Spoke Art presents “Quentin vs. Coen – An art show tribute to the ﬁlms of Tarantino and the Brothers”, a followup to last yearʼs highly successful “Bad Dads – a tribute to Wes Anderson.” For “Quentin vs. Coen”, Spoke Art has arranged a battle-royal style art show featuring over 100 world class artists from the new contemporary art scene. Painters, screen printers and digital artists were invited to reinterpret their favorite scenes, characters and ﬁlms from the heralded directors, resulting in an eclectic showing of inspirational ﬁne art. No restrictions were placed on content or subject matter, allowing each artist to chose their personal favorite scenes, ﬁlms and characters. With over 100 artists, “Quentin vs. Coen” offers a broad range of affordable prints and also ﬁne art works. The show opens on Thursday, April 7 at Bold Hype Gallery in New York City and will be on view until Saturday, April 9, 2011.
French publication Clark Magazine celebrates its 47th issue for March/April 2011. The work of Evan Robarts graces the cover while featured participants include Humberto Leon of Opening Ceremony, young Basque chef Inaki Aizitarte, Cody Hudson and musician Hanni El Khatib, amongst many others. The issue is now available here.
Cukui teamed up with skate icon/artist Steve Caballero for a special art show at the brand’s flagship space in San Jose, California. The event featured various works of art ranging in size, mediums and content. Check out the shots at Cukui.
A new exhibition featuring 20 works by groundbreaking contemporary artist Nam June Paik (1923–2006) will be on view through October 2, 2011, in the East Building of the National Gallery of Art. In the Tower: Nam June Paik is the third in a series of shows installed in the Tower Gallery that centers on developments in art since midcentury. The Paik exhibition is presented in two galleries and includes closed-circuit video works, a variety of previously unseen works on paper, and a short film about the artist. The centerpiece of the show, One Candle, Candle Projection (1988/2000), receives its most ambitious installation ever, taking full advantage of the vaulting, self-contained space of the I.M. Pei-designed tower.
“Drawn from Paik’s estate as well as on an important recent addition to the Gallery’s own collection, this focus exhibition explores some of Paik’s most dynamic yet meditative work. We are thrilled to be able to present our first exhibition on the artist and grateful to his estate for its generous loans,” said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art.
Paik is a towering figure in contemporary art. Born in Korea, trained in Japan and Germany in aesthetics and music, Paik settled in New York in 1964 and quickly became a pioneer in the integration of art with technology and performance. He was the first artist to show abstract forms on a television, using a magnet to distort the image (in 1963), and among the first to use a portable video unit (in 1965). With these early works, Paik attacked the passivity that he felt television imposed on viewers. Through endless play with the medium, which Paik disassembled and recomposed (even making a literal “boob tube” for classical cellist Charlotte Moorman with TV Bra for Living Sculpture, 1969), he reclaimed the televised image as an expressive, democratic tool.
Best known for his video sculptures, installations, and broadcasts, the prolific Paik also created paintings and works on paper, musical and other performances, laser projections, functioning robots, and numerous publications over the course of five decades.
The exhibition is centered around Paik’s video sculpture One Candle, Candle Projection (1988/2000). Each morning a candle is lit and a video camera follows its progress, casting its flickering, magnified, processed image onto the walls in myriad projections. It is a central work in Paik’s oeuvre for its simultaneous embrace of media overload and Zen simplicity, participation and contemplation. By turns steady as a rock and flickering in the air currents stirred by visitors, the flame is stillness in motion, a paradox magnified by its reproduction on the walls.
Two other “closed-circuit” works share the same dramatically darkened main gallery: Standing Buddha with Outstretched Hand (2005), and Three Eggs (1975–1982). In the former, a bronze Buddha “watches” its own image. In the latter, a video camera fixed on an egg sends the image to a portable TV while an identical TV (minus its picture tube) presents an identical but real egg: the result is both a Platonic reflection on levels of reality and a closed-circuit image of time passing, or standing still.
