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Canaletto exhibition reunites two of the Venetian master's greatest series of paintings

Canaletto, Venice: The Bacino di S. Marco on Ascension Day, c.1733-4 (detail). Royal Collection Trust/©Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017.

LONDON.- A new exhibition at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace reunites two of Canaletto's finest sets of paintings, displayed side by side for the first time in almost 40 years. Canaletto & the Art of Venice, shows six views of Venice produced early in the artist's career in the 1720s, alongside the painter's series of five Roman views from over 20 years later. Both sets were commissioned from Canaletto by Joseph Smith, the artist's agent and the greatest patron of art in Venice at the time. Smith's collection was bought almost in its entirety by George III in 1762 to furnish the newly purchased Buckingham House (later Buckingham Palace). Smith probably intended both series of paintings to decorate particular rooms in his palazzo on the Grand Canal in Venice. Six drawings relating to the Venetian views, also in the exhibition, are likely to have been the basis of initial discussions between patron and artist. Smith co ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Junk sale diamond ring bought for £10 worth a fortune   Asia Week New York Contemporary concludes with healthy sales and collector enthusiasm   George Tooker painting and a Neo-Renaissance portrait join the Huntington's collections

A member of Sotheby's staff poses holding a 26.27 carat, cushion-shaped, white diamond, for sale at Sotheby's auction house in London on May 22, 2017. Justin TALLIS / AFP.

LONDON (AFP).- A diamond ring bought for next to nothing in a London junk sale is expected to fetch up to £350,000 ($455,000, 405,000 euros), Sotheby's auction house said Monday. The owner bought the 26-carat, white diamond ring for £10 in the 1980s and wore it while doing shopping and chores, thinking it was costume jewellery, Sotheby's said. "The owner would wear it out shopping, wear it day-to-day. It's a good-looking ring," said Jessica Wyndham, head of Sotheby's London jewellery department. "No one had any idea it had any intrinsic value at all. "The majority of us can't even begin to dream of owning a diamond that large." The diamond is thought to have been cut in the 19th century, when the style was to cut to conserve the weight rather than to make it as sparkly as possible, hence its relatively dull brilliance. "It ... More

Wu Qiang (b. 1977), Spirited Away, 2011 Ink-and-color on silk, 28.5 x 7.0 cm (11 1/4 x 22 1/2). Photo: Kaikodo LLC.

NEW YORK, NY.- The inaugural Asia Week New York Contemporary concluded its nine-day run on an upbeat note with healthy sales and an enthusiastic response from collectors. Initially launched to coincide with TEFAF and Frieze, this new adjunct to the well-established Asia Week New York surpassed participating dealers’ expectations and all are keen to return for a second edition next year. “After more than three years of planning, it was a wonderful confluence to have the opening of our exhibition, Beyond Kutani featuring Nakamura Takuo and Takegoshi Jun, coincide with Asia Week New York Contemporary,” said Joan Mirviss of her namesake gallery. “It was exciting to welcome many new faces to our events and see the artists engaged in conversation with a different group of art enthusiasts. Nearly eighty percent of the pieces have been spoken for with thirty-seven works sold. Both ... More

George Tooker, Bathers (Bath Houses), 1950, egg tempera on gessoed board, 20 3/8 x 15 3/8 in.

SAN MARINO, CA.- At its annual meeting this spring, the Art Collectors’ Council of The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens voted to acquire a major painting by George Tooker (1920-2011), exemplar of the American “Magic Realist” group who was best known for capturing the angst of alienated urban dwellers in the mid-20th century. The rare and haunting Bathers (Bath Houses) (1950) becomes the first Tooker painting to join a museum collection in the western United States. The Council also acquired for The Huntington Woman with a Fan (ca. 1895), a Renaissance-style portrait by Beaux-Arts muralist and illustrator Albert Herter (1871–1950). “This year was a particularly exciting one for the Art Collectors’ Council, whose members voted to add two very different paintings to the American art collection,” said Catherine Hess, chief curator of European art and interim director of the art ... More

Exhibition at Mazzoleni London investigates the idea of colour   Christie's presents an outdoor exhibition of modern sculpture in St James's Square   Striking Torres Strait islander masks on display at National Museum Australia

Lucio Fontana (1899-1968), Concetto Spaziale, Attese, 1967. Waterpaint on green canvas, 61 x 50 cm. Courtesy Mazzoleni.

