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Poland urged to look for Nazi-looted art still held in its museums

Researchers say Jacob van Ruysdael’s romantic 17th-century landscape with a ruin, taken from a Jewish publisher in Berlin, is one of the works in the Gdansk museum that should be restituted. Photo: National Museum in Gdansk.

by Nina Siegal


NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE ).- The systemic looting of Poland by the Nazis during World War II still resonates today in that country, where officials continue to seek the return of more than 63,000 works of art and cultural properties, many of which were stolen from Jews there. But experts say Poland has done a poor job of providing the same justice to Dutch Jews and others whose art works were stolen during the war and ended up in German-occupied Poland and now are part of official museum collections. Seven Dutch works that researchers have identified as missing are held by one museum in Gdansk. Scholars say they suspect dozens more are in art institutions in other Polish cities where the Nazis stored cultural artifacts they had looted, or bought under dubious circumstances, from the Netherlands. “The Polish government wants to have as much as possible back,” said Kamil Zeidler, a law professor at the University of Gdansk who has studied the issue, “but they don’t want to give anything back to o ... More

The Best Photos of the Day





Anish Kapoor exhibit brings together a selection of new mirror works   Britain moves to regulate its art trade. Bring your id   £20 million David Hockney to make a splash at Sotheby's London


Installation view of Anish Kapoor at Regen Projects, Los Angeles, January 11 - February 16, 2020. Photo: Joshua White, Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Regen Projects opened an exhibition by renowned artist Anish Kapoor. Since the 1980s Kapoor’s ambitious practice has continuously expanded the limits of sculptural form by investigating scale, volume, color, and materiality. With this exhibition, the artist’s sixth solo presentation following his gallery debut in 1992, Kapoor brings together a selection of new mirror works that challenge optical perception and phenomenological experience through experiments in shape and form. The cornerstone of the exhibition is a monumental stainless-steel Double S-Curve. Expanding upon a singular work originally exhibited at Regen Projects in 2006, the sculpture's alternating concave and convex structure snakes through the center of the gallery. Simultaneously appearing both solid and liquid, its highly polished mirrored surfaces ... More
 

Visitors sit near a work by Georg Baselitz, at the Frieze art fair in London. Andrew Testa/The New York Times.

by Scott Reyburn


LONDON (NYT NEWS SERVICE ).- Britain’s embattled art trade, already rattled by the potential fallout from Brexit, is bracing for new rules intended to tackle money laundering and terrorism financing that some fear could further hamstring dealers in the country. As of Friday, “art market participants” in Britain are subject to the regulations when conducting transactions worth more than 10,000 euros, or about $11,100. Under the rules, they have to register with the government’s tax agency, and dealers and auctioneers must establish the identity of the “ultimate beneficial owner” — meaning both seller and buyer — before entering into a transaction. The legislation, ratified last month by the British Parliament, introduces largely without modification a European Union directive that is at various stages of implementation in other ... More
 

David Hockney, The Splash, 1966, acrylic on canvas, 72 x 72 inches. Courtesy Sotheby's.

LONDON.- A breath-taking realisation of David Hockney’s Californian fantasy, The Splash is set to make waves in London this February when it stars in Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Auction. The painting will be offered with an estimate of £20-30 million – over six times the price achieved when the work last sold at auction for £2.9 million ($5.4 million) at Sotheby’s London in 2006, where it made a record for the artist at auction at the time. Painted in 1966, The Splash immortalises a fleeting moment just seconds after a diver has broken the calm surface of a swimming pool. The painting’s protagonist is present, yet absent, masked by a torrent of displaced water. The work is a quintessential example of Hockney’s lifelong fascination with the texture, appearance and depth of water - a fascination which culminated in one of the most celebrated and instantly recognisable bodies of work ... More


Galerie Templon opens an exhibition of works by James Casebere   David Reed's first exhibition of new work with Gagosian opens in New York   Nicky Haslam's House of Commons


Bright Yellow House on Water, 2019. Framed archival pigment print mounted to dibond, 152,7 x 118,7 cm. Courtesy Galerie Templon, Paris - Bruxelles © James Casebere

PARIS.- For this new exhibition, James Casebere once again displays his mastery of staged photography with an original series that accurately lays bare major contemporary questions around climate change and the threat of environmental disaster. In 2016, in response to the alarming rise of populism in society, Casebere presented an exhibition in homage to Luis Barragán: an architectural ensemble paying tribute to a sense of spirituality. With this new work, On the Water’s Edge, he sets his sights on the future with a series of novel hybrid structures, skilfully combining public spaces and private sanctuaries in coastal regions as he adopts a critical yet optimistic approach to the current disasters caused by rising sea levels. For the new show, the artist chose not to work with existing structures but to create new composite ensembles from scratch, their unfinished appearance turning them into sanctuaries of peace where every refugee ... More
 

#710, 2005–09/2018–19. Acrylic, oil, and alkyd on polyester, 121 x 55 in. 307.3 x 139.7 cm © 2020 David Reed/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian.

