Tuesday, July 31, 2012



Young art stars in the shadow of the Olympics

If you pop along to the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, why not drop in on an intriguing group exhibition at Annex East located on the doorstep of the Games in Hutchins Close (until 23 August). Five young London-based contemporary galleries contribute to the culture smorgasbord by showing one piece of work by one artist (hence the catchy title "One One One"). "The Olympic Games comprises nations from all corners of the globe collectively gathering under one roof to celebrate and test the capabilities of the human body. In this sense, 'One One One' can be seen as a site upon which to test the values of the inclusive, universal spirit associated with an event like the London Summer Games," explains the press statement. Participants are: Hannah Barry Gallery (James Balmforth); Cole (Oliver Michaels); Millington/Marriott (Neil Rumming); Andor (Julian King) and Limoncello (Yonatan Vinitsky).

Published online 27 Jul 12


Sydney Biennale aims to stitch us all together
The international exhibition presents art as a cathartic experience

By Cristina Ruiz. Web only
Published online: 29 June 2012

Sewing, basket-weaving, music-making, story-telling and other communal activities are at the heart of the 18th Biennale of Sydney, which opened 27 June and runs until 16 September. The exhibition, spread over five venues in the city, is entitled “All Our Relations” and presents a vision of art as a cathartic experience capable of healing wounds and building bridges.

“Humanity is in need of a renewed attention to how we relate to each other and to the world we inhabit,” write curators Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster in one of the texts accompanying the exhibition. “We tend to forget how small acts in our daily life can influence the larger whole and thus destroy or recreate a greater harmony between the spheres.”

One of these “small acts” is currently being performed by the Taiwan-born, New York-based artist Lee Mingwei who has taken up residence at the newly-enlarged Museum of Contemporary Art for The Mending Project. He sits at a table with 800 spools of brightly-coloured thread attached to the walls behind him. Members of the public are invited to present a ripped item of clothing to the artist and sit and chat to him while he fixes it. “I taught myself how to sew,” Mingwei says. “I just like to do things with my hands.” The artist, who chooses colours which contrast to the garments he is working on, says he is performing “very visible mending to celebrate the fact that these pieces of clothing have been greatly loved”.

Over on Cockatoo Island, a sprawling industrial site with nearly 150 buildings which has been both a prison and a ship-building yard in the course of its history, Nadia Myre from Canada is encouraging members of the public to pick up spools of thread themselves and apply it to small linen tablets so they can “sew their wounds” as part of The Scar Project creating images or text which relate to past traumas. Elsewhere on the site, Erin Manning, also from Canada, is inviting visitors to participate in Stitching Time—A Collective Fashioning a massive communal sew-in and tea-drinking event. This is a biennale of quiet domestic acts, celebrated because of their capacity to bring us together.

The hand of the maker is present everywhere in an exhibition that explores the female domain. Around half of the 100 artists from 40 countries included here are men but many of them are skilled in arts which are traditionally performed by women, such as the South African Nicholas Hlobo who has created an enormous whale-like creature rising up from Sydney Harbour to rest on a boat launch cradle, its long, wispy tail winding down to the water below. The animal, created from rubber and hosepipe, is festooned with ribbons that have been carefully embroidered through its rubbery body.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Olympic fever spreads to London’s auction houses
Sales centred on sport and British art and design aim to make a splash

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

It may traditionally be a quiet season for the art market but this summer auction houses in London are putting on a show.

Bonhams staged “The Olympic Games Sale” on Wednesday 25 July. Among lots sold was the Henry Robert “Bobby” Pearce rowing archive, which sold for £49,250 (est £30,000-£50,000) to an Australian buyer. A set of photographic prints of the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Leni Riefenstahl also sold for £3,125 (est £2,500-£3,500) and five lithographs of poster designs for the 1972 Munich Olympics by David Hockney, Tom Wesselmann, Victor Vasarely, Allen Jones and Paul Wunderlich, fetched £500 (est £400-£600). The sale collected a total £198,350 (est £275,000-£380,000), with just 36.1% sold by lot.

At Christie’s, staff drove a double-decker bus to South Kensington, which has been pedestrianised during the Olympics. The 1966 example of the Routemaster design is being displayed alongside other lots from the “The London Sale” until the auction begins on 3 September. It has an estimate of £20,000 to £30,000. The sale, which aims to celebrate “all things British”, has a total pre-sale estimate of £1m to £1.6m and also includes a selection of outfits once belonging to Margaret Thatcher, priced between £800 to £1,500 and an example of the much reproduced Second World War “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster (est £800-£1,200).

Meanwhile, Sotheby’s is hosting a series of exhibitions until 11 August, including photographs of the painter Lucian Freud from the Cecil Beaton archive, a selling exhibition of diamonds and a display considering Arab women in sport by the photographer Brigitte Lacombe, which was commissioned by the Qatar Museums Authority.




