The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Shocking truth behind famous ancient Egyptian mummy's death revealed

The findings finally solve the mystery of the mummy which has intrigued Egyptologists - and the public - since she was first unwrapped in Belfast in 1835. It transforms our understanding of Takabuti’s life in ancient Egypt and her journey into the afterlife.

MANCHESTER.- Takabuti, the famous ancient Egyptian mummy on display at the Ulster Museum, suffered a violent death from a knife attack, a team of experts from National Museums NI, University of Manchester, Queen’s University Belfast and Kingsbridge Private Hospital have revealed. The team, whose findings are made public on the 185 year anniversary of Takabuti’s unwrapping in 1835, also show that her DNA is more genetically similar to Europeans rather than modern Egyptian populations. The team show Takabuti had an extra tooth - 33 instead of 32 - something which only occurs in 0.02% of the population and an extra vertebrae, which only occurs 2% of the population. And Takabuti’s heart, previously thought to have been missing, was identified by the state of the art technology used by the resear ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Up close, there's more to the Ghent Altarpiece than the lamb   The frame as art: Guernsey's to offer Eli Wilner's personal collection   Historians unveil rare photos of Sobibor death camp

Hélčne Dubois, who led the restoration of a panel of the altarpiece, talks to reporters at St. Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium on Jan. 24, 2020. Gael Turine/The New York Times.

by Nina Siegal

GHENT (NYT NEWS SERVICE ).- Hélčne Dubois was frustrated. It was Friday morning, just hours before she was set to reveal the $2.4 million, multiyear restoration she had led on a panel of one of the world’s great artistic treasures: “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb,” also known as the Ghent Altarpiece. But the lamb’s “new” face had already been seen by thousands, online. In the previous 48 hours, a side-by-side of the panel before and after restoration had gone viral on Twitter, with Smithsonian Magazine calling the new lamb “alarmingly humanoid” and users comparing it to pouting fashionista Derek Zoolander. “A lot of misunderstandings have been propagated by absolutely stupid tweets ... More

Eli Wilner Frame, American c. 1810 Style Ex. G. Stuart. Estimate $20,000 - $25,000.

NEW YORK, NY.- In celebration of the 40th year of Eli Wilner & Company, Guernsey's is preparing for a major auction of a magnificent picture frame collection assembled through the decades by Eli Wilner. The four hundred and fifteen lot auction will be conducted on February 19 at the prestigious Pierre Hotel in New York City. The event will serve both as a tutorial on frame styles and a demonstration of the incredible craftsmanship of the Eli Wilner & Company Atelier. Many of the original frames featured in this sale are based on specific antique and historic frames, while others are unique Wilner designs. Wilner frames exhibit meticulous craftsmanship and painstaking detail resulting in unmatched quality. When comparing an 18th, 19th, or 20th century frame with a Wilner frame – the two are virtually indistinguishable. A percentage of the sale proceeds will be donated to ... More

An assistant places books on a table prior to a press conference to unveil newly discovered photos from Sobibor Nazi death camp on January 28, 2020 in Berlin.Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP.

by Yannick Pasquet

BERLIN (AFP).- Hundreds of newly discovered photographs, including some taken at the Sobibor death camp, represent a "quantum leap" in research into Nazi crimes against humanity, historians at the Berlin museum Topography of Terror said Tuesday. Historians said the "exceptional collection" provided unprecedented insights into the Sobibor camp in German Nazi-occupied Poland, about which little is known even 75 years after the end of World War II. The trove, consisting of 361 black-and-white photos and several written documents, also includes photos believed to show convicted Nazi guard John Demjanjuk, who denied ever being at Sobibor. The photos were ... More

Man on trial for 'trying to steal Magna Carta'   Jason Polan, fast-drawing artist of the offbeat, dies at 37   Helen Frankenthaler Foundation awards $2.5 million to endow art history doctoral programs at five universities

Four original copies from 1215 remain in existence: two in the British Library in London, one at Salisbury Cathedral, and one at Lincoln Cathedral, in eastern England.

