It took an army of 1,600 Chinese artisans to create Ai Weiwei's 100m handpainted porcelain 'seeds', which are scattered over the floor of Tate Modern's Turbine Hall
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Anonymous Chinese artist, 'Peanut, Arachis hypogaea', late 18th or early 19th century. Museum no. E.1754-1924
Anonymous Chinese artist
'Peanut, Arachis hypogaea'
Late 18th or early 19th century
Museum no. E.1754-1924
As China opened up to foreign trade in the eighteenth century European botanists were compelled to record the plants they encountered for the first time. Rather than return home with dry and lifeless specimens, native artists were employed to produce drawings from living species, particularly around the ports of Macao and Canton.
Though Chinese artists could boast a long tradition of flower painting, their abstract style was very different from the precise botanical illustration undertaken in Europe. In order to satisfy their patrons' tastes, these native artists began to study European examples and to adopt the same conventions.
This study of a peanut plant shows the characteristically hybrid style that emerged. Attesting to its European influence, the drawing is arranged on a blank page and every detail, including the last nibbled leaf is recorded. Nevertheless, there are still Chinese traits such as the flattened perspective.
"This is a preparatory drawing for the sketch-map reproduced on the endpapers of Winnie-the-Pooh and therefore one of the most celebrated locations in children's literature. Although the geography was not revised, several captions were evidently changed. 'Eeyores Gloomy Place' was originally 'Eeyores Pasture Land' and the 'Floody Place' was originally captioned 'Floods Might Happen Here'. Shepard also poses the question 'What sort of House is Kangas?' at the top of the map. The caption at the foot originally appeared as 'Drawn by Me helped by Mr Shepard' and shows a process of revision to 'Drawn by Me and Mr Shepard helped'. It was printed as 'Drawn by Me and Mr Shepard helpd'."
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
“The Frick Collection is one of the world’s most acclaimed art institutions and was especially admired and respected by Norton Simon,” says Walter Timoshuk, President of the Norton Simon Museum. “This exchange program not only brings some of the Frick’s marvelous works to the West Coast, but also honors Mr. Simon’s esteem for this exceptional institution.”
Located on Fifth Avenue, The Frick Collection is housed in the former mansion of industrialist Henry Clay Frick (1849–1919) and is home to an internationally celebrated collection of Western fine and decorative arts, with works by Bellini, Fragonard, Gainsborough, Goya, Holbein, Ingres, Manet, Monet, Rembrandt, Renoir, Titian, Turner, Velazquez, Vermeer, Whistler, and others. “We are delighted more to form this special exchange with the Norton Simon Museum, whose superb works very rarely leave Pasadena,” says Anne L. Poulet, Director of The Frick Collection. “And what a pleasure it will be to view the Comtesse in a new setting—the Norton Simon’s beautiful and serene galleries.”
Comtesse d’Haussonville will be on view at the Norton Simon Museum from October 30, 2009, through January 25, 2010. Two preparatory drawings by Ingres will accompany the painting—one a direct study, executed around 1843 or 1844, which shows this same pose and his process in dealing with the folds of her elegant dress; the other a preparatory detail drawing for an 1839 commission for his monumental work, The Golden Age. All three works will hang alongside the Norton Simon’s portrait of Baron Joseph-Pierre Vialetés de Mortarieu, also by Ingres. A series of lectures and educational and family programs will be organized around the installation. A related exhibition, “Gaze: Portraiture after Ingres,” runs from October 30 through April 5, 2010.
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (French, 1780–1867) left behind a rich and varied body of work created during his long life. While many of his most known paintings are historical and religious depictions, his series of portraits, many of them of well-born, beautiful women, are among his most captivating. Ingres began his portrait of Louise d’Haussonville (1818–1882) in 1842, when he was 62 and the comtesse was 24. The picture shows the lovely young woman standing before a hearth in a well appointed room, a mirror on the wall reflecting the back of her head and neck. She wears an elegant, Delft-blue silk dress, its folds and details resplendent, a few pieces of gold jewelry, and an ornate red ribbon and tortoiseshell comb in her hair. One arm rests across her waist, the other is bent upward, and her hand is tucked under her chin. The comtesse looks directly ahead, and her slight smile and open expression invite the viewer into this lovely scene.
