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How To Talk About Francis Bacon

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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: ...you 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

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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

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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...]

What Conclusions Can We Draw From ArtPrize?

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This weekend, ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Mich., awarded $560,000 in cash to the artists of 16 installations -- the end of a 19-day competitive event in which the public visited artworks spread around the city, and voted on those they liked best. 49,078 people voted, casting  446,850 votes -- they chose the 10 public awards, 10 artists who together won $360,000. An eight-person panel of art professionals decided six juried award winners totaling $200,000. Here are the two winners, tops in each … [Read more...]

Books To Get The Pictures Out

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Too busy yesterday to post here, I missed the opportunity to provide advanced notice of a reception last night for a new and seemingly worthy non-profit called The Artist Book Foundation. The party (fundraiser or friendraiser, it's not clear -- probably both) was held at Luhring Augustine gallery in Chelsea, and the other hosts were Friedman Benda, Paula Cooper, Marian Goodman and Jack Tilton. Pretty prominent names. So what is the new foundation, a 501(c) 3 that is just barely on Guidestar (which is to say little information but the name, … [Read more...]

So You Skipped Art History?

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Fear not. Something called The Meta Picture has a cheat sheet for several of art history's masters. If you'd like a laugh, or at least a smile, have a look. Here's a sampling; perhaps you can fill in the blanks: If the images have a dark background and everyone has a tortured look on their faces, it's ______. If all the men look like cow-eyed, curly-haired women, it's ______. You get the drift...now post your examples as comments below. … [Read more...]

Renoir On The Block: Remnants Of His Life

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Renoir died some 94 years ago, but tomorrow Heritage Auctions is offering what it calls "The single largest archive of Pierre-Auguste Renoir's personally-owned objects — from his signature polka-dot scarf to the original plaster maquette of La Grande Venus Victrix, recently discovered in a shed in France" for sale. The auction is titled "The Unknown Renoir: The Man, The Husband, The Father, The Artist Signature Auction." Here's a link to the catalogue. It will be a live auction, but Heritage is also taking bids online now. I browsed the … [Read more...]

Coming Soon: A Test of the Hopper Market

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Two bits of news this week got me thinking about the Hopper market. First, Crystal Bridges Museum announced that it had purchased Blackwell's Island, which will soon go on view in its early 20th Century gallery. Great addition, I thought. Painted in 1928, it is a view of what is now known as Roosevelt Island, just off midtown Manhattan in the East River. It's a sizeable piece, measuring 34-1/2 inches by 59-1/2 inches. Said the museum's President Don Bacigalupi in the press release: “This is a most ambitious composition for Hopper. He painted … [Read more...]

Give The Artist Credit…

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There are many reasons to admire the artist-provocateur Ai Weiwei and now I've learned of another. In conjunction with his show at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Ai Weiwei According to What?, the man is going to do a live video chat with the museum's visitors on Sept. 5. The AGO’s director and CEO, Matthew Teitelbaum, will be asking the questions -- or at least moderating (the announcement is a little unclear on that). Not too many artists would do this, imho. I've spoken with quite a few who evade questions and say things like "the art speaks … [Read more...]

“Figment” Project Goes Live For Warhol’s 85th

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This is a little ghoulish, admittedly, but a company Earthcam, which calls itself "the global leader in providing webcam content, technology and services," has been launching some arts-related project lately, and tonight at midnight, the newest one goes live. It will mark what would have been Andy Warhol's 85th birthday, had he lived this long. In "celebration," as the press release says, Earthcam has organized an interactive multimedia project with the Warhol Museum. The elements: A live feed with sound available 24/7 at Andy’s … [Read more...]

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