Art Knowledge News - November 8, 2011

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The Prado Exhibits Selected Works From the State Hermitage Museum

Posted: 07 Nov 2011 11:24 PM PST

artwork: Caravaggio - "The Lute-Player", circa 1595 - Oil on canvas - 94 x 119 cm. - Collection of the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. On view at the Museo del Prado, Madrid in "The Hermitage in the Prado" from November 8th until March 25th 2012.

Madrid.- The Museo del Prado is proud to host "The Hermitage in the Prado", a selection of works from the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, on view from November 8th through March 25th 2012. Jointly organised by the Museo del Prado, the State Hermitage Museum and Spanish Cultural Action, this exhibition will bring together a sizeable group of works that reveal the varied nature of the collections of the Hermitage, which range from the 5th century BC to the 20th century. It will include outstanding examples of classical art, decorative works of art, painting, sculpture and drawing. The exhibition will occupy all the Prado's temporary exhibition galleries in the new extension, which will become a "mini- Hermitage" for the four months of the exhibition.

artwork: Pablo Picasso - "Seated Woman", 1908 Oil on canvas - 150 x 99 cm. Collection of State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. - At the the Museo del Prado, Madrid until March 25th 2012.The Hermitage in Saint Petersburg is one of the greatest and most spectacular museums in the world. Located in a series of palatial buildings in the banks of the Neva, in particular the Winter Palace, the residence of Catherine the Great in the 18th century, the Museum's collections encompass pharaonic Egypt, Siberian cultures, the Greco-Roman world, Renaissance art, Neo-classical sculpture and the paintings of Matisse and Picasso. The exhibition to be held at the Prado offers a unique and remarkable opportunity to see treasures from the Hermitage, in particular ancient gold objects, examples of the decorative arts, and the museum's magnificent holdings of fine arts, paintings, sculptures and drawings. The exhibition will look at the principal figures in the creation of the palace-museum, the splendor of its interiors and the magnificent works of art and archaeology that it houses.

Paintings to be loaned to the Prado include major compositions such as "Saint Sebastian" by Titian, "The Lute Player" by Caravaggio, "Saint Sebastian" by Ribera, and "Three Men at a Table" by Velázquez. Two important works by Rembrandt, "Portrait of a Scholar" and "Haman accepts his Fate" will also be on display. Drawings on loan will include works by Dürer, Rubens, Watteau and Ingres, while sculptures include the terracotta study by Bernini for The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa and one of Antonio Canova's masterpieces, Mary Magdalen in meditation. The exhibition will also have notable examples of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings in the Hermitage, including works by Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Gauguin and Henri Matisse, the latter represented by "The Game of Bowls" and "Conversation". There will be three canvases by Pablo Picasso, including "Seated Woman" and "The Absinth Drinker", while this section will be completed with two Russian avant-garde abstract works, "Composition VI" by Wassilly Kandinsky and Kazimir Malevich's enigmatic "Black Painting".

Among the highlights from the Hermitage's archaeological collections are the Comb with Battle Scene, a Scythian work from the 4th century BC, and the pieces of Siberian jewellery that came to the Museum from Peter the Great's collection. Among the decorative works of art to be shown in Madrid will be the sword embellished with silver, rubies and diamonds that was given to the Czar in the 18th century by the Indian Ambassador, and the Vase of Flowers in rock crystal, gold and diamonds by Carl Fabergé (1846-1920), jeweller to the Imperial family.

artwork: Auguste Rodin - "Eternal Spring", circa 1905 - Marble - 25.5 x 26 x 16.5 cm. Collection of the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. On view at the Museo del Prado, Madrid in "The Hermitage in the Prado" until March 2012.

The Museo del Prado is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid. It features one of the world's finest collections of European art, from the 12th century to the early 19th century, based on the former Spanish Royal Collection, and unquestionably the best single collection of Spanish art. Founded as a museum of paintings and sculpture, it also contains important collections of other types of works. A new, recently opened wing enlarged the display area by about 400 paintings, and it is currently used mainly for temporary expositions. El Prado is one of the most visited sites in the world, and it is considered to be among the greatest museums of art. The large numbers of works by Velázquez and Francisco de Goya (the artist more extensively represented in the collection), Titian, Rubens and Bosch are among the highlights of the collection. The collection currently comprises around 7,600 paintings, 1,000 sculptures, 4,800 prints and 8,200 drawings, in addition to a large number of works of art and historic documents. By 2012 the Museum will be displaying about 1300 works in the main buildings, while around 3,100 works are on temporary loan to various museums and official institutions. The remainder are in storage. The best-known work on display at the museum is Las Meninas by Velázquez. Velázquez not only provided the Prado with his own works, but his keen eye and sensibility was also responsible for bringing much of the museum's fine collection of Italian masters to Spain. Visit the museum's website at ...

