The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Desecrated: blast leaves old Beirut's heritage gems in ruins

This combination of pictures created on August 10, 2020 shows (L) a view of the stained glass windows at the Sursock Museum, once a private home built in 1912 and became a host to an impressive permanent art collection as photographed in the neighbourhood of Ashrafiyeh in Lebanon's capital Beirut on October 5, 2015; and (R) an image of the museum taken on August 8, 2020, showing the empty windows after their stained glass was broken in the aftermath of the massive blast at the port of Beirut which ravaged entire neighbourhoods of the city. ANWAR AMRO, JOSEPH EID / AFP.

by Hashem Osseiran

(AFP).- The monster explosion that levelled Beirut's port darkened the Lebanese capital's future but also blasted its past into oblivion, ravaging many beloved architectural and cultural treasures. Gems of the city's heritage, including some of the region's most elegant Levantine villas with their triple-arch windows, were damaged beyond repair. Many of old Beirut's remaining colonial-era and earlier landmarks had already been damaged by 15 years of civil war and decades of government neglect. The August 4 blast finished the job. Days after the disaster, Tania Ingea gave a tour of her home on Sursock Street, which bears her relatives' name and houses some of the most striking vestiges of the old Beirut aristocracy's heyday. ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

National Gallery of Art acquires its first work by John Outterbridge   Oldest moving images of Europe: World premiere at Eye Filmmuseum   Eli Wilner & Company is offering the world's most expensive period frame

John Outterbridge, Plus Tax: Shopping Bag Society, Rag Man Series, 1971. Mixed media overall: 50.8 x 34.3 x 19.1 cm (20 x 13 1/2 x 7 1/2 in.) National Gallery of Art, Washington. Purchased with funds from The Ahmanson Foundation and Howard and Roberta Ahmanson 2020.12.1.

WASHINGTON, DC.- The Gallery has recently acquired Plus Tax: Shopping Bag Society, Rag Man Series (1971), the first work by the African American artist John Outterbridge to enter the collection. It is part of a series of eight sculptures only three of which are known to exist, made from 1970 to 1976 that were inspired by the idea of the ragman tradition and the social fabric of 1970s south-central Los Angeles. John Outterbridge (b. 1933) grew up during the Depression in the Jim Crow South surrounded by his grandmother's handmade herbal remedies (often sewn into asafetida bags) and a playground of discarded objects from his father's junk business. In 1963 Outterbridge went to Los Angeles, where he began assembling cast-off materials ... More

The Brilliant Biograph: Earliest Moving Images of Europe (1897-1902).

AMSTERDAM.- Eye Filmmuseum and the British Film Institute (BFI) are presenting a compilation of one-minute films by the Mutoscope and Biograph Company. The fifty 68mm films – unrivalled in terms of depth of field and clarity – have been digitally restored (8K resolution) with support from the European Commission. The oldest moving images of such cities as London, Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin will soon go on show at the filmmuseum. Concert pianist Daan van den Hurk will provide live musical accompaniment with a specially written score. The Brilliant Biograph: Earliest Moving Images of Europe (1897-1902), Eye, Cinema 1; 31 August, 17.00; ticket sales via Pathé, Lumičre, Edison and Gaumont are all celebrated as pioneers of film history. This is much less the case with the Mutoscope and Biograph Company, co-founded in 1896 by William Kennedy-Laurie Dickson, a brilliant engineer and ... More

Original Stanford White period frame, in the collection of Eli Wilner & Company, available for $1.4 million.

NEW YORK, NY.- Antique frame dealer Eli Wilner & Company announced the acquisition of a carved and gilded frame designed by Stanford White in 1890. “This frame is priced at $1.4 million.” An essay by Jacob Simon, John Singer Sargent & the framing of his pictures, in Richard Ormond & Elaine Kilmurray’s John Singer Sargent: Figures and Landscapes, 1914-1925: The complete paintings, Vol. IX, features an in-depth look at the frame on Sargent’s Portrait of Henry Cabot Lodge in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. The close similarity between the two frames suggests that the frame in Wilner’s collection would be very suitable for a Sargent painting. In addition to being one of the most prominent American architects of the turn of the 20th century, Stanford White was a friend to many of the most notable artists of his time, and became one of the most important figures in the history of American fr ... More

