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Exhibition at Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum presents works by Victor Vasarely

Vasarely’s innovative use of optical illusions became popular in the 1960s and 70s, when Op Art extended into everyday life via design, advertisements, and architecture.

WAUSAU, WIS.- An exhibition of artwork by the world-renowned father of the Op Art movement, Victor Vasarely, opened at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum on Saturday, December 1. “Victor Vasarely: Op Art Master,” an exhibition from the collection of Herakleidon Museum in Athens, Greece, comprises more than 150 serigraphs, lithographs, and gouache paintings – designed to engage the mind and eye. Vasarely’s bold monochromatic and vividly colorful, geometric artworks often seem to swell, recede, undulate, and pulsate. To create this optical trickery – illusions of mass and motion that appear to emanate from his two-dimensional artwork – Vasarely experimented with color, background, geometric combinations, and materials as he sought contrast, distorted grids, and played with perspective. Vasarely’s innovative use of optical illusions became popular in the 1960s and 70s, when Op Art extended into everyday life via des ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Researchers say ancient ring may bear Pontius Pilate name   Collection of Barbara and Frank Sinatra totals $9.2 million at Sotheby's │ 99% of lots sold   Spectacular show presents magical and dream-like atmospheres by Bosch, Brueghel, and Arcimboldo

Nikolai Ge, Christ and Pilate ("What is truth?"), 1890. Photo:

JERUSALEM.- Israeli researchers say an inscription on an ancient ring discovered near Jerusalem may include the name of Pontius Pilate, the Roman official who Biblical accounts say sentenced Jesus to death. It would be a rare example still in existence of an inscription with the name of the man believed to have sent Jesus to his crucifixion. The researchers recently announced their analysis of the inscription on the ring -- which was actually found some 50 years ago -- in Israel Exploration Journal. The journal is published by the Israel Exploration Society and the Institute of Archaeology at Jerusalem's Hebrew University. They say the copper-alloy ring, dated to around 2,000 years ago and used to apply a seal, was found at Herodium, an ancient palace built by King Herod near Jerusalem and Bethlehem, today located in the occupied West Bank. The palace later became a fortress for Jewish rebels fighting the Romans. An inscription in Greek ... More

Frank Sinatra, Untitled, 1991. Oil on canvas, 31 1/4 x 21 1/4 in.; 79.4 x 54 cm. Estimate: $10/15,000. Sold for: $100,000. Courtesy Sotheby's.

NEW YORK (AFP).- It was definitely "All" rather than "Nothing at All" at a Frank Sinatra auction in New York, where items owned by the late icon and his fourth wife fetched $9.2 million, Sotheby's said Friday. And 99 percent of the lots, spread out this week in the US financial and entertainment capital, and online, were snapped up, attracting 300 bidders from more than 30 countries, the auction house announced. Up for grabs was furniture, art and personal effects dating back to the couple's 22-year marriage -- art and furniture from their homes in Palm Springs, Los Angeles and Malibu -- as well as scripts and screenplays. The top lot was Barbara Sinatra's 20-carat diamond engagement ring, given to her in the bottom of a champagne glass, which went for $1.7 million. Many of the items fetched substantially more than their pre-sale estimates. They included a Norman Rockwell portrait of Sinatra, which the singer ... More

Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527-1593), Ritratto surreale dell’imperatore Rodolfo II, 1590. Olio su tela, 70,5x57 cm. Gripsholm Castle Collection, Sweden / Bridgeman Images.

PISA.- For the first time ever in Italy, a digital art spectacular devoted to great artists of the 16th century. A new format that reveals the powerful impact, exuberance and majesty of works by Bosch, the Brueghel dynasty and Arcimboldo, as never before. The great spectacular show Bosch, Brueghel, Arcimboldo has arrived in Pisa, with its magical and dream-like atmospheres that envelop the public and fully immerse them in the artworks through a combination of images, music and technology. A 30-minute spectacular with over 2,000 images and music ranging from Carmina Burana by Carl Orff to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and the 2012 tribute version of Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin: the Arsenali are populated by a multitude of fantastical and allegorical creatures whose brilliant colours change constantly in a lyrical and poetic atmosphere. Alchemy, religion ... More

Exhibition brings together the best of Martin Parr's food observations   Art from the last two millenia draw collectors from around the globe   Exhibition at Cummer Museum features works by Harlem Renaissance artist

Martin Parr, Boy with Popsicle (detail).