Miami International Art Fair 2012 in January Premieres Sculpture Miami

Posted: 07 Nov 2011 10:07 PM PST

artwork: "The World According to Federico Uribe" -  Colombian conceptual artist Federico Uribe is known for his fascinating transformation of everyday objects into art. Uribe creates sculptures which are not sculpted but constructed and woven in all kinds of ways, curious and unpredictable, intricate & compulsive. Courtesy of the Boca Raton Museum of Art

MIAMI, FL.- International Fine Art Expositions, founders of Art Miami in 1991, announced the third edition of the Miami International Art Fair, January 12th-16th, 2012. Relocated to Miami's premiere downtown entertainment district, MIA will bring together international and emerging artists to the waterfront scene for a five day extravaganza of art and culture. In addition MIA will premiere Sculpture Miami, a waterside installation and sculpture exhibition in Bayfront Park. Over thirty large scale sculptures by major international sculptors will be on public display beginning Dec. 5 through March 12. The Fair will commence with a private preview, January 12th from 6:30-8:30pm, to honor the MOCA Shakers. The preview evening will continue with a Collectors' Invitational from 8:30-10pm for additional distinguished collectors and VIP guests.

ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries Presents First U.S. Solo Show of Cuban Artist José Angel Vincench.

Posted: 07 Nov 2011 08:11 PM PST

artwork: Jose Angel Vincench - Dissident (Dutch): Compromise or Fiction of the Painting Series, Acrylic on Canvas, 2009-2010, 48 x 48 inches, Courtesy of ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries, Coral Gables (Miami), Florida

Coral Gables, Florida.- ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries are pleased to present "Vincench vs. Vincench: A Dissident Dialogue from Cuba" on view through January 2012. The Havana-based artist, who has held one-person exhibitions in Canada, Ecuador, the Republic of Cameroon, Switzerland, and leading galleries in Cuba, along with participating in five dozen group shows in leading galleries in North and South America and Europe, will exhibit more than 150 new paintings and wall-mounted installations of canvas and paper "shopping bags" shaped into letters from his two new series, Dissident and Exile. Fourteen of the four-foot Dissident paintings, each in a different language, are in "Vincench vs Vincench: A Dissident Dialogue from Cuba." Vincench superimposes a stencil of the definition of dissent in each language over an abstract painting, obscuring parts of the words with a white overlay that allows a faint suggestion of the original painting to be seen.

The City Gallery Prague is Staging a Retrospective of Václav Radimský

Posted: 07 Nov 2011 07:47 PM PST

artwork: Vaclav Radimsky - "Grazing (Brook in Giverny in Normandy, Autumn Mood)", circa 1899 - Oil on canvas - 110 x 180 cm. - Courtesy of Gallery Kodl. \ On view at the City Gallery Prague in  "Vaclav Radimsky (1867 - 1946)" until February 5th 2012.

Prague.- Earlier this year, sixty-five years had elapsed since the death of the landscapist Václav Radimský, and in the year 2012, one hundred and forty-five years will have passed from his birth. To mark these two anniversaries, City Gallery Prague is staging a major retrospective of his work in the galleries of the Municipal Library, and Arbor vitae is publishing Radimský´s first comprehensive monograph. "Vaclav Radimsky (1867 - 1946)" is on view through February 5th 2012. The present exhibition brings together around two hundred paintings, with a special place being assigned to the triptych "View of Kolín", a grandiose work of three by eight-and-a-half metres. Here, it also marks a watershed between the section featuring pictures created in France, and the part showing works painted by Radimský after his return to Bohemia.

Lehmann Maupin Gallery presents Artist & Musician Billy Childish exhibition

Posted: 07 Nov 2011 07:25 PM PST

artwork: Billy Childish - "(Elgar) Man Sat on Chairs", 2011 - Oil and charcoal on linen 48.03 x 59.84 inches 122 x 152 cm. -  Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York.- On exhibition until 21 January, 2012.

NEW YORK, NY.- Lehmann Maupin Gallery presents I Am The Billy Childish , curated by Matthew Higgs, on view 3 November, 2011 – 21 January, 2012 at 201 Chrystie Street. A modern day renaissance man, prolific artist, writer and musician Billy Childish is the pinnacle representation of the expression "walking to the beat of his own drum." Over thirty-five years of continual creative activity, Childish has gained a cult status world-wide writing and publishing over forty volumes of confessional poetry, five novels, recorded over one hundred LPs, and painted several hundred paintings, all the while refusing to conform to the contemporary art world's standards and placed importance on the market. As a poet, novelist and painter, Childish has explored throughout his work, and often with a startling honesty, his struggles in coming to terms with addiction, abuse, and a childhood spent in a dysfunctional family setting.

The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna Shows "Winter Tales from Bruegel to Beuys"

Posted: 07 Nov 2011 07:24 PM PST

artwork: Ernest Meissonier - "Campagne de France, 1814", 1864 - Oil on panel, 51.5 x 76.5 cm. - Collection of the Musée d'Orsay. On view at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna in "Winter Tales: Depictions of Winter in European Art from Bruegel to Beuys" until January 8th 2012.

Vienna.- The Kunsthistorisches Museum is proud to present "Winter Tales: Depictions of Winter in European Art from Bruegel to Beuys", on view through January 8th 2012. The creation myths of most great civilizations agree that winter came into the world to punish man, or as a plague. Boreas, the Greek god of the cold north wind, personified winter. In northern mythology three years of frost herald the end of the world. Large-scale depictions of how Napoleon's Grande Armée was defeated by the Russian winter are a modern equivalent of these ancient scenarios of the end of the world. The contrary vision comprises serenity and joyous seasonal cheer: we can feast our eyes on views of a snow-bound countryside with skaters enjoying themselves on frozen ponds and rivers in the distance. In the middle of the 16th century, northern Europe – especially Flanders – witnessed the birth of the "pure" winter landscape.

