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Haunted by colonial past, Belgium's Africa museum reopens after revamp

A view from the gallery Rituals and Ceremonies © RMCA, Tervuren, photo Jo Van de Vijver.

by Dave Clark / Matthieu Demeestere


TERVUREN (AFP).- Belgium's Africa Museum reopened on Saturday after a five-year restoration to repackage its looted treasures with a critical view of the country's brutal colonial past. Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo hailed a "historic moment" and said it would open "a new chapter" in Belgian-African relations. The reopening of the former Royal Museum for Central Africa in the Tervuren Palace outside Brussels comes amid a renewed European debate about returning stolen artefacts. Last month, French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to return 26 cultural artefacts to Benin "without delay", a move likely to put pressure on other former colonial powers to return African artworks to their countries of origin. Macron said the decision should not be seen as an isolated or symbolic case and proposed a conference in Paris next year to discuss an "exchange policy" for African treasures. "Restitution should no longer be tab ... More

The Best Photos of the Day


The Norton Simon Museum opens an exhibition of exquisite tapestries and rare cartoons   First comprehensive survey of Sri Lankan art organized by a U.S. museum opens in Los Angeles   South Korean artist Do Ho Suh shows poetic passages made in fabric at ARoS Aarhus Art Museum


Giovanni Francesco Romanelli (Italian, 1610–1662), Royal Hunt and Storm (detail), c. 1630–35. Gouache and black chalk on paper, laid down on linen 109-5/8 x 138 in. (278.4 x 350.5 cm) The Norton Simon Foundation.

PASADENA, CA.- The Norton Simon Museum presents Once Upon a Tapestry: Woven Tales of Helen and Dido, an exhibition of exquisite tapestries and rare cartoons (full-size preparatory drawings) that illustrate two iconic love stories found in the classical epic poems the Iliad and the Aeneid. Helen and her contested romance with Prince Paris of Troy, as described in Homer’s Iliad, is represented in four sumptuous Flemish tapestries from around 1500; and Queen Dido of Carthage and her passionate affair with Virgil’s hero Aeneas is represented in a rare set of six cartoons, and one related tapestry from the early 17th century. Seen together, these monumental works of art demonstrate the appeal of these female-centric narratives in early modern Europe, the power of tapestry to tell such stories, and the inventiveness ... More
 

Standing Buddha, 10th century, copper alloy with gilding, 23 3/4 × 7 × 4 in., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, gift of Enid A. Haupt, 1993, 1993.387.8, image source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is presenting The Jeweled Isle: Art from Sri Lanka, the first comprehensive survey of Sri Lankan art organized by a U.S. museum. Drawn in part from LACMA’s collection of Sri Lankan art, and including numerous domestic and international loans, the exhibition presents some 240 works addressing nearly two millennia of Sri Lankan history. In 2009, Sri Lanka emerged from a nearly 30 yearlong civil war fought along ethnic and religious divides. The Jeweled Isle presents a timely exploration and celebration of a geographically complex, ethnically diverse, and multicultural South Asian hub. The exhibition is curated by Dr. Robert L. Brown and Dr. Tushara Bindu Gude, of LACMA’s South and Southeast Asian Art Department, and is designed by Los Angeles-based ... More
 

Installation view, Do Ho Suh: Korridor at ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum. Photo: Maja Theodoraki.

AARHUS.- A visually seductive exhibition calling for interaction. South Korean artist shows poetic passages made in fabric from his homes in Seoul, Berlin, and London. Do Ho Suh is known worldwide for his almost weightless transparent spaces made of fabric, accurate and full-size renditions of the homes he has lived in. The exhibition is the third in the "Intermezzo" series of art where the individual artworks are perceived and appreciated through more than just the faculty of sight. This is Do Ho Suh’s first solo exhibition in Denmark. Do Ho Suh’s story is universal. Most people have experienced leaving one home and setting up another somewhere else. His works capture the particular feeling that can arise in connection with moving house. This is universal and isn’t always easy to put into words. Do Ho Suh’s work is relevant in a world where migration is becoming increasingly widespread and where there is a higher likelihood of people moving away from their original ... More


Dana Powell joins Tanya Bonakdar Gallery   The Kunstmuseum Basel opens exhibition of works by Carl Burckhardt   Exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum presents 1930s fashion & photographs


Dana Powell, Night Drivers, 2018 (detail). Oil on linen, 10 x 13 inches; 25.4 x 33 cm.

