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Art Basel shifts to September amid coronavirus concerns

A Gentil Carioca © Art Basel.

by Scott Reyburn

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Art Basel, the centerpiece of Europe’s summer art market calendar, has postponed its June edition in Switzerland until September as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Health concerns permitting, the 50th Art Basel will now take place Sept. 17 to 20, with preview days on Sept. 15 and 16. More than 280 galleries from 35 countries are slated to participate. “We thank our galleries for the support and understanding of our highly complex decision to postpone the fair,” Marc Spiegler, global director of Art Basel, said in a statement Thursday. “We hope that the situation improves swiftly, and we will work closely with our exhibitors to deliver a successful fair in September.” The event will now take place just two weeks before Frieze London, Europe’s other main destination contemporary art fair, and four weeks before FIAC in Paris. “We all expected it,” said Richard Nagy, a London-based Art Basel exhibitor. “It’s hard to tell if it’s ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

British Museum-led project launches global platform to counteract looting and trafficking of cultural artefacts   Contemporary Fine Arts Berlin presents a virtual exhibition of works by Georg Baselitz   Exhibition on Screen to broadcast free Facebook premiere of Vincent van Gogh film

Relief of King Thutmose IV, on the London art market in 2014, robbed from the Franco-Egyptian archaeological mission at the temple of Amun-Re in Karnak. It is now back in Egypt.

LONDON.- Growing levels of looting are affecting archaeological sites, storerooms and museums around the world. As a result, much illicit cultural property enters and freely circulates on the international art market. The provenance and context of these objects is often unclear or missing, which greatly diminishes their value for understanding the past. CircArt is a British Museum-led collaborative project that seeks to gather and examine evidence, and to support the identification of illicit artefacts. Funded by the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund, in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the project started in April 2018. CircArt documents artefacts in a closed semantic system, incorporating a database and sophisticated search tools that reveal patterns in object movements. Information is collected from publicly available sources, contributed by users of the CircArt platform, and genera ... More

Georg Baselitz, Ralf 2018. Pencil and pinfeather on paper, 79,7 x 59,1 cm. 31 1/2 x 23 1/2 in. Courtesy Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin. Photo: Jochen Littkemann.

BERLIN.- There is a remarkable painting in the Picasso room at the Kunstmuseum in Basel: a full-length portrait of Guillaume Apollinaire with his muse, Marie Laurencin. It was Henri Rousseau who painted this wonderful picture. Only I had remembered it as a self-portrait of Rousseau with Madame Rousseau. Marie Laurencin was Apollinaire’s muse, Clémence Rousseau was Rousseau’s muse. As it happens, Franz Marc painted a portrait of Rousseau for Der Blaue Reiter. And Picasso also had a self-portrait by Henri. There’s a quite intimate photograph, tak-en by André Gomés, of Picasso holding Rousseau’s self-portrait in his right hand and the portrait of Rousseau’s wife in his left hand. Picasso, that constructor of novel objects and audacious paintings, loved Rousseau, the painter of things in rigidified grace. Even Rousseau’s gaze in his self-portrait is stiff, directed at his own work, in which objects that we ourselves are familiar with look different ... More

Vincent van Gogh – A New Way of Seeing. Jamie de Courcey as Vincent van Gogh © Seventh Art Productions & Annelies van der Vegt.

LONDON.- To celebrate the birthday of one of the most famous and influential figures in the history of Western art, Exhibition on Screen will broadcast Vincent van Gogh: A New Way of Seeing live, for free, on Facebook at 7pm on Monday 30 March. The broadcast will feature a specially filmed introduction by Executive Producer Phil Grabsky, who will also be available throughout the film to answer questions and feedback in real time. Exhibition on Screen Founder and Executive Producer Phil Grabsky says “Over the previous weeks, we have seen an incredible response from creatives and institutions around the world, working hard to make art accessible to so many of us who are unable to leave our homes. These are extraordinary times, but one thing that brings me great comfort is the mobilisation of communities - local and global - to tackle the many unexpected challenges we are facing. I strongly believe that the arts play a vital role in our creating that community.” Enjoying complete and unp ... More

