The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Friday, March 31, 2023

A sibling rivalry divides a famous artist's legacy

Harry Bertoia’s grave in Bally, Pa., Jan. 25, 2023. At an auction, 20 of Harry Bertoia’s “sounding sculptures” sold for millions — but his children can’t agree on the future of his work. (Aaron Richter/The New York Times)

by Grayson Haver Currin

NEW YORK, NY.- Celia Bertoia’s father — the famous sculptor and not-so-famous musician Harry Bertoia — had been dead 30 years when she asked a psychic how to handle his legacy. The youngest of three children, she had long seemed to be her father’s favorite: a confidant who, as a child, would cut his hair outdoors on their forest-fronting property among the idyllic valleys of Eastern Pennsylvania. But after his death in 1978, she dodged the family business of welding together mountains of metal into behemoth public-art installations and “sounding sculptures” that made music. She became a real estate agent in Colorado, then the owner of a Montana service that provided timing for road races. When she entered her 50s, Celia Bertoia decided it was time to help manage the thousands of pieces her father had left. Her mother, Brigitta ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

The headless statue of a 'Roman emperor' is seized from the Met   Gagosian announces the global representation of Nan Goldin   VMFA acquires two comprehensive collections of works by Virginia artists Benjamin Wigfall and Willie Anne Wright

In an image provided by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a damaged head of the Roman emperor Caracalla, dating to 211-217 A.D. It was looted from a site in Turkey in the ‘60s, according to authorities, and has been seized from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to be returned to Turkey. (Metropolitan Museum of Art via The New York Times)

by Tom Mashberg and Graham Bowley

NEW YORK, NY.- Septimius Severus ruled ancient Rome as emperor for nearly two decades, and a 7-foot-tall statue that researchers say depicts him presided over the Greek and Roman galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the past 12 years. But now the headless bronze statue, dating to 225 A.D. and valued at $25 million, is gone, one of the latest antiquities to be seized from the museum, whose collection has been repeatedly cited in recent months as containing looted artifacts. The investigators who seized the statue said it had been stolen from Bubon, an archaeological site in southwest Turkey, in the 1960s. Another 17 items at the museum were ... More

Nan Goldin, Seascape at sunset, Camogli, Italy, 2000. Archival pigment print mounted on Dibond with chassis, 59 × 88 5/8 inches, 149.9 × 225.1 cm. Edition of 3 + 1 AP © Nan Goldin. Courtesy the artist and Gagosian.

NEW YORK, NY.- Gagosian announced the global representation of Nan Goldin. Among the most consequential artists of her generation, Goldin has introduced new modes of image making that have transformed the role of photography in contemporary art. Emerging from the artist’s own life and relationships, her photographs and moving-image works are both deeply personal and profoundly influential, addressing essential themes of identity, love, sexuality, addiction, and mortality. Throughout her career Goldin has united art and activism, confronting the HIV/AIDS epidemic since the 1980s and more recently bringing international attention to the overdose crisis. A current retrospective that focuses on Goldin’s moving-image work, This Will Not End Well, includes six slideshows and video installations displayed in unique pavilions designed ... More

Chimneys, 1951, Benjamin Wigfall (American, 1930–2017), oil on canvas. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, General Endowment Fund. © Benjamin Wigfall.

RICHMOND, VA.- The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has acquired two comprehensive collections of works of art and archival materials by important Virginia artists Benjamin Wigfall and Willie Anne Wright. “We are excited to add these remarkable works by Benjamin Wigfall and Willie Anne Wright to the museum’s permanent collection. Many of these works will go on display this year at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in special exhibitions devoted to these artists,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA’s Director and CEO. “The museum continues to support artists from the Commonwealth of Virginia and expand our collection to show the full breadth of human experience and artistic achievement.” Born and raised in the Church Hill neighborhood of Richmond, Benjamin Wigfall (American, 1930–2017) began his long career as an abstract painter and printmaker in the 1950s. ​​​“Wigfall credits seeing a painting by Germa ... More

