The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The Allure of Antique Persian Camelhair Carpets (Part 2)

High Collectible SERAB CAMELHAIR, Northwest Persian 6' 4" x 11' 8" from the 3rd quarter of the 19th Century.

By Jan David Winitz, President & founder
Claremont Rug Company

OAKLAND, CA.- In Part One, I introduced camelhair rugs, a little-known subgroup of antique Persian carpets that has always been extremely popular among my clients at Claremont Rug Company. I also covered at length the two villages accounting for the greatest number of these luxurious pieces, the Northwest Persian village of Bakshaish, the creator of magnificent, evocative room size carpets, and Serab, a major center for runners and corridor carpet weaving. In hues from blonde to chocolate brown, undyed camel hair imbues an immediate earthy quality to a rug’s aesthetic, that speaks, I believe, to a subliminal part of us that yearns for connection to the natural world. To this day, camelhair rugs have escaped proper appreciation of their contribution to the panoply of antique Oriental carpets, because they were a minor part of the oeuvre of a small number of weaving centers. ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

The Huntington gets hip   Michelangelo's inspiration among Vatican 'secrets' revealed   Christie's opens 'Four Centuries │ Four Seasons' - a private selling exhibition

Made in L.A. 2020: a version. Installation view at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino. Photo: Joshua White /

by Robin Pogrebin

SAN MARINO (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- The juxtaposition is striking. In one gallery, Thomas Gainsborough’s classic 18th-century oil painting, “The Blue Boy,” gazes out from the ornate walls, having just undergone an extensive restoration. In another gallery, an installation by Los Angeles artist Monica Majoli explores Blueboy magazine, one of the earliest gay publications in the United States, through sultry images of scantily dressed young men. When did the Huntington get hip? This is not the institution you thought you knew for its beaux-arts mansion, imposing research library and elegant botanical gardens, including one inspired by Suzhou, China. It’s now also a hub for cutting-edge contemporary art. For the first time, the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens has joined the Hammer Museum in presenting the biennial, ... More

In this file photo a person takes a photo of Michelangelo's David, one of the world's most famous statues, after cleaning by Italian restorers from the "friends of Florence association" on February 29, 2016 at the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence, where the statue has been kept since 1873. ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP.

VATICAN CITY (AFP).- The Belvedere Torso inspired Michelangelo but is often ignored by visitors rushing to the Sistine Chapel, an oversight the Vatican Museums hope to resolve with a new video series launched Tuesday. The Torso, a fragmentary Greek marble statue more than 2,000 years old, is the subject of the first of 12 monthly videos designed to showcase the "secrets, little-known stories and curiosities" hidden among the papal collections. Believed to be of the Greek hero Ajax in the act of contemplating suicide, the Torso was housed in the Colonna Palace on the Quirinal Hill and later moved to the Vatican's Octagonal Court. It was studied by generations of artists, including Michelangelo, who would spend hours before it every day and used it as his ... More

Robert William Vonnoh, Jardin en Fleurs, oil on canvas. Painted circa 1890. © Christie's Images Ltd 2021.

NEW YORK, NY.- To welcome the Spring, Christie’s is hosting a special Private Selling exhibition at Rockefeller Center and online from 17 April until 21 May inspired by the Four Seasons represented in art from the 17th century to now through works by Salomon van Ruysdael, Jules Breton, August Rodin, Claude Monet, Winslow Homer, and Matthew Wong, among others. Entitled Four Centuries | Four Seasons, the exhibition is comprised of 23 works of art. For millennia, the change of season has dictated the rhythm of humanity’s existence and been represented by artists keen to celebrate the beauty of the environment as it adapts. For 250 years Christie’s has helped steward some of humanity’s greatest artistic treasures across generations and cultures and has committed to building a sustainable business so that great natural beauty can inspire future generations. It is fitting that the exhibition is being held now ... More

Palmer Museum of Art opens exhibition of dynamic abstract art   Spring Native American Art Auction nets nearly $1M at Cowan's Auctions   How the artists behind 'Shtisel' brought Akiva's journey to life

Alma Thomas, Hydrangeas Spring Song, 1976 (detail). Acrylic on canvas, 78 x 48 inches.
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 125th Anniversary Acquisition.

