The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Total solar eclipse mesmerizes America as people flock to museums and festivals

Sheldon Museum of Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln experienced 1 minute 24 seconds of totality during the solar eclipse that crossed the U.S. August 21. To remind students and museum visitors to wear solar-viewing glasses when looking directly into the sun, the museum constructed glasses for “Fallen Dreamer,” a bronze sculpture by Tom Otterness that is installed near Sheldon’s main entrance.

by Kerry Sheridan / with Sebastien Vuagnat in Madras, Oregon

CHARLESTON (AFP).- Sky-gazers stood transfixed across North America Monday as the Sun vanished behind the Moon in a rare total eclipse that swept the continent coast-to-coast for the first time in nearly a century. Millions of die-hard eclipse chasers and amateur star watchers alike converged in cities along the path of totality, a 70-mile (113-kilometer) wide swath cutting through 14 US states, where the Moon briefly blocked out all light from the Sun. "It was incredibly beautiful. I am moved to tears," said Heather Riser, a 54-year-old librarian from Virginia, sitting on a blanket in Charleston's grassy Waterfront Park where thousands had gathered to watch. Festivals, rooftop parties, weddings, camping trips and astronomy meet-ups were held nationwide for what was likely most heavily photographed and documented eclipse in modern times, thanks to the era of social media. The blackest part of the shadow, known as totality because the Moon blocks all the Sun's light from the Earth, began over Lincoln Bea ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Bell tolls for Big Ben as four-year silence begins   Golden Tibetan frieze and Wei stone Guanyin lead Buddhist art in Gianguan Auctions' September 9th Sale   Score for Beatles hit 'Eleanor Rigby' goes for auction

Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben) is seen through scaffolding at the Houses of Parliament in London. BEN STANSALL / AFP.

LONDON (AFP).- London landmark Big Ben fell silent for four years in front of a reverential crowd on Monday amid an outcry over the temporary loss of a cherished symbol of stability at a time of national uncertainty. At midday, 12 bongs from the famous bell rang out in front of around 1,000 local residents, tourists and MPs who came out to mark Big Ben's longest silence in its 157-year history for extensive repair work. The atmosphere was sombre as the hour chimes heralded the final bongs. The 12th and final bong was followed by sustained applause and cheering. "I can see it from where I live. I do live my life by it," said Denise Wiand, one of the spectators, who lives across the River Thames. "I'm 72 and I'm worried it might be the last time I actually hear them!" she said. Thomas Moser, a 54-year-old German tourist, said: "The crowd were really listening. We are here, we want ... More

Wucai guan with cover. Of the Yuan Dynasty, bearing mark of Bo Ling Di Studios. Estimated at upwards of $850,000.

NEW YORK, NY.- From Tibet to the mighty Yellow and Yangtze River basins, the arts of China are informed by references to B uddhism. Gilt-bronze and stone statues, stone seals, scroll paintings and carved jades reflect regional and highly personal interpretations of the Buddha, Guanyin, the Boddhisatva, Maitreya, Louhans, acolytes and deities, creating an aesthetic that is both sacred and decorative. Buddhist art in its splendid forms is the theme of Gianguan Auctions’ upcoming sale on September 9th. The sale also features an exceptionally strong field of secular art, highlighted by a collection of Chinese porcelains and antique jade and ceramic pillows. Lot 146, a Wucai (5-color) guan with cover and beast handles, bearing the Yuan Dynasty’s Bo Ling Di Studio mark expected to go off at more than $850,000. Pillow- ... More

The score, expected to fetch £20,000 ($26,000, 22,000 euros), is written in pencil by the Beatles's late producer George Martin and signed by both Martin and Paul McCartney. Photo: Omega Auctions.

LONDON (AFP).- The original handwritten score for the Beatles song "Eleanor Rigby" is to be sold at auction, alongside the deeds of the grave of the woman said to have been immortalised by the Fab Four. "Each item is fantastic, unique and of significant historical importance in itself, so to have both come up at the same time is an incredible coincidence," said Paul Fairweather from Omega Auctions, which is selling the items. "I expect there to be fierce bidding from across the globe," he said. The score, expected to fetch £20,000 ($26,000, 22,000 euros), is written in pencil by the Beatles's late producer George Martin and signed by both Martin and Paul McCartney. It also includes notes specifying that it was to be recorded at London's Abbey Road Studio number two and that four violins, two violas and two cellos were to be used. "Eleanor ... More

Van Gogh Museum presents life-sized interactive 3D reproduction of world-famous Almond Blossom   Sotheby's announces highlights of the Important Chinese Art, Fine Classical Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy sales   Newly discovered Norman Rockwell masterpiece brings $1.6 million at Heritage Auctions

Visitors to the Uitmarkt 2017 can look forward to a spectacular photo opportunity.