Exhibition of new paintings by Stanley Whitney opens at Gagosian   An unopened 2007 iPhone can be yours (for $32,000 or more)   Painting by Gesina ter Borch acquired by the National Gallery of Art

The color makes the structure. —Stanley Whitney

LONDON.- Gagosian is presenting There Will Be Song, an exhibition of new paintings by Stanley Whitney. Opening March 30, this is the gallery’s first exhibition of paintings by Whitney since announcing its representation of the artist. Vibrant and lyrical, Whitney’s paintings emerge from his ongoing exploration of color and composition. Each work is composed of rectilinear, predominantly monochrome blocks of oil color in three or four registers demarcated by horizontal bands. Working extemporaneously within this compositional structure, the artist selects each successive tone in relation to those already applied. The paintings’ brushwork reveals the active trace of the artist’s hand through variations in direction of application and opacity of pigment. Pursuing abstraction since the mid-1970s, Whitney consolidated a process-based approach while living in Rome in the 1990s. In Italy, he was captivated by ancient Roman mural ... More

In an undated image provided by Rago/Wright, a factory-sealed first-generation iPhone. The 2007 iPhone is going to auction with a floor price of $32,000. (Rago/Wright via The New York Times)

by Jacob Bernstein

NEW YORK, NY.- Wright Auctions, a leading venue for the sales of contemporary design goods, has fetched five-figure deals for a Hans Wegner desk, a George Nakashima settee, and a chair designed by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen. For an auction that is set to take place on Thursday, there’s a new item at the top of the list: a first-generation Apple iPhone in its original packaging. Smaller than a Cedric Hartman desk lamp, and not nearly as obvious of a status item as, say, the Yves Klein table a few lots over, the 2007 iPhone has a floor price of $32,000. That is the amount a prospective buyer must be willing to spend simply to get in on the action. Wright Auctions estimates that the winning bid ... More

Attributed to Gesina ter Borch and Gerard ter Borch the Younger, Moses ter Borch Holding a Kolf Stick, c. 1655. Oil on panel, overall: 39.37 x 26.67 cm (15 1/2 x 10 1/2 in.) National Gallery of Art, Washington. The Lee and Juliet Folger Fund 2022.106.1

WASHINGTON, DC.- The National Gallery of Art has acquired Moses ter Borch Holding a Kolf Stick (c. 1655), considered to be a collaboration between Gesina ter Borch and her half-brother, Gerard ter Borch the Younger. Genre and portrait painter Gerard ter Borch the Younger (1617–1681) was the most famous and prolific artist in the Ter Borch family, but his half-siblings, Gesina (1631–1690), Harmen (1638–before 1677), and Moses (1645–1667) were also trained by their father (Gerard ter Borch the Elder, 1583–1662) and were all gifted artists. A charming, informal depiction of a young boy poised to play a popular winter sport, Moses ter Borch Holding a Kolf Stick highlights the work of Gesina ter Borch, a superbly talented amateur ... More

Batman's debut in 1939's 'Detective Comics' No. 27 swings to record-tying $1.74 million at Heritage Auctions   Sara Puig, reconfirmed as president of the Fundació Joan Miró for a further four years   One of the luckiest lightning strikes ever recorded

Detective Comics #27 (DC, 1939) CGC FN 6.0 Off-white to white pages.

DALLAS, TX.- It was a big day for the Batman at Heritage Auctions Thursday during the first session of the four-day Comics & Comic Art Signature® Auction. A copy of 1939’s Detective Comics No. 27, featuring the first appearance of The Dark Knight, realized $1.74 million. Thursday’s sale of this historic comic, graded Fine 6.0 by Certified Guaranty Company, ties the auction record set in May 2022, when a higher-graded copy realized the same price. Detective Comics No. 27 is so rare there are just 75 copies known to exist in any condition and only 14 graded higher than the one offered in this auction. This copy ranks among the most valuable and coveted of them all: As CGC notes, Batman co-creator Bob Kane left a message, written in ink, on its first page to his friend (and beloved collector) Robert Crestohl. “Twice in three years, Heritage has either set or tied the auction record for this historic book, and it never gets old,” says ... More

Sara Puig.