Blue-chip works find buyers at Christie's and Sotheby's
Post-war and contemporary sales in London are strong, but market jitters persist

By Gareth Harris and Javier Pes. Web only
Published online: 28 June 2012

On the eve of the post-war and contemporary art auctions in London this week, and after reportedly strong sales at Art Basel (13-17 June), art-world observers and financial experts questioned for how much longer the art market, especially at the top end, would remain unaffected by the turmoil in the global economy. Respectable sales figures for Sotheby's 79-lot contemporary art evening auction on 26 June (87.3% by lot and 93.4% by value) belie the lukewarm reception for most of the works on offer. The total sale figure of £69.3m meant that Sotheby's comfortably achieved the pre-sale estimate of £57.5m to £82.5m (these figures do not include commission), but the lacklustre performance is a far cry from the auction house's highest ever total for a contemporary art auction in London of £108.8m in June 2011.

Bidding was notably sluggish for works by blue-chip artists. Jean-Michel Basquiat's Warrior, from the most coveted period of the early 1980s, limped to £4.95m under the hammer, just short of its £5m low estimate; the work fetched £5.6m with buyer's premium, making the arresting image the top lot in the sale. Even a strong 1980 painting by Francis Bacon, Study for Self-Portrait, backed by an irrevocable bid, failed to ignite the restless crowd in the saleroom, attracting one bid on the phone via Cheyenne Westphal, Sotheby's chairman of contemporary European art; the work sold for £4.5m with buyer's fee (est £5m-£7m). There was, nonetheless, an appetite for art by the current market bellwether, the German stalwart Gerhard Richter, whose 1995 photorealist painting Jerusalem achieved an albeit anti-climactic £4.2m (est £3m-£5m).

Few works surpassed their high estimates but notable exceptions included Jean Dubuffet's Chérubin Oiuistiti, 1962 (£993,250; est £300,000-£400,000), and Damien Hirst's 1994 painting Jolly (£601,250; est £180,000-£250,000). A tense bidding war between seven international bidders for a large-scale apocalyptic canvas by Glenn Brown, The Tragic Conversion of Salvador Dali (after John Martin), 1998, was a rare high point, culminating in a record sale for the artist of £5.2m (est £2.2m-£2.8m). Big-name rival dealers in the room swooped on established names: Larry Gagosian bought a 2003 c-print, Arena III, by Andreas Gursky (£265,250; est £250,000-£350,000), while Thaddaeus Ropac appeared delighted with his acquisition of Joseph Beuys's installation Tisch mit Aggregat, 1958-85 (£601,250; est £500,000-£700,000).

Such activity prompted the question of whether the material on offer, or the market itself, was flat, with mid-range works especially vulnerable. “The material was difficult and the Bacon self-portrait could have done better,” said the secondary market New York dealer Christophe Van de Weghe. “Why park your cash in one of the Basquiats on offer here when you have a better example available at Christie's tomorrow?” said a London dealer who preferred to remain anonymous.

Sunday, July 29, 2012



More monumental sculpture at the Hermitage
Enrique Martínez Celaya's towering bronze work explores the plight of children exiled from Cuba

By Anny Shaw. Web only
Published online: 08 July 2012

A monumental bronze sculpture by the Miami-based artist Enrique Martínez Celaya is due to be unveiled in the courtyard of the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg on 10 July (until 31 November). The Tower of Snow, 2012, which depicts a boy on crutches carrying a house on his back, is the latest large-scale sculpture to be installed in the Russian museum's courtyard following, among others, Louise Bourgeois's Maman in 2001 and three reclining figures by Henry Moore in 2011.

According to Martínez Celaya, who left his native Cuba as a child, the work is about his own experience of exile, but also about Operation Peter Pan, when more than 14,000 Cuban children were sent to the US between 1960 and 1962 by parents who feared the Cuban government would take away their right to decide how their children should be educated. “It's about the anguish of those children,” Martínez Celaya says. “I wanted to memorialise that event.” A smaller version of The Tower of Snow is due to be installed at the Freedom Tower in Miami on 19 October.

Martínez Celaya's first ever video work, The Master (edition of five, priced at $45,000 each), 2011, was bought by the Hermitage during Art Basel Miami Beach in December 2011. The work, in which the artist acts out Beethoven's death, is due to go on show at the museum this autumn.

Saturday, July 28, 2012




Crystal flat on the move
Roger Hiorns's copper sulphate rooms, now part of the Arts Council Collection, head north

By Gareth Harris. News, Issue 237, July-August 2012
Published online: 06 July 2012

Roger Hiorns’s public art piece Seizure, which opened to critical acclaim in London in September 2008, is due to be shown at Yorkshire Sculpture Park next spring. For the major sculptural project, Hiorns transformed a derelict south London flat into a cavern coated in copper sulphate crystals.

