Arts

A mural by the Washington, DC street artist Monolith created in support of Bernie Sanders's presidential campaign

An open letter endorsing Vermont Senator and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders for US President has been signed by more than 650 artists and cultural figures. The letter, which was released by the organisation Artists4Bernie, opens by saying: “We are an international network of people that work within art and culture, and with this letter, we would like to declare our support for Senator Bernie Sanders and endorse his 2020 presidential campaign.” Signatories thus far include Kevin Beasley, Hannah Black, Nicole Eisenmann, Julianna Huxtable, Nan Goldin, Kim Gordon, Jim Jarmusch, Ryan McGinley, Ariana Reines, Martha Rosler, Jacolby Satterwhite, Michael Stipe, Hito Steyerl, Diamond Stingily and Kara Walker, among hundreds of others.

“Bernie Sanders is leading a working-class movement that transcends ethnicities, generations, and geographies. Artists and cultural producers are largely precarity laborers—often struggling without benefits, financial security, at the whim of the market,” reads the letter. “Medicare for all, universal childcare, canceling student debt, and free public college, are just a few of the progressive changes that we support for their soundness and logic, that will spill over into a more equal cultural sphere.”

Artists4Bernie was launched by DIS, Mohammed Salemy and Jennifer Teets. A similarly named, but separate, project includes artist-designed meRead More – Source

Arts

Children were involved in testing the architects designs for the revamped galleries © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) has unveiled its “child-centred” new vision for the V&A Museum of Childhood, which will draw for the first time on the London institutions vast collections of art, design and performance when it reopens in 2022.

The Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, east London, is home to the UKs national childhood collection—around 30,000 toys, games and dolls as well as nursery equipment, childrens clothes and works of art covering 400 years of history. The collection will soon move from the museums stores to the V&As new open-access collections and research centre, scheduled to open in 2023 in the former Olympic park near the new V&A East museum.

The childhood museum will close on 11 May for a £13m redevelopment led by AOC Architecture that will position it as a “world-leading centre of creativity for children”, according to a press statement. Children were involved in testing the architects designs for the revamped galleries, a V&A spokeswoman says, including a vibrant new colour scheme. During the construction period, the V&A will offer a two-year programme of free family activities at the nearby library in Whitechapel.

Around 2,000 objects from the main V&A collection—including Beatrix Potters early 1900s illustrations, the original Superman costume and contemporary designs by the artist Olafur Eliasson and the streetwear stylist Virgil Abloh—will join the museums new displays. These will be split into three interactive, multi-sensory galleries: Imagine, Play and Design.

The original Superman costume is in the V&A's main collection © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Moving away from the historical narrative of childhood, the revamped museum will focus on inspiring young visitors. Artists in residence will run hands-on workshops with school groups, while a new 125-person performance sRead More – Source

Arts

Due to Covid-19, Sotheby's will move its April sales in Hong Kong to New York Courtesy of Sotheby's

The global auction calendar continues to be buffeted by pestilence and geopolitics as Sothebys announced today it is relocating its Modern and contemporary art sales in Hong Kong in April to New York due to the coronavirus.

As fresh outbreaks of the virus now known as Covid-19 emerge in South Korea, Iran and Italy, countries are imposing more travel restrictions and containment measures in a bid to halt the spread of the disease, which has so far seen 78,000 cases around the word, the vast majority being in the Chinese province of Hubei.

Kevin Ching, the chief executive of Sothebys in Asia, says in a statement the decision was taken after “careful consideration and reflection on nearly 50 years of working with our clients in Asia”. He adds: “April in New York represents the best possible venue and timing for our consignors of Modern and contemporary art.”

Sothebys is also postponing its Hong Kong sales of classical and Modern Chinese painting, Southeast Asian art, jewellery, watches and wine from April to July “when we can safely hold a traveling exhibition across Asia”, Ching says.

Earlier this month, Christies announced it was moving its inaugural 20th-century and contemporary art evening sale in Hong Kong from March to May. The auction had been scheduled to take place on 19 March to coincide with Art Basel in Hong Kong, which was cancelled on 7 February after weeks of deliberations. Christies March wine sale will move to the same May slot, while Bonhams is also rescheduling all of its March Hong Kong sales, although new dates are yet to be announced.

