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Art Of The Day Weekly

#79 - from 28 February 2008 to 5 March 2008


Once again, talk regarding museum funds

The echos on the report by Jacques Rigaud on deaccessioning public collections have hardly toned down, and a new incident has come up to promote the vigorous circulation of the pieces of art that remain dormant in the museum funds. And it does not come from just any source: it is the respectable Museums Association (MA), grouping together the main English museums, that recommends it. The terms of the report, expressed by Mark Taylor, the director of the MA, are quite clear: «Museums collect thousands of objects they do not need. Wonderful collections can become a burden if they are not liberated from unused pieces.» Indeed, the destruction or sale are considered as the last resort. On the other hand, donating to other institutions, exchanging between museums, be it even giving back to the donator, are recommended solutions. In line with their pragmatism, our English cousins from the MA have just published a «disposal kit». This «deaccessioning kit» may be downloaded from the internet. The French version is not yet on line.

Download the «disposal kit» on the website of the Museums Association

  • Please note the sale of two paintings from the Watts Gallery, in Surrey, among them the Triumph of Love by Burne-Jones. Their product, estimated at 1.4 million £, will be used to refurbish the roof.

    The website of the Watts gallery


    French depression

    While Drouot gave a rather optimistic report on the past year, the Council of Voluntary Sales (Conseil des ventes volontaires -CVV-) does not feel the same way. The regulatory authority of public auctions uses somber colors and words in the report it handed in at the end of February. One single sector seems toavoid stagnation, the sale of… horses, up 11% in 2007. But they only represent one twentieth of the total amount of the sales that stands at 2 154 billion €, down 2%. The core of the activity - furniture and objets d’art, that represnet over half of the sales – has not made any progress. While hammering its wish for a more favorable legislation, the CW actually believes that one out of two objects, in value, leaves the country to be sold abroad. Compared to the growth rates we see in Asia and the Near East, the French market is quite stagnant. It does not even benefit from the explosion of transactions over internet: no significant operator is French…

    The website of the Conseil des ventes volontaires


    BRUSSELS - « It is a fact that we are two real theater lovers. Everything that has a link with the stage and and decors deeply touches our soul and once again I was overtaken by this feeling » Paul Klee wrote from Rome to his fiancee Lily Stumpf during the winter of 1901. The exhibition at the Palais des Beaux-Arts explores this attraction the Swiss painter felt. He expresses it in his drawings and paintings of acrobats, clowns and dancers (Klee was fascinated by the circus and by the choreographies of Isadora Duncan and Loïe Fuller) and in his taste for masks. He also expressed it, in a more general manner, in the way he saw the world like a stage where reality and imagination intertwine. The curators complete their demonstration with works – mainly videos - by contempoary Swis artists to show how Klee's spirit survived in the generations that succeeded him.

  • Paul Klee, théâtre de la vie at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, from 1st March to 11 May 2008

    The website of the Palais des Beaux Arts

  • Daumier, master of engravings

    PARIS – Even more so than Plantu or Jacques Faizant, Daumier (1808-1879) supplied the Charivari, a 4-page independently minded newspaper, for 40 years with images. At the time, it was not well looked upon to criticize the people in power: at the beginning of his carreer, Daumier spent six months in prison due to a lack of compatibility of opinion on censorship… When dealing with this polymorphic artist – he was a painter, a sculptor (admired by Rodin) and drawer – the Bibliothèque nationale decided to give preference to its fund which is truly exceptional: the law on the legal deposit of 1817 indeed made it mandatory for newspapers to deposit a copy of each one of their issues. The BNF therefore has all of his 4000 plates, of which the 3500 he made for the Charivari. Daumier was born ten years after the invention of lithography, and he used it widely in his political caricatures (from Louis-Philippe's "pear" to the massacre of rue Transnonain). After 1835, the year in which censorship was reestablished, he turned towards the painting of customs with series on the Tenants, the Justice people or the undescribable Ratapoil. The plates of the BNF are of excellent quality since they are the proofs called «before the letter» (before the caption) on white papir and not on newspaper. Over 200 of them are shown, covering all the periods and all the themes dear to Daumier.

