NEWS

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

EDADES: FROM FREEDOM TO FRUITION


Victorio Edades at CCP

(The Philippine Star) Updated November 28, 2011 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Edades Projects — with support from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Office of Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino, the Philippine STAR, and Universal Harvester Inc. — presents Edades: From Freedom to Fruition, an exhibit on the life and works of National Artist Victorio Edades as painter, architect and educator, which opens on Dec. 2 at the Bulwagang Juan Luna (CCP Main Gallery) of the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Roxas Blvd., Pasay City. The show runs until Jan. 7, 2012.

The show features some 40 works (sourced from government and private collections from Manila to Davao and Pangasinan) made by Edades between 1926 to 1981. It also includes the works of Edades’ former students in UST such as National Artists Ang Kiukok and Jerry Elizalde Navarro; Antonio Austria, Manuel Baldemor, Norma Belleza, Charito Bitanga, Danny Dalena, Angelito Antonio, Jaime de Guzman, Veronica Lim, Ramon Orlina, Leon Pacunayen, and Rhoda Recto.

Edades: From Freedom to Fruition is part of a series of events and activities called Edades Projects in honor of the country Father of Modern Art, which was launched last July 29.

For inquiries, call (632)912-4319, (632)439-3962 or (632)964-3496 or e-mail edadesprojects@gmail.com.

LOVE ME


PAEA’s LOVE ME EXHIBIT AT CCP

The Philippine Art Educators Association (PAEA), through the leadership of Orlando P. Abon of St. Mary’s Academy of Pasay City, in cooperation with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), will open its biennial exhibit entitled Love Me (Learning to Own & Value Environment & Mother Earth) on December 2, 2011, at the CCP Main Theater Lobby, and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floor hallways at 2pm.

This exhibit aims to instill among children care for the environment. Participants are children ages 6-18 years old from the public and private schools. It showcases art works using different media, ideas and styles expressing their understanding of current issues as well as the values they have imbibed through visual art.

The exhibit will be on view until January 1, 2012. For more information, please call CCP Visual Arts at (632)832-1125 loc. 1504-1505.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

CHRISTO’S OVER THE RIVER GETS FEDERAL APPROVAL


Christo’s Over The River gets federal approval
Artist says final plans to wrap the Arkansas River answer opposition’s concerns over environmental impact

By Helen Stoilas. From Web only
Published online: 07 November 2011

DENVER. Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s plans to wrap the Arkansas River in southern Colorado were finally approved today by the Bureau of Land Management after more than two years of review and public debate. If the artist secures the final permits from Colorado agencies, the temporary work will go on display between Salida and Cañon City for two consecutive weeks, starting at the earliest in August 2014.

Over The River, the latest project proposed by the contemporary artist who famously wrapped the Reichstag in 1995, will see a 42-mile stretch of the river covered by 5.9 miles of fabric panels. “We’re elated. The only thing that is missing is that Jeanne-Claude is not here to enjoy it—she would be up in the air with happiness,” said Christo over the phone today. He was on route to Washington, DC, where he will give a press conference on Tuesday announcing a gift to the National Gallery of Art, including works related to the project.

The work has seen furious opposition from local groups, which say it will have a negative impact on the region’s environment and wildlife. The Bureau of Land Management released a report that answers these concerns with a series of mitigation measures, which Christo will also be responsible for funding. According to the bureau, the artist’s organisation for the project, named OTR Corp, will fund a “habitat improvement project and water developments” that will allow the sheep access to other water sources while the project is up. The artist will also take measures to lessen the impact on migratory birds and eagles. And while fishing access in the immediate area of the project will be “significantly impacted” in the short term, the Bureau of Land Management says it will not be disrupted in the rest of the canyon. Traffic, boating and access to recreation areas will also be monitored.

“This is the first time in history that the government has done an impact study like this for a work of art, it’s normally only done for building, bridges, airports, or mining project,” said Christo. He also says it’s the first time that a book has been published for a work of art that does not exist, referring to the 1,686-page report published by the government, which he says cost $2.5m to research. “Critics have never written about a painting before it’s been painted, or a sculpture before it’s been sculpted”.


Friday, November 25, 2011

THE PROBLEM WITH AUTHENTICATING WARHOL


The problem with authenticating Warhol
While some fear the negative effects of the closure of the vetting board, others say its role was not essential

By Charlotte Burns. From News, Issue 229, November 2011
Published online: 07 November 2011

Works by Andy Warhol are due to take centre stage in this month’s contemporary art auctions in New York (7-9 November). An estimated $114m worth of art, comprising 49 works, ranging from $20,000 to $19m, will be sold; works by Warhol will represent 11% of the evening sale material. Their success, or failure, will act as a barometer for the health of the contemporary market at a time when fears of a new recession are looming.

There is, though, a twist in this month’s test of the Warhol market following the announcement that the Andy Warhol Foundation will dissolve its authentication board at the beginning of 2012.

The board, which has come under fire for its controversial decisions (see box), has acted as the sole arbiter in authenticating Warhols for the past 16 years. Some fear the negative effects of its closure. It leaves “the Warhol market adrift,” says Anders Petterson, the founder and managing director of ArtTactic. “This ship is too big to be left to free float. Despite the fact that the board was often criticised for its decisions, it acted as an anchor for a complex market characterised by large production volumes, extensive use of appropriation-based techniques and various degrees of the artist’s involvement in the final product.”

