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A bitter archaeological feud over an ancient vision of the Cosmos

The Nebra Sky Disc, ca. 1600 B.C, bronze and gold; photo Juraj Lipták / State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt.

by Becky Ferreira


NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- The disk is small — just 12 inches in diameter — but it has loomed large in the minds of people across millenniums. Made of bronze, the artifact was inlaid in gold with an ancient vision of the cosmos by its crafters. Over generations, it was updated with new astronomical insights, until it was buried beneath land that would become the Federal Republic of Germany thousands of years later. This is the Nebra sky disk, and nothing else like it has been found in European archaeology. Many archaeologists have declared it the oldest known representation of the heavens, and to Germans it is a beloved emblem of heritage that connects them with ancient sky watchers. “The sky disk is a window to look into the minds of these people,” said Ernst Pernicka, a senior professor at Tübingen University and a director of the Curt-Engelhorn Center for Archaeometry in Mannheim. Rupert Gebhard, the director of the Bavarian State Archaeological Collection in Munich, said, “It’s ... More



The Best Photos of the Day






Switzerland's timeless art mechanics embraces 3D future   The Museo del Prado will be rearranging its permanent collection in 2021   Rethinking Guernica, the website devoted to Picasso's mural, now upgraded with new content


A picture taken on January 19, 2021 shows the back of a moving mechanical artwork representing Leonardo da Vinci writing in the workshop of Swiss master Francois Junod, in Sainte-Croix. Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP.

by Robin Millard


SAINTE-CROIX (AFP).- In his snow-bound workshop, Swiss master Francois Junod's moving mechanical artworks whir into action: birds whistle, historical luminaries write poetry -- traditional craftsmanship newly recognised as being among the world's cultural heritage. In the Jura mountains running along the French-Swiss border, the precision skills behind some of the planet's finest watches and automatons have been handed down through the generations. The region's historical pre-eminence in a field combining science, art and technology has also been given a boost by the United Nations. In December, the craftsmanship of mechanical watchmaking and art mechanics in the Juras were jointly added to UNESCO's Representative List of the ... More
 

Peter Paul Rubens, The Birth of the Milky Way, 1636 - 1638 (detail). Oil on canvas, 181 x 244 cm Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado.

MADRID.- During 2021 the 18th-century European painting galleries will be reorganised, bringing Room 23 into use and applying the new criteria used in the Goya and Spanish painting galleries where examples of works from other European countries are included in the display. In addition, the 19th-century collection will be presented in a totally different manner, while other modifications intended to be carried out last year will now implemented. This project, sponsored by Samsung, consists of the design and installation of a new permanent display on the history of the Museo Nacional del Prado, to be located in Rooms 100, 101 and 102 of the Villanueva Building (where the Dauphin’s Treasure was previously displayed). This new presentation will provide visitors with information on key concepts regarding the building’s construction, its evolution and enlargement and the different ways the works have been displayed and installed ... More
 

The website Rethinking Guernica has been upgraded with more than 200 documents, unreleased interviews and two more sections.

MADRID.- Three years ago, and thanks to the sponsorship of Telefónica, the Museo Reina Sofía launched Rethinking Guernica. History and Conflict in the 20th Century, a website project with the aim of studying Pablo Picasso's painting trough different approaches, methodologies and tools. Since then, the project has received more than one and a half million unique visits and numerous international honors, including the prestigious Webby Award from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). Rethinking Guernica was conceived from the beginning as an open project to be enriched permanently and progressively. With this new upgrade, its documentary collection, which has once again been sponsored by Telefónica, is increased by more than two hundred documents. Furthermore, it includes now two new sections: (Im)possible Counter-Archives and Oral History, that respond to the same premises ... More


Two artists, continents apart, and a shared language of struggle   Walter Bernstein, celebrated screenwriter, is dead at 101   Solo exhibition of never before exhibited works on paper by Robert Colescott opens at Blum & Poe


Australian painter Gordon Hookey at his studio in Brisbane, Australia, Jan. 12, 2021. Hookey and the Los Angeles artist Gary Simmons found they had many things in common. Sports is just one of them. Rhett Hammerton/The New York Times.