LONDON (AFP).- A man appeared in an English court on Monday charged with attempting to steal a priceless original 1215 version of the Magna Carta. Mark Royden, 47, is accused of trying to smash the protective glass case with a hammer in a bid to steal the document from Salisbury Cathedral in southwest England. Royden claimed his actions on October 25, 2018 were apparently motivated by doubts about the manuscript's authenticity, Salisbury Crown Court was told. The charter has defined rights and liberties around the world. Four original copies from 1215 remain in existence: two in the British Library in London, one at Salisbury Cathedral, and one at Lincoln Cathedral, in eastern England. Royden "set out on that day to steal the Magna Carta from Salisbury Cathedral and his attempt failed and it failed for two reasons," prosecutor Rob Welling told the court. "The first is the safety glass protecting ... More

Man on 6 Train, December 8, 2019.

by Neil Genzlinger

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE ).- Jason Polan, an incessant sketcher whose eclectic drawings and art projects — one was called “The Every Piece of Art in the Museum of Modern Art Book” — made him one of the quirkiest and most prolific denizens of the New York art scene, died on Monday in New York. He was 37. His family said the cause was cancer. Polan’s signature project for the last decade or so was “Every Person in New York,” in which he set himself the admittedly impossible task of drawing everyone in New York City. He kept a robust blog of those sketches, and by the time he published a book of that title in 2015 — which he envisioned as Vol. 1 — he had drawn more than 30,000 people. These were not sit-for-a-portrait-style drawings. They were quick sketches of people who often didn’t know they were being sketched, done on the fly, with delightfully unfinished results, as Polan wrote in the book’s introduction. “If they are moving ... More

Vessel, 1961. Oil on unsized, unprimed canvas 100 x 94 in. (254 x 238.8 cm). Presented by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation (Tate Americas Foundation) 2019. © 2019 Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Jordan Tinker, courtesy Helen Frankenthaler Foundation.

NEW YORK, NY.- Helen Frankenthaler Foundation announced the selection of five new institutional partners for Frankenthaler Scholarships, a multi-year initiative that has dedicated more than $4 million to art and art history graduate programs around the country. For the program’s next phase, the Foundation is awarding $500,000 to five different universities—The Graduate Center, CUNY; Harvard University; Institute of Fine Arts at New York University; Stanford University; and University of Chicago—to support the creation of named endowments that will offer one or more annual fellowships for doctoral students studying art history. These endowment gifts build on the inaugural round of Frankenthaler Scholarships, which support MFA programs in painting. In addition to expanding its Frankenthaler Scholarships, the ... More

The survivor of Auschwitz who painted a forgotten genocide   Bob Shane, last of the original Kingston Trio, dies at 85   Why fashion's fairy grandmother Agnes b. is a true believer

Ceija Stojka, Untitled, 2006. Acrylic on cardboard, 70 x 100 cm. Galerie Kai Dikhas, Berlin.

MADRID (NYT NEWS SERVICE ).- At first the soldiers of the Red Army found almost nothing when they reached the camp in the southwest of occupied Poland that January. The retreating Nazis had blown up its crematories and dismantled its gas chambers; the prisoners had been marched west, in the freezing cold. Only later, as the Soviets liberated Auschwitz 75 years ago Monday, did they discover the last, straggling survivors, too ill or young to leave the inferno where at least 1.1 million people were murdered, 90% of them Jews. Immediately after the war, writers and philosophers maintained that the death camps defied representation; no art could ever do justice to their horrors, and even the concept of poetry after Auschwitz, in Theodor W. Adorno’s notorious phrase, had become “barbaric.” Yet survivors themselves, as early as Primo Levi’s 1947 memoir, “If This Is a Man,” have forced themselves to make sense of the horrors they endured in art — and as Auschwitz ... More

Shane, whose whiskey baritone was the group’s most identifiable voice on hits like “Tom Dooley” and “Scotch and Soda,” sang lead on more than 80% of Kingston Trio songs.

