Home > ArtoftheDay Weekly > #69 - from 6 December 2007 to 12 December 2007

Art Of The Day Weekly

#69 - from 6 December 2007 to 12 December 2007


Take my Koons, give me your Magna Carta

We are in an era of classifications, of hit-parades, of systematic quantifications, with an indicator that now reigns as sole master, the monetary value. The rich program of auctions allows interesting confrontations. Just a few weeks ago we saw Jeff Koons become the world's most expensive living artist. What weight does contemporary art have in regard to history? Some spectators will draw to conclusions following the sale on 11 December in New York. One of the most important documents in the history of England will be presented: the Magna Carta, by which the rebellious barons deprived the King from an embryon of habeas corpus and of constitutional rights. It is estimated at 20 million dolars. Last 15 November, Hanging Heart, a metal heart by Jeff Koons, was lifted up for 23.6 million. We apppreciate Koons very much. As the (anachronous?)defender of certain hierarchies, and for the honor of Simon de Montfort and his descendants, who gave birth to the document of 1297, we would like for this Magna Carta to take the luxury of being a little more ambitious…

  • The Magna Carta will be up for sale on 10 December at Sotheby’s in New York.


    Miami with its beaches and its Art Basel

    MIAMI – Miami used to rhyme with decrepit Art déco and abundant retirees. Over the last five years the Floridian city has managed to impose itself as one of the capitals of contemporary art through the bias of its fair, a bud of Art Basel. The presence of important collectors (the Rubell, the Margulies)who open their doors, the originality of the presentation (containers on the sand), the multiplication of annex fairs(from Miami Design to Miami Photo) and all the partying have ensured the success of this event. This year, 200 galleries have been invited and 22 of them will present themed or monographic exhibitions in a section «Art Kabinett»: Robert Miller will show Robert Mapplethorpe's first installation and Sperone Westwater will present photographer Laurie Simmons. Among the satellite events, Russia Miami 2007, in the Collins Building, aims at presenting a panorama of Russian contemporary creation, from Gennady Ustyugov to the Dubosarsky and Vinogradov duo, without fogetting the very fashionable designer Denis Simachev.

  • Art Basel Miami Beach from 6 to 9 December 2007

    The website of Art Basel in Miami


    Grünewald: the reunification

    COLMAR-KARLSRUHE –It took one single work of art to make him famous: the altarpiece from Issenheim, a large composition almost 6 meters long, on the life of Christ and of saint Antony the Hermit, exhibited since 1852 at the museum of Unterlinden, in Colmar. Grünewald (1475-1528), one of the major painters of the beginning of the XVIth century, is the prototype of the "rare" artist. Yet he produced other paintings that are finally grouped together at the Staatliche Karlsruhe: some twenty pieces, among which we can note some exceptional ressemblance. The two parts of the Heller altarpiece, representing saints in grisaille, were not very far from one another(at Karlsruhe and at Frankfurt): but this is the first time since the XVIIIth century they are reunited. Some 140 other paintings show the contemporary creation: Dürer, Cranach, Grien, the Holbeins. In Colmar they focused on the altarpiece's production conditions with a presentation of preparatory drawings, brought from different drawing studies, among them the one in Berlin. It will be long before we see them side by side with the accomplished work …

  • Grünewald and the altarpiece of Issenheim at the Unterlinden museum, from 8 December 2007 to 2 March 2008

    Know more

  • Grünewald in his time at the Staatliche Karlsruhe, from 8 December 2007 to 2 March 2008

    Know more

  • A descent into Hell

    PARIS – The terminology carries an undeniable strength: Hell is the dead-end at the Bibliothèque nationale where during the time of Louis-Philippe and until 1983, books that were contrary to standards of good behavior, essentiall erotic works. After being hidden for a long time, after fostering many a fantasy, it is now being shown for everyone to see. Was this necessary? Was it not preferable that its aura of mystery be protected? Between convents and brothels, pseudonyms and clandestin editions, Andrea de Nerciat and Apollinaire (who published the first catalogue on Hell), this large opening covers a wide spectrum. From Japanese prints to Auguste Belloc's erotic photographs, including the Marie-Antoinette's uterine fury, 350 book, printed work or engravings are shown. Obviously the moral liberalization this exhibition supposes has its limits: people under the age of 16 are not admitted. Those punished will be able to bypass the veto thanks to an original initiative that involves the city transport authority: the Croix-Rouge station(on line 10, between Sèvres-Babylone and Mabillon), closed since the war, will be decorated with erotic prints and the trains will glide slowly along the rails, from 17 December to 15 January.