The majority of auctions that had been due to take place during New Yorks Asia Week in March have now been postponed until June.

In London, meanwhile, Sothebys has taken the decision to squeeze its Impressionist and Modern and contemporary art June sales into one week, instead of two, for the first time since 2007. The move is ostensibly a bid to ease clients cramped calendars—and make the most the firms newly renovated galleries—but it also helps solve the issue of supply in the UK capital, which has been dogged by Brexit over the past few years according to auction house executives.

Helena Newman, Sothebys European chairman and worldwide head of Impressionist and Modern art, says she is “optimistic” about the offerings in June after the “uncertainty” of 2019. Despite the $450m Marron estate going to mega-galleries Pace, Gagosian and Acquavella, NewmaRead More – Source

Arts

Vincent van Gogh's etching of Dr Paul Gachet, LHomme à la Pipe, was donated to the British Museum in 1923 © The trustees of the British Museum, London

Astonishingly, the British Museum is displaying its only Van Gogh for the first time—in an exhibition entitled French Impressions. The etched portrait of Dr Paul Gachet, who tended the artist after he shot himself, was donated to the museum by his son in 1923.

The etching, the only one Van Gogh ever made, was drawn in Dr Gachets garden in Auvers-sur-Oise after lunch on 15 June 1890 (the inscribed month “mai” is incorrect). Posed deep in thought, with a melancholic air, the doctor smokes his pipe.

Dr Gachets stamp of a cats head © The trustees of the British Museum, London

The British Museums example has Dr Gachets stamp on the bottom margin: a cats head with erect ears, in red. The motif reflects the doctors love of animals. When Vincent, his brother Theo, sister-in-law Jo and four-month-old nephew visited for lunch a week before the etching was done, they met some of his menagerie. Vincent later recalled how his “little namesake [his nephew] had pretty much his first encounter with the animal kingdom, since there are 8 cats, 3 dogs, as well as hens, rabbits, ducks, pigeons &c. in great numbers around the place”.

The museums example of the etching has only been displayed twice in outside exhibitions: in a show on British collectors of Van Gogh at Compton Verney and the National Gallery of Scotland in 2006 and one on Bedlam at Londons Wellcome Collection in 2016-17. (Declaration of interest: I curated the 2006 exhibition.)

The unpublished 10 July 1923 letter by Dr Gachets son to the British Museums keeper © The trustees of the British Museum, London

In a previously unpublished 1923 letter to the British Museums keeper, Campbell Dodgson, Gachets son wrote in his elegant handwriting that he was donating a copy of “LHomme à la Pipe”. As Gachet Jr recalled about the artist: “At Auvers he met my father, not only a friend, but also a model and printer, who put at his disposition the necessary material for the print”. The etching was printed on Gachets press.

Gachet Jr ended his leRead More – Source

Arts

JooYoung Chois Time for You and Joy to Get Acquainted (2017), part of the first show Courtesy of Nancy Littlejohn Fine Art and the Momentary

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art unveiled a satellite venue called the Momentary on 22 February with a focus on boundary-crossing contemporary art. The 63,000 sq. ft building, which has been converted from a decommissioned Kraft cheese factory in Bentonville, Arkansas, by the Chicago-based firm Wheeler Kearns Architects, includes 24,000 sq. ft of exhibition space as well as two theatres.

The Momentarys director, Lieven Bertels, says that Crystal Bridges, founded in 2005 by the billionaire Walmart heiress Alice Walton, recognised the need for “a non-collecting, kunsthalle-type organisation that will be able to offer a more nimble response to the fast-paced and often interdisciplinary world of artists living and working today.”

Drawing parallels with the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 in New York, Bertels describes the Momentary as “a younger sister organisation that would not feel the weight of collecting”. The new venue aspires to be “an everyday living room for the arts, a space where one and all feel comfortable to enjoy culture but also just to hang out”.

The Belgian-born Bertels has a background of working in organisations that bridge multiple genres. He directed the Sydney Festival in Australia from 2011 to 2016 and most recently served as the chief executive and cultural director of the Leeuwarden-Fryslân 2018 European Capital of Culture, a year-long festival in the Netherlands that promoted arts projects in a rural context.