by Dawn Chan


NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- In the small, sun-scorched town of Cloncurry, Australia, artist Gordon Hookey grew up very much aware of Madison Square Garden. “It was in the psyche of most Aboriginal people, because of boxing,” said Hookey, 59, who belongs to the Waanyi people. “In the early days, boxing was a means for young Aboriginal men — an opportunity for achievement against the background of racism and inequalities.” Nearly 10,000 miles away in New York, artist Gary Simmons, 56, grew up as an avid athlete and sports fan, often attending games at Madison Square Garden. Simmons, who is Black, has frequently made art that explores sports as a form of choreography, but also as a cultural arena in which Black athletes faced racism and broke barriers. A 2014 painting by Simmons, “Fight Night,” portrays ... More
 

The Front is a 1976 comedy-drama film set against the Hollywood blacklist in the 1950s.

by John Anderson


NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Walter Bernstein, whose career as a top film and television screenwriter was derailed by the McCarthy-era blacklist, and who decades later turned that experience into one of his best-known films, “The Front,” died on Saturday morning at his home in Manhattan. He was 101. His wife, Gloria Loomis, said the cause was pneumonia. Described in a 2014 Esquire profile as a “human Energizer bunny,” Bernstein was writing, teaching and generating screenplay ideas well into his 90s. Until recently, he had several projects in various stages of development. He created the BBC mystery miniseries “Hidden” in 2011, and he was an adjunct instructor of dramatic writing at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts until he retired in 2017. “They’ll carry me off writing,” he told Variety. Bernstein’s politics — he called himself a “secular, self-loving Jew of a leftist persuasion” — influenced both his life and his art. “F ... More
 

Robert Colescott, art history 12: FAUViSM, 1979. Watercolor and graphite on Arches paper, 29 3/4 x 22 1/8 inches. © The Robert H. Colescott Separate Property Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy of The Trust and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Blum & Poe is presenting a solo exhibition of never before exhibited works on paper by the late artist Robert Colescott. Presenting two series respectively dating back to 1979 and 1980, the exhibition showcases the artist’s well-established satirical and critical approach to cultural clichés, racial stereotypes, and tropes of beauty and the gaze. By the mid-1970s, Colescott had created the works with which he achieved a national reputation. These paintings used the tools of parody and appropriation to remake art historical masterpieces, while satirizing and deconstructing pervasive racist attitudes. In 1979, Colescott created a series of drawings that satirized art history itself. Art history as an academic discipline came into being during the nineteenth century, and the earliest professional art historians viewed ... More



Thames & Hudson publishes 'Philip Hughes: Painting the Ancient Land of Australia'   Group exhibition featuring new and recent paintings by thirteen artists opens at Marianne Boesky Gallery   Exhibition at the Grolier Club presents highlights from the Collection of Steven Lomazo, MD


A beautiful, contemplative artist’s book from Philip Hughes.

LONDON.- Taking in deep varicoloured mines, broad rolling plains, vast imposing landforms and exquisite calm bays, the landscape paintings of Philip Hughes comprise a love letter to Australia. Australia has some of the most spectacular ancient geological forms in the world. At a time when international travel is severely restricted, Philip Hughes: Painting the Ancient Land of Australia takes readers on a journey to some of the most beautiful and remote parts of the country. The book follows painter Philip Hughes, palette in hand, across the length and breadth of Australia, from Karinjini in the west to Fraser Island in the east, via the northern Kimberley and far southwest of Tasmania. Hughes's work is defined by his breathtaking portrayals of natural landscapes, often informed by maps and aerial photographs. With a bold graphic style complemented by expressive ... More
 

Forrest Kirk, Fist, 2020. Acrylic and gorilla glue on canvas, 60 x 40 in. 152.4 x 101.6 cm. Courtesy of Forrest Kirk. © Forrest Kirk.

ASPEN, CO.- Marianne Boesky Gallery is presenting In Situ, a group exhibition featuring new and recent paintings by thirteen artists: Cecily Brown, Olivia Erlanger, Barnaby Furnas, Jammie Holmes, Forrest Kirk, YoYo Lander, Maud Madsen, Chidinma Nnoli, Collins Obijiaku, Celeste Rapone, Lorna Robertson, Eleanor Swordy and Michaela Yearwood-Dan. Using Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s seminal 1892 text “The Yellow Wallpaper” as a point of departure, In Situ brings together paintings created throughout 2020 that offer reflections of life in isolation as necessitated by the current health crisis – private and still, yet restless and resolute. In Situ is being shown in two parts: works by the twelve included artists are on view January 7, 2021 – February 6, 2021 at the gallery’s 507 West 24th Street in New York, and an additional selection of paintings ... More
 

Truth, volume 17, number 587, July 20, 1898. New York: Truth Company. Cover illustration by Walter Granville Smith. Collection of Dr. Steven Lomazow.