LONDON.- Mazzoleni London announces ‘Colour in Contextual Play’, an installation by American conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth (b. 1945). Part of a series in which Kosuth installs contemporaries or forebears, the exhibition incorporates a selection of work by artists proposed by influential Arte Povera artist Emilio Prini (1943–2016), namely Enrico Castellani (b. 1930), Lucio Fontana (1899–1968), Yves Klein (1928–1963), Kosuth himself and Piero Manzoni (1933–1963). The exhibition investigates the idea of colour, a theme that is explored by each of these Post-War artists conceptually as well as technically. The exhibition is curated by Dr. Cornelia Lauf, an art historian based in Rome and Sicily. The exhibition juxtaposes monochrome works by Castellani, Fontana, Klein and Manzoni with works from Kosuth’s 1968 series ‘Art as Idea as Idea’. This series made a conceptual investigation into the relation ... More

Dame Elisabeth Frink, Horse, bronze with a grey/brown patina, conceived in 1980, 252 cm wide, estimate: £700,000-1,000,000. © Christie’s Images Limited 2017.

LONDON.- Christie’s will present Sculpture in the Square an outdoor sculpture garden set within St James’s Square, London, on view to the public from 23 May to 29 June 2017. The exhibition will display seven works that will be offered in the Modern British Art and Impressionist & Modern Art sales as part of 20th Century at Christie’s, a series of sales that take place from 26 to 29 June 2017. Artists include Anthony Caro, Lynn Chadwick, Elisabeth Frink, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. Presented in the garden square adjacent to Christie’s headquarters on King Street, the one-off exhibition will showcase the works as they were intended to be seen, in a landscape setting. Sculpture in the Square will coincide with the opening of this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, which runs from 23 to 27 May 2017. Exhibition curator Nicholas Orchard, Senior Director, Modern British ... More

Keris by Eddie Nona - Badhu (Badu), Kala Lagaw Ya language group - Gab Titui Cultural Centre. Photo: George Serras, National Museum of Australia.

CANBERRA.- An exhibition of 12 striking masks and related cultural materials celebrating the rich and continuing tradition in the Torres Strait opened this weekend at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra. Created by the Gab Titui Cultural Centre on Waiben (Thursday Island) in 2016, Evolution: Torres Strait Masks explores the artistic and spiritual tradition of mask making that still resonates with communities today. National Museum director, Dr Mathew Trinca, said he was thrilled that the Museum is the first venue to host the exhibition, which will tour until 2019. ‘This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase these striking objects, which explore key cultural practices in the Torres Strait from both historical and contemporary perspectives,’ he said. ‘The Museum has had a longstanding relationship with Gab Titui since it opened in 2004 and the centre has provided us with valuable assistance and advice, ... More

Eleventh edition of Blickachsen Sculpture Biennale focuses on artists from Austria   Fotomuseum Winterthur opens comprehensive retrospective view of the work of Danny Lyon   Victoria Miro opens exhibition of works by Alice Neel

Johann Feilacher, Roter Keil, 2015.

BAD HOMBURG.- 37 artists with some 80 works are on display in Bad Homburg and seven further locations in the Rhine-Main region for the eleventh "Blickachsen" Sculpture Biennale from 21 May to 1 October. The eleventh edition of "Blickachsen", curated by Christian K. Scheffel and Dr. Maria Schneider, presents some 80 works by 37 artists. The list of participants reveals a diverse and exciting spectrum of sculptural positions of the recent past, right up to the present day. The focus is on artists from Austria, thanks to the fruitful co-operation with the Museum Liaunig in Carinthia, this year’s partner museum for "Blickachsen". In a variety of ways, different conceptions of three-dimensional space are on display in the Rhine-Main region – for example, by looking back to a modern classic: Fritz Wotruba (1907-1975), one of the most important Austrian sculptors of the twentieth century, defines the world in an ... More

Danny Lyon, Leslie, Downtown Knoxville, 1967 © Danny Lyon / Magnum Photos. Courtesy Gavin Brown‘s Enterprise.

ZURICH.- Message to the Future presents a comprehensive retrospective view of the work of American photographer and filmmaker Danny Lyon (*1942). As a dedicated and sharp-eyed observer fascinated by outsiders and subcultures, Lyon has spent more than fifty years documenting sociopolitical issues, delving deep into the heart of the matter and always building a close rapport with the people in front of his camera. Determined to counter the one-sided preoccupations of the mainstream media by offering an alternative viewpoint, he has developed an increasingly subjective and participatory form of documentary photography in the tradition of Walker Evans and Robert Frank. In addition to his iconic images, this wide-ranging retrospective exhibition also includes, for the first time in Europe, some of his ... More

Alice Neel, Building in Harlem, 1945. Oil on canvas. 41 5/8 x 31 5/8 x 1 1/2 in. © The Estate of Alice Neel. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London and Victoria Miro, London.

