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A stained-glass gift, from God and Gerhard Richter

The choir windows of Tholey Abbey in Tholey, Germany, with a new design by Gerhard Richter, on Sept. 17, 2020. The monks of the German abbey hope new windows by the renowned artist will draw visitors and secure the community’s future. Felix Schmitt/The New York Times.

by Catherine Hickley

THOLEY (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- For Abbot Mauritius Choriol, the new church windows ceremoniously inaugurated Saturday at Tholey Abbey are a gift: from God, from two generous patrons and from Gerhard Richter. The three windows — with deep reds and blues prevailing on the two outer displays and the central one dominated by radiant gold — are made in stained glass to a symmetrical design by Richter, the revered German artist. “Abstract art is not normally my thing,” said the abbot, who oversees Tholey Abbey. “But you don’t need to be an art expert to appreciate the qualities of these.” Since the installation was completed on Sept. 10, the abbey’s monks have been able to enjoy the windows in peace. But if all goes according to plan, that will change: The windows, at more than 30 feet tall, play a key role in the monks’ plan to secure the abbey’s future by turning it into a center for hospitality and education. ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Egypt discovers 14 ancient tombs at Saqqara   Frans Hals Museum exhibits all of Frans Hals' militia pieces   'Mystery' endures in France over Montaigne tomb: Archaeologist

The ministry said more excavations had been planned, with the expectation that another trove of wooden coffins would be found at the site. Photo: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

CAIRO (AFP).- Egypt's antiquities ministry announced Sunday the discovery of 14 sarcophagi in the Saqqara necropolis south of Cairo that had lain buried for 2,500 years. The coffins were found two days ago during an archaeological dig at the burial spot where another 13 wooden sarcophagi had been discovered last week, the ministry said in a statement. The vast Saqqara necropolis is located around 16 kilometres (10 miles) south of the famed Giza pyramids. It is part of the ancient city of Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and hosts the colossal step Pyramid of Djoser. Photographs of the well-preserved wooden coffins show ornate and intricate paintings, with maroon and blue lines, as well as hieroglyphic pictorials. The ministry said more excavations had been planned, with the expectation that another trove of wooden coffins would be found at the site. In a video distributed this month announcing ... More

Detail of Militia Company of District XI under the Command of Captain Reynier Reael, Known as ‘The Meagre Company’, Frans Hals, Pieter Codde, 1637. Loan from Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.

HAARLEM.- All of Frans Hals’ militia pieces are on display in a temporary exhibition at the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem. Thanks to a special loan from the RijksMuseum, 'The Meagre Company', Hals’ only civic guard group portrait that is not part of the Frans Hals Museum collection, is on view in Haarlem. Frans Hals (1582/83–1666) painted no fewer than six militia pieces: portraits of groups of armed civilians who, in the seventeenth-century, maintained order as a neighbourhood watch and, if necessary, defended the city against attackers. The first portrait of this type dates from 1616 and the last one from 1639. Not many other seventeenth-century Dutch painters are known to have had such a large production. Hals’ loose brush technique and his unique, lively compositions make these paintings a feast for the eye. Frans Hals can therefore safely be called Master of the militia piece. "For the first time in thirty y ... More

This file photo taken on March 20, 2018 shows the cenotaph of late French writer Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) displayed following restoration works at the Musee d'Aquitaine in Bordeaux. MEHDI FEDOUACH / AFP.

BORDEAUX (AFP).- Human remains found in a tomb where Michel de Montaigne is said to have been buried may indeed belong to the 16th-century French philosopher but more work is needed to solve the mystery, experts said on Friday. The Musee d'Aquitaine in the southwestern city of Bordeaux had in November launched work to examine the remains in the tomb a basement of the museum, which occupies the premises of a convent where Montaigne, famed for his lofty but highly readable "Essays", was buried. The bones found are those of a "single individual. It is an adult and it is probably a man," Helene Reveillas, an archaeo-anthropologist for the Bordeaux region, told reporters. "We have elements which do not go against the idea that this is de Montaigne. But we also have nothing which allows us affirm it with certainty", she added. "The mystery remains," ... More

In Milan, a love song will become a requiem for plague times   Wu Guanzhong and Sanyu's museum quality works to lead Sotheby's Hong Kong Modern Art Autumn Sales Series 2020   Christie's to offer a T. Rex in New York this October

