Art Knowledge News - Keeping You in Touch with the World of Art...Novermber 20, 2011

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


The Columbia Museum of Art Displays Masterpieces of the Hudson River School

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 10:25 PM PST

artwork: Frederic Edwin Church - "Cayambe", 1858 - Oil on canvas - 76.2 x 122.2 cm. - Collection of the New York Historical Society. - On view at the Columbia Museum of Art, S.C. in "Nature and the Grand American Vision: Masterpieces of the Hudson River School Painters" from November 19th until April 1st 2012.

Columbia, South Carolina.- The Columbia Museum of Art is proud to be hosting forty-five magnificent paintings from the rich collection of the New-York Historical Society, which will be on view in "Nature and the Grand American Vision: Masterpieces of the Hudson River School Painters" at the museum from November 19th through April 1st 2012. Though the New-York Historical Society seldom loans individual works, these iconic works of 19th-century landscape painting are traveling on a national tour for the first time and are circulating to four museums around the country as part of the Historical Society's traveling exhibitions program 'Sharing a National Treasure'. The Columbia Museum of Art is the first stop in the South.


During the second quarter of the nineteenth century, a loose-knit group of artists and writers — who collectively became known as the "Hudson River School" — forged the first American landscape vision and literary voice. That vision, still widely influential today, saw the natural world as a source of spiritual renewal and an expression of an emerging national identity. It was first expressed through the majestic scenery of the Hudson River Valley. Thomas Cole (1801-1848) is the leading artist associated with the Hudson River School, and is widely credited as being its founder. An English émigré, Cole arrived with his family in Ohio in 1818, where he learned the elements of painting from an itinerant portrait painter. Earning few commissions for portraits, Cole gradually moved east. He settled in New York City in 1825, and shortly afterwards sailed up the Hudson River for the Catskill Mountains, making sketches along the banks of the Hudson. Cole produced a series of paintings which were spotted in a bookstore window by three influential artists, garnering him instant acclaim and widespread commissions. Cole's style was marked by dramatic forms and vigorous technique, reflecting the British aesthetic theory of the Sublime, or fearsome, in nature. This technique, virtually unprecedented in American landscape, expressed a growing appreciation of the wild native scenery which was explored throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century.

artwork: Thomas Cole - "The Course of Empire: Desolation", 1836 - Oil on canvas - 99.7 x 160.7 cm. - Collection of the New York Historical Society.  -  On view at the Columbia Museum of Art, S.C. until April 1st 2012.

"Nature and the Grand American Vision" explores the evolution of the Hudson River School through four thematic sections. Within these groupings, we see how Cole and his followers visually conveyed powerful ideas and ideals about nature, culture, religion, and history to a fledging Republic, one still searching for a collective national identity. The first section of the exhibition, 'The Grand American Tour', features paintings of the Catskill, Adirondack, and White Mountain regions, long celebrated for their scenic beauty as seen in such natural wonders as Lake George and Niagara Falls, as well as man-made historic sites. These were the destinations that attracted both artists and travelers. The second section, 'American Artists Afield', contains works made during the latter half of the century by Hudson River School artists who sought inspiration further from home.

The paintings of Frederic Edwin Church, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Hill and Martin Johnson Heade illustrate how these painters embraced the role of artist-explorer, thrilling audiences with images of the awe-inspiring landscape of the American West, Yosemite Valley, and tropical South America. 'Dreams of Arcadia: Americans in Italy' features luminous canvases wrought by Thomas Cole, Jasper Francis Cropsey, Sanford Robinson Gifford, and others celebrating Italy as the center of the Old World and the principal destination for Americans on the Grand Tour through Europe. Viewed as the storehouse of Western culture, Italy was a living laboratory of the classical past, offering a survey of the artistic heritage from antiquity. It also provided a striking contrast to the untamed wilderness of North America. In the final section of the exhibition, 'Grand Landscape Narratives', all of these ideas converge in Thomas Cole's epic five-painting series, The Course of Empire (c. 1834-1836). Through this sweeping visual narrative, Cole traces the evolution of a great civilization from an untamed landscape to its ultimate decay into ruin. Through these iconic works — equally heralded at their time of creation as they remain today — Cole provides a cautionary tale and explores the tension between Americans' deep veneration of the wilderness and their equally ardent celebration of progress.

artwork: Martin Johnson Heade - "Study of an Orchid", 1872 - Oil on canvas - 45.7 x 58.4 cm. - Collection of the New York Historical Society. - On view at the Columbia Museum of Art, S.C. until April 1st 2012.

That celebration of progress ultimately would grind to a halt nearly a quarter-century later, as the nation became engulfed by the flames of Civil War. In the years following the war, the aesthetic orientation of the United States abruptly shifted from Great Britain to the Continent, especially France. The appeal of figure painting grew somewhat at the expense of landscape, but the face of landscape painting itself altered with the influence of the softer, more intimate French Barbizon-style. By the turn of the twentieth century — perhaps coincident with the deaths of Church and Bierstadt in 1900 and 1902, respectively — the Hudson River School had all but vanished.

The Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, South Carolina has a collection of European and American fine and decorative art that spans several centuries. The museum building was transformed from an urban department store into a light-filled space with 25 galleries. The museum has a Renaissance and Baroque collection – a gift from the Samuel Kress Foundation, which features Old Master paintings, many of which were commissioned by churches in Italy in the 15th and 16th centuries. Nativity scenes, Madonna and Child paintings, and scenes from the Old and New Testaments are featured in the museum's upstairs galleries. The museum also has a large and rare Nativity fresco transferred to canvas by Sandro Botticelli, a pre-eminent Florentine Renaissance artist. Also in the museum's permanent collection are "The Seine at Giverny" by Claude Monet and art glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The decorative arts holdings at the museum number around 3,000 objects, ranging in date primarily between the 17th and 20th centuries. Some Asian objects in the Turner Collection date back to the T'ang Dynasty. Holdings include silver, Chinese export porcelain, contemporary art glass, American furniture, textiles and sculpture. Visit the museum's website at ... http://www.columbiamuseum.org

LaMontagne Gallery Exhibits Shay Kun's Paintings in "Rebreather"

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 10:05 PM PST

artwork: Shay Kun - "Neutral Grain", 2011 - Oil on canvas - 72" x 48" - Courtesy of LaMontagne Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts. On view in "Rebreather" from November 19th until January 7th 2012.

Boston, Massachusetts.- LaMontagne Gallery is pleased to present "Rebreather", an exhibition of paintings by Shay Kun. "Rebreather" will be on view at the gallery from November 19th through January 7th 2012. Shay Kun's oils on canvas are an infusion, a hybrid of absurdities. Drawing on the style and subject matter of the Hudson River School, particularly Thomas Cole's reverent paeans to nature and Albert Bierstadt's awestruck visions of the sublime in the American west, the works capture the grandeur of nature. Despite acquiring a newly cultured look, these landscapes, made with sincerity and attention, are transformed into a juxtaposition of nature and its human invaders who appear in the guise of tourists or adventure seekers. The contrast between these contemporary characters and their stylized environment is abrupt and creates a palpable dissonance underlining them as an almost offensively inadequate substitute for the deities or characters of noble bearing in the paintings of centuries past. Small but obnoxious, they infest nature rather than enjoying its restorative powers.


The National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens Shows New Work by George Hadjimichalis

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 09:41 PM PST

artwork: George Hadjimichalis - "Untitled (Female Nude)" from The painter A.K. - A Novel First Chapter, 2011 - Oil on canvas - 30 x 70 cm. Courtesy the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens. - On view in "George Hadjimichalis. The Painter A.K - A Novel" until February 5th 2012.

Athens, Greece -  The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens is pleased to present " George Hadjimichalis . The Painter A.K - A Novel", on view through February 5th 2012, The exhibition features new work by George Hadjimichalis specially commissioned by the museum and Bombay Sapphire Gin. George Hadjimichalis' new project, is an installation that consists of 265 small and medium-sized paintings, 27 photographs, a structure and a video, which comprise the retrospective exhibition of an imaginary painter. Adopting the practice of a novelist, Hadjimichalis envisions a fictional person and creates his artwork, telling a story. It is a work open to multiple readings and includes a plethora of references and correlations. In this work, Hadjimichalis connects the personal to the collective, the experiential to fantasy, fiction to reality, identity to otherness, and the self to the Other.


Noguchi Museum Launches Digital Catalogue Raisonné of Artist's Work

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 07:02 PM PST

artwork: Isamu Noguchi - (1904-1988) - "Black Sun" - is a well respected Japanese-American sculptor who has created fountains and gardens which remain the focal points in some major cities.

LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y.- The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum (The Noguchi Museum) today—the 107th anniversary of the artist's birth—launched The Isamu Noguchi Catalogue Raisonné, posting the first installment on the Museum's website:
http://catalogue.noguchi.org. An ongoing digital publication, the catalogue raisonné presents comprehensive information on all categories of Noguchi's practice, encompassing sculptures, drawings, models, architectural spaces, stage sets, and manufactured designs, as well as a chronology, bibliography, and list of exhibitions. Access to the publication—one of the first catalogues raisonnés to be published digitally—is free of charge.

Important American Paintings & Drawings in Christie's New York Auction

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 06:20 PM PST

artwork: Oscar Floranius Bluemner (1867-1938) - "Illusion of a Prairie, New Jersey (Red Farm at Pochuck)", 1915 - Estimate: $2,000,000-3,000,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2011.

NEW YORK, N.Y.- The Important American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture auction at Christie's New York on November 30, at 10 am, will lead off with two vibrant landscapes from Oscar Bluemner and Frederic Church, two superb Georgia O'Keeffe paintings and a heroic tableau of Columbus departing for the New World by Emanuel Leutze, the renowned painter of Washington Crossing the Delaware. A total of 136 lots will be offered, featuring outstanding works from diverse movements across the 19th and 20th centuries, including Hudson River School, American Impressionism, Modernism, and Western Art. The sale is expected to achieve in excess of $22 million. The auction and pre-sale exhibition will take place in Christie's new 20th floor Special Exhibition Galleries, with 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline. The O'Keeffe paintings, My Autumn and Black Iris (estimates: $2,000,000-3,000,000 and $1,200,000-1,800,000, respectively) and two Milton Avery paintings, Nude on the Beach and Sitting Hen, are part of the Property from a Distinguished West Coast Collection, which Christie's has been honored to present in several sales this fall. Remarkable for the extraordinary quality, rarity and iconic status of the works included, the group of paintings and sculptures offers serious collectors a chance to buy important works that haven't been available in decades.

