Home > ArtoftheDay Weekly > #47 - from 17 May 2007 to 23 May 2007

Art Of The Day Weekly

#47 - from 17 May 2007 to 23 May 2007


Renoir, an artist or an industry?

The city of Phoenix in Arizona, is beter known for tis basketball team, the Suns, than for its artistic scene. Things are going to change. The Art Newspaper has just revealed that the owners of the the Pierre-Auguste Renoir archives which they bought for a mere 135 000$ in May 2005 (at a small auction house in Maryland), are gallery owners in Scottsdale, a fancy neighborhood in Phoenix. They have delared they intend to dedicte a small museum to the letters, photographs and docuemtns which no French museum deemed worthy of attention. This honorable project is accompanied by a side that is les so. The business plan is to produce a great number of copies of Renoir's scultures (of which his assistant Richard Guino is the co-author, as Renoir was affected by severe rhumatism at the time they were made). In doing this the gallery owners overstep the French copyright law. They will reproduce the works on T-shirts, glasses and carpets and in doing so will rake in billions of euros in revenues... After the Picasso Citroen , will we have the Renoir toilet paper? Modern art really leads to everything.

The website of the Rima of Scottsdale gallery


Hopper, an American classic

BOSTON - He is not the most expensive (Pollock is far ahead of him) but he is probably the most popular of the American masters of the XXth century. Edward Hopper is the object of a new retrospective, and there is no doubt it will be marked by record attendance, since the painter from Nyack (1882-1967) seems to perfectly symbolise the American way of life. His major icons are here: Nighthawks, with his solitary patrons in a diner in Manhattan, or Office at night, the strange atmosphere of '"overtime" of an office inhabited by a manager and an attractive secretary. One has difficulty imagining that Hopper went through such a difficult beginning in his career: at the age of 40, he had only sold one painting. No better than the damned Van Gogh! The second half of his carreer was very different - and speedy - with a retrospective at the MoMA as of 1933 and an irreplacable space in every American heart. The exhibition, that groups together some one hundred paintings and drawings, is focused on this period, starting in 1923 when an institution finally got interested in him: the museum of Brooklyn bought The Mansard Rooffor 100 $. No need to say that since then, his rates have somewhat changed...

  • Edward Hopper at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, from 6 May to 19 August 2007

    The mini-website of the exhibition

  • Manzoni: merda at the madre

    NAPLES – In a way, he is Yves Klein's cousin. They have the same preference for monochronism (in his case The Achromes rather than the Klein blue), they both like to be provocative (not a fall into empty space but the famous Merda d'artista kept in a can) and also had the same meteoric itinerary. Piero Manzoni was active for less than a decade, as his career started in the mid-fifties and ended upon his death in 1963. He was barely 30 years old. Yves Klein died the following year, at the age of 34. One is therefore not surprised to see among the 200 works selected by Germano Celant, the pope of Arte povera, including his Lines and his Imprints,some of Klein's in counterpoint. As well as others by creators close to him like Burri, Castellani, Fautrier or Fontana. Naples was for a longtime external to the circle of contemporary art, in spite of some galleries such as that of Lucio Amelio. But the scene has been revitalized since the opening a year ago of Madre (an amusing but convoluted acronym of museum of contemporary art Donnaregina). This is excellent news!

  • Piero Manzoni at Madre de Napoli, from 19 May to 24 September 2007

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  • Rodin, the Rising Sun

    PARIS - Like a certain number of his contemporaries -from Van Gogh to the Goncourt brothers, including Clemenceau -, Auguste Rodin underwent a strong attraction at the end of the XIXth century for the Japanese civilisation. He collected prints by Utamaro, masks, netsuke, that one can discover in the exhibition. Certain objects were sent to him directly by his admirers from the Far East. Rodin also produced "Japanese drawings", until 1900, and his passion culminated in 1906 when in Marseille,during a tour, he met the graceful dancer Hanako of whom he did a series of 26 poses, in drawings and then in sculptures. The transfer of some of these works in stoneware, a typically Japanese material (for example, the Head of Balzac by Paul Jeanneney) or the frames done by cabinet maker Kishizo Inagaki show that his attraction for the empire of the Rising Sun had taken on many varied forms.