NEW YORK, NY.- Janet Borden, Inc. announces a new exhibition of photographs by the inimitable Martin Parr. Holiday Parr-ty: British Food Photographs by Martin Parr brings together the best of Parr's food observations. Since 1995, when this “British Food” series originated, Parr has been capturing the delectable, the gross, the ridiculous, and the adorable in food and food consumption throughout the world. He never fails to identify the uniquely national qualities of various meats, sweets, and plates. This series represents the hallmark of his work, which has made him the most familiar and successful photographic artist in Europe. Every type of British food is paraded in front of his camera, from the famous Full English Breakfast, to the dainty tea scone, from mushy peas to Champagne at Ascot. Parr’s interest ranges from the high-brow to street food, equalizing it all with his unique style and sense of color. He started taking photographs of food 25 years ago. At the time ... More

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Study of the Head and Clasped Hands of a Young Man as Christ in Prayer, oil on oak panel, (est. 6,000,000-8,000,000). Courtesy Sotheby's.

LONDON.- As the year’s sales draw to a close, collectors came together in London this week to celebrate the heights of artistic creativity over the last two millennia. Sotheby’s London sales concluded with a combined total of 45,566,613 / $58,084,687 / €51,240,012. Strong performances across five sales, including Old Master Paintings, Sculpture and a dedicated sale of portrait miniatures saw exceptional sell-through rates with totals exceeding their pre-sale estimates. • Together the Old Masters Evening and Day sales totalled 34,563,175 / $44,030,820 / €38,883,625 • Participants from 22 countries with strong bidding from new and traditional markets, particularly UK • 85.7% sell-through rate achieved for the Evening sale - the highest achieved in the category in London, with 45% of lots selling above top estimates ... More

Augusta Savage (1892–1962), Gwendolyn Knight, 1934–35, recast 2001. Bronze, 18 x 8 x 9 in. Walter O. Evans Collection of African American Art.

JACKSONVILLE, FLA.- “Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman” is the first exhibition to reassess Savage’s contributions to art and cultural history through the lens of the artist-activist. Organized by the Cummer Museum and featuring sculptures, paintings and works on paper, the show is on view through April 7, 2019. Savage is a native of Green Cove Springs, near Jacksonville, and became a noted Harlem Renaissance leader, educator, artist and catalyst for change in the early 20th century. The exhibition, curated by the Cummer Museum and guest curator Jeffreen M. Hayes, Ph.D., brings together works from 21 national public and private lenders, and presents Savage’s small- and medium-size sculptures in bronze and other media alongside works by artists she mentored. Many of the nearly 80 works on view are rarely seen publicly. “While Savage’s artistic skill was widely ... More

'The King' of the road: German town puts Elvis on traffic lights   Sculptor's awe of animal kingdom highlighted in "Modern Menagerie"   Apollo Theater announces the first phase in creating the Apollo Performing Arts Center

A pedestrian trafic light customized with a dancing Elvis Presley is pictured in Friedberg, western Germany, on December 7, 2018. Yann Schreiber / AFP.

FRIEDBERG (AFP).- Cross the road, it's now or never. Or that's what residents in the German town of Friedberg may start humming when their traffic light jumps to green to reveal a hip-swivelling Elvis Presley. The jailhouse rocker performed his military service there between 1958 and 1960 and the town remains all shook up about its celebrated visitor. To commemorate the "Love me Tender" singer's link to Friedberg, located north of Frankfurt, local authorities have transformed three traffic lights into Elvis lights. On red, they show the music icon standing at his microphone. On green, Elvis is seen mid-hip shake, performing his trademark move on tip toes. The town, which calls itself "the army home of Elvis", already has a giant Elvis statue on a roundabout near the former US barracks. "Elvis holds a special place here and that's why he is honoured and appreciated, ... More

Loet Vanderveen, Antelope, 1988. Bronze with patina, 24 1/2 x 18 1/4 in. Crocker Art Museum, Loet Vanderveen Collection, 2016.60.16.

SACRAMENTO, CA.- The Crocker Art Museum announced the opening of "Modern Menagerie", an exhibition of sculptures by Loet Vanderveen, a California artist originally from the Netherlands. Vanderveen (1921–2015) became internationally recognized for his remarkable ability to capture animals' subtle expressions and gestures with minimal detail. The exhibition primarily features works from the Crocker's permanent collection. "Loet Vanderveen was a great friend to the Crocker. He gifted the Museum with his personal art collection as well as many of his own sculptures," said the Museum's Director and CEO, Lial Jones. "We are delighted to show his works together in this exhibition, and present the community with this opportunity to appreciate his minimalist aesthetic, as well as connect with his personal narrative and his lifelong fascination with the ... More

Rendering of the interior of a theater at the Victoria. Photo: Kostow Greenwood Architects.

