The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Saturday, December 5, 2020

Artists ask MoMA to remove Philip Johnson's name, citing racist views

The Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, Conn., April 15, 2016. A group of more than 30 prominent artists, architects and academics are casting a light on the more unsavory part of Johnson’s legacy, demanding in a letter published online on Nov. 27, 2020, that institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Harvard Graduate School of Design remove the name of the architect, who died in 2005, from their spaces. Jane Beiles/The New York Times.

by Sarah Bahr

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Philip Johnson was one of the most influential architects of the past century, chameleonic in each of his roles as a New York power broker, art collector and creator of his “Glass House,” a celebrated landmark of modernist design in Connecticut. He also championed racist and white supremacist viewpoints in his younger years. Johnson’s Nazi sympathies, for example, have been well documented, and he spent the years after World War II trying to distance himself from them. Now a group of more than 30 prominent artists, architects and academics are casting a light on the more unsavory part of Johnson’s legacy, demanding in a letter published online Nov. 27 that institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Harvard Graduate School of Design remove the name of the architect, who died in 2005, from their spaces. “There is a role for Johnson’s architectural work in archives and historic preservation,” the Johnson Study Group, a largely anonymous ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Christie's Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale totals $48,955,125   'We all survived': Wuhan artists keep virus memories alive   Benny Andrews: A life in portraits

The sale’s top lot, Wayne Thiebaud’s Nine Cupcakes (detail), which sold for $2.9 million. © Christie's Images Ltd 2020.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s December 3rd Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Featuring The Collection Of Morton And Barbara Mandel achieved a total of $48,955,125/ £36,560,960/ €40,326,739/ HKD$377,784,396, bringing the running total for 20th Century Week to $168.2 million. The auction was led by Wayne Thiebaud’s Nine Cupcakes, 2009, which realized $2,910,000, followed by two portraits of Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol from the Foundation Mireille and James Lévy, which sold for $1,818,000 and $1,698,000 respectively. The Collection of Morton and Barbara Mandel, sold to benefit the Jack, Joseph & Morton Mandel Foundation was represented by the first 82 lots of the sale, and when combined with Picasso’s Femme debout, which sold earlier in the week, the collection reached $14.8 million. The group was highlighted by Ad Reinhardt’s Red Painting, 1950, which achieved $1,050,000 and Jackson Pollock’s Untitled, 1953, which so ... More

A graffiti artist, in a store where supplies are sold to make graffiti, prepares his bag with spray paint cans in Wuhan on November 22, 2020. Hector RETAMAL / AFP.

by Dan Martin / Lan Lianchao

WUHAN (AFP).- A melancholy guitar melody intertwines with an ethereal beat as wild-haired singer Lu Yan intones his hometown's feelings into a microphone: "Virus in Wuhan. We all survived." In music, graffiti, even comics, Wuhan artists are beginning to pay homage to their city with works referencing its coronavirus suffering, punishing 76-day lockdown, and subsequent rebirth. "Wuhan's people made a great sacrifice for the whole nation and world," Lu said of the song's intended message. The song, "WUHAN2020", is the title track of the pandemic-themed debut album by Wuhan synth-rock trio Hardcore Raver in Tears, conceived and written remotely while the bandmates were separated during the lockdown. Stress and cabin fever provided inspiration. "I was worried the world would end," said Lu, after singing through a black mask during a rehearsal in a Wuhan ... More

Benny Andrews (1930-2006), Janitors at Rest, 1957-58. Oil on canvas with paper and painted fabric collage, 50 x 36 inches / 127 x 91.4 cm, signed.

by Roberta Smith

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Benny Andrews once defined his artistic ambition as a desire to represent “a real person before the eyes.” The phrase is the subtitle of a momentous exhibition at the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery in Manhattan. “Benny Andrews: Portraits, a Real Person Before the Eyes” brings together 28 of the artist’s imposing depictions of friends, family and artists, the most ever shown together. Made over the course of 35 years with a technique he called “rough collage,” these riveting, eccentric images combine painted motifs with added pieces of canvas and paper, bits of printed fabric and carefully placed fragments of garments. Andrews (1930-2006) was the son of an impoverished Georgia sharecropper who taught him to draw as a child. The skill became an essential tool that compensated for the school ... More

