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Scientists from UCLA, National Gallery of Art pioneer new way to analyze artwork

The original painting (left), along with images made using (from second from left) hyperspectral reflectance, luminescence and X-ray fluorescence. National Gallery of Art (left); National Gallery of Art/UCLA.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Scientists from UCLA and the National Gallery of Art have used a combination of three advanced imaging techniques to produce a highly detailed analysis of a second century Egyptian painting. They are the first to use the specific combination — which they termed “macroscale multimodal chemical imaging” — to examine an ancient work of art. The new technique enabled them to learn about the raw materials the artist used, and the order in which they were applied to the painting, and it uncovered insights about the painting’s connections to other work from the same era. The approach, which is described in a paper published in Scientific Reports, integrates three existing techniques — hyperspectral diffuse reflectance, luminescence and X-ray fluorescence — to examine the painting. The concept is a high-tech version of what might happen if one were to analyze an everyday object with, say, the naked eye, an X ... More


The Best Photos of the Day
The facade of the Manege Exhibition Hall is illuminated and the square in front of it decorated for Christmas, in Moscow on December 11, 2017. Images are projected on the facade of the Manege marking the Year of Ecology and the upcoming holidays. Mladen ANTONOV / AFP.



The USC Pacific Asia Museum reopens with a refreshed 21st century look   After being accused of child pornography last year, Jock Sturges exhibition opens at Lumiere Brothers Center   SFMOMA and CCSF partner on Diego Rivera mural as part of 2020 exhibition on Rivera's work


Ignacio Aguirre, Emiliano Zapata hecho prisionero por su lucha en favor de Los campesinos, 1947. Linoleum cut, 15 3/4 x 10 5/8 in. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of Jules and Gloria Heller Photo © Museum Associates / LACMA.

PASADENA, CA.- USC Pacific Asia Museum announces its grand reopening with the special exhibition Winds from Fusang: Mexico and China in the Twentieth Century as part of the Getty's Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. In addition to the special exhibition, the building reopened with a refreshed 21st century look, featuring an updated gallery flow and a new visitor center and gift shop. The museum's temporary closure for the seismic retrofit of its 1924 Chinese Qing Dynasty-inspired home strengthened the building's foundation and added additional gallery space for special exhibitions. "I'm thrilled to welcome visitors back to the refreshed museum this December with the dynamic exhibition Winds from Fusang and a full schedule of engaging public programs for our community," said Director and ... More
 

Jock Sturges, Asta, Montalivet, France, 2012.

MOSCOW.- The Lumiere Brothers Center for Photography returns «The Absence of Shame» exhibition by American photographer Jock Sturges to its walls. The project was first opened in the beginning of September 2016. It consists of photographs which depict naturist families from France, North California, and Ireland, with whom Sturges has been communicating. The author photographed them throughout the duration of his long artistic career. Having started in the 1970s, he has now shot 3 generations of models. The images uncovered their beauty, so the girls posed to the photographer voluntarily and without embarrassment. «Nudity means nothing to anybody here…People are naked…because they are naturists and spend their summers in a resort dedicated to the absence of shame». Last year the exhibition had to be closed within a fortnight from its opening, despite the objections from photography lovers who had not yet managed to get acquainted wi ... More
 

Diego Rivera shaking hands with Timothy Pflueger, 1940. Courtesy San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) today announced plans to display Diego Rivera’s historic mural, Pan American Unity, as the cornerstone of a major exhibition of the artist’s work at SFMOMA in 2020. The mural—one of the most important works of public art in San Francisco—will be on view in the museum’s Roberts Family Gallery on the street level, part of the museum’s free, unticketed space. A comprehensive program of conservation, public education and CCSF student internships will accompany the exhibition of the work and will be announced in greater detail at a later date. Early funding for these initiatives has been provided in part by the Koret Foundation. Diego Rivera’s The Marriage of the Artistic Expression of the North and of the South on the Continent, more commonly known as Pan American ... More



Scuffles break out as art is removed from Catalan museum   The whole world wanted Paul Evans furniture at Palm Beach Modern's $1.6M Thanksgiving auction   Interactive exhibition invites visitors to leave comments about sexual abuse and harassment


Demonstrators carry two puppets representing deposed Catalan president and vice-president, Carles Puigdemont (L) and imprisoned Oriol Junqueras during an against-independence and in favour of Spanish Constitution demonstration called by 'Movimiento Civico D'Espanya i Catalans' (Civic movement of Spain and the Catalans) in Barcelona on December 6, 2017. Josep LAGO / AFP.

