Less than a week after President Trump signed an executive order banning citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States, the Museum of Modern Art in New York has responded by installing a dozen works by artists from those countries, including the late Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid, the Sudanese master Ibrahim El-Salahi, and the young Iranian painter Tala Madani, in the galleries devoted to its permanent collection.
Alongside each work is a placard that reads:
This work is by an artist from a nation whose citizens are being denied entry into the United States, according to a presidential executive order issued on January 27, 2017. This is one of several such artworks from the Museum’s collection installed throughout the fifth-floor galleries to affirm the ideals of welcome and freedom as vital to this Museum, as they are to the United States.
Defined as one of the seven elements of art, next to line, shape, space, form, texture, and color, the value in art is a quality or a value of light and dark of a certain shade or tone. This art element is best understood if visualized as a scale or a gradient. In 1907 Denman Ross, American painter, art collector, a scholar of art history and theory, introduced a value scale which is still used today. On such a scale, from the lightest shade, i.e. white to the darkest shade, i.e. black, various shades of gray reside. These shades of gray describe the amount of the dark or light elements of any color and describe its lightest and darkest tones or hues. Such a scale is extremely helpful for painters to identify light, mid-tones, and darks more easily.
What is like to live with a work by post-war master Cy Twombly? According to legendary filmmaker John Waters, it’s “great because every day when you pass it you think of his nerve. The audacity of him doing this.” Watch this video to find out more about John Waters’ longstanding admiration for the artist (it is promotional for Sotheby’s, but John Waters is good – and Cy Twombly is great!)
Since its invention back in 2014 Vantablack, the color dubbed the world’s blackest black captured the attention of the media and various artists around the world. The material described by Anish Kapoor as the color “blacker than anything you can imagine” or the color “so black that you almost can see it“1 aims to revolutionize the contemporary art as we know it. Or at least the art of Anish Kapoor who currently holds exclusive rights to the coating. The famous British sculptor is currently the only person that’s allowed to use the material in creative arts. The decision to sell the rights to one man only caused a stir in the art world and further increased the popularity of the material. But what exactly is Vantablack? And what is its purpose in the art world? The answers to these questions require going deep into the explanation of the scientific process of the creation of the world’s blackest black.
Since history can remember, artists have attempted to recreate the three-dimensionalities of the world. Aided by tools such as perspective in art, golden ratio, rhythm, variety, line, and the rest of the art’s elements, artists wrestled with Nature and its laws. The word perspective, when applied to art, signifies the accurate depiction of objects from a certain vanishing point on a two-dimensional surface, so that their relative height, width, and position to one another create depth.
The obsession to be as accurate as possible in their representation of the world created the need for the perspective in the art which aided artists in the representation of both the world and its value systems. Recognizing that the world is not flat and that objects appear smaller or larger depending on the movement and placement, reflected the research in perspective which occurred in the early period of art history. Forming itself as one of the traditional rules of creativity, perspective in art was viciously attacked at the beginning of the 20th-century by the major avant-garde movements, such as Impressionism, Cubism, and Abstract art. Investigating for the new perspective in representing the world, authors rejected the rule of perspective in art and changed the face of creativity forever.
‘Tis the season to give charitable donations—for tax reasons as much as philanthropic ones. But it’s not always simple to give an artwork or an art collection to a museum.
For most art museums, receiving donations of objects is relatively easy. The person making the gift turns over the items along with “a deed of gift, transferring title from the donor to the institution,” according to Ralph Lerner, a long-time New York City art lawyer and art adviser. The principal complicating issue is whether the gift is made right then and there or as a bequest and, if the donor is the artist, whether or not copyright (the right to reproduce images of the artwork) is included with the donation.
