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Art Knowledge News - Keeping You in Touch with the World of Art...

Art Knowledge News - Keeping You in Touch with the World of Art...

Posted: 20 Jan 2012 12:16 AM PST
artwork: Fernando Botero - "The Widowers", 1968 - Oil on canvas - 190.5 x 195.5 cm. - Colección Malba, Buenos Aires – Fundación Costantini. On view in "Latin American Art 1910 to 2010" until February 6th.

Buenos Aires, Argentina.- The Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) is pleased to present "Latin American Art From 1910 to 2010" on view at the museum until February 6th. The exhibition features more than 170 works, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, objects, installations and videos. During the first decades of the 20th century, at the height of historical avant-garde movements like Expressionism, Cubism and Futurism in Europe, it was common for Latin American artists to travel to and study in cities like Paris, Milan, Florence, Barcelona, Madrid, Zurich, London and Berlin. In many cases, the work they made while in Europe formed part of avant-garde exhibitions and debates, as these artists participated in the modernist aesthetic and the attendant crisis in painting and sculpture as modes of representing reality.

During the 1920s, many of these artists returned to their countries and became major players in different regional art scenes, leading the battles between the traditional and "the new." Xul Solar´s Neocriollo (Argentina), Tarsila do Amaral´s Anthropophagia (Brazil), as well as Rafael Barradas' Vibrationism and Joaquín Torres-García's  Constructive Universalism (Uruguay) are examples of modernist Latin American avant-garde formulations that were not a derivative affirmation of the European movements, but rather an alternative space for the creation of other narratives. These formulations form an integral part of international art history from 1910 to 1930.

In the 1930s, while Torres-García was formulating his Constructive Universalism which combined the design of non-figurative structures with universal symbols placed in a grid, the influence of Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros's revolutionary Mexican Muralism was felt throughout the continent. The "art and politics" binary became a crux of cultural life in Latin America; Antonio Berni's New Realism in Argentina and Candido Portinari's work in Brazil constituted different way of formulating the relationship between artistic expression and its social contexts. Photography, film and the press reports on political instability were documentary sources used to produce often monumental works that featured images of rural and urban workers, as well as people protesting to demand social rights or participating in popular celebrations. Later, photography would become a rich medium for the documentation of modern life and the growth of cities, as well as an integral part of the renovation taking place on local art scenes.

artwork: Antonio Berni - "Susana y el viejo", 1931 - Oil and paper on canvas - 72 x 116 cm. - Colección Malba, Buenos Aires Fundación Costantini. -  On view in "Latin American Art 1910 to 2010" until February 6th.

At the same time, in the 1920s many Latin American artists delved into the world of magic and the fantastic, creating images related to autobiographical experiences and religious beliefs, on the one hand, and, in some cases, the now internationally important Surrealist movement, on the other. Such work would combine fragments of dreams with veiled political criticism, the esoteric, exotic visions, and real and imaginary landscapes. In both literature and the visual art, the Surrealist movement explored psychic energy and avoided conscious intervention through practices like free association and psychic automatism, as well as the use of chance and randomness.

Abstract and non-figurative art have formed part of art history around the world since the early 20th century. In an attempt to do away with an illusionist conception of painting and with the idea of the painting as a "window to the world," different tendencies attempted to liberate the visual arts from the representation of reality. In the mid-1940s, Buenos Aires became one of the most active centers of Concrete Art and related strains. Madí, Asociación Arte Concreto Invención and Perceptismo were the three groups that used components of visual language (form, color, lines and plane) to make their works, replacing the traditional frame in painting with irregular and shaped frames. They devised jointed and transformable "sculptures," "painting-objects," volumes, mobiles and serial designs, and made use of industrial materials like enamel, glass and bakelite. In Paris in the 1950s, Kinetic Art emerged amidst a group of mostly Latin American artists. These artists formulated works that could actually move; in them, the viewer would participate in a temporal and transformative aesthetic experience by pressing buttons, pulling levers or turning knobs to put mobiles, machines and boxes with startling effects in motion.

artwork: Rafael Barradas - "Quiosco de Canaletas", 1918 - Watercolour, gouache & graphite on paper 47.4 x 61.8 cm - Colección Malba, Buenos Aires – Fundación Costantini. On view until Feb. 6th.

At the same time, a movement that came to be called Informalism took hold internationally. Informalism was a strain of abstraction characterized by the use of random drippings, brushstrokes, and splashes on the pictorial surface, as well as the application of glass, pieces of canvas and paper, sand and pigment to create reliefs on the support. From 1949 to 1959, Lucio Fontana developed a personal poetic to make a series of canvases with holes and slashes, thus creating spatialism. The painting, now pierced by the artist's gesture, gave the work of art new meaning. It marked the end of the painting constructed according to the modernist narrative and the beginning of contemporary art.

In the early 1960s, the visual arts experienced the end of Modernism and the beginning of contemporary period. Critics and artists spoke of "the death of painting" and "the end of art." With the new era, painting and sculpture's reign over "the fine arts" came to an end. New disciplines, media and supports emerged: objects, constructions, performances, assemblages, happenings, installations, videos, environments, interventions, and interactive explorations.  Works ceased to look like "works of art," and artists began working with elements taken from everyday life and industrial and waste materials, as well as texts and words. They engaged in actions in urban or natural settings; created photographic and film registers, and proposed corporeal and sensorial experiences, as well as ideas and concepts that combine in Neo-figurative, Pop, Minimalist and other poetics. Between the 1960s and 1970s New Figuration proposed a return to the figure, which was placed in the midst of an abstract pictorial interweave of textures, drippings and gestures. Pop art, Conceptualism and Minimalism dominated the art scene and made use of a number of different formats, and assumed different positions within the production system. The 1970s also witnessed the emergence of Systems Art, Hyperrealism, Arte Povera and graffiti art. The debate revolved around issues like the dematerialization of the work of art and new relationships between art and politics. Starting in the early 1980s, the international return to painting had an impact on the regional art scene. The Transavantgarde in Italy, Bad Painting in the United States, among other movements, produced and put into circulation large canvases covered with faces and pictorial images that combined the codes of film, theater, literature, music, dance, urban graffiti and gender studies. In Latin America, art had its own agenda whose relationship to the international neo-avant-gardes was always tense. At the same time, Latin American art was committed to its distinct cultural, as well as historical and social, contexts

artwork: Xul Solar - "Pareja", 1923 - Watercolour on paper - 27.7 x 33.9 cm. Colección Malba, Buenos Aires – Fundación Costantini. On view in "Latin American Art 1910 to 2010" until February 6th.

