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Conversations with Tribal Weavers

Saddled horses, chickens, and human figures cavort on the field of this extremely rare mid-19th century Bakshaish. Study the golden medallion to reveal two ethereal Dragons and Phoenixes.

By Jan David Winitz
Claremont Rug Company

OAKLAND, CA.- In a world dominated by technology and mobile phone apps, it is sometimes challenging to realize that as recently as 70 years ago, the tribal peoples who populated the areas from Mesopotamia to the Central Asian steppes (the Caucasian Mountains) spent their lives in remote villages or nomadic encampments without electricity or motor vehicles. Primarily shepherds or members of an agrarian society, women in this society wove rugs that played a central role in bringing warmth and comfort. And they were the primary art form that employed symbols, connecting them to their ancestors stretching back 4000 years. Their lifestyle involved constant interaction with nature, including many different types of animals and birds, some domesticated, many wild. They saw these beasts and fowl as embodying attributes hidden to humans. Many were stronger, faster, could live in the sea or air, and had abilities and senses that the nomad or farmer could only aspire to. ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Simon Lee Gallery opens an exhibition of new paintings by Alex Hubbard   Exhibition at David Zwirner explores the formal qualities of abstraction   Christie's to offer Old Master drawings from a private collection

Alex Hubbard, Untitled, 2020. Acrylic, urethane, epoxy resin, fiberglass and oil on canvas, 203.2 x 182.9 x 4.4 cm (80 x 72 x 1 3/4 in.). Courtesy the artist and Simon Lee Gallery. © Alex Hubbard.

HONG KONG.- Simon Lee Gallery is presenting an exhibition of new paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Alex Hubbard. This is his second solo exhibition with the gallery and his inaugural presentation in Hong Kong. Hubbard’s work encompasses video art, sculpture and painting, exploring the boundaries of each via a crossexamination that invigorates an array of media in new and inventive ways. In his painting practice, the artist brings together a range of industrial materials, such as resin, urethane, oil and wax, using traditional techniques to pour, pull and drip his media across the canvas, sometimes with the assistance of a squeegee. Fields of colour underlaid with industrial prints are interrupted with richly pooled, dripped and poured resin and oil paint. Working with fastdrying materials, Hubbard embraces chance happenings, revealing the autonomy of his chosen media. Nonetheless, ... More

Mary Corse, Untitled (White Diamond, Negative Stripe), 1965. Private Collection. © Mary Corse.

NEW YORK, NY.- David Zwirner is presenting Pure Form, an exhibition that explores the formal qualities of abstraction, on view at the gallery’s 69th Street location. This exhibition highlights a variety of ways modern and contemporary artists have expanded the boundaries of art by exploring the inherent qualities of their media, materials, and forms. Some of the included artists sought purity of expression through their singular dedication to their chosen medium. Others challenged medium specificity while engaging the expressive and experiential potential of methodically reduced forms and unembellished surfaces. Some works in the show play with spatial representation, such as Fred Sandback’s use of the seemingly infinite vertical line to create a phenomenological experience of space, while others rely on distinctive and repetitive marks and patterns to create ordered compositions. Featured works date from the 1950s—including a ... More

Camillo Procaccini, Bust of a man yelling. Black and red chalk, partially stumped, 16 x 10,7 cm. Estimate: €60,000-80,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2021.

PARIS.- Christie’s announced its traditional Spring Old Master Drawings sale which will take place on 24 March. This sale will feature an exceptional collection of some thirty works on paper mainly assembled in the 1990s by a young European connoisseur couple living in New York at the time. Great lovers of contemporary art and close to the artists occupying the contemporary art scene, such as Andy Warhol or Jean-Michel Basquiat, the couple also had a strong interest in Italian drawings, ‘buying with their hearts’. By instinct, and following the advice of Charles Ryskamp (1963-1987), at the time director of the Morgan Library in New York, they attended auctions and the important galleries of Old Masters in search of a strong image without ever letting themselves be guided by fashion or convention. The ensemble, mostly composed of Italian sheets of the sixteenth- and seventeenth centuries, and often presenting ... More

Metro Pictures opens an exhibition of colorful new woodcut landscape paintings by Olaf Breuning   Mein Kampf published in Poland as 'homage to victims'   'Baby Trump' blimp acquired by Museum of London

