The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Friday, January 19, 2018

Arrested former CIA agent was security guard at Christie's in Hong Kong

This picture taken on October 13, 2017, shows a man (R, wearing blue tie) identified by local Hong Kong media as former CIA agent Jerry Chun Shing Lee standing in front of a member of security at the unveiling of Leonardo da Vinci's 'Salvator Mundi' painting at the Christie's showroom in Hong Kong. The former CIA agent arrested in the United States earlier this week on suspicion of helping Chinese spies was a security guard at Christie's in Hong Kong, the auction house said January 18. Hong Kong resident Jerry Chun Shing Lee, a naturalised US citizen also known as Zhen Cheng Li, was arrested late Monday after he arrived at JFK International Airport in New York. Anthony WALLACE / AFP.

HONG KONG (AFP).- The former CIA agent arrested in the United States earlier this week on suspicion of helping Chinese spies was a security guard at Christie's in Hong Kong, the auction house said Thursday. Hong Kong resident Jerry Chun Shing Lee, a naturalised US citizen also known as Zhen Cheng Li, was arrested late Monday after he arrived at JFK International Airport in New York. His arrest was reportedly linked to Beijing's brutal dismantling five years ago of the CIA's network of undercover operatives and informants inside China. When asked whether Lee, 53, had worked at Christie's, the auction house said they had suspended a Hong Kong employee pending a criminal investigation, without naming him. ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Columbus State University College of the Arts' Bo Bartlett Center opens   Joan B Mirviss Ltd. announces highlights being shown at the 64th Winter Antiques Show   Gagosian opens an exhibition of nine monumental works by Tom Wesselmann

Installation view.

COLUMBUS, GA.- The Bo Bartlett Center, an ambitious project fifteen years in the making, opened today at CSU’s Corn Center. Designed by Seattle-based architect Tom Kundig of Olson-Kundig, the 18,500 square foot facility will serve as a center for art and creativity that is at once a national arts institution and a community-based service organization, as well as exhibition space for both regional and national artists. In addition to featuring a retrospective of Columbus native and celebrated American Realist painter Bo Bartlett’s large scale works, some of them never-before-exhibited, an ancillary group show opened titled Peers & Influences in the Center’s Visiting Artist’s Gallery that is adjacent to the Main Gallery. Bartlett, who is recognized as one of the leading figurative painters of his generation, reflects in his work his upbringing in a small, southern town where ... More

Tokuda Yasokichi III (1933-2009), Round platter with dark blue, emerald green, turquoise and yellow Kutani glazes, 1991 (Heisei 3) December. Glazed porcelain, 3 x 17 7/8 x 17 7/8 in.

NEW YORK, NY.- For her 37th year participating at the prestigious 64th Winter Antiques Show Joan B Mirviss is featuring a carefully selected group of significant Japanese ceramics work, both modern and contemporary that best exemplify the Japanese dual focus on function vs sculpture. Combining Japan’s profound ceramic history with refined aesthetic design, the artists in this exhibition are visionaries who successfully transformed time-honored artistic traditions into widely acclaimed and collected art. Examining the often-fine line between these two general categories of ceramic production, this exhibition offers a diversity of material by post-war artists through the present day. Many of the works, while nominally utilitarian, stand as highly ... More

Tom Wesselmann, Still Life #59, 1972. Oil on shaped canvases, acrylic paint on carpet (five separate sections plus carpet, four free-standing), 105 1/4 x 190 3/4 x 83 inches © The Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York. Courtesy Gagosian.

NEW YORK, NY.- Gagosian is presenting “Tom Wesselmann: Standing Still Lifes,” an exhibition of nine monumental works made between 1967 and 1981. This is the first time that the complete series is being shown together. Each large-scale work comprises multiple canvases, both hanging and standing, shaped according to the outline of the commonplace objects that they depict. Wesselmann’s spatial and pictorial innovation in the Standing Still Life paintings have precedents in his early work. His drawings of his wife and lifelong muse, Claire Selley—beginning in the 1950s when they met as students at Cooper Union—often ... More

The Courtauld Gallery opens first exhibition dedicated to the drawings of Antoine Caron   Meadows Museum acquires last painting by Mariano Fortuny   Experts give one in the eye to Bayeux Tapestry loan offer

Antoine Caron (1521 - 1599), Portraits of Henri II and Catherine de Medici, 1560 -1574, Louvre Paris.