The artist pumped more than 75,000 litres of copper sulphate solution into the flat to create a thick, shiny, jagged crystalline growth on its walls and floors. The fate of the piece, last seen in London in 2010, was for some time a mystery, with speculation that the building was due to be demolished. Hiorns subsequently donated the sculptural installation to the Arts Council Collection. Artangel, the non-profit public art agency which commissioned the work, supported the acquisition along with the Jerwood Charitable Foundation (through the Art Fund) and the Henry Moore Foundation.

Structure Workshop, a London-based structural engineering design practice, helped to take down the 31 tonne-installation in February last year. “We worked with a team to develop the strategy for removal. This included demolition of the end wall and the design of a skid [frame] onto which the piece was jacked before being craned onto a lorry in one piece. It was successfully transported to Yorkshire,” says a statement on the company’s website. The work, the subject of a ten-year loan agreement between the Arts Council Collection and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, has been renamed Untitled (Seizure).

A spokeswoman for Artangel previously said: “After the project opened, 157 Harper Road [the work’s location] became a site of pilgrimage. Every day, hundreds of people would make their way [to] this anonymous flat near the Elephant & Castle.”

Friday, July 27, 2012


FILVADRO General Assembly

The Filipino Visual Arts and Design Rights Organization (FILVADRO) will hold its first annual general assembly for its members on July 28, 2012 in the Pearl Room of the Stonehouse Bed and Breakfast along E. Rodriguez in Quezon City at 1:00 p.m. The theme of the gathering is "Miting Pang-Abanse," which has been inspired by the popular election phrase "Miting de Avance."

FILVADRO's "Miting Pang-Abanse" includes the election of the new Board of Trustees, voting of members to amend the organization's Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws, a report on the 2011 accomplishments, and a discussion of future plans.


Monday, July 23, 2012



Cebuano abstractionist Dennis “Sio” Montera mounted his first solo exhibit at the Bluewater Gallery six years ago. It was aptly named abstractSIOn, a colorful play of words branding his great passion for abstract art and the nickname that he is fondly called by his closest friends and associates.

On July 25, 2012, Sio proudly brings his latest installment of his Bluewater Gallery series, foto+abstracSIOn3. Established as a serious abstract artist for more than a decade, this new exhibit allows him to expand to a new medium - photography as a design source for his abstracted imagery. He wants to experiment and use technology as a different means to convey his art and creative vision. Even as the medium evolves, the goal remains the same. That is, to evoke a viewer’s aesthetic response by focusing on the effectivity of the visual organization rather than meaning.

The art exhibit, foto+abstractSIOn 3, opens to the public on July 25, 2012 at 3:00 in the afternoon at the Bluewater Gallery at Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort. An artist talk will be conducted prior to the opening. It will run until August 25, 2012.For further information please call the Bluewater Gallery at (032) 492 0100 local 512 or Erik Monsanto at mobile number (922) 836 1862.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


FILVADRO calls for copyright reforms in Philippine law

City of Makati – The Filipino Visual Arts and Design Rights Organization (FILVADRO) and two other collective management groups are calling on legislators to amend provisions in the copyright law of the Intellectual Property Code to make the 15-year-old law relevant to the times and applicable to the sector. Launched in September 2011, FILVADRO administers the intellectual property rights of its visual artist-members.

Officials of FILVADRO, the Filipinas Copyright Licensing Society, Inc. (FILCOLS), and the Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Inc. (FILSCAP) had met with Senator Manny Villar, chairperson of the Senate committee on trade and commerce, and personally submitted and discussed their organizations' respective position papers and proposed amendments to the copyright law.

The Philippines is the only country in Southeast Asia that has a provision for resale rights; however, it has not been able to successfully enforce the provision in favor of the artists or the copyright-holders since the IP Code’s creation in 1997. This information is based on an informal survey conducted by FILVADRO between 2008 and 2011 among its constituents.

The contested provision is Section 200 titled “Sale or Lease of Work” which states that: “In every sale or lease of an original work of painting or sculpture or of the original manuscript of a writer or composer, subsequent to the first disposition thereof by the author, the author or his heirs shall have an inalienable right to participate in the gross proceeds of the sale or lease to the extent of five percent (5%). This right shall exist during the lifetime of the author and for fifty (50) years after his death.”

FILVADRO crafted its proposed amendments to Section 200 of the IP Code based on the existing practices in the United Kingdom and Australia with regard to resale rights. The proposed amendments include the identification of the liable individuals who shall pay for the resale rights, mandatory reporting of a resale transaction to FILVADRO, and the assertion that resale royalty is a debt due to the visual artists or the copyright-holders.

