- The Kunsthalle Krems to Show Works From the Migros Museum for Contemporary Art
- Pop artist Romero Britto To Exhibit Royal Portrait Series at Imitate Modern Gallery
- The Cantor Arts Center Explores Rodin's Influence on American Artists
- The Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem Celebrates Roger Raveel's 90th Birthday
- The Kunsthalle Tübingen Celebrates its 40th Anniversary With "Cézanne Renoir Picasso & Co"
- The National Gallery of Slovenia Displays its Recent Acquisitions
- The Avenue 50 Studio Exhibits A Lunar Themed Group Show
- The Belvedere Museum Presents Austrian Avant-Garde Artist Curt Stenvert
- The Kimbell Art Museum Features Carravaggio and His Followers
- Magestic Tapestries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- Rare Guercino and Michelangelo Paintings Acquired by the Kimbell Art Museum
- Saatchi Gallery presents "Abstract America ~ New Painting and Sculpture"
- The Art of Italy in the British Royal Collection Opens in Edinburgh
- Studio Museum Harlem hosts Kehinde Wiley's The World Stage: Africa Lagos~Dakar
- Metropolitan Museum of Art ~ Presents a major Gustave Courbet Retrospective
- Denver Art Museum Extends Hours for "Inspiring Impressionism" Exhibition
- Lawrence Schiller to Present "America in the Sixties & Marilyn Monroe"
- The Columbia Museum of Art Opens "An Artist's Eye"
- National Gallery of Ireland shows 'Hugh Douglas Hamilton: A Life in Pictures'
- Art Knowledge News Presents "This Week In Review"
Posted: 15 Nov 2011 11:07 PM PST
Krems, Austria.- The Kunsthalle Krems is proud to present "Time to Act! – Works From the Migros Museum for Contemporary Art Zurich", on view at the museum from November 27th through February 19th 2012. Since its foundation in 1996 the Migros Museum for Contemporary Art has been a space for reflection and production. Contemporary art here is explicitly embedded in a societal and social context. For the first time in Austria a large part of the core of this 500-work collection will be shown. The extensive Kunsthalle Krems exhibition on the topic of 'social action' will consist solely of items from the Migros Museum.
The artworks prompt discussion on future-oriented value creation, sustainability, global justice and social responsibility, principles that are also part of Migros's corporate philosophy. Not only is Migros the biggest Swiss retail trader, it is one of the best-known private sponsors in the areas of culture, society, education, leisure and business.
The exhibition brings together works by 43 artists from the late 1960s until today, all of whom reflect different forms of political action through their artistic practice. The starting point is the artist as a political activist, who analyzes with the tools of research, participation, the performative and the appropriation of his actions. The works are designed to stimulate discussion on sustainability, global justice and social responsibility. Our consumption patterns reflect the scarcity of resources, a dilemma highlighted in works by Katharina Sieverding, Josephine Meckseper and Gianni Motti. Describing a range of actions rooted in politica are pieces by Christoph Büchel, Cady Noland and Gilbert & George. Alighiero Boetti uses cartography to represent the politics of nationhood, while Lothar Baumgarten questions the democratic processes.
The manipulation of the media is deconstructed by Anne-Lise Coste and Phil Collins. Jonathan Horowitz, Noritoshi Hirakawa and Piotr Uklanski characterize the formation of identity by the news. Jens Haaning, Stephen Willats, Christine Borland, Mathilde ter Heijne and Marc Camille Chaimowicz address issues of group politics and the Nazi past. Maurizio Cattelan's sculpture "We are the Revolution" along with works by Darboven, Elmgreen & Dragset, Tom Burr and Bruce Nauman consider, the conditions of artistic practice as self-image. Other artists featured in the exhibition include Eustachy Kossakowski, Babette Mangolte, Christian Philipp Müller, Stefan Burger, San Keller, Spartacus Chetwynd, Jan Dibbets, Gabríela Fridriksdóttir, Daniel Knorr, Bernhard Luginbuhl, Fabian Marti, Steve McQueen, Juan Muñoz, Elodie Pong, Ed Ruscha, Markus Schinwald, Hanna Schwarz, and Andy Warhol.