HARLEM, NY.- The Apollo Theater announced today that it is undertaking the initial phase of the iconic Theater’s transformation into the Apollo Performing Arts Center through two new theaters within the Victoria Theater Redevelopment Project at 233 West 125th Street. The theaters will be the first physical expansion of the Apollo in its nearly 85-year history. Scheduled to open in fall 2020, the two new theaters at the Victoria space will allow the nonprofit Apollo Theater, which will operate the spaces, to increase the number of programming, educational, and community programs it offers. They will also house the Classical Theatre of Harlem, Harlem Arts Alliance, and Jazzmobile, the cultural partners designated by Empire State Development, enhancing Apollo’s advocacy for African-American, African-diasporic, and Harlem-based artists and culture. In conjunction with the initiative, the Apollo will develop ... More

Newark Museum exhibition celebrates sparkling gift of Steuben Glass   Betty Cuningham Gallery presents a survey of Judy Glantzman's work from 1979 to the present   Zhanna Kadyrova awarded the 2018 Miami Beach PULSE PRIZE

Gold Aurene vase with applied prunts & threading, c. 1913, Steuben Glass Works. The Thomas N. Armstrong III Collection, Gift of the Thomas N. Armstrong Family, 2018 2018.20.67.

NEWARK, NJ.- A sparkling, colorful gift of Steuben glass from The Thomas N. Armstrong III Collection will be on display in an upcoming exhibition at the Newark Museum. Unexpected Color: A Journey Through Glass, opening on April 28, 2019, showcases more than 130 works in glass designed by Frederick Carder for the famed Steuben Glass Works from 1903 to 1933 and used in a variety of settings by the collector. The exhibition presents a jewel box of shimmering glass, organized by Carder’s colors that he created and patented. Carder was fascinated with ancient glass colors and forms, and he worked to recreate the iridescent colors of excavated ancient Greek and Roman glass. He also designed new shapes inspired by Chinese and Venetian glass as ... More

Installation view.

NEW YORK, NY.- Betty Cuningham Gallery is presenting a survey of Judy Glantzman’s work from 1979 to the present. The exhibition, runs through Sunday, January 13, 2019. It is Glantzman’s fifth solo exhibition with the Gallery. A single dominant strain which has run through Glantzman’s work over the last 40 years is her compassion - her effort to put herself in her subject’s shoes. She has often said it is like “holding hands,” both literally and figuratively. I come from a self-portrait orientation…. The more I am in it, the truer it is. And the more I am in it, the less it is about me – even though in truth it is all about me…. There are two things going on, one is to reveal myself to myself and the other is to make something visual with my hands. The current exhibition includes paintings, sculpture and works on paper, all depicting expressive renditions of the figure. Whether carving, mol ... More

Zhanna Kadyrova, Voloshyn Gallery, Booth S-111. Courtesy of / Tiffany Sage.

MIAMI, FLA.- PULSE Contemporary Art Fair announced Zhanna Kadyrova has received the 2018 Miami Beach PULSE PRIZE, a jury-awarded, cash grant of $2,500 given directly to an artist of distinction, exhibiting in a SOLO booth at the fair. For the fourteenth edition of PULSE Miami Beach, led by the fair’s director, Katelijne De Backer, Zhanna Kadyrova was selected by a jury of emerging and established authorities in the industry, including Kimberly Drew, Writer and Independent Curator; Cristina Favretto, Head of Special Collections at University of Miami; Jennifer Inacio, Curator at Perez Art Museum Miami; Rosa Lowinger, Independent Curator; Zoe Lukov, Curator at Faena Art; Leilani Lynch, Curator at Bass Museum of Art; and Vere Van Gool, Associate Director of IdeasCity at New Museum who says it’s “exciting to join the PULSE ... More

More News
Why Do Major Galleries Hide Great Art Away?
Major museums around the world keep some of the greatest works of art in history away from the public eye. The numbers here are quite incredible! At the Museum of Modern Art in New York, for example 24 of the 1221 works by Pablo Picasso cant be viewed by visitors. Ed Ruscha, the conceptual artist from California, has only 1 piece being displayed. And you can only see 9 of Surrealist Joan Mirs 156 works. Although the walls of MoMa, the Louvre, and the Tate may look perfectly well-hung, the vast majority of art belonging to the top institutions in the world, and, in may countries, tax-paying citizens, is kept hidden away, in meticulously organised storage facilities that are kept darkened and under strict temperature control. That Tate shows only 20% of its permanent collection, the Louvre only 8%, and the Guggenheim a rather astonishingly low 3%. The Berlinische Galerie shows only 2% of its holdings, including around 6 000 sculptures and paintings, 15 000 prints, and 80 000 photograp ... More

