Art Of The Day Weekly
#46 - from 10 May 2007 to 16 May 2007
IN THE AIR
Stop the water level from rising
Thanks to Al Gore and many others we are now well aware that the future holds a number of catastrophies in store for us: the warming up of the planet is going to cause glaciers to melt and certain low lands, such as Bangladesh, Fidji or the Netherlands run the risk of being submerged. It is sometimes easier to act against other water damage. And then again… It concerns the ones caused directly by man when he deems it indispensable to build dams worhty of pharoes. In these cases, archeologic ruins, or simple human habitats, do not mean much. We saw it was the case in the apocalyptic construction site of the dam of the Three Gorges, in China. We had laready noted this in Turkey. We now see it again in Iran where, in spite of a lack of protest tradition, the population has shown its discontent. The dam of Sivan, in th South of the country, has just been inaugurated and will be progressively filled with water, taking with it hundreds of archeologic sites. Even the tomb of the Great King Cyrus, in Pasargade, just a few kilometres from the retaining lake, is threatened: humidity could hurt it for ever…
NEW YORK - The king of fashion is hitting New York. The legendary Poiret! The one who, right before WW I, liberated women from corsages, put shirts back into fashion, and mastered the art of the draped effect. Poiret was a flamboyant personnality who ended his life in poverty, but he was ahead of his time: at the beginning of the XXth century, this former assistant of an umbrella manufacturer revolutionized the art of the shop window and understood the importance of consumer products. He was the first fashion designer to launch a perfume (Rosine, his daughter's name) and turned his famous parties (such as the one of the "1002th night") into very effective marketing vectors. Should one really go all the way to New York to see Poiret? It is a possibility when one considers the past successes at the Met in terms of retrospectives on fashion creators. But such a trip could also be justified by the presence of rare pieces, nevr shown before: the American museum was one of the most active buyers during the sale of the Poiret estate in 2005, in Paris.
ATTENTION LAST DAYS TINTORETTO The most important exhibition on Tintoretto since the one held in the Palazzo Pesaro in Venice in 1937 UNTIL MAY 13 AT THE PRADO MUSEUM in Madrid . See the article on ArofthDay.info
PARIS – Those who have visited the botanical garden of Kew, near London, have surely noticed the unique Marianne North Gallery: the building is filled from top to bottom with botanical paintings done by the excentric artist of the same name (1830-1890). Those may not be moved, but what is coming from the Kew archives to Paris will suffice to give an idea of this lady's work. She tredged across the planet, from Tasmania to Chili, from Tenerife to South Africa to sketch palm trees, breadfruit trees and tropical flowers in their original environment. Her technique with oils is not perfect but the systematic inventory aspect are worthy of our admiration. The quality increaes with the gouaches by Margaret Mee (1909-1988), her large views of "brom"lia" or orchids. Margrte dicovered botanicl illustrations in Brazil late in her life (she was over 40 years old), and carrie dout some fifteen expeditions to Amazonia, in conditions that were often very hard. Her pugnacity stun us. For two decades she pursued the rare selenicereus wittii, that only flowers once a year, at night. She finally saw it in 1988, at the age of 79, and drew it under the stars, under the light of her flashlight. It was her swan's song: after daring the tropics for decades, she died in a car accident, in southern England, six days later…
Far away Cubisms
PARIS – Maltese Cubism? Indian for that matter? Who would have imagined it? The very original exhibition presented at the Maison de la culture du Japon after an itinerary through the far-East shows that Cubism also has an Asian side. Born in Europe in 1907, it set up in Shanghai, a cosmopolitain metropole, after WW I . Then it spread through fits and starts: to Korea, Singapour, up to India and even Malasia, while Japan is undoubtedly the country in which it settled in with the greatest asurance. Asian Cubism refused the monochrome, analytical current, and remained faithful to a rich palet of colors. Like its European elder, it has a preference for still lives, landscapes, portraits, while defending certain local specialties: in the Philippines, a catholic country, there are many Crucifixes. From Yorozu Tetsugorô to Kim Whan-ki, there is a uantity of new names to write into the movement's geography.