As a pure fascination for artists, nature and its magnificent shapes have preoccupied many authors over the centuries. The sunset paintings which will be showcased in this article display just how versatile the approach to nature for many authors is. Be it as a detailed drawing, pure play of color, glorious landscape paintings, or as a suggestive abstraction, the sunset paintings are always much more than the depiction of the day ending. This idea of the end, which fascinates almost everyone, finds its metaphor in the sunset. On the other hand, the shift of the light and the glorious color combinations which occur in nature, for the few is close to kitsch art and it is no wonder that many would say that there is no greater painter then Nature herself.
With the birth of Impressionism, artists opted to showcase the idea of the reality, its impression rather than the realistic depiction. This opened up many possibilities for painters who are interested in landscape paintings especially in the en plain air method. Through the use of color, we may guess what was the day like during the moment the painter painted his image, what emotions ran through him and if they saw the world as a great place.
Our most-read story of 2016 was about Facebook’s legal battle over the French master’s work. Here’s why it still causes a stir, 100 years on.
Gustave Courbet’s The Origin of the World (1866) a painting of a woman’s “lower groin” (bas-ventre), as the writer Edmond de Goncourt coyly described it in June 1889, is as beautiful as it is brazen. Courbet’s model is portrayed only by her vulva, her thighs parted so as to reveal vaginal lips, offset by black pubic hair, a white sheet, and the pink flesh of her lower breasts. As the title confirms, Courbet pays homage to the origin of life and the world as we know it, but in the process he stages a call to arms for a radically new realism too.
The painting has remained closely guarded by the Musée d’Orsay since its acquisition in 1995, and so the recent public and critical attention is long overdue. Where Courbet has been rightly viewed as a key painter in the birth of modern art, the time has come to appreciate just how much he revolutionised the long tradition of the female nude.
While most types of artworks are identified as individual pieces that can never be completely replicated, printmaking techniques make an exceptional set of practices that possess the ability to create multiple copies of a single piece of art. As such, pieces of printmaking are considered original artistic works despite the fact such artworks can exist in multiple copies. From a practical standpoint, prints are made from a sole original surface known by its technical name as a matrix or a plate. After a matrix is created upon a block, plate, stone or screen, the depicted design is transferred by contact on the surface of the actual piece which then becomes the print. Conventional fine prints are normally produced in limited edition sets and each print needs to be numbered and signed by the artist personally. Afterwards, the matrix is usually destroyed as to prevent any future prints from being made.
Many modern readers tend to hear the words printmaking techniques and immediately think of mechanically mass-produced commercial products, such as books, newspapers and textiles. However, printmaking techniques usually refer to a set of methods through which a fine arts print is made, an original creation of an artist who, instead of using a paintbrush or the chisel, has opted to use printmaking tools to express himself. Usually, the ability to have multiple originals is not the crucial feature for an author to choose printmaking over other mediums. Instead, what seems to be the key characteristic is the unique visual qualities that all types of printmaking have in their arsenal.
Swedish conservators allow Monogram to travel to London, New York and San Francisco for a major traveling survey.
When the US artist and animal lover Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) saw a stuffed Angora goat in the window of a junk shop near his New York studio in 1955, he knew he had to have it. The shopkeeper wanted $35 for it, Rauschenberg paid $15 on account and, when Calvin Tomkins’s biography of the artist was published in 1980, he had yet to return to pay off the balance. The animal is a key component of his work Monogram (1955-59): a goat, standing on a painting, with a painted face and a rubber tyre around its middle.
When the Tate was planning its sweeping survey on Rauschenberg, Monogram was high up on its wish list. “We knew it had to be there,” says Achim Borchardt-Hume, the director of exhibitions at London’s Tate Modern, where the show opens on 1 December and then travels to New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), which is co-organising the show, and finally to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. But Monogram is fragile and so rarely leaves Stockholm’s Moderna Museet, which presented a potential snag in the Tate’s plan. Before Swedish conservators would give it permission to travel, the piece was subjected to a series of non-invasive scientific tests to assess its condition and learn more about its technical composition.
