The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Thursday, May 6, 2021

Three-year old Mtoto, Africa's earliest known human burial

This handout picture released on May 4, 2021 by the CNRS-University of Bordeaux, shows archaelogists at the Panga Ya Saidi site, north of Mombasa, Kenya, where the remains of a 3-year-old child named by the scientists "Mtoto" (meaning 'child' in Swahili) and buried inside a deliberately dug pit, were discovered. The discovery of the oldest burial site in Africa, dated at 78,000 years old, has just been revealed in the journal Nature by an international team including several researchers from the CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research). Francesco d’ERRICO, Alain QUEFFELEC / UNIVERSITY OF BORDEAUX / CNRS / AFP.

PARIS (AFP).- A child no older than three laid to rest sideways in an earthen grave 78,000 years ago, legs carefully tucked up against its tiny chest, is the earliest known human burial in Africa, researchers reported Wednesday. The sunken pit, in a cave complex along the coast of Kenya, was bereft of ornaments, offerings or ochre-coloured clay carvings found in the region's more recent Stone Age graves, they detailed in the journal Nature. But "Mtoto" -- Swahili for "child" -- had been wrapped in a shroud with her or his head resting on what was probably a pillow, "indicating that the community may have undertaken some form of funerary rite", said lead author Maria Martinon-Torres, director of the National Research Centre on Human Evolution, in Burgos, Spain. The extraordinary find highlights the emergence of both complex social behaviour among Homo sapiens, and cultural differences across populations of modern humans in Africa and beyond. Fragments of the child's bones were dug up at the Panga ya ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

A wide-roaming and personal meditation on Drer and his art   Sanford Biggers opens at Rockefeller Center with Art Production Fund   Købke's portrait of Carl von Nutzhorn joins the collections of Nationalmuseum

"Albert and the Whale: Albrecht Drer and How Art Imagines Our World" by Philip Hoare. Illustrated. 296 pages. Pegasus Books. $28.95.

by John Williams

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Philip Hoare began his career writing books about subjects like Nol Coward and Oscar Wilde. He has become a much stranger, singular thing: an obsessive chronicler of the sea, and specifically of whales. Beginning with “Leviathan or, The Whale” (2008), Hoare wrote three consecutive books — all personal, allusive and circuitous — about the ocean and its inhabitants. His new book, “Albert and the Whale,” combines his interests. It’s a summary-defying blend of art history, biography, nature writing and memoir. The book’s central figure — the one from which Hoare’s centrifugal energies radiate — is German artist Albrecht Drer. The book’s marine angle, initially anyway, is a beached whale that Drer traveled to see but never saw; perfectly ... More

Artist Sanford Biggers poses for a photo as his 25 foot bronze sculpture titled 'Oracle' is unveiled at the Fifth Avenue entrance to the Channel Gardens at Rockefeller Center on May 05, 2021 in New York City. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced pandemic restrictions to be lifted on May 19. Cindy Ord/Getty Images/AFP.

NEW YORK, NY.- This spring, multiple disciplinary artist Sanford Biggers transforms Rockefeller Center with several public art exhibitions, including the highly anticipated monumental Oracle sculpture. Presented by Art Production Fund and Rockefeller Center, in partnership with Marianne Boesky Gallery, and several years in the making, Biggers is the first artist invited by Rockefeller Center for a multimedia survey exhibition campus wide from May 5 to June 29, 2021. The 25-foot bronze sculpture titled Oracle, commissioned by Art Production Fund for installation at the Fifth Avenue entrance to the Channel Gardens, is the cornerstone of Biggers’ takeover and welcomes visitors to the installation. ... More

Christen Kbke, Carl von Nutzhorn, 1830 (detail). Photo: Cecilia Heisser/Nationalmuseum.

STOCKHOLM.- Nationalmuseum has acquired a portrait drawing of the two-year-old Carl von Nutzhorn, created by the Danish Golden Age artist Christen Kbke in July 1830. Depictions of children are considered to be among Kbke’s most important works and his pencil portraits are complete works of art in their own right, comparable to any oil painting. The image of the little Carl von Nutzhorn is not only unusually intimate, but is also one of the artist’s earliest known commissioned portraits of its kind. In the early 1830s, Christen Kbke (1810–1848) attempted to establish himself as a portrait painter, probably to secure income. But although Kbke had hoped for a flurry of orders, he was initially forced to settle for painting relatives and family members. He had a great many of them, but this did not make him a wealthy man because they were not in the habit of paying. Instead, like the Frenchman Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, ... More

Exhibition of works by Alma Allen span two of Kasmin's locations in Chelsea   In New Orleans, an art break hotel   Billie Zangewa makes art where the light is best

Installation view.

