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Carrie Mae Weems sets the stage and urges action

Visitors experience Carrie Mae Weems’s “Cyclorama — Conditions, a Video in 7 Parts” (2021) in her exhibit “The Shape of Things,” at the Park Avenue Armory in New York. In “The Shape of Things,” the artist tells us how we got to this political moment, and asks us to decide what comes next. Stephanie Berger/Park Avenue Armory via The New York Times.

by Aruna D’Souza

NEW YORK, NY.- At the beginning of the seven-part film projected onto a cylindrical screen, a Cyclorama that forms the centerpiece of Carrie Mae Weems’ walk-in installation at the Park Avenue Armory, we see performer and choreographer Okwui Okpokwasili sitting in a chair with papers falling like leaves around her. Weems’ voice, with its deep, round tones, tells us that to navigate the now, “she needs to look back over the landscape of memory.” Incorporating work from throughout the artist’s four-decadelong career, “The Shape of Things” has a strong retrospective quality — confronting the past in order to understand the present — without being a retrospective exhibition. The artist traces our current national predicament, with ever-present anti-Blackness and eroding democracy foremost among many woes, while reminding us that what we’re seeing in our political landscape is nothing new. In fact, she has been telling us about it for decades. What is less ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

The San Antonio Museum of Art appoints Emily Ballew Neff as new Director   Exhibition on the art of the Neapolitan Baroque opens at Colnaghi   First century Roman bust joins Getty Villa collection

Neff brings extensive experience in community building and fundraising, and long history of scholarship, especially in American art.

SAN ANTONIO, TX.- The Board of Trustees of the San Antonio Museum of Art announced today that Emily Ballew Neff has been appointed as its new director, following an international search. Neff most recently served as the Executive Director of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, where, among her numerous accomplishments, she spearheaded the effort to relocate the museum to downtown Memphis to enhance its role within the city’s civic and cultural core. She previously served as the director and chief curator at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma and as the founding curator of American painting and sculpture at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Neff will take on her new role as The Kelso Director at SAMA on January 18, 2022. “We are delighted to welcome Emily to the Museum and to the city of San Antonio. As a native Texan, with deep roots ... More

The exhibition also features a selection of religious, landscape and still-life paintings by some of the greatest artists who worked in the city during the 17th and 18th centuries.

LONDON.- Opening in conjunction with London Art Week, Colnaghi presents a special exhibition showcasing the enduring creative legacy of Old Master artists and artisans from Naples, marking the first exhibition in London devoted to the Italian city and its arts in over forty years. As the centrepiece of Naples, Colnaghi, together with Dario Porcini, present a magnificent 18th-century crčche, known in Italian as a presepe, a monumental Nativity scene traditional to Baroque Naples. The exhibition also features a selection of religious, landscape and still-life paintings by some of the greatest artists who worked in the city during the 17th and 18th centuries and served as inspiration for the craftsmen of the presepe, including Jusepe de Ribera, Luca Giordano, and Massimo Stanzione. Naples is on view at Colnaghi from 3 ... More

Bust of Germanicus, 20-40 AD. Marble, 20 1/2 × 15 × 8 1/2 in. Getty Museum, 2021.66.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Getty Museum has acquired an early first-century marble bust of the Roman general Germanicus, adopted son of Tiberius and father of Caligula. “This stunning portrait bust adds an extraordinary sculpture to the Villa’s collection of Roman portraits,” says Timothy Potts, Maria Hummer-Tuttle and Robert Tuttle Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “It is among the finest and best-preserved portraits of the young Germanicus at the time of his adoption in AD 4 by his uncle, the soon-to-be Roman emperor Tiberius and complements nicely other Roman busts in the antiquities collection at the Villa.” The bust depicts the young Germanicus before the depositio barbae, the Roman ritual first shaving of the beard. While the image, or portrait type, was created at the time of his adoption, this bust is a posthumous portrait of the popular general, who was being groomed to be emperor but died young. Ten ... More

Cortesi Gallery Lugano opens a new exhibition Shaping Colors, dedicated to Francesco Carozza   Christie's Hong Kong Chinese Paintings Autumn Auctions achieved a combined total of US$77,541,686   Shulamit Nazarian presents a solo exhibition of paintings by Daniel Gibson

Installation view, Francesco Carozza. Shaping Colors, curated by Vera Canevazzi, Cortesi Gallery Lugano, 2021. Photo by Lucrezia Roda.

