NEWS

Friday, September 7, 2012

COMMUNITY UNITES TO REBUILD CLOCK TOWER DESTROYED BY EARTHQUAKE



Community unites to rebuild clock tower destroyed by earthquake
Thousands of fragments of medieval Torre dei Modenesi are sifted

By Ermanno Rivetti. Web only
Published online: 09 August 2012

The Torre dei Modenesi, a 13th-century clock tower destroyed in May by the two powerful earthquakes that rocked the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, has become a symbol of the damage done to the country's heritage. Teams of volunteers from across the country have now travelled to the small town of Finale Emilia to help salvage, collect and catalogue fragments of the 32 metre high tower, with a view to restoring it to its former glory.

This is a contrast to the situation in the similarly quake-damaged city of l’Aquila, Italy, where more than three years on residents have still not been allowed to return to their homes.

Volunteers have so far sifted through around 7,000 fragments of the tower, from red terracotta bricks and pieces of the clock to parts of the bell itself. The fragments are being stored in pallets in the courtyards of local primary schools, and it is expected that they will be transferred to a warehouse for the winter, where they will be studied further.

A spokesperson for the Direzione Regionale per i Beni Architettonici e Paesaggistici (the regional arm of Mibac, the Italian ministry of culture) has acknowledged the presence of civilian volunteers in Finale but has also stated that the official response teams are still evaluating the widespread damage to the region’s heritage and are not specifically focusing on the tower at this time. He added, however, that where it is possible “our priority is to rebuild damaged sites with the original pieces”.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

SURPRISING TEHRAN SHOW OF ART INSPIRED BY THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS



Surprising Tehran show of art inspired by the Stations of the Cross
Günther Uecker exhibition will focus on human rights abuses

By Gareth Harris. Web only
Published online: 08 August 2012

In a surprise move, an exhibition focusing on human rights abuses is due to open at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art next month. The show, dedicated to the German sculptor and kinetic artist Günther Uecker, includes 14 works from the series "The Human Abused: 14 Pacified Implements", which was commissioned in 1992 by the Berlin-based Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (IFA), a cultural organisation funded by the German government. The use of violence against foreigners based in Germany prompted Uecker to make the Arte Povera-esque works, incorporating materials such as nails, stones and ash.

"In these works, [Uecker] expresses his visions of life and life's suffering and tries to reveal, in his sensitive setting of signs, basic human drives: aggression, injury, destruction, setting against them gestures of reconciliation," says the institute's website, adding that the "injury of human being by human being" is the focus of the series. The works are based on the Stations of the Cross. These elements of Christian iconography may, however, raise eyebrows in the Iranian capital.

The exhibition (16 September-31 October) is also due to include 88 works provided by the artist who joined the Zero Group in 1961, an avant-garde Düsseldorf-based collective that declared art should be ultra minimalist, starting from "point zero". The show is funded by IFA, the German Embassy, the Goethe-Institut and the German publishing company Geuer & Breckner.


BOHOL-BUHOL


MOON BATHING


CRANACH’S MADONNA UNDER THE FIR TREE RETURNED TO POLAND



Cranach’s Madonna under the Fir Tree returned to Poland
The painting, which was copied and stolen by a German priest, makes its way back to Wroclaw after 70 years

By Paul Jeromack. Web only
Published online: 07 August 2012

Lucas Cranach the Elder’s Madonna under the Fir Tree, 1510, has been returned to the Cathedral of St John in Wroclaw, where it had hung since the 16th century. This follows the news that Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Office for the Restitution of Cultural Goods knows that Raphael’s Portrait of a Young Man “is in a bank vault in a certain country”.

Unlike the Raphael, which for some time had been feared destroyed, art historians and Polish authorities knew the Cranach had survived the war. In 1978, it was noted in the revised edition of Max Friedlander and Jakob Rosenberg’s The Paintings of Lucas Cranach that “just when and how the original vanished is obscure, but according to credible testimony it survives and has been reportedly offered for sale on the international art market”.

According to Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the painting was taken from the cathedral in Wroclaw, then known as Breslau and part of German territory, to protect it from Allied air raids. Cranach was known to be one of Hitler’s favourite artists and it is possible that it was ear marked for inclusion in the planned Führermuseum, Linz.

