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New room presents works related to the man who built the Mauritshuis

The new room 'Johan Maurits and the Mauritshuis' with works related to Johan Maurits, Count of Nassau-Siegen, at the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague, the Netherlands, on September 22, 2020.

THE HAGUE.- From today, the Mauritshuis in The Hague presents a new permanent display in one of the rooms of the museum. The room contains works related to Johan Maurits, Count of Nassau-Siegen and the man who built the Mauritshuis in the 17th century. The Mauritshuis previously considered Johan Maurits primarily from an art historical perspective; this new display also tells the story of his role as governor of the colony Dutch Brazil and in the transatlantic slave trade. In addition to the new museum room, attention will also focus on the research from the recently-launched project ‘Revisiting Dutch Brazil and Johan Maurits’. In a recent article written by two Mauritshuis researchers, new facts about Johan Maurits and his role in the slave trade were revealed. As well as these findings, the museum today also announces the names of the four researchers who will examine different aspects of Dutch Brazil and Johan Maurits over the co ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Philip Guston blockbuster show postponed by four museums   Luchita Hurtado: The elusive artist portrays herself   Polish sculptor unveils 'superhuman' John Paul II

Philip Guston, Painting, Smoking. Eating 1973 (detail). Stedeljik Museum, Amsterdam © The Estate of Philip Guston, courtesy Hauser & Wirth.

by Julia Jacobs

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Four major art museums said they are postponing until 2024 a much-awaited retrospective of modernist painter Philip Guston after taking into account the surging racial justice protests in the country, adding that the work needed to be framed by “additional perspectives and voices.” The works that the museums appear to be grappling with include white hooded Ku Klux Klan figures, a motif in the politically-engaged artist’s work since the early 1930s. The four museums that organized the exhibit, called “Philip Guston Now,” include the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Tate Modern in London, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In a joint statement released quietly Monday, the museum directors said that they were “postponing the exhibition until a time at which we think that the powerful message ... More

Luchita Hurtado, Untitled, c. 1970s. Crayon, graphite, and ink on paper, 60.3 x 45.7 cm / 23 3/4 x 18 in. © Luchita Hurtado. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Thomas Barratt.

by Roberta Smith

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Whenever I find that I’m getting nowhere with something I’m writing, I ask myself a fallback question such as an editor might raise: What does the reader need to know now? Shifting the viewpoint from maker to user often helps. The question is one that Hauser & Wirth might have considered when organizing “Luchita Hurtado: Together Forever,” an exhibition in Chelsea of nearly three dozen works by the Venezuelan-born artist, who died in Santa Monica, California, last month at 99. What of Hurtado’s work does the viewer — or more specifically, the New York viewer — need to see now? The answer is not this exhibition of mostly bland self-portrait drawings showing the artist as a simple outline or silhouette. These are redeemed by too few of her more intense acrylic paintings from the last two years, all spread sparsely throughout a ... More

Jerzy Kalina’s installation Poisoned Well commemorates Pope John Paul II on the centenary of his birth.

WARSAW (AFP).- An unusual sculpture depicting Saint John Paul II holding up a meteorite was unveiled in Warsaw on Thursday -- an artistic response to a controversial statue showing the rock striking down the late pope. Jerzy Kalina's installation outside the National Museum, titled "Poisoned Source", shows the Polish pope holding the meteorite high over a pool of red water representing blood. "In Kalina's view, John Paul II is not a powerless old man crushed by a meteorite, but a titan of superhuman strength," the museum said in a statement on its website. The installation has already prompted online derision and criticism from art commentators who said it simply reflects the ultra-Catholic outlook of Poland's populist government. One image shared on social media transforms the statue into a depiction of a plane passenger trying to put a suitcase into an overhead compartment, while another showed people fleeing the advance of a giant version of the statue. Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan drew contro ... More

Aboriginal artist wins prestigious Australian prize for first time   Tourists travel secret tunnels of Albania's communist-era paranoia   October Art Week announces 5th edition of prominent Upper East Side gallery participants

Vincent Namatjira. Courtesy of the artist and Iwantja Arts. Photo: Meg Hansen.