An update on the proposed amendments to the copyright law is one of the agenda on FILVADRO's first annual general assembly for its members on July 28, 2012 in the Pearl Room of the Stonehouse Bed and Breakfast along E. Rodriguez in Quezon City at 1:00 p.m. The theme of the gathering is “Miting Pang-Abanse,” which has been inspired by the popular election phrase “Miting de Avance.”

FILVADRO’s “Miting Pang-Abanse” includes the election of the new Board of Trustees, voting of members to amend the organization’s Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws, a report on the 2011 accomplishments, and a discussion of future plans.

Atty. Ricardo Blancaflor, Director General of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IP Philippines) and Felipe de Leon, chair of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) are the guests of honor of the “Miting Pang-Abanse.”

The current Board of Trustees consists of Karen Ocampo Flores who is the organization's president; Rita Badilla-Gudiño who is the vice president; Grace Dimaranan, corporate secretary; Tina Colayco, treasurer; Yael Buencamino-Borromeo, vice treasurer; Josephine Turalba; Egai Talusan Fernandez; Emmanuel Garibay and; Noel Soler Cuizon.

Other FILVADRO members include Ambie Abaño, Susan Abrera, Rolando Acuña, Ana Rhea Adonis, Nunelucio Alvarado, Eric Ambata, Maria Eugene Aniar, John Paul Antido, Cruzaldo Arbozo, Adjani Arumpac, Cynthia Atud, Virgilio Aviado, Jose Badelles, Recci Bacolor, Rogger Basco, Christopher Bayani, Bernard Bertumen, Jenica April Cahayom, Imelda Cajipe Endaya, Jeffrey Carnay, Delfin Castro Jr., Jason Christopher Castro, Clarissa Chikiamco, Salvador Ching, Joey Cobcobo, Salvador Concovar, Marika Constantino, Olivia D’Aboville, Camille Dagal, Maria Venus Dante, Nadya Melina David, Don Reich De Dios, Iris Joy Deganos, Fil Delacruz, Jan Olympus Delacruz, Sheila Rose dela Paz, Jocelyn Diaz, Jemimah Grace Dumawal, Daniel Enriquez, Noell EL Farol, Arvi Fetalvero, Jemima Keren Flaminiano, Noel Flores, Jade Ellaine Gadin, Genaro Gomez Sr., Maria Lourdes Inosanto, Raul Isidro, David Justimbaste, Jerry Jimenez, Marisa Laudinez, Alfredo Liongoren, Manuel Lumbao, Meneer Marcelo, Angelo Magno, Raymund Malicay, Frances Nicole Manzanero, Dalisay Mendez, Ma. Rowena Monsale, Maria Francesca Nacionales, Marcus Nada, Gerry Navilon, Othoniel Neri, Eden Ocampo, J Pacena II, Darryl Pagulong, Dantes Palmes, Noel Pama, Lala Pavilando, Josefina Pineda, Al Perez, Stacey Kate Posion, Azenith Elaine Ramirez, Jocelyn Ramos, Dan Antonio Recalde, Ma. Rhoda Recto, Mitzi Marie Reyes, Kirby Roxas, Mutya Sambile, Rogelio Santos, Fidel Sarmiento, Bru Sim, Judy Talan, Daniel Tayona, AJ Tolentino, Lia Torralba, Nikki Tucay, Josephine Turalba, Wesley Valenzuela, Andrei Venal, and Rhener Griego Vive.

IP Philippines, the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO), the NCCA and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) recognize FILVADRO as the Philippine collective management organization for visual arts and design. The Norwegian Copyright Development Association (NORCODE) provides financial support to the organization.

Friday, July 20, 2012





Tolstoy’s great-great-grandson appointed cultural adviser to Putin
Vladimir Tolstoy has been the director of Yasnaya Polyana, the writer’s estate and museum

By Sophia Kishkovsky. Web only
Published online: 28 June 2012

Vladimir Tolstoy, the great-great-grandson of Leo Tolstoy, has been appointed a cultural adviser to the Russian President Vladimir Putin. The appointment was made in May, shortly after Putin returned to the Kremlin as president after serving as the prime minister for four years.

Since 1994, Vladimir Tolstoy has been the director of Yasnaya Polyana, the writer's estate and museum. Situated near the city of Tula, south of Moscow, the writer's house and grounds were turned into a museum in 1921. Leo Tolstoy's daughter, Alexandra, was the first director of the museum, where the writer is buried. The house and grounds are famous for preserving the atmosphere of pre-revolutionary Russian country life.

In his new role as a cultural adviser to the president, Vladimir Tolstoy told The Art Newspaper that he will be addressing a range of cultural issues, from literature to music, theatre, cinema and museums, especially those in protected zones such as Tolstoy's museum.

While he was the director of the museum, he made it more accessible to tourists, scholars and Tolstoy family members, whom he gathers there regularly for reunions. Tolstoy's wife, Yekaterina Tolstaya, who has worked at the museum for years, has been named its new director. She told the Russian media that one of her first tasks as the director will be to build a store for the estate's collection. Museum stores have become a sticking point for Russian museums, and the question has been addressed by Putin at meetings with museum directors and the minister of culture.

