Fwd: Art Knowledge News -Nov. 22, 2011

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Stanley Whitney to Receive First Robert De Niro Sr. Annual Prize

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 09:46 PM PST

artwork: Stanley Whitney - Untitled - oil on linen, 72" x 72". Courtesy of the artist and Private Collection

NEW YORK, NY.- The Estate of Robert De Niro Sr. announced the inaugural recipient of The Robert De Niro Sr. Prize, an annual award which honors an outstanding mid-career American painter. New York-based artist Stanley Whitney will receive the $25,000 award, administered by the Tribeca Film Institute, for his considerable contribution to the field of painting. The merit-based prize—among the first to celebrate and shine a light on mid-career artists—honors the work and legacy of accomplished painter De Niro Sr. A selection committee of distinguished individuals in the art world was appointed to nominate candidates and select the prize recipient. Whitney was selected by a jury including Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem; Agnes Gund, President Emerita of the Museum of Modern Art and Chairman of its International Council and Chairman of the Mayor's Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission of the City of New York; Barry Schwabsky, art critic for The Nation; and Robert Storr, Yale University's Dean of the School of Art.

"Stanley's work and the way he practices his craft both show what this prize is all about—honoring a person with great passion for and lifelong commitment to art," said Robert De Niro. "I am so proud to pay tribute to my father through this inaugural prize in his name, and to recognize and support an artist who has achieved so much throughout his career."

In a statement, the jury added: "For the recipient of the first Robert De Niro Sr. Prize, we have selected a painter who represents the spirit of commitment, independence, and invention that marked De Niro's own work as an artist. Stanley Whitney proves that you can be a traditionalist without being a conservative. His concerns are those of painters from the Venetians through Delacroix to the Abstract Expressionists : color, light, and a sense of movement communicated through visual rhythm—but his painting is a continual adventure in these realms that he shows to be without limit. For many years he has worked with a consistent set of structuring devices but has used them as a basis for more than just variations on a theme, for the true structural basis of Whitney's art is color, not shape, and he rediscovers it anew each time.

artwork: Stanley Whitney - "Big Love", 2006 - Oil on linen, 72 x 72".

It continued, "Keeping faith with the open possibilities of painting, Whitney has been not only admired by his peers but an inspiration to younger artists, both through his paintings and as a teacher. Over his nearly four decades of teaching, Whitney has not only taught young artists about the process and practice of art, but instilled in his students a deep understanding of art in its truest forms beyond the whims of fashion. We are pleased to offer the Robert De Niro Sr. Prize to an artist who so ardently interprets the sense of life through the fundamentals of painting."

Stanley Whitney earned his BFA at the Kansas City Art Institute and came to New York in 1968 to attend the Studio School. He was encouraged by painter Rob Reid to attend Yale University, where he earned his MFA and studied under painter Al Held. Whitney served as Chair of the Painting and Drawing Department at Temple University's Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, and also taught at the Rome campus. He is currently Professor Emeritus at Tyler School of Art. Distinguished by his Modernist abstract style that featured casual geometry and bold color, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1996, a Pollock-Krasner Grant in 2002, and an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2010. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across The U.S. and abroad; among them the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, The Studio Museum Harlem, Magazzino d'Arte Moderna Rome, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art , and the Tang Museum. Whitney is represented by Team Gallery in New York and Christine Koenig Galerie in Vienna, Austria. His paintings are held in numerous private and public collections all over the world.

De Niro Sr. was part of the celebrated New York School of post-war American artists. His work blended abstract and expressionist styles of painting with traditional representational subject matter, bridging the divide between European Modernism and Abstract Expressionism. He studied at the renowned Black Mountain College with Josef Albers, and later with Hans Hofmann in Provincetown and New York. He went on to exhibit at Peggy Guggenheim's renowned Art of this Century gallery in 1945 and 1946, as well as at galleries throughout the U.S. during his career. In 2010, a retrospective exhibition of his work was presented at the Musée Matisse in Nice, France. De Niro Sr.'s work is found in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Hirshhorn Museum , Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Parrish Art Museum, among others. The Estate of Robert De Niro, Sr. is represented by DC Moore Gallery , New York, and is advised by Megan Fox Kelly and Jeffrey Hoffeld. The prize is funded by Robert De Niro.

The Beyeler Foundation Collection ~ Near Basel in Switzerland Receives Our Editor

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 09:21 PM PST

artwork: The Beyeler Foundation Collection is housed in a modern building which opened in 1997 in Riehen near Basel, Switzerland. Designed by Pritzker prize winning architect Renzo Piano, built from red porphyry with a floating glass roof, the building blends into the beautifully landscaped grounds.

The Fondation Beyeler (Beyeler Foundation) owns and oversees the art collection of Hildy and Ernst Beyeler that was built up by the couple over five decades and placed under the aegis of the foundation in 1982. The collection was first publicly exhibited in its entirety at the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid in 1989. Seeking a permanent home, the Beyelers considered lending the collection to various existing museums, but none of the available spaces would have done justice to the collection. Impressed by the work of world-renowned architect Renzo Piano (the Pritzker prize winning architect who designed the Pompidou Centre in Paris amongst other well known works), the couple commissioned him to design a new purpose-built museum building to be built in Riehen near Basel. When the museum opened in 1997, the collection finally gained a permanent home where it could be made permanently accessible to the public. A masterpiece of contemporary architecture, the museum is airy and through the soft colors, large windows and outdoor park (with two ponds) creates different shades of light and color as they reflect on artworks on the walls of different rooms. Renzo Piano's building is designed to serve the arts and does not overwhelm the works on display with any architectural extravagances. Designed with simplicity in mind, the building blends into the landscape around it, large windows bring the outside into the building providing views which enhance the paintings on show (particularly effective in the room featuring Monet's waterlillies paintings, where the visitor can view the waterlillies in the room, but with a small movement and change of perspective, see the real thing in the pond outside the windows and perhaps even reflections of Monet's works in the water). The outer walls are constructed from red Patagonian porphyry, imported specifically for the museum, and it is topped with a lightweight glass roof which allows the museum to be flooded with natural light. The rooms are defined by their balanced proportions, materials and the special light. Set in an English landscape park with old trees, the gentle paths allow sculptural works by Alexander Calder and Ellsworth Kelly to be enjoyed. A late baroque villa is opposite the museum and houses the museum administration, and the splendid restaurant. The Beyelers always saw the museum as a place of living involvement and innovation, the resulting juxtapositions have provided surprising insights and experiences for a broad range of visitors. Visit the museum's website at: www.fondationbeyeler.ch

