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Good fences make good neighbors? Not at Opus 40.

The museum at Opus 40 in Saugerties, N.Y., July 24, 2021. It is hard to imagine how Fite, who worked in the quiet of his quarry’s recesses to build something that has been compared to a North American Stonehenge, would react to the clamor that now surrounds it. Andrew Moore/The New York Times.

by Matt Stevens

SAUGERTIES (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- The 6.5-acre bluestone labyrinth rising out of a quarry here is one of the marvels of the Hudson Valley, an artistic tour de force by a self-taught sculptor who spent more than half his life creating it with thousands of rocks, infinite patience and no cement. Opus 40, whose very name evokes the tenacity of its creator, Harvey Fite, is a monument to the upper bounds of hard work and dedication that took most of 37 years to build. But now, some say, this soul-soaring triumph has been tarnished by the ordinary: A chain-link fence, nearly 400 feet long, that wraps around one of its edges, spoils its beauty and is the product of a long-smoldering dispute. “One man built this whole thing. It’s incredible,” said Alvah L. Weeks Jr., the town building inspector. “It’s sad, this fence. Why couldn’t you work something out?” The participants in the dispute include the Fite family, the nonprofit that operates Opus 40 and the neighbors who surround it. While the s ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

New open access journal on Van Dyck and Jordaens published   Historic hangars of Tempelhof Airport host major European art exhibition Diversity United   Christie's announces The Cox Collection: The Story of Impressionism

Cover of the Jordaens Van Dyck Journal issue no. 1 showing John the Baptist by Jacques Jordaens, c.1620, oil on panel, 66.8 by 48.6 cm, Groninger Museum, loan from Municipality of Groningen, donation Hofstede de Groot.

BRUSSELS.- The Jordaens Van Dyck Panel Paintings Project announces the publication of a new open-access journal dedicated to the panel paintings of the famous Flemish artists Jacques Jordaens (1593-1678) and Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641). The four-part series will publish the wide-ranging, scholarly findings of the international and multidisciplinary Jordaens Van Dyck Panel Paintings Project (JVDPPP). The beautifully illustrated first issue is now free to view online and will be available to print on demand at cost price through The publication is accompanied by the online launch of the Summary Catalogues of the Van Dyck and Jordaens panels examined by the project. The online expansion publishes over 500 high-resolution photos and includes ... More

Anthony Gormley, SLICE, 2020, Gusseisen, 270 x 78,5 x 66,5 cm, courtesy the artist.

BERLIN.- The major European exhibition Diversity United transforms the iconic halls of Tempelhof Airport in Berlin into a temporary exhibition space. Diversity United is open to visitors until September 19. In a time of global crisis and declining civil discourse, art can inspire people to engage with socio-political issues. Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the central themes of the exhibition have become more urgent than ever before: freedom and globalization, the importance and decline of democracy, solidarity and antagonism. How do artists from different generations and backgrounds respond to today‘s pressing issues, and to Europe‘s past and future? Their works are commentaries on the themes of power and equality, migration and territory, political and personal identity – and on the recurring question of Europe’s role in the world. Unfolding over nine chapters, each with a distinct thematic focus, t ... More

Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894) Jeune homme à sa fenêtre, oil on canvas 45⅝ x 31⅞ in. (116 x 81 cm.) Painted in 1876. Estimate on request (in excess of $50 million). © Christie's Images Ltd 2021.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s announced The Cox Collection: The Story of Impressionism, one of the greatest American collections to ever appear on the market. Masterpiece works by Caillebotte, Cézanne and van Gogh will headline the 25 works from the collection offered in November, and a dedicated sale of decorative arts and furniture will take place online in December. The collection was assembled half a century ago and is expected to realize in excess of $200 million. A portion of the sale proceeds will benefit educational purposes. A global tour of highlights from the collection will include stops in Taipei, Tokyo, Hong Kong and London, before the auction preview at Christie’s Rockefeller Galleries in New York. For more than half a century, the businessman, collector, and philanthropist Edwin Lochridge Cox stood at ... More

UK court overturns govt go-ahead for Stonehenge road tunnel   Art on the Underground presents a London-wide commission by Helen Cammock   The Parrish Art Museum opens the first exhibition to investigate Roy Lichtenstein's early work

In this file photo taken on April 26, 2020 a sign warns of a road closure on the route to the prehistoric monument at Stonehenge in southern England. Adrian DENNIS / AFP.