SYDNEY (AFP).- An Aboriginal painter won Australia's most renowned arts prize for the first time in its 99-year history Friday for a portrait of indigenous footballer and activist Adam Goodes. Vincent Namatjira took the Au$100,000 ($70,000) Archibald Prize for the painting "Stand strong for who you are", which features Goodes clasping hands with the artist. "I'm so proud to be the winner of the Archibald Prize, and to be the first Aboriginal artist to win is really special," Namatjira said during the award ceremony via video link from his home in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands in South Australia. Namatjira, 37, said he'd been inspired to paint the portrait after watching a 2019 documentary, "The Final Quarter", which recounts the last years of Goodes' career as an Australian Rules footballer and the controversy which swirled after he spoke out against racism in the sport. "When I saw the documentary ... my guts were churning as I relived Adam's ... More

In this photograph taken on February 2, 2020, Astrit Imeri, a former soldier, walks inside The Cold War Tunnel Museum at Gjirokastra, Albania. Gent SHKULLAKU / AFP.

by Briseida Mema and Emmy Varley

GJIROKASTRA (AFP).- Snaking beneath a fortress in southern Albania, a covert tunnel network built during the communist era captures the secrecy and paranoia that defined the long rule of tyrant Enver Hoxha. Today communism is gone and the military bunker is a tourist attraction, still drawing rare visitors during the pandemic, when themes of fear, isolation and confinement are particularly resonant. The sprawling underground complex, now dubbed the Cold War tunnel, is part of a vast and costly "bunkerisation" project spearheaded by Hoxha, who feared foreign invasion during his 40-year isolationist rule. In order to fortify the hermit state, he oversaw the construction of more than 170,000 military bunkers across Albania. Most are small dome-shaped structures, built as sentry ... More

Julian Barrow, PJ. Clarke’s, New York (detail). Oil on canvas, 9 x 12 inches (detail). Courtesy Mark Murray Fine Paintings.

NEW YORK, NY.- October Art Week announced its 5th edition that will run from October 9 - 18. This year’s programming will offer by appointment in-person visits and expanded virtual presentations that will welcome art lovers to discover the dynamic fall 2020 exhibitions from top pre-contemporary Upper East Side galleries. “During this time of upheaval, we look forward with optimism to our 5th edition of October Art Week. We believe this is a vital time to support our Upper East Side galleries, the vibrant local community, and New York’s art scene at large under the current circumstances of the pandemic,” states directors Lydia Melamed Johnson and LeeAna Wolfman. OAW 2020 has been moved up to an earlier date than in years past to coincide with the fall auction schedule, notably Christie's Classic Week (October 1-20), including their Old Masters masterworks live auction (October 15), and Sotheby's sale dedicated ... More

Garage Museum of Contemporary Art opens 2nd Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art   Historic Howard Finster painting highlights Slotin Folk Art Auction's Self-Taught Art Masterpiece Sale   UK artist aims to unite with 'humanity-inspired' work

lekha g., Craft (Counterfeits), 2020. Photo: Yuri Palmin © Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.

MOSCOW.- Garage Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art is a major project by Garage Museum of Contemporary Art that aims to foster the development of Russia’s contemporary art scene. The first Triennial in 2017 featured works by over 60 artists, selected by Garage curators during research trips across the country. The 2nd Garage Triennial, curated by Valentin Diaconov and Anastasia Mityushina, was inspired by the book After Method: Mess in Social Science Research (2004) by British sociologist John Law. In this work, Law identified a crisis in the social sciences in today’s multipolar and multicultural world, and suggested that rigid models and classifications be replaced by a non-coherent method that brings social classes together with religious communities and subcultures with ontologies (pictures of the world). A Beautiful Night for All the People is a complex assemblage based on the inaugural Triennale, the participants of which se ... More

Sam Doyle, “U.S.N. Honey Driper,” paint on found roofing tin, 27.5 inches wide by 45.5 inches high. Est. $12,000-$15,000.