NEW YORK, NY.- Gagosian is presenting David Reed’s first exhibition of new work with the gallery, following Painting Paintings (David Reed) 1975, a presentation of his early brushmark paintings curated by Katy Siegel and Christopher Wool at Gagosian New York in 2017. Since the outset of his career, Reed’s central preoccupation has been to challenge and reinvent how to make a painting. Consistently, his paintings present a compelling tension between the gestural and the impersonal; in recent times this has been characterized by fluid, torquing, extended marks that reveal the viscosity of paint and the speed of color and light in a flattened manner that looks photographic or filmic. When Reed came to New York from Southern California in the 1960s, he entered an art scene skeptical about painting’s ability to be progressive. The young artist sympathized with the humanist, even metaphysical impulse in the work of painters such as his te ... More
 

Nicky Haslam, now 80, at his flat in London, Dec. 30, 2019. Gioncarlo Valentine/The New York Times.

by Guy Trebay


LONDON (NYT NEWS SERVICE ).- Lunch, or perhaps late breakfast, for Nicky Haslam was eggs Benedict and two coffee martinis. The setting was the Wolseley, the Piccadilly institution that has lost little of its luster since restaurateurs Chris Corbin and Jeremy King transformed what had been an auto showroom and later a chop suey joint into a high-style brasserie in 2003. Perched at an adjacent table were billionaire Henry Kravis and his wife, Marie-Josée, a matte black crocodile Hermès Birkin beside her on a banquette. In 2018, an all but identical handbag was hammered down at a Hong Kong auction for $175,000, but never mind that. Wealth displays are, in Haslam’s view, vulgar — or common, a term whose deployment he has parlayed into a personal franchise. At semiregular intervals, Haslam issues lists of things he disapproves of on the entirely arbitrary grounds of taste. The lists include — although are not limited to — scented candles, celebrity chefs, ... More


Shin Gallery opens exhibition of works by Joseph Cornell and Stephen Antonakos   Fossil reveals Earth's oldest known animal guts   New work by Teresa Margolles on view at James Cohan


Installation view.

NEW YORK, NY.- Shin Gallery is presenting together ten works of emotion and precision from master of enigma Joseph Cornell and lifelong “com-poser” of forms Stephen Antonakos. Both artists arrange found objects and art materials succinctly, in highly specific placements that define each work’s meanings — or at least its questions. Both worked mainly in New York: Cornell in his mother’s house on Utopia Parkway in Queens and Antonakos in Soho. Both had work in Martha Jackson’s brilliant 1960 exhibition “New Forms — New Media I” and in the Byron Gallery’s important 1965 show “Boxes.” Cornell’s boxes, and here his frames, have such a tight grip on their enclosed images they seem to exist outside time. In the 1930s engraving, the young legs pedal urgently, but the bicycle’s wheels are slashed by the etching’s left and right edges. The central, slightly tinted ... More
 

Illustrated views of Cloudina, a worm that lived about 550 million years ago. Stacy Turpin Cheavens, University of Missouri via The New York Times.

by Lucas Joel


NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE ).- They say you should trust your gut, which is what Emmy Smith did when she went hunting for fossils in 2016. Smith, a field geologist, had a hunch she would find something interesting at a site north of Pahrump, Nevada, and she did. But what her gut hadn’t told her was that some of those fossils would turn out to contain the oldest known animal guts on the planet. “It was just really lucky,” said Smith, who works at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and is part of the team that reported the find Friday in Nature Communications. The guts are those of an extinct animal called Cloudina, which looked like a worm made of a stack of ice cream cones and lived about 550 million years ... More
 

Teresa Margolles, Super Speed, El Paso, Texas, 2020. © Teresa Margolles 2020. Image courtesy the artist and James Cohan, New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- James Cohan is presenting an exhibition of new work by Teresa Margolles, on view from January 10 to March 1 at 48 Walker Street. This is the artist’s debut solo exhibition at James Cohan. Teresa Margolles investigates the social and aesthetic dimensions of conflict by infusing artwork with material traces of violence and loss. For this exhibition, she has created a new body of sculpture, photography, and installation that contends with the underlying causes of death and ongoing trauma on both sides of the Mexico-U.S. border. Assembled in collaboration with communities affected by violence, the objects on view examine shared experience to underscore mutual accountability within a context of commemoration and collective mourning. Central to the exhibition ... More


Littlejohn Contemporary presents a group show at Bedford Playhouse   Group exhibition explores the idea of still life   Chemould Prescott Road exhibits works by N.S. Harsha


Tracy Fauver and Jacquie Littlejohn.