BARCELONA.- Sara Puig Alsina has been reconfirmed as president of the Fundació Joan Miró for a further four years by unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees. Sara Puig Alsina has been a member of the Board of Trustees since November 2013 and of the Executive Committee since November 2014, and president of the institution since 2019. Holding a bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of Barcelona and a master’s degree in Arts Administration (Museums) from New York University, Sara has extensive professional experience in the field of art and museums. At the ordinary meeting held yesterday, 29 March 2023, the incorporation of Rafael Pardo, director of the Fundación BBVA, into the Board of Trustees was approved, thereby consolidating the strategic, longstanding collaboration with the institution that, since 1989, has made 26 exhibitions possible. Taking part in this meeting for the very first time were two new ... More

A still image from video provided by Marcelo Saba and Diego Rhamon shows the instant before positive upward discharges from lightning rods meet the negative discharge of lightning in Sao Jose dos Campos, a city northeast of Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Marcelo Saba and Diego Rhamon via The New York Times)

by Nicholas Bakalar

NEW YORK, NY.- Benjamin Franklin invented lightning rods in the 18th century, and the devices have been protecting buildings and people from the destructive forces of lightning ever since. But the details of how lightning rods function are still the subject of scientific research. Although modern lightning protection systems involve extra equipment that makes them more efficient, the lightning rod itself is quite simple: a copper or aluminum rod set above the highest point of a building, with wires connected to the ground. When lightning strikes a building, it will preferably pass through the rod — the path of least resistance — and then through the wires ... More

D.M. Thomas, 88, dies; His 'White Hotel' was a surprise bestseller   In this 'Peter Pan,' something always goes awry. That's the plan.   After making history in Bangladesh, She's getting applause in New York

A former English teacher with a modest writing career in Britain, he found fame in 1981 with an inventive story of an opera singer, Freud and the Holocaust.

NEW YORK, NY.- D.M. Thomas, the English novelist whose ingenious interweaving of Freudian themes and the Holocaust made “The White Hotel” a surprise bestseller in 1981, died on Sunday at his home in Truro, a small city in the Cornwall region of southern England. He was 88. His son Sean confirmed his death. He declined to specify a cause. Thomas was a former English teacher with a modest literary reputation when he began planning a novel in the style of a Freudian case study. By chance, he began reading Anatoly Kuznetsov’s documentary novel “Babi Yar,” about the slaughter of 100,000 mostly Jewish Ukrainians near Kyiv in 1941, and the light bulb went on. “Suddenly, I saw a connection between the mass hysteria of the Holocaust and personal hysterias,” Thomas told People magazine in 1981, “and realized I had a novel.” “The White Hotel” tells the story of Lisa Erdman, a half-Jewish opera singer who comes to Sigmund Freud seeking treatment for her psyc ... More

The actor Greg Tannahill, rehearsing a flying sequence in the Broadway comedy “Peter Pan Goes Wrong,” in New York, March 10, 2023. The slapstick comedy is full of daring sequences. What does it take? Countless rehearsals (and bruises). (Dolly Faibyshev/The New York Times)

NEW YORK, NY.- On a recent afternoon, actor Greg Tannahill sat perched atop a London rooftop, one leg extended, one arm outthrust. A pair of carpenters would then whisk Tannahill from his rooftop and into a nursery. And then out of it. And then back in again. A window frame would come free. Tannahill, now jerked upside down, would mewl and scream and clamber down a wall. Once he finally righted himself, the flight harness would wrench him upside down again. This breathless, silly sequence lasted less than a minute and ended when Tannahill, playing an actor cast as Peter Pan in an ill-starred kiddie production, finally stands up straight and delivers the line: “Thank heavens I didn’t wake the children.” The routine requires split-second precision and the seamless cooperation of actors, flight operators and stage managers. To make it work and to make ... More

Tashnuva Anan Shishir in New York, March 20, 2023. Anan, who became her country’s first transgender news anchor in 2021, is performing in “Public Obscenities” at Soho Rep. (Desmond Picotte/The New York Times)