BUFORD, GA.- An early Howard Finster painting believed to be his largest, yet one of the least well-known of his early masterworks, will be the highlight of Slotin Folk Art Auction's Self-Taught Art Masterpiece Sale on Nov. 14, 2020. The Buford, Ga.-based auction house has handled the sale of many early Finster pieces, but never one as large as the 1977 painting "Chelsea Baptist Church," numbered 641, which measures 103.5 inches wide by 44 inches high including frame. The narrative painting, tractor enamel on Masonite, is centered around the Northwest Georgia church where the preacher-turned-folk-artist ministered from 1950 to 1965. Steve Slotin considers the work historically important in the oeuvre of one of the 20th century's most celebrated folk artists. “This piece is powerful because it's a personal piece,” he said. “It was meant to be viewed by people attending a Sunday service. Howard was all ... More

Contemporary British artist Sacha Jafri sits on his record-breaking painting entitled 'The Journey of Humanity' on September 23, 2020, in the Emirati city of Dubai. GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP.

by Dana Moukhallati

DUBAI (AFP).- British artist Sacha Jafri paces barefoot back and forth across his giant canvas stretched across the ballroom floor of a luxury Dubai hotel, listening to a young girl singing. She performed Friday on the almost-completed canvas measuring just under 2,000 square metres (20,000 sq feet), before it is broken down next week into 60 framed works. His goal is to set a new Guinness World Record for the largest art canvas and raise $30 million to fund health and education initiatives for children in impoverished parts of the world. The 44-year-old contemporary artist says he hopes to double that amount when parts of his "Journey of Humanity" work go up for auction in February 2021. "They will own a piece of the largest painting ever created, but more than that they'll own a piece of history and, ... More

Comprehensive overview of Thomas Ruff's work on view in Dusseldorf   Sotheby's Hong Kong Chinese Works of Art Autumn Sales to feature 'Monochrome II'   Exhibition at the Menil Collection features seven large-scale works by Allora & Calzadilla

Thomas Ruff, tableau chinois_03, 2019, C-Print, Edition 01/04, 240 x 185 cm, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020.

DUSSELDORF.- With the exhibition Thomas Ruff, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen presents a comprehensive overview of one of the most important representatives of the Düsseldorf School of Photography. The exhibition ranges from series from the 1990s, which document Ruff’s unique conceptual approach to photography, to a new series that is now being shown for the first time at K20: For Tableaux chinois, Ruff drew on Chinese propaganda photographs. Parallel to Thomas Ruff’s exhibition, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is also presenting highlights from the collection at K20 under the title Technology Transformation. Photography and Video in the Kunstsammlung, which also deals with artistic photography and technical imaging processes in art. “With his manipulations of photographs from many different sources, Thomas Ruff comments in an incredibly clever way on how we see images in a digitalized world. Through his virtuoso ... More

An Exceptional and Rare Huanghuali Six-Post Canopy Bed. Ming Dynasty, 17th Century, 226 by 156.2 by h. 226 cm. Est: HK$20,000,000 - 30,000,000 / US$2,580,000-3,870,000. Courtesy Sotheby's.

