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Toomey & Co. Auctioneers announces its largest annual sale on December 8

Christo & Jeanne-Claude, Packed Coast (Project for Little Bay, at Prince Henry Hospital, Sydney, Australia), 1969. Estimate $60,000-80,000.

OAK PARK, IL.- On Sunday, December 8, Toomey & Co. Auctioneers will conclude its 2019 schedule by presenting Art & Design with Tradition & Innovation. The auction includes close to 600 lots representing a variety of artistic movements and media by top painters, sculptors, ceramicists, furniture makers, designers, and architects who have helped define the world of art and design for more than a century. This combined sale will build upon the success of last year’s inaugural Tradition & Innovation auction, a carefully curated offering of quintessential works from the 19th century through the present. On December 2, 2018, Art & Design and Tradition & Innovation together realized $2.2 million. The auction on December 8 is open to the public and will take place beginning at 10:00 a.m. CST, onsite (Toomey & Co. Auctioneers, 818 North Boulevard, Oak Park, Illinois), by phone (708-383-5234), and via two live digital bidding platforms (LiveAuctioneers ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Burglars hit East German secret police museum in Berlin   Export bar placed on Liss masterpiece   Degas: A superfan at the opera, where art tips into obsession

This file photo taken on November 7, 2006 shows the entrance of the documentation centre of the former east Germany's Ministry for State Security, better known by its acronym STASI, in Berlin. John MACDOUGALL / AFP.

BERLIN (AFP).- Burglars broke into Berlin's Stasi Museum, which showcases items of East Germany's hated secret police, making off with collectible medals and gold jewellery, authorities said Sunday, days after a spectacular diamond heist in Dresden. The robbers broke in through a window on the first floor, "smashed several showcases, and stole medals and jewellery", said police in a statement. They made off with their spoils undetected. The time of the raid was unclear but a museum employee found showcases smashed in the exhibition rooms on Sunday morning. Museum director Joerg Drieselmann told the Tagesspiegel daily that among the medals taken were a gold Patriotic order of Merit, an Order of Karl Marx -- the highest honour awarded in the former communist East Germany and an Order of Lenin. ... More

The Old Master painting, from the height of Liss’s career, has been valued at £5.6 million.

LONDON.- An export bar has been issued for Johann Liss’s ‘The Temptation of Mary Magdalene’ in a bid to provide the opportunity for a UK gallery to acquire it. Johann Liss (c. 1595-1631) was one of the leading painters in the Baroque style and a major force in the re-energisation of Venetian painting. The work, valued at £5.6 million, depicts Mary Magdalene turning away from a figure offering symbols of earthly riches towards an angel, in an ambiguous representation of the common theme of vice versus virtue. Although this painting has been in the UK for over 250 years, ‘The Temptation of Mary Magdalene’ was not known to scholars until 1994 and had not been exhibited publicly before that time. Due to his death at the age of 36 in 1631, there are very few surviving works completed by Liss, making this work a rare example. The painting at risk of export demonstrates Liss’s strong command of original composition and distinct painterly skill. The work combines eleme ... More

Detail of "The Curtain," circa 1880 by Edgar Degas. National Gallery of Art via The New York Times.

PARIS (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- You’ll find them up in the balcony, or in standing room, silently mouthing the libretto or humming along with the score. These are the superfans: the compulsive lovers of opera or ballet or theater who see every performance; who travel from city to city for Marilyn Horne or Mikhail Baryshnikov; who know every downbeat of “Così Fan Tutte” or “A Chorus Line.” Most are harmless admirers. Some become lay experts. But the superfan can be conniving, as in “All About Eve,” or even murderous: the Tejano sensation Selena was killed by her fan club president. If great art stimulates the heart and the head, the superfan has the ratio out of whack: Passion wins out over reason, and appreciation tips into obsession. In the annals of French art history, the superfan par excellence is Edgar Degas: the most Parisian of all the impressionists, and an obsessive of the first magnitude over the opera and ballet. For decades, he watched the leading ... More

Hirshhorn opens exhibition examining the life and legacy of pioneering artist Marcel Duchamp   Looking for Frederick Douglass in Savannah   Palace of Versailles opens "Versailles Revival (1867-1937)"

Marcel Duchamp, Self-Portrait in Profile (Autoportrait de profil), 1958/1963. Torn origami paper on paper. Edition: 1/25. Promised Gift of Barbara and Aaron Levine. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; photo: Cathy Carver © Association Marcel Duchamp / ADAGP, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 2019.