While the move “is bound to cause some type of confusion in the market in the short-term”, says Oliver Barker, the deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Europe and its senior international specialist in contemporary art, he feels that the closure is ultimately “more an inconvenience than a major commercial disaster”.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

LEONARDO’S SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD REDISCOVERED IN NEW YORK


Leonardo’s Saviour of the World rediscovered in New York
The work was assumed lost until it turned up in an American private collection

By Martin Bailey. From Features, Issue 227, September 2011
Published online: 31 October 2011

After New York conservator Dianne Dwyer Modestini had removed the varnish and overpaint, the picture’s quality and style convinced the scholars. A technical examination also supported the attribution. Pentimenti, such as a change in the thumb of the hand of Christ raised in blessing, were further evidence.

The attribution is fully accepted by Syson and National Gallery director Nicholas Penny. “We felt that it would be of great interest to include it in the exhibition as a new discovery,” a gallery spokesman told us.

The roll call of specialists who accept the attribution includes Carmen Bambach, Andrea Bayer, Keith Christiansen and Everett Fahy (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), David Alan Brown (National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC), Mina Gregori (University of Florence), Maria Teresa Fiorio (Raccolta Vinciana, Milan), Pietro Marani (Politecnico, Milan), David Ekserdjian (University of Leicester) and Martin Kemp (University of Oxford). Some have dated it to the end of Leonardo’s period in Milan (1498-99) and others to Florence (1500-06). So far, Italian specialist Carlo Pedretti is the only scholar to have questioned the attribution.

Where has the painting been for five centuries—and how did it emerge? By the 17th century, it belonged to Charles I. It went to the Duke of Buckingham in 1688 and was sold in 1763 by his descendants as a Leonardo. The painting disappeared and surfaced in 1900, attributed to Bernardino Luini, when it was bought by collector Sir Francis Cook.

Tancred Borenius, in his 1913 catalogue of the Cook collection, described it as a “free copy after Boltraffio”, although Sir Herbert Cook added a dissenting note, ascribing it to a “contemporary painter of Leonardo’s School”. Sir Herbert was an Italian Renaissance specialist, so it is curious that he never subjected the picture to further scrutiny.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

NO PUNNING ON PUTIN


No punning on Putin
Fourth Moscow Biennale shows fewer political works

By Sophia Kishkovsky. From Web only
Published online: 01 November 2011

MOSCOW. “Rewriting Worlds,” the fourth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (22 September-30 October), displayed unintentional synergy with Russia’s bizarre political scene, opening just two days before prime minister Vladimir Putin announced he would be rerunning for the presidency. The announcement at a congress of United Russia, the dominant Kremlin-controlled party, plunged Russia’s intellectual and ruling elite into debates about whether the move signifies a return to the late Soviet-era stagnation of general secretary Leonid Brezhnev, or whether it offers much needed stability on the path to modernisation.

The announcement coincided with the opening on 24 September of one of the biennale’s special projects, “Media Impact: International Festival of Activist Art”, held at Artplay Design Center, Moscow’s latest arts and design hub on a former factory site. Several works on display at Artplay were among the few in the biennale to reflect the current economic and political climate, including P.I.G.S., 2011, by Paris-based artist collective Claire Fontaine, a map of the debt-ridden countries of Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain assembled out of 360,000 matches that were burned at the end of the biennale, and Earth Report, 2010, a series of mini-installations by South Korean artist Kijong Zin, which focus on the geopolitical and ecological threats of globalisation.

The other half of the main exhibition was held in an exhibition hall at TSUM, a luxury emporium. Mercury Group, which owns TSUM, has a controlling stake in Phillips de Pury. Disappointingly, anticipated events such as the arrival of Ai Weiwei, the Chinese dissident artist, who was invited to attend, did not materialise.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

ANGER OVER LOUVRE’S PLAN TO CLEAN A LEONARDO


Anger over Louvre’s plan to clean a Leonardo
Specialists fear artist’s “smoky finish” effect may be harmed

By Gareth Harris. From News, Issue 229, November 2011
Published online: 01 November 2011

Paris. Conservators approach works by Leonardo da Vinci at their peril for fear of creating a storm—especially in France. The Louvre’s latest attempt to conserve a masterpiece by the artist, The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, 1508, has yet again sparked a wave of debate about cleaning paintings, even if they are dirty and discoloured.

The proposal to clean the work was first mooted at a two-day conference held at the Louvre in June 2009, attended by key Leonardo scholars such as Martin Kemp, emeritus professor at the University of Oxford. “The event at the Louvre was a genuine scholarly exercise. The work is tricky; there are some rather nasty scars and very ugly, discoloured retouching,” he says. “It’s not just a question of cleaning off the dirt but ensuring that the internal colour balance is not disturbed.”

Previous restoration attempts have also proved controversial. According to our sister paper Le Journal des Arts, the Louvre abandoned plans to conserve the work in 1994 because the solvents used to remove varnish risked damaging the paint layers beneath. In autumn 2010, the Louvre decided to try again, this time backed by a scientific committee made up of specialists, including Larry Keith of the National Gallery in London, who last year restored Leonardo’s The Virgin of the Rocks (around 1491-1508). Vincent Pomarède, the project leader and keeper of paintings at the Louvre, said that the aim was “to solve the problem of the thick varnish that pulls on the paint layers, creating an uneven surface”. Pomarède’s solution involves thinning the layers applied in the 19th and 20th centuries, leaving a film of varnish eight to 12 micrometres thick, rising to 25 micrometres across the faces of the figures.