by Peter Applebome

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE ).- Bob Shane, the last surviving original member of the Kingston Trio, whose smooth close harmonies helped transform folk music from a dusty niche genre into a dominant brand of pop music in the 1950s and ’60s, died on Sunday in Phoenix. He was 85. Craig Hankenson, his longtime agent, confirmed the death, in a hospice facility. Shane, whose whiskey baritone was the group’s most identifiable voice on hits like “Tom Dooley” and “Scotch and Soda,” sang lead on more than 80% of Kingston Trio songs. He didn’t just outlast the other original members: Dave Guard, who died in 1991, and Nick Reynolds, who died in 2008; he also eventually took ownership of the group’s name and devoted his life to various incarnations of the trio, from its founding in 1957 ... More

French fashion designer Agnes Trouble known for her fashion brand "Agnes B." poses during a photo session at the Fab in Paris on January 27, 2020. JOEL SAGET / AFP.

by Jean-Louis De La Vaissiere

PARIS (AFP).- French designer Agnes b. really doesn't like the fashion world of which she is one of the great survivors. "I don't like fashion. I have nothing to do with that world where everyone is in a bubble," said the veteran creator, a lifelong activist for progressive causes. "Some people like to go out and be seen," said the 78-year-old who dressed her friend David Bowie for decades and who made the famous black jacket with the leather collar that John Travolta wore in the movie "Pulp Fiction". Like her, Bowie would run a mile from the "celebrity scene", she told AFP. Both, however, shared a passion for all kinds of modern art. And now Agnes b. -- whose real name is Agnes Trouble -- is opening her own gallery in an up-and-coming corner of the French capital. Fab will not ... More

Newly discovered portrait of pioneering British female artist Isobel Codrington to be offered at auction   Exhibition of new paintings by Olivier Mosset opens at Gagosian   Norton Simon Museum appoints Emily Talbot to Chief Curator

The portrait was painted by one of the greatest society portraitist of the age, Philip de László.

EDINBURGH.- A previously unknown portrait of the pioneering British female artist Isobel Codrington will be offered by fine art auctioneers Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh on 5th February. The portrait was painted by one of the greatest society portraitist of the age, Philip de László. Codrington, a pupil of George Clausen, was one of a number of women artists commissioned by the Imperial War Museum to record the First World War. She was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy and the Paris Salon, and held solo shows in both Paris and London. The newly discovered portrait recalls a line from the poem Ezra Pound wrote for Codrington, "such pools as are your dearest eyes”. Like many early British female artists, however, Codrington's career has since been overshadowed by her male contemporaries. The De László portrait has never been published, and has remained ... More

Olivier Mosset, Untitled, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 96 x 48 inches, 243.8 x 121.9 cm © Olivier Mosset. Photo: Robert McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian.

GENEVA.- Gagosian is presenting new paintings by Olivier Mosset. This is his first solo exhibition with the gallery, and the first time his work has been shown in Geneva since 2007. Over the past half century, Mosset has honed a visual language that channels Minimalist and Abstract Expressionist strategies while pursuing an irreverent, self-referential agenda. Often repeating motifs and colors across multiple large canvases, he consciously suppresses subjectivity, symbolism, and metaphor in an abstract practice that acknowledges but rejects the dialectical narrative of painting. In the 1960s, Mosset—along with Daniel Buren, Michel Parmentier, and Niele Toroni—cofounded the Paris-based Minimalist collective BMPT as a response to the modernist ideal of “pure painting.” Seeking to distance the act of artistic creation ... More

Emily Talbot, photo by Ramona Trent.