The Barnes Foundation reopens with 'Marie Cuttoli: The Modern Thread from Miró to Man Ray'   Billie Eilish's ukulele, Elton John's tracksuit & more headline MusiCares Julien's Auctions Charity Auction   'Stanley Kubrick,' a brisk new biography of a major talent

Fernand Léger (1881–1955). Composition with Three Figures—Fragment, 1932. Oil on canvas, 56 3⁄4 × 45 in. (144.2 × 114.3 cm). Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. Heinz. Photograph © 2019 Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh © 2020 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- The Barnes Foundation has reopened with new health and safety protocols for staff and visitors. The Marie Cuttoli: The Modern Thread from Miró to Man Ray exhibition, which opened less than three weeks before the Barnes closed on March 13, has been extended through August 23. “During the past few uncharted and challenging months, the relevance of museums, as spaces that naturally offer respite, rejuvenation, and educational enrichment, has come into sharper focus,” says Thom Collins, Neubauer Family Executive Director and President. “Our planning for reopening has been thorough, involving many conversations with staff, elected ... More

Billie Eilish’s signed ukulele.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA.- Julien’s Auctions announced today the marquee lineup of items to be sold at MusiCares Charity Relief Auction, taking place Wednesday, September 9 live in Beverly Hills and online at with advance online bidding starting Monday, August 17th. The items offered by artists, athletes and entertainers includes Barbra Streisand, Bee Gees, Bill Wyman, Billie Eilish, Blake Shelton, Brandon Flowers (The Killers), Carlos Santana, Carole King, Cher, Chrissie Hynde, Coldplay, Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr., Depeche Mode, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Hans Zimmer, Joan Jett, John Stamos, Ozzy Osbourne, Patti Smith, Peyton Manning, Rhett Atkins, Rick Fox, Sir Tom Jones, Snoop Dog, Thomas Rhett, Tom Petty, Tom Waits, Willie Nelson and more in a charity auction to benefit MusiCares, the charitable foundation which provides aid to artists and music community professionals in times of need. ... More

“Stanley Kubrick: American Filmmaker” by David Mikics. Illustrated. 233 pages. Yale University Press. $26.

by Dwight Garner

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Pauline Kael was no fan of Stanley Kubrick’s movies. She deplored his “arctic spirit.” She compared “A Clockwork Orange” to the work of a Teutonic professor. In her review of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” she wrote: “It’s a bad, bad sign when a movie director begins to think of himself as a mythmaker.” I’m not a member of the Kubrick cult, but Kael’s animus always surprised me. After all, she’s the critic who wrote, in a dismissal of the 1986 Rob Reiner film “Stand by Me,” “If there’s any test that can be applied to movies, it’s that the good ones never make you feel virtuous.” A person who feels virtuous after watching a Kubrick movie should be prohibited from owning sharp tools. David Mikics’ “Stanley Kubrick: ... More

AIDS quilts for an artist and his partner, sewn during a new pandemic   She explains 'mansplaining' with help from 17th-century art   An exhibition tells the story of a drug war leader, but not all of it

The quilt friends sewed to honor Tom Rauffenbart, who died in 2019, in New York, Aug. 7, 2020. Karsten Moran/The New York Times.

by Brian Boucher

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Since the fall of 2019, six women, some from the art world, others retired social workers, had labored on two AIDS quilts devoted to the memories of artist David Wojnarowicz and his partner, Tom Rauffenbart. The women converged from all over New York City on the neighborhood of Washington Heights, at the home of Anita Vitale, who had met Rauffenbart, a fellow social worker, in the 1980s. Then, in mid-March, in what you might call a sad cosmic coincidence, their work was interrupted by the arrival of another pandemic. Rauffenbart, who learned he had AIDS before his partner but lived until last year, had always wanted to create a quilt for Wojnarowicz, who died in 1992. In 2018, when the Whitney Museum of American Art mounted the retrospective “David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night,” he decided it was time, but then became too ill to carry it through. The sewing circle — arts writer Cynthia Carr, author ... More

“The mansplainer explains things in a condescending way,” Tersigni said. “Their thoughts are always unsolicited.” Chronicle Books.