For the first time these scenes are intended to stand alone and are not conceived as part of the Labours of the Months. It is probably no accident that this period was known as the "Little Ice Age", which was marked by exceptionally low median temperatures. In the late 18th century, there is a revival of by then long-unfashionable winter landscapes: at first romanticized, they evolve to reflect the palette of winter.  The exhibition is on display until January 8th, 2012.

artwork: Giuseppe Arcimboldo - "Winter", 1563 - Oil on panel, 66.6 x 50.5 cm. Collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. On view until January 8th 2012.Impressionism, Dutch art and a wealth of landscapes – these were the ingredients of earlier winter exhibitions. The Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Kunsthaus Zurich have expanded this successful trio. Broadening the selection to include many different genres and schools, the two museums present a comprehensive survey comprising over 180 works by west-European artists. For the show's curator, Ronald de Leeuw, a personal winter tale has come true. Four galleries and nine small rooms of the KHM's Picture Gallery form the show's spectacular setting: The works on show date from 1450 to the present. In addition to the subjects mentioned above, there are Dutch allegories of the months, depictions of winter festivities and folk customs, and still lifes; even portraits join in and present changing winter fashions. Light-hearted and harmless winter amusements or the life-threatening forces of nature – both scenarios exist.

Finding something magical in inhospitable nature was the preserve of a small elite: warm and well-fed, they were able to enjoy various seasonal amusements.  Ice skating, a popular sport for gallant lovers,  parties, travelling, freezing animals, peasants and beggars, the cold, poverty and old age proved popular subjects for many centuries.  In the 21st century, large blockbuster exhibitions are subject to organizational and economic limitations and constraints – which means we had to reject an attractive group of works: there are almost no winter paintings by artists from Russia and Scandinavia, or from America, and no Japanese woodcuts. The paintings are arranged more or less in chronological order; Ronald de Leeuw was able to augment the selection by including large-scale tapestries and an imperial sleigh as well as cups and goblets, fragile porcelain figures and vessels cut from semi-precious stones.

artwork: Alfred Sisley - "Snow at Louveciennes (Yvelines)", 1878 - Oil on canvas, 61 x 50.5 cm. - Collection of the Musée d'Orsay. On view at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna Over thirty important museums, among them the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, the National Gallery and the Tate in London, the Staatliche Museen in Berlin, and our partner the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam have lent outstanding works. Three years in the making, the exhibition also brings together important loans from Munich, Strasbourg, Rotterdam, Dresden, Zurich, Philadelphia, Darmstadt, Edinburgh, Cologne, The Hague, New York, Gent, Weimar and Boston. However, the unique focal point of the exhibition in Vienna is in the Picture Gallery of the Kunsthistorisches Museum: Pieter Bruegel the elder's painting "Hunters in the Snow", perhaps the most famous depiction of winter in European art. But the exhibition also includes paintings by Jacob van Ruisdael, Hendrick Avercamp, Jan van Goyen, Aert van der Neer, Peter Paul Rubens, Jan Steen, Jacob Jordaens, J M W Turner, Francisco de Goya, Caspar David Friedrich, Gustave Courbet, Jean-François Millet, Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro, Vincent van Gogh, Giovanni Segantini, Edvard Munch, Joseph Beuys and Anselm Kiefer.

The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna is one of the foremost museums in the world, with rich holdings comprising artworks from seven millennia - from Ancient Egypt to the late 18th century. The collections of Renaissance and Baroque art are of particular importance. The KHM's extensive holdings are on show at different locations: The main building on Ringstrasse houses the Picture Gallery, the Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities, the Egyptian and Near Eastern Collection, the Coin Collection, and the Kunstkammer that will reopen in December 2012. Other collections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum are housed in the Neue Burg (i.e. the Collection of Historical Musical Instruments, the Collection of Arms and Armour, and the Ephesus Museum), in Hofburg Palace (the Treasury), and in Schönbrunn Palace (the Collection of Historical Carriages). The collections on show at Ambras Palace are also part of the holdings of the Kunsthistorisches Museum. Since January 2001, the Museum of Ethnology on Heldenplatz and the Austrian Theatre Museum on Lobkowitz Square have been incorporated into the KHM. The Picture Gallery of the Kunsthistorisches Museum developed from the art collections of the House of Habsburg. Today it is one of the largest and most important of its kind in the world. The foundations of the collection were laid and its main emphases set in the 17th century: 16th-century Venetian painting (Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto), 17th-century Flemish painting (Peter Paul Rubens, Sir Anthony Van Dyck), Early Netherlandish painting (Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden) and German Renaissance painting (Albrecht Dürer, Lucas Cranach). Among the other highlights in the Picture Gallery are its holdings of pictures by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, which are unique worldwide, as well as masterpieces by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Raphael, Caravaggio, Velázquez and Italian Baroque painters. Visit the museum's website at ...

'Manet ~ The Man Who Invented Modern Art' at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris

Posted: 07 Nov 2011 07:22 PM PST

artwork:  Édouard Manet - "A Bar at the Folies-Bergère", 1882 - Oil on canvas - 96 x 130 cm. - Collection of Courtauld Institute Galleries, London. On view at the Musee D'Orsay as part of the 'Manet: Inventor of the Modern" from April 5th to July 3rd 2011.