artwork: Henri Rousseau (1844 – 1910) - "Le Lion, Ayants Faime, Se Jette Sur l'Antelope", 1902 (The hungry lion throws itself on the antelope) - 1898/1905 - Oil on canvas - 200 x 301 cm. From The Beyeler Foundation Collection, Switzerland

When the museum opened in 1997, the collection comprised about 180 paintings and sculptures, supplemented by 25 selected pieces of tribal art from Africa, Alaska and Oceania. Since then, 38 further prize artworks have been added to the permanent collection. These range from Monet, Cézanne, Van Gogh and Chagall, through Picasso, Léger, Klee, Arp, Dubuffet, Warhol, Lichtenstein and Rothko, to Kiefer and Ellsworth Kelly. Works by the 40 artists featured in the collection provide an extensive overview of classic modern art. Starting with late and Post-Impressionist works by Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet, it continues via Cubism with Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque to other characteristic groups of works by Joan Miró, Piet Mondrian, Vasily Kandinsky, Henri Matisse, Paul Klee and Pablo Picasso. American Expressionism is represented by artists like Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock and Barnett Newman, pop-Art by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. The collection's time-frame ends with works by Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer and Luciano Fabro. Other artists to feature in the collection include Max Ernst, Francis Bacon and Jean Dubuffet. A number of sculptures from Africa, Alaska and Oceania provide an exciting counterpoint to the works of European and American origin. Most of the works in the Beyeler Collection are paintings but it also includes a few sculptures (both within the museum and in the grounds), including Rodin's intensely kinetic bronze - "Iris, Messenger of the Gods". It ends with works by Baselitz, Kiefer and Fabro. Conceptual art, the second main development in modern art, and more recent trends are intentionally not represented in the permanent collection, but featured in temporary exhibitions. The collection is presented thematically with, for example, sections devoted to portraits, nature, abstraction and the juxtaposing of landscapes and cityscapes. Almost the entire magnificent collection is always on view to local and worldwide visitors.

artwork: Giovanni Segantini (1858-1899) - "Mezzogiorno sulle Alpi" (Lunch in the Alps) 1891 - Oil on canvas - 77.5 x 71.5 cm. Owned by Segantini Museum, St. Moritz, permanent loan from the Otto Fischbacher Giovanni Segantini Foundation Currently on exhibition as part of the "Segantini" exhibition at the Beyeler Collection - © Foto by Alfred Lochau

Until 6 February 2011, the Beyeler Museum is showing "Vienna 1900 – Klimt, Schiele and their time". The exhibition includes about 200 oil paintings, watercolors and drawings are shown alongside architectural models, furniture, textile designs, glass and silver objects, artist posters and photographs. They paint a fascinating picture of Vienna in 1900, when it became one of the birthplaces of modern art. Works on show include, the famous ornamental portraits and landscapes by Gustav Klimt and the expressive body images of Egon Schiele, portraits by the young Oskar Kokoschka and the tragic self-portraits and works of the painter Richard Gerstl. Until 17 April 2011, "Segantini" shows the works of Giovanni Segantini (1858-1899), one of the great painters of the mountains and the life of the farmers and animals who lived in them. The exhibition celebrates Segantini as a pioneer of modern painting parallel to Monet, van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne or Klimt. His huge panels were painted in the open air as he steadily rose higher and higher up the mountains. He reached the summit with the legendary Alpine Triptych, which he prepared with large-scale studies. The increasing elevation of the painting led Segantini in a realm in which it appeared the mountains were an earthly paradise. His last words were "voglio vedere le mie montagne" (I want to see my mountains). The exhibition includes about seventy oil paintings and drawings from all periods of the artists life. Recently opened, and open through 25 April 2011, The Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes features in her first solo exhibition in Switzerland. One of the most respected artists of the international art scene, her oeuvre covers the diversity of tropical nature as well as the history and culture of her homeland, reflected in vibrant compositions with arabesques, floral and abstract ornamentation, geometric shapes and rhythmic patterns in bright colors. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a specially-made painting on which Milhazes been working for two years – "The four seasons".

Bank of America Launches Major Art Exhibition and Loan Program

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 09:20 PM PST

artwork: Marco Umaquiza - "LIFE", 2007 - Oil on Canvas, 31.50' x 39.50" , 80 cm. x 100 cm.  - Courtesy Bank of America Collection

Charlotte, NC - Deepening its commitment to the arts, Bank of America officially launched its Art Exhibition Program, which will make turnkey and customized exhibitions from the Bank of America Collection, one of the largest and most important corporate art collections in the world, widely available to museums free of charge. The Bank of America Art Exhibition Program includes exhibitions fully curated from the Bank of America collection that will travel to museums around the country, and exhibitions created in collaboration with curators from major museums.