“Her contemplative pose, with hand to chin, is a motif Ingres revisits time and time again in portraits, history paintings, and surviving sketches,” says Carol Togneri, Chief Curator at the Norton Simon Museum. “The opportunity to have this beautiful portrait, as well as two working drawings that show his interest in this important detail, allows us to consider Ingres’s relationship and homage to antique art.”
Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington (March 10, 1876 – October 4 ,1973) was a prolific and innovative American sculptor. She was a master of naturalistic animal sculpture. Particularly noted for her equestrian statues she was active over a period of 70 years.
Huntington is recognized as one of America's finest animaliers, whose naturalistic works helped to bridge the gap between the traditional styles of the 1800s and the abstract styles of the mid-twentieth century. Her prominence also enabled other female artists to succeed. Her innovations in technique and display, as exhibited through her aluminum statues in Brookgreen Gardens, guarantee her place in the annals of art history.
During the 1940s and 1950s, she was increasingly distressed by modern art and what she considered a tasteless machine age. However, despite widespread public interest in abstract sculpture, Mrs. Huntington continued to win recognition and awards. She did her last equestrian statue when she was 91.
In anticipation of the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth in 2009, the 2006 Springfield City Ornament depicts Abraham Lincoln:On the Prairie, the sculpture at the entrance to New Salem where he lived as a young man. The sculpture by Anna Hyatt Huntington portrays young Abe on horseback, reading a law book. Springfield artist Stan Squires interpreted the statue for the ornament design, silhouetting Lincoln and his horse between wisps of prairie grass and a split-rail fence.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Hubert Robert, French artist, born in Paris. (May 22, 1733 – April 15, 1808)
Hubert Robert spent eleven years in Rome; after the young artist's official residence at the French Academy in Rome ran out, he supported himself by works he produced for visiting connoisseurs like the abbé de Saint-Non, who took Robert to Naples in April 1760 to visit the ruins of Pompeii. The marquis de Marigny, director of the Bâtiments du Roi kept abreast of his development in correspondence with Natoire, director of the French Academy, who urged the pensionnaires to sketch out-of-doors, from nature: Robert needed no urging; drawings from his sketchbooks document his travels: Villa d'Este, Caprarola. Robert spent his time in the company of young artists in the circle of Piranesi, whose capricci of romantically overgrown ruins influenced him so greatly that he gained the nickname Robert des ruines.The albums of sketches and drawings he assembled in Rome supplied him with motifs that he worked into paintings throughout his career.
His success on his return to Paris in 1765 was rapid: the following year he was received by the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture, with a Roman capriccio, The Port of Rome, ornamented with different Monuments of Architecture, Ancient and Modern. During the Revolution, he was arrested in October 1793. He survived his detentions at Sainte-Pélagie and Saint-Lazare, by painting vignettes of prison life on plates, before he was freed at the fall of Robespierre.Robert narrowly escaped the guillotine when through error another prisoner died in his place. Subsequently he was placed on the committee of five in charge of the new national museum at the Palais du Louvre.
Artist: Hubert Robert Title: The Bridge Confiscated Collection: Sel 169 (previously Sel 156) (Seligmann, Paris)
This work was seized by the Nazis from Edouard Alphonse James de Rothschild. In 1940, the Baron and his wife escaped to Lisbon, Portugal right after the Nazi occupation of France. From there they were able to continue on their way to New York City, New York. It is there that they waited until the end of World War II to return to their homeland of Austria. But before his escape to the United States, James and his wife did their best to hide their massive art collection worth millions from the Nazi's. He hid most of his collection somewhere on the Haras de Meautry farm and at his Château de Reux estate. But in 1940, the Nazi's caught up with the Rothschild's treasure, raiding and looting everything in sight.
