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Viking runestone linked to fears of climate change: study

Runologist Henrik Williams, Uppsala University, is one of the researchers in the interdisciplinary project on a new interpretation of the famous Rök runestone.

STOCKHOLM (AFP).- One of the world's most famous runestones is now believed to have been erected by Vikings fearing a repeat of a previous cold climate crisis in Scandinavia, a new study said Wednesday. The Rok stone, raised in the ninth century near the lake Vattern in south central Sweden, bears the longest runic inscription in the world with more than 700 runes covering its five sides. It is believed to have been erected as a memorial to a dead son, but the exact meaning of the text has remained elusive, as parts are missing and it contains different writing forms. The stone refers to the heroic acts of "Theodoric," which some scholars believe refers to Theodoric the Great, a sixth century ruler of the Ostrogoths in what is now Italy. Researchers at three Swedish universities now suspect the inscriptions are more of an allusion to an impending period of extreme winter, as the person who erected the stone tried to put their child's death into a larger perspective. ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

French architects want Notre-Dame roof rebuilt in wood   Pace Gallery announces representation of Beatriz Milhazes   A Polish museum turns to the right, and artists turn away

This picture taken on January 6, 2020 shows Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, which was partially destroyed when fire broke out beneath the roof on April 15, 2019. Philippe LOPEZ / AFP.

PARIS (AFP).- French architects want the roof of the fire-ravaged Notre-Dame cathedral to be rebuilt in wood and not in metal or concrete. One of the heads of the country's biggest architects' body said reconstructing the roof in anything other than the original wood would be a mistake. The intervention by Eric Wirth of the Guild of French Architects comes amid controversy over French President Emmanuel Macron's wish for the spire of the 13th-century monument to be given a "contemporary" touch. "The most modern and ecological material today is wood," Wirth said Wednesday, which, as well as being more fire-resistant than the alternatives, also traps carbon, he insisted. His comments come after the army general put in charge of the restoration, Jean-Louis Georgelin, dismissed reports that the massive roof would be redone in oak as nothing more than "lobbying" by the wood industry. ... More

Beatriz Milhazes, Bala de leite em roxo e azul ultramar, 2017. Collage on paper, 140 cm x 100 cm. © Beatriz Milhazes. Photo: Manuel Águas & Pepe Schettino.

NEW YORK, NY.- Marc Glimcher, CEO and President of Pace, today announced that Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes has joined the gallery’s roster of leading international contemporary artists. Pace will cooperate with Milhazes’s existing galleries Fortes D’Aloia & Gabriel, Max Hetzler, and White Cube to offer a comprehensive global network through which to further the artist’s career. Beatriz Milhazes’s (b. 1960, Rio de Janeiro) work bursts with a chromatic and freeing vitality. Renowned for her visual language rooted in painting, collage, and printmaking, she draws on her native Rio de Janeiro. Her use of color and geometry is mined from place—the botanical gardens and the Tijuca forest near her studio, the surrounding city, its ocean front, and the cultural motifs of Brazil—and from memory. “My challenge has always been the same. I’m interested in life and my surroundings, but to make it work as a p ... More

Malgorzata Ludwisiak, the previous director of the Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, Poland on Dec. 20, 2019. Anna Liminowicz/The New York Times.

by Alex Marshall

WARSAW (NYT NEWS SERVICE ).- Piotr Bernatowicz is one of the most talked about figures in Poland’s art world this winter, for one reason: Many artists say he’s about to destroy a leading Warsaw art museum. On Jan. 1, Bernatowicz, 46, became director of the Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art, a reconstructed palace in the city center. For the past 30 years, the museum has put on shows by Poland’s leading experimental artists and hosted work by international stars like Barbara Kruger, Nan Goldin and Kara Walker. Its exhibitions have often had a political dimension. One current show, for instance — a retrospective of work by Karol Radziszewski (through March 29) — addresses the experiences of gay men in Eastern Europe. But, in interviews, artists and curators ... More

Buck Henry, who helped create 'Get Smart' and adapt 'The Graduate,' dies at 89   The Met acquires works by Pakistani artist Lala Rukh   Climate change threatens Afghanistan's crumbling heritage

Buck Henry at the private party after the premiere of the movie FIST, 1978. Photo by Alan Light.