Monday, November 21, 2011

FIRST PHASE OF AFRICAN OPERA VILLAGE COMPLETED


First phase of African opera village completed
Christoph Schlingensief's artistic centre in Burkina Faso opens with a new school

By Rita Pokorny. From Web only
Published online: 01 November 2011

BURKINA FASO. The first phase of late artist Christoph Schlingensief's African opera village was completed on 8 October with the opening of a school in Burkina Faso. The remaining two phases are the building of an infirmary and a festival hall.

In 2008 Schlingensief, who died in August 2010, and architect Francis Kéré created the foundation Festspielhaus Afrika and the plan to build an opera village near Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso was born. The intention was to establish an artistic centre outside of Europe, in one of the poorest countries of the world.

After Schlingensief's death, the project was chosen for the German pavilion at this year's Venice Biennale. It promptly won the the Golden Lion, a decision very much opposed to by artists such as Gerhard Richter who thought of Schlingensief as a performer rather than an artist. Indeed, Schlingensief had turned the African project into a stage production, “Intolleranza II”, for which he was posthumously awarded the 3Sat award in May 2011.

Schlingensief's widow, Aino Laberenz, who worked with Schlingensief as stage and costume designer, took on the African opera village project. Laberenz opened the school in Burkina Faso, which is meant to create a space for the region's young people and to initiate a dialogue between European and African artists. The school aims to take on 50 local children each year, offering classes in film, art and music in addition to other subjects.

The opera village has been supported by the German political and social establishment, including the Foreign Office, the Federal Cultural Foundation and the Goethe Institute, as well as the Swedish author Henning Mankell and the Berlin lawyer and art patron Peter Raue. Former German president Horst Köhler also took up patronage following Schlingensief's death. The project has cost around €500,000 so far.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

HONEYMOON ENDS FOR ‘EL NIEMEYER”


Honeymoon ends for “El Niemeyer”
Arts centre closes as its board and politicians fall out

By Cristina Carrillo De Albornoz. From Museums, Issue 229, November 2011
Published online: 02 November 2011

AVILÉS. Only nine months after its official opening, the prestigious, €45m Centro Cultural Internacional Oscar Niemeyer in Avilés, northern Spain, was forced to close last month, following a row between regional politicians and the arts centre’s board of trustees. Affectionately known as “El Niemeyer”, the centre was designed by the veteran Brazilian architect, after whom it is named, in his signature style (The Art Newspaper, November 2010, pp42-43). In an open letter, Niemeyer (aged 103) expressed his sadness at the political battle raging over the centre, and his solidarity with its director, Natalio Grueso.

Regime change

The regional government of Asturias provided the funds to build the centre and pledged 20% towards its annual budget. Following elections in May, the new president of the region, Alvarez Cascos, commissioned a report into the centre’s finances. Before the audit was completed, his colleague, the region’s new head of culture, Emilio Marcos Vallaure, reported that “serious financial irregularities” had been identified, alleging that invoices for various expenses, such as drinks and cigarettes, were missing.

Grueso rejected the allegations, saying that expenses were justified, criticised the announcement before the audit was made public, and called the accusations “irresponsible and nonsense”. José Luis Rebollo, the secretary and lawyer of the Fundación Niemeyer, which manages the centre, has said that the foundation will take legal action against the regional government.

While the stand-off continues, 4,000-strong crowds of demonstrators have expressed their support for the centre on every last Sunday of the month since late September.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

VANITY, VANITY: THE PROBLEMS FACING CHINA’S PRIVATE MUSEUMS


Vanity, vanity: the problems facing China’s private museums
Spaces bloom and then wither as founders’ commitment quickly fades

By Lisa Movius. From Museums, Issue 229, November 2011
Published online: 02 November 2011

In China, government interference with private museums can take many and peculiar forms. For the reopening of Shanghai’s Rockbund Art Museum on 15 October, it was all about monkeys. The artist Zhang Huan’s Q-Confucius No. 6, 2011, was originally meant to include a mechanical figure of Confucius in a cage, which would repeatedly rise and recline while nine monkeys frolicked overhead to symbolise primordial human society.

“It was the first time the government was asked for a permit for live animals at a museum,” says the museum’s deputy directory, Liu Yingjiu. It would have been given on the condition that any excreta were collected for health and safety testing, so, ultimately, the monkeys only frolicked during the opening night, which, as a private event, did not need the permit.

Private art museums are proliferating in China, growing somewhat chaotically and facing challenges beyond communist bureaucracy, forbidden monkeys and robot sages. Most begin as showcase architecture and vanity projects. Property developers have opened many to provide a varnish of high culture and to justify high prices, while others have been founded by enthusiastic members of the nouveau riche aiming to share their art collections. The practicalities of running a non-profit art space, and the inevitable legal, funding and personnel issues, come as surprises.

China’s building boom led to the opening, and temporary closure eight months later, of the Rockbund Art Museum (RAM), in the former Royal Asiatic Society Building. Part of a luxury redevelopment near Shanghai’s Bund waterfront, RAM opened in May 2010 to coincide with the Shanghai World Expo. The first exhibition was Cai Guo-Qiang’s crowd-pleasing “Peasant Da Vincis”, featuring homemade aircraft, submarines and robots. RAM closed in January this year because of additional building work in and around the museum that had been postponed due to a building moratorium during the expo.


