such as Georg Baselitz, Marc Chagall, Gabriele Münter, Ernst Wilhelm Nay, Emil Nolde, Pierre Soulages, Georg Tappert, Andy Warhol and Tom Wesselmann. Additionally, a special section of the auction is dedicated to works by representative of the New Leipzig School. The oil painting "Peinture 81 x 60 cm, 2 mai 1957" by Pierre Soulages carries an estimaete of €150.000-180.000. It is particularly captivating for its plain elegance and balance in terms of gesture and composition. The characteristic broad bars dominate the canvas and captivate the observer for both their actual dimension as well as their expressiveness. Besides Tom Wesselmann's "Study for Nude Painting Print" from 1976, which will enter the race with an estimate of €130.000-150.000, Pop Art is represented with works by Andy Warhol in "25 Cats name[d] Sam and one Blue Pussy" (c. 1954), which is his first artist book. A mere 150 copies were published. The estimate for this copy, which the cat lover Warhol gave to the graphic artist Walter Van Bellen along with a Siamese cat, is at € 90.000-120.000. The range of offerings will be completed by works from the New Leipzig School. Additionally, next to Ernst Wilhelm Nay's "Imagination in Gelb" and Tim Eitel's "Nacht" (each with an estimate of €90.000-120.000) works by Stephan Balkenhol, Eberhard Havekost, Gerhard Hoehme, Anish Kapoor, André Lanskoy, Adolf Luther, Markus Lüpertz, Shirin Neshat, Arnulf Rainer, Anselm Reyle, Emil Schumacher, Sean Scully and Victor Vasarely will also be called up.

artwork: Theodoros Stamos - "Ancestral Worship", 1947 - Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art © Estate of Theodoros Stamos. -  On view in "Signs & Symbols" from June 28th until October 28th.

Since it was founded in 1954, Ketterer Kunst has been firmly established in the front ranks of auction houses dealing in art and rare books, with its headquarters in Munich and a branch in Hamburg. Gallery rooms in Berlin as well as representatives in Heidelberg and Krefeld have contributed substantially to the company's success. Ketterer Kunst has further rounded off its portfolio with the prestigious Ernest Rathenau Verlag, New York/Munich. In addition, exhibitions, special theme and charity auctions as well as online auctions are regular events at Ketterer Kunst. Robert Ketterer is auctioneer and owner of Ketterer Kunst.  Visit the auction house's website at ... http://www.kettererkunst.com/

The Evansville Museum exhibits "The Art of Robert C. Jackson ~ A Wry Theatre"

Posted: 08 Jun 2012 06:26 PM PDT

artwork: Robert C. Jackson - "Poker Night" - Oil on linen - 24" x 36" - Courtesy of the artist. Robert C. Jackson has been selected as the Evansville Museum's 2012 Martha and Merritt deJong Memorial Artist in Residence.

Evansville, Indiana.- Robert C. Jackson , described by Evansville Museum Director John Streetman as "among our most important mid-career American realist painters," has been selected as the Museum's 2012 Martha and Merritt deJong Memorial Artist in Residence. In conjunction with his residency and weeklong classes, "The Art of Robert C. Jackson: A Wry Theatre" is featured in the Main Gallery until August 19th. The Evansville Museum's connection with still life painter Robert C. Jackson began in 2007 when he was one of 15 American realist painters who was invited to participate in a major touring exhibition, Object Project, organized by the Evansville Museum. Jackson's landmark work from that exhibition, entitled "Daredevil," a masterful combination of stunning technique and quirky imagery, was purchased by the Museum for the permanent collection. The five objects required for inclusion in each of the Object Project works – a ball of string, a mirror, a moth, a glass of water, and an animal bone – are included in this painting in a most amusing narrative. Jackson writes about his paintings, "Laughter is worth pursuing. If art is to feed our souls and assist us in encountering our humanity, then a balanced part of our diets should be humor.


Salvador Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, the Most Profitable in Spain

Posted: 08 Jun 2012 06:14 PM PDT

artwork: The Dali Museum in Figueres welcomes 6,000 guests per day. Photo: Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Figueres, 2009.

Figueres, Spain - Inaugurated in 1974, the Dalí Theatre-Museum was built upon the remains of the former Figueres theatre. It contains the broadest range of works spanning the artistic career of Salvador Dalí (1904-1989), from his earliest artistic experiences and his surrealist creations down to the works of the last years of his life. Spanish newspaper El Pais,  reported that the Dali Museum is the private museum that receives more guests in Spain (approximately 6,000 per day, compared with the Prado's 8,000) and it generates $6.3 million, according to the latest financial report. The Dalí Theatre-Museum has to be seen as a whole, as the great work of Salvador Dalí, for everything in it was conceived and designed by the artist in order to offer visitors a real experience of getting inside his captivating and unique world.

Some of the most outstanding works on exhibition there are: Port Alguer (1924), The Girl from Figueres (1926), The Spectre of Sex Appeal (1932), Soft Self-Portrait with Fried Bacon (1941), Poetry of America – The Cosmic Athletes (1943), Galarina (1944-45), Basket of Bread (1945), Napoleon's Nose Transformed into a Pregnant Woman Strolling Her Shadow with Melancholic amongst Original Ruins (1945), Atomic Leda (1949), Apotheosis of the Dollar (1965), Galatea of the Spheres (1952) and Dawn, Noon, Afternoon and Evening (1979).