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA ( ).- The Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State announced the opening of Mark Makers: The Language of Abstraction. Organized by the Palmer, this special exhibition brings together paintings, drawings, and prints by notable twentieth-century artists who engaged with the natural world through their art even as they moved into the abstract and away from overtly recognizable content. Featured in the exhibition are several loans from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, including a major canvas by Alma Thomas, a Black artist who worked for nearly four decades as an art teacher in the public schools of Washington, D.C. She later launched a critically acclaimed career as an abstract painter in 1960. “This is an outstanding opportunity to see a major painting by one of the country’s great abstract artists,” said Erin M. Coe, director of the ... More

Edith Claymore (Miniconjou, 1858-1910) Attributed, Cheyenne River Pictorial Tobacco Bag. Sold for $100,000.

CINCINNATI, OH.- Cowan’s April 16 Native American Art auction achieved a price of $997,265, beating its presale estimate by more than $250,000. The sale offered a wide selection of Native art and artifacts from every region of North America and spanning prehistory through the 19th century. “It was great to see the market remain strong after a surprisingly robust 2020,” said Danica Farnand, Cowan’s Senior Specialist and Director of Native American Art. “It just goes to show that there is a growing interest in these remarkable pieces and I am so happy to see them going to places I know they will be truly appreciated.” Highlighting the auction was an Edith Claymore (Miniconjou, 1858-1910) attributed Cheyenne River pictorial tobacco bag (lot 109) that sold for $100,000 against a presale estimate of $40,000 - $60,000. The 34-inch bag was made of sinew-sewn, softly tanned deer hide and featured ... More

The artist Menahem Halberstadt in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 12, 2021. To capture the tensions faced by a young ultra-Orthodox artist, the creative team behind the hit Israeli TV show “Shtisel” hired two painters who understood the stakes. Michal Chelbin/The New York Times.

by Marisa Mazria-Katz

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- In the middle of the night in a Jerusalem alleyway, a black-hatted yeshiva principal stands before a blazing mass of canvas. He has just set fire to his youngest son’s paintings — portraits of the son’s deceased wife — and he is somberly watching them burn. Oil, it seems, is a great accelerant. It’s a Hasidic bonfire of the vanities with a touch of 21st-century cancel culture: a distillation of artistic, cultural and Oedipal tensions at the heart of the Israeli series “Shtisel,” which explores the quiet intricacies of a Haredi Jewish family’s ultra-Orthodox life in Jerusalem. In Season 3, which arrived to Netflix last month, Akiva’s paintings — especially the portraits of his wife, Libbi (Hadas ... More

Solo exhibition of paintings by Sooki Raphael on view at ROSEGALLERY   Jim Steinman, 'Bat Out of Hell' songwriter, dies at 73   National Gallery of Art acquires iconic photograph by Dora Maar and work by photographer Susan Hiller

Sooki Raphael Sparky & Squirrel, 12 x 12 inches.

SANTA MONICA, CA.- ROSEGALLERY is presenting These Precious Days, a solo exhibition of paintings by Sooki Raphael, on view from 10 April until 10 May, 2021. Sooki Raphael leaves her canvas as colorful as she has led her life. With many creative endeavors —- from clothing to ceramics to a long career in the film industry — Raphael has contributed to numerous projects, busily attending to the arts through a multiplicity of avenues. After a 2018 diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and the Woolsey Fire in Malibu, Raphael turned her focus toward painting, using her colorful palette as an “expression of a renewal of spirit and life” as she healed alongside the scorched landscape of the Malibu and Topanga hills. Raphael painted the works on view over the last three years in her Topanga home and in the Nashville home of author Ann Patchett, with whom she weathered the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. In the eponymous ... More

Lena Hall and Bradley Dean in "Bat Out of Hell" in New York, Aug. 1, 2019. Emon Hassan/The New York Times.

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Jim Steinman, who wrote all the songs on “Bat Out of Hell,” Meat Loaf’s operatic, teenage-angst-filled 1977 debut album, which remains one of the most successful records of all time, died Monday in Danbury, Connecticut. He was 73. His longtime manager, David Sonenberg, announced the death. He said that Steinman had a stroke four years ago and that his health had recently been declining. Steinman had a wide-ranging resume that included writing Bonnie Tyler’s 1983 No. 1 hit “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and serving as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s lyricist on “Whistle Down the Wind” (1996). But his career-defining achievement was “Bat Out of Hell,” a record that no major label wanted but that has now sold tens of millions of copies. Although the various lists of the top sellers differ in how they ... More

