The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, December 14, 2019

Italian museum 'optimistic' that painting found is stolen Klimt

The 55 by 65 cm (21 by 26 inches) expressionist work could be worth between 60 and 100 million euros ($67-111 million) Ferrari estimated, stressing that it was difficult to estimate as the work had never been sold on the market.

ROME (AFP).- Directors of an Italian museum are optimistic that a painting found hidden in a wall this week is a Gustav Klimt work stolen two decades ago, a director said on Thursday. Preliminary indications appear that the painting of a woman found by gardeners on Tuesday inside an external wall on the museum's grounds could indeed by the "Portrait of a Woman" painted by the Austrian artist in 1916-1917. "What interests us the most is whether it's the original or not, rather than the theft investigation," said Massimo Ferrari, president of the Ricci Oddi Gallery of Modern Art, a museum in Piacenza, in northwest Italy. "We've got some positive signs, we're optimistic." The painting went missing in February 1997 while the museum was closed for work. On Tuesday, gardeners emoving ivy from a wall found a small ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Hindman's Post War and Contemporary Art auction sets four records for Chicago Imagists   New exhibition at the Clark Art Institute examines the influence of Arabesque motifs in art   Germany celebrates 250-year-old 'pop star' Beethoven

Miyoko Ito (American, 1918-1983), Sea Changes, 1977. Oil on canvas, 45 x 36 inches. Property from a Corporate Art Collection. Estimate: $15,000 - $25,000. Sold for: $212,500.

CHICAGO, IL.- Hindman’s December 11 Post War and Contemporary Art auction surpassed presale expectations, realizing over $1.9 million and setting four global auction records for an astounding session of works by Chicago Imagists. The department has continued to set a strong precedent for the collective, achieving a total of eight records this year for Imagist artists. Included in this session was the top selling lot of the auction, A Sunday Afternoon at the "Grand Slam” by Roger Brown. The painting realized $300,000 against a presale estimate of $40,000 - $60,000, setting a record as the most expensive work by the artist ever sold at auction. Roger’s riff on A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte comparing a Parisian Sunday in the late 19th century to an American Sunday in the late 20th century. Georges Seurat’s masterpiece ... More

Alphonse Marie Mucha (Czech, 1860–1939), Zodiaque (La Plume), 1896–97. Color lithograph from multiple stones on tan wove paper, 24 13/16 × 18 1/2 in. The Art Institute of Chicago, Mrs. Victor F. Lawson Collection.

WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS.- The sinuous, curving ornamental motif known as arabesque has ancient sources and first appeared in Islamic cultures as a form of sacred writing. It figures in key movements in European art, from Renaissance grotesques to Rococo interiors, on through Art Nouveau and beyond. Bridging cultures and materials, arabesque did not settle into a single form or style but rather burst open the aesthetic possibilities available to artists, tracing a winding path from decorative border to overall principle of design. The nineteenth-century flowering of this motif is explored in the Clark Art Institute’s exhibition Arabesque, on view December 14, 2019–March 22, 2020. Forty-five works across a variety of media trace the development of the arabesque line from the highly detailed compositions of the German Romantics through the pictorial ... More

A woman protects against the rain with an umbrella as she walks past a graffiti depicting German composer Ludwig van Beethoven in his native city of Bonn, western Germany. INA FASSBENDER / AFP.

BERLIN (AFP).- Germany is going all out for the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven's birth with more than 700 events, including homages by Hollywood actor Christoph Waltz and electronic outfit Kraftwerk. A preview on Friday of the renovated Beethoven House Museum in his native city Bonn offered a glimpse of the festivities planned ahead of the big day next year. Here are the main celebrations for a man described by news weekly Der Spiegel as a "a 250-year-old pop star": -- December 16: Beethoven's home reopens to the public as a museum after extensive renovation, on the day most widely believed to be his birthday. The museum will include an exhibition with scores and instruments as well as notebooks he used to communicate after going deaf in 1801 -- 26 years before his death. The ... More

Anne Hardy transforms Tate Britain for 2019 Winter Commission   John Lennon's round glasses sell for nearly $200,000   Leonardo hoodie yours for $640 as Louvre cashes in street cred

The Depth of Darkness, the Return of the Light, Anne Hardy Tate Britain Winter Commission © Anne Hardy: Courtesy Maureen Paley, London. Photo © Tate (Oliver Cowling) 2019.