We should also note the set of works that the artist created expressly for the Theatre-Museum, such as the Mae West Room, the Wind Palace Room, the Monument to Francesc Pujols and the Rainy Cadillac. Also to be seen are works by other artists that Dalí wanted to include: El Greco, Marià Fortuny, Modest Urgell, Ernest Meissonier, Marcel Duchamp, Wolf Vostell, Antoni Pitxot and Evarist Vallès, amongst others.

artwork: Salvador Dalí (1904-1989), Mae West 'portrait', Figueres Dali MuseumThe Dalí Theatre-Museum of Figueres offers a unique experience of being able to observe, live and enjoy the work and thought of a genius. As Dalí himself explained: "It's obvious that other worlds exist, that's certain; but, as I've already said on many other occasions, these other worlds are inside ours, they reside in the earth and precisely at the centre of the dome of the Dalí Museum, which contains the new, unsuspected and hallucinatory world of Surrealism."

Salvador Dalí decided, early in the 1960's, to construct his museum inside the ruins of the old Municipal Theatre of Figueres. Currently, the Director of the Theatre-Museum is Dalí's friend, collaborator and fellow painter Antoni Pitxot i Soler, who is also a Trustee and the Second Vice-President.

The building of the Municipal Theatre of Figueres, designed by the architect Roca i Bros, was constructed between 1849 and 1850 but was destroyed by a fire at the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939.

From that moment, the building was reduced to its peripheral support structure. The ceiling of the auditorium had fallen in, of the boxes only the access corridors remained, and of the stage only the proscenium arch and the lateral storerooms survived. The vestibule and the foyer were the only parts that remained more or less intact. Nevertheless, the basic structure of the theatre survived, presenting the town of Figueres with a phantasmagorical ruin.

In 1961, Ramon Guardiola, then the mayor of Figueres, proposed to Salvador Dalí the creation of a museum dedicated to his work. The painter was captivated by the ghostly enchantment of the theatre, and, with the intention of maintaining the structure of the building, chose it as the site of the future Dalí Theatre-Museum:

"Where, if not in my own town, should the most extravagant and solid of my work endure, where if not here? The Municipal Theatre, or what remained of it, struck me as very appropriate, and for three reasons: first, because I am an eminently theatrical painter; second, because the theatre stands right opposite the church where I was baptised; and third, because it was precisely in the hall of the vestibule of the theatre where I gave my first exhibition of painting."

artwork: Ernst Fuchs THE WEDDING OF THE UNICHORN, 1952, Watercolor, 36 x72 cm.The idea of bringing together his work in the old theatre of Figueres excited Dalí, and he dedicated himself to the task for over a decade, collaborating in it and designing the smallest details, until it became reality with the official inauguration of the Dalí Theatre-Museum on 28th September 1974. One of the most visible elements of the museum is the transparent grid structure in the form of a geodesic dome crowning the building, an idea by Salvador Dalí which was realised by the Murcian architect Emilio Pérez Piñero (1935-1972). The dome has become not only the emblem of the Theatre-Museum but also a symbol for the town of Figueres itself.

The different collections managed by the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation include all kinds of works of art: painting, drawing, sculpture, engraving, installation, hologram, stereoscopy, photography, etc., up to a quantity of some 4,000 pieces. Of these, some 1,500 are on show in the Dalí Theatre-Museum Dalí of Figueres.

The name Dalí Theatre-Museum covers three differentiated museum spaces, which propose a free and personal route around its rooms:

  1. The Theatre-Museum itself, formed by the old burnt-out theatre converted into a Theatre-Museum based on the criteria and design of Salvador Dalí himself. This series of spaces form a single artistic object where each element is an inextricable part of the whole.
  2. The group of rooms resulting from the progressive enlargements of the Theatre-Museum, where Dalí's personal intervention is either testimonial or non-existent. These galleries are located in the Torre Galatea, are they feature several works from the Dalí legacy, as well as some of the new acquisitions made by the Foundation.
  3. The gallery Dalí · Jewels, inaugurated in 2001, which includes the thirty-seven gold jewels set with gems of the old Owen Cheatham Collection, two jewels made later, and twenty-seven drawings and paintings on paper that Salvador Dalí made when designing the jewels.

The Dalí Theatre-Museum contains a wide variety of works which portray the artistic trajectory of the Empordanese painter, from his first artistic experiments — Impressionism, Futurism, Cubism, etc. — and his Surrealist creations, until the works of the last years of his life. Some of the most notable works exhibited here are Self-Portrait with l'Humanité (1923), Port Alguer (1924), The Spectre of Sex-Appeal (1932), Portrait of Gala with Two Lamb Chops Balanced on her Shoulder (1933), Soft Self-Portrait with Fried Bacon (1941), Poetry of America-The Cosmic Athletes (1943), Galarina (1944-45), The Bread Basket (1945), Atomic Leda (1949) and Galatea of the Spheres (1952), among many others.

Special mention must also be made of the series of works created by the artist with the express aim of being exhibited permanently in the museum, works which range from paintings and sculptures to complex monumental installations. Notable in this group are the Mae West room, the Palace of the Wind room, the Monument to Francesc Pujols and the Rainy Cadillac. (See them on the virtual tour)

Although the work exhibited is basically by Dalí, there are also works by other artists who Dalí wanted to include: Antoni Pitxot, Evarist Vallès, the private collection of Salvador Dalí with works by El Greco, Marià Fortuny, Modest Urgell, Ernest Meissonier, Marcel Duchamp, Gerard Dou, etc. Similarly, in different galleries of the Theatre-Museum, works can be found by Bouguereau, John de Andrea, Wolf Vostell, Meifrén and Ernst Fuchs, among others.