Prado Museum Presents The Young Jose de Ribera's Unknown Career

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 09:19 PM PST

artwork: The painting "Susana y los viejos" (Susanna and the Elders) by Spanish artist Jose de Ribera during a preview of the upcoming exhibition "The Young Ribera" at Madrid's El Prado Museum. The exhibition will run from April 5 to July 31. - Reuters / Andrea Comas.

MADRID.- The Museo del Prado presents The Young Ribera, a survey of Jose de Ribera's activity during his period in Rome and in the years following his arrival in Naples in 1616. The exhibition runs from April 5 through July 31, 2011. This is a period of Ribera's career that was almost completely unknown until recently and one that is the subject of an extremely interesting debate among art historians. Featuring more thirty two works, the exhibition allows for comparisons between the most important paintings currently considered to date from the period in question and focuses on their dating and role in the development of Roman Caravaggesque painting in the second and third decades of the 17th century. Among the works on display is The Raising of Lazarus, acquired by the Museo del Prado in 2001 and now considered to be one of the key reference points in the debate on Ribera's early artistic activities.

Works by Phyllis Bramson & Judith Geichman at Carrie Secrist Gallery

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 09:18 PM PST

artwork: Phyllis Bramson and Judith Geichman collaboration. Courtesy of The Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago, IL

CHICAGO, IL.- The Carrie Secrist Gallery presents, Then is Now, a dual exhibition featuring works by Phyllis Bramson and Judith Geichman. The exhibit will open on March 20th and run through April 24th. Both Bramson and Geichman are interested in unconventional beauty and a certain kind of visual clarity in their work. Additionally, they share several common sources including including Chinoiserie, Toile de Jou, Chinese scholar rocks, Rococo, abstraction, and elements of collage.

Barrett Art Collection Gifted to Two Texas Museums ~ DMA & MFAH

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 09:17 PM PST

artwork: Michael Miller (American, born 1962) - Untitled, 1994 - Acrylic & oil on canvas - 48 x 45 1/4 inches Dallas Museum of Art - The Barrett Collection, Dallas, Texas 

DALLAS AND HOUSTON, TX - The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) announced that Nona and Richard Barrett of Dallas have given more than 100 works from their outstanding private collection of contemporary Texas art to the permanent collections of both museums. The Barretts' gift to Texas 's two largest museums, and to two of the nation's most prominent artistic institutions, represents artwork from the 1970s to the present, with the majority of the pieces dating from the 1980s and 90s.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Glasgow School Of Art Is To Be Extended ~ But Not Everyone's Happy In Scotland

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 09:15 PM PST

artwork: Peter Howsen - "Judas", 2002 - Oil on canvas - 198 x 276 cm. - Collection of the Rozelle House Gallery and Maclaurin Galleries. Peter Howsen graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 1981

Glasgow, Scotland (The Gurdian).- Charles Rennie Mackintosh is a British rarity, an architect who led rather than followed, who was admired and studied abroad, and who influenced the direction of the world's architecture. More often, this island breeds skilful latecomers to continental movements, such as Inigo Jones, or great originals whose influence goes nowhere, such as Nicholas Hawksmoor. Mackintosh's masterpiece is the Glasgow School of Art of 1897-1909, later hailed as a precursor of modernism on account of its simplicity and abstraction, but which is far more than a diagram of the future. It is a building of dazzling range and freedom, from its massive, castle-like south side to the filigree metalwork on its north. It is robust, as an arts school should be, still taking a daily beating and splattering from students, but also exquisite. It runs from bare concrete and painted softwood to leaded stained glass and intricate carving and joinery. Its inspirations extend from Celtic and baronial to Michelangelo and the Glaswegian industrial might of Mackintosh's own time. Every part breathes the independent spirit of the policeman's son who was 28 when he won the commission to design it.

"Rome After Raphael" at The Morgan Library & Museum

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 09:14 PM PST

artwork: "Illuminated" by Giulio Clovio (1498–1578) - "The Crucifixion of Christ, Moses and the Brazen Serpent," Farnese Hours, Italy, Rome, 1546. Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1903; MS M.69 (fols.102v–103r)

NEW YORK, NY.-In the early 1500s, Rome's majesty was a distant memory: its marble temples and palaces had been ransacked; its population was a fraction of what it had been in antiquity. Yet, over the course of the next hundred years, the Eternal City would experience an amazing rebirth, as a series of popes rebuilt and revitalized Rome and its population doubled. At the center of this metamorphosis was an unprecedented influx of artistic talent and creative exchange. Rome After Raphael is organized by Rhoda Eitel-Porter, Charles W. Engelhard Curator and Department Head of Drawings and Prints at The Morgan Library & Museum. On view through 9 May, 2010.

It is this remarkable period in art history that is the subject of a new exhibition, Rome After Raphael, atThe Morgan Library & Museum. Featuring more than eighty works selected almost exclusively from the Morgan's exceptional collection of Italian drawings, the exhibition brings to light the intense artistic activity in Rome from the Renaissance to the beginning of the Baroque period, approximately from 1500 to 1600.

The exhibition is the first in New York to focus solely on Roman Renaissance and Mannerist drawings, beginning with Raphael and ending with the dawn of a new era, the Baroque, as seen in the art of Annibale Carracci. It includes striking examples by Raphael and Michelangelo as well as works by artists associated with the dominant stylistic traditions established by these two iconic figures.

artwork: Giuseppe Cesari (1568–1640), "Child Walking, Looking Over Its Shoulder" Black and red chalk, 12 x 8 7/16 inches Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1910; IV, 161A. Photo: Graham Haber, 2009.Among the prominent artists represented are: Baldassare Peruzzi, Polidoro da Caravaggio, Giulio Romano, Perino del Vaga, Parmigianino, Daniele da Volterra, Francesco Salviati, Pirro Ligorio, Pellegrino Tibaldi, Taddeo Zuccaro, Girolamo Muziano, Cesare Nebbia, Federico Zuccaro, Raffaellino da Reggio, and Giuseppe Cesari, called Il Cavaliere d'Arpino.