The singer Alessandra Bordiga rehearses on the organ for the performance artist Ragnar Kjartansson's work "The Sky in a Room” at the San Carlo al Lazzaretto church in Milan, Sept. 1, 2020. Marta Giaccone/The New York Times.

by Blake Gopnik

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- It’s a gorgeous August day in a Reykjavik park, and Ragnar Kjartansson is Zooming with me by phone. Aside from frozen fish, Kjartansson is one of Iceland’s most notable exports, feeding weirdly compelling performances to the global art world. Pointing his phone’s lens at a nearby Roman Catholic church, he shares an oddball biographical detail: Despite being raised Lutheran, he was an altar boy in that building, for the sake of the wages but also for the ritual, he explains. There’s a point to his factoid. Our pandemic has brought him to church once again. On Tuesday in an old Catholic space in Milan, Kjartansson plans to unveil a performance called “The Sky in a Room.” The title is taken from a popular tune, “Il Cielo in Una Stanza,” from postwar ... More

Sanyu's Nu. Fusing the western nude and Chinese landscape traditions. A star exhibit in Sanyu’s final solo exhibition. Courtesy Sotheby's.

HONG KONG.- Sotheby’s Hong Kong Modern Art Evening and Day Sales on 5-6 October will present a remarkable group of modern and post-war artworks. The Modern Art Evening Sale will be led by four exceptional works by Sanyu and Wu Guanzhong of the highest quality – Sanyu’s Nu and Fleurs dans un pot bleu et blanc, as well as Wu Guanzhong’s Scenery of Northern China and Scenery of Guilin. This will mark the first time for museum-class masterpieces by these two artists to lead our Modern Art Evening Sale. This season, the sales bring together a selection of figurative and abstract works by leading artists in the history of modern art, including Asian masters Lin Fengmian, Chu Teh-Chun, Lalan, Chen Ting-Shih, Richard Lin, Hsiao Chin and Lin Huayi, as well as European icons Georges Mathieu and Bernard Buffet. Vinci Chang, Sotheby’s Head of Modern Asian Art, comments: “Following the success of our Modern Art sales series in ... More

A Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur fossil skeleton is displayed in a gallery at Christie’s auction house on September 17, 2020 in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP.

NEW YORK, NY.- On October 6, Christie’s will offer one of the largest, most complete and widely studied Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons ever discovered. Endearingly named “STAN” after the paleontologist who first found the skeleton’s partially unearthed hip bones, the T. rex is an extraordinary surviving specimen from approximately 67 million years ago. The skeleton comes to auction from the Black Hills Institute in South Dakota, where the T.rex has been displayed and studied for the last two decades, and has inspired dozens of academic articles and studies within the paleontological community. After a meticulous museum-quality re-mounting, STAN the T. rex will be unveiled for the public on September 16, 2020 at Christie’s Rockefeller Center in New York and offered as a highlight of Christie’s Evening Sale of 20th Century Art on October 6 with an estimate of $6-8 million. More information on the Evening Sale may be view ... More

19th-century masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum on display at Schiphol Airport   A painter peers through history's cracks   Andrew Huffman's first New York solo exhibition opens at David Richard Gallery

Jozef IsraŽls, The Little Seamstress, 1850 – 1888. Gift of Mr and Mrs Drucker-Fraser, Montreux.

AMSTERDAM.- This year the Rijksmuseum is once again welcoming visitors to Schiphol Airport with a selection of works from its collection. The Schiphol branch of the Rijksmuseum is hosting a display of highlights from the 19th century, presenting the Netherlands as seen through the eyes of painters such as Anton Mauve and Jozef IsraŽls. The paintings will remain on show until September 2021. The masterpieces present both imaginary and realistic perspectives. The early 19th-century Romantic period gave rise to idyllic visions, while from the 1850s onwards artists went outdoors to paint nature as they saw it. This was the time when the world’s image of the Netherlands was formed, of a country of green pastures and tall cumulus clouds drifting over low horizons. The highlights include The Marsh by Anton Mauve (1885-1888), a sublime depiction of the sun breaking through the clouds and being reflected in the water, and the sunlit Meadow with C ... More

Jacob Lawrence, ​And a Woman Mans a Cannon ​ , Panel 12, 1955, from ​Struggle: From the History of the American People ​ , 1954–56, egg tempera on hardboard. Collection of Harvey and Harvey-Ann Ross. © 2019 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo by Bob Packert/PEM.

