Art Of The Day Weekly
#49 - from 31 May 2007 to 6 June 2007
IN THE AIR
In the tornado of return of art works stolen during WWII, no museum nor indiviual was left unturned, no matter what good reason they used in their defense. The Klimts from the Belvedere museum or the Schiele from a resident of Eastern France were equally returned to their legitimate owners before ending up in an auction. A simple suspicion was enough to spoil the sale of the Portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto, a painting by Picasso which the wonderboy of musical comedies, Andrew Lloyd Weber, had to pull out from a sale last November, where it had been estimated at nearly 60 million dollars. Is the wind turning? Lady Elizabeth Taylor, the unforgettable Cleopatra in celluloid, succeeded in keeping her Van Gogh, View of the assylum and of the chapel in Saint-Remy, bought in 1963 for 92 000 £. Even though the descendants demonstrated that it belonged to their ancestor, Margarethe Mautner before the Nazis took over the belongings, they did not convince the 9th court of appeals of San Francisco, which felt they had waited too long to file their suit. According to BBC television, Lady Taylor, now 75 years old, limited herself to saying, «It is wonderful to have M. Vincent in my living room».
Dali and the art of cinema
LONDRES – Dali and cinema? One thinks immediatley of his two most famous successes: his collaboration with Buñuel in Un chien andalou and L’Age d’or. The second caused such a scandal that it endangered his principle sponsor, the viscount of Noailles… A donkey in a piano, a razor blade slicing an eye: the images that inspired the world of dreams have become icons of surrealism. But, as the exhibition at the Tate Modern demonstrates- through one hundred works of which sixty paintings- Dali's relations with the world of movies were not limited to these two experimental films. His universe attracted offers from Hitchcock to collaborate in the scene of the dream in The house of doctor Edwards in 1945 with Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman, as well as from Walt Disney (the short Destino was finished in 2003, long after the two men died). On the other hand, Dali employs a way of writing or an atmosphere one could qualify as being «cinematographic» in some of his paintings such as Ossification matinale du cyprès(Morning ossification of a cyprus tree).
For a few Serras more:
NEW YORK – When one discovers three new works in a retrospective dedicated to Richard Serra, one can really consider oneself lucky! The American artist has specialised in such monumental creations, metallic segments with soft ondulations, that they each require months of work. The three pieces considered, exhibited at the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), Band, Sequence and Torqued Torus Inversion, weight a mere 200 tons. They are accompanied by 21 other sculptures, some of which are from the beginning of the artist's life, 40 years ago, when he used other materials such as rubber or neon. It took a month to install them up on the museum's second floor. Two other sculptures are placed in the garden, an environment that is by far more natural for these colossal forms of rusted steel.
A bridge over expressionism
VIENNA- At the beginning of expressionism, a group founded in Dresden in 1905 would play a very important role. Grouped together under the name Die Brücke (The Bridge), Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff rebeled against academic painting. They used colors almost excessively and wanted simple forms (it is rather significant that they were all actually architecture students). Like many other experimental groups, theirs did not last very long but they did have time before separating in 1913, to fashion talents such as that of Max Pechstein, Otto Mueller or Norwegian artist Emil Nolde. In order to demonstrate the group's influence, the exhibition at the Albertina presents nearly 250 works, produced until the end of the twenties. They come from various collections but above all from that of Hermann Gerlinger. It started in the fifties, and focused on sheding light on the unknown elements of the movement.
Video-artists of the world...
BARCELONE – The Loop festival has imposed itself in a few years as the ost complete rendez-vous in the field of video art. This year, over 800 artists are shown in some one hundred different spaces in the Catalan capital: museums of course, as well as bars, cultural centers, gymnasiums, universities, etc. The last three days of the festival – from 31 May to 2 June – are dedicated to an international fair. In the lounge of the hotel Catalonia, buyers from all over the world are invited to meet while the rooms are dedicated to 45 galleries that present their artists. Three discusion panels will cover interesting themes: software for video art, the policy of exhibiting in public spaces and the conservation methods of video art.