LUGANO.- With their incisive and vital surfaces and almost sculptural deployment, the pure strength of Francesco Carozza’s paintings urges the viewer to delve into the mechanisms of painting, to confront its stratification and rarefaction, how matter comes together and falls apart. In 2018, at his Galleria Seno Onirico exhibition in Milan, Francesco Carozza exhibited the incipit of his production. Shaping Colors from 2021 brings us his coherent evolution, the artist achieving new outcomes through an almost obsessive study of the trinomial matter/form/color in its various repetitions and variations. So, the artist experiments here with new color combinations, contrasting and impetuous combos of purple/silver; gold/black; red/green; purple/yellow, alluding to a world familiar from the American Pop Art and advertising ... More

The Fragrance of a Nation in Clearing Spring by Yun Shouping. Realised: HK$59,650,000/ US$7,680,582.

HONG KONG.- On 29 and 30 November, Christie’s Chinese Paintings held two live auctions – Fine Chinese Classical Paintings and Calligraphy, and Fine Chinese Modern and Contemporary Ink Paintings, achieving a combined total of HK$601,977,500/ US$77,541,686 and sell-through rates of 81% by lot and 95% by value. The sales also saw a contingent of millennial buyers who accounted for 45% of new buyers. Kim Yu, International Specialist Head of Chinese Paintings Department, commented: “We are very delighted to secure market leadership in Asia with our phenomenal results across both sales, and to continue achieving remarkable prices for esteemed private collections which attract deep bidding for leading lots. For those hoping to acquire more exceptional paintings from important private collections from across Asia and North America, do tune in to ... More

Daniel Gibson, Mother with Three Flowers (detail).

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Shulamit Nazarian is presenting Valley of the Moon, a solo exhibition of paintings by Los Angeles-based Daniel Gibson. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. Gibson's paintings explore a lexicon of symbols that relate to his familial past and his identity as a Mexican-American. The new works in Valley of the Moon are set between the desert and the ocean, employing references to the natural world while speaking to hardships, resilience, and freedom. Growing up in California, along the border with Mexico, Gibson bore witness to migrants who crossed the desert, risking their lives as they desperately sought a better future. Confronted by the harsh realities of the world at an early age, he turned to his imagination, often reshaping reality with fantasy. As a painter, Gibson brings to life the surreal narratives that captivated him as a child, reimagining memories and family stories from ... More

Striking light sculpture by artist Sharon Lockhart installed on facade of the Middelheim Museum   Heritage Auctions to offer the largest Justh & Hunter gold brick found aboard the sunken 'Ship of Gold'   Exhibition explores the potential of art in the construction of collective memory in a global age

Sharon Lockhart, The Future Should Always Be Better, 2021 - Courtesy of the artist, neugerriemschneider, Berlin and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels - Photo: Ans Brys.

ANTWERP.- The Middelheim Museum and American artist Sharon Lockhart (b. 1964) offer a remarkable message to passers-by, presenting a recent light sculpture on the façade of the historic Middelheim Castle. This first solo project by Lockhart in Flanders will light up the winter months. Its powerful message is at once a prophecy and a call to action. ‘The Middelheim Museum is consequently following the rhythm of the seasons day by day. During the darkest season, Sharon Lockhart’s new work literally lights the way for visitors. The artist leads us towards 2022 and offers a hopeful perspective on better times.’ --Nabilla Ait Daoud, Alderman for Culture, City of Antwerp This text-based artwork will be on display from 1 December 2021 until 30 March 2022 on the façade of the historic Middelheim ‘castle’. Today ... More

The largest S.S. Central America ingot ever offered at auction.

DALLAS, TX.- The gold brick is too heavy to lift easily or gracefully — something about molecular density making it much heavier than its 54 pounds, but also, perhaps, something to do with the history it carries. Its tale began some 170 years ago in Northern California, the El Dorado of the American West that beckoned hunters, by steamer and wagon, who were promised that "fortune lies abroad upon the surface of the earth as plentiful as the mud in our streets," as Horace Greeley wrote. This bar started as gold dust collected during that mad rush toward the Pacific, and was made whole by Justh & Hunter, a firm that weighed and assayed these shimmering flecks of fortune found by the Forty-Niners of the Gold Rush. Had this massive bar, the largest Justh & Hunter in the world, successfully sojourned from California to New York (and then, likely, to Philadelphia) as initially planned, it probably would have been melted down, ... More

Ilana Harris-Babou, Decision Fatigue, 2020. HD video, 8’32’’. Collection of the artist.