NEW YORK, NY.- Dana Powell's small-scale oil paintings depict moments of transition and anticipation. They take the shape of night drives, full moons, swimming pools, elevator doors, still lifes with fruit, explosions, and peep holes. Unrelated at first look, these subjects prove malleable apparatus in demonstrating the unsettling power of the ordinary, and emotive potential of small shifts in formal painting strategies. Considered austerity is applied to Powell’s tableaus of the everyday, offering a window to the familiar and its undertow. Each group of paintings acutely captures suspended moments, with works activating scenarios that await some conclusion. Paintings of fruit and inanimate commonplace objects further the tradition attached to still life painting, and explore the possibilities of portraying time, as it unfolds in a static frame. Stretching subjects beyond face value interpretation, Powell’s ... More
 

Carl Burckhardt, Weibliche Figur, 1918. Bronze. HxBxT: 37 x 19 x 16 cm. Kunstmuseum Basel- Ankauf.

BASEL.- This past summer, a major exhibition at the Museo Vincenzo Vela in Ligornetto (Ticino) presented the art of Carl Burckhardt (1878–1923). The Kunstmuseum Basel now reprises the show in slightly more concentrated form and with a focus on aspects of Burckhardt’s oeuvre with special significance for Basel. Drawing attention to works that the city’s residents encounter on a daily basis and telling the story of their genesis, Carl Burckhardt. Classical Spirit—Modern Form pays homage to a local artist who, before his untimely death, helped pave the way for modern figurative sculpture. Several of Burckhardt’s creations occupy prominent spots in Basel’s urban fabric: the Amazon on the bridgehead of the Mittlere Brücke; the groups of figures Rhine and Wiese in front of the Badischer Bahnhof; Knight George overlooking the steps leading up from the old town to the Gymnasium Leonhard. Yet the ... More
 

Ruby Keeler finds bicycling a great sport, 1934. Image by Scotty Welbourne. Courtesy of the Terence pepper Collection.

LONDON.- Night and Day: 1930s Fashion & Photographs features over 100 ensembles, from fantasy evening wear to playful beach pyjamas. Using women’s fashion as a bellwether, the exhibition explores the social, cultural and political landscape of the period. From the escapism offered by Hollywood films, window-shopping and women’s magazines, to the increasingly stark political realities and extremes of wealth and poverty, the show explores the decade that brought the excess of the 1920s to an end. The 1930s ushered in the utilitarianism of World War II; as the flapper grew up, so too did her fashions. The new silhouettes of the 1930s played with the hard-edged chic seen in the Art Deco and Moderne styles. Structure can be seen infiltrating the relaxed shapes of the 20s, with the bias cuts and complicated construction, pioneered by Madeleine Vionnet and Elsa ... More


Montalvo Arts Center opens stunning public light exhibition by Bruce Munro   Publication created by MAXXI celebrates the work of Paolo Di Paolo   2018 Architecture Commission designed by MUIR + OPENWORK unveiled at NGV International


Bruce Munro at Montalvo: Stories in Light" includes "Ramandu's Table," on display in the Garden Terrace at Montalvo Arts Center, from October 28, 2018 through March 2019. Photo Credit: Mark Pickthall

SARATOGA, CA.- Bruce Munro at Montalvo: Stories in Light, a world premiere exhibition by internationally-acclaimed artist Bruce Munro, is on view at Montalvo Arts Center, located on 175 acres in the Silicon Valley, Saratoga Hills. Montalvo has been illuminated by 10 of Munro’s light-based works installed throughout the center’s lawns, gardens, terraces, and historic structures in his first public West Coast exhibition. Bruce Munro at Montalvo: Stories in Light runs through March 17, 2019 at Montalvo Arts Center. Inspired by the artist’s readings of C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, the installations of Bruce Munro range in scale from enormous and immersive to intimate, utilizing hundreds of thousands of bespoke components to construct multi-hued waves, clusters, cascades, flocks, and seas of light, transforming Montalvo’s historic Villa and extensive public areas into a breathtaking spectacle of illumination. Featuri ... More
 

Paolo Di Paolo, Sottopassaggio pedonale, New York City, 1963. © Archivio Paolo Di Paolo.