Since the death of Salvador Dalí, in 1989, one can also visit the crypt with his grave, situated in the centre of the museum; a space which was remodelled in 1997 in order to exhibit there a collection of gold jewellery designed by the artist.

Exhibition of Helmut Newton's Photos at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston

Posted: 08 Jun 2012 06:13 PM PDT

artwork: Photo: Cindy Crawford in Vogue Magazine - © Helmut Newton.

HOUSTON, TX (AP).- An exhibit of works by world-renowned fashion photographer Helmut Newton opened Sunday in Houston includes all of the photographs from his first three books. The Museum of Fine Arts Houston said in a news release that "Helmut Newton: White Women, Sleepless Nights, Big Nudes" is the first large-scale U.S. exhibition of Newton's work. The exhibit takes its name from the titles of the first three books: "White Women" from 1976, "Sleepless Nights" from 1978 and "Big Nudes" from 1982.

Vassar College shows Steve Taylor's Virtual Sistine Chapel

Posted: 08 Jun 2012 06:12 PM PDT

artwork: Steve Taylor Second Life 

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY - After two months of steadily piecing together the project -- an hour here, a couple of hours there -- Steve Taylor's creation, a virtual Sistine Chapel went live on July 2. That day he sent an announcement to an international mailing list for educators using Second Life. Now eight weeks later, there have been more than 3,000 visits."

The National Gallery of Denmark Exhibits its Rehung European Art 1300-1800

Posted: 08 Jun 2012 06:11 PM PDT

artwork: Cornelis van Haarlem - "Fall of the Titans", 1588 - Oil on canvas - 239 cm x 307 cm. - Collection of the National Gallery of Denmark. On view in "European Art 1300-1800" from November 26th.

Copenhagen.- The National Gallery of Denmark is proud to present "European Art 1300-1800", on view from November 26th. "European Art 1300-1800" constitutes stage two of a major reinvention and revitalisation of the collections at the National Gallery of Denmark. The spring of 2011 saw the opening of stage one with the display of "Danish and Nordic Art 1750-1900" and "French Art 1900-30", and on 31 March 2012 the range of new displays will be complete with the opening of "Danish and International Art after 1900". This exhibition features the older European art housed at the National Gallery of Denmark, which constitutes the oldest art collection in Denmark and has roots going all the way back to the private collections of the kings of Denmark.


From the early 16th century up until the abolishment of absolute monarchy in 1848 the kings acquired the art themselves and so left their personal imprint on the collection; and, as is only to be expected, they did so with varying degrees of passion and a more or less sure eye for quality. For this reason the collection encompasses the masterful and the mediocre alike, but by virtue of its tremendous scope – and recent, judicious acquisitions – it is uniquely representative within many areas. Overall, "European Art 1300-1800" is arranged in order of chronology and country of origin, thereby allowing for a relatively easy overview of and insight into the tremendous wealth of material. You are initially offered a choice of three different routes through the five centuries of art, which place especial emphasis on Italian, Dutch, Flemish, French, Spanish, and German art.

The three routes each outline different movements within the arts and also point to crucial chapters within the collection's history. Naturally, "European Art 1300-1800" offers a welcome opportunity to reacquaint yourself with important masterpieces by some of the leading figures within art history such as Mantegna, Titian, El Greco, Jordaens, and Bernini. Artists such as Lucas Cranach, Peter Paul Rubens, and Rembrandt also command special attention in this display, where their works are presented in a monographic setting alongside works by their pupils or by artists from the same scene or circle. Conversely, the display also presents undercurrents within the art scene as well as some of those artists who have been standing in the shadow of well-known masters. Similarly, the display encompasses examples of motifs that are very rarely treated within the arts, e.g. depictions from the colonies in Africa and Latin America. All the new displays of the permanent collections share a common ambition: to ensure that historical material is relevant to and resonates with contemporary audiences, for example through new digital and analogue means of presentation, communication, and education. In tandem with the main outlines and routes through the display, "European Art 1300-1800" also presents particular focus areas that offer a historical or contemporary perspective on the art, subjecting it to a variety of gazes.

artwork: Lucas Cranach - "Melancholy", 1532 - Oil on wood - 51 x 97 cm. - Collection of the National Gallery of Denmark. On view in "European Art 1300-1800" from November 26th.

A digital desk provides access to films and information about the works; here, the artists Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen and Kaspar Bonnén are among those who offer new perspectives on the art. The rooms featuring Italian art focus on prevailing perceptions of what it means to be a human being through the ages, a theme which is addressed under headlines such as "From Type to Individual", "Moving Man" and "Travelling Man". In one room, a range of audio tracks offer you the opportunity to listen to five young audience members as well as a theologian, a psychoanalyst, and an art historian all commenting on and interpreting two selected paintings. The young Danish writer Julia Butschkow has written a piece of fiction based on a French 18th century painting. The short story presents life at the French court as seen through the eyes of little Prince Louise XIV, and you can listen to an audio version of the story while standing in front of the work itself. Last, but by no means least, the Gallery has created a family area among large-scale history paintings of biblical and mythological scenes. Here you will find a space and texts set aside for parents to read aloud to young visitors, and families with children aged 6 to 10 years can play "Match-SMK", an all-new board game that focuses on telling good stories based on works of art.