Saul Steinberg exhibition is first created exclusively for Pace Gallery's online platform   Albert Einstein discusses important scientific accomplishments in Heritage Auctions' Historical Manuscripts Auction   Stellenbosch Triennale, a bold experiment

Saul Steinberg, Looking Down, 1988, marker, crayon, colored pencil and conté crayon with collage on paper, 20" x 14" (50.8 cm x 35.6 cm) No. 37015. © The Saul Steinberg Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- Pace Gallery is presenting Saul Steinberg: Imagined Interiors, the first in a series of thematic and solo exhibitions created exclusively for the gallery’s online platform to be mounted during this unprecedented period of temporary closures. Curated by Michaëla Mohrmann, Associate Curatorial Director at Pace, Imagined Interiors explores drawings, collages, and photographs by Saul Steinberg that center on the theme of domesticity and the nature of interior spaces as ideal sites for introspection and creativity, resonating with the current unique human experience many are navigating around the world. The exhibition will be on view through Pace’s online viewing room platform for a two-week period from March 23 – April 6, 2020. "My purpose ... More

Albert Einstein Autograph Letter Signed "A.E." Two pages, 8.5" x 11", no place [Princeton]; April 15, 1950.

DALLAS, TX.- A range of important signed letters, including several from Albert Einstein, will be among the top attractions in Heritage Auctions’ Historical Manuscripts Auction April 23 in Dallas, Texas. “This sale includes numerous signed letters, including several from Albert Einstein, who many view as one of the most important scientists of all time,” Heritage Auctions Historical Manuscripts Director Sandra Palomino said. “To have hand-written notes in which he discussed some of his most significant scientific accomplishments represents an extremely rare opportunity for collectors of historical manuscripts.” Albert Einstein Autograph Letter Signed “A.E.” (estimate: $70,000+) was sent to Einstein’s friend, Michele Besso, shortly after Einstein’s article “On the Generalized Theory of Gravitation,” appeared in Scientific American. Written in German, the letter includes ... More

The artists, from left, Daniel Mensah, Denyse Gawu-Mensah and Samuel Baah Kortey among their work at the Stellenbosch Triennale in Stellenbosch, South Africa, February 2020. Kent Andreasen/The New York Times.

by Siddhartha Mitter

STELLENBOSCH (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- For tourists, this prim colonial town is the gateway to a spectacular mountain region dotted with wine estates. To most South Africans, however, it is the redoubt of the Afrikaner elite, a Calvinist town whose university trained the framers of apartheid and where banking billionaires roost today. In a land that is sharply unequal despite 26 years of democracy, money and whiteness feel especially concentrated here. It’s an unexpected place for a contemporary art exhibition — particularly of the experimental, Pan-Africanist variety, with artists from around the continent, none of them ... More

Seven dazzling new species of peacock spiders discovered by Museums Victoria's 'Spider Man'   Phoenix Art Museum website is now bilingual in English and Spanish   Hastings Contemporary launches robot-assisted gallery tours amid closure

Maratus volpei. Photo by Nick Volpe.

MELBOURNE.- A research paper published in leading international animal taxonomy mega journal Zootaxa today describes seven new species of Peacock Spider in the Maratus genus. This brings the total number of species within this genus to 85. Tiny and vividly-coloured, Maratus spiders are unique to Australia and have proved an Internet hit where videos of their elaborate courtship dances with added music and photoshopped accessories have clocked millions of views. At just 22 years old Joseph has now described a total of 12 species of Peacock Spiders, having previously described five in 2019. Despite growing up terrified of spiders, Joseph became fascinated by them over time and has already proven himself a world leader in Maratus research. In his previous research, Joseph was sent specimens to identify by a dedicated spider-loving community of the not-for-profit Project Maratus group. ‘Someone would send me a picture and I’d think "oh wow, that could be a new species!"’ Joseph said. Th ... More

New website designed to increase access through enhanced visitor information, an interactive map, and supplemental multimedia. Courtesy of Phoenix Art Museum.