PASADENA, CA.- The Norton Simon Museum has appointed Emily M. Talbot as its new Chief Curator, responsible for the care, interpretation and display of the Norton Simon art collections. Dr. Talbot joined the Museum’s curatorial department in 2017 as a specialist of 19th- and 20th-century European art, and has served as Acting Chief Curator since February 2019. Her promotion to Chief Curator became effective on January 1, 2020. “Emily’s professional and academic background make her a perfect fit for the Norton Simon Museum. A specialist in French Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, a particular interest of Mr. Simon and a highlight of his collections, she has organized excellent exhibitions and programs at the Museum, including Taking Shape: Degas as Sculptor and By Day & by Night: Paris in the Belle Époque,” says Museum President Walter Timoshuk. “As Acting Chief Curator ... More

The artistic temperament is a disease which afflicts amateurs. G. K. Chesterton

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Tower Bridge launches new film and exhibition to sing in celebration for 125th Anniversary
LONDON.- Tower Bridge is set to launch its latest art commission with internationally acclaimed artist, inventor and filmmaker Di Mainstone, who has written and directed a film to celebrate the iconic Bridge’s 125th anniversary. In her film, entitled ‘Time Bascule’, Tower Bridge has been reimagined as a giant musical instrument, drawing inspiration from one of the first women to work on the Bridge - Hannah Griggs, who cooked for the Bridge Master and his family between 1911-1915. In Time Bascule Hannah plays the role of musical maestro to pluck the strings and ‘play’ the iconic London location. Mixing the real with the imagined, the film explores Hannah’s life in the famous towers via a specially composed musical narrative that weaves through one of the remarkable personal histories from 125 years of the Bridge. Focusing on her love of plants, the dreamlike ... More

Latifa Echakhch selected for Swiss Pavilion at Biennale Arte 2021
ZURICH.- On jury recommendation, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia has chosen to entrust the Swiss Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennal di Venezia to the artist Latifa Echakhch. Living in Fully (Switzerland) with a French-Moroccan background, she has gained considerable international renown over many years in the contemporary art world. The Biennale jury set up by Pro Helvetia and presided by Laurence Bonvin invited six artists to present a project for the exhibition at the Swiss Pavilion in 2021. The outcome was a unanimous recommendation by the jury members in favour of Latifa Echakhch, a recommendation that Pro Helvetia duly accepted. The artist herself has asked curator Francesco Stocchi and percussionist Alexandre Babel to join her for the realisation of the exhibition. Together they intend ... More

French South African auction partnership offers powerful African art sale on Valentine's Day
CAPE TOWN.- French flair and passion from Piasa combined with South African energy and local knowledge from Aspire promises to deliver an auction sale of Modern & Contemporary African Art to remember on February 14th at 3pm in Cape Town. This collaboration is unprecedented and represents the first time an African and European auction house have partnered to present a sale of African art, in Africa, for a global audience. The landmark auction: Modern and Contemporary African Art takes place on Friday, 14 February at OroAfrica House in Cape Town. The curated collection comprises 198 lots, featuring 139 artists representing 27 countries from Africa and the diaspora. While presenting a broader pan-African offering, it spotlights key collecting segments from 20th Century modernism to contemporary production and photography. ... More

Survey exhibition showcases works by the late painter, curator, and professor Sandra Jorgensen
ELMHURST, ILL.- Elmhurst Art Museum is presenting Sandra Jorgensen, a broad survey exhibition showcasing the works of the late artist-curator who was the driving force behind the internationally known Elmhurst College Chicago Imagist collection and helped found the Elmhurst Art Museum. Her works, however, have often been overlooked. The exhibition, on view January 25 – April 12, 2020, is dedicated to Jorgensen’s artistic accomplishments—as a painter, photographer, and her role as a major caretaker of Chicago’s cultural history. Jorgensen (1934 - 1999) held positions as professor and chair at Elmhurst College, and curator of the Elmhurst College Art Collection, for many years. An accomplished painter, she worked in oil and specialized in contemporary American landscapes and still life compositions. In addition to her paintings, the ... More