Thursday, July 19, 2012




A gift of 400 drawings puts French painter’s legacy on show
The late artist’s sons donated the works to the Musée des Beaux-Arts Eugène Leroy in Tourcoing, which was renamed in his honour

By Ermanno Rivetti. Web only
Published online: 28 June 2012

Around 400 works on paper by the French painter Eugène Leroy, who was admired by artists such as Georg Baselitz and Markus Lupertz but worked in relative isolation for most of his career, are on show at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Tourcoing, which was renamed the Musée des Beaux-Arts Eugène Leroy in honour of the artist’s centenary in 2010. The exhibition has been made possible thanks to a donation from the artist’s two sons, Eugène Jean and Jean-Jacques Leroy, who gave the drawings and sketchbooks containing around 400 works, which cover their father’s entire output from 1927 until his death in 2000, to the museum in 2009.

The exhibition, “Eugène Leroy: Le Dessin” (Eugène Leroy: the Drawings), which is on show until 17 July, presents this collection of crayon, charcoal, pastel and watercolour drawings. The two guest curators, the British artist Orlando Mostyn-Owen and the Chilean artist Humberto Poblete-Bustamante, are the co-founders of a loose collective of artists and writers called the International Bongo-Bongo Brigade.

Leroy did not enjoy a meteoric rise to fame, but Mostyn-Owen says: “Particularly in his earlier drawings, we can see Leroy striving towards immortal status. They tell us that he knew what he wanted to achieve.”

Leroy was born in Tourcoing in 1910, and despite his prolific output he only found real, lasting recognition after the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville in Paris dedicated a retrospective to him in 1988. Since then he has enjoyed major exhibitions at the Musée d’Art Contemporain, Nice, in 1993; the Kunsthalle Basel in 1997; and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, in 2000.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012



Restoration completed at Turin’s Collegio dei Nobili
Baroque building is home to Academy of Science and Egypt museum

By Ermanno Rivetti. Web only
Published online: 28 June 2012

Six years of restoration work has brought a number of rooms in the Collegio dei Nobili, one of Turin’s most significant examples of baroque architecture, back to their full glory. The Compagnia di San Paolo charitable foundation provided €7.8m ($9.7m) for the project.

The building houses the Accademia delle Scienze, and work was carried out on the ceilings, floors, tapestries and furniture in the academy’s rooms, while the grand staircase, designed by the architect Guarino Guarini, was extensively renovated. The project was overseen by Valerio Corino, an architect from Turin’s architectural soprintendenza (board for cultural heritage).

Work was delayed following a flood in 2009, the result of a faulty fire alarm system, which caused more damage to one of the rooms. The building also houses the Museo Egizio, considered the third most important Egyptian museum after The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, Cairo, and the British Museum, London.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012



Australia’s new Venice pavilion to be built with private money
All A$6m needed for the building will be raised from the private sector, although the government owns and manages the site

By Louisa Buck. Web only
Published online: 27 June 2012

The Australia Council for the Arts has announced that the new Australian pavilion at the Venice Biennale is to be designed by Melbourne-based architectural practice Denton Corker Marshall. The new building, which the architects describe as “a form of the utmost simplicity: a white box contained within a black box” is due to be completed in 2015, with the existing pavilion that has occupied the site since 1988 and was always intended to be a temporary structure, having its swansong at next year’s Biennale when it will house the work of Simryn Gill.

Although the site is owned by the Australian federal government and managed by the Australia Council for the Arts, the government’s arts funding and advisory body, all of the A$6m ($6.04m) needed for the new building is to be raised from the private sector. “We don’t have any funds for capital projects,” says Julie Lomax, the Australia Councils’s director of visual arts. “We give some money to organisations but our main remit is to support artists.”

Leading the funding drive is Simon Mordant, joint chief executive of corporate advisory firm Greenhill Caliburn, who is the commissioner of the 2013 pavilion. Mordant, who also serves as the chairman of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney and who recently donated A$15m to the museum’s expansion project, has already pledged A$1m of his own money for the new pavilion, and is confident that he can raise the rest. “We have to have the funding in place by late next year and so we’ve got quite a bit of time,” he says. “We’re still in the early stages but the process is well under way: my family made a commitment before the architect was announced and I’m very confident that the funding task will be completed.”