LONDON.- This focused international loan exhibition, the first dedicated to the drawings of Antoine Caron (1521-1599), brings together a celebrated group of drawings executed for his patron Catherine de’ Medici queen of France (1519-1589). Centred around the Valois series, a set of drawings of courtly pageantry here reunited for the first time, the display showcases the way in which the powerful and influential Catherine promoted herself and her dynasty through a series of lavish courtly events. Though not a court artist, Caron worked at the court of the Valois family, first at the Château de Fontainebleau, and then at the Château d’Anet where Henri II’s mistress Diane de Poitiers lived. He also contributed to the designs of the ephemeral decorations for the ceremonial entry into Paris of the young King Charles IX in 1571, and two years later to the celebrations of the election of his brother Henri to the kingdom of Poland and Lithuania. In 1581, Caron was the official painter f ... More

Mariano Fortuny y Marsal (Spanish, 1838–1874), Beach at Portici, 1874 (detail). Oil on canvas, 27 x 51 ¼ in. (68.6 x 130.2 cm). Meadows Museum, SMU, Dallas. Photo by Robert LaPrelle.

DALLAS, TX.- The Meadows Museum, SMU, announced today that it has acquired Beach at Portici, the last painting of famed Spanish artist Mariano Fortuny y Marsal (1838-1874). The nearly finished painting—which is unusual for its large scale, relative to much of the artist’s work—depicts the enjoyment of a summer day at the beach, and demonstrates Fortuny’s hallmark ability to capture light in paint. Fortuny was an especially popular artist with 19th-century American collectors and audiences, as the particularly American provenance of this work reveals. Reflecting the high esteem in which Fortuny’s works were held, Beach at Portici was featured prominently in the American Pavilion’s “Loan Collection of Foreign Masterpieces Owned in the United States” at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Considered one of the most important international exhibitions of the ... More

Photo taken on October 2, 1990 in Bayeux shows a book written by Sylvette Lemagnen, curator at the Normandy museum, representing a scene of the Bayeux tapestry and a manuscript dated of 1476 describing the tapestry's scenes. Mychele DANIAU / AFP.

PARIS.- The Bayeux Tapestry will not be lent to Britain until major conservation problems are overcome, French experts said Thursday as they voiced their opposition to the historic treasure ever crossing the English Channel. While French President Emmanuel Macron was basking in the afterglow of British praise for his diplomatic masterstroke made on the eve of an Anglo-French summit near London, reactions back home were less enthusiastic to say the least. The former director of the museum in the Normandy town which houses the 68 metre-long (224 foot) embroidered account of the Norman conquest of England in 1066, hit out at the decision. Isabelle Attard said moving such a "fragile, near-1,000-year-old roll of wool and linen" even a few metres was risky, never mind transporting it overseas. "A ... More

Friedman Benda opens a survey of seminal architect-designed furniture   Costa Rica 'more complete' after recovering 200 artifacts from Venezuela   New York debut of Belgian artist Kasper Bosmans on view at Gladstone Gallery

Frank Lloyd Wright [American, 1867 -1959], Lounge chair from the Clarence Sondern House, Kansas City, MO, c. 1938. Cypress plywood, upholstery, 28 x 22 x 23 inches.

NEW YORK, NY.- Friedman Benda presents its annual guest-curated exhibition Inside the Walls: Architects Design, a survey of seminal architect-designed furniture curated by Mark McDonald. With representations spanning over a century, the exhibition will present a broad range of pivotal architects from the US, Latin America, Europe, and Asia—such as Luis Barragán, Lina Bo Bardi, Marcel Breuer, Charles and Ray Eames, Frank Gehry, Philip Johnson, Oscar Niemeyer, Charlotte Perriand, Warren Platner, Gio Ponti, Ettore Sottsass, Kenzō Tange, and Mies van der Rohe—with a focus on three groundbreaking figures—Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, Rudolph Schindler, and Frank Lloyd Wright, whose global reach continues today. Drawing on archival photographs of interiors and historical ephemera, this exhibition charts revolutionary developments in architecture and design across the 20th century. Testaments to the innovative use of new technologies b ... More

View of pre-Columbian pieces -which had been taken out of the country illegaly to Venezuela- and were now returned by the Venezuelan government, at the National Museum in San Jose, Costa Rica, on January 17, 2018. Ezequiel BECERRA / AFP.