Koppel, Laffi drive Heritage Auctions Silver to more than $1.77 million in 2019 sales
DALLAS, TX.- A Henning Koppel Silver Fish Dish and Cover sold for $87,500, claiming top-lot honors for the year and leading Heritage Auctions’ Silver Department to $1,771,421 in total sales in 2019. “This has been an exciting year, with strong interest spanning the best of well-known designs by Henning Koppel for Georg Jensen to the little-known works by the Peruvian-Italian silversmith, Graziella Laffi,” Heritage Auctions Silver and Decorative Arts Director Karen Rigdon said. “Strong bidding has been seen across categories from Early American Silver to Contemporary Design. We continue to seek the best and rarest works to feed the interests of our growing clientele.” Heritage Auctions’ Nov. 7 Fine Silver & Decorative Arts Auction amassed $978,864 in total sales, and the April 24 Fine Silver & Objects of Vertu Auction brought in $697,955. ... More

The Baltimore Museum of Art opens a solo exhibition of works by Ellen Lesperance
BALTIMORE, MD.- The Baltimore Museum of Art presents Ellen Lesperance: Velvet Fist, a solo exhibition of works by the Portland, Oregon-based artist known for paintings inspired by the attire of women activists, warriors, and cultural figures. On view January 26–June 28, 2020, the exhibition features seven works from Lesperance’s ongoing Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp series, as well as a new artist book of archival sources. Also featured is Lesperance’s participatory project, Congratulations and Celebrations, through which members of the public can borrow a hand-knit sweater depicting a labrys battle axe to perform a personal act of courage. These acts—big and small, public and private—will be documented on Instagram, with some becoming part of the exhibition. “Ellen Lesperance’s vivid and masterfully rendered works have ... More

Shotgun Wyatt Earp used to avenge brother's death offered at Heritage Auctions
DALLAS, TX.- The gun Wyatt Earp used to kill “Curly Bill” Brocius could bring $100,000 or more in Heritage Auctions’ Americana & Political Auction Feb. 22-23 in Dallas, Texas. The Wyatt Earp: An Amazingly Documented 10-Gauge Shotgun Used by Him to Kill "Curly Bill" Brocius is a museum-quality piece, arguably the most important Earp gun in existence. Earp was a lawman and gambler in the Arizona Territory in the late 1800s and early 1900s whose résumé includes stints as a professional gambler, teamster and buffalo hunter, and perhaps most famously, taking part in the infamous shootout at the O.K. Corral in 1881. Brocius was a notorious gunman, rustler and outlaw credited with a litany of crimes, including cattle rustling, stagecoach robberies and killings, and had a history of run-ins with members of the Earp family. “Wyatt Earp’s brother, ... More

There are glowing seesaws in Midtown, and New Yorkers are losing it
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE ).- On a recent Friday evening, huddles of adults were exuberantly reliving childhood, yelping and hollering with joy on one of the busiest streets in Manhattan. The reason: a dozen illuminated seesaws in the middle of Broadway, between 37th and 38th streets. The set of playground-inspired contraptions, known as Impulse, is the latest installation in the Garment District Alliance’s yearlong public art program. The seesaws arrived Jan. 6 and will stay until Saturday. “I’ve heard screaming in midtown Manhattan before, and it’s never been a good thing,” said Barbara Blair, president of the Garment District Alliance. “But Impulse has people laughing and screaming and really enjoying themselves.” Ranging in length from 16 to 24 feet, each of the seesaws glow from LED augmentation and emit musical sequences as riders ... More

Exhibition features hanging sculptures from Carolina Caycedo's Be Dammed series
BOSTON, MASS.- The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston presents a solo exhibition of Los Angeles-based artist Carolina Caycedo (b. 1978 in London, UK). Through a variety of mediums including sculpture, performance, drawing, and video, Caycedo’s artwork investigates vital questions related to asymmetrical power relations, dispossession, extraction of resources, and environmental justice. The ICA is presenting the culmination of Caycedo's Cosmotarrayas, a series of hanging sculptures assembled with handmade fishing nets and other objects collected during field research in different riverine communities affected by the privatization of waterways. On view January 20 through July 5, 2020, Carolina Caycedo is organized by Jeffrey De Blois, Assistant Curator and Publications Manager. The Cosmotarrayas are part of an ongoing ... More