The Kravets/Wehby Gallery Shows New Paintings by Sydney Chastain-Chapman

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 05:54 PM PST

artwork: Sydney Chastain-Chapman - "Security", 2011 - Acrylic on canvas - 36" x 48" - Courtesy the Kravets/Wehby Gallery, New York City On view in "Islands" until January 7th 2012.

New York City.- The Kravets/Wehby Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of "Islands", a solo exhibition of new paintings by Sydney Chastain-Chapman, opening on Thursday, November 17th and running through January 7th 2012. A grouping of islands, which exist in both the literal and metaphorical realms, comprise the new body of work by Sydney Chastain-Chapman. The space in each painting was conceived as an island, each one a place where the inhabitants have created their own world, for better or for worse.

Classic Photographs at Swann Galleries Draw International Bidders

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 05:53 PM PST

artwork: Manuel Alvarez Bravo - "La Buena fama durmiendo (The Good Reputation Sleeping)", detail, 1939, - Silver gelatin print, 8 x 10". Sold for $12,000 at Swann Galleries' October 18th auction of Fine Photographs in New York.

NEW YORK, N.Y.- Swann Galleries' October 18 auction of Fine Photographs opened with a frenzy of bids for early photographic albums, and interest remained high as the sale continued with classic 20th-century images, iconic examples of photojournalism and contemporary art. Along the way several auction records were set. Daile Kaplan, Vice President and Director of Photographs at Swann, said, "We are delighted with the results of this auction, in which we realized multiple world records for a host of 19th and 20th century photographs. This stellar performance underscores the growing interest in classical photography." The sale's top lot was Berenice Abbott's dazzling Retrospective Portfolio, with 50 large-format silver prints, including the artist's celebrated New York City views, 1930-60, printed 1982, which brought a record $90,000.

The SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport Shows 19th Century "Mechanical Wonders"

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 05:42 PM PST

artwork: Vichy (manufacturer) - "Pierrot écrivain (Pierrot writing)", circa 1875 - Made in France -Wood, wire, metal, fabric, glass, paper, hair, porcelain - Collection of the Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ. - On view at the SFO Museum, San Francisco in "Automata: Mechanical Wonders of the Nineteenth Century" until May 2012.

San Francisco.- The SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport is pleased to present "Automata: Mechanical Wonders of the Nineteenth Century" on view through May 2012. The history of automata (singular automaton) parallels humanity's undiminished and continuous quest to create an object that has the appearance of moving like a human or an animal. The word is derived from the Greek automatos, meaning "self-moving." Attempts to mechanically reproduce the movements of the human body began in ancient Egypt. Statues of certain gods, such as the jackal-headed god, Anubis, were rigged with hinges to mimic human speech and movement–one example is in the Musée du Louvre , Paris. Centuries later, the Greeks and Byzantines accomplishments in physics and mechanics provided Phylon of Byzantium and Heron of Alexandria with the knowledge to render drawings for the first actual automata. During the Middle Ages, the Arabs were the first to apply the principles of automata construction based on the work of Heron and Phylon. In Western Europe, clockmaking and automata were combined to form grand animated statues, jacquemarts. The jacquemarts rang the cathedral bells to mark the time of day.


Brooklyn Museum Hosts "Hide/Seek ~ Difference and Desire in American Portraiture"

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 05:41 PM PST

artwork: Minor White (American, 1908–1976). Tom Murphy, 1948. Gelatin silver print, 11.7 x 9.2 cm. The Minor White Archive, Princeton University Art Museum. Bequest of Minor White - © Trustees of Princeton University

BROOKLYN, N.Y.- HIDE/SEEK: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, the first major museum exhibition to explore how gender and sexual identity have shaped the creation of American portraiture, organized by and presented at the National Portrait Gallery last fall, will be on view at the Brooklyn Museum from November 18, 2011, through February 12, 2012. With the cooperation of the National Portrait Gallery, the Brooklyn Museum has reconstituted the exhibition in concert with the Tacoma Art Museum, where it will be on view from March 17 through June 10, 2012. HIDE/SEEK includes approximately a hundred works in a wide range of media created over the course of one hundred years that reflect a variety of sexual identities and the stories of several generations


Highlighting the influence of gay and lesbian artists, many of whom developed new visual strategies to code and disguise their subjects' sexual identities as well as their own, HIDE/SEEK considers such themes as the role of sexual difference in depicting modern Americans, how artists have explored the definition of sexuality and gender, how major themes in modern art—especially abstraction—have been influenced by marginalization, and how art has reflected society's changing attitudes.

Announcing the Brooklyn presentation, Museum Director Arnold L. Lehman states, "From the moment I first learned about this extraordinary exhibition in its planning stages, presenting it in Brooklyn has been a priority. It is an important chronicle of a neglected dimension of American art and a brilliant complement and counterpoint to Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties, a touring exhibition organized by the Brooklyn Museum, also on view this fall. "

artwork: George Platt Lynes (American, 1907–1955), Marsden Hartley, 1942. Gelatin silver print 23.5 x 19.1 cm. - Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, ME, Marsden Hartley Memorial Collection -  © Estate of George Platt Lynes.