In this image Hubert Robert draws a rare view of Paris and depicts its most iconic building, the cathedral of Notre Dame. It is shown from the unusual angle beneath the Pont au double also known as the Pont de l'Hôtel Dieu (replaced in 1883 with the current bridge). The cathedral is seen from the east with its two Gothic towers and flying buttresses. The imposing monumentality of the cathedral is tempered by the bridge which takes up nearly half the sheet. The main protagonists, the three fishermen in the lower left corner, while diminutive in comparison to the architecture do not fail to capture the viewer's eye either.
Strangely, and perhaps tellingly, Robert chose to emphasize the bridge rather than the Gothic church. Bridges, real or imagined were a frequent motif in Robert's oeuvre. Two paintings by him depict the transformation of two bridges in Paris: The demolition of houses on the Pont Notre-Dame in 1786 (Karlsruhe, Staatliche Kunsthalle), and The demolition of houses on the Pont-au-Change in 1788 (Paris, Musée Carnavalet).
For a full discussion of bridges in Robert's work see Hubert Robert 1733-1808 und die Brücken von Paris (exhib. cat., Karlsruhe, Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, 1991).
Remember Ferris, Cameron, and Sloane's escapade into Chicago circa-1986?
But even that experience can be marred over time. After nearly 30 years on view overlooking McKinlock Court, the glass windows, subject to slight condensation, had attracted atmospheric deposits of oil and calcium carbonate, which appeared as a sheer white film dulling their filtered, colored light. Just as a dirty windshield acts as a screen from light, Druick said, the brilliance of colors in Chagall's windows was being muted.
Seizing on the opportunity provided by the 36-paneled windows' removal during the lengthy construction, the museum's conservation staff investigated various methods of cleaning, and, beginning about two years ago, the restorative work began. Associate Conservator Emily Heye was at the helm.
"Imagine large Q-tips and lots of time spent carefully rinsing after the fact," Heye explained via telephone of one of the steps of the cleaning process. Simultaneous to Heye's immaculate restorative work, a new exhibition space was designed and constructed for the windows in the east end of the museum's Arthur Rubloff building. Now reinstalled and framed tightly in the way that Chagall had intended, which Druick says "focuses on the windows in a particular way," the windows are ready for the museum's busy holiday season.
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From Breaking News Chicago - October 28, 2010 9:52 AM
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Although winter hasn’t even started, there is already a lineup of public art projects scheduled for New York this spring. The Public Art Fund will be installing three sculpture exhibitions: at Union Square, City Hall Park and Doris C. Freedman Plaza, at Fifth Avenue and 60th Street.
“These aren’t site-specific installations; they are site-responsive,” said Nicholas Baume, director and chief curator of the Public Art Fund, the nonprofit organization that presents art around the city. “They are all linked because they use New York City as a context.”
Perhaps the most surprising will be a 10-foot-tall bronze sculpture of Andy Warhol in Union Square (March 30 to Oct. 2). This will be only the second time the Public Art Fund has installed art there: the last project was “Woman’s Work” in 1993, the artist Rhonda Roland Shearer’s eight bronze sculptures of women scrubbing toilets, vacuuming and shopping for groceries while clutching squirming children to their bosoms.
But the New York artist Rob Pruitt chose this bustling area for the Warhol sculpture, called “The Andy Monument.” He had a particular corner in mind, at 17th Street and Broadway, just outside the building that once housed Warhol’s Factory. The sculpture depicts Warhol as he looked in the 1970s, in his signature fright wig, blue jeans and a tweed jacket. He is posed with a camera around his neck, carrying a shopping bag full of issues of Interview magazine, the publication he helped found.
“It’s conceived as a classical monument although it’s very contemporary,” Mr. Baume said. “It’s a real public Andy from the period where he would stand in Union Square giving out the magazines.”