It was difficult to pick favourites in a year that delivered such a bounty of breathtaking galleries, museums and gathering places. From the Baha’i Temple in the foothills of the Andes (by Hariri Pontarini) to the subterranean Dialogue Centre Przelomy by KWK Promes, here are 10 of the best cultural buildings of 2016, including our very own Audain Art Museum in Whistler by the wonderful Patkau Architects!
While 2016 may have been pretty awful on any number of fronts, we have to admit that it also gave us a lot of pretty great art. Consider Maurizio Cattelan alone, who gave us a solid gold toilet to relieve ourselves on at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, a real life donkey, pooping in the tent at Frieze New York, and a wheelchair gliding on water (more or less) at Manifesta 11 in Zurich.
From the politically-engaged, to the absurdly-outlandish, to the transcendentally-beautiful, here are the works that have stuck in artnet News’s mind as 2016 draws to an end.
As in every human endeavor when two strong personalities meet, opinions may clash and an argument often ensues. The same applies to the art world. Dada Manifesto is not a singular writing; over the years several were made, including perhaps the best-known by Hugo Ball and Tristan Tzara. Ball wrote his manifesto in 1916, and dated it July 14, while Tzara’s came a few years later, in 1918, on the 23rd of March. Both Manifestos are explanations of the Dada movement and its goals, but the content differs as long as the modes of spreading the movement throughout Europe and ultimately world, were concerned. These differences actually led to the confrontation between the two authors, which resolved when Ball left Zurich, a city where the Dada movement was initially founded.
The creation of Dada came during the First World War when young creatives living at the time in neutral Switzerland decided to take their aim at the perceived ills of the modern time that led to the war, such as bourgeoisie and nationalism. Later to be known as Dadaists, these creatives looked for alternative modes of social functioning that would disengage them from the unsavory reality of the times, and which would produce a new social ordering more aligned with their desires and wishes. The founding moment for the movement came on February 5, 1916 when Hugo Ball and Emmy Hennings established Cabaret Voltaire in Zürich. Other members of the movement from its initiation were Tristan Tzara, Hans Arp, Richard Huelsenbeck, and Marcel Janco. Dada was influenced by Cubism, Expressionism, Futurism, and Constructivism, and shared with other avant-garde movements the urge to change the world. Ball and Tzara soon became the leaders of the movement, but their collaboration did not managed to surpass the differences in opinion detectable in Dada manifestos they wrote.
There’s no question that contemporary art galleries are struggling these days. The market is sluggish, the essential handshake-based rules of the art trade are being confused by the proliferation of artworks on the internet, and, at the same time, competition for artists and a globalizing terrain are forcing dealers to take on more costs by doing fairs and upgrading their facilities. This summer, two darlings of New York’s Lower East Side art scene, the gallerists Lisa Cooley and Laurel Gitlen, had to close their doors. Other galleries are teetering on the verge of collapse as well. Dealers are wondering: what should they be doing differently?
To find out what solutions are at hand for dealers making their way through the choppy waters, Artspace editor-in-chief Andrew M. Goldstein spoke to Ed Winkleman about the alternative business strategies that are emerging for dealers, and why the market has irreversibly changed.
Apart from offering human kind the possibility to express its imaginative and technical skills, art has also evolved to become proper trading business. As such, it has a market of buyers and sellers, but it is the certificate of authenticity or COA that represents the most important aspect of the circulation of artworks today. Over the last century in particular, the certificates have allowed the works of art to be positioned as branded products, serving as their deeds, legal statements and fiscal invoices. However, as art itself shifted and developed, the certificate of authenticity has too, giving way to a bountiful of forgeries in order to increase the sales. Even though the art world is still waiting for a universal, centralized database that could perhaps be digital too, a genuine COA is nevertheless something that should accompany every professional artwork out there, without exceptions, providing all the necessary information for the buyer and holding the work’s value.