Historically interesting motorbike comes to market with H&H Classics
LONDON.- If you learnt to ride a bike in the late 70’s or early 80’s you will have seen this motorbike whilst studying the Highway Code! It’s now coming up for sale with H&H Classics on 2nd March 2019 at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham. It is estimated to sell for 4,500 to 5,500. It may not be the most expensive bike sold next year in Britain but it is without argument the one most of us, of a certain age, will have seen as we studied for our driving licenses. This is the bike that the graphic designers who created our Highway Code book used to illustrate the publication. Mark Bryan Head of Motorcycle sales at H&H Classics, comments: “This modest bike is part of our collective automotive history. You could say it is an Urban Legend, a bike used to teach us how to stay safe and keep bike riders safe.” The 1973 Triumph TR6R Tiger 650 was ... More

Vienna premieres new opera on rise of far-right in Europe
VIENNA (AFP).- World premieres are something of a rarity at the Vienna State Opera, but preparations are underway this week for the first performance of a new piece tackling the refugee crisis and the rise of far-right populism in Europe. It has been more then eight years since the State Opera, one of the world's most important music theatres, commissioned and premiered a brand new work. The 44-year-old Austrian composer Johannes Maria Staud says being asked to write an opera for such a prestigious house was "invigorating". "It really focuses the mind," he told AFP. Staud has already written two operas and his third, "Die Weiden" (The Willows), is being premiered on Saturday. The 135-minute work, scored for huge orchestra and live electronics, is based on a short story by British horror writer Algernon Blackwood and the novel "Heart of Darkness" ... More

Hamburger Bahnhof presents "How to talk with birds, trees, fish, shells, snakes, bulls and lions"
BERLIN.- Can a shell sing to me? Can a human being be a snake? Can a tree be my mother or father? Can I converse with a river? Can a chicken help to communicate with my ancestors? Are there human beings that know how to sing like birds? Can my apple tree call for my help? Can animals in the forest show me how to survive? Can I listen to the insects in a fallow in the middle of the city? Collaborative and trans-disciplinary artist Antje Majewski (born 1968 in Marl, Germany) has opened an ongoing dialogue with colleagues from Brazil, Cameroon, China, Colombia, France, Hungary, Poland, and Senegal, and invited them to contribute works exploring the reciprocal relationships between human and beyond-human beings in a poetic way. The exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum fr Gegenwart – Berlin stems from this conversation between ... More

NTU Centre for Contemporary Art opens Belgian artist Jef Geys's first institutional exhibition in Asia
SINGAPORE.- NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore presents Quadra Medicinale Singapore, the late Belgian artist Jef Geys’s first institutional exhibition in Asia. Geys’s conceptual practice adopted an interdisciplinary and collaborative process of research and knowledge-formation, and was driven by his belief that art should be intertwined with the everyday. For Quadra Medicinale (2009), Geys invited residents of Villeurbanne, New York, Moscow, and Brussels to demarcate a geometrical quadrant, with their home or workplace at the centre, and document 12 unassuming street plants, or “weeds.” From this collection, the collaborators uncovered the productive, and often times medicinal, properties of these plants. Quadra Medicinale is structured as a universal manual capable of being replicated anywhere and has, since its first presentation ... More

Miami Dade College unveils art installation by Carlos Cruz-Diez
MIAMI, FLA.- Miami Dade College, in collaboration with International Solidarity for Human Rights, commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with an installation by internationally-renowned artist Carlos Cruz-Diez. ISHR, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, also presented the Human Rights Friendly recognition awards in 4 categories: Human Rights Friendly Country, Human Rights Friendly Educational Institution, Human Rights Friendly Corporation and Human Rights Friendly Individual. The art piece, titled “Induction Chromatique,” represents Human Rights Article 27, “Right to Culture” and has been donated to the college by ISHR as part of its Route to Human Rights Project. The ongoing project, which kicked off in 2010 at MDC’s InterAmerican Campus, places works of art at various MDC campuses (there ... More