Paris.- The Musee d'Orsay presents "Manet, The man Who Invented Modern Art" from 5th April 2011 - 3rd July 2011. More than a one man retrospective for Edouard Manet (1832-1883), the exhibition explores and highlights the historical situation around him, including the reaffirmed legacy of Romanticism, the impact of his contemporaries and the changes in the media at the time. The exhibtion includes a reconstruction of his exhibition at the Gallery La Vie moderne, organised in March-April 1880 at the start of the Salon, and raises the question finally of what "the freedom to create" meant to him. As well as works from the Musee d'Orsay's own collection, the exhibtion features numerous loans from other museums and private collectors.

There has been no exhibition exclusively devoted to Édouard Manet in France since 1983, the date of the memorable retrospective produced by Françoise Cachin and Charles S. Moffett. In the ensuing twenty-five years, however, there has been much valuable research and fruitful reflection. A rejection of formalism and a return to history, personal as well as collective, characterise the best of this work, whether documenting Manet's life story or analysing his work, how it was exhibited and received. Our understanding of French painting from the period 1840 to 1880 has at the same time become more refined and freed from over-Manicheistic interpretations. From these two developments, in which the Musée d'Orsay continues to be involved, a new image of Manet and his generation has appeared. This exhibition aims to demonstrate this in a most clear and attractive way. More than just a strictly linear, monographic retrospective, it constructs its premise around some twelve questions, each one closely related to the historical process from which Manet cannot be separated.

Édouard Manet - "The Dead Toreador", 1864-1865 - Oil on canvas - 76 × 153.3 cm. From the collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. On view at the Musee D'Orsay.

Simplifying his modernity to an iconographic register or bringing it down to a few stylistic elements, comes, as we know, from a reductive approach. Manet is modern primarily because he embraces, as much as Courbet yet differently, the changes in the media that marked his era, and the unregulated circulation of images; secondly because imperial France, the backdrop to his developing career, was modern. And finally because the manner in which he challenged the masters of the Louvre was modern, extending beyond his militant Hispanism. It is clear that the aesthetic he forged after 1860 demands a broader definition of realism than is normally ascribed to him.With this objective in mind, the exhibition aims to revisit the many links, visual, literary or political, between Manet's art and Romantic culture. It will focus on the teaching of Thomas Couture, Baudelaire's support and encouragement, the reform of religious art, erotic imagery and its unresolved issues, etc. But the originality of an artist as unpredictable as Manet cannot be reduced to the sum of the sources from which he distils his art.

Other sections of the exhibition try to throw light on the art of the fragment(ed), his relationship with women painters (Berthe Morisot, Eva Gonzalès), his decision to remain outside the main Impressionist movement and his complicity with Mallarmé at his darkest. The final reminder of the exhibition at the Gallery de la Vie Moderne, the last one-man show, in 1880, of a painter obsessed by the Salon, raises the question of what "the freedom to create" meant to him. This means that "Manet, the Man who Invented Modernity" highlights later works that are less well known and, more importantly, little understood if regarded as simply a stage in the process towards "pure painting"

artwork: Édouard Manet - "On the Beach", 1873 - Oil on canvas - 59.5 x 73 cm. Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France. - Photo © Musée d'Orsay/RMN.

The history of the Musee d'Orsay and its building is quite unusual. In the centre of Paris on the banks of the Seine, opposite the Tuileries Gardens, the museum was installed in the former Orsay railway station, built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. So the building itself could be seen as the first "work of art" in the Musee d'Orsay, which displays collections of art from the period 1848 to 1914. The station is superb and looks like a Palais des beaux-arts..." wrote the painter Edouard Detaille in 1900. Eighty-six years later, his prophecy was fulfilled when the Musee d'Orsay opened in 1986. The transformation of the station into a museum was accomplished by ACT architecture group, made up of M. Bardon, M. Colboc and M. Philippon. Their project was chosen in 1979 out of six propositions, and would respect Laloux's architecture while nonetheless reinterpreting it according to its new function. The project highlighted the great hall, using it as the main artery of the visit, and transformed the magnificent glass awning into the museum's entrance. The museum has been organised on three levels: on the ground floor, galleries are distributed on either side of the central nave, which is overlooked by the terraces of the median level, these in turn opening up into additional exhibition galleries. The top floor is installed above the lobby, which covers the length of the Quai, and continues into the highest elevations of the former hotel, over the rue de la Légion d'Honneur (formerly rue de Bellechasse). The museum's specific exhibition spaces and different facilities are distributed throughout the three levels: the pavilion Amont, the glass walkway of the former station's western pinion, the museum restaurant (installed in the dining hall of the former hotel), the Café des Hauteurs, the bookshop and the auditorium. The museum has 57,400 square metres of floorspace of which almost 22,000 is used to exhibit art. Almost 3 million people visit the Musee d'Orsay every year. Visit the museum's website at ...