With an impressive unique permanent collection and a continuous stream of new and exciting temporary exhibitions, the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) should be at the top of the list for art lovers visiting Argentina's capital. The museum was created by the Eduardo F. Constantini Foundation as a not-for-profit museum to display (and build on) the collection donated by Eduardo F. Constantini. Since its founding in 2001, The Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires has dedicated itself to the preservation, dissemination, and integration of modern and contemporary Latin American art worldwide. Fundación Costantini, in its dedication to 20th century Latin American art, owns a unique collection that includes the principal tendencies and movements that characterize the region's art in all its mediums, bringing together paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings, collages, photographs, installations and artists' objects from Mexico and the Caribbean to Argentina. Located on the tranquil and historic Avenida Figueroa Alcorta in Palermo, Buenos Aires, and close to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, the MALBA building was constructed to blend in with its surroundings and encourage a natural interaction between its visitors and the art it showcases. Designed by renowned local architects AFT (Atelman, Fourcade & Tapia), the stunning building provides an airy and luminescent environment, with sectional yet fluid gallery spaces. Visitors seamlessly transition from one period or style of art to the next, the lighting changing throughout the building to best suit the art on display. The mission of the MALBA is to stimulate interest in and knowledge of Latin American art. To achieve this, the museum maintains a dynamic cultural center which serves to constantly highlight and expose the collection, a program of high-quality temporary exhibitions and a library of Latin American films (shown in the museum's theatre Tuesday through Saturday). MALBA also hosts meetings, classes, lectures and seminars with authors and artists. The museum's terrace restaurant and cafe is very highly regarded. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2011, the MALBA is already visited by almost 1.5 million people every year. Visit the museum's website at ...
Posted: 19 Jan 2012 08:52 PM PST
artwork: Alfred de Breanski - "Henley Regatta", 1881 - Oil on canvas - Collection of the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle.                         On view in "Summer Heat to Winter Freeze" from January 21st until February 19th.

Newcastle, UK.- the Laing Art Gallery is pleased to present "Summer Heat to Winter Freeze", on view from January 21st through February 19th. The exhibition comprises a selection of 19th and 20th-century paintings from the Laing collection. The changing light and colours of the landscape at different seasons have fascinated many artists. The pictures on display show how artists have attempted to capture springtime freshness, summer heat, autumn breeziness, and the chill of winter. Many artists set up their easels in the fields and woods to make studies of the varying effects of light, recording sun breaking through clouds and sparkling on water. Others explored the special quality of light on snow or the intense colours created by blazing summer sun. Some painters focused on mood, ranging from the uplifting quality of sunshine to the melancholy of the end of a winter's day. Seasonal change also affects people's daily lives, and this was particularly true in the 19th century. For some, summer sunshine brings relaxation and enjoyment. For others, it has meant backbreaking work in the fields.

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 06:56 PM PST
artwork: Aurelien Arbet and Jeremie Egry. Their photo projects are a healthy balance of humor and an unbelievable eye for juxtaposition and texture. "Travaux Choisis" is the latest series. - Courtesy of Rod Barton Gallery, London

LONDON.- Rod Barton Gallery presents "Breach", an exhibition focusing on four young artists who embrace photography's plasticity and it's ability to exist in multiple contexts. Taking advantage of the medium's inherent instability, they further explore and challenge our understanding of the medium. The title refers to both a breach of traditional photographic conventions and a rupture between real and virtual space. A photograph is paradoxical by nature: there is always a confliction between what it depicts and it's physical existence as an object. Taking this paradox as a point of focus, participating artists create diverse work ranging from still-life photography to sculpture, pushing the medium to it's elastic limits. On exhibition 19th January through 18th February.

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 06:55 PM PST
artwork: Elisabeth Llach - "Vagues 1", 2011 - Acrylic on paper - 25 x 64 cm. - Courtesy Katz Contemporary, Zürich. On view in "Elisabeth Llach / Luc Andrié: Silberregen" from January 18th until March 17th.

Zürich, Switzerland.- Katz Contemporary is pleased to present "Elisabeth Llach / Luc Andrié: Silberregen", on view at the gallery from January 18th through March 17th. The exhibition features works by Elisabeth Llach (born 1970 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland) and Luc Andrié (born 1954 in Pretoria, South Africa), both of whom live and work in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and are members of the artists group Makrout Unité. Red or black long hair, red lips, black high heels - Elisabeth Llach has mastered the visual vocabulary of clichéd feminine attributes and dedicates her work solemnly to the feminine - the results are uniquely painted and expressive portraits of women in acrylic on paper. She finds inspiration in fashion magazines, books, advertisements and found images from art history and transfers these visuals to a new context in her works - they get combined, deformed or even disected. Llach's skillful and subtle play with lighting and staging the depicted figures in a theater-like environment give her works an underlying surreal character:

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 06:42 PM PST
artwork: From the book called "Paul Strand in Mexico". Initially, Strand was attracted to Pictorialism, a dreamy soft-focus style that both Stieglitz & Steichen had practiced.

PARIS.- Bringing together such different works by two great masters in the history of photography is not self-evident. There are many points of convergence, but their styles are profoundly different. The American's immobility contrasts with Frenchman's fluidity. They both traveled to Mexico during the same period and they crossed paths in New York in 1935 when they joined the political filmmakers' group Nykino (which later became Frontier Films) in order to explore filmmaking at a critical point in their respective careers. The exhibition is on view at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson through April 22nd.
Posted: 19 Jan 2012 05:45 PM PST
artwork: Juan Genovés - Dispositivos, 2011 - Acrylic on canvas on board, 120 x 120 cm.  - Photo: ©Juan Genovés, Courtesy Marlborough Gallery, NY

NEW YORK, NY.- Marlborough Gallery presents an exhibition of recent work by Juan Genovés until February 11th. at Marlborough Gallery. This exhibition, the artist's ninth solo show with Marlborough Gallery in New York, is comprised of approximately twenty acrylic paintings. Born in Valencia in 1930, Genovés is one of Spain's bestknown contemporary artists. Recognized for his aesthetic style rooted in Social Realism and political art, Genovés strongly criticized Franco's fascist regime. Genovés was sent to jail because the opposition made a poster of his painting El Abrazo, which is now in the collection of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. At the beginning of his career, Genovés' body of work was devoted to the subject of political engagement. His artistic development occurred in the isolated world of Franco's Spain, where he was influenced by modern photography and cinema, and, like for Francis Bacon, the films of Sergei Eisenstein were a main source of influence.

