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Tainted by Nazism? Merkel returns two Nolde paintings

A visitor passes the entrance to the exhibition of German painter Emil Nolde (1867-1956) at the Hamburger Bahnhof museum in Berlin on April 12, 2019. Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to strip two paintings by Emil Nolde from her office walls has touched off a heated German debate as an exhibition on the Expressionist painter and his links to the Nazis opened in Berlin. Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP.

by Hui Min Neo

BERLIN (AFP).- Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to take down two paintings by Emil Nolde from her office walls has touched off a heated German debate as an exhibition on the Expressionist painter and his links to the Nazis opened in Berlin. Organisers of the show "Emil Nolde, a German Legend: The Artist During National Socialism," had asked Merkel for one of two paintings on loan to her. But she decided to send both -- a 1915 painting of flowers in a garden and the 1936 work "Breakers", her spokesman Steffen Seibert said. No explanation was given for the decision. Neither was an official reason offered as to why Merkel would not want them back when the exhibition closes in September. But the move was quickly interpreted by German media as a belated rejection by Merkel of the artist over his anti-Sem ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Tourists stunned as Notre-Dame cathedral statues fly above Paris   Bruce Museum names Robert Wolterstorff as new Executive Director   Christie's to offer works from the Collection of H.S.H. Princess 'Titi' von Fürstenberg

A crane lifts one of 16 copper statues, sitting 50 meters above the ground, off the Notre-Dame-de-Paris Cathedral to be taken for restoration on April 11, 2019 in the French capital Paris. BERTRAND GUAY / AFP.

PARIS (AFP).- Sixteen copper statues briefly took to the skies over Paris after they were removed from the Notre-Dame cathedral to undergo restoration work. Tourists at the world-famous landmark were left stunned on Thursday as the statues -- representing the 12 apostles and the four evangelists from the New Testament -- were lifted off the spire of the cathedral by crane. "What's unique is that it's the first time we've seen them up close since they were set up by Viollet-le-Duc in the 1860s," Marie-Helene Didier, who is in charge of the renovation work, told AFP. "It's an exceptional event because we've brought the 16 statues down in a single day. It's a magical moment for everyone," she said. Built between the years 1163 and 1345, Notre-Dame is one of the most popular tourist sites in Paris, drawing around 13 million people every year. Its spire, like the rest of the gothic ... More

Wolterstorff has served as Executive Director of the Bennington Museum in Vermont since 2012.

GREENWICH, CONN.- The Bruce Museum today announced that its Board of Trustees has appointed Robert Wolterstorff as The Susan E. Lynch Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. This leadership appointment will take effect June 1 and follows the previously announced retirement of Peter C. Sutton after an 18-year career as Executive Director of the Bruce. Wolterstorff has served as Executive Director of the Bennington Museum in Vermont since 2012, leading the 167-year-old museum through a well-received curatorial makeover. In addition to overseeing improvements to its gallery spaces and innovative re-installations drawing from the museum’s collection of 40,000 objects, Wolterstorff spearheaded a series of changing exhibitions that resonated with museum members and attracted new audiences. The 2016 exhibition, Milton Avery’s Vermont, increased attendance by more than 40 percent, growth that was surpassed in 2017 with Grandma Moses: Ame ... More

Leading the sale is Pablo Picasso’s Le Lettre (La Reponse), 1923 (estimate upon request). © Christie's Images Ltd 2019.

NEW YORK, NY.- On May 13, Christie’s will present a dedicated selection of 11 works from A Family Vision: The Collection of H.S.H. Princess “Titi” von Fürstenberg in its Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art. Incorporating a sweeping representation of 20th Century Art, the collection encompasses more than 30 works ranges from Pablo Picasso to Mark Rothko and Andre Derain to Lucio Fontana. Further works will be offered in the Day Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art on May 14, the Morning Sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art on May 16, and in a Paris sale of African Art in October 2019. The personal collection of H.S.H. Princess “Titi” von Fürstenberg reflects her international worldview and passion for culture. During her lifetime, she acquired numerous important examples by some of the greatest names in art history. It was a collection founded not only on Titi’s astute connoisseurship, but ... More

New works by Sean Scully unveiled as part of a major exhibition at the National Gallery   Victoria Miro presents selected portraits from a series begun in January 2018 by Chantal Joffe's   Museum 'considering options' after discovering Bolsonaro date

Sean Scully, 2018, Photo: Liliane Tomasko.