The second gallery features works on paper by Paik that explore TV as image, object, and medium. The selection includes works borrowed from the estate as well as gifts to the Gallery from Robert Rauschenberg and Dorothy and Herbert Vogel. A short film about Paik narrated by video scholar John Hanhardt offers an overview of the artist’s career, while a brochure by Harry Cooper, curator of the exhibition, analyzes the works on display.
The exhibition also presents a new acquisition, Untitled (Red Hand) (1967), a gift of the Hakuta family (following the Gallery’s recent purchase of Paik’s last work, Ommah (2005), which is on view in the Concourse galleries). This important early work includes a light bulb that flashes through an antique Japanese scroll painting to illuminate a handprint made by the artist on the glass of the frame. It is a humorous meditation on authorship, scavenger hunting, technology, and tradition.
A Damien Hirst retrospective featuring his infamous shark is one of the highlights at Tate Modern in 2012.
The exhibition, which will include works by the British artist spanning two decades, will run from 5 April to 9 September at the London gallery.
The Museum of Liverpool will launch 100 years to the very day that its iconic neighbour the Royal Liver Building opened its doors.
The largest newly-built national museum in Britain for more than a century, the new Museum of Liverpool, will open to the public for the first time on Tuesday 19 July.
One of the world’s leading history museums and a stunning new addition to the city’s famous waterfront, the Museum of Liverpool is the first national museum anywhere in the world that is devoted to the history of a regional city.
Demonstrating Liverpool’s extraordinary contribution to the world, it will showcase popular culture and tackle the social, historical and contemporary issues of the city.
Professor Phil Redmond CBE, chairman of National Museums Liverpool said: “Liverpool’s waterfront is known the world over, and we are pleased that we will soon be welcoming visitors to what is undoubtedly a stunning addition to that World Heritage Site.
“Liverpool’s role in history is also known the world over, as is its iconic symbol, the Liver Bird. It is fitting then that the first purpose-built museum to examine a city’s role in world history, is opening its doors 100 years to the day that the Liver Building itself opened for business.”
Until now, people have found it difficult to grasp the sheer size of the birds that perch on top of what was once the tallest building in Britain. Now visitors to the new Museum in July will be able see for themselves the magnificence of an 18ft life-size Liver Bird, overlooking the Three Graces.
Both the Liver Building and Museum of Liverpool are considered cutting edge architectural designs in their own right. The Museum is the newest symbol of Liverpool’s confidence as a great 21st century city.
Housing more than 6,000 objects, many which have never been on public display before, visitors can unearth an array of stories spanning the Ice Age to the present day.
People will be able to see the stage where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met, witness the city’s growth into the world’s greatest port, see first hand the last remaining carriage from the famous Liverpool Overhead Railway, and immerse themselves in the city’s rich sporting and creative history.
David Fleming, director of National Museums Liverpool said: “The Museum of Liverpool is all about telling the stories of the city and its people. This includes the times of struggle such as the Toxteth riots, the triumphs of our musical exports including The Beatles, and the dramatic histories of our football teams.
“Every single event has helped shape this city’s personality. The Museum of Liverpool is here to tell the tale, and like the Liver Building, will be around for many years to come.”
The £72m project is continuing apace, and internal fit-out of the major galleries is taking shape to such an extent that the three-phased opening of the Museum has been reduced to just two, with the second phase opening later this year. Discussions regarding plans for the launch day are currently taking place, and will be announced nearer the date.
One of the world’s foremost collections of decorated Jewish marriage contracts (ketubbot) is held by The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. Thirty of the finest are on display at The Jewish Museum in The Art of Matrimony: Thirty Splendid Marriage Contracts from The Jewish Theological Seminary Library from March 11 through June 26, 2011. From one of the earliest known decorated pieces (twelfth century) to recent creations, these exquisite marriage contracts provide a wealth of information on the artistic creativity, cultural interactions, and social history of the communities in which they were created. Ketubbot, which typically record the bridegroom’s obligations to his bride in case of death or divorce, have been integral to Jewish marriage for millennia. They were kept in the homes of married Jews living in the West under Christian governance or in the East under Muslim rule.