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 05:21 PM PST
artwork: For the first time in the British Museum, over 45 works of art from the renowned Khalili Collection are on display. The exhibition opens to the public from 26 January to 15 April.

LONDON.- The earliest known accurate panoramic view of Mecca is one of over forty-five important objects to be loaned by the Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art to the British Museum for the exhibition Hajj: journey to the heart of Islam which will be on view in the Round Reading Room from 26 January to 15 April 2012. The Khalili Collection is the biggest single lender to this landmark exhibition, the first devoted to the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca which is central to the Muslim faith. An historic visitor was Alexander the Great, who is depicted at the Ka'bah in a page from an Iranian copy of Firdawsi's epic poem, the Shahnamah or Book of Kings, painted in Shiraz in the 16th century. Alexander's journey to the Ka'bah was the first of his world journeys when he declared himself master of Arabia and destroyed those who had distorted its religious tradition.

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 05:20 PM PST
artwork: David Hockney - Original photo montage - Private collection, not in this exhibition.

LONDON.- The Alan Cristea Gallery, Cork Street W1, will today unveil an exhibition of David Hockney's largest and most colourful lithographs in an exhibition entitled 'Moving Focus. A focal point of this free exhibition will be two views of the 'Hotel Acatlán' which the artist discovered when car trouble forced him to stop in the midst of a journey to Mexico City. Taking place from the 19th January until 18th February in the gallery's space at No. 34 Cork Street, the exhibition is timed to coincide with the Royal Academy's major new show of landscape works by Hockney, and is one of a number of art exhibitions and auctions celebrating the work of one of Britain's best loved artists to take place this month.

In the mid-1970s, shortly after moving to California, David Hockney began his working relationship with master printer Kenneth Tyler. It was with Tyler, that Hockney created the Moving Focus series, which remains his largest and most ambitious series of colour lithographs. The series combines the Renaissance tradition of fixed-viewpoint painting with the Eastern aesthetic of multiple, narrative viewpoints within the same picture. The acknowledgement of the flatness of picture plane along with the exaggeration of perspective and foreshortening present in Tyler Dining Room, Amaryllis in Vase, Pembroke Studio Interior and, most didactically, The Perspective Lesson underscore Hockney's questioning of the traditional western values in composition.

Hockney made the two Hotel prints featured in this exhibition after discovering the hotel Acatlán' when car trouble forced him to stop en route to Mexico City. Hotel : Acatlán Second Day is based on sketches made of the hotel courtyard shortly after his arrival. Further sketches made when he revisited the hotel on the return leg of his journey resulted in Hotel Acatlán : Two Weeks Later. The figure in the lower right corner of this print refers to his 1954 portrait of his mother, Woman with a Sewing Machine.

artwork: David Hockney - "View of Hotel Well I", 1984-5. Lithograph in frame designed by the artist. Frame: 79.4 x 105.4 cm. -  Edition of 75. -  Photo: Courtesy of Alan Cristea Gallery.

The Hotel Acatlán also provided the subject matter for the three View of Hotel Well lithographs hanging in the exhibition, each one providing a different viewpoint of the central feature of the courtyard. The sense of distorted perspective is here enhanced by the skewed, hand-painted frames designed by Hockney himself.

David Hockney was born in 1937 in Bradford, where he studied at the Bradford School of Art before going on to graduate from the Royal College of Art in 1962. He was elected to the Royal Academy of Arts in 1991 and made a Companion of Honour in 1997. He was awarded an Order of Merit in this year's New Year Honours list. Hockney is generally acknowledged to be one of the most important and influential artists working today and his paintings, prints and drawings have been the subject of numerous retrospectives at almost every major international museum. Examples of his work are held in most international public collections, and works from the Moving Focus series can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Tate Collection, the National Gallery of Australia, the Government Art Collection, the Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis and the Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC amongst others.

Throughout his career, Hockney has been a gifted and prolific printmaker and some of his most iconic images have been realized in various print media. Alan Cristea Gallery always holds a wide and ever-changing selection of his prints in stock.

artwork: A detail from Joe Tilson's "Stones of Venice, Pomegranate", which was inspired by San Marco in Venice - Courtesy of Alan Cristea Gallery, London

A Mixed Exhibition, including etchings and lithographs by Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, will be staged in the gallery space at No. 31 Cork Street to coincide with David Hockney: Moving Focus. Lithography, a method for printing using a stone or metal plate, was a medium which fascinated Picasso; During the 20th century, a group of celebrated artists including Chagall, Matisse, Miro and Picasso rediscovered the largely unexplored art form of lithography, thanks to the Mourlot Studios, a Parisian print-shop founded in 1852 by the Mourlot Family, which was transformed when the founder's grandson, Fernand, invited a number of leading artists of the day to explore the complexities of fine art printing During the war Picasso had been starved of the associations so necessary to him with fellow artists, poets and craftsmen and one can speculate that the opportunity of renewing a daily relationship with a master printer was of great personal and professional appeal to him. Picasso made numerous single images during these years but, in most cases, he would develop and transform a theme through many stages of a stone or plate. One such example is Les deux Femmes nues, 1945, of which 6 different states are showcased in this exhibition.

