- Alva Noë Considers Art and the Limits of Neuroscience in the New York Times
- David Hockney Returns to his native Yorkshire in "A Bigger Picture" by filmmaker Bruno Wollheim
- The Malmö Konsthall to Display Goya's "The Disasters of War"
- The MCA Denver Features "Counterculture Experiment in America"
- Galerie Gebr. Lehmann shows "Keiichi Tanaami ~ Drawings & Collages
- The Museum of Ventura County to Show Albert Stewart's Animal Sculptures
- Avenue 50 Studio to Offer a Group Show of 7 Los Angeles Artists
- Ketterer Kunst's December 10th Auction to Feature Modern & Post War/Contemporary Art
- "Frida Kahlo" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
- The New Museum Organizes First Elizabeth Peyton Survey of Over 100 Works
- The London Original Print Fair To Celebrate 25th Anniversary
- Coming to England ~ A Half-Mile Long Woman's Body by Architect Charles Jencks
- Royal Academy of Arts To Present Key Works by Barbara Rae
- Sims Reed Gallery Acquires Sir Eduardo Paolozzi's Estate of Print Editions
- Eli Klein Fine Art hosts The Best of Chinese Contemporary Artists
- A New Design and Expanded Miami Art Museum will Open in 2013
- High Museum will Premiere Exhibition of Digital Portraits by Photographer Robert Weingarten
- Lyman Allyn Art Museum opens 50 Years of Collecting Contemporary Art
- Pop Art from the Collection of IVAM on View at Espai Municipal d'Art de Torrent
- Art Knowledge News Presents "This Week In Review"
Posted: 05 Dec 2011 10:34 PM PST
New York City (New York Times).- What is art? What does art reveal about human nature? The trend these days is to approach such questions in the key of neuroscience. "Neuroaesthetics" is a term that has been coined to refer to the project of studying art using the methods of neuroscience. It would be fair to say that neuroaesthetics has become a hot field. It is not unusual for leading scientists and distinguished theorists of art to collaborate on papers that find their way into top scientific journals. Semir Zeki, a neuroscientist at University College London, likes to say that art is governed by the laws of the brain. It is brains, he says, that see art and it is brains that make art.
Champions of the new brain-based approach to art sometimes think of themselves as fighting a battle with scholars in the humanities who may lack the courage (in the words of the art historian John Onians) to acknowledge the ways in which biology constrains cultural activity. Strikingly, it hasn't been much of a battle. Students of culture, like so many of us, seem all too glad to join in the general enthusiasm for neural approaches to just about everything. What is striking about neuroaesthetics is not so much the fact that it has failed to produce interesting or surprising results about art, but rather the fact that no one — not the scientists, and not the artists and art historians — seem to have minded, or even noticed. What stands in the way of success in this new field is, first, the fact that neuroscience has yet to frame anything like an adequate biological or "naturalistic" account of human experience — of thought, perception, or consciousness.
The idea that a person is a functioning assembly of brain cells and associated molecules is not something neuroscience has discovered. It is, rather, something it takes for granted. You are your brain. Francis Crick once called this "the astonishing hypothesis," because, as he claimed, it is so remote from the way most people alive today think about themselves. But what is really astonishing about this supposedly astonishing hypothesis is how astonishing it is not! The idea that there is a thing inside us that thinks and feels — and that we are that thing — is an old one. Descartes thought that the thinking thing inside had to be immaterial; he couldn't conceive how flesh could perform the job. Scientists today suppose that it is the brain that is the thing inside us that thinks and feels. But the basic idea is the same. And this is not an idle point. However surprising it may seem, the fact is we don't actually have a better understanding how the brain might produce consciousness than Descartes did of how the immaterial soul would accomplish this feat; after all, at the present time we lack even the rudimentary outlines of a neural theory of consciousness.
What we do know is that a healthy brain is necessary for normal mental life, and indeed, for any life at all. But of course much else is necessary for mental life. We need roughly normal bodies and a roughly normal environment. We also need the presence and availability of other people if we are to have anything like the sorts of lives that we know and value. So we really ought to say that it is the normally embodied, environmentally- and socially-situated human animal that thinks, feels, decides and is conscious. But once we say this, it would be simpler, and more accurate, to allow that it is people, not their brains, who think and feel and decide. It is people, not their brains, that make and enjoy art. You are not your brain, you are a living human being.