The Centre Pompidou Dedicates An Exhibition to Women: elles-at-centrepompidou

Posted: 07 Nov 2011 07:21 PM PST

artwork: Suzanne Valadon - La Chambre bleue, 1923 - Oil on canvas, 90 x 116 cm. Collection Centre Pompidou, Musée national d'art moderne - (diffusion RMN, photo: Jacqueline Hyde)

PARIS - The new hang of the permanent collection of the Musée National d'Art Moderne is to be entirely devoted to modern and contemporary women artists – the first time such a thing will have been done by a national museum of art. The exhibition, drawing on one of the world's greatest collections of modern and contemporary art, the largest in Europe, represents a vigorous affirmation of the Museum's commitment to women artists of every nationality, across all the disciplines, returning them to their rightful place at the centre of the modern and contemporary art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Less Elephant Dung in New Show by Chris Ofili at Tate Britain

Posted: 07 Nov 2011 07:20 PM PST

artwork: Chris Ofili - "Blossom", 1997 - Private Collection - © Chris Ofili Courtesy of Tate Britian, London

LONDON (REUTERS).- He is best known for working with elephant dung, but British artist Chris Ofili has taken a more painterly turn since his move from London to Trinidad five years ago. A mid-career retrospective at Tate Britain in London covers the first two decades of the 41-year-old, Turner Prize-winning artist's work, and one third of the 45 or so paintings on display have not been seen in Britain before. The earliest paintings date from 1993, a year after he travelled to Zimbabwe where he first thought of applying elephant dung to the canvas. So the first room of the seven-room show, which opens on January 27 until May 16, is dominated by titles such as "Shithead," "Painting with Shit on it" and "Spaceshit."

Frida Kahlo ~ Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray at Palm Springs Art Museum

Posted: 07 Nov 2011 07:19 PM PST

artwork: Nickolas Muray, 1892-1965, American (b. Hungary), Frida with Olmeca Figurine, Coyoacán 1939, Carbon process print. Courtesy of the collection of the Nickolas Muray Archives. Tour Development by Smith Kramer Fine Art Services, Kansas City, MO

PALM SPRINGS.- Approximately forty-six portraits of Frida Kahlo and three letters she wrote to Nikolas Muray comprise this exhibition. The photographs, dating from 1937 to 1941, were taken by Nickolas Muray, Kahlo's friend, lover and confidant. Muray began photographing Kahlo in color in the winter of 1938-1939, while she was in New York attending an exhibition of her paintings at the Julien Levy Gallery. Muray photographed Frida more often than any other single person and his compelling photographs bring to light Kahlo's deep interest in her Mexican heritage, her life and the people significant to her. On View through16 November, 2008.

The Walker Art Center features An Exhibition of Abstract Resistance

Posted: 07 Nov 2011 07:18 PM PST

artwork: Robert Motherwell - "Vivo" (Black), 1986. lithograph on paper, 39-1/4 x 51-1/2 inches (unframed). Collection Walker Art Center. Walker Art Center, Tyler Graphics Archive, 1986.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN.- Now-legendary figures as well as younger artists who have revolted against the aesthetic orthodoxies of their times are featured in the Walker Art Center exhibition Abstract Resistance on view February 27–May 23. Nearly 40 works ranging from the 1950s to a brand-new commission do not conform to a single theme, but are united in challenging what is expected of art, from the way it looks to the role it plays in society at large. The exhibition considers "resistance" as a complex formal and political force, as is suggested by the title it borrows from a featured sculpture by Thomas Hirschhorn. Ultimately, Abstract Resistance proposes an alternative framework for aesthetically inventive, ethically engaged, and politically defiant art.

How a Kidnapping Hurled France and Mexico Into a Major Diplomatic Art Feud

Posted: 07 Nov 2011 07:17 PM PST

artwork: Ten massive statues by Mexican artist Rivelino, which were to have traveled by boat down the Seine, remained stranded in Rotterdam. Casualties in a diplomatic row between France and Mexico that is threatening 2011's "Year of Mexico" celebrations in France.

PARIS.- In the French town of Saint-Romain-en-Gal this week, distraught Mexican curators started packing 200 ancient art objects to be shipped back to their country before they could be seen by the public. Meanwhile, ten massive statues by Mexican artist Rivelino, which were to have traveled by boat down the Seine, remained stranded in Rotterdam. These are just some of the consequences of a diplomatic imbroglio that has pitted Mexico and France against each other, and has threatened the artistic events surrounding the celebration of France's Year of Mexico. The crisis began far outside of the art world, when French citizen Florence Cassez lost her appeal in a Mexican court and was sentenced to 60 years in prison on kidnapping charges.

St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts to display Monumental Work of Fernando Botero

Posted: 07 Nov 2011 07:16 PM PST

artwork:  Fernando Botero - 'Smoking Woman' (1987) - Bronze - Private Collection.

ST. PETERSBURG, FL.- Fernando Botero is one of Colombia's and the world's most popular artists. His monumental bronzes have been seen on Park Avenue in New York, the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and the Champs Élysées in Paris. The Baroque World of Fernando Botero, on view from January 9-April 4, 2010, is the first time such a large exhibition of his work has been featured in the Tampa Bay area. This is also the first retrospective of the artist's work in North America since the acclaimed 1979 survey at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. Spotlighting 100 stunning paintings, sculptures, and drawings, this new exhibition is drawn from Botero's private collection. These are key works he saved or bought back, providing the artist's personal look at the amazing sweep of his career.

