Gagosian Gallery presents “Richard Prince: de Kooning” an exhibition of paintings and works on paper. This coincides with “Richard Prince: American Prayer” at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, an exhibition of American literature, ephemera and artworks from Prince’s personal collection.
Prince’s “de Kooning” series is a process of interaction with the canonic imagery of the Abstract Expressionist idol Willem de Kooning. The idea for these edgy Oedipal works came to him when he was leafing through a catalogue of de Kooning’s Women series. He started sketching over the paintings, sometimes drawing a man to de Kooning’s woman. As time went on, he began applying fragments of male and female torsos, genitalia, thighs, and facial features, cut and pasted from catalogues and vintage porn magazines, as well as drawing with graphite and oil crayon, adding outlines, silhouettes and textures to the original figures that further blur the distinction between de Kooning’s imagery and Prince’s own.
From these intensely worked drawings evolved a series of paintings that are, similarly, montages of elements from de Kooning’s original paintings with figures cut from printed matter. The results are blown up onto large canvases via ink-jet printer, then the original material all but painted over. From the resulting abstract grounds, Prince then conjures up crude figures that recall de Kooning’s savage female subjects. The resulting hermaphroditic creatures are hybrids on several levels, merging male with female, painting with photography and print, and the refinement of modernist art with the vulgarities of mass cultural representation. Both homage and desecration, the de Kooning paintings exemplify Prince’s vision of a “Spiritual America,” a historical consciousness fueled by a pervasive desire for rebellion and reinvention.
Mining images from mass media, advertising and entertainment since the late seventies, Prince has redefined the concepts of authorship, ownership, and aura. Applying his understanding of the complex transactions of representation to the making of art, he evolved a unique signature filled with echoes of other signatures yet that is unquestionably his own. An avid collector and perceptive chronicler of American subcultures and vernaculars and their role in the construction of American identity, he has probed the depths of racism, sexism, and psychosis in mainstream humor; and the mythical status of cowboys, bikers, customized cars, and celebrities. His most recent work is an explosive mix of pulp fiction, soft porn, and high art.
Richard Prince was born in 1949 in the Panama Canal Zone. His work has been the subject of major survey exhibitions, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1992); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1993); Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam(1993); Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel (2001, traveled to Kunsthalle Zurich and Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg); Serpentine Gallery, London (2008). The retrospective “Richard Prince: Spiritual America” opened at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2007 and traveled to The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis in 2008. “Richard Prince: American Prayer”, an exhibition of American literature and ephemera from the artist’s collection, will be on view at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris from March 29 – June 26, 2011.
London Underground commuters got their first taste of subterranean Internet access in October 2010, when a six-month test funded by U.K. broadband service BT brought Wi-Fi hotspots to the Northern and Bakerloo line platforms, as well as the ticket hall at the central London station.
Users of the service will only be able to connect to Wi-Fi on the platforms, and not on the trains themselves.
Art collector Charles Saatchi has a gift for Britain. It includes Tracy Emin’s messy bed, Grayson Perry’s explicit pottery and a room full of engine oil. The advertising tycoon, whose patronage made household names of artists like Emin and Damien Hirst, announced Thursday he is donating his London gallery and 200 works in its collection to the nation as a new public art museum. The gallery said the works, valued at more than 25 million pounds ($37 million), will be given to the government. The 70,000-square foot (6,500-square meter) Saatchi Gallery will be renamed the Museum of Contemporary Art, London.
The artworks being donated include Emin’s “My Bed” — the artist’s famous recreation of her boudoir, complete with empty liquor bottles, condoms and cigarette butts — and Richard Wilson’s “20:50,” an eye-dazzling room filled with oil. There are also works by Perry — best known for vases adorned with disturbing twists on classical scenes — and artists from around the world, including China’s Zhang Dali and India’s Jitish Kallat.
Emin said she was thrilled by Saatchi’s gift. “I wish more people had that kind of vision,” she said.
Saatchi, co-founder of the Saatchi & Saatchi ad agency, was the main patron of the Young British Artists movement of the 1990s, which made Hirst and Emin millionaires.
He captured the public imagination with his 1997 exhibition “Sensation,” which included Hirst’s shark pickled in formaldehyde and Emin’s tent appliqued with the names of “Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995.”
The show’s impact lived up to its name. When it opened in New York in 1999, then-mayor Rudolph Giuliani was so offended by Chris Ofili’s portrait of the Virgin Mary adorned with elephant dung that he temporarily cut off funding to the Brooklyn Museum. The exhibition’s success helped make Saatchi one of the art world’s most powerful figures.
“He was part of the perfect storm of British art’s success,” Perry said. Since then Saatchi — who is married to celebrity chef Nigella Lawson — has continued to collect, amassing a vast collection. The gallery said even after the donation, Saatchi would still own “many hundreds” of works.