Thought-provoking exhibition at the Whatcom Museum explores endangered species and biodiversity
BELLINGHAM, WA.- The Whatcom Museum is presenting Endangered Species: Artists on the Front Line of Biodiversity, an interdisciplinary exhibition featuring 80 works of art, from rare books to cutting edge video, that span the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. It is on view in the Museum’s Lightcatcher building and closes January 6, 2019. Endangered Species highlights an international group of 60 artists who celebrate biodiversity's beauty, interpret natural and human-induced extinctions of plants and animals, and focus on species from diverse ecosystems under stress. It also includes the work of artists who spotlight the human activities that threaten biodiversity alongside projects that revitalize habitats and reconnect people to the rich tapestry of life. "We often read news headlines with alarming statistics and then turn the page," said ... More

Exhibition at Walker Art Center features two new moving image works by Elizabeth Price
MINNEAPOLIS, MN.- London-based artist Elizabeth Price (UK, b. 1966) creates richly layered, moving image works made specifically for gallery settings. Composed of a broad range of imagery sourced from analogue and digital photography, animation, and motion graphics, her works are often accompanied by scrolling text, narrated by a computerized voice and paired with music. Elizabeth Price is on display at the Walker Art Center from Satruday, December 8 through Sunday, June 30, 2019. Conceived in response to the architecture and past history of the Walker's gallery, this solo exhibition features two new moving image works—FELT TIP and KOHL (both 2018)—marking the artist's first commission for a US museum. Projected floor to ceiling at more than 15 feet, FELT TIP focuses on design motifs of men's neckties from the 1970s and '80s with patterns ... More

Pearl Harbor archive that included Items recovered from the USS Arizona after attack sold for $12,154
BOSTON, MASS.- Lawrence A. Williams was born in Ohio on June 3, 1914, to Lawrence W. and Ruth Williams of Oxford Township. Williams attended Miami University (Ohio) School of Architecture, and graduated in June of 1936 with a B. Arch. He began his career as an apprentice soon afterward, while also working in a local hardware store as an electrician (his pre-military career is listed in a handwritten letter he wrote to accompany his application for naval flight training, and a copy is included with the lot). He initially enlisted as a Seaman, 2nd Class in the US Naval Reserves in May of 1940, and was subsequently discharged on October 3, 1940, in order to report for training as a Naval Aviator at NAS Pensacola, Florida. Williams successfully graduated 42nd in his class as a full-fledged Naval Aviator, and was commissioned an Ensign on April 21, ... More

Sir John Soane’s Museum exhibits a prototype cable construction robot
LONDON.- Sir John Soane’s Museum offers a glimpse of the future of building construction with a live installation of the Polibot – a prototype cable construction robot developed by architects Mamou-Mani – as part of an exhibition that considers the cultural implications of digital construction and fabrication technologies. New robotic technologies are set to revolutionise the way buildings are constructed. Inspired by the ‘spider cams’ of sports stadia and pick-and-place technology, the Polibot ‘picks’ individual bricks and then ‘places’ them one by one to create a freestanding structure. Dramatically installed in the Museum, the Polibot offers a tantalising glimpse of the possibilities of robotic technologies and their impact on architectural design. The Polibot progressively constructs and then deconstructs domes referencing Sir John Soane’s designs for the Bank of England. Curves and lines f ... More

'Joy' snags Etoile d'Or at Morocco's Marrakesh film festival
MARRAKESH (AFP).- Austrian filmmaker Sudabeh Mortezai's "Joy", an unflinching look at migrant sex workers in Europe, won top prize Saturday at the Marrakesh film festival in Morocco. Italian actress Monica Bellucci presented the trophy for the film, which tells the story of a young Nigerian forced into prostitution in Vienna. Marrakesh's 17th annual festival was attended by top cinema stars like US director Martin Scorsese and actor Robert de Niro. Tunisian Nidhal Saadi won Best Actor for his role in the film "Regarde moi" (Look at me), directed by Nejib Belkhadi. And German Aenne Schwarz won Best Actress for her role in "Alles is gut" (All is good), directed by Eva Trobish. Tribute evenings honoured the careers of visionary French filmmaker Agnes Varda and her co-director, French street artist JR, who teamed up to produce the road documentary "Faces ... More

Installation Tour of Art of Native America 2/9: Polacca Polychrome Water Jar

On a day like today, American photographer Berenice Abbott died
December 09, 1991. Berenice Abbott (July 17, 1898 - December 9, 1991), ne Bernice Alice Abbott, was an American photographer best known for her portraits of between-the-wars 20th century cultural figures, New York City photographs of architecture and urban design of the 1930s, and science interpretation in the 1940s to 1960s. In this image: Berenice Abbott (American, 1898-1991), Broadway to the Battery, May 4, 1938. Gelatin silver, 9-1/2 x 7-1/4 inches.

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