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First exhibition devoted to comparing Picasso and Lautrec opens in Madrid

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Desnudo de pelirroja agachada, 1897. (Femme rousse nue accroupie). Óleo sobre cartón, 46,4 x 60 cm. San Diego Museum of Art. Donación de la Baldwin M. Baldwin Foundation, 1987

MADRID.- The Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza presents Picasso/Lautrec, the first monographic exhibition devoted to comparing these two great masters of modern art. Although their artistic link has been repeatedly established by literature and contemporary critics, this is the first time their works have been displayed alongside each other in an exhibition. The show also examines this fascinating relationship from new viewpoints, as it does not merely explore the cliché of the young Picasso as an admirer of Lautrec in Barcelona and his early years in Paris, but traces the latter’s lingering influence throughout the Spanish artist’s lengthy career, including his final period. Curated by Professor Francisco Calvo Serraller, professor of the department of Art History at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, and Paloma Alarcó, chief curator of Modern Painting at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Picasso/Lautrec brings togeth ... More

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Hammershøi's 'Interior with Woman at Piano' to be offered by Sotheby's in New York   Louis XIV, Napoleon diamond to be auctioned off in Geneva   Tate Modern opens first major museum exhibition in the UK of artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov

Vilhelm Hammershøi, Interior with Woman at Piano. Estimate: $2,500,000-3,500,000 / DKK 15.8-22.2 million. Courtesy Sotheby’s.

NEW YORK, NY.- This Autumn, Sotheby’s will offer an elegant and introspective work from Vilhelm Hammershøi’s most accomplished period. Painted in 1901, Interior with Woman at Piano, Strandgade 30 is distinguished by its refined palette of chromatic greys, spare compositional elements, and a mesmeric psychological complexity. Estimated at $2,500,000-3,500,000 (DKK 15.8-22.2 million), the painting will come to auction at Sotheby’s in New York on 14 November 2017 as a highlight of the Evening Sale of Impressionist & Modern Art. In the twenty-five-year period since the work was last offered on the market, Hammershøi has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions in Europe, Asia and America, prompting overdue recognition of one of Denmark’s most innovative and celebrated artists. Claude Piening, Head of 19th Century European Paintings in London, commented: “Interior with Woman at Piano epitomises Hammershøi’s s ... More

A woman poses with the 'Le Grand Mazarin', a 19.07 carat pink diamond, at Christie's auction house in London on October 17, 2017. 'Le Grand Mazarin' is estimated to reach 6-9 million dollars on auction in Geneva on November 14, 2017. CHRIS J RATCLIFFE / AFP.

GENEVA (AFP).- A large, pink diamond once set in the crowns of numerous French kings and emperors will go under the hammer in Geneva next month, the Christie's auction house said Wednesday. "Le Grand Mazarin", a 19.07-carat light pink diamond, was a gift to Louis XIV in 1661 and was set in the crowns of almost all of the monarchs and emperors of France who followed, Christie's said. The diamond is "a timeless symbol of beauty, a French royal treasure adorning no fewer than seven kings and queens beginning with the Sun King Louis XIV," Christie's chairman for Europe and Asia Francois Curiel said in a statement. "Above all, it is a witness to 350 years of European history. This stone belongs to a class of its own," he said. The gem was named after Cardinal Mazarin, an Italian cardinal and diplomat, as well as ... More

Ilya Kabakov (b. 1933), The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment, 1985. Six poster panels with collage. Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Musée national d’art moderne/Centre de Création industrielle. Purchased 1990. © Ilya & Emilia Kabakov.

LONDON.- This October, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Russian Revolution, Tate Modern is staging the first major museum exhibition in the UK of artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov (b.1933 and b.1945). Curated in close dialogue with the artists and organised in collaboration with the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg and the State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, the exhibition explores this pioneering couple’s place in the international story of conceptual art and offers the chance to view rarely seen works together for the first time in the UK. The Kabakovs are amongst the most celebrated Russian artists of their generation, widely known for their large-scale installations which draw upon the visual culture of the former Soviet Union and narrative traditions of Russian literature, often addressing universal themes such as utopia, dreams, fears and the human ... More

Hermann Historica auction presents a fascinating array of objects from antiquity and the Middle Ages   Migrants, women inspire at London design award show   Canada's Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie dies at 53

Magnificent and perfectly preserved Kylia idol from the prehistoric period. Starting price:12000 Euros. © Hermann Historica GmbH 2017.

