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On the Met's roof, a wistful fantasy we've been waiting for

“As Long as the Sun Lasts,” Alex Da Corte’s 26-foot-tall installation for the Cantor Roof Garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The installation is a winsome crowd-pleaser that turns gentle circles without ever getting anywhere. Metropolitan Museum of Art; Anna-Marie Kellen via The New York Times.

by Will Heinrich

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- The other day I saw a giant bird perching on a sliver of crescent moon. It was clutching a comically short ladder, and the whole scene — an installation by conceptual artist and designer of immersive environments Alex Da Corte — was on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum, tucked into a corner of one of New York City’s most spectacular patios. The piece instantly brought me back to my favorite Italo Calvino short story, “The Distance of the Moon,” about the good old days when Earth and its moon were almost close enough to kiss. Rowing out to the point of closest approach, the narrator and his friends would erect a ladder and leap across to the lunar surface, where they frolicked and gathered cheese. For his 2021 Roof Garden Commission, which opens Friday, Da Corte taps into a similar vein of straight-faced irony. The bird in “As Long as the Sun Lasts” — its title is borrowed from another Calvino story — is a full-size, custom-made, blue but o ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

These rocks made a 1,000-mile trek. Did dinosaurs carry them?   How the largest animals that could ever fly supported giraffelike necks   The collection of Mrs. Henry Ford II Eaton Square and Turville Grange achieves £3,988,938

An undated photo provided by Joshua Malone shows gastroliths found in Wyoming that appear to have been carried from Wisconsin in the stomachs of sauropods. Joshua Malone via The New York Times.

by Lucas Joel

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- In the summer of 2017, Joshua Malone, then an undergraduate at Augustana College in Illinois, visited a field-research camp in Wyoming and picked up some rocks. Rounded at the edges and the size of small fists, they were out of place amid the fine-grained mudrock that had surrounded them, and Malone asked his father, David, a geologist at Illinois State University who led the dig at the site, if he knew where the rocks had come from. Four years later, the two have developed a surprising answer. In a study published this year in the journal Terra Nova, the Malones and colleagues say the stones came from a rock formation in southern Wisconsin about 1,000 miles to the east of where they were found. What is even more surprising is their hypothesis for how the rocks made that journey: They were ... More

An artist’s rendering provided by Cariad Williams et al., iScience, of a pterosaur, whose complex neck structure has no parallel elsewhere in the animal kingdom. Cariad Williams et al., iScience via The New York Times.

by Becky Ferreira

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- If you were to gaze skyward in the late Cretaceous Period, you might catch a glimpse of surreal flying giants with wingspans that rival small planes. This supersized group of pterosaurs, known as azhdarchids, included species that measured 33 feet between wingtips, making them the largest animals that ever took to the air. The extreme dimensions of azhdarchids raise tantalizing questions, such as how they carried large prey without breaking their long necks or how animals the size of giraffes effortlessly soared above their dinosaur relatives on the ground. Cariad Williams, a doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was hoping to shed some light on these questions with the help of an azhdarchid specimen ... More

John Duncan Ferguson (1874-1961), The Chinese Coat. Estimate £150,000-250,000. Realised £412,500. © Christie's Images Ltd 2021.

LONDON.- The Collection of Mrs Henry Ford II – Eaton Square and Turville Grange was held at Christie’s London today and realised £3,988,938. The sale was 96% sold by lot and 93% sold by value, with participation across 6 continents and 35 countries. The sale comprised 320 lots with estimates ranging from £500 to £300,000. The auction contained a broad spectrum of decorative and fine arts from Mrs. Henry Ford II’s two UK properties, Eaton Square, London and her country home Turville Grange, in Buckinghamshire. The London sale was led by a John Duncan Ferguson (1874 – 1961), The Chinese Coat (estimate £150,000-250,000), realised £412,500. Adrian Hume Sayer, Director, Private & Iconic Collections London comments, ‘Christie’s were honored to be entrusted with The Collection of Mrs Henry Ford II - both in the UK and USA - and were delighted to once again be able to welcome our clients to view the ... More

Libyan capital's neglected Old City gets facelift   Hindman to present historic & contemporary Western art in May auction   With a drone on the High Line, an artist reemerges from controversy

