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Spanish publisher clones world's most mysterious book: The Voynich Manuscript

Quality control operator of the Spanish publishing outfit Siloe Luis Miguel works on cloning the illustrated codex hand-written manuscript Voynich in Burgos on August 9, 2016. The so-called Voynich Manuscript, a small unassuming book usually stored in a Yale University vault, is one of the most mysterious books in the world, that a small publishing house in northern Spain has finally secured the right to clone. The precious document containing elegant writing and strange drawings of unidentified plants and naked women is believed to have been written six centuries ago in an unknown or coded language that no one -- not even the best cryptographers -- has ever cracked. CESAR MANSO / AFP.

by Marianne Barriaux

BURGOS (AFP).- It's one of the world's most mysterious books, a centuries-old manuscript written in an unknown or coded language that no one -- not even the best cryptographers -- has cracked. Scholars have spent their lives puzzling over the Voynich Manuscript, whose intriguing mix of elegant writing and drawings of strange plants and naked women has some believing it holds magical powers. The weathered book is locked away in a vault at Yale University's Beinecke Library, emerging only occasionally. But after a ten-year quest for access, Siloe, a small publishing house nestled deep in northern Spain, has secured the right to clone the document -- to the delight of its director. "Touching the Voynich is an experience," ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Caravaggio was not a murderer: The response to an article in Burlington Magazine   Famed portraits of Benjamin Franklin by Duplessis on view in focus exhibition at The Met   Los Angeles County Museum of Art announces the release and premiere of Loris Gréaud: Sculpt

Ottavio Leoni, Portrait of a young man (c1598/1600) in the Ashmolean Museum Oxford, which Clovis Whitfield has suggested could be an early likeness of Caravaggio.

LONDON.- While Caravaggio in a recent article in the Burlington Magazine was described as a ‘murderer’, there are circumstances in the story that give the lie to this interpretation. He certainly had an exceptional personality, perhaps especially because he saw the world differently. Although Caravaggio was involved probably more than once in disturbances that led to death, it is perhaps unfair to characterise him as a murderer, as Keith Sciberras describes him in his article 'Caravaggio 'obbediente' in the June Burlington Magazine. The brawl that occurred on the 28th May 1606 was evidently an affray that involved several people (as many as eight), in which Caravaggio and his friend/second Petronio Troppa (formerly Capitano di Castello) were injured, both almost fatally. One of the eyewitnesses said that it started with a slap on the face, ... More

Joseph Siffred Duplessis (French, Carpentras 1725–1802 Versailles). Benjamin Franklin
(1706–1790). 1778. Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931.

NEW YORK, NY.- Several works depicting the brilliant writer, inventor, politician, patriot, and statesman Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), who has been the subject of hundreds of portraits, will go on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in a focused exhibition opening on August 22. The most famous of these was painted by Joseph Siffred Duplessis (1725–1802), Louis XVI's official portraitist, after Franklin arrived in Paris in 1776 to seek French support for the American war of independence. Portraying Franklin in a red coat with a fur collar, and with an astonishingly elaborate frame decorated with his attributes, the oval painting was greatly admired when Duplessis exhibited it at the 1779 Paris Salon. The painting, which has been in The Met collection for 85 years, will be a focal point of the installation Benjamin ... More

Loris Gréaud, Sculpt, 2016. © Loris Gréaud, Greaudstudio.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art announces the release and premiere of Loris Gréaud: Sculpt on August 16, 2016 in the Bing Theater, the sole authorized and official venue for this unique presentation. Sculpt is a social science fiction movie that depicts unprecedented shapes and experiences, along with obsessions and fantasies. The film follows the thoughts of a man about whom we know very little, who seems to be constantly developing the concept of what experiencing beauty, thought, or obsession can be, despite the risks to which the subjects are exposed in the long term. Sculpt, produced for LACMA, is Loris Gréaud's first major exhibition project to take place on the west coast of the United States, as well as being his first feature-length film. It offers a unique experience to each viewer who sees it as an immersive environment. For this presentation, LACMA's Bing Theater has been reconfigured for only one audience ... More

The Enterprise of Hendrick Goltzius: Basel Kupferstichkabinett presents 80 works by the master from Haarlem   Pace Art + Technology and teamLab present an immersive and large-scale, site-specific installation   Heather James Fine Art presents four paintings by British Neoclassical artist John William Godward

Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617), Bacchus, ca. 1595. Kupferstich. Platte 24.9 x 18.1 cm | Blatt 25.2 x 18.1 cm. Kunstmuseum Basel- Kupferstichkabinett- Alter Bestand. Photo: Kunstmuseum Basel - Martin P. Bühler.