In addition to its commentary on a marginalized cultural history, HIDE/SEEK offers an unprecedented survey of more than a century of American art. Beginning with late nineteenth-century portraits by Thomas Eakins and John Singer Sargent, it includes works from the first half of the 1900s by such masters as Romaine Brooks, George Bellows, Marsden Hartley, and Georgia O'Keeffe; the exhibition continues through the postwar period with works by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Agnes Martin, and Andy Warhol, and concludes with major works by late twentieth-century artists such as Keith Haring, Glenn Ligon, Nan Goldin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, and Catherine Opie.

The Brooklyn presentation will feature nearly all of the works included in the National Portrait Gallery exhibition. Among them are rarely seen paintings by Charles Demuth, whose better-known industrialized landscapes are on view in the Brooklyn Museum exhibition Youth and Beauty; a poignant portrait of New Yorker writer Janet Flanner wearing two masks, taken by photographer Bernice Abbott; Andrew Wyeth's painting of a young neighbor standing nude in a wheat field, much like Botticelli's Venus emerging from her shell; Robert Mapplethorpe's photograph riffing on the classic family portrait, in which a leather-clad Brian Ridley is seated on a wingback chair shackled to his whip-wielding partner, Lyle Heeter; and Cass Bird's photographic portrait of a friend staring out from under a cap emblazoned with the words "I look Just Like My Daddy." The exhibition will also include David Wojnarowicz's A Fire in My Belly, an unfinished film the artist created between 1986 and 1987.

artwork: David Wojnarowicz is known for the richly aesthetic & strongly activist works some made in response to the AIDS crisis. The artist's 1986–87 art film "A Fire in My Belly" is a poetic, unfinished work that was removed from the National Portrait Gallery following protests by a religious group and conservative politicians.

A wide range of public programs will be presented in conjunction with HIDE/SEEK, among them a two-part symposium that will explore themes and issues related to the exhibition. The first panel will examine the complex roles, responsibilities, and challenges that cultural institutions face when presenting "controversial" works of art. A second panel will discuss representations of identity and sexuality in art.

HIDE/SEEK: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture was originally organized by the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, and has been reorganized by the Brooklyn Museum and the Tacoma Art Museum. The original presentation was co-curated by David C. Ward, National Portrait Gallery, and Jonathan D. Katz, director of the doctoral program in visual studies at the State University of New York in Buffalo. The Brooklyn Museum presentation is coordinated by Tricia Laughlin Bloom, Project Curator.

The Brooklyn Museum, located at 200 Eastern Parkway, in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, is the second-largest art museum in New York City, and one of the largest in the United States. Arnold L. Lehman is the museum's Director. One of the premier art institutions in the world, its permanent collection includes objects ranging from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art, as well as the art of many other cultures. Housed in a 560,000 square foot (52,000 m²), Beaux-Arts building, approximately 500,000 patrons visit the museum each year. Located in Central Brooklyn, the museum is a half-hour from midtown Manhattan and about fifteen minutes from downtown Brooklyn.

The museum's center for feminist art opened in 2007 and is dedicated to preserving the history of the movement since the late 20th century as well as raising awareness of feminist contributions to art and informing the future of this area of artistic dialogue. Along with an exhibition space, and library, the center features a gallery housing a masterwork by Judy Chicago, a large installation called "The Dinner Party"

Visit The Brooklyn Museum at : http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/

MacDougall's December 1st Auction to Feature Russian Art Worth an Estimated £16m

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 05:40 PM PST

artwork: Leon Bakst - "Le Port de Famagouste. Set Design for "La Pisanelle ou la Mort parfumee" - Pencil, watercolour & gouache on cardboard - 24 x 39 cm. Courtesy MacDougall's, London where it will be auctioned on December 1st in the Russian paintings, icons and works of art sale - Estimate £40,000-60,000.

London.- On December 1st, MacDougall's will present Russian paintings, icons and works of art with a total pre?sale estimate of over £16m. The sale exhibition will be on view in London from November 25th through November 30th. The sale is led by Boris Kustodiev's "Merchant's Wife" dating from 1923. 'Kupchikhas', as merchants' wives are known in Russian, are among the artist's most recognisable images. The present example, which is estimated at £1,200,000–1,800,000, was shown at the historic Russian Art Exhibition in New York's Grand Central Palace in 1924. The selections includes 15 paintings by Boris Sveshnikov, some of which date back as far as the 1950s, as well as works by Dmitry Krasnopevtsev and Eduard Steinberg.


Another highlight of the sale is "Listening to the Bedana", a rare work by Alexander Volkov. In his works, Volkov combined the local colour and images of his native Uzbekistan with international styles such as Cubism and Futurism. Painted in the 1920s, the work belongs to a new stage in this artist's career in which he experimented with figurative representation. In "Listening to the Bedana" (the same Uzbek word signifies both the quail and the cage which holds him), the artist deals with two of his favourite subjects, those of teadrinking and music-making. Appearing at auction for the first time, the painting is estimated at £300,000–500,000. Dating from 1918, Mikhail Nesterov's "The Nightingale is Singing" (est. £600,000–900,000) is one of the earliest versions of his celebrated composition, of which he painted at least four. The original version of 1917 is now lost, while a later version is in the collection of the National Art Museum of Belarus. In this work, the artist addresses one of the most enduring themes in his oeuvre, that of the fate of the Russian woman.

artwork: Nikolai Kalmakov - "Bacchanalia", 1930 - Pastel and gouache on paper, laid on cardboard - 49.5 x 64 cm. Courtesy MacDougall's, London where it will be auctioned on December 1st. - Estimate £140,000-180,000.