Printmaking came in sporadic bursts throughout Matisse's career, at different times in his life he became completely absorbed by one method or another. He had made a handful of aquatints in the 1930s but significantly these images consisted on a white line on a black background. In 1946 he became more seriously involved with the medium. With the help of the Crommelynck brothers, he reversed the process, painting freely with a brush dipped in China ink on prepared metal plates. Matisse eschews the female body in favour of just the face, the subtle tones provided by chine collé are discarded in favour of rich black against pure white, as can be seen in Jeune étudiant de trois-quarts, an aquatint from1952. Their origins can be traced back to Eskimo sculpture or African masks, but, more importantly, they constitute the culmination of a lifetime of striving to create the most direct, simple and compelling mark. This exhibition will also feature a number of exciting works by Richard Hamilton, Julian Opie, Joe Tilson and Andy Warhol among others.
Posted: 19 Jan 2012 05:15 PM PST
artwork: Peter Bonde - "Postcard from Bea", 2005 - Mixed tecnhnique on canvas - 240 x 200 cm. Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, Istanbul, Turkey. The Elgiz Museum, Istanbul. Originally a gallery to promote Turkish artists (under the name 'Proje4L'), after 4 years, it became the Elgiz Museum in 2004,
Contemporary art may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Turkey, but for the last 25 years, the country has developed a thriving market and some spectacular artists. During the 1980s, the country opened up to western artistic influences and the social elite started to collect contemporary works. Auction houses, which had previously sold only antiques, carpets and traditional Turkish paintings, soon began catering to these collectors and in 1987, the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts launched the Istanbul Biennale, a major international contemporary art event that today ranks with the biennials of Venice and São Paolo. But it was one young couple, Can and Sevda Elgiz, who in 2001 single-handedly changed the very structure of the Turkish art world and created a climate that would support contemporary artists within Turkey for the first time. With the help of curator Vasif Kortun, curator of the third Istanbul Biennale and already an internationally known figure at the time, they founded Proj4L and later the Museum Elgiz, the city's first museum for modern and contemporary art, with holdings from their own collection. Originally established as a gallery, and located in the Levent district of Istanbul, Proj4L evolved, while maintaining its mission to promote the development of contemporary art in Turkey. During its first 4 years many well-known contemporary Turkish artists of the day were presented to the world art stage at Proje4L, as they were given the chance to open their first exhibitions. The institution was also the first Turkish contemporary art space to house exhibitions of Turkish artists that were known internationally but not yet recognized in Turkey. Halil Altındere, Kutluğ Ataman, Hüseyin Çağlayan, Aydan Murtezaoğlu, Bülent Şangar, Ergin Çavuşoğlu, Cengiz Çekil, Hale Tenger, Fikret Atay, Erinç Seymen, Cengiz Tekin, Haluk Akakçe and Leyla Gediz are only some of the artists whose works were shown in Proje4L between 2001-2005. Hans Ulrich Obrist, Charles Esche, Chris Dercon, Dan Cameron, Kari Immoen, Ayşe Erkmen, Francsco Bonami, Jerome Sans, Erden Kosova, Marta Kuzma, Ali Akay, Suhail Malik and Paolo Colombo all gave lectures and joined panel discussions at Proj4L. Maintaining high quality standards, the museum quickly gained an international reputation in a very short period and supported Turkish artists in the world-wide contemporary art scene. However, as new art institutions and museums bloomed in the Turkish art scene, the need for gallery space became less urgent and the Egliz was re-opened (at the same location) on the 25th of December, 2004 as a fully-fledged museum, under the name 'Proje4L/Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art' to host the Elgiz Collection. In 2011, while celebrating its 10th anniversary, the museum moved into a new, purpose-built structure designed by Dr Elgiz under Beybi Giz plaza, one of the many sky-scapers in Maslak business district of Istanbul. With over 2,000 square meters of space, the Elgiz Museum is an international standard museum with a world class collection of Turkish and international contemporary art. Aside from the main hall, reserved for displaying selections from the Elgiz Collection, there are two large temporary exhibition galleries (known as the 'Project Rooms' and generally used to promote young Turkish artists, often with their first solo exhibitions), an archive room, conference hall and cafe. Lectures and seminars are regularly held in the conference space by inviting International collectors to share their enthusiasm and their experiences in collecting art. Visit the museum's website at …
artwork: Tine Benz - "Uçak Resmi (Official Airline)", 2005 - Aluminium paint on canvas - 160 x 300 cm. Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, Istanbul, Turkey, Image courtesy of the artist.
Consisting of works by influential Turkish and International artists, 'The Elgiz Collection' represents a wide range of progressive art in different media (including painting, photography, installations, sculpture and video) and illustrates the unerring passion for collecting of its founders. The objective at the 'Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art' is to create a common message through Turkish and International art, promoting visual and cultural diversity. By integrating the work of Turkish artists with that of established International artists the museum effectively facilitates the globalization of Turkish art. The Elgiz Collection contains works by influential Turkish and international artists, such as Ömer Uluç, Fahrelnissa Zeid, Ibrahim Koç, Abdurrahman Öztoprak, Tracey Emin, Jan Fabre, Barbara Kruger, Fabian Marcacio, Cindy Sherman, Jonathan Meese, Peter Bonde, Roman Lipsky, Tine Benz, Gilbert & George, Andy Warhol, Peter Halley, Won Ju Lim, Paul McCarthy and Robert Rauschenberg. The eclectic content of the collection allows the viewer to enjoy a comprehensive journey through the major contemporary art movements of the last two decades. With the integration of new works by young artists the Elgiz Collection maintains its dynamism and prevalence. Turkish and foreign masters and young artists, are included the Elgin Collection, style, genre and represents a wide range of materials. Conceptual structure of the collection is eclectic and stylistic diversity of contemporary art movements in the last two decades in the viewer on a journey to invite. The collection of the local and international artworks are exhibited together with great pride and exceptional displays of their fine art.
artwork: Bedri Baykam - "A Clean Sheet For You Mr. President (History Will Judge)", 2009 - 4-D work, 180 x 240 cm. Pyramid. Private collection. Bedri Baykam's work features prominently in the Egliz Museum Collection
The Elgiz Museum 10th Anniversary Program, under the title of "Now New: New Works, New Space", runs throughout 2011, taking advantage of the new museum space to show a selection of previously unseen works from the Elgiz Collection alongside recent acquisitions in the main gallery. The first exhibition, entitled "Unbounded" is on show from 23 February-20 August 2011 and comprises works from the Collection that have never been on view before. The show also includes recent acquisitions such as works by Chinese artists Luo Jie and Liu Chun Hai, Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard, Turkish artists Azade Köker and Pınar Yolaçan, English artist Paul Hodgson and the American artist Donald Baechler. The first of the 2011 'Project Room' exhibitions consisted of works by Halil Vurucuoğlu and ran from February 23rd until March 19th, 2011. Vurucuoğlu's site-specific sound and light installation is based on the adaptation problem of today's individual in dealing with the nature/city dichotomy. The artist uses the metaphor of oxygen intoxication to manifest the vertigo and the chaos of the urban dweller as he can live in harmony with neither the city nor nature. Simultaneously, a second 'Project Room' exhibition by Semra Özümerzifon took visitors under water with an installation made with fishing nets. A group exhibition entitled 'The Fold' takes over both 'Project Rooms' between March 23rd and May 21st 2011. Young curator Nazlı Gürlek, a rising star in the Turkish contemporary art scene, has been given the opportunity to select works to include in "The Fold". Nazli Gurlek decided to focus her research on the possibilities of the museum's collection, and chose one particular work from the collection, Hale Tenger's "Self-Portrait (Broken Record/Perpetual Motion)" from 2005 as the source of inspiration for the exhibition concept. Fold presents Hale Tenger's "Selfportrait" in relation to both new and old work by Asli Cavusoglu, Francesca Grilli, Joana Kohen, Sumer Sayin, Emrah Sengun and Ignacio Uriarte. Hale Tenger's "selfportrait" brings together the photograph of a second hand shop, and Perpetual Motion's record 'Keep on Dancing' spinning silently non-stop. The experience of the passing of time through the use of accumulated images, objects and memories become the source of inspiration to question the existence of an affinity between her work and Asli Cavusoglu, Francesca Grilli, Joana Kohen, Sumer Sayin, Emrah Sengun and Ignacio Uriarte's manifold researches on the complex nature of self-representation. Emrah Sengun's sculptures contain assembled fragments of ceramics and clay that the artist has collected. Francesca Grilli's video work shows the artist and her 87-year-old grandfather Giordano Bruno conversing while bowling, and reflects upon heritage, identification and distance in human relationships. Asli Cavusoglu appropriates an anonymous graffiti sign from the street and brings it into the exhibition space as a neon objet d'art. The object contains the term "revolution" masked by its anonymous creator. Ignacio Uriarte looks for the possibilities of artistic creativity using the methods and tools he has acquired while working as an administrator, and with "routine" as his main focus. A number of sculptures and printed material brought together by Sumer Sayin create an uneasy, fragmented, and slippery space, and question the individual's relationship with both natural and constructed environment. A specially designed sound system is set inside the exhibition. Works are accompanied by each artist's song of choice from which to take bearings, special paths to recognition, or mysterious elements that confront the visuality of the pieces.
Posted: 19 Jan 2012 05:14 PM PST
artwork: Dali and His Muse Gala by Marc Lacroix. - Sold at artnet Auctions for $6,053, 400% above the low estimate.
NEW YORK, NY.- artnet Auctions sale of Icons: 20th-21st Century Photographic Portraits showed strength in the photographs market as the ten-day online photographs auction concluded June 25 with $135,000 in sales (including 10% buyer's premium). The sale featured over 200 original fine art photographs of legends of fashion, film, music, politics, sports, arts and literature from Marilyn Monroe to Madonna. "The success of the sale points to the continued demand for high quality photographs at the right estimates" said Bill Fine, President of Artnet Worldwide. "Buyers and sellers alike are increasingly turning to artnet Auctions due to the quality of the works offered on our site, and our comparatively low 10% buyer's and seller's premiums."