Youths play next to the Roman Marcus Aurelius arch in the Libyan capital Tripoli's old city, which is undergoing infrastructure rehabilitation work, on March 23, 2021. Mahmud TURKIA / AFP.

by Rim Taher

TRIPOLI (AFP).- In alleys criss-crossing the Libyan capital's Old City, construction crews are hard at work restoring former glory to architectural treasures neglected under ex-dictator Moamer Kadhafi and in the decade since. Pushing wheelbarrows, a clutch of workers ferry sand, dismembered concrete or gravel, and others dig or hammer away, bent double or down on one knee. The din of pick axes stops suddenly, however, as calls to prayer echo around the ancient buildings. Workers down tools in silence, while cafes empty, as everyone heads to their place of worship. The substantial restoration underway seeks to "preserve the heritage of the Old City" in Tripoli, said Mahmoud al-Naas, head of the management committee overseeing the project. Covering around 50 hectares (123 acres), the Old City is an "architectural ... More

Detail of Watching the Rising Trout. Eanger Irving Couse (American, 1866–1936). Estimate: $70,000 -$90,000.

DENVER, CO.- On May 6 and 7, Hindman Auctions will present its Western Paintings and Sculpture auction, which will also include a Contemporary Native American Art session. The sale will feature several celebrated Western artists from the 18th and 19th centuries whose works capture the imagery and breathtaking landscapes of the American West as well as the vibrant mix of Native American and other Southwestern cultures. Session I of the sale on May 6 will feature 24 works being sold to benefit The Couse Foundation, Taos, New Mexico, and the construction of The Lunder Research Center in 2021 focusing on the Taos Society of Artists (TSA). The sale also features property from private collectors and estates as well as institutions including property being sold to benefit the art collections at the University of Denver, The Allan Houser Foundation, and the Grand Teton National Park Foundation, Jackson, Wyoming. ... More

Sam Durant has revealed his first large-scale sculpture in the public sphere since the “Scaffold” controversy in Minneapolis. Yvonne Venegas, via Paula Cooper Gallery via The New York Times.

by Hilarie M. Sheets

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- In May, a sleek white fiberglass sculpture in the shape of a Predator drone will be installed atop a 25-foot-tall pole and rotate in the wind on the High Line at 30th Street in New York. With a wingspan of 48 feet — almost the actual size of the remote-controlled military aircraft but stripped of its cameras, weapons and landing gear — the kinetic artwork could appear as a modernist bird hovering in the sky, reminiscent of the biomorphic sculptures of Constantin Brancusi or Barbara Hepworth. The work is by American artist Sam Durant, 59, who has dedicated his career to research-intensive projects about war, monuments, mass incarceration and other difficult legacies of U.S. history. Durant’s new commission for the High Line is his first large-scale work in the public sphere since the 2017 controversy ... More

Lyon & Turnbull announces first dedicated Lalique sale   Macron says 'mobilisation' key to Notre-Dame rebuild target   Japan artisans showcase Olympic collection under virus cloud

René Lalique, group shot.

LONDON.- Glass by René Lalique (1860-1945) - the epitome of inter-war period glamour - takes centre stage at Lyon & Turnbull this month. The firm’s first dedicated Lalique sale, curated by former Christie’s specialist Joy McCall, will be held at the Mall Galleries, London on April 29. The 107 lots, with an estimate range from £300-400 to £12,000-18,000, are all vintage pieces by the venerable luxury brand. Of these the first 57 pieces are from a private European collection. Largely composed of vases, it includes examples of some of the most famous Lalique creations - the clear, frosted and grey stained Serpent vase, designed in 1924 and numbered 896 in the René Lalique catalogue raisonne (£12,000-18,000) and the Escargot vase (No. 931), designed 1920 and here in electric blue (estimate £10,000-15,000). The appeal of vibrantly coloured or opalescent glass helps explain why two apparently similar items can be priced quite dif ... More

French President Emmanuel Macron (C) visits the reconstruction site of the roof of Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, two years after the blaze that made the spire collapsed and destroyed much of the roof, in Paris on April 15, 2021. BENOIT TESSIER / POOL / AFP.