The exhibition also features Giulio Clovio's sumptuous Farnese hours, one of the greatest illuminated manuscripts, as well as the Codex Mellon—an architectural treatise on key Roman sites and projects, including Raphael's design for St. Peter's—and a magnificent gilt binding of the period. Also on view is a Raphael workshop painting from the Morgan depicting the Holy Family, which has recently undergone a technical examination.

"The quality and importance of the Morgan's collection of sixteenth-century Italian drawings has long been recognized," remarked Morgan director William M. Griswold. "Although individual sheets have appeared in major exhibitions in Europe and the United States, the Morgan has never before brought together so many outstanding works from this period and place in one show. Seen together for the first time, the drawings convey the opulence and artistic diversity of this pivotal period."

It was during the reign of Pope Julius II, elected in 1503, that Rome embarked on a century-long program of renewal and restoration. By the time Pope Clement VIII died in 1605, the overarching political and artistic ambitions of popes, cardinals, and foreign dignitaries had given rise to one of the richest periods in art history, transforming Rome into the unrivaled cultural capital of Europe.

Numerous drawings in the exhibition are related to Roman projects and commissions, including elaborate schemes for fresco decorations for city palaces, rural villas, and funerary chapels as well as altarpieces, tapestry designs, and views of recently discovered antiquities. The exhibition also opens a window into the artistic sensibility and lavish patronage of the period, from Julius II—patron of both Michelangelo and Raphael and arguably the most culturally sophisticated of the popes—to his successor Leo X and the "Gran Cardinale" Alessandro Farnese and his nephew Odoardo. Cardinal Ippolito d'Este and the Medici also generated luxurious commissions as they competed to create their own legacies in chapels, palaces, and villas.

Exhibition Highlights
Through their sheer quality and novelty, the works of Raphael and Michelangelo in the Vatican established a tradition that resonated throughout the history of Western art. The exhibition brings to the fore the central artistic dialectic of the century: the rivalry between the legacies of Raphael, whose work epitomizes elegant restraint and clear narrative style, and that of Michelangelo, characterized by high drama and muscular nudes.

Arriving in Rome in 1508, Raphael found success as court artist to popes Julius II della Rovere and Leo X de' Medici. The Morgan's holdings by the artist trace his development from his early pre-Roman period, represented by the fresco design Cardinal Piccolomini Presents Eleanor of Portugal to Her Betrothed, Emperor Frederick III and the cartoon related to the predella panel depicting Christ's Agony in the Garden, to his metalpoint drawing Male Figure Symbolizing an Earthquake—a study of ca. 1515 for one of the tapestries Raphael designed for the Sistine Chapel.

Raphael's Followers
Heavily employed by a succession of popes and secular patrons, Raphael developed a large workshop that included artists such as Polidoro da Caravaggio, Perino del Vaga, and Giulio Romano, all magnificently represented in the Morgan's collection of drawings. After Raphael's premature death in 1520, these artists developed their own highly successful careers. Polidoro was one of the city's most prolific facade decorators, an aspect of his career uniquely illustrated by the Morgan's study of a Prisoner Brought Before a Judge, a scene once painted on a Roman house. Perino's independent career included a commission from Cardinal Alessandro Farnese for the design of rock-crystal plaques, which today still comprise part of the treasury of St. Peter's Basilica. The Morgan's two extraordinary designs for this commission, Christ Healing the Lame at the Pool of Bethesda and the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, are on view in the exhibition. One of Raphael's most successful pupils (and later court artist to the Gonzaga in Mantua), Giulio Romano is represented by an early lunette design and by the vigorous St. Jerome and St. Augustine. The show also includes the Codex Mellon, one of the earliest and most important volumes of Renaissance antiquarian drawings relating to contemporary architectural projects. Probably drafted ca. 1513 by an architect from the circle of the great Renaissance master Donato Bramante, the sketchbook records plans for the new basilica of St. Peter's as well as those relating to Bramante's Palazzo Caprini, also known as Raphael's house.

One of the great figures of the Renaissance whose fame has rarely been eclipsed, Michelangelo was among the forces that shaped the style usually called Mannerism. He had been summoned to Rome by Pope Julius II in 1508 to design the pope's tomb for St. Peter's, was also employed on the decoration of the Sistine ceiling and altar wall, and worked for the papacy in Rome for the last thirty years of his long and fruitful career. The Morgan's Annunciation to the Virgin of ca. 1547 and a series of four sketches of David Slaying Goliath superbly demonstrate the artist's consummate skill as a designer of dramatic compositions and draftsman of the human anatomy.