BEDFORD, NY.- Littlejohn Contemporary is presenting a group show of artworks by several of its gallery artists at Bedford Playhouse, Bedford, New York, January 6th through March 1st, 2020. A wine and cheese reception will be held on Thursday, January 16th, from 6pm until 8pm. A portion of the proceeds from sales of artwork in this exhibition will benefit future programming at the newly renovated Bedford Playhouse. Bedford Playhouse, home of the Clive Davis Arts Center, is an exciting resource for the community…a destination where Westchester and Connecticut residents gather for film, music, art, and events – or just good food and drink. Its mission is to provide a vibrant, state of the art cinema, cultural center and community hub, featuring outstanding films, arts-related programming, educational offerings and a fun, welcoming space to relax and socialize. Littlejohn Contemporary Art has more than a passing relationship w ... More
 

Karen Lederer, Popcorn, 2019. Acrylic and oil on panel, 40h x 30w in (101.60h x 76.20w cm).

NEW YORK, NY.- Morgan Lehman is presenting Stilleven, a group exhibition that explores the idea of still life and features the works of five artists working in an array of disciplines and conceptual modes. One might define still life, (or “stilleven” in Dutch), as the artistic depiction of an arrangement of objects generally inanimate, commonplace, and personal in nature. Traditionally, these objects are rendered within a shallow spatial field that mimics the way we might encounter objects in our daily lives. Still life has ancient origins, developing into a highly refined art-historical genre in the Netherlands by the 16th Century, and continues to be a format full of possibilities for artists working today. Adriana Farmiga’s intimate views of everyday items reveal her ongoing interest in issues of monumentality, scale, and interstitial spaces. In these recent oil-on-panel paintings, bits of ... More
 

N. S. Harsha, Donkeys giving birth here and there, 2018. Acrylic and gold foil on canvas, 190 X 150 cms.

MUMBAI.- N.S. Harsha's work has a rarity; his gallery exhibitions are few and far between. Indeed his work is laboured, his process slow. The fact is that Harsha has a rigorous practice. Recent museum exhibitions, biennales have left a footprint from 2016 to 2019 from the Kochi Biennale, Japan, Sydney Biennale in Sydney, Wales, and more recently in Hong Kong. In 2017 Mami Katoka chief curator from the Mori Museum in Tokyo curated 7 to 8 rooms filled with paintings, installations and sculptures of the last 25 years by the artist. This in itself is testimony to the tremendous repertoire of the artist. Harsha comes back to his gallery, to Bombay, after a gap of 13 years! His last exhibition, Charming Nation was one of the last to be held in the old space of Chemould at Jehangir in 2006. This exhibition therefore is much awaited by those who hold his work close to their heart. His band of followers ... More




More News
Tintype unveils the sixth edition of its celebrated Essex Road film project
LONDON.- Tintype opened the sixth edition of its Essex Road program. Once more, it sees eight artists invited to make a short film in response to the eponymous, mile-long North London thoroughfare that snakes through Islington from Angel to Balls Pond Road, and where the gallery is also located. The annual commission is recognised for its significance within the ecology of moving image arts in the UK, enabling eight artists each year to create new work. Since its inception six years ago, Tintype has commissioned 48 artists’ films, including works by Benedict Drew, Melanie Manchot and John Smith. These are back-projected into the gallery’s window and viewed from the street as a form of public art. The driving force behind the project is the desire to work with outstanding artists, producing new work that is shown in an unusual context. Whilst the brief is very ... More

New non-profit sound-based art gallery Room25 presents "Amor"
TEL AVIV.- The audio-visual installation "Amor" (Portuguese for "love") by musician Aviad Zinemanas and video artist Dor Zlekha Levy, set out to investigate a specific emotional condition that is merely un-translatable. Just like Germans have a word for the feeling of spiritual solitude in the forest (Waldeinsamkeit), and Czechs have coined a term to describe the agony we feel when we suddenly realize our essential misery (Litost); the Portuguese have a single word that expresses the sweet melancholy accompanying the recognition that the object of our deepest yearning will no longer return: Saudade. It is, of course, a universal experience, but the Portuguese have managed to give it a name, which has become an entire culture, a "Portuguese way of life." Musically, Saudade began with the dozens of ships that set sail from Portugal and coincidentally ... More