LONDON.- One of the world’s foremost contemporary artists, Sean Scully’s work draws on the traditions of European painting, invigorated with the distinct character of American abstraction. His varied practice encompasses printmaking, sculpture, watercolours, and pastels, but he is best known for rich, monumental abstract paintings in which stripes or blocks of layered colour are a prevailing motif. Turner’s masterpiece, a continuing influence and catalyst for new work by Scully, will be displayed in the first gallery. The painting was specifically identified by him as a source of inspiration after he was first approached by the National Gallery, following a critically acclaimed exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 2015. Featuring new and recent large-scale, multi-panel paintings that include his celebrated 'Landline' paintings, as well as works on paper, the exhibition will demonstrate Scully’s distinctive approach to painting and a shared love of colour and ... More

Chantal Joffe, Coney Island, 2018. Oil on canvas, 213.5 x 152.5 cm. 84 1/8 x 60 1/8 in © Chantal Joffe. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro, London/Venice.

LONDON.- On view at Victoria Miro Mayfair are selected self-portraits from a series begun in January 2018, by the acclaimed British painter Chantal Joffe. Modest in scale, each is a depiction of the artist – full face or three-quarter view, in her painting clothes – titled with the date of its completion. The seriality of this display is immediately striking. Ordinarily, a single self-portrait, perhaps two, might be shown among a wider body of work. Here, what is true of any single self-portrait – that in embodying their work, the artist invites speculation about their innermost thoughts – is amplified as paintings, ostensibly similar in appearance, are installed throughout the gallery. Moving between the paintings, one might notice differences of light, shadow, or painterly touch; the minute changes that occur from day to day, as well as less quantifiable shifts of mood or atmosphere. ... More

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro attends a meeting with evangelical leaders at the Hilton Barra Hotel, in Barra da Tijuca neighborhood, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on April 11, 2019. Mauro Pimentel / AFP.

NEW YORK (AFP).- New York's Museum of Natural History said it was "considering its options" after discovering a private function booked to take place there would honor Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro, who has been attacked at home and abroad for policies that critics say threaten the environment and indigenous communities, is due to receive an award at the museum from the Brazilian-United States Chamber of Commerce. "The external, private event at which the current President of Brazil is to be honored was booked at the Museum before the honoree was secured," the museum tweeted on Thursday. "We are deeply concerned, and we are exploring our options." Bolsonaro was chosen to receive the "Person of the Year" award from the chamber at a May 14 gala dinner attended by more than a ... More

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago opens an exhibition of works by Jonathas de Andrade   The Drawing Center opens Neo Rauch's first exhibition entirely devoted to his drawings in the U.S.   Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles opens an exhibition of new paintings by George Condo

Jonathas de Andrade, Suar a Camisa (Working up a sweat)(detail), 2014. Collection of 120 shirts negotiated with workers and wooden supports. Dimension variable. Adrastus Collection.

CHICAGO, IL.- This spring, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presents Jonathas de Andrade: One to One, the next iteration of the MCA's Ascendant Artist series. De Andrade addresses history, labor, and language in the northeast region of Brazil around the central themes of communication - as in a 'one-to-one conversation' - and scale, as in a 'one-to-one reproduction.' Presenting four installations, each at a different scale, the exhibition showcases de Andrade's work across a range of mediums including photography, installation, and video, and explores ways to listen more intently to one another. The exhibition debuts three never-before-seen works including a new film commission, Jogos dirigidos (Directed games), that examines an exchange between members of a deaf community. Jonathas de Andrade: One to One is organized by former MCA Associate Curator José Esparza and runs from April 13 to August 25, 2019. Jonathas de Andrade lives and work ... More

Group: C3.03 Tantentäuscher, 2006. Oil, chalk, felt-tip pen on paper, 11 3/4 x 8 1/4 inches. Courtesy the artist, Galerie EIGEN + ART Leipzig/Berlin and David Zwirner © Neo Rauch, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- This spring, The Drawing Center presents Neo Rauch: Aus dem Boden / From the Floor, the first exhibition entirely devoted to his drawings in the United States. Neo Rauch is one of the best-known artists from the Leipzig school in Germany. His psychologically complex paintings have been widely collected and written about for more than twenty years. Featuring more than one hundred fifty never or rarely seen works that span over thirty years of Rauch’s career, this exhibition presents drawing as an essential but often overlooked aspect of his oeuvre. A collaboration between The Drawing Center and the Des Moines Art Center, the show was presented first in Des Moines from September 27, 2018–January 6, 2019. Co-organized by Brett Littman, former Executive Director of The Drawing Center, and Jeff Fleming, Director of the Des Moines Art Center, with Amber Harper, former Assistant Curator at The ... More