Michelangelo's Followers
artwork: Raffaellino Motta da Reggio Italian, 1550–1578 Rome The Apparition of the Angel to St. Joseph, ca. 1576 - Pen & brown ink and brown wash, over red chalk 15 x 11 1/8 inches / Inscribed Zuchero. / Purchased in honor of Charles E. Pierce, Jr.'s tenure as director.Unlike Raphael, Michelangelo did not keep a large workshop, although he did have a number of associates, artist friends, and followers. Among them was Daniele da Volterra, whose Kneeling Figure of ca. 1550—a study for a fresco in the church of Santissima Trinità dei Monti—is a rare example of his delicate, precise drawing style. A drawing attributed to Giulio Clovio, that is a reprise of Michelangelo's renowned composition The Dream of Human Life (Il Sogno) of the early 1530s reflects the fame and influence of the great master's highly refined and innovative presentation drawings. The show also includes the Farnese Hours, once the most famous illuminated manuscript, lavishly illustrated by Clovio for Cardinal Alessandro Farnese. Pellegrino Tibaldi's heavily draped Seated Barbarian Prisoners, a further superb example of the enduring influence of Michelangelo's figure style and draftsmanship, is also on display.

Supremely gifted as a painter and draftsman, Parmigianino came to Rome in 1524 seeking papal patronage but fled, as did so many of his contemporaries, when the troops of Charles V invaded the city in 1527 during the Sack of Rome. A group of five drawings from this short period are shown, including a stunning red chalk design for a print of the philosopher Diogenes, a lyrical Girl Seated on the Ground that illustrates the artist's penchant for domestic scenes, and a moving, pen-and-ink Pietà freely inspired by Michelangelo's famous marble group in St. Peter's.

As the city was being rebuilt and reconceived under the direction of the popes, archaeological finds were commonplace, triggering a sixteenth-century fashion for antiquity that spread throughout Europe. Marble sculptures representing river gods, excavated during the 1510s and immediately put on display at the Vatican Palace, are recorded in Enea Vico's two spectacular, scrupulously detailed drawings of the early 1540s. Rome's illustrious antiquarian past informed much artistic production as illustrated by the jewellike album on precious vellum titled The Ruins of Rome. This amusing juxtaposition of somewhat fanciful reconstructions of ancient monuments with their ruined 1570s appearance is an intriguing document of the Renaissance mind-set, bringing to life the vivid interest in reconstructing the antique.

Late Mannerism and the Counter-Reformation
The last third of the sixteenth century saw the predominance of a highly decorative and technically masterful style generally known as Late Mannerism. This is exceptionally well represented in the Morgan collection, with outstanding examples by Taddeo and Federico Zuccaro and their followers Girolamo Muziano, Jacopo Bertoia, and Cesare Nebbia. The weightless grace of their style can be seen in Taddeo's St. John the Baptist Preaching and The Foundation of Orbetello, the latter a study for decoration of the Palazzo Farnese. Among the myriad themes that define the period are the need of the Roman Catholic Church to defend its authority against the rising threat of Protestantism. The Renaissance popes' lavish spending had led them to encourage the sale of indulgences—two are documented in the exhibition—a practice heavily criticized by Martin Luther. Eventually, the Catholic Church recognized the need for reforms and convened the Council of Trent, resulting in a movement known as the Counter-Reformation, the consequences of which became apparent in artistic production toward the end of the sixteenth century. Palestrina's mass for Pope Marcellus, the published score and recording of which are featured in the exhibition, places counter-reformatory emphasis on an easily comprehensible declamatory text.

Annibale Carracci and the Beginning of the Baroque
Several artists of the last decade of the sixteenth century facilitated the artistic reforms brought about by Annibale Carracci, his brother Agostino, and his cousin Ludovico. Giuseppe Cesari, called Il Cavaliere d'Arpino, is represented by the lively figure study of a Child Walking, Looking Over Its Shoulder and the striking Portrait of a Lady, both from the late 1580s. Both he and Cristofano Roncalli restricted the purely decorative Mannerist aspects of their work and reassessed High Renaissance models. Annibale Carracci himself paved the way for the Baroque, achieving a synthesis of Raphael's elegance and Michelangelo's drama and vigorous muscularity. Harkening back to Raphael, Annibale revived the practice of studying from the live model, as is amply obvious in his luminous Flying Putto of the late 1590s, which exhibits an astonishing command of the figure rendered in space. In addition, a new emphasis on an idealized yet naturalistic depiction of landscape is apparent in his magnificent Eroded Riverbank with Trees and Roots.

Visit The Morgan Library & Museum at : http://www.themorgan.org/home.asp

Sotheby's to show "Women" ~ A Loan Exhibition from the Collection of Steven & Alexandra Cohen

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 09:13 PM PST

artwork: Amedeo Modigliani - Nu Couché au coussin Bleu, 1916 - Oil on canvas, 23 5/8 x 36 1/4 in. © Sotheby's NY A loan exhibition from the collection of Steven and Alexandra Cohen

NEW YORK, NY - From April 2-14, 2009 a loan exhibition from the collection of Steven and Alexandra Cohen will be shown at Sotheby's in New York. Entitled Women, the exhibition will focus on one area of the Cohen's collection, works depicting female subjects. This remarkable assemblage of twenty masterpieces ranges from Edvard Munch's Madonna and Pablo Picasso's Le Repos to Willem de Kooning's Women III and Andy Warhol's Turquoise Marilyn, and includes paintings, sculpture, works on paper and photographs by the most influential artists of the modern era. The collection has never before been exhibited to the public.

Eli Klein Fine Art exhibits Two Solos ~ Zhang Gong and Zhao Bo

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 09:12 PM PST

artwork: Zhang Gong - 'Blue Helmets', 2009 - Acrylic on canvas - 31 1/2 x 47 1/4 inches (80 x 120 cm) -Courtesy of Eli Klein Fine Art, NY

NEW YORK, NY - Eli Klein Fine Art is proud to present Zhang Gong's first solo exhibition in the United States. Zhang Gong's work parodies instantly recognizable Western art, demonstrating the effect of Western popular culture on contemporary Chinese society.In his most recent works, Zhang Gong incorporates cartoon characters with scenes from modernist Western paintings and other popular images. Also Zhao Bo's second solo exhibition in New York. Both exhibitions on view through 22 April, 2010.