NEW YORK, NY.- When Shayok Misha Chowdhury wrote the character of Shou for his new bilingual play, “Public Obscenities,” about a couple who interviews queer locals in Kolkata, India, he was “super worried” about casting the role. The performer would not only need to be of the appropriate gender but also a Bangla speaker with the right “linguistic fluency” to capture the character, who speaks “exuberantly and forthrightly and confidently,” he said recently. Shou identifies as kothi, an Indian gender that encompasses a breadth of expressions, Chowdhury said. So he reached out to a friend for advice: a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who is “very in the sort of Bangali queer and trans space.” After the professor mentioned Tashnuva Anan Shishir, Chowdhury searched her name online, and several questions came into his head: Is she even ... More

Art is limitation. The essence of every picture is the frame. G.K.Chesterton

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Pam Glick joins Stephen Friedman Gallery
LONDON.- Stephen Friedman Gallery announced representation of Pam Glick. Formal play typifies Pam Glick’s practice. Hallmarked by her interest in the universal language of abstraction, Glick describes her painting process “as a playground that I set up.” Calligraphic pencil marks disrupt the paint, undermining the grid structure of the canvas; the layers of mark-making adding a cartographical aspect to the work. In the New York Times, Roberta Smith described the paintings as “beautiful castoffs, relics of better times, which adds gravity to their improvisational flair.” Although abstract, the paintings are informed by the place in which they are created, channelling the energy of that place towards the viewer. This is particularly evident in her series ‘Niagara-USA-Canada’ inspired by the famous waterfall which she describes as “the perfect ... More

François Ghebaly opens Adrian Gellery's first exhibition in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES, CA.- François Ghebaly is presenting Cloudburst by Adrian Geller, the Swiss artist’s first exhibition in Los Angeles. In Cloudburst, Geller centers his focus on the subject of sudden rain. Exploring the ecstatic balance between “comfort” and “danger,” Geller finds this duality most vivid in our relationship with nature. Reflecting on human reactions to rainfall, he considers both the natural inclination to stay dry and the freedom when surrendering to the elements. Geller captures his subjects’ romance, abandon, and pensive tension as they navigate the splendor of a rainstorm. Applying thin washes of paint, Geller creates a soft, rolling mist that travels across his works’ settings. Using deep, cool-toned colors, Geller’s thicker, more textured brush strokes create, in certain places, the sharp appearance of tesselating raindrops ... More

Holly Trostle Brigham: Mothers, Sisters and Daughters exhibition at the Reading Public Museum
READING, PA.- The Reading Public Museum is presenting a new exhibition: Holly Trostle Brigham: Mothers Sister, and Daughters, opening in The Museum’s Cohen Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art. This engaging exhibition brings together Philadelphia artist Holly Trostle Brigham’s major works, including selections from several series, dating from the mid-1990s to the present. For the past three decades, Brigham has researched and interpreted the lives of women throughout time and has often used herself as the model. She draws her sources from mythology, art, religion, and theater. The exhibition is timed to coincide with Women’s History Month, which is celebrated throughout March.  The earliest works in the exhibition explore goddesses from ancient Egypt and classical antiquity, such as Isis and Cybele, giving birth and giving ... More

Bosco Sodi's "Origen" now on display at Harvard Art Museums
CAMBRIDGE, MASS.- A new installation of sculptures by Mexican-born artist Bosco Sodi, Origen, places 14 of the artist’s handmade clay spheres at the Harvard Art Museums and marks the first-ever presentation of art on the museums’ outdoor Broadway terrace. In a first for a U.S. installation of the artist’s work, Sodi has also unveiled three gold-glazed spheres as part of his site-specific arrangement. The works are all on loan from the artist and Kasmin, New York. Bosco Sodi: Origen will remain on display through June 9, 2024. The installation has been organized by Mary Schneider Enriquez, the Houghton Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Harvard Art Museums. Sodi’s practice explores the earth’s elements, marrying age-old traditions of sculpting clay with a contemporary vision of creating simple universal ... More