NEW YORK, NY.- Reflecting the broad spectrum of American culture, printed magazines from the 18th through the 21st centuries have both driven and documented the American experience. The Grolier Club’s winter exhibition, Magazines and the American Experience, lays out a chronological history of periodical print media in the United States, highlighting specific genres, topics and events using approximately 200 rare and unique magazine issues. The Grolier Club is presenting the exhibition physically in its ground floor hall from January 20 through April 24, 2021, and has made an online version available. In the colonial era, magazines were the clarions of American thought and identity; the first successful magazine from the 18th century proudly proclaimed itself as The American Magazine in 1744 ... More



$5 million gift to fund Lehigh University Art Galleries   Piper Alpha Gallantry Medal to be sold at Dix Noonan Webb   COVID-19 Arts Sustainability Fund secures the future of Melbourne Art Fair


The gift from Kenneth R. Woodcock ’65 will preserve LUAG’s teaching collection and enhance art education.

BETHLEHEM, PA.- A $5 million gift made by arts philanthropist Kenneth R. Woodcock ’65 will endow a director’s fund for the Lehigh University Art Galleries. The Woodcock Director’s Fund will ensure the protection and preservation of the university’s teaching collection and fulfill the full potential of LUAG as a driver for arts education and engagement for both students and the community. The fund represents the largest gift ever given to LUAG and will be administered by Director William Crow. Woodcock shares Crow’s vision that art can be an interdisciplinary engine for teaching, learning, and research. “I hope that this gift will be a catalyst for all Lehigh students to develop a love and appreciation of art for the rest of their lives,” Woodcock said. “With William Crow leading the effort, I’m confident we can broaden the experience for both students and the community.” Crow said Woodcock’s g ... More
 

The medal is being sold by Mr Mackay, who is now 68 years old, and was born in Johnstone, Renfrewshire. It is expected to fetch £4,000-5,000 and is being sold with copies of various official letters, including ones from Downing Street, regarding the award and investiture.

LONDON.- The Queen’s Gallantry Medal awarded to Captain Ian MacKay of the Merchant Navy, for his gallantry during the Piper Alpha oil rig disaster of 6 July 1988 will be offered by Dix Noonan Webb in their live/ online auction of Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 on their website www.dnw.co.uk. The medal is being sold by Mr Mackay, who is now 68 years old, and was born in Johnstone, Renfrewshire. It is expected to fetch £4,000-5,000 and is being sold with copies of various official letters, including ones from Downing Street, regarding the award and investiture. Over a period of eight hours, with two other members of the crew of the diving support vessel, ... More
 

Melbourne Art Fair 2018, Vivien Anderson Gallery,Melbourne.

MELBOURNE.- Melbourne Art Foundation today announced it is a recipient of the Australian Government’s COVID-19 Arts Sustainability Fund, which is designed to assist systemically significant Australian arts organisations that face a risk to their sustainability due to the impact of COVID-19. The Australian Government has recognised the Melbourne Art Foundation, alongside The National Institute of Dramatic Art, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Museum of Contemporary Art, as a leading arts organisation with good prospects of maintaining its viability. Chair of Melbourne Art Foundation, Charles Justin says, “This funding enables us to continue our support of living artists and work collectively with the industry to rebuild and sustain our vibrant arts sector in Australia. The visual arts in Australia deliver critical social and economic benefits, and this ... More




More News
16 red structures reflect on the meaning of home and provide opportunity for play
BOSTON, MASS.- If ever there were an installation that speaks to the times, it would be Boston Seaport by WS Development’s newest art installation, Mi Casa, Your Casa 2.0 created by Esrawe + Cadena and presented in collaboration with Creos and Serge Maheu. Creating a moment to reflect on the meaning of home, a theme which has taken on even greater significance in the last ten months, Mi Casa, Your Casa 2.0 is comprised of sixteen three-dimensional red frames, each emblematic of a small house. The structures encourage a moment of play and togetherness while allowing visitors to look through the walls of adjacent homes, offering a view into their neighbor’s parallel journey. The installation is on display on Seaport Common now through Sunday, March 14, 2021; much of it will coincide with Snowport’s family-friendly winter games ... More

