Arts and Culture Headlines
The Coy Art of the Mystery Bidder (NYT) If you follow art auctions even peripherally, you know that each one leaves a trail of question marks. Who bought the van Gogh? Who bought the Johns? We would very much like to know. Sooner or later we usually do.
Painting in Storage at Italian Ducal Palace May Be Raphael’s (ArtDaily) A finely painted portrait of a demurely looking woman nestled in an exceptionally ornate frame that was kept in an Italian ducal palace storeroom appears to be a Raphael original and not a copy as long thought, an art official in central Italy said Friday. However, experts on the Renaissance giant quickly cautioned that art historians would have to closely study it before any conclusions can be made.
Exploring Mortality With Clothes and a Claw (NYT) At first sight, the monumental artwork being installed at the Park Avenue Armory suggests nothing so much as a crane claw, the frustrating arcade game in which a player tries to pull a stuffed animal from a pile of many, and to hold on to it, with a grapple controlled by a joystick.
Edwin Landseer’s Otter Speared: rare display for ‘gruesome’ painting (Guardian) A painting normally considered too upsetting for modern tastes – bloodthirsty hounds, triumphant hunter and speared otter – is to go on display as the centrepiece of a new exhibition examining the artistic celebration of hunting and sport.
Sebastian Goegel Experiments with Forms at Galerie Adler (ArtDaily) The great philosophical questions are actually banal, says Goegel, because everyone asks them. In fact, the only reason they’re considered ‘great’ is because everyone asks them. In the works of the Leipzig-based artist they are at any rate omnipresent: life and death, becoming and passing, accompanied by the whole panoply of human fears and needs and the states that summon them.
Nairy Baghramian and Phyllida Barlow at the Serpentine Gallery (ArtDaily) The Serpentine Gallery presents an exhibition of the work of artists Nairy Baghramian and Phyllida Barlow. The exhibition presents two positions on sculpture in the 21st century. Nairy Baghramian (b. Iran, 1971) is a Berlin-based artist known for her sculptural installations and photographs. Her complex work encompasses questions of context, institutional framing and the production and reception of contemporary art.
Louise Bourgeois Exhibition to Open New Hauser & Wirth Gallery Space (ArtDaily) Hauser & Wirth announced the inauguration of its new space at 23 Savile Row with a solo exhibition by Louise Bourgeois. The exhibition will feature over seventy fabric drawings made between 2002 and 2008, as well as four large-scale sculptures. Made from clothes and other domestic effects accrued over decades, Bourgeois’ fabric drawings are abstract yet acutely personal works, retaining allusions to the materials’ past incarnations.
Exhibition of New Work by Shepard Fairey at Deitch Projects (ArtDaily) Deitch Projects presents May Day, an exhibition of new work by Shepard Fairey, as its final project. Titled not only in reference to the day of the exhibition’s opening, the multiple meanings of May Day resonate throughout the artist’s new body of work. Originally a celebration of spring and the rebirth it represents, May Day is also observed in many countries as International Worker’s Day or Labor Day, a day of political demonstrations and celebrations coordinated by unions and socialist groups.
Another Country: London Painters in Dialogue with Modern Italian Art, Estorick Collection, London (Independent) Has Italian art ever been swept by Anglomania? Not that I can recall, any more than Tuscans have wanted to buy up Hampshire or Neapolitans to eat pork pie. The English Baroque was imported from Italy, likewise Anglo-Povera; without the Italian Futurists, there would have been no British Vorticists. In visual art terms, Italo-British relations have been a one-way street since Aulus Plautius.
Tom McGrath’s spooky wooded scenery (TwoCoats) In Time Out New York Barbara Pollack reports that Tom McGrath is a voyeur of the landscape, turned on by his own surreptitious intrusion into settings both natural and man-made. “In his earlier work, McGrath cleverly depicted highways and accidents as if seen through a rain-streaked windshield.
Asian Contemporary Art to Be Presented at Christie’s Spring Sales in May (ArtDaily) Christie’s Evening and Day sales of Asian Contemporary Art on 29 May and 30 May in Hong Kong will bring together the dynamic worlds of contemporary art from China, Japan, Korea and India. Christie’s continues to offer a platform showcasing the best in contemporary and Chinese 20th Century art from these countries, and this season will present over 480 works with a pre-sale estimate in excess of HK$260 million (US$30 million).
For Sale: Michael Crichton’s Pop Art Collection (NPR) The extraordinary art collection of author Michael Crichton, who died in 2008, is being auctioned at Christie’s. Crichton wrote techno thrillers and created movies and television shows, but he was also a doctor. Included in the auction are more than 90 works by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Pablo Picasso and Roy Lichtenstein.