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- What might the image of treachery look like? Consider a painting of two men, one whispering into the other’s ear. The speaker, his face in profile, has his mouth slightly open, enough for us to see his teeth. His eyes fall like a ball under gravity toward the other man’s face. The second person, half his face out of view, listens almost expressionless, except for the dodgy expression in his left eye in the upper-right corner. The frame is tight on their faces. Many parts of the image are dark. Treachery oozes from their eyes, from their teeth. The moment itself is real. The work is a representation of Benedict Arnold, the American Revolution officer turned traitor, informing Sir Henry Clinton, the British commander in chief, in 1780 of Gen. George Washington’s ... More

Andrew Huffman, Descending Datura, 2020 (detail). Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60” © Andrew Huffman, Courtesy David Richard Gallery.

NEW YORK, NY.- David Richard Gallery is presenting Andrew Huffman’s first solo exhibition in New York City and his second solo with the gallery. The presentation includes 10 new canvases organized as 4 single paintings and 3 diptychs. The sizes of the artworks range from 30 x 30 inches up to 60 x 60 inches square and a couple measuring 30 x 60 inches in horizontal formats. This is a debut of not only diptych canvases, but also all new compositions that depart from his familiar woven lattice format. These new paintings are based on pentagonal tessellations where the pentagon shapes are abstracted and assembled in rigorous grid-like repeating patterns as well as tessellated to generate asymmetric compositions. Huffman has cleverly leveraged the asymmetry and combined this feature within the diptych compositions. Each panel has an asymmetric arrangement of shapes. However, the pair of paintings within a diptych are mirrored compositio ... More

American Express awards $1 million to 2020 World Monuments watch sites   Now open: Kasper Bosmans "Four" at Gladstone 64   Newport Art Museum opens new exhibition, "Andy Warhol: Big Shot"

Moai at Rapa Nui National Park. Photo: Shutterstock.

NEW YORK, NY.- American Express and World Monuments Fund announced $1 million in funding to support preservation efforts at seven diverse cultural sites included in the 2020 World Monuments Watch. For more than two decades, American Express has provided essential support for WMF’s work to preserve cultural heritage sites around the world against the increasing threats of climate change, natural disasters, conflicts, and neglect. This continued support from American Express, which in 1996 became the Founding Sponsor of the Watch, will help ensure that generations to come will be able to experience these places of wonder. The seven sites selected to receive financial support are among the 25 included on the biennial Watch, which aims to raise awareness about their significance and needs for the future. The $1 million in grants from American Express will fund a variety of projects across all seven sites in 8 countries: • Rapa Nui National Park, ... More

Kasper Bosmans, Legend: Four, 2020. Gouache and silver point on poplar panel. Five parts: 11 x 8 1/4 inches (28 x 21 cm) each. © Kasper Bosmans. Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.

NEW YORK, NY.- Gladstone Gallery is presenting “Four,” an exhibition of new and recent work by interdisciplinary Belgian artist Kasper Bosmans. Continuing his longstanding use of references spanning cultures, periods, and traditions in order to speak about ongoing socio-political issues, the show specifically uses the multivalent act of collecting as a springboard into discussing topics both deeply personal and profoundly universal. The main feature of the exhibition is a multi-panel enamel mural that displays, to-scale, the eggs of all birds painted by seventeenth-century Dutch artist Melchior d'Hondecoeter. Fitting with the genre of Dutch still life, d'Hondecoeter meticulously depicted birds brought back to the Netherlands by way of the East India Trading Company's Asian routes, as well ... More

Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait (Fright Wig), 1986, Synthetic Polymer and silkscreen inks on linen, 12 x 12 inches, Courtesy of Robert Lococo, St. Louis, © 2020 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

NEWPORT, RI.- The Newport Art Museum is presenting a new exhibition, "Andy Warhol: Big Shot," which will be on view September 19 - December 20, 2020. "Andy Warhol: Big Shot" is the artist’s third exhibition at the Newport Art Museum. Warhol attended Newport Art Museum opening receptions for his first two exhibitions, which were a group show in honor of gallery owner Leo Castelli in 1977 and “Andy Warhol’s Children’s Show” in 1985. This exhibition aligns with the Museum's mission to share a diversity of art and experiences that spark reflection, inspiration, and discovery, thereby amplifying the connections between us all. Andy Warhol is well known for his appropriation of other people’s photographs, from the portraits to the press photographs that he reproduced and repeated in silkscreen prints and ... More