LONDON (AFP).- A British court on Friday overturned government approval for the construction of a controversial road tunnel close to the Stonehenge stone circle, following opposition from historians, archaeologists and druids. The ruling came after UNESCO confirmed that the prehistoric site would be added to its "in danger" list if the project went ahead and warned it could lose its World Heritage Site status. The High Court ruled in favour of a judicial review and threw out consent for the road-building project given by the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, in November 2020. Those opposed to the plan, including an umbrella group called the Stonehenge Alliance, had warned against the massive engineering project in an area full of archaeological treasures around the standing stones, with the road tunnel starting and ending within the site. Druids who revere the mystical monument as sacred also ... More

Helen Cammock, 2021. Commissioned by Art on the Underground. Courtesy Kate MacGarry and the Artist. Photo: Thierry Bal, 2021.

LONDON.- Art on the Underground presents an ambitious city-wide commission by British artist Helen Cammock, which responds to the events that unfolded in 2020 and 2021. Launched 28 July 2021, and on view for a year, the commission is being exhibited in poster sites in seven Underground stations across London, including Aldgate East, Charing Cross, Earl’s Court, Holland Park, South Kensington, St James’s Park and White City. For the artist’s first major public commission, Cammock has created three new text-based artworks which reflect on our human response to the events that have unfolded over the past year: the effects of a global pandemic; the death of George Floyd and subsequent Black Lives Matter protests; the ecological challenges we continue to face; and the inequalities made evident through Covid-19. Her artworks consider the intersectionality of our lives and how our social and political identities are interconnected. ... More

Roy Lichtenstein, Self-Portrait at an Easel, c. 1951–1952. Oil on canvas, 34 1/16 x 30 1/8 inches (86.5 x 76.5 cm). Private collection. ã Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.

WATER MILL, NY.- The Parrish Art Museum presents Roy Lichtenstein: History in the Making, 1948–1960, the first major museum exhibition to investigate the early work of the artist, who became a founder of the Pop Art movement. It will be on view August 1 through October 24, 2021. The exhibition provides an illuminating prologue to Lichtenstein’s well-known comics-inspired imagery, and tells the largely overlooked story of his early career, when formal experimentation and a keen eye for irony irrevocably defined his art. Lichtenstein’s fruitful, formative years introduce a revisionist starting point for understanding his work and establish a fresh context for this period in 20th-century modern American art. The exhibition is co-curated by Elizabeth Finch, Lunder Chief Curator at Colby College Museum of Art, and Marshall N. Price, Chief Curator and Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Curator of Modern and Contemporary ... More

National Photographic Portrait Prize winner announced   Overlooked no more: Janet Sobel, whose art influenced Jackson Pollock   Sullivan+Strumpf to represent Lara Merrett

Titled Drought story, the portrait is of David Kalisch captured in the midst of an unexpected dust storm on his 1000-acre farm in Forbes, NSW.

CANBERRA.- Sydney photographer Joel B. Pratley’s photo of a lone farmer immersed in a dust storm in drought-stricken Australia has won the 2021 National Photographic Portrait Prize. Titled Drought story, the portrait is of David Kalisch captured in the midst of an unexpected dust storm on his 1000-acre farm in Forbes, NSW. Pratley said his subjects’ stance reflects the resilience of a man pushed to the limits by an unforgiving climate. “David’s composure during the storm was surreal, because he is just so used to it. For me, it was like being on Mars.” In making their decision, Judges Nick Mitzevich (National Gallery of Australia Director), Karen Quinlan AM (NPG Director) and renowned Australian photographer Bill Henson noted the haunting and surreal qualities of the portrait. “The vastness of the landscape turns farmer David Kalisch into an anonymous ... More

Painter Janet Sobel working in her New York studio, circa 1944. Gary Snyder Fine Art via The New York Times.

by Maya Blackstone

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- When Janet Sobel created one of the most recognizable artistic styles, drip painting, on scraps of paper, boxes and the backs of envelopes, she was 45 years old, had never taken a single art class and didn’t even have her own supplies. Rather than use a brush, she threw paint onto a surface or used objects like glass pipettes to control the pigment as it fell. Sometimes she used a vacuum cleaner to move the paint around. The result was an allover composition not bound to conceptions of form and shape. Though art historians say her spontaneous manner of painting is characteristic of abstract expressionism, it is another artist known for drip painting who gained fame as a founder of the movement: Jackson Pollock. “No one would ... More

Lara Merrett, Bella artist, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. Photo: Anna Kucera.