HONG KONG.- Sotheby’s Hong Kong presents two carefully curated Chinese Works of Art Sales to be held on 9 October 2020, Monochrome II and Important Chinese Art. Monochrome II is the sequel to the highly successful Monochrome sale held in July. Highlights include a jadeite-green glazed jar and cover from the Ming dynasty, a superb silver-streaked Nogime Temmoku bowl from the Southern Song dynasty and a magnificent huanghuali six-post canopy bed from the Ming dynasty. Important Chinese Art is a tightly curated assemblage with a focus on fine and rare imperial porcelain and works of art from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Highlights include an exquisite Yongzheng famille-rose 'peach' bowl and a gilt-bronze figure of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara from the Song dynasty. Nicolas Chow, Chairman, Sotheby’s Asia, International Head and Chairman, Chinese Works of Art, comments, “This season is highlighted ... More

Installation view of Allora & Calzadilla’s, Manifest, 2020. Bat and bird guano, side B: 180 x 82 x 39 inches (449.6 × 208.3 × 99.1 cm). Commissioned by Leslie and Brad Bucher for exhibition at the Menil Collection; courtesy of Lisson Gallery, New York and London. © Allora & Calzadilla. Photo: Sarah Hobson.

HOUSTON, TX.- Early Christian texts describe acedia as a demon that besieges the soul at noon, when the day listlessly drags and delirious visions momentarily reign in the blinding light. From September 26, 2020, through June 20, 2021, summer solstice, the Menil Collection will present a major exhibition of seven sculptural works by the artists Allora & Calzadilla that revolve around this concept, serving as a manifestation of noon’s hold over humankind and as a metaphor for the uncertainties defining our time. Created specifically for the Menil Collection’s main building, Allora & Calzadilla: Specters of Noon will use sounds, cast shadows, and novel sculptural materials to evoke an awe-inducing atmosphere of bewilderment and beauty. Rebecca Rabinow, director of the Menil Collection, said: “Since its founding, ... More

More News
Christie's offers works of art from The Giuseppe Rossi Collection
LONDON.- Christie’s London announced the sale of Works of Art from The Giuseppe Rossi Collection, Sold to Benefit a Charity. The collection charts the evolution of European style, taste and design during the 18th century from the Baroque to neoclassicism totaling 148 lots and includes: Italian and French furniture, ormolu-mounted Chinese and European porcelain, Old Master paintings and drawings, silver, clocks, and French, German, Italian and Chinese ceramics. Dottore Giuseppe Rossi (1914-1989) is acknowledged as one of Italy’s greatest post war connoisseur collectors and most prestigious antique dealers acquiring works from collections such as that of King Umberto II and the Rothschild family. He was acknowledged as having an exceptional eye and built one of the 20th centuries most important collections of 18th century decorative arts. ... More

Gilt copper alloy figure of Maitreya achieves top lot at Bonhams Asia Week sales
NEW YORK, NY.- A 13th /14th century gilt copper alloy figure of Maitreya from the Khasa Malla kingdom was the top lot of Bonhams’ marquee Asia Week sales in New York. Sold on 23 September at the Indian, Himalayan & Southeast Asian Art Sale, the cover lot realised US$ 680,075, well exceeding its pre-sale estimate of US$ 400,000–600,000. An exceptional bronze for its size and clear refinement, the sculpture depicts Maitreya – the bodhisattva of loving kindness – seated in a relaxed posture of ease on an exquisitely modelled blooming lotus, with his right hand raised to reassure his followers. Despite his languid pose, his toes remain flexed, a delightful detail that signals the bodhisattva remains alert from his celestial abode to the suffering of others. Edward Wilkinson, Bonhams’ Global Head of the Indian, Himalayan, and Southeast Asian ... More

Sam McBratney dies at 77; wrote 'Guess How Much I Love You'
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Sam McBratney, whose bedtime story expressing the affection between a father hare and his son has sold more than 50 million copies and immortalized the breadth of their love for each other as “up to the moon — and back,” died on Sept. 18 at his home in County Antrim, Ireland. He was 77. His death was announced by Candlewick Press, his publisher. No cause was specified. McBratney was a teacher and had already published 23 books when he retired in 1990, at the age of 47, and embarked on a picture-book project proposed by an editor for, he later recalled, “a Big One to read to a Little One.” Meticulously drafting on average two words a day over six months, McBratney produced “Guess How I Much Love You,” published in 1994, a 395-word colloquy in which two nut-brown hares playfully one-up each other in ... More