NEW YORK, NY.- Kasmin is presenting an exhibition of work by sculptor Alma Allen (b. 1970) spanning two of the gallery’s locations in Chelsea, New York. The presentation in the Kasmin Sculpture Garden constitutes the artist’s first ever exhibition dedicated to large-scale outdoor sculpture. The exhibition continues at 514 West 28th Street with over twenty small-scale bronzes—works that function as both articulations of the polymorphous nature of Allen’s sculptural alphabet and as proposals for future large-scale works. By contextualizing these works amongst one another, the presentation demonstrates the variety of embodied forms that find expression through the artist’s hand. Allen’s connection to the natural world and its expressive possibilities goes back to his childhood in Utah, where a close proximity to the desert allowed the artist stretches of time roaming, whittling wood, and hand-carving stones that he ... More

Shana Betz and Walker Babington with their daughter, Willa, in the lobby of Travelers New Orleans on April 9, 2021. Rory Doyle/The New York Times.

by Lila Allen

NEW ORLEANS (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Don’t call Travelers New Orleans a bed-and-breakfast. For one thing, there’s no breakfast (for now, anyway). For another, the phrase “conjures images of lace curtains and doilies,” said Ann Williams, who, with her mate, Chuck Rutledge, and a few other partners opened the nine-room, frippery-free inn in the Lower Garden District last month. Williams said she preferred to call Travelers New Orleans “an artist-run hospitality venture.” The lodging is overseen by resident artists, who live on the building’s third floor. In exchange for their work (around 20 hours a week) on front-of-the-house jobs such as turning beds and advising guests about local attractions, they receive a furnished room, utilities, studio ... More

Billie Zangewa, Self-Care Sunday, 2020 (detail) Hand-stitched silk collage, 47.64 x 25.25 inches / 121 x 64 cm.

by Stephen Wallis

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Rootless is how artist Billie Zangewa recalls much of her childhood, growing up in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Botswana in the 1970s and ’80s. Her father was an engineer who helped build electrical-power systems across southern Africa, and her family moved around a lot. “I went to, like, seven primary schools,” said Zangewa, now based in South Africa. “And I lived in houses where the personal touch just wasn’t there. Home didn’t really exist for me. It was more like a memory, a fantasy.” Now, home is at the center of Zangewa’s art: tapestries of silk fabrics hand-stitched into collages that depict intimate moments from her life as a Black female artist and a single mother, sometimes — not least during ... More

Christie's announces live sale of Latin American art   Love letters and the tortured inheritance of the Little Prince   Doyle to auction Impressionist & Modern art on May 12

Cundo Bermudez (1914-2008), La cena. Oil on burlap, 43 x 37 in. Painted in 1958. Estimate: $150,000-200,000. Christie's Images Ltd 2021.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s will present the live sale of Latin American Art on May 19, 2021 in New York. The sale will include a range of works from modern and contemporary masterpieces to finest examples of 17th and 18th-century Spanish colonial painting. Highlights from this season will include exceptional works by Rufino Tamayo, Tilsa Tsuchiya, Francisco Toledo, Fernando Botero, Joaqun Torres-Garca, Claudio Bravo and Sergio Camargo. The sale will be headlined by Rufino Tamayo’s Naturaleza muerta (estimate: $1,800,000-2,500,000), an arresting early work by the artist that refreshingly reimagines the traditional still life subject. Naturaleza muerta reveals Tamayo’s love of the European avant-garde from Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque to Giorgio de Chirico and the legacy of Cubism as well as his commitment to visualizing his Mexican identity. Spread across Tamayo’s abundant table is a variety of vessels and fruits, most not ... More

French aviator, poet and war hero Antoine de Saint-Exupery's "The Little Prince" is said to have sold more than 200 million copies in 450 different translations since it was first published in 1943.

by Hugues Honore

NEW YORK (AFP).- It was a romance that helped inspire one of the great works of 20th-century fiction and a bitter conflict between his heirs, but a new book of Antoine de Saint-Exupery's love letters suggests a reconciliation may finally have been achieved. French aviator, poet and war hero Antoine de Saint-Exupery's "The Little Prince" is said to have sold more than 200 million copies in 450 different translations since it was first published in 1943. Much of the story hinges around the mysterious star-travelling prince's relationship with a rose -- delicate and demanding -- that he has been tending on his home planet. Saint-Exupery's real-life rose was Consuelo Suncin, a Salvadoran artist who cut a swathe through high society in Latin America and beyond before marrying him in 1930. Now, more than 160 of their letters ... More

Arshile Gorky (Armenian/American, 1904-1948), Still Life, 1928, Signed and dated, Oil on canvas, 20 7/8 x 16 inches (53 x 40.6 cm). Est. $50,000-70,000.