SYDNEY.- Sullivan+Strumpf have had Lara Merrett on their radar for a while now. But it was her three major milestone shows at Artspace in 2017, the MCA Bella Jackson Room in 2018 and the University of Queensland Art Museum in 2019 that really signalled to Directors Ursula Sullivan and Joanna Strumpf, Merrett’s superstar quality. A highly accomplished mainstay in contemporary Australian painting, Merrett’s work expands on the rich tradition of abstraction with fresh ideas and new approaches. Often, she includes the community in her creative process and frequently eschews the constraints of the picture plane to immerse the viewer. Audiences are invited as active participants in her work: painted surfaces are interchangeable; able to be touched, walked among, cut through and removed. It’s an act of enormous generosity and trust, and one that Merrett finds exhilarating. Within her expansive colou ... More

Pioneer of Caribbean zouk music dies   The Royal Scottish Academy opens a major retrospective exhibition of work by Bill Scott   Poster Auctions International's 84th Rare Posters Auction totals $1.9M in sales

In this file photo (L-R) Jacob Desvarieux of the band Kassav' performs at the "Setting The Stage - 2015 And Beyond" global all-star summer concert at the United Nations on June 6, 2014 in New York City. Mike COPPOLA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP.

PARIS (AFP).- Jacob Desvarieux, the Guadeloupean co-founder of Caribbean band Kassav' which shot to global fame in the 1980s by creating the fast-beat zouk music style, has died of Covid-19. Local media in the French territory of Guadeloupe announced his death aged 65 late on Friday, prompting an outpouring of grief. "The West Indies, Africa and music have just lost one of their greatest ambassadors," tweeted Senegalese music star Youssou N'Dour. "Jacob, thanks to your art, you brought the West Indies and Africa closer together. Dakar where you once lived mourns you. Farewell friend." In poor health after undergoing a kidney transplant, the singer and guitarist was taken to hospital in Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe's largest city, on July 12 after catching Covid-19. "A giant ... More

Bill Scott, Measuring Personal Space II, 2010. Mixed media, 68.5 x 50.5 x 50.5 cm.

EDINBURGH.- The Royal Scottish Academy is presenting the first significant posthumous exhibition of works by sculptor Bill Scott PPRSA this summer. A prominent and respected member of the artistic community in Scotland, Scott was the first sculptor to be elected President of the Royal Scottish Academy and is best known for his constructed sculptures in mixed materials. The exhibition includes exceptional examples of these assemblage works, as well as cast bronzes, drawings and prints, revealing the themes and motifs that underwrote Scott’s rich visual language. The series of box assemblages Measuring Personal Space (2000-10) is exemplary of Scott’s interest in physical space, specifically the overlaps and distinctions between personal and shared spaces. Scott wanted his work to address ‘the puzzles of our present time,’ namely the ways in which we interact within share environments. The series ... More

Leonetto Cappiello, Chocolat Klaus. 1903. $20,400.

NEW YORK, NY.- Poster Auctions International’s second sale of the year, on July 20th, finished at $1.9 million in sales. Rare Posters Auction LXXXIV demonstrated a continued passion for the masters of the poster—namely, Alphonse Mucha. Jack Rennert, President of PAI, said, “This auction, collectors proved the enduring charm of Art Nouveau masters, and particularly that of Alphonse Mucha, whose Belle Époque works have a timeless appeal for seasoned and new collectors alike. There’s no question that Mucha was the star of this sale. But the strength of Art Nouveau works did not diminish the enthusiasm for Art Deco designs, as witnessed by our strong sales of works by Broders, Cassandre, and Loupot. As always, early designs for the circus continue to excite poster lovers, as evidenced by Pal’s billboard for Lord John Sanger.” Indeed, collectors clamored for works from the master of Belle Époque beauty, Alphonse Much ... More

I showed the America I know and observed to others who might not have noticed. N. Rockwell

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Artist explores healing & trauma post-pandemic at Queens Museum
QUEENS, NY.- Asif Mian explores how ritual, behavior, and memory are impacted by violence and its perception through sculpture, textile, drawing, and video. Mian’s sculptures invite viewers to move through a web of fragmented facts and fictions. The exhibition’s narrative surrounds a single event not as a static occurrence, but a continuum of interpretations, reenactments, and reverberations. In this work references to formal investigation processes come together to introduce the possibility of healing in the aftermath of violence. Prosthetic Location is an expansion of Mian’s ongoing multi-chapter project, RAF, which takes eyewitness reports and evidence from an unsolved trauma in the artist’s own life as a point of departure. The exhibition uses the format of a behavioral science case study to imagine a profile of the unidentified suspect, named ... More