  • Rodin, the Japanese dream at the Rodin museum, from 16 May to 9 September


    A museum is beautiful at night

    The traditional night of the museums will be held this year on 19 May. From the beginning this is a very French event, but has developed at the scale of the continent. Last year, nearly 1900 museums stayed open until 1 AM, and attracted nearly 2 million visitors. This year there will be over 2000 with very varied program, from the Mediterranean to the Ural mountains. As an example, we will be able to see Yves Klein's wall of fire at the MAMAC of Nice or a light show at the geology museum of Bucharest starting with fluorescent minerals. Visits will not only be guided but poetic as well, choregraphed or unexpcted (with a flashlight at the theater representations and even balls (in Tchaikovsky's home in Votkin). Culture makes one hungry, so one will truly enjoy liquorice at Rossano's in Calabria or boar ("until collapse", it specifies) at the museum of archeology in Neuchâtel. And since it is nightime, a ghost chase is the thing to do: it will be held in Lettonia, at Liepaja.

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    Cyprien Gaillard, an anatomy of the landscape

    PARIS – His favorite medium is video, with it films his landscapes, natural and urban. What he is interested in, is to find the trace of man, the scars made by our voluntary or not action, on the nature that welcomes us. Is this proof of our times, or the development of an environmental awareness? Cyprien Gaillard, whom we had seen in 2005 in the window of the small gallery Nuke, rue Sainte-Anastase, seems now to awaken a curiosity among the institutions. He is currently in the Jeu de Paume. Until the beginning of April we saw Real Remnants of Fictive Wars, a tunnel invaded by teargaz . The artist, a result of a very diversified and electronic culture, born in 1980, can also build a video starting with compilations from moments take from Youtube (Desniansky Raion) or confront the destruction of a line of buildings with the fall of a castle of beer cans (recent installationat the galerie Cosmic de Paris and at the gallery 1m3 in Lausanne). You can keep up with him at the Biennale of Lyon, in September, and before that, starting on 14 July, at the art centre of Vassivière.

    Learn more about (biography at the Cosmic gallery)


    This is Belgian surrealism

    Surrealism in Belgium? Magritte, a lot, Delvaux, a little, and you have wrapped it up. This short sighted view does not resist the analysis. And in particular since we have a work that will become a classic. The author, the director of the museum of Photography in Charleroi, dedicated a number of years to this subject. He did not avoid the sacred elements but removed the official coating that made them less attractive: go ahead and read the pamphlets on L’Imbécile, L’Emmerdeur and L’Enculeur ! They are done by Magritte and Marcel Mariën (1920-1993). The latter, hardly known by the public, is an essential link in Belgian Surrealism. He was the author in 1961 of a joke-pamphlet (taken very seriously) on theGrande Baisse(The huge discunt): it claimed Magritte was ready to sell his paintings to make them available to all …Nougé, Scutenaire, Mesens, Lefrancq are other highly studied artists of the same importance, up to the most recent epigones such as Tom Gutt or Claudine Jamagne. The rich iconography allows us to go beyond the movement's icon-paintings. It combines photos from archives, collages and covers of major magazines such as Les lèvres nues (Naked lips).

  • Le Surréalisme en Belgique, by Xavier Canonne, Fonds Mercator, 2007, 352 p., ISBN : 90-5163-659-6, 79 €.

    Buy that book from Amazon


    LOS ANGELES - Following a meeting of experts on May 9, the Getty Museum has announced that it will continue to study the statue of the antique goddess it bought in 1988 for 18 million $. It did not exclude the idea it could return it to Italy if the suspicions as to its illicit origin are confirmed.

    METZ - The construction of the Pompidou Center of Metz entered its active phase on may 5 when 400 foundation piles were put into the ground, up to 16 meters deep.

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    MOSCOW - The 11th edition of the Art Moscow contemporary art fair will be held at the House of the Artists fom 16 to 20 May.

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    NEW YORK - A new series of records has been broken at the sale at Sotheby's that opened the Spring session: Rothko (White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose de 1950) flew off at 72.84 million $ and Bacon at 52.68 million $.

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    PARIS - The 2007 Ancient book fair has some results to be proud of: the number of visitors was multiplied by four, the revenue multiplied by two and a few good sales (a 1760 edition The wandering whore by Aretino for 175 000 €).