Awol Erizku opens Mystic Parallax exhibition at The FLAG Art Foundation
NEW YORK, NY.- Awol Erizku: Mystic Parallax, opens at The FLAG Art Foundation in Chelsea, this Saturday, September 26 - November 14, 2020. Erizku engages an Afrocentric perspective to a new body of photo-based works, sculpture, drawings made from incense smoke and ash, and a series of short films, which act as a counter-narrative to the historically westernized discourse on African and African American culture. Central to the new works are signifiers rooted in Trap music and Islam that employ contronyms as a visual and linguistic device to explore new dimensions in the evolving lexicon on objects, music, and prose. Throughout the exhibition, Erizku combines expropriated and commodified Aethiopean artifacts, contemporary African American iconography, and references to photography, media, and image creation. Fire, ... More

SPB, singer of 40,000 Indian film songs, dies at 74
MUMBAI (AFP).- S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, whose prolific output as a singer included around 40,000 songs in 16 Indian languages, died Friday aged 74 after a prolonged battle with coronavirus. His decades-long career included stints as a musician, composer, producer and voiceover artist, but it was his singing which won him millions of fans across India, with chartbusters in multiple languages. Known to fans as SPB, he was diagnosed with the virus last month and admitted to hospital in the southern city of Chennai. His death comes on the heels of what has been a particularly tragic period for Indian cinema, which in May lost composer Wajid Khan to the disease aged just 42, and luminaries Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor to other illnesses in April. The June suicide of popular actor Sushant Singh Rajput sent further shockwaves across Bollywood, ... More

Aboriginal owners decry 'corporate vandalism' after sacred site destruction
SYDNEY (AFP).- The traditional owners of an ancient Aboriginal site in Australia blown up by Rio Tinto accused the mining giant of a "shocking act of corporate vandalism" Friday in their first public comment on the incident. The Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) people of Western Australia said Rio Tinto ignored their warnings against its plans to blast in the Juukan Gorge area of the ore-rich Pilbara region. The operation in May, to expand an iron ore mine, destroyed a 46,000-year-old site that contained some of the oldest Aboriginal artifacts found in Australia and was considered sacred by the PKKP. A public outcry and investor revolt sparked by the destruction led to the resignations earlier this month of Rio Tinto's CEO and two top lieutenants. But the PKKP, in a submission Friday to a parliamenary inquiry into the incident, said ... More

Despite progress, Black directors still struggle to break through
NEW YORK (AFP).- Black directors including Jordan Peele ("Get Out"), Ryan Coogler ("Black Panther") and Barry Jenkins ("Moonlight") have enjoyed huge success in recent years -- but for many African-American filmmakers, Hollywood remains far from welcoming. Charlie Buhler, who is mixed race, set out to make an action film set against the backdrop of a pandemic, long before the coronavirus. Unable to secure the funding she needed, Buhler had to direct parts of "Before the Fire" on her grandmother's farm in South Dakota. "I knew that no one was going to give me the opportunity to do the movie that I wanted to make," said Buhler. "It's hard enough for women to direct action movies, but especially women of color." Her film was selected at the Harlem International Film Festival, which was held online earlier this month. Buhler's struggle comes despite ... More

Site-specific mural by Odilo Donald Odita complete and on view at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
RICHMOND, VA.- Visitors to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts will notice a large, colorful painting along the elevation of the museum’s Atrium north wall. The expansive new mural, Procession, is the work of Nigerian-born American artist Odili Donald Odita. The work, completed on Sept. 20, 2020, can now be viewed in its entirety. Procession was three years in the making. “The space called out to me when I came to VMFA in 2017,” said Valerie Cassel Oliver, VMFA’s Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. “I remember walking through the Cochrane Atrium with Stephen Bonadies, VMFA’s Senior Deputy Director for Conservation and Collections, who as a means of introduction offered to walk the building and grounds with me. I immediately thought that the Atrium’s large white wall was ripe for a work of art. ... More