Monday, July 16, 2012



Opening the Gates of Paradise
Thirty-four years work has gone in to the Ghiberti masterpieces, scheduled to go on display at the Museo dell’Opera in Florence

By Laura Lombardi and Ermanno Rivetti. Web only
Published online: 27 June 2012

After 12 years of planning and a further 22 years of conservation work, all ten panels from the Gates of Paradise, a Florentine Renaissance masterpiece by Lorenzo Ghiberti, have been restored to their former glory by a team from the Opificio delle Pietre Dure—one of the foremost conservation institutes in the world. The monumental set of gilded bronze doors, constructed between 1425 and 1452, stand at just over five metres tall and contain scenes from the Old Testament. The panels, admired by Michelangelo, once adorned the east entrance to the Battistero di San Giovanni in Florence.

The Baptistry, located in the Piazza del Duomo, was built between 1059 and 1128, making it one of the oldest buildings in the city. Together with the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, also known simply as the Duomo, and Giotto’s Campanile, the three buildings form part of a Unesco world heritage site that covers the centre of the city. Italy’s ministry of culture contributed €3m ($3.7m) towards the project, while the private American foundation, the Friends of Florence, gave €250,000. An additional €500,000 was provided by the Museo dell’Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, which houses many of the works originally made for the Duomo.

The sculpted doors, however, will not go back on their hinges at the Baptistry where replicas have been installed since 1990. Instead, they are set to go on display on 8 September at the Museo dell’Opera. The doors will be installed in their own room in a protective case commissioned by the Museo dell’Opera under guidance from the Opificio, which has overseen the project since it began in 1978. The doors will be moved to a new space following the completion of the museum’s planned enlargement project, which is expected to finish sometime between 2014 and 2015. This new space will enable visitors a 360-degree-view of the work.

Anna Maria Giusti, a conservation expert from the Opificio, says the damage to the panels was caused by excessive humidity which allowed salts to crystallise on the bronze. These crystals slowly corroded small holes in the surface. “The protective casing will guarantee a constant level of humidity at 20%. We used a nitrogen atmosphere to protect the individual panels [which were detached for cleaning], but that is an expensive technique. Now that the door is whole again, we filter the air in the casing, removing dust and harmful gases. It took a year of research to fine-tune this technique.”

Sunday, July 15, 2012


American artist’s sculpture to soar in front of consulate in China
The New York-based Joel Shapiro has been commission to create a bird-like work for Guangzhou

By Eric Magnuson. Web only
Published online: 26 June 2012

A 22-foot-tall bird-like sculpture is due to land in front of the new US Consulate building in Guangzhou, China, in 2013. Joel Shapiro, the New York-born sculptor, who continues to work out of his Long Island City studio, was commissioned to create the bright blue piece in 2009 by the United States’ Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE), which is dedicated to improving the country’s image abroad through US art. Shapiro revealed plans for the site-specific work on Monday, 25 June.

Commenting on the sculpture’s airy, freewheeling appearance, Shapiro tells The Art Newspaper, “Perhaps the work is about overcoming the pervasive effect of gravity in the organisation of form. That’s something I’ve struggled with for years. This sculpture is really free and not constructed from or dependent upon the ground.” It is Shapiro’s second piece for FAPE. His first work for the foundation, Conjunction, 1999, stands outside of the US Embassy in Ottawa, Canada. For the Guangzhou sculpture, Shapiro collaborated with the consulate’s architect, Craig Hartman of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, to integrate the work with the new building’s outdoor space.

Artists participating in FAPE’s program are chosen by a volunteer advisory committee chaired by Robert Storr, dean of the Yale School of Art. FAPE has placed the work of more than 200 US artists in more than 140 countries and is currently sponsored by Bank of America.

Saturday, July 14, 2012



Moscow’s monuments under threat
The destruction of the Russian city’s architectural heritage has contributed to recent anti-government protests

By Sophia Kishkovsky. Web only
Published online: 25 June 2012

Preservationists are voicing growing concerns about Moscow’s architectural heritage and the state’s role in ensuring it survives. The controversial destruction of monuments has contributed to recent anti-government protests in Russia, even though a number of preservationists believe that Moscow’s authorities are doing a better job of saving landmark buildings under Sergei Sobyanin, who was elected as the city’s mayor in 2010, than under his predecessor Yuri Luzhkov, who was notorious for allowing historical architecture to be demolished.

The disputed sites include two that are now controlled by the state-owned VTB Bank: Dinamo Stadium, which is being redeveloped as a potential venue for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in a project worth at least Rb20bn ($635m), and Detsky Mir, a children’s store in Lubyanka Square, next door to the former headquarters of the KGB.

According to Natalia Samover, a co-ordinator of the Moscow-based Archnadzor movement, which monitors threats to architectural heritage and organises protests and lawsuits in its fight to save endangered buildings and monuments, officials ignored the fact that Dinamo Stadium was listed as a monument. The stadium, built in 1928 by the architects Arkady Langman and Lazar Cherikover as a homage to athleticism in the Stalin era, was “the last major sports facility in the constructivist style that was still preserved in Russia,” she says.