Friday, November 18, 2011

MAURIZIO CATTELAN: GENIUS OR JOKER?


Maurizio Cattelan: genius or joker?
He is stepping down from the art world the day his Guggenheim show opens. But is it just another prank?

By Franco Fanelli. From Features, Issue 229, November 2011
Published online: 02 November 2011

One of Italy’s most controversial and talked about contemporary artists is due to announce his retirement on 4 November to coincide with the launch of his retrospective at the Guggenheim in New York—the first (and last, according to the artist) to bring together his entire oeuvre (until 22 January 2012). But is Maurizio Cattelan actually going to retire or is it just another of his publicity stunts? And if it is true, does he deserve the attention that always seems to surround him?

The Art Newspaper: Is it true that...?

Maurizio Cattelan: It’s completely true, I can confirm it.

Sorry, confirm what?

Oh, I don’t know. You tell me.

Is it true that the retrospective at the Guggenheim will conclude your career as an artist?

This will be my first and last retrospective, at least in the sense of an exhibition that I have personally had a hand in. The “Cattelan Archive” will be taking over after that. There are already more [projects] in the pipeline, but I won’t be directly involved. I will just pretend that I’m dead.

How is the exhibition organised?

There are about 130 works from museums and private collections. I believe the first one dates back to 1989-90, when I started out. There aren’t any earlier works. Or rather, there are a few design objects, but I don’t consider them works. The last one is a scaled-down version of the Piazza Affari installation in Milan [LOVE, 2010].


Thursday, November 17, 2011

SYMPATHY GROWS FOR ALLEGED FORGERS


Sympathy grows for alleged forgers
Media has painted four defendants in fake art trial in a positive light

By Julia Michalska. From Market, Issue 229, November 2011
Published online: 03 November 2011

Cologne. The four protagonists in Germany’s biggest art forgery scandal were sentenced a total 15 years in prison on 27 October following charges of forgery and corruption in a Cologne court. The group duped leading art world figures into buying forgeries from the fictitious “Werner Jägers” and “Wilhelm Knops” collections by artists including Max Ernst, André Derain and Fernand Léger. Ringleader Wolfgang Beltracchi, his wife Helene, her sister, Jeanette, as well as Otto Schulte-Kellinghaus, all confessed to their involvement in creating and selling 14 forgeries, which earned them an estimated €16m over the past decade. Beltracchi was given a six year sentence, his wife a four-year term, her sister—named as Jeanette S—a 21-month suspended sentence; and their associate, Otto Schulte-Kellinghaus, a five-year term.

German auction house Lempertz, Max Ernst expert Werner Spies and art dealer Jacques de la Béraudiere are facing civil lawsuits and compensation claims from their clients. Beltracchi’s forgeries continue to be uncovered—most recently a painting in Hannover’s Sprengel Museum, Katze in Berglandschaft, said to be by Heinrich Campendonk.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

MOMART DISPUTE REVEALS HAZARDS OF SHIPPING ART


Momart dispute reveals hazards of shipping art
Call a specialist, you could get a commercial courier

By Cristina Ruiz. From Market, Issue 229, November 2011
Published online: 03 November 2011

A British gallery is in dispute with the leading art shipping company Momart following the loss of a crate full of contemporary art at the Hong Kong art fair, ArtHK, in May.

The gallery, which is based in London, hired Momart to deliver four crates of art sold at the fair to local collectors. In turn, Momart subcontracted the job to a company in Hong Kong, but did not outline the details in writing. The subcontractor picked up only three crates; the fourth crate has gone missing and has not been recovered. Momart declined to comment.

Like most specialist art shipping companies, Momart reserves the right to subcontract services without informing its clients (its standard terms of business state that it “may engage sub-contractors and/or other agents to perform the services or any part thereof on our behalf without notice to you”). Normally, specialist art shippers subcontract jobs to other specialised firms that have similar experience in handling art, and this is what Momart did in Hong Kong. However, when time is a factor, specialist firms do send art with commercial courier companies.

John Croom, an art insurance consultant for Ecclesiastical, served as group insurance director at Christie’s from 1994 to 2007. He tells the story of a $40m Picasso that ended up in a FedEx depot in the US.

The client who had bought the painting needed it delivered in a hurry, Croom says. “The shipping department of one of our European offices went to one of the recognised art shippers and said they needed to get this thing out immediately. But it was a Friday night and that shipper wasn’t doing one of their regular shipments to the States, so the shippers put the Picasso into the FedEx system.”


MINORO

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

DELVOYE RISKS “TROUBLE” WITH OFFER TO AL WEIWEI


Delvoye risks “trouble” with offer to Ai Weiwei
Chinese artist’s assistants warn of reprisals if he accepts invitation to rebuild wrecked Shanghai studio in Ghent

By Cristina Ruiz. From News, Issue 229, November 2011
Published online: 03 November 2011

The artist Wim Delvoye has invited Ai Weiwei to recreate in Belgium the Shanghai studio that was demolished by the Chinese authorities in January.

Delvoye is planning a sculpture park in the grounds of a manor house outside Ghent, and says he would like Ai to rebuild the studio there. The Belgian artist bought the house and the 50 acres of land surrounding it three years ago. Ai visited shortly afterwards.

“Weiwei is very, very impressed [by the house] and I’m actually offering it to him. He has first choice to make work for the place or even live there. I gave him carte blanche,” Delvoye says.

According to Delvoye, Ai was planning to design a guest house for the sculpture park when he was arrested in China in April.