The Kunsthalle Krems is an international exhibition house in the Federal State of Lower Austria. Its programme spans 19th-century art, classical modernism and contemporary art, its main focus being on 20th and 21st-century art. The Kunsthalle Krems contributes importantly to the European art-exhibiting scene, dedicating itself to modernist masters generally considered well-known and to international artists rarely exhibited in Austria. Both Austrian and international contemporary art is intensively treated in solo and thematic exhibitions. Central to the exhibition philosophy is a networked synopsis of old and new, opening up exciting perspectives and new paths of access. Unusual groupings are vividly presented, complex viewpoints adopted, confrontation deliberately sought. The presentation of works comprises various genres and styles in ways that bridge art historical epochs. Connections to contemporary art are constantly being sought. Visit the museum's website at ... http://www.kunsthalle.at
Posted: 15 Nov 2011 09:47 PM PST
LONDON.- An exhibition of work by celebrated Brazilian-born pop artist Romero Britto will open in the UK this November where the artist will unveil new work including a series of portraits of members of the British Royal family. The renowned Miami-based artist, who counts Elton John, Bill Clinton, Madonna, Whitney Houston, HRH Prince Charles, King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia, Lili and Howard Buffet, Carlos Slim, Eileen Guggenheim, Andre Agassi and Hilde and Klaus Schwab as fans and collectors, will fly into London for the opening of the Central London exhibition at Imitate Modern Gallery. Modern Icons will celebrate modern day pop culture icons, including The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and HM Queen Elizabeth II, alongside portraits of The Pope, Chairman Mao, Henry Matisse, Brigitte Bardot and Jesus. The three-part exhibition will feature four original oil-on-canvas Royal portraits as well as a further series of numbered, limited edition prints and other collectibles including Mixed media fine art sculptures, and collectibles.
Posted: 15 Nov 2011 09:25 PM PST
Stanford, CA.- The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University is proud to present "Rodin and America: Influence and Adaptation 1876–1936", on view at the museum from October 5th through January 1st 2012. This exhibition includes 132 works which demonstrate the influence that French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840–1917) had on a generation of American artists. "From the 1890s until his death, Rodin was probably the most famous artist in the Western world," said Bernard Barryte, the Cantor Arts Center's curator of European art. "His notoriety made him a focus of adulation and emulation, and for decades he exerted a profound influence on American art." Exploring Rodin's influence, the exhibition and the accompanying catalogue examine works in all media by American artists who responded to Rodin, assimilating, transforming, and finally rejecting ideas that they discovered in his sculptures and drawings. To illustrate the scope and character of this American response, "Rodin and America" features 107 sculptures, drawings, paintings, and photographs by 42 artists from 44 museums, foundations, and private collections throughout the United States. The exhibition also features 25 of Rodin's works in bronze, plaster, marble, and watercolor.
Posted: 15 Nov 2011 09:02 PM PST
Arnhem, Netherlands.- "In 500 years they will record how important I have been. Art history moves in cycles of about 500 years. The first peak was the Van Eycks. The second peak was Roger Raveel. The Flemish artist Roger Raveel (Machelen-aan-de-Leie 1921) became a central figure in modern art from around 1950 and is one of the greatest living Belgian artists. This year, Raveel turned the venerable age of 90. In celebration of his birthday, the Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem will present a large retrospective exhibition, "Roger Raveel: Looking Back", with a representative selection of 120 paintings and drawings from over 70 years. The exhibition will be on view through January 8th 2012. Around 1950, Raveel developed his 'New Vision', known as 'New Figuration' in the Netherlands. In contrast to most modern art immediately after the war, from the very beginning Raveel created paintings and drawings representing things that he borrowed from his immediate environment. The village where he was born, and where he still lives and works, Machelen-aan-de-Leie, has remained an important source of inspiration for his work. Over time, the 'things around him' acquired cosmic significance in his work so that originally figurative elements gradually developed into more abstract forms.
Posted: 15 Nov 2011 08:28 PM PST
Tübingen, Germany.- On the occasion of its 40th anniversary, the Kunsthalle Tübingen looks back at its history in two successive exhibitions. The first anniversary exhibition, "Cézanne Renoir Picasso & Co" is currently on view and runs through January 29th 2012. Its theme is the development that commenced in 1982 and frequently referred to by the media as the "Miracle of Tübingen": with an exhibition of watercolors by Paul Cézanne, founding director Götz Adriani succeeded for the first time in attracting more than 100,000 visitors to the museum. An exhibition of pastels and oil sketches by Edgar Degas two years later attracted an even larger crowd. In the years and decades that followed, a number of further successful shows ensued, for instance of Pablo Picasso, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec or Henri Rousseau.
Posted: 15 Nov 2011 08:14 PM PST
Ljubljana, Slovenia.- The National Gallery of Slovenia is proud to present a special exhibition highlighting additions to its collections made between 2001 and 2010. "New Acquisitions 2001-2010" is on view at the museum through February 12th. The art fund of the National Gallery of Slovenia comprises three collections: the collection of paintings, the collection of sculptures and the collection of works on paper. Since its establishment in 1918, one of the central and perhaps most important concerns of the National Gallery of Slovenia has been collecting artworks and updating its existing collections with purchases, gifts and bequests. During the initial decades, notices of new acquisitions were published in the yearly reports of the Art History Journal (Zbornik za umetnostno zgodovino). When this practice fell into disuse, special exhibitions and catalogues took its place, the first such being held in 1976. This latest exhibition continues in the same vein.