The ketubbah collection of The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary, consisting of more than 600 works, is one of the world’s greatest, with superb examples of virtually every extant type. The largest number of ketubbot in the exhibition are from Italy, where the art of the decorated ketubbah found its most beautiful expression during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries under the influence of Renaissance and Baroque art. Magnificent marriage contracts from Afghanistan, Egypt, India, Iraq, Iran, Morocco, Persia, Syria, and Turkey, each absorbing the visual language of the surrounding culture, are also included. In addition, visitors can see examples from Croatia, France, Greece, Israel, the Netherlands, Ukraine, and the United States. The marriage contracts in this exhibition represent the great diversity and range of Jewish settlement throughout history. They offer a fascinating look at the lives of individual couples, varied marriage customs, and the spread of artistic styles through commerce and trade.
Included in the exhibition is a fragment of a rare twelfth century marriage contract from Egypt. A 1764 ketubbah, the earliest known decorated marriage contract from Baghdad, features elaborate designs on decorative paper from Augsburg, Germany, indicative of the commercial ties that bound far-flung Jewish communities together. An 1885 contract from Damascus includes vivid colors and lush floral imagery echoing the blessing bestowed on a couple as they stand under the bridal canopy: “Grant perfect joy to these loving companions, just as You made your creations joyful in the Garden of Eden.”
Also on view is a distinctive 1749 ketubbah from Venice featuring the twelve signs of the zodiac and an intricate love knot that has no beginning or end, a design element borrowed from Italian folk culture. In unusually romantic engagement articles, the bride and groom “agree to conduct their mutual life with love and affection, without hiding or concealing anything from each other; furthermore, they will control their possessions equally.“
Hand-decorated ketubbot began to go out of fashion in the late nineteenth century, but were revived in the 1960s with highly individualized texts and ornamentation, perhaps as part of the renewed interest in exploring Jewish identity. An example of this trend is papercut artist Archie Granot’s 1999 work, which shows his personal style and technique for Jewish ritual works, distinguished by multiple layers of cut paper.
The exhibition also includes a 1961 ketubbah from the collection of The Jewish Museum by artist Ben Shahn, created more as a work of art than a usable contract. Its design shows his fascination with Hebrew calligraphy, including a red stamp, containing all the letters in the Hebrew alphabet, that came to be Shahn’s personal emblem.
Before a wedding, the families of Jewish brides and grooms traditionally negotiate a marriage contract (ketubbah). This document sets forth the husband’s obligations to his wife and specifies the monies due her in the event of a divorce or his death. While other types of Jewish marriage contracts date back to the mid-fifth century BCE, the text of the ketubbah as we know it today was codified some time between the first and fifth centuries CE.
Kettubot were not merely legal documents but became splendid works of art. Beginning with the first simply decorated examples from medieval Egypt, they were frequently embellished with decorative borders and fine calligraphy. Over time the ornamentation became increasingly elaborate, and by the seventeenth century, they were richly decorated with figurative, floral, architectural, and geometric designs. Regional stylistic traditions developed, emanating from the two major centers of ketubbah ornamentation, Italy and the Middle East.
The Art of Matrimony: Thirty Splendid Marriage Contracts from The Jewish Theological Seminary Library was curated by Sharon Liberman Mintz, Curator of Jewish Art, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. The exhibition coordinator is Susan L. Braunstein, Curator of Archaeology and Judaica, The Jewish Museum.
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) announce that its exhibition of works by internationally renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz is now the most popular ticketed exhibition ever presented at the MCA. Just twelve weeks since its opening on 19 November 2010 and only half-way through its run, Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life 1990–2005 has attracted 95,118 visitors. During the summer period, attendances have peaked at nearly 2,300 people per day. The previous MCA record for a ticketed exhibition was set by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson whose works attracted 63,080 visitors in 2010. MCA also announced that the MCA is extending the exhibition by another month. It will now close on Tuesday 26 April 2011, providing more opportunity for Sydney-siders and interstate visitors to enjoy this moving and inspiring exhibition.