By contrast, the London-based sculptor Eva Rothschild has claimed the plaza at the entrance to Central Park for a delicate work that she said would take “the form of a multidirectional arch.” The piece, which will be on view March 1 to Aug. 28, will rise nearly 20 feet and spill over the center of the plaza. Fashioned from red, green and black steel tubing four inches in diameter, it will echo the branches of trees in the park and be, as Ms. Rothschild put it, “another gateway between two different worlds of urban experience.”
Back downtown, in City Hall Park, more than 20 sculptures by Sol LeWitt will be installed from May 25 through Dec. 2. LeWitt, who died in 2007, was known for his Minimalist geometric work, and Mr. Baume has assembled large-scale pieces dating from the 1960s through 2006, including many that will be seen in this country for the first time. They will come from private collections and museums both here and abroad.
“There hasn’t been a career overview of his structures,” Mr. Baume said.
By CAROL VOGEL
Published: November 25, 2010 - New York Times
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Gauguin is one of the world's most famous and best-loved artists from the early 20th century. For the first time in the UK in over 50 years, Tate Modern presents an exhibition dedicated to this master French Post-Impressionist, featuring paintings and drawings from around the world. His sumptuous, colourful images of women in Tahiti and beautiful landscape images of Brittany in France are some of the most popular images in Modern art.
Gauguin was the ultimate global traveller, sailing the South Seas, and living in Peru, Martinique, and Paris among other places. This exhibition explores the role of the myths around the man – Gauguin as storyteller, painting himself as a Christ-like figure or even a demon in his own paintings, religious and mythical symbols in his work, and the manipulation of his own artistic identity. It features many of his iconic paintings, including those showing daily village life from the artist's colony of Pont-Aven in Brittany, nude bathers and haystacks in the Breton landscape, and decorative works such as the carved wooden door panels around Gauguin's hut in the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia.
Gauguin sought to escape European civilisation in the South Seas. Inspired by Tahiti's tropical flora, fauna and island life, he immersed himself in its fast-disappearing local culture to invest his art with deeper meaning, ritual and myth.
Video - http://channel.tate.org.uk/media/624873206001
Tate Modern, London
September 30, 2010 - January 16, 2011
National Gallery of Art, Washington
February 27 - June 5, 2011
Steve Martin’s Sketch of the Art World
By JULIE BOSMAN
Published: November 17, 2010 New York Times
Ruth Fremson/The New York Times
Ruth Fremson/The New York Times
But once inside the Gagosian Gallery, one of the most high-powered galleries in New York, he peeled off his coat, revealing a dark suit, burgundy tie and perfectly polished black shoes that made him look more like one of the art dealers he describes in his new novel.
Mr. Martin was there to discuss the book, “An Object of Beauty,” a tale set in the Manhattan art world that draws from decades of personal observation. He is a longtime private collector. His friends include mega dealers like Larry Gagosian and William Acquavella, whose galleries — separated by a few blocks in an art-rich pocket of the Upper East Side — make regular appearances in the novel.
But Mr. Martin insisted repeatedly that he is far from an authority on the subject, and he often seemed more comfortable talking about art books than artworks.
“I’m not an expert,” he said, in his trademark dry sincerity. “Trust me, they don’t need me.”
At the Gagosian, Mr. Martin bypassed a room full of John Currin paintings in luscious shades of red, cream and gold, heading first for a long, narrow hallway where hundreds of books and catalogs were on display.
“Someone said to me, these libraries aren’t important anymore, because you can get it all online,” he said, gazing at the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. “But you can’t. If you Google an artist and Google the images, you get no information — you don’t get where the painting is, you don’t get the medium, you don’t get the sizes, you don’t get the provenance. So these libraries are really important.”
Mr. Martin, 65, has distanced himself from his days as a wacky stand-up comedian but remains a comic actor who is also a regularly touring banjo player, children’s book author, essayist and novelist. Next year he will appear in a film about competitive bird-watching, “The Big Year,” and release a banjo record, “Rare Bird Alert.”