“I think he has a scatter-gun approach but in his trawling he’s picked up some extraordinary stuff,” Perry said. “This is by no means an insignificant gift. It’s the cream of the crop.”
Saatchi’s current gallery opened in 2008 in London’s affluent Chelsea neighborhood and has mounted shows by emerging artists from India, China and the Middle East. Saatchi’s announcement is a boost to an arts community worried about looming cuts to government funding. Britain’s Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government has said ministries will have to slash budgets by up to 25 percent to eliminate the country’s record deficit.
The aim is to keep the space free to the public, with operating funds coming from individual and corporate sponsorship along with revenue from its restaurant, bookshop and rentals for outside events held there. The gift would also include artworks that could be sold to acquire other art so that the museum could remain a showcase for the latest works.
Rebecca Wilson, associate director of the Saatchi Gallery, said as well as the 200-strong core collection, the gift includes other works that can be sold to buy new acquisitions to keep the collection changing and current. The British government has not yet accepted the gift, although discussions are in progress, said Ruth Cairns, a spokeswoman for the Saatchi Gallery, who added that she had no timetable for a final decision. Also unclear is when Mr. Saatchi plans to retire, which Ms. Cairns said had not yet been determined. A statement from the two-year-old gallery also said that Mr. Saatchi would receive no tax benefits from the gift.
She said Saatchi “wants to give London and the country something it wouldn’t have otherwise, which is a very agile collection that can respond quickly to developments in contemporary art from all over the world.”
The owner of the building that houses the gallery on London’s King’s Road, Cadogan Estate, said it hoped the new museum would remain in the same location “for the foreseeable future.” Wilson said the gallery’s staff and management team would stay in place, and Saatchi, who turned 67 last month, was not planning to retire anytime soon.
“He just wants to prepare things for the future and make sure the Saatchi Gallery retains its unique character,” she said.
Check out also an Interseting article about art donations, by Sarah Murray from the Financial Times, who wrote “Art smart: how to donate artworks”.
If you are lucky to be in DC this week, you will probably enjoy the 3000 cherry trees that began to blossom today, for the 99th year. And don’t forget to get some mini-burgers at Matchbox in Chinatown 🙂
Hedge-fund manager Steve Cohen has reportedly enlisted Phillips de Pury to auction off the portrait of the late screen star.
He is asking for at least $20m at its major sale of contemporary art on May 12 in New York, The Wall Street Journal reported today.
The 1963 silkscreen, “Liz #5,” depicts the actress – who died on Wednesday, aged 79 – during her “BUtterfield 8” heyday, her red lips forming a serene smile and her eyelids swathed in blue eyeshadow. The work comes from Warhol’s signature 1960s series of pop-culture icons such as Marilyn Monroe and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.
Near the market’s peak four years ago, Christie’s sold actor Hugh Grant’s 1963 Warhol portrait of Taylor, “Liz,” for $23.5 million.
The auction house has tried to leave as little as possible to chance. It has arranged for outside investors to guarantee Cohen an undisclosed price for the painting unless another bidder offers even more during the auction – an arrangement called a third-party guarantee.
The current auction record for Warhol was set four years ago when Christie’s got $71.7m for the artist’s 1963 “Green Car Crash.”
Full info here
This year, the 42nd edition of Art Basel takes place in Basel, Switzerland, from June 15 through June 19, 2011. As the premier annual art show, Art Basel marks the summer reunion of the international artworld, hosted by the city of Basel, which has been a cultural capital for centuries.
More than 300 galleries from 35 countries on six continents will show works by over 2,500 artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. A frequent site of discovery by those seeking emerging artists, Art Statements features 27 one-person stands from rising galleries worldwide. Furthermore, exhibitors will present more than 50 ambitious works in the Art Unlimited sector. Bringing the show into the city, the site-specific projects and performances in the Art Parcours sector will transform a variety of locations throughout the St. Alban neighbourhood.
Complimenting Art Basel’s extensive offerings, the city’s museums and institutions once again stage fascinating exhibitions, featuring the artists Constantin Brancusi, Richard Serra, Francis Alÿs, R.H. Quaytman, Konrad Witz and Henrik Olesen.
Founded by a group of local gallerists, the first Art Basel took place in 1970 and the event has long ranked as the most prestigious annual art show worldwide. The quality and diversity of the artworks exhibited regularly attracts more than 60,000 artists, collectors, gallerists, museum directors, curators, and art enthusiasts. Art 42 Basel showcases every form of artistic expression, including paintings, drawings, editions, sculptures, installations, photography, performances, and video art. Inexpensive works by emerging artists are on offer, alongside museum-quality masterpieces priced in the millions.