The December sale also features several exceptional 19th century paintings, including the particularly fine "Sea Shore. Crimea" by Lev Lagorio, estimated at £250,000–300,000, as well as an outstanding work by Russia's most lyrical landscape painter, Aleksei Savrasov. "Pastoral Scene" (est. £400,000–600,000) is one of the small group of landscapes that the artist painted towards the end of his life, a period from which very few works survive. The small-scale format so beloved by Savrasov is similar to that of his most celebrated work, "Rooks Have Returned" in the collection of the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. MacDougall's is delighted to offer a particularly strong selection of Nonconformist works from an Italian private collection. The owner of these works acquired them directly from the artists while working and living in the Soviet Union in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

MacDougall's occupies a leading position in the market for Russian Post-War art, having handled several important Nonconformist collections in the past few years. MacDougall's Important Russian Art and Russian Classic and Contemporary Art sales are followed by a specialized Russian Icons and Works of Art auction. It is led by an early 20th century silver and enamel Triptych of St George with St Nicholas the Miracle Worker and Alexei the Metropolitan of Moscow, estimated at £100,000–150,000. The triptych's striking polychrome cloisonné enamel frame is richly coloured and the design is exceptionally refined. The choice of saints suggests that the triptych was commissioned to be presented to a particularly eminent figure. The saints depicted on the side panels are the namesakes of Emperor Nicholas II and his heir apparent, Tsarevich Alexei Nikolayevich. The depiction of St George and the Dragon on the central panel not only reproduces the emblem of Moscow, but is also laden with triumphal and "victorious" significance.

artwork: Rufin Sudkovsky - "Seascape", 1876 - Oil on canvas - 61 x 106.5 cm. - Courtesy MacDougall's, London To be auctioned on December 1st in the Russian paintings, icons and works - Estimate £70,000-100,000.

MacDougall Auctions is the only fine art auction house to specialise exclusively in Russian art. Sales take place twice a year during London's Russian week, in June and November/December. It was the first international auction house with a representative in Moscow and is still the only one with a representative in Kiev. Despite the overall economic situation of the last few years, the Russian art market has fully recovered and the latest sales have demonstrated a strong potential for further growth. In 2010, MacDougall's Russian art sales generated more than 25 million GBP. Highlights included an early masterpiece by Ivan Shishkin, sold for more than 1.8 million GBP. MacDougall's continues to make exciting sales in 2011, such as Boris Kustodiev's "Portrait of Irina Kustodieva", sold for more than 1.8 million GBP. Since its inaugural auction in 2004,

MacDougall's has become one the three main international auction houses holding specialised Russian art sales. We regularly handle masterpieces by the most significant and sought-after Russian artists, including Boris Kustodiev, Ivan Shishkin, Nicholas Roerich, Ilya Repin and Ivan Aivazovsky, among many others. In 2009, MacDougall's held its inaugural specialised icon sale, and in June 2010 the icon sale raised over 901,000 GBP, making us the largest icon sale of the year and confirming our place as the leader in this field. MacDougall's continues to develop new and exciting areas of the Russian art market. In June 2010 we held the first specialist Russian Works on Paper auction, raising over 1.5 million GBP. Working with leading Russian art experts, MacDougall's offers its clients the best advice possible. We hold regular exhibitions in Moscow and Kiev, nurturing close relationships with collectors of Russian art. Visit the auction house's website at ... http://www.macdougallauction.com

Major Pompeii and the Roman Villa Exhibition Showcased in Mexico City

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 05:28 PM PST

artwork: A hundred pieces arrived in Mexico as Part of the exhibition "Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture Around the Bay of Naples". Hellenistic  art, sculpture of a Dying Gaul  (an early Roman copy of the original Greek sculpture)

MEXICO CITY.- Two centuries before our era, the region of Campania became the favorite place of Roman emperors-from Julius Caesar to Nero- and aristocrats to relax, due to the beauty of the Bay of Naples. Pompeii, Herculaneum and nearby villages represented leisure for some and work for others, like artists. A hundred pieces, which reveal the luxury and sophistication that this Mediterranean zone reached before the Vesuvius erupted in 79 of the Common Era, arrive to Mexico as part of the exhibition "Pompeya y una Villa Romana: Arte y Cultura alrededor de la Bahia de Napoles" (Pompeii and the Roman Villa. Art and Culture around the Bay of Naples), to be opened at the National Museum of Anthropology in November 2009.

As part of the cultural exchange program between Mexico and Italy, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) sponsors this international exhibition within its cycle "Great Civilizations". In return, "Teotihuacan, City of Gods" will be displayed at the Palace of Exhibitions in Rome in 2010.

"Pompeii and the Roman Villa" was presented before at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, United States, with an important affluence of visitors. The exhibition was organized by both museums with the support of Direzione Regionale per i Beni Culturali e Paesaggistici della Campania and the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei.

Most objects are part of the Naples National Archaeological Museum collection, while others come from the heaps of Archaeological Museum of Campi Flegrei, Pompeii Excavations Office, as well as Oplontis, in Torre Annunziata. A sculpture of young Hercules exhibited is part of the collection of Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Roman villas at Pompeii and Herculaneum in the early 1st century BC: their quotidian life, as well as gardens, patios and interiors, spaces dedicated to leisure, are recreated in their refinement and disposition by museographic design.