After the war, the picture was returned to the Diocesan Museum, Wroclaw rather than the war-damaged cathedral. It had been broken in two and officials decided to have it restored. Siegfried Zimmer, a German priest and amateur art collector and painter, was commissioned to take care of the restoration work, but he instead had a copied made between 1946 to 1947 and stole away to Berlin with the actual Cranach. The hoax was not uncovered until 1961, when a Polish conservator examined the picture and found it to be a modern copy. The original passed through private hands until it made its way to an unnamed Swiss collector who held it until his recent death, when it was left to the Diocese of St Gallen.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

PORTLAND GETS SET FOR TIME-BASED ART



Portland gets set for time-based art
Oregon’s eclectic performance festival celebrates its tenth year

By Eric Magnuson. Web only
Published online: 06 August 2012

A rock ‘n’ roll tribute to the utopian designer Buckminster Fuller is one of the eclectic projects included in the Time-Based Art Festival, organised by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art in Oregon (6-16 September). “There’s a lot of risk and potential failure and that’s what’s pushed us forward in the festival,” says its visual art curator, Kristan Kennedy.

This year’s festival, which includes performance art, theatre, dance, film and music and is held in venues throughout the city, features both international and local artists. Newcomers to the festival include the San Francisco filmmaker Sam Green, who is presenting his recent documentary The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller, complete with a live score from the experimental rock band Yo La Tengo. To celebrate the tenth edition, the artistic director Angela Mattox also wanted to include artists who participated in previous years, such as Laurie Anderson, who will be performing her personal and political work Dirtday! and the choreographer Miguel Gutierrez, who is weaving together a comic monologue and dance.

Describing how the festival differs from other art events, Kennedy says that the “artists are often in the room and the audience is invited to be in concert with them”. She has concentrated on the idea that physical works need not exist in a digital age for the exhibition “End Things”. As part of the show, the Italian artist Alex Cecchetti will tell a story through words, objects and drawings, which will then be retold throughout the festival by other artists, each passing the story onto the next. “It’s like a game of telephone [or Chinese whispers],” Kennedy says. “When Alex returns, the story isn’t his anymore.”


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

CONSERVATORS ALSO OPPOSE PLAN TO SIDELINE BERLIN’S OLD MASTERS



Conservators also oppose plan to sideline Berlin's Old Masters
One of world's greatest collections to be replaced by Modern art

By Julia Michalska. Web only
Published online: 03 August 2012

Conservators in Germany have joined the protest over plans to relocate the world-famous collection of Old Masters in Berlin's Gemäldegalerie. Under the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz's (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) plan, the estimated 3,000 works will move into the much smaller Bode Museum to make way for modern art including the collection of Ulla and Heiner Pietzsch. Any Old Master that cannot be displayed in the smaller space will go into storage for an estimated six years until a new space is found for the collection on the capital's Museum Island.

The move, which was announced at the beginning of July, poses a “significant conservation risk”, said a statement released by the Bonn-based Verband der Restauratoren (Association of Restorers) on 19 July. The association, which has around 2,500 members, argues that the Pietzsch collection should move into the Gemäldegalerie only when a suitable location has been found to accommodate the Old Masters. “Only then can transport be reduced and the possibility that large parts of the collection will disappear into stores for years be avoided,” the statement said. “Any handling, packaging and transportation—even within the building—means mechanical stress and climatic changes to the works, which weakens their substance.”

Around 12,000 people, including Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia, have signed a petition against emptying the Gemäldegalerie of its Old Masters. The petition was set up by Jeffrey Hamburger, an art historian at Harvard University. Earlier, the Verband Deutscher Kunsthistoriker (Association of German Art Historians) wrote an open letter to Germany's minister of culture, Bernd Neumann, protesting “vehemently” against the plans. But the Bundestag has already made €10m available for the renovation of the Gemäldegalerie, setting the wheels in motion for the move.