WASHINGTON, DC.- The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has opened a two-part exhibition on the life and legacy of Marcel Duchamp, commencing with “Marcel Duchamp: The Barbara and Aaron Levine Collection,” on view Nov. 9–Oct. 15, 2020. This first part of the exhibition features the recent gift of over 50 major historical artworks, including more than 35 seminal works by Duchamp, promised to the museum by Washington, D.C., collectors Barbara and Aaron Levine. The second stage of the exhibition, on view April 18, 2020–Oct. 15, 2020, will examine Duchamp’s lasting impact through the lens of the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection, including significant works by a diverse roster of modern and contemporary artists. Both exhibitions are organized ... More

Walter Evans, who has a remarkable archive of letters, manuscripts, and other documents, by Frederick Douglass and by members of his family, at his home in Savannah, Ga., Oct. 23, 2019. Savannah is a pilgrimage destination for those interested in the abolitionist’s life, with artists interpreting his legacy in riveting shows and a film. Dylan Wilson/The New York Times.

by Siddhartha Mitter

SAVANNAH (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Frederick Douglass passed through this elegant Southern city only once, for the briefest of visits — a half-hour whistle-stop on his rail journey to a speaking engagement in Jacksonville, Florida. It was April 1889, just the second foray into the Deep South for the great orator, five decades after his escape from Maryland as a fugitive slave. Douglass was now a major political figure, with an elegant hilltop home in Washington, D.C. Across the South, Jim Crow laws and racial terror were demolishing the gains of Reconstruction. In Savannah, Douglass greeted the cheering crowd and reviewed a company of ... More

Alexandre Benois, Le bain de la marquise, 1906. Gouache sur papier, 51 x 47,5 cm.
Moscou, La Galerie d’État Tretiakov © FineArtImages / Leemage © ADAGP, Paris, 2019.

PARIS.- At the turn of the 20th century, the Palace of Versailles was at a crucial time in its history. One hundred years after the French Revolution and at the dawn of the Belle Epoque, a remarkable sense of fondness, nostalgia, curiosity and enthusiasm developed around Versailles in its Ancien Régime persona. With almost 350 works on display, including documents and photographs, the exhibition traces this surprising period in the history of art when Versailles played a leading role in the great literary, pictorial and musical motifs of the time, just at the moment when it was embarking on an extensive programme of restoration and refurbishment. People were dreaming of Marie-Antoinette at the same time that the French Republic was holding its Assemblies at Versailles and receiving foreign dignitaries. In the gardens there were aristocratic parties and popular tourism. Artists, painters, photographers, illustrators ... More

Exhibition at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac features new large-scale paintings and graphic works by Marcin Maciejowski   National Gallery of Ireland presents 180 years of iconic international photography in latest exhibition   Solo exhibition of new work by Su-Mei Tse on view at Peter Blum Gallery

Marcin Maciejowski, It Certainly Has A Fairly Intriguing Strange Composition, 2019. Oil on canvas, 190 x 150 cm (74,8 x 59,06 in). © Marcin Maciejowski Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London • Paris • Salzburg.

LONDON.- Marcin Maciejowski's first London exhibition with the gallery illuminates the Polish artist's continued exploration of his immediate surrounds, including scenes from the art world, fragments from art history and the often-overlooked moments that permeate urban culture and daily life. Private View features new large-scale paintings and graphic works on paper that uniquely merge a comic-book aesthetic with Old Master traditions to present an intimate, enigmatic form of contemporary social commentary. Minor personal concerns are mixed with universal political themes, and Maciejowski often equates political rhetoric with the platitudes of an art critic. He draws from a range of influences and inspirations – literature and poetry, the art historical canon and the work of friends, scenes both real and imagined, convivial and anecdotal, personal and political – consistently executed with a meticulous attention to detail and an acute ... More

Dorothea Lange (American, 1895–1965), One Nation Indivisible, 1957 negative, printed in 1967. Gelatin silver print. Bank of America Collection.

DUBLIN.- Iconic American landscapes, scenes of daily life from interwar Europe, and experimental, abstract impressions of both the natural and manmade worlds are among the subjects found in the National Gallery of Ireland’s latest exhibition, Moment in Time: A Legacy of Photographs | Works from the Bank of America Collection, which opened on Saturday, 30 November 2019. The exhibition draws on Bank of America’s extensive private collection, which is one of the largest corporate holdings of photography in the world. This is the first time that the exhibition travels to Europe. Featuring almost 120 works from photographers including Ansel Adams, Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange, and Man Ray, the exhibition places a special emphasis on works created between the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, and offers a survey of the full range of the photographic medium from that period. Works are arranged according ... More

Cube Studies, 2019. Installation, inkjet on fine art paper mounted on Dibond, oak wood frame, wood sticks and steel frame pedestal. Dimensions variable. Edition of 3.