Olaf Breuning, Sad Flowers, 2020. Gesso and acrylic on canvas, 40 x 32 inches, 101.6 x 81.3 cm. Metro Pictures, New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- Olaf Breuning presents RAIN, an exhibition of colorful new woodcut landscape paintings and carved stone sculptures that draw upon the natural world to consider the pressing environmental concerns we face today. Breuning returns to a more raw mode of production for his paintings, using rough-hewn, chainsaw-cut woodblocks to stamp out vivid and chaotic compositions. The imagery made with the carved blocks––shapes of waves, stars, raindrops, and blades of grass––conjures a time before technology was at the heart of our lives, when we lived more in tune with our natural surroundings. Evoking meteorological maps of turbulent weather, the paintings are a metaphor for the rapid pace at which climate change is affecting our environment, which is in constant disarray. The artist hopes that they are also a call to action, or at the very least, a reason to rethink our relationship with nature and the ... More

Eugeniusz Cezary Król, author of the translation and historical commentary for the Polish academic edition of Adolf Hitler's 'Mein Kampf', looks at a copy of the work in his flat in Warsaw, January 15, 2021. Wojtek RADWANSKI / AFP.

by Bernard Osser

WARSAW (AFP).- An academic edition of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" is being published in Poland this week for the first time, with its editor responding to critics by calling it "a homage to the victims". Hitler's inflammatory tract has rarely been published even after rights to the book, which first came out in 1925, entered the public domain in 2016. "According to the critics, the publication of this book is an offence to the victims of Nazism. In my view, it is the opposite," said Eugeniusz Krol, a historian who has been preparing the Polish-language edition for the past three years. Pirate copies or abridged versions of Hitler's blueprint for the rise of Nazism and the Holocaust have circulated in Poland for years. In 2005, the government of Bavaria in Germany which held ... More

Museum of London aerial shot © Museum of London.

LONDON (AFP).- The infamous blimp of outgoing US President Donald Trump dressed as a baby could soon greet visitors to the Museum on London, which on Monday announced it had acquired the inflatable effigy. "Having toured the world, the Trump Baby blimp is now heading to its final resting place, the Museum of London, where it will be conserved and potentially displayed in the museum's future new home," the central London museum said in a statement. The institution said in 2019 that it wanted to acquire the blimp, "recognising its importance in the protests" that met the president during his 2018 visit to Britain. The over-sized orange balloon depicting the bequiffed US leader in a nappy flew above Parliament Square. "From the Suffragettes of the early twentieth century to the anti-austerity marches, free speech and Black Lives Matter most recently –- the capital has always been the place to have your say," said Sharon Ament, Museum of London director. "By collecting the baby blimp we can ... More

Diverse Design exhibition reveals a collector's passion for Finnish design   With new urgency, arts groups hire diversity officers   The devilish life and art of Lucian Freud, in full detail

Diverse Design installation view. Photo: Maija Holma / Alvar Aalto Foundation.

HELSINKI.- The Alvar Aalto Museum has been taken over by an exhibition of collector Pertti Männistö’s superb private Aalto collection, Diverse Design – 30 years of passionate collecting. Männistö’s collecting began gradually, starting in 1992 when he acquired a prototype of an armchair designed by Alvar Aalto. Today, his collection comprises more than a thousand objects and includes not only pieces of furniture, lights and glass objects, but also details of interiors designed by the Aaltos. Various prototypes and other rarities stand out from the ranks of furniture serially produced from standardized components. What makes the collection particularly interesting is its completeness. When systematically collected, the different variants on the same model of furniture shed light on the arc of development of a specific object, with each item completing ... More

Lavita McMath Turner, the new chief diversity officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York on Jan. 12, 2021. James Estrin/The New York Times.

by Robin Pogrebin

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Growing up in a working-class family in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Rosa Rodriguez-Williams said “museums were not part of my experience.” It is this outsider understanding that Rodriguez-Williams, who is Puerto Rican, said she brings to her new position as the first senior director of belonging and inclusion at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she aims to reach “folks who felt sort of like I felt.” Amid a heightened sense of urgency amid the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, cultural institutions around the country are hiring their own diversity officers to increase the number of people of color on the staff and board, broaden their programming and address ... More

'The Lives of Lucian Freud Fame, 1968-2011'. By William Feaver.

