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Damien Hirst and the art of the deal

Portraits of the artist Damien Hirst in London, Dec. 13, 2021. He might be Britain’s richest artist, but with each attempt to monetize his talent, Hirst’s originality as a conceptual sculptor becomes an ever more distant memory. Kalpesh Lathigra/The New York Times.

by Scott Reyburn

LONDON.- “He’s a talented artist, but this? Really?” said Alan Baldwin, an art collector, looking down recently at a fluffy black sculpture of a spider with bow legs and googly eyes. Back in 1992, three years before winning the prestigious Turner Prize, its creator had astounded the art world by displaying a real 14-foot tiger shark embalmed in a tank of formaldehyde. “Damien’s having a laugh,” added Baldwin. “He’s wasting his talent.” Baldwin and his wife, Antonietta Quattrone, didn’t think much of Damien Hirst’s pre-Christmas exhibition of 16 “Pipe Cleaner Animals.” Billed by the artist as “big and fun and playful” and on display in the new ArtSpace gallery at Claridge’s hotel in central London, some cost up to $350,000. But they were much more enthused when they collected the purchase that had brought them there: “You ain’t there to hide,” number ... More

The Best Photos of the Day

Thierry Mugler, genre-busting French fashion designer, dies at 73   Strikingly beautiful still life worth more than £6 million at risk of leaving UK   Nino Cerruti, designer who revolutionized menswear, dies at 91

Designs by French fashion designer Thierry Mugler are on display during his exhibition "Couturissime" at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, on February 26, 2019.

by Jacob Bernstein

NEW YORK, NY.- Thierry Mugler, the outrageous, genre-busting designer who dominated European runways in the late 1980s and early 1990s, died Sunday. He was 73. His death was announced on his brand’s official Instagram. “#RIP,” it said. “We are devastated to announce the passing of Mr. Manfred Thierry Mugler on Sunday January 23rd 2022. May his soul Rest In Peace.” Reached Sunday evening, two of his close friends confirmed his death, but declined to be interviewed, both saying they were too upset. No cause of death was given. Mugler was one of the principle architects of a late '80s aesthetic that married S&M and high fashion. His silhouette was a kind of inverse triangle with giant shoulders and a nipped waist. He loved latex, leather and curves. His early muses included Grace Jones and Joey Arias. He had a long- ... More

Banquet Still Life by Jan Davidsz. de Heem, which is valued at £6,109,200, is at risk of leaving the country unless a UK buyer can be found.

LONDON.- Banquet Still Life by Jan Davidsz. de Heem, which is valued at £6,109,200, is at risk of leaving the country unless a UK buyer can be found. One of the most important still life painters in the 17th century, de Heem was typically known for smaller paintings, making this monumental work incredibly rare within his body of work and one of just four he completed of this size, all done between 1640 and 1643. It is a beautiful and impressive example of Dutch ornate still life painting known as ‘pronkstilleven’, and shows de Heem excelled in the depiction of forms and textures. Arts Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said: This captivating painting is magnificent not just in size but also in its exquisite detail. De Heem’s enormous talent is evident in this rare piece and I hope a buyer comes forward so it may be enjoyed and appreciated by viewers in the UK for many years to come. The Minister’s decision follows the advice of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Wo ... More

Nino Cerruti at the “Il Signor Nino” exhibition in the Museo Marino Marini in Florence, Italy, June 16, 2015. Chris Warde-Jones/The New York Times.

by Penelope Green

NEW YORK, NY.- Nino Cerruti, the dashing Italian fashion designer and textile scion who modernized menswear with his soft, unstructured tailoring and dressed generations of movie and television stars on screen and off, died Jan. 15 in Vercelli, Italy. He was 91. His death, in a hospital, resulted from complications of hip surgery, according to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. It was 1950, and Cerruti was just 20, when his father died, and Cerruti took over his family’s textile mills in Biella, in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy, giving up his university studies in philosophy and journalism. Within a few years he had reimagined the family business as a fashion company. Cerruti was “the founding father of the postwar designer revolution,” Suzy Menkes, fashion critic of The International Herald Tribune, wrote in 2001, adding that he had presaged “the Made in Italy ... More

Exhibition focuses on the enormous output and cultural significance of Toni Morrison   Maureen Paley presents a new exhibition by Erik van Lieshout   Syd Carpenter honors the legacy of African horticulture in new solo exhibition at Rowan University Art Gallery