Monday, September 3, 2012

HIGH LINE OVER-UNDERSTATES JOHN CAGE COMMEMORATION



High Line over-understates John Cage commemoration
The composer’s minimalist film and sound work is somewhat lost in a small passageway on the elevated park

By Helen Stoilas. Web only
Published online: 03 August 2012

A screening of John Cage’s One11 and 103, 1992, opened without much fanfare on Thursday on the High Line, the elevated park along Manhattan’s West Side. Installed to celebrated what would be the composer and artist’s 100th birthday, the piece itself is a contemplative melding of sound and light, but its installation in a dim passageway detracts from the experience of viewing the work.

On the hot, late afternoon of the opening, the High Line was teeming with visitors, lounging on the wooden benches or strolling down the former elevated railway, enjoying the riverside views. After tearing ourselves away from the inviting refuge of wildflowers, it took a few minutes to actually locate Cage’s work. The piece is installed in the High Line’s 14th Street Passage, a corridor still under construction that cuts through the surrounding buildings. A screen is hung between two concrete pillars, on which Cage’s film, One11, is being shown while his composition 103 serves as the soundtrack.

Very few passersby seemed to realise they were walking by an art work (one visitor in fact was found napping on a nearby table) perhaps because for much of the film, the screen is blank or lit by simple, white shapes that could look like falling sunlight. Cage decribed One11 as “a film without subject. There is light but no persons, no things, no ideas about repetition and variation. It is meaningless activity which is nonetheless communicative, like light itself, escaping our attention as communication because it has no content to restrict its transforming and informing power.” Sometimes you can pick out snatches of notes or tones from the composition, but it is often difficult to hear the subtle music clearly over the low din of Chelsea traffic.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

SUBCONSCIOUS


MOBILE UNIT IN HUNT FOR RUSSIA’S BEST SELF-TAUGHT ARTISTS



Mobile unit in hunt for Russia’s best self-taught artists
The Museum of Everything is running a five-city talent search for outsider art show at Moscow’s Garage Center

By Eric Magnuson. Web only
Published online: 02 August 2012

The Museum of Everything, the largest travelling exhibition of outsider art, is taking its country-hopping roadshow to the streets of Russia for the first time. Throughout August, the museum is parking its mobile exhibition unit in a different city across western Russia, where it will become something like a talent-show stage, seeking out the country’s best, undiscovered self-taught and non-professional artists. The five-city tour ends in September in Moscow, where the city’s Garage Center of Contemporary Culture is due to show the museum’s top finds in a new pavilion.

“Russian self-taught artists are still relatively unknown outside the region and contemporary ones even more so,” says James Brett, the curator and founder of the Museum of Everything. “The museum hopes that this project will help give these artists the visibility they deserve so that we can bring them to the attention of the general public and curators and museums worldwide.”

Amateur artists at each stop will be asked to submit their work before the critical eyes of a variety of artists and curators, including the Russian artist Leonid Tishkov, the Ukrainian photographer Sergey Bratkov and curators such as Tamara Galeeva, who is the dean of art and culture studies at Ural State University. “International artists may also join us on the way,” Brett says. “It’s a flexible project and will depend on the [Russian airline] Aeroflot timetable.”


Saturday, September 1, 2012

CHRISTIE’S “CONSIDERING ITS OPINIONS” AFTER RUSSIAN PAINTING SETBACK



Christie's “considering its options” after Russian painting setback
Judge orders auction house to refund £1.7m to buyer of Odalisque

By Riah Pryor. Web only
Published online: 01 August 2012

Christie's is standing by its attribution of a painting to the Russian artist Boris Kustodiev, which is at the centre of a long-running authenticity battle after a judge in London ruled last week (28 July) that “the likelihood is that Odalisque was not painted by Kustodiev”.

Christie's was ordered to refund £1.7m to Aurora Fine Arts, a company owned by the Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, which purchased the work in 2005. The judge cleared the auction house of claims of negligence and misrepresentation.

A spokesman for the auction house says: “We are surprised and disappointed,” adding that it stands by its attribution to Kustodiev. When asked whether the company would appeal he says it is “considering its options.”

The painting is dated 1919 and depicts a nude woman asleep. It is known to have been exhibited in Riga, Latvia, in 1932 and first sold at Christie's London salesroom for £19,000 in 1989. It was sold again by the auctioneer to Aurora Fine Arts in 2005. Doubts are thought to have been raised by an art dealer soon afterwards. By 2010, Aurora had filed its lawsuit.