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 05:13 PM PST
artwork: Bill Dane: Keeper of Prints, A Very Special Person… A Monotype Among Men. - Mixed media collage by Helen Frank, 2007. - Gift of William J. Dane

Building and maintaining a library collection is no easy task, and doubly difficult when collecting art such as fine prints, portfolios and artists' books. Libraries have modest acquisition budgets (if any at all) and can never acquire the works of top–name artists at the height of their fame or auction value. Considering the fact that the collections at the Newark Public Library include works by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and others, people might well wonder how these valuable items arrived here in Newark. The answer is threefold: generous people donated their treasures, foundations and individuals donated funds, and librarians tried to collect ahead of the trends. Luckily for us, The Newark Public Library's former "Keeper of the Prints", William J. Dane, contributed in all three ways – and by doing so, inspired others to give. Exhibition on views until 25 June.
Posted: 19 Jan 2012 05:12 PM PST
artwork: Francis Bacon - "Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus", 1981 - Oil on canvas - 218.5 x 167.5 x 7.5 cm. Collection of the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo. On view in "Surrounding Bacon and Warhol" until October 2nd.

Oslo.- The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art is proud to present "Surrounding Bacon and Warhol", on view at the museum until October 2nd. This exhibition takes Francis Bacon (1909–1991) and Andy Warhol (1928–1987) as its starting point. Bacon and Warhol were two great artists of the 20th century with very different approaches to creativity, to the processes of working, to the nature of images and to the notion of art in general. Bacon, who painted in the first person, transferred his visceral energy and enigmatic symbols and metaphors directly to the canvas, while Warhol, who worked in the third person, adopted existing forms and figures from the media and made them his own through various techniques of reproduction. And while Bacon belonged to a long and rich tradition of Expressionistic painters, Warhol marked the beginning of a new, more distanced development in contemporary art – Pop. Both produced meaningful works, however, that are ambiguous, complex and highly influential.

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 05:11 PM PST
artwork: Helmut Newton - Bergstrom in Paris - 1970's
BERLIN.- With SUMO, the Helmut Newton Foundation presents what might just be the most spectacular and expensive photography book project ever. Ten years ago, publisher Benedikt Taschen persuaded Helmut Newton to agree to produce a gigantic book with a print run of 10,000 copies, all signed by the photographer. Accompanied by a custom-made book holder by Philippe Starck, the book found its way into the homes of well-heeled buyers. Now, for the first time, its 394 photographs will go on display to mark the 10th anniversary of a photography publication that today is a much sought-after collector's item. To accompany this presentation, Taschen will publish a smaller and revised version of the book for the regular book market.

In addition to SUMO, Mark Arbeit, George Holz and Just Loomis will be presented at the Helmut Newton Foundation with their photography under the title "Three boys from Pasadena". In the late 70s, they were students at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California and later became assistants of Helmut Newton.

In recent years, the photo book has attracted particular appreciation, not least of all through Martin Parr's "The Photobook: A History" that examines some quite unusual photographic publications. A growing number of collectors have turned to this new field, and some photo books can fetch sums that are dazzling. At photo fairs from Paris to New York, photo book dealers appear in increasing frequency with especially valuable publications in tow.

artwork: Helmut Newton Self - portrait in high heelsOne of the most outstanding photo books of the last decade is Helmut Newton's SUMO, which appeared in 1999 in poster format with 464 pages and considerable weight. It was Benedikt Taschen who convinced the photographer to this publishing feat; it proved to be a smash hit. Philippe Starck crafted the metal stand for this extraordinary publication that appeared in an edition of 10,000 copies, all personally signed by Newton. The sales price matches the format and exclusivity of the photo book, and has found its way into the hands of only the best-endowed Newton enthusiasts. The limited availability contributed to the book's legendary status, the contents remained mostly unknown.

