Art News Headlines: April 23, 2012


Trendy among hipsters and photographers alike, photo sharing iPhone app Instagram recently made headlines when it was introduced to Android users a few weeks ago, and then again when Facebook acquired the wildly popular app for a whopping $1 billion.  Since it’s inception a year and a half ago, and 40 million downloads later, many companies have sprung alongside Instagram allowing users to turn their photos into prints, postcards, stickers, even pillows—and now with Instacanv.as, Instagram users can actually sell their photos on canvas via an extensive online marketplace.  Released last week, Instacanv.as is poised to become quite a hit, with mentions of it popping up all over my Instagram newsfeed in the past few days.  The catch is this: you can’t just open your own instagallery and make millions right off the bat—a waiting list is in place that sets you behind a few weeks, unless enough fans “request” that your gallery open sooner, in which case the waiting time is skipped.  Mass production meets the popular page—I know Warhol would be pleased.

Theophilus Brown, By the River, 1988. Photo Courtesy Thomas Reynolds Gallery.

In other art news, Theophilus Brown—the last of the pioneering members of California’s vaunted Bay Area Figurative movement, who had ties to many of the major players in the 20th century art world—is being celebrated with a memorial exhibition. “Theophilus Brown: A Celebration” opened on Saturday and continues through May 26 at the Thomas Reynolds Gallery in San Francisco.  Having ties to the postwar art scene of the ‘40s and ‘50s, Brown rubbed shoulders with the likes of Picasso, Elaine de Kooning, and Mark Rothko.  His work is represented across the United States including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, as well as all of the major California art museums.  This exquisite exhibition draws entirely from Brown’s personal collection of drawings, paintings, and collages found in his apartment and studio at the time of his death in February.

Arthur Bispo do Rosário, Manto de Apresentacao (Mantel of Presentation)

The artists that will be featured in this year’s São Paulo biennial have been announced.  With the enigmatic title “The Imminence of Poetics”, the 30th Bienal de São Paulo is due to open on Septemper 7 of this year and run through December 9 at Oscar Niemeyer’s Ciccillo Matarazzo Hall.  Chief curator Luis Pérez-Oramas announced the list of artists at a press conference on April 12.  Of the 110 artists from 21 countries participating in this year’s event, 23 are from Brazil, 13 from the US, where Pérez-Oramas works as the curator of Latin American art at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, and 13 from his native Venezuela.  Among the list of artists to be featured is Waldemar Cordeiro, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Robert Smithson, and Thiago Rocha Pitta, one of Brazil’s top emerging artists today.  The theme of this year’s biennial is the meaning of globalization.

Bobby Kissed by a Horse, Iceland, 1972. Photo: Harry Benson

The World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis presents “Bobby Fischer: Icon Among Icons, Photographs by Harry Benson CBE”, an intimate look at chess champion Bobby Fischer through the eyes of world renowned photographer Harry Benson during the 1972 World Chess Championship match in Reykjavík, Iceland.  The stunning photographs in the exhibit allow the viewer observe Fischer in a much more intimate portrayal than what he usually allowed.  He was well known for having a general distrust towards the media in general, but made an exception for Benson, with whom he struck up a friendship.  It was Benson who first delivered the news to the chess master that he had won the match in 1972.  The Scottish-born photojournalist arrived in America on assignment to photograph the Beatles during their 1964 tour and has since been privy to many of the major political and social events in modern history.

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Laura Lawson paints when writer’s block strikes and writes when painter’s block strikes. She has studied fine art at LCAD and is pursuing a degree in journalism. Recently diagnosed with the degenerative eye disease retinitis pigmentosa, she strives to bring hope to those without vision through her blog. She is currently working on her first book about coping with vision loss.