Home > ArtoftheDay Weekly > #165 - from 11 March 2010 to 17 March 2010

Art Of The Day Weekly

#165 - from 11 March 2010 to 17 March 2010

Théodore Géricault, L'enlèvement de Fualdès, ca., 1818 brown ink on pencil, 20,9x26,6cm, Paris, musée du Louvre © RMN / Jean-Gilles Berizzi (exhibition at musée d'Orsay, Paris)


Art and politics

LONDON – The Tate Modern has announced the next installation in the Turbine Hall, as of 10 October 2010, will be entrusted to Ai Weiwei, one of the most famous Chinese artists (born in 1957), whose creations are generally iconoclastic. In 1995, he broke a thousand-year-old Han urn (the photograph that shows the event, printed in eight copies, is negotiated at more than 100 000 € in auction houses). In 2006, he covered other antique potteries with paint. In 2007, at the Documenta event in Kassel, he manifested himself by the «import» of 1001 Chinese and by an artificial tempest that turned a sculpture with 1001– Chinese - doors into a pile of debris. Ai Weiwei is also known for his problems with the authorities. His investigation into the mismanagement of the help given during the earthquake in 2008 in Sichuan was rewarded by a severe interrogation, of which he was only saved by an operation in Germany. The diplomatic services must have turned livid when they learned of the commission and it is not sure the Chinese President will attend the inauguration. This is one of those opportunities in which we can confirm art can carry a real subversive charge…

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Alphonse Bertillon, Désiré Landru, 1919, framed photograph, 6,5x10,2 cm, Paris, private collection

Blood on the canvas

PARIS – One of the initiators of this exhibition is former French Minister of Justice Robert Badinter, a detail that in itself is not very common. But crime and its punishment have haunted the artisan of the abolition of the death penalty in France in 1981 for so long that he has had time to think of all their dimensions, including in the history of art. We shall therefore see two centuries of tight relations between art and crime, from the guillotine at the time of the Revolution up to Lombroso’s positivist theories, in which he claimed he could read the criminal character in the traits of a face; or of Surrealism, the amateur of the gratuitous crime. The different phases call upon the greatest artists: Géricault, Goya, Munch, without omitting the news briefs scrutinized by Daumier, the dregs of society by Grosz and Dix, Warhol’s electric chairs or the enigmas thought of by Ernst and Magritte. In the evolution of society of a divine form of justice towards a «rational» justice - simply punitive or equally «reconstructive»– artists had a considerable influence.
Crime et châtiment at the musée d’Orsay from 15 March to 27 June 2010

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Lucian Freud, Leigh under the skylight, oil on canvas, 271x121 cm, 1994.

Freud, in camera

PARIS – One thing is sure: Lucian Freud is not the painter of open spaces (unless you consider our psyche as an open space, which it certainly is). Consequently, the choice of the «workshop» -where the painter works systematically, even to sketch the bony urban landscapes he sees though its skylight- as the central theme for this exhibition allows us to embrace the essential part of his work. We see his universe through these fifty imposing canvases: his loved ones, his models, often nude, his interiors – in spite of his moves from one workshop to another. We recognize the same plants, the same tired sofas, or even him. Lucian Freud was already 65 years old when the previous and far away Parisian retrospective was held in 1987. But his rhythm of work has not at all slowed-down since then and we will have the opportunity to see an entirely new part of it.
Lucian Freud. L’Atelier at the centre Pompidou from 10 March to 19 July 2010

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Artoftheday also recommends…

• A great, rather discreet, Mexican collector is the owner of a certain number of treasures, in particular some Grecos. The Jacquemart-André museum in Paris gives us the opportunity to discover the Spanish fund of the Pérez Simón collection. From 12 March to 1st August 2010.

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• Arnold Schönberg is known for being the inventor of dodecaphonic music. He also had a pictorial side: Arnold Schönberg, visions et regards in Toulouse show the composer’s self-portraits and landscapes. From 16 March to 9 May 2010.

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•In Dalla scena al dipinto the MART, in Rovereto, Italy, shows how the artists of the XIXth century, from Delacroix to Füssli, were fascinated by the theatre. Until 23 May 2010.