John Edmonds and the allure of Africa   Sean Connery's Dr. No gun sold for $256,000 at Julien's Auctions Icons & Idols Trilogy: Hollywood   Masterworks by Les Lalanne, Wendell Castle and more to highlight Sotheby's 'Design Week' in New York

Photographer John Edmonds, whose first museum solo show, “A Sidelong Glance,” is at the Brooklyn Museum, stands in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, Nov. 25, 2020. Elias Williams/The New York Times.

by Arthur Lubow

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Young photographer John Edmonds traveled to Ghana last January, searching for something he couldn’t name. Having recently begun collecting and photographing African sculpture, he thought the trip would lead to a greater self-knowledge. “I’m an African American using African objects, so it was important to me to understand the source,” he said during an interview in Brooklyn. The pieces he’d been studying were masks and figurines crafted for the tourist market, raising questions of authenticity that were linked in a complicated way to racial consciousness. He was also navigating the minefield of cultural appropriation: Would such decorative art assume a different significance when used by an African, an African American ... More

The top-selling item of the event was the Walther PP handgun, used by legendary actor Sir Sean Connery in his acting debut as James Bond, 007, in the very first Bond film to come to screen, Dr. No (EON Productions, 1962), which sold for $256,000.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Julien’s Auctions held Icons & Idols TRILOGY: Hollywood, the world-record breaking auction house to the stars’ Hollywood memorabilia event of the season, on Wednesday, December 3, 2020 live in Beverly Hills and online at Over 500 items of costumes, props, memorabilia and personal items owned and used by Hollywood’s most legendary icons as well as historical pieces from blockbuster films and television’s greatest classic series were offered. The top-selling item of the event was the Walther PP handgun, used by legendary actor Sir Sean Connery in his acting debut as James Bond, 007, in the very first Bond film to come to screen, Dr. No (EON Productions, 1962), which sold for $256,000. In the cinematic debut of the character of James Bond, Connery uses this hero weapon throughout the film and helped ... More

A Unique “Structure Végétale aux Oiseaux et Papillons” Chandelier by Claude Lalanne (estimate $800,000/1.2 million). Courtesy Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s presents highlights from their marquee winter sales of Important Design and Dreaming in Glass: Masterworks by Tiffany Studios on 10 December, as part of their Design Week auctions in New York. All of the works from both sales will be on view by appointment in Sotheby’s New York galleries beginning this Saturday, 5 December, alongside A Celebration of Art Deco: Masterworks from the Collection of Dr. Stephen E. Kelly Evening Sale and Day Sale. This season’s sale presents a curated survey of Design from the last century, from notable examples of American Arts & Crafts and French Art Deco to outstanding pieces of Contemporary Design. An exceptional selection of sculptures and furniture by Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne are led by a Unique “Structure Végétale aux Oiseaux et Papillons” Chandelier (estimate $800,000/1.2 million). Created in 2008, this chandelier is a classic example of how Claude Lal ... More

Galería Elvira González opens its first exhibition dedicated to the Catalan ceramist Josep Llorens Artigas   Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival announces highlights of its 25th edition   Contemporary western artist Theodore Waddell opens an exhibition at the Gerald Peters Gallery

Installation view.

MADRID.- Galería Elvira González is presenting Llorens Artigas. Cerámicas, the first exhibition at the gallery dedicated to the Catalan ceramist. Josep Llorens Artigas (Barcelona, 1892 - Gallifa, 1980) is one of the main renovators of western ceramic art. Driven by the noucentista2 spirit of Barcelona, by the resurgence of ceramic in France and by his exhaustive study of the Song dynasty ceramics, Artigas moved to Paris in 1923, where he was surrounded by artists and ceramists that stimulated him to reach a unique style, with a perfect domain of the discipline. Throughout his career, which he dedicated almost entirely to ceramics, Artigas focused on eliminating the decoration of the vases and achieving the maximum quality and beauty in his refined work of glazing. This exhibition gathers together a careful selection of pieces from different stages from 1936 and ... More

Enjoying Cotton Candy, 1970. Courtesy of the Canadian National Exhibition Archives, Slide Collection.