Hackney artist sets up coaching service to support other artists after Covid wipes out income
LONDON.- Hackney artist Lexi Zelda Stevens used to earn her living working on live-events like Glastonbury festival and London’s large-scale public events, making art work alongside. One week last March her year’s work vanished in the space of a week, similar to many of the friends and colleagues she had built her career with over the last decade. 10 months on and she is working with artists across the UK to provide coaching support in these challenging times, reaching over 70 artists in 2020. This month she launches a Bursary for 25 artists and people working in the arts, who live or work in Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets or Waltham Forest. The Bursary is in association with Civic State & Hackney Wick Underground and supported by the Foundation for Future London’s Westfield East Bank Creative Futures Fund. The Bursary is to fund a place ... More

Five of the cars that put Britain on wheels
LONDON.- H&H Classics will offer five Austins that formed part of Sir Ray Tindle’s illustrious collection until recently at a sale on 14th April at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford. They are being sold with No Reserve. Damian Jones, Head of Sales at H&H comments: “A British collection like this coming to the market in a post Brexit world from a great national classic car owner who also championed local journalism across the country, will doubtless create great interest when they go under the hammer at Duxford.” John Markey, of H&H Classics Private Sales Division, who secured the five Austins for sale says: “Sir Ray is well known in the Motoring World and was a sponsor of the ‘London to Brighton’ run for over twenty years and held a classic car festival in Farnham where these cars appeared regularly. The ‘Twelve Heavy’ was used to convey the ... More

onodream Gallery opens an exhibition of collages and paintings by Benni Korzen
LOS ANGELES, CA.- Temporal States, an exhibition of collages and paintings by filmmaker Benni Korzen opened at the online gallery on January 1, 2021. In the essay accompanying the exhibition, Los Angeles gallerist and art critic Mat Gleason states, “The form and texture crystalize temporal states, giving Korzen’s work an effervescent quality, like a millisecond of time captured in amber and on display unchanged for a billion years.” Korzen, celebrated for his Academy Award winning production of the 1988 Best Foreign Film Oscar winner Babette’s Feast, grew up in Copenhagen. In 1964 he moved to New York and now lives in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Annie Korzen, where he continues to paint and work on films. Korzen had his first art exhibition in Copenhagen when he was 20 and has been painting regularly since then. His move to creating collages is recent and enjoys the ... More

Recreating an archaeological discovery from the ground down
GODALMING (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Entirely covered by earth, only his face visible, Ralph Fiennes lay patiently in the ground. Simon Stone, the director of the new Netflix drama, “The Dig,” peered at a monitor, then nodded. “Let’s go,” he said. Fiennes shut his eyes, and a waiting crew poured soil over his head, burying him completely. Carey Mulligan dashed forward, panic-stricken, and began to frantically scrabble at the ground. “I wasn’t really acting; that was scary,” she said with a shaky laugh when the scene was over and Fiennes, looking unbothered, was being dusted down and getting ready to do it all over again. It is one of the few overtly dramatic scenes in “The Dig,” the true story of one of the most important archaeological finds of the past century: the discovery, in 1939, of a sixth-century Anglo-Saxon burial ship at Sutton ... More

Sundance enters uncharted waters in unique Oscar season
LOS ANGELES (AFP).- In normal years, the Sundance Film Festival kicks off in late January with Hollywood's award season already in full swing. Producers, stars and journalists meet in the spectacular Utah mountains to swap last-minute Oscar tips, and catch a first glimpse of the next year's batch of contenders. This year, due to the pandemic, everything has been turned upside-down. Indie film extravaganza Sundance, beginning Thursday, will take place largely online. And with the Oscars delayed to their latest-ever date -- April 25 -- several top contenders have not been released or even screened for critics yet, meaning Sundance could play an outsized role in the awards conversation. "It certainly became apparent that 'oh, this is new, we're going to be in the awards window,'" Sundance festival head Tabitha Jackson told AFP. Warner Bros ... More