BASEL.- Late-sixteenth-century audiences were thrilled by the engravings of Hendrick Goltzius (1558– 1617), and the technical perfection of his work and his unconventional inventions have lost none of their appeal. The exhibition at the Basel Kupferstichkabinett presents a selection of around eighty of the finest works by the master from Haarlem, including Biblical and mythological scenes and erudite allegories. Goltzius owes his prominent place in art history primarily to a career combining three vocations: he was an inventor, engraver, and publisher, pursuing all his ventures with unusual creativity as well as the utmost professionalism. The exhibition illustrates that Goltzius’s great success did not grow solely out of his own creative powers. The publishing enterprise he launched in 1582 not only served to bring his own ... More

Participants are encouraged to partake in this digital playground for all ages.

MENLO PARK, CA.- teamLab, the renowned Japanese art collective, recognized for challenging and expanding the digital art making practice, and Pace Art + Technology are presenting Living Digital Space and Future Parks. The large-scale installation invites participants of all ages to immerse themselves in the multi-room environments spanning 20,000ft² and showcasing 20 digital works. Several of the works on show—including Light Sculpture of Flames and Black Waves in Infinity—are enjoying their international debut while other works—including Flowers and People, Cannot be Controlled but Live Together – A Whole Year per Hour and Flutter of Butterflies Beyond Borders—are being shown in North America for the first time. Participants are encouraged to partake in this digital playground for all ages, to witness the visually morphing beauty of the 20 immersive works, to explore the associated pioneering and intellectual concepts o ... More

John William Godward (1861-1922), The Seamstress, 1901. Oil on canvas, 39 1/2 x 24 in.

PALM DESERT, CA.- These paintings are excellent examples of the artist's ouevre - ancient Roman or Greek women, and sometimes men, engage in leisurely activities in beautiful Mediterranean settings. Every detail is rendered realistically and carefully, from the straps of the figures' sandals to the marble benches upon which they sit. John William Godward regularly exhibited his artwork at the Royal Academy in London during his lifetime and his artwork is currently held in private and public collections, including that of Andrew Lloyd Weber and the J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. In The Seamstress, a Roman woman sits within a marble exedra overlooking the blue Mediterranean sea, while tending to her needlework. The umbrella pines in the background capture the essence of Italy. By the Blue Ionian Sea depicts a Roman woman seated upon a lion skin atop a marble bench. Umbrella pines and the Mediterranean sea frame this composition. According ... More

Modern Art Oxford opens It’s Me to the World, the fourth exhibition in Kaleidoscope series   The 5th Singapore International Photography Festival 2016 returns with the theme, The Archive   Rare and previously unseen works by Andy Warhol to be unveiled as Haynes Fine Art opens new gallery

Installation view.

OXFORD.- Modern Art Oxford announces It’s Me to the World, the fourth exhibition in KALEIDOSCOPE, its 50th anniversary programme. Featuring works by Marina Abramović, Mohammed Qasim Ashfaq, Dorothy Cross, Richard Long, Agnes Martin, Otobong Nkanga, Yoko Ono and Hannah Rickards, the show brings together artists from different generations who use the body and its relationship to nature to explore memory, space, the politics of representation, and the environment. The exhibition opened on 20 August and runs until 16 October and entry is free. From 17 October until 11 November, the galleries will still be open as this exhibition is gradually replaced by the next. Visitors are able to watch this transition as it happens. The exhibition’s title is taken from a text by the artist Richard Long (b.1945): ‘My footsteps make the mark. My legs carry me across the country. It's like a way of measuring the world. ... More

Li Zhensheng Self-portrait. July 17, 1967. © Li Zhensheng, SIPF.

SINGAPORE.- The Singapore International Photography Festival returns with its fifth edition to celebrate the art of photography, embracing the theme, The Archive. The characteristics which defined the festival from its first edition are firmly rooted, and continue to be evident in this showing: championing creativity and ideas, cultivating the appreciation of contemporary photography, inspiring new photographers to hone their art and advocating that photography can be enjoyed by all. The SIPF serves as a platform that brings together passionate, like-minded individuals from around the world. It is a showcase for exceptional works and advocates intercultural dialogues, programmes and workshops for the exchange of diverse and creative concepts in the art of photography. Since its inception, the SIPF has garnered success but continues to push forward. While persevering to provide ... More

Andy Warhol, 'Debbie Harry'. Unique gelatin silver print, dated 'Oct 27 1980' verso. Paper size: 10 x 8 inches. £28,500.