During the 20-day hearing, Alisa Borisovna Lyubimova, a research fellow at the State Russian Museum, St Petersburg, said she was “almost 200% sure” that the work is not genuine. The judge also noted in his summing up that she would not change her view even if shown contemporary documents tending to suggest authenticity. Max Rutherston, who works as a consultant for Bonhams, argued that the quality of work by artists is not always consistently high and concluded that the painting was by Kustodiev's hand.


Friday, August 31, 2012

ANNA SOMERS COCKS, CHAIRMAN, AND FOUR LEADING TRUSTEES OF THE VENICE IN PERIL RESIGN



Anna Somers Cocks, chairman, and four leading trustees of the Venice in Peril Fund resign
Charity to return to its restoration roots but rising waters still a threat to city

By The Art Newspaper. Web only
Published online: 30 July 2012

Anna Somers Cocks, the chairman of the Venice in Peril Fund since 2000, has resigned. (Somers Cocks is also the chief executive of The Art Newspaper). Lord Norwich and Nathalie Brooke, both honorary chairmen, Sir Ronald Grierson, and David Landau, both trustees, have also handed in their resignation.

Venice in Peril was founded after the great flood of 1966 with the declared mission of restoring monuments and works of art, and of financing research into the city’s ecological problems. Until Somers Cocks took over, it focused exclusively on restoration. Between 2000 and today, however, while continuing with restorations, the fund has also become involved in the big policy issues regarding the city.

From 2001 to 2004, Venice in Peril financed a research project at the University of Cambridge and the Consortium for the Co-ordination of Research into the Venetian Lagoon (CoRiLa) to bring together all the scientific work done on the flooding of Venice since 1966 and to examine the solutions proposed. The project culminated in a conference held in 2003 at Churchill College, Cambridge, where more than 130 scientists from Venice, the rest of Italy, the Netherlands, UK, St Petersburg, New Orleans and elsewhere, met for three days to discuss their findings.

Their conclusion was that the city definitely needed mobile barriers at the openings between the Adriatic and lagoon, but that these only bought time, and that the authorities needed to be planning far beyond them.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

PROCESOS Y TRANSFORMACIONES



PROCESOS Y TRANSFORMACIONES

Procesos y Transformaciones
Angeles Agrela, Pilar Albarracin, Javier Arce, Valeria Cavestany, Chema Cobo, Abraham Lacalle, Miki Leal, and Jose Piñar

September 1 to October 27, 2012

Opening Reception: September 1, Saturday, 7 pm

The Department of Avant-Garde Cliches (D.A.G.C.) Gallery and the Departamento Cultural Embajada de España en Manila are proud to present eight Spanish artists processing themes on the social and the political, formal issues and narrative content, the imaginary and the psychological, which transform the artistic and cultural affinity between Spain and the Philippines into a solid bond. The exhibit will run to a considerable period of two months, with each month showcasing a different set of works from the eight Spanish artists. Miki Leal and Abraham Lacalle will be in Manila for the exhibit opening.

Extraordinary feats of physical prowess typically are synonymous to the idea of the superhero, with perfect physique as significant vessel for power, Angeles Agrela explores the symbolism of strength not only through its external outfit, but also on the unseen mettle of those who put themselves into the role of the hero, pondering on the unheralded sacrifice, dedication, and discipline that may or may not be understood by an unsuspecting public, which intrigues her as similar to the calling of the artist. By highlighting the anthropology of the everyday through performances and photographic works, Pilar Albarracin investigates the phenomena of cultural stereotypes and ethnic clichés in order to analyse and expose the dominant narratives that determine identity. Using history as point of further inquiry and discovery through artistic appropriation and cultural referencing, Javier Arce creates works that explore the underlying gestures of public consciousness that create distinctions of taste and conventional values. Valeria Cavestany's brilliant paintings are a reflection of the world viewed with an independent spirit, where nature is experienced as magical menagerie standing in for pure innocence along with the potential for mischief. The works of Chema Cobo recall immediately the inspiration of Goya, with a sensitive eye towards the macabre that represents the shadowy plumbs of the imagination stirred with the criticality of doubt. The works of Abraham Lacalle recalls the hedonism of Matisse, the structural complexity of Picasso, and the irony of Duchamp, featuring figures, objects, events that transmute into fantastic narratives from everyday life done with vibrant color fields and dazzling geometric patterns, pure and joyful altogether. Miki Leal paints with lyrical flourish that pushes the visual possibilities in his work like that of jazz in music which he enjoys, creating unsuspecting narratives that leaves the viewer breathless with anticipation and wonder. Jose Piñar makes abstract works that speaks of painting as process oriented, systematic, and yet open-ended with allowances for improvisation and innovation stemming from outside of the medium itself.