  • L’Enfer de la Bibliothèque, Eros au secret at the Bibliothèque François-Mitterrand, from 4 December 2007 to 2 March 2008.

    Know more



    BRUSSELS – We could throw this Guizot-type order: large museums can no longer afford not to have an elaborate communication policy. The symposium organized last summmer in Madrid in the series « Comunicating the Museum », which has existed for some years now, had allowed to present some of the most innovating initiatives, from digital television at the Tate Gallery to the podcast video program at the Metropolitan Museum. A new jamboree in Brussels, on 29 November, went even further by awarding prizes to the most deserving institutions. This IMCA (International Museum Comunication Award) had a touch of an Oscar ceremony. We simply saw, in lieu of Hilary Swank or Brad Pitt, the National Portrait Gallery of London, rewarded for the best promotional campaign for an exhibition (Face of Fashion), or the MUDAM of Luxembourg, for its excellent visual identity. The French dinosaurs were not mentioned, except for the Palais de Tokyo with its certificate of merit for its « chic, sexy and very French » image.

    Know more


    Jonathan Meese at the "Magasin" Grenoble (2007)

    PARIS - He is undoubtedly one of the "enfants terribles" of the new Berlin scene. And one never knows where to find him: born in Tokyo, he can work in Berlin, his town, with director Frank Castorf, prepare a performance with Peter Doig down deep in Texas somewhere or exhibit in a fashionable gallery in Amsterdam. At 35, Jonathan Meese can never stay still. His creation covers as wide a spectrum: broken or monstruous busts in the Soldats de fortune in bronze, expressionist portraits or immense crucifixion 10 meters long. One sees him in Paris in a subdued avatar with a series of drawings on a rather romantic theme: l’Amour de Monte Cristo. Except for the fact that Dantès and the other characters – who have briefly come back to life in a performance Meese presented at the Goethe Institut last 26 Octobre - have their features tortured by chromatic explosions, there are welts and paste flows…

  • Jonathan Meese is exhibited until 29 December at the galerie Templon, 1 impasse Beaubourg, 75003

    The website of galerie Templon


    Buffet takes shape again

    He is seen as one of the damned in French XXth century art: in spite of having been the prodigal son of the 1950s, of having impressed creators such as Warhol, he has become persona non grata. Aside from the one in 1993 at the musée Gustave-Courbet in Ornans or of «Buffet et la Bretagne» in Quimper in the Summer of 2007, there are very few retrospectives that honor him. As a slight tremor seems to be felt with a biography by Jean-Claude Lamy expected as well as an exhibition at the museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt, Brigitte Camus deciphers the artist's taste for death, he who chose to leave with an airtight bag around his head on 4 October 1999. In parallel, the book hints at this phenomena of generalized rejection. As Eric Troncy says: «It is more disturbing to see today a painting by Bernard Buffet in an exhibition of contemporary art than to see a cow in Damien Hirst's formol».

  • Buffet ou la psychanalyse en peinture by Brigitte Camus, de l’Epure publishers, 2007, 70 p., 12 €, ISBN : 978-2-35255-048-8 .

    Buy that book from Amazon


    LONDON – Mark Wallinger is the winner of the Turner Prize 2007. His installation State Britain, which reproduces a sit-in against the war, had been presented at the Tate Britain and will be shown at the mac/val in Vitry-sur-Seine as of 28 February 2008.

    Know more

    LYON – The capital of the Gaules organises its traditional Fête des lumières, with the participation of French and foreign visual artists, from 8 to 11 December.

    Know more

    MIAMI – The Parisian gallery Bertin Toublanc opened a space on 4 December in Miami (Wynwood Design District, 2534 North Miami Avenue), thus joining Emmanuel Perrotin, already settled there.

    Know more

    PARIS – To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the Institut du monde arabe will organise an «open doors» day on Saturday 8 December.

    Know more

    PARIS - �'Conseil des ventes volontaires (Council of Voluntary Sales) announced on 3 December they have issued a writ against eBay for non respect of the competition, transparency and loyalty clauses of the auctions defined by the law of 10 July 2000.

    PARIS - The record for a Parisian auction this year could be broken on 12 December with the sale at Sotheby's of Seated Woman (Portrait of Muriel Belcher) by Francis Bacon, estimated between 7 and 10 million €.

    Know more


    This week, do not miss


    BRUSSELS - At the Musées royaux d'art et d'histoire, a rich selection of works - starting with bronzes from Luristan, the institution's pride, to the Sassanid siverware - underlines the fundamental role of the Near East in the development of Western culture.

    Know more