Art Of The Day Weekly
#106 - from 23 October 2008 to 29 October 2008
IN THE AIR
NEW YORK-While all the specialists are sounding the major autumn fairs to pick up some clues on the art market – the London Frieze seems to be doing better than foreseen and the Parisian FIAC will open this week with a reserved prognosis – a few observers seem to note an alarming evolution in the world of museums. For some time now we have witnessed the multiplication of hotel-museums: from the Windsor in Nice to the Fox in Copenhagen, these establishments offer their walls to visual artists. And no one minds sleeping in a room decorated by Raymond Hains or Ben! But now it seems the contrary effect is taking place. The Palais de Tokyo had started by setting up a green box on its roof– an accommodation that corresponds to no standards. Now it is the turn of the respectable Guggenheim in New York. Its Revolving Hotel Room is open for rent at rather sensible prices, given the location. It costs between 300 and 800 dollars a night, with the authorization, it seems, to walk around in slippers in the museum. We have been assured it is an installation by Carsten Höller. Others claim it is not true at all: it seems museums are trying to make up in their own way for the foreseeable withdrawal of patrons …
LAST DAYS... UNTIL OCTOBER 26... Do not miss the SALON D'AUTOMNE; an international artistic venue where Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America meet at the ESPACE AUTEUIL in Paris See ArtoftheDay article
LONDON-Illuminated manuscripts, ivory low reliefs, canvas-mounted frescoes, enamels, censers in chiseled silver, mosaics, and of course icons. To resume the eleven centuries of history of Byzantium (330-1453), the Royal Academy has remained loyal to the rule of accumulation. Over 300 precious pieces have been called in, from the great museums (Paris, Venice) as well as from Ukraine or Egypt, and in particular the Benaki museum in Athens. If one had to look for a main theme over such a long historical period, and so rich in events, from the foundation of Rome of the Orient by Constantine up to the arrival of the Ottomans, it would undoubtedly be this continued tradition of excellence and of refinement in the field of decorative arts.
Tribute to Montebello
NEW YORK–It is soberly called «The Montebello Years». The aim is therefore transparent, to pay tribute to one of emblematic directors of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, who occupied one of the most prestigious posts in the world of culture for 31 years, setting a real record. The curators of the 17 departments have brought together 300 emblematic objects purchased during his mandate. We thus see an Egyptian wooden statuette, a Gupta Buddha, the Virgin and Child by Duccio, the armor of the prince of Asturias done in 1712, a coat by Paul Poiret or the White flag by Jasper Johns. This is only the tip of the iceberg. When Philippe de Montebello will leave the Met on 31 December 2008, he will have seen some 85 000 objects enter the collections.
Canaletto and the like
TREVISO-It is one of the icons of the Venetian Settecento or XVIIIth century but one rarely has the opportunity to see his works together. The last time a significant exhibition was dedicated to him was back in 1967 at the Palace of the Doges. Canaletto is such a popular artist that his name alone will certainly attract the crowds. The organizers, used to very successful retrospectives, know it well: in July, three months before the opening, 35 000 tickets had already been reserved. But the title is somewhat deceiving. One should read the sub-title, «Venice and its splendors» to understand that out of the one hundred works presented, many are not by Canaletto but rather by other view artists, actually equally talented: Luca Carlevarijs, Bernardo Bellotto or Francesco Guardi, who also sketched the lagoon, the Grand Canal and the palazzi.
Kan Yasuda (born in 1945), Myomu (Key to a Dream), marble from Carrara, 320 x 233 x 90cm. Unique piece, made in 1998 © Sotheby's
CHATSWORTH-It is not always easy to see the lots before an auction. Usually one has but a few hours in a full room. What would you say about two months to think about it? That is what Sotheby’s is offering with its exhibition «Beyond Limits»: 22 monumental sculptures, of which some are nearly 10 meters long, all by known artists, are set up in the enchanting site of the castle of Chatsworth, the property of the duke of Devonshire. Ther eis a Very Big Bear by François-Xavier Lalanne, a steel tree by Zadok Ben-David, an Alice by Kiki Smith, bathing in a waterfall, a Myomu (The Key to a Dream) by Kan Yasuda in marble of Carrara. We had already noticed that major auctioneers increasingly diversify their activity. Sotheby’s has now become the creator of sculpture parks. These 22 works will not be scattered in one sale but rather sold like in an open-air gallery.