ROME.- In 1949, a boy fell in love with a Leica III C camera; he really did not know how it worked, but he thought that it was a beautiful object. He would go on to publish more than 500 pictures in which figures from the worlds of art, culture, fashion and cinema, alongside ordinary people, are presented in a way that tells the story of Italy as it emerges from the ashes of the Second World War; these were featured in the famous weekly magazine Il Mondo, which was directed by Mario Pannunzio in the 1950s. Among the subjects of these famous pictures are Pier Paolo Pasolini at parties in Roman palaces, Tennessee Williams on the beach with his dog, Anna Magnani with her son, Kim Novak ironing in a room at the Grand Hotel, Rome, a family in front of the sea in Rimini, Salvatore Quasimodo, Sofia Loren joking around with Marcello Mastroianni in the Cinecittà studios, Brigitte Bardot, Charlotte Rampling, Alberto Moravia, Federico Fellini, Yves Montand, and the faces of distressed people at Palmiro ... More
 

Doubleground transforms the NGV’s Grollo Equiset Garden with a site-specific work of temporary architecture by literally raising sections of the landscape and creating chasm-like passageways for visitors to explore between the tilted embankments.

MELBOURNE.- The 2018 National Gallery of Victoria Architecture Commission by Melbourne architecture practice MUIR and landscape architecture studio OPENWORK was unveiled at the NGV International. Entitled Doubleground, the winning proposal for the fourth annual competition is a collaboration between the two practices, inspired by key architectural elements of Sir Roy Grounds’s iconic NGV International building in the year of the building’s fiftieth anniversary. Doubleground transforms the NGV’s Grollo Equiset Garden with a site-specific work of temporary architecture by literally raising sections of the landscape and creating chasm-like passageways for visitors to explore between the tilted embankments. Architect Amy Muir and landscape architect Mark Jacques drew from memories of visiting the NGV as a young child to create a digital ... More


Bolivian youth orchestra plays for the future   Kristof De Clercq Gallery exhibits works by Belgian multimedia artist and film-maker Johan Grimonprez   Pérez Art Museum Miami opens year-long exhibition of 15 kinetic light sculptures


Bolivian coca grower Mariel Chura, 21, plays the viola during a presentation of the Youth Symphonic Orchestra of Chulumani, some 120 km north of La Paz, on November 21, 2018. Aizar RALDES / AFP.

COCAYAPU (AFP).- When Mariel Chura joined a youth orchestra at age 14, she did not even know what a viola was. Seven years later, she loves the instrument, which has offered her an escape from the hardships of everyday life in Bolivia's biggest coca-producing area. The Chulumani Youth Symphony Orchestra has helped teens avoid the usual pitfalls plaguing the region: drug and alcohol abuse, violence, and family drama, according to the group's director and conductor Erik Castro. Instead, they learn the discipline of classical music, forge lasting friendships and dream of a future career in the arts. Bright-eyed and slender, Chura grew up picking coca leaves on her parents' land in the Cocayapu region, near Chulumani in the Yungas valley, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of the capital La Paz. When she received visitors on ... More
 

Johan Grimonprez, What I Will, 2013.

GHENT.- With his film dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y, one of the discoveries of Documenta X (1997, Kassel), the Belgian multimedia artist and film-maker Johan Grimonprez (b.1962, Roeselare) conquered the international art world from a position of apparent obscurity. He subsequently received worldwide acclaim with his films Double Take (2009), Shadow World (2016, winner of the Ultima 2018, the Flemish culture prize for film), and Blue Orchids (2017). This is Grimonprez’ first solo exhibition in Belgium following his retrospective at S.M.A.K. in 2011. At the heart of the exhibition is a selection of six recent short films, shown in an intimate, specially constructed space in the gallery, and which play on a 40-minute loop. The gallery is also showing a range of photographs and the artist’s exceptional and rarely exhibited drawings. On the street side, a video work interacts with casual passers-by. The exhibition takes its title from the film Every Day Words Disappear (2016), in which ... More
 

José Carlos Martinat. American Echo Chamber, 2018. Motors, LEDs, microcontroller, and radio module. Dimensions variable. © José Carlos Martinat. Courtesy the artist and Revolver Galería.

MIAMI, FLA.- Pérez Art Museum Miami is presenting American Echo Chamber, a solo exhibition specially commissioned by the museum with José Carlos Martinat, one of the most internationally exhibited Peruvian artists of his generation. The exhibition investigates how ideologies are amplified and reinforced in the current social and political landscape. Located in PAMM’s unique double-height gallery, American Echo Chamber is comprised of 15 kinetic light sculptures, and additional LED screens, that explore the current state of our political and cultural landscape. By portraying symbols of popular culture that relate to our current state of affairs, the artist uses the language of light and the pop of neon to highlight how serious issues have been reduced to entertainment. Inspired by the popular tradition of pyrotechnic ... More



