20th Century

New Munch Museum in Oslo

October 22 2021

Video: FRANCE 24 English

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A new museum to dedicated Edvard Munch has opened today in Oslo, Norway. The museum proports to be the largest museum dedicated to one single artist.

According to the press bumf:

Whatever your opinion of the exterior, the inside is an undeniably impressive space. 11 exhibition halls in all shapes and sizes sit one on top of the other, showcasing far more of Munch’s work than was ever possible before. Research and conservation facilities are open to the public, while studio space will host all manner of public performances and workshops. The 13th-floor restaurant is sure to be a hit for the views across the Oslofjord alone.

'AI' Recreates Image Underneath Picasso

October 12 2021

Image of 'AI' Recreates Image Underneath Picasso

Picture: The Times

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Times reported at the weekend of news that scientists at University College London have managed to recreate a picture painted over by Picasso. The Blind Man's Meal, dating to 1903 and now kept at the MET in New York, had long been known to have been painted over an unfinished nude.

According to the article:

Bourached and Cann trained an algorithm to simulate how the original painting looked by analysing Picasso’s brush strokes in other paintings. 

“It’s very exciting to see a work that’s been locked up,” Cann told the Sunday Telegraph. “It’s quite eerie seeing the brushstrokes, colour and the way in which light reflects off the work. It’s a very beautiful piece. 

“I hope Picasso would be happy in knowing the treasure he’s hidden for future generations is finally being revealed, 48 years after his death and 118 years after the painting was concealed. I also hope the woman within the portrait would be happy in knowing that she hadn’t been erased from history and that her beauty was finally being revealed in the 21st century.”

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Indeed, I wonder what Picasso would have made of this image...

Charleston: The Bloomsbury Muse at Philip Mould & Co

September 23 2021

Video: Philip Mould & Co

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The London dealers Philip Mould & Co have opened their latest free exhibition Charleston: The Bloomsbury Muse.

The exhibition will run until 10th November 2021.

Here are reviews from The Telegraph and The Evening Standard.

500 Fake Francis Bacons Seized in Italy

September 13 2021

Image of 500 Fake Francis Bacons Seized in Italy

Picture: breakinglatest.news

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Italian police have reportedly seized 500 fake works of art purporting to be by Francis Bacon. The haul of fakes, including paintings and drawings, were seized with other counterfeits, collectables and cash worth €3m. Five people have been arrested in connection to the seizure with the main suspect being described as "a collector from Bologna."

Curious 'Shunning' of Dusseldorf Max Stern Exhibition

August 24 2021

Image of Curious 'Shunning' of Dusseldorf Max Stern Exhibition

Picture: TAN

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Art Newspaper have published an interesting article about the curious background of an exhibition which will be opening in Dusseldorf next month. Entrechtet und beraubt. Der Kunsthändler Max Stern focuses on the life and fate of the twentieth century Jewish art dealer Max Stern. Stern was ordered to liquidate his art business by the Nazis in 1935 and later fled to Montreal where he established a successful business. The article linked about explains the complex situation regarding the exhibition's former backers who have been described as 'shunning' the project since it was rescheduled from 2017.

Afterlives at The Jewish Museum NYC

August 23 2021

Image of Afterlives at The Jewish Museum NYC

Picture: The Jewish Museum

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Jewish Museum in New York opened their latest exhibition Afterlives: Recovering the Lost Stories of Looted Art last week.

According to the museum's website:

During World War II, untold numbers of artworks and pieces of cultural property were stolen by Nazi forces. After the war, an estimated one million artworks and 2.5 million books were recovered. Many more were destroyed. This exhibition chronicles the layered stories of the objects that survived, exploring the circumstances of their theft, their post-war rescue, and their afterlives in museums and private collections. 

Afterlives includes objects looted from Jewish collections during the war, including works by such renowned artists as Pierre Bonnard, Marc Chagall, Paul Cézanne, Gustave Courbet, Paul Klee, Franz Marc, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Camille Pissarro. The Jewish Museum has also commissioned four contemporary artists to create new works that address the resonance of the exhibition’s themes: Maria Eichhorn, Hadar Gad, Dor Guez, and Lisa Oppenheim. Treasured pieces of Judaica, including rare examples of Jewish ceremonial objects from destroyed synagogues, will also be on view, as well as rarely seen archival photographs and documents that connect the objects to history.

The show will run until 9th January 2022.

Berlin's Neue Nationalgalerie Reopens

August 19 2021

Video: euronews

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Berlin's Neue Nationalgalerie has reopened after a six-year renovation project. The recognisable building designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe has upgraded facilities as well as a new permanent exhibition called The Art of Society 1900 - 1945 featuring 250 works from the gallery's collection.

Upcoming Release: The Art of Doris and Anna Zinkeisen

August 18 2021

Image of Upcoming Release: The Art of Doris and Anna Zinkeisen

Picture: Unicorn Publishing Group

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Unicorn will be publishing Philip Kelleway, Emma Roodhouse and Nicola Evans's new book on The Art of Doris and Anna Zinkeisen later in September.