New book 'Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words' reveals Parks through her private manuscripts and notes
WASHINGTON, DC.- A new book from the Library of Congress reveals the civil rights icon, Rosa Parks, for the first time in print through her private manuscripts and handwritten notes. The publication with University of Georgia Press is a companion to the new exhibition of the same title, “Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words.” For years, Parks’ personal papers were not available to the public. Her personal writings, reflections, photographs, records and memorabilia were placed on loan with the Library in 2014 and became a permanent gift in 2016 through the generosity of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. The new book, written by Susan Reyburn of the Library of Congress, explores a variety of objects from the Rosa Parks Collection that bring to light Parks’ inner thoughts and struggles throughout her life and activism. At the height of the Montgomery Bus Boycott ... More

Zegna's Indian ambitions
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE ).- Raghavendra Rathore, the Indian designer known for his ability to translate his country’s traditional menswear for a global elite, was on top of a mountain in his native state of Rajasthan when his phone rang. Ermenegildo Zegna, the Italian menswear and manufacturing behemoth, wanted to purchase a minority stake in the business. “You could say it’s a metaphor,” Rathore said during an interview in November at his store in New Delhi. He was referring to the mountain (which also happened to have the best cellphone reception in the area) and his dreams for his company. But you could also say it was a sign of where, exactly, Zegna’s ambitions lie. Almost 1 1/2 years ago, when the Italian group bought a majority stake in Thom Browne, the disruptive American men’s brand, it also expanded its global footprint further ... More

'James Walsh: The Elemental' opens at Berry Campbell
NEW YORK, NY.- Berry Campbell is presenting an exhibition of recent paintings by James Walsh (b. 1954). An abstract painter who has been an active member of the New York art scene since the early 1980s. Following in the Modernist tradition, Walsh relentlessly explores the properties and limits of paint and the results of his inquiry are spectacularly wide ranging. Experimenting with innovative acrylic formulas, Walsh produces large masses of pigment that project outward from the surface of the canvas, creating unusual forms in high relief. In some works, the paint is sculptural and three-dimensional, while in others, it rises from richly treated surfaces. Although Walsh makes specific compositional choices, the spontaneous appearance gives his paintings a feeling of the accidental. This exhibition is accompanied by a six-page brochure with an essay ... More

P·P·O·W opens an exhibition of works by Jessica Stoller
NEW YORK, NY.- P·P·O·W is presenting Spread, Jessica Stoller’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. Working in the realm of figurative sculpture, Stoller mines the rich and complicated history of porcelain, harnessing its links to power, desire and taste. Synthesizing the cultural, historical, and corporeal notions of the female body, Stoller expands the feminist visual vernacular and makes space for subversion, defiance and play. Deftly employing myriad techniques over the past six years, Stoller’s complex works are hand-built, thrown, carved, molded and ultimately fired multiple times to create richly colored surfaces. The works on view marry a dizzying array of the imagined, idealized and grotesque. For Stoller the ‘grotesque’ becomes a powerful tool to challenge patriarchal power structures, as female figures flaunt what they are told to hide, reveling ... More

Klaus Gallery exhibits five new large-format photographs by Mark McKnight
NEW YORK, NY.- Mark McKnight’s first solo show at the gallery includes five new large-format photographs taken throughout the Southwest. Landscapes and queer bodies appear in flux as McKnight blurs a multitude of formal and figurative boundaries: earth and flesh, self and subject, artist and documentarian. Mark McKnight (b. Los Angeles, CA) holds a BFA from the San Francisco Institute of Art, and an MFA from the University of California Riverside. His work has previously exhibited in several group exhibitions and catalogs of photography including 20/20 Vision: An International Photography Biennial and Defining Photographs & Radical Experiments in Inland Southern California, 1950 – Present (California Museum of Photography, Riverside, 2019). Recent solo exhibitions include if water forgets how to play mirror (Queens, Los Angeles, 2018) and ... More