NEW YORK, NY.- Peter Blum Gallery is presenting a solo exhibition of new work by Su-Mei Tse entitled, In the (very) beginning at 176 Grand Street, New York. This is the artist’s fifth solo show with the gallery, and first exhibition following her acclaimed 2017-2019 traveling exhibition entitled, Nested at Mudam Luxembourg, the Aargauer Kunsthaus in Switzerland, the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, and the Yuz Museum in Shanghai. Su-Mei Tse is a visual artist whose multidisciplinary work contemplates existence, notions of time, and rhythm. She expresses life questions by capturing fleeting moments of memories and feelings through various media including photography, sculpture, film, and installation. Impressions in everyday existence whether they be a passing thought, transitory state, or a visual or auditory experience are lyrically translated in her work. Tse was initially trained as a classical cellist before completing ... More

Two new exhibitions highlight work from museum's vast permanent collection   Export bar placed on rare bronze sculpture by François Girardon   Renowned Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons dies aged 76

Graciela Iturbide, Marcha Política, Juchitán, Oaxaca, 1985. Gelatin silver print
20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6cm) Collection Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Gift of Susan Steinhauser and Daniel Greenberg, 2012.34 © Graciela Iturbide.

SAN DIEGO, CA.- The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego is presenting two exhibitions this fall that highlight work from the Museum’s vast permanent collection. México quiero conocerte: Photographs by Graciela Iturbide and Manuel Álvarez Bravo and Bound to the Earth: Art, Materiality, and the Natural World both opened on Thursday, November 21. The exhibitions will remain on view through March 15, 2020. México quiero conocerte: Photographs by Graciela Iturbide and Manuel Álvarez Bravo features work by two of the most celebrated photographers in Latin America. The images that Graciela Iturbide (b.1942) and Manuel Álvarez Bravo (1902 –2002) produced of their native Mexico have actively contributed to shaping Mexican visual identity while concurrently offering representations ... More

17th-century bronze figure of Apollo.

LONDON.- An export bar has been placed on a 17th-century bronze figure of Apollo in a bid to keep the work in the UK. The £1.2 million sculpture by François Girardon (1628-1715), depicts the mythological sun god Apollo. The figure is holding a lyre, representing his association with music, and is crowned with a laurel, alluding to his pursuit of the nymph Daphne. Girardon defined the sculptural style of French Baroque and made a significant contribution to the decoration of the Palace of Versailles which was the principal royal residence of the French kings from the late 1680s until the French Revolution. This particular piece epitomises the tastes of the French ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV and may have been made for him personally. The figure is a rare statuette and one of only two known extant bronzes based on an earlier terracotta model made by Girardon. The decision follows the advice of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA). The C ... More

This file photo taken on January 1, 2016 shows Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons conducting the traditional New Year Concert with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the Vienna Musikverein. Jansons died on December 1, 2019 at the age of 76. HERBERT NEUBAUER / APA / AFP.

SAINT PETERSBURG (AFP).- Renowned Latvian maestro Mariss Jansons, who conducted some of the world's most prestigious orchestras, has died at his home in Saint Petersburg, Russian authorities said on Sunday. He was 76. Jansons, who had suffered from heart problems, died of cardiac arrest, according to people close to his family quoted by Russian media. "Sincere gratitude for his great art will always remain with us," Saint Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov said in a statement, calling him "an outstanding conductor". Considered one of the leading conductors to emerge from the former Soviet Union, Jansons was born in the Latvian capital Riga in 1943, the son of the renowned conductor Arvid Jansons, who died in 1984. The family moved to Leningrad, ... More

More News
Suzanne Jackson's first solo exhibition in New York on view at Ortuzar Projects
NEW YORK, NY.- Ortuzar Projects is presenting NEWS!, Suzanne Jackson's first solo exhibition in New York. In a career spanning more than five decades, Jackson has worked experimentally across genres including drawing, painting, printmaking, bookmaking, poetry, dance, and theater and costume design. The exhibition follows Jackson’s recent career retrospective at the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia, and primarily focuses on her painterly abstractions, including a group of large-scale, semi-sculptural works freed from any external support. Built up in layers of pure acrylic, Jackson’s colossal “anti-canvases” are partially structured with netting, rods, and paper fragments, and strewn with cast-off color and other prosaic elements: peanut shells, bamboo, bells, loquat seeds, leather string. The artist’s handmade gestural impressions— ... More