by Alisha Haridasani Gupta

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- This story begins, as so many do these days, on Twitter. In May 2019, Nicole Tersigni, a Detroit-based writer, logged onto the social media platform at the end of a long day. She was tired and frazzled from looking after her 8-year-old daughter, who was home sick at the time. “So I go online just to kind of scroll through Twitter and zone out for a little bit,” she said, “and I see a dude explaining to a woman her own joke back to her — something that has happened to me many times.” In the past, Tersigni had let those kinds of irritating conversations go, but this one sparked something in her. She Googled “woman surrounded by men” (“because that is what that moment feels like when you’re online,” she said) and stumbled upon a 17th-century oil painting by Jobst Harrich of a woman baring one breast in the middle of a scrum of bald men. She combined that image with the caption: “Maybe if I take my tit out they will stop explaining my ... More

In an undated image provided via D.E.A., a rendering of design concepts that have been considered as part of the renovation of the D.E.A. Museum galleries in Arlington, Va. Via D.E.A. via The New York Times.

by Colin Moynihan

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Harry J. Anslinger’s pioneering work as head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics has largely been unsung, although experts see him as the founding father of America’s war on drugs. In 2014, the Drug Enforcement Administration raised his profile with a symposium that focused on the decades he spent creating national drug policy, starting in the 1930s. Following that, in 2015, the agency’s museum opened an exhibition: “A Life of Service: Harry Jacob Anslinger, 1892-1975.” When that closed in 2017, the DEA Museum & Visitors Center created a virtual version, which is displayed on its website. But neither the live exhibition nor the virtual one mentioned that Anslinger has been criticized for making racist and denigrating remarks, accusations that have trailed him for years. In 1934, for example, Anslinger used a racial slur to describe a Black informant in a letter to narcotics ... More

The George Eastman Museum commemorates the 19th Amendment ratification centennial   Victoria Miro opens an exhibition of works by Alex Hartley   Vivant Books publishes a stunning exploration of the work and legacy of American sculptor Paul Villinski

This installation examines how photography has portrayed, and fundamentally shaped, perceptions of women and feminist movements since the mid-1800s.

ROCHESTER, NY.- The George Eastman Museum has recently opened a new rotation in its History of Photography Gallery commemorating the centennial of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. The amendment was intended to prohibit states and the federal government from denying citizens the right to vote on the basis of sex. While this is celebrated as granting American women the right to vote, many women continued to be prevented from exercising that right. The installation, which opened on July 26 when the museum reopened to the public, will remain on view through January 3, 2021. For those who cannot visit the museum in person, the gallery is also available to view virtually with a 3D tour at This installation examines how photography has portrayed, and fundamentally shaped, perceptions of women and feminist movements since the mid-1800s. The selection of works on view includes portraits ... More

Alex Hartley, Greenside (Bracken House), 2019. Acrylic, C type photograph, plywood and paint, 132 x 107 x 7 cm. 52 x 42 1/8 x 2 3/4 in © Alex Hartley. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro.

LONDON.- New works from Alex Hartley’s acclaimed series The Houses bring together photographic and overlaid painterly elements to examine the idea of the viewpoint, the frame and the boundary – between interior and exterior, manmade and natural environments, public and private space, two and three dimensions. Alex Hartley’s work shows us new ways of physically experiencing and thinking about our constructed surroundings. Iconic examples of modernist domestic architecture, photographed by the artist over the past twenty-five years, form the basis of these atmospheric monochrome works, in which the photographic image lies separated beneath hand-painted elements – describing and embellishing a verdant landscape – applied directly to a layer of semi-transparent acrylic. These include the first UK houses featured by Hartley, examples of British ... More

This deluxe coffee table book (each copy of which is complete with an elegant aluminum butterfly embedded in the front cover) documents three decades of Paul’s groundbreaking work.