Sculptures, ornaments, furnishing, fountains, mosaics and personal objects exemplify the superb Roman art, developed to decorate villas and to dress aristocracy.

Excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum go back to the end of 18th-century; findings generated enthusiasm during 19th-century for ancient styles, affecting art, design and culture in Europe and eventually the United States, being some rooms at the US Capitol decorated in a Pompeii fashion.

artwork: Part of the Mexico City exhibition "Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture Around the Bay of Naples". Photo: EFE/José Méndez.

Covered with Ashes : Campania was a region under Roman domain and an artistic center of great refinement, that attracted Roman elite by the beauty of its bay, the thermal baths and Greek heritage; Hellenistic colonization dates from the 8th century BC.

"Pompeya y una Villa Romana: Arte y cultura alrededor de la Bahia de Napoles", is divided in 4 parts: Patrons and Owners, Interiors, Courtyards and Gardens and Taste for the Ancient.

"Patrons and Owners" shows how the region became highly attractive after Emperor Augustus designed Puteoli (today Puzzuoli) the official port from where all Egyptian grains entered Italy, helping the bay to become a resort for vacationing.

Roman aristocrats began building villas in the bay in the 2nd century BC. During that century and the next, ruling families built villas as well, unleashing a construction "fever" that led historian Strabo to express it looked like a "continuous city". Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula and Nero had residences there.

"Interiors" remarks the artistic demand this wealth produced. Local and foreign artists satisfied the requirements of art pieces needed to decorate their palaces. Artists had common dwellers of Pompeii and Herculaneum as clients, who emulated the lifestyle of aristocrats and elite.

Interiors of villas and houses of Pompeii were profusely decorated, with walls painted with fresco technique representing landscapes, mythological scenes and still lives. Furnishings included marble tables, brass lampstands, marble sculptures, silver cups and sculpted portraits of ancestors.

"Courtyards and Gardens", theme of the 3rd section, were improved with aviaries, fountains and marble or bronze sculptures that poured water into pools and watercourses. Even the most modest houses had a garden and a courtyard, expanded by painting landscapes on walls.

Andrew Wyeth's "Christina's World"

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 05:27 PM PST

artwork: Andrew Wyeth, (1917-2009) - 'Christina's World', 1948 - Tempera on gessoed panel - The Museum of Modern Art, NYC

CHADDS FORD, PA - The family of Andrew Wyeth and the Brandywine River Museum invite the public to a celebration of the life and work of Andrew Wyeth, who died on January 16. This special event will be held Saturday, January 31, from 9:30 to 4:30 p.m. Complimentary admission will be offered to all visitors on this day.

'Germany: The Black Years' at Musée Maillol

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 05:26 PM PST

artwork: Ludwig Meidner Apokalyptische 

PARIS - An exhibition at the Musée Maillol in Paris through Feb. 4th examines this art, yet its title, "Allemagne, les Années Noires," or "Germany: The Black Years," makes a different point: that the most prominent of these war artists — Otto Dix, George Grosz, Max Beckmann, Ludwig Meidner and Jacob Steinhardt — were all German. It can be argued that Impressionism killed off historical painting, and with it the tradition of portraying military victories on canvas.

Chronological Survey of Le Corbusier's 60-year Oeuvre Opens at Martin Gropius Bau

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 05:25 PM PST

artwork: Art made by Le Corbusier (1887-1965), at the retrospective exhibition of Le Corbusier's 60-year Oeuvre at Martin Gropius Bau that is on view through October 5 in Berlin. Photo: EFE/Rainer

BERLIN.- Berlin's Martin-Gropius-Bau is presenting the first comprehensive exhibition since 1987 of the wide-ranging work of the Swiss architect Le Corbusier (1887-1965). The architect's links to Germany and Berlin will also be stressed. There will be a total of about 380 exhibits to be seen in the Martin-Gropius-Bau. Taking account of the latest research and critical scholarship, the exhibition takes an explicitly contemporary look at Le Corbusier, while also serving as an introduction to the work of the architect. On exhibition 9 July through 5 October, 2009.

The Charlie Smith Gallery Presents John Stark's Apiculture Paintings

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 05:24 PM PST

artwork: John Stark - "The Islander", 2011 - Oil on wood panel - 27.5 x 35 cm. - Courtesy Charlie Smith Gallery, London. On view in "John Stark: Apiculture" from October 7th until November 12th.

London.- Charlie Smith Gallery is delighted to present "John Stark: Apiculture", on view at the gallery from October 7th through November 12th. In this exhibition, the artist's second one person exhibition at the gallery, Stark has created a body of work that gravitates towards the centre of his preoccupations of the last three years. Rendered with masterly technique in oil on panel, Stark's paintings transcend time by navigating the historical, the contemporary and the futuristic. At once his content recalls the Flemish landscape painting of Patinir; the figure work of Zurbarán and Sassoferrato; and the minimal Modernism of Donald Judd.


artwork: John Stark - "Shepherd", 2011 Oil on wood panel - 60 x 50 cm. Courtesy Charlie Smith Gallery.We are invited to assume that these depictions are posited at some point in an imagined future. Figures bustle amongst sporadic buildings in verdant foregrounds and backgrounds made of ever receding waterways and rocky out-crops. However, on further consideration it becomes unclear as to whether these vistas are a futuristic wondering or rather a rendition of some eternally recurring cycle.