MUNICH.- The 75th auction of Hermann Historica GmbH in Munich will take place from 6 to 17 November with the usual wide range of high quality, precious objects from numerous eras and originating from all over the world, including three special collections. Approximately 6,800 collector's items, some without equal, from all specialist areas represented by the auction house – antiquities, arms and armour, works of art, hunting antiques, orders and collectibles from all fields of history and military history – are to come under the hammer. First up, with a starting price of 60,000 euros, is a spectacular example of Attic vase painting and the exquisite highlight of the antiquities catalogue: a red-figure, Attic chalice krater by the Hector Painter, dating from the fourth decade of the 5th century B.C. Of highly characteristic shape, the elegant vessel is mounted on a curving base and furnished with two handles, ... More

Installation view.

LONDON (AFP).- From a refugee flag to a puzzle campaign highlighting gender bias in the workforce, migrants and women inspired some of the innovative international designs on show in London starting on Wednesday. "Design is real life, it is not something safe in a gallery," said Glenn Adamson, curator of the Design Museum exhibition which showcases 60 projects nominated for the Beazley Designs of the Year awards. The aim was to "show what design could do both symbolically and practically," Adamson told AFP. One of the pieces shortlisted for the prize is a pink "Pussyhat" placed on a mannequin. The knitted hat became a symbol in January after featuring at the Women's March in Washington, DC, and was replicated around the world to protest against the presidency of Donald Trump. The "Pussyhat Project" was created by four young women in California and it quickly spread through social media, aided by having the pattern made freely available online. It became "the most visually effective and ... More

This file photo taken on July 2, 2005 shows Gordon Downie of the Tragically Hip performing during the Live 8 concert in Barrie, Canada. Donald Weber / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP.

OTTAWA.- Rock poet and Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie, whose evocative lyrics helped define Canada, has died at age 53. Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer after suffering a seizure during a walk in his hometown of Kingston, Ontario in December 2015. According to a statement from his bandmates, he passed away on Tuesday evening surrounded by his family. "Gord knew this day was coming -- his response was to spend this precious time as he always had -- making music, making memories and expressing deep gratitude to his family and friends for a life well lived, often sealing it with a kiss... on the lips," said the statement. "He loved this country with everything he had... He loved every hidden corner, every aspect of this country," an emotional Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, tears streaming down his face. "He wanted to make it better. He ... More

Special exhibition honoring the works of the late Mel Casas opens at Ruiz-Healy Art   Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County unveils concept for new project   Exhibition pairs monumental Murakami works with historic Japanese masterpieces

Stiletto Confrontation.

SAN ANTONIO, TX.- Ruiz-Healy Art is presenting Mel Casas: Iconic Reality, a special exhibition honoring the works of the late Mel Casas. The exhibition opened on Wednesday, October 18, 2017. A catalogue is available including an essay by the respected Chicano Art scholar and Associate Professor and Chair of Chicana/o Studies at the University of California at Davis, Carlos Francisco Jackson. Mel Casas (b. 1929- d. 2014) was an artist of national and international renown. He was also an educator and cofounder of the San Antonio Artist Collective Con Safo—considered by many to be one of the most significant Chicano Art groups of the 60s and 70s. In regards to the future of Chicano art, Casas is quoted for the landmark exhibition, Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation (CARA), that his wishes were to make "Chicano art relevant to everyone.” Casas constructed a diagram outlining his vision to balance the "national ... More

Natural History Museum west wing at night. Courtesy of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County has unveiled concept designs by Los Angeles architecture firm Frederick Fisher and Partners that would support new uses for the west and south sides of the 104-year-old museum and establish new points of entry into the building from Exposition Park. Following a period of strategic planning for the future, the NHM West/South Project is the first major step of an ambitious 10-year program to revitalize NHM’s profile as the historic hub of Exposition Park, and reimagine the physical space and programs of its world-renowned Ice Age fossil site at the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum in Hancock Park. “Exposition Park, and the Natural History Museum as its anchor, is about to enter the world stage as a cultural, entertainment, sports, and education destination,” said County Board Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas. “Its audiences ... More