Posted: 15 Nov 2011 07:19 PM PST
Los Angeles, CA.- The Avenue 50 Studio is proud to present "Luna Moods: Myths and Stories About the Moon" on view at the gallery from November 12th through December 5th. The exhibition features moonish artwork by local artists, while Suzanne Lummis, co-founder and present director of the Los Angeles Poetry Festival, curates a lavish display of poetic explorations of the moon. Our Luna Moods exhibition bonds poetry with the visual arts, a tradition here at the Avenue 50 Studio. The "Luna Moods" exhibition connects to a long standing preoccupation humanity has with the moon. The moon connects people to nature, not only nature in terms of landscape, but human nature. Our attraction is ancient.
Posted: 15 Nov 2011 05:56 PM PST
Vienna.- The Belvedere is proud to present " Curt Stenvert : NEODADAPOP", on view at the museum's Orangerie through January 15th 2012. The Austrian avant-gardist Curt Stenvert (1920–1992), who was born as Kurt Steinwendner, made his first appearance as a painter, before he gained international recognition with his films and, starting in 1962, with his object art. "NEODADAPOP" is the first show to present the artist's complete oeuvre. During his studies under Albert Paris Gütersloh and Fritz Wotruba at the Vienna Academy , Stenvert primarily dealt with the themes of movement and perspective, which found their expression in sculptures made of aluminium and acrylic glass. His "Violinist in Four Phases of Movement" (1947) earned the founder member of the legendary Art Club admiration from renowned colleagues, including Marc Adrians: "Standing in front of it, one was simply astounded that it was possible to dissolve a sculpture into movement."
Posted: 15 Nov 2011 05:55 PM PST
Forth Worth, TX.- The Kimbell Art Museum is proud to present "Carravaggio ajnd His Followers in Rome" on view at the museum through January 8th 2012. This ambitious exhibition explores the profound influence that Caravaggio had on painters from all over Europe who traveled to the papal city of Rome to profit from its vitality as a cultural capital. Not since Michelangelo or Raphael had one artist affected so many of his contemporaries and so irrevocably changed the course of European painting. Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome brings together approximately 60 paintings by Caravaggio and the artists who were first to respond to his revolutionary new style. The 400th anniversary of the artist's death was celebrated in 2010 with several significant exhibitions in Italy that reconfirmed his legacy and the remarkable power of his paintings.
The present exhibition, organized by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, and the Kimbell Art Museum, provides an unprecedented occasion for a North American audience to examine his work and its impact on a whole generation of artists of Italian, French, Dutch, Flemish, and Spanish origin who resided in Rome during his lifetime and immediately afterwards. A core of paintings by Caravaggio will be matched with major works by such diverse figures as Orazio Gentileschi, Jusepe de Ribera, Simon Vouet, and Gerrit van Honthorst––artists whose imaginations were indelibly impressed by the master's sense of drama, monumentality, and humanity.
Trained in the realistic traditions and culture of religious reform of his native Lombardy in the north of Italy, the young Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610) settled in Rome in 1592. After a few years of struggle and poverty, he attracted the attention of some of the most prominent patrons in the city, securing prestigious commissions that quickly earned him fame. Artists and connoisseurs alike were drawn to his distinctive style and the highly original way he approached his subject matter. He remained in Rome until 1606, when he was forced to flee after killing a young man in a dispute over a tennis match. It was but the most extreme manifestation of his volatile and violent personality. Moving between Naples, Malta, and Sicily, he continued to paint profoundly moving canvases until his tragic early death in 1610, at the age of 39. The exhibition will show how artists working in Rome in the first three decades of the 17th century adopted various aspects of Caravaggio's style. Like him, they often painted figures at close vantage point with strong lights and deep shadows in a dark, indeterminate setting to create a poetic or dramatic mood. Many artists emulated his working method alla prima, painting directly on the canvas rather than working out the composition beforehand in a series of drawings. They responded to the new kind of genre subjects that Caravaggio developed in his early career, as well as his highly original interpretation of religious subjects.
Some of the "Caravaggisti" were attracted to Caravaggio for a relatively brief period before they developed their own distinctive styles; others may be considered followers in the more traditional sense. In a dynamic, challenging, and stimulating display, the exhibition will focus on particular themes, revealing how Caravaggio's example inspired other artists both to reinterpret standard subjects and to tackle unusual ones. In a section devoted to representations of music, Caravaggio's Musicians (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) will be seen with a carefully selected group of paintings that are variations on the same theme––from a vigorously realistic work by the Flemish artist Theodoor Rombouts to a seductively lyrical canvas by Bartolomeo Cavarozzi. Another section of the exhibition is centered on Caravaggio's Cardsharps in the Kimbell's own collection, which will be seen with his Fortune Teller (Pinacoteca Capitolina, Rome). Both of these seminal works were owned by Caravaggio's patron Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte and were displayed together in his palace. They inspired a number of paintings of game players and fortune tellers by such artists as Valentin de Boulogne and Simon Vouet. Caravaggio's paintings of saints and other religious subjects in the exhibition will include Martha and Mary Magdalen (Detroit Institute of Arts), Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness (Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City), and Saint Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy (Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Conn.), and these too will appear in company with some of the major Caravaggio-inspired treatments of the same themes.