We need finally to break with the dogma that you are something inside of you — whether we think of this as the brain or an immaterial soul — and we need finally take seriously the possibility that the conscious mind is achieved by persons and other animals thanks to their dynamic exchange with the world around them (a dynamic exchange that no doubt depends on the brain, among other things). Importantly, to break with the Cartesian dogmas of contemporary neuroscience would not be to cave in and give up on a commitment to understanding ourselves as natural. It would be rather to rethink what a biologically adequate conception of our nature would be. But there is a second obstacle to progress in neuroaesthetics. Neural approaches to art have not yet been able to find a way to bring art into focus in the laboratory. As mentioned, theorists in this field like to say that art is constrained by the laws of the brain. But in practice what this is usually taken to come down to is the humble fact that the brain constrains the experience of art because it constrains all experience. Visual artists, for example, don't work with ultraviolet light, as Zeki reminds us, because we can't see ultraviolet light. They do work with shape and form and color because we can see them.
Now it is doubtless correct that visual artists confine themselves to materials and effects that are, well, visible. And likewise, it seems right that our perception of works of art, like our perception of anything, depends on the nature of our perceptual capacities, capacities which, in their turn, are constrained by the brain. But there is a problem with this: An account of how the brain constrains our ability to perceive has no greater claim to being an account of our ability to perceive art than it has to being an account of how we perceive sports, or how we perceive the man across from us on the subway. In works about neuroaesthetics, art is discussed in the prefaces and touted on the book jackets, but never really manages to show up in the body of the works themselves!
Some of us might wonder whether the relevant question is how we perceive works of art, anyway. What we ought to be asking is: Why do we value some works as art? Why do they move us? Why does art matter? And here again, the closest neural scientists or psychologists come to saying anything about this kind of aesthetic evaluation is to say something about preference. But the class of things we like, or that we prefer as compared to other things, is much wider than the class of things we value as art. And the sorts of reasons we have for valuing one art work over another are not the same kind of reasons we would give for liking one person more than another, or one flavor more than another. And it is no help to appeal to beauty here. Beauty is both too wide and too narrow. Not all art works are beautiful (or pleasing for that matter, even if many are), and not everything we find beautiful (a person, say, or a sunset) is a work of art.
Again we find not that neuroaesthetics takes aim at our target and misses, but that it fails even to bring the target into focus. Yet it's early. Neuroaesthetics, like the neuroscience of consciousness itself, is still in its infancy. Is there any reason to doubt that progress will be made? Is there any principled reason to be skeptical that there can be a valuable study of art making use of the methods and tools of neuroscience? I think the answer to these questions must be yes, but not because there is no value in bringing art and empirical science into contact, and not because art does not reflect our human biology. To begin to see this, consider: engagement with a work of art is a bit like engagement with another person in conversation; and a work of art itself can be usefully compared with a humorous gesture or a joke. Just as getting a joke requires sensitivity to a whole background context, to presuppositions and intended as well as unintended meanings, so "getting" a work of art requires an attunement to problems, questions, attitudes and expectations; it requires an engagement with the context in which the work of art has work to do. We might say that works of art pose questions and encountering a work of art meaningfully requires understanding the relevant questions and getting why they matter, or maybe even, why they don't matter, or don't matter any more, or why they would matter in one context but not another. In short, the work of art, whatever its local subject matter or specific concerns ? God, life, death, politics, the beautiful, art itself, perceptual consciousness ? and whatever its medium, is doing something like philosophical work.
One consequence of this is that it may belong to the very nature of art, as it belongs to the nature of philosophy, that there can be nothing like a settled, once-and-for-all account of what art is, just as there can be no all-purpose account of what happens when people communicate or when they laugh together. Art, even for those who make it and love it, is always a question, a problem for itself. What is art? The question must arise, but it allows no definitive answer. For these reasons, neuroscience, which looks at events in the brains of individual people and can do no more than describe and analyze them, may just be the wrong kind of empirical science for understanding art. Far from its being the case that we can apply neuroscience as an intellectual ready-made to understand art, it may be that art, by disclosing the ways in which human experience in general is something we enact together, in exchange, may provide new resources for shaping a more plausible, more empirically rigorous, account of our human nature.
Posted: 05 Dec 2011 10:13 PM PST
SAN JOSE, CA.- David Hockney: Bigger Picture is film-maker Bruno Wollheim's account of David Hockney's return to his native Yorkshire, after 25 years of living in California. Filmed over three years, it finds the artist at a crisis point in his life and art. Hockney has come back to oil painting after a six-year break, for the first time working outside, directly from nature, en plein air. At the age of 70, he is painting through the seasons and in all weathers. He also wants to be filmed at work – another first. It emerges that Hockney wants to co-opt the documentary on an anti-photographic mission to prove the superiority of painting as visual truth. His recent work on the controversial book and film Secret Knowledge has convinced him that Western art for the last 500 years has embraced a photographic view of the world, and that he must abandon the camera, up to then the mainstay of his art.