artwork: Ambrosius Bosschaerts "Bouquet of Flowers in a Stone Niche", 1618 Oil on copper - 55.5 x 39.5 cm. Collection of the National Gallery of Denmark.The Statens Museum for Kunst ("Statens Museum" or sometimes "National Gallery of Denmark") is the Danish national gallery located in Copenhagen. The museum collects, registers, maintains, researches in and handles Danish and foreign art dating from the 14th Century till the present day, mostly with their origins in western culture circles. As far as the Danish art is concerned the museum must invest in and maintain representative collections. The collection of the Danish National Gallery originates in the Art Chamber (Danish: Kunstkammeret) of the Danish monarchs. The most important purchase during Morell's term as Keeper was "Christ as the Suffering Redeemer" by Andrea Mantegna. Since then a great variety of purchases have been made. During the 19th century the works were almost exclusively by Danish artists, and for this reason the Museum has an unrivalled collection of paintings from the so-called Danish Golden Age. That the country was able to produce pictures of high artistic quality was something new, and a consequence of the establishment of the Royal Danish Academy of Arts in 1754. More recently, the collection has been influenced by generous donations and long-term loans. In autumn 1998, an extension was opened designed by the architects Anna Maria Indrio and Mads Møller from Arkitektfirmaet C. F. Møller. This new building was constructed in the park behind the original building and is connected to it by a glass-covered walkway, 'the street of sculptures'. The 'street' stretches along the full length of the museum, and within it concerts and dance performances are held. The old and new buildings are connected by one large-scale amalgamation between past and present. Facing the front is the old building and from Østre Anlæg is a new and modern building - seen from the side is a glass-covered street that connects the old and new buildings. The museum's collections constitute almost 9,000 paintings and sculptures, approx. 300,000 works of art on paper as well as more than 2,600 plaster casts of figures from ancient times, the middle-ages and the Renaissance. The major part of the museum's older collections comes from the art chambers of Danish kings. The museum contains collections of art dating from the twelfth century. In the older European and Danish collections there are represantations by Mantegna, Titian, Tintoretto, Breugel, Peter Paul Rubens, Jordaens, Frans Hals, Bloemaert, Gysbrechts and Rembrandt.

The modern collection comprises works by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Fernand Leger, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani and Emil Nolde. Local Danish painters are richly represented with the styles of Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, Oluf Høst, Edward Weihe, Olaf Rude and Haral Giersing as well as the Danish sculptor Carl Bonnesen. Modern art is a substantial part of the Royal Collection of Paintings and Sculpture. The collection is representative, not only of Danish art history, but also of foreign art which has influenced Danish artists. Thus the museum has a considerable collection of paintings by Emil Nolde and an important selection of American and German contemporary art. The Royal Cast Collection consists of plaster casts of statues and reliefs from collections, museums, temples, churches, and public places throughout the world. The Collection of Prints and Drawings contains about 300,000 works: copperprints, drawings, etchings, watercolours, lithographic works and other kinds of art on paper. In 1843 the collection, which had so far been the king's private collection, opened to the public. When the present Statens Museum for Kunst was finished in 1896, the Royal Collection of Prints and Drawings was moved into the building together with The Royal Collection of Paintings and The Royal Cast Collection. Although the collection contains a great number of foreign works, Danish art makes out the main part of the acquisitions. Nowhere in the world can you get such a detailed and broad overview over Danish art from the 17th century until the present day. The works of the collection are shown in the permanent exhibition, the special exhibitions of the Department and, as something quite special, in the Print Room of the museum.  Visit the museum's website at ... http://www.smk.dk

The Vorticists: Rebel Artists in London & NYC at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Posted: 08 Jun 2012 06:10 PM PDT

artwork: Although The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is a small museum located in Peggy Guggenheim's former home, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy it is the most important collection in Italy for European and American art.


VENICE. Italy - Through May 15, 2011, the
Peggy Guggenheim Collection presents The Vorticists: Rebel Artists in London and New York, 1914-1918, curated by Mark Antliff, Professor of Art History and Visual Studies at Duke University, Durham, NC, USA, and Vivien Greene, Curator of 19th- and Early 20th-Century Art at the Guggenheim Museum New York. This is the first exhibition devoted to Vorticism to be presented in Italy and the first to attempt to recreate the three Vorticist exhibitions mounted during World War I that served to define the group's radical aesthetic for an Anglo-American public. Vorticism was Britain's most original and radical contribution to the visual avant-gardes that flourished in Europe in the years before and during World War I. An abstracted figurative style, combining machine-age forms and the energetic imagery suggested by a vortex, this movement emerged in London at a moment when the staid English art scene had been jolted by the advent of French Cubism and Italian Futurism. Absorbing elements from both, but also defining themselves against these foreign idioms, Vorticism was a short-lived, but pivotal modernist movement that essentially spanned the years from 1913 to 1918.