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Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), Deux femmes, signed and dated lower left P. Gauguin 1902, oil on canvas, 74 x 64.5cm (29x25in.) Courtesy Dickinson

Tefaf dabbles in paper

MAASTRICHT – It is difficult to ignore Tefaf. It has positioned itself as the major fair in antique and modern art, and in furniture, pulling the rug under the feet of the Biennale des antiquaires in Paris, whose response we await once again in the autumn of 2010. In this new edition and in spite of its most unwelcoming location – in a charmless convention center - Tefaf continues to attract the cream of the profession: 260 gallery owners and 30 000 works of art are announced. London gallery owner Dickinson sticks out with two masterpieces: a Botticelli that belonged to the Rockefeller family (a Madonna with Child with Saint John, at 11 million €), and Deux Femmes, a Tahitian Gauguin from 1902, at 18 million €. Among the novelties this year, we note a Tefaf on Paper section, completely dedicated to drawing: could this be a new challenge to the Paris market and its Salon du dessin, to open in a few days? There is some good news though, since according to the assessment of the art market requested by the fair itself, France is experiencing a certain improvement. In 2009, its part of the global revenue jumped up from 6 to 11%.
•Tefaf from 12 to 21 March 2010-03-09

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Paul Almasy (1906-2003), Pakistan, Drought, the peasant abandoned by Allah, 1950. 21,5 x 17,8 cm. Estimate: €600-800

Almasy, a humanist photographer

PARIS – His portrait of the god of Surrealism broke a record during the Breton sale in 2003 (3800 €). Maybe it was a question of fetishism… If not, the rating of this excellent humanist photographer, who lived almost to be one hundred years old (1906-2003), who never saw any of his works sell for more than 1000 € in public auctions, should experience a sudden acceleration. He worked for major international institutions (Unesco, Unicef, etc) and for dozens of magazines, and according to his claims he visited almost all the countries in the world. We see some of them among the 262 lots of this sale, all very modestly appraised: peasants and dancers from Africa, children in Colombia, street bums and ragmen in Paris, Indian coolies, nomads in Iran. But we also see the high society of that half of the century, from Man Ray to Cocteau, from Foujita to Béjart. Most of the photographs, in black and white, were developed by Almasy himself, which gives them an additional authenticity.
•Succession Paul Almasy at Richelieu-Drouot (SVV Yann Le Mouel) on 12 March 2010 at 2 PM.

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Gerald Roberts, Square Circles, acrylic on canvas, 2007, 32 x 25 cm. Courtesy Atelier 7, Paris

Gerald Roberts: from advertising to art

It is not rare to go from advertising or fashion to painting. But well-known artistic directors do not necessarily repeat their past success … Gerald Roberts, an Australian with European tastes, tries to, after designing the campaigns for the «big accounts» such as the Club Med, Fiat, Cadbury or the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum. He presents in his first monographic exhibition some water-colors and some twenty large acrylics, in which we see an obvious influence of Op Art and kinetic art, between Vasarely and Julio Le Parc. The exhibition allows us to discover an original space where recently thirty years of photography by Ferrante Ferranti were shown. Half-way between private home and gallery, he has settled in what was once a workshop designed by decorators Süe and Mare, where it is said Picasso made his first collages…
•Gerald Roberts at the Atelier 7 (242 boulevard Raspail, 75014, tel: 06 14 21 48 12), from 11 march to 10 April 2010 (from Wednesday to Saturday, from 3: 00 to 7: 00 PM).

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Cardin in pictures

He is at the head of an empire which he checks on constantly. At 88, Pierre Cardin is in his office every day, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, where he first arrived in 1945 directly from Vichy where he worked for the Red Cross. While today he is known for the numerous derivatives that carry his signature – perfumes, glasses, furniture or scarves – in the sixties he was one of the fashion designers most in vogue in Europe, as he dressed the Beatles and was on the front page of Paris Match in 1969 or of Time magazine in 1974. This book traces briefly, in a friendly manner (the author directs the press service of the fashion home) a career that developed throughout the continents, and presents some of his main models: hats in the shape of skylights, target- dresses, trapeze shaped dresses, suits with wide sleeves… We only regret one thing, that his link with the visual arts is hardly mentioned. Pierre Cardin was a friend of Restany, Yves Klein, and had a remarkable collection including works by Bacon, Léger, de Chirico…
Pierre Cardin, 60 ans de création by Jean-Pascal Hesse, Assouline, 2010, 176 p., 65 €

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AMSTERDAM – The sale of the Peter Stuyvesant collection of modern and contemporary art (belonging to British American Tobacco) by Sotheby’s on 8 March 2010 broke an auction record for the Netherlands, with 13.6 million €.

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DUBAI - The modern and contemporary art fair, Art Dubai, will be held from 17 to 21 March 2010.

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LONDON - The future of the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art), created in 1947 and a pioneer in the promotion of contemporary art, is threatened by an important deficit and internal dissensions.

The article in The Guardian

PARIS – The Soulages exhibition, that ended on 8 March 2010, was visited by 502 000 persons, positioning itself in 4th place among the most visited exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou, following Dali (840 000 visitors in 1977), Matisse (735 000 in 1993) et Kandinsky (703 000 in 2009).

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