Solo exhibition of new works by Forrest Kirk on view at Marianne Boesky Gallery
ASPEN, CO.- Marianne Boesky Gallery is presenting a solo exhibition of new works by Forrest Kirk, A Villain's Origin Story. For the exhibition, Forrest presents a narrative group of seven paintings that examine experiences of Black Americans in the past and how these stories may intersect with the present day. Depicting elements from Aspen’s unique history, Forrest uses material and form to invite the viewer into important conversations about the past and present. A Villain's Origin Story is on view July 29 – September 12, 2021, on the first floor of the gallery. Fundamental throughout Forrest’s practice is the examination of anxieties that result from underlying power structures. As a point of departure for A Villain’s Origin Story, Forrest explored the history of the “Quiet Years” in Aspen, a period marked by economic downturn, hardships, and subsequent ... More

New exhibition celebrates the enduring magic of Middle-earth
WINCHESTER.- When he first published The Hobbit in 1937, the Oxford academic J.R.R. Tolkien was delighted that the initial print run of 1,500 copies sold out. But could he ever have believed that more than 80 years later his tale - set in the mythical land of Middle-earth – and followed by one of the best-selling novels of all time, The Lord of the Rings, would have inspired and sustained a huge global industry? In a new family-friendly exhibition making its debut at Basingstoke’s Willis Museum, which is operated by Hampshire Cultural Trust, collector and self-confessed uber-geek Matt Fox has assembled a treasure trove of over 200 objects - from movie memorabilia and LEGO sets to rare books and artworks - that reveal the enduring appeal of Tolkien’s creation. Centred around the fantasy realm of Middle-earth, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings ... More

Ivoire Auctions to offer two outstanding collector motorcycles
TROYES.- Two outstanding collector motorcycles, made and owned by a star of this creative specialty, Arnaud Mary, considered a genius in his field, will be sold on September 4th by Ivoire Auctions in Troyes, France. A mechanical development engineer by training, Arnaud Mary is an internationally renowned Master Builder, one of the most successful French custom motorcycle designer-builders, shaping his creations from start to finish using old or used mechanical parts. Undisputed star of the international bike show circuit, Arnaud Mary’s "Queen of California", goes on sale for an estimate €30,000 to €40,000. The construction required 2,000 hours of work. It has won no less than eight first prizes at the 2016 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, the oldest and biggest global event of its kind, attracting up to a million people. Arnaud Mary ... More

Ingleby Gallery opens an exhibition of small circular paintings by Frank Walter
EDINBURGH.- For the 2021 Edinburgh Art Festival Ingleby presents the first ever exhibition devoted to Frank Walter’s ‘spools’ – the small circular paintings which, in their consistency of scale and form, provide a kind of lens through which to witness the workings of Walter’s inner eye. Walter’s work was unknown during his lifetime, but in the decade since his death he has emerged as one of the most distinctive and intriguing Caribbean voices of the last 50 years. Painted with a rare directness and immediacy, on whatever material came most readily to hand, his works describe a visionary artist – romantically and spiritually inclined in the manner of William Blake or Hilma af Klint – but rooted in the landscape of Antigua, the island of his birth. His work was the subject of Antigua and Barbuda’s inaugural appearance at the Venice Biennale in 2017, in an exhibition titled Frank Walter: The Last ... More

Exhibition at The Museum of Russian Icons commemorates the life of the museum's late founder, Gordon B. Lankton
CLINTON, MASS.- The Museum of Russian Icons presents The Long Way Home: A Photographic Journey, an exhibition being revived to commemorate the life of the Museum’s late Founder, Gordon B. Lankton. Featuring more than 40 stunning photographs taken by Lankton during a life-changing motorcycle trip to 24 different countries across Europe and Asia in the mid-1950s, the exhibition is on view through October 3, 2021. On November 6, 1956, armed with a camera, maps, passports, C-Rations, a budget of $5.00 per day ($3 food, $1 sleeping, $1 for gas and everything else) and little else, 25-year-old Lankton left Frankfurt, Germany on an NSU motorcycle and began an adventure that would influence the path he would ... More

Diamond Schmitt leads design for Ontario Place's West Island redevelopment
TORONTO.- Therme Canada has engaged the Toronto based, global architecture firm, Diamond Schmitt to lead the design of Therme Canada | Ontario Place, a year-round landmark waterfront destination that reconnects people to Lake Ontario. The design for Ontario Place's West Island is grounded in the planned expansion of public park space, and honours and celebrates Ontario Place's history, including the iconic 1967 Pods and Cinesphere. Diamond Schmitt's design incorporates three themes, expressed through architecture: the scale and spirit of exhibition pavilions; the restorative qualities of natural forms; and the transparency of greenhouse architecture. The design team led by Diamond Schmitt and Therme ARC includes Canadian companies: landscape architects, STUDIO tla; shoreline engineers, Baird; civil engineers, ARUP; transportation consultants, BA Group and buildi ... More