PHOENIX, AZ.- Phoenix Art Museum announces the relaunch of its website, The redesigned and expanded site is the first in the Museum’s history to be fully bilingual in English and Spanish and offers unprecedented access for visitors to explore the Museum’s exhibitions and collections of fashion design, photography, and American and Western American, Asian, Latin American, European, modern, and contemporary art. The new site also features extensive information and multimedia on exhibitions and education programs, an interactive map and historical timeline, and tools for guests to filter exhibitions and events based on their interests. The redesign and launch of the Museum’s website were made possible through the profound generosity of Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, with additional funding provided by The Steele Foundation. “We are incredibly ... More

Unique collaboration between Hastings Contemporary and Bristol Robotics Lab is the first time telepresence robot technology has been used in a gallery in the UK.

HASTINGS.- One of the most iconic and much-loved British galleries of modern and contemporary art has responded to temporary closure due to the coronavirus by utilising robotics technology to provide its audiences with remote access to its exhibitions while its doors remain closed. In a UK first, Hastings Contemporary, an independent charitable arts organisation on England's south coast, has teamed up with Bristol Robotics Lab to offer its members and audiences old and new alike the opportunity to continue to visit the gallery and experience the best of modern and contemporary arts via the Double, a two-wheeled videoconferencing robot that can guide an operator and up to five people through real time tours of the gallery and its current exhibitions, as well as taking in the gallery’s much-loved views over the historic Stade fishing beach and English Channel. Praminda Caleb-Solly, Professor ... More

Lyons Wier Gallery opens a virtual exhibition of works by Valeri Larko   Sims Reed Gallery opens an exhibition of fine art prints and original works on paper by Dale Chihuly   Moscow's Bolshoi to livestream shows for free

Valeri Larko, Holiday Motel, Bronx, 2018, Oil on linen, 36 x 30 in / 91 x 76 cm. @ Lyons Wier Gallery.

NEW YORK, NY.- "Sign of the Times" takes its name from Valeri Larko's intimate paintings of billboards in and around the Bronx, New York. The title also refers to the strange era of planetary and political upheaval in which we currently live. Click here to see the Virtual Exhibition. Larko's newest paintings continue her exploration of the ordinary, often overlooked, environs of the outer boroughs of NYC, all of which she paints on location. Her work encourages the viewer to slow down and rediscover the world around them. In "Sign of the Times," she focuses more sharply on signage and the odd juxtapositions that occur in the urban landscape. The artist's fascination with billboards began during the financial crisis of 2008-2009 when she noticed the increasing appearance of blank billboards popping up in the Bronx and beyond. Since then, some of those billboards have remained blank while others have hawked both ... More

Dale Chihuly, Hot Poppies, 2018, Screenprint with hand-colouring, signed in paint, 94 x 63.5 cm - 37.01 x 25 in © Chihuly Studio.

LONDON.- Sims Reed Gallery is presenting an exhibition of fine art prints and original works on paper by the internationally renowned American artist Dale Chihuly. Due to the restrictions resulting from COVID-19, the gallery is offering a 3-D, virtual walk through of this show, available here. While celebrated for his exquisite and pioneering glass installations, drawing has always been integral to Chihuly’s artistic practice. They became an increasingly important means of communicating his ideas to his team after losing the sight of his left eye in 1976. These works evolved from charcoal and graphite studies into wilder colourful pieces, that according to the artist remain a crucial part of his creative pro- cess, without which the glass works would not have progressed in the way or at the speed with which they have. He describes the exchange of energy between the two as a flow of ideas, commenting ... More

A man wearing a protective face mask uses his mobile phone in front of the Bolshoi theatre in downtown Moscow, where all events were cancelled in a measure to fight the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, March 17, 2020. Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP.

MOSCOW (AFP).- The legendary Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow has announced it will broadcast its best classic performances online for free in response to new restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus. The Bolshoi's announcement came after the Moscow mayor on Thursday ordered the closure of all non-essential services and encouraged residents to stay home. "Our country, like the rest of the world, is experiencing a very difficult time" said Vladimir Urin, general director of the Bolshoi Theatre, announcing the digital shows. "We've never faced this type of situation before and since we had to close the theatre we didn't want to lose our connection with our audience," he said. The ballet and opera house said it will show six of its most popular productions on its YouTube channel beginning ... More