LONDON.- Tate Britain unveiled its annual Winter Commission to transform and illuminate the gallery’s façade. In anticipation of the winter solstice, artist Anne Hardy has taken inspiration from the rhythms of the earth and the tides of the River Thames. From 30 November 2019 to 26 January 2020, the building’s grand entrance is turned into a marooned temple, appearing with tattered banners and tangled lights, while sculptural objects cascade down the steps from the shuttered central door, surrounded by an atmospheric soundscape of rain, thunder, birds and insects. Anne Hardy is renowned for her large-scale sculptural installations or ‘field works’, which combine physical materials with light and sound to create immersive and sensual environments. Her commission for Tate Britain, entitled The Depth of Darkness, the Return of the Light, is her most ambitious project to date. The title is inspired by pagan descriptions of the ... More

Alan Herring, who worked as a chauffeur for Starr and bandmate George Harrison in the late 60s, said Lennon had given him the glasses after leaving them on the back seat of his Mercedes. Courtesy Sotheby's.

LONDON (AFP).- A pair of John Lennon's sunglasses The Beatles legend once left behind in the back seat of a car sold Friday for nearly $200,000 at an auction in London. Billed as one of the most famous specs in rock-and-roll, the round, green-tinted lenses and their golden frame belonged to Alan Herring, the chauffeur for the Liverpool quartet's drummer Ringo Starr and band mate George Harrison. "In the summer of 1968 I had picked John up with Ringo and George in Ringo's Mercedes and driven the boys into the office," Herring recalled in a statement released by the Sotheby's auction house. "When John got out of the car I noticed that he'd left these sunglasses on the back seat and one lens and one arm had become disconnected. I asked John if he’d like me to get them fixed for him. He told me not to worry they were just for the look!" Herring said he never did get them fixed, and the pair sold for £137,500 ... More

Small metal boxes with a picture of the painting 'La belle ferronniere' by Leonardo da Vinci, a merchandising product for the exhibition 'Leonardo da Vinci', is seen at the museum shop at The Louvre Museum in Paris. ALAIN JOCARD / AFP.

PARIS (AFP).- As an artist, architect and engineer, Virgil Abloh is fashion's renaissance man. Now the hyperactive US designer is measuring himself up against the greatest polymath of all with a collection of clothes inspired by Leonardo da Vinci. The T-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies adorned with some of Leonardo's greatest works are a part of an official hook up with the Louvre museum in Paris, which is staging a blockbuster show to mark the 500th anniversary of the Italian master's death. The hoodies selling for up to 572 euros a piece ($640) mix Leonardo male nudes and paintings like "Saint Anne" with the four-arrowed logo of Abloh's ultra-hip Off-White label. The world's most visited museum has been a magnet for black American megastars of late, with music's most famous couple, singers Beyonce and Jay-Z, shooting a video there last year for their album, ... More

Strong results for the Asian Art Sale at Christie's Paris achieving €7,861,125 million   Lynda Benglis: Spettri, solo exhibition opens at Thomas Dane Gallery in Naples   World record for Jean Cocteau ceramic at Bonhams Prints & Multiples sale

Huang Binhong, Paysage, 1952. Encre et couleur sur papier. Inscrit et signé par l'auteur avec trois cachets, datée de l'année renchen 1952. Dimensions: 84 x 38,5 cm. (33 x 15 1/8 in.) Price realized: €874,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2019.

PARIS.- The Asian art sale achieved a total of €7,861,125/£6,639,464/$8,764,092. The top lot of the sale was an exceptional Coromandel lacquer screen from the Kangxi period which was sold for €2,110,000 against a presale estimate of €200,000-400,000, establishing a new world auction record for a Coromandel lacquer screen. Tiphaine Nicoul, Director of the department: “We are thrilled to have realised such great results for this sale which was gathering rare pieces from different categories including paintings, furniture, jades, lacquers, statuary and ceramics. This sale, which attracted bidders from 21 countries showed that International collectors were attracted by high quality pieces with impeccable provenance such as the lacquer screen which ... More

Lynda Benglis, Egypt Lane (Bull Path Series), 2013/14, handmade paper, wire, pigmented acrylic medium, coal tempera, watercolour, gold leaf 90.2 x 30.5 x 12.7 cm. © Lynda Benglis. Courtesy the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery.

