The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, September 24, 2015

First major exhibition in 40 years to tell the story of the Celts opens at the British Museum

An assistant poses for photographers looking at the Gundestrup cauldron, a decorated silver vessel thought to have been made between 200 BC and 300 AD, during a press preview of "Celts: art and identity" exhibition at the British Museum in London on September 23, 2015. The exhibition tells the story of the different peoples who have used or been given the name ‘Celts’ through the stunning art objects that they made. The name ‘Celts’ does not refer to a single people who can be traced through time, but has been appropriated over the last 300 years to reflect modern identities in Britain & Ireland and beyond. The iconic silver cauldron from Gundestrup is has been loaned for the exhibition by the National Museum of Denmark. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS.

LONDON.- Celts: art and identity opens at the British Museum on 24 September and draws on the latest research from Britain, Ireland and Western Europe. The exhibition tells the story of the different peoples who have used or been given the name ‘Celts’ through the stunning art objects that they made, including intricately decorated jewellery, highly stylised objects of religious devotion, and the decorative arts of the late 19th century which were inspired by the past. The exhibition then opens at the National Museum Scotland in March 2016. As part of the National Programme activity around the Celts exhibition, the British Museum and National Museums Scotland are showcasing two rare Iron Age mirrors as a Spotlight tour to partner museums across the UK. Today the word ‘Celtic’ is associated with the distinctive cultures, languages, music and traditions of Scotland, Ireland, ... More

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Sotheby's announces the first dedicated sale of classical Chinese paintings in Asia for over a decade   Gold leaf masks anti-Semitic graffiti on British-Indian artist Anish Kapoor sculpture in Versailles   Guggenheim relatives lose French court case over art treasures in Peggy Guggenheim museum

Wang Shimin (1592 – 1680), Landscape After Dong Yuan. Ink on paper, hanging scroll. Est: HK$200,000 – 280,000 / US$25,000 – 35,000. Photo: Sotheby's.

HONG KONG.- Following the launch of the Chinese Classical Paintings department in Hong Kong earlier this year, Sotheby’s Hong Kong debuts the first dedicated sale of classical Chinese paintings during the Hong Kong Autumn 2015 sale series, adding to its existing saleroom for the category in New York. The sale, to take place on 5 October at the Hall 3 of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, offers more than 50 lots, estimated in excess of HK$64 million/ US$8.2 million*. It will feature rare works from the masters of the Song Yuan through Qing dynasties. Highlights include a Song Yuan dynasty album leaf and calligraphy from the Qianlong Emperor; works from the ‘Four Wangs’ and ‘Four Monks’ from the Qing Dynasty, many of which have distinguished provenance from prominent literati figures. Rongde Zhang, Head of Classical Chinese Paintings, Sotheby’s, said, “To mark the first dedicated sale ... More

"Dirty Corner", a 2011 Cor-Ten steel, earth and mixed media monumental artwork by British contemporary artist of Indian origin Anish Kapoor. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK KOVARIK.

PARIS (AFP).- British-Indian artist Anish Kapoor has covered anti-Semitic graffiti on a controversial sculpture that was vandalised in France with gold leaf -- but only just. Dabs of white paint could still be seen Wednesday at the edges of the gold leaf placed on the massive, funnel-like sculpture at the Palace of Versailles, which has been dubbed the "queen's vagina" for its sexual overtones. In an interview with the artnet website, Kapoor said the choice to leave bits of the graffiti visible was deliberate. "I have to transform it. Unravelling, finding an answer to a crime of hate and turn it into something else." The 60-metre (200-foot) long, 10-metre high structure, officially called "Dirty Corner", was first vandalised in June and then cleaned. Then two weeks ago it was covered in white paint with phrases such as "SS blood sacrifice" and "the second rape of the nation by deviant Jewish activism". ... More

Peggy Guggenheim Collection (right) on the Grand Canal in Venice. Photo: David M. Heald © The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York.