The some 400 photographs in the book, many of which were published here for the first time, capture the essence of Newton's work. His first and award-winning photo book in 1976, "White Women," was followed by numerous publications with decidedly descriptive titles, such as 1981's "Big Nudes," whose circulation of over 100,000 copies to date has been Newton's most successful book; or "World Without Men" from 1984. At irregular intervals between 1987 and 1995, Helmut Newton published his own magazine and showcase for his newest images, "Helmut Newton's Illustrated."

But it was with SUMO that the Newton/Taschen team topped them all in the field of photo books. Such monumental tomes already existed in the history of books and bookmaking, but these were bibles, books of hours and atlases, followed later – in the second half of the 19th century – by illustrated travelogues with inserts of original large format prints.

This presentation of the corpus of images comprising SUMO traces the book's unique history. All of the book's pictures appear 1:1 as framed pages; additionally, there is a selection of original photographs, in black & white and color. Still other prints document the book's own elaborate production and glamorous presentation. Newton's fashion and nude photography, portraiture as well as advertising images hang side by side in equal standing. Some of these images can be found in other Newton publications, while others premiered in the book and may only now for the first time be seen on exhibit.

This "best of" selection overlooks not a single aspect of Newton's opus. His portraits are intensely individual: Debra Winger returns our gaze while her half-hidden face fills the frame; David Bowie stoically bares his chest on the beach at Monte Carlo; and Liz Taylor bathes in the pool for Newton's camera, a green parrot perched on her finger. Helmut Newton visually escorted the exclusive and eccentric lives of the rich and beautiful including all of its eroticism and gluttony. While doing so, he both served and questioned the clichés at the same time.

artwork: Helmut Newton David Lynch & Isabella RosselliniIn order to understand both his work and the vehement reactions it often evoked, one should try to imagine the cultural tenor and the dominant public conventions at the time of their publication. It is only then that the controversy and provocation of many photographs fully emerges. In the early 1970s for example, his portrayal of two women passionately kissing – the one naked, the other in a tuxedo – was seen as a direct affront on social mores. It is since these times that Helmut Newton became known for his insertion of subtle as well as radical nudity into his fashion and product photography.

Finding the borders and overstepping them belong to the trademark of the photographer who scorns in constant battle the established notions of "good taste". With his close-up reduction of a black stiletto heel, or the bulging fingers of a woman's hand reaching greedily for dollar bills, Newton succeeded in producing symbolic images beyond compare. Helmut Newton's seminal work remains singular and nonpareil. It is at the very latest while perusing SUMO that one realizes just how many icons of photographic history the photographer has indeed created.
As with previous exhibitions at the Helmut Newton Foundation, the work of Newton's companions will be presented in parallel to SUMO. Mark Arbeit, George Holz and Just Loomis were students at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, when they met Newton in the late 1970s; later they would assist him regularly.

Some of Mark Arbeit's pictures are formally quite unusual. In his photo-technical experiments with deconstructed Polaroids enlarged onto photo paper, he reveals the other, flip side of the photographic image and its creation. Here and in his collages with African tribal art, Arbeit makes reference to experimental phases in the history of nude photography, for example in Surrealism. In another series, he portrays nudes in Parisian artist ateliers. The painters themselves are absent, represented only through their works on the easels and walls. The nudes in the studio medially paraphrase the paintings through their presence.

In addition to his contract celebrity portraiture that includes the likes of Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Madonna, George Holz also looks to the female form, naked and life-sized, in interiors or natural settings. Some of his more stylized images evoke stills from early Fritz Lang films, while others are strictly unaccessorized – such as his photograph of Rachele, reclining poolside in Hollywood. The reciprocal sexual attraction often evident in his images evokes a pastoral affinity reaching towards a mystical fusion of man and nature. What captures Holz's eye here is timeless, natural nudity, occasionally cast by refined shadows varying subtly across the body's surfaces.

Just Loomis opts for a direct and unadorned look at American everyday life. In black & white and color, we see the faces of young waitresses, skateboarders or passers-by looking back at us, uninvolved and unaffected. Independent projects that have emerged from his magazine work in fashion and beauty, such as his documentations of the fashion industry backstage or images from on the road, are now on display at the Helmut Newton Foundation. Hardly anything seems staged – these are intensely visual encounters with strangers. Timeless and yet contemporary, the portraits of Just Loomis play with the beauty and the banality of the moment.
Posted: 19 Jan 2012 05:10 PM PST
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.

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 05:09 PM PST
artwork: Photographic portrait of Australian artist Mirka Mora was taken by the Italian-born Melbourne-based fashion photographer Bruno Benini, (Photography by Bruno Benini ) © Estate of Bruno Benini
SYDNEY, AU - The Powerhouse Museum has acquired the archive of fashion photographer Bruno Benini with assistance from the Australian Government through the National Cultural Heritage Account. The Account was established under the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986 and gives grants to cultural organisations to purchase nationally significant objects for the preservation of Australian history and culture.

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 05:08 PM PST
artwork: Mark Tansey - "Shades", 2001 - Oil on canvas - 84" x 108". Image courtesy of Sotheby's. To be auctioned in Sotheby's New York Contemporary Art Evening Sale on 10 May 2011. Estimate $3/4 million.