NAPLES.- Since the 1960s, Lynda Benglis has pioneered free, ecstatic forms that are simultaneously playful and visceral, organic and abstract. She began her career in the midst of the male-dominated art scene of downtown New York in the late 1960s, which she took by storm with her latex poured fallen paintings, disrupting the hegemony of Pop and Minimalism as well as the genres of painting and sculpture, with inimitable provocation and freedom. Benglis’ performative approach to sculpture-making is deeply original in the way it consistently pushes conventions and revolves around the body, her body—as Benglis has pointed out: ‘she is the form’. Her work—embracing a seemingly boundless variety of materials from beeswax, latex, and ... More

Grand chêvre – cou sold for £37,563. Photo: Bonhams.

LONDON.- The important collection of 46 ceramics by Jean Cocteau, the leading figure of the French avant-garde, was 100% sold at Bonhams Prints & Multiples sale (11-12 December 2019). Grand chêvre-cou set a world record for the most valuable Cocteau ceramic ever sold at auction. It achieved £37,563 against an estimate of £15,000-20,000. Other ceramics that sold above estimate included; Le Théâtre Antique, 1958, which sold for £16,312 (estimate: £4,000-6,000) and Printemps, 1958, achieved £13,812 (estimate: £5,000-7,000). The sale made a total of £1,757,223 with 86% sold by lot and 88% sold by value. Other highlights in the sale included: • Le Repas Frugal, from La Suite des Saltimbanques, 1904, by Pablo Picasso. Sold: £150,063. • La Femme du Peintre by Marc Chagall (1887-1985) sold for £50,063. Estimate: £25,000-35,000. • Bayer Suite, a complete set of six offset lithographs in ... More

Lévy Gorvy opens a retrospective of Francesco Clemente's pastels   Phillips announces 'Cool Britannia: The Robert Tibbles Collection' to be offered in London in 2020   Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm opens an exhibition by U.S.-based Nigerian artist Marcia Kure

Installation view, Francesco Clemente: Pastels, Lévy Gorvy, London, 2019. Photo: Stephen White.

LONDON.- Lévy Gorvy opened Francesco Clemente: Pastels, an exhibition illuminating Clemente’s extraordinary creative synthesis of diverse aesthetic, cultural, and spiritual traditions. Curated by architect Bill Katz, a long-time friend of the artist, the exhibition is organised thematically, presenting Clemente’s expressions of the body and mind through his extended commitment to the medium. Held from 12 December 2019 through 15 February 2020 at Lévy Gorvy’s space in Mayfair, this retrospective presents four decades of Clemente’s pastels, many of which have never before been exhibited. Clemente has often turned to pastels to develop his eclectic visions of physical and metaphysical subjects. The medium is well-suited to the intensity of Clemente’s compositions—unique for its brilliantly saturated colour, directness of line, and autographic immediacy. Over ... More

Michael Craig-Martin, Full (detail). Painted in 2000. Estimate: £80,000-120,000. Image courtesy of Phillips.

LONDON.- Phillips announced Cool Britannia: The Robert Tibbles Collection, a multitude of YBA treasures to be sold across the London auctions of 20th Century & Contemporary Art in February 2020, as well as New Now, Photographs, and Editions. The collection includes seminal works by Damien Hirst, Gilbert & George, Gary Hume, Michael Craig-Martin, Sarah Morris, and Julian Opie, among others – often acquired directly from the artists or galleries the same year of their creation. The 30 works in this collection are expected to realise a total in the region of £4 million, with a festive preview of highlights set to transform the windows of 30 Berkeley Square from 20 December to 6 January. A bond salesman for many years, Robert Tibbles’ collecting journey began at the genesis of a movement that transformed contemporary British art, and ushered a novel artistic language ... More

Installation view.

STOCKHOLM.- The mixed-media installation Under Skin by United States-based Nigerian artist Marcia Kure opened on 12 December at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, presenting a new chapter in the artist’s ongoing investigation into identities and power structures across geography and community. Currently guest professor at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, the artist opens a dialogue around ‘bio-power’, a term coined by French philosopher Michel Foucault in the 1970s, describing authoritarian rule over individuals and entire populations through optimised productivity. Systems of power achieve social subjugation through raised standards of living, welfare and health conditions as well as technological advances in a problematic trade-off for increased collective control. As such the concept of bio-power frames the social sphere and human life as governed by mechanisms that adjust the self as well as the ... More