Posted: 05 Dec 2011 09:55 PM PST
Malmö, Sweden.- The Malmö Konsthall is proud to present "Francisco Goya: The Disasters of War", on view at the museum from December 17th through February 26th. The best-known graphic work of Spanish artist Francisco Goya (1746–1828) is Los Desastres de la Guerra, known in English as The Disasters of War. Its message remains just as relevant today. Goya's etchings depict for the first time war from the viewpoint of the civilian population's suffering, without any attempt to soften the impact. We are ruthlessly presented with the brutality of war and the inhumanity of mankind. The etchings are an intense visual report of a barbaric behaviour that has since been repeated and is still continuing around the world today. Goya began working for the Spanish royal court painting cartoons for tapestries, before gradually becoming the official court painter.
Posted: 05 Dec 2011 09:28 PM PST
Denver, Colorado.- The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA Denver) is proud to announce the museum-wide exhibition "West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977", on view at the museum through February 19th 2012. In the heady and hallucinogenic days of the 1960s and '70s, a diverse range of artists and creative individuals based in the American West—from the Pacific coast to the Rocky Mountains and the Southwest—broke the barriers between art and lifestyle and embraced the new, hybrid sensibilities of the countercultural movement. The exhibition "West of Center" illuminates the unique works of these individuals through videos, photographs, drawings, ephemera and other original and re-created objects and environments. The countercultural movement has typically been associated with psychedelic art, but West of Center presents psychedelia as only one dimension of the larger, artistically oriented, socially based phenomenon.
Posted: 05 Dec 2011 09:02 PM PST
Berlin.- Galerie Gebr. Lehmann is proud to present "Keiichi Tanaami: Drawings and Collages 1967 - 1975", on view at the gallery through January 21st 2012. It is mostly the bare curves of women's bodies that populate the focal point of Keiichi Tanaami's black and white drawings from the late 60s and early 70s. One woman swivels her shapely derriere lasciviously in the center of the picture, while the other takes off her pullover, revealing her breasts. They lay there sprawled out on a chaise longue, or sitting straddle-legged on the tip of an airplane, or they are engulfed in the sex act. Already as early as the sixties, Tanaami's drawings sing the praise of the independence of eroticism as well as the liberation afforded by the imaginary. The cosmos of Tanaami images shown in the Berliner Galerie Gebr. Lehmann belongs to a time when Japan's postwar society was recovering from war with the USA, when new prosperity was emerging. They belong to a time when economic consumption was activated, when not only the US-made drug LSD reached Japan's shores, but also the credo of free love.
Posted: 05 Dec 2011 08:42 PM PST
Ventura, CA.- The Museum of Ventura County is proud to present "Animalia: Works by Albert Stewart, Modern Master", on view at the museum from December 4th through February 12th 2012. The exhibition includes pieces from the collection of Stewart's daughter, Patricia Stewart Jump of Ventura. Animals were a recurring theme during the prolific career of this artist, nationally known for his animal and architectural sculpture. Stewart's work can be found on major public buildings throughout the United States. Among his most visible commissions are the facade figures on the Los Angeles County Courthouse, created in 1956, and the stone figures on the Scottish Rite Temple on Los Angeles' Wilshire Boulevard, completed in 1960. Ventura County residents can also see his work at Our Lady of the Assumption Church on Telegraph Road in Ventura, where he created the Stations of the Cross and two side altar figures.
Posted: 05 Dec 2011 08:07 PM PST
Los Angeles, CA.- The Avenue 50 Studio is proud to present "Driven by Content" featuring the works of seven Los Angeles artists: J. Michael Walker , Khalid Hassan , Susanna Meires , Stephanie Mercado , Fabian Debora , Raquel Martinez , and Richard Scully . The exhibit of works comprised of over 24 pieces, many of which have never been shown before, opens with an artists' reception on Saturday evening, December 10th from 7 to 10 p.m. and closes on Sunday, January 8th 2012. The artists chosen to participate in "Driven by Content" generate towards a narrative, be it personal, playful or somber. This exhibition, of emerging and established artists, explore how each artist address the world around him.
Posted: 05 Dec 2011 08:06 PM PST
Munich, Germany.- Ketterer Kunst will be hosting their Modern and Post War/Contemporary Art Auction on December 10th. "It is a real sensation for the German art market. Works of such a remarkable nature are usually auctioned in London and New York", said Robert Ketterer about Hermann Max Pechstein's masterpiece with painting on both sides, which will be called up in the auction. In general, the range of offerings from Expressionism to Contemporary art is equally impressive, and features works by German masters such as Max Pechstein, Christian Rolff, Gabriele Münter, Karl Hofer, Max Beckmann, Emil Nolde, Anselm Kiefer, Max Liebermann, Otto Dix, Lyonel Feininger and Gerog Kolbe beside international works from Andy Warhol, Antoni Tàpies, Tom Wesselmann and Roy Lichtenstein among others.