by Dwight Garner

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- The critic Kenneth Tynan divided playwrights into two categories, “smooth” and “hairy,” and one could probably make a similar distinction among biographers. Smooth biographers offer clean narrative lines, well-underscored themes, and carrots, in the form of cliffhangers, to lure the reader onward. Their books are on bestseller lists. They’re good gifts for Dad. William Feaver, the author of “The Lives of Lucian Freud” — the second volume, “Fame, 1968-2011,” is out now — exists on the opposite extreme. There’s little smoothness in him at all. His biography is hairier than a bonobo. Feaver, a longtime art critic for The Observer in London, doesn’t provide a fixed portrait of Freud, the great realist painter, so much as he leads us into a studio ... More

Marc Straus opens an exhibition of oil paintings by Michael Brown   Unfolding by Matthew Shlian documents a decade of unexpected creativity   Remnant, Artifact, Flow: Thierry Goldberg opens a group show

Delos (mother), 2020. Oil on 24K gold on canvas mounted to panel. 74 x 62 x 3.

NEW YORK, NY.- Michael Brown (b. 1982, New York) opens our 2021 season with his second exhibition of oil paintings. Michael Brown has continued his “gold-leaf” painting series inaugurated in his first exhibition in September, 2019. The paint application is sculptural, heavy threads of oil paint are squeezed and woven onto 24 ct. gold leaf on canvas. The symmetry of his previous white or blue paintings, which featured the oil paint radiating from the center with centrifugal force is now disjointed with more complex patterns emerging; two blue on gold-leaf have no center point. The uneven cords of oil are partly an homage to Agnes Martin’s early paintings with horizontal pencil marks. In other paintings there are oblong concentric circles of different colors in a peacock palette. The gold base continues to provide an intangible radiance and glow. Here Brown has moved closer to traditional painting echoing Dan Christiansen early 70’s work with impastoed minimal ... More

Misfold, 16 × 6 × 3 in (40.5 × 15 × 7.5 cm), 100 lb text (150 gsm) white paper and wooden covers with waxed string, 2012. © Tim Saccenti. Courtesy of Thames & Hudson.

LONDON.- Matthew Shlian has always recognized paper’s significance as a medium and message, as a material for experimentation and understanding. In his hands, engineering, science and geometry take physical form in paper. Folded, tessellated, compressed, extrapolated – two-dimensional paper becomes three dimensional sculpture in beautiful and unexpected ways. Unfolding is the first monograph of Shlian’s genius, compiling his most important work over the past decade. A journey into the new possibilities of folding technology, the intricate complexities of Islamic patterns, and the sheer potential offered by a sheet of white paper, Unfolding is celebration of a humble material, on the edge of its existence, elevated to timeless form and possibility. In keeping with the geometric underpinning of Shlian’s work, the dimensions of the book are ‘16 cubed’: 16cm by 16cm ... More

Jeffrey Joyal, Untitled, 2021. Found letterman patches, MDF, canvas. Dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist, Thierry Goldberg Gallery, and David Lewis, New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- Thierry Goldberg is presenting Remnant, Artifact, Flow, a group exhibition of works by Justin Chance, Tony Chrenka, Doris Guo, Jeffrey Joyal, Molly Rose Lieberman, Caitlin MacBride, and Bri Williams. The exhibition runs from January 8th through February 7th, 2021. The exhibition’s title refers to the hidden relics and potent icons that glide through our personal and collective memories as they slowly accumulate. Doris Guo’s Bronze Guestbook II (2019) is not the usual gallery guestbook. It is a piece of cast bronze that can be ‘signed’ by visitors simply by their touch. Originally exhibited in January 2020, the stone records all of its encounters from each of its public appearances. It consequently wears down with each touch, serving as an invisible archive of all who have entered the exhibition, or at least those who have decided to be remembered. It is one’s own prerogative whether or not to leave th ... More

More News
'Paddington' bears tour crowd-free Machu Picchu
LIMA (AFP).- Two members of South America's only bear species -- a mother and her cub -- have been spotted exploring the ruins of the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, where tourist numbers have been restricted due to the pandemic. The pair of Spectacled bears, also known as Andean bears, were captured on film clambering around the mountainous site's dry-stone walls before slinking off into the jungle, Peru's culture ministry said. With the absence of tourists due to the coronavirus pandemic, the bears -- said to be the inspiration for the children's book character Paddington Bear, who came from the jungles of Peru -- have been able to explore where they would otherwise avoid. Biologist Ernesto Escalante, who is in charge of the Machu Picchu sanctuary surrounding the archaeological site, said the mammals are naturally fearful ... More