ISTANBUL.- Pera Museum presents Notes for Tomorrow, a travelling exhibition conceived by Independent Curators International (ICI), featuring artworks selected by curators from around the world to reflect on a new global reality ushered in by the COVID-19 pandemic. The exhibition will be on view until March 6, 2022 at Pera Museum, Istanbul. Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Pera Museum is closing the year 2021 with three new exhibitions. One of these exhibitions, Notes for Tomorrow has been brought to life by Independent Curators International (ICI), taking its inspiration from a series of texts titled “Reports from the Field”, which were created by ICI collaborators and published on the organization’s website during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Turned into a traveling exhibition, Notes for Tomorrow started its world tour at the beginning of 2021. Opened to the public at Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Have ... More

Kunsthalle Friart presents an exhibition of works by artist Ceylan Öztrük   December's Hong Kong coins, currency events arrive right on time   First solo show by Eva Crebolder at Annet Gelink on view in Amsterdam

Exhibition view, Ceylan Öztrük, Matter of non, Kunsthalle Friart Fribourg, 2021, Courtesy of Kunsthalle Friart Fribourg.

FRIBOURG.- Friart presents an important exhibition by the Swiss-based Turkish artist Ceylan Öztrük. At the base of Öztrük’s work is a fundamental reflection on the very possibility of sculpture, which is never assumed to be self-evident. In Matter of non, the artist deals with the poetic expression of matter’s in/determinate origin. The show presents itself as a series of spatial aphorisms (about the relationship between existence and death) that simultaneously fulfill and relieve each other. Inspired by quantum physics as much as by psychoanalysis, Matter of non is an attempt to integrate matter into its non/existent matrix. In this address, the body —a central referent in the history of sculpture normally divided between language and flesh—must yield to the vertigo of the inhuman. The exhibition is accompanied by a prose text written by Ceylan Öztrük, which collects clues ... More

Brilliant Proof Long-Whiskered Dragon Pattern That is Rarely Seen Finer.

DALLAS, TX.- The surging demand for Chinese numismatics will be on display again in Heritage Auctions' HKINF World Coins Signature® Auction December 11-13 and HKINF World Paper Money Signature® Auction December 11 in Hong Kong. Proxy bidding for the World Paper Money Auction is open now. Chinese coins, old and new, have enjoyed significant growth recently, with record prices that reflect the rapidly expanding market. "Asian numismatics have grown in popularity and importance to a rapidly growing community of collectors around the world," Heritage Auctions Executive Vice President of International Numismatics Cristiano Bierrenbach said. "The items in this exceptional sale mirror the diversity of coinage across the Chinese and broader Asian series." Among the most impressive lots is an absolute showstopper: a 180mm People's Republic gold Proof "Year of the Sheep" 100000 ... More

Installation view.

AMSTERDAM.- In The Bakery, Annet Gelink is presenting Fluid Facades, the first solo show by Eva Crebolder at the gallery. In her perpetual experimentation with scale, volume, ceramic and form, Eva Crebolder searches for softness in spatial forms, an interspace where lightness and solidity meet. Mundane objects – a comb, bricks, pots, stacks of sugary almond nougat purchased in the local Moroccan grocery store – form the departure point of her fluid facades. Seemingly fixed yet malleable assemblages, these everyday objects are presented on a different scale in novel forms and constellations. In Fluid Facades, a selection of porcelain ware exists monumentally in the space, entering into dialog with its surroundings. Square pots in the confined space of the metal cabinet come together to form a cityscape. Here, the viewer is gradually invited to shift between various scales, both real and imagined: patterns of streets and roundabouts ... More

More News
Alisan Fine Arts opens an exhibition of works by ink master Lui Shou-kwan
HONG KONG.- Alisan Fine Arts is presenting "Hong Kong Landscapes", its sixth solo exhibition for ink master Lui Shou-kwan. With a focus on Lui’s modern landscape paintings from the 1950’s and 60’s, the works on display literally follow Lui’s footsteps while he visits the various sites around Hong Kong Island. They include iconic landmarks such as Victoria Harbour, Victoria Peak, Lion Rock, Happy Valley, and the beautiful beaches of Repulse Bay and Shek O, as well as the various hills and valleys in the country parks. Through these works one can trace the extra-ordinary techniques that Lui developed to meticulously depict the changing seasons, weather, and the various times of day while maintaining the literati spirit of traditional ink painting. This exhibition is the third in a series of important shows the gallery has planned for its 40th ... More