The Modern Art section is led by Hermann Max Pechstein's work "Weib mit Inder auf Teppich" and "Früchte II" respectively, as it is painted on both sides. The estimate is at €800.000-1.200.000. While the signed side with the still life references Cézanne and Matisse - indicating the artist's mastery in terms of composition and a stringent color expression - the nude captivates the observer with a sensual eroticism; an effect that is amplified by the expressive color value and the coarse painting technique. The primal directness of indigenous peoples by which the Brücke-artists were so impressed, finds expression in the couple's relaxed togetherness as well as in the choice of color: red-brown, yellow and green. A preliminary drawing of the Indian man is in the possession of the National Gallery in Berlin.
Another top lot is a work by Conrad Felixmüller, which also carries the charming feature of being painted on both sides. While the rear side "Das eingeschlafene Modell II" (1940) is brilliantly kept in a form of Neorealism with its subtle coloring and material, the front side "Herbst in Klotzsche" (1920) deals with the atrocities of a senseless war. The estimate is at €250.000-350.000. With an estimate of €200.000-250.000 Fernand Leger's watercolor "Deux femmes à la toilette" from 1920 is just slightly below this mark. The work is a prime example of the artist's extraordinary mastery in composition and coloring.
Christian Rohlf 's oil and tempera work "Soest" from 1916 will enter the race with an estimate of €140.000-180.000, just like several works by Gabriele Münter (among them "Stillleben mit Madonna", and "Murnauer Landschaft (Staffelsee)", each estimated at €180.000-240.000). Still, it is particularly Karl Hofer's striking "Mädchen mit Laute" from 1937 that will captivate the audience's attention. The artist made several versions of this subject, whereas two earlier works from 1932 and 1933 were pertinent to a rather formal structure. Later he abandoned this in favor of a more introvert perspective, which is why this work shows an almost lyrical trait that supports its theme. The dreamy look of the girl that seems to be lost in thought adds yet another atmospheric degree to the composition, just like the soft contours and the overall painting concept. The estimate is at €140.000-180.000. Slightly below this mark is a woodcut by Max Beckmann with an estimate of €100.000-150.000. His "Gruppenbildnis Edenbar" was made in 1923 and is definitely going to make as much furor as the portfolio "Jahrmarkt" which was made two years earlier. The latter has been estimated at €30.000-40.000. With its ten drypoint etchings it counts among the artist's most important graphic works. Besides Emil Nolde's "Marschlandschaft" (estimate: €100.000-120.000), the range of offerings is rounded off by Max Liebermann's "Dorfhäuser mit Sonnenblumen" (estimate: €90.000-120.000), the oil painting "Frühling auf der Höri mit Blick auf Steckborn" by Otto Dix and by Georg Kolbe's bronze "Auferstehung" (estimate €60.000-80.000 each), as well as by works by the following artists: Ernst Barlach, Lyonel Feininger, Erich Heckel, Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Pablo Picasso, Hans Purrmann, Leo Putz and Paul Signac. Of course, an auction of this type cannot be complete without Otto Mueller, whose watercolor and chalk work "Zwei Mädchenakte/Zwei sitzende Akte" has been estimated at €80.000-120.000. Another artist worthwhile mentioning is Willi Baumeister with his oil painting "Nocturno mit roten Segmenten" (estimate: €70.000-90.000).
The Post War/Contemporary section is led by several works carrying estimates between €70.000 to 90.000. Both familiar and yet unusual is Eberhard Havekost's oil painting "Benutzeroberfläche 5" from 2001 as well as the work "Figur Flora" by Horst Antes, which already alludes to the artist's later figure "Kopffüßler (Head Footer)", a figure exclusively made in cross-section. The same estimates have also been tagged to two sculptures which emanate a lust for life in quite different manners. While Giacomo Manzù's "Cardinale seduto" almost seems affable in its form and impression, the skinny, rhythmically bundled pipes of the plastic "Große Vierung" by Martin and Brigitte Matschinsky-Denninghoff seem to aspire an organic vitality. Next to the two large bronzes by Jörg Immendorff "Ich im Pinselwald" and "Sieger", which will both be called up with estimates of €60.000-80.000 each, this section also proudly presents two oil paintings by the Munich artist Rupprecht Geiger. While "467/67" from 1967 has been estimated at €40.000-60.000, the estimate for "419/65" is at €25.000-35.000. Other exciting works, among others, are by Markus Lüpertz ("Beethoven", estimate: €50.000-60.000), Günther Uecker ("Modell für Grossobjekt", estimate: € 30.000-40.000), Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Norbert Bisky, Bernhard Heisig, Markus Lüpertz, Anselm Kiefer, Sigmar Polke, Emil Schumacher, Antoni Tàpies, Fred Thieler, Tom Wesselmann and Fritz Winter.