ICA Miami marks five year anniversary with new acquisitions and expanded programs
MIAMI, FLA.- The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami continues to strengthen and expand its exhibitions, collections, and educational programming in 2019, marking a number of major milestones since the museum’s founding five years ago. Reflecting ICA Miami’s mission of championing new narratives in contemporary art and providing a platform for the exchange of art and ideas, the museum launched major initiatives in 2019, including a new sculpture prize and an exhibition series focused on the intersection of contemporary art and design; commissioned major largescale works; and added more than 100 significant works of contemporary art to its holdings, including numerous by Miami-based artists. As a cultural hub for the community, ICA Miami continued to expand the breadth and impact of its educational programming, serving tens of thousands of students, ... More

Can dance make a more just America? Donald Byrd is working on it
SEATTLE (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Choreographer Donald Byrd stood before a video of his younger self, observing a dance he created 33 years ago. In a button-down T-shirt, loose khaki pants and bare feet, the man on-screen floated through swift turns and bobbing leaps with the continuity of rushing water, letting the phrase resolve in a simple first position. “Now this solo I like,” Byrd said, adding with a laugh: “You can see I studied ballet somewhere.” The elegant 1986 work he’s dancing, “Divertimento,” is one of the first images visitors see in “The America That Is to Be,” an exhibition at the Frye Art Museum here that runs through Jan. 26. Organized by the dance artist and scholar Thomas F. DeFrantz, the show traces the evolution, over 40 years, of Byrd’s commitment to dance as a catalyst for social justice. The early works on display find a young Byrd, ... More

Galerie Max Hetzler opens an exhibition of works by Carroll Dunham and Michael Williams
BERLIN.- Galerie Max Hetzler is presenting the exhibition Drawings with works by Carroll Dunham and Michael Williams, curated by Cornelius Tittel, at Bleibtreustraße 45. 30 years apart and both hailed as leading painters of their generations, Carroll Dunham and Michael Williams have been visiting each other’s studios and collecting each other’s drawings for years. Born out of their friendship and an ongoing dialogue in drawing — a medium at the core of both artists’ practices — Carroll Dunham | Michael Williams: Drawings is the first exhibition to present their work together. Curated by Cornelius Tittel, in close collaboration with the artists, the show brings together more than 50 drawings from the late eighties until today. Dunham has chosen examples from both an early phase he now calls “abstraction with a hard-on”, and more recent figurative drawings of “Bathers” and “Wrestlers”, w ... More

Marion McClinton, interpreter of August Wilson, dies at 65
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Marion McClinton, a noted director who was a favorite of the playwright August Wilson and took two of his plays to Broadway, earning a 2001 Tony Award nomination for best direction for the first, “King Hedley II,” died Thursday in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was 65. His son, Jesse Mandell-McClinton, said the cause was kidney failure. McClinton, who was also an actor and playwright, did some of his most acclaimed directing off Broadway and in regional theaters, especially in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, his home base. “London and New York have the glamour and money,” he told The Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2007, when he was directing Samm-Art Williams’ “Home” at the Pillsbury House Theater in Minneapolis. “But when you are working on Broadway, you are as much a director as a manager solving people’s problems. ... More

Public Art Fund expands board of directors with four new members
NEW YORK, NY.- Public Art Fund announced the appointment of Ai Weiwei, Ellen Celli, Andrea Krantz, and Ruthard C. Murphy to its Board of Directors. They join an international group of philanthropists and artists who support the organization’s mission to bring powerful, free contemporary art to broad audiences across New York City and beyond. These appointments are emblematic of Public Art Fund’s strategic growth over the past ten years, under the tenure of Director & Chief Curator Nicholas Baume, which has also seen the expansion of the organization’s budget and staff to support its ambitious programming. “We are thrilled to welcome these four visionaries to our board leadership, each of whom has been a friend and supporter of Public Art Fund for a number of years,” says Nicholas Baume, Public Art Fund Director & Chief Curator. “As we think about ... More

