Home > ArtoftheDay Weekly > #167 - from 25 March 2010 to 31 March 2010

Art Of The Day Weekly

#167 - from 25 March 2010 to 31 March 2010

Xenia Simonova, a painter on sand, won the Ukraine televison contest for young talents. Here she retranscribes her country's history in the XXth century, in particular the suffering due to the war.


Is Paris drawing?

PARIS – The word synergy is often used in economics and the market of French art is often criticized for not applying it. A perfect counter-example may be found in drawings. It is of common knowledge that the French hold in their cellars and attics some very beautiful ones – whether sanguines from the XVIIth century, ink and water colors from the XIXth, and countless academic examples – but there was no real federating force capable of attracting the public’s attention. The Salon du dessin –Drawing Fair- was the first to try to in 1991. It succeeded since it was progressively followed by parallel events: the Semaine du dessin (the Week of Drawings), which allows us in particular to rediscover the museums’ reserves, the Salon du dessin contemporain -4th edition- (the Fair of Contemporary Drawing), la Foire internationale du dessin (International Drawing Fair) centered on the production of beaux-arts students from nine European countries) or the Biennale du dessin de presse (Biennale of Press drawings), at the Bibliothèque nationale, all of them accompanied by exhibitions and specialized auctions. France’s interest is to give preference to being specialized, as the market today is so globalized. There are drawings, African art, photography, Surrealism, and in the future maybe graffiti and comic strips …

PARIS – The 4th Salon du Dessin contemporain will be held at the Carrousel du Louvre from 25 to 28 March 2010. Among the 60 participating galleries, 15 are foreign.

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PARIS - The salon du Dessin, open on 24 March 2010, wil be held until 29 March 2010 at the Palais de la Bourse.

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The Foire internationale du dessin will be held from 26 to 28 March 2010 at the loft Nikki Diana Marquardt with 55 students from 11 art schools from 9 different countries.

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The Biennale du dessin de presse will be held at the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris from 23 March to 25 April 2010.

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Fernand Khnopff, Memory of Bruges. The entrance of the Beguinage, 1904, pastel and black chalk on paper, 27 x 43.5 cm, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels Hearn Family Trust.

Belgium, the nation of symbols

BRUSSELS – Among the most famous Belgian artists stand Léon Spilliaert and Fernand Khnopff, cousins of Gustave Moreau’s and Odilon Redon’s. This is quite natural, for when it comes to Symbolism –like for Surrealism for that matter - the importance of Jacques Brel’s “Flat Country” seems to be out of proportion with the country’s size. This retrospective with nearly two hundred works of art puts forward not only these two major artists but also all those, lesser known, who contributed to the vitality of the movement in which the literary and plastic aspects were so closely entwined: Félicien Rops, Georges Minne, Jean Delville walk right next to Maeterlinck or Georges Rodenbach (the author of Bruges-la-Morte). Was Symbolism the resume of the European decadence that led to WW I or was it the melting pot of the avant guards of the XXth century? Between the lines, that is the question that is put forward.
Le symbolisme en Belgique at the musées royaux des Beaux-Arts, from 26 March to 27 June 2010.

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Gobelet with painted and gilded decorations: scenes of offerings to Osiris. Glass, Sedeinga, 2nd half of IIIrd century A.D. Khartoum, Sudan, National Museum, 20406 © 2010 Musée du Louvre / Georges Poncet.

Meroe, and the glorious past of Sudan

PARIS – Recent events don’t make Sudan a country dreams are made of. In the press it rhymes with Darfur and ethnic cleansing rather than with civilization. The exhibition at the Louvre should therefore allow us to unveil another aspect of the largest country in Africa, the former essential link between the kingdoms of the Pharaohs and Black Africa. A few years ago the Louvre inaugurated a site of diggings at Mouweis, near Meroe. This former capital and its pyramids with abrupt, quasi-vertical sides (rediscovered by French archaeologist Frédéric Cailliaud in 1821), had one of the largest necropolis of the ancient world, which gives us an idea of its importance. The pieces presented, which describe the people’s every day life, document the writing systems, or show us the kings’ elegance (from the IIIrd century B.C. to the IVth century A.D.), are on loan from museums in Berlin, Liverpool, Leyden and above all from the museum of Antiquities of Khartoum, a site of great interest few tourists include in their travel plans…
Méroé at the musée du Louvre from 26 March to 6 September 2010.

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Domenico di Bartolo, Madonna dell’umiltà, Siena, Pinacoteca Nazionale

The Renaissance in Siena

SIENA– The Renaissance greatly influenced Florence, while it simply touched the artists in Siena, as they were still under the influence of Gothic art. Will the classic image we have be put into perspective by the large exhibition in the city of the Palio? In any case, given the extent of the means used we can presume the objective of the same is to draw up a definite assessment: over 300 works have been sent from all over the world, some thirty restorations have been carried out and twenty polyptychs have been united for this special event. The exhibition will be held in the former hospital della Scala but it will obviously encourage the public to visit the cathedral and its crypt, the museum of the diocese or the national Pinacoteca. The link with the masters of the XIVth century - Simone Martini and the Lorenzetti brothers– introduces new talents of the XVth century, Jacopo della Quercia and Sassetta, next to a major artist the public knows less, Domenico di Bartolo. Aside from painting and sculpture (focused on Donatello’s stay in Siena), the exhibition also dedicates areas to work in gold, to illumination and to textile art.
Da Jacopo della Quercia a Donatello. Le arti a Siena nel primo Rinascimento at Santa Marie della Scala, from 28 March to 2010

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Artoftheday also recommends…

•In Baden-Baden, the Burda museum presents a new part of the Frieder Burda collection, centred on contemporary art and including recent purchases. From 25 March to 20 June 2010.