AMSTERDAM.- Visitors to this year’s Uitmarkt (26 & 27 August) can have their 3D photograph taken with a huge three-dimensional reproduction of Van Gogh’s world-famous painting Almond Blossom. The Van Gogh Museum is using the photographic campaign to highlight their spring 2018 exhibition: Van Gogh & Japan. Visitors to the Uitmarkt 2017 can look forward to a spectacular photo opportunity. Dutch scenographer Vera Selhorst collaborated with Brandwacht & Meijer to create a 3D version of the renowned tree upon which Van Gogh based his 1890 painting Almond Blossom. The 4x4-metre tree has been painted in the style of Van Gogh. Using a special installation, visitors can have their 3D photograph taken under the tree. Almond Blossom clearly demonstrates the influence of Japan on Vincent van Gogh, and this theme is also the focus of the museum’s blockbuster exhibition in 2018: Van Gogh & Japan. By focusing on this painting, the Van Gogh Museum pays homage to its founder: ... More

An Exceptional and Extremely Rare ‘Ding’ Carved ‘Peony’ Vase from the Northern Song Dynasty is the top offering of the season. Estimate $500/700,000. Courtesy Sotheby’s.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s announced the full offerings of their Asia Week sales of Chinese works of art, Chinese paintings and calligraphy. With exhibitions opening to the public on 8 September, visitors to New York headquarters will be able to experience all facets of Asian Art – pottery, bronzes, jades, ceramics, sculptures, paintings and calligraphy. Asia Week auctions begin on the 13th of September, with Important Chinese Art, followed by sales of Fine Classical Chinese Paintings & Calligraphy and Saturday at Sotheby’s: Asian Art on the 14th and 16th of September respectively. An Exceptional and Extremely Rare ‘Ding’ Carved ‘Peony’ Vase from the Northern Song Dynasty is the top offering of the season (estimate $500/700,000). Coveted for its beautiful white hue, Ding wares have been highly sought after since the beginning of their production in the Song Dynasty. This particular work, ... More

Norman Rockwell (American, 1894-1978), Tough Call, Saturday Evening Post cover study, April 23, 1949 (detail). Oil on paper, 16 x 15 inches.

DALLAS, TX.- "Tough Call," a classic original masterpiece by Norman Rockwell — discovered hanging in Austin, Texas, and considered nothing more than a cheap print — has sold for a staggering $1.6 million at a public auction of high-end sports memorabilia held by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. The 16-inch by 15-inch painting was expected to sell for $300,000 but instead realized more than five times pre-auction estimates, once again breaking the record for any Rockwell study. The buyer remains anonymous at this time. "It is remarkable to still discover such an important Norman Rockwell original artwork after so many years," said Chris Ivy, director of Sports Memorabilia at Heritage Auctions. "The art community and sports fans all over the world owe thanks to Beans Reardon's family for preserving this piece of Americana for future generations despite not quite understanding what they had." The original painting for "Tough Call" was published as ... More

Solo exhibition of video installations and drawings by Belgian artist David Claerbout opens in Tampa   Einstein's letter criticizing PM Chamberlain's attitude toward Hitler to be auctioned   US man charged with plotting to bomb Confederate statue

David Claerbout, Radio Piece (Hong Kong), 2015. © David Claerbout; Courtesy of the artist and Sean Kelly, New York.

TAMPA, FLA.- USF Contemporary Art Museum presents a solo exhibition of video installations and drawings by Belgian artist David Claerbout. Throughout his career, Claerbout has investigated the conceptual impact of the passage of time through his use of video and digital photography. As scholar David Green has explained, “Claerbout’s work subtly proposes a relationship of similitude between film and the objective world that lies outside and beyond the narrative space of cinema. In doing so he poses a set of questions about how we experience film and about the nature of the medium itself.” Specifically, Claerbout manipulates both moving and still imagery to suggest an otherworldly level of existence, something that might refer to a specific place or event, but the timeline of which is not clear, oscillating between both past and present. The element of sound is critical in many of the ... More