George Condo, The Chef, 2019. Oil and pigment stick on linen, 208,3 × 190,5 cm / 82 × 75 inches, 211,6 × 193,5 × 6 cm / 3 5/16 × 76 3/16 × 2 3/8 inches (framed) © George Condo / ARS (Artists Rights Society), New York, 2019. Courtesy of the artist, Skarstedt and Sprüth Magers Photography: John Berens.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Monika Sprüth and Philomene Magers are presenting What's the Point?, an exhibition of new paintings by George Condo at Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles. One of the most significant artists of the last several decades, Condo creates works that dramatically bridge an array of painterly approaches, moods, and influences from diverse fields such as art history, music, philosophy, and popular culture. The artist’s compositions often begin with the human figure, rendered variously in fluid networks of black lines and interlacing planes of bold color that move seamlessly between controlled precision and unabashed exuberance. His canvases tap into the extremes of human emotion and, at a moment of crisis in American and global politics, a sense of mania and disorder that nonetheless holds out hope for progress and resolution. The paintings ... More

Most comprehensive exhibition to date of the work of Philippe Vandenberg opens at The Kunsthaus Pasquart   On April 28, The Bill Drake Collection of Model Trains goes up for bid   No Patience for Monuments: Exhibition at Perrotin Seoul brings together the work of a dozen artists

Philippe Vandenberg, Cycle «The Painter’s Exile»). Oil and pastel on canvas, 50 x 40 cm © Philippe Vandenberg Foundation; Courtesy Estate Philippe Vandenberg and Hauser & Wirth; Photo: Joke Floreal and Guillaume Vandenberghe; © 2019, VG Bild-Kunst Bonn.

BIEL.- The Kunsthaus Pasquart is showing the most comprehensive exhibition to date of the work of the Flemish artist Philippe Vandenberg (1952-2009, BE), in collaboration with the Hamburger Kunsthalle, where the exhibition was presented from 16.11.2018 to 24.2.2019. It is the first institutional exhibition of his work in both Switzerland and Germany. Highly acclaimed in his home country of Belgium as one of the most important artists of the last few decades, Vandenberg produced a radical and uncompromising œuvre that is just now achieving greater international acclaim. The extensive retrospective comprises some 70 paintings and 80 drawings and prints from the period 1995 to 2009. Many of the works on loan come from the artist’s estate ... More

AF S gauge 21573 New Haven Electric Locomotive, C7. Estimate: $150-300.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Turner Auctions + Appraisals will present the Bill Drake Collection of Model Trains on Sunday, April 28, 2019, at 10:30 am PDT. Featuring 290 lots acquired over 65 years, the assemblage features an exceptional range of model trains, with something to tempt all collectors. While the collection is predominantly American Flyer S Gauge, there is wide diversity of manufacturers and eras – from pre-World War II, as early as the 1920s, to modern day. Several related items from other collectors and reference books round out the sale. Here is an overview of items in the auction: • American Flyer: Prewar Wide gauge and O gauge, HO gauge; postwar S gauge (both Gilbert and Lionel production]), • Lionel: Standard gauge and O gauge, postwar and modern O gauge • K-Line: O and S gauge • S-Helper, Des Plaines Hobbies, Hico: S gauge • European: Hornby, French Edobaud, Chad, Brimtoy, ... More

Jessie Makinson, Slippery Darling, 2019. Photographer: Guillaume Ziccarelli. Courtesy of the artist and Lyles and Kings, New York.

SEOUL.- In Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1986 essay The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, she argues against a masculinist monumentalizing impulse of history, and offers up a different proposition for the way culture can exist and can be formed. This ‘carrier bag theory’ challenges that the first tool was in fact a vessel for gathering, and not an instrument of conquest, and that a male-centric society has conditioned us to negate the former in favor of a broader ‘heroic’ narrative. Le Guin takes this further, proposing the heroic narrative within literature (to vanquish, to conquer) is an obsolete form, and suggests that a more complex structure—based on the vessel—should develop instead. This, she posits, would allow for multiple points of view, and engender a more inclusive panoply of voices within the form. No Patience for Monuments, brings together the work of a dozen artists whose ... More

More News
Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts awards $400,000 to ten Los Angeles arts organizations
LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts announced today the recipients of the 2019 Artist Project Grants, marking the fourth year of the organization’s successful initiative. The grants reflect artist Mike Kelley’s longstanding commitment to inventive and groundbreaking work and support dynamic collaborations in any medium between artists and Los Angeles nonprofit organizations—including projects by under-recognized artists or those that have proven difficult to undertake or fund due to their content, complexity, or other factors. In the 2019 cycle, $400,000 will be awarded to ten organizations: 18th Street Arts Center, California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), Dirty Looks Inc., Echo Park Film Center (EPFC), Equitable Vitrines, Ford Theatre Foundation, IF Innovation Foundation, Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD), Pomona ... More