Having relocated to Bentonville in 2017, Bertels says he hopes the venue will also “serve as a production hub with national and international reach”.

The Crystal Bridges satellite opens with State of the Art 2020 (22 February-24 May), an exhibition split between the museums main building and the Momentary. The curatorial team visited artists studios across the US to prepare their selection of more than 100 paintings, sculptures, video installations and other works by 61 emerging and mid-career American artists, such as Marcela Pardo Ariza, Suchitra Mattai, Larry Walker and JooYoung Choi. The show will be organised into thematic sections: world-building, a sense of place, mapping and temporality.

“We were conscious during our studio visits of not having preconceived notions of what American art should be, or of creating an exhibition about X, but rather working with artists who have a real understanding of their craft and are creating work relevant to this moment in America,” says Lauren Haynes, the curator of visual arts at the Momentary and curator of contemporary art at Crystal Bridges.

The show builds on the museums 2014 exhibition State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now, and there are plans for a further iteration in 2025.

The Read More – Source

Arts

Installation view of Where Art and Tech Collide at the Nevada Museum of Art Courtesy of the Nevada Museum of Art

The Nevada Museum of Art in Reno and Tesla have partnered to strengthen the museums arts education programme, which benefits more than 8,000 students from kindergarten to 12th grade throughout the Silver State. The green automotive manufacturer is donating $1.25m to the museum, a gift that will roll out over the next four years.

“We are thrilled to have this significant relationship with Tesla,” says David Walker, the chief executive of the museum. “They understand that to build a sustainable future work force in Nevada, we must employ interdisciplinary educational strategies in the classroom."

The museum and Tesla first forged a relationship in 2014 when the company broke ground on its “gigafactory” in Reno, which led to the more substantive multi-year partnership, according to a spokeswoman for the museum. The company has sponsored the current exhibition Where Art and Tech Collide, which includes works by Trevor Paglen, Kal Spelletich and Leo Villareal and runs through 21 June. Tesla will also sponsor the museums next annual Nevada Steam Conference, which aims to discuss methods on how better integrate the arts into existing educationaRead More – Source

Arts

Diane Arbus, Teenage Couple on Hudson Street, NYC, 1963 Gift of Robin and David Young, 2016; © Estate of Diane Arbus

In spite of her legacy, Diane Arbus has received relatively little exposure in Toronto (or in Canada altogether) where exhibitions are concerned. Since her premature death in 1971, Arbuss works have been routinely displayed in shows large and small around the globe, but she has not been the focus of a Canadian show since an exhibition at the Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation in Toronto in 1991. The citys Art Gallery of Ontario is now playing host to a major Diane Arbus retrospective. The reason? In 2016, the efforts of numerous donors allowed the museum to acquire 522 of the artists photographs, making its Arbus collection the largest in the world after that of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

“Its something like walking into a crowded room of people you havent met before, said curator Sophie Hackett of Arbuss photographs at the press preview for the exhibition this week. “Youll be attracted to some, youll be curious about others,” and “others … you might want to avoid. Actually there are three main rooms in the show in which 150 photographs from the entirety of Arbuss career have been arranged chronologically. With the exception of a self-portrait Arbus took of herself in 1945 while pregnant with her daughter Doon—the shows starting point— the retrospective begins in 1956, when the artist left her husbands fashion photography business to pursue her craft in earnest, and ends in 1971, the year she committed suicide.

The Art Gallery of Ontario bills the show as the first to present images from the full sweep of Arbuss career chronologically. The progression is indeed important to the experience as it allows viewers to examine how Arbus matured as an artist and how the nature of her photographs changed throughout the years, as well as when she began working with different film formats. Until 1965, Arbus captured her subjects on grainy 35mm film. However, in preparation for 1967s New Documents, her first major solo exhibition, she began taking pictures with a Rolleiflex camera. This cameras more square format arguably lent itself well—if not better—to the more jarring and intimate photographs she took from the mid-1960s until her demise. Some of Arbuss most iconic works, such as Identical Twins (which famously inspired the twins in Stanley Kubricks 1980 film The Shining), Puerto Rican Woman with Beauty Mark and Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park — all of which are in the show—were shot on a Rolleiflex, and its hard to imagine them having even nearly the same effect in a smaller format.