Three of his impressive large-scale sculptures will be installed outside the Museum: The Hand (1985), Smoking Woman (1987), and The Rape of Europa (1999). Sixteen more will be in the galleries. This exhibition includes many paintings and drawings and a selection of recent sculptures never before shown in North America.

artwork: Fernando Botero - The Rape of Europa (1999)Botero (born 1932 in Medellín, Colombia) is a truly international artist, reflecting diverse influences. As a teenager, he was drawn to the work of Picasso and was expelled from his Catholic high school for writing an admiring essay on the modernist master. Later studies in Europe led to exposure to Velázquez (his portraits of Spanish royalty); Goya (Los desastres de la guerra); Dürer (particularly his Adam and Eve); Rubens; Italian Renaissance fresco painters; and French artists Courbet, Ingres, and Delacroix. The Mexican muralists Rivera, Orozco, and Siqueiros and the great Frida Kahlo (her haunting self-portraits) have also influenced his work.

He sketched his breakthrough mandolin in 1956 in Mexico City. By making the central opening of the instrument very small, he enlarged the volume of the entire mandolin. According to exhibition curator Dr. John Sillevis, "It felt like a shock. From now on he knew what he was going to do. He would enlarge everything he would draw or paint to a baroque shape, an expression of sumptuousness and sensuality, not only in a human figure, but also in still life, in fruits, or in a mandolin." The Museum exhibition contains a later, striking painting, Still Life with Mandolin (1998). The still life, in fact, has been critical to Botero's work almost from the very beginning.

Through it all, he has maintained an unbroken tie to Colombia and Latin America, even as he has lived much of his adult life in Paris and Italy. His first and dominant influence was the Spanish colonial baroque art and architecture of Colombia, with its exaggeration and theatricality, particularly in the Catholic churches. These images were imprinted on his mind and work: the bloody Christ on the cross, the perfection and comfort of Mary, the martyred saints, and hovering angels.

Botero was not interested in simply carrying on this tradition, but personalizing it. Mary becomes Our Lady of Colombia (1992), for example, an ample figure wearing a red crown with green jewels. She weeps for her country and carries a large child, perhaps the youthful Botero, waving a tiny Colombian flag. Characteristically, the color is spectacular. Her yellow hair and dress and the child's halo are set against a green backdrop held by two cherubs. The child wears lighter green socks. This is a contemporary Madonna, conveying emotion, yet remaining distant, like a statue.

artwork: Fernando Botero (b. 1932) - The Widow , 1997 Oil on canvas, 80 x 66 ½ inches - Private CollectionThe natural world, so central to his childhood memories, can be richly colorful and abundant, like in Florida. But the dense foliage can also oppress the huge figures in front or below. In Botero's work, there is often an undercurrent amid all the beauty. He also captures the natural disasters that threaten humanity, usually giving them a Latin American or Colombian cast. The Earthquake (2000) is a prime example, with colonial buildings reduced to rubble and one lone figure pleading for help from an upstairs window.

The exhibition also includes a section on everyday life in South America: people in dance halls and brothels, on the street, and in the intimacy of their bedrooms and bathrooms. Everyone and everything are larger-than-life. There are also crime scenes and depictions of political violence and repression.

Another crying Madonna is at the center of The Widow (1997), based on the artist's childhood. His mother, widowed at an early age, was left to raise three children with almost no money. Again, there is a stylized quality to this painting, even as it points to the struggle to survive in Latin America. This struggle often comes up against the powerful in Botero's art—the well-fed presidents and their wives and the equally pampered hierarchy.

The artist's wonderful sense of humor, his appreciation of the comedy of life, is frequently on view, as the distinguished Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes has noted. The huge Dancer at the Barre (2001) could never maintain such a pose, but Botero makes her incredibly graceful. The painting draws a smile, not ridicule. Botero encourages us to see the human spirit at work in the unlikeliest of bodies and places.

Botero's art, while immediately accessible, has many layers and has been collected by the world's great museums. They include: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Hirshhorn, and The Hermitage Museum, among others. He is one of those rare artists who has crossed over from the art world into the larger culture.

The Baroque World of Fernando Botero is organized and circulated by Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia. Dr. Sillevis is Curator of the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague. Visit the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts  :

Second Solo Show for Jim Brossy at Projects Gallery in Philadelphia

Posted: 07 Nov 2011 07:15 PM PST

artwork: Jim Brossy crafts figures from debris, construction material, as well as traditional paint. Courtesy of Projects Gallery in Philadelphia, PA

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- For November Projects Gallery will feature Philadelphia artist Jim Brossy's second solo show "Left Behind". Known for his wildly expressive figurative mixed media assemblages, Brossy focuses on the frequently overlooked for his subject matter. With his signature use of a sophisticated hodgepodge, Brossy crafts figures from debris, construction material, as well as traditional paint. Modest blue-collar workers, barflies, the homeless, children, and the detritus of society are depicted in material reflective of their social status. Cheeky political references imbue the work with a dual seriousness and humor. Brossy's work asks the viewer to consider grand social issues but to never take themselves, or the work, too seriously.

MCA Denver Showcases Large-Scale Works by Damien Hirst

Posted: 07 Nov 2011 07:14 PM PST

artwork: Damien Hirst - The Explosion - Exalted , 2006 - Gagosian Gallery Butterflies and household gloss on canvas 84 inches in diameter. 

DENVER, CO - MCA DENVER proudly presents Damien Hirst's signature works, including the piece "Saint Sebastian, Exquisite Pain", 2007 from the Natural History series, which features animals preserved in formaldehyde and displayed in large glass vitrines. The exhibition opens October 7, 2008 and runs through August 30, 2009. A public reception will be held on Friday, October 10 from 6-10pm. The Hirst pieces at MCA DENVER are on loan from the Artist and the Goss-Michael Collection. This exhibition is curated by Cydney Payton, Executive Director and Chief Curator of MCA Denver.