MCA Director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor was delighted to make this announcement in light of the visit to Sydney by Annie Leibovitz. The artist is this week attending a series of media events and a special reception to celebrate the exhibition.
“We are delighted but not at all surprised by the success of the Annie Leiboivitz exhibition. It has been popular from New York to London, Paris to Berlin and now in Sydney also. She is one of the most celebrated artists of our time and certainly the most influential photographer working today. We are thrilled to have her here with us in Sydney to see the exhibition and celebrate its success,” says Ms. Macgregor.
Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life 1990–2005 brings together almost 200 images of famous public figures together with personal photographs of her family and close friends over a fifteen-year period. The images project a unified narrative of the artist’s private life against the backdrop of her public image. “I don’t have two lives,” Leibovitz says. “This is one life, and the personal pictures and the assignment work are all part of it.”
Born in Westbury, Connecticut, Annie Leibovitz is the third of six children. She is a third-generation American whose great-grandparents were Russian Jews. Her father’s parents had emigrated from Romania. Her mother, Marilyn Leibovitz, was a modern dance instructor; her father, Sam Leibovitz, was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force. The family moved frequently with her father’s duty assignments, and she took her first pictures when he was stationed in the Philippines during the Vietnam War. In high school, she became interested in various artistic endeavours, and began to write and play music. She attended the San Francisco Art Institute, where she studied painting. For several years, she continued to develop her photography skills while working various jobs, including a stint on a kibbutz in Amir, Israel, for several months in 1969. Throughout her life on the Kibbutz, she learned to take Jewish concepts and apply them to her photographs.
Leibovitz had a close romantic relationship with noted writer and essayist Susan Sontag. They met in 1989, when both had already established notability in their careers. Leibovitz has suggested that Sontag mentored her and constructively criticized her work. After Sontag’s death in 2004, published an article about Leibovitz that made reference to her decade-plus relationship with Sontag, stating that “The two first met in the late ’80s, when Leibovitz photographed her for a book jacket. They never lived together, though they each had an apartment within view of the other’s. Neither Leibovitz nor Sontag had ever previously publicly disclosed whether the relationship was familial, a friendship, or sexual in nature. However, when Leibovitz was interviewed for her 2006 book A Photographer’s Life: 1990-2005, she said the book told a number of stories, and that “with Susan, it was a love story.
A major retrospective of Leibovitz’s work was held at the Brooklyn Museum, Oct. 2006 – The retrospective was based on her book, Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life, 1990–2005, and included many of her professional (celebrity) photographs as well as numerous personal photographs of her family, children, and partner Susan Sontag. This show, which was expanded to include three of the official portraits of Queen Elizabeth II, then went on the road for seven stops. It was on display at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., from October 2007 to January 2008, and at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco from March 2008 to May 2008. In February 2009 the exhibition was moved to Berlin, Germany.
In 2007, the Walt Disney Company hired her to do a series of photographs with celebrities in various roles and scenes for Disney Parks “Year of a Million Dreams” campaign.
At the heart of the exhibition, Leibovitz’s personal photography documents scenes from her life, including the birth and childhood of her three daughters, and vacations, reunions, and rites of passage with her parents, her extended family and close friends. The exhibition also features Leibovitz’s portraits of well-known figures, including actors such as Jamie Foxx, Daniel Day-Lewis, Demi Moore, Scarlett Johansson, Al Pacino, Nicole Kidman and Brad Pitt as well as artists and architects such as Richard Avedon, Brice Marden, Philip Johnson, Chuck Close and Cindy Sherman.