Takashi Murakami, And then, and then and then and then and then / Green Truth, 2006 (detail). Acrylic on canvas mounted on board, 100 x 100 cm © 2006 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

BOSTON, MASS.- Over the course of nearly three decades, Takashi Murakami (born 1962) has established himself as one of today’s most imaginative artists. Drawing influences from the aesthetics of manga, anime and other elements of contemporary pop culture, he has become renowned for instantly recognizable characters, happy-faced flowers and highly saturated colors, as well as boundary-blurring collaborations with high-profile figures in music and fashion. On view this fall at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Takashi Murakami: Lineage of Eccentrics highlights a collaboration of a different kind, revealing how the artist’s vision is also guided by an in-depth exploration of the past, fostered by his mentor, the eminent Japanese art historian Professor ... More

Dorotheum announces highlights from its Design Auction   Littlejohn Contemporary opens exhibition of works by Kate Breakey   New Curator of Art appointed at UT Austin's Harry Ransom Center

Adolf Loos - A rare table lamp, Vienna c. 1902, classically reduced construction in glass, brass and porcelain, height approx. 59,5 cm, Adolf Loos used this lamp model for the Turnovsky apartment in Vienna, estimate € 40,000 - 50,000.

VIENNA.- From rare or unique objects, prototypes or fine furniture and objects of the 20th century – the Dorotheum design auction on 2nd November 2017 has something to offer every kind of design fan. The auction looks right back to the beginnings of modern design in the early 1900s with tables and chairs from the Café Museum designed by Adolf Loos, along with his Dodecahedra lamps (€ 15,000 – 20,000, € 20,000 – 25,000), which have lost nothing of their contemporary quality. This is also true of designs such as Ettore Sottsas' “Vienna“ series (€ 5,000 – 7,000). Two armchairs by Otto Prutscher, designed for a residence in Brno and first presented at the 1914 Werkbundausstellung, might easily be mistaken for architectural elements rather than furniture, while two other armchairs ... More

Kate Breakey, Copse of Trees near The Coorong , South Australia, 2017 (detail), archival digital inkjet prints hand-colored with pencil and pastel, edition of 20 unique various, 28.5 x 41

NEW YORK, NY.- Kate Breakey is an internationally recognized artist whose photographic processes include hand-colored archival digital photographs, goldleaf prints on glass called orotones, and photograms on paper. The images in the current show, comprised of copses, trees, tumbleweeds, and landscapes -- selected from the artist’s prodigious travels to various parts of the world – are archival digital photographic prints lightly hand-colored with pencil, pastel, or oil paint which amplifies the otherworldly appearance of her subjects. At the heart of Breakey's art is a scientist's curiosity about the natural world joined with an artist's passion for its heartbreak and beauty. The content of her photographs, orotones, and photograms become a metaphor for both dramatic and quiet personal events that deeply impact her life. Her ... More

Tracy Bonfitto was named the curator of art on June 12 and started her new duties Sept. 12.

AUSTIN, TX.- The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin has appointed a new curator of art who will focus on improving the Ransom Center’s ability to support students, scholars and the public through the interpretation of its rich art holdings. Tracy Bonfitto was named the curator of art on June 12 and started her new duties Sept. 12. Her professional experience includes affiliations with the Getty Research Institute, the Fowler Museum at UCLA and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She was previously a lecturer in the Art History Department at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Tracy brings the expertise and skills needed to advance our service to students, researchers and the public,” said Ransom Center Director Stephen Enniss. “I look forward to the imaginative uses she will make of the Ransom Center’s art holdings and her reconceptualization of the role of visual art in a research libra ... More

