Art News Headlines: October 11, 2011

 Jonathan Mark, “Thanks, Steve”

Steve Jobs, the founder and visionary of Apple, Inc. who transformed the worlds of personal computing, music and mobile phones, died last Wednesday after a long struggle with pancreatic cancer. He was 56. The shockwave of this news catapulted across the Internet in a matter of a few minutes—ironically, many learning of his death on a device he created. 19-year-old Hong Kong design student Jonathan Mark posted this design and wrote “Thanks, Steve.” This image was shared so much in such a short span of time that it graced the front cover of The Times in London and has been shown in television programs worldwide. Considered to be of the world’s great entrepreneurs, Jobs was surrounded by his wife and immediate family when he died in Palo Alto, California. His death was announced by Apple and sparked an immediate outpouring of sadness and sympathy from world leaders, competitors and other businessmen including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Claude Monet, Agapanthus

You know him for his water lilies, but never quite like this before. Almost 100 years ago, French painter Claude Monet began one of his last great masterpieces. After his death, the work, the triptych titled Agapanthus was eventually split up. Today, after more than 50 years of separation, its pieces hang together in the Saint Louis Art Museum. The exhibition, organized by Simon Kelly, curator of modern and contemporary art at SLAM, is titled “Monet’s Water Lilies.” This is the first time the three pieces have been shown together before, as the artist originally intended. The pieces lay in Monet’s studio for years after his death before eventually being auctioned to different collectors. They ended up in three museums. SLAM received the central section, while the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City and the Cleveland Museum of Art received the right and left sections, respectively. Recent collaboration between the three museums has allowed all the sections to be shown together. Measuring 42 feet in length, the triptych is magnificent to behold.

The Andy Warhol Museum 

Andy Warhol continues to remain at the forefront of art news headlines. This week, the Andy Warhol Museum and mobile app provider Toura announced the release of The Warhol Art app to the iTunes App Store and Android Marketplace. This app allows users to examine works of art and related material in The Warhol’s collection with an in-depth view of archival materials, letters, source images, film and video clips, and audio. The Warhol Art app features a behind-the-scenes glimpse at over 50 art works spanning Warhol’s career from the 1920s to late 1980s, including some of his most iconic pieces, via six navigational categories. The app is designed to be a unique tool for both museum visitors and Warhol enthusiasts. Museum visitors are encouraged to utilize The Warhol Art app before, during, and after their in-gallery experience.

 A woman walks past Ellsworth Kelly’s work White Relief with Black III.

In other art news, the Haus der Kunst gallery in Munich welcomes a retrospective on American contemporary artist Ellsworth Kelly—all in black and white. According to Kelly, his paintings in black and white comprise approximately 20 percent of his total oeuvre, and certainly outweigh any other two-color combination in his work. Up until now, the black and white works have never been brought together in an exhibition, although the artist has encouraged this kind of retrospective since the 1990s. The work display’s Kelly’s concern for a shape’s external characteristics, shedding the emotional connections viewers have with color. The cosmos of his black and white works in the exhibition is expanded by a concise selection of drawings, collages and photographs. Kelly’s work is striking, free from distraction, and direct—these black and white works are no different.

In recent decades, Los Angeles has shed its stereotype as the land of sunshine, palm trees, and movie stars to become an artistic powerhouse and an increasingly important international creative capital. This fundamental shift in the cultural landscape of the city dates back to the 1950s and 1960s, a period of critical importance in art history that has never before been fully studied and presented. On view now through February 5, 2012 at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, “Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950–1970” chronicles the rise of the Los Angeles art scene through a focused examination of painting and sculpture manufactured in Southern California during this crucial period. The show features 79 objects by more than 45 artists including Peter Alexander and David Hockney. The exhibition chronicles the evolution of postwar art, while simultaneously displaying the evolution of technique at that time in art history.

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.

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