SAN JOSE (AFP).- Costa Rica said it is "more complete" after recovering nearly 200 pre-Columbian artifacts from Venezuela, where they had been amassed by a wealthy Estonian art collector. The handover of the 196 stone and ceramic figurines to the National Museum in Costa Rica on Wednesday marked the biggest-ever return of archeological items to the Central American country. The figurines included representations of warriors and animals, as well as hand-crafted spheres and grinding stones made by indigenous people who had lived in different parts of Costa Rica for thousands of years before Christopher Columbus arrived in 1502. The head of the museum's heritage protection department, Marlin Calvo, told a news conference that the artifacts had been taken out of the country via "illicit trafficking." They ended up in the possession of Harry Mannil, an Estonian businessman who settled for most ... More

Kasper Bosmans, Log Drive, 2018. Aluminum, apples, and water, 6 5/8 x 90 1/8 x 5 7/8 inches (16.8 x 228.9 x 14.9 cm) © Kasper Bosmans. Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels. Photo: David Regen.

NEW YORK, NY.- Gladstone Gallery is presenting the New York debut of Belgian artist Kasper Bosmans. Rooted in historical research, Bosmans disentangles the intersection of signs that create cultural meaning in both micro and macro registers. His interdisciplinary works include institutional intervention, installation, sculpture, and painting that parse and restructure the objects and symbols from varied political, artistic, and social orders. For this exhibition, entitled Chip Log, Bosmans investigates diverse cultural relics—taken from the realms of government, folk art, and technology—in order to establish new modes of reading the history of power and knowledge that linger in spaces between concept and material. Bosmans constructs his installation in rebus-like chapters evoking political artifacts and labor practices reified into material gestures: the famed Amber Room of Friedrich I and Star Chamber of ... More

Dix Noonan Webb builds for the future after a bumper year in the saleroom   18th-century slipware ceramics found during archaeological excavation exhibited for the first time   Waverly Rare Books to auction rare botanical & zoological prints on Jan. 25

Pierce Noonan (centre) becomes Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Dix Noonan Webb.

LONDON.- Dix Noonan Webb, the international coins, medals and jewellery specialists, is changing its management structure to build for the future after a successful 2017 which saw it become the top selling London numismatic auction house. Pierce Noonan, who at 46 is the youngest partner, becomes Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, while company founder Nimrod Dix is now Executive Chairman. A new senior management team of eight Associate Directors has been appointed to reinforce Mayfair-based DNW’s recent growth. “Now is the right time to put in place a management structure that will ensure the continuing growth of the company for many years to come,” says Nimrod Dix. “I am incredibly proud that the business that I set up in 1991 as a small independent partnership with the idea of taking on the established auction houses has achieved such success. With ... More

Slipware. Courtesy of Robert Hunter.

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- A remarkable assemblage of 18th-century slipware ceramics uncovered during an archaeological excavation in Philadelphia has been revealed to the public for the first time. Nearly a dozen pieces of slipware, a form of decorative lead-glazed pottery, are on view at the 2018 New York Ceramics and Glass Fair from Thursday, Jan. 18 – Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018, at Bohemian National Hall in Manhattan. The display is called “Buried Treasure: New Discoveries in Philadelphia Slipware from the Collection of the Museum of the American Revolution.” It is sponsored by Ceramics in America, which is published by the Chipstone Foundation of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the Museum of the American Revolution. After the exhibit, the items will be returned to the Museum for future display. The slipware was uncovered during excavations on the site of the new Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, during which archaeologists from Co ... More

John Gould (British, 1804-1881), Henry C. Richter (British, 1821-1902), and William Hart (1830-1908), one of a group of 10 hand-colored lithographs from The Birds of Great Britain, London, 1862-73, 14.5 x 21.5in. Est. $800-$1,000.

FALLS CHURCH, VA.- On Thursday, January 25, the Waverly Rare Books & Prints division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries will present the first on two sales devoted to prints reflecting the natural world in its many forms, with Part II to follow in May. The January sale selection consists of the best of several small private collections, including that of Virginian Jim Willis. The Willis collection contains highly significant antique prints of a remarkable and sweeping range. Many are beautifully framed. Animals, birds, botanicals, fish, amphibians and reptiles of all kinds are richly represented in the 375-lot sale, with all forms of bidding available including live online through LiveAuctioneers. In total, there are more than 2,700 auction items grouped into logical affinity lots. More than 60 plates from Alessandri and ... More

Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere. Gilbert K. Chesterton

More News
Beside the seaside: Work by Dame Laura Knight offered at Bonhams 19th Century sale
LONDON.- Dame Laura Knight’s A Seaside Holiday is being offered for the first time at auction at Bonhams 19th Century European, Victorian and British Impressionist Art on 14 March 2018 at the New Bond Street saleroom. The work is estimated at £100,000-150,000. Dame Laura Knight (1877-1970) is widely considered one of the foremost British artists of the 20th Century. In 1936, she was the first woman accepted to the Royal Academy, a significant feat from its founding in 1768. Indeed, Laura Knight paved the way for women artists by depicting alternative subjects such as circus performers – an unusual subject for a female artist at the time. Her travels along the British South Coast with the Great Carmo Circus in 1929 highlight an audacious character alongside equally compelling works. A Seaside Holiday was painted in 1931 and depicts the de Peyer ... More

