“The expert said it’s probably the second time he’s ever done that type of valuation. I think he was reluctant to say £1 million and nervous to say it was worth that much. We’ve had one of the most significant jewellery finds in 40 years of Antiques Roadshow history – but we don’t want to spoil the surprise.”
“Demand for older, female artists like Herrera, who was famously 89 when she sold her first artwork and is now a ripe 102, has risen sharply in recent years, the result of a perfect art-world storm. As institutions attempt to revise the art-historical canon, passionate dealers and curators see years of promotion come to fruition, and blue-chip galleries search for new artists to represent among those initially overlooked, prices and institutional recognition for artists such as Carol Rama, Irma Blank, Geta Brătescu, and Herrera have soared.”
Born in 1799 in Kent, south of London, Anna Atkins “made her most significant contribution across 10 years in the mid-19th century in which she created at least 10,000 images by hand. But it was what she did with those pictures that gave her a place in art history. … She created the first book to contain photographs.”
Notwithstanding our horror-movie headline, this is a serious issue. “These tiny invaders” – bacteria, fungi, even algae – “have wrought catastrophic damage on historic sites like the Lascaux cave paintings in France and the Titanic – [which] is being devoured by a tenacious species of metal-hungry bacteria. That’s why scientists and conservators are working to identify what kinds of bacteria are colonizing an artifact, purge them, and make sure they cannot return. Some are even enlisting bacteria to help protect historic sites.” (The good
guys germs to the rescue!)
“The museum, which opened on June 3, displays a bit of amnesia about the formative experiences that led to Mr. Geisel’s best-known body of work. It completely overlooks Mr. Geisel’s anti-Japanese cartoons from World War II, which he later regretted.”
Says Francis Kéré, the first African architect to design the annually built structure, “I was inspired by the big tree in my native village of Gando [in Burkina Faso]. The community always gathers in its shade. I wanted to create a place that would encourage people to come together, with spaces where you feel enclosed and protected, or choose to look out to the park.”
“The idea was not to create an icon,” avers the director of the Centro Botín in Santander. “The building is not trying to show off or give the impression that Santander is more than it is.” “I suppose our strategy was the opposite of the Guggenheim,” says architect Renzo Piano, who designed the building not to be visible from the city center. “How many Bilbao effects can you have after all?”
“The World Monuments Fund is launching a £500,000 scheme to train Syrian refugees living in and around the Zaatari camp on the Jordanian border in traditional stone masonry. The aim is to develop skills so that cultural heritage sites that have been caught in crossfire or destroyed by [ISIS] can be rebuilt once peace is restored to Syria.”
“In a small-scale study, a research team led by Francesco Walker of Vrije University presents evidence that children and adults look at works of art quite differently, with kids focusing first on visually stimulating elements. Adults, in contrast, try to make sense of the thing from the get-go.”
“The fact that some folks have managed to make the scene while others get left out in the cold is integral to the excitement of participatory art. The thrill is akin to exotic travel, or getting to see Hamilton. Because not everyone who wants the experience actually gets the experience, these works, even if their intentions and messages are democratic, tend to become exclusive affairs.”
The gift is a large sculpture – a hand holding a bouquet of the artist’s signature balloon tulips – in honor of the victims of the 2015 terrorist attacks. But it’s a problematic present: it’s too heavy for the site Koons wants, not everyone cares for it (one museum director says, “I think it will be much less kitsch in several years”), and the city is having trouble raising the required €3.5 million to have it made and installed. (Koons’s donation, you see, isn’t the completed work; it’s the concept.)
“McCann New York’s Fearless Girl statue, placed on Wall Street for State Street Global Advisors as a symbol of the power of women in business, enjoyed a spectacular first day here at the Cannes Lions festival, sweeping the first three competitions by picking up the Grand Prix in the Glass, PR and Outdoor Lions.”
“The museum and its ex-employees are offering starkly different accounts as the museum is reeling after losing five full-time staffers, at least two part-time visitor-services workers, and seven contract support staff and educators on June 13.”