LONDON.- Curated by the celebrated US critic and author Hilton Als, Alice Neel, Uptown focuses on paintings made by the artist during the five decades in which she lived and worked in upper Manhattan, first in Spanish (East) Harlem, where she moved in 1938, and, later, the Upper West Side, where she lived from 1962 until her death in 1984. An accompanying catalogue, jointly published by David Zwirner Books and Victoria Miro, includes essays by Hilton Als on individual portraits and their sitters, in addition to new scholarship by Jeremy Lewison. Intimate, casual, direct and personal, Alice Neel’s portraits exist as an unparalleled chronicle of New York personalities – both famous and unknown. A woman with a strong social conscience and equally strong left-wing beliefs, ... More

Bloomsbury Auctions announces Vintage Poster Auction   Europeana Photography opens up Europe's rich photographic heritage   Kerlin Gallery opens an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by Paul Winstanley

Goldfinger (detail), est. £1,500-£2,500.

LONDON.- Bloomsbury Auctions will be hosting a sale of Vintage Posters at their new London base, 16-17 Pall Mall on 15th June, from 11am. The auction comprises 216 lots, with estimates ranging from £500-£6,000. Sale highlights include posters from the iconic spaghetti westerns, A Fistful of Dollars (est. £500-£800) and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (est. £400-£600), as well as rare posters from the perennially popular James Bond films: Dr No (est. £3,000-£5,000), From Russia With Love, Goldfinger (est. £1,500-£2,500) and Thunderball (est. £1,200-£1,400). The 1960s is also well represented with posters for the critically-acclaimed films, The Graduate, 1967 (est. £800-£1,200) and They’re Off (est. £1,500-£2,500) with the American thriller, Bullet from 1968 and starring Steve McQueen, estimated at £800-£1,200. Posters for The Beatles’ films, Help! (est. £500-£700), Yellow Submarine (£400-£600) and Let It Be (est. £400-£600) feature ... More

Paris World Fair. The river Seine, the Eiffel Tower and the giant terrestrial globe at night, Paris (France), 1900, photograph by Neurdein, © Neurdein/Roger Viollet.

THE HAGUE.- Europeana and PHOTOCONSORTIUM are launching Europeana Photography, an online collection bringing together and sharing a vast archive of historical images. Featuring early photography from some of Europe’s finest historical collections, Europeana Photography is the latest thematic collection to be published on Europeana Collections, joining Europeana Art, Europeana Music and Europeana Fashion. Europeana Photography presents images from the first 100 years of photography, sourced from photographic archives, agencies and museum collections across Europe. Photography enthusiasts, students and academics are invited to explore over 2 million historical images from more than 50 institutions across 34 countries, including photographs by pioneers like Julia Margaret ... More

Paul Winstanley, Faith (After Saenredam), 2016, oil and gold leaf on gesso on panel, 72 x 66 cm / 28.3 x 26 in.

DUBLIN.- Kerlin Gallery is presenting Faith After Saenredam and Other Paintings, an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by Paul Winstanley. In this exhibition, Winstanley reimagines lost paintings and drawings by the Dutch Golden Age artist Pieter Saenredam (1597–1665). Best-known for his depictions of whitewashed church interiors, Saenredam captured the restrained character of Dutch Reformation architecture and popularised a new style of realism in the 17th Century. His reverence for serene, deserted interiors, precise use of perspective and muted tones find an echo in Winstanley’s work, which has depicted similarly ascetic spaces in the past: British art schools during summer break, vacant walkways, veiled windows and empty TV lounges. Winstanley began this body of work with Lost (After Saenredam), which recreates a missing Saenredam painting of Utrecht’s Mariakerk (1647) from a surviving, ... More

We artists are mythmakers, and we participate with everybody else in the social constructionof reality. Helen Mayer Harrison

