20th Century

Bob Dylan on Van Gogh

April 10 2022

Image of Bob Dylan on Van Gogh

Picture: faroutmagazine.co.uk

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Far Out Magazine have published a short article on Van Gogh's influence on the music of Bob Dylan. The article, which contains some YouTube links to Dylan's songs, explores the thematic influence on his lyrics.

To quote some lyrics from his Blonde on Blonde demo:

When I’d ask why the painting was deadly / Nobody could pick up my sign / ‘Cept for the cook, she was always friendly / But she’d only ask, ‘What’s on your mind?’ / She’d say that especially when it was raining / I’d say ‘Oh, I don’t know’ / But then she’d press and I’d say, ‘You see that painting? / Do you think it’s been done by Van Gogh?

Magritte realises £59.4m

March 3 2022

Image of Magritte realises £59.4m

Picture: Sotheby's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Despite the absolute horrors unfolding in Eastern Europe at the present, Sotheby's London managed to sell René Magritte's L’empire des lumières (1961) for a record-breaking £59.4m (inc. commission) last night. Both modern and contemporary sales realised high prices. The Now Evening Auction realised £29,982,500 (inc. commission) and the Modern & Contemporary Evening Auction realised £192,161,150 (which included the Magritte, of course).

Neighbouring London auction house Phillips also made headlines by announcing they would be donating the entirety of their fees from the 20th-century and contemporary art evening auction in London to the Ukrainian Red Cross Society. The donation from the Russian-owned auction house amounts to £5.8 million ($7.7 million) for the charity.

Upcoming Release: Histories of Conservation and Art History in Modern Europe

March 3 2022

Image of Upcoming Release: Histories of Conservation and Art History in Modern Europe

Picture: Routledge

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The publishers Routledge will be releasing the following book later this month. Histories of Conservation and Art History in Modern Europe features a collection of essays edited by Sven Dupré and Jenny Boulboullé.

Here's a list of the essay titles featured within:

1 Introduction: Experts in the Interbellum

Part 1 Science, Authentication and Issues of Conservation 

2 "We Cannot Splash Light onto Our Palettes": The 1893 Munich Exhibition and Congress and Its Public Demand for Research on Painting Materials and Techniques

3 A. P. Laurie and the Scientific Appreciation of Art

4 Seeing Through the (Old) Masters: The Crisis of Connoisseurship and the Emergence of Radiographic Art Expertise  

5 Rome 1930, the International Conference on the Scientific Analysis of Artworks and Its Legacy in Italy

Part 2 Education and Professionalisation 

6 Mending, Sticking, and Repairing: Reconstructing Conservation Expertise in Archaeology in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

7 Wissenschaft, Vocation, or Bildung?: Debating the Sites and Aims of German Art History at the End of the Nineteenth Century

8 Education in the Art and Conservation Field in German Countries

9 Experiments in a Teaching Museum: The Fogg’s "Laboratory for Art"

Part 3 Museums and Institutions 

10 Omnium Gatherum to a ‘Treasury of Art and Science’: The Development of Conservation Expertise at the Ashmolean Museum

11 The (In)visibility of the Paintings Restorers of the Rijksmuseum in the First Half of the Twentieth Century

12 Gemäldekunde. German Pioneers of the ‘Science of Painting’ 

13 Invention as Necessity: The Salvage of Italian Frescoes During World War II

14 Expertise, Multiple Actors, and Multiple Voices

The book will be released on 15th March 2022.

Face to Face: Picasso and the Old Masters in Málaga

February 22 2022

Image of Face to Face: Picasso and the Old Masters in Málaga

Picture: Picasso Museum Málaga

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Picasso Museum Málaga have opened their latest exhibition today entitled Face to Face: Picasso and the Old Masters.

According to the museum's website:

From 22nd February until 26th June 2022, visitors to the Museo Picasso Málaga will have a unique opportunity to discover the links between Pablo Picasso and leading artists of the past. The MPM will be hosting Face to Face. Picasso and the Old Masters, an exhibition, jointly organized with Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla, in which paintings by El Greco, Francisco Pacheco, Giovanni Battista Caracciolo, Francisco de Zurbarán, Cornelius Norbertus Gijsbretchs, Bernardo Lorente Germán and Diego Bejarano will be hung alongside major works by Pablo Picasso. 

Face to Face. Picasso and the Old Masters presents paintings from the Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla’s remarkable collection of Spanish and other European Masters opposite nine important works by Picasso belonging to the Fundación Almine y Bernard Picasso para el Arte (FABA).


These pairings not only enable viewers to make specific comparisons between the work of Picasso and the Masters in order to understand how deeply Picasso’s art was rooted in Spanish traditions. The juxtapositions also allow us to discern how he transformed these traditions into the revolutionary art of the 20th century. 

£10m - £15m Freud coming up at Christie's

February 18 2022

Image of £10m - £15m Freud coming up at Christie's

Picture: Christie's

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Christie's London will be offering a £10m - £15m painting by Lucian Freud in their upcoming 20th / 21st Century Sale on 1st March 2022. Girl with Closed Eyes was painted in the mid 1980s and is being marketed as a hark back to Venuses by the likes of Giorgione, Canova and Modigliani. The model for the picture was Janey Longman whose mother Elizabeth had been a bridesmaid at Queen Elizabeth II's wedding.

According to their website:

The canvas was sold as soon as it was painted and, having been in the same private collection ever since, now comes to market for the first time. It has been exhibited only occasionally in the three and a half decades of its existence, notably in the landmark retrospective Lucian Freud Paintings, which toured the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris, the Hayward Gallery in London and the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin in 1987-88.