NEW YORK, NY (NYT NEWS SERVICE ).- Buck Henry, a writer and actor who exerted an often overlooked but potent influence on television and movie comedy — creating the loopy prime-time spy spoof “Get Smart” with Mel Brooks, writing the script for Mike Nichols’ landmark social satire “The Graduate” and teaming up with John Belushi in the famous samurai sketches on “Saturday Night Live” — died Wednesday in Los Angeles. He was 89. A friend, Dianne V. Lawrence, said Henry’s wife, Irene Ramp, had called her to tell her of the death. Ramp told The Washington Post that the cause was a heart attack. The entertainment news site Deadline said he died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, citing an unidentified family member. As a personality and a performer, Henry had a mild and unassuming aspect that was usually in contrast with the pungently satirical or broadly slapstick material he appeared in — and often wrote. Others in the room always seemed to make more noise. Indeed, for almo ... More

Lala Rukh (Pakistani, 1948–2017). Mirror Image 1, 2, 3 (detail), 1997. Mixed media on graph paper. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Tia Collection Gift, 2019. Courtesy of the Estate of Lala Rukh and Grey Noise, Dubai.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today the acquisition of two important works by the Pakistani artist and activist Lala Rukh (Lahore, 1948–2017): the collage Mirror Image, 1, 2, 3 (1997) and the digital animation Rupak (2016). The works were purchased by the Museum with funds from the Tia Collection, part of the private foundation's commitment to enabling the acquisition of works by South Asian female artists for The Met's Department of Modern and Contemporary Art. The Tia Collection's support of the Museum began in 2018 with the gift of Ranjani Shettar's installation Seven ponds and a few raindrops (2017). The Met also announced that the Estate of Lala Rukh has gifted the Museum a group of six posters to compliment the acquisition of Mirror Image, 1, 2, 3 and Rupak. Rukh created the posters, which call for the equal rights ... More

This photograph taken on November 16, 2019 shows the empty seat of one of the two Buddha statues destroyed by the Taliban in 2001 in Bamiyan. Mohammad ALI SHAIDA / AFP.

by Pierre Celerier

BAMIYAN (AFP).- After bearing the brunt of jihadist dynamite and looting by thieves, the archaeological treasures of Afghanistan’s Bamiyan province are facing a new and possibly more daunting threat: climate change. Nestled in the heart of the Hindu Kush mountains, the Bamiyan valley's picturesque cliffs -- where centuries-old Buddha statues were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001 -- still contain a network of caves housing temples, monasteries, and Buddhist paintings. The valley is also home to the silk-road era Shahr-e Gholghola fortress and the Shar-e Zohak citadel to the east. Experts say that a pattern of dry spells followed by heavy rain, and larger than usual spring snowmelts is putting this historic art and architecture at risk of destruction. Afghan officials warned in a 2016 United Nations report that ... More

The most technologically advanced motor car to come out of Britain pre-WW2 for sale   Nationalmuseum Sweden acquires 'Adam in Paradise' by Kristian Zahrtmann   The Metropolitan Museum kicks off 150th anniversary by inviting all to share "Met Stories"

Quite possibly the finest example on the market today and a real jewel for any collection it was unearthed after forty years' barn storage.

LONDON.- This stunning pre-war 1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe will be sold for an estimate of £300,000 to £400,000 at the next H&H Classics sale at Duxford on March 18th 2020. Quite possibly the finest example on the market today and a real jewel for any collection it was unearthed after forty years' barn storage and subsequently treated to an exhaustive 'chassis up' restoration with input from the likes of LMB Racing, Bishop Gray and Mel Cranmer. This Lagonda was the most technologically advanced motor car to come out of Britain pre-WW2. A Lagonda press release from August 1937, states: 'Of the half-dozen patrician motor cars still remaining on the world market, none ever inherited such a rich patrimony of design as the 12-cylinder Lagonda. The new car is no mere recapitulation of a good - but tired - design in terms of 1937. It is a new-born ... More

Kristian Zahrtmann, Adam in Paradise, 1914. Photo: Anna Danielsson/Nationalmuseum.