A digital four-play retrospective is a trip into the otherworldly
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Have you experienced the familiar unfamiliarity of dreams? That quixotic sense of déjŕ vu that comes from snippets of memory, stray thoughts, recurring images stolen from the day or drawn wholly from the imagination — all jigsaw-puzzled together to form a portrait of a feeling, a sensation, a belief or fear. Call Adrienne Kennedy the master dream weaver. The playwright, best known for the 1964 “Funnyhouse of a Negro,” has a lengthy CV of plays and honors, including Obie Awards, a Guggenheim and a spot in the Theater Hall of Fame. Her name crops up in chapters about the Black Arts movement, alongside playwrights Amiri Baraka and Ed Bullins. Her otherworldly work deserves its own volume. Yet Kennedy, now 89, is often shelved among the ranks of the “celebrated” and the “influential” who are rarely ... More

Warhol Foundation supports major Fall 2021 Harvard Art Museums photography exhibition
CAMBRIDGE, MASS.- The Harvard Art Museums have been awarded a $100,000 grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts to support the upcoming Fall 2021 exhibition Devour the Land: War and American Landscape Photography since 1970. The exhibition will be the first to address the unknown and often unexpected ways habitats and well-being in the United States are affected by American warfare and the military-industrial complex. The grant, which was announced as part of the Warhol Foundation’s Fall 2021 grants program, provides general support for the project. Devour the Land is organized by the Harvard Art Museums and will include a catalogue and robust public programming. With more than 130 works across 7 thematic groupings, the exhibition illustrates the national footprint of the military on the environment, the wide ... More

Michelle Poonawalla exhibits at Tao Art Gallery
MUMBAI.- Michelle Poonwalla is showing a series of new artworks in the exhibition The Tangible Imaginative, at Tao Art Gallery, Mumbai. The Tangible Imaginative runs from 14-31, January. Alongside Michelle, the exhibition presents work by Anwar, Brinda Miller, Jaideep Mehrotra, Kallpana Shah, Kisalay Vora, Ravi Mandlik Revati, Sharma Singh and Shruti Jhaveri. Michelle is presenting four new oil on canvas works - Blue Wave, Desert Rose, Forest Flutter and Flutter Fly - which come from the artists Butterfly Series and feature three dimensional, sculptural elements affixed to the canvas. Talking about the exhibition Michelle said “I have loved attending Mumbai Gallery Weekend over the last few years and I am delighted to be showing work there in 2021 as part of The Tangible Imaginative at Tao Art Gallery. MGW is such a great initiative for the ... More

Militaria, fine art and decorative accessories to be offered by EstateOfMind
MIDDLETOWN, NY.- A two-session online auction featuring militaria and fine estate items will be held on Saturday, February 13th, by EstateOfMind, beginning at 11 am Eastern time. Internet bidding will be facilitated by the popular platform Bidders can also view lot photos and get more info at and at (ID # 11093). Session 1, at 11 am, will consist of two local collections of sporting rifles, swords (including an exceptional US Navy mod. 1832 N.P. Ames artillery sword) and leather gun scabbards. Also up for bid will be a large lot of personal effects belonging to US Army Air force co-pilot Staff Sergeant Robert A. Greenwood, who was killed in action during World War II on May 12, 1944. Staff Sergeant Greenwood’s personal effects include an A-4 jumpsuit, aviator’s kit bag, leather belt, holster, ... More

Important Second War S.O.E. D.C.M. group of eight fetches £95,000 at Dix Noonan Webb
LONDON.- The exceptional and important Second War S.O.E. ‘Force 133’ Balkan Operations D.C.M. group of eight awarded to Sergeant K. A. J. B. Scott, Royal Signals and Special Operations Executive, late King’s Royal Rifle Corps, who was ‘dropped’ into Eastern Serbia in April 1944, linking up with Major Frank Thompson’s ill-fated Operation Claridges in support of Bulgarian Communist Partisans, sold for a hammer price of Ł95,000 at Dix Noonan Webb in their auction of Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria today (Wednesday, January 13, 2021). It had been estimated at Ł60,000-80,000 and was bought by a Private Collector. It was being sold together with an important associated archive of material, elements of which include the recipient’s unpublished autobiography of his war years [lot 205]. Following the sale, Christopher ... More