New York City.- Sotheby's 10 May 2011 Contemporary Art Evening Auction will be led by Jeff Koons' iconic "Pink Panther", one of the most important works by the artist ever to have appeared at auction, and Andy Warhol's "Sixteen Jackies", an extraordinarily rare declaration of the twin pedestals on which Warhol's artistic genius rest: universal public icons and serial imagery (ests. $20/30 million each*). The auction also includes major works by many of the leading artists of the 20th and 21st centuries including Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lucio Fontana, Roy Lichtenstein, and Willem de Kooning among others. The sale follows the two volume evening sale of Property from the Collection of Allan Stone the previous day. All the works will be on view from 6 May with select highlights on exhibition from 29 April.

artwork: Jeff Koons - "Pink Panther", 1988 Porcelain (the artist's proof from an edition of three plus one artist's proof) - Height: 41", Width 20 1/2", Depth 19". Courtesy of Sotheby's Estimate $20/30 million.Pink Panther by Jeff Koons, which will appear on the front and back covers of the sale catalogue, is one of the most important works by the artist ever to have appeared at auction ($20/30 million). The 1988 work draws on many of the themes that have come to define Koons' output and stands as one of the outstanding achievements of his illustrious career. The porcelain sculpture is the artist's proof from an edition of three with the other examples in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and a prominent private American collection. It belongs to the artist's iconic "Banality" series that includes the masterpieces "Michael Jackson and Bubbles", "Bear and Policeman" and "Ushering in Banality". Jean-Michel Basquiat's "Eroica I" was painted in 1988, the year of the artist's death and a time of culmination of his earlier work (est. $3.5/4.5 million). The title celebrates Basquiat's theme of heroism but it is difficult not to also read the painting as a premonition of his premature death, particularly given that the artist staged a photograph of himself in front of the piece with the text "Man Dies" over his shoulder.  Mark Tansey's monochromatic "Shades" from 2001 depicts an allegory from Plato's Republic in which Socrates compares man's view of existence to prisoners who believe that shadows cast by objects and events outside are, in fact, reality (est. $3/4 million). Here we see figures in a cave studying a photogenic drawing that is transferring the shape of the cave's opening onto the ground. Only one of the five looks towards the true reality coming from the cave entrance rather than this projection. This scene is completed by the shadow of the palm frond which creates an eye looking out across the cave. Following the auction record for Jim Hodges, set at Sotheby's New York in November 2010 with his "When We Stay", the May sale includes "A Faraway Corner" from 1997. Both works come from the Collection of Marcel Brient, Paris (est. $600/800,000). "Untitled" (Aparición) by Felix Gonzalez-Torrez is a stunning example of the artist's never-ending paper stacks in which pages are offered to those viewing the display of the work (est. $600/800,000). Visitors to Sotheby's exhibition will be able to take one of the sheets, which depict a beautiful sky, one of the artist's poignant metaphors for time and transience. This imagery, along with birds in flight, appears in other significant and important works by the artist, such as Untitled from 1992/1993 which is in the Collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

"Rhein I" by Andreas Gursky is one of the German artist's most famous images, standing alongside "Paris, Montparnasse" (1993), "99 Cent Store", (2001), and  "Chicago Board of Trade", (1997) in its significance and importance (est. $1/1.5 million). By digitally manipulating his image, Gursky presents a river landscape stripped of all but the most basic pictorial essence, giving the image a timeless quality and hypnotic stillness. Andy Warhol's "Sixteen Jackies" from 1964 is a major highlight of the Pop Art in the sale (est. $20/30 million). It is an extraordinarily rare declaration of the twin pedestals on which Warhol's artistic genius rest: universal public icons and serial imagery A tour-de-force presentation of one of Warhol's most poignant images – his well-known series of portraits of the First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, as seen by millions through the press coverage surrounding her husband's assassination – "Sixteen Jackies" is also a powerful celebration of Warhol's inspired use of multiple image repetition as a thematic device. With its 16 panel grid format, full range of blue, white and gold palette, and the numerous variety of images from November 1963, "Sixteen Jackies" was assembled by one of the foremost collectors of Warhol's work in homage to the first masterwork from the series, The Week That Was. Further highlights by Andy Warhol include two "Round Jackie" paintings from the collection of Dodie Rosekrans (ests. $3/4 million each). Along with Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy was one of Warhol's most important muses, whose glamorous images and tragic life perfectly suited two of his 4 most enduring themes: the vagaries of celebrity and the inevitability of death and disaster. Mrs. Rosekrans acquired these two paintings from the collection of Samuel Adams Green, a friend of the artist who organized Warhol's early landmark retrospective at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia in 1964. The works are among the finest screens from a series of eight tondo portraits of Mrs. Kennedy by Warhol, and represent both variations from this series: Jackie's cheerful face as she and JFK arrive at Love Field Airport, and a smiling Jackie in the motorcade just prior to the tragic shots. The collection of Dodie Rosekrans also offers three significant works by Jean Dubuffet from 1945-54, as well as a classic Anselm Kiefer painting from 1981.

artwork: Alexander Calder - "Constellation with Bottles" 1943 - Wood, wire, & paint 43.2 x 33.7 x 32.7 cm. Courtesy of Sotheby's. Estimate $3/4 million.The sale includes a number of works from a distinguished East Coast collection that celebrate the various forms in which figuration thrived within the abstract idioms of the last half of the 20th century. In "Two Paintings: Folded Sheets", Roy Lichtenstein appropriates his own imagery from earlier works much as he had previously painted canvases that took their subject from the work of Picasso or Matisse to initiate a dialogue of "art about art" (est. $1/1.5 million). Both Lichtenstein's sculptures and paintings play on his fascination with various conventions of commercial and high art. Although "Surrealist Head" is a volumetric work in three dimensions, Lichtenstein employed graphic design techniques such as the Benday dot and diagonal  hatchings from his paintings to optically flatten our perception of this object in the round (est. $1.5/2 million). Also highlighting a distinguished East Coast collection is Tom Wesselmann's "Great American Nude #37" from 1962, both a triumphant peak and a lasting foundation of the artist's career (est. $2.5/3.5 million). The seeds of the artist's later innovations such as the "Bedroom" series and "Mouth" paintings are clearly present in this important early work which affirms Wesselmann's position as a leader of the PostWar Pop art movement. By the same artist is "Bedroom Painting No. 44" from the "Bedroom Paintings" series in which the artist moved his perspective and ours closer to the subject at hand, spotlighting close-up details of the female subject (est. $1.5/2 million). Ed Ruscha's "Honey...I Twisted Through More  Damned Traffic To Get Here" was painted in the third decade of his career and is a mature example of Ruscha's singular resourcefulness and imagination when integrating word and image, combined with his unpredictable gift for humor (est. $3.5/4.5 million).