TORONTO.- Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival today announced highlights of the 25th anniversary edition of the city-wide event spanning the month of May 2021. Artists from Canada and around the world present lens-based works in exhibitions, site-specific installations and commissioned projects at museums, galleries, and public spaces across Toronto. The preliminary list of artists includes Sara Angelucci, Dana Claxton, Susan Dobson, nichola feldman-kiss, Sasha Huber, Onyeka Igwe, Erik Kessels & Thomas Mailaender, Emmanuelle Léonard, Sebastein Miller, Esmaa Mohamoud, Isabel Okoro and Timothy Yanick Hunter, Frida Orupabo, Jon Sasaki, and Rehana Zaman. Artist and educator Logan MacDonald will curate a multi-artist public project, and Toronto ... More

Theodore Waddell, Winter Horses #14. Oil and encaustic on canvas, 66 x 72 inches.

SANTA FE, NM.- The Gerald Peters Gallery is presenting a one man exhibition with contemporary western artist, Theodore Waddell. The exhibition features new and classic paintings by Waddell and is available to view in person and online. A digital and soft cover catalog is available. For over five decades, Theodore Waddell has pursued his passion for art. His work, now iconic of contemporary American Western painting, is collected by museums and owned privately and publicly across the globe. His abstract impressionistic paintings of horses and cattle dotting the rural Idaho and Montana landscape reflect the American experience of living in the West and his love of the land. The bold brushstrokes, luscious textures, colors and generous layering of impasto work in his paintings create glimpses of the ... More

Justin Schiller's history-spanning collection of children's literature heads to auction   Exhibition at Sainsbury Centre explores the intersecting paths of two great 20th century artists   Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery opens two new exhibitions

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Kinder- und Hausmärchen. Göttingen: Dieterich, 1837.

DALLAS, TX.- In 1956, upon the occasion of L. Frank Baum's 100th birthday, Justin Schiller loaned to Columbia University impossible-to-find copies from the author's Land of Oz series. At the time, Schiller, the sole son of antique-hunters, was all of 12 years old. That head start — which began with little Justin browsing New York City's "Book Row" along 4th Avenue, his pocket full of nickels — "propelled me into the rare-book scene," Schiller says. He had begun collecting at 8, and by 1960 Columbia University's favorite pre-teen had already become one of the world's preeminent experts in and collector of children's literature. Sixty years later, after decades as a seller of rare and wonderous books for kids and the grown-ups who raised them, Schiller brings his breathtaking assemblage of extraordinary rarities to Heritage Auctions for a one-day event spanning centuries. The Dec. 16 auction, titled Once Upon a Time: Rare ... More

Henry Moore, Bill Brandt, 1948 © Bill Brandt / Bill Brandt Archive Ltd.

NORWICH.- This major exhibition traces the parallel and intersecting careers of two leading artists of the 20th century. The photographer Bill Brandt (1904–1983) and sculptor Henry Moore (1898–1986) first crossed paths during the Second World War, when they created images of civilians sheltering in the London Underground during the Blitz. These photographs by Brandt and drawings by Moore today rank among their most iconic works. The exhibition is organised by the Yale Center for British Art in partnership with The Hepworth Wakefield and is curated by Martina Droth, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the Yale Center for British Art. The exhibition brings together almost 200 works including significant sculpture, iconic photographs and drawings, little-known photo collages and rare original colour transparencies. Bill Brandt | Henry Moore reveals the interdisciplinary range of these two artists, exploring how ... More

Tom Polo floral footsteps, 2020. Acrylic and Flashe on canvas, 182 x 138 cm.

SYDNEY.- Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery is presenting a cross-generational exhibition, A Painting Show featuring new works by three of Australia’s most important painters working today. All three artists are expressive, gestural and considered in their mark making - masterful colourists conjuring up vivid, fantastical realms, yet their unique styles have paved their way as distinct voices within the Australian and international art world. Paintings by Tom Polo, Gareth Sansom and Jenny Watson are exhibited within the unique context of the last month of 2020 where the fibres of society are strained. Within a social fabric of distanced inter-personal relationships, disconnection and technological interfaces dominating modes of communication, painting allows us to take space and stand still. The process of viewing painting is an intimate act, enabling one to stop momentarily and lean in close, to pay attention to minute ... More