There is no doubt that the 20th century art was all about changing perspective. The artist’s way of seeing and therefore understanding things has been changing and continues to do so even in this day and age. The new, experimental approach to perspective was pursued both directly and implicitly. Painters and sculptors had abandoned linear perspective and began discovering other ways of representing reality, but furthermore, the very vantage point from which to observe and comprehend art in general was changed as well. It was art’s way of breaking with tradition and embracing a different approach to its disciplinarity, on the one hand, and reality on the other. This radical shift was not only present in the art world, of course. Rather, it was similarly embodied through other aspects of our society – economics, industry and social unrest. To all of this, art was never blind, which is why it was always connected to life, even when it claimed (and gained) independence.
Abstract artists fast brought different genres and sub genres of abstraction into the dominant painting style of the 20th century. This influential avant-garde direction in painting derived from the request for “pure art”, non-figurative, non-objective and nonrepresentational artwork. The earliest movements toward contemporary abstraction were seen in Romanticism, Impressionism and Expressionism, where artists put a greater emphasis on visual sensation than the depiction of objects. That departure from reality in depiction of imagery in art directly lead to the building of the artistic language of abstract art. In Post Impressionist art practices of Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Goghand Paul Cézanne is hidden the crucial impact on 20th-century modern art and abstraction. Their treatment of color and the shape directly led to Fauvist and Cubist art explorations and reductionistic depictions of nature at Henri Matisse and Georges Braque, consequently leading to Pablo Picasso and turn from Analytic to Synthetic cubism. Futurism of Carlo Carraand Umberto Boccioni entered a further stage of abstraction, while the poet Guillaume Apollinaire coined a new term Orphism for the new visual language of painting new structures out of elements that not represent reality but had been created entirely by the artist. In the search for nonrepresentational, pure art many painters experimented and so the abstract art marked the first half of the 20th century.
Throughout the centuries, women have been making fascinating works of art but often remained in the shadows of their male counterparts. Many famous female painters of today had to fight against gender biases and opposition from the chroniclers of the art history. From various training and education restrictions to difficulties in selling their work and gaining recognition woman had to face many challenges on their way to stardom. And yet somehow they managed to gain the recognition they deserved and secure their place in art history.Despite numerous obstacles still present today, Contemporary art has more than its fair share of famous female painters. Women contributed to every major art movement and had a leading role in developing various art styles and techniques. From the magnificent Leonora Carrington often dubbed “the last great surrealist”, to whirlwind paintings of Julie Mehretu each woman on the following list had an outstanding role in making the art world as versatile and as fascinating as it is today.
One of the leading figures of American Abstract Expressionism Joan Mitchell explored the potential of aggressive brushstrokes and their ability to convey emotion. Optical illusions by Bridget Riley made her one of the leading figures of OP art movement that used black and white lines to create the feeling of motion. Calm photorealistic paintings by Vija Celmins depict the inherent beauty of our natural elements and evoke the feeling of serenity. Bleak nude images of Marlene Dumas, full of the pains of modern existence serve as a powerful counterpart to the nude magazine covers of today, often photo-shopped beyond perfection. Storybook inspired art by Paula Rego turned children tales into fascinating narrative visuals, while extensive plastic surgery studies of Jenny Saville revolutionized the way artists depict human flesh. Colorful mountains by Etel Adnan changed the way we feel about paint while Elizabeth Peyton kept the image of a human face in the focus of contemporary art by adding a feminine touch to celebrity portraits.
FOR the first time in 20 years, the lead-up to the Whitney Biennial coincided with the presidential election, a background that could not help but inform the selection of artists and artwork that will be on view when the biennial opens on March 17, the first in the museum’s new downtown building.
“An election year prompts that questioning,” said Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney’s chief curator and deputy director for programs. “The discourse turns to who we are as a nation.”
On Thursday, the Whitney revealed the 63 participants in its sprawling survey of what’s happening now in contemporary art — the new, the influential and the potentially provocative.