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Don’t Regret Missing “Civilisation” — Not Anymore


I never saw Civilisation. But I -- and you -- can easily access it now on a free website, along with 492 other documentaries about art, and hundreds more about science, history, war, Britain, America and so on. The site is called DocuWatch, and I have no idea how new or old it is. It was called to my attention today by a Facebook friend, and -- considering the snow that is paralyzing much of the Northeast corridor and some other parts of the country, it seemed like to perfect time to share it with RCA readers. Maybe you'll have Wednesday … [Read more...]

Waugh Fans: Head to California


If you like Evelyn Waugh -- and I do -- you may be pleased to learn that about 250 rare books and reference books and 135 letters and manuscripts by the great English prose satirist have been given to the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, Ca.  (Unless, like me, you happen to live in New York, and wish they had gone to the Morgan Library,* which has some Waugh material, but has you will see below, not much by comparison with other institutions). But really, that wouldn't have happened: the Waugh trove … [Read more...]

Calder Heirs’ Fraud Case Against Dealer Perls Is Dismissed


I don't know about you, but I wasn't convinced by an article in The New York Times last October headlined Calder’s Heirs Accuse Trusted Dealer of Fraud. Apparently, neither was the court. On Christmas Eve, New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Werner Kornreich made public an opinion that dismissed the $20 million suit by relatives of Alexander Calder (at right) against the late Klaus G. Perls, Calder's dealer from 1954 until 1976, when the artist died, and the Perls estate. According to a Dec. 26 article in Bloomberg Businessweek, “All these … [Read more...]

Breakthrough On Artists’ Resale Rights: Copyright Office Reverses Itself


This just in from Rep. Jerry Nadler's office: Today, the United States Copyright Office released a new report, updating and reversing its analysis of resale royalties for the first time since 1992. This new analysis is important to visual artists, including illustrators, painters, photographers, and sculptors, and the market for the sale of their work. Many of the Copyright Office’s recommendations will be reflected in the new version of Congressman Jerrold Nadler’s (NY-10) Equity for Visual Artists Act, which he plans to introduce early in … [Read more...]

A Building Named For An Artist, Not A Donor


Here's a refreshing development: Last week, the School of Art at the California Institute of Arts said that it was naming its new building of artists’ studios for John Baldessari, an artist. not for a major donor. I can't think of a parallel, but I'd like to hear of others if they do exist. Baldessari is both an alumnus (of Chouinard) and a long-time faculty member of CalArts. The school plans to raise money for the Baldessari building (pictured at right) with a benefit auction that will feature "more than 70 important works of art by … [Read more...]

Will These 100 Artists, Let Alone Works of Art, Define Us?


It takes a lot of nerve, and the willingness to be wrong, incredibly wrong, to write the book that Kelly Grovier published in the U.S. this month (and in September in the U.K.). It's called 100 Works of Art That Will Define Our Age, and it's a list of paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, performances, and video pieces, made between 1989 and the present. Grovier is "an American poet, historian, and art critic," according to his Wikipedia page, and "contributes regularly to the Times Literary Supplement and is co-founder of the … [Read more...]

The Greatest Living Artists, According to Vanity Fair Poll


Yes, it's another list. Like some of the others, the best ones, this list is likely to provoke thinking, perhaps start a debate -- and that's why I'm calling it to your attention. It's Vanity Fair's list of "The Six Greatest Living Artists." Why six? I do not know. But here's what the magazine says about the exercise: Vanity Fair decided to conduct a straw poll. Or maybe it should be called a silk poll. Ask 100 art-world worthies—mainly artists, professors of art, and curators (but not dealers, who must look after their own)—to name whom … [Read more...]

How To Talk About Francis Bacon


I love the occasional feature in Hyperallergic called "How To Talk About Art." Today the online magazine takes up Francis Bacon, in honor of the coming sale at Christie's of Bacon's Three Studies of Lucian Freud (below), in an amusing piece by Cat Weaver. Excerpts: won’t have to LEARN much in order to talk about Bacon. He really has been boiled down to a pastiche of sensitive artist tropes. That’s because there really isn’t that much to say. The man did talk a lot, but he mostly repeated the same things. Life is full of horrors, and … [Read more...]

Pollock: It’s Even More In the Details


The Museum of Modern Art recently finished conservation work on three paintings by Jackson Pollock, and in the process discovered new details in each that show that "The life of the pictures is in the details.” That's the kicker quote from Jim Coddington, the museum’s chief conservator, taken from an online article in ARTnews. The story, Fresh Prints: MoMA Washes Pollock’s Hands, discusses work on Number 1A, 1948,  One: Number 31, 1950, and Echo: Number 25, 1951-- and, as it turned out, a different discovery was made in each. In Number … [Read more...]

“Artist to Artist” – New Short Film Series


I've mentioned Art21 here before; it's the nonprofit that makes videos about artists. Its television series, "Art in the Twenty-First Century" won a Peabody Award, and it has other offerings, too. This week Art21 introduces something new: A series of short-format documentaries highlights leading contemporary visual artists in conversation with their peers, discussing the inspirations and ideas that drive their processes. The films have a distinctive format: each film follows a single artist/host as she engages with other artists in a shared … [Read more...]

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