Art Of The Day Weekly
#85 - from 10 April 2008 to 16 April 2008
IN THE AIR
WASHINGTON - The Newseum is a new type of museum: its 20 000 m2 are totally dedicated to information, as its collections include a cuneiform tablet 3262 years old as well as the most modern television studios. In a glass building designed by the architects' firm Polshek (who gave us the opera house in Santa Fe), seven floors are dedicated to illustrate the mission and the duties of the press. On the East facade the words of the first amendment of the American Constitution are engraved in large marble letters, repeating the principles of freedom (religious, of expression, to assemble and of the press). Five centuries of the history of reporting are reviewed in the exhibition galleries, with close-ups of the fall of the Berlin Wall, 9/11, electronic information or the Pulitzer prize. Ideally located between the Capitol and the White House, the project which cost over 500 million dollars, has among its founding members the greatest American corporations, from Hearst to News Corporation, from ABC to NBC.
The Eifffel Tower will not be wearing a collaret
PARIS – It is a shame for those who would have been interested in seeing a rather iconoclastic gesture in an unexpected change of the Parisian landscape: the Eiffel tower will not be wearing a tie. Nevertheless, the announcement it was going to be equipped for its 120th anniversary in 2009 with an extended platform to welcome a greater number of tourists went around the world. It was even published by such reputable media as the Guardian of London or The New York Times. As for the «winner», the Serero architect firm, known for its international consultations(Hellenikon park in Athens, Grimm library in Berlin), it had placed on its website the detail of the operation… We have gotten used over the past years to see reality and virtuality hand in hand. Those who can not bear an Eiffel Tower that does not live with its time should take a look at Second Life. It can be used a a base for parachut jumping or one can touch up its profile without being belied.
An ode to books
LONDON – Books, for most mortals, are in paper (even though it is being announced they will be in liquid cristals in a near future). Artists pay no attention to these conventions. They believe books can be in ceramics (we saw that with Alechinsky), in steel or in bronze (the Open Secret by Anthony Caro) or in lead and cardboard. A monumental creation by Anselm Kiefer, The secret life of plants opens the exhibition the Victoria & Albert dedicates to artists' books over the last one hundred years. We will of course see the best known creations in this genre, among them Jazz by Matisse, next to disquieting creations such as Ode à ma mère by Louise Bourgeois or Wound by Anish Kapoor, a parable on the freedom of expression, where a book is injured by a laser beam. Hirst and Koons, the stars of the moment, will be present but we will also see works by Balthus, Buren, Motherwell or Martin Parr among the sixty pieces exhibited.
Camille comes back to Rodin
PARIS – Together with Frida Kahlo, she is undoubtedly the best known woman artist in the world. Like the Mexican artist, she was trained by a great artist – Diego Rivera for one, Rodin for the other –, loved him and painfully emancipated herself. The role of Isabelle Adjani in the movie with the same name only reinforced a myth we can now study up close: 80 works by Camille Claudel are gathered at the musée Rodin for an exhibition that will undoubtedly set a new record in attendance. There are her most famous pieces such as la Valse, a sensual dance step in bronze, la Vague, as well as small studies in terra cotta taht have been attributed to her only shortly ago. Works that have been kept far away have been brought in for this exhibit, such as a plaster cast representing a Niobide blessée, that had not left the museum of Bejaïa, in Algeria, since 1910.
Kokoschka, last half of the century
VIENNA – In art history, Oscar Kokoschka is generally known for his expressionist period, just before WWI. When he was forced to leave Vienna in 1934, to go to Prague, then to Great Britain, he was not yet 50 years old and he had as many years left to live (he died in 1980, at the age of 94). This is the period the Albertina museum explores with 140 works, urban views of London or Italy, landscapes of Scotland or Switzerland (his last years he spent on lake Geneva), images of flowers or portraits. A section is dedicated to his illustrations for litterature or for the theater. The retrospective could have been even richer if the Kokoschka foundation, in conflict with the painter's heir, had not refused to let its paintings leave Switzerland.
Paris, the capital of drawing
PARIS – Launched in 1991, the Salon du dessin, a gathering of international art dealers specialized in the discipline, has imposed itself as a reliable rendez-vous, that this year will host 36 major galleries (from Didier Aaron to Pandora including Agnew’s and Jean-Luc Baroni). Some consider it too rigid, too closed in its fortress at the Bourse and too oriented towards past eras. This weakness became its strength since it gave space to a second event, the Salon du dessin contemporain (Contemporary drawing fair), that is held at the same time according to an original principle: the galleries take over various floors of a building in the VIIIth arrondissement. There is an overabundance in the offer for the who will have to respond to the entreaties from various Parisian museums which organize exhibitions on given themes (musée Carnavalet, centre Pompidou, musée des Années 30 at Boulogne-Billancourt, etc).
ARTIST OF THE WEEK
We saw him work on motives such as the heart, the bathrobe, tools. We also saw him as a pioneer of performances with Claes Oldenburg. Has he fallen back into childhood? The latest infatuation of this American artist is nothing less than Pinocchio. At the galerie Templon, he fills the space with his vision of the puppet: in wood, like the one made by master Geppetto, or in paper, like a lithograph.
We sometimes see catalogues in english accompany exhibits in France. It is not very often that we see a catalogue in french accompany an exhibit out of France. We must say that this one is published in a region de Gaulle would have gladly annexed, the valley of Osta. It is dedicated to the exhibit "Terra", presented until the month of August at the palazzo de Bardi and that examines our planet under the angle of art and of the symbol.The subject is so vast that obviously the demonstration is complex. Following key words such as "crevass", "mother", "movement", "limit", works from various eras are called together, from the medieval ivories to Donatello, from Boccioni to Renato Guttuso.The volume is completed by series done by local photographers on their region.
LONDON - David Hockney has donated to the Tate Britain one of his largest paintings, Bigger Trees near Water, that is nearly 12 metres long.
NEW YORK - Watteau's painting La surprise, recently rediscovered in an English collection and which will be put up for sale at Christie's in London on 8 July is shown in New York from 10 to 14 April.
PARIS – Christine Albanel presented on 2 April the plan prepared by Martin Bethenod, the general commissair of the FIAC, for the renewal of the French art market. The main measures suggested are the following: rules less strict regarding voluntary public auctions, sponsorship fiscal benefits extended to small industries and individual businesses, loans without interests set up for collectors.
PARIS – According to the website www.latribunedelart.com, the exhibition organized in Verona, at the Palazzo della Gran Guardia in September, on the treasures of the Louvre (with 140 works of which Belle Ferronnière by Leonardo da Vinci), would actually be a «lease» at 4 million €.
PARIS - Art and politics. The museum of history of France at the Archives dedicates an exhibition on politician Marcel Sembat and his wife, painter Georgette Agutte. Over 200 written documents, newspapers, paintings, and sculptures help bring these two remarkable individuals, who were at the crossroads of the avant-gards of the beginning of the XXth century, out of oblivion. Entre Jaurès et Matisse : Marcel Sembat et Georgette Agutte à la croisée des avant-gardes until 13 July
PARIS – The Réalités nouvelles fair, launched after WWII to defend abstraction, willhold its 2008 edition at the Parc floral de Paris from 13 to 20 April.
This week, do not miss
GOYA IN TIMES OF WAR
MADRID - In the context of the celebrations of the bicentennial of the Spanish war of independence, the Prado museum presents, with some 200 works gathered around the famous compositions of the 2 and 3 May 1808, the most important exhibition dedicated to Goya in the last decade.