Central to this creation of non (but all encompassing) time and place are the endeavours of the populace within. Colonies of beekeepers tend to their colonies of bees. Hooded and masked figures labour in the landscape in a collaborative enterprise to create liquid gold. Analogous to the intensive work of the artist, all are toiling here, all creating. Stark has also begun to provide more information. There is no doubt that we are exploring a utilitarian society consisting of communities inhabiting historic towers and fortifications; postmodern and prototype dwellings and units; and everyone and everything has its function. We are not being directed however. These paintings are a virtuoso display of artist as vessel. They are depictions from an internal world but which also touch upon universal aspects of existence, traversing expansive leitmotifs that embrace philosophy, spirituality, and the histories of art and thought (and feeling).

Operating as a collection of paintings that work together as a group, the whole refers to each individual part and in turn each part serves to provide an understanding of the whole. There is only one more component required to interpret the circle of endeavour of artist and subjects in these allegorical paintings and that is the psychology of the viewer. John Stark was born in 1979 and after obtaining his BA in Fine Art from the University of West England in 2001, earned an MA in Fine Art from the Royal Academy Schools in 2004. His work has been exhibited widely in the UK and Europe and he is in private collections in Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.

artwork: John Stark - "In Times of Exactness and Uncertainty", 2011 - Oil on wood panel - 110 x 145 cm. Courtesy Charlie Smith Gallery, London. On view from October 7th until November 12th.

Having curated exhibitions and represented artists since 2006, Charlie Smith London established its gallery space in Old Street in October 2009 with the objective of running an exceptional exhibition programme of dedicated one person exhibitions and dynamic curated group shows. Their approach is collaborative and curatorial with an emphasis on work that challenges, seduces, confronts and consoles. Beauty, death, horror, sexuality, the historical and mythological are their common interests. The gallery's aim is to discover and promote vital artists, and introduce them to local and international markets, creating a global synergy for like-minded and progressive artists, collectors, galleries and curators. Visit the gallery's website at ... http://www.charliesmithlondon.com

Rolls-Royce Celebrates 100 Years of "Spirit of Ecstasy" ~ Most Iconic Mascot in the Motoring World

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 05:23 PM PST

artwork: One hundred Rolls-Royce motor cars took to the streets of London in February 2011 to celebrate a very special anniversary. The date marked the centenary of the world's most famous hood mascot, the "Spirit of Ecstasy", which was first fitted to Rolls-Royce models in 1911.


LONDON - One hundred Rolls-Royce< motor cars took to the streets of London in February 2011 to celebrate a special anniversary, the centenary of the Spirit of Ecstasy hood mascot, which was first fitted to Rolls-Royce models in 1911. "The Spirit of Ecstasy" is a genuine icon, a graceful goddess who has adorned the prow of Rolls-Royce cars past and present," said Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös<. "She is recognised the world over as a symbol for the pinnacle of automotive aspiration and is an inspiration to those of us working for the company today. The centenary drive was a fitting tribute to such an important figure for our company."

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Celebrates the Legendary Films of Douglas Fairbanks

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 05:22 PM PST

artwork: The Mark of Zorro (1920) - Directed by Fred Niblo - Photo: MoMA Film Archive - © 2008 The Museum of Modern Art 

New York City - The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) celebrates the classic films of Douglas Fairbanks (1883-1939) with a 20-film exhibition that highlights the all-American actor's adventurous, swashbuckling career. Bringing together such Hollywood favorites as The Gaucho (1928), The Mark of Zorro (1920), The Three Musketeers (1921), and Mr. Robinson Crusoe (1932), the 20-film exhibition will be screened from December 17, 2008, through January 31, 2009, in The Roy and Niuta Titus theaters.

Bonhams Offers Two Hidden Self Portraits by L.S. Lowry and Alfred Munnings

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 05:21 PM PST

artwork: Sir Alfred James Munnings P.R.A., R.W.S. (British, 1878-1959) - "The Cut" - Oil on canvas - The painting has not been seen for over a hundred years and is estimated to sell for £80,000 – 120,000.  - Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.-
On the 29th June, Bonhams will include two paintings that include self portraits by L.S Lowry and Alfred Munnings in the 20th Century British Art sale in New Bond Street. "Group of People with the Artist" is estimated to sell for £100,000 -150,000 and was executed in the same year as L.S. Lowry staged his seventh one-man show in London. By this time (1961) Lowry's artistic reputation was already formidable with many of his regular collectors attempting to buy his works prior to the official opening. He had begun to move away from his ambitious and complex industrial landscapes and focus more on people.

George Grosz Heirs File Suit Against MoMA for Artworks Unlawfully Taken During Nazi Era

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 05:20 PM PST

artwork: George Grosz -  'The Poet Max Herrmann-Neisse' -  Photo: Courtesy Rowland & Petroff

NEW YORK, NY - The heirs of George Grosz, a famous Weimar period artist and relentless critic of the Nazis and German military establishment, filed suit in New York on Friday, April 10, 2009 against the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) for refusing to return three artworks created by Grosz and left behind by him when he fled Germany in 1933 to avoid Nazi threats against his life. The artworks, Portrait of the Poet Max Herrmann-Neisse, Self-Portrait with Model, and Republican Automatons, were left behind in Germany with his Galerist Alfred Flechtheim. Eventually Flechtheim was also forced to flee Germany due to Nazi persecution and the artworks were lost after Flechtheim's death.