Peter Paul Rubens Challenges the Old Masters at the Alte Pinakothek Museum

Posted: 08 Jun 2012 06:09 PM PDT

artwork: Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) after Tiziano Vecellio, named Tizian (c. 1485/90-1576), "The Worship of Venus", 1636/38, Canvas, 196 x 209,9 cm., Stockholm, Nationalmuseum © Erik Cornelius

MUNICH.- The paintings by Peter Paul Rubens in the Alte Pinakothek – one of the largest and most important collections of his works anywhere – are undoubtedly one of the museum's highlights. Over the next few months, these will be supplemented by an exhibition that focuses on a fascinating and yet unusual aspect of his pictorial oeuvre. Ruben as a copyist? What may seem to us today as a mere reproduction with nothing of the aura of the original was regarded by Rubens as a particular artistic challenge. His oeuvre includes a large group of such derivative works, frequently of famous paintings by Titian or Raphael. On exhibition until 7 February, 2010.

Danziger Projects Shows “Africolor” Photography between Africa, Color, & Color Photography

Posted: 08 Jun 2012 06:08 PM PDT

artwork: Daniele Tamagni, a freelance photographer based in Italy, has won the 2nd Prize in the Arts and Entertainment Stories category with the series The Flying Cholitas in Bolivia: Lucha libre (Bolivian wrestling). The prize-winning entries of the World Press Photo Contest 2010, the world's largest annual press photography contest, were announced February 11, 2011.

NEW YORK, NY.- "Africolor" - the exhibition - looks at the connections in photography between Africa, color, and color photography. While Africa as a subject has attracted and inspired photographers since the invention of photography, because of the obvious financial and technical issues involved – photographing Africa in the 19th century was largely a European endeavor. By the middle of the 20th century, however, photography both as a business and a means of artistic expression was beginning to flourish across the African continent. With the advent of color photography and in particular with the acceptance of color photography into the mainstream of fine art in the 1980s, the vivid colors and bright light of the continent seemed to serve as inspiration for a wide range of photography from the indigenous to the imagined and from documentary to staged. Celebrating the diversity of color photographic expression, "Africolor" presents groupings of work that are a compelling (but by no means comprehensive) sampling. The exhibition is on view at Danziger Projects until September 10th.

The exhibition begins with a room of recent photographs by the Italian photojournalist Daniele Tamagni. In 2008, Tamagni traveled to the Atlantic coast of Africa to document the little known sub-culture of the sapeurs or La SAPE - a French acronym for La Societe des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elegantes. The sapeurs sport ostentatiously dapper suits and fedoras. They have made fashion their religion, living an elegant lifestyle in direct reference to the French colonialism that contributed to the poverty of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Sapeurism is a means of dealing with this past, by appropriating western style. A code of conduct dictates to sapeurs not to wear more than three colors in any outfit and to not only look but also to behave in an elegant manner.

This work resulted in Tamagni's debut book, "Gentlemen of Bacongo" which became a seminal style volume. (The designer Paul Smith based an entire collection around the book.) "My aim," said Tamagni, "was to produce a portfolio which might generate a critical reflection about the identity of these people who consider elegance their main reason for existence inside a social reality so different and distant from our society." In 2010, Tamagni received the ICP Infinity Award for Applied/Fashion photography for the work.

Samuel Fosso is another of Africa's most eminent photographers. Often described as "the African Cindy Sherman" for nearly 40 years Fosso has been using the camera to experiment with self-portraiture and identity dressing up (or down), posing in different guises, and recreating other famous pictures. Fosso started taking self-portraits to send to his mother in Nigeria, from whom he was separated as a refugee fleeing the Biafran war in the late 1960s. Although his initial aim was to show he was alive and well, his interest in exploring the genre grew steadily, and he continually experimented with new techniques and poses. In 1994, he was discovered by chance by the French curator and gallerist Jean Marc Patras who brought Fosso's work to a wider audience and into the limelight of international critical attention.

artwork: Autoportraits, 1997 by Samuel Fosso from Africa Remix / Contemporary Art of a Continent

Fosso's work has been shown at The Guggenheim and in major museums around the world, but his local community in Bangui, Central African Republic, remains unaware of Fosso's success, a situation Fosso is keen to maintain. He is happy to keep his costumes out of sight and continue his passport and portrait photography business. His neighbors assume he travels to Europe to take wedding photos.

The second room of the gallery presents a sampling of work by wonderful photographers three African and three European – whose work connects to Africa and color but differs in many of the ways the medium allows.

Malick Sidibe, the renowned Malian photographer, is noted for his pictures of local Malians which he began taking in the 1950s. In 1958, he opened his own studio (Studio Malick) in Bamako focusing in particular on the youth culture of the Malian capital. A naturally gifted artist Sidibe's reputation exploded when the first conferences on African photography were held in Mali in 1994. Sidibe's work is now exhibited worldwide. In 2003, he received the Hasselblad Award for photography, and in 2007, Sidibe was awarded the Venice Biennale's Golden Lion lifetime achievement award - the first time it had been presented to a photographer.

While known as a black and white photographer, Sidibe has often presented his photographs in colorfully hand painted glass mounts and it is these "decorated" works, reflecting a particular palette and form, that are being shown.

The Dutch photographer Ruud van Empel's pictures are both a dream of Africa and a meditation on the role of color in a racial as well as pictorial sense. Van Empel is known for taking digital manipulation of photography to a new level. He photographs professional child models in his studio along with detailed images of leaves, flowers, plants and animals. The pictures are then mixed and composed into Rousseau-like edenic settings using Photoshop. Mixing truth and fiction, innocence and danger, van Empel's work contains complex pictorial and political underpinnings while bursting with color.