BREAKING SILENCE


COFFEE BREAK


BEIJING TO GET FREEPORT TO CHALLENGE HONG KONG’S SUPREMACY



Beijing to get freeport to challenge Hong Kong’s supremacy
The Art Newspaper exclusive: facility next to international airport due to be built by end of 2013

By Gareth Harris. Web only
Published online: 26 July 2012

The Chinese government plans to turn Beijing into a key art hub in Asia by building an 83,000 sq. m freeport next to the Beijing Capital International Airport scheduled for completion late 2013. Officials hope that the vast storage facility, which is expected to be tax exempt, will encourage collectors and corporations to stockpile their art in Beijing. A collector based in the city, who wishes to remain anonymous, says the planned freeport will “have a huge impact on the Chinese art world”, stressing that the Beijing base will challenge Hong Kong’s supremacy as an art centre.

Euroasia, the Swiss holding company behind the Singapore freeport which opened in 2010, is collaborating with the state-owned business organisation Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group on the project. The facility will be called the Beijing Freeport of Culture. “Gehua’s plan is to promote Chinese art both nationally and internationally; [it] wants to create and organise a market that is loosely regulated,” says Tony Reynard, the chairman of the Singapore Freeport Pte company. “There is a huge domestic market in China but the freeport in Beijing will also be important for the international market as import tax will be greatly reduced or even scrapped at the facility.”

Earlier this year, the Chinese government reduced the customs duty on imported works of art from 12 % to 6% but the tax break only applies for a year. Apart from the customs duty, importers are still required to pay value added tax of 17% plus an additional consumption tax of 5% (The Art Newspaper, China Focus, May, p6).


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

RIZOMA


THE LIFE CYCLE OF PENIS-EATERS


IF THINGS WERE PERFECT


TRAGIC EVENT OVERSHADOWS TATE MODERN OPENING



Tragic event overshadows Tate Modern opening
Tino Sehgal's storytelling takes centre stage in vast Turbine Hall                                      

By Gareth Harris. Web only
Published online: 26 July 2012

Snorkeling off the Italian island of Elba; a mother’s tears as her son departs for university; the trauma behind erasing a tattoo: these are some of the tales told by participants in Tino Sehgal’s commission for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in London. These Associations, (until 28 October), the first “live” work in the vast space, consists solely of encounters between around 70 storytellers and visitors to the gallery.

Sehgal’s team strike up disconcerting, affecting conversations with visitors, interspersing these intimacies with manic movements choreographed by the Berlin-based artist; the storytellers start running in a frenzied circular fashion in pursuit of an invisible quarry, play tag and chant: “Even in the technological age.”

Chris Dercon, the director of Tate Modern, says that Sehgal has transformed the museum into a "biopolitical and anarchic experience”. Hans Ulrich Obrist, the co-director of London’s Serpentine Gallery and director of its international projects, calls it a complete work of art: “It’s a masterpiece; [Sehgal] brings all the elements of his previous works together in one piece, combining choreography conversations and music. It is a Gesamtkunstwerk.”