“Sobyanin’s new government has made numerous politically correct statements about the importance of cultural heritage,” Samover says. “In those places where the city makes decisions, there is progress. Where vandalism is to the advantage of a powerful state bank, they meekly obey everything they are told to do,” she says.

The new stadium, provisionally called the VTB Arena, will have a capacity of up to 45,000 people. The plans include an arena that can hold 15,000 people and a large area devoted to retail outlets, while a neighbouring park is earmarked for property development. The Dutch architect Erick van Egeraat was originally commissioned to create a design that would preserve part of the stadium’s original walls, but Samover laments the loss of these walls in the final project. It is being carried out by the American architect David Manica, who has worked on major arena projects in China.

Friday, July 13, 2012


'Recollection 1081: Clear and Present Danger' opens on July 14 at CCP
July 8, 2012 10:54am

In commemoration of the 40th year since the declaration of martial law, "Recollection 1081: Clear and Present Danger" will bring together visual artists whose creative output captured the mood and sentiments of that political era.

"Recollection 1081: Clear and Present Danger" aims to capture memories, issues, and concerns from that pivotal period of September 21, 1972 all the way to the fall of the Marcos regime in February 1986.
It aims to capture memories, issues, and concerns from that pivotal period of September 21, 1972 all the way to the fall of the Marcos regime in February 1986. Also included are recent works that continue to resonate with issues prevalent then and now.

Among the featured artists are National Artist BenCab, Jaime de Guzman, Alfredo Liongoren, Pablo Baens Santos, Egay Fernandez, Biboy Delotavo, Al Manrique, Ofelia Gelvezon-Tequi, Anna Fer, Nunelucio Alvardo, Manny Garibay, Jose Tence Ruiz, Imelda Cajipe-Endaya, Neil Doloricon, and Orlando Castillo.

This exhibit is organized by the Center for Art, New Ventures and Sustainable Development (CANVAS) and Liongoren Gallery in collaboration with the Cultural Center of the Philippines

The exhibit runs from July 14 to September 30 at the Bulwagang Juan Luna (Main Gallery) and Pasilyo Guillermo Tolentino (3/F Hallway).

Press release and photo from the Cultural Center of the Philippines


Miró sets record at Sotheby’s in London’s modern art sales
But Christie’s auction was stronger overall, with a better-edited selection of work

By Georgina Adam. Web only
Published online: 22 June 2012

The June sales of impressionist and modern art in London produced very different results even if some startlingly high prices were achieved.

Things got off to a limp start at Sotheby’s evening sale on 19 June in a session that was marked by poor quality and overly high estimates. The 48 works in the catalogue had a target of £72.9m-£102.6m, and totalled just over £75m –slightly short of the low estimate, as pre-sale figures do not include commission. Fifteen lots failed, making a sold-through rate of 68.8%. “In view of the material on offer, things did better than I expected,” commented the London dealer Edmondo di Robilant.

The highlight was Miró’s Peinture (Etoile Bleue), 1927, which was effectively pre-sold as it carried a guarantee and “irrevocable bid” symbol. The work had recently been exhibited at the Zurich Kunsthaus (“Miró, Monet, Matisse—The Nahmad Collection”, 21 October 2011–15 January 2012) and carried an estimate of £15m-£20m. It was chased by Sotheby’s head of contemporary art, Tobias Meyer on the telephone, as well as Stephane Cosman Connery, who has just left his position as head of private sales at Sotheby’s, on a mobile phone in the room. Meyer bagged the painting at £23.6m, setting a new record for Miró.

The other standout was a fine group of Kandinsky works on paper which attracted bidding from the room and on the telephone. The highest price of £1.33m was given for Entwurf zu ‘Grüner Rand’, 1919 (est. £750,000-£900,000), from a telephone bidder. But there were many casualties, including two Munchs [Seated Young Woman, 1916, bought in at £2.3m, estimate £2.5m-£3.5m, and Kragerø in Spring, 1929, bought in at £800,000, estimate £1m-£1.5m.] and Otto Dix’s, Sitzender akt mit Blondem Haar, 1931, estimate £4m-£6m, unsold at £3.1m.

Christie’s sale the following night on 20 June was far stronger. It totalled £92.6m (pre-sale estimate £74.5m-£100m) with 80% of the lots finding buyers. The total could have been higher, but as the sale started the auctioneer announced that the top lot, a fleshy Renoir Baigneuse, 1888, had been sold privately.

Thursday, July 12, 2012



Obama wins the art world’s support
Artists, dealers and collectors swell the candidates’ coffers

By Christian Viveros-Fauné. News, Issue 236, June 2012
Published online: 21 June 2012

Despite the introduction of policies that have alienated sections of the arts lobby, it looks as though key figures in the US art world will once again step up to back Barack Obama as their candidate in the presidential race.