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Books become art at Swann Galleries' Art, Press & Illustrated Auction
NEW YORK, NY.- Swann Galleries has announced highlights from their June 13 auction of Art, Press & Illustrated Books, which will feature premier examples of printing that elevate the humble book to a noble art form. The sale is led by an inscribed limited first edition on vellum of Arthur Szyk’s Haggadah, 1939, with 14 jewel-like full-page color plates by the artist. The work was illustrated by Szyk in Poland in the mid-1930s, and has been called the most celebrated modern Haggadah; it carries an estimate of $15,000 to $25,000. An outstanding selection of press books by Bernhardt Wall from the Natalie Williams Collection features a number of presentation copies, including the 85-volume magnum opus Following Abraham Lincoln 1809-1865, with over 900 signed etchings ($10,000 to $15,000), as well as the signed complete set of The Etcht Miniature Monthly Magazine, 1948 ... More

Art of Construction opens at Hunterdon Art Museunm
CLINTON, NJ.- Concrete, drywall, PVC pipes, wire, milk crates. You’d fully expect to see these and similar materials at a construction site but not in an art museum. But the Hunterdon Art Museum’s latest exhibition The Art of Construction encourages viewers to see how common building materials can be bent, twisted and shaped to create intriguing works of art. The exhibition opened Sunday, May 14. Lovina Purple is curating this show. The foundation for this exhibition was first laid when, as a youngster growing up in a developing neighborhood, Purple and her sister would wander through unfinished homes, imagining what they would be like when finished. “My sister grew up to become an architect,” Purple said, “and it was through her – and that architectural eye -- that I began to notice and appreciate the raw materials even more for their own ... More

Jenny Gibbs stepping down as Executive Director of Elmhurst Art Museum
CHICAGO, IL.- Jenny Gibbs announced that she will be stepping down as Executive Director of Elmhurst Art Museum at the end of the summer to join Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York. Gibbs will maintain a position at EAM as Consulting Director of Exhibitions and Programs. The EAM Board of Directors is nearing completion of the search process and a new Executive Director will be announced later this summer. In 2014, Gibbs became the Museum’s fourth Executive Director, leading the institution through a period of significant growth. Museum attendance for its well-reviewed exhibitions more than doubled and donations increased 30% as Gibbs secured several major gifts and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Graham Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “Jenny was the rare talent with the skill and vision we needed to lead ... More

The Peabody Essex Museum debuts first large-scale traveling exhibition of ocean liner design and culture
SALEM, MASS.- The Peabody Essex Museum presents Ocean Liners: Glamour, Speed and Style, the first exhibition to fully assess the design and cultural impact of the ocean liner. As showcases of opulence, technology and social sophistication, these floating cities captured the imagination of artists, engineers, and architects. This groundbreaking, international exhibition co-organized with the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (V&A), brings together nearly 200 works from the mid-19th century through the late-20th century, including paintings, sculpture, models, furniture, lighting, wall panels, textiles, fashion, photographs, posters and film to explore the distinct design, elegant engineering and cultural dynamics of an era when ocean liners ruled the sea and the popular imagination. The rich collections and curatorial perspectives of PEM and the V&A dovetail ... More

Rare Hindenburg, pioneers of ballooning memorabilia offered by Heritage Auctions
DALLAS, TX.- Heritage Auctions will offer an important and substantial collection of aerostat-related memorabilia during its June 10-11 Fine and Decorative Arts Auction. The comprehensive group comprises material from ballooning’s infancy in 18th-century Europe to the 20th century. In additional to many of the item’s inherent scarcity, most of the collection is being offered for the first time in over a quarter of a century. What is particularly impressive is the variety of media which the collection covers, from a 14 karat gold and agate vinaigrette, which was carried on both a balloon ascent and diving bell descent (est. $1,000-1,500), to delftware plates (est. $1,500-2,500), bronze medallions (est. $800-1,200), glass decanters (est. $800-1,200), watercolors ($3,000-5,000) and even an exquisite French gold, enamel, pearl, diamond and ruby pocket watch ... More

Ayyam Gallery opens solo exhibition of Brussels-based painter Abdalla Al Omari
DUBAI.- Ayyam Gallery Dubai (12, Alserkal Avenue) is presenting The Vulnerability Series, the solo exhibition of Brussels-based painter Abdalla Al Omari. The Vulnerability Series features a selection of recent portraits that reimagine controversial world leaders as disenfranchised or displaced civilians. These fictionalized portraits are rendered with an affecting form of realism that although usually reserved for sympathetic characters also draws from political visual culture, particularly the use of propagandist images like political posters or billboards. In place of showing veneration for his familiar protagonists, however, Omari eliminates all suggestions of strength, charisma, and righteousness. Setting aside the hallmarks of autocratic visuals, he depicts them in moments of despair. Initially, the artist was driven by his own experiences of displacement, and the anger that consumed him ... More