Dora Maar, Père Ubu, 1936. Gelatin silver print, 24.13 × 17.78 cm (9 1/2 × 7 in.) National Gallery of Art, Washington. Gift of J. Patrick and Patricia A. Kennedy © 2020 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris 2020.110.1

WASHINGTON, DC.- Père Ubu (1936) by Dora Maar (1907–1997) is an iconic photograph of the surrealist movement. This exceptional print has recently been given to the National Gallery of Art by J. Patrick and Patricia A. Kennedy. It joins two other works by Maar already in the collection and strengthens the National Gallery’s holdings of surrealist photography. Compelling and repellent, Maar’s unusual portrait of a bizarre animal with a flat, angular head, elephantine ears, and curved arms with claw-like appendages is meant to evoke the monstrous, dictatorial lead character from Alfred Jarry’s controversial absurdist play Ubu Roi (1896). Maar’s creature highlights the bestial nature of Jarry’s antihero, whose greed, cruelty, and vulgarity were manifested ... More

Phaidon announces an in-depth survey of the life and work of Jim Hodges   PIASA to offer an Art Deco Mystery Clock by Cartier   Scholars grieve loss of priceless antiquities in Cape Town fire

Jim Hodges by Jane M. Saks, Robert Hobbs, Julie Ault, Tim Hailand. June 30, 2021 | $49.95 | Paperback | 160 pages | 200 col illus. | 9.9 in x 11.4 in.

NEW YORK, NY.- Contemporary American artist Jim Hodges (b.1957) addresses issues such as memory, love, and the human condition in a multifaceted practice that includes photography, painting, and sculpture. His use of everyday objects like boulders and denim, coupled with the adoption of transitory shapes like spiderwebs, speaks to the ways in which nature refracts personal experiences into collective ones. Mysterious, beautiful, poetic, and conceptually complex, Hodges’ work has the rare quality of being simultaneously thought-provoking and visually beautiful. Hodges’ monograph is the latest in Phaidon’s Contemporary Artist series, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2020. For a quarter of a century, Phaidon’s Contemporary Artists series has been at the forefront of documenting the fascinating, varied and complex universe of contemporary art, providing authoritative and extensively illustrated studies of today’s most important artists. Every title ... More

Art Deco Mystery Clock. Rock crystal, onyx, marble, rhodonite and silver. Circa 1930. Signed: Cartier Paris. Estimate: 400 000 / 600 000 €.

PARIS.- As part of the Jewelry and Watches sale on May 19, PIASA will present a mysterious Art Deco clock made by Cartier in the early 1930s. For the first time at auction, this clock whose hands seem to float magically in the dial is a true rediscovery. This mysterious clock had not appeared on the market since its creation by the Cartier Paris workshops. This exceptional piece comes from the private collection of auctioneer and Academician Maurice Rheims. In 1912, when he was only 28 years old, the watchmaker Maurice Couët followed in the footsteps of the famous illusionist Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin and developed the system of mysterious clocks that were to become the mythical object of the House of Cartier. It is a true miracle of watchmaking: the hands are attached to a rock crystal disc with a serrated metal edge that is operated by a rack and pinion system hidden in the frame of the case. While the disc is in motion, the hands ... More

Firefighters try, in vain, to extinguish a fire in the Jagger Library, at the University of Cape Town, after a forest fire came down the foothills of Table Mountain, setting university buildings alight in Cape Town, on April 18, 2021. RODGER BOSCH / AFP.

by Linda Givetash

CAPE TOWN (AFP).- It was no ordinary library. The University of Cape Town's Jagger Reading Room, destroyed by a runaway fire this week, was a beacon of African history and intellect. The African studies section of the 1930s library was engulfed by flames on Sunday when a fire sparked on the foothills of the city's iconic Table Mountain spread to the nearby campus. Parquet-floored and lined with columns, the vast room housed a unique collection of African books and archives under its domed ceiling. The more than 85,000 books and 3,000 films were renowned across the continent and beyond. Academics and alumni voiced their distress on Tuesday as university staff started assessing the extent of the damage. "The library is the heart of a university," said Cameroonian ... More