But not everyone is impressed. The critic Alastair Sooke wrote in the Daily Telegraph that he experienced: “A whiff of artifice about their stories, which feel polished and rehearsed. Sehgal does not hit the spontaneous social interaction that he strives for.” The participants are not actors although they are paid, working four-hour shifts.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

BLACK DAYS


VISUAL INSIGHTS



VISUAL INSIGHTS: THE RATIONALE

In a country where the gift of freedom of expression is something we enjoy, it is important that we use such privilege to voice our sentiments on any issue worth our participation. Though we oftentimes stay away from controversial situations, to avoid conflict and to make ourselves safe, ultimately, sitting down does nothing to contribute towards creating a solution. 

n the field of art, artists are often misconstrued as just confining themselves to creating artworks, without giving importance to the substance of their expression. Though there is a bit of truth to it, there are also a few who incorporate unto their art their individual perception, using their art as a forum for comment and thereby helping to mould public opinion.

iven the opportunity to manifest their opinion, aspiration and insights, through art, artists: Antonio Alcoseba, Darby Vincent Alcoseba and Celso Duazo Pepito have pooled their talents together to come up with an art exhibit entitled: VISUAL INSIGHTS. In this exhibit, each of them will showcase their individual observations about life in the society where they belong and their reaction towards the environment that affect their creative undertakings.

ntonio Alcoseba, who is more recognized for his masterful renderings with watercolour, will introduce his shift to cubism, allowing himself to embrace the gift of artistic evolution, after he devoted most of his time painting beautiful landscapes, old houses and other subjects that showed the influence of Andrew Whyte. His theme for this show is simply focused on ordinary subjects that have caught his interest, his objective being to encourage his viewers to take care of the little things, since more often than not, the little things are bigger than they first appear.

oung and energetic, Darby Vincent Alcoseba has endeavoured to record the beauty of the countryside by creating minute details to subjects which have provided him great inspiration. His continuing romance with nature is his way of encouraging his peers to do something that helps preserve our environment. Influenced by his father, Darby uses watercolour and endeavors to capture the details of his chosen subject not minding how much time he would spend on it, in the spirit of personal satisfaction.

Living by this philosophy that art goes beyond the beauty it depicts, Celso Duazo Pepito's paintings communicate positive, godly values. He uses his art to promote his advocacies toward uplifting values that focus on strengthening family ties, love for his country and moral ascendancy based on a deep relationship with God. What sets Pepito apart from his peers is his holistic view of his art. He links together what he values most: family, country and God that goes with the belief that truly, art goes beyond beauty.

In a way, VISUAL INSIGHTS are images of life, colored not just by pigments, but by the ideas and opinions of their creators.

LIGHT CURSE


SEE “INVISIBLE ART” BEFORE IT DISAPPEARS



See “Invisible Art” before it disappears
Anna Somers Cocks explains why this Hayward Gallery show, closing 5 August, should not be missed

By Anna Somers Cocks. Web only
Published online: 26 July 2012

Anyone listened to the 1963 song “Twenty-Four Hours from Tulsa” lately? Did you laugh? So why did it make us feel pleasantly weepy then?

How long can we understand a work of art in the terms of its own time? Fifty years? Twenty? Probably not more than five if it is contemporary art, which is as finely tuned to the mood of the moment as pop music, but usually with an additional load of more or less philosophical baggage that makes it even harder to penetrate after the theory has moved on.

Precisely because of this, I recommend catching “Invisible: Art about the Unseen 1957-2012” at the Hayward Gallery in London until 5 August. For starters, it’s excellent value for money according to a young friend of mine, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, because it forces you to concentrate and read the labels (in self-effacing grey on the walls), otherwise the mysteries remain a mystery.

As its curator Ralph Rugoff says in the catalogue (also printed in pale grey, and completely lacking in bullshit): “Art is about paying attention, and invisible art asks us to pay attention in a different way.” Good for him. This has been a gamble that has paid off and most of the critics have loved it. The show hasn’t got a sponsor—they don’t usually do immaterial—but Rugoff, who is also director of the Hayward Gallery, went ahead anyway. Maybe it’s because he comes from California, home of the whacky.

That old magus Duchamp should be the patron of the whole event, because none of the works could have been made without his influence, direct or indirect. It aims to explain the various reasons why artists have made invisible art, from the idea that art is in the eye of the beholder to the idea that the market has turned art into a mere commodity so you must purify it of substance, to the idea that you can make almost invisible art and play with people’s sense of space, to the idea that some political issues are so serious that you can only deal with them by absence and allusion. As you see, a lot of ideas.