I mix colors with my brains, sir. John Opie

More News
UNESCO pulls Belgian carnival from heritage list over anti-Semitism charges
BOGOTA (AFP).- UNESCO on Friday withdrew an annual carnival in the Belgian city of Aalst from its heritage list over persistent charges of anti-Semitism. In an unprecedented move, UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage said it was withdrawing the carnival "over recurring repetition of racist and anti-Semitic representations" at the event. The carnival of Aalst, in the Belgian Dutch speaking region of Flanders, was initially added to UNESCO's list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity in 2010. But the presence in the parade of a float caricaturing Orthodox Jews with hooked noses and sitting on gold bags outraged Belgium's 40,000-strong Jewish community. Yohan Benizri, vice president of the World Jewish Congress, welcomed Friday's decision but said it was "unfortunately not the end of the story. ... More

He wanted to be Pope. He settled for conducting the Metropolitan Opera
MONTREAL (NYT NEWS SERVICE ).- When conductor ​​Yannick Nézet-Séguin was 10, he went to the basement of the family house, put on one of his parents’ vinyl records, held a yellow pencil aloft and began to conduct the first movement of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, over and over again. For the previous four years, the boy, obsessed by the rituals and pageantry of the Roman Catholic Church, had gone to the basement every day to conduct Mass by himself, earnestly telling his parents he wanted to become pope. So when he went upstairs to announce his new vocation, his mother and father, engaged in a game of after-dinner bridge, were ​amused. “I was abnormally intense,” Nézet-Séguin, now 44, said with a laugh in between rehearsals at the Place des Arts concert hall in Montreal. “At that moment, my fascination with reli​g​ion was transferred ... More

A master of winter writes his first opera: 'The Snow Queen'
MUNICH (NYT NEWS SERVICE ).- You could be forgiven for assuming the composer Hans Abrahamsen has an obsession with winter. He did, after all, once write a piece called “Winternacht” (“Winter Night”), and perhaps his most famous work is “Schnee” (“Snow”). His song cycle “let me tell you” evokes a landscape as wintry as one in a Bruegel painting. And there is no metaphor more apt to describe Abrahamsen’s music than a snowflake: pleasantly soft and simple from a distance, mathematically precise and complex under a microscope. But, Abrahamsen said during a recent interview, he’s actually inspired by all the seasons. And despite its title, winter is not the focus of his first opera, “The Snow Queen,” which has its English-language premiere at the Bavarian State Opera here Friday. (It will be livestreamed on Dec. 28.) He said that in Denmark, where ... More

French theatre director quits after rape claim
PARIS (AFP).- The director of a French theatre has resigned the day after his staff went on strike urging him to quit over the fallout from a rape allegation. Jean-Pierre Baro, the first major theatre figure to be hit by the #MeToo movement in France, denied assaulting a colleague in 2011 and police dropped the case for lack of proof. Baro, one of the few black men at the head of a French cultural institution, made his name with a stage adaptation of JM Coetzee's novel "Disgrace" about a South African university professor accused of sexually harassing a student. A formal complaint for rape was made last year shortly after he was chosen to head the Theatre des Quartiers d'Ivry on the southeastern edge of Paris. "My conscience is clear," Baro told AFP after stepping down on Thursday, saying he was only quitting to save the subsidised theatre, which ... More

Date palm, Arab region symbol of prosperity, listed by UNESCO
DUBAI (AFP).- The date palm, which was recognised by UNESCO on Wednesday, has for centuries played an important role in the establishment and growth of civilisations in the hot and dry regions of the Arab world. Now date palm-related knowledge, traditions and practices have been inscribed on UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The tree, whose roots penetrate deep into the soil, allowing it to grow in arid climates, has not only been a source of food but also of economic gain. "Date palms gather in oases of different densities within desert areas indicating the presence of water levels suitable for irrigation," according to a nomination put forward by 14 countries -- Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. ... More

Three monumental installations by Anri Sala on view at Centro Botín
SANTANDER.- Centro Botín in Santander, Spain, will present Anri Sala: AS YOU GO (Châteaux en Espagne), a new exhibition by Albanian-born artist Anri Sala, running from 14 December 2019 – 3 May 2020. The exhibition, curated by Benjamin Weil, Artistic Director of Centro Botín, will consist of three monumental installations occupying the entire second floor gallery, which reflect Sala’s enduring interest in the interplay between moving images, music, and architectural space. Exhibition Overview Benjamin Weil, Artistic Director, Centro Botín: The first phrase in the title chosen by Anri Sala for this new exhibition, AS YOU GO, implies the idea of movement: that of a time-based work, informed by music and moving images; and that one of the visitors, who Sala implicitly encourages to keep moving and hence partake in the making of their own individual ... More

Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and DAG present first U.S. retrospective of Anupam Sud
NEW YORK, NY.- The Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and DAG announced its presentation of the first U.S. retrospective showcasing the art practice of Anupam Sud, being presented at DAG New York, spanning over five decades of her prolific practice and featuring her recent works on view for the first time. Curated by Dr. Paula Sengupta, an artist and curator, as well as a student of Sud, The Soul (Un)Gendered: Anupam Sud, A Retrospective encompasses nearly one hundred works across a range of media, including her brilliant etchings, for which the artist is best known, alongside drawings, paintings, collographs and photographs, and explores the journey of one of the most significant and pioneering female artists in India. On view beginning December 11, The Soul (Un)Gendered: Anupam Sud, A Retrospective reflects KNMA and DAG’s commitment ... More

Becca Albee's first institutional solo presentation opens at The MIT List Visual Arts Center
CAMBRIDGE, MASS.- The MIT List Visual Arts Center opened List Projects 20: Becca Albee, the artist’s first institutional solo presentation. Using photography and the moving image, Albee’s work draws on an array of visual and printed sources, variously culled from personal archives, official repositories, and the public realm. Throughout, she employs strategies of rephotography, cropping, and overlays in an effort to interweave disparate narratives. Albee frequently shifts the context, content, and meaning of her source materials that include found photographs, film negatives, and other objects. Her exhibition at the List Center engages two distinct sites of research and production—the archive and Brooklyn’s Plumb Beach—to reflect on deep and mortal time scales, as well as the enduring impact of a relationship frozen in memory. The installation features ... More

Ponti Art Gallery opens a new exhibition
ROME.- Ponti Art Gallery offers important masterpieces coming from several private collections gathered in the usual monthly exhibition aimed to the sale. The selection starts from the masterpiece by Carla Celesia di Vegliasco. Florentine by birth and of Lombard training, Carla Celesia of Vegliasco, the lady of Tuscan symbolism, had created a large living room in her villa in Collesalvetti, one of the most prestigious of the time, in which artists such as Pietro D’Achiardi, the brothers Tommasi and Luigi and Francesco Gioli regularly participated. Trained at Filippo Carcano’s free academy of painting, Carla has shown a great attraction for the symbolist language since the early 1900s, and ended up joining, with her monumental pictorial work in the interiors of Villa Il Poggio, that cult of Primitives that many other artists of Pisa, between the nineteenth ... More

New Director for Scottish goldsmiths
EDINBURGH.- The new Director of one of Scotland’s most ancient organisations has pledged to continue its ground-breaking initiatives to promote ethical gold and silversmithing. Ebba Goring this month took over the role at The Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh from Mary Michel. The Incorporation has been championing jewellers and silversmiths, and protecting consumer rights, since the 15th century. These days it continues to promote silversmithing and jewellery across Scotland as well as trading as the Edinburgh Assay office - where precious metals have been tested and hallmarked since 1457. Under Mary’s leadership the Incorporation became known for its drive to make Scotland a world-leader in ethical gold and silversmithing. She also founded Elements, Scotland’s festival of gold, silver and jewellery, which is run in ... More

Mohawk Arms' Militaria Auction is packed with 1,225 lots spanning multiple conflicts and generations
BOUCKVILLE, NY.- Mohawk Arms, Inc.’s upcoming Militaria Auction #82 on Saturday, December 28th, is packed with 1,225 lots of items spanning multiple conflicts and generations, online and live in the gallery on Route 20 in Bouckville, in upstate New York. The full catalog is online now, at, along with and Swords will be plentiful and will feature a 15th century jousting lance, a 16th century German executioner’s sword, a medieval falchion, a 17th century French small sword, a Napoleonic 1st Empire Court sword with full “bee”, a U.S. Barbary Wars cutlass with patriotic motto, an eagle head sword and an M1850 officer’s sword. Also offered will be a wide array of political and military buttons, belt buckles, uniforms, medals and orders, Third Reich items to include a collection ... More

A poet's response to Carpeaux's "Why Born Enslaved!" | MetCollects



On a day like today, American painter George Rodrigue died
December 14, 2013. George Rodrigue (March 13, 1944 - December 14, 2013) was an American artist originally from New Iberia, Louisiana, who in the late 1960s began painting Louisiana landscapes, followed soon after by outdoor family gatherings and southwest Louisiana 19th-century and early 20th-century genre scenes. His paintings often include moss-clad oak trees, which are common to an area of French Louisiana known as Acadiana. In the mid-1990s Rodrigue's Blue Dog paintings, based on a Cajun legend called loup-garou, catapulted him to worldwide fame.In this image: Wendy and Me.

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