Exhibition of new sculptures and works on paper by Charles Ray opens at Matthew Marks
LOS ANGELES, CA.- Matthew Marks announces Charles Ray: two ghosts, the next exhibition in his galleries at 1062 North Orange Grove and 7818 Santa Monica Boulevard. The exhibition includes two new sculptures and more than twenty works on paper. The centerpiece of the exhibition is Ray’s first work in stone, Two Horses (2019), carved from a single block of Virginia granite. The sculpture is ten feet tall and fourteen feet wide and weighs more than six tons. Mountain Lion Attacking a Dog (2018) is a hypothetical scene from the hills around Ray’s home in Los Angeles. Each animal has been machined from a solid block of aluminum, producing a reflective surface that enhances the finely sculpted details on their bodies. On view in the gallery at 7818 Santa Monica Boulevard is a selection of Ray’s recent drawings, the first such presentation since the 2010 Whitney ... More

Stunning new Tiffany Lamp arrives at Lyman Allyn Art Museum
NEW LONDON, CONN.- The Lyman Allyn Art Museum announced a new addition to its permanent Louis Comfort Tiffany in New London exhibition. Periodically, the exhibit will be refreshed with new and welcomed objects. This week, a stunning Tiffany Studios Apple Blossom Table Lamp (ca. 1900-1906) arrived at the Lyman Allyn, on loan from the New York Historical Society. This lamp resembles a miniature apple tree in bloom with a canopy of leaves and springtime blossoms sitting atop a bronze tree trunk base. It will be on view in the Tiffany in New London exhibit for just over one year. October 2018 marked the opening of Lyman Allyn’s new Gilded Age permanent exhibition dedicated to the life and works of American artist and designer, Louis Comfort Tiffany. With items both from the museum’s collection and on loan, the exhibit includes nearly 100 pieces ... More

The Robin Rice Gallery opens a photographic exhibition by Micheal McLaughlin
NEW YORK, NY.- The Robin Rice Gallery is presenting 41 Degrees, a photographic exhibition by Micheal McLaughlin. The show runs through June 12, 2019. The 13 large format photographs featured in this new exhibition are tender oceanscapes that move beyond typical depictions of the sea. Photographed moments before dusk or dawn, out in the surf, the evanescent horizon line in each image creates an illusory sense of space. In "First Beach, Newport. July 2017", the bluish-black of the ocean and the sky are indistinguishable as their colors blend into one muted noise. "The waves blur the horizon and produce a dark movement", McLaughlin explains. The long exposures of the photographs find a vanishing point between form and void-like fleeting memories. 41 Degrees refers to the Northern circle of latitude that is 41.46 degrees above the equatorial plane. ... More

Shannon's to offer lots by European, American and Asian artists
MILFORD, CONN.- Shannon’s Spring Fine Art Auction on Thursday, May 2nd, is sure to attract an international audience with top lots by American, European and Asian artists. The sale, which features nearly 250 lots, will consist of quality paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture. Online bidding will be facilitated by Leading the American category is John F. Kensett’s The Coast Near Narragansett. This painting has been in a private collection for 30 years and is sure to generate excitement as Kensett’s views of Narragansett rarely come to market. Over 20 paintings from an important collection of the Hudson River School will be offered in ready-to-hang condition, beautifully framed and well-maintained. Paintings from this collection are by artists including William Trost Richards, William Sonntag, Sr., David Johnson, Worthington Whittredge, John Williamson ... More

'Green Places/Green Spaces/Greenhouses' opens at the Cape Ann Museum
GLOUCESTER, MASS.- The Cape Ann Museum announced the opening of Green Places/Green Spaces/Greenhouses, an exhibition featuring panoramic color photographs by photographer Esther Pullman, a Cape Ann summer resident for 44 years. In 1999, Pullman began photographing places where plants were cultivated—fields, nurseries and most of all greenhouses. The project began without an overt message in mind. However, in the nearly 20 years since then, it has revealed many themes and deeper meanings: the passage of time, the cycle of the seasons, death and rebirth. It has also become a metaphor for our threatened planet. The panoramic color photographs shown in Green Places/Green Spaces/Greenhouses explore the distinctive architecture, light and atmosphere of greenhouses throughout the year. Each panorama consists ... More