Beverly Buchanan, For Mallory, 1995 © The Beverly Buchanan Estate and Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- David Zwirner is presenting a group exhibition curated by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author, critic, and curator Hilton Als. On view at the gallery’s West 19th Street spaces, the exhibition focuses on the enormous output and cultural significance of Toni Morrison (1931–2019), and, as Als notes, “will add visual components that italicize the beauty and audacity of her work.” Included are selected archival materials as well as work by artists Garrett Bradley, Beverly Buchanan, Robert Gober, Gwen Knight, Kerry James Marshall, Julie Mehretu, Irving Penn, Walter Price, Martin Puryear, Amy Sillman, Bob Thompson, and James Van Der Zee, among others, some of which have been commissioned for the exhibition and were made in direct response to Morrison’s writings. Novelist, educator, and editor Toni Morrison’s reach across contemporary American letters is profound in its range, concerns, ... More

Erik van Lieshout, Untitled, 2021. Vinyl and oil paint on canvas, 40 ◊ 34 cm.

LONDON.- Maureen Paley is presenting a new exhibition by Erik van Lieshout that is being presented across the gallery’s two London spaces. The exhibition focuses on the artist’s latest film Renť DaniŽls (2021) and related paintings and works on paper. This project is also the focus of Van Lieshout’s current solo exhibition at De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art in The Netherlands that runs until 13 February 2022. Renť DaniŽls (b. Eindhoven, 1950) is one of the most renowned Dutch painters of the late twentieth century. In 1987 his career was abruptly interrupted by a stroke from which he has never entirely recovered. His teenage girlfriend Marleen Gijsen, then married and living in Eindhoven, began to take care of him and has done so until this day. After twenty years DaniŽls has begun to paint again, this time on a small scale, first repeating themes from his older paintings and gradually introducing new ... More

Syd Carpenter, Indiana Hutson, 2021, 11 x 24 x 23 inches, Stoneware. Image courtesy of the artist.

GLASSBORO, NJ.- Rowan University Art Gallery is presenting Earth Offerings: Honoring the Gardeners, a new solo exhibition of Syd Carpenter’s ceramic sculptures. The exhibition debuts January 24, 2022, with an opening reception and artist talk on February 3, from 5-7 pm. Through her work, Syd Carpenter identifies and honors the legacy of African American farmers and gardeners. In her new series Farm Bowls, each sculpture draws inspiration from architectural and organic forms Carpenter observed on African American farms visited during a road trip through southern states. As she explains, “in creating the farm bowl series, I considered what is evocative about the shape of a bowl and how I could use this shape as an emblem for African Americans on the land. The handmade bowl is a universal form with equivalent examples represented in every culture. It is an open round form with an inner recessed chamber rising ... More

Eyesore or monument? Preservationists fight to save a grain elevator in Buffalo   Gazelli Art House opens a group exhibition dedicated to the 60s wave of female emancipation in the UK and US   A 'high priestess of satanic art'? This organist can only laugh.

The Great Northern Elevator in Buffalo, N.Y., on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. The current owner of the Great Northern has been pushing to demolish the building — possibly the last grain elevator of its type in the world. Libby March/The New York Times.

by Jesse McKinley

BUFFALO, NY.- At first glance, the hulking brick building on the edge of Lake Erie looks like another decaying relic of this city’s once-prosperous past, an image made all the worse by an enormous gash in its exterior, the victim of this city’s raking winter winds. But to the trained and loving eye, the building — the Great Northern grain elevator — is a beauty, a testament to ingenious engineering and turn-of-the-century chutzpah, whose utility and aesthetic profoundly influenced generations of architects. “These were the kind of cathedrals of the modern age,” said Gregory Delaney, a clinical assistant professor at the University at Buffalo’s architecture school, noting the elevator’s unique blend of function and technology. “It’s a building that ... More

Jann Haworth, Linder Doll, 1965. Soft sculpture in perspex case, 123 x 68 x 49 cm. 48 3/8 x 26 3/4 x 19 1/4 in.