Since it was founded in 1954, Ketterer Kunst has been firmly established in the front ranks of auction houses dealing in art and rare books, with its headquarters in Munich and a branch in Hamburg. Gallery rooms in Berlin as well as representatives in Heidelberg and Krefeld have contributed substantially to the company's success. Ketterer Kunst has further rounded off its portfolio with the prestigious Ernest Rathenau Verlag, New York/Munich. In addition, exhibitions, special theme and charity auctions as well as online auctions are regular events at Ketterer Kunst. Robert Ketterer is auctioneer and owner of Ketterer Kunst. Visit the auction house's website at ... http://www.kettererkunst.com/
Posted: 05 Dec 2011 07:51 PM PST
PHILADELPHIA, PA - You really should come down, a friend e-mailed me this summer from Mexico City. She meant, come down for the Frida Kahlo centennial, with a retrospective at the Palacio de Bellas Artes and displays of memorabilia at Casa Azul, the Blue House, Kahlo's home. You should come, she wrote, not just for the art, which looks fabulous, but for the place, the people. The celebration, one gathers, was not the usual Fridamaniacal crush. It was more a fiesta, a devotional jubilee, an hommage to a Mexican saint in the city where she was born in 1907 and died in 1954.The lines are also long for "Frida Kahlo" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a distillation of the centennial show, with 42 of Kahlo's small number of surviving paintings and a slew of photographs. As surveys go, it's modest and compact, but for that reason quickly absorbed. That's the way Kahlo enters your system, fast, with a jolt, an effect as unnerving, and even repellent, as it is pleasurable.
Organized by the Kahlo biographer Hayden Herrera and by Elizabeth Carpenter of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the show opens with a single painting, "Self-Portrait With Monkeys" (1943). Kahlo presents herself in half-length, her now-mythical attributes precisely detailed: the handlebar eyebrows, the faint mustache, the dark hair pulled up in a sculptural pile. She's coolly self-contained, but she has company: a quartet of puckish monkeys. One hugs her neck; another tugs at her blouse, as if feeling for a breast. She is unperturbed. She is a nature deity, mistress of beasts; these creatures are her subjects and children. They are also her equals, her friends. She is one of them.
Immediately after this charismatic introduction, the show goes into documentary mode with four rooms of photographs, many from Kahlo's personal collection. Arranged in rough chronological order, they provide a biographical framework, a context for the paintings.
In a family picture of a teenage Kahlo, taken by her father, an immigrant from Germany, she is already tailoring life to her taste: she is wearing a three-piece man's suit. Next we see her in 1929, at 22 — or 19 by her count; she changed her birth year to 1910 to coincide with the beginning of the Mexican Revolution — as the bride of the muralist and fellow revolutionary Diego Rivera, a baby-faced blimp of a man more than 20 years her senior.
By this point Kahlo had been painting for only four years. She started while recuperating from a near-fatal streetcar accident that crushed her spine and pelvis, leaving her permanently crippled and unable to bear children. For her, art always had a therapeutic dimension. It pulled her through crises again and again, which perhaps helps explain why she turned herself into art.
Wearing indigenous Mexican skirts and shawls that minimized the physical evidence of the accident, she became a piece of multicultural theater. As such, she was an irresistibly exotic subject for photographers, and also for herself. Carl van Vechten played up her exoticism; Lola ?lvarez Bravo played it down. In Kodachrome pictures by the Hungarian photographer Nickolas Muray she looks like a still life of ripe tropical fruit. In a 1930 painted self-portrait in the show, the exotic look is still in formation. She sits alone in a chair in front of a plain pink wall, staring, evaluating. The props are yet to come.
That marriage was the pivot of her life, and she did a lot of her best work when it was at its worst. It was on the eve of her divorce from Rivera in 1939 that she painted "The Two Fridas," one of her largest and most famous images. In it she appears as twins, one dressed in the native attire Rivera doted on, the other in a prim white Victorian gown. On both figures the hearts are exposed, a symbol with Christian and pre-Columbian roots: the sacred heart of Jesus, the heart ceremonially ripped from the chest in Aztec sacrifices.
Kahlo's art is rich with such symbols. When most of her Mexican colleagues were focused on political murals, she was looking at tiny votive paintings, folk images of catastrophic deaths and miraculous resurrections, and modeling her work on them. She was also collecting pre-Columbian sculpture, as potent to her as any church art. In one particularly beautiful Kahlo painting — she thought highly of it — called "My Nurse and Me" (1937), we see Kahlo reduced to the size of an infant and suckled by a dark-skinned Madonna with a Teotihuacan mask for a face.