PARIS (AFP).- French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday praised efforts made to rebuild the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, saying continued mobilisation was needed to meet the government's target of restoring the landmark within three years. Visiting Notre-Dame two years to the day after the world watched transfixed in horror as flames ravaged the cathedral, Macron said "immense" restoration work had already been accomplished since the blaze. "We are also looking to the three coming years because we will have to meet our targets, and therefore there is a great mobilisation of planning that is very demanding and rigorous," he said. While the spire collapsed and much of the roof was destroyed on the evening of ... More

In this picture taken on April 12, 2021, Kimiaki Kono, who created a special Tokyo 2020 branded shamisen, a traditional Japanese three-stringed instrument, adjusts one of his instruments at his workshop in Tokyo. Behrouz MEHRI / AFP.

by Harumi Ozawa

TOKYO (AFP).- Craftsman Kimiaki Kono was hoping the Tokyo Olympics would be a chance to win new fans for Japan's lute-like shamisen, but the pandemic has left things on a sour note. "I want people around the world to know about this instrument," the 62-year-old told AFP at a Tokyo workshop where he builds the three-stringed shamisen, used in Japanese art forms such as kabuki theatre. "We would have hosted a great number of visitors in Japan with the opportunity of the Olympics." So the decision to bar overseas spectators left him "very disappointed". But he is hopeful that a special Tokyo 2020-branded shamisen he has created will still attract interest from foreign enthusiasts when it goes on sale online ... More

Freeman's appoints Robin Nicholson as Art Museum Consultant   Galerie Nathalie Obadia opens an exhibition of new works on recycled paper by Nú Barreto   Shannon's Spring Fine Art auction now open for bidding

Robin Nicholson comes to Freeman’s with almost 35 years of experience in the art world.

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- Freeman’s announced the appointment of Robin Nicholson to the role of Art Museum Consultant. Robin will play a key role within Freeman’s Museum Services department, offering consultation on collections policies, deaccessioning strategies, acquisitions, and consignments. Robin Nicholson comes to Freeman’s with almost 35 years of experience in the art world. From 1987 to 1992 he worked in the commercial gallery sector; he was corporate art curator of the Drambuie Collection from 1992 to 2006, and since 2006 has worked with American art museums. He served as Deputy Director for Art and Education and Director of Exhibitions at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (2006–2014), and subsequently as Executive Director of the Frick Pittsburgh (2014–2018), and Telfair Museums, Savannah (2019–2020). Robin holds an MA in the History of Art from the University of Cambridge and is a member ... More

Nú Barreto, Traços Diário 1, 2020. Ensemble de 42 dessins - Technique mixte sur papier, 332 x 284 cm. Photo: Atelier 80. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Nathalie Obadia Paris/Brussels.

PARIS.- Galerie Nathalie Obadia is presenting Nú Barreto’s third exhibition, after Homo Imparfaits in 2019 in Brussels. Born in 1966, in São Domingo, in Guinea-Bissau, Nú Barreto has lived and worked in Paris since 1989. After trying his hand at photography, he soon turned to drawing as his medium of choice. His reflections on contemporary Africa are also expressed in powerful mural installations. Selected to represent his country at the World Exposition in Lisbon, in 1998, Nú Barreto now enjoys an international career and incarnates a notable figure of contemporary African art. 
The exhibition L’imparfait et l’impératif presents a group of new works on recycled paper, which are part drawing part collage, and a 42-drawing polyptych conceived as a sort of logbook for these months of pandemic. A striking demonstration of graphic eloquence ... More

Oil on canvas by Helen Maria Turner (American, 1858-1958), titled Portrait of Anne Spencer (circa 1925), signed and inscribed, 40 inches by 30 inches (est. $30,000 - $50,000).

MILFORD, CONN.- Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers will kick off the spring auction season with a sale of paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures on Thursday, April 29th, at 6 pm Eastern time. The 200-plus artworks include American art, modern and contemporary art, sculptures, Hudson River School paintings and various offerings by female artists in various categories. Leading the sale is a painting by Willard Leroy Metcalf titled The Road that Leads to Home (est. $150,000-$250,000). The classic Connecticut Impressionist view of the Litchfield hills depicts a farmhouse that still stands in Woodbury. Metcalf’s renowned depictions of sunlight and shadow are evident in this rural, idyllic scene of country life. A rare figural work by Metcalf, titled In the Garden, will also be offered in the sale. It has a reasonable pre-sale ... More