LONDON.- Gazelli Art House presents Oh, Marilyn! a group exhibition dedicated to the 60s wave of female emancipation in the UK and US. Works by four iconic artists: Pauline Boty, Judy Chicago, Penny Slinger and gallery artist Jann Haworth depict a time of change and rebirth of perception and acceptance of a new and different female role within society. Showing for the second time at the gallery, Pauline Boty (1938-1966) was a founder of British Pop Art and Britain’s most notable Pop Art painter. Her paintings and collage work often made references to female sexuality as well as current affairs, criticizing the nature of the “man’s world.” On display in the exhibition are Angel (60s) and A Big Hand (ca. 1961), a collage work depicting a female hand holding sculptural figures from Rome’s Trevi Fountain above a Victorian park scene. Gallery artist Jann Haworth (b. 1942) moved to London from Los Angeles in 1961 to st ... More

Anna von Hausswolff, a singer and pipe organist whose recent European tour was marred by controversy and protests, in Sweden, Jan. 20, 2022. Ines Sebalj/The New York Times.

by Alex Marshall

NEW YORK, NY.- When Anna von Hausswolff, an acclaimed Swedish songwriter and organist, first heard that a conservative Roman Catholic website was calling her a Satanist and demanding a concert boycott, she and her team laughed it off. “We thought it was hilarious,” von Hausswolff, 35, recalled in a recent interview. “The whole day we were laughing,” The site, Riposte Catholique, was firing its readers up before a concert of von Hausswolff’s epic pipe organ music at a church in Nantes, a city in the west of France. Some of her fans were Goths, the site said, and her songs were “more a black Mass than music for a church.” A music blogger had called her “the high priestess” of “satanic harmonies,” the site noted, and conservative Roman Catholic groups noticed that, on the track ... More

Cooper Robertson to lead master plan for major New York arts campus   The designer bringing a new kind of cool to Kenzo   The Frick shows a painting by Jenna Gribbon in conversation with Holbein's Portrait of Thomas Cromwell

Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art. Photo: Munson-Williams.

UTICA, NY.- Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute is seeking public input regarding an extensive campus master plan that will transform its public areas into vibrant community cultural and entertainment spaces, increase accessibility and serve as a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization. Munson-Williams officials and representatives from Cooper Robertson, an international architecture and urban design firm headquartered in New York City, will meet with regional leaders to learn their perceptions of Munson-Williams, hear about their experiences engaging with the Institute and its campus, and discuss their ideas on how to improve it for the future. Munson-Williams occupies 10 acres within residential city blocks — the gateway to downtown Utica. Anna D’Ambrosio, Munson-Williams President and CEO, said the master plan will study the Institute’s buildings and assess space usage and location of specific departmental offices and centr ... More

Nigo, the new creative director of Kenzo, at the fashion company’s headquarters in Paris, Jan. 17, 2022. Dmitry Kostyukov/The New York Times.

NEW YORK, NY.- There was a moment, about six years ago, when Nigo realized he felt old. This is not a particularly unusual feeling for someone in his mid-40s, as he was then. But this was Nigo, one of the most influential figures in streetwear, who helped turn a subculture into culture-culture, who practically pioneered the concept of selling $400 hoodies to lines of hungry, hungry hypebeasts. Nigo had been tapping into youth culture since 1993, when he founded A Bathing Ape (or Bape). Often seen wearing Bape’s signature camouflage pattern, along with diamond-encrusted necklaces, the mononymous designer and music producer had become a cool guys’ cool guy, a hero-collaborator to men such as Pharrell Williams, Kanye West and Virgil Abloh. But as he approached middle age, Nigo found himself dressing more conservatively, he said. After 20 years with Bape, he had sold and left the brand, focusing instead on his ... More

Hans Holbein the Younger, Thomas Cromwell, 1532-33, oil on oak panel, 30 3/4 ◊ 25 1/4 ◊ ľ, The Frick Collection, New York; photo: Michael Bodycomb.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Frick’s acclaimed reframing, ongoing in its temporary location known as Frick Madison during the renovation of its historic buildings, has given the public a chance to view collection highlights in a very different setting. In recent months, the curatorial team has presented a project in the Northern European galleries that, over the course of a year, welcomes the voices of four contemporary artists. Each presents a single new work in conversation with an iconic painting from the Frick’s collection, with particular emphasis on issues of gender and queer identity typically excluded from narratives of early modern European art. This winter and spring, Living Histories: Queer Views and Old Masters continues with a painting by Jenna Gribbon (b. Knoxville, Tennessee, USA, 1978), shown with the portrait Thomas Cromwell by Hans Holbein the Younger. This juxtaposition follows the inaugural ... More

More News
Victor Jaenada kicks off the Espai 13 series of exhibitions at the Fundaciů Joan Mirů for the 2022 season
BARCELONA.- To begin Dive and Immersion, Victor Jaenada (Esplugues de Llobregat, 1977) has plunged into the deepest memories of his childhood and artistically processed an incident that marked his life and work. Family oral tradition left the artist a narrative of this real event that took place at his grandmother’s house when he was just a year old and that could have ended in tragedy. In Jaenada’s words, At just over a year old I was at my grandmother Isabel’s house, in her room, in the cradle. Suddenly some formless “angels” appeared, frightening me a lot. They approached, hanging from the dark ceiling of the room, and I remember I must have cried . . . My grandmother, seeing that I was so upset, took me out of the room to calm me down. Just then the ceiling of the room fell in; the rubble destroyed the cradle, and I would have been ... More