More than 300 of the world’s leading galleries exhibit at Art Basel, selected from more than 1,000 applicants by the Art Basel Committee, an international jury of renowned gallerists. These include 73 from the United States; 50 from Germany; 32 from Switzerland; 31 from Great Britain; 23 from France; 20 from Italy; 8 from Belgium; 7 each from Japan and Spain; 6 from Austria; 4 each from Brazil and Poland; 3 each from China, Denmark, India, Norway and the Netherlands; 2 each from Canada, Ireland, Mexico, Portugal, Sweden, South Africa and Turkey and 1 each from Argentina, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Lebanon, Russia, Slovenia, South Korea and Thailand.
Art Galleries and Art Edition sectors
Once again, the world’s leading galleries will be exhibiting at the show, for which more than 99 percent of last year’s exhibitors reapplied. This year’s strong roster of returning participants are enhanced by diverse new exhibitors. Appearing for the first time in Art Galleries are Art: Concept (Paris), Blondeau (Geneva), Bortolami (New York), Isabella Bortolozzi (Berlin), Cabinet (London), gb agency (Paris), Holland-Hibbert (London), Joanna Kamm (Berlin), Regina (Moscow), Sfeir-Semler (Beirut), Standard (Oslo), and Vintage (Budapest). After a brief hiatus, Moeller Fine Art (New York) and Szwajcer (Antwerp) rejoin Art Basel’s exhibitors in the Art Galleries sector. The multiples specialists in Art Edition are joined by Three Star Books (Paris).
Art Statements Sector
A frequent site of discovery by those seeking to discover emerging artists, Art Statements this year spotlights 27 single-artist projects from younger galleries worldwide. The projects on display are new and created specifically for presentation in Art Statements. Since 1999, the Baloise Group has awarded its annual Baloise Art Prize to two outstanding Art Statements projects. This year, the prize stands at CHF 30,000 for each artist, in addition to which Baloise Group will also acquire works by the prize-winning artists and donate them to the Hamburger Kunsthalle and the MUMOK Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien.
Art Feature Sector
After a highly-acclaimed debut last year, Art Feature focuses on precise curatorial shows. 20 gallery projects – featuring artistic dialogues, solo shows and exceptional art historical material – will be presented on both floors of Hall 2, alongside the Art Galleries sector. .
Art Unlimited Sector
Art Unlimited spotlights more than 50 ambitious works, many of them created especially for Art 42 Basel. With the accent on innovative and large-scale pieces, Art Unlimited offers everything from outsize sculptures and installations to video projections, wall paintings, and performances. The exhibition concept has once again been elaborated in collaboration with Geneva curator Simon Lamunière.
While the inauguration of this sector last year took place around Munsterplatz, this year Art Parcours will transform a variety of unique locations throughout the St. Alban neighbourhood. For the entire duration of the show, from 10 am to 10 pm, the second edition of Art Parcours offers visitors site-specific artworks and performances by internationally renowned artists and emerging talents. This array of high-caliber pieces – selected by Jens Hoffmann, Director of the CCA Wattis Institute in San Francisco – engages with today’s Basel and with its long history, weaving artistic interventions into the fabric of the city.
Art Basel Conversations and Art Salon
Staged every morning (June 15 to June 19), Art Basel Conversations bring together prominent members of the international art scene. The Premiere of the Art Basel Conversations features a legendary artist. Further topics include: ‘Public/Private: How Will Museums Be Able to Collect,’ ‘Collector Focus: Patronage and Politics,’ ‘The Future of Artistic Practice: The Artist as Urbanist,’ and ‘What is Alternative – Alternative to What?’ Additionally, an extensive daily program of artist conversations, book signings, discussion forums, and other presentations will take place in the Art Salon forum every afternoon.
After a successful launch of our Smartphone App last year, this year’s Art 42 Basel app will offer visitors even more functions. Created not only for iPhones, iPads and iPod Touchs, but also Blackberrys and all the other smartphones, the Art Basel App will be ready for download at the end of May.
Museums in Basel
The exceptional lineup of shows this year during Art 42 Basel includes: ‘Francis Alÿs: Fabiola’ presented by Schaulager at the Haus zum Kirschgarten; ‘Konrad Witz – The Unique Exhibition’ at the Kunstmuseum Basel; ‘Constantin Brancusi and Richard Serra’ at the Fondation Beyeler; ‘Henrik Olesen’ at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst; ‘Car fetish: I drive therefore I am’ at the Tinguely Museum; ‘R.H. Quaytman: Spine, Chapter 20’ at the Kunsthalle Basel; and at the Vitra Design Museum, ‘Zoom: Italian Design and the Photography of Aldo and Marirosa Ballo.’
French graffiti artist MIST recently put a comprehensive paint job together for Volkswagen’s New Beetle as part of an exhibition at Galerie Le Feuvre. The car’s newly defined exterior featured a high contrast approach with some subtle references to the car’s association with the bug of the same name.