NEW YORK, NY.- Vivant Books announced a limited-run rerelease of VILLINSKI ($95.00), an in-depth monograph that captures the work and influence of sculptor Paul Villinski (American, born 1960). Documenting three decades of the artist's studio and public art practice, the book covers Villinski’s groundbreaking work, which has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States in museum and gallery exhibitions. A pilot of gliders and airplanes, metaphors of flight and soaring often appear in Villinski's work. With a lifelong concern for environmental issues, his work frequently repurposes discarded materials of all sorts to surprising and poetic ends. The volume features an extensive biographical introduction by Lisa Freiman, PhD, and essays by renowned critics, curators and authors including: Bartholomew Bland • Dan Cameron • Kimberly Davenport • Michele ... More

Rules and models destroy genius and art. William Hazlitt

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Novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga: Zimbabwe's 'conscientious citizen'
JOHANNESBURG (AFP).- It was a week that for Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga started with elation and ended in despair. It began with the news that her latest novel had been long-listed for one of the world's top literary awards -- a dazzling peak in a career that, like her country, spans nearly four decades. And it ended in despondency after she was arrested, bundled into a police cell and charged with inciting public violence after taking part in a two-women silent protest. On the morning of July 31, the 61-year-old left home telling her husband she would be back shortly from staging a snap protest along a nearby road. She was arrested with her friend as they stood on a street corner bearing placards demanding reform of Zimbabwe's institutions and freedom for critics. "I was very sad because the message on my poster was very peaceful. I didn’t ... More

The life and work of Géza Gorka presented in an exhibition in Budapest
BUDAPEST.- Early in his career Art Deco and later on modernist ceramic design - and the painful gap in between that is a result of a clay target shooting contest in 1945 organized by Soviet occupation troops in Hungary which destroyed much of the work from his mid career – were the two genres that characterized Géza Gorka’s art the most. The exhibition on the Hungarian artist was made possible by Balázs Chovanecz, who possesses the largest and most complete collection of Gorga’s artworks. In parallel with the art exhibition, a uniquely detailed album entirely designated for the artist’s life work has also been published by the exhibition’s host, Kieselbach Gallery. As of now, this is the largest compilation of Hungarian applied artworks that has ever been published. Géza Gorka (1894-1971) was a 20th century Hungarian ceramicist who was known for his ... More

Modern Films to release 'Beyond the Visible - Hilma af Klint' in the UK & Ireland this October
LONDON.- Modern Films announces the UK & Ireland release of Beyond the Visible - Hilma af Klint, the first film about the life of the pioneering Swedish abstract artist Hilma Af Klint. The debut feature-length documentary directed by Halina Dyrschka, the film comes to cinemas from 9 October 2020, alongside a programme of special online events and digital screenings. Hilma af Klint (1862–1944) was an abstract artist before the term existed: a visionary, trailblazing artist inspired by spiritualism, modern science and the riches of the natural world. As early as 1906, she was radically experimenting with abstract imagery, several years before Wassily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian, who are still regarded as the forerunners of 20th-century abstract art. Largely forgotten after her death, her sidelining from patriarchal art historical discourse ... More

Morphy Auctions presents formidable lineup of Edged Weapons, Armor & Militaria, Aug. 18-19
DENVER, PA.- While writers may offer a particular perspective of what happened during a war or conflict, their accounts cannot rival the impact of actually seeing and holding objects that survived such pivotal events. That belief is what underscores Morphy’s popular semiannual Edged Weapons, Armor & Militaria sales. The next live gallery auction in this series is slated for August 18-19 and includes outstanding additional collections of Bowie knives and both Western and Native American art and relics. More than 2,400 lots will be offered at the live gallery event, with all remote forms of bidding available, including phone, absentee, and live online through Morphy Live. The charge will be led by an extremely rare and important US Army dress frock coat belonging to Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman. Dating to 1869-1872, it is believed to be one ... More

Seattle Art Museum names Priya Frank Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
SEATTLE, WA.- The Seattle Art Museum announced today the appointment of Priya Frank as Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (DEDI), a new position on the museum’s executive team. Frank has been at SAM since 2016 as the Associate Director of Community Programs in the Education department and the founding chair of the staff-led Equity Team. This new role grows out of Frank’s ongoing work at SAM to integrate racial equity into the museum’s strategic priorities. She will report directly to Amada Cruz, SAM’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director and CEO. In this new role, Frank will help shape the Seattle Art Museum's priorities, partnerships, communications strategies, and audience-engagement efforts to build an equitable, diverse, and inclusive museum. Internally, the DEDI will advance inclusion and diversity initiatives throughout the ... More