Augmented Reality Theater takes a bow. In your kitchen.
LONDON.- Standing in front of a golden bandstand, dressed in a white satin gown and pearls, vocalist Nubiya Brandon sashayed to a gentle beat. Stepping toward the spotlight, she took a lazy turn around the stage, singing a playful calypso number and smiling occasionally at the band behind. The weird thing about this show, called “All Kinds of Limbo,” was that Brandon appeared to be in this reporter’s kitchen. The singer was, in fact, an eerily realistic holographic avatar on a mobile phone screen; her performance had been recorded and was now being broadcast in augmented reality from the National Theatre here. Via the technology’s strange alchemy, which overlays digital imagery onto whatever a camera phone is pointing at, Brandon seemed to be singing and sashaying on the countertop. After she took a bow, her image evaporated, and the bandstand faded ... More

Annet Gelink Gallery introduces Constant Companion by Minne Kersten
AMSTERDAM.- In the Bakery, Annet Gelink Gallery is presenting Constant Companion, Minne Kersten’s first show at the gallery. Originally conceived as part of an installation, the video Constant Companion brings forth the mythological figure of the Raven as its main protagonist. The bird is used as a leitmotif to speculate about concepts like the Stone Tape theory and place memory. Both these concepts hold the idea that some buildings are receptive to the energy produced by traumatic or emotional events, which they record and store. The Raven is a bird with strong symbolic connotations; they are often interpreted as an omen, connected with tragedy and darkness – or seen as spirits from the supernatural world. In Constant Companion, several interpretations are allowed to exist next to each other and create friction between symbolism and reality. ... More

One opera opening would make any composer happy. He has two.
NEW YORK, NY.- When composer Ricky Ian Gordon saw Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies” on Broadway in the early 1970s, it was unlike anything he’d watched on a stage. “He was creating this musical theater that felt like foreign film to me,” Gordon said recently. “And I wanted to make something in the theater that felt like foreign movies.” “That’s what ‘Follies’ was: a musical about broken lives and disappointment,” he continued, adding an expletive for emphasis. “I thought, ‘That’s what I want to do.’” Gordon, now 65, did go on to create art inspired by those subjects — in the process becoming considerably better known in the world of opera than theater. In a coincidence caused by pandemic delays, not one but two of his operas are opening nearly simultaneously before this month is out, and both involve the darkness Gordon adored in “Follies.” “Intimate Apparel,” at Lincoln Center Theater, for w ... More

Do men still rule ballet? Let us count the ways.
NEW YORK, NY.- Periodically, arts writers and critics will sound the alarm: Ballet has a significant gender gap. Women fill ballet’s stages and classrooms, but choreographers and artistic directors — the people with power — are predominantly men. How serious is the problem? The numbers paint a stark picture. At the largest 50 ballet companies in the United States, 71% of artistic directors from founding to present have been men; 69% of all ballets programmed at those companies during the 2020-21 season were by men; in the mostly pre-pandemic 2019-20 season, 72% were by men. Worldwide, the odds that an artistic director of a major ballet company will have a female successor are just 29%. Until recently, those figures would have been nearly impossible to find. They are available now thanks to Dance Data Project, a nonprofit organization that is using ... More

What designers have been doing at home during the pandemic
NEW YORK, NY.- If the average person were to hollow out a tree branch, turn it into a light fixture and hang it over a dining room table, it would look like the work of a Cub Scout. But in Constantin Boym’s weekend home in New York state’s Hudson Valley, the branch is perfection. Not too crusty, not too knobby, so artless as to be almost invisible. Boym, chair of the industrial design department at Pratt Institute in New York and co-principal with his wife, Laurene Leon Boym, of design company Boym Partners, is very good at making things and has recently had lots of opportunities. Sequestered with his family for 18 months in their 1955 cabin in Esopus, New York, he embarked on a long busman’s holiday. Inside, he designed a second bedroom for the couple’s 24-year-old son, Rob, and a mudroom where the refrigerator and laundry appliances could live. ... More