“While he was [detained], I was talking to his family,” Delvoye says. “Instead of doing a guest house, I suggested [rebuilding] the studio that they broke down in Shanghai. Weiwei has kept all the pieces. He was planning to do an installation with them, but [rebuilding the studio] would be a very mythological work and also a very autobiographical one.”

Ai, who is an architect and designer as well as an artist, had been building the studio for two years. He intended to use it as an education centre and a site for artists in residence.


WITNESSES IN THE GARDEN


Enzo Camacho/ Amy Lien:
Witnesses in the Garden
Republikha Art Gallery
November 12 - December 3, 2011

You will find yourself amongst several bamboo poles standing rigidly alert. Set into flaming cubic bases, their surfaces reveal a plethora of careful adornment. Although they share some basic features, they each retain a whatever singularity. Together, they form a provisional self-regulating society, a small multitude held together by a sculptural vocabulary that is intentionally scattered. The use of a clip-on electric fan and citronella candles represents an attempt at glamorizing the inconveniences of tropical living. One pole has been outfitted to function as a monopod for a small video camera, and will be put to work in the service of documenting the exhibition opening. The application of dried mushrooms constitutes a borrowed gesture, an unauthorized extension of the recent studio practice of Mathieu Malouf, a New York-based friend of the artists, who is also an avid blogger (http://jerrymagoo.blogspot.com/). These mushrooms proliferate, even in death.

A closer look at the poles reveals a series of rolled-up lambda prints. These images document a performance that took place this past summer in the Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, following an invitation from the artist collective Grand Openings (http://www.reenaspaulings.com/MoMAblog.htm). Handling a wooden sculpture that they had commissioned from an artisan carver in Baguio City, the artists conducted a flash in the pan tour during which they maneuvered around the garden, facilitating socialization between this sculpture and MoMA’s most durable works. In the images on view, it is seen interacting with Joan Miro’s Moonbird (1966). The photographs clutch the poles’ surfaces with a type of anxiety induced by traveling faster than you can think. Appropriately, they are secured with Velcro, like sportswear accessories.

A dense accumulation of text encircles the bamboo grove, providing yet another grounds for contemplation. The text comprises an interview conducted by Amy Lien with art historian Patrick Flores, which took place this past September during a rambling stroll through Central Park, while Flores was in New York to participate in discussions for the Asian Art Council, convened by the Guggenheim. Patrick D. Flores is Professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the University of the Philippines at Diliman, and is the Curator of the University of the Philippines Vargas Museum and Adjunct Curator of the National Art Galleries of the Philippines and Singapore. Flores has organized several national and international platforms, and is the author of numerous articles and several books concerning Philippine art, including Painting History: Revisions in Philippine Colonial Art (Quezon City/Manila, 1998), Remarkable Collection: Art, History, and the National Museum, (Manila, 2008) and Past Peripheral: Curation in Southeast Asia, (Singapore, 2008). The interview covers a broad expanse of Philippine art history, and delineates certain fractures within the Philippine art community. It will be transcribed directly onto the gallery walls by hired hands during the exhibition opening.

Bearing witness to this writing of history, the bamboo poles can no longer claim naïveté as their style of choice.

Enzo Camacho (b. 1985, Philippines) and Amy Lien (b. 1987, USA) are collaborating artists who currently live and work in Metro Manila and New York, respectively. They both received their undergraduate degrees from Harvard University, with Lien graduating in 2009 and Camacho in 2007. Their individual and collaborative work has been included in group exhibitions at Bortolami Gallery (New York), Galerie Crone (Berlin), Green Papaya Art Projects (Quezon City, Philippines), Light and Space Contemporary (Quezon City, Philippines) and the Jorge B. Vargas Museum (Quezon City, Philippines), among others. Earlier this year, they had a solo exhibition at 47 Canal and a performance at the Museum of Modern Art, both in New York.

Monday, November 14, 2011

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES


What a difference a day makes
Sotheby’s beats rival Christie’s with a solid sale

By Charlotte Burns and Riah Pryor. From Web only
Published online: 03 November 2011

New york. Sotheby’s thrashed rival Christie’s Wednesday night with an energetic auction of impressionist and modern art that totalled $199.8m, selling 81% by lot and 87% by value. The sale was in stark contrast to the performance Tuesday night at Christie’s, which raised $140.8m and sold only 62% by lot and 55% by value.

The star of Sotheby’s sale was Gustav Klimt’s oil painting, Litzlberg am Attersee, 1914-15, which sold for $40.4m (est in excess of $25m) to the Zurich-based dealer David Lachenmann, who was talking on his mobile phone in English to a private client. “We were happy to get it at this price. We had approached the lawyer handling the sale before the summer and made a higher offer for the work, which they refused as not being tempting enough,” Lachenmann said after the sale. “The painting is in perfect condition. It is a masterpiece.” The work was recently restituted to the heir of Amalie Redlich, who had owned the work before it was looted by the Nazis during the second world war.

There was further excitement when Pablo Picasso’s L’Aubade, 1967, sparked a bidding war between potential buyers including the Nahmad clan, Larry Gagosian and two telephone bidders. There was speculation that Acquavella gallery was the successful bidder for the work, which hammered at $20.5m ($23m with buyer's premium added, est $18m-$25m. Acquavella could not be reached for confirmation). “I wanted to bid at $15m, but did not get a chance to put my hand up,” said Christopher Van de Weghe, the secondary market dealer. Nicholas Maclean of dealership Eykyn Maclean added, “You can’t get a better Picasso from the 1960s.” Indeed, the work set a record for a Picasso from this period, according to Sotheby’s specialist Simon Shaw.