The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow houses one of Europe’s greatest civic art collections, consisting of almost 10,000 items . Located in the beautiful surroundings of Kelvingrove Park in the city’s West End, the museum sits opposite the architecturally similar Kelvin Hall (which houses the Glasgow Museum of Transport and International Sports Arena) and near to Glasgow University. Loved by locals and tourists alike, the Kelvingrove vies with Edinburgh Castle to be Scotland’s most popular attraction, and is, by some margin, the most visited museum in the United Kingdom outside London. The magnificent red sandstone building was partly financed using the proceeds of the 1888 International Exhibition held in Kelvingrove Park. The gallery was designed by Sir John W. Simpson and E. J. Milner Allen and opened in 1901 as the palace of fine art for the Glasgow International Exhibition held that year. Built in a Spanish Baroque style, the outside facades are constructed from red sandstone from Lochabriggs Quarry near Dumfries (which provided much of the stone for Glasgow’s Victorian-era expansion), the interior uses a much lighter colored sandstone from Giffnock. The buildings facades are adorned with sculptures by George Frampton, Francis Derwent Wood and other contemporary British artists. A popular local myth states that after construction, the architect realized he had built the gallery the wrong way round (with the ‘front’ facing into Kelvingrove park, rather than onto Argyle Street) and consequently threw himself to his death from the roof. Not only were there actually 2 architects, it had always been intended that the building face into the park and the ‘rear’ of the building is so impressive, visitors only realize it is the back when they walk around and view the front. During the 6 month’s of the 1901 Glasgow International Exhibition, 11 million visitors passed through the new building. After the International Exhibition closed, the Kelvingrove reopened in 1902 as Glasgow’s civic museum and art gallery. The museum closed during World War II and its most valuable items were scattered, a fortuitous decision, when a German bomb detonated close by and caused significant damage to the building. The Kelvingrove reopened soon after the war ended and remained massively popular. In 2006, the Kelvingrove reopened after a three year refurbishment program and immediately tripled its visitor numbers to over 3 million in is first full year after reopening, making it the UK’s most visited museum outside London (only the National Gallery, Tate Modern and British Museum receive more visitors). The refurbishment work included opening up the first floor halls, creating new basement display and retail spaces and the complete restoration of the interior stonework. In addition to the galleries, visitors to the museum (which is free to enter) can enjoy its cafes and museum shops. The study centre and library are both open to the public for those who want to discover more about Glasgow’s museums and their collections. The museum hosts over 1.5 million visitors annually. Visit the museum’s website at … http://clyde-valley.com/glasgow/kelvingr.htm
The museum’s collections originally came from the McLellan Galleries and the old Kelvingrove House Museum. Donations and acquisitions over the years have increased the collection, including, most famously, “Christ of St. John of the Cross” by Salvador Dali, purchased direct from the artist by the museum’s then curator in the early 1950s for £8,200, a price considered very high at the time, even though Dali had been bargained down by a third from his original asking price and the sale included copyright to the image. The collections are displayed in 22 state of the art galleries. Amongst the artworks on display are paintings and sculpture from all periods of history, including works by Van Gogh (“Portrait of Alexander Reid” (once thought to have been a self-portrait)), Rembrandt, Botticelli, Turner, Millais, Whistler, Picasso, Monet (“Vetheuil”), Mary Cassatt *”The Sisters”) and L. S. Lowry (“V.E. Day”). Scottish works on display feature influential art from the Glasgow School of the late 19th and early 20th century including George Henry & E. A. Hornel, William Kennedy, Sir James Guthrie and “Motherless” by George Lawson. More contemporary work is also on display including Sophy Cave’s “Floating Heads” (more than 95 disconnected heads showing the whole rage of human expressions) hanging from the ceiling above the museum’s famous pipe-organ and Avril Paton’s “Windows in the West”. The Kelvingrove features more than just art, and amongst the natural history galleries, “Sir Roger” – a stuffed elephant (shot after a hormonal disorder made him extremely aggressive at Glasgow Zoo) – is a favorite with visitors, while a fully restored Spitfire hanging from the ceiling is a highlight of the scientific and technological displays. The decorative arts collection reflects Glasgow’s maritime trading heritage, as well as the expeditions of David Livingstone, with art and artifacts from dozens of cultures all over the world, including ceramics, glass, furniture, silverware, costumes, textiles and metal work. One gallery features a recreation of a Charles Rennie Mackintosh style dining room, emphasizing his importance to the history of art and design in Glasgow. The Kelvingrove is famous for its collection of arms and armor, including the ‘Avant’ armor (the earliest near-complete set of armor in the world, darting from around 1440), William Herbert, first Earl of Pembroke’s complete armor for man and horse (made by the Greenwich Royal Workshop in 1557) and rare medieval Scottish weapons amongst broad displays of European armor and weaponry.