"The Hirshhorn acquires two Jiha Moon works"

Posted: 07 Nov 2011 07:13 PM PST

artwork: Jiha Moon Styx

Washington, DC - Curator's Office, a gallery based in Washington, DC, is delighted to announce the acquisition of two Jiha Moon works by the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden located in Washington, DC.

Jiha Moon, a Korean artist based in Washington, DC and Atlanta, GA was born in 1973 in Taegu, Korea.  She earned her MFA from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa in 2002 and another MFA from Ewha Women's University, Seoul Korea.  She was the recipient of the prestigious Trawick Prize, an annual award of $ 10,000 made to a mid-Atlantic artist.

High Museum of Art Acquires Major New Works By Alex Katz and Anish Kapoor

Posted: 07 Nov 2011 07:12 PM PST

artwork: Anish Kapoor (b. 1954) -  "European Pot For Her", (1985) - Wood, gesso, and pigment, 38 x 96 x 42 inches. - The Lenore and Burton Gold Collection of 20th Century Art - Courtesy of The High Museum of Art, Atlanta

ATLANTA, GA.- "The High's collection of contemporary art is growing in exciting and diverse ways, and signals our commitment to creating an anthology of important 21st-century works," commented Michael Shapiro, the High's Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr. Director. "We are grateful to Alex for his generous gift of 'Twilight' and look forward to adding to our holdings of his work; his extraordinary paintings bridge the Museum's fine collection of post-painterly abstraction with its expanding collection of Pop art."

Studio Museum in Harlem displays " Barkley L. Hendricks ~ Birth of the Cool "

Posted: 07 Nov 2011 07:11 PM PST

artwork: Barkley L. Hendricks, What's Goin On, 1974.  Oil acrylic, and magna on cotton canvas, 65.75 x 83.75 inches.  Image courtesy of A.C.A. Gallery, New York.  Part of the exhibition, Barkley L. Hendicks: Birth of the Cool, on view at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

NEW YORK CITY - The Studio Museum in Harlem is proud to present Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool, the first career retrospective of the renowned American artist. Hendricks (b. 1945) is best known for his life-size portraits of people of color from the urban northeast in the 1960s and 70s. His bold portrayals of attitude and style capture a moment of fashion following the civil rights movement—he depicts iconic power within his subjects. On view through 15 March, 2009.

Europe's Leading Art Exhibition And Event Center ~ The Martin Gropius Bau In Berlin

Posted: 07 Nov 2011 07:10 PM PST

artwork: The Martin Gropius Bau (Martin Gropius building, or MGB), one of Berlin's most magnificent buildings with its combined classical and Renaissance features. Originally a museum of applied arts, it was derilict after bombing during World War II, and rebuilt and opened in 1981 as Europe's leading art exhibition venue.

The Martin Gropius Bau (Martin Gropius building, or MGB) is considered one of Berlin's most magnificent buildings with its combined classical and Renaissance features. A short walk from Potsdamer Platz, it doubles as one of Europe's top international exhibition and event venues. With a constant flow of half a million visitors per year and over 20 large art photography and cultural exhibitions, the MGB is an established Berlin cultural institution. First inaugurated in 1881 as a Museum for the Applied Arts, the building was designed by Martin Gropius, great uncle of Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus movement and Heino Schmieden. After World War I, the building housed the Museum of Pre and Early History and the East Asian Art Collection. Damaged, like most Berlin buildings during World War II and not deemed worthy of preservation, the building was almost demolished to make way for an urban motorway were it not for the intervention of Walter Gropius. Given protected heritage site status in 1966, its reconstruction and restoration only began in 1978 when it was also renamed Martin Gropius Bau. After reconstruction of the exterior by Winnetou Kampmann, it reopened in 1981 as an exhibition venue, remaining directly adjacent to the Berlin Wall until 1990 and accessible only via a rear entrance as the main doorway remained unusuable because of its proximity to the Wall. After German reunification and the collapse of the Berlin Wall, a further spate of restoration and alteration was necessary and the Federal Government commissioned architects Hilmer, Sattler and Albrecht to carry out the work. Completed in 2000, the works included air conditioning and the redesigning of the north entrance as the main entrance to the building. Today the Martin Gropius Bau building is the central venue for the Berliner Festspiele and its partners – the 50 year old umbrella cultural institution which runs many of Berlin's international festivals and cultural events including the Musikfest Berlin, the International Literature Festival and JazzFest Berlin. The Gropius Bau hosts over 20 large art, photography and cultural exhibitions every year. Among the building's special features are its vast exhibition and reception spaces. These include the 300m north vestibule with a glass dome, the 600m Atrium on the ground floor with a surrounding gallery where vast functions for up to 750 guests can be held. Other facilities are conference rooms and a 200-seat cinema. Just off the central Foyer area on the ground floor are the Café and Bookshop. In the high-ceilinged café meals and refreshments are available and in the warmer months food is served in the garden at the back of the building. Visit the MGB website at …

artwork: Tullio Crali - "From "Languages of Futurism" at the Martin-Gropius-Bau celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the