“In reality, form is described in the beautiful halftones between light and shadow. Light will bounce off of an object at relative intensity depending on the angle of the planes of an object in relation to the light source. In other words, planes on a surface that face a light source will reflect the most light, and as the form turns away from the light, less light will bounce off of the form. This is true, even for black objects. Work done from photographs will never show this.”
Vincent Lopreto, one of three men arraigned for the counterfeiting scheme on Monday, has already been convicted twice of selling fake “limited edition” prints of Hirst’s dot paintings.
“The stolen artwork included masterpieces from minimalist painter Frank Stella and French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, owner William Pordy told police.” (Yes, he kept a Toulouse-Lautrec and a Stella in a garden-variety storage unit.) The thief did leave behind five paintings, evidently on purpose.
“On 15 June, Italy’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, suspended the decision by the Lazio regional administrative tribunal (TAR) that voided the appointments” of museum directors in Modena, Mantua, Naples, Taranto, and Reggio Calabria. “It is the latest twist in a legal saga that threatens the Italian culture ministry’s ongoing reform of the country’s bureaucratic museums sector.”
“As home entertainment systems become ever more elaborate, allowing fans to watch the action from every conceivable angle in ultra-high-definition, the conventional football stadium is having to up its game to lure people from the comfort of their homes. The promise of a pie, a pint and a good singsong in the stands just is not enough.”
“In this environment, with museum directors under pressure to boost attendance, Holbein loses out to Damien Hirst, Manet to Christian Marclay, Braque to Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Klee to Jeff Koons. Even museums whose collections extend back to the ancients are stressing contemporary art. In the past few years, some museum directors and fundraisers have told me that it has become difficult to find money for exhibitions displaying what some are now calling ‘pre-contemporary art’. Sponsors, be they corporations, foundations or individuals, are simply uninterested. This is, as one art dealer remarked to me, like losing Mozart.”
“The traditional American hobby has – like knitting, baking and other skills – been given a new lease of life by social media, through Reddit discussions, online commerce and the ease of spreading tips and knowledge via digital videos. But in recent weeks, online communities and bloggers have been discussing a series of screenshots which appear to show socially conservative quilters organising campaigns and hurling insults about other enthusiasts who don’t share their political beliefs.”
“The Dover Banksy is an iconic artwork. Our town is the gateway and guardian of the nation—and on the frontline of Brexit,” he said in reference to the mural’s highly significant location, adjacent to ferry terminal that connects the UK with continental Europe. “Dover is this Banksy’s rightful home,” he continued, “to demolish it would be a crime against culture.”
The artist’s concession has not been without controversy. At least one anti-censorship group described the decision as “hasty” and said that it “set an ominous precedent” that could put a chill on difficult, politically minded work.
This time, it was by the National Gallery of Art. The first two were at the Hirshhorn and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Though some dealers think U.S. galleries are putting up prices too quickly, “others are reassured by relentlessly rising values — and by the cachet of buying blue-chip works from international ‘brand’ galleries.”
One frustrated architect who’d like to have both more control of building materials and more control for fire officers: “The fire officer looked me straight in the eyes and told me that in his opinion this was a recipe for disaster.”
Art storage facilities have become a big, global business, and one art storage mogul (yes, they exist) estimates that 80% of the world’s artworks is in storage at any given time. Georgina Adam takes a look inside the often-secretive industry.
The deep-black-stained pine floors that founder Dominique de Menil specified for the museum she founded three decades ago have worn down (as heavily trafficked pine wood floors will do after three decades). And the refinishing has to be perfect.
The new $2 coin being issued for Canada’s sesquicentennial features a colored design depicting a canoe on a lake under the Northern Lights, which do indeed glow in the dark. The new “Toonie” is the first photoluminescent coin in general circulation.
Following the Second World War, with the relocation of the world’s artistic epicenter from Paris to New York, a different kind of war was waged in the pages of magazines across the country. As part of the larger “culture wars” of the mid-century, art critics began to take on greater influence than they’d ever held before.
“The exhibition brings together light installations from every stage of the career of this 74-year-old artist and elder statesman of the Southern California Light and Space movement, from what appears to be a levitating cube (a projection of buttery light in the corner of the gallery) to a series of holographic images that seem to contain three-dimensional wisps of light.”