LONDON.- One of the UK’s largest privately-owned art dealerships, Haynes Fine Art, has opened a new gallery at 70 Pimlico Road, on the borders of Belgravia and Chelsea in London. Focusing on modern and contemporary art, the gallery’s launch exhibition from 3rd November to 7th December 2016 features a collection of rare and previously unseen works by Pop Art legend Andy Warhol. [Pimlico Road Design District, London SW1 is the capital’s premier destination for interior design and art, close to Sloane Square, Knightsbridge and Buckingham Palace.] Tony Haynes, Managing Director of Haynes Fine Art, has brought together some 27 original works by Andy Warhol for this very special opening exhibition in London. Many come directly from the Warhol Foundation and are fresh to the market. The works ... More

Artemis Gallery presents classical antiquities, ethnographic and folk art from fascinating civilizations, Aug. 25   Swarovski and Fredrikson Stallard showcase Glaciarium Collections during London Design Festival 2016   Jane Brown's 'Black Ships' on view at Centre for Contemporary Photography

Roman bronze-applique actor’s mask form, circa 1st-4th century CE, est. $900-$1,400.

BOULDER, CO.- The Egyptians, the Greeks, Near Eastern and Asian civilizations – all left artistic contributions of staggering importance to the ages, and some of the greatest survivors are seen in auctions conducted by Artemis Gallery. The Colorado company’s owners, Bob and Teresa Dodge, are renowned specialists in ancient and ethnographic art. They will present their next expertly curated auction of antiquities, ethnographic and Latin American folk art on Thursday, Aug. 25, with absentee, phone and Internet live bidding available on all lots. Over 400 lots will be offered, starting with Ancient Egyptian treasures. The auction opener is an intriguing ovaloid hand-coiled pottery grain measure. The vessel was made from Nile silt using kilning techniques the Egyptians invented circa 3500-3200 BCE. This process was described by the British Museum following their excavation at Hierakonpolis. Standing 9.5 inches high, the ... More

Patrik Fredrikson and Ian Stallard.

LONDON.- Fredrikson Stallard present their Glaciarium collections, designed exclusively for Swarovski, during the London Design Festival 2016. Inspired by the raw power of crystal, designers Fredrikson Stallard have collaborated with Swarovski to produce a chandelier range along with a series of crystal chandelier components. The event will also see the first UK presentation of Fredrikson Stallard’s celebrated range of centerpieces, bowls and candlesticks, developed for Atelier Swarovski Home and previewed in Milan earlier this year. Fredrikson Stallard have worked with Swarovski for almost ten years and the Glaciarium collections are inspired by their extensive experiences watching Swarovski’s complex crystal production techniques and the mysterious appearance and behavior of the material in its raw state. Glaciarium emphatically celebrates the nature of the material while the pieces demonstrate that Swarovski’s blend of heritage and ... More

© Jane Brown After Stillfried, 2015 from the series Black Ships. Hand printed, toned, fibre-based silver gelatine print, 22.5 x 22.5cm.

MELBOURNE.- The title of the series is a translation of the Japanese word kurofune, an idiom used by the Japanese for Western vessels approaching their shores. This dates from the 16th Century when the hulls of Portuguese vessels were painted black with pitch. The term became a symbol of the end of Japan's isolationist policies and the modernisation that ultimately ensued. Created during a trip to Japan, the series dramatises aspects of the physical environment as symbolic gesture - pathways, bridges, walls, wrapping, fences, nature and decay. It references the work of photographers who travelled there in the mid 19th Century and Japan's 20th Century experience of militarism. Presented as a travelogue that interrogates the machinations of history, Black Ships also aims to embody surreal aspects of the culture and landscape. More broadly it is an articulation of the curiosity ... More

More News
Mandarin Oriental Commissions Award-winning Artist Sam Taylor-Johnson to create art piece
HONG KONG.- Mandarin Oriental has commissioned British award-winning filmmaker, photographer and visual artist Sam Taylor-Johnson, OBE, to create a bespoke piece of art which will be prominently showcased at the Hong Kong Star Ferry poster site from 1 – 30 September, 2016. Best known for feature films Nowhere Boy and Fifty Shades of Grey, Taylor-Johnson is a BAFTA and Palme d’Or nominated film director. As a photographer and visual artist, she has had numerous significant group and solo exhibitions and is a Turner Prize nominee. She was made an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2011. Taylor-Johnson’s large-scale artwork created for Mandarin Oriental is named “Our Fans” and is a collage which creatively showcases the brand’s unique cast of celebrity fans using photographer Mary McCartney’s striking images. This follows the success of the acclaimed collage ... More