Bath Preservation Trust unearths William Beckford's long lost grotto tunnel and plans to restore it
BATH.- The historic paddocks surrounding a famous Bath landmark are being restored to enable visitors to experience a glimpse of William Beckford’s gardens as they were presented almost 200 years ago – and as part of the restoration works the long-lost grotto tunnel has now been discovered. Since 1827, William Beckford’s extraordinary tower has been a feature high above the city of Bath. It was intended to house his library, art collection and be a retreat from the hubbub of Bath. In order to access it, Beckford reputedly bought a mile of land between his home in Lansdown Crescent and the tower itself and created a series of interlinked gardens, plantations and rustic seats, with views over the Avon Valley, culminating at the Tower. This became known as Beckford’s Ride. In the two centuries since his death in 1844, the original walls of the tower garden ... More

Christie's to auction DONDA bullet proof vest NFT
NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s New York announced an exciting addition to the Handbags x Hype: The Luxury Remix, an online-only sale open for bidding until December 9. For the first time in a luxury sale at Christie’s, Handbags x Hype: The Luxury Remix will offer an NFT lot. MBD: A Donda Bullet Proof Signed Vest by Kanye West (Estimate: $20,000-30,000) is offered with two unique components that commemorate this moment of music history: the physical bullet proof vest worn by Kanye West during his listening event and a 1-of-1 NFT. The physical vest, complete with ballistics panels, is hand-painted “DONDA” and signed by Kanye West to read “MBD,” an acronym for My Body Different. The accompanying 1-of-1 NFT serves as a digital representation of the physical vest. Minted by Ethernity, a community-oriented platform that produces ... More

Banksy's "Girl With Balloon" included in Michaan's December sales
ALAMEDA, CA.- Michaan’s is the first California auction house to offer Banksy’s “Girl with Balloon,” a top lot in the Winter Fine Sale on Friday, December 17. This auction promises to make December 2021 a big month for Michaan’s, with collectors of all sorts already lining up their bids. December brings three exciting auction events to Michaan’s, with the Winter Fine Sale followed by the monthly Gallery Auction on December 18, and preceded by the popular three-day Annex Auction -- home of incredible finds and deals -- on Monday through Wednesday, December 13-15. Michaan’s offers Banksy’s “Girl With Balloon” hot on the heels of “The Art of Banksy” exhibition at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts, an unauthorized show of more than 80 Banksy works from private collections. “Girl With Balloon” is the image immortalized in Banksy’s sensational self-shredding work, “ ... More

Art Curator Jen Mergel appointed in new role at Emerald Necklace Conservancy
BOSTON, MASS.- As the Emerald Necklace Conservancy prepares to mark the bicentennial of Frederick Law Olmsted in 2022, the non-profit looks to deepen and broaden its community impact with the hire of Jen Mergel in the newly created senior leadership role of Director of Experience and Cultural Partnerships. To expand the Conservancy’s foundational commitment to connect people to and through parks, Mergel will integrate work across the teams in visitor welcome, education and programs. In addition, she will build the organization’s capacity and trajectory to invite more inclusive and impactful park experiences through a diverse mix of partnerships that honor the intersecting wisdom of local elders, the know-how of passionate community organizers and the bold vision of cultural luminaries. Mergel is a nationally respected contemporary arts leader ... More

Slow Revolution: Towers that glow-in-the-dark, a new artwork by Liz West
SALFORD.- Slow Revolution is a new permanent large-scale sculptural artwork by artist Liz West, developed site-specifically for Greengate, Salford. The work comprises of individual prismatic triangles covered in luminescent reflective colours and stacked to form geometric columns, spanning across the building to create an optically vibrant and kaleidoscopic installation. Made of 56 triangular prisms, each set apart at a 5 degree angle, Slow Revolution is a glowing series of 8 towering beacons that appear to playfully twist and rotate as the viewer moves in front of the work, therefore prompting a shifting dialogue between the audience and space. The slow revolution of triangles produces the sensation of gradual movement across the expanse of the sculpture, enlivening its surroundings and encouraging movement through the Greengate ... More