More News
London's music goes underground to beat lockdown blues
LONDON (AFP).- London's hard-hit live entertainment sector is hoping to prove it can resurrect itself from the coronavirus shutdown -- and a series of gigs from a maze of tunnels could show the way to do it. "Lockdown Town", which opens on October 2, will see socially distanced performances of American music from the 1920s to 1950s in a network of vaulted venues near Waterloo station. Audiences will have their temperatures checked during staggered arrival times, move from one venue to the next wearing masks, and not stay in one area for more than 15 minutes. The number of spectators has been capped at a maximum of 360 each evening -- well below the 500-700 capacity in normal times. "We have created a really flexible model," "Lockdown Town" director Kerri McLean told AFP, adding ingenuity was key to getting the event on track. ... More

From a historic piano duel to a finger-blurring new album
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- “Never was Liszt more controlled, more thoughtful, more energetic, more passionate; never has Thalberg played with greater verve and tenderness.” When Franz Liszt and Sigismond Thalberg, two of the great piano virtuosos of the 19th century, shared a bill in Paris in 1837, critic Jules Janin was there to report on what he called “an admirable joust.” Both in their mid-20s at the time, these musicians were already rivals on the European scene, each with devoted partisans. Their meeting at the salon of Princess Belgiojoso, for a concert benefiting refugees of the Italian War of Independence, was bound to be a duel to remember. Among the finger-blurring works on offer was most likely Thalberg’s rendition of his fantasy on themes from Rossini’s 1818 opera “MosŤ in Egitto.” Marc-Andrť Hamelin, a contemporary ... More

Archive of choreographer's creative process finds a home
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- In a video recorded in 1989, choreographer Trisha Brown demonstrates a few restless seconds of movement as dancers in her studio try to follow along. An arm darts across the torso; the legs appear to slip and catch themselves. It happens fast. As the dancers attempt to do as she does, a viewer can imagine how useful the video would be for anyone learning this material. There’s no easy way to explain what she’s doing; you just have to keep watching. In her decades of dazzling experiments with the body, gravity and momentum, Brown invented movement so complex — so capricious yet precise — it could be hard to remember from one day to the next, let alone years later if the work were to live on. As if to keep tabs on her discoveries, the camera became a regular presence in her studio, a tool as pragmatic ... More

Anne Stevenson, poet and Plath biographer, is dead at 87
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Anne Stevenson, a prominent poet whose 1989 biography of an even more prominent poet, Sylvia Plath, fueled the debate over Plath’s troubled life and her marriage to poet Ted Hughes, died Monday at her home in Durham, in northeast England. She was 87. Her publisher, Bloodaxe Books, said on its website that she died after a short illness. Stevenson published 16 poetry collections, including, this year, “Completing the Circle.” Her work covered a broad range. Her ambitious 1974 book, “Correspondences: A Family History in Letters,” was a narrative poem that traced 140 years in the history of a fictional American family. But other works were stark in their simplicity and brevity, like “Sous-entendu” (French for “something left unsaid”), from her 1969 collection, “Reversals”: Don’t thinkthat I don’t ... More

Ginsburg loved opera, and opera loved her back
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- When Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death was announced Friday evening, tributes began flowing from an unlikely source: opera singers, who posted backstage portraits taken alongside Ginsburg and testimonials to her intense love of their art form. Many prominent people attend the opera occasionally, but Ginsburg was almost an obsessive. She saw her first opera — a condensed version of “La Gioconda” — in 1944, when she was 11, and was immediately hooked, becoming the kind of aficionado who goes to dress rehearsals, and then opening nights, and then closing nights, too, for good measure. “Most of the time, even when I go to sleep, I’m thinking about legal problems,” she said in 2015. “But when I go to the opera, I’m just lost in it.” It was a love she shared with Antonin Scalia, her ... More

In an exhibition at the edge of sleep gerlach en koop display works by other artists
BREMEN.- In May 1961 Alberto Moravia invited Claudia Cardinale for an interview. To her surprise, Moravia proposes to question her as an object in the room. The interview is divided in two parts. In the first part Moravia tries to record how Cardinale appears in the room, in the second part how she disappears—into sleep. In bright daylight the objects distinguish themselves from you without any effort at all: the headphones on the couch with the cord in an elegant curl on the floor; the scissors on the desk, not closed but in the shape of an x; the chair that has not been drawn up; the black-and-white postcard stuck on the wall with Blu Tack; the glass of water without water on the small metal table mobiltecnica torino close to the bed; the shoes side by side close to the leg of the table. At night however, when you are asleep, the boundaries become fluid. Differentiation ... More