Kahlo's contemporaries didn't know what to do with this art, so implacably frank. André Breton called it Surrealism, but Kahlo rejected the term. My painting is real, she said; it's me, it's my life. It was only in the 1960s and afterward, with the rise of feminism, gay rights and identity politics, that her work began to make sense. And then it made explosive sense: an artist who had been bending genders, blending ethnicities, making the personal political and revolutionizing the concept of "beautiful" generations earlier.
How she did what she did, even physically, is hard to fathom. But if you've given yourself over to Kahlo, you're beyond kitsch, you've set aside learned rules of aesthetic decorum. You've given her permission to write her own rules. She does. They're forceful.
She finally had her first Mexican solo show in 1953 and went to the opening on a stretcher. She would soon lose a leg to gangrene. In June 1954 she had herself pushed in a wheelchair to join a protest against North American intervention in Guatemala. A few days later she died in the Blue House, officially of pneumonia, though there has always been talk of suicide. Her funeral was at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, where her show hung last summer.
Like any cult figure she has detractors, who scoff at the meticulously calculated self-image in her art, at her opportunistic narcissism. Was she self-aggrandizing? Of course. As she said, she was her art. But her subjectivity was capacious and empathetic. It encompasses so much — politics, religions, sexualities, ethnicities — that it's almost self-effacing. I would suggest that biographical detail is just the beginning for understanding Kahlo's work. It is an art much bigger than the life that made it.
But, of course, she did know how to keep it and still does. That place is pretty much everywhere now, wherever her art is, in Mexico City, in Philadelphia, not to mention on the Internet, where there are countless thousands of Web sites dedicated to her. And because her images, especially her self-portraits, are like no others, they stay with you, travel with you. You want the Kahlo experience? You don't have to wait. Close your eyes, and bring her face into your mind, where you are always first in line.
"Frida Kahlo" is at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street, Philadelphia, (215) 763-8100, through May 18. It travels to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, June 14 to Sept. 28.
By . . . Holland Cotter
Posted: 05 Dec 2011 07:50 PM PST
NEW YORK, NY - The New Museum announces that it will present the first survey of Elizabeth Peyton's work, including paintings, drawings, and prints. "Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton" premieres at the New Museum and will be on view from October 8, 2008 through January 11, 2009, and will then travel to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London; and the Bonnefantenmuseum, in Maastricht, the Netherlands.
Posted: 05 Dec 2011 07:49 PM PST
LONDON.- Spring 2010 sees the return of the longest running print fair in the world, the London Original Print Fair, 29 April – 3 May 2010. The 25th Fair will take place in the main galleries at the Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly. It will be the largest ever, with some 60 exhibitors including new participants from America and a specialist in Japanese prints. Dealers, Print Workshops and Publishers come from France, Germany, Ireland and America as well as Britain. In 2009 attendance rose from 6,000 to 10,000 and strong sales were reported in all areas, old master, modern and contemporary.
Posted: 05 Dec 2011 07:48 PM PST
LONDON.- The world's largest sculpture of a human body is being carved out of the British landscape using more than a million tonnes of rock and soil left behind by coal-mining. "Northumberlandia," designed by American landscape architect Charles Jencks, will be nearly half a mile long when it is finished in 2013. The sculpture, of a woman's body, has already been given the epithet "Goddess of the North' by locals in Northumberland in the far northeast of England, a part of the world that is no stranger to grand man-made projects.
Posted: 05 Dec 2011 07:47 PM PST
LONDON.- This spring the Royal Academy of Arts presents an exhibition of work from Barbara Rae RA. This exhibition will provide the opportunity to see key works by the acclaimed painter and printmaker and will feature new monoprint works inspired by her recent travels to Ireland and Spain. The works exhibited will illustrate the broad range of printing techniques employed in her work. On exhibition 9 June through 17 August, 2010.
Posted: 05 Dec 2011 07:46 PM PST
LONDON.- The Sims Reed Gallery announced their recent acquisition of Sir Eduardo Paolozzi's highly revered estate of print editions. In Paolozzi's first show solely devoted to his screenprints, his iconic 1960s Pop Art prints will be showcased alongside his later works, from 21st October through13th November 2009. Since it was established in 1978 Sims Reed Ltd. has been trading in the heart of St James's to an international clientele and is now one of the leading antiquarian booksellers in London.
Posted: 05 Dec 2011 07:45 PM PST
New York - Eli Klein Fine Art is pleased to present our 2010 Winter Show. This group exhibition features the work of some of the Gallery's most-established artists as well as our highly promising emerging artists. This eclectic group includes Cathy Daley, Chen Qiang, Hung Tung-lu, Jiang Huan, Liu Yan, Luo Qing, Meeson Pae Yang, Miao Xiaochun, Sophie De Francesca, Wei Dong, Zhang Lujiang, Zhao Kailin, and Zhang Dali. On exhibition through 1 March, 2010.