The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, hosts a small but excellent art collection as well as traveling art exhibitions, educational programs and an extensive research library. Its initial artwork came from the private collection of Kay and Velma Kimbell, who also provided funds for a new building to house it. The building was designed by renowned architect Louis I. Kahn and is widely recognized as one of the most significant works of architecture of recent times. It is especially noted for the wash of silvery natural light across its vaulted gallery ceilings. Kay Kimbell was a wealthy Fort Worth businessman who built an empire of over 70 companies in a variety of industries. He married Velma Fuller, who kindled his interest in art collecting by taking him to an art show in Fort Worth in 1931, where he bought a British painting. They set up the Kimbell Art Foundation in 1935 to establish an art institute, and by the time of his death in 1964, the couple had amassed what was considered to be the best selection of old masters in the Southwest. Kay left much of his estate to the Kimbell Art Foundation, and Velma bequeathed her share of the estate to the foundation as well, with the key directive to "build a museum of the first class." The Foundation's board of trustees hired Richard Fargo Brown, then director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as the founding director of the museum with the task of constructing a building to house the Kimbell's art collection. Upon accepting the post, Brown declared that the new building should itself be a work of art, "as much a gem as one of the Rembrandts or Van Dycks housed within it." The proposed museum was given space in a 9.5 acre (3.8 hectare) site in Fort Worth's Cultural District, which was already home to three other museums, including the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Amon Carter Museum, specializing in art of the American West. Brown discussed the goals of the institution and its new building with the trustees and summarized them in a four-page "Policy Statement" and a nineteen-page "Pre-Architectural Program" in June 1966. Construction for the Kimbell Art Museum began in the summer of 1969. The new building opened in October 1972 and quickly achieved an international reputation for architectural excellence. Brown also expanded the Kimbell collection by acquiring several works of significant quality by artists like Duccio, El Greco, Rubens, and Rembrandt. After Brown's death in 1979, Edmund "Ted" Pillsbury was appointed director of the museum. Previously he had been the founding director of the Yale Center for British Art, which, coincidentally, had also been designed by Louis Kahn. Pillsbury continued the art acquisition program in an aggressive but disciplined fashion. Richard Brettell, director of the Dallas Museum of Art, said, "He was, in some ways, single-handedly responsible for turning the Kimbell from an institution with a great building into one whose collection matched its architecture in quality". In 1989 Pillsbury announced plans to expand the museum's building to accommodate its enlarged collection, but he was forced to drop the plan because of strong opposition to any major alteration of the original Louis Kahn structure. In 2007 the Kimbell solved that problem by announcing plans to construct an additional, separate building across the lawn from the original building. Designed by Renzo Piano, the new structure is expected to be completed in 2013. In 1966, before the museum even had a building, founding director Brown included this directive in his Policy Statement: "The goal shall be definitive excellence, not size of collection." Accordingly, the museum's collection today consists of only about 350 works of art, but they are of notably high quality. The European collection is the most extensive in the museum and includes Michelangelo's first known work, "The Torment of Saint Anthony", the only painting by Michelangelo on exhibit in the Americas. It also includes works by Duccio, Fra Angelico, Mantegna, El Greco, Carracci, Caravaggio, Rubens, Guercino, La Tour, Poussin, Velázquez, Rembrandt, Boucher, Gainsborough, Vigée-Lebrun, Friedrich (the first painting by the artist acquired by a public collection outside of Europe), Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet, Gutave Caillebotte, Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian and Pablo Picasso. Works from the classical period include antiquities from Egypt, Assyria, Greece and Rome. The Asian collection comprises sculptures, paintings, bronzes, ceramics, and works of decorative art from China, Korea, Japan, India, Nepal, Tibet, Cambodia, and Thailand. Precolumbian art is represented by Maya works in ceramic, stone, shell, and jade, Olmec, Zapotec, and Aztec sculpture, as well as pieces from the Conte and Huari cultures. The African collection consists primarily of bronze, wood, and terracotta sculpture from West and Central Africa, including examples from Nigeria, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Oceanic art is represented by a Maori figure. The museum does not own any pieces created after the mid-20th century (believing that era to be the province of its neighbor, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth) or any American art (believing that to be the province of its other neighbor, the Amon Carter Museum). The museum also houses a substantial library with over 59,000 books, periodicals and auction catalogs that is available as a resource to art historians and to faculty and graduate students from surrounding universities. Visit the museum's website at ... https://www.kimbellart.org
Posted: 15 Nov 2011 05:49 PM PST
New York City - No one was fully prepared for the hullabaloo over "Tapestry in the Renaissance: Art and Magnificence" five years ago at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Tapestry? Doesn't that come under home furnishings? Isn't it, basically, rugs on the wall? A specialty item? The show was a sensation. New Yorkers came, they saw, they plotzed, they came back in droves. As word spread, international visitors flew in to take a peek and ended up staying for days.