Lolo Veleko, a 33 year old South African, came to attention in ICP's 2006 exhibition "Snap Judgments" - a show of contemporary African photography. In Veleko's ongoing series "Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder" her photographs capture the street fashion of today's Johannesburg youth in small but vibrant full length portraits.

Veleko's portraits show her subjects to be highly individualized and independent and suggest an implicit collaboration between artist and sitter. There is nothing haphazard in the choices of dress or pose or in the execution of the photographs which present a vivid counterpoint to the traditional western photographic depiction of Africans and a reminder of the freshness and quality of work coming entirely from the African cultural tradition.

Africa would seem to be a natural subject for Martin Parr. With his trademark acid color palette and boundless energy, Martin Parr has come to be seen as one of the freshest and most original voices in photography. Thus a fashion story for Rebel Magazine commissioned in 2001 became an opportunity for Parr to shoot high end clothing and accessories in the streets and on the locals of Dakar. For Parr, an ironist and a humorist as well as a colorist, fashion transcends geographic boundaries. In switching his focus between the refined creations of haute couture and the real world, Parr reminds us that no-one is immune from the influence of fashion and globalization.

Mickalene Thomas is a New York artist best known for her elaborate paintings composed of rhinestones, acrylic and enamel. Thomas was trained as a photographer and returns frequently to the medium influenced by sources as varied as the work of Seydou Keita and pinup posters. Thomas's pieces in "Africolor" were directly inspired by Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry and continue her colorful exploratory mix of classical portraiture and pop culture.

artwork: Photo by Mickalene Thomas. -  Photo: Courtesy Danziger Projects, NY

Considered one of the freshest voices of the contemporary art world Mickalene Thomas has had exhibitions at Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum; The Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit; The Studio Museum in Harlem; and P.S.1/MoMA. She is currently the artist in residence at The Versailles Foundation Munn Artists Program in Giverny, France.

The show concludes with a large single piece by JR, the street artist who has mounted his guerilla-style installations of photographs all over the world. The piece we are showing records a project, "Women Are Heroes", where JR photographed women living in Kenya's Kibera slum. He returned a month later with enormous blow-ups of their faces printed on waterproof vinyl material which was then applied to dilapidated railway trucks and leaky tin roofs, ensuring that his art intervention had a practical purpose.

In 2011 JR received the TED prize - awarded in the past to figures like Bill Clinton, Bono and the biologist E. O. Wilson. He is using the $100,000 to create a large-scale participatory art project where people are encouraged to make black and white portraits and send them in to insideoutproject.net. The digitally uploaded images are then made into posters and sent back to the creator to exhibit in their own communities wherever and however they want. The installations will then be documented, archived, and put on view on the web.

Pop Art from the Collection of IVAM on View at Espai Municipal d'Art de Torrent

Posted: 08 Jun 2012 06:07 PM PDT

artwork: Valerio Adami - "Notte Stellata", 2006 -  Acryl auf Leinwand, monogrammiert, 200 x 267 cm.

TORRENT, SPAIN - The Valencian Institute of Modern Art (IVAM) presents in Espai Municipal d'Art de Torrent, "Pop Art of the Collecció L'IVAM al 'EMAT" curated by the Director of the IVAM, Consuelo Ciscar and Javier Ferrer director EMAT, which will be displayed from June 18 to August 2, 2009. The exhibition brings together over forty works of different techniques and media including paintings, photography, works on paper and sculptures. The many artists who are included in this exhibit are figures representative of this trend that emerged in the United Kingdom, but reached its full dimension in United States. These include: Hervé Telémaque, Equipo Crónica, Eduardo Arroyo, John Baldessari, Richard Hamilton, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Darío Villalba, James Rosenquist, Claes Oldenburg, Richard Lindner and Valerio Adami.

The Niemeyer Center in Spain Opened in March to Close After 6 Months

Posted: 08 Jun 2012 06:06 PM PDT

artwork: Nardo Villaboy - "The Niemeyer Center at Night" - Courtesy DesignBoom - © 2011 Nardo Villaboy. Opened at Avilés, Spain on March 26th 2011, this €44 million arts centre now plans to close.

London (The Guardian).- The Niemeyer Centre in Avilés, northern Spain, had been compared to the Guggenheim in Bilbao. A dazzling €44 million arts centre in the northern Spanish city of Avilés is to close after six months amid political squabbling as the country asks itself what to do with a glut of glittering new museums. The Niemeyer Centre, which was designed by the celebrated 103-year-old Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, was intended to have the same impact on the industrial Cantabrian sea port as the Guggenheim Museum has had on Bilbao, 150 miles to the east.


The Victoria and Albert Museum Presents A Postmodernism Retrospective

Posted: 08 Jun 2012 06:05 PM PDT

artwork: Andy Warhol - "Dollar Sign", 1981 - Synthetic polymer paints and silk-screen inks on canvas - Private collection. Photograph Christie's Images 2011 © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY/DACS, London 2011. On view at the V&A in "Postmodernism . . Style and Subversion 1970–1990" until January 15th 2012.

London.- The Victoria and Albert Museum is pleased to present "Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970–1990", on view at the museum through January 15th 2012. Of all movements in art and design history, postmodernism is perhaps the most controversial. This era defies definition, but it is a perfect subject for an exhibition. Postmodernism was an unstable mix of the theatrical and theoretical. It was visually thrilling, a multifaceted style that ranged from the colourful to the ruinous, the ludicrous to the luxurious. What they all had in common was a drastic departure from modernism's utopian visions, which had been based on clarity and simplicity. The modernists wanted to open a window onto a new world. Postmodernism, by contrast, was more like a broken mirror, a reflecting surface made of many fragments. Its key principles were complexity and contradiction. It was meant to resist authority, yet over the course of two decades, from about 1970 to 1990, it became enmeshed in the very circuits of money and influence that it had initially sought to dismantle.