PARIS (AFP).- The descendants of heiress and art collector Peggy Guggenheim lost their case in a French court Wednesday over her extensive collection of works housed in an 18th century palace on Venice's Grand Canal. The French branch of the family launched legal action against the New York-based Solomon Guggenheim Foundation, which manages the collection. The relatives are angry at the way the collection of paintings by artists including Picasso, Miro and Matisse are displayed and have called for it to be restored to its original configuration. One of Peggy's grandsons, Sandro Rumney, and other family members complain that works from other collectors are now being displayed at the Palazzo, diluting the quality of the collection. In the original hearing in May, lawyer Olivier Morice said the family felt moved to take the action "to respect the wishes of Peggy Guggenheim to see the collection intact". But the Court of Appeal in ... More

Auction house Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood to offer an oil painting by John Constable   John Lennon's detention sheet to be offered at Sotheby's Rock & Pop sale in London   Nasher Sculpture Center announces 'Giuseppe Penone: Being the River, Repeating the Forest'

Detail of Ponies and Donkey in a Forest Clearing by John Constable (1776-1837), oil on canvas, 24cm x 36cm.

EXETER.- Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood is offering an oil sketch by John Constable RA (1776-1837) entitled forest clearing with ponies and donkey in the Picture Auction on 6th October 2015 as part of the Authumn 2015 Fine Sale. This is a rare discovery of an important painting with impeccable provenance and specialist authentication that will be available well in advance of the sale. The pre-sale estimate for the painting is £40,000-£60,000. The sketch Ponies and Donkey in a woodland clearing is catalogued by Graham Reynolds as "Landscape with horses" in the Yale catalogue raisonne with a date of 1810. The date, 8th October 1810, was recorded on an old label (now believed lost) by Lionel Bicknell Constable (Constable's son) who presumably copied this from an original inscription by John Constable on the back of the sketch, but which was later covered ... More

Shining a light on the rebellious schooldays of one of the greatest songwriters of all time. Photo: Sotheby's.

LONDON.- A lined sheet torn from John Lennon’s High School detention book, shining a light on the musician’s mischievous schooldays, will be offered at Sotheby’s London auction on Tuesday 29th September with an estimate of £2,000-3,000. Inscribed at the top with the pupil’s surname "Lennon", the page records the 29 occasions between 9 September 1955 and 11 July 1956 that he was sent to detention at Quarry Bank High School in Allerton, Liverpool. The frequent entries on this sheet from six different teachers reveal that John Lennon’s rebellious nature and irreverence for authority were well established traits of his character even at the age of fifteen. On one day - 12 September 1955 - Lennon received no fewer than five separate detentions from two different teachers beginning with: "No Hwk" [homework] and continuing with ..."Impertinence"..."Talk after 2 warnings" and "Further talk". John’s ... More

Soffio 3 (Breath 3), 1978. Terracotta, 58 ¼ x 28 3/8 x 25 ½ in. (148 x 72 x 65 cm). Private Collection Installation view, Kunstmuseum Winterthur 2013 Photo © Archivio Penone.

DALLAS, TX.- Nasher Sculpture Center announces a major exhibition of the work of the influential Italian artist, Giuseppe Penone, in an exhibition called Being the River, Repeating the Forest which opened September 19, 2015 and runs through January 10, 2016. Italian artist Giuseppe Penone has played an integral role in the development of art over the past five decades. From his conceptual and performative works of the 1960s and 70s to the large-scale sculptural installations of the past ten years, Penone has explored intimate, sensate, and metaphysical connections with nature. Working in a stunning variety of materials—including clay, wood, stone, metal, plaster, resin, acacia thorns—the artist makes palpable and present the analogous processes of nature and art: carving large trees along their growth patterns to reveal the ... More

artnet and the China Association of Auctioneers announce Global Chinese Art Auction Market Report 2014   Mural sketch made in 1969 by Joan Miró donated to Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona   2 x 2 x 2 x 2: Exhibition of works by Robert Irwin opens at WHite Cube Bermondsey

The Chinese art and antiques auction market is frequently subject to a great deal of scrutiny, as concerns have been raised about the various problems concurrent with its rapid growth through 2011.