More News
Exhibition of recent works by artist Bernadette Despujols opens at Arts+Leisure
NEW YORK, NY.- Arts+Leisure is thrilled to announce Mamita, an exhibition of recent works by artist Bernadette Despujols. The exhibition will run from March 27th - April 26th 2020. In her first showing at the gallery, she presents a body of expressive, psychologically penetrating portraits and compositions inspired by her native Venezuela, underscored by a vigorous, intensely physical technique. Recalling the work of Lucian Freud and other members of the London School, the alternating passages of ridged, thick impasto paint and luminescent washes within Despujols’ heavily textured surfaces project their own narrative, charting the contours of flesh and human expression with an almost aggressive materiality. In contrast to the immediacy of her practice, her subjects are enigmatic, and their averted gazes complicate the viewers place; in Nude ... More

First look at London's future Design District
LONDON.- Dedicated to London’s creative community, the new Design District is a permanent hub for makers and thinkers driving forward the fields of design, art, tech, food, fashion, craft and music. The Design District is a striking and eclectic addition to the city, occupying a one-hectare plot at the heart of Greenwich Peninsula, beside the O2 and NOW Gallery. It will provide space for work, play and cultural pursuits for around 1,800 people in the creative sector. The urban developer behind the regeneration of Greenwich Peninsula, Knight Dragon, has set out to deliver a purpose-built creative neighbourhood that will exist in perpetuity – a dedicated district to preserve and stimulate the creative innovation and enterprise that has been integral to London’s global identity for centuries. “The simplest and most efficient route would have been to create ... More

Richard Benefield named Executive Director of The George Rickey Foundation
EAST CHATHAM, NY.- The George Rickey Foundation announced the appointment of Richard Benefield as its new executive director. Benefield comes to the foundation after many years with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, where he served as deputy director and acting director. He left that distinguished museum system in 2016 to become executive director of The David Hockney Foundation, having organized the de Young Museum’s David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition in 2014, for which he also wrote the catalogue. Benefield was also the founding executive director of The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, and served as deputy director of the Harvard University Art Museums; assistant director of the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design; and administrator of the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University. “Richard’s ... More

The Approach presents its first solo show by New York-based artist Sara Cwynar
LONDON.- The Approach is presenting the first solo show in the gallery by New York-based artist Sara Cwynar. In her practice, which includes photography, installation, and film, Cwynar surveys the transitory object-life of visual matter in our time of image infatuation. Her composite photographs of found objects and images court feelings of time passing and glamour fading. Using studio sets, collage, and re-photography the artist produces intricate tableaux that draw from magazine advertisements, the internet, postcards, or catalogues. The gallery is temporarily closed until further notice. The exhibition and entire films are available to view online. Marilyn features Red Film, the third film in a trilogy exploring how desire manifests through objects. Taking the tone and structure of an educational film, Red Film critiques capitalism’s persuasive, constant ... More

Sabrina Amrani announces the online premiere of the film Geometría Popular by Dagoberto Rodríguez
MADRID.- Dagoberto Rodríguez affirms that “behind each group or human action, be it a dance, assembly or meeting, behind each human conflict, military squadrons, parades or the arrangement of trenches, there is a hidden geometry that visualizes and explains our relationships in a different way. A geometry that leads us to very primary forms of composition”. Thus, in Geometría Popular, the artist notoriously plays with the importance of forms, the symbolism of fundamental geometric figures and the existential questions of human groups in contemporary culture. With a simple narrative, this video piece addresses the staging of three geometric figures and how they relate and confront each other involving the aesthetic and symbolic differences that exist between them. They are still the "forms that haunted the avant-garde and mystics in the past," ... More

How to see the world when you're stuck at home
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- The other day, anxious in my desk chair, I became a virtual traveler, staring at photos of public spaces abandoned in the wake of the coronavirus global pandemic: a soccer game in Germany, played in front of thousands of empty seats, the Piazza San Marco in Venice, vacant save for a few confused pigeons, the huge empty courtyard at the Great Mosque of Mecca, usually filled to the brim with worshipers circumnavigating the Ka’bah. These are places built for humans, but there were no humans. It was like peering into what a future might look like after we are gone, a disaster movie without the movie part. Our country is slowly wrapping its head around this disaster in slow motion. It is clear that life cannot go on as normal, at least for the foreseeable future. We are entering a wartime of solitude. All must do their ... More