NEW YORK, NY.- Doyle’s auction of Impressionist & Modern Art on Wednesday, May 12 at 11am will showcase fine European and American paintings, drawings and sculpture from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The offerings will span Academic and Barbizon art through Impressionism and Post-Impressionism to German Expressionism and early Modernism. The public is invited to the exhibition on view May 8-10 at Doyle, located at 175 East 87th Street in New York. The catalogue may be viewed online at The beloved Surrealist Arshile Gorky is often referenced for his great influence on the Abstract Expressionist movement that would begin roughly at the time of his untimely death. From 1928, a still life painting echoes prototypical hallmarks the AbEx artists would embrace: a lush color palette, and a loose, gestural style (est. $50,000-70,000). Considered one of Norway's most important artists ... More

6 design books that celebrate a world of artifacts   Broadway is reopening. But not until September.   Almine Rech opens "Salon de Peinture" exhibition

“Mid-Century Modernism and the American Body: Race, Gender, and the Politics of Power in Design” by Kristina Wilson. Via The New York Times.

by Eve M. Kahn

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Artisans and designers, including Japanese temple builders, female silversmiths and African American midcentury modernists, are rescued from obscurity (or simply appreciated from afar) in six insightful new books. More than 1,000 lustrous Victorian vessels appear in “Majolica Mania: Transatlantic Pottery in England and the United States, 1850-1915” (Yale University Press, $300, 972 pages), the catalog for a traveling exhibition opening this fall at the Bard Graduate Center in the New York City borough of Manhattan and already online. Dozens of scholars contributed essays about ceramics makers, from central England’s venerable Wedgwood to Manhattan’s forgotten James Carr. The companies flooded international markets with wares known under the umbrella term “majolica.” The designs were as ... More

Karen Olivo as Satine in “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” at the Al Hirschfeld Theater in New York, June 12, 2019. Sara Krulwich/The New York Times.

by Michael Paulson

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that most pandemic capacity restrictions will ease in two weeks. Mayor Bill de Blasio says he wants the city to fully reopen on July 1. But Broadway, a beacon for tourists and an engine for the economy, is not quite ready to turn on the stage lights. Most shows are not planning performances until September or later. But there are signs of life: Cuomo said Wednesday that Broadway shows would start selling tickets Thursday for full-capacity shows with performances starting Sept. 14. Why the four-month wait? With as many as eight shows a week to fill, and the tourists who make up an important part of their customer base yet to return, producers need time to advertise and market. They need to reassemble and rehearse casts who have been out of work for more than a year. ... More

Claire Tabouret, Makeup (green dots), 2021. Acrylic on wood panel, 61 x 46 cm. 24 x 18 in.

NEW YORK, NY.- In July 1573, Veronese was put on trial for heresy before Venice’s Tribunal of Inquisition because the latter considered that the former’s Last Supper was not in keeping with its subject. When Veronese was asked about the reason why he depicted characters other than Christ and the twelve Apostles, he answered: ‘If in a painting there is space left over, I fill it with figures from my imagination. [...] My commission was to make this picture beautiful according to my judgement, and it seemed to me that it was big and capable of holding many figures.’ Veronese eventually had to rename his painting to The Feast in the House of Levi, originally executed for the refectory in the Venetian church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, now in the collection of the Gallerie dell’Accademia. As Anthony Blunt argued, Veronese thought ‘in terms of beauty not of spiritual truth, and his object was to produce a magnificent pageant painting, not to illustrate a religious ... More