I suspect that the current follow-up, "Tapestry in the Baroque: Threads of Splendor," will spur a rash of repeat behavior. The first-time novelty may have passed. The Baroque world may be different from the Renaissance world, at once more grandiose and more ordinary, more like our own. But this exhibition too is stupefying, a king-size display of a space-eating art, awesome in its exacting detail.
The 44 tapestries that Thomas P. Campbell, a Met curator, has shipped into town for the occasion are some of the largest nonarchitectural objects in the museum. The biggest is bigger than almost any painting — except, maybe, for a Buddhist mural in the Chinese galleries — or any sculpture, apart possibly from Assyrian reliefs.
One of the greatest of the show's Mannerist tapestries, though, was made far from the martial fray: a throne canopy produced in Elsinore. It was made for Frederick II of Denmark by the painter Hans Knieper, who is referred to in contracts as Joannes de Antwerpia, and who might have been the weaver Jean de Knibbere, who was banished from Brussels for murdering a colleague. Villain or not, he was a fabulous artist, as this pristine piece proves.
Tapestries also have to be among the most epically labor-intensive things on the premises. The exhibition catalog — seven pounds of pure information — tells us that it took one expert, full-time weaver at least one month to produce a single square yard of decent-quality tapestry, and far longer to turn out high-quality work. Most of the tapestries here are of the highest possible quality. And most measure dozens of yards in size — a heroic amount of hands-on, thread-by-thread effort.
Such expenditure of time and skill made tapestries, in their 16th-century heyday, madly expensive. But to the rulers who commissioned them, their promotional power was invaluable.
More blatantly than most luxury arts, tapestries were designed to flatter their patrons, to exalt their self-professed virtues: their valor, their munificence, their chic. The images produced — among them a fright-wigged monarch dressed as a muscle-bound Mars — can be absurd to the modern eye, though no more absurd than the militant preening of 21st-century leaders. And if the display of tapestries at the Met is most obviously a study in socioeconomic propaganda, it is also two other things: an extended historical document, stretching from the late 16th to the mid-18th century, and a demonstration of beauty of a very particular and surprisingly personal kind.
History first. By the mid-16th century, with the High Renaissance in its Mannerist phase, tapestry making had reached an apex of formal development and prestige, with celebrities, like Raphael, designing for the medium. The Southern Netherlands was the center of luxury production; any tapestry with a "Made in Brussels" label had automatic cachet.
The show's first two galleries give a good sense of what that diaspora meant for European art. The weaver François Spierling, a Mennonite from Antwerp, settled in Delft, a Protestant town, and produced superlative work there. The tapestry called "Garden With Diana Fountain" is an example of a fashionable, precision-friendly Mannerist style for depicting small figures embedded in all-over patterning.
The scene shows a labyrinthine garden, set within a walled garden, set within a hilly landscape. The result is not an image of the natural world in a tapestry but a depiction of nature as a tapestry: a splendid, impenetrable, depthless screen of shivering pixels.
For something closer to realism, there are woven equivalents of contemporary news flashes. A German-made tapestry called "Siege of Zierikzee" records an actual event, a battle in which rebellious Netherlanders held the Spanish Navy at bay. And from Brussels at roughly the same time comes a victory report, this one from the other side. In "Surprise Attack on Calais" Spanish forces swarm that French coastal town before moving inland to the Low Countries.
Still, he was not a superstar. For that we must turn to the protean Peter Paul Rubens, the Baroque artist par excellence. Rubens revolutionized tapestry, transforming it into an expressive painterly medium. Raphael had done the same, but Rubens did it more.
He had to feel his way. An early design (1616-17) for "The Battle of Veseris and the Death of Decius Mus" was too painterly for even seasoned weavers to handle. Accustomed to working in small, discreet, millefleurs units, they translated a Rubensian expanse of rippling horseflesh into a linear fish-scale pattern. After the job was finished, Rubens didn't get another tapestry commission for several years.
When he did, there were still problems. His muscular, twisty, vertiginous design for "The Battle of the Milvian Bridge," from 1623, spoke a new and startling pictorial language, one that inspired a nit-picking awe in its initial audience. But with the 20-piece "Triumph of the Eucharist" set, woven in Brussels for a Spanish royal convent between 1626 and 1633, he won everyone over and forced tapestry to adapt to his painting style rather than the other way around.
Here as elsewhere in Baroque art, refinement is a saving grace, countering an appetite for material exuberance and muchness that can turn gross. A domestic scene in tapestry designed by Rubens's follower Jacob Jordaens overflows with fruit, dead game and blowsy ornament. And a 1664 tapestry designed by Charles Le Brun, depicting the sea god Neptune assailed by a storm, vomits an entire aquarium of beached and gasping sea creatures in our faces.
Le Brun was court artist to Louis XIV and a tireless royal ego stroker. The point of the Neptune image is to suggest that although a god can't tame an unruly sea, Louis, given the opportunity, could.