MADRID (AFP).- Scuffles broke out Monday between police and demonstrators gathered outside a museum in the Catalan city of Lleida to protest at the removal of 44 works of art that a Spanish court ordered be returned to a neighbouring region. The pre-dawn operation comes amid simmering tensions between Spain's central government and Catalonia over the wealthy region's independence drive, with separatists saying it amounted to "plundering". Police cordoned off the museum as workers arrived to remove the disputed art works, including three 15th century wooden caskets. Several hundred people gathered outside the museum chanted "Hands up! This is a robbery", images broadcast on ... More
 

Set of 8 Paul Evans dining chairs, leather and metal, $48,640, record price for the form. Image: Palm Beach Modern Auctions.

WEST PALM BEACH, FLA.- A fully curated selection of superior-quality modern art and design awaited guests at Palm Beach Modern’s (PBMA) Nov. 25 Thanksgiving weekend auction, which grossed $1.6 million. Furniture performed powerfully, especially the distinctive 1960s designs of Paul Evans; and art continued its hot streak with a Sam Francis painting commanding an above-estimate $30,720. “Mid-century furniture was stronger than it has ever been in any of our sales,” said auctioneer and PBMA co-owner Rico Baca. “Looking at the initial numbers, I can say quite confidently that there was a 90 to 95 percent sell-through rate on furniture.” The category was led by a set of eight Paul Evans leather and metal dining chairs that sold for $48,640 against a pre-sale estimate of $20,000-$30,000 – a record for the form. Comprising two armchairs and six side chairs, the desirable seating suite is referenced in two ... More
 

Participants write their responses on small pink cards, which are then hung on a clothesline. Photo by Kevin Allen, Courtesy of the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

WASHINGTON, DC.- The National Museum of Women in the Arts presents El Tendedero/The Clothesline Project, D.C., an exhibition by Mexico City-based artist Mónica Mayer, on view through January 5, 2018. The exhibition invites visitors to leave comments about violence against women by asking questions including, “As a woman, where do you feel safe? Why?” and “Have you ever experienced violence or harassment? What happened?” Participants write their responses on small pink cards, which are then hung on a clothesline. As a result, Mayer transforms the clothesline, a traditionally feminine object, into a tool designed to engage the community and facilitate a dialogue around women’s experiences—including topics such as sexual harassment and domestic violence. “With sexual exploitation dominating the current news and the now viral #MeToo social ... More


Getty Center celebrates 20th anniversary with Robert Polidori photographs exhibition   Ellen de Bruijne Projects opens exhibition of works by Otto Berchem   Anthea Hamilton to create Tate Britain Commission 2018


Robert Polidori, Rococo Paneled Room, J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997. Chromogenic print, 54.6 × 41.6 cm. Accession No. EX.2017.11.18 © Robert Polidori. Courtesy of the artist in conjunction with The Lapis Press.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Getty Center, the J. Paul Getty Museum opens an exhibition of 20 works by renowned photographer Robert Polidori (Canadian-French-American, born 1951). Robert Polidori: 20 Photographs of the Getty Museum, 1997 is the first public exhibition of photographs showing the first installation of the Getty Center in the month leading up to its opening in December 1997. “As we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Getty Center this December, this exhibition provides an opportunity to reflect upon the creation of this remarkable complex of buildings and the evolution of the Getty Center’s programs. Polidori’s artfully composed ... More
 

Otto Berchem, Geography. Geografia. Geografie, 2017, acrylic on brooms, 144 x 44 x 40 cm, unique piece from the series 'Swept away'. Image courtesy Ellen de Bruijne Projects.

AMSTERDAM.- Otto Berchem’s work explores social and visual codes, focusing on the relationships between language, architecture, history and poetry. His practice employs a wide variety of media, including painting, video, photography, and public interventions; which are all represented in his fifth solo show at Ellen de Bruijne Projects. Dive for Dreams is a continuation of the ideas and themes from his previous exhibition (Revolver, 2013), and revives the performative aspect of the Dating Market, his first solo show with Ellen de Bruijne, in 2000. With this body of work the artist continues his investigation of signs, human relations and codes, using his chromatic alphabet and exploring different possibilities with it. Berchem’s code is inspired by the writings of Uruguayan Jorge ... More
 