The cypresses are always occupying my thoughts. Vincent van Gogh

More News
Neue Auctions announces online-only May Modernism sale
BEACHWOOD, OH.- An important and visually arresting dining table custom designed by Wendell Castle (American, 1932-2018), an untitled ink on paper artwork by Franz Josef Kline (American, 1910-1962), and a lovely oil on canvas still life floral painting by the Vietnamese painter L Phổ (1907-2001) are just a few expected highlights in a May Modernism auction planned for Saturday, May 15th by Neue Auctions, based in Beachwood, outside of Cleveland. The online-only auction, starting at 10 am Eastern time, has 424 lots gathered from regional estates and longtime collectors, including selections from the late Cleveland concert promoter Mike Belkin and his wife Annie. Items cover a wide range of mediums and categories, to include paintings, sculpture, works on paper, furniture, art glass, ceramics, enamel work and jewelry. There are many undiscovered finds in ... More

Sofia Coppola's challenge: To convey the feeling of live dance
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Although she likes ballet, Sofia Coppola doesn’t consider herself an aficionado. Still, when she received an email from the New York City Ballet asking if she would direct a film for the company’s virtual spring gala on Wednesday, she didn’t hesitate. “I was so thrilled,” she said in a video interview last week. “It was so cool to get a note from City Ballet.” Coppola, whose dreamlike first feature, “The Virgin Suicides” (1999), established her as a filmmaker who could hold a viewer’s interest through imagery and atmosphere as much as narrative or action, has won accolades and awards for her movies, including a screenwriting Oscar for “Lost in Translation” (2003) and the best director award for “The Beguiled” (2017) at the Cannes Film Festival. “We were a little nervous to reach out to her,” Justin Peck, resident choreographer and artistic adviser at City ... More

France battles over whether to cancel or celebrate Napoleon
PARIS (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Jacques Chirac couldn’t stand him. Nicolas Sarkozy kept his distance. Franois Hollande shunned him. But on the 200th anniversary this week of Napoleon Bonaparte’s death, Emmanuel Macron has chosen to do what most recent presidents of France have avoided: honor the man who in 1799 destroyed the nascent French Republic in a putsch. By choosing to lay a wreath Wednesday at Napoleon’s tomb under the golden dome of Les Invalides, Macron is stepping into the heart of France’s culture wars. Napoleon, always a contested figure, has become a Rorschach test for the French at a moment of tense cultural confrontation. Was Napoleon a modernizing reformer whose legal code, lyce school system, central bank, and centralized administrative framework laid the basis for post-revolutionary France? Or was he a retrograde racist, imperialist, and ... More

Exceptional Tiffany Studios floor lamp shines at $150,000 at Heritage Auctions
DALLAS, TX.- A stunning Tiffany Studios Leaded Glass and Patinated Bronze Nasturtium Lattice Floor Lamp, circa 1910 reached $150,000 and a unique Tiffany Studios Leaded Glass Lily Window sold for $143,750 Thursday in Heritage Auctions' Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Including Art Deco & Art Nouveau Auction, which reached $1,266,549 in total sales. "These strong results cast a light on the enduring demand for elite Tiffany Studios glass, " Heritage Auctions Senior Vice President of Special Collections Nick Dawes said. "Offering extraordinary items like these only furthers Heritage Auctions' ascent as an important destination for Art Glass collectors." "I have been doing business with Heritage Auctions for the past 21 years, but this was my most significant consignment," said the consignor of both of the top lots in the sale, who wishes to remain anonymous. "I have always found them to be ... More

Important painting by Welsh artist Sir John Kyffin Williams to be offered at Parker Fine Art Auctions
FARNHAM.- A large painting of Capel Soar in Gwynedd - believed to be the most remote chapel in Wales - by Iconic Welsh artist Sir John Kyffin Williams (1918-2006) is expected to fetch 20,000-30,000 when it is offered for sale at Parker Fine Art Auctions on Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 11am in Farnham, Surrey. The painting will be sold with a delightfully illustrated letter from the artist who is giving thanks for some “sweet-meats” and bemoans the fact that having eaten them he will be unfit to play in the Welsh rugby team! The “sweet-meats” were actually home made peppermint creams, and the charming letter is from the artist to the family who bought and are now selling the painting. With the address Pwllfanogl, Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, Gwynedd LL61 6PD, it is dated 10.12.80 and reads: ‘Dear Ann, Your present of the most delectable sweet-meats was vastly appreciated by the greedy recipient. But ... More