The Nigerian-British writer putting Black joy on stage and screen
LONDON (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- The first play Theresa Ikoko wrote wasn’t necessarily meant to be a play — not yet, anyway. At that point it was simply a story she had written for herself after years of collecting characters and scenes in her head, all of them rooted in the communities she knew as a Nigerian-British woman. When she read parts of it over the phone to a friend several years ago, he was taken by the way she had captured the experience of being Black and British. “After I finished, he said to me, ‘Theresa, there’s no difference between this and Shakespeare as far as I’m concerned,’” Ikoko said with a laugh while sitting on a park bench in East London. It has since been a remarkable rise for the playwright turned screenwriter, who until last year was working as a case manager at a youth violence organization, pretending to compose long emails ... More

National Book Awards names 2020 nominees
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Two acclaimed debut novels and a story collection whose author died last month are among the 10 fiction contenders for this year’s National Book Award. The debut novels, which the National Book Foundation announced along with the rest of its fiction longlist Friday, are “A Burning,” by Megha Majumdar, and “Shuggie Bain,” by Douglas Stuart, who had a particularly big week — his book was also named to the shortlist for the Booker Prize Tuesday. “If I Had Two Wings,” by Randall Kenan, who died at 57 in August, is one of two short story collections on the list, along with “The Secret Lives of Church Ladies,” by Deesha Philyaw. Rumaan Alam’s third novel, “Leave the World Behind,” also made the longlist, as did Brit Bennett’s “The Vanishing Half.” Isabel Wilkerson (“Caste”) and Jill ... More

Exhibition of Robert Mangold's most recent paintings opens at Pace Gallery
NEW YORK, NY.- Pace Gallery is presenting Robert Mangold: Paintings 2017–2019, an exhibition of Robert Mangold’s most recent paintings, marking the artist’s sixteenth show with the gallery since joining it twenty-nine years ago. The exhibition features works centering on the formal possibilities of the square, as well as implied space, and is on view September 18 – October 24, 2020 at 540 West 25th Street, New York. Distilling Mangold’s lifelong exploration of the perceptual tensions among shape, line, color, and surface, these new works epitomize the conceptual rigor and aesthetic sophistication of his six-decade career, while also demonstrating the artist’s enduring will to probe the fundamental questions of painting. Driven by experimentation, Mangold’s new body of work reconsiders the implications of some of his most seminal paintings ... More

Ricardo Valderrama, noted anthropologist and mayor in Peru, dies at 75
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Before becoming the mayor of Cusco and its surroundings, an area of more than 1.2 million people in Peru and the historic capital of the Incan empire, Ricardo Valderrama had spent four decades studying Indigenous life in the Peruvian Andes. He recorded love songs in ancient villages and profiled bandits in the highlands. He wrote dozens of books and articles, on everything from peasant uprisings to the collective trauma of colonization. But it was his first book — published in 1977 and written, like nearly all his work, with his wife, anthropologist Carmen Escalante — that became an instant classic of Andean literature. “Gregorio Condori Mamani: An Autobiography,” published in seven editions and translated into at least nine languages, tells the story of a Quechua-speaking laborer whom Valderrama ... More

Governor Northam and VMFA announce recipients of Virginia Visual Artist Relief Grants
RICHMOND, VA.- Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, First Lady Pamela Northam and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Director and CEO Alex Nyerges announced the names of forty Commonwealth artists who will receive relief grants as part of a special program to help visual artists impacted by COVID-19. Each recipient will receive $5,000 from the Virginia Artist Relief Fellowship Program, for a total of $200,000 distributed by the fund. “Art has a way of bringing people together—something we need now more than ever,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “These grant recipients hail from more than twenty different cities and towns across the Commonwealth, and Pam and I are proud to help support their important work.” The Virginia Artist Relief Fellowship Program grant recipients include: Emine Sermin Ciddi (Alexandria); Veronica Jackson (Bedford); Mojdeh ... More

Gauguin and the Impressionists: Origins of Ordrupgaard

On a day like today, Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan was born
September 21, 1960. Maurizio Cattelan (born 21 September 1960, Padua, Italy) is an Italian artist. He is known for his satirical sculptures, particularly La Nona Ora (1999) (The Ninth Hour, depicting Pope John Paul II struck down by a meteorite), Him (2001), and Love Lasts Forever (1997). In this image: The sculpture middle finger by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan during the inauguration in front of the Stock Exchange building in Milan, Italy.

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