King's Cross unveils David Batchelor's Christmas Tree: King's Xmas, 2019
LONDON.- From a raving laser projection, to a speaking tree with a Geordie accent, to a soaring sledge sculpture, the King’s Cross Christmas tree is always a surprise with an air of the unexpected, and this year is no exception. Providing people who visit King’s Cross, with a special experience during the holiday season, King’s Cross has commissioned artist David Batchelor to make the 2019 King’s Cross Christmas tree within the dramatic surrounds of Granary Square. This year’s Christmas tree, King’s Xmas, 2019, is a celebration of Batchelor’s love of colour, industrial materials and geometry. King’s Xmas, 2019, situated in King’s Cross’ Granary Square, is a striking take on the traditional Christmas tree. Using scaffolding and LED lights Batchelor has created a 13.5-metre-high tree that transforms itself from day to night. By day the scaffold structure ... More

Vienna's Secession opens an exhibition of works by Lisa Holzer
VIENNA.- At first something disappears. The exhibition starts in the staircase to the Kabinett with a colour application that will be overlooked. The dark grey mountings of the handrails – now there are two for security purposes – disappear in the colour of the wall. They seem to hang in the air. Almost as if I could throw them towards you. In the Kabinett the light's not on. This exhibition needs – no demands grey daylight. On view are radiant pigment prints, very colourful – I should limit the colours – almost clownish pictures – this would be cooler. They show grapes and grapes in white chocolate. The grapes are huge. I thought wine grapes go well with Austria. It is a daylight, a movement exhibition. Maybe the winter date is not the best for this. Removing the light is a reverse movement to the addition of colour on the mounting of the rails. And yet, twice, ... More

Original artwork of much-loved children's classic offered at Bonhams book sale
LONDON.- The complete artwork for the much-loved children’s picture book, Tim to the Rescue, by Edward Ardizzone is to be offered at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on Wednesday 4 December. It is estimated at £30,000-50,000. Published by Oxford University Press in 1949, Tim to the Rescue is the third in Ardizzone’s Little Tim series of picture books which began with the publication of Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain in 1936. The adventures of Tim – all of which take place at sea – quickly gripped the imagination of children on both sides of the Atlantic. When Ardizzone returned from military service as an official war artist in World War II, he began work on a new tale, which, like its predecessors, he both wrote and illustrated. Tim to the Rescue introduces Ginger, a mischievous cabin boy whose life Tim saves during a storm ... More

'Emil Hoppé: Photographs from the Ballets Russes' on view at Museum of Russian Icons
CLINTON, MASS.- Russian Icons is presenting Emil Hoppé: Photographs from the Ballets Russes, November 15, 2019 through March 8, 2020. The exhibitions pays homage to the genius of two men: famed Russian impresario Sergei Diaghilev who, more than a century ago, founded the Ballets Russes; and renowned photographer Emil Otto Hoppé, who, between 1911 and 1921, photographed the champions of that illustrious company. With both studio portraits and ballet sequences, this visual chronicle presents not only the leading stars of the Ballets Russes such as Vaslav Nijinsky, Adolph Bolm, Michel and Vera Fokine, and Tamara Karsavina, but also celebrities whose connection with Diaghilev was tangential–such as Mathilde Kschessinska, Anna Pavlova, and Hubert Stowitts. In the 1920s and 30s Emil Otto Hoppé (British, German-born, 1878–1972) ... More

The Chrysler Museum of Art presents powerful and provocative stained glass in fall exhibition
NORFOLK, VA.- The Chrysler Museum of Art is presenting a contemporary take on the very old and traditional medium of stained glass this fall with Agony and Ecstasy: Contemporary Stained Glass by Judith Schaechter. On view through Jan. 5, 2020, the Chrysler-curated exhibition features 14 illuminated artworks full of pathos and mystery. The artworks, generously loaned by the artist and Claire Oliver Gallery in New York City, span an eight-year period from 2009–2017. Admission is free. Many of the stained glass lightboxes on view in the Chrysler Museum exhibition feature a solitary figure arranged against a lushly patterned color field in a pose of transcendence or anguish. “It is the similar intensity of these two extreme states-of-being or emotions that we see in Judith’s art that inspired me to curate a show of her work with the theme ‘Agony and ... More

Tim Marlow's Must-See Museum Shows: December 2019

On a day like today, French painter Georges Seurat was born
December 02, 1859. Georges-Pierre Seurat (2 December 1859 - 29 March 1891) was a French Post-Impressionist painter and draftsman. He is noted for his innovative use of drawing media and for devising a technique of painting known as pointillism. His large-scale work A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1884–1886), Seurat's most famous painting, altered the direction of modern art by initiating Neo-impressionism, and is one of the icons of 19th century painting. In this image: A staff member holds the artwork titled 'La Tour Eiffel' (The Eiffel Tower) by French painter Georges Seurat at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, 01 February 2010.

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