Albert Einstein wrote the October 10, 1938 letter, postmarked from Princeton, to his best friend Michele Besso.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- A series of fascinating letters written in German by Albert Einstein, including his thoughts on world events and his prediction on winning the Nobel Prize, will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on August 24, 2017. Albert Einstein wrote the October 10, 1938 letter, postmarked from Princeton, to his best friend Michele Besso. Besso, a Swiss/Italian engineer, was the only person credited by Einstein on the original draft of the Theory of Special Relativity. Einstein penned the letter ten days after England’s Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the fateful Munich Agreement allowing Nazi Germany to annex Czechoslovakia. Einstein wrote in part, “…You have confidence in the British and even Chamberlain? O sancta simplicitas ...! ['Oh holy innocence', i.e., naiveté in Latin] Hoping that Hitler might let off steam by attacking Russia, he sacrifices Eastern Europe. But we will come to see once ... More

A Confederate monument featuring an 8-foot statue of a Confederate soldier is seen in Lee Park. Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP.

CHICAGO (AFP).- A 25-year old man who allegedly planned to blow up a Confederate statue in Houston, Texas has been arrested, authorities said Monday, as debate raged in the United States over what to do with the nation's Civil War-era symbols. Houston authorities said they arrested Andrew Schneck, who at the time was toting highly volatile chemical compounds used in bomb-making on Saturday, near the statue of a Confederate soldier. A judge ordered him held in custody pending a court hearing, which has been set for Thursday. The arrest came with Americans deeply divided on whether to keep or discard its Confederate statues, which some see as a shameful reminder of the nation's slave-owning past, but others insist represent a proud and culturally significant legacy of the Old South. The University of Texas overnight Sunday, under the cover of darkness, removed several Confederate statues from its ... More

KMAC Museum explores Eclipse through art & activities   Hammer Museum announces curatorial appointment of Allegra Pesenti   The Snite Museum of Art reopen this fall within a larger, more prestigious space on the main floor of the museum

Olafur Eliasson, Your folded sunset behind a black hole, 2015. Silver coloured glass (yellow), colour glass (black), mirror, aluminum, 47 ¼ x 55 1/8 x 23 ¾ inches. Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York.

LOUISVILLE, KY.- KMAC Museum is presenting Victory Over the Sun: The Poetics and Politics of Eclipse. "Victory Over the Sun takes into account the cosmic phenomenon and a host of other meanings that are held within the word eclipse," said KMAC Curator Joey Yates. "Artists who engage in acts of silencing, erasing, covering or masking, as well as conceptual gestures related to eclipsed narratives in American art and culture, will examine themes of blindness, censorship, obscurity, and suppression." The occurrence of the sun's temporary erasure in Kentucky, during The Great American Eclipse of 2017, provides a backdrop for an exhibition of drawing, painting, sculpture, video and photography that explores literal and figurative notions of darkness, shadow and light. An exhibition booklet has been produced, including text about each artist with an ... More

Allegra Pesenti is presently co-curating the 2018 exhibition Stones to Stains: Drawings by Victor Hugo for the Hammer.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Hammer Museum announced today the appointment of Allegra Pesenti as Associate Director and Senior Curator of the UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts. Pesenti returns to the Hammer where she was the Grunwald Center Curator from 2007 to 2013. Most recently, she served as Chief Curator for the Menil Drawing Institute then as Curator at Large for the Menil Collection. During her time there, she worked closely with Los Angeles-based architects Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee on the conception and design of the Menil Drawing Institute, the first freestanding center in America devoted solely to the collecting, research, conservation, and exhibition of works on paper. Allegra Pesenti is presently co-curating the 2018 exhibition Stones to Stains: Drawings by Victor Hugo for the Hammer with Cynthia Burlingham, Director of the Grunwald Center and Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Hammer Museum. Hammer ... More

Willie Cole (American, b. 1955), Shoonufu Female Figure, 2013, painted bronze, 25 x 9.5 x 13 inches. Acquired with Funds Provided by the Humana Foundation for American Art, 2017.009.001.

NOTRE DAME, IN.- The Snite Museum of Art African art collection will reopen this fall within a larger, more prestigious space on the main floor of the museum. The reinstallation will explore themes of power. In the past, African art was often tied into the way African leaders promoted their agendas. Royalty and rulers used art to project their authority; religious groups promoted their faiths; while the wealthy desired to display their riches. Ordinary Africans also used art to enable them to wield their own forms of power. Since supernatural forces were thought to play a large role in determining events, it was important to own objects that could withstand or shape events that lay beyond ordinary control. Fifty-nine outstanding works from the Snite Museum collection will illustrate these ideas through themes of economic, political, social, and spiritual power in Africa. Most of these works have never been on public ... More