More News
400 days later, the New York Philharmonic returns
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- The middle section of Sibelius’ “Rakastava” is a quiet, glassy dance of joy. It’s not untroubled. There’s dissonance; the celebration is muted, reticent, almost secretive. It lasts two minutes or so, then vanishes into the night air before you know it. But it’s joyful, nevertheless. And it was the most affecting part of the concert I heard after I walked into a building for the New York Philharmonic on Wednesday evening. Yes, that’s right: the New York Philharmonic, inside. Exactly 400 days after it last gathered indoors to play in front of an audience, the orchestra returned. As part of the series “An Audience With,” at the Shed’s cavernous McCourt space, about two dozen of the Philharmonic’s string musicians performed under a roof in front of a small, distanced, masked, vaccinated-or-tested crowd. That such a simple ... More

Bonhams to offer rare painting by Henry Ossawa Tanner
NEW YORK, NY.- On May 20, Bonhams sale of American Art in New York will offer Henry Ossawa Tanner’s stunning Return from the Cross (estimate: $100,000-150,000). Tanner was a groundbreaking African American artist at the turn of the twentieth century having achieved notable acclaim and international recognition. This rare and important biblical scene, painted circa 1934-35, is arguably one of the most resplendent and multidimensional works that Tanner painted in the final years of his life. Henry Ossawa Tanner (1859-1937) was the first African American artist to have a major solo exhibition in the United States, the first to be inducted into the National Academy of Design, and decades after his passing, in 1996, the first to have his work acquired for the collection of The White House in Washington, D.C. Bonhams American Art specialist Aaron ... More

Lionel Messi's record breaking 644th goal scoring boots to be auctioned for charity
LONDON.- Lionel Messi has donated his adidas record goal scoring boots to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, and together they have decided to offer this historic item of sporting memorabilia in a charity sale to support the Arts and Health Project of the Vall Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona. This online auction will take place on between 19 and 30 April 2021. Lionel Messi commenting on the charity sale: “Achieving the record of 644 goals for the same club made me very happy, but the most important thing is being able to give something back to all the kids fighting for their health. We hope this auction serves to really raise awareness about this great initiative and I would like to thank all for supporting a cause so important to me.” On 22nd December 2020, Lionel Messi broke one of football’s greatest records, scoring ... More

Italy's Benigni to receive Venice cinema career award
ROME (AFP).- Italian actor and director Roberto Benigni, who won an Oscar for "Life is Beautiful", will be honoured with a career award at this year's Venice Film Festival, organisers said Thursday. Known for his irreverent, clownish antics, but also for his public readings of Dante's "Divine Comedy", the 68-year-old Tuscan is one of Italy's most popular film stars. He has directed nine movies and acted in dozens more. "My heart is full of joy and gratitude. It is an immense Honor to receive such an important recognition of my work," Benigni said in a statement released by the Venice festival. Festival director Alberto Barbera paid tribute to Benigni's "exuberance and impetuosity, his generous way with the public, and the passionate joyfulness that is perhaps the most original hallmark of his opus". As well as starring in and directing "Life is Beautiful", a Holocaust ... More

Screamers, a missing link of Los Angeles punk, is missing no more
LOS ANGELES (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- K.K. Barrett hadn’t spoken to Tommy Gear in two decades when he reached out about releasing a secret stash of their old music. There were no hard feelings — the two had simply grown apart over the years — but it was tricky business, regardless. Their band, Screamers, was something of a phantom in the history of Los Angeles punk rock. Despite being one of the most popular acts of the scene’s budding years in the late ’70s, routinely packing shows alongside peers like X and Germs, there had never been an official Screamers release. No LPs, no EPs — not even one measly single. To a certain subset of punk fans, Barrett may as well have been suggesting that he and Gear release the true contents of Area 51. But a five-song, 15-minute 12-inch called “Screamers Demo Hollywood 1977” will be ... More

Miami outdoor theater hit announces a New York arrival
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- After enjoying a successful run in Miami Beach from late November through January, “The Seven Deadly Sins,” an outdoor theatrical anthology series that explores humanity’s basest impulses, will come to New York. Performances are scheduled to begin on June 23 and will take place in storefront windows in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. “I think it was important for us to do it in this moment of transition,” said Moisés Kaufman, founder and artistic director of Tectonic Theater Project, which is producing the show with Madison Wells Live in association with Miami New Drama. “We wanted to be able to create something while the pandemic is still with us because it feels more like an act of defiance.” The New York version of “The Seven Deadly Sins” will feature short new plays by Ngozi Anyanwu, Thomas Bradshaw, ... More