The human image has never been forgotten in the arts. Germain Richier

More News
Tel Aviv Museum of Art exhibits works by photographer Eli Singalovski
TEL AVIV.- Photographer Eli Singalovski is the 2019 winner of the Lauren and Mitchell Presser Photography Award for a Young Israeli Artist, awarded for the fifth time at Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Singalovski (born in 1984), a graduate of the Photography Department at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, lives and works in Germany. He has exhibited alone and in group exhibitions in galleries in Israel and abroad. Singalovski photographs buildings at night, using long exposure, in dramatic black-and-white and centered compositions that capture the whole structure. He isolates the photographed buildings from their environment and neutralizes “distractions” and interferences, in order to focus the viewer’s gaze on the façade of the architectural object, with its plethora of details against black, opaque skies. This method of photography emphasizes ... More

Fellowship of stars battles to save Tolkien's real Bag End
LONDON (AFP).- Gandalf, Bilbo Baggins and other luminaries have formed a new crowd-funding fellowship to raise $6 million to buy the Oxford home of "The Lord of the Rings" author J.R.R. Tolkien. Actors Ian McKellen and Martin Freeman, stars of Peter Jackson's Oscar-winning film adaptations, have joined the "Project Northmoor" campaign to turn the sprawling house into a museum in honour of the fantasy writer. "To raise $6 million (£4.5 million) in three months is a huge challenge," British novelist Julia Golding, who is leading the campaign, said in a statement. "However, we need only to look at Frodo and Sam's journey from Rivendell to Mount Doom -- which took that same amount of time -– and we are inspired that we can do this too!" With seven bedrooms and a spacious garden, 20 Northmoor Road in Oxford is a far cry from the modest hobbit ... More

Alison Lurie, tart-voiced novelist of manners, dies at 94
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Alison Lurie, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer whose mordant novels punctured pretension, deflated dogma and illuminated the staggering talent of smart people for self-deception, died Thursday at a hospice center in Ithaca, New York. She was 94. The death was confirmed by her husband, Edward Hower. Lurie, who was also a folklorist, a writer and scholar of children’s literature and a longtime Cornell University faculty member, was the author of 10 novels, as well as short-story and essay collections. As a novelist, Lurie was an anthropologist of contemporary absurdity. Praised by critics for her crystalline prose, her dry, delicious wit, and her microscopic powers of observation, she dirtied, and then gleefully aired, her protagonists’ elegant linen in book after book. In novels that were small morality ... More

A Handel master on building the perfect 'Messiah'
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- There are so many Handel “Messiahs,” since it’s the rare piece that has stayed in the repertory since it was written, almost 300 years ago. It’s changed with the times. There’s Handel’s version, of course. Less than 50 years later, Mozart made a version and added winds. In the 19th century, Ebenezer Prout did an arrangement with trombones, and in the 1950s, Eugene Goossens added cymbals, glockenspiel, harp. Andrew Davis has done one more recently. So today “Messiah” is being presented in so many different ways. The purely historically informed way — which tries to get back as much as possible to Handel’s time — is happening, of course, but it’s not what everyone necessarily loves. I get as much negative feedback for doing it as positive. Some of the most negative feedback was always from my dad; he ... More

Michaan's announces highlights included in the Winter Fine Sale
ALAMEDA, CA.- Michaan’s Winter Fine Sale opens with exquisite fine jewelry pieces of a broad range. An especially noteworthy necklace featuring over fifty-four carats of high-quality diamonds (estimate: $70,000 / 90,000) is consigned from the Estate of Mr. & Mrs. Mortimer Fleishhacker. Both third generation San Franciscans, Mortimer and his wife Janet were very involved in the civic life of San Francisco and are known throughout California for their Philanthropy. Janet was chairman of the board of the University of San Francisco and national president of Camp Fire Girls, among many other achievements. They hosted a 25th anniversary party for the United Nations at their estate in Woodside, CA (known as Green Gables) to which the diplomatic corps including the Secretary General U-Thant attended. Mortimer gifted this necklace to Janet as an anniversary ... More

