Art News Headlines: October 4, 2011


Pablo Picasso, Weiblicher Kopf, Portrait Fernande Olivier, gouache auf papier, (1906), 32 x 40 cm

With over one hundred loans from private and public collections around the world, the Kunsthalle Bielefeld welcomes its fifth exhibition celebrating Pablo Picasso, entitled “Picasso 1905 in Paris.” The show sees Picasso at a pivotal state—having just come out of his melancholy Blue Period, we see him begin to paint brighter images such as acrobats and circus artists, ushering in the lesser-known Pink Period. This work is a contrast to the gaudy Fauvist art that was also being created in the early 20th century. Compared to paintings by Henri Matisse, André Derain, and Maurice de Vlaminck, which will also be shown, Picasso’s work still seems very classical. His paintings are not colorful, but gentle, quiet, and searching. This exhibition reflects the young genius’ sense of life as his art began to peak. Historical photographs, posters, and documents help to convey an authentic picture of Picasso’s life in Montmartre.

Alighiero Boetti, Tuto, embroidery on canvas, 97 x 134 cm

Madrid’s Reina Sofía, in collaboration with the Tate Modern and the MoMA, welcomes a major retrospective of prolific and unclassifiable artist Alighiero Boetti (1940-1994) opening tomorrow. Successfully avoiding artistic absorption, the artist’s oeuvre can be placed within the context of relational aesthetics. His art notions such as multiplicity, duality and division play a key role in his work, and a balance is sought between the intellectual and the sensible, order and disorder, individuality and collectivity. Fusing conceptual rigor, a vocation towards the experimental and a playful spirit, Boetti allowed chance and coincidence to influence his work. His pieces, strongly poetic and iconic, use a wide range of techniques and tools—from drawing and painting to mail art or the production of handicrafts—and it conceives of the spectator as an accomplice or even a playmate. In short, the work is largely about relationship and balance, themes that are showcased in the over 100 pieces on view in this exhibition.

The legendary Californian art school, CalArts, has been named the number one college for students in the arts by Newsweek/The Daily Beast. “I’ve never been a fan of pitting institutions of higher learning against each other, but it is undeniably gratifying to receive this recognition,” says CalArts President Steven Lavine in a statement. The institution has been a breeding ground for the avant-garde since its inception in 1970, recruiting pioneering artists as teachers such as John Baldessari and Paul McCarthy. “We strive to provide an environment that supports that creative development rather than trying to mould students to a preconceived idea of artistic excellence. The accomplishments of our alumni… are the best proof that confident creativity is their greatest asset,” adds Lavine. Founded by Walt Disney, CalArts provides a collaborative environment for artists, where students with different majors can team up on projects together inside and outside the classroom, fostering a different sort of learning seen in other art institutions.

1884 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout

The world’s oldest running motor car, a historic 1884 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout will cross the auction podium this week as part of RM Auctions’ popular Hershey, Pennsylvania sale. Commissioned by French entrepreneur, Count de Dion, and built by Georges Bouton and Charles-Armand Trepardoux, the 1884 De Dion steamer was nicknamed ‘La Marquise’ after the Count de Dion’s mother. Measuring just nine feet in length, ‘La Marquise’ features twin compound steam engines, ‘spade handle’ steering and seats four people ‘dos-a-dos’ (back-to-back). The seats are located on top of the steel tank, which holds 40 gallons of water, good for about 20 miles; its sophisticated boiler, fed by coal or coke, can be steamed in 45 minutes. A fully functioning car, it recently successfully completed four London to Brighton runs. Rob Myers of RM Auctions commented, “’La Marquise’ is arguably one of the most important motor cars in the world. With its impeccable provenance, fully-documented history and confirmation by leading historians as the world’s oldest running motor car, its sale represents a once-in-a-lifetime ownership opportunity for savvy collectors, unlikely ever to be repeated.” Its worth is valued between $2,000,000 – $2,500,000.

Best known for his soup cans and obsession with celebrities, two very different sides of Pop Artist Andy Warhol are currently on display at the National Mall in Washington D.C. On Sunday, The National Gallery of Art welcomed its first Warhol exhibit with “Warhol: Headlines,” an examination of his use of news headlines throughout his career. At the same time, the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum down the road is featuring “Andy Warhol: Shadows,” a 450-foot-long installation in the round museum that marks the first time all of Warhol’s 102 abstract “shadow” paintings will be shown together as the artist intended. Yes, you read that right—Warhol created abstract paintings, many of them in fact, a colorful play on abstract expressionism, using a mop to paint on silk-screens. Not familiar with Warhol’s obsession with news headlines either? The artist began sketching his own versions of the New York Daily News and the Wall Street Journal in the 1950s, the earliest versions of which are being displayed in “Warhol: Headlines.” One thing’s for sure: Andy Warhol continues to probe and surprise, and won’t be stopping anytime soon.

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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.