Norman Rockwell's first cover for Judge Magazine comes to auction after more than a century
DALLAS, TX.- Judge, one of the great American magazines of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, was renowned for many things: its wit, its politics, its immense circulation and its role as a launching pad for once-editor Harold Ross' The New Yorker. But the satirical publication is perhaps best known for its stable of pioneering illustrators — among them Buster Brown creator Richard Outcault and James Montgomery Flagg, designer of the Uncle Sam "I Want YOU for U.S. Army" recruitment poster — and as one of Norman Rockwell's earliest canvases. Indeed, Judge was high on the list of publications to which the illustrator would take his works during his ascendancy as one of America's most cherished artists. Some of Rockwell's most famous and coveted early-days pieces came from Judge, for which he made only six covers, among them A Trench Spade ... More

Swedish Academy loses bid to block Nazi use of classic poems
(AFP).- A court in Sweden on Thursday struck down a lawsuit from the Swedish Academy -- best known for picking the Nobel literature prize laureate -- that sought to bar a Nazi website from publishing classic poems. The case concerned several Swedish classic poems and other literary works that had been published on a website run by the Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR). The NMR is a group active in the Nordic countries and openly describes itself as adhering to National Socialism, another term for Nazism. The group was banned outright in Finland by the country's Supreme Court in September 2020. The works in question included poems by Esaias Tegner (1782–1846), Viktor Rydberg (1828-1895), Verner von Heidenstam (1859-1940) and texts dating back to the Viking age. The Swedish Academy, which also publishes dictionaries and is an ... More

College students create exhibition with Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
ROTTERDAM.- Zadkine and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen are joining forces once again. Together with artist Nilton Moreira da Silva, college students have created an exhibition that strives to bring art and people closer together. The outcome can be seen on site at Zadkine from 16th till 30th April as well as via the Boijmans Instagram. Together with 12 college students of Social Care and Social Work, artist and social worker Nilton Moreira da Silva has been reflecting on how art can bring people together and about the individual, of whom we must not lose sight. The outcome of these efforts is the exhibition Door het bos de bomen niet meer zien – Not seeing the trees for the forest. The installation and the process is a component of the KUNST/WERK – ‘ART/WORK’ – project, a collaboration between Museum Boijmans Van ... More

Exhibition at FOTOHOF presents works that revolve around the city of Salzburg
SALZBURG.- The Covid-19 crisis has prevented many artists from going out and engaging artistically with the outside world. As a result, many works have emerged from their focus on their own archives and from working with materials already to hand in their studios. The curators at the FOTOHOF archiv have been similarly occupied during this period, embarking on a voyage of discovery of their own collection. The result is an exhibition entitled ‘Salzburg – Pictures from the Archive’ and featuring 13 artistic positions. As the title suggests, all the works revolve around the city of Salzburg. The earliest exhibits showcased in the new FOTOHOF archiv exhibition date from 1934 and are by a young Wolf Suschitzky, who took pictures of the city during an excursion undertaken by his Vienna photography school. The most recent works are by contemporary artists ... More

Hales London reopens with a show of drawings and videos by Michael Smith
LONDON.- Hales, in collaboration with Dan Gunn Gallery, is presenting Yet another show of drawings and videos reflecting on youth, ageing and a future of retirement by Michael Smith. In his fourth solo exhibition with Hales, Smith presents three recent bodies of work exploring these themes, which he and his performance persona will undoubtedly struggle with for years to come. For forty years Smith (b.1951 Chicago, IL, USA) has been producing performances, video works, large scale installations, commercial television, puppet shows, photos and drawings that have been shown in a variety of venues and contexts, including museums, galleries, cable television, nightclubs, children’s birthday parties and on the streets. Smith has been at the forefront of a generation of artists interested in crossing over and merging an art world context with popular ... More

Collection in Focus: Martin Puryear's Prints

On a day like today, Mexican architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez was born
April 16, 1919. Pedro Ramírez Vázquez (April 16, 1919 - April 16, 2013) was a late twentieth century Mexican architect. He was born in Mexico City. He was persuaded to study architecture by writer and poet Carlos Pellicer. In this image: National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.

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