Powerful work by Nelson Mandela to be offered at Bonhams African Art Sale in New York
NEW YORK, NY.- A powerful sketch by Nelson Mandela, The Cell Door, Robben Island, will be offered at Bonhams Modern and Contemporary African Art sale, in New York on 2 May, with an estimate of $60,000-90,000. The wax pastel crayon work, which Mandela created in 2002, was one of the few that the statesman kept for his personal collection. It has been inherited by his daughter, Dr. Pumla Makaziwe Mandela. After his official retirement in 1999, the former President of South Africa turned to art as a therapeutic activity that helped him express and reflect on his tumultuous life. In 2002, he created 22 sketches about his 27 year-long incarceration, focusing on images he found symbolically and emotionally powerful. Ten of these original drawings were then reproduced as editions of lithographs for the series My Robben Island (2002) and Reflections ... More

The Bass opens a solo exhibition of two-and three-dimensional textile works by Sheila Hicks
MIAMI BEACH, FLA.- The Bass presents Sheila Hicks: Campo Abierto (Open Field), a solo exhibition of the artist’s signature two- and three-dimensional textile works, spanning more than five decades of her career. Grouping works of art from the 1960s to present, Campo Abierto (Open Field) explores the formal, social, and environmental aspects of landscape that have been present, yet rarely examined, throughout Sheila Hicks’ expansive career. At the age of 84, with a career spanning over 60 years, Hicks has exhibited throughout the world, yet her work has not been as widely seen in her native United States. Producing her immense body of work, Hicks’ focused use of fibers (since 1957) straddles elements of craft, design and art, and speaks to the current moment where contemporary art embraces and celebrates textile. Hicks’ diverse practice has been ... More

A series by the late artist Theo Wujcik features larger-than-life paintings inspired by Dante's Inferno
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA.- One of Tampa Bay’s best-known artists, Theo Wujcik (1936-2014), spent a decade creating a series drawn from the dark and profound literary classic, Dante’s Inferno. Now, those extraordinary paintings are the theme for Theo Wujcik: Cantos, a special exhibition organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg and inspired by two works in its collection. Gates of Hell (1987) and Canto II (1997) are centered around Inferno, the first part of the epic poem Divine Comedy by Italian poet Dante Alighieri (1265–1321). The painting Gates of Hell was acquired by the MFA in 2017, but has never been publicly shown at a museum in the Tampa Bay area until now. Other art institutions that own Wujcik’s work include the Art Institute of Chicago; Detroit Institute of Arts; Museum of Modern Art, NY; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and ... More

National Portrait Gallery unveils newly commissioned portraits of leading film directors
LONDON.- The National Portrait Gallery, London, has unveiled a major new commission of portrait drawings of some of the UK’s leading film directors by London-born artist Nina Mae Fowler. The portraits have gone on public display for the first time in a new display Luminary Drawings: Portraits of Film Directors by Nina Mae Fowler (12 April – 1 October 2019). Fowler’s work often investigates fame, desire and our relationship with cinema. For the commission, she invited directors Amma Asante, Paul Greengrass, Asif Kapadia, Ken Loach, Sam Mendes, Nick Park, Sally Potter, Sir Ridley Scott and Joe Wright to choose a film of particular significance to them. During the sittings, Fowler projected the film of their choice, and recorded their reactions on camera and through loose sketches, with their faces lit only by the light of the screen in an otherwise ... More

AIPAD's Photography Show 2019: Record-breaking attendance, strong reviews
NEW YORK, NY.- The Photography Show presented by AIPAD held April 4-7, 2019 at Pier 94 in New York City set new attendance records and drew enthusiastic reviews from both exhibitors and attendees. The 39th edition of the Show featured 94 of the world’s leading fine art photography galleries, 34 book dealers and publishers, 12 AIPAD Talks, and a special exhibition curated by Alec Soth. The Opening Preview on April 3 attracted more than 2,000 attendees, up from 1,500 last year, with an overall Show attendance record of more than 16,000, up from last year’s 15,000. Collectors and curators were drawn to the wide range of museum-quality work including contemporary, modern, and 19th-century photographs, as well as photo-based art, video, and new media. A new curated section of project spaces, which highlighted solo artists and themed ... More

Kusama, KAWS, Zao and Zhang Soar at Hong Kong Spring Sales

On a day like today, French painter Odilon Redon was born
April 20, 1840. Odilon Redon (born Bertrand-Jean Redon (April 20, 1840 - July 6, 1916) was a French symbolist painter, printmaker, draughtsman and pastellist.In this image: Odilon Redon, The beasts of the sea, round like leather bottles, (detail). Plate 22 of The Temptation of Saint Anthony, 1896. Lithograph. The Kirk Edward Long Collection, 2010.60.22. Plate size: 8-3/4" x 7-1/2".

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