According to the book's blurb:

This lavishly illustrated book celebrates the life of Doris and Anna Zinkeisen, charting the rise of the sisters from a childhood in Scotland, to their emergence as amongst the most eminent artists of their day in London, to a quieter yet still highly productive life during their twilight years in rural Suffolk. During the golden age from the 1920s through to the 1950s, the Zinkeisen sisters enjoyed a huge success and won numerous accolades. 

Their paintings and design work, including posters, murals and luxury ocean liners, and costume designs for stage and film, are today emblematic of that period in British art.

Sotheby's to Auction Off 11 Picassos from Las Vegas Hotel

August 16 2021

Image of Sotheby's to Auction Off 11 Picassos from Las Vegas Hotel

Picture: CNN

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Interesting news from the US that Sotheby's will be auctioning off 11 Picassos from the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. Famously, these art works were collected by the hotel's eccentric founder Steve Wynn. It is believed that around $70m - $100m will be raised to allow the hotel to expand its contemporary art collection. Furthermore, reports have suggested that the auction will take place in the casino itself.

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One wonders whether the new collection will consist entirely of screens displaying NFTs?

The Grey Horse on display in Munnings Museum

August 10 2021

Image of The Grey Horse on display in Munnings Museum

Picture: artdaily.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Alfred Munnings' famous painting The Grey Horse, Ned Osborne on Grey Tick has gone on display in the Munnings Museum in Dedham, Essex. Despite this picture being one of the artist's most iconic works the painting is rarely seen due to it remaining in a private collection. The article above provides more details about the horse and sitter, whose story is being celebrated during this temporary loan.

Picasso in the Prado

July 22 2021

Image of Picasso in the Prado

Picture: elpais.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I've spotted this rather interesting article (via. @Boro_RR on Twitter) concerning the historic and continuing controversy surrounding the inclusion of a portrait by Picasso into the collection of the Prado Museum in Madrid. After a donation made in 2004, the hang raised a great commotion due to the fact the museum's rules said that no post-1881 works could enter the collection of the museum. The rules were bent somewhat and the painting was hung alongside works by the likes of Velázquez and El Greco (pictured). The museum's current director Miguel Falomir has continued to support the painting's inclusion in the museum's collection.

Another Mona Lisa Copy Soars...

July 8 2021

Image of Another Mona Lisa Copy Soars...

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Another copy of the Mona Lisa, probably barely one hundred years old, soared past its estimate in the Sotheby's day sale today. The picture, c.1900, realised £378,000 (inc. fees) over its £8k - £12k estimate.

This price seems like madness, especially compared to this genuinely beautiful seventeenth century copy of a Leonardo in the Louvre that made £94,500 (inc. fees) in the same sale.

As it happens, a reader has been in touch with a screen shot of the same copy of the Mona Lisa which was up for sale on Ebay in January 2021 which sold for over £2,000:

Update - Apologies for missing this, it seems that this copy that sold on Ebay was the very same one in the Sotheby's sale. A reader has pointed out the corresponding imperfections visible on the backs of both canvases.

Dutch Government to initiate 'grand inquiry' into WWII Restitution

June 29 2021

Image of Dutch Government to initiate 'grand inquiry' into WWII Restitution

Picture: Artnews.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Artnews.com have published an article on reports that the Dutch Government will be initiating a 'grand inquiry' into the restitution of Nazi-looted art. This process will attempt to reassess looted works of art in the Netherland Art Property Collection and will renew efforts to find owners.

According to the article:

Many commentators began alleging that the committee was prioritizing the state over claimants. In 2020, lawyer Jacob Kohnstamm issued a report that found that the Dutch Restitution Committee needed to be “more empathic” and recommended that it abolish its “balance of interests” methods, which allow the committee to give weight to the national interests as well as the interests of the claimants. Two members of the committee, including its chairman, resigned after the report was issued.

Alice Cooper to Sell Warhol he had 'Forgotten About'

May 14 2021

Video: Fox

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here's a curious news story that the Rockstar Alice Cooper is selling an Andy Warhol print that he had 'forgotten about'. It was purchased for Cooper by a former girlfriend during the 1970s for $2,500. Little Electric Chair will be auctioned off carrying an estimate of $2.5m - $4.5m.

Dylan Thomas's Last Portrait Acquired

May 14 2021

Image of Dylan Thomas's Last Portrait Acquired

Picture: westerntelegraph.co.uk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The last portrait made of the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) has been acquired by the Carmarthenshire County Council. The work, painted in September 1953, was purchased for £15,000 with contributions from Art Fund and the Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the National Lottery.

To quote the news report linked above:

The council's executive board member for culture, sport and tourism, Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths said: “We are absolutely delighted to be bringing this painting back to where Dylan Thomas spent his last years. It will take pride of place in the new gallery at Carmarthenshire Museum later this year for everyone to enjoy.” 