STOCKHOLM.- Nationalmuseum has acquired the painting Adam in Paradise by the Danish artist Kristian Zahrtmann. It is one of a group of erotic depictions of men which were perceived at the time as being too provocative and ended up in private collections where they have been out of sight for the general public. Thanks to the acquisition, the painting will be one of only a few to be given a permanent place in public. The painting by Kristian Zahrtmann (1843-1917) was produced in 1914. It portrays Adam on his own, surrounded by the fruits and flowers of the Garden of Eden. The motif is essentially biblical but at the same time clearly erotic. When the painting was exhibited in 1914 at Den Frie Udstilling in Copenhagen, it was met with scathing criticism and was regarded as being too provocative and unconventional to be purchased for state collections. ”I think even now Adam in Paradise is a painting that can still challenge ... More

Met Stories includes a monthly video series and an opportunity for the public to submit personal stories, photos, and videos about experiences related to the Museum. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

NEW YORK, NY.- Today, as part of The Metropolitan Museum of Art's yearlong 150th-anniversary celebration, the Museum launched Met Stories, a project to collect and share personal stories related to The Met. The initiative includes a 12-part, monthly video series featuring a range of stories—serious, comedic, endearing, quirky, solemn, and more—to show how each visitor experiences The Met in their own way, whether it is a memory of a once-in-a-lifetime visit, an everyday encounter with art, a first date, or a school trip. The public is also invited to submit personal stories in the form of writing, photos, and videos using social media (hashtag #MyMetStory) or through a form on The Met's website. The Met will share select submissions on its social media channels and website throughout the year. Max Hollein, ... More

Long-time Minneapolis Institute of Art Curator Patrick Noon retires   Sotheby's unveils 'Mario Buatta: Prince of Interiors'   RISD Museum receives gift of artworks from Avo Samuelian and Manuel Gonzalez

During his 22-year tenure at Mia, he played a pivotal role in the reinstallations of collections during both the 1998 and 2006 museum expansions.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN.- The Minneapolis Institute of Art today announced that Patrick Noon, senior curator of paintings and Elizabeth MacMillan Chair of the Department of Paintings, has announced his retirement, effective January 31. During his 22-year tenure at Mia, he played a pivotal role in the reinstallations of collections during both the 1998 and 2006 museum expansions. His acquisitions brought considerable depth to the museum’s holdings, with the addition of some 200 paintings, including such spectacular works as Claude Lorrain’s Pastoral Landscape, Alexander Roslin’s Comtesse d’Egmont Pignatelli, Wilhelm List’s Young Woman in Undergarments, Nicolas de Largilliere’s Portrait of Charles-Leonor Aubry, Marquis de Castelnau, Albert Joseph Moore’s Battledore, Théodore Rousseau’s View of Mont Blanc from La Faucille, Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland’s Portrait of Olive Craster, and Eugène Delacroix’s Still Life ... More

A chinese export black and gold lacquer bureau cabinet, circa 1730. Estimate: $50/80,000. Courtesy Sotheby’s.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s unveils nearly 1,000 items on offer in Mario Buatta: Prince of Interiors, an auction dedicated to the personal collection of interior designer legend Mario Buatta. Most influenced by the understated elegance of Colefax & Fowler and the doyenne of exuberant American décor, Sister Parish, Mario Buatta reinvented the English Country House style stateside for clients such as Henry Ford II, Barbara Walters, Malcolm Forbes, Mariah Carey, Patricia Altschul and for Blair House, the President’s guest quarters. The collection features works emerging from Buatta’s Upper East Side apartment in New York City and the William Mason House, an historic gothic-style home in Thompson, Connecticut, as well as many pieces that have long been admired in showhouse rooms and shelter magazines over the years. Sotheby’s auction will be held on 23 & 24 January, during one of the busiest weeks in the New York market calendar ... More

Patricia Treib (b. 1979), Motifs, 2008. Oil on canvas, 167.6 x 127 cm (66 x 50 inches). Gift of Avo Samuelian and Hector Manuel Gonzalez 2019.83.15. Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence.

PROVIDENCE, RI.- The RISD Museum announces a significant gift of 66 contemporary artworks from collectors Avo Samuelian and Manuel Gonzalez. Thirty-three works were brought into the collection in December 2019 joining a similar gift to the museum of 33 works in 2017. Both gifts expand the museum’s Contemporary Art and Prints, Drawings, and Photographs collections considerably, introducing works by Uri Aran, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Lothar Hempel, Jordan Nassar, and Paul P; additional works by Karla Black, Jim Lambie, and Tony Feher strengthen the RISD Museum’s commitment to artists already in the collection. Also of note are works by RISD alumni and faculty including David Scanavino, David Benjamin Sherry, and Patricia Treib that further develop the museum’s representation of figures who have helped define the school’s reputation. “The works donated by Avo and Manuel have made an immediate ... More