Unique project brings together a diverse curated selection of international contemporary art
LONDON.- Stephen Friedman Gallery and The London House of Modernity announced a collaboration at 14 Cavendish Square. The presentation is available to view at Stephen Friedman Gallery’s Online Viewing Rooms. 14 Cavendish Square will open to the public as soon as government guidance allows. This unique project brings together a diverse curated selection of international contemporary art and the best of classic mid century Nordic design. Set in a Grade II listed Georgian mansion of Palladian design, you are invited to explore online eight atmospheric rooms in which domestic environments are created to showcase art and design of the highest quality. Stephen Friedman explains: “I’m pleased to collaborate with Modernity on a project in a spectacular historical building that explores two of my passions: art and design. During this time ... More

London 2012 Summer Olympics gold winner's medal among olympic memorabilia up for auction
BOSTON, MASS.- RR Auction's Olympic Memorabilia auction chronicles over a century of Olympic history, boasting over 200 lots commemorating the enduring sporting tradition's resolve and spirit with online bidding through January 21. The sale is highlighted by winner's medals, relay torches, and official badges. Major lots include a super rare winner's medal from the Athens 1896 Olympics—the first modern Olympiad. Bronze, 50 mm, 60 gm, by Jules Clement Chaplain. The front depicts a relief portrait of Zeus holding Nike, the goddess of Victory, in the palm of his hand, with text along left side, "Olympia"; the reverse bears a detailed view of the Acropolis of Athens topped by the Parthenon, with raised Greek characters to upper and lower portion (translated), "International Olympic Games in Athens, 1896." Stamped "Bronze" on the edge. ... More

Favorite group of Biden's late son reunites for inauguration
NEW YORK (AFP).- Rock group The New Radicals will reunite for a single day Wednesday to perform after the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in a tribute to Biden's late son and in a nod to Harris's husband. The short-lived Los Angeles group was together only from 1997 to 1999, but its single "You Get What You Give" reached top-40 status in the US, hit the top-5 in Britain and topped the charts in Canada and New Zealand. During the bout with brain cancer that in 2015 claimed the life of Beau Biden, the family embraced the song as an uplifting anthem, Joe Biden wrote later in his autobiography "Promise Me, Dad." The song seems to address all those passing through hard times, offering a message of hope. It ends with a call for resisting oppression by the uncaring and powerful. Its timeless words and music assured "You Get What ... More

Paging through Broadway while the stages are dark
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- I admit it: I’m supposed to be packing. I’m starting 2021 with a move, to my first solo apartment, and I was doing pretty well for a while: rolled up the rug, took down some artwork, packed four bins of books without pausing (Flo Rida’s “My House” played on Spotify as an aspirational track). It was the Playbills that got me, the unwieldy stack at the top of the bookcase that leaned sloppily, as though at any moment a handful would slide off and escape to the floor. I never thought of myself as particularly nostalgic. I’m too clutter-averse, I thought, to hold onto things for no reason. (Marie Kondo before it was cool?) And yet, I now realize that I do have my sentimental moments: old New York Comic Con badges hanging on my closet doorknob, dated newspaper clips with my byline in a bin, notebooks of shameful ... More

Milestone Auctions to offer fresh-to-market, historically important firearms
WILLOUGHBY, OHIO .- Milestone Auctions’ Premier Antique & Modern Firearms Auctions traditionally include the cream of the crop from many categories, ranging from provenanced early arms associated with historic battles to high-condition, fresh-to-the-market examples from noted private collections. That’s what bidders can look forward to seeing on January 30 at Milestone’s exceptional 832-lot sale. All forms of remote bidding will be available to those who cannot attend in person, including live online. Two highly refined collections will be offered in their entirety: the late Gary Thomas’ military gun collection, and the Phil Majerich collection of early explorers’ traps and accoutrements. Both of these long-held collections were amassed primarily through private transactions, therefore 99% of their contents have never before appeared at auction. ... More

No Soft Nonsense: Presenting the Bold Anne Brontë

On a day like today, French painter Paul Cézanne was born
January 19, 1839. Paul Cézanne (19 January 1839 - 22 October 1906) was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th-century conception of artistic endeavor to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. In this image: Paul Cézanne (French, 1839 - 1906). Recto: The Chaîne de l'Etoile Mountains (La Chaîne de l'Etoile avec le Pilon du Roi), 1885 - 1886. Watercolor and graphite on wove paper; Verso: Unfinished Landscape, undated. Watercolor and graphite on wove paper, Sheet: 12 3/8 x 19 1/8 in. (31.4 x 48.6 cm). BF650. Photo © 2015 The Barnes Foundation.

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