No matter the role, Antony Sher made soaring seem possible
NEW YORK, NY.- To watch Antony Sher onstage was an uncommonly visceral experience. Sher, the South African-born British stage star who died Thursday at 72, made you feel his performances on a level few other actors achieve. I’m not talking about an emotional reaction here, or not only that. I mean a physical response, the kind that registers in your muscles, your stomach, your bones. A small-framed 5-foot-6, Sher was not, by conventional measurements, a naturally imposing presence. Yet the concentration and physiological specificity with which he embodied characters, from power-hungry medieval monarchs to a 20th-century sensualist painter, made you tense up in anatomical empathy. After attending a Sher performance, I would often throb with the ache that follows a rigorous run on rough terrain. I was even tempted to check my body for bruises. ... More

Garment District Space for Public Art presents "Far Side of the Moon" exhibition by New York photographer Hyewon Park
NEW YORK, NY.- The Garment District Alliance announced the latest in its ongoing series of public art exhibits, showcasing a large scale photograph printed on fabric titled Far Side of the Moon, captured by New York-based photographer Hyewon Park. Located in a street-level window on 215 W 38th Street, the free exhibit is accessible to the public through January 7, 2022. Far Side of the Moon is part of the Garment District Space for Public Art program, which showcases artists in unusual locations throughout the year and over 16 years has produced more than 200 installations, exhibits and performances. “We are proud to welcome Hyewon and her eye-opening photography to the Garment District as part of our series ... More

Exhibition at the Hong Kong Central Library focuses on print expressions from the 1970s
HONG KONG.- The travel exhibition “Photographic Images and Matter: Japanese Prints of the 1970s”, co-organised by the Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong and the Japan Foundation, is being held from 2 to 20 December, 2021 at the Hong Kong Central Library. Supervised by Kyoji Takizawa, curator of the Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, the exhibition focuses on print expressions from the 1970s, as seen in 50 works of 14 artists who helped develop a print movement in the world of Japanese contemporary art. While, on one hand, this period is notable as the golden age of works in which photographic images were converted into prints, the 1970s also saw the rise of a new print movement in which a strong emphasis was placed on allowing materials (matter) used in print-making, such as print blocks, paper, and ink, to speak ... More

Seattle's Museum of History & Industry's Da Vinci - Inventions exhibition extended through March 2022
SEATTLE, WA.- Due to popular demand, MOHAI’s Da Vinci - Inventions exhibition, demonstrating the full scope of Leonardo da Vinci’s remarkable genius, has been extended in Seattle through Sunday, March 13, 2022. Da Vinci – Inventions, created by Grande Experiences, brings to life the genius of Leonardo as an inventor, scientist, anatomist, engineer, architect, and more. An extensive range of unique pieces includes numerous examples of his machine inventions. Visitors can be push, pull, crank, and interact with many of these machines for a hands-on understanding of the scientific principles behind them. Da Vinci – Inventions offers visitors of all ages and backgrounds an entertaining, educational, and enlightening experience, whether they are art and history aficionados or exploring Leonardo da Vinci’s work for the first time. “MOHAI ... More

'Mrs. Doubtfire' review: Nanny doesn't know best
NEW YORK, NY.- In 1993, a film about an irresponsible father dressing up as a woman to manipulate his way back into his family’s life was a barrel of laughs. A man in a dress? Classic! He does impressions? Even better! He tries to sabotage his wife’s new relationship? Comedy gold! Truly, it was a different time. And that was the main challenge for the stage adaptation of “Mrs. Doubtfire,” a new musical that opened Sunday night at the Stephen Sondheim Theater. With music and lyrics by the brothers Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick and a book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, “Mrs. Doubtfire” simultaneously tries to replicate an outdated story and update it for the times. But the show only ends up cowering in the original film’s shadow. And speaking of shadows, there is the outsize one of the incomparable Robin Williams. In the film, ... More

A Slow Look | Claude Monet's 'Charing Cross Bridge, brouillard'

On a day like today, Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini was born
December 07, 1598. Gian Lorenzo Bernini (also spelled Gianlorenzo or Giovanni Lorenzo) (Naples, 7 December 1598 - Rome, 28 November 1680) was an Italian artist who worked principally in Rome. He was the leading sculptor of his age and also a prominent architect. In addition he painted, wrote plays, and designed metalwork and stage sets. In this image: After a long restoration, the head of the Medusa by Italian sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini was displayed in Rome, on Wednesday 22 November 2006. The sculpture was exhibited in the Capitol museum in Rome until January. The work of restoration emphasized the lights and the shadows on the sculpture.

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