The relief was almost tangible after the disappointment felt yesterday at Christie’s, which had its lowest sale of impressionist and modern works in two years. The auction house had drummed up anticipation around the sale of Edgar Degas’ Petite danseuse de quatorze ans, a bronze statue that was executed in wax around 1879 to 1881 and cast posthumously. There were gasps in the room as the work failed to elicit a single bid. It was what Conor Jordan, the head of Christie’s impressionism and modern art department, called “the headline casualty” in a sale where pieces by the usual auction favourites—including Giacometti, Picasso and Matisse—all fell flat.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

INTERPOL CONFIRMS LIBYAN TREASURE WAS LOOTED


Interpol confirms Libyan treasure was looted
The largely forgotten cache of thousands of antiquities was taken by thieves months after the city was seized by rebel forces

By Martin Bailey | From issue 229, November 2011
Published online 31 Oct 11 (News)

Benghazi. Interpol has alerted police forces to the theft of the so-called “Benghazi Trea¬s¬ure”, which was stolen from a bank vault in the city on 25 May. The theft of thousands of antiquities went unpublicised at the time, some three months after rebel forces had seized Benghazi from troops loyal to the late Muammar Gaddafi.

The looted treasure, which includes Greek and Roman gold, had been stored in two padlocked second world war military chests and a safe. It has never been displayed in Libya and its existence had been virtually forgotten, except by specialist archaeologists.

Francesco Bandarin, Unesco’s head of culture, working with Libyan archaeologists, is ¬det¬ermined to hunt down the treasure; Interpol has alerted 188 national police forces. Inform¬ation about the loss is scarce, but there is some new evidence, based on research by Italian archaeologist Serenella Ensoli, the Naples-based director of the Italian Arch¬aeological Mission to Cyrene.

The antiquities had been deposited for safekeeping in the vaults of the National Com¬mercial Bank in Omar al-Mukhtar Street, in the centre of Benghazi. The city was the main base of anti-Gaddafi rebels, who seized power there last February.

On 25 May, the two chests and the safe were apparently moved out of the vault, without proper authorisation, and sent to another bank building near the Hotel Dujal. Only one of the chests arrived, with the other chest and the safe going missing. To make matters worse, Ensoli suspects that the thieves went through the containers, looting the gold and silver and leaving the lesser material in the remaining chest, which went to the new location.

The Benghazi Treasure is the name given to a collection of the most important antiquities that were excavated in Cyrenaica after the first world war, when Italy occupied Libya following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

HEAD SOLD AT CHRISTIE’S STOLEN FROM LIBYA


Head sold at Christie’s stolen from Libya
Italian buyer has voluntarily relinquished the work

By Martin Bailey | From issue 229, November 2011
Published online 31 Oct 11 (News)

London. A Roman head of a woman, which was sold at Christie’s in London on 14 April, had been stolen in Libya. It was bought at auction by an Italian for £91,250 and has now been recovered in Italy by the carabinieri.

Christie’s described it as “a Roman marble portrait head of a woman, circa first century AD”, suggesting that the life-size sculpture had been made in “an eastern workshop, perhaps Egypt”. The provenance was given as “private collection, Switzerland, circa 1975; acquired by the present owner in Switzerland in 1988”. At the time of the sale, an archaeologist contacted Christie’s to warn that lot 261 was the head of a statue at the Sabratha Museum, west of Tripoli; it had been detached and stolen in 1990.


NOTHING TO DECLARE

Friday, November 11, 2011

YOUR FIRST CHANCE TO SEE THE “NEW” LEONARDO


Your first chance to see the “new” Leonardo
How the National Gallery negotiated a record eight loans including a long-lost canvas, Saviour of the World

By Martin Bailey | From issue 227, September 2011
Published online 31 Oct 11 (Features)

How does one borrow a Leonardo? The process of negotiating loans is normally shrouded in mystery (except for those involved), so we have delved behind the scenes of the National Gallery’s forthcoming exhibition. Since the gallery maintained its usual discretion, we put together the pieces of the puzzle to discover how it has assembled “Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan”. Opening in November, it looks set to be the most important exhibition of the year in London—and possibly in the world.

The National Gallery faced a formidable challenge, since there are so few paintings by Leonardo. Although specialists disagree on the precise number, curator Luke Syson puts the figure at 15. He wanted all those made for ruler Ludovico Sforza from 1482 to 1499, plus some slightly later works. Unlike most exhibitions, there were no possible substitutes, so every loan request was crucial.

Syson began work in 2007 with eight paintings on his wish list. When the show was announced in May, he had notched up seven pictures, an astonishing achievement. Then came two more. The gallery confirmed on 6 July the loan of Salvator Mundi, a totally new discovery—and the first Leonardo to be accepted for over a century. Three weeks later came news that the Louvre had agreed to the unprecedented loan of its Virgin of the Rocks. So London will host the largest show of Leonardo’s paintings since the legendary Milan retrospective of 1939.

