Art News Headlines: September 13, 2011

Salvador Dalí: A Retrospective” celebrated its opening last week on September 3 at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow, the first major retrospective of the artist seen in Russia. Running through November 13, the exhibit includes works from Dalí’s early years in the 1920s as well as some of his final pieces. Visitors will be able to get a very thorough glimpse of his evolution as a Surrealist, not only technically speaking but also his inspirations and use of symbolism. “Salvador Dalí: A Retrospective” is the result of research and collaboration of both teams from the Dalí Foundation and the Pushkin Museum, and the loans come exclusively from the Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí.

In other art news, a sculpture fashioned from the mangled steel wreckage of the World Trade Center was unveiled in London last week to mark the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York. The 28-foot high piece is entitled After 9/11 and was fashioned by New York-based artist Miya Ando. It has been placed temporarily in a secluded angle of Battersea Park, south of the Thames River, while a permanent home for it is still being sought. The work has been controversial, especially amongst family members of the victims from 9/11. Hannah Ali, whose sister died in the World Trade Center’s north tower, told the Guardian newspaper earlier this year that she could not understand how anyone could even consider transforming girders which had “bodies strewn on them” into a work of art. World Trade Center steel has also been sent to every state in America to be used as “each community sees fit” and to a number of other countries including Canada, France, Germany and Italy.

Also in remembrance of the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, New York’s MOMA PS1 opened a show on Sunday entitled “September 11”. Instead of directing the viewer’s focus to the shock of the attacks themselves, the exhibit points indirectly to the tragedy by bringing together art created before and after that fateful day ten years ago. This unique approach allows the viewer to make their own emotional response instead of being spoon-fed shock value. Curator Peter Eleey commented, “There were certain things that we did not want to see, I think in part because of how much we have been forced to see.” “September 11” runs at New York’s MoMA PS1 until Jan. 9, 2012.

Unknown, Initial I: Scenes of the Creation of the World and the Life of Christ, about 1250 – 1262. Tempera and gold leaf on parchment. Leaf: 26.8 x 19.7 cm (10 9/16 x 7 3/4 in.) Accession No. 2011.23.4. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. 107.4

The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles recently announced the impressive acquisition of the Abbey Bible, an Italian illuminated manuscript that exemplifies the highest achievements of the Gothic era. Produced for the use of a Dominican monastery, the Abbey Bible is one of the earliest and finest in a distinguished group of north Italian Bibles from the second half of the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, and a superb example of the Byzantine style of the eastern Mediterranean. “It is extremely rare for a complete Italian volume of this splendid quality to come onto the market,” cooed Thomas Kren, acting associate director for collections at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

The Royal Academy of Arts in London proudly announces its forthcoming show “Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement”, an exhibition which will run from September 17 through December 11 of this year. This landmark retrospective focuses on Edgar Degas’s obsession with female movement, specifically seen in dance. The show traces the development of the artist’s ballet imagery throughout his career, from the documentary mode of the early 1870s to the sensuous expressiveness of his final years. The exhibition is the first to present Degas’s progressive engagement with the figure in movement in the context of parallel advances in photography and early film—in fact, the artist was keenly aware of these technological developments and often directly involved with them.

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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