The exhibition program at the Martin Gropius Bau merges contemporary arts and culture with a stunning setting. It is located directly adjacent to a stretch of the Berlin Wall which stood here until 1990 and next to the Topography of Terror (an open-air exhibition documenting the site around today's Niederkirchner Strasse and Wilhelm Strasse where the headquarters of the main institutions of the Nazi terror apparatus were located). Sensational exhibitions such as 'Art Spiegelman: Kisses From New York' (2003), Stanley Kubrick (2005), 'Egypt's Sunken Treasures' (2006), 'Rebecca Horn: Drawings, Sculptures, Installations, Films 1964-2006' (2006/2007), 'Man Ray: Unconcerned But Not Indifferent' (2008), 'Bauhaus' and "Futurism" (2009), or the Mexico Exhibitions. 'Frida Kahlo: Retrospective' and 'Teotihuacan: Mexico's Mysterious Pyramid City' (2010) have made the Martin-Gropius-Bau one of the leading international exhibition centers. Unusual thematic exhibitions on cultural history, often with spectacular archaeological finds and latest research results, with the fields of contemporary art and photography are the main pillars of the program of the Martin-Gropius-Bau. Outstanding artist biographies also focus on how current positions. Museums around the world, government institutions and private lenders to open it - usually the first and often only time - their treasuries and send their most important works on the trip to Berlin to be exhibited at the Martin Gropius Bau.

artwork: A sculpture is on display during the exhibition "Teotihuacan - Mexico's Mysterious Pyramid City" held at Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum in Berlin, Germany. More than 450 objects giving a comprehensive insight into the art, everyday life and religion of the Aztec culture.

Currently on show (until May 29 2011) at the Martin Gropius Bau is "Compass: Drawings from the Museum of Modern Art in New York". In 2004, 212 modern works of art from New York triggered a veritable rush to the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. The "MoMA in Berlin" became a legendary artistic happening, with over 1.2 million visitors and the longest line ever in front of a museum. The 'Compass' exhibition in Berlin offers viewers an extraordinary selection of modern art drawings from the collection of the Judith Rothschild Foundation, which was acquired by New York's Museum of Modern Art in 2005. The collection consists of nearly 2600 contemporary works on paper, which were created by over 600 artists. The collection was initiated during the 1950s and was completed in 2005. It therefore represents practically all of the major manifestations that took place in this media over the course of five entire decades. Many prominent 20th-century artists are represented, including Lee Bontecou, Joseph Beuys, Jasper Jones, Donald Judd, Agnes Martin, Edward Ruscha, Robert Rauschenberg, Martin Kippenberger , Elisabeth Peyton, Christian Holstad, John Currin, Kai Althoff, Arturo Herrera, Lucy McKenzie, Nick Mauss, Mona Hatoun, Amelie Wulff, Seb Patane, Sherrie Levine, Paulina Olowska and Paul McCarthy. The exhibition title Compass refers to the collection's ambition to cover and discover geographically distinct artistic centres (through the navigational compass), as well as its attention to modes of making the compass as a drafting tool. The collection reflects two trends: the representational and the abstract shape, minimal and conceptual approaches between 1950 and 2005. The diverse exhibition program of the Martin Gropius Bau, developed in collaboration with partners such as the National Museums in Berlin, the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn, and the German Historical Museum, every year hostover 600,000 visitors.

artwork: Katsushika Hokusai - "Moonlight on the Yodo River (Tsuki)", circa 1832 - Woodblock print - 25.4 x 37.8 cm. A selection of Hokusai's prints will feature in 'Hokusai - Retrospective' from 26th August to 24th October 2011 at the Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin.

Future exhibitions at the MGB include 'When the Curtain Falls: The Photographs of Margarita Broich" from 18 March to 30 May 2011. As an actress, Margarita Broich is one of the greats, however, she is not as well known as a photographer. For the first time the Martin-Gropius-Bau presents a group of works by Margarita Broich, including more than 60 portraits of artists, including Ben Becker, Kate Winslet, Veronica Ferres, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Christoph Schlingensief, Thomas Quasthoff and more. Margarita Broich was born 1960 in Neuwied, studied photo design in Dortmund and worked as a theater photographer at the Bochum Schauspielhaus under Claus Peymann, before she studied acting at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. Since then, she has appeared in numerous German-language theater and television productions, working with directors such as Claus Peymann, Robert Wilson and Christoph Schlingensief. André Kertész – Photographs' from June 11th to September 11th 2011 will present a major retrospective of over 300 examples of this Hungarian born photographers work. With images such as "swimmer under water" (1917), "Chez Mondrian" (1926) or "Fork" (1929) Kertész earned a permanent place in the photographic history of the 20th Century. It's not only his outstanding formal compositions that earned him great respect, but the inspired surreal poetry with which he recorded seemingly simple things and situations. His innovative photographic sense inspired many of his colleagues and successors, Brassaï trained with him and Henri Cartier-Bresson was influenced by him. Later in the year, from 26th August to 24th October 2011, the MGB will present the first ever German retrospective of the works of the world famous Japanese artist Hokusai (1760-1849). More than 350 loans, mostly from Japan, will feature in this exhibition. Seiji Nagata, the most important Japanese expert on the work of Hokusai, curated the exhibition, which can only be seen in Berlin, where it will form part of the "150 years of friendship between Germany and Japan" celebrations.

Art Knowledge News Presents "This Week In Review"

Posted: 07 Nov 2011 07:09 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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