Colors are the deeds of light, its deeds and sufferings. Goethe

More News
Two Hollywood executives, awash in awards and admiration, step aside
LOS ANGELES (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- One of corporate Hollywood’s most enduring double acts is calling it quits. Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley, senior executives at Searchlight Pictures for 21 of its 27 years, who shaped global culture with Oscar-winning hits like “12 Years a Slave,” “Black Swan,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Slumdog Millionaire,” announced their surprise retirement Tuesday. They will leave the Disney-owned specialty studio by the end of June, adding to a conspicuous changing of the guard at The Walt Disney Co. “You don’t want to be the show that stays on the air two seasons too long,” Utley said. “Get out while everything is still going well.” She was joking — mostly. Searchlight has long been the gold standard of art film studios, packing its slate with diverse offerings long before Hollywood got the memo, and thriving ... More

A tireless actress, back at the scene of the 'crime'
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- On Sunday, before a small, masked, spaced-apart audience at the Theater Center, the most persistent show in New York made a return after what might be described as — in the scheme of things — a brief intermission. Warren Manzi’s “Perfect Crime” opened on April 14, 1987, and stubbornly stayed put. The unflashy murder mystery has remained more or less the same as everything changed around it. It took an international pandemic to shut the show down for 13 months. Until then, Catherine Russell, now 65, had missed only four performances in the lead role of a possibly murderous psychiatrist. She owns and runs the building, which is also the venue for “The Office: A Musical Parody.” That show is running again, too; Russell hands out tickets at its box office. “Perfect Crime” was among the first off-Broadway ... More

Oriental lute makes comeback on Iran music scene
TEHRAN (AFP).- The Oriental lute is making a comeback in Iran after decades in the shadows as musicians reconnect with an instrument integral to Arab and Turkish musical tradition in a fragmented region. Known as the oud in Arabic, it is commonly called the barbat in Persian, although some would argue the instruments differ slightly. "The number of (oud) students has increased considerably over the past 15 years or so; before a known teacher would have had a dozen students whereas today they'll be about 50," said Majid Yahyanejad, a 35-year-old oud teacher in Tehran. Noushin Pasdar, a 40-year-old musician in the Iranian capital, made the same observation. She started teaching the stringed instrument "about 23 years ago" after graduating from professional arts school, known as honarestan in Persian. "At the time, most of my ... More

Red carpet or not, film festivals roll on
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- It was January 2020, several weeks before everything jerked to a halt. Film fans were wondering if Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” could go the distance at the upcoming Oscars. In Lincoln Center’s quiet Furman Gallery, across the lobby from the Walter Reade Theater, Eugene Hernandez assembled the staff of the New York Film Festival, the annual fall showcase to which he’d just been appointed director. Whiteboards went up on the wall. Notepads and laptops came out. “I wanted the New York Film Festival to be New York’s film festival,” Hernandez recalled, stressing a widening perspective beyond the Upper West Side. “I kept repeating that to anyone who would ask.” Already he had a vision of exporting the festival to other boroughs via outdoor screenings that would be masterminded by Hernandez’s ... More

Richard Rush, who directed 'The Stunt Man,' dies at 91
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Richard Rush, who made rebellious-youth films in the 1960s that featured emerging stars like Jack Nicholson but who had his biggest success in 1980 with “The Stunt Man,” a quirky, expectation-defying thriller that gained cult status, died April 8 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 91. His wife, Claude Rush, said the cause was an accumulation of health issues that included heart and kidney failure. He had a heart transplant 18 years ago. Rush didn’t make a lot of movies; the last of his dozen feature films, the erotic thriller “Color of Night,” was released in 1994. But he made his mark with the actors he cast and with a certain fearlessness in his filmmaking choices. In “The Stunt Man,” Steve Railsback plays a fugitive who accidentally finds himself on a film set and ends up as a stunt man while striking up a romance ... More

PAMM announces María Magdalena Campos-Pons as recipient of 2021 Pérez Prize
MIAMI, FLA.- On Saturday, April 17, Pérez Art Museum Miami hosted the seventh annual Art of the Party, where Cuban artist María Magdalena Campos-Pons was announced as the recipient of the 2021 Pérez Prize, an unrestricted award of $50,000 that honors artistic achievement, funded by a gift from local patrons of the arts and longtime PAMM supporters Jorge and Darlene Pérez. The annual event, which included an intimate, in-person dinner on PAMM’s waterfront terrace or the option to dine at home with a virtual presentation, raised over $500,000 for PAMM’s robust arts education programs that have served over 300,000 children since opening in December 2013. “Despite the hardships of 2020, I’m grateful we can safely come together, both virtually and in-person, to support a Miami institution that is reflective of this city and this community. Art, ... More