Suit against MoMA was filed only after MoMA refused further discussion with the Grosz heirs, refused to toll the statute of limitations, and refused to mediate or arbitrate the dispute. Under the Washington Conference principles museums are to seek "fair and just" solutions to Nazi-era claims, and under the AAM and AAMD guidelines museums also should waive technical defenses such as the statute of limitations and laches and seek alternative avenues of dispute resolution, such as through mediation or arbitration. MoMA refused all of these suggested alternatives, leaving the Grosz heirs with no other alternative but to file suit.

artwork: George Grosz, Self-Portrait with Model Photo: Courtesy Rowland & PetroffThe Max Herrmann-Neisse painting, one of the best examples of Grosz' portraits, was created by George Grosz in 1927 and was consigned by Grosz to the Galerie Alfred Flechtheim in Berlin. The Flechtheim Galerie exhibited the painting on several occasions including at the MoMA in 1931. However, in 1933 the Flechtheim Galerie went into liquidation and Alfred Flechtheim fled Germany due to Nazi persecution.

In early 1933, George Grosz left Germany after being threatened by the Nazis and took up a teaching position in New York with the Art Students League. As a strident Nazi opponent Grosz exited Germany just prior to Hitler's appointment as Chancellor. Shortly thereafter Grosz'apartment and atelier in Berlin were ransacked by Nazi storm troopers and approximately 285 Grosz artworks, including those on display in museums, were either confiscated or destroyed.

While he was in exile in America, the Nazi government ordered all of Grosz' property left behind in Germany confiscated, including the Max Herrmann-Neisse painting, and revoked his German citizenship. Although steps were taken against Grosz' property as early as 1933, including the seizure of his bank account, the confiscation of his property and revocation of Grosz' German citizenship was published by the Nazis on March 9, 1938.

Alfred Flechtheim died on March 11, 1937 in London, having also been exiled from Germany. Flechtheim's wife, Betty, stayed on in Germany not having raised the necessary funds to pay Jewish taxes in order to obtain permission to leave. She eventually committed suicide in 1941 after having been given notice that she would be sent to a concentration camp.

During all this time, the Max Herrmann-Neisse painting stayed in Berlin. On April 4, 1937, shortly after Flechtheim's death, and subsequent to to the closure of Flechtheim's Galeries, Charlotte Weidler, an art dealer and curator for the Carnegie Institute, claimed she had "inherited" paintings from Flechtheim including the Max Herrmann-Neisse painting.

However, the Max Hermann-Neisse painting belonged to George Grosz who had never given up its ownership.

After WWII, in 1949 Weidler brought the painting to New York where she sold it to MoMA in 1952 through a dealer in Nazi-confiscated art, named Curt Valentin. At the time, George Grosz was living in New York but was not informed of the sale. Records indicate that MoMA never inquired as to the seller or the painting's further provenance.

artwork: George Grosz / 1883-1959 Republican Automatons, 1920 Watercolor - 23 5/8 x 18 5/8 in.When Grosz first learned that the Max Herrmann-Neisse painting was hanging in the collection of the MoMA in 1953, he wrote to his brother-in-law Otto Schmalhausen that "Modern Museum exhibited a painting that was stolen from me (I am powerless against that) they bought it from someone who stole it." Despondent due to Nazi persecution and the loss of his artistic legacy, Grosz died a broken man.

Weidler had also been involved in a very similar case involving the collection of Paul Westheim. After the publisher and art collector Paul Westheim fled Germany during the Nazi takeover, he left his art collection behind with Charlotte Weidler. Weidler left Germany as well in 1939 and stored the Westheim artworks in her sister's apartment in Berlin. Following the war Westheim asked Weidler what had become of his collection, and Weidler told him that his art collection was a total loss. This was not true.

Following Westheim's death in 1963, Weidler sold paintings from Westheim's collection that he left with her. Westheim's collection lost in Nazi Germany was well documented in publications and in German restitution claims. Among the Westheim paintings sold by Weidler was "An die Schoenheit"(To Beauty), by Otto Dix, which Weidler sold to the German art dealer Dr. Ewald Rathke. However, Rathke found out that Weidler was not the owner and forced Weidler to compensate Westheim's wife.

Besides the loss of the Max Herrmann-Neisse painting to Charlotte Weidler without compensation, Grosz also lost other artworks which he had consigned to Alfred Flechtheim and which were sold without Grosz' authorization in a sham auction in Amsterdam after Flechtheim's death. Among the artworks sold in the Amsterdam auction were Self-Portrait with Model and Republican Automatons, also now in the possession of MoMA.

Asked to comment on the events leading to the suit against MoMA, Marty Grosz said "We are very respectful of the MoMA, one of the leading modern art museums in the world. Unfortunately they were not willing to apply the principles of the Washington Conference and reach a "fair and just solution" in this case. MoMA left us with no alternative but to file suit. We were quite willing to resolve the matter amicably, but they refused."

Art Knowledge News Presents "This Week In Review"

Posted: 19 Nov 2011 05:19 PM PST

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


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

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