Art News Headlines: September 18, 2011

Ema Sintamarian, Map to Get Oneself Lost, (2010), ink on paper, 72 x 138 in

Now in its 15th year, the annual “No Dead Artists” show at the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in New Orleans has established an impressive track record for discovering underexposed talents who frequently go on to make a name for themselves with work that often ends up in important public and private collections. Sponsored by Art Daily and the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, this year’s exhibition attracted submissions from over 300 artists whose roughly 1500 works were reviewed by a panel of jurors that included collector and curator Toby Devan Lewis, as well as 21c Museum director William Morrow and Getty Museum Board Member and New Orleans Museum of Art director, Susan Taylor. Launched in the mid-1990s by former investment banker turned gallerist Jonathan Ferrara, “No Dead Artists” has gradually expanded beyond its original regional base, and the 37 works by 14 artists chosen for this year’s show reflect a balanced selection in which all corners of the country are represented.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Summertime

The Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz presents the large-scale exhibition “PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR: Like Painted Silk” opening today and scheduled to close January 8, 2012. In addition to masterpieces from private collections and from European museums such as the Musée d’Orsay, the National Museum of Stockholm and the Belvedere, the show will also include the rich stock of prints by Renoir from the Saarland Museum in Saarbrücken. This unique exhibition of more than 90 paintings and prints will be shown exclusively in Chemnitz—it is the first solo exhibition of Renoir’s works shown in the territory of the new federal German states. The exhibition purports to cast an innovative perspective on the great Impressionist painter, especially highlighting his approach to textiles. The depiction of fabrics and clothing in his early paintings illustrate a more modern approach, whereas in the late works there is a more sensual laboring of the silk to showcase the material’s ability to envelope and delineate the body.

Also in art news, this past Tuesday Pop art pioneer Richard Hamilton passed away after being ill for some time. He was 89. Hamilton is best remembered for his paintings, collages and sculptures, including the 1956 work featuring a bodybuilder, entitled Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Homes So Different, So Appealing? Until just a few days ago, the artist had been working on a major museum retrospective, which was due to travel to Los Angeles, Philadelphia, London and Madrid. Hamilton, who was born in London in 1922 and studied at the Royal Academy Schools and Slade School of Fine Art, has been dubbed the Father of Pop. Gallery owner Larry Gagosian commented, “This is a very sad day for all of us and our thoughts are with Richard’s family, particularly his wife Rita and his son Rod.”

 Francois Pinault (R), and American artist Jeff Koons (L) pose for a photo during a press conference in Seoul, South Korea.

SongEun ArtSpace in Seoul welcomes the exhibition “Agony and Ecstasy”, a selection of 23 works from the François Pinault Collection of contemporary art. This will be the first time that artwork from this collection will be presented in an exhibition in Asia. For the exhibit, François Pinault decided to entrust the curatorship to Francesca Amfitheatrof. Focusing upon the central theme of portraiture and the representation of the self, Amfitheatrof has selected a highly expressive list of works, which include portraits, statues, busts, mirrors, animals preserved in formaldehyde and photographs by four major contemporary artists: Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami and Cindy Sherman. The title “Agony and Ecstasy” refers to both Damien Hirst’s butterfly diptych and Irving Stone’s biographical novel of Michelangelo Buonarroti derived from the Renaissance painter’s correspondence. Inspired by the great master’s depiction of Man, the exhibition proposes to revisit the infinite possibilities of how we perceive each other and ourselves. All four artists represented respond to this theme differently, making for a fascinating retrospective.

To mark her 100th birthday, the Fondation Beyeler in Basel is devoting an homage to Louise Bourgeois, one of the most significant and influential artist personalities of our time, especially popular since her death last year. Comprising about 20 pieces, the exhibition represents a concentrated selection from the artist’s oeuvre, and addresses its key themes: an involvement with other artists, a concern with her own biography, and the translation of emotions into objects of art. In addition to high profile pieces, more recent and less famous pieces will be on view. These are supplemented by groups of pieces from the Beyeler Collection. Especially revealing insights are provided by juxtapositions with paintings by Fernand Léger and Francis Bacon, and sculptures by Alberto Giacometti. These artists, with whom Bourgeois had a special relationship, were influential and inspiring for her.

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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