The Kelvingrove has had a long reputation for holding major exhibitions, including the ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ (1998) and Frank Lloyd Wright (1999) shortly before it’s refurbishment. This tradition has continued since the museum reopened, with temporary exhibitions now held in a the RBS Exhibition Gallery. “Pioneering Painters: The Glasgow Boys 1880-1900” which was on display during 2010 set new records for visitor attendance, and showed 100 oil painting plus 50 works on paper by this influential Glaswegian group. The first exhibition dedicated to the Glasgow School since 1968, a condensed version of this exhibition is currently on view at the Royal Academy of Arts. The next exhibition to open at the Kelvingrove will be “Drawing (on) Riverside: An Exhibition by Patricia Cane”, which opens on April 15th and runs until August 14th 2011. Kelvingrove’s recent exhibition of work inspired by the construction of the Riverside Museum in Glasgow (housing the new museum of travel and transport) featured works by Patricia Cain, a Glasgow lawyer turned artist, who won the Aspect prize (Scotland’s premier prize for painting) in 2010 for her forensically detailed studies of the museum under construction. “Drawing (on) Riverside: An Exhibition by Patricia Cane” will be the artists first major solo exhibition and will draw on the works previously exhibited.
With hopes for recovery in fine art prices running high, attention is trained on second-tier markets such as Russian collecting for signs of renewal. Sotheby’s conducts the season’s first Russian art sales next week, led by a pair of important collections including one of 86 works by Ukrainian avant-garde artists being sold as a single lot. The auctions come on the heels of strong Asia Week sales at both Sotheby’s and rival Christie’s in New York, and last month’s Hong Kong results, where salesrooms were filled to capacity, estimates were exceeded and records fell.
“This market has been booming for quite some time” and is seeing a renewed confidence, said Sonya Bekkerman, Sotheby’s director of Russian paintings.
The financial crisis that struck in 2008 made collectors “more selective, but they’re buying consistently,” she added. The relatively recent phenomenon of Russian collecting has drawn widespread attention, as oligarchs emboldened with seemingly limitless cash snapped up top works at auction at often astounding prices for established and newer mid-emerging artists.
Bidders gasped in 2006 as an anonymous bidder paid more than $95 million for Picasso’s “Dora Maar with Cat.” The mystery man, unknown to even auction regulars, had not even secured a seat at Sotheby’s and conducted his audacious bidding from the standing area at the rear. Reports, unconfirmed by Sotheby’s, have since focused on a Russian mining magnate as the buyer.
Philip Hoffman, founder and CEO of The Fine Art Fund Group investment house, said that while the Russian market is somewhat unpredictable, “collectors have become more savvy and are doing more research. The wealthy people coming into the market have the confidence now to do it, and they have the money,” he said.
Bekkerman concurred that “there is a level of sophistication that’s very different from when this market began to boom. They’ve caught up.”
Accordingly, Sotheby’s has estimated its two star collections conservatively, with the single-lot Yakov Pereman collection estimated at only $1.5 million to $2 million for all 86 works. The late actress Ruth Ford’s collection of art by Pavel Tchelitchew, who was her brother’s companion, is expected to fetch about $2 million.
Other works by Russian masters including Boris Grigoriev and Natalia Goncharova raise the sales’ total expectations to $11 million to $15 million. An exhibition, including many pieces never seen in the U.S., begins on Saturday ahead of next week’s auctions.
Bekkerman, who just returned from Moscow and Kiev, said the offerings had generated great interest in Russia, the Ukraine, and in the U.S. and among Americans of Russian descent. Taken with the Asian sales results, the Russian auctions could generate heat going into next month’s critical sales in New York.
“This market is a gateway,” Bekkerman said. “The collectors have an interest in their own heritage and artists, then channel into other areas such as modernism and post-impressionism.”