In borrowing for any major exhibition, three factors are vital. First, the venue must have appropriate environmental and security conditions. The National Gallery has an excellent record, although this has been marred by two recent incidents involving its own paintings. These were the disastrous dropping of Beccafumi’s Marcia, 1519, at the de-installation of “Renaissance Siena” in January 2008, and the vandalism of Poussin’s The Adoration of the Golden Calf and The Adoration of the Shepherds, both 1633-34, on 17 July this year (a visitor threw red paint at the works, although this was subsequently removed).
Second, an exhibition featuring important loans needs a strong scholarly basis. Syson, curator of the gallery’s pre-1500 Italian paintings, is well respected internationally (he takes over as head of European sculpture and decorative arts at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art next January). His exhibition concept, focusing on Leonardo’s Milan years, will break new ground.

Third, the paintings must be safe to travel on conservation grounds. Leonardo’s works were done on panel, which makes them vulnerable, but transport arrangements are now very sophisticated. Each painting requested on loan was subjected to a detailed conservation assessment.


WITNESS IN THE GARDEN


Witnesses in the Garden
Enzo Camacho/ Amy Lien
November 12 - December 3, 2011
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 12, 2011, 7:00pm

Working collaboratively between Manila and New York, Enzo Camacho and Amy Lien, both Harvard graduates, conduct a performance and sculptural assemblage revolving around a conversation on immanent critique (via a transcribed conversation with Curator Patrick Flores), concepts of a self-regulating society and a sculptural vocabulary that is intentionally scattered.

This is the Second installment of "SPROUT", a 4-part project of Plantingrice.com exploring the limits of different cultural infrastructures by curating exhibition programs that examine continuous social and artistic dialog.

Republikha Art Gallery
Unit 102 Magnitude Bldg.
#186 E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave. Bagumbayan, Quezon City
(beside Eastwood City Gate in Libis)
Ph# 543 8807, www.republikha.com
For further inquiries and hi-res photos contact lian@plantingrice.com

TRICKY, SEXY, SODOMY OR THE CASE OF THE ATTENTION-SEEKING WHORES


Tricky, Sexy, Sodomy or The Case of The Attention-Seeking Whores by Maria Jeona as Cumerlier Cuntiteh, The Spy Detective

November 12- December 04, 2011
Main Gallery

Maria Jeona presents her first major solo show with Manila Contemporary entitled Tricky, Sexy, Sodomy or The Case of The Attention-Seeking Whores by Maria Jeona as Cumerlier Cuntiteh, The Spy Detective; a raw and confrontational sexual acid trip that reveals her fascination with the physical act of sex itself. Graduating from UP this year, she is one of the newest voices to emerge in the Manila art scene and has already extensively exhibited her work in numerous group shows and was nominated for the 2011 Ateneo Awards. As part of her process, Maria Jeona extracts a mixture of kitsch and excessive curiosities from her obsessively produced scrapbooks that explore the intimate and more taboo aspects of personal identity. Moving between innocence and abjection, she purposefully creates double meaning and contradiction in her sexually explicit works that become metaphors for the world (and art world) around her.

Compulsively documenting herself since she was a teenager, the autobiographical nature of Maria Jeona’s work is layered with both illusion and self-reflection. With detective like urgency, she researches and reconfigures unusual sexual practices, which are then combined with a Lolita-esque awareness of fetish and innocence. By using neon colours, glitter and stickers, she lures audiences into a seemingly naive fantasy world that then unravels into a hallucinogenic journey of sensual experience, debasement and personal discovery. As both narrator and subject, Maria Jeona also appears throughout these images as the playful provocateur examining her life whilst simultaneously challenging issues around the female body politic and sexuality.

For the exhibition, the Main Gallery will turn into a pyramid shaped bordello/dungeon filled with intimate confessions and abject pleasure. The pyramid is an iconic symbol and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The monumental exoticism of this distant icon, however, is subverted via Maria Jeona’s kitsch execution to become a Las Vegas style parody or make believe land extracted from child’s play and fantasy. Upon entrance, viewers encounter a youthful world of sexual lust and experimentation, passion and humour. These sexually conceptual jokes, as termed by the artist, reveal the decadence of sex and the curiosities of a young woman exploring her own sexual interests. Unapologetically revealing, shameless and tasteless, she provokes viewers to let go of their inhibitions in order to enjoy the visceral and unconventional side of sex through a constellation of painting, cut outs, scrapbooks, drawings and installation. Combining elements of the perverse with a keen sense of figuration and tight composition, she presents a nymphatic vision that is at once disorientating and insightful.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

GRAFITTI ART HONOURS EGYPT’S REVOLUTION


Graffiti art honours Egypt's revolution
German street artist Case is due to paint a portrait of Khaled Said in Cairo

By Anny Shaw | Web only
Published online 27 Oct 11 (News)

ALEXANDRIA. Since revolution swept through Egypt earlier this year, street art has appeared across the Arab country. As part of a graffiti project initiated by the Goethe Institute, German street art collective Ma'Claim has been invited to paint several murals in Alexandria, the hometown of Khaled Said, whose alleged murder by two policemen in the street in June 2010 contributed to sparking the revolution.

The first mural, finished on 23 October, consists of four panels depicting a sea of clenched fists punching the air, with each panel bearing a single hand offering the peace sign. “It's about the power of a movement,” said Ma'Claim member Andreas von Chrzanowski, aka Case. The German artist also intends to paint a portrait of Said in Cairo, although he said finding a suitable wall in the Egyptian capital is difficult “as there is military everywhere.”