  • Daumier at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, on the Richelieu site, from 4 March to 8 June 2008

    The virtual exhibition

  • The Italian Ottocento -our XIXth century

    ROME - Mention an Italian artist: that's easy regarding the Renaissance, the XVIIIth or the XXth centuries. But when it comes to the XIXth, the Ottocento as our southern neighbors say, it is a totally diferent story … Aside from Canova at the beginning, and maybe the socialite Boldini at the end, very few names come up spontaneously to a foreign observer. The exhibition prepared at the Scuderie del Quirinale wishes to show that painters did not unexpectedly desert the land of art. Though they lost their aura, while the country was in the midst of a unification crisis, they continued to work, grouped together in regional schools: the Romantic Lombards with Hayez and his famous Kiss, the Macchiaioli in Tuscany, with Fattori and Lega, keen on every day life, the Napolitan landscape artists from Pausilippe with Morelli. Out of the one hundred paintings that describe the period, there is one that has become famous even though its author remains little known: that is the Fourth state by Pelizza da Volpedo, the traditional cover of history books …

  • The Ottocento, from Canova to the Fourth state a the Scuderie del Quirinale, from 29 February to 10 June 2008

    The website of the Scuderie of the Quirinale


    Courtesy galerie Georges Verney-Carron

    Mihael Milunovic

    LYON – It is very fashionable to inaugurate a new space with Buren: Kamel Mennour did it in Paris, Georges Verney-Carron (who, as we know, has accompanied the artist of the Palais-Royal for over twenty five years) imitated him in Lyon… In this last venue, a lesser known artist follows in the same footsteps. Mihael Milunovic straddles two cultures: he is Serbian by birth (born in Belgrade in 1967) and French (he lives in Paris). His production, using all the

    available techniques, from video to the painted canvas, has a social-political dimension. For some years now he has been completely occupied by his work on the logos and symbols of our capitalist, consuming and warring society. Images picked out from the media, from ads, from multinational companies are put side by side, embossed (in the real and he figurative sens) to give birth to pots-pourris which the viewer is free to interpret in his own manner.

  • Mihael Milunovic at the galerie Georges Verney-Carron (45 quai Rambaud, 69002 Lyon), until 29 March 2008.


    Atlan's little theater

    While all of Klee's work can be seen through the lens of the theater (see hereabove), in the case of Jean-Michel Atlan, theater was rather used to bring down the curtain. One year before his premature death (at the age of 47, in 1960), this free spirit, who befreinded the members of Cobra, executed a series of 27 watercolors. He did it at his brother-in-law's request, director Jacques Polieri for Le Voyage, a dialogue between a settled person and a traveling poet. These geometric compositions, circled with large black lines, can be combined in uncountable triptycs, like dominoes. Too bad for the binding… but the most respectable attitude would consist in unstappling the book to then have fun making them again in an uncertain manner.

  • Atlan Polieri, Topologies, text by Jacques Polieri, Hazan, 2008, 76 p., 35 €, ISBN : 978-2-7541-0245-2
  • Also to see: distemper and paintings by Atlan at the galerie Jacques Elbaz (1, rue d’Alger, 75001 Paris, until 22 March 2008.

    Buy that book from Amazon


    AARHUS (Denmark) – As of 1st March, the museum of contemporary art ARoS presents for the first time in the world the new video by Shirin Neshat Women without Men.

    Know more

    ATHENS – The Stavros Niarchos Foundation has announced that Renzo Piano will be the architect in charge of building the future national opera financed by the institution.

    The website of the Stavros Niarchos foundation

    KARLSRUHE - The 5th edition of the Karlsruhe Art Fair will be held from 28 February to 2 May with the participation of 165 international galleries.

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    PARIS – The Galerie de France, following the interlude of a year in which it served as the Parisian antenna for German art dealer Michael Werner, takes a start. The New Galerie de France (54 rue de la Verrerie, 75004), the result of a collaboration between its istoric director, Catherine Thieck, and Marion Dana, from Sotheby’s, was inaugurated on 23 February with an exhibition of photographs by Chris Marker.

    PARIS - The 50th exhibition of "Pointe et Burin" will run from 29 February to 22 March (opening on 28 February) at the fondation Taylor (1 rue La Bruyère, 75009). Guest of honor is Mikio Watanabe, the talented artist of «black manner».

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    ROME – The contemporary art fair Roma Contemporary will be held from 28 February to 2 March. The participating galleries exhibit in historical monuments downtown: the Wedekind and the Ferrajoli palaces, the thermal baths of Diocletian, etc.

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    This week, do not miss


    BASEL -The Tinguely museum is transformed into an industrial plant: a great number of machines that produce art are brought together here. What place is left to the artist in this process? A disconcerting trip in the middle of mecanisms designed by Jean Tinguely, Damien Hirst and their friends.

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    GENEVA -Vietnamese art is less exposed than its Chinese or Japanese counterparts. The exhibition presented at the Collections Baur invites us to travel through fifteen centuries of artistic production, around the exceptional collection of bronzes and ceramics gathered by Swedis archeologist Olov Janse.

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