Almine Rech opens Marcus Jahmal's first exhibition in Paris
PARIS.- Almine Rech Paris is presenting Marcus Jahmal’s exhibition, New Religion, on view from April 15 - May 29, 2021. This is Jahmal’s third solo exhibition with the gallery and his first in Paris. The exhibition will be followed by the artist’s second monograph, published by Almine Rech Editions. For Marcus Jahmal, painting begins with black. Ivory Black, Lamp Black, Intense Carbon Black. These layered shades of oil give his works an intense chromatic texture reminiscent of Ad Reinhart. Coaxing an image from a black-primed canvas is a deeply spiritual, apophatic process, a kind of accumulation through negation, a way of communing with the void. True to form, Jahmal calls painting his “religion.” A self-proclaimed night-owl, he often works in the evening light of his Bushwick studio, drawing his imagery from his walks through the neighborhood after sundown, ... More

Andrew Lloyd Webber and "The Phantom of the Opera" offer once in a lifetime auction items
NEW YORK, NY.- Doyle Auctioneers & Appraisers and Christine Baranski announced an epic package newly donated to the previously announced Stage & Screen auction, benefitting The Actors Fund, by Andrew Lloyd Webber and The Phantom of the Opera. This particular item includes admission for two to the long-awaited reopening performance of Phantom, the longest-running show in Broadway history, as Lord Lloyd Webber’s personal guests, as well as the iconic and rare “Lot 665” prop direct from the West End production. The prop, as it is described by the auctioneer in the musical’s opening scene, is “a papier-mâché musical box in the shape of a barrel organ. Attached, the figure of a monkey in Persian robes playing the cymbals.” Featuring a diverse array of memorabilia from the performing arts including Theater, Hollywood, Opera, and Dance, ... More

Copenhagen Contemporary reopens with "Art of Sport" exhibition
COPENHAGEN.- Art of Sport takes a close look at hero worship within sport, its gender and ethnicity codes, its inclusion and exclusion mechanisms, and the relation of sport to politics, power, and money. A glistening yellow sculpture is writhing athletically and, between its legs, an oversized phallus is jutting out. This is the artist Sarah Lucas’s humorous portrait of the sports icon and legendary footballer Diego Maradona – and among the first sights to greet visitors to the Art of Sport exhibition. Some view sports activities as a haven, as fostering community spirit, friendships, and self-development while others experience it as excluding and threatening their identity and self-perception. This is precisely the duality that Art of Sport sets out to examine. Via numerous works created by more than thirty prominent Danish and international artists, Art of Sport ... More

'Peter Grimes' sails on choppy seas of Brexit and the pandemic
MADRID (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- In a new production of “Peter Grimes” that premiered at the Teatro Real opera house here Monday, the people of an English seaside town wave the British flag, and pack into a pub seeking shelter from a sudden downpour. Benjamin Britten’s 1945 opera about an ill-fated fisherman is one of the most quintessentially English works in the opera repertoire, but Britain’s recent exit from the European Union, coupled with a travel ban and other restrictions triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, has made staging it in Madrid a journey across choppy and uncharted waters. “Having to deal with Brexit and the pandemic at the same time was diabolical,” Joan Matabosch, artistic director of the Teatro Real, said in an interview. The show is a coproduction with three other theaters, including the Royal Opera House in London, ... More

Prominent Orange County, New York estates to cross the block at EstateOfMind
MIDDLETOWN, NY.- A pre-Revolutionary War map of New York City by John Montresor (British, 1736-1799), a 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle rookie card graded 3.5, and a 16.75-carat diamond tennis bracelet are just a few of the expected top lots in a two-session estate auction scheduled for Saturday, May 15th by EstateOfMind starting promptly at 11 am Eastern time. Session 1, at 11 am, will feature property from longtime gun collectors and dealers. Included will be assorted rifles, large lots of gun parts (including 03-A3 stocks, some with cartouche) and large lots of contemporary and vintage ammunition. Rifles will feature a U.S. M 1917 30-06 cal. rifle, serial #05965; a Venezuela mfd. 7 x 57 cal. Mauser carbine; a DSM 34 Nazi .22 cal. training rifle B 1972, serial #73151; and a Yugo M48 8mm Mauser rifle with bayonet, Bez Oznake. Session 2, immediately ... More

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Collection in Focus: Director's Choice



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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