Postmodernism shattered established ideas about style. It brought a radical freedom to art and design, through gestures that were often funny, sometimes confrontational and occasionally absurd. Most of all, postmodernism brought a new self-awareness about style itself. The 1960s and 1970s saw widespread experimentation with architectural styles from the past. This tendency was attacked by hostile critics as a retreat, as pastiche or as merely ironic. But historicism could be radically expansive and optimistic, or inspired by an elegiac sense of the past that modernism had excluded. Postmodernism lived up to its central aim: to replace a homogenous idiom with a plurality of competing ideas and styles. That wide embrace was reflected in Hans Hollein's façade for the Venice Biennale in 1980, which had as its centrepiece a 'street of styles' named the Strada Novissima. Hollein designed a set of columns that reprise the history of architecture, from the primitive garden through classical ruin to a modernist skyscraper.

This extraordinary set piece is recreated in the V&A exhibition at full scale. If modernist objects suggested utopia, progress and machine-like perfection, then the postmodern object seemed to come from a dystopian and far-from-perfect future. Designers salvaged and distressed materials to produce an aesthetic of urban apocalypse. Ridley Scott's 1982 film 'Blade Runner' was a postmodern exercise par excellence, while Ron Arad encased a turntable, speakers and amplifier in reinforced concrete: an apocalyptic stereo, a hi-tech commodity recast for a post-industrial world. As the 1980s approached, postmodernism went into high gear. What had begun as a radical fringe movement became the dominant look of the 'designer decade'. Vivid colour, theatricality and exaggeration: everything was a style statement. Whether surfaces were glossy, faked or deliberately distressed, they reflected the desire to combine subversive statements with commercial appeal.

artwork: Martine Bedin - "For Memphis", 1981 - Super lamp prototype - Painted metal with lighting components - Courtesy The V&A London. On view until January 15th 2012.

The most important delivery systems for this new phase in postmodernism were magazines and music. The work of Italian designers – especially the groups Studio Alchymia and Memphis – travelled round the world through publications like Domus. Meanwhile, the energy of post-punk subculture was broadcast far and wide through music videos and cutting-edge graphics. This was the moment of the New Wave: a few thrilling years when image was everything. In 1981, as if to greet the new decade, Pop artist Andy Warhol created one of his signature silkscreen paintings. It featured a big, beautiful dollar sign. This ironic acknowledgement of his own work's market value exemplifies postmodernism in its final stage.

artwork: Robert Longo -  "Untitled (Joe)", 1981 Charcoal & pencil on paper From  'Men in the City' series. Collection of the Tate, London. As the 'designer decade' wore on and the world economy boomed, postmodernism became the preferred style of consumerism and corporate culture. Ultimately this was the undoing of the movement. Postmodernism collapsed under the weight of its own success, and the self-regard that came with it. Yet looking back, we can learn a lot from postmodernism's fatal encounter with money. Today, when the marketplace has again had its way with us, it is useful to consider the words of theorist Fredric Jameson. Faced with Warhol's paintings, he wrote: 'they ought to be powerful and critical political statements. If they are not that, one would certainly want to know why.' The excitement and complexity of postmodernism were enormously influential in the 1980s. But do we still live in a postmodern era? In the permissive, fluid and hyper-commodified situation of design today, we are still feeling its effects. The postmodern subject was well depicted by Robert Longo in his series Men in the City. In each of these images, a man in a suit is captured in the throes of a mysterious convulsion. Is he dancing? Or is this the scene of a crime? It is impossible to tell, and that is the artist's intention. The figure is at once ambiguous, unsettling and ecstatic. In this sense, at least, we are all postmodern now.

The Victoria and Albert Museum (often abbreviated as the V&A), set in the Brompton district of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, England, is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. Named after Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, it was founded in 1852, and has since grown to now cover 12.5 acres (51,000 m2) and 145 galleries. Its collection spans 5,000 years of art, from ancient times to the present day, in virtually every medium, from the cultures of Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa. The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The holdings of ceramics, glass, textiles, costumes, silver, ironwork, jewellery, furniture, medieval objects, sculpture, prints and printmaking, drawings and photographs are among the largest and most comprehensive in the world. The museum possesses the world's largest collection of post-classical sculpture, the holdings of Italian Renaissance items are the largest outside Italy. The departments of Asia include art from South Asia, China, Japan, Korea and the Islamic world. The East Asian collections are among the best in Europe, with particular strengths in ceramics and metalwork, while the Islamic collection, alongside the Musée du Louvre and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, is amongst the largest in the world. Alongside other neighbouring institutions, including the Natural History Museum and Science Museum, the V&A is located in what is termed London's "Albertopolis", an area of immense cultural, scientific and educational importance. Since 2001, the Museum has embarked on a major £150m renovation programme which has seen a major overhaul of the departments including the introduction of newer galleries, gardens, shops and visitor facilities. Following in similar vein to other national UK museums, entrance to the museum has been free since 2001. Visit the museum's website at ... http://www.vam.ac.uk