Churches, Museums and a Gallery in Rome to Honor Caravaggio with Rare Night Visits

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 09:11 PM PST

artwork: Caravaggio - The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, 1601-02 / Oil on canvas, 42 1/8 x 57 1/2 in; Neues Palais, Potsdam

ROME - Experts are examining whether a painting belonging to the Catholic priestly order of the Jesuits in Rome is the work of Italian master Caravaggio, the Vatican newspaper said Saturday. The L'Osservatore Romano article appeared as several Rome churches and museums housing works by Caravaggio planned to extend opening hours in an "all-nighter" to mark the 400th anniversary of his death. From dusk on Saturday until Sunday morning, visitors can enter for free Rome's Borghese Gallery, which houses such masterpieces as David with the head of Goliath and Boy with a basket of fruit. Also open will be three central Rome churches - Santa Maria del Popolo, Sant'Agostino and San Luigi dei Francesi - which house some half-dozen Caravaggio paintings, including the Crucifixion of St. Peter in Santa Maria del Popolo.

YouGugg? You Tube and The Guggenheim Explore Digital Art

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 09:10 PM PST

artwork: Dmitry Zajtsev - "Ice" - Digital art - Adobe Photoshop 7, 2005 -  Courtesy of Artlavart, Russia

New York, NY
- Art has taken many forms since paintings were hand-pressed on cave walls 32,000 years ago in a grotto in France. The occupants of Grotte Chauvet apparently spit pigment on their hands to make them virtual stencils and then squashed them against the wall. Definitely analog. And they probably never thought of them as art. In its latest incarnation, some art is made up of 1's and 0's. Definitely digital. Many museums, including the Denver Art Museum, have displayed digital art for several years. Now, YouTube has become the primary international display of such art in just five years. There are other locations, such as the online Digital Art Museum.

Remembering John Zito at the Slater Memorial Museum

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 09:09 PM PST

artwork: John Zito Bather With Moon

Norwich, CT - On display an exhibition in Converse Art Gallery, of the Slater Memorial Museum features the life's work of Connecticut native John Zito, Jr. The exhibition continues through November 25, 2007. The exhibition will offer a sampling of a remarkable 45 years of painting, drawing and sculpture.

Antiquity Revived ~ Neoclassical Art of the 18th Century at the MFA in Houston

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 09:07 PM PST

artwork: Angelica Kauffmann - "Ariadne Abandoned by Theseus", 1774. Oil on canvas. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Harris Masterson III in memory of Neill Turner Masterson, Jr.

HOUSTON, TX.- At the end of the 18th century, fresh archeological finds in Herculaneum and Pompeii inspired artists, intellectuals, and the public all over Europe to be newly fascinated with antiquities. "Neoclassicism" is the term given to the various classicizing movements that developed in the late 18th to early 19th centuries and influenced fine arts, decorative arts, and architecture from Rome to Paris and from London to Saint Petersburg. Influenced by Enlightenment thinkers, the French Revolution, and Napoleon's rise to emperor, as well as the excavations that made antiquities popular, Neoclassicist artists responded to societal trends by reviving the simple designs and restrained ornament of ancient Greek and Roman art. Antiquity Revived is organized by Edgar Peters Bowron and Helga Aurisch, the MFAH's European art curators, in association with the Musée du Louvre, Paris. It will be on view in the Museum of Fine Arts Houston through May 30, 2011 in the Audrey Jones Beck Building.

Antiquity Revived: Neoclassical Art in the Eighteenth Century presents a sweeping survey of works by both the best-known Neoclassical artists and those unfamiliar to most Americans. Nearly 150 objects will be on view, from paintings and sculptures to prints, drawings, and furniture. Prestigious loans in the exhibition are culled from major museum collections: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Musée du Louvre, the National Galleries of Scotland, the British Museum, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Antiquity Revived is also enriched by the MFAH's own collections, including objects from the house museums for decorative arts, Bayou Bend and Rienzi.

artwork: Jacques-Louis David - "Oath of the Horatii" - Oil on Canvas, 10' 10" x 13' 11" 1786 - Courtesy of Toledo Museum of Art

A highlight of the exhibition, on loan from the Toledo Museum of Art, will be Jacques-Louis David's painting, Oath of the Horatii: a smaller version of the original that was first shown to great success at the 1785 Salon and became one of the most famous paintings in the world. David portrays the scene from the histories of Livy and Plutarch, when three brothers vow to protect Rome against invaders. The depiction of civic virtue, honesty, and austerity became common themes of this genre and the severe composition and cold colors reflect the subject matter.This 1786 version was ordered by the Comte de Vaudreuil (depicted in the exhibition in a portrait by Elizabeth-Louise Vigée-Lebrun) and is nearly identical to the original, except that the artist added a staff with a cleft end holding wool near the feet of the women.

artwork: Pompeo Batoni - Academic Nude, 1765. Charcoal heightened with black & white chalk on blue-grey paper. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Rienzi Collection, gift of Mr.& Mrs. Harris Masterson III."This tour-de-force exhibition reveals the grandeur and beauty of a wide variety of Neoclassical works, all demonstrating the artistic principles of harmony, simplicity and proportion," said MFAH interim director Gwendolyn H. Goffe. "The exhibitionis sure to delight scholars and fans of the classical ideal, and will provide a wonderful introduction to the uninitiated."