How Meat Loaf made a cult favorite: 'Paradise by the Dashboard Light'
NEW YORK, NY.- The singer Meat Loaf, who died Thursday, was a rock ’n’ roll anomaly: a portly force of nature whose theatrical musicality made him an unlikely but undeniable radio staple and a standout presence in films such as “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “Fight Club.” Of his vital contributions to the American karaoke canon, the most potent may be “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” the 8 1/2-minute opus to nascent sexuality that appeared on his multiplatinum 1977 debut, “Bat Out of Hell.” The story of a teenage couple about to consummate their relationship in a car, the song is built around a boisterous call-and-response duet between Meat Loaf and singer Ellen Foley. The sexual act itself is narrated by the famous New York Yankees shortstop and play-by-play announcer Phil Rizzuto, over a rollicking barroom groove. (Sample ... More

Badal Roy, who fused Indian rhythms with jazz, is dead at 82
NEW.- Badal Roy, an Indian tabla player whose drumming propelled East-West fusions for some of the most prominent musicians in and out of jazz, died on Tuesday in Wilmington, Delaware. He was 82. His son, Amitav Roy Chowdhury, said the cause was COVID-19. Roy was largely self-taught. He was not trained in the Indian classical apprentice tradition of gurus and disciples. Where classical tabla players use a pair of differently tuned drums, Roy sometimes used three or four. His improvisational flexibility and his skill at sharing a groove made him a prized collaborator for jazz, funk, rock and global musicians. He first became widely known for his work in the early 1970s with English guitarist John McLaughlin and Miles Davis, appearing on Davis’ pivotal jazz-funk album “On the Corner” and its successors. He went on to many other collaborations,— recording ... More

Dan Einstein, champion of singer-songwriters, dies at 61
NASHVILLE, TENN.- Dan Einstein, a Grammy-winning independent record producer who championed the careers of John Prine and Steve Goodman, died here Jan. 15. He was 61. His death, in a hospice facility, was confirmed by his wife of 27 years, Ellen Krause Einstein, who did not cite a cause. Most people in Nashville knew Einstein as the proprietor, with his wife, of Sweet 16th, the award-winning bakery they opened in 2004. But he had previously made his mark, in the 1980s and ’90s, as an independent record label operator who forsook corporate wisdom about economies of scale in favor of a smaller, more artist-driven approach to making records that proved feasible as well as garnering critical acclaim. Having dropped out of UCLA in the early ’80s after his studies were eclipsed by his work with the campus concerts committee, Einstein became a partner ... More

A skilled ballet leader creates a messy 'Raymonda'
LONDON.- Esteemed ballerina. Experienced artistic director. Skilled fundraiser. In Tamara Rojo, who was announced last week as San Francisco Ballet’s next leader, American dance has tapped a woman of many talents. Still, the San Francisco company may want to hold off on adding choreography to her list of duties. On Tuesday at the London Coliseum, Rojo unveiled her final major project for English National Ballet, the ensemble she has led for 10 years, and her first as a choreographer and stage director: a reworking of Marius Petipa’s 1898 ballet, “Raymonda,” set during the Crusades. Unlike “Swan Lake” or “Sleeping Beauty,” it has been a work of niche appeal in Britain and the United States, mainly performed in Russia and in France, where Rudolf Nureyev’s version has endured. (Dutch National Ballet will also tackle “Raymonda” later ... More

Solo exhibition of Palestinian-American artist Kris Rumman opens at UrbanGlass
BROOKLYN, NY.- Till Human Voices Wake Us, And We Drown, a solo exhibition of work by Palestinian-American interdisciplinary artist Kris Rumman, is on view at UrbanGlass from January 19 – April 8, 2022. Curated by Zeljka Himbele, the exhibition inaugurates UrbanGlass’ Curator-at-Large program, which gives an invited curator the opportunity to develop innovative concepts and public programs for 4 annual exhibitions presented in UrbanGlass’ Robert Lehman Gallery. The program’s goal is to address critical cultural issues and to contribute to the contemporary art and design dialogue through the material of glass. The notions of balance, interconnectedness and codependency within living systems permeate Kris Rumman’s multimedia artistic practice. Working from a background in glass-making techniques, Rumman often experiments with a myriad ... More

Christie's Presents Gucci Vault | 10 Signature Styles & Motifs

On a day like today, American painter Robert Motherwell was born
January 24, 1915. Robert Motherwell (January 24, 1915 - July 16, 1991) was an American painter, printmaker, and editor. He was one of the youngest of the New York School (a phrase he coined), which also included Philip Guston, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko. In this image: Robert Motherwell, The Hotel Corridor, 1950. Oil on masonite, 44 x 55 inches, 111.8 x 139.7 cm. © Dedalus Foundation, Inc./ Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

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