Anthea Hamilton ©valerie sadoun

LONDON.- Tate Britain today announces Anthea Hamilton as the next artist to undertake the Tate Britain Commission. Unveiled for the first time on 21 March 2018, Hamilton will reveal a major new work, transforming the heart of Tate Britain into an immersive installation that will combine sculpture and performance. The annual commission, supported by Sotheby’s, invites a contemporary British artist to create a new artwork in response to Tate Britain’s grand Duveen Galleries. Shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2016, Anthea Hamilton is renowned for her bold, often humorous works which incorporate references from the worlds of art, design, fashion and popular culture. She has exhibited widely with recent large-scale, site-specific installations including her Turner Prize nominated exhibition Lichen! Libido! Chastity! at the SculptureCenter in New York, re-staged at Tate Britain in 2016, and Anthea Hamilton Reimagines Kettle’s Yard ... More



"Je t'aime, Ronit Elkabetz" now open at Design Museum Holon   Original Snow White drawings come up for sale at Swann Auction Galleries   Berkshire Museum releases documents despite newspaper's refusal to provide answers


From the Desk of Ronit Elkabetz. Image by Shay Ben Efraim.

HOLON.- A bright yellow dress designed by Alber Elbaz, presented as if floating in mid-air, makes one of many dramatic moments at Design Museum Holon’s new exhibition Je t’aime, Ronit Elkabetz. The immersive, multi-sensory exhibition journeys through key, defining moments of the life of actress, director, muse and activist Ronit Elkabetz (1964-2016), utilising cues and influences borrowed from the fashion and film industries. The exhibition illustrates how Elkabetz created and reasserted the act of dressing as a transgressive performative act, charging the garment with powerful meanings and her own subjectivity. This exhibition comes together in a collaboration between Shlomi Elkabetz, film director, brother, and close collaborator of Ronit Elkabetz and fashion curator and historian Ya’ara Keydar. The display of the garments was created in collaboration with designer Victor Bellaish, who sculpted the clothes, breathing new lif ... More
 

Snow White: Scrapbook relating to the production of Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, presumed to be compiled by Ingeborg Willy, with 20 original drawings, circa 1937. Estimate $7,000 to $10,000. Image courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries.

NEW YORK, NY.- Just as the panto season gets into full swing, original Disney Studio drawings for the ground-breaking 1937 film Snow White have come up for auction. Swann Auction Galleries will offer a lovingly and meticulously compiled scrapbook, thought to have been owned by Walt Disney Studios inker Ingeborg Willy, at their Illustration Art sale in New York on December 14 – within days of the 80th anniversary of the film’s premiere. Containing 20 original animation drawings featuring Snow White, the Dwarfs, and several woodland creatures, the scrapbook also includes a single page of Director’s notes titled ‘Special Notes to EFX’ thought to be in Walt Disney’s hand. Eighteen of the drawings are graphite and coloured pencil on paper, the remaining in ink on celluloid. Other ephemera accompanying the lot includes ... More
 

The museum is releasing the documents despite the refusal of the Berkshire Eagle to provide information requested by the museum’s lawyers concerning potential conflicts of interest in the newspaper’s involvement.

PITTSFIELD, MASS.- The Berkshire Museum is releasing documents previously under court seal that provide insight into the planning that led to the Museum’s proposed New Vision and the financial challenges facing the museum. The museum is releasing the documents despite the refusal of the Berkshire Eagle to provide information requested by the museum’s lawyers concerning potential conflicts of interest in the newspaper’s involvement in a $1 million offer from anonymous donors seeking to stop the museum from deaccessioning certain works. The documents released by the museum, sought by the Berkshire Eagle, are exhibits in the ongoing legal action surrounding the museum’s proposed sale of certain art works needed to secure the museum’s future. The museum is not challenging ... More


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Painting is a way of being. Jackson Pollock



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Collaborative photographic installation on view at the 11th Bamako Encounters
BAMAKO.- A movie theater, a place where anything is possible and imagination is on the loose; an open window to the world. The local political and military setting has been particularly tough since 2012, how can the youth of Mali project itself into the future? What has become of yesterday’s dreams? As skinned and decrepit as the walls we intervene on. Here we are, gathered around a collective proposal, questioning freedom of expression, history, art and politics. In the courtyard of Medina Coura Cinema, this in situ photographic installation offers a framework for discussing, renewed questioning, thinking and hoping. Compelled by a fast-moving world, driven by power, domination, isolation and borders, we are here seeking echoes of a common thought. Through this collaborative endeavor, we are following side roads, new ways of seeing and looking, reflecting ... More