There is no progress in art. Ilia Ehrenburg

More News
Radical Russian artist charged over Paris bank blaze
PARIS (AFP).- Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky and his partner were charged on Wednesday with torching the facade of a Paris branch of France's central bank and placed in pre-trial detention, a legal source said. Pavlensky -- best known for nailing his scrotum to Red Square in 2013 to denounce Russian state power -- and his partner Oksana Shalygina were accused of "dangerous destruction of property" following the early Monday stunt. Pavlensky had been initially admitted to a police psychiatric unit, but a judge decided on Wednesday the pair should be placed in pre-trial detention, the source told AFP. Pavlensky, 33, who regularly defies the Kremlin and recently obtained asylum in France, was arrested on Monday at around 0300 GMT with Shalygina in front of a Paris branch of the Banque de France. Photos on social media showed a black-clad ... More

Britain's Big Ben to bong again but not on time
LONDON (AFP).- Big Ben, the bell inside London's iconic clock tower which has been silent since August, will chime again on key upcoming dates but the timing might be a bit off kilter, Britain's parliament said on Wednesday. The bell, housed in the Elizabeth Tower, has been off since a four-year renovation of the building began. It will be reconnected to sound for Armistice Day, on November 11, and Remembrance Sunday the following day, and throughout the Christmas holiday season. "It has always been the intention throughout the Elizabeth Tower conservation works for Big Ben to ring out for important national events, and whenever we safely can without disruption to the refurbishment project," a statement said. The bell in the famous 315-foot (96-metre) tower which looms over Britain's Houses of Parliament in Westminster will be reconnected in advance of the ... More

Final work by US playwright Shepard to be published
NEW YORK (AFP).- A final work of fiction by Sam Shepard, the award-winning US playwright who died this summer, is to be published in December, his publishers announced Wednesday. "Spy of the First Person" is a work of fiction about a man looking back on his life as he undergoes treatment for a medical condition that renders him dependent on the loved ones who are caring for him, Knopf said. The book will be published on December 5. Shepard finished the book shortly before he died of complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, on July 27. He was 73. No longer able to use a typewriter, Knopf said Shepard began work on the novel in 2016 and wrote the first drafts by hand. When writing became impossible, he used a tape recorder to record sections of the book at home in Kentucky and Northern California, the publishing ... More

'Rock n' roll hero' Trotsky gets Russian biopic for 1917 anniversary
MOSCOW (AFP).- Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky gets a raunchy makeover as a "rock 'n' roll hero" in a new television series that highlights his adventurous exploits, ruthless character and rampant sex life. The series has been produced by Russia's state-controlled Channel One to mark the centenary of the 1917 Russian Revolution -- and focuses one of its most divisive figures. "This is the first (television) drama dedicated to Trotsky in the history of Russia," Konstantin Ernst, Channel One's general director, told potential buyers including Netflix at the MIPCOM international entertainment market in the French resort of Cannes. "Unlike Lenin, Trotsky looked like a rock 'n' roll hero -- breaking out of jail, revolution, love, exile and murder". Ernst jokingly compared the revolutionary -- who famously had a love affair with Mexican painter Frida Kahlo -- to disgraced ... More

US author George Saunders wins 2017 Man Booker Prize
LONDON (AFP).- US author George Saunders on Tuesday became only the second American writer to win Britain's renowned Man Booker Prize, which was awarded for his first full-length novel "Lincoln in the Bardo". Judges for the world's most prestigious English-language literary award praised as "utterly original" the book that chronicles the death of Abraham Lincoln's 11-year-old son Willie using the accounts of hundreds of narrators. "The form and style of this utterly original novel reveals a witty, intelligent, and deeply moving narrative," said Lola Young, chair of the judging panel, in announcing the prize at a ceremony in London. Saunders, 58, described the award as a "great honour, which I hope to live up to with the rest of my work, for the rest of my life." In a brief, politically-tinged acceptance speech, he made several thinly-veiled references to the controversial ... More

Watts Gallery opens exhibition of contemporary British Landscapes
COMPTON.- British Landscapes will be the theme of this year’s annual selling print exhibition at Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village. The exhibition, which opened on 13 October in Watts Contemporary Gallery, brings together work by 13 contemporary print makers to celebrate the diversity of contemporary practice in this medium. From the coasts of Norfolk, Northumberland, Sussex and Wales through to the countryside of Yorkshire, Shropshire, Dorset and Devon – as well as local Surrey scenes of Boxhill and Oxshott Heath – this exhibition demonstrates how the landscape is an endless source of fascination for artists. Using wood engraving, linocut, collage, etching, screenprinting and solar plate etching, the exhibition shows the wide range of techniques employed by today’s artists to depict landscape in print. Featured artists are Kit Boyd, Stuart Brocklehurst, Angela Brookes, Ann Burn ... More