A number of forces were at work as the 18th-century public experienced a collective nostalgia for antiquities. Enlightenment thinkers like Diderot, Voltaire, and Rousseauwere promoting ideals of moral goodness, rationalism, reason, and order in the world—ideals derived from the Greco-Romans—and artists began to reflect these values in their subject matter. In parallel, archaeological expeditions were unearthing fresh discoveries at the perfectly preserved sites of Herculaneum and Pompeii, exciting Europeans to appreciate the ancient past. Cultured cognoscenti traveled the continent on the Grand Tour, often visiting museums, churches, and monuments and viewing these antiquities first-hand, and the publication of large-format, illustrated books further provided access to the artistic models of the past. Artists found inspiration in the splendor of the buried world and in the writings of the great philosophers of their time and reacted against the excess and flourishes of the Rococo style by emulating the great works of the Renaissance. Antiquity Revived: Neoclassical Art in the Eighteenth Century examines early efforts of stylistic reform, how the renewal of classical taste found its roots in ancient sources, and how artists in a variety of disciplines forged an imaginative, classical style that satisfied the needs of their own age.

"Although the word 'neoclassicism' was not in vogue at the time, the fervor for classicizing and antiquities infused almost everything and the exhibition illustrates this gradual but definitive unfolding of taste," said Edgar Peters Bowron. "While the educated public of the 18th century would have been familiar with the themes and implications of the tales illustrated in so-called neoclassical works, this is not the case with museum audiences today, so the exhibition will be rich with didactic labels and wall texts."

The work of celebrated Italian sculptor Antonio Canova will also be on view. On loan from the Getty is the stunning marble Apollo Crowning Himself (1781–82), which is Canova's earliest Roman work in marble. Commissioned during the artist's second visit to Rome in the spring of 1781 by Prince Abbondio Rezzonico, the half-life-size work is a study in classical pose and proportion—particularly the figure's contrapposto stance. Canova derived the details of his representation of the god Apollo from Ovid's Metamorphoses (Book I, 557–59), in which Apollo laments the loss of the nymph Daphne, who has been transformed into a laurel tree to escape his advances. Canova's depiction of a poignant, introspective scene just after a climactic moment is characteristic of the artist's work.

Other artists represented in the exhibition include Robert Adam, Pompeo Batoni, Edmé Bouchardon, Jean-Antoine Hudson, Anton Raphael Mengs, Giovanni Paolo Panini, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Joseph Wright of Derby, and many more. Approximately 50 paintings, 30 sculptures, and 40 prints and drawings will be on view, as well as furniture and decorative arts.

Visit The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston at : www.mfah.org

Prints by Ansel Adams were Top Lots at Swann Galleries' Auction

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 09:06 PM PST

artwork: Ansel Adams - "Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico". Silver print, 13 x 17 6/16 inches. Estimate $350,000-450,000 / Photo: Swann Auction Galleries.

NEW YORK, NY.- Two versions of Ansel Adams's iconic image of "Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico", 1941, sold to collectors at Swann Galleries' auction of Photographic Literature & Fine Photographs on December 8. A very rare vintage print created in 1948 that was signed and inscribed by Adams to Valentino Sarra, a photographer and W.P.A. poster designer and friend of Adams, sold for $360,000. It was one of only approximately 10 vintage prints Adams rendered with a delicate tonal quality.

Hirshhorn Museum Features Works from the Permanent Collection

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 09:05 PM PST

artwork: Film still from Guido Van der Werve's "Nummer Acht (#8) everything is going to be alright," 2007, Courtesy of the artist.

WASHINGTON, DC.- The Hirshhorn announces a new installation of work by Guido van der Werve (Dutch, b. Papendrecht, Netherlands, 1977) and Hiroshi Sugimoto (Japanese, b. Tokyo, 1948). On view at the Museum for the first time is Van der Werve's "Nummer Negen (#9) The Day I Didn't Turn with the World" (2007), a recent acquisition, which is paired with five works from Sugimoto's "Seascapes" series. Sugimoto's works are drawn from a grouping acquired for the Museum by The Glenstone Foundation on the occasion of the artist's 2005-2006 retrospective, co-organized by the Hirshhorn. Seen together, the pieces quietly create synergy, harmoniously exploring concepts of time, space and solitude, while highlighting the formal and conceptual interplay between cinema and photography.

"Compass" Drawings from The Museum of Modern Art on View at Martin-Gropius-Bau

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 09:04 PM PST

artwork: Monica Majoli -  "Hanging Rubberman #3", detail, 2004. Watercolor and gouache on paper, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Judith Rothschild Foundation, Contemporary Drawings Collection Gift, 2005 - Courtesy Gagosian Gallery, Photograph Douglas Parker Studio

BERLIN.- "Compass" presents an extensive selection from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection, an extraordinary treasure trove of nearly 2.600 works on paper by over 600 artists, acquired by The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in may 2005. The collection was amassed between 2003 and 2005 with the intention to give a broad overview over the medium of drawing in all its material manifestations at that time. It includes studies and sketches as well as monumental finished works; works painstakingly produced with the help of technical tools such as rulers and spontaneous scribbles with no special regard for finish; narrative and figurative works and a broad range of abstractions; works in traditional media such as pencil, watercolours and gouache, and various print techniques, as well as rubbings and transfers of soil, pigments, plant extracts, soot, foodstuffs, and body fluids; it incorporates assemblage, collage, and found objects.