In person he is quiet, serious and polite, holding open doors and pressing elevator buttons — not the gangly goofball of his longtime public persona. And at times he is a little self-conscious. Rounding the corner of Madison Avenue and 79th Street, he noticed a photographer and grimaced. “I hate that my picture’s being taken in my fat coat,” he said, tugging at the hem of his boxy gray Zegna jacket.
Mr. Martin first became engrossed in art while in college, learning the basics from a close artist friend and a dealer with a large library. Traveling around the country doing his comedy show, he stopped in museums, usually in college towns, picking up books along the way.
“I have a theory that some people are born to it, and some people acquire it,” he said. “And I acquired it.”
The first significant piece he collected was a print by Ed Ruscha that he got rid of decades ago. “It’s a long story,” he said. “I sold it when I angrily left L.A.” (It is possible he needed to lose the print to forget Los Angeles, considering how closely Mr. Ruscha’s work mirrors the city.)
His current collection defies characterization, he said, allowing only that he had a mix of 19th- and 20th-century American art and “a French impressionist picture.” Not long ago he bought a painting by William Michael Harnett, a 19th-century still-life painter.
“It’s absolutely great to live with,” Mr. Martin said. “It’s better than television. There’s not a day I don’t look at or spend some amount of time with an artwork.”
Art makes an appearance in “Shopgirl,” his novella from 2000, and like “Shopgirl,” the new novel places a young woman, Lacey Yeager, at its center.
Two years ago he began writing “An Object of Beauty,” using books from his own collection — so large that he had to divide it between his homes in New York and Los Angeles — for reference. He particularly looked to his catalogs from Sotheby’s and Christie’s and at least three books on Maxfield Parrish, a 20th-century American painter who figures prominently in the novel.
The book is sprinkled with references to his experiences in New York. One character, a high-flying millionaire art collector named Patrice Claire, stays in the Carlyle Hotel whenever he is visiting from Paris. Mr. Martin used to keep an apartment there — a small one-bedroom, he said. Mr. Martin likes to ride his bicycle down the West Side bike path; so does Lacey Yeager, the fetching, ambitious art dealer from the book.
Real names are scattered throughout, largely to avoid having readers guess which fictional character is a stand-in for a real person.
Part of the reason to write about art, he said, was the challenge of capturing a world that is still a little foreign to him. This comes from a man who owned an Edward Hopper painting, “Hotel Window,” that he sold at Sotheby’s in 2006 for $26.8 million.
“The milieu of the book is the art world,” he said. “And the reason I chose the art world is I knew enough about it, but I don’t know everything about it. And I like that. I could have picked the milieu to be show business, but I feel like I know too much about that.”
Mr. Martin said he did not submit a manuscript to his publisher until it was complete, so that he would not be subject to deadlines or suggestions or any other kind of pressure.
He did receive a little pushback from Sotheby’s, which plays a small but slightly controversial role in the book, when one of the characters, a Sotheby’s employee, attempts a bidding scheme there. The people at the auction house were not pleased.
“They were a little nervous that a fraud takes place on the premises, but I convinced them that they come out to be heroes,” he said. (The fictional employee is promptly fired.)
He will soon find out how the art world feels about the book, which will be released Tuesday. Mr. Acquavella said he had just started to read it; Mr. Gagosian is giving him a book party.
The manuscript has been vetted by a couple of people who work for auction houses, and Mr. Martin made some small changes based on their suggestions.
He said he wasn’t concerned about whether the book is ever turned into a movie, as “Shopgirl” was. “My agent said, ‘We’ve got to send this out,’ and I said, ‘I frankly don’t care, because I’m not going to have anything to do with it,’ ” he said. “Although,” he added, “I’d be a good Barton Talley,” referring to one of the uptown art dealers in the novel.
“I gave it to my wife,” he said, finally breaking into a smile. “Her job is to say, ‘Fantastic!’ ”
any collectors ask if there is an easy rule of thumb that will enable them to buy a print with confidence. alas, no simple rule exists. While patterns are evident and generalizations may be made, one must recognize that there are always exceptions. As with any discipline, the best thing one can do is to examine and handle materials, study, ask questions, and seek advice from experts. While volumes have been written on the subject of prints, here are some basic guidelines that should be helpful.