Gift of Tseng Kwong Chi photographs to Block Museum honors past provost
EVANSTON, ILL.- The Block Museum of Art announced the acquisition of a suite of works by photographer Tseng Kwong Chi (1950-90). Two significant photographs by the artist were recently presented to the museum as a gift from its board of advisors in honor of Daniel Linzer, who served as Northwestern University provost from 2007-17. As provost, Linzer was instrumental in championing the Block’s interdisciplinary mission and vision. Linzer departed from Northwestern in July 2017 to serve as president of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA). In conjunction with the board’s gift, seven additional works were generously gifted directly to the museum from Muna Tseng Dance Projects Inc. and the Estate of Tseng Kwong Chi. New York-based dancer/choreographer Muna Tseng is the sister and executor of her late brother’s estate. “The ... More

The Baltimore Museum of Art exhibits 12 collages by the late African American artist Al Loving
BALTIMORE, MD.- The Baltimore Museum of Art presents 12 exuberant collages by the late African American artist Al Loving in Spiral Play: Loving in the ‘80s, on view October 18, 2017 through April 15, 2018. The exhibition reveals the artist working free from the constraints of academic taste, conventional thought, commercial reward, and the four corners of the canvas with three-dimensional works that nearly leap off the wall with their brilliant colors and radical forms. The exhibition is presented by the BMA and the Los Angeles-based arts and education nonprofit, Art + Practice (A+P), which debuted the show in April 2017. Loving (American, 1935–2005) was one of the most innovative abstract artists in history, experimenting with materials and processes, drawing on everything from free jazz to his family’s quilting tradition, to expand the definition of modern ... More

Sierra Leone to sell 709-carat diamond in New York auction
FREETOWN (AFP).- Sierra Leone said Tuesday it plans to auction off a massive 709-carat diamond at a December sale in New York, aiming to make a clean break with the "blood diamonds" of its past. The stone, which was unearthed in March, is the largest discovered in Sierra Leone in almost a half-century and is between the 10th and 15th largest ever found worldwide, experts say. Sierra Leone authorities told reporters that the massive gem will go up for sale on December 4 at Rapaport Auctions, which specialises in the diamond trade. The government has pledged to be transparent in the stone's sale, mindful of the history of cross-border diamond trafficking that fuelled Sierra Leone's civil war from 1991-2002. Such "blood diamonds" were often found by enslaved members of the population, who were killed or maimed by rebel groups if they refused ... More

Smithsonian launches drive for major hip-hop anthology
WASHINGTON (AFP).- The Smithsonian federal museum complex in Washington, DC, on Tuesday announced a plan to create the most comprehensive anthology ever of hip-hop recordings. The institution, which is led by the federal government but frequently seeks private funds, launched a one-month campaign on crowd-funding site Kickstarter that seeks to raise $250,000 to produce the collection. The anthology is expected to span more than 120 tracks over nine CDs and include a 300-page book. It is billed as the first in hip-hop to cover historically significant works across all record labels. The effort is being led by the Smithsonian's newest addition, the year-old National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum's founding director, Lonnie G. Bunch III, in a statement called the anthology "one of the most important projects on contemporary history ... More

By Design: The Most Puzzling Chair



On a day like today, Italian painter and sculptor Umberto Boccioni was born
October 19, 1882. Umberto Boccioni (19 October 1882 - 17 August 1916) was an Italian painter and sculptor. Like other Futurists, his work centered on the portrayal of movement (dynamism), speed, and technology. He was born in Reggio Calabria, Italy. In this image: Francesca Rossi, curator in charge of the Sforzesco Castle drawings collection, looks at a work by Umberto Boccioni, in the same room where sketches by mannerist painter Simone Peterzano are preserved, in Milan, Friday, July 6, 2012.

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