Jan Ernst Adlmann to Exhibit at Eight Modern Gallery in Santa Fe

Posted: 08 Jun 2012 06:04 PM PDT

artwork: Jan Ernst Adlmann - "Fearsome Fabergé" -  Mixed Media, 4 x 9 x 9 inches - Courtesy of Eight Modern Gallery

SANTA FE, NM.- Eight Modern Gallery announced its upcoming exhibition, Jan Adlmann: Latter-Day Fabergé.  Jan Ernst Adlmann is a Santa Fe resident well-known as a former museum director and curator, lecturer and writer, whose strange and wonderful sculptures have attracted a strong following over the past ten years. While "zany" is a word that almost always falls flat, it seems almost muted when used to discuss the tremendous enthusiasm that courses through Adlmann's inventive creations. For this exhibition, Adlmann will present both new work and a selection of past favorites on loan from some of his collectors in New Mexico. It can take years for one of the artist's finds to work its way into an assemblage, as Adlmann is constantly trying different combinations of items. Most recently, he has taken a particular interest in the famously imaginative, luxury jewelers, such as Fabergé.

Rhonda Schaller Studio to Present 'Crossroads' a Group Exhibition

Posted: 08 Jun 2012 06:03 PM PDT

artwork: Mare Vaccaro Vamp Locket

New York City - Rhonda Schaller Studio is proud to present Crossroads. Opening reception June 7th, 6 - 8 pm. A group exhibition of 27 artists, working in an array of materials from traditional watercolors to computer generated graphics, from human hair to found paper. The selected artists travel through a soulful array of artistic directions, each one an authentic voice within the collective crossroads of contemporary art. On exhibition May 31 - June 23, 2007.

'Giorgio de Chirico and Greece' at the Onassis Cultural Center

Posted: 08 Jun 2012 06:02 PM PDT

artwork: Giorgio De Chirico The Swimming Naiads

NEW YORK CITY - The Onassis Cultural Center presents Giorgio de Chirico and Greece: Voyage through Memory, an exhibition of works by major European artist Giorgio de Chirico, opening on October 31, 2007. Organized by the Giorgio and Isa de Chirico Foundation in Rome and the Athinais Cultural Centre in Athens, this presentation of 35 of the artist's metaphysical paintings and sculptures, as well as 22 drawings and lithographs are drawn from the artist's late period of work.

artwork: Giorgio De Chirico Two Horses On The Seashore

Throughout his life de Chirico maintained a personal and academic interest in Hellenic culture. Born in Volos, Greece in 1888 to Italian parents, he went on to study at the Athens Polytechnic and the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. His debut in the art world took place in Paris in 1912. Most commonly known for having inspired Surrealism, de Chirico's work also adopted Neo-Baroque influences. His bond with ancient Greece harmonized with his appreciation of classical Italian art. The extremely innovate imagery of the 35 paintings and sculptures featured evoke the artist's memories and reveal his poetic vision, demonstrating the inspiration he found in both cultures as well as his role in defining a different, modern reality.

 Voyage through Memory presents his artistic reflections on Greek tradition, history, philosophy and aesthetics, fitting the Onassis Cultural Center's mission to engage and educate the public about the universal ideals of Greek civilization. It is said that de Chirico's first painting was inspired by the horses he saw in his birthplace of Volos. The focus of horses later developed into a recurring theme for the artist, represented in the exhibition by the painting The Painter of Horses and his Ancient Horses, a bronze sculpture of horses standing in the wind. De Chirico was profoundly influenced by Greek mythology, of which he portrayed the Argonauts, Titans, Centaurs and Olympian Gods. An excerpt from the artist's memoirs expresses his affinity to this land, "…all of those spectacles of exceptional beauty that I saw in Greece as a boy, and that are the most beautiful I have ever seen to this day, affected me so deeply, they were so powerfully impressed in my soul and in my thoughts…"

artwork: Giorgio De Chirico Self PortraitDe Chirico's neometaphysical work is another important exhibition theme and is exemplified by paintings such as Harmony of Solitude and The Tower as well as the sculpture The Great Metaphysician, creations which evoke the mystery of space and time in the unique environment he created.

Giorgio de Chirico and Greece: Voyage through Memory, curated by art critic and theorist Takis Mavrotas, it was originally presented at the Athinais Cultural Centre in Athens, Greece. Other highlighted works include View of Athens, Love Song, The Painter, Two Horses Against a Marine Background, Hebdomeros, The Lonely Poet, and The Hand of God and the Nine Muses. The exhibition will be on view from October 31, 2007 – January 6, 2008 at the Onassis Cultural Center.

The Onassis Cultural Center is the public forum of the Onassis Foundation (USA), an Affiliate of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation founded by Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis upon his death in 1975. The Onassis Foundation (USA) aims to promote, preserve, and celebrate Hellenic culture of all time periods in the United States. The Center seeks to give the public greater access to significant aspects of Greek culture through its ongoing series of exhibitions, lectures, musical events, literary evenings, and theatrical performances. Visit www.onassisusa.org for more information. The Onassis Cultural Center is located in the Olympic Tower (645 Fifth Avenue – entrances on 51st and 52nd Streets). Giorgio de Chirico and Greece: Voyage through Memory will be on view October 31, 2007 – January 6, 2008, Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Admission is free.

Art Knowledge News Presents "This Week In Review"

Posted: 08 Jun 2012 06:01 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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