In a Le Brun series called "History of the King" Louis appears in person. In one scene he seems to be leading a spirited attack on coastal Dunkirk, though in fact he owned the town. Charles II of England, in need of cash, had just sold it to him for a song. In another, surrounded by his court, he listens with elaborate indifference as a cardinal reads out a papal apology for some indiscretion or other. Every wart and wrinkle on every face is noted in Le Brun's design, though the eye is drawn to an outsize ornamental ribbon — could it be sewn with rhinestones? — on the monarch's left shoe.
Details like this turn tapestries from monumental wall warmers and lives-of-the-rich-and-famous billboards into a form of art you can care about in some personal way. Right to the end of the show, in the 18th century, the medium sells itself on theatrical bulk. The very last piece — a depiction of a naval battle replete with capsized galleons and struggling swimmers in what looks like a quarter-acre of cobalt blue — is Cinemascopic in its effects.
But the real wonder surfaces when you stand up close. Then you see how one thread, placed next to another, which is next to another of different but related color, creates the shadow under the eye of a drowning man's face, or the sparkle of a jewel on a ribbon on a shoe, or turns an all but abstract passage of color in a Rubens design into a brilliantly nuanced approximation of its painted source, which is itself the filtering of some sensation of the world through one artist's eye.
In focusing on such details, you realize that the tapestry — so anonymous, so enormous, so specialized — really comes down to one person performing a task: the artist drawing the design, the spinner spinning the wool thread, the weaver passing one thread past another. If you want to regain the thrill of discovery that the Met's first tapestry show provided, intimate attention to the riches in this one may be the way to do it. ...by Holland Cotter
Posted: 15 Nov 2011 05:48 PM PST
FORT WORTH, TX.- The Kimbell Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, has acquired the painting Christ and the Woman of Samaria, dated to 1619–20, by the Italian artist Guercino, one of the foremost painters of his time. The purchase was announced today by the Museum's director, Eric M. Lee. The painting dates from Guercino's early, rarest, and most desirable period, when the artist achieved acclaim for the emotional power of his compositions. Also on exhibition is Michelangelo's first known painting, The Torment of Saint Anthony, is now on view among the permanent collection of the Kimbell Art Museum.
Posted: 15 Nov 2011 05:47 PM PST
LONDON.- In October 2008, the Saatchi Gallery re-opened in the 70,000 sq. ft. Duke of York's HQ building on King's Road in the heart of London. With free admission to all shows, the Saatchi Gallery aims to bring contemporary art to the widest possible audience. Its first show, The Revolution Continues: New Art from China attracted over 400,000 visitors breaking the record previously held by Sensation at The Royal Academy, and the second show Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East has attracted over 350,000 visitors to date.
Posted: 15 Nov 2011 05:46 PM PST
EDINBURGH - The drama of the Baroque just opened in Edinburgh in part two of The Art of Italy in the British Royal Collection. The 31 paintings and 43 drawings selected for the exhibition reflect the great stylistic diversity of the period, which gave birth to the powerful realism of Caravaggio, the revolutionary naturalism of the Carracci and the cool classicism of Poussin and Domenichino. Highlights of the exhibition include two works by Caravaggio, The Calling of Saints Peter and Andrew and Boy Peeling Fruit, both previously thought to be copies of lost originals.
Posted: 15 Nov 2011 05:45 PM PST
NEW YORK CITY - The Studio Museum in Harlem is proud to present The World Stage: Africa, Lagos ~ Dakar, our first-ever solo exhibition of the work of Kehinde Wiley, a former artist in residence (2001–02). The exhibition features ten new paintings from Wiley's multinational "World Stage" series, a global extension of his signature examinations of power and portraiture. On exhibition through 26 October , 2008.
Posted: 15 Nov 2011 05:44 PM PST
NEW YORK CITY - A pioneering figure in the history of modernism and one of the major artists of mid-19th-century France, Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) was constantly at odds with authority. He rejected artistic convention, challenged academic norms, and created artworks that scandalized the public. By rebelling against tradition, he paved the way for the Impressionists and, through them, modern art. More than 130 oil paintings and works on paper by the provocative artist, brought together from museums and private collections in Europe and the United States, will be displayed at The Metropolitan Museum of Art this spring
It was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Réunion des Musées Nationaux and the Musée d'Orsay, Paris, and the Communauté d'agglomération de Montpellier/Musée Fabre, Montpellier.
Gary Tinterow, the Engelhard Curator in Charge of the Department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan, commented: "Courbet was one of the first painters to cultivate the image of the rebellious artist. Never one to avoid controversy, he disregarded the expectations of his family, challenged the conservatism of the Academy, and bristled against the strictures of society. Even his politics were radical. And for most of his career, this notoriety served him well, attracting clients and influencing other artists of his generation. The exhibition will give today's public a rare opportunity to rediscover this complex artist and chart, through works he created some 150 years ago, the early history of modern art."
The exhibition is arranged chronologically, with some galleries devoted to specific themes: early self-portraits, Ornans paintings, nudes, and Courbet and photography.