The project reflects the growth of graffiti art in Egypt, where more and more people are taking to the streets to express themselves. “From late-February until mid-March lots of people covered most of the walls in Alexandria with different types of wall paintings,” said Daniel Stoevesandt, the director of the Goethe Institute in Alexandria. “Graffiti has been used to keep the memory alive of those who died or disappeared during the revolution and therefore the medium has become very important.” Restricted by a lack of coloured spray paints, much of the street art in Egypt is basic, consisting mainly of slogans and stencils, says Case. “There is not much colour—Egyptian street artists stick to black and white,” he said.


AN ABSTRACT LOVE STORY


PinwheelPH would like to invite you to our second exhibit we're organizing for the year, a solo show by Niño Hernandez called "An Abstract Love Story". He's a wonderful artist with a unique voice and we'd love nothing more than for you to see his work. Please come to the artist's reception on November 12, 2011, Saturday, at 4pm at Nectar Restaurant, a brand new restaurant that just opened in Salcedo Street corner Benavidez Street in Legaspi Village, Makati City. Let us know if we will be expecting you and if you will be bringing friends.

Also, please find attached the event poster and the press release with more details. We'll be sending another email shortly with a zip file of some of the works Niño made for this show--all acrylics on canvas depicting love as he sees it. If you would like to feature/interview him, do let us know also so we can arrange this for you.

PinwheelPH was established in July of this year with the vision of staging art events and managing artists that we believe have a message you should hear. We don't think art needs to be absurd or even obscene to make a point. But we do believe art needs to be seen. And the truth is, there's not enough eyes that see the art that is available. Pinwheel is aiming to change this and we hope, by being there, you can be a part of this as well. We would like to see Manila become a major art destination and hub in Asia and the world--Filipino artistry has what it takes.

We'd love to hear back from you! Do confirm your attendance or post your queries to us soon.

Thank you so much for your help and time. We pray all is well with you, those you love and those who love you.

Heidi Franco
Pinwheel Philippines

THE TRUNS


THE TRUNS: Jevijoe Vitug
November 12- December 04, 2011
Upstairs Gallery

US-based Filipino artist Jevijoe Vitug presents his latest ‘visual environment’ in the Upstairs Gallery at Manila Contemporary: THE TRUNS, a case study about economic survival and community based sustainability. Vitug’s work is multidisciplinary in nature often dealing with the effects of globalisation on the environment and economy. However, the burden of such an agenda is usually subverted through a playful brand of folk and pulp comic imageries that also absorb science fiction aesthetics. THE TRUNS is once such approach and presents a fictitious brand of turrones de casuy. Launching this new local product/business during the opening, Vitug presents a wry ‘Pinoy’ candy land utilising the language of brand marketing to entice viewers to understand the need and possibility for local businesses to compete and survive, both domestically and internationally.

TRUNS is the name of the mascot of the brand, a curiously grinning candy man (similar to an astronaut) who appears in various formats throughout the show. It is an invented word that is also the short form of turrones employing a type of brand trade marking such as the Starbucks ‘frap’ or frappucino. Whether as an actual live mascot, toy or as part of painted images, Vitug uses the ‘art of corporate merchandising’ in an outer space themed environment. A parable of the vendors of the turrones de casuy, the astronaut is a type of intruder in various environments, using their own form of technology (similar to the hybrid kiosk of the travelling vendor) to survive in various surroundings.

Vitug has worked with the Aeta community in Pampanga to produce his TRUNS toys which are made out of ash from Mt. Pinatubo and fibreglass. Turrones de Casuy is also a delicacy from Pampanga introduced by the Dominicans during the Spanish colonial period, and could be termed an early form of globalisation which was then localised and passed down through oral traditions. This type of action and reflection within communities and upon culture is characteristic of Vitug’s work. Through strategies of comedy and folk culture aesthetics he combines a survivalist type of hybridity or making the best of what you have, that is so well known in the Philippines with the aspirational values of global economies that ultimately stresses the need for interconnectivity in today’s society.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

AUSTRALIAN CURATOR RESIGNS OVER STALLED INDIGENOUS GALLERY


Australian curator resigns over stalled indigenous gallery
Hetti Perkins plans to realise her vision of a national indigenous cultural centre in Sydney

By Elizabeth Fortescue | Web only
Published online 27 Oct 11 (Museums)

Sydney. One of Australia’s most influential indigenous art curators, Hetti Perkins, has resigned in “frustration” from the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) and will now strive to fulfil her vision for a national indigenous cultural centre in Sydney.

Perkins’ resignation letter, addressed to AGNSW director Edmund Capon, who retires at the end of 2011, expressed dismay that her exhibition proposals “are not progressed beyond successive presentations”, and that the AGNSW’s Yiribana gallery for indigenous art had stagnated.

“A key reason for my decision to leave the gallery is that for many years I have strongly advocated for the refurbishment of the Yiribana Gallery to bring it up to the standard of other spaces… and to address the important issues of inadequate climate control and visibility within the building,” Perkins wrote to Capon.

“The gallery of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art has remained unchanged for almost 20 years… Now our hopes for renovation have been quashed in favour of an institutional push for the ‘master plan’ to which I have been denied access,” she continued

Perkins, the daughter of the late Aboriginal activist and politician Charles Perkins, curated the AGNSW’s landmark indigenous art exhibition for the Sydney Olympics in 2000, “Papunya Tula: Genesis and Genius”. Her ABC television series, “art + soul”, was aired last year and was partly inspired by something her father said to her when she was a child: “When you get a chance to speak for your people, do it”.


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