Salt-N-Pepa, hip-hop duo that spoke up for women, tells its own story
NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- While selling warranties on washing machines from a Sears call center in Queens, New York, friends Cheryl James and Sandra Denton came together as a hip-hop duo called Super Nature with the staccato 1985 track “The Show Stoppa (Is Stupid Fresh).” When they first heard it on the radio, they danced together on top of a car. It was just the beginning: James became Salt and Denton became Pepa; the group changed its name and scored 10 hits on the Hot 100, including the ’80s dance classic “Push It” and the ’90s sex anthem “Shoop,” becoming one of the few superstar female acts of hip-hop’s male-dominated golden era. Fixtures on the I Love the ’90s tour circuit in recent years, the two tell their story in a new Lifetime biopic, “Salt-N-Pepa,” which premiered Saturday, that captures both the rush of touring ... More

The Fundació Joan Miró opens 'Some Direction' by Violeta Mayoral
BARCELONA.- Violeta Mayoral (Almeria, 1988) grew up in the Tabernas desert, a harsh environment that has influenced her gaze. In the selection of photographs presented at the Fundació Joan Miró, the artist situates human experience in the open air, with no ceiling or shelter, in empty, unattainable landscapes which accentuate vulnerability. Most of the images in the show are of cold temperatures, taken at dusk or at times of low luminosity. They represent sites that, at first view, could seem hostile. In them, time has been suspended and the given space gives rise to a sense of estrangement, lacking all points of reference. The few features that can be seen seek to mark out and give sense to the infinite quality of a diluting landscape without contours: a sea that is a wall, a vegetation wall, the impact of a flash on the surface that transforms ... More

Sabrina Amrani opens 'Dancing with the Angels' by Joël Andrianomearisoa
MADRID.- Joël Andrianomearisoa does not impose certainty, he offers a sensitive exploration of this border which freezes all duality. He likes to weave in this gap, from a multitude of possibilities. By composing serenely in this in-between, he comes here to challenge the definition of a desire that ends up preempting pleasure. In a fruitful exercise of desire, never associated with its culpable counterpart, Joël summons the shared rhythmic allowed by dance: a space of expression and bodily freedom created with the Other. Through the figure of the angel, both benevolent and invisible, he invokes this Other and brings him face to face in a game of reminiscences in several forms. It invites physical memory and pays homage, to learned shivers, to plundered ecstasies, to the part of the other that one carries within oneself. He suggests that we follow ... More

Kehrer Verlag publishes Bas Losekoot's 'Out of Place'
NEW YORK, NY.- Out of Place is a photo essay that provides insight in the psychological journey of commuters in modern megacities. At the raise of the »Urban Millennium« Bas Losekoot embarked on a visual exploration, considering how population density affects human behaviour. While placing his camera in the liminal spaces of the city, he addresses the state of in-betweenness of the modern urban experience. With an intuitive eye, he observes the »presentation of self« and »micro-second meetings« of everyday urban encounters. By adding drama to the trivial, Losekoot is painting the theatre of the real life, where small gestures become theatrical events. The book includes photography from the cities of New York, São Paulo, Seoul, Mumbai, Hong Kong, London, Lagos, Istanbul, and Mexico City. Renowned photobook ... More

Ulrich Museum of Art unveils four new exhibitions
WICHITA, KAN.- After a challenging 2020 that saw Wichita State University's art museum close to the public for much of the year, the Ulrich Museum of Art is finally open again. On display now: Gordon Parks: I, too, am America; Renée Stout: Ghosts; The XIII Faculty Biennial: It’s All Part of the Process; and Solving for X=Identity: Sharing Matrilineal Memories at WSU. The exhibitions will remain on display at the Ulrich through May 8, 2021. The spring exhibitions offer a broad range of subjects for consideration, from the social justice themes of Kansas-born photographer Gordon Parks to issues of Black diasporic culture in Renée Stout’s Ghosts to the demonstration of artistic process in the 23rd faculty biennial. The latest installment of the Solving for X series, Solving for X=Identity, offers a view into the research of a team of dance and sociology faculty ... More




Virtual tour - Tracey Emin / Edvard Munch: The Loneliness of the Soul



Flashback
On a day like today, Dutch painter Govert Flinck was born
January 25, 1615. Govert (or Govaert) Teuniszoon Flinck (25 January 1615 - 2 February 1660) was a Dutch painter of the Dutch Golden Age. For many years Flinck laboured on the lines of Rembrandt, following that master's style in all the works which he executed between 1636 and 1648. With aspirations as a history painter, however, he looked to the swelling forms and grand action of Peter Paul Rubens, which led to many commissions for official and diplomatic painting. In this image: Blessing of Jacob (1638).



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