ARTIST OF THE WEEK
Erro: abundance has never hurt anyone
One of the best known representatives of the Narrative Figuration current. Iceland artist Erró, born in 1932 in Olafsvik but a French citizen by adoption (he has been living in the Hexagone since 1958) could almost be considered baroque such is his distaste for the horror vacui. His paintings are full of characters and the dimension of his works links them to the frescos of the past. But the loud, excessive colors, the taste for caricatures, the interweaving of charcters taken from the mangas, from fairy tales or from advertising, and of objects from the consumers' society are purely contemporary to us. Erró is less known for his videos or his installations done with students from poor countries but they share the same vitality, that does not seem to diminish … Erró sells well at auctions: his record is close to 100 000 € and his rating, according to Artprice, has multiplied by two in 4 years.
There is no doubt the Barbier-Mueller collection is one of the most sumptuous in the field of «primitive» art and that its animators, Jean-Paul and his wife Monique, are the most colorful, very different from the mandatory reserve of most museum curators. The idea was good to ask experts of all horizons to comment the most beautiful pieces from the collection. The big volume that is the result gives a rich idea of those far-away forms of art, of the idols with nails on their shields, masks on the bow of their dug out canoes, including the handles of the fly swaters and the statues with pestle legs. In this time when there is so much discussion on the Unidroit Convention or on the doubtful purchases of certain great museums, we would have loved to know more about the origins of the collection. The information given in the annex remains very fragmented («bought towards 1950», «collected in the middle of the 1930s») and are more related to the fund of Josef Mueller, Monique's father, who instilled the collector's spirit in his daughter in 1907 with a lovely portrait of Cuno Amiet. The book accompanies an exhibition at the Barbier-Mueller museum in Geneva but we will always remember that the generosity of its owners allowed for many public museums to boast of exceptional pieces – in particular the one of quai Branly, where the visitor can search for a pomo basket or an anthropomorphic sculpture in walrus ivory.
LISBON-The first architecture triennal of Lisbon will open on 31 May and will go on until 31 July. It will give a panorama of the young Portuguese artists, and confront them to stars such as Nouvel, Hadid and Mayne, and will look closely into "urban voids".
LONDON-Photo London, the little brother of Paris Photo more focused on contemporary production (after 1970), will be held from 31 May to 3 June at Old Billingsgate, a former covered market near the Tower of London.
NICE- The Matisse museum will open once again on 1st June after being renovated. Admission will be free on 2 and 3 June and a play, "Fenêtre sur Matisse" (Window on Matisse) will be offered to the visitors.
PARIS-The 5th edition of "Rendez-vous aux jardins" (Rendez-vous in the gardens), will open to the public 1700 gardens in France on the theme of water, and wil last from 1 to 3 June.
PARIS-Femme nue se coiffant (1878) (Nude brushing her hair) by Edouard Manet has become the most expensive painting sold in France in the last 14 years, a it was taken for 5.6 million € at Christie’s on 25 May.
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PARIS- Art Saint-Germain-des Prés will once again bring together some one hundred galleries in the neighborhood for a common opening on the evening of thursday 31 May and an exceptional opening on Sunday 3 June.
PARIS-The Carré rive gauche, an association of antique dealers and gallery owners from the VIIth arrondissement, will celebrate its 30 years of existence. From 1 to 3 June the one hundred art dealers will each bring forward an extraordinary object. A screen from the Consulat period, the store sign from a hat maker's shop, gouache on vellum or a perforated steel bench: all the periods are represented.
PARIS-The Bailly gallery (25 quai Voltaire), directed by Hélène Bailly, is now dedicated solely to contemporary art. The first exhibition, with the title « First Choices», will open on 31 May. It includes various artists, of which Laurent Del, Pierre-Edouard Dumora, Chloé Tallot and Yvs Clerc.
ON ART OF THE DAY.INFO
This week do not miss
The Moscow World Fine Art Fair
MOSCOW - From 1 May to 4 June, 80 European art dealers as well as from Japan and the United States present a very large selection of furniture, objets d'art, from the Renaissance to our day. Paintings, sculptures, old books and major jewelry pieces are present in the magnificent and recently renovated space of the Manège.
All in the present must be transformed: Matthew Barney and Joseph Beuys
VENICE - Drawn largely from the Guggenheim Museum’s in-depth holdings of works by Barney and Beuys, the exhibition examines affinities between the two artists, - who, though separated by generation and geography, share certain key aesthetic and conceptual concerns -, and the metaphoric use of materials, the focus on metamorphosis, and the relationship between action and its documentation in their respective practices.