The painting will be professionally conserved before going on display in a new gallery at Carmarthenshire Museum from September. It will then go on tour to the Dylan Thomas Boathouse and other venues in the region before returning to Carmarthenshire.

Music Video in the Hermitage

May 13 2021

Video: Till Lindemann

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg has become the backdrop for the German singer and Rammstein frontman Till Lindemann's latest release. The video accompanies a version of the post-war Russian song entitled Любимый город (Beloved Town), a piece that became particularly associated with the city after the Siege of Leningrad, and was released on the eve of Victory Day.

Hermitage Director Mikhail Piotrovsky published a press release explaining that the collaboration was a part of a new project with the aim of strengthening cultural ties between Russia and Germany. The video is actually set in several rooms designed by the German architect Leo von Klenze (1784-1864), rooms which house some of the museum's most treasured old master paintings.

Picasso's Guernica Recreated in Chocolate

May 5 2021

Video: Telemadrid

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Confectioners in Spain have been busy creating an enormous copy of Pablo Picasso's 1937 masterpiece Guernica. The recreation was produced to mark the 85th anniversary of of the bombing that inspired the work.

Although 1,102 pounds of chocolate was used to make this copy Lorena Gomez, president of the Basque Federation of Sweet Artisan Gastronomy, has answered the question we all want to know:

It cannot be eaten, as it has suffered a lot of temperature change and is gathering dust.

Why do Picassos from 1917 Crack?

April 22 2021

Image of Why do Picassos from 1917 Crack?

Picture: The Art Newspaper

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Art Newspaper have published an interesting article exploring why Picasso's works from 1917 have deteriorated much quicker than other works from this period. The article uses data collected from a study by ProMeSa, a three-year research project funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. In particular, the project has been interested in a selection of works inspired by dancers and made while Picasso was working at a friend's studio in Barcelona during the year 1917.

According to the article:

Picasso used a canvas with a tighter weave for Hombre sentado (pictured), coating it with a thicker ground layer of animal glue, researchers found. Both factors meant larger internal stresses formed when the paintings were exposed to fluctuating humidity, while chemical reactions between certain pigments and binding media sparked chemical reactions that caused paints to degrade. As a result, the paints gradually cracked when stresses built...

More Works from American Museums at Auction

April 20 2021

Image of More Works from American Museums at Auction

Picture: artnet.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Artnet.com have published an interesting article on news that more American Museums are selling valuable paintings at auction this season.

This includes the New-York Historical Society, the city's oldest museum, who have decided to auction off Childe Hassam's Flags on 57th Street, Winter 1918 (1918) at Sotheby's carrying an estimate of $12m - $18m. They're not alone however, as the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Art Institute of Chicago, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Newark Museum of Art, and the Brooklyn Museum will all be offering works for sale this season. The article suggests that the ongoing virus crisis is to blame, and that the majority of works are in the American category.

The article ends with this quote from the art lawyer Nicholas O'Donnell who said:

If you view the collection as a revenue source, will you keep managing a nonprofit institution as carefully as you should? If, in the back of your mind, you know that if things don’t work out, you can make up the difference here and there by selling a painting?

Henry Scott Tuke at the Watts Gallery

April 16 2021

Image of Henry Scott Tuke at the Watts Gallery

Picture: The Watts Gallery

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Watts Gallery in Surrey have announced more details about their upcoming exhibition on the late Victorian / Edwardian artist Henry Scott Tuke (1858-1929). The show is due to run from 7th June - 12th September 2021.

According to the exhibition blurb:

Henry Scott Tuke explores the complexities that surround the life and art of this British painter, famed for his depictions of sun, sea, and bathing during a late Victorian and Edwardian golden age. Tackling questions of artistic influence, art practice and a varied reception history, the exhibition brings together some of Tuke's most significant works.  Having spent his early years studying at the Slade School of Art, Tuke first discovered the appeal of painting en plein air on his travels in Italy and France. On his return to Britain in the 1880s, like many of his generation, Tuke was drawn to Cornwall. He initially headed to Newlyn, while the emerging artists' colony was still in its infancy, before settling in Falmouth. Using both beach and boat as his studio, Tuke built his early reputation with ambitious sombre-coloured scenes of Cornish seafaring. He even converted an old French brigantine, the Julie of Nantes, into a colossal 60-foot floating studio. It was aboard this vessel that Tuke painted his most ambitious seafaring subject, All Hands to the Pumps! (Tate). 

Today – as in his lifetime – Tuke is best known for his distinctive depictions of nude male youths swimming, messing about in boats and sunbathing on Cornish beaches. Influenced by the colour and technique of the European avant-garde, Tuke strove to capture the chromatic effects of sunlight on skin, becoming a leading figure in the resurgence of the male nude in British art.

The exhibition will also be accompanied by the release of new major book on the artist by Yale University Press.

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