Monday, August 27, 2012

LA MoCA PULLS OUT OF RICHARD HAMILTON RETROSPECTIVE



LA MoCA pulls out of Richard Hamilton retrospective
After chief curator Schimmel’s departure, there is no space in museum’s schedule for British pop art show

By Martin Bailey. Web only
Published online: 26 July 2012

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA), Los Angeles, has pulled out of a Richard Hamilton retrospective, after the abrupt departure of its long-standing chief curator, Paul Schimmel at the end of June. Schimmel is the co-curator of the Hamilton exhibition.

A MoCA spokeswoman tells The Art Newspaper that the gallery will “not be participating” in the international touring show of the late British pop artist’s work. Hamilton died in September 2011. Schimmel, however, confirms that he will “continue to be involved with the exhibition”, which he is co-organising with Vicente Todoli, the former director of London’s Tate Modern.

The exhibition was due to travel to Los Angeles, London, Madrid and Philadelphia. A spokeswoman for Tate Modern says the show “will still open” in spring 2014 in London. The Madrid venue is slightly less certain. A spokeswoman for the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia confirms that the exhibition is scheduled, but it is too far off “to know for sure”. Whether the Philadelphia Museum of Art will present the Hamilton show remains unclear.

More certain is a separate exhibition of Hamilton’s late works at the National Gallery in London (10 October-13 January 2013). This will include three large-scale studies for what was to have been his last painting, The Unknown Masterpiece, which the artist never completed.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

OUTSTANDING ROMAN SARCOPHAGUS RECOVERED AFTER MORE THAN 20 YEARS



Outstanding Roman sarcophagus recovered after more than 20 years
Executor of late, unnamed US antiquities dealer contacted Italian authorities

By Tina Lepri and Ermanno Rivetti. Web only
Published online: 26 July 2012

An ancient Roman alabaster sarcophagus, which was stolen more than 20 years ago from a church south of Rome, was returned to Italy on 18 July. It came from the London-based collection of an unnamed antiquities, flown back to Rome on a cargo flight in a container reportedly displaying the official seal of the Italian Embassy in London.

A special team from the cultural heritage protection division of Italy's police force, the Guardia di Finanza, gruppo Tutela Patrimonio Archeologico, lead by Massimo Rossi, conducted the repatriation operation.

The sarcophagus, which dates from between the second and third centuries BC, was presented at a press conference in Rome and then returned to its hometown of Aquino, around 100km south of the capital, where it is on show in the deconsecrated church of Santa Marta.

Although official sources have not confirmed this, the Italian newspaper Il Giornale has reported that the private collection in question belonged to the late US antiquities dealer Robert Hecht, who died on 9 February. Hecht had been accused in Roman court of conspiring to receive antiquities illegally excavated and exported from Italy, but his trial ended in January without a verdict when the statute of limitations ran out. Il Giornale also reported that the executor of Hecht's will first contacted Italian authorities.

The work, which features in relief scenes of chariot races at Rome's Circus Maximus, was stolen in 1991 from the Madonna della Libera church in Aquino. It was one of Italy’s great, unsolved antiquities thefts. No one has ever been charged with its theft.

THE COMING OF SPRING


Saturday, August 25, 2012

PHANTOM LIMBS


WIRED


ID3


ITALIAN - US TEAM DISCOVER EVIDENCE OF SICILY’S OLDEST TEMPLE



Italian-US team discover evidence of Sicily’s oldest temple
Archaeologists find early temple beneath the one at Selinunte

By Silvia Mazza. Web only
Published online: 25 July 2012

A team of researchers and archaeologists from the Parco Archeologico di Selinunte, near Trapani in western Sicily, and the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University (NYU), have discovered what they believe to be the oldest temple structure on the island.

The team, led by Clemente Marconi, the professor of the history of Greek art and archaeology at the Institute of Fine Arts who is the director of excavations at Selinunte, found the evidence of an early temple beneath the floors of a later one, known as Temple R. The team first identified parts of the wall and floors of the early temple in June. In July they made a break-through when they discovered the remains of a large central colonnade. Scattered around the colonnade were ceramic fragments that have now been dated to between 650BC to 625BC.