Diane Arbus, Puerto Rican Woman With a Beauty Mark, NYC, 1965 Gift of Phil Lind 2016; © Estate of Diane Arbus

The aforementioned individuals comprise the “attractive people in the exhibition, to return to Hacketts observation. Aside from them and icons like Marcello Mastroianni, James Brown, and Christopher Isherwood, whom Arbus photographed for various mainstream magazines such as Esquire, one can expect, for the most part, to see dwarves, drag queens, nudists, dominatrixes, sword swallowers, bearded ladies and other such characters that evoke “all the fat-skinny people/And all the tall-short people/And all the nobody people David Bowie sang about in his apocalyptic song Five Years. As the late photographer David Vestal once noted in reference to these characters in Infinity Magazine, though, Arbus “does not emphasise their abnormal or freak character. Instead, she concentrates on showing—with seriousness, dignity and sympathy —how much they have in common with the normal people around them. They may just be more open and direct, more vulnerable, more visibly human than most people.”

While by and large, the so-called freaks that Arbus photographed were obscure, some are recognisable. The contortionist Joe Allen, for instance, appears in a 35mm photograph from 1961, while photographs of Hezekiah Trambles—better known by his stage name, Congo the Jungle Creep—can be seen in a pristine 1960 edition of Esquire. In addition to a poster of the “Human Corkscrew” Joe Allen, one of Arbuss photographs of Congo adorns the cover of the Rolling Stones seminal Exile on Main Street album from 1972 (which, interestingly, was shot by Arbuss friend Robert Frank a year aRead More – Source

Arts

Calder with Giraffe (1941) in Roxbury, Connecticut, 1941 Courtesy of Calder Foundation, New York / Art Resource, New York. Artist Copyright: © 2020 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York. Photo: Herbert Matter © 2020 Calder Foundation, New York

The Calder Foundation has announced that it will inaugurate a “sanctuary” devoted to the work of Alexander Calder in downtown Philadelphia, with construction due to begin in 2021. The as-yet untitled non-profit institution will be “a place to visit Calders work and a space that allows people to be introspective”, says Alexander Rower, the chairman and president of the foundation and Calders grandson.

The centre will be constructed on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, adjacent to the Rodin Museum and the Barnes Foundation, and the building will be designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron. On the holistic vision of the space, Rower says that “the closest analogy is perhaps the Rothko Chapel—a cool building made with a great architect where you can do your daily meditation, if thats what youre into, or just have the chance to be with the work and not feel like youre in the Met or the Barnes, where theres so much art that its overwhelming”.

The foundation and the architect Jacques Herzog aim to create a space that offers an experience thats not strictly museological. “In our first discussion, Herzog said the concept sounded like a sanctuary, and thats the perfect word to describe it,” Rower says. “Another comparison would be the Cloisters or the Rodin Museum, but, unlike these spaces, we dont want it to feel like a mausoleum—it shouldnt feel dead, it should feel alive and bring you closer to that communication that Calder intended, which isnt the rarified experience of the museum.”

He adds, “The site is also exceptional and a fun concept—theres Rodin, the greatest sculptor of the 19th century, then right across from it theres the greatest sculptor of the 20th century,” Rower says.

La Grande vitesse (1:5 intermediate maquette), 1969 Courtesy of theCalder Foundation, New York / Art Resource, New York Artist. Copyright: © 2020 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Ken Adlard

Plans for a tribute to Calder in Philadelphia, where the artist was born in 1898, began around two decades ago, when the project was imagined as a full-scale museum on the same site. “Ultimately the project was unsuccessful then because of funding but I also had great worries about a museum being functionally active long-term,” Rower says. Around a year ago, Read More – Source

Arts

Still from Xandra Ibarra's Spictacle II: La Tortillera (2014)

A video work by the Oakland-based artist Xandra Ibarra was removed from a group exhibition at the Centro de Artes in San Antonio after officials declared that it violated a Texas statute prohibiting “obscene content”.