The relationship between language and the living world is celebrated in exhibition at the Foundling Museum
LONDON.- The Lost Words is a unique collaborative project between the award-winning author Robert Macfarlane, and acclaimed artist and author Jackie Morris, that seeks to reconnect people with the natural world. Originated by Compton Verney, the exhibition presents a new series of poems and accompanying illustrations that conjure the beauty of nature, for visitors young and old. The Lost Words is a response to Macfarlane and Morris’s belief that nature is in retreat from our children’s stories and imaginations. In 2002 the results of a Cambridge University survey, published in Science, found that British schoolchildren were able to identify Pokémon far more accurately than species of common UK wildlife. In a 2008 National Trust survey, only a third of primary age children could identify a magpie, though nine out of ten could name a Dalek. A later Wildlife Trust survey ... More

Furniture to collect and art to inspire: Michaan's February Gallery Auction
ALAMEDA, CA.- Early American furniture and glamorous 20th century portraiture are among the highlights of Michaan’s Gallery Auction on February 10. One of few remaining recurrent live auction events in the Bay Area, the Gallery Auction offers buyers a traditional hands-on experience while also reaching a global base online. February’s sale offers diverse estate property of fine quality and excellent provenance. Bidders are invited to visit the gallery in Alameda, CA on preview days and to view the catalog at Fine design and craftsmanship were highly valued in Colonial and early Federal America. The burgeoning merchant and professional classes appointed their fashionable homes with furnishings that reflected their discerning tastes and high standards. Furniture from this period has long been ... More

'Lake of buried corpses': Chinese metal band digs out ancient poetry
BEIJING (AFP).- Screaming Chinese-poetry inspired lyrics like a demon bursting from the depths of hell, the black-clad singer raises a white chalice above his bamboo hat as fog enveloped the stage. Powered by cacophonous guitars and drums, the black metal band Zuriaake dips into the tenebrous depths of ancient Chinese culture to produce a unique blend of east and west. Though the breed of occult darkness their music celebrates is unwelcome by authorities, the group is enjoying a new surge of popularity among mainland listeners seeking music that reflects their growing national pride. "Out in the land of bones, the hellfire lingers with shimmering luminance," the singer known as "Bloodfire" howls at a crowd of hundreds in Beijing, silhouetted against a projected backdrop of an eerie black-and-white forest. His shrieking lyrics are written in a dense style of ancient ... More

Galerie Guido W. Baudach opens a solo exhibition of works by Thomas Helbig
BERLIN.- Galerie Guido W. Baudach presents Ritratti di donne, the ninth solo exhibition of Thomas Helbig with the gallery. For the artist, the challenge of portraiture is to transcend illustration while respecting likeness to a degree sufficient to justify calling a work a portrait. This entails an irony: although it was perhaps inevitable that, historically, the inherent nature of photography should have it assume much of the burden of likeness, would-be painters of portraits now find themselves suspended between photography’s two poles of indexicality and iconicity. Helbig’s portraits are neither indexical nor iconical. Instead they impute to their subjects a sense of perception co-equal with that of the receiver, as though the eyes in the portraits were to become the receiver regarding the human object before them. The most basic implication of this condition is that of an implicit reversal of subject and object so as to re ... More

Exhibition presents the work of three artists who trace their family stories to histories of political turmoil
CHICAGO, IL.- Traversing the Past: Adam Golfer, Diana Matar, Hrvoje Slovenc at the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago presents the work of three artists, all of whom trace their family stories to histories of political turmoil, violence, and displacement. In using personal experiences as starting points, the artists transform the autobiographical into a multivalent lens through which to view complex political narratives. Adam Golfer, Diana Matar, and Hrvoje Slovenc use family stories originating during World War II, the Qaddafi regime in Libya, and the Croatian War of Independence, respectively, as a starting point for examining how traces of the past confound and obscure the present. Adam Golfer, recipient of the MoCP’s 2016 Snider Prize, explores the overlapping histories of violence and displacement connecting Europe, Israel, and ... More