Chelsea Foundation and Royal Air Force Museum unveil new exhibition plans for Jewish Hidden Heroes project
LONDON.- The new displays will help the Museum to continue to raise awareness of the previously untold story of the Jewish personnel in the RAF during the Second World War and the vital role they played in defeating the Luftwaffe in the famous ‘Battle of Britain’, preventing the Nazis from invading Britain, the last democratic stronghold in Europe. These heroes joined the RAF from all over the world, to fight against tyranny, racism and antisemitism, fully aware that they risked torture and execution if captured. Their fascinating stories are a powerful window to the past through which we can make links to today and inspire future generations. The London exhibition is already home to an iconic Avro-Lancaster which was ‘adopted’ in 2020 by Roman Abramovich and the Chelsea Foundation to commemorate the many Jewish Hidden Heroes of Bomber Command. This year the Museum is celebrating ... More

Exhibition 'The Lams of Ludlow Street' by Thomas Holton on view at Home Gallery
NEW YORK, NY.- Home Gallery is presenting Thomas Holton’s 'The Lams of Ludlow Street,' curated by William Chan. The series, documenting the life of one Chinese family living in New York City's Chinatown neighborhood photographed over eighteen years, is one of the most important works about the Chinese American experience. Chan selected four images to be displayed in the window gallery, one at a time. Every two weeks, passersby discover a new photograph following a chronological order. Thomas Holton first met the Lams, a family of five, in 2003. The family lived in a 350-square-foot apartment on Ludlow Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Initially drawn to their tight living condition, Holton’s earlier photographs, while true, only represented the surface. Over time, Holton became part of the family, picking the kids up from school, and going on trips with them. He didn’t always ... More

12 artists from Europe and Iran explore Iran's cultural heritage
BRUSSELS.- BOZAR and the Goethe-Institut invite visitors to discover the work of twelve European and Iranian artists in the framework of HerMap (Cultural Heritage Management Project), a 5-year artistic research residency programme focusing on the protection and enhancement of Iran's tangible and intangible cultural heritage by creating new ways to encourage its discovery, perception and dissemination in close collaboration with local artists and communities. HerMap finds a natural outlet in the cross-disciplinary nature of BOZAR. The results of the residency are translated into different activities accessible to the public: • An exhibition that brings together 7 projects by 12 artists in residence • A digital platform that constitutes an essential integration of the content and the experience of visiting the exhibition; • Two days of online webinars about cultural heritage; • An online ... More

Former Sotheby's Australia Chairman to auction off the last pink diamonds from the Argyle Mine
SYDNEY.-, a little-known Australian technology start up in the diamond sector, founded by Tim Goodman, a former Executive Chairman of Sotheby’s Australia, has been asked to sell a collection of rare pink diamonds by an Australian finance corporation as mortgagee in possession. The five pink diamonds ranging from 0.40 carat to 1.01 carat, originally sourced from the world-famous Argyle Diamond Mine, are expected to fetch over US$1million. The request to sell the gems inspired Tim to expand the sale to include other pink diamonds originally from the Argyle mine. With the closure of the Argyle Mine in November 2020 after 40 years of producing 90% of the world’s pink diamonds the Public Tender is expected to attract attention from regional and overseas bidders. yourdiamonds.comTM will offer the first ever Public Tender for Australian pink diamonds strictly ... More

Terra Foundation awards $2.5 million to US arts and culture organizations for permanent collection projects
CHICAGO, IL.- The Terra Foundation for American Art announced the awarding of nearly $2.5 million in grants to 35 arts and cultural organizations in the United States. These grants support projects through the foundation’s new two-year exhibition grant initiative, Re-envisioning Permanent Collections: An Initiative for US Museums. The Terra Foundation established this grant program to encourage museums to delve more deeply into their collections to reveal a fuller multiplicity of artworks and voices that have shaped, in the past and up through the present, the artistic and cultural heritage of the US. The grants support permanent collection reinstallation planning and implementation as well as the development of temporary exhibitions drawn from museum collections. The foundation’s commitment to prioritizing equity and inclusion and to evolving the field of American art at ... More

Modernity and Patriotism In Childe Hassam's Iconic Flag Paintings



On a day like today, Russian painter and architect Viktor Hartmann was born
May 05, 1834. Viktor Alexandrovich Hartmann (5 May 1834, Saint Petersburg - 4 August 1873, Kireyevo near Moscow) was a Russian architect and painter. He was associated with the Abramtsevo Colony, purchased and preserved beginning in 1870 by Savva Mamontov, and the Russian Revival. In this image: The Paris Catacombs.

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