Exhibition features a new body of work dedicated to Hong Kong and its inhabitants
HONG KONG.- Over The Influence is presenting Remains, a solo presentation featuring a new body of work developed in, and inspired by Hong Kong. Vhils’ practice has long been engaged with the urban context, and his works resonate with and reverberates the human experience of living in a contemporary megalopolis. Following the critically acclaimed institutional exhibitions of Vhils in 2016 in Hong Kong and 2017 in Macau, Remains is the artist’s first gallery exhibition in Hong Kong, weaving a poetic tale of the city through the lens of his recognizable artistic lexicon. As he develops his first commercial body of work for Hong Kong, Vhils has taken this opportunity to reflect upon his past two-years living in the city. The time he has spent in Asia has had a significant impact on his own identity and, by extension, his work. Remains shares the stories of urbanites who breathe vitality ... More

Unit London opens a new exhibition by Hastings-based artist Jake Wood-Evans
LONDON.- Unit London is presenting Transitions, a new exhibition by Hastings-based artist Jake Wood-Evans. Following the success of his 2016 show Subjection & Discipline, which saw the artist create a body of portraiture work inspired by 18th century Masters including Sir Joshua Reynolds and Sir Henry Raeburn, Transitions sees a shift of focus towards landscape and abstraction. Richly-coloured, light-imbued scenes characterise the work, in which seascapes and serene vistas appear as though through a veil or clouded glass. In one, a figure is suggested, glowing within a studio of silks and fabric; in another, a horse is suspended beneath a flood of luminosity. Leaving behind the subdued colours of previous collections, the canvases are splashed with vivid hues of gold, red, orange, turquoise and blue, whilst delicate brushwork is set alongside sweeping washes ... More

India's first contemporary Sculpture Park now open to the public
JAIPUR.- The Sculpture Park at Madhavendra Palace, Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur was formally launched by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje on Sunday 10 December 2017. Through a unique collaboration between the Government of Rajasthan, Saat Saath Arts and a number of corporate sponsors, Madhavendra Palace has transformed into India's first contemporary Sculpture Park, exhibiting a range of top Indian and international contemporary artists. The launch of The Sculpture Park commenced with a walkthrough for the press by curator Peter Nagy. The Hon'ble chief minister of Rajasthan, Vasundhara Raje arrived in the evening and officially inaugurated the event with a speech which emphasized the importance of the initiative and thanked the team of Saat Saath Arts and the officials who supported this project. Her speech was followed ... More

New solo exhibit at Canton Museum of Art features abstract paintings from local artist
CANTON, OH.- Engraved Fields features new work by Ohio artist, Jack McWhorter. These colorful, abstract paintings imbued with nature, color, and form are on view now through March 4, 2018. This original exhibition was curated by Tom Wachunas. McWhorter develops his paintings through a thoughtful and intuitive process. He is inspired by the environment and has been known to paint in the woods surrounded by freshly fallen snow. Painting outdoors help MckWhorter bring his colors to life. This is recognizable in his work, as the pieces are striking and there is a light that emanates from within. “My paintings begin with the idea of stratification. On one level, they function as models of connectivity, arrivals, or snapshots of structures and relationships in flux, carrying the evidence of serpentine paths that led to their destination.” Said, Jack McWhorter. “The process is ... More

Ai Weiwei's "Circle of Animals / Zodiac Heads" on view at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
EUGENE, ORE.- The “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” series is internationally-acclaimed artist Ai Weiwei’s reinterpretation of the twelve bronze animal heads representing the traditional Chinese zodiac that once adorned the famed fountain-clock of the Yuanming Yuan (Old Summer Palace), an imperial retreat outside Beijing. The work are on view in the JSMA’s North Courtyard from December 1, 2017 to June 24, 2018. “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” is comprised of a dozen bronze sculptures, each roughly 10 feet tall, that represent the signs of the Chinese zodiac: 11 real-world animals (snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog, pig, rat, ox, tiger and rabbit) and one mythical creature (dragon). Ai Weiwei created this body of work in two sizes: the bronze monumental series and the gold collector series. The “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Bronze” series is the artist's ... More

