Last summer, the Museum of Modern Art took one of its best-known paintings off the wall, Jackson Pollock's One: Number 31, 1950, so that it could be conserved. They've been blogging about the process of restoring this dense, multi-layered work, including closeup photos that reveal an earlier restoration in the mid-60s before it came to MOMA.
Gold, Golden, Gilded, Glittering - The Unexpected Double History Of Banking And The Art World
In fact, we have long entrusted the task of representing our ideas of value to members of two professions that might seem to have little in common: banking and art. And, in the last seven hundred years or so, it has happened more than once that visual and financial inventors have come up with strikingly similar representations. There is more than a shadow of resemblance between the purchase of the Hirst skull in 2007 and the mortgage-backed-securities debacle that made of Lehman Brothers in the following year one of the great public pictures of vanitas we’ve had. And, when you look further into these intersections, you often find that what is really at stake is a change in the way we feel and understand time.[more inside]
The 2012 Turner Prize for modern art has been awarded to video artist Elizabeth Price for her work The Woolworths Choir of 1979 (excerpt). Price beat a number of contenders, including visual artist Paul Noble (nominated for a series of pencil drawings of a fantastic metropolis named Nobson Newtown), Luke Fowler (with a film titled All Divided Selves, about the controversial Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing) and the splendidly named performance artist Spartacus Chetwynd. Before winning the Turner Prize, Price was best known as a member of 1980s indiepop band Talulah Gosh, though is by no means the only former member to have a notable post-band career.
Shock of the New is a 1980 documentary television series by Robert Hughes produced by the BBC in association with Time-Life Films and RM Productions. ... It addressed the development of modern art since the Impressionists and was accompanied by a book of the same name; its combination of insight, wit and accessibility are still widely praised. - Wikipedia [more inside]
"His work," writes Gallagher, measuredly, "is characterised by its directness as well as its ambition; it is both deadpan and affecting, and it provokes awe and outrage in equal measure."
Damien Hirst: 'I still believe art is more powerful than money' Damien Hirst has gone from mouthy YBA to global brand over the past 25 years – and become the world's richest living artist on the way. Here he talks about money, mortality and his first retrospective in Britain [more inside]
Born in Lexington, Virginia in 1928, friends with Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, and victim of art vandalism, artist Cy Twombly died today . Some of his works can be seen here and here.
The Modern Art Iraq Archive (MAIA) is a resource to trace, share, and enable community enrichment of the modern art heritage of Iraq. Explore the works by artist, browse through related textual materials, or add your own images or stories to the archive.
Rediscovered in Berlin: Eleven modernist sculptures branded as "degenerate art" by the Nazis and thought to have been destroyed during WWII. The sculptures include works by Otto Freundlich, who was murdered at Majdanek; Naum Slutzky, a craftsman of both the Wiener Werkstätte and the Bauhaus; and Margarete Moll, who studied with Matisse.
The CIA spent 20 years promoting modern art as a propaganda tool: "We wanted to unite all the people who were writers, who were musicians, who were artists, to demonstrate that the West and the United States was devoted to freedom of expression and to intellectual achievement, without any rigid barriers as to what you must write, and what you must say, and what you must do, and what you must paint, which was what was going on in the Soviet Union. I think it was the most important division that the agency had, and I think that it played an enormous role in the Cold War."
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s latest installation: one hundred million hand-painted pieces of porcelain that resemble the shells of sunflower seeds.
Hojun Song wants to show you how to make a satellite. And then he'll help you build a robo-guitar. [more inside]
Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera is an exhibition at the Tate Modern in London which examines voyeurism through the medium of photography. In addition to works from professionals such as Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lee Miller, Shizuka Yokomizo, Guy Bourdin, Nan Goldin and Robert Mapplethorpe, it includes amateur and CCTV "stolen" images taken both with and without the knowledge of their subjects -- all intended to "explore the uneasy relationship between making and viewing images that deliberately cross lines of privacy and propriety." [more inside]
With techniques like "art by telephone" and a studio called "the Factory" where even the security guard helped with the painting, Andy Warhol redefined the relationship between artist and artwork, and blurred the line between work and copy. [more inside]
Navid Nuur's portion of The Knight's Tour, a multi-artist touring exhibit most recently seen at De Hallen Haarlem, contains a sculpture made of florist's foam and crushed by his hands into a pock-marked wall. The sculpture sits in the open, without barriers, offering a tempting place for museum visitors to leave their fingerprints. I know I can't walk past floral foam without sticking my fingers into it. If a visitor does cross that line, irreparably altering Nurr's art, they have two options: a 200-euro fine, or stand outside the museum with a sandwich board, declaring: At This Museum I Damaged Navid Nuur's Art. I Failed as a Visitor.
Artist Felice Varini has made an art project out of the town of Vercorin in the Swiss Alps. A wee bit of background, and the artist's own behind the scenes. (via)
Somewhere between dada and surrealist, Marcel Duchamp revolutionized art with his "readymades," a term for found objects taken directly from society. Except, maybe they weren't. [more inside]
The Smoke Filtration Systems are a series of sculptures that are also working marijuana water pipes. The mechanics of each pipe are thoroughly tested, but the actual sculptures are presented in clean, unused condition.
Music Journalist David Stubbs has a new book exploring why when the audience for modern art is huge, that for new music is tiny. The BBC, has an article about this with an interview with the author and some sound samples.
The Museum of Modern Art began working in late 2007 to renovate its Web site substantially for the first time since 2002. It knew that it wouldn’t be just updating a few pieces — it would be entering a whole new era. Earlier this month, the new site launched, and is an almost complete reconstruction of how the museum presents itself online. It features livelier images from its collection and exhibitions, increased use of video and the new interactive calendars and maps.