Eli Klein Fine Art has, over the last year, hosted several important solo exhibitions at the Gallery for artists Zhang Peng, Luo Qing, Xiao Se, and Ma Bing. For each of these artists, our show was their first solo exhibition in the United States and represented a major step in the advancement of their careers. In addition to these landmark shows, Eli Klein Fine Art has produced several significant group shows over this past year, including, Redefining Surrealism, Passing by China, and Chasing Flames. Each exhibit brought together some of China's finest contemporary artists, showcasing some of their work for the first time in the United States.
Thus, this exhibition celebrates our past while looking toward the future. Eli Klein Fine Art remains steadfast in its promotion of contemporary Chinese art. Eli Klein Fine Art is at the forefront of America's contemporary Chinese art scene. With a particular focus on the visual arts of contemporary China, Eli Klein Fine Art is committed to exhibiting the work of prominent and emerging Chinese artists--promoting awareness of China's ever-transitioning culture as it's reflected through the country's innovative art.
Eli Klein Fine Art is located in the heart of SOHO on West Broadway, situated amongst many of New York's finest galleries and art establishments. Its street-level location boasts 4,000 square feet of exhibition space spread over two floors.
Eli Klein Fine Art's strong curatorial department collaborates with prominent museums, private collections and galleries across the world, allowing new Chinese art to become more accessible to a larger audience. Eli Klein Fine Art's artists are represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and many other internationally renowned museums.
Below is the artist statement of artist Zhao Kailin.
One of the most important and critically acclaimed Chinese masters of contemporary realism working today, painter Zhao Kailin was born in 1961 in Bengbu in southeast China.
Zhao Kailin felt, even as a young child, that he wanted to be an artist. "By the age of eight, I knew I wanted to be a painter," Zhao relates. "It was my second grade teacher in elementary school who taught me basic painting skills and encouraged and challenged me. Most important, she taught me how to soar with imaginary wings through the secret world of art." Under her tutelage, Zhao's painting abilities matured, so much so that his work began appearing in children's juried art exhibitions in Bengbu.
In 1988, Zhao Kailin was accepted for graduate studies at the prestigious oil painting department of Beijing's Central Academy of Fine Arts, China's most illustrious and rigorous fine arts institution. "From 1988 to 1990, I studied there and learned traditional western-style oil painting," states Zhao. "It was the most important period of art studies in my life."
During this period of intensive training, Zhao was exposed to the galvanizing portraits of Dutch Renaissance master Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606-1669) and was immediately taken with the work's luxuriant brushwork, jewel-like color and commanding manipulation of light and shadow inspired by Italian Renaissance painter Carravagio (1573-1610). It was during this same time that Zhao also became enamoured of the elegantly voluptuous society portraiture of American painter John Singer Sargent (1856-1925). Sargent's Madame X (1884), a full-figure portrait of a mysterious porcelain-skinned woman dressed in a long black dress that scandalized Paris's Salon of 1884, most certainly has left its silky mark on many of Zhao Kailin's portrait paintings.
More recently, Zhao's work has concentrated on depicting beautiful, introspective young women, most of whom are Asian and dressed in traditional Chinese attire. Several of the latest pieces feature females with musical instruments. These paintings capture the essential aura of young women suspended between the innocence of childhood and the smoldering sexuality of womanhood, evoking a sense of longing, dreams and desire.
"Every painting I do involves personal stories and memories," Zhao explains. "I am always striving to communicate not only the beauty and unspoken personal narratives of these women, but also the inherent beauty of Chinese culture and life."
Zhao Kailin's work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout Asia, Europe and the U.S. and is a part of notable public and private art collections. Winner of a number of awards for his work, and has been an influential mentor to a number of other painters.
For further information, please contact the gallery at (212) 255-4388 or email@example.com. Eli Klein Fine art is located at 462 West Broadway in between Prince and Houston streets, New York, NY 10012. Please visit our website at: www.ekfineart.com .
Posted: 05 Dec 2011 07:44 PM PST
MIAMI, FL.- Miami Art Museum (MAM) announced the completion of design development for its new 120,000-square-foot home in downtown Miami, scheduled to open in 2013. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, MAM's new home will work in concert with its natural surroundings to enhance the museum experience, and has been designed to achieve silver LEED [Leadership in Energy] certification. The new building will allow MAM to better serve its diverse, rapidly growing community, reinforcing the Museum's role as a bridge between continents and cultures. The completed design was unveiled in Miami yesterday, October 21, at a lecture titled Work in Progress: A Talk with Herzog & de Meuron. Pierre de Meuron, founding partner and Christine Binswanger, partner-in-charge of the project, discussed the design in a public forum with Terence Riley, director of Miami Art Museum.