NEW YORK, NY.- artnet, in collaboration with the China Association of Auctioneers, has released the third edition of its Global Chinese Art Auction Market Report, providing an in-depth look at the Chinese art and antiques auction market in 2014, aimed at creating a new standard of transparency in the marketplace. The Chinese art and antiques auction market is frequently subject to a great deal of scrutiny, as concerns have been raised about the various problems concurrent with its rapid growth through 2011. Amidst this uncertainty, data analysis on the Chinese art market has also been called into question. In a continued effort to present the most accurate representation of the auction market in China, artnet has again partnered with CAA to produce a definitive study of the market, which only these two trusted organizations ... More

Joan Miró, Sketch for the mural on the windows of the Association of Architects of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands for the exhibition “Miró otro”, 1969 (detail). Ink and wax crayon on paper 15.5 x 176 cm (made up of 21 parts).

BARCELONA.- “The young architects wanted to organise a confrontational exhibition, an attack on the official retrospective that had been held earlier: the museums’ painter. I hadn’t attended the official opening. I was in Barcelona, but at the last moment I said I wouldn’t make it, in order to avoid running into the authorities. I was there for the young architects, however; at three in the morning –so there wouldn't be people around, because it wasn't a performance–, I was on the pavement painting. Then we went for a coffee and a croissant to warm up a little. What I was interested in was the immediate gesture, on a background prepared in advance with messages in Catalan in favour of the freedom of Catalonia.” That is how Joan Miró described to Georges Raillard (Georges Raillard. Miró. Ceci est la couleur de mes rêves. ... More

Robert Irwin, Niagara, 2015. Light + Shadow + Reflection + Color, 97 3/16 x 45 1/2 x 4 1/2 in. (246.8 x 115.6 x 11.4 cm)© Robert Irwin. Photo © 2015 Philipp Scholz Rittermann Courtesy White Cube.

LONDON.- White Cube presents 2 x 2 x 2 x 2, an exhibition by Robert Irwin, one of the pivotal figures in recent American art. Irwin’s oeuvre has spanned more than 60 years and includes painting, sculpture, installation and large-scale architectural projects. Minimal and perceptual, his works attempt to highlight particular spatial situations, acting like brackets for our phenomenological experience. This exhibition brings together three groups of works, including fluorescent works, transparent acrylic columns and a diptych. Since the 1970s, Irwin has used light and subtle alterations of space to refocus the habituated eye, encouraging an awareness of the visual field around us. He has said that ‘the pure subject of art is human perception’: a conditional activity determined by context. In the ‘cuts’, Irwin creates a sequential experience of colour for the viewer, with a series of long, coloured fluorescent ... More

Exceptional works by modern and contemporary South Asian masters for sale at Bonhams   New beeswax sculptures by Wolfgang Laib on view at the Buchmann Gallery in Berlin   Heritage Auctions announces first Modern and Contemporary Art Auction in New York

Untitled (Figure), by Tyeb Mehta; estimate £300,000 - 500,000. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- Bonhams' Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art sale at 101 New Bond Street on 5 October offers 33 exceptional works from Indian and South Asian masters including M F Husain, FN Souza, Tyeb Mehta and Ismail Gulgee. The star lot is a poignant and important early work by one of the most successful Indian artist in the world, Tyeb Mehta (1925-2009). Never before offered at auction, the painting, Untitled (Figure), 1959, comes from a private UK collection and is estimated at between £300,000 – 500,000. As with Mehta’s other early pictures it shows the influence of the Parisian school in its heavy use of impasto as well as displaying the cinematic quality which characterised so much of his work throughout his long career. Untitled by M F Husain (1915 – 2011) is estimated at between £120,000-150,000. Husain once said, “When I make nude paintings of women you will find that there is no nakedness in this nudity.” T ... More

Wolfgang Laib, Step Pyramid, 2015. Bienenwachs / beeswax, 45 (h) x 32 x 11 cm / 17¾ x 15½ x 4¼. All images Courtesy Buchmann Galerie. Photo: Roman März.