arebyte Gallery exhibits a new body of work by UK based artist Helen Knowles
LONDON.- arebyte Gallery are presenting Trickle Down, A New Vertical Sovereignty, a new body of work by UK based artist Helen Knowles. Trickle Down, A New Vertical Sovereignty is a tokenised four-screen video installation and generative soundscape attached to the blockchain, which explores value systems and wealth disparity. The artwork is composed of auction scenes, performances and choral interludes by different communities such as prisoners, blockchain technology employees, market sellers, and Sotheby’s auction bidders. Trickle Down, A New Vertical Sovereignty draws on technological and financial power structures which traditionally scaffold the disparity between a wealthy elite and everyday working people but looks to re-imagine our vertically stacked digital ecosystem to horizontally distribute wealth. The installation commences ... More

Edward Hopper House Museum & Study Center announces two new hires
NYACK, NY.- Kristin Roeder has been appointed as the Edward Hopper House Museum & Study Center’s Program Manager, overseeing the Nighthawks mentorship program for high school students and educational programming. A practicing artist herself with sculptures and assemblages appearing across the country at Westbeth Gallery, Root Division, and Kincaiya, Ms. Roeder has over fifteen years of experience facilitating, developing, and managing museum education programs for such institutions as The Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the New York Botanical Garden. Her emphasis is on designing and delivering inclusive museum programs for school groups, teens, and families, as well as workshops for educators who are curious about how to integrate art into their classrooms. At the Whitney and MoMA, ... More

Camille Walala installation teases new LEGO arts and crafts building concept
LONDON.- Artist Camille Walala unveiled her most interactive work to date at Coal Drops Yard in London’s Kings Cross to introduce the entirely new 2D tile play concept from the LEGO Group - LEGO® DOTS. To tease the new product, Walala was invited to bring LEGO DOTS to life in a free public art installation that celebrates their shared values of creativity, self-expression and accessibility, expressed through the vibrant colours and bold geometric patterns of both the new product and her own signature work. The result is HOUSE OF DOTS: a fantastical house comprising five rooms spread over eight shipping containers, in which everything from the walls and floors to the rugs, frames and furniture has been customised in a mashup of LEGO DOTS and Walala’s distinctive patterns and colours. Playful and immersive, HOUSE OF DOTS ... More

Christie's 100 │ Online Only: Christie's presents its most accessible auction to date
NEW YORK, NY.- On January 28, Christie’s will launch its most accessible sale yet. Christie’s 100 is an online-only sale encompassing nearly 100 lots, many with starting bids of $100. Assembled by the New York Post-War and Contemporary Art department, the sale includes works by both emerging and established artists assembled to appeal to a wide range of collectors. Leading the sale are collectible works by Yayoi Kusama, KAWS and Robert Indiana, offered alongside eye-catching photographs by Ryan McGinley and Vera Lutter, as well as charming works on paper by Yves Tinguely, Barnaby Furnas and Richard Pettibone. Bidding will be open from January 28 - February 5. Noah Davis, Specialist, Post-War and Contemporary Art, remarked: “It’s been a goal to introduce a venue like Christie’s 100 ever since I started putting together ... More

The Rediscovery of Gaston Lévy's Collection



On a day like today, American painter Barnett Newman was born
January 29, 1905. Barnett Newman (January 29, 1905 - July 4, 1970) was an American artist. He is seen as one of the major figures in abstract expressionism and one of the foremost of the color field painters. His paintings are existential in tone and content, explicitly composed with the intention of communicating a sense of locality, presence, and contingency. In this image: Barnett Newman, Thirteenth Station, 1965/1966. Acrylic on canvas, 198.2 x 152.5 cm (78 1/16 x 60 1/16 in.). Collection of Robert and Jane Meyerhoff.

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