The exhibition will include several of Courbet's seminal paintings from the early 1850s, which depict the customs of Ornans. Exhibited at the Salon of 1852, Young Ladies of the Village, a pastoral image of his sisters' encounter with a peasant girl in a valley near Ornans, was criticized for the unattractiveness of its protagonists and its apparent disregard for perspective (1851-52, The Metropolitan Museum of Art). The Meeting: Bonjour Monsieur Courbet represents what is likely an imagined exchange between the noted collector of 19th-century art Alfred Bruyas and the artist, who had come to visit him in Montpellier (1854, Musée Fabre, Montpellier).
Also on view will be a selection of Courbet's nudes, revealing the modernity of his approach to the genre. Idealized female nudes proliferated at the Salons in Paris during the Second Empire, and Courbet challenged the status quo – and also scandalized the public at the Salon of 1866 – with his sensuous and provocative Woman with a Parrot (1865-66, The Metropolitan Museum of Art). By censuring the artist's taste and the model's discarded clothes and disheveled hair, the critics made it clear that they were unsettled by the work's undisguised contemporaneity.
Courbet was also an innovative landscape painter. His painterly and expressive renderings of Ornans and its surroundings, notably his series of paintings of the grotto at the source of the Loue River and the wooded stream of the Puits-Noir (National Gallery of Art, Washington, and The Baltimore Museum of Art), as well as his views of the coastline of Normandy (Musée Fabre, Montpellier, and Philadelphia Museum of Art), signal his radical approach to landscape painting. These works brought Courbet critical and popular success, as did his hunting scenes, which he began painting in the late 1850s.
Portraiture engaged Courbet throughout his career, and is represented by an unprecedented selection of the artist's early self-portraits in various guises. A highlight is the astonishing self-portrait The Desperate Man (1844-45, Private Collection), shown in the United States for the first time. He also painted numerous portraits of his family and friends, including his sister Juliette Courbet (1845; Petit Palais) and the posthumous portrait of his friend, the philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, with his children (1865-67, Petit Palais, Paris).
Gustave Courbet was born into an affluent landowning family in the village of Ornans, near the Swiss border. He studied at the Royal College in the nearby town of Besançon and, in 1840, was sent to Paris to study law. Defying his father, he pursued an artistic career instead and learned by copying masterpieces in the Louvre.
In the 1840s and early 1850s, Courbet's paintings were accepted into the official Salon – the annual juried exhibition administered by the French government and the Academy of Fine Arts. But, as he matured as an artist, he spurned the historical subjects prized by the Academy and painted scenes of modern life rendered in an emphatically realistic style, shocking his contemporaries. In 1855, disgruntled at his rejection by the Salon jury, Courbet constructed a Pavilion of Realism within sight of the official Salon in which he displayed a one-man show of his works, accompanied by a manifesto that proclaimed his artistic philosophy. The decade that followed witnessed his triumph as the leader of the realist school.
Courbet joined the Paris Commune of 1871 and – following the collapse of the revolutionary government – was accused of complicity in the destruction of the Vendôme column, ordered to pay a huge fine for its reconstruction, and imprisoned. In 1873, he fled to Switzerland, where he spent his remaining years in exile.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by Hatje Cantz Verlag, with essays focusing on recent Courbet scholarship by an international team of experts: Sylvain Amic, Laurence des Cars, Dominique de Font-Réaulx, Thomas Galifot, Kathryn Calley Galitz, Michel Hilaire, Dominique Lobstein, Bruno Mottin, and Bertrand Tillier. The catalogue will be available in the Museum's book shops.
A variety of education programs has been organized to complement the exhibition. These include a Sunday at the Met lecture program on May 11. Education programs are made possible by The Georges Lurcy Charitable and Educational Trust. The Audio Guide program is sponsored by Bloomberg.
At the Metropolitan, the exhibition is organized by Gary Tinterow, Engelhard Curator in Charge, and Kathryn Calley Galitz, Assistant Curator, in the Department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art. Exhibition design is by Michael Langley, Senior Exhibition Designer; graphics are by Constance Norkin, Senior Graphic Designer; and lighting is by Clint Ross Coller and Richard Lichte, Senior Lighting Designers, all of the Museum's Design Department.
The exhibition will be featured on the website of the Metropolitan Museum (www.metmuseum.org ).
Prior to its showing at the Metropolitan, the exhibition was on view at the Grand Palais, Paris. Afterward, it will travel to the Musée Fabre, Montpellier.
Posted: 15 Nov 2011 05:43 PM PST
DENVER, CO.- Don't miss your chance to see "Inspiring Impressionism", on view at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) through May 25, 2008. Demand for this one-of-a-kind exhibition has been high. Jean-Honoré Fragonard's A Young Girl Reading is the quintessential embodiment of eighteenth-century grace and refinement. Impressionist Mary Cassatt might have looked to this work as inspiration for her depiction of Mrs. Duffee Seated on a Striped Sofa, Reading. The two works, though differing in style, share the sense of a private moment observed.