BERLIN.- The Buchmann Gallery is presenting a series of new beeswax sculptures by Wolfgang Laib (*1950 in Metzingen, Germany), which the artist created this summer in his studio. Positioned on a wall bracket that spans the entire breadth of the room, these small objects made of fragrant, golden-yellow beeswax have a sensuous and very compelling presence. Each object is hand-shaped using 5cm slabs of beeswax. The concentration and purity of the natural material gives the sculptures a serene beauty and a certain sacrosanctity. Wolfgang Laib succeeds in transcending the pure form, for instance a ziggurat, to imbue each piece with an auratic presence. The pieces have an astonishing power, particularly if one considers that it takes around 150,000 bees to produce one kilogram of beeswax. Since ancient times, ... More

Ai Weiwei (b. 1957), Surveillance Camera, 2010. Marble, 14 x 15-1/2 x 7-1/2 inches. Estimate: $400,000-$600,000 USD.

NEW YORK, NY.- Surveillance Camera, 2010 — an evocative sculpture, never before at auction, by celebrated artist Ai Weiwei who has dedicated his art to champion the cause of a free and open government — leads Heritage Auctions' fall Modern & Contemporary Art Auction to be held for the first time ever in New York on October 28. The auction's carefully curated selection includes important works by Robert Motherwell, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, and Tom Wesselman, among others; as well as a collection of five works from a Distinguished New York Collection featuring works by Richard Diebenkorn, Robert Graham, Arshile Gorky, Franz Kline and Bob Thompson. "Heritage Auctions is increasingly attracting important Modern and Contemporary artworks and the time has come to bring it these auctions to the New York stage," said Leon Benrimon, Director of Modern ... More

I would like not to reproduce but to reinvent the structure of light in a way pertinent to painting rather than to optics. Piero Dorazio

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Philbrook welcomes Sienna Brown, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
TULSA, OKLA.- Philbrook Museum of Art welcomes Sienna Brown, PhD, as the new Nancy E. Meinig Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. Most recently she served as the Wallis Annenberg Curatorial Fellow at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art where she worked on exhibitions of Ed Moses, John McLaughlin, a survey of prints and paintings by Oklahoma’s own Ed Ruscha, and drawings by LA artists from the 1960s and 1970s. A native of New Hampshire, Brown received her undergraduate degree from The University of Chicago and her PhD in Art History from Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. Her dissertation resulted in a catalogue raisonné of lithographs of Robert Rauschenberg. “Sienna brings great knowledge of contemporary practices and printmaking to Philbrook,” remarked Philbrook Chief Curator, Catherine Whitney. “We look forward to her expanding the reach ... More

Major exhibition on the life and work of Keith Haring opens in Rotterdam
ROTTERDAM.- This autumn, the Kunsthal Rotterdam is presenting a major exhibition on the life and work of influential American artist and activist Keith Haring (1958-1990). ‘Keith Haring. The Political Line’ is the first exhibition in the Netherlands to highlight in detail the social and political aspects of his life’s work. One hundred and twenty artworks reveal an underexposed side of this world-famous artist. To personally experience these imposing artworks is a visual spectacle that has great impact. Twenty-five years after Haring’s death, his art is as influential as ever. A protégé of Andy Warhol, Keith Haring spawned a revolution in art during the 1980s with his unmistakably unique style. In New York, during the conservatism of the Reagan era, the openly-gay Haring made it his mission to highlight social evils in his work. He took a clear stance against the excesses of capitalism and was ... More