The big artist... keeps an eye on nature and steals her tools. Thomas Eakins

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Trees grown from Hiroshima seed bank on view at Selby Gardens
SARASOTA, FLA.- In remembrance of the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bomb falling on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, very young saplings derived from trees that survived the bombing are being ceremoniously recognized at Selby Gardens. The budding trees – camphor, holly and persimmon – are on public view throughout the month of August. “Botanical gardens bring together science and education in a variety of ways. This sowing of seeds from a time of major human conflict provides hope, and allows Selby Gardens to inspire appreciation of the natural world, which is at the core of our mission,” said Jennifer O. Rominiecki, president and CEO of Selby Gardens. The seeds came to Sarasota thanks to a religion professor at New College of Florida, a partner of Selby Gardens. Dr. Manuel Lopez-Zafra collected the seeds during his travel to Japan ... More

Wasserman Projects presents first exhibition in an ongoing series of curatorial collaborations
DETROIT, MICH.- Wasserman Projects is presenting to Have+Hold, the first exhibition in an ongoing series of curatorial collaborations with Michigan-based Butter Projects. The partnership supports both entities’ efforts to bring to the light the tremendous creative diversity and ingenuity of artists living in and near Detroit and to foster the exchange of ideas and dialogues between locally and internationallybased artists. The endeavor is being driven by curator Alison Wong, who co-founded Butter Projects in 2009 and has also served as Wasserman Projects’ Director since 2015. By uniting in a series of exhibitions and supporting public programs, both organizations aim to enhance resources for the local artistic community and to expand audiences for and engagement with the arts. “I am delighted to incorporate Butter Projects’ curatorial vision and ... More

Paintings attributed to Monet and Van Gogh each bring $96,000 at Woodshed Art Auctions
FRANKLIN, MASS.- A tempera on paper painting attributed to Claude Monet (1840-1926), titled Study for Gare Saint-Lazare, and a tempera and gouache on paper attributed to Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890), titled Morning, Going to Work, each soared to $96,000 in Woodshed Art Auctions’ Prestige Collection sale, a 65-lot internet-only fine art auction that ended on July 26th. The Monet was the auction’s expected top lot. It was signed verso and marked “Gallery Simon, Paris,” stamped and with a pencil-written reference number. The modest painting was possibly a study made on location, for one of the paintings in Monet’s highly acclaimed 1877 series of the Gare Saint-Lazare train station. The painting measured 14 ½ inches by 18 inches, in the frame. The Van Gogh, one of five works in the auction attributed to the Dutch master, was signed by the artist and was possibly ... More

Past masters: Saving Afghanistan's artisans from extinction
KABUL (AFP).- Ceramics, carpentry, calligraphy and gem cutting: centuries of Afghan craftmanship honed on the ancient Silk Road are being preserved in Kabul, a rare success story for an aid project in the war-torn country that organisers are now hoping to replicate with refugees from Syria. In the sixteen years since the fall of the Taliban, the Turquoise Mountain foundation has found some of Afghanistan's best artisans and helped them preserve and pass on their skills, as well helping them showcase their work in international markets. A painstakingly restored caravanserai -- a roadside inn -- in Kabul's oldest district is once again a hub for exquisite woodwork carvers, potters making traditionally-glazed ceramics, Islamic calligraphers, and goldsmiths. "When we started, there were very few artisans living in Kabul. Most of them were out of the country," said Abdul Wahid ... More

Special exhibition for 10 years of the International Slavery Museum
LIVERPOOL.- The International Slavery Museum in Liverpool revealed the first of its major 10th anniversary events with the opening of a brand new exhibition, Ink and blood: Stories of abolition, on Monday 21 August. The anniversary exhibition explores abolition (the ending of slavery) and reveal the lives, losses, and triumphs of the people it affected in the 18th and 19th centuries and their later freedom. Ink and blood: Stories of abolition shows abolition up close through ink (paper) and blood (people), revealing personal stories from Argentina, Cuba, Jamaica, the United States and Bahrain, through powerful modern creative responses to abolition, significant historical documents and rare objects. The International Slavery Museum is the only museum in the world to look at the Transatlantic Slave Trade and modern slavery. It ... More