XicanX: New Visions, an exhibition curated by Suzy González and Michael Menchaca that aims to celebrate Chicano art and is on view until 28 June, included Barras work Pictacle II: La Tortillera (2014, and created from a 2004 performance). In the work, the artist “makes tacos with her panties and spreads her seed onto tacos with her Tapatio cock” while dressed as a minstrel Mexican housewife, the curators write in a petition to restore the work.

Barras work was removed from the show before it opened on 13 February. The artist tells The Art Newspaper she “was surprised” at the decision, but that its not the first time her work has been pulled from an exhibition.

The piece is part of a series of “strip tease” videos that deal with gender and Mexican stereotypes. It was shown—along with the strap-on hot sauce bottle, which is its own work called Spic Jouissance Bottle (Tapatio Cock) (2014)—at the Knockdown Center last year in the exhibition Forever Sidepiece.

The National Coalition Against Censorship has sent a letter to the mayor of San Antonio challenging tRead More – Source

Arts

Charles Girons Portrait of Monet (1885) © Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris (photographed by Martin Bailey at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam)

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam today opens its exhibition entitled In the Picture: Portraying the Artist (until 24 May), focussing on artists portraits and self-portraits from 1850 to 1920. Among the nine Van Gogh self-portraits is the one from Oslos National Museum, previously dismissed as a fake. Last month specialists at the Amsterdam museum authenticated the painting, describing it as the only surviving work which the artist did while recovering from a psychotic attack.

Vincent van Goghs Self-portrait (1889) © Nasjonalmuseet for Kunst, Arkitektur og Design, Oslo (photographed by Martin Bailey at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam)

But at the same time a Monet “self-portrait” showing the bohemian artist has fallen from grace, and in the exhibition it is now attributed to a minor Swiss painter, Charles Giron. It was given by the Wildenstein gallery to the Musée Marmottan Monet in somewhat mysterious circumstances in 1986. When eventually displayed at the museum in 2000 it was presented as a Monet self-portrait, then a few years ago it was “attributed” to John Singer Sargent and last year it was off show.

The Art Newspaper ran a detailed report on the Monet portrait in 2010, headlined “It is not by him —the hunt is on to identify the mystery artist”. Other specialists had suggested the painting is by Berthe Morisot or Monets friend the American Impressionist John Breck. Subsequent research undertaken for Wildenstein by the New York art historian Joseph Baillio confirmed the Giron attribution.

Now the Marmottan has acknowledged it is by Giron. Marianne Mathieu, its curatorial director, told us this week: ”Recent research, supported by previously unpublished documentation, now confirms the attribution to Giron.” In 1885 Giron recorded in his diary a visit to Giverny, where after lunch he spent an hour painting a portrait study of his host, borrowing Monets own paints and palette.

Curated by Nienke Bakker and Lisa Smit, the Van Gogh Museum exhibition In the Picture includes 75 paintings—just over half self-portraits and the remainder portraits, representing a wide range of European and American artists. These include portraits of Renoir, Cézanne, Böcklin, Millais, Gauguin, Sickert, Munch, Hammershøi and Schiele. There is also a smaller display of works on paper featuring artist portraits, including a watercolour of Van Gogh by the British artist Archibald Hartrick (late 1930s).

Théo Van Rysselberghes Portrait of Anna Boch (1892) CHANGE CREDIT TO THIS: Michele and Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, Massachusetts; The James Philip Gray Collection. JohnPolakPhotography.com.

Van Gogh fans will be able to see portraits of the Dutch artist by the Australian Impressionist John Russell (1886) and Toulouse-Lautrec (1887). A special treat is the chance to see a powerful portrait of the artist Anna Boch, by the Belgian Neo-Impressionist Théo Van Rysselberghe (1892), on loan from Springfields Museums in Massachusetts. Anna Boch, whose brother Eugène was a friend of Vincent in Arles, was the first person known to have bought a Van Gogh painting, in 1890.

The centrepiece of the Amsterdam show is the Courtauld Gallerys Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear (1889). This is on loan to the Van Gogh Museum while the Courtauld is undertaking a major refurbishment. After the Amsterdam portraits exhibition closes in May the painting will remain on display in the museums permanent collection until September and could stay on longer, until nearer the Courtaulds reopens in spring 2021.