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• On the shores of lake Como, at Villa Olmo more precisely, a retrospective is dedicated to Rubens, grouping together some sixty paintings by the Flemish master and some of his contemporaries such as Van Dyck and Jordaens. From 27 March to 25 July 2010.

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Japanese Art brut is the theme of the new exhibition at the Halle Saint-Pierre, in Paris. It presents us with an avalanche of works (nearly one thousand), by creators who are rarely seen in Europe. From 24 March 2010 to 2 January 2011.

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Souvenirs from Josephine

FONTAINEBLEAU – The Osenat study has specialized over the last ten years in Empire sales. The auction in this beginning of the spring is completely focused on one of the most touching figures of the Napoleonic era – Josephine de Beauharnais (1763-1814), the beloved wife who was never totally repudiated since she kept the title of Empress after the divorce in 1809. «My husband does not love me, he adores me» she wrote in 1796 (15 000 €). Out of the 400 documents presented, 50 are letters from the Empress. The rest are also signed by Hauterive, Talleyrand’s advicer and to whom he described on-the-spot the defeat of Trafalgar (80 000 €), by Hortense de Beauharnais, by general Rapp, by the duchess of Abrantès, who had a famous salon, or even by Tsar Alexander Ist, indirectly responsible for Josephine’s death since she caught cold while she made him visit the gardens of Malmaison in 1814. The last letter is signed by her first husband, Alexandre de Beauharnais, on the eve of his execution, in 1794, and which she herself re-transcribed (1500 €). History is never as moving and close to us as in the last words of its players themselves …
Joséphine de Beauharnais on 27 March 2010 at the Osenat auction house.

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Ivan Loubennikpv, Friday, oil on canvas, 150 x 120 cm, © Loubennikov, courtesy galerie Alain Blondel, Paris

Ivan Loubennikov, in search of woman

He is one of the spearheads of Russian figurative art. One event alone is sufficient to prove it: when the metro in Moscow wanted to thank the Paris city transport authority for the Guimard furniture they gave them for the Kievskaïa station, they chose Loubennikov to design a work of art to be placed in a public space. It is a large stained glass that was inaugurated in March 2009 at the Madeleine station and represents the chicken with the golden eggs from Slave legends. In his easel paintings, this artist born in 1951 in Byelorussia, at Minsk, has no shame in reinterpreting the great masters of the past. One senses in his work touches of Georges de La Tour or Douanier Rousseau, Malevitch or Magritte. In his last easel paintings, presented at the galerie Alain Blondel, Loubennikov is in search of an Arcadia: the woman of one’s dreams, sweet and bare, in a landscape of lakes and snow.
•Ivan Loubennikov is presented at the galerie Alain Blondel (128 rue Vieille du Temple, 75003 Paris, tel: 0142 78 66 67) from 20 March to 19 may 2010

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A dark period in post-war France

There is the image of a radiant country, of France totally committed to the reconstruction of a better tomorrow. The image of a country in which the artist contributes to lift up the nation, through the positive and hereditary rationalism of its race. In any case, in 1945, these clichés were very popular, nurtured by the chauvinism of certain critiques such as Bernard Dorival. The author, whose project is backed up by her knowledge as an historian and an art historian, aims at destroying these convictions. By plunging into the post-war period, and referring to «founding» exhibitions such as «Hautes pâtes» by Dubuffet at the Drouin gallery in May 1946 or «Le noir est une couleur» (Black is a color) at the Maeght gallery in December 1946, she shows how the war experience, the experience of death and of the inhuman made many artists lose faith in progress and reason. Many demonstrations followed, bringing back artists who had been too easily forgotten - Bazaine and his tight grids, Wols the «damned», Manessier, Atlan – and other apostles of despair such as Artaud, de Staël and Bram van Velde, who found in informality, in the color black, in poor materials the fodder of their creativity. Even though the book is small, it is a shame it does not include a name index.
Après la guerre by Laurence Bertrand Dorléac, Gallimard, 2010, 176 p., 25 €

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BERLIN – The Nikolaikirche, built in the XIIIth century and thus the oldest church in the city, reopened on 21 March 2010 after important restoration works.

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JOUY-EN-JOSAS – To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Liberty print (and the foundation of the workshop of Oberkampf, in March 1760), the musée de la Toile de Jouy has recently renewed the presentation of its collections.

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MILAN – The 15th edition of the Miart contemporary art fair will be held from 26 to 29 March 2010 at FieraMilanoCity, and nearly 150 international galleries will participate in it.

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PARIS – The 14th pavillon des Arts et du Design, that brings together nearly 80 galleries specialized in modern art and the decorative arts, will be held in the Tuileries gardens from 24 to 28 March 2010.

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PARIS – The sale of the Daniel Carasso collection, the son of the founder of Danone, on 19 March 2010 at Drouot, brought in 9.1 million €. The highest bid went for a Still life from 1939 by Fernand Léger at 1.4 million €.

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SAINT-PETERSBURG –An international conference dedicated to the influence of Cézanne will be held from 26 to 28 March 2010 at the Boris Eltsine library.

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