Heritage Florida and New York Numismatic Auctions exceed $71.9 million
DALLAS, TX.- Heritage Auctions announced Wednesday it sold more than $71,928,037 million of U.S. Coins, U.S. and World Currency, and World & Ancient Coins during the first three weeks of 2018. This marks the third consecutive year January sales increased at auctions held during the Florida United Numismatic Convention (FUN) and the New York International Numismatic Convention (NYINC). "Collectors were greeted by exceptional rarities this season," said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. "We are grateful clients entrust us with their collections and we take great pride in maintaining our place as the world's No. 1 numismatic auction house." U.S. coin sales totaled $40,940,868 million at the firm's FUN auction. The top lot was one of the great rarities in American gold coinage: a stunning, 1880 Flowing Hair Stella, PR67 Cameo, which sold ... More

Petzel Gallery opens exhibition of works by Heimo Zobernig
NEW YORK, NY.- At Petzel Gallery's Chelsea location, chess painting—the artist’s fourth solo show at the gallery—recasts Zobernig’s 2017 show at the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA. Making use of the gallery’s architecture, Zobernig allows viewers to confront the constructed, at times theatrical, experience of visiting an art exhibition. Zobernig creates a discrete installation that includes a series of eight white large-scale, primed, monochrome canvases, hung in scacchic configuration atop rolls of black photography paper. Repurposed mobile podiums with cozy, black-and-white checkered faux-fur blankets on top, offer platforms like daybeds, which invite the visitors to stay within the gallery rooms. Taking in the light and architecture of the space, they become part in the figure-ground-relationship of the spatial configuration. Heimo Zobernig ... More

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), North Miami welcomes Chana Budgazad Sheldon as new Director
NORTH MIAMI, FLA.- The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), North Miami has tapped Chana Budgazad Sheldon to be its new executive director starting Jan. 17. Sheldon will lead the museum going forward as it continues to make contemporary art accessible to diverse audiences. Sheldon comes to MOCA in North Miami with 17 years’ experience in the contemporary art field. She has directed both commercial and nonprofit exhibition spaces, and most recently served as the Miami director and national program advisor for ProjectArt, a nonprofit organization that provides free after-school art classes to underserved youth in public libraries through an artist residency program. “Art and culture can transform lives and communities.” says Sheldon. “MOCA, through its exhibitions and programming, has for decades been a key hub of cultural ... More

£1.4M funding boost as preferred bidder for Burrell's main building contract is announced
GLASGOW.- Glasgow City Council’s Contracts and Property Committee has confirmed Kier Construction Scotland as the preferred bidder to deliver the Main Building Contract to take forward the Burrell Collection’s ambitious refurbishment plans. The appointment marks the next phase which will see the sensitive repair of the building envelope, renewal of the building services, creation of a new internal access core and refurbishment of the museum’s interiors along with external landscaping. Kier Construction Scotland is set to start onsite at the Burrell early summer 2018 with procurement for the Burrell’s visitor experience contract taking place later this year. In a further boost to the museum’s refurbishment, the Burrell Renaissance has received an additional £1.4 million funding from four major supporters. The Wolfson Foundation and The Headley Trust have each pledged ... More

Lehmann Maupin opens exhibition of new work by Robin Rhode
NEW YORK, NY.- Lehmann Maupin is presenting The Geometry of Colour, an exhibition of new work by South Africa-born, Berlin-based artist Robin Rhode. This recent series culminates Rhode’s well-known work engaging the public through cooperative visual and performance art, documented through c-print photographs, at a wall in Johannesburg where he and his team have worked since 2011. In The Geometry of Colour, Rhode sets forth to make a case for the role of art in developing the skepticism and spirituality he views as necessary to challenge a surge of global divisiveness. Rhode has established his unique practice with a multifold approach, working across media, including drawing, performance, photography, video, and music. As a young artist inspired by the rebellion and possibility of graffiti, he was first drawn to working in public, unsanctioned ... More

Ed Moses, Pioneer of West Coast art, Dies at 91



On a day like today, French painter Paul Cézanne was born
January 19, 1839. Paul Cézanne (19 January 1839 - 22 October 1906) was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th-century conception of artistic endeavor to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. In this image: Paul Cézanne (French, 1839 - 1906). Recto: The Chaîne de l'Etoile Mountains (La Chaîne de l'Etoile avec le Pilon du Roi), 1885 - 1886. Watercolor and graphite on wove paper; Verso: Unfinished Landscape, undated. Watercolor and graphite on wove paper, Sheet: 12 3/8 x 19 1/8 in. (31.4 x 48.6 cm). BF650. Photo © 2015 The Barnes Foundation.

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