Posted: 05 Dec 2011 07:43 PM PST
ATLANTA, GA.- The High Museum of Art will premiere an exhibition of new work by California based photographer Robert Weingarten in January 2010. Weingarten's project consists of twenty large-scale digitally-created portraits of American icons, and represents a bold departure from traditional camera portraiture. For "The Portrait Unbound," Weingarten created sophisticated digital compositions of imagery alluding to specific achievements or moments within the subject's life. The result is a unique and compelling collage of images that describes the subject through biographical rather than physical information. Organized by the High Museum, "The Portrait Unbound: Photographs by Robert Weingarten" will be on view from January 23 to April 4, 2010.
Posted: 05 Dec 2011 07:42 PM PST
Posted: 05 Dec 2011 07:40 PM PST
TORRENT, SPAIN - The Valencian Institute of Modern Art (IVAM) presents in Espai Municipal d'Art de Torrent, "Pop Art of the Collecció L'IVAM al 'EMAT" curated by the Director of the IVAM, Consuelo Ciscar and Javier Ferrer director EMAT, which will be displayed from June 18 to August 2, 2009. The exhibition brings together over forty works of different techniques and media including paintings, photography, works on paper and sculptures. The many artists who are included in this exhibit are figures representative of this trend that emerged in the United Kingdom, but reached its full dimension in United States. These include: Hervé Telémaque, Equipo Crónica, Eduardo Arroyo, John Baldessari, Richard Hamilton, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Darío Villalba, James Rosenquist, Claes Oldenburg, Richard Lindner and Valerio Adami.
The Collection of the IVAM provides a broad, comprehensive overview of Pop Art and the presence of its legacy in the most recent contemporary creations. It focuses on the artists who influenced the development of the avant-garde movements in Spain, including the important contribution made by Spanish artists to that trend. And we say trend because of the different international manifestations of Pop Art that took place simultaneously in several countries rather than something that stemmed from a single source. Manifestations that can be grouped in categories that go from the precursors of Pop Art like Richard Lidner or artists of the Independent Group like Robert Hamilton or the American precursors Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg or Claes Oldenburg to the artists of New Realism like Martial Raysse, and New Image with works by James Rosenquist, and Narrative Figuration with works by Gilles Aillaud, Hervé Télémaque, Valerio Adami and Eduardo Arroyo, Realismo Crítico represented by the work of Equipo Crónica, Equipo Realidad and Juan Genovés, among other trends, including the legacy that has tinged the cinematographic photography of Cindy Sherman or John Baldessari.
Be that as it may, Pop Art was never a programmatic movement directed by a coherent group that expressed their ideas in manifestoes, but rather a nexus of different groups and critical stances that resorted to images from mass production as their point of departure and that presented important variations according to their geographic and cultural background.
Although in many aspects it is the heir of the historic avant-garde movements, Pop Art constitutes one of the first examples of postmodern art practice thanks, precisely, to its appropriation of images already in existence. Collage and photomontage, along with Marcel Duchamp's ready-mades and similar works or creations of Surrealism, are important artistic antecedents. In fact, a series of Pop artists were directly linked to the latter movement (Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and Hervé Télémaque). But more than anything else, Pop was the result of the growth of the consumer society that took place in the nineteen fifties and sixties: the new reality that captured the attention of the younger generation.
Josep Renau, who uses collage and photomontage techniques to criticize the American society, appropriating ordinary everyday images of the media and popular culture, has been considered a forerunner or a pioneer of Pop aesthetics, above all because of the influence he had on the work of Equipo Crónica and Equipo Realidad, who used the same techniques in painting to establish a critical interpretation of the images and icons that configure the visual culture of Spain at that time, but also turn their critical glance towards the past and history. However, this resorting to history, the painting of the past or cult cinema, which we find in both Equipo Crónica, Equipo Realidad and Eduardo Arroyo, is not limited to the cultural sphere in Spain but involves permanent interrelationship between popular culture and high culture. This is something that did not follow the initial premises of Pop Art, but in the eighties even Warhol was using images from paintings by Munch, De Chirico or Leonardo's Last Supper in his works.
The strategies of Pop provided a (not only visual but also intellectual) framework that, thanks to the contradictions enclosed in this iconographic encyclopedia, constituted a point of departure for political and social reflection about the present. This point of departure allowed Pop to survive in neo and post formulations. Pop Art, in its broadest sense, left the avant-gardes the legacy of a narrative that is still vital for the aspirations of emerging artistic movements today.
Posted: 05 Dec 2011 07:39 PM PST
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