Lucio Fontana's "Concetto Spaziale" from 1965 is one of the largest and most important works from this iconic body of work ever to appear at auction (est. $6/8 million). The grand scale envelops the viewer in a spectacular interplay between the white canvas and the twelve black slashes. Concetto Spaziale is one of the most effective and timeless expressions of the Spatialist project through which Lucio Fontana so fundamentally advanced the course of Art History. Alexander Calder's "Constellation with Bottles" from 1943 was influenced by both Abstraction and Surrealism (est. $3/4 million). Calder uses an extraordinary combination of painted wood, ebony and wire rods – a choice of medium occasioned by the shortage of metal during the war. Constellation with Bottles is a static work that still appears to orbit, recalling the movement of the artist's mobiles. "Untitled VII" by Willem de Kooning is a late masterpiece from the last decade of the painter's extraordinary sixty year career (est. $4/6 million). It shows the tranquility and confidence de Kooning possessed in the twilight of his oeuvre when he was spending a majority of his time in the calm of East Hampton, New York – a landscape that brought grace and fertility to his painting.  Three additional highlights in this section of the sale come from a distinguished European private collection. The 1967 Agnes Martin painting "Journey" includes many of the most important features of the artist's work (est. $3/4 million). Martin is known for her fine lines, quiet grids and expansive washes of subtle color, which combine to create a sort of hermetic harmony. The Collection also includes Martin's "Untitled #7" from 1985 (pictured right, est. $1.5/2 million), as well as Ellsworth Kelly's "Concorde Study", painted in 1955 – just one year after his return to America from France (est. $1.5/2 million). The work was included in his first show at the Betty Parsons' Gallery and is an early masterpiece of formal simplicity, organic composition and chromatic cohesion.
Posted: 19 Jan 2012 05:07 PM PST
artwork: Peter Mammes - "Patterned Normal Abnormalities in Second Arrangement", 2011 - Oil on glass - 122 x 89 cm. Courtesy of Johannesburg Art Galley, © the artist. - On view at the JAG in "Antagonistic Harmonies in First Arrangement" by Peter Mammes until July 9th.

Jahannesburg, SA - The Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG) is proud to be hosting the exhibition "Antagonistic Harmonies in First Arrangement" by Peter Mammes. This exhibition is the first of three Project Room exhibitions for the year 2011 and is on view until July 9th. Started in 2006, the Project Room was initiated as a way of providing exhibition space to emerging artists. JAG recognizes the need to support and encourage young artists in exploring experimental art practice as there is a great shortage of such spaces in the visual arts. The Project Room is dedicated to showcasing works by deserving artists, who have not yet received critical acclaim but are beginning to show growth and commitment to their developing career.

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 05:06 PM PST
artwork: Studio Armadillo: Hadas Kruk (Israeli, b. 1970) and Anat Stein (Israeli, b. 1972), Hevruta-Mituta, 2007, Plastic chess board with thirty-two knitted skullcaps.
NEW YORK, NY.- Artists and designers' rising interest in ritual since the 1990s inspires Reinventing Ritual: Contemporary Art and Design for Jewish Life, the first international exhibition to survey this phenomenon. On view at The Jewish Museum from September 13, 2009 through February 7, 2010. Reinventing Ritual features nearly sixty innovative works, created between 1999 and 2009 by leading artists in diverse media. Visitors will see outstanding examples of industrial design, architecture, installation art, video, drawing, metalwork, jewelry, ceramics, comics, sculpture, and textiles, revealing the intersections of creative freedom and Jewish life. A mix of emerging artists and accomplished leaders in the field, most of whom are American and Israeli, with a smaller number of Europeans and South Americans, are represented.

Posted: 19 Jan 2012 05:05 PM PST
artwork: Bharti Kher - Born London 1969 - Lives and works in New Delhi - Courtesy the Frank Cohen Collection
MANCHESTER, UK - Manchester Art Gallery will present an exhibition of major contemporary works from China, India and Japan from the Frank Cohen Collection. Facing East showcases eleven groundbreaking paintings and sculptures by some of the world's leading artists, many of which have rarely been on public display. Frank Cohen is one of Britain's leading collectors of contemporary art, often referred to as the 'Saatchi of the North'. His collection of contemporary art contains over a thousand works by major international artists, as well as works from emerging contemporary artists.

This new exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery, curated by David Thorp, provides an exciting opportunity to see highlights from the Collection by a group of carefully selected current and future global art stars. This is the first exhibition of works from the Frank Cohen Collection to be held in the art collector's home town.

On display will be work by London-born, New Delhi-based artist Bharti Kher. The Skin Speaks A Language Not Its Own (2006) is a life-size elephant; its skin made entirely out of bindis. The exhibition also features Blue Painted Head (2007) and Gilded Head (2007), two huge fibreglass heads by Ravinder Reddy, one of India's most celebrated contemporary artists. He An's Matrix (2007), a work comprising fibreglass figures inspired by kung fu fight scenes from The Matrix, is also on show alongside Between Men and Animal (2005), an oil painting of laughing, mocking faces by internationally recognised Chinese artist Yue Minjun. Prolific Japanese artist Takashi Murakami is represented with a painting Army of Mushrooms (2003) and a sculpture Kitagawa- Kun (2002).

Frank Cohen is widely known as one of the most influential collectors of international contemporary art, with a reputation for staying ahead of the trends in the contemporary art market. He has been collecting contemporary British art for over 30 years, and more recently has taken an interest in the work of up-and-coming artists from China, India and Japan.

artwork: Between Men and Animal (2005), an oil painting of laughing, mocking faces by internationally recognised Chinese artist Yue Minjun
Since 1997, Frank Cohen's art collection has been his full-time occupation. In 2003 Cohen was a judge on the panel for the Turner Prize. In 2007 he opened Initial Access, an exhibition space to present works from his collection to the public. Works from the Frank Cohen Collection have also previously been shown at Tate, the Guggenheim, New York and the Art Institute of Chicago.

The Frank Cohen Collection is going on public view with the aim of showing the general public and art lovers throughout the UK and abroad, the range and depth of the Collection. The Initial Access exhibition programme complements the thriving contemporary art scene in the region and brings something unique to it – the very latest developments in contemporary art in the context of one man's vision.

Manchester-born Cohen has always maintained strong links to the Northwest and the Midlands. He said, "I have waited for this moment for a very long time. I consider Manchester to be my home, and it makes me very proud to be able to show some of my collection at Manchester Art Gallery, which I believe is the best institution in the city. I hope that the visitors enjoy the works as much as I do."

This exhibition is one of the first in a series of exhibitions about collecting art that will be shown at Manchester Art Gallery over the next few years. Visit :
Posted: 19 Jan 2012 05:04 PM PST
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