OKCMOA opens single-painting exhibition as tribute to the memory of Oklahoma City bombing
Now open at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is presenting an exhibition centered around the painting Oklahoma by artist Cynthia Daignault, a work honoring the memory of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing in 1995. The exhibition, Cynthia Daignault: Oklahoma, will consist of Daignault’s black-and-white painting and will be on view on the second floor through December 31. “At first glance, this may feel like a reproduction of the well-known newspaper photograph of the bombed building, but as you get closer, you can see that Daignault used loose brushwork to confuse the image into almost chaotic lines.,” said OKCMOA Director of Curatorial Affairs and Audience Engagement Rosie May, Ph.D. Daignault first created a work based on the bombing to represent the year 1995 in her series What Happened from 2018, which chronicles ... More

'The Living Image of Sound: Notes on Jazz and Protest' on view at Northwestern
EVANSTON, IL.- The Living Image of Sound: Notes on Jazz and Protest at Northwestern is a concise exhibition exploring the intersections of visual art, music, and student-led social justice movements during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The exhibition features artwork and ephemera related to the trailblazing poet and musician Sun Ra and The Arkestra jazz ensemble, including a painting by the musician and visual artist Ayé Aton. The Arkestra’s practice is put into conversation with photographs of music venues across Chicago by Ted Williams, Mikki Ferrill, and Ronald L. Freeman, as well as images of and by Northwestern University students, reflecting a dynamic network of musicians, artists, listeners, and activists. The students—some of whom would eventually share a stage with Sun Ra himself—took up the mantle of artmaking and ... More

Vatican repudiates 'doctrine of discovery,' used as justification for colonization
NEW YORK, NY.- The Vatican formally repudiated on Thursday the “Doctrine of Discovery,” a legal concept based on 15th-century papal documents that European colonial powers used to legitimize the seizure and exploitation of Indigenous lands in Africa and the Americas, among other places. The decision comes after decades of demands from Indigenous people to rescind the doctrine, which was used for centuries to “expropriate Indigenous lands and facilitate their transfer to colonizing or dominating nations,” according to one United Nations forum. The Roman Catholic Church “repudiates those concepts that fail to recognize the inherent human rights of Indigenous peoples, including what has become known as the legal and political ‘Doctrine of Discovery,’” a joint statement from the Vatican’s development and education ... More

Bonhams launches new print sales in London
LONDON.- Bonhams will present a new type of Prints & Multiples sale on 19 April offering the freshest prints and recent editions from some of the most well-known contemporary artists on the international art market. Hot Off the Press, which will take place at Bonhams New Bond Street, will showcase works created and printed within the last fifty years. The launch of the sale will form the backdrop for Bonhams next After Hours event on 17 April, where Bonhams will offer two exclusive prints by The Connor Brothers, both in editions of 30, with one designed especially for the launch of Bonhams Hot Off the Press sale (True Love) and one exclusively produced and sold in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust (A Beautiful Fiction). Both editions will be available to purchase on the night on a first-come-first served basis. Two uniquely hand-coloured versions ... More

Michael Blackwood, who captured 20th-century artists on film, dies at 88
NEW YORK, NY.- Michael Blackwood, a prolific documentarian who explored the work of 20th-century artists, architects, musicians, dancers and choreographers in more than 160 films and yet never became widely known, died on Feb. 24 at his home in Manhattan. He was 88. His wife, Nancy Rosen, confirmed the death, in his sleep, but said she did not know the cause. Blackwood filmed his subjects in the unobtrusive, no-frills cinéma vérité style, seeking to capture the creative process behind their art, often in studio visits. Sometimes they were their own narrators; sometimes there were no narrators at all. Blackwood was invisible to viewers. He followed the jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk on tour in Europe. He tagged along as the minimalist composer Philip Glass prepared for the 1984 premieres of his opera, “Akhnaten,” in Houston ... More

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On a day like today, English painter John Constable died
March 31, 1837. John Constable, RA (11 June 1776 – 31 March 1837) was an English Romantic painter. Born in Suffolk, he is known principally for his landscape paintings of Dedham Vale, the area surrounding his home -- now known as "Constable Country" -- which he invested with an intensity of affection. In this image: A Sea Beach - Brighton, Photo: Bonhams.

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