Brett Favre twice-signed Bucs T-shirt to be auctioned online
PHOENIX, ARIZ.- A Tampa Bay Buccaneers T-shirt worn by NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre at this year’s game between the Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers on September 20th – signed by Favre with “HOF 16” (for his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016) and “Tom Brady is the GOAT” (the acronym for “Greatest of All Time”) – is up for bid in an online-only auction being held by Pristine Auction. The sale ends Tuesday, September 29th. People can register and bid now on the Pristine Auction website: All the proceeds from the sale of the shirt will go to benefit Brett Favre’s Favre4Hope Foundation. Brett Favre's appearance at the Buccaneers game wearing the shirt was a significant gesture, as it followed his public support of Tom Brady, the longtime quarterback of the New ... More

Dallas Museum of Art announces $1.42 million gift from The O'Donnell Foundation
DALLAS, TX.- The Dallas Museum of Art today announced that the O’Donnell Foundation is making a gift of $1.42 million in support of the Museum’s digital transformation initiatives. These new innovations will address essential infrastructure and systems upgrades to meet the current state of digitalization demands and drive a revamp of the Museum’s visitor experience strategy, both online and on-site. They include the expansion of its internal systems through the development of a constituent relationship management solution and a comprehensive redevelopment of the Museum’s website. Digital tools have become increasingly critical to the DMA’s audiences, operations, and long-term relevancy and ability to reach individuals, regardless of physical location. The COVID-19 pandemic saw the Museum’s entire engagement model shift to online or virtual- ... More

Exhibition at Middelheim Museum offers an insight into the thinking process of Berlinde De Bruyckere
ANTWERP.- Focus Presentation #2: Berlinde De Bruyckere takes Onschuld kan een hel zijn (1995) as its starting point: a unique portfolio of archive material that Berlinde de Bruyckere (Ghent, 1964) put together in preparation for her exhibition of that title at the Middelheim Museum in 1995. The presentation in the collection pavilion offers an insight into the thinking process of the artist. Two monumental works were (re) installed in the Braem Pavilion and in the art park. In 1995, the Middelheim Museum presented the first major solo exhibition by Berlinde de Bruyckere: Onschuld kan een hel zijn (Innocence can be a hell). Now, 25 years later, the archive portfolio with the same title offers us a unique view of a specific part of the artist’s work process: the development of an exhibition. What we find there are drawings, working photos and written project ... More

Vienna's Secession opens "Edi Hila: The Sound of the Tuba"
VIENNA.- Edi Hila’s career as an artist is inextricably bound up with the specific political history of Albania. In the early 1970s, the young artist was barred from exercising his profession, and almost twenty years went by before he was officially permitted to take up art again and exhibit his work. The authorities took exception to Planting of Trees (1972), a picture of a group of young people working in a reforestation program. What should have been a perfectly inoffensive depiction was judged to be excessively individualistic and inconsistent with the ideals of socialist realism, and Hila was stripped of his permission to make art. His “second career” began after the collapse of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania (1944–1990). The works Hila created after the regime change attest to the need to reinvent himself as an artist in utterly changed circumstances, ... More

Franz Xaver Winterhalter's "Girl from the Sabine Hills" - Part 1: The Painting

On a day like today, French painter and lithographer Théodore Géricault was born
September 26, 2020. Jean-Louis André Théodore Géricault (26 September 1791 - 26 January 1824) was an influential French painter and lithographer, whose best-known painting is The Raft of the Medusa. Although he died young, he was one of the pioneers of the Romantic movement. Born in Rouen, France, Géricault was educated in the tradition of English sporting art by Carle Vernet and classical figure composition by Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, a rigorous classicist who disapproved of his student's impulsive temperament while recognizing his talent. In this image: Géricault. Images of Life and Death. Exhibition view© Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, 2013 Photo: Norbert Miguletz.

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