Colnaghi presents a dialogue bewteen Old Master still lifes and Paulette Tavormina's photographs
LONDON.- Colnaghi announces an exhibition dedicated to still lifes, consisting of selected Old Master paintings alongside the photographs of contemporary American artist Paulette Tavormina. Coinciding with The RHS Chelsea Flower Show (23 to 27 May), the exhibition is the first to show her contemporary photographs alongside Old Master paintings, and includes new works, as well as a selection featured in the artist’s recently published monograph (Paulette Tavormina: Seizing Beauty, The Monacelli Press, 2016. The exhibition will include 15 Old Masters and 15 photographs, including paintings by renowned artists including Luis Edigio Meléndez (1716-1780), Juan van der Hamen y León (1596-1631), Giacomo Ceruti (1698-1767) and Bartolomeo Cavarozzi (1587-1625. It will be on view at Colnaghi in St. James’s, London, from 23 May to 23 June 2017. Jorge ... More

Sarah van Sonsbeeck opens exhibition in the Oude Kerk
AMSTERDAM.- In its early days the Oude Kerk was a port church where ships were christened, prayers were offered for a safe return, and numerous seafarers and naval heroes found their final resting place. From 19 May to 17 September, Sarah van Sonsbeeck is bringing the sea back into the Oude Kerk with this information as a leitmotiv. What connects the history of the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam with the topical question of migration? This question inspired artist Sarah van Sonsbeeck to consider how the Oude Kerk is interwoven with the ocean. In times gone by the church was one of the few public, covered places where sails and nets could be mended, and a place where naval heroes were buried. The barrel vaulting was also fabricated like the inverted hull of a ship using shipbuilding techniques. And it is not for nothing that the main section of the church is ... More

Exhibition presents works from the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst collection
ZURICH.- The exhibition format Collection on Display presents works from the collection of the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst as a three-part themed series with the title Communities, Rules and Rituals. The second exhibition, Rules, brings together works that look at rules in the charged environment of normative practice and individual creative freedom. In reference to the previous exhibition Communities, this exhibition thematises the largely invisible sets of rules on which every community is based. In distinct ways, the works from the collection that are exhibited here, make these rules visible, use them productively or undermine them. The starting point is the question of the extent to which rules can be seen as externally set, and the extent to which each individual can contribute to the shaping these rules. If a «rule» is defined as a directive that has arisen ... More

Maps used by Gen. Omar Bradley may bring $150,000 at Heritage Auctions
DALLAS, TX.- Three battle maps owned and used by Gen. Omar Bradley from the June 6, 1944 Allied invasion of occupied France at Normandy are expected to be among the most coveted lots at Heritage Auctions' Arms & Armor Auction June 11 in Dallas. The largest seaborne invasion in history, the assault included 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landing on five beaches along 50 heavily fortified miles of French coastline. The day known as "D-Day" is recognized as the start of the Allies' liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany's control. Omar Bradley's D-Day Map for Operations Overlord and Neptune (est. $70,000 and up) was used by Bradley during the invasion at Normandy. Titled "Situation – 2400 Hrs 6 June 1944 Hq. Fusag [First United States Army Group] Secret," the map measures 20 inches high by 22-1/2 inches wide, and is printed ... More

Racine Art Museum showcases commissioned works by 36 of the world's top fiber artists
RACINE, WI.- Racine Art Museum is presenting The Box Project: Uncommon Threads showcasing commissioned works by 36 of the world's top fiber artists. These artists, many of whom work on a large scale, were challenged to create an original piece within the confines of a small box. Organized by the Cotsen Foundation for Academic Research (CFAR) with RAM, this traveling exhibition presents works commissioned by Lloyd Cotsen between 2004 and 2013 together with 22 large-scale fiber art pieces on loan. Open May 21 - August 27, 2017, RAM is the only Midwestern venue for this show before its final stop in Washington, D.C. The 36 commissioned works were made in response to a challenge issued by collector Lloyd Cotsen and his then textile curator Mary Hunt Kahlenberg, who stipulated that each artist's entry must be three-dimensional and sized to fit inside ... More

Charles I: King and Collector



On a day like today, English architect John Wood, the Elder died
May 23, 1754. John Wood, the Elder, (1704 - 23 May 1754, Bath), was an English architect, working mainly in Bath. In 1740 he surveyed Stonehenge and the Stanton Drew stone circles. He later wrote extensively about Bladud and Neo-Druidism. Because of some of his designs he is also thought to have been involved in the early years of Freemasonry. In this image: North side, Queen Square.

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