Caterina Greco, the director of the archaeological park, calls this find “exceptional". Greco also praises what she calls “a new synergy—with funds from NYU and co-ordination from our staff—that symbolises a modern model of management for the park.”

Friday, August 24, 2012

DECONSTRUCTING THE NUDE MODEL


EQUI TOUR


TUPADA.ACTION.&.MEDIA.ART
in cooperation with 98B

presents

EQUI TOUR | Seiji Shimoda
Sunday, August 26, 2012 | 1:00 PM
98B Mezzanine, 413 Escolta St., First United Building

One of the most active visual performance artist in Japan. Founder and director of Nippon International Performance Art Festival (NIPAF) will be having an intimate art talk with the crowd of artist at 98-B on August 26th at 1PM. Everyone is invited!

Seiji Shimoda was born on the 6th of July 1953, in the mountainous region of Nagano, Japan. In 1970 he started writing poems, joined high school student movement and for a brief moment, dropped out of high school and traveled inside Japan by hitchhike. Then in 1975 he started to focus on art, experimental theater, performance art in Osaka City University. He held many performances in Paris during his 3 months stay in 1982. In 1987 he started his Western European countries tour. And a host of invitations of more than 150 international art festivals in 37 countries followed, including Western, Central Europe, Asia, North & Central America.

98B

98B is a multi-disciplinary laboratory. It seeks to establish a convergence with artists, designers, curators, writers, musicians, film makers, educators, researchers, cultural workers, performers, architects and students together with the general public. It is deemed as a place for discussion and collaboration with and among its growing community. Talks and presentations on a range of topics are scheduled to facilitate diversity and generate exchange. Here, thoughts are shared and plans are formulated to better engage present and future stakeholders.

98B is a conceptual locale. Its physical presence is not bound by a particular site. The 98B venue exists wherever communal engagements are necessary or applicable.

How to get to 98b Escolta by train?
1. Take the LRT to Carriedo
2. Walk to Escolta and go to 413 Escolta St. First United Building after the creek. Landmark: East West Bank & UCPB on the groundfloor, In front of JRS Express/PLDT
3. 98B is at the Mezzanine!

QATAR FUNDS £8.7M GULF-ARCHIVE PROJECT AT BRITISH LIBRARY



Qatar funds £8.7m Gulf-archive project at British Library
More than half a million pages of Arabic manuscripts and East India Company archives to go online

By Riah Pryor. Web only
Published online: 25 July 2012

Qatar is funding a £8.7m project at London's British Library to make around 500,000 pages available online from the archives of the East India Company and the India Office in its collection, and a further 25,000 pages of medieval Arabic manuscripts.

The aim, according to Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the chairperson of the Qatar Foundation, is “to place Qatar at the centre of Gulf history studies”. In a British Library press statement, the institution says that it hopes that the digitisation of maps, photographs, manuscripts and letters will reveal the “forgotten history” of British involvement in the Gulf region. Explanatory text on the materials will also be posted, in both English and Arabic.

The project will involve the creation of 43 jobs. The team will work in partnership with the Qatar National Library.

The project is the result of an understanding agreed by the two British and Qatari libraries in 2010 that includes plans to work with other archives and institutions across Europe and the Gulf. A spokesman for the British Library says: “This is still in scope for later in the programme.” Qatar is also a major sponsor of the World Digital Library, a project run by Unesco and the US Library of Congress, which works to put historical documents online.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

BUHAY PINOY


QUEER MANILA



Queer Manila attempts to create a visual discussion around gender and sexuality within local contexts and internationalised LGBT discourse. It explores the understandings, misunderstandings, conflicts, humours, loves, eroticisms, deviances, spectacles, and dilemmas within Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender identities. Artists have been invited to contribute personal stories, as well as comment on the notion of body politics, activism and culture across generations through various media. 

opening: Saturday, 25 August 2012, 2.00 PM (running till 16 September) at Manila Contemporary.

VISAYAN ISLANDS VISUAL ARTS EXHIBITION CONFERENCE 2012


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