Latvian National Museum of Art opens a cross-disciplinary exhibition
RIGA.- A cross-disciplinary exhibition YOU’VE GOT 1243 UNREAD MESSAGES. The Last Generation Before the Internet. Their Lives organized by the Latvian Centre of Contemporary Art is on view at the main building of the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga (Jaņa Rozentāla laukums 1) from 9 December 2017 to 4 February 2018. Do you remember the time before the Facebook era and text messages? The era when people had to agree on a meeting beforehand but friends could show up unannounced? It was characterized by telegrams, address books and calligraphy notebooks. Typewriters clattered in offices and there were lines at phone booths. These memories are a part of the story about the last pre-Internet generations and their lives. By combining the works of such seminal artists as Irma Blank, Vija Celmins, On Kawara, Boris Lurie, Ry Nikonova, ... More

Birmingham Museum of Art names new Deputy Director
BIRMINGHAM, AL.- The Birmingham Museum of Art announces the appointment of Meghan Ann Hellenga as its new Deputy Director. Hellenga will immediately assume the role of James Milton and Sallie R. Johnson Deputy Director, a position previously held by Dr. Graham C. Boettcher who became R. Hugh Daniel Director of the Birmingham Museum of Art in September. “I am proud to have Meghan Ann join the leadership ranks of the Birmingham Museum of Art as we move forward with the implementation of ambitious strategic plans for the institution,” said Dr. Graham C. Boettcher. “During her time at the BMA, Meghan Ann has successfully managed fundraising and development operations alongside the director of development. Her background and training have well prepared her for this role, while her impressive leadership and accomplishments give me ... More

Jacob Felländer's groundbreaking U.S. debut explores Virtual Reality
MIAMI, FLA.- The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), North Miami is showcasing “How to Unlock a Portal” by Swedish artist Jacob Felländer. Felländer is internationally recognized for his collections of large scale manipulated photographs of cityscapes. This is his first solo exhibition and debut in the U.S. The exhibition runs from December 7, 2017 – February 11, 2018. This groundbreaking exhibition challenges the definition of photography and contemplates the effect of time, space, perspective and depth. In chronological order, the pieces represent Felländer’s creative journey over the past 15 years. With art methods ranging from charcoal to virtual reality technology, Felländer captures not one frozen moment in time, but rather several moments expanded in time and space. Traveling through a fusion of photography, painting, sculpture and virtual reality, ... More

Iconic Gulf singer Abu Bakr Salem of Yemen dies aged 78
DUBAI (AFP).- Abu Bakr Salem, one of the most popular singers of the Gulf who synthesized Yemen's rich musical traditions, has died aged 78 in Saudi Arabia after leaving an indelible mark on music in the Arab world. Salem, who held Yemeni and Saudi nationalities, died of a long illness Sunday in a Riyadh hospital, his son Aseel Abu Bakr said in a Twitter post. "My father and mentor has passed away," he said. Salem was mourned in war-torn Yemen, both by the Huthi rebels and the internationally-recognised government the insurgents are battling, and in Saudi Arabia. The Huthi rebels who control the Yemeni capital Sanaa mourned "one of the rare Arab artists to combine song, composition, musical arrangement and poetry", the insurgents' media reported. The government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, based in the southern port city of Aden, ... More

East German village sells for 140,000 euros
BERLIN (AFP).- The only bidder at an unusual auction on Saturday put down 140,000 euros and walked away the new owner of a small slice of German history: the village of Alwine, population 20. Its empty homes and ageing residents mirror the wider fate of the ex-communist east German hinterlands since the country's reunification 27 years ago. The anonymous buyer, who bid by telephone, scooped up the community that real estate auctioneers Karhausen had given a starting price of 125,000 euros ($148,000). In 2000, the hamlet was sold to private investors for one "symbolic Deutschmark," the pre-euro German currency. The two brothers who were the original buyers of its dozen buildings, plus sheds and garages, did not manage to stop its slide into neglect. Only about 20 mostly retired people still live in the cluster of decaying homes in rural Brandenburg ... More




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Flashback
On a day like today, Norwegian painter and illustrator Edvard Munch was born
December 12, 1863. Edvard Munch (12 December 1863 - 23 January 1944) was a Norwegian painter and printmaker whose intensely evocative treatment of psychological themes built upon some of the main tenets of late 19th-century Symbolism and greatly influenced German Expressionism in the early 20th century. His best known work is The Scream, painted in 1893. In this image: Edvard Munch, The Artist and His Model, 1919 - 21; oil on canvas; 47 7/16 x 78 3/4 in.; photo: courtesy the Munch Museum, Oslo.



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