Germany Rejects Egypt's Request for Return of Queen Nefertiti Sculpture

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 09:01 PM PST

artwork: Statue of Queen Nefertiti (Nofretete) is pictured at the 'Neues Museum' (New Museum) building in Berlin October 15, 2009. Egypt has formally requested January 24, 2011, the return of the famous 3,400-year-old bust of Nerertiti, which is part of a permanent Egyptian exhibition on display at the New Museum in Berlin. - Reuters  /Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (REUTERS).- A German foundation rejected Monday an Egyptian request to return the 3,400-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti, a sculpture which draws over one million viewers annually to a Berlin museum. Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) sent the request to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which runs the Neues Museum in the German capital where the bust is kept. The SCA, which Zahi Hawass heads, said in an email that its request had been approved by both Prime Minister Nazif and the Egyptian ministry of culture. "This request is a natural consequence of Egypt's long-standing policy of seeking the restitution of all archaeological and historical artefacts that have been taken illicitly out of the country," it said.

NRW-Forum in Düsseldorf Organises Major Robert Mapplethorpe Retrospective

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 08:58 PM PST

artwork: Robert Mapplethorpe - Derrick Cross, 1985 - Gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 in. © 1985 Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

DUSSELDORF.- Robert Mapplethorpe, who was born in 1946 and passed away in 1989, is one of the few artists who truly deserve to be known far beyond the borders of the art world. Mapplethorpe dominated photography in the late twentieth century and paved the way for the recognition of photography as an art form in its own right; he firmly anchored the subject of homosexuality in mass culture and created a classic photographic image, mostly of male bodies, which found its way into commercial photography. On exhibition 6 February through 15 August, 2010.

artwork: Robert Mapplethorpe as an artist who is firmly anchored is his era.In 2010, the NRW-Forum in Düsseldorf will organise a major retrospective of Robert Mapplethorpe's photographs. His work was first shown in Germany in 1977 as part of documenta 6 in Kassel and then in a European solo exhibition in 1981 with German venues in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. In addition to various museum and gallery exhibitions the largest museum exhibition in Germany of Mapplethorpe's work took place in 1997 when the worldwide Mapplethorpe retrospective, which opened at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, traveled to the Staatsgalerie in Stuttgart. The last time Robert Mapplethorpe's works were shown in Düsseldorf was in the exhibition 'Mapplethorpe versus Rodin' at the Kunsthalle in 1992.

Both during his life and since his death, Mapplethorpe's work has been the subject of much controversial debate, particularly in the USA. Right up until the end of the twentieth century, exhibitions of his photographs were sometimes boycotted, censured, or in one case cancelled. His radical portrayals of nudity and sexual acts were always controversial; his photos of sadomasochistic practices in particular caused a stir and frequently resulted in protests outside exhibitions and in one instance, a lawsuits was brought against a museum director.

In 2008, the Supreme Court in Japan ruled that Mapplethorpe's erotic images did not contravene the country's ban on pornography and released a volume of his photographs that had been seized and held for over eight years. As far as the American critic Arthur C. Danto was concerned, Mapplethorpe created 'some of the most shocking and indeed some of the most dangerous images in modern photography, or even in the history of art.'

In Germany, on the other hand, Mapplethorpe's photographs were part of the 'aesthetic socialisation' of the generations that grew up in the 1980s and early 1990s. Lisa Ortgioes, the presenter of the German women's television programme 'frau tv', notes that during this time, Mapplethorpe's photos were sold as posters; his 'black' portraits in particular being a regular feature on the walls of student bedrooms at the time.

The curator of the exhibition, Werner Lippert, is quick to point out that 'this exhibition needs no justification. Mapplethorpe was quite simply and unquestionably one of the most important photographers of the twentieth century. It is an artistic necessity.'

artwork: Robert Mapplethorpe's celebrated series Lady Lisa Lyon. Between 1980 and 1982The exhibition in the NRW-Forum covers all areas of Mapplethorpe's work, from portraits and self-portraits, homosexuality, nudes, flowers and the quintessence of his oeuvre the photographic images of sculptures, including early Polaroids. The photographs are arranged according to themes such as 'self portraits', which includes the infamous shot of him with a bullwhip inserted in his anus, as well as his almost poetic portraits of his muse, Patti Smith, the photographs of black men versus white women, the body builder Lisa Lyon, the juxtaposition of penises and flowers (which Mapplethorpe himself commented on in an interview: '… I've tried to juxtapose a flower, then a picture of a cock, then a portrait, so that you could see they were the same'), and finally those images of classical beauty based on renaissance sculptures, and impressive portraits of children and celebrities of the day.

Despite the obvious references to the Renaissance idea of what constitutes ideal beauty and the history of photography from Wilhelm von Gloeden to Man Ray, this exhibition shows Robert Mapplethorpe as an artist who is firmly anchored is his era; his contemporaries are Andy Warhol and Brice Marden; Polaroids were the medium of choice in the 1970s, and the focus on the body and sexuality was, at the time, for many artists like Vito Acconci or Bruce Nauman a theme that was key to social change. Above all, Robert Mapplethorpe developed his own photographic style that paid homage to the ideals of perfection and form. 'I look for the perfection of form. I do this in portraits, in photographs of penises, in photographs of flowers.' The fact that the photographs are displayed on snow-white walls underpins this view of his work and consciously moves away from the coy Boudoir-style presentation of his photographs on lilac and purple walls a dominant feature of exhibitions of Mapplethorpe's work for many years and opens up the work to a more concept-based, minimalist view of things.

The selection of over 150 photographs covers early Polaroids from 1973 to his final self-portraits from the year 1988, which show how marked he was by illness and hint at his impending death, and also includes both many well-known, almost iconic images as well as some never-before seen or rarely shown works. The curators delved deep into the collection of the New York-based Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation to create this retrospective.

Visit the NRW-Forum in Düsseldorf at : http://www.nrw-forum.de/

Art Knowledge News Presents "This Week In Review"

Posted: 21 Nov 2011 08:57 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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