Restrikes: Restrikes use the same plates as the original, but are second-generation prints made after the first run. The span between an original and a restrike can range anywhere from a month’s time to several centuries. While usually less desirable than originals, restrikes are sometimes the only prints that are available, or for that matter, affordable.
Reproductions: There are many types of reproductions. Perhaps the most common is created when copies are made by taking photographs of an original print. Another technique is to prepare an entirely new plate using the original graphic process. case study: To illustrate the above distinctions, let us consider prints associated with Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669). A copper-plated print made during Rembrandt’s lifetime would beconsidered an original; such a print would be the most desirable and valuable. Some of Rembrandt’s plates still exist today. Restrike printings using these plates can be found dating from four centuries, with the most recent having the least value. A photographic reproduction is the type one might find at a museum shop.
There are three categories of antique original prints: intaglio, relief, and planographic. They are defined by the plate or block from which the image is printed. The intaglio and relief processes have been available since the Renaissance and are still in use today.
Intaglio: An intaglio print is created by cutting into a metal plate so that the ink flows into the grooves. When dampened paper contacts the ink, a line adheres to the paper surface. Ink stands on top of the paper in the form of a dark line or dot; sometimes a raised surface can be perceived by a gentle touch (with clean hands of course).
As a result of the pressure from the plate and paper being pressed together during the printing process, a border or plate mark is usually detectable. Intaglio prints include aquatints, engravings, line engravings, etchings, drypoint, mezzotints, stipple prints, and other variations on the technique [Fig. 1].
Relief: A relief print is created when the surface of a printing block or matrix is cut away so that only the desired image remains raised. Pressure during printing is light in comparison to the intaglio process so as not to push the ink off the image and cause a blurred image. Prints from such blocks are woodcuts, wood engravings, or block prints [Fig. 2].
Planographic: This technique was invented at the beginning of the nineteenth century. As the science of chemistry came of age, printmakers learned how to apply solids and liquids to a flat surface so that applied ink would be attracted or rejected. This process is called lithography. A slight impression can sometimes be seen from the printing process. Terms such as stone lithograph or chromolithograph are used to define antique prints made with this process [Fig. 3].
Armed with some of the basic definitions of what comprises a print, regarding the various versions and techniques, a general sense of art history is also useful in the process of evaluation, for the subject matter of prints encompasses categoriesas diverse as ancient architecture to outsider art. Most people know more than they realize, because in this day and age we are surrounded by decorative and fine art inspired by design sources from the past. Familiarity with what is accurate and appropriate for a period is helpful in the process of identification. When uncertain, consult a specialist.
Gascoigne, Bamber. How to Identify Prints. Thames and Hudson: London, 1986.
Lane, Christopher W. et al. What is a Print? A Discussion and Glossary of Print Processes and Terms. Philadelphia Print Shop: Philadelphia, 1994.
Zigrosser, Carl, and Christa M. Gaehde. A Guide to the Collecting and Care of Original Prints. Crown: New York, 1965.
Donald H. Cresswell, Ph.D., is proprietor of the Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Cresswell has published widely, teaches and lectures, serves on the committees of distinguished library societies, and is an appraiser for the Antiques Road Show on PBS.
Know Your Antiques is a regular feature that offers insight into the world of decorative and fine arts.
The Fat Kitchen,1563 Pieter Bruegel, the Elder Pieter van der Heyden Hieronymus Cock Platemark: 22.3 x 29.2 cm (8 3/4 x 11 1/2 in.) Sheet: 22.8 x 30 cm (9 x 11 13/16 in.), Engraving, Classification: Prints, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Practice Room, April 2007 - June 2007
Interlochen center for the Arts, Interlochen, MI
The other artists were ceramic installation artist Jennifer Teter and ceramic and performance artist Hoon Lee.