A Pope, some white and a N°16
NEW YORK – Sotheby’s, lagging a bit behind Christie's these last years, seems to switch to the offensive. The group contemporary art masterpieces it is putting up for sale on 15 May is particularly rich. Two stars stick out: Francis Bacon and Mark Rothko. Up to what heights will the former climb? His < i>Study for Innocent X , his emblematic series inspired by the famous portrait painted by Vélasquez that sits at the Doria-Pamphili gallery, is expected to go for 30 million $. The second should go even further: 40 million $ is announced for his White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose) from 1950, from David Rockefeller's collection. Rothko and Bacon are well accompanied, with a Pollock hiding in the back – a Number 16 from 1949, estimated between 18 and 25 million $. The amplitude indicates the uncertainty of the «auctioneers». With Pollock becoming the most expensive post war artist last year, with a private transaction at 140 million $, one can expect just anything.
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ARTIST OF THE WEEK
John Chamberlain, César's American cousin
PARIS - How can we define him otherwise? He was more or less a contemporary of the artist of Nice (he was born in 1927, César in 1921), he participated in the Pop Art movement, the movement that was parallel to New Realism; finally, he became known for his compressed sculptures. That is more or less what brings the two artists together. The market seems to know what it is doing since the record at the auctions for each of these creators is strangely comparable: around 450 000 €. The crushed body work by the American are more gleaming and make one think of the beautiful Chevrolets that parade down route 66. But he also knows how to play minor harmonies: out of the ten sculptures especially designed for the exhibition, many , such asWhimzee or Dictator Taxidermist, are developed in sobre black and white contrasts. At the age of 80, Chamberlain is almost a dinosaur – he rubbed elbows with John Cage at Black Moutain College, was at the Biennale of Venice in 1964 when Rauschenberg's America buried old Europe, had his retrospective at the Guggenheim already 36 years ago. A sacred monstre but still active…
The artists and the State
The artists and the State: this is the moment to ask the question even if it did not move the presidential campaign… The magazine area, presented as a big volume, prefers to take a little distance rather than dive into the current event of the temporary workers or the multinational Louvre. It illustrates forty years of cultural politics (since the creation of the ministry of cultural affairs by Malraux) with archive photos from the Keystone agency, it followed the traces of the former leesers of rue de Valois (the ministry) who aer still alive. Accompanied by a few important civil servants such as Emile Biasini, who organized Mitterrand's major works, or Jacques Rigaud, they explain what they did when they held the reins, as well as what they contributed. It is very much fun, as none of them waffles. Maurice Druon said he «saved architecture in the second half of the XIXth century» and tha the does not like the Centre Pompidou. Biasini, recalling the refusal of the Finance minister of the time to leave the Louvre, talks of Balladur as the «worst administrator of France, completely closed minded». as a countrepoint other vigorous voices denounce the way culture is slipping towards «com», the inclusion of almost anything and everything into the national heritage, the incompetence of elected officials in terms of architectural directives, the fear ol launching a true teaching of history of art, the control by an administrative cast over the mechanisms of help to creation, the loss of French influence. Not very encouraging… No, on the contrary, it is rather stimulating. One wishes for more remuses of this type!
MONTREAL – The 8th biennale of Montreal will be inaugurated on 10 May under the title of "Move heaven and earth". It will last until 8 July
MOSCOW - The fourth annual Moscow World Fine Art Fair will be held from May 28 to June 4. in the Manege, with over eighty international dealers and jewellers
NEW YORK – The International Fine Art Fair, with 55 antique dealers, will be held from 11 to 16 May. Among the participants, Didier Aaron, Agnew’s, Cazeau-Béraudière, French & Co et Richard Green.
PARIS – The gallery of the Gobelins, drawn by Jean-Camille Formigé between 1910 and 1922 inside the factory to expose its creations and those of the Mobilier national, will open to the public on 12 May.
PARIS – The Nuits du Marais (Nights of the Marais)– the simultaneous opening of various contemporary art galleries in the neighborhood – will be held for the 2nd year on 10, 11 May (up to 10 PM) and on 12 May (up to 8PM).
POISSY – The famous villa Savoye, by Le Corbusier (1931), uninhabited for years, will come back to life. The exhibition Essayage, starting on 11 May, aims at refurnishing with contemporary creations.
REIMS – The contest Art is Steel, that awards a steel sculpture, has received over 400 candidates. The winner will be announbced on 11 May and the rewarded work will decorate the new European headquarters of d’ArcelorMittal Distribution.