Wine, veal, roasting pig: Napoleon's St. Helena feast
LONDON (AFP).- Fifty bottles of wine, four ducks, and a roasting pig: the feast of food and drink provided to French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte during his exile on Saint Helena was revealed Wednesday in a document auctioned in Britain. The list details the inhabitants of Napoleon's household on the island, Longwood, including loyal aide General Henri Gatien Bertrand and his family, and numerous staff including "32 Chinese". Each day, the entourage were delivered 23 kilos of beef and veal, 23 kilos of mutton or pork, 31 kilos of bread, 42 eggs and 15 bottles of milk, two turkeys, two geese, 12 pigeons and nine fowl, in addition to the pig and ducks. And to accompany the vast quantities of wine, also on the list were malt liquor, rum and cognac. "This fascinating document gives a detailed insight into the quality and quantity of wine, spirits and food that were enjoyed by Napoleon and ... More

Met Opera breaks blackface tradition in 'Otello'
NEW YORK, NY (AFP).- New York's Metropolitan Opera has broken more than a century of tradition in Verdi's "Otello" with a production whose title character, in a reflection of modern racial sensibilities, does not perform in blackface. The 326th performance of the opera, which opened the New York-based opera's 2015-16 season on Monday, stars Latvian tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko. White singers like Antonenko at major opera houses have customarily worn makeup to darken their complexion for "Otello," based on the Shakespeare tragedy about the "Moor of Venice." Race-altering makeup has long been taboo in the United States, in which blackface recalls 19th-century minstrel shows and other racist performances, but the practice has persevered in opera. This latest production of "Otello" -- conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin, a prominent Canadian musician who leads the Philadelphia ... More

The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography presents an exhibition of photographs by Vladimir Filonov
MOSCOW.- The Lumiere Bothers Center for Photography is presenting an exhibition Document / Metaphor featuring photographs by Vladimir Filonov, created from the late 1970s till 1990s. The exhibition is being held in the White Hall from 16 September till 11 October as a part of the long-term project Anthology of Russian Photography of the XX century. Photo 80-90. Vladimir Filonov`s photography is a complex combination of poetics and analysis. Whatever artistic techniques, styles and traditions (from direct documentary photography to fantastic photo collages) the photographer uses, his visual language remains utterly metaphoric. Filonov’s personal artistic story is in a remarkable way consonant to photographic trends of the late XX century, to its three consecutive decades. The exhibition will present three blocks of artist’s oeuvre, each including clearly emphasized ... More

Art Gallery of Ontario explores the seductive power of photography in Anne Collier solo show
TORONTO.- Praised by Artforum for her “multilayered swirl of reality, fiction and perception” and by the New York Times for her “savvy and elegant” images, Anne Collier makes coolly analytic photographs that dare to ask how photography influences our perception. Tackling issues of gender, celebrity, perception and appropriation, Anne Collier marks the American photographer’s first major solo exhibition and brings together 40 large-scale prints, including works from her signature Woman with a Camera series. Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) and on view at the Art Gallery of Ontario from Sept. 23, 2015, Anne Collier invites visitors to reconsider how we see images. The exhibition runs to Jan. 10, 2016, and makes its only Canadian stop in Toronto. Additions to the AGO installation of Anne Collier include three recent aquisitions to the AGO’s growing ... More

Moderna Museet acquires key work by Olafur Eliasson
STOCKHOLM.- Prior to the opening of Olafur Eliasson: Verklighetsmaskiner/Reality machines, Moderna Museet announces that Olafur Eliasson’s key work Model room has been acquired for the Moderna Museet collection. Commenting on Model room, Olafur Eliasson says: ”Model room arranges most of the models created for my artworks over the last two decades – realised and unrealised – into a new artwork. It is as if nearly every thought I had in my studio during that time now lives in the urban landscape that is Model room. In this sense, it holds the very DNA of my work in a generous, spatial archive, and I consider it a centrepiece of my artistic oeuvre.In developing and realising my artworks, I always work together with many people. A key protagonist in the studio team during the time period represented by Model room was the late Einar Thorsteinn, a visionary Icelandic ... More