More News
Spike Island wins £100,000 Freelands Foundation award
LONDON.- Freelands Foundation announces Spike Island as the third recipient of the annual £100,000 Freelands Award. The Bristol-based institution will be working with the Foundation to present a solo exhibition of new work by Veronica Ryan in Autumn 2020, in addition to producing a monograph with the distinguished British sculptor. The Freelands Award was established in 2016 by Freelands Foundation, chaired by Elisabeth Murdoch, to enable a regional arts organisation to present a large-scale exhibition, including a significant new work, by a mid-career female artist who may not have yet received the acclaim or public recognition that her work deserves. The total value of the award is £100,000, of which £25,000 is to be paid directly to the artist. Veronica Ryan’s forthcoming exhibition at Spike Island will be her largest and most ambitious solo exhibition to ... More

Lunds konsthall opens large retrospective of the work of Britta Marakatt
LUND.- Lunds konsthall is presenting Britta Marakatt-Labba: History in Stitches. This is the first large retrospective south of the Sami lands of the prominent artist’s oeuvre: unique, idiosyncratic and—encouragingly—more appreciated than ever. Many art professionals discovered Marakatt-Labba’s captivating narrative and visual skills only at documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel last year. They were duly impressed and touched by the 24 metre-long Historjá (History, also known as the Tromsø Frieze), permanently installed in the Light Atrium of the University of Tromsø, the northernmost university in the world. At Lunds konsthall the exhibition features a reproduction of this work, which may be called a contemporary history painting (although it is embroidered, and although it is based on oral tradition rather than on recorded knowledge). Just like those 18th- and ... More

Yayoi Kusama's INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM - LET'S SURVIVE FOREVER is coming to the AGO...forever
TORONTO.- Today, the AGO announces the successful completion of the #InfinityAGO crowdfunding campaign to acquire Canada’s first Infinity Mirror Room artwork by internationally renowned artist Yayoi Kusama. Thanks to over 4,700 #InfinityAGO donors and the David Yuile & Mary Elizabeth Hodgson Fund, Yayoi Kusama’s INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM - LET’S SURVIVE FOREVER, is coming to the AGO forever so art fans today and future generations can experience Kusama’s immersive work. The work, which is currently under construction, is set to arrive in Toronto in spring 2019. Donors will be the first to see it once it’s installed at the AGO. Launched on November 1, the #InfinityAGO campaign set out to raise funds toward the purchase of this incredible artwork. Featuring mirrored orbs suspended from the ceiling and arranged on the ... More

A rare piece of U.S. paper money estimated at $2 million highlights Stack's Bowers Galleries auction
SANTA ANA, CA.- Numismatic auction powerhouse Stack’s Bowers Galleries will be offering one of the rarest American currency notes during their sale of Part IV of the Joel R. Anderson Collection, Feb. 28 – March 3 at the Whitman Spring Expo in Baltimore. Known as the Marcy Note, it is the only bill of its kind known to exist in private hands and is considered among the most unobtainable examples of paper money. The only other Marcy Note permanently resides in the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. This is the first time the Marcy Note will be offered at auction. This Silver Certificate features the portrait of William L. Marcy who served as a United States senator, secretary of war under President James Knox Polk, and governor of New York. Marcy also figures prominently in the history of the California Gold Rush. He was the ... More

Abu Dhabi's original urban block, Al Hosn, opens to the public
ABU DHABI.- The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi opened Al Hosn to the public on Friday 7 December 2018. Al Hosn is Abu Dhabi’s original urban block, comprising four interrelated components: the historic Qasr Al Hosn Fort, the National Consultative Council building the Cultural Foundation, , and the House of Artisans. The official launch will be a celebration of the emirate’s rich history and culture, with a week of public events and programmes to mark the occasion. HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi said: “Qasr Al Hosn embodies the heritage of Abu Dhabi, and a poignant witness to the historic and fundamental milestones in the development of our country. At the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, we are proud to re-introduce this cultural monument after it has ... More

Bonniers Konsthall opens exhibition of works by Dora García
STOCKHOLM.- Dora García’s artistic practice spans over various fields and the exhibition at Bonniers Konsthall highlights her interest in performance art, politics, and psychoanalysis. Through free association, the works are intertwined in the exhibition and thus open up for various possible readings. What is truth and who speaks the truth? Through film, drawing, text and performance, Dora García explores the concept of truth. In contemporary information society, the boundary between true or false seems to erode more and more, especially in the political field where the presence of “alternative facts” makes it difficult to verify statements. The exhibition presents a series of works posing questions regarding truth, credibility and authority. A new work in the shape of a monumental hand-written chalk drawing covers the glass facade of the konsthall, making the text ... More