Painting is a way of being. Jackson Pollock

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Estella Chung appointed Chief Curator of The Wisconsin Historical Society
WASHINGTON.- Estella Chung, director of collections, curator of material culture, historian, and head of oral history at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, has been appointed chief curator at the Wisconsin Historical Society. On the Hillwood staff for 12 years, she will begin her new position on March 2. Chung joined the Hillwood staff as historian and curator of material culture in 2007 and for over a decade conducted research into Hillwood founder Marjorie Merriweather Post’s personal history, abundant good works, and the inner workings of her former homes and estates. She published the biography Marjorie Merriweather Post: The Life Behind the Luxury, which was released in October. While working on research for the biography, in 2012 she also produced the book and corresponding exhibition Living Artfully: At Home with Marjorie Merriweather Post, ... More

Friedman Benda presents its sixth annual guest-curated exhibition entitled Comfort, curated by Omar Sosa
NEW YORK, NY.- Friedman Benda presents its sixth annual guest-curated exhibition entitled Comfort. Curated by Omar Sosa, creative director and co-founder of Apartamento, the exhibition examines comfort versus discomfort and how this dichotomy conditions and drives human behavior, personal identity and societal norms. Combining utilitarian objects, sculptures, photographs and paintings into a visual landscape meant to provoke engagement from the viewer, Comfort investigates comfort’s relationship to aesthetics and the tension that occurs when an object can be physically comfortable, but visually or psychologically uncomfortable, and vice versa. The exhibition looks at comfort beyond a physical state, but as a complete sensorial experience through the lens of diverse artistic interpretations of “comfort,” such as a John Chamberlain foam Couch, ... More

Heritage Auctions' Comics Department sets new record: $79 million in 2019
DALLAS, TX.- Auction sales for the Comics & Comic Art Department at Heritage soared to a record $79,332,770 in 2019, with sell-through rates exceeding 99% as measured both by value and by number of lots. The total was the highest ever in the 18-year history of the department, and represented a jump of more than 35% above the department's previous record of $58,544,323 which was set in 2018. Numerous records fell in 2019, further strengthening Heritage's position as the largest comic books and comic art auctioneer in the world. “Our Comics team continues to amaze me with their knowledge, work ethic, teamwork, honesty and dedication to client satisfaction," Heritage Auctions Co-Founder Jim Halperin said. "I couldn’t be prouder of them.” Among the records that fell in 2019: Egyptian Queen, Frank Frazetta’s 1969 masterpiece, published ... More

kaufmann repetto opens 'Muses', Billy Sullivan's fifth solo exhibition with the gallery
NEW YORK, NY.- The exhibition focuses on the primary significance of portraiture in Sullivan’s work over the past five decades, and explores the broad array of muses he finds among friends, lovers, acquaintances, and even strangers. Certainly one kind of muse that recurs in Sullivan’s work, inflected by his own particular queer sensibility, offers the more expected stimulations of physical beauty and erotic frisson. But perhaps even more frequently, a muse displays attributes that may indeed be somehow sexy but are not necessarily sexual per se — an attitude, a sense of style, some kind of creativity, or just a way of being in the world. Each portrait originates from a photograph that Sullivan takes and, back in the studio, puts to use as a template for a painting or drawing. In the process of manually and graphically translating this image into another ... More

Philbrook welcomes Sara O'Keeffe, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
TULSA, OKLA.- Philbrook Museum of Art welcomes Sara O’Keeffe as the new Nancy E. Meinig Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. Most recently, she served as associate curator at the New Museum, New York, where she worked since 2013. Prior to that, she was in the Curatorial Department at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2011-2013). “We are thrilled to welcome Sara to Philbrook,” said Philbrook Director Scott Stulen. “She brings extensive experience in a wide variety of contemporary practices, willingness to experiment and passion for art and artists. Sara’s collaborative spirit is an ideal fit for Philbrook as we build a more inclusive and relevant experience with an increased focus on Contemporary Art.” During her time at the New Museum, Sara was part of the curatorial teams that organized “Trigger: Gender ... More