In February 2008, the New York art dealer Paula Cooper hosted a function at her gallery. The fundraising event boasted a committee that included the artists Robert Wilson, Brice Marden, Mark di Suvero and Robert Gober. Six months before the next presidential election, the gallerist is again throwing her considerable weight behind the Democratic candidate.

“I think everyone is terrified,” Cooper says, a factor she believes will make the “Artists and Writers for Obama” event on 28 June a bigger success than the 2008 event. “This time, the arts community is very widely represented.” Tickets are $1,000 or $2,500, and guests can donate up to $35,800, the maximum legally allowed for individual campaign contributions. Among those expected to attend are the artists Richard Serra, Glenn Ligon, Cecily Brown, Cindy Sherman and Laurie Anderson, the architect Frank Gehry, the collector Agnes Gund, Kynaston McShine, the chief curator-at-large at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the art dealers Barbara Bertozzi Castelli, Carolyn Alexander, Lawrence Luhring and Roland Augustine. (For Obama and the Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign contributors, click here.)

Last month, a $5,000-ticket Obama fundraiser at New York’s Rubin Museum, hosted by the singer Ricky Martin and the museum’s founders, Donald and Shelley Rubin, raised $1m. And in March, Michelle Obama held a fundraiser at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, that netted $90,000.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012



Statement of President Aquino on the passing of Dolphy Quizon, July 10, 2012
Pahayag ng Kagalang-galang Benigno S. Aquino III
Pangulo ng Pilipinas
Sa pagpanaw ni Rodolfo Quizon Sr.
[Ika-10 ng Hulyo 2012]

Mabuting tao si Dolphy, at kinatawan niya ang karaniwang Pilipino: malalim magmahal, masayahin, may respeto sa kapwa, at handang harapin ang mga hamon ng tadhana. Nagmula siya sa isang henerasyong dumaan sa maraming pagsubok—at sa pakikipagsapalaran ay natutong maging mapagpakumbaba, matapat, at matulungin. Hindi kailanman niya tinalikuran ang mga kaibigan, at ang sambayanang naging bukal ng kanyang mga tagumpay.

Sa loob ng mahabang panahon, ipinakita sa atin ni Dolphy na anumang pagsubok ay may katuwang na pag-asa at ligaya; mulat siyang anumang problema ay mapangingibabawan ng positibong pagtanaw sa kapalaran. Binago niya hindi lamang ang kaniyang industriya, kundi maging ang pambansang kamalayan: sa pamamagitan ng kaniyang sining, pinalawak ni Dolphy ang ating pananaw, at binigyan tayo ng kakayahang suriin, pahalagahan, at hanapan ng ngiti ang mga pang-araw-araw na pangyayari sa buhay ng bawat Pilipino.

Nakikiisa ako at ang aking pamilya, sampu ng ating mga kasamahan sa gobyerno, sa pagluluksa ng Pamilya Quizon ngayong gabi. Ang pagpanaw ni Rodolfo Quizon Sr.—ang nag-iisang Hari ng Komedya—ay tiyak na nagdudulot ng lumbay sa isang bansang matagal niyang pinasaya.





Making the most noise for the Olympics
The London 2012 Festival starts off with a bang

By Julia Michalska. Web only
Published online: 21 June 2012

The London 2012 Festival gets off to a noisy start today 21 June as the French street arts company, Les Commandos Percus, take over the shores of Lake Windermere in Cumbria with a percussion and firework extravaganza. In Scotland, the Big Noise orchestra, a children’s charity programme, joins superstar conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, for the Big Concert, an open-air event set against the backdrop of Stirling Castle. Peace and quiet are also far from the agenda in Wales, as the UK artist Jeremy Deller’s bouncy castle-style replica of Stonehenge, Sacrilege, pops-up at the National Botanic Gardens in Carmarthen. Other headline events today include the Peace One Day concert in Northern Ireland’s Londonderry, featuring Pixie Lott, Imelda May and the Guillemots and in Birmingham, the city's symphony orchestra will present the UK premiere of the choral work “Weltethos” by Jonathan Harvey.

The festival, a 12-week series of cultural events ushering in the Olympic Games, is the grand finale of the Cultural Olympiad, a programme that has been running since 2008. Much broader than the name implies, the festival takes place across the whole country, although many events are due to happen in the capital. With a total budget of £55m, the festival has pulled in many big names including the singer-songwriter Damon Albarn, the actress Cate Blanchett, the artist Tracey Emin, the hip-hop stars Jay-Z and Rihanna, and the animated characters Wallace and Gromit. The festival’s director Ruth Mackenzie defended the large price tag, saying: “I assure you, for a 12-week festival over the entire United Kingdom, compared with the budget for just three weeks in Edinburgh or the two weeks in Manchester, frankly it’s a pretty small investment,” calling it a “once-in-a lifetime event”. In all, around 25,000 artists from all 204 competing countries are taking part. 12,000 events are planned at 900 venues all over the UK.








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