Luiz Zerbini presents seven new large scale paintings at Carpintaria
RIO DE JANEIRO.- Four years after his last solo show in Rio, Luiz Zerbini presents at Carpintaria seven new large scale paintings, as well as three monotypes and a sculptural table. For over three decades, Zerbini has developed a complex visual vocabulary in painting at the intersection of figuration, abstraction and geometry. The paintings from the current exhibition nod towards the realm of geometric abstraction, as the artist uses the grid structure to investigate the relations between color, light and object. Zerbini sees the canvas as an expanded field of possibilities, either framing the viewer’s perspective, or building immersive windows that unravel subtle figurative traces. Gemini (2018) and Vento Voa (2018), for example, reveal a malleable approach to the grid, a system that is continuously challenged by the artist, whose practice is closer to contemplation ... More

Exhibition maps the current state of 3D thinking on the Czech and Slovak visual art scenes
BRATISLAVA.- Kunsthalle Bratislava brings the year 2018 to a climax with an extensive exhibition, mapping the current state of 3D thinking on the Czech and Slovak visual art scenes. Vladimír Beskid’s curatorial project is presented on the centenary of the foundation of the 1st Czechoslovak Republic, and thus it celebrates a tradition, over one hundred years old, of objective art as a new medium. The principal aim of the exhibition project entitled OBJECTive, which Kunsthalle Bratislava is presenting in premiere, is to support the contemporary form of the object (including installations) as a distinctive form of thinking in space and a non-figurative language of forms, shapes, and their significant contexts. The exhibition concentrates on the generation of artists who entered upon the visual art scene after the change of regime (i.e. post-1989) and today figure also in the wider ... More

Solo exhibition by Turkish-American multimedia artist Ahmet Civelek on view at Pi Artworks Istanbul
ISTANBUL.- Pi Artworks Istanbul is presenting Number 3: Grit, a solo exhibition by Turkish-American multimedia artist, Ahmet Civelek. Centering around a concept usually quite foreign to creative artists -destruction- in these new bodies of work Civelek employs a humble, readymade, and quite contradictory material: commercially manufactured sandpaper. Civelek’s highly process-based practice inhabits the symbolic and poetic spaces in between drawing, sculpture, and installation. This solo exhibition is the artist’s third, and his first with Pi Artworks. While often imbued with deeply negative connotations, the artist sees the act of destruction as a form of creative authorship as sincere and perhaps more accessible than creation. Though born in the US, Civelek was raised in Istanbul during a time of heightened geopolitical instability. Often witnessing ... More

Exhibition at the National Art Museum of China presents 80 works by 40 Greek and international artists
BEIJING.- The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, in the framework of the Year of Cultural Exchanges between Greece and China started a collaboration with the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) with the aim of strengthening transnational relations and intercultural exchange in the field of art between the two countries. After the presentation of the exhibition CHINESE XIEYI: Masterpieces from the National Art Museum of China in Athens at EMST in autumn of 2017, part of the EMST Collection will travel to Beijing. At the exhibition At the Beginning Was the Word. Concepts – Images - Script approximately 80 works of 40 Greek and international artists are being presented at NAMOC from November 28, 2018 to January 17, 2019. Two important civilizations, Greek and Chinese, contributed to several different levels for the ... More

32 artworks to illuminate key districts at i Light Singapore
SINGAPORE.- Curated to the theme “Bridges of Time”, i Light Singapore - Bicentennial Edition will be held from 28 January to 24 February 2019, featuring a total of 32 artworks, comprising 31 sustainable light art installations and a spectacular multimedia show. This anchor event will kick-start the Singapore Bicentennial commemoration in 2019. Seventeen of the 32 artworks are by Singaporean artists, or feature content related to Singapore. This special edition has drawn wide interest and participation, and will feature artists from 14 different countries including Singapore. The 2019 edition of the sustainable light art festival delves into the topic of connectivity, while reflecting on Singapore’s history, growth and relationships with the world over the last 700 years. At the same time, the artworks also aim to inspire all to come together for a sustainable future. ... More




Ugo Rondinone - Liverpool Mountain



Flashback
On a day like today, Scottish architect and painter Charles Rennie Mackintosh died
December 10, 1928. Charles Rennie Mackintosh (7 June 1868 - 10 December 1928) was a Scottish architect, designer, water colourist and artist. His artistic approach had much in common with European Symbolism. His work, alongside that of his wife Margaret Macdonald, was influential on European design movements such as Art Nouveau and Secessionism. He was born in Glasgow and died in London. In this image: Design for a house for an art lover, 1901 © RIBA Library



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