Phillips' 2019 Watch Auctions total $111 Million
NEW YORK, NY.- Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo is pleased to announce a grand total of $111 million for annual watch auctions in 2019, the highest live auction total for any house this year. Across the sales in Geneva, Hong Kong and New York, Phillips saw 12 exceptional timepieces soar above the $1 million mark, with the Urwerk Atomic Mechanical Control claiming the top price of the year, selling for $2.9 million and setting a new world record price for a watch made by an independent Swiss watchmaker sold at auction. Auction records were also broken for timepieces by Rolex, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, F.P.Journe, and George Daniels, among others. Success extended beyond the auction room this season into exhibitions, digital initiatives, a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Zenith, and the launch of Phillips Perpetual. ... More

These composers are maestros of menace
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE ).- There’s a lot meant to freak out audiences in “The Grudge,” the horror reboot that opened Jan. 3. One of them is the sound of peacocks. The birds don’t appear in the film, but their startling squawks can be heard, in digitally altered form. “They’re beautiful, but the way they sound is pretty unsettling,” said Taylor Newton Stewart, 41, one half of the composing duo behind the film’s soundtrack. “It sounds like a cry for help.” Since 2014, Stewart and Andy Grush, who call themselves the Newton Brothers, though they are not related, have specialized in music in the key of fear. Their compositions have accompanied and augmented the terror of demonic possession (“Ouija: Origin of Evil”), crazed killers (“See No Evil 2,” “Hush”), childhood trauma (“Oculus,” “Gerald’s Game”) and all manner of ghastly apparitions ... More

Adela Holzer, whose fall from grace was theatrical, is dead
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE ).- In 1975, in the dining room of her East 72nd Street town house, Adela Holzer was interviewed by a reporter for The New York Times, who later declared her “Broadway’s hottest producer.” The same year, People magazine described Holzer as “a strong-willed 41-year-old Spanish-born redhead” (the age was quite a bit off) who “has what it takes — money, taste and, perhaps most important, a willingness to back new plays to the hilt, take a bath and still try again.” The theater world was smitten. At a time when almost all producers were men, Holzer, a shipping magnate’s glamorous, self-possessed European wife, had two hits on Broadway: “All Around Town,” a farce by Murray Schisgal about a psychiatrist, directed by Dustin Hoffman, and “The Ritz,” Terrence McNally’s bathhouse comedy, which brought ... More

Exhibition features paintings from different series created over a 15-year period by Mike Kelley
NEW YORK, NY.- Over the course of his four-decade career, Mike Kelley generated a remarkably diverse oeuvre in an array of media, conflating so-called high culture and low culture, critiquing prevailing aesthetic conventions, and combining traditional notions of the sacred and the profane. This exhibition, organized in collaboration with the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, features paintings from different series created over a 15-year period, between 1994 and 2009, spotlighting the breadth of the artist’s engagement with the medium of painting. Organized by guest curator Jenelle Porter, ‘Mike Kelley. Timeless Painting’ takes both its title and conceptual starting point from the series that gave rise to many of the works on view, and for which ‘the compositional approach,’ Kelley stated, ‘is to be read as outside of the influence ... More

Onward/ Forward 2020: Kim Foster Gallery opens 2020 with a group exhibition
NEW YORK, NY.- 2020 is the start of a new decade, a chance to move onward, repair and invigorate, to bring forward art that challenges the norm. Crayons are a creative tool for children. However, Christian Faur has made them static with a digital mapping color coded system to realize his subject matter, broadening out the way art can be made. Jacques Roch instilled a liveliness in his art that keeps on entertaining us with his energetic spirit and mischievous humor. Glass always engages us with its infinite perspectives. Like a crystal ball, Kathleen Mulcahy’s glass drops take you wherever you wish to go. Paul Glabicki’s drawings are a relentless accumulation of imagery and data existing in an abstract space. The completed drawing becomes a unique configuration and multilayered collage to be read, discovered and explored at each viewing. Margaret ... More

This 11,000-Year-Old Piece of Wood is More Than it Seems



On a day like today, English sculptor Barbara Hepworth was born
January 10, 1903. Dame Jocelyn Barbara Hepworth DBE (10 January 1903 - 20 May 1975) was an English artist and sculptor. Her work exemplifies Modernism and in particular modern sculpture. She was one of the few female artists of her generation to achieve international prominence. Along with artists such as Ben Nicholson and Naum Gabo, Hepworth was a leading figure in the colony of artists who resided in St Ives during the Second World War. In this image: Dame Barbara Hepworth, Parent I, conceived in 1970, number 2 of the 4 individual casts that were made of each of the nine figures (est. £2,000,000-3,000,000). Photo: Sotheby's.

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