Posted: 15 Nov 2011 05:42 PM PST
NEW YORK, NY - Legendary photographer, journalist and film director Lawrence Schiller will bring the Harrowing Sixties back to life when he opens an historic exhibit of his photography at Pop International Galleries on May 15. This is the first time the exhibit has been shown in the United States and will be open from May 15 through June. Images are available to collectors in limited editions, which have been reproduced as originally printed in color or silver gelatin and some select images in platinum.
Posted: 15 Nov 2011 05:41 PM PST
Columbia, SC.- The Columbia Museum of Art has invited guest curator Sigmund Abeles to bring a fresh eye and different perspective to the Museum's collection of modern and contemporary art. His selection of over 80 works is based on his personal taste, preferences and attitudes about contemporary art, which he developed over a 50-year career. The premise is that an artist brings a different 'eye' and set of criteria to the table in evaluating art than does a curator or an art historian, whose training tends toward historical context rather than artistic practice. This different viewpoint – born from a background of method, process, creation and materials – can yield a new and interesting perspective to the selection and display of modern and contemporary artwork from our collection. The exhibition "An Artist's Eye" remains on view at the museum until October 23rd.
Posted: 15 Nov 2011 05:40 PM PST
Dublin, Ireland - An exhibition to celebrate one of Ireland's most accomplished portraitists of the eighteenth century, Hugh Douglas Hamilton (1740-1808) was formally opened by Dr. Martin Mansergh, TD, Minister of State with responsibility for the Arts, in the National Gallery of Ireland. Born in Dublin in 1740, Hugh Douglas Hamilton is acknowledged as one of the most accomplished portraitists of his generation. On view through the 15th of February, 2009. Admission is free.
Hugh Douglas Hamilton: A Life in Pictures brings together 62 oils, pastels and drawings by the artist drawn from the National Gallery's collection complemented by loans from public and private collections in Ireland, US, Italy and the UK. The display features full-length portraits, magnificent allegorical paintings, albums, prints, and his trademark small oval pastel portraits.
Anne Hodge, exhibition curator and editor of the accompanying catalogue to the show, says: "Though Hamilton was a popular and prolific artist during his lifetime, there has never been a major show devoted to the artist until now. This year, on the occasion of the bi-centenary of his death, we celebrate his life and work with a display of pastels, paintings and drawings which not only demonstrate his skills as an artist and businessman but also illustrate his enduring popularity as a portraitist."
Born in Crow Street in Dublin, in 1740, Hamilton began his studies under Robert West at the Dublin Society Drawing School where students were given rigorous instruction based on methods of French teaching. Hamilton's facility in draftsmanship brought him to the attention of the Huguenot cartographer, John Rocque (c.1705-62) who had been commissioned by The Earl of Kildare (later 1st Duke of Leinster) to produce separate volumes of manuscript estate maps for each of the Earl's eight manors. The exhibition will show Hamilton's decorative frontispiece for the Estate atlas of the Manor of Kilkea (1760), one of the earliest known drawings by the artist.
Hamilton quickly made a name for himself in Dublin, developing close links with several important families in Ireland, especially with the La Touche banking family - a relationship which lasted throughout his career. The exhibition shows a number of portraits of the La Touche family, the earliest of which is a pastel portrait of David La Touche (1765), grandson of the founder of the Irish branch of the family.
Having established himself as a leading portraitist in pastel, Hamilton moved to London around 1764 where the fashionable set flocked to have their likeness recorded by the gregarious young artist. He soon gained recognition by the Society of Artists in London where he regularly exhibited his pastels.
In the early 1780s, Hamilton set off on his first sojourn of Italy receiving commissions for portraits of wealthy English and Irish travelers on their obligatory 'Grand Tour'. During his years in Italy, Hamilton began to paint in oils and his work became bolder in style and scale. Hamilton's finest works were produced for his major patron in Rome, Frederick Augustus Hervey, 4th Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry (1730-1803). His full-length oil painting of the Bishop with his granddaughter, Lady Caroline Crichton in the grounds of the Villa Borghese in Rome, was painted around 1790, and is considered one of his masterpieces of the period. During his lengthy stays in Italy, the artist cultivated lasting friendships with prominent artists including the sculptor Antonio Canova, John Flaxman, Gavin Hamilton and Henry Tresham.
Hamilton returned to Dublin in 1792 by which time the city was now larger and wealthier and demand by the art-buying public had grown. Although competition for patronage had increased, Hamilton still managed to attract sitters from established Irish society. The exhibition shows examples of his later works, among them portraits of Galway landowner, Richard Mansergh St. George (1756/9-98), Richard Lovell Edgeworth MP (1744-1817); an iconic portrait of Lord Edward Fitzgerald (1763-98), fifth son of the 1st Duke of Leinster and a leading member of the Society of United Irishmen, and John Philpot Curran (1750-1815), renowned barrister and member of Grattan's party in parliament.
Posted: 15 Nov 2011 05:39 PM PST
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