Reza Derakshani opens his first solo exhibition in Germany at the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz
CHEMNITZ.- Following the success of Reza Derakshani: The Breeze at Dawn at Sophia Contemporary Gallery and a solo exhibition at the prestigious State Russian Museum, St Petersburg earlier this year, Reza Derakshani opened his first solo exhibition in Germany at the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz. This new exhibition includes recent works by the artist as seen at Sophia Contemporary Gallery this spring and runs from 21 August to 16 October 2016. Reza Derakshani is one of today’s most celebrated living Iranian artists. A young prodigy, Reza Derakshani held his first solo show at the age of 19 at the Ghandriz Art Gallery in Tehran in 1971, going on to exhibit internationally. His work features in many public art collections including the British Museum, London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. Representing ... More

Inuit art acquired by Art Gallery of Hamilton, public exhibit planned
HAMILTON, ON.- A collection of Inuit art that recalls Hamilton’s storied role in fighting tuberculosis (TB) is being moved to the Art Gallery of Hamilton from the Chedoke site of Hamilton Health Sciences. The 132-piece collection of sculptures and prints includes work made by Inuit patients from the eastern Arctic, who were treated for TB in the 1950s and early 1960s at the Hamilton Mountain Sanatorium, as the hospital was then called. “The gift of this significant collection to the AGH ensures a broader and more profound recognition of Inuit art,” says Shelley Falconer, President and CEO of the Art Gallery of Hamilton. “The Chedoke Collection’s important ethnohistory, from Canada’s largest and principal Inuit hospital treating tuberculosis in the 1950s and 60s, reflects a range of creative ideas and experiences. The AGH is deeply grateful to all the Inuit artists who embraced and ... More

Exhibition of works by Michel Houellebecq on view at Palais de Tokyo
PARIS.- This is not a show “about” Michel Houellebecq, but a show “by” Michel Houellebecq, demonstrating how the writer has produced a form that contributes to the reinvention of exhibitions, by mixing up literature, photography and cinema, between fact and fiction. Born in 1958, the poet, essayist, novelist and filmmaker Michel Houellebecq has always had close ties with the cinema and the world of the visual arts, which have accompanied and extended his reflexions since the start of his career, as the frequent allusions to them in his novels attest. This show is a scenario, leading visitors through the writer’s obsessions. Made up of sounds, photographs, installations and films he has conceived, as well as the presence of several guest artists (such as Robert Combas), it will offer an immersion into the world and mind of the protean creator who is Michel Houellebecq. The ... More

Seager Gray Gallery opens exhibition of works by Kim Ford Kitz
MILL VALLEY, CA.- Kim Ford Kitz grew up in Southern California Beach towns, lived in San Francisco as a young adult and now lives and works in a former furniture warehouse converted into an airy studio and apartment in San Anselmo, the charming Marin County town she’s called home for many years. So you can say she’s a California girl who comes by her West Coast aesthetic honestly, drawing inspiration from the renowned Bay Area artists who came before her, like Richard Diebenkorn and Wayne Thiebaud, David Park and Joan Brown. The 54-year-old painter takes abstract expressionism and elements of Bay Area Figuration and reimagines them for the rock ‘n’ roll generation. In her first solo show, “California,” August 16 through Sept. 15 at the Seager Gray Gallery in Mill Valley, Kitz emerges as an artist with a fresh new way of seeing the Golden State, from ... More

Griffin Gallery opens exhibition of works by prize winner Zsofia Schweger
LONDON.- In her first solo exhibition, 27-year-old Hungarian artist Zsofia Schweger – selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2016 – is presenting work created exclusively during her six-month Griffin Art Prize residency. The Griffin Art Prize is a unique opportunity that awards recent art graduates the time and space to develop their practice through a residency above Griffin Gallery. Zsofia’s strikingly colourful yet muted paintings sensitively portray feelings of home, belonging and identity as a Hungarian emigrant living and working in the UK. Born in 1989, the year that saw the fall of the Berlin wall, Zsofia experienced the first waves of new capitalism, and an influx of western culture in Eastern Europe. From the excitement of watching American cartoons for the first time, to the anticipation of being taken to the only Burger King in her town, Zsofia grew up in a time where hope ... More

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

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