The Stuckists are a loosely affiliated group of artists - mainly painters - with some strong opinions, helpfully spelled out in a manifesto. [more inside]
Clayton Cubitt is a video artist. He does video portraits. They are disturbing, warholian, and weird
Jake and Dinos Chapman have bought a stack of Adolf Hitlers paintings for £115,000 and defaced them with rainbows and butterflies for their new show, "If Hitler Had Been a Hippy, How Happy Would We Be". The show also recreates "Fucking Hell", a huge swastika shaped diorama of tiny plastic nazis torturing and killing each other, which had been destroyed in a fire.
But is it art? Apparently so - A page of original Tintin artwork by Belgian artist Hergé becomes part of the Pompidou Centre's permanent collection of Modern Art, the first comics artwork to do so despite Frances vibrant comics culture.
"He spent three days in a room with a coyote. After flying into New York, he was swathed in felt and loaded into an ambulance, then driven to the gallery where the Action took place, without having once touched American soil. As [he] later explained: ‘I wanted to isolate myself, insulate myself, see nothing of America other than the coyote.’" ( documentary yt clip)
Peggy a redo of the Lichtenstein modern classic using 2788 hand cut, sanded, and painted dowels mounted on a wall, forming a 3 x 7 foot work of art.
They use complicated words here. I will look those up in the dictionary later on... A New Zealand filmmaker responds to the fakeness of the Poor Pluto episode in the lonelygirl15 saga by filming a ten-year-old girl let loose with a microphone in the Govett-Brewster art gallery. Her spontaneous reactions to the Wind Wand and other kinetic sculptures by Len Lye ("sounds like my old Barbie car") and Tony Nicholls ("It's connected to those little hinge-y thingies") manage to take the piss out of both modern art and the lonelygirl15 phenomenon simultaneously.
Schaulager, Basel, Switzerland. "If art is not seen it is dead. If art is not conserved, it decays. Schaulager - a new type of space for art." Originating from the Emanuel Hoffmann Foundation, whose collection is stored at Schaulager under optimal conservation conditions, Schaulager is an institution dedicated to contemporary art – its conservation, research and dissemination. Building designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron.
Perspectives of Russian Art Prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 Americans had limited opportunities to view Russian art of the 20th century. The political pressures of the Cold War era resulted in the mutual cultural isolation of Russia from western Europe and the United States that also created an atmosphere of aesthetic mystery regarding Russian art . .
The Robert Rauschenberg Renunion Tour [NYT]: Prolific American artist Robert Rauschenberg (previously discussed here) has a show opening at The Met on Tuesday (Dec. 20). [More Inside]
Livio De Marchi is a contemporary Italian sculptor who has developed a remarkable style, combining great skill with wood and a good dose of whimsy. No plank will ever look the same!
Robert Rauschenberg was one of the great American artists of the 20th Century. Born in Texas, Rauschenberg studied art in Paris and North Carolina before moving to New York to "make it" as a painter. He developed a signature style which he called "combines" in which he combined paint, collage, and scupture in one piece. His work has been showcased at The National Gallery of Art, Washington, MoMA, and The Guggenheim among others
Marcel Duchamp's "readymade" Fountain has been named the World's Most Influential work of modern art, according to 500 artists, curators, critics and dealers in a survey conducted by Turner Prize sponsor Gordon's. (more inside)
In the War Between The States, no finer words were ever spoken than those by Abraham Lincoln on 19 November 1863 at the consecration of a cemetery in rural Pennsylvania for the over 50,000 who died in the three worst days of battle in a wretched civil war. The speech is often included in US history books and collections of influential American speeches as one of the strongest examples of presidential oratory ever given. Is it any wonder, then, that it should inspire modern art?
Half-Life meets Matisse in a virtual reconstruction of the apartment of Etta and Claribel Cone. During the first three decades of the twentieth century, the sisters amassed one of America's foremost collections of modern art. Today, many of the pieces can be viewed in the Cone Collection at the Baltimore Museum of Art. As part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the museum's acquisition of the collection, the Imaging Research Center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County designed a digital walkthrough of their apartment so that visitors could see the art in its original context.
"Do It is a manual of artist's instructions for you to actualize. It includes works by over 60 contemporary artists ... Once you have actualized an instruction, please send us a picture and your name, we will include it in the manual" I dont know about you, but I'm going to go get some boards and a bunch of bugs to squash right now - for Baldessari, of course. [via caterina]
Artists Of Brücke: German Expressionist Prints is the first exhibition New York's MoMA has created exclusively for the web. It was designed by Second Story, whose web site contains a lot of other terrific stuff.[Needs Flash]
Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, David Salle, and Eric Fischl are some contemporary, living artists who have caught my attention. Who are some of your favorite living artists?
The $29,900 Styrofoam Cup "The art world, through a masterful manipulation of intellectual insecurities, has made itself largely immune to real criticism for the past 30 years."
Artist Demolishes Belongings Inside a defunct department store in the heart of London's shopping district, dozens of yellow bins move slowly along conveyor belts toward the mouth a gigantic blue machine. Workers in jumpsuits systematically catalogue and weigh the contents of each one. This is British artist Michael Landy's newest work: The items in the bins - coats, photographs, paintings, furniture - are all of his belongings. Over the next two weeks, everything he owns - including a red Saab - will be destroyed.
Jeff Koons on his art: "I'm interested in making objects that you would want to grab and take with you if your house was burning down. " He also says he's really into cereal boxes. New York Times (registration required)
Chalk one up to Freedom of Expression! *** WARNING *** Viewers may be offended by bare-asses sticking up in the air!!! Is this art? In my view, yes. Maybe next time they can face upward and fill in the potholes, instead of creating more speed bumps.