Philadelphia Museum of Art plans to reopen on September 6, 2020, Rodin Museum also to reopen
PHILADELPHIA, PA.- The Philadelphia Museum of Art announced today that it will reopen to the public on Sunday, September 6, 2020, following a nearly six-month closure that was necessitated by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Rodin Museum will also be reopening on this date. Admission to the Philadelphia Museum of Art will be Pay-What-You-Wish on opening day, which will follow three Members-Only days (September 3, 4, 5). Both museums will operate with reduced hours (see below) and visitors are strongly advised to reserve admission tickets in advance online, beginning August 17. These dates are subject to change in the event of any government directives or advisories related to the pandemic. With nearly all of the 200-plus galleries open in the main building, ranging from the arts of Asia to the European, American, and contemporary ... More

Lifetime collection of American Brilliant Cut Glass to be offered at auction
DOUGLASS, KAN.- Woody Auction will present the outstanding American Brilliant Cut Glass collection of William Buschling from Kansas City, Missouri in a two-day auction slated for Friday and Saturday, September 11th and 12th. The sale will be held in Woody Auction’s Auction Hall at 130 East Third Street in Douglass and online, beginning at 5 pm Central time on Friday and 9 am on Saturday. “The William Buschling collection is sure to catch the attention of American Brilliant Cut Glass collectors worldwide,” said Jason Woody of Woody Auction. “Bill's collection features an exceptional array of quality glass, with a special emphasis on sterling adorned pieces. There are ewers, decanters, vases and more - nearly 650 lots will come up for bid, with priceless beauties throughout both days.” Mr. Woody added, “We’re beyond proud to offer this ... More

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum names new Board President
BOSTON, MASS.- The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum announced that Gwill York has been elected as the President of the Museum’s Board of Trustees, effective July 1, 2020. A prominent entrepreneurial and civic volunteer within Boston for more than thirty years, York brings deep experience across finance, arts & culture, and private and public leadership to her role as Board President. She previously served as the Treasurer of the Gardner Museum’s Board. “In her nine years as Board Treasurer, Gwill has been essential to ensuring the long-term viability and bolstering the aspirations of the Museum,” said Peggy Fogelman, Norma Jean Calderwood Director of the Gardner Museum. “As Board President, Gwill brings a deep understanding of the Gardner Museum’s unique position and value within Boston’s arts & culture ecosystem, ... More

Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg exhibits works by Susanne Kriemann
HAMBURG.- Susanne Kriemann (b. 1972) deals in her art with radioactive radiation and the effects of civilisation on nature. In the exhibition Reconsidering Photography: Underbrush, the artist places two of her work complexes in dialogue with historical photographs and prints from the collection of the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg. Kriemann uses not only photography in her work but also draws on historical printing methods such as photogravure, for example when she tries to capture the radioactivity of contaminated plants in Gessenwiese, Kanigsberg (2017–2020). She extracts the pigment for this process from the affected plants themselves, thus making radioactivity a physical component of her images. An installation of plant samples in the show gives an insight into the development of her photogravures. For the second work ... More

Wayne Fontana, hitmaker with 'The Game of Love,' dies at 74
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Wayne Fontana, a British invasion-era singer best known for his 1965 hit song “Game of Love,” died Thursday at a hospital in Stockport, England. He was 74. Pam Dixon, his social media administrator, said the cause was cancer. Fontana, who made a name performing as Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, found brief success with the band when “Game of Love” hit No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard chart the week of April 24, 1965. The song, by American songwriter Clint Ballard Jr., is instantly recognizable to many by its opening lyrics: “The purpose of a man is to love a woman/And the purpose of a woman is to love her man/So come on baby let’s start today, come on baby let’s play/The game of love.” The song got another burst of attention in 1987 when it was played by the disc jockey portrayed by Robin Williams in the ... More

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Artist Jeff Koons on his iconic sculpture Play-Doh



On a day like today, American artist Jackson Pollock died
August 11, 1956. Paul Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 - August 11, 1956), known as Jackson Pollock, was an influential American painter and a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement. He was well known for his uniquely defined style of drip painting. In this image: Former Museum of Fine Arts, Houston director Peter Marzio poses near works by Jackson Pollock on display Friday, Oct. 17, 2003, in Houston. The works are titled, from left to right, "Echo (Number 25, 1951)," "Number I, 1948" and "Gothic."

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