Richard Marek, editor of Hemingway, Baldwin and Ludlum, dies at 86
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- When Richard Marek was a young editor at Scribner’s in Manhattan in the early 1960s, he was entrusted with one of the literary world’s most important manuscripts, “A Moveable Feast,” Ernest Hemingway’s intimate portrait of his life as an unknown writer in Paris in the 1920s. Hemingway had scrawled his edits in the margins of the manuscript. Marek planned to go over it at home and carefully slipped the pages into an envelope before getting on the subway near his midtown office. But once he arrived home, on the Upper West Side, he didn’t have the envelope. He realized he had left it on the subway. Panic ensued. He sobbed all night and told himself, “My career is over.” The next morning, he went to the subway’s lost and found and saw to his astonishment that someone had turned in the envelope. And ... More

Julia Miles, 90, dies; Pushed for gender parity in the theater
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Julia Miles, who dedicated her career to ensuring that women playwrights and directors had a stage of their own, died March 18 at a care facility in Ridgefield, Connecticut. She was 90. Her daughter Marya Cohn confirmed the death. Miles was working as an assistant director of the nonprofit American Place Theater in the mid-1970s when she noticed that few of the plays the company produced were written by women. “I looked at our roster, and of about 72 plays that we had done, only about eight were written by women,” Miles told The New York Times in 1998. “I was shocked at this, that the thing I cared most about — theater — was really lacking in female voices.” Resolving to do something about the gender disparity, she began Women’s Project, now known as WP Theater, in 1978 with a grant from the Ford ... More

Richard Reeves, columnist and author on presidents, dies at 83
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Richard Reeves, a journalist and author who explored the presidency, the internment of Japanese Americans during World II, the role of the media and other aspects of American history in muscular, passionate and occasionally acerbic prose, died Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 83. His son, Jeffrey, said the cause was cardiac arrest. Reeves had been treated for cancer. Reeves, who was a lecturer at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, wrote more than a dozen books and, from 1979 to 2014, a syndicated column that appeared in more than 100 newspapers. He was also a familiar face on public affairs programs on PBS. As an author, Reeves was in particular an insightful and unsparing student of the American presidency, ... More

eMuseum provides connection to art online
TACOMA, WA.- Tacoma Art Museum is continuing to provide mission-focused content via the Museum’s website and digital channels during the Museum’s closure. Utilizing TAM’s permanent collection on eMuseum people can view and interact with the collection from their home computers. “TAM’s eMuseum is a great way to get to know the collection. While it is typical that a museum has on average about 5% of their permanent collection on view at any one time, TAM strives to have close to 10% of our collection incorporated into our current exhibitions,” noted David Setford, Executive Director. “Through generous private and government support, TAM has about 70% of our collection viewable online allowing us to share this wonderful community resource even when we can’t provide access in person.” In August 2009, Tacoma Art Museum received ... More

Wysing launches new digital broadcast programmes for remote global audiences with international artists
CAMBRIDGE.- Wysing Arts Centre places broadcasting at the centre of its artistic vision for 2020 with pioneering new works created by over forty international artists, musicians, curators and researchers for transmission to remote global audiences, and to build a sense of radical community at this time. The new programmes will embrace digital and other technologies, privileging listening as much as the transmission of ideas to build, sustain and connect with remote and physically distant communities. Wysing will become an experimental broadcasting space where ideas are explored through residencies, commissioned works, events, new collaborations, podcasts and works presented through a diversity of digital channels. Over forty creative practitioners from the UK, Europe, USA, Egypt, Indonesia, Syria and Uganda will be physically or remotely ... More

The making of Norman Rockwell's "Golden Rule"

On a day like today, painter and photographer Edward Steichen was born
March 27, 1879. Edward Jean Steichen (March 27, 1879 - March 25, 1973) was a Luxembourgish American photographer, painter, and art gallery and museum curator. Steichen was the most frequently featured photographer in Alfred Stieglitz' groundbreaking magazine Camera Work during its run from 1903 to 1917. Together Stieglitz and Steichen opened the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession, which eventually became known as 291 after its address. In this image: Edward Steichen, White, 1935, Gelatin Silver Print. Courtesy Condé Nast Archive, New York. © 1935 Condé Nast Publications.

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