Blaschke Beatles Collection leads weekend of Entertainment & Music Memorabilia at Heritage Auctions
NEW YORK, NY.- The first recording contract ever signed by The Beatles, which put the Fab Four on a path that would change music history, sold for $93,750 during Heritage Auctions' $1.3+ million weekend Entertainment and Music Memorabilia Auction Sept. 19-20 in New York. The 1961 contract — signed by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and original drummer Pete Best — was the top lot from the auction-leading Uwe Blaschke Beatles Collection, which realized more than $409,000 and garnered headlines around the world. “We may never again see a collection from the Beatles’ formative years in Hamburg, Germany, as complete as the one Uwe Blaschke assembled,” said Dean Harmeyer, Consignment Director for Heritage Auctions. “Clearly the market responded to this vitally important part of Beatles history and we are proud to have served the memory of Uwe ... More

Mongolia honours China conqueror Kublai Khan on 800th birthday
ULAN BATOR (AFP).- Mongolia on Wednesday celebrated the 800th birthday of epic conqueror Kublai Khan, a source of intense pride in a country trying to highlight its own history after centuries of Russian and Chinese influence. A week of nationwide celebrations honouring the 13th-century ruler of the largest contiguous land empire in history culminated in Ulan Bator with costumed dancers and musicians performing beneath a giant statue of his grandfather Genghis. The commemorations were meant to "honour and value the contribution of Kublai Khan to Mongolian and world history", government minister S. Bayartsogt said earlier. "There was a time when we had to deny our history. However, the new path of democracy Mongolia chose has enabled Mongolian people to restore our history and understand it." The Mongol Empire reached its greatest extent after ... More

Curious adventures & rare discoveries: A look at Freeman's Books, Maps & Manuscripts Auction
PHILADELPHIA, PA.- Freeman's October 22 Books, Maps & Manuscripts auction is an invitation to a world of adventure for armchair travelers, political scholars, and bibliophiles of all creeds. Whether following Alice on her adventures in Wonderland through the pages of an inscribed first edition of Through the Looking Glass, charting the untamed New World with Captain John Smith, or celebrating the rediscovery of noted statesman Pierre Samuel duPont de Nemours's long-lost manuscript, bold navigators of history and literature will find no trouble "believing at least six impossible things before breakfast." No figure speaks more directly to the lost world of our childhood than the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Charles Dodgson, the mathematician and precisian, turned himself inside out in the Alice stories to reveal the emotive ... More

Exhibition of new work by American painter Ryan McLaughlin on view at Laura Bartlett Gallery
LONDON.- Laura Bartlett Gallery is presenting an exhibition of new work by American painter Ryan McLaughlin. This is the artist’s first show with the gallery. Hung in the gallery are 11 paintings of varying sizes, at once familiar, their scale is based on ISO 2016 paper sizings, the standardised format of commercial advertisements and public announcement posters seen throughout our urban environment, from bus stops, train stations and airport terminals. McLaughlin’s surfaces are built upon a specifically primed linen surface, with a layering of oil paint applied in a variety of techniques. The resulting painting has a physical specificity and aesthetic intensity, revealing an archaeology of mark-making in an expanse where once something may have previously existed, but in McLaughlin’s workings, something new, or the potential of something new is revealed. Imagery is dually asserted ... More

Tara Donovan Interview: Sculpting Everyday Materials



On a day like today, American photographer Linda McCartney was born
July 24, 1941. Linda Louise McCartney, Lady McCartney (née Eastman; formerly See; September 24, 1941 - April 17, 1998) was an American musician, photographer, and animal rights activist. She was married to Paul McCartney of the Beatles. McCartney was a professional photographer of celebrities and contemporary musicians. Her photos were also published in the book Linda McCartney's Sixties: Portrait of an Era in 1992. In this image: Linda McCartney (1941-1998), Paul, Stella and James in Scotland, Platinum photograph, 1982. Courtesy James Hyman Gallery.

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