A billionaires estate & Italian royal de' Medici family estate & more highlight three sessions in two days
LOS ANGELES, CA.- As if pulled from the lavish backdrop of the Royal mansions seen in “The Crown,” this weekend only, Kruse GWS Auctions will present a special holiday auction full of literal Royal Intrigue—with lavish furnishings, decorations, Italian Royal furnished seaside condominiums and cars, classic toys, fine jewelry, accessories, and many one-of-a-kind treasures. This “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” two-day affair comes from an American Tycoon Billionaire’s Estate and the Italian Royal de’ Medici Family, and Hollywood celebrities, among others. Founded by fifth generation auctioneer Dame Brigitte Kruse, world-record-breaking, international auction house Kruse GWS Auctions which specializes in entertainment memorabilia, Royal artifacts, fine jewelry, celebrity estates and runway fashion auctions, has announced the Royal ... More

OSL contemporary opens its fourth exhibition of works by Leonard Rickhard
OSLO.- OSL contemporary is presenting its fourth exhibition by Leonard Rickhard.The exhibition is on view through 6 February 2021. The model aircraft builder is a well known motif for anyone who is familiar with Leonard Rickhard’s art. He has depicted model aircraft builders since the 1980s, either passionately engaged or extremely tired. In this new version, the model aircraft builder is a grown man bent over his workbench in deep concentration. The title “The Model Aircraft Builder after Midnight” conveys what must have been a long day’s work. We are no longer in homely surroundings. Except for the colourful rug on the floor, the room is cold and impersonal. Some well known props from Rickhard’s pictorial universe are present, such as a fuse box, a first aid box, and a towel. There are several images within the image: technical working drawings ... More

SLA Art Space opens the first U.S. solo exhibition of photographer Markus Nikol'a Mironovic
NEW YORK, NY.- The first U.S. solo exhibition of New York-based photographer Markus Nikol’a Mironovic is on view December 3 through January 4, 2021, at SLA Art Space. Titled “Men of Beauty,” the exhibition features nine large-scale, black-and-white photographs from Mironovic’s upcoming book of the same name. Created over the last ten years, the works showcase the photographer’s interest in the subjects of the male physicality, identity, and personality. Born in Estonia and raised in Lithuania, Mironovic began his career in the early 2000’s as a fashion photographer, working on collaborations with brands and fashion editorials for regional and international publications. He soon discovered that he was more interested in capturing the individuality and identity of the models, rather than treating them ... More

MassArt announces recipients of $250k in grants to advance racial justice through art
BOSTON, MASS.- Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture, in partnership with Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt), today announced 16 ALAANA+/BIPOC artists and collectives received grants totaling $250,000 in the first year of the Radical Imagination for Racial Justice (RIRJ) program. The funds and program support are dedicated to artists who identify as ALAANA+ (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab or Native American) or BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and who work at the intersection of art, community, and justice to radically imagine and build toward a racially just society. These grants are made possible by the Surdna Foundation’s Thriving Cultures program. “As we continue to work to dismantle systemic racism in our city, it is critically important to learn from those who have been using their creative ... More

One of a Kind Collectibles announces highlights of online-only auction
CORAL GABLES, FLA.- A letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to fellow Founding Father Gouverneur Morris in 1792, requesting that his private chef in France be sent to Monticello, plus a signed glamour photo of Marilyn Monroe, are expected top lots in One of a Kind Collectibles’ Internet-only auction online now. Bidding is currently open at and ends Thursday, December 17th at 8:30 pm Eastern time. The letter from Jefferson, enlisting the help of Gouverneur Morris in Paris, is expected to achieve an impressive $14,000-$16,000. Jefferson was inquiring after a former Parisian kitchen aid named Henri. Jefferson wanted to employ him as chef at his home in Monticello, Virginia. it might be said that Jefferson was America’s very first ‘foodie’. In addition to being a philosopher, inventor, and architect, Jefferson was also a culinary ... More

Wish You Were There



On a day like today, French impressionist painter Claude Monet died
December 05, 1926. Claude Monet (14 November 1840 - 5 December 1926) was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. The term Impressionism is derived from the title of his painting Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant). In this image: A visitor looks on a painting by French artist Claude Monet (1840-1926) entitled Nympheas during a press preview in Hong Kong, China, 27 May 2011. The painting was expected to fetch in excess of 17 to 24 million GBP (19 to 27 million Euro), at auction at Christie's London Impressionist Modern Paintings on 21 June 2011.

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