Roberto Calasso, Renaissance man of letters, dies at 80
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Roberto Calasso, the Italian publisher, translator and writer whose wide-ranging works explored the evolution and mysteries of human consciousness, from the earliest myths and rituals to modern civilization, died on Wednesday in Milan. He was 80. His publishing house, Adelphi, announced the death. No cause was given. Calasso was a rare figure in the literary world — an erudite writer and polymath and a savvy publisher who was able to reach a substantial readership for books he released through Adelphi Edizioni, the prestigious Italian publishing house where he worked for some 60 years. As a writer, he produced more than a dozen works over nearly five decades. His writing defied easy categorization, ranging from his first and only novel, “The Impure Fool,” to his reflections on ancient human consciousness, ... More

Chuck E. Weiss, musician who, in love, inspired a hit song, dies at 76
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Chuck E. Weiss, blues musician, club owner and outsize Los Angeles character immortalized in Rickie Lee Jones’ breakout hit song, “Chuck E.’s in Love,” died on July 20 at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. He was 76. His brother, Byron, said the cause was kidney failure. Weiss was a voracious musicologist, an encyclopedia of obscure jazz and early R&B artists, a drummer, a songwriter and a widely acknowledged rascal who in the mid-1970s landed in Los Angeles from his native Denver with his friend the singer-songwriter Tom Waits. At the Troubadour, the venerable West Hollywood folk club, where Weiss worked for a time as a dishwasher, they met another young singer-songwriter, a former runaway named Rickie Lee Jones. Waits and Jones became an item and the three of them became inseparable ... More

Asymmetry Art Foundation and Whitechapel Gallery announce Zoe Diao as Curatorial Fellow for 2021-22
LONDON.- Asymmetry Art Foundation and Whitechapel Gallery announced the recipient of the Asymmetry Curatorial Fellowship at Whitechapel Gallery, London. Zoe Diao, a Chinese scholar and curator currently based in New York, has been awarded the six-month Fellowship, which begins on 20 September 2021. The Curatorial Fellowship at Whitechapel Gallery is one of three Asymmetry placements that will begin this Autumn in London in partnership with leading UK institutions. In October, Asymmetry will induct their first Scholar onto the ‘Advanced Practices ’PhD programme at Goldsmiths, University of London, and their second Curatorial Writing Fellow at the Chisenhale Gallery, London. Asymmetry is an independent non-profit foundation dedicated to nurturing curatorial practices and the development of cultural knowledge in and about ... More

Centraal Museum Utrecht presents 'Voices of Fashion: Black Couture, Beauty and Styles'
UTRECHT.- A major new fashion exhibition entitled Voices of Fashion: Black Couture, Beauty and Styles. is now open at the Centraal Museum. The show is the first ever staged by an art museum in the Netherlands to query the white gaze as the default vantage point from which to present, wear and collect fashion. Underpinning the exhibition are years of research by Black, brown and white people that show that the fashion world and our relationship with it continue to be shaped by the legacies of European colonialism. Voices of Fashion takes you on a little told story of fashion, with a stunning exhibition design by Afaina de Jong of AFARAI. Voices of Fashion is designed to inspire a more inclusive conception of collective memory by means of iconic designs. Fashion curator Ninke Bloemberg and co-curator and Diversity Rules founder ... More

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On a day like today, American installation artist Jason Rhoades died
August 01, 2006. Jason Rhoades (July 9, 1965 - August 1, 2006) was an installation artist who enjoyed critical acclaim, if not widespread public recognition, at the time of his death, and who was eulogized by some critics as one of the most significant artists of his generation. Better known in Europe, where he exhibited regularly for the last twelve years of his life, Rhoades was recently celebrated for his combination dinner party/exhibitions that feature violet neon signs with African, Caribbean, Creole and hip-hop slang for the female genitalia. His work remains part of the permanent collection in the Rubell Family Collection in Miami, where he was a part of exhibit "Beg Borrow and Steal" at the time of his death. In this image: Jason Rhoades, Installation view, 'Perfect World', Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany , 1999. © The Estate of Jason Rhoades. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth and David Zwirner, New York. Photo: Jens Rathmann.

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