The last of New York's black cowboys
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE ).- It was the first few days of the new school year in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, when Allan Harris walked to the front of his fifth-grade classroom. He read his essay about how he had spent his summer: riding horses on his grandfather’s 600-acre ranch in Pennsylvania. The year was 1966. His classmates laughed; the nun teaching the class stopped him. “She told me to go down to the principal’s office for lying,” Harris, now 63 years old, recalled. “I was admonished by my teachers and peers alike; they would say, ‘No, a cowboy can’t be black.’” The contribution of black people to the taming of the American West has long been whitewashed from history. From Hollywood depictions to textbooks, black people — who made up one-quarter of all cowboys — have been largely erased from the frontier narrative. For ... More

The Renaissance Society opens a solo exhibition featuring new large-scale paintings by Silke Otto-Knapp
CHICAGO, IL.- The Renaissance Society presents In the waiting room, a solo exhibition featuring new large-scale paintings by Silke Otto-Knapp. An arrangement of free-standing display structures situates the works, forming a kind of multidimensional stage set within the gallery. Otto-Knapp’s paintings carry a certain enigmatic quality, the seeming simplicity of the reduced compositions belied by their layered, diaphanous surfaces and powerful sense of atmosphere. In some, silhouetted bodies stretch, ambulate, and contort, in the midst of a performance or preparing for one. Others introduce more scenic elements, reminiscent of the painted backdrops used on proscenium stages. These works hover between figuration and abstraction, withholding concrete narratives even as they suggest scenarios with their own strange, choreographed logic. At the ... More

Paula Cooper Gallery opens an exhibition of new work by Dan Walsh
NEW YORK, NY.- An exhibition of new work by Dan Walsh examines the artist’s ever-expanding vocabulary of material, form and scale. On view are paintings, works on paper, artist books, and sculptures whose geometric patterns and programmatic compositions lead to a profusion of perceptual and psychic effects. Images and objects that at first appear fixed come to disclose complex systems of experiment that lend to manifold historical allusions. The gallery’s exhibition follows Walsh’s major yearlong career survey at the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht. In ways both refined and economical, three large-scale paintings, titled Expo I, Expo II, and Expo III, prompt the experience of pure, unadulterated looking. Viewed in sequence, the elusive internal logic of each work becomes progressively more intricate—gridded shapes, chromatic gradations, ... More

'Tom and T.M. Nicholas: A Father and Son's Journey in Paint' opens at the Cape Ann Museum
GLOUCESTER, MASS.- Exploring 40 years of the artistic collaboration between Rockport father and son, Tom and T.M. Nicholas, is the focus of the Cape Ann Museum’s exhibition, “Tom and T. M. Nicholas: A Father and Son’s Journey in Paint.” The Nicholas works, created in the well-known style of the Cape Ann School of Painting and curated from numerous private collections, is on view beginning Jan. 11, 2020 through April 12, 2020. Born and raised in Connecticut, Tom Nicholas studied with Ernst Lohrmann, H. Fisk, and the School of Visual Arts in New York. He has lived and worked in Rockport since the early 1960s, running a gallery on Main Street with his wife, Gloria. His work in oil, watercolor, and gouache has received numerous awards and recognitions from the Allied Artists of America, the Salmagundi Club, the American Watercolor Society, and the ... More

Vintage Mustang from movie 'Bullitt' auctioned for $3.7 mn
MIAMI (AFP).- The 1968 Ford Mustang GT that Steve McQueen drove in the movie "Bullitt" sold Friday for $3.7 million, the auction house said. The late actor drove the car in several scenes of the film including an iconic, harrowing 10-minute chase through the streets of San Francisco. The whereabouts of the dark green roadster were unknown for decades but it resurfaced, in good condition and driveable, for the 50th anniversary of the movie in 2018. The car had been in the hands of one Sean Kiernan, age 38, whose father had bought it in 1974 for $3,500. The family drove it daily until 1980, when the clutch broke. It remained parked in a garage until Kiernan restored it and began exhibiting it after the death of his father in 2014. David Morton, a spokesman for Mecum Auctions, told AFP the car sold for $3.74 million. The opening bid was set ... More




What Is Contemporary Art? | New Course from The Museum of Modern Art



Flashback
On a day like today, Belarusian-French painter Chaim Soutine was born
January 13, 1893. Chaïm Soutine (13 January 1893 - 9 August 1943) was a Russian-French painter of Jewish origin. Soutine made a major contribution to the expressionist movement while living in Paris. Inspired by classic painting in the European tradition, exemplified by the works of Rembrandt, Chardin and Courbet, Soutine developed an individual style more concerned with shape, color, and texture over representation, which served as a bridge between more traditional approaches and the developing form of Abstract Expressionism. In this image: Chaim Soutine, Two Pheasants.



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