ARTIST OF THE WEEK
André Raffray, Given1° The waterfall 2° The lighting gaz, 2006-2008, colored pencils on canvas with electric lighting of the mantle, 210 x 140 cm, courtesy galerie Beaubourg
André Raffray: Duchamp revisited
The son of photographers, he worked in animated films – he directed in particular the animated film service at Gaumont. At age 45, in 1970, he started in parallel a second career as a painter. After producing, thanks to his perfect technique, hyperrealist paintings, André Raffray found his vocation with the «restarted paintings». He redid Van Gogh, Matisse, Parmiggiano and, above all, Duchamp. He dedicated a series of twelve paintings to the life of the master of modern art, that were shown during the large exhibition at the Pompidou Center in 1977: Duchamp buying his dish rack at the BHV hardware store, Duchamp and the chocolate grinder, etc. At the time, one scene had caused him the greatest difficulties: it concerned Etant donnés (Given), Duchamp's last work, presented after his death, at the museum of Philadelphia. Raffray had made the trip. Thirty years later he retranscribed in two dimensions this deeply erotic installation of a nude with legs apart, lying in the thick grass, behind an old Spanish door. Duchamp without being Duchamp: its called Raffray.
Long live blue, down with yellow!
Historian Michel Pastureau works in a territory he has already largely cleared and offers in an affable manner – a dialogue with Dominique Simonnet – the result of his research on colors. Why do we prefer blue today, while the Romans of the Antiquity scorned it, why is yellow still held in contempt? Why is green a «soft» color - Goethe recommendid it for the bedroom – and why were the pieces from a chess game before always red and black? Why did the popes, in the XIVth century, abandon white for red? While combining opinions on the techniques of dyeing, symbolic analysis and anecdotes, the book draws up the biography of each of the six colors (blue, green, red, white, black, yellow) and the five semi-colors. The iconography, very varied, covers a large span, from the stained glass windows of Nuremberg to Richard Diebenkorn's urban landscapes.
BERLIN-The Temporary Kunsthalle, a temporary structure designed by architect Adolf Krischanitz, will open on 29 October on the location of the former Parliament of the GDR with an exhibition dedicated to Candice Breitz.
BRUSSELS-The Oceania rooms at the Musées royaux d'Art et d'Histoire, that include in particular an important collection from Easter island, will open on 30 October after a complete renovation.
BUENOS AIRES-The BA Photo fair, dedicated to photography, will be held from 29 October to 2 November 2008 at the Palacio de Espejos.
ORLEANS-From 25 October to 23 December, the 8th edition of the Archilab International Architecture encounters will focus on 30 current cases of urban conversion in Europe, from the airport of Tempelhof in Berlin to the city of Badajoz in Spain.
PARIS-The FIAC 2008 will be held from 23 to 26 October at the Grand Palais and in the Cour carré of the Louvre. Various "satellite" fairs will be organized simultaneously: Slick at the 104 recently inaugurated, Show Off at the Espace Pierre Cardin, Artistbooks at the Pompidou Center and Art Elysées on the Champs-Elysées.
SAINT-GERMAIN-EN-LAYE – The woman with a dog wearing a collar, a pannel until now unknown by Nabi painter Paul Ranson, done in 1895 for the gallery of Art nouveau of Siegfried Bing, has been bought back at Christie’s by the the general council of the Yvelines. It will soon be exhibited at museum Maurice-Denis.
SAO PAULO-The 28th Biennale of Sao Paulo will be held from 26 October to 6 December 2008 and will group together some forty artists around teh theme "in living contact".
This week, do not miss
ON THE WATERFRONT
LE HAVRE- With 160 works, from the Impressionists to the photographs from the period between the 2 World Wars, the musée Malraux illustrates the evolution of port iconography over one century. Signac, Marquet, Lhote as well as Dignimont and Meunier document the end of sailing ships, the tough life of the dockers and the technical magic of the transporter bridges.