Art News Headlines: Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Getty welcomed the launch of “Herb Ritts: L.A. Style” on Tuesday, an exhibition featuring renowned work by the late photographer including vintage prints, magazine covers, and music videos, many of which are on public display for the first time.  The show displays many well-known works by Ritts, including a 1989 black and white photograph of models Stephanie Seymour, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Tatjana Patitz, and Naomi Campbell, all shown in the nude.  The artist, who was largely self-taught and focused primarily on black and white portraits, often imitated the style of classical Greek sculpture in his photos while simultaneously employing chiaroscuro-like shadows on the skin.  When it came to fashion photography, Ritts was largely responsible for putting Los Angeles on the map as the foremost destination in the world for shooting fashion editorials and advertisements.  Much of the photographer’s legacy lies in his celebrity portraits, including those of Madonna, Richard Gere, Cindy Crawford, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.  “Herb Ritts: L.A. Style” is on view at The Getty through August 26.

Edvard Munch, The Scream

In other art news, Edvard Munch’s The Scream, the “world’s most stolen work of art” has gone on display in London ahead of its New York auction scheduled for May 2, where it is expected to fetch more than $80 million.  The piece is one of four versions of the same subject created by the Norwegian artist in the 1890s, and is the only one still in private hands.  Sotheby’s Simon Shaw commented in an interview with CNN that the piece is probably the second most famous work of art in the world, after the Mona Lisa.  Of the four versions of the painting, three are in public collections in Oslo, and of those, two have been stolen in the past 20 years, which attributes the piece as the most stolen work of art.  The version up for auction is a piece done in vivid pastel, produced in 1895.  Proceeds from the sale will go towards funding the construction of an arts center in Hvitsten, Norway, dubbed Ramme Gaard.

According to articles flying all over the Internet, artist Thomas Kinkade had been battling alcoholism for years and apparently suffered a relapse just prior to his unexpected death last week.  Kinkade’s brother Patrick reported to the San Jose Mercury News in a story published late Thursday night that years of mean-spirited personal attacks on the painter and a split from his wife and four daughters wore Kinkade down.  That led to his battle with alcoholism over the past four to five years.  As The Times reported earlier this week, Kinkade had a huge popular following, but critics were harsh, lambasting his paintings as well as his mass-market business techniques.  The official cause of the painter’s death has yet to be revealed by the coroner.


Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926), Village Street, ca. 1869-71. Oil on canvas, 16 1/4 x 25 in.

The Columbia Museum of Art recently announced an upcoming major exhibition, “Impressionism from Monet to Matisse”.  This planned collection of 55 works including paintings, pastels and watercolors will be on view from January 25 through April 21, 2013.  Included are pieces by the well-known masters of French Impressionism: Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley.  The show also includes paintings by America’s most noted Impressionist painters, Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent.  Additionally, the show will be rounded out with work by more modern painters such as Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, and Georges Braque, among others.  The Impressionists’ desire to view the world with a new freshness and perspective continues to appeal to audiences today, making it the most popular style of painting in the world.  Included in the retrospective will be Monet’s Village Street, Renoir’s The Wave, and Degas’ Dancer Adjusting Her Shoe.

In case you haven’t been near a newspaper, smart phone, computer, radio, or television in the past couple of days, this weekend marked the centennial anniversary of the fateful sinking of the Titanic.  In tribute, fans are flocking to movie theaters to catch James Cameron’s Titanic in 3D, and RMS Titanic Inc. makes moves to auction off thousands of pieces of wreckage that have been scooped up from the site located two miles beneath the surface of the Atlantic Ocean.  More than 5,500 items have been salvaged in total, including plates, jewelry, money, and even a 17-ton piece of the gargantuan ship itself.  Of course, the winner-take-all auction that is being planned for these artifacts does not sit well with some, chiefly the descendants of those who died on the Titanic 100 years ago.  What’s left of the ship is disappearing with bacteria and age, and RMS Titanic argues that the memory of the Titanic must be preserved.

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.