Recent and early works by Patricia Nix on view in 'American Baroque' at the Boca Raton Museum of Art
BOCA RATON, FLA.- Always searching for the magic in an object, Patricia Nix has worked since the early 1950s to create a staggering oeuvre of works of art. The range of her artistic expression and development is inspired by her ironic and psychological interpretations of the material she collects – sometimes tawdry, often strange, and occasionally making reference to her native Texas. From these she creates elaborate constructions and boldly colorful paintings. Patricia Nix: American Baroque showcases the abundance and intricacies of the artist’s work, on view at the Boca Raton Museum of Art from August 8th through October 22nd, 2017. Patricia Nix has been exhibiting her opulent constructions, paintings, and collages since her first solo exhibition in New York City in 1977. She attended the Art Students League, New York University, and The New School in ... More

Sarah Zapata and LJ Roberts create new work live in MAD's galleries as part of new exhibition
NEW YORK, NY.- On view August 22 through October 15, the first cycle of Studio Views: Craft in the Expanded Field features two alumni of Museum of Arts and Design’s Artist Studios Program at work in the Museum’s third-floor galleries on large-scale and immersive textile installations for this innovative and evolving exhibition. Working from a queer perspective to subvert and expand traditional notions of craft practice, LJ Roberts and Sarah Zapata will complete work on ambitious new projects that rethink community histories and legacies in full view of the public during their exhibition-situated micro-residencies. As artistic practices become increasingly interdisciplinary, participatory, and process-oriented, museum exhibition formats must adapt to support the new ways in which artists are producing and presenting artwork. With Studio Views, MAD seeks to examine ... More

Maslen & Mehra construct a 360 degree shrine to currency
EASTBOURNE.- In their latest work, Faith in Fiat, Maslen & Mehra have constructed a 360 degree shrine to currency. Maslen & Mehra designed and fabricated the shrine, completing it with a painted trompe l'oeil, marble effect. The focus of the installation is a series of 70+ framed ‘icons’, which depicts international currency symbols. They have been hand-drawn and completed with ink, gouache and liquid gold. The shrine steps are populated with artificial flowers and LED church candles. “Fiat money is currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, but it is not backed by a physical commodity”. (Fiat is Latin for “let it become”) * The value of money is derived from the relationship between supply and demand, rather than the value of the material that the money is made of. Fiat money is effectively a storage material for purchasing power and a substitute for barter ... More

Exhibition at Aurel Scheibler shows Zhang Wanqing's work after five years of solitude and confinement
BERLIN.- Aurel Scheibler announced the first solo exhibition by the young Chinese artist Zhang Wanqing in Europe. Zhang Wanqing, born in 1985, emerged as an up-and-coming artist in China in 2011. At that time, she decided to live a recluse life in Shenyang in Northeastern China. She continued to paint and remained almost invisible to the outside world, which is very rare among young Chinese artists. The exhibition Lonely Hills shows her work after five years of solitude and confinement. The title Lonely Hills derives from the poem The Deer Enclosure by Wang Wei, one of the famous poets of the Tang Dynasty. The poem opens with: So lone seem the hills; there is no one in sight there, But whence is the echo of voice I hear? This describes the first impression of Zhang’s paintings. During the past five years, she focused on landscape, the Lonely ... More

Gallery Hyundai opens exhibition of works by painter Yoo Geun-Taek
SEOUL.- Gallery Hyundai is presenting Promenade, its second solo exhibition with painter Yoo Geun-Taek. The artist has pioneered a new era in Korean art history by applying contemporary style and subject to traditional Korean painting methods of using ink on Hanji, traditional mulberry paper. The current exhibition includes works produced during the artist’s stay in Berlin in 2015 and recent works completed in 2017, presenting a number of series including: Some Library series, which depicts the setting of a library multilayered with images; Take a Stroll series, inspired by the artist’s daily walks around his neighborhood; and The Room series, which shows indoor scenery with mosquito nets hanging over a bed. The overall theme of the exhibition is ‘promenade,’ which alludes to the artist’s intent of organizing the exhibition as a space in which ... More

Exhibition devoted to environmentally-conscious artists on view at Florence Griswold Museum
OLD LYME, CONN.- The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut, is presenting a major exhibition entitled Flora/Fauna: The Naturalist Impulse in American Art, on view through September 17, 2017. Drawn extensively from the Museum’s collection, as well as many public and private lenders, the 101 works in the exhibition survey the history of environmentally-conscious artists in the United States from the dawn of the 19th century through the mid-20th century. Flora/Fauna begins with early-American artists such as the Peale family, John James Audubon and their contemporaries, then examines the naturalist impulse in works by the Hudson River School, American Pre-Raphaelites, and American Impressionist artists before featuring select 20th-century artist-naturalists such as Roger Tory Peterson, creator of widely-used bird guides. ... More

The Philip Johnson Glass House / Interview with Director and Chief Curator Henry Urbach



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