Inspiring Walt Disney at the Wallace Collection

February 9 2022

Image of Inspiring Walt Disney at the Wallace Collection

Picture: The Wallace Collection / Disney

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Following on from their incredibly successful collaboration with shoe-designer Manolo Blahník, The Wallace Collection in London will be launching their latest decorative arts exhibition in April. Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts will run from 6th April 2022 until 16th October 2022. The show has been organised in collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

According to the museum's website:

Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts displays American 20th-century hand-drawn animation alongside French 18th-century art to reveal the surprising and enchanting connections between these two artistic movements. 

Drawing on the outstanding artworks of the Wallace Collection and spectacular international loans, the exhibition will highlight the exceptional talent and innovation of both Walt Disney Animation Studios artists and the creative pioneers of the French 18th century. Although separated by two centuries, the artists, craftspeople and animators all had the same ambition – to breathe life, character, and charm into the inanimate.

It will be very interesting to see how successful this collaboration will be in bringing new audiences to this treasure box, which is after all only a few minutes walk from Oxford Street.

The 1973 Cincinnati Rembrandt Heist

January 31 2022

Video: WCPO 9

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

For those of you who like a good heist story, the Cincinnati Enquirer have written a long format piece on the 1973 theft of two Rembrandts from the Taft Museum of Art. The story is a rather long and curious one, do click on the link if you want to read it in full.

Manchester Deaf Museum acquires work by Charles Webb Moore

January 28 2022

Image of Manchester Deaf Museum acquires work by Charles Webb Moore

Picture: @OlympiaAuctions

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Olympia Auctions (formerly the 25 Blythe Road collective) in West London has shared news that a portrait sold by them in May 2021 has been acquired by the Deaf Museum in Manchester. The painting was created by the deaf artist Charles Webb Moore (1848-1933) and depicts and unknown gentleman wearing a black suit and white shirt.

According to the original catalogue note:

Moore was described as the "doyen of deaf artists" by the inventor Arthur James Wilson, himself a prominent figure in the deaf community of 19th and early 20th Century Britain. The artist was born into a family of artists and craftspeople based in London. All of his immediate family were also deaf, and they were part of the deaf community that centred largely around St Saviour's Church, Oxford Street (now relocated to Acton), the only purpose-built church for the deaf in London.

Louvre partners with Sotheby's for Wartime Provenance Research

January 25 2022

Image of Louvre partners with Sotheby's for Wartime Provenance Research

Picture: @MuseeLouvre

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Louvre in Paris has announced an interesting partnership with the auction house Sotheby's with the aim to assist with wartime provenance research. In particular, the museum will be examining works that were acquired between the years 1933 and 1945. Their press release explains that the three-year project may result in restitutions, seminars, study days, publications and other various pieces of media.

Framed: Stealing a Picasso from the NGV

December 28 2021

Video: SBS Australia

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Subscribers to SBS Australia will be able to enjoy a new four part documentary on the 1986 theft of Picasso's The Weeping Woman from the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Australia.

Elton John Gifted Rod Stewart 'Rembrandt Painting' for Christmas

November 24 2021

Image of Elton John Gifted Rod Stewart 'Rembrandt Painting' for Christmas

Picture: Ebay / Castle Fine Art

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I was bemused to come across a curious old masters reference in a recent interview with pop-star Rod Stewart published in The Guardian. In the said interview, Stewart claimed that Elton John had once gifted him a 'Rembrandt Painting' as a Christmas gift.

As Stewart explained:

We used to live 20 minutes from each other in Berkshire, so for Christmas I bought him a pop-up fridge from Harrods. You pressed a button and there’d be steam and lights and a bottle of champagne. It cost me £600; a lot of money in the 70s. We swapped presents and he said: “Oh very nice, dear, thank you.” He gave me a Rembrandt painting! I’ve never felt so stingy.

I wonder if the 'Rembrandt Painting' looked anything like the two masterpieces above?

Waldemar on Young Poland Exhibition

November 17 2021

Video: zczfilms

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Sunday Times art critic Waldemar Januszczak has created this short film giving a private view of the William Morris Gallery's current Young Poland Exhibition.

'Picasso - El Greco' in Basel

November 16 2021

Image of 'Picasso - El Greco' in Basel

Picture: Kunstmuseum Basel

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

I've spotted this rather interesting exhibition which is scheduled for next year. Picasso - El Greco will be the Kunstmuseum Basel's headline exhibition for 2022 and will open next June.

According to the exhibition's blurb:

In a large special exhibition, the Kunstmuseum illuminates the encounter of Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) with the old master El Greco (1541– 1614), born Doménikos Theotokópoulos in Crete. Masterworks by both artists are juxtaposed in some forty pairings, tracing the course of one of the most fascinating dialogues in the history of art. Prestigious loans from across the globe are assembled around a core of Picasso masterworks from the museum’s own collection.

El Greco’s unmistakable painting style won him considerable fame in his day. Soon after his death, however, his work was largely forgotten. It was only around 1900 that an El Greco revival was launched, with Picasso serving on the front lines. His engagement with the Greek-Spanish master not only went far deeper than has previously been assumed but also lasted much longer. El Greco’s influence is just as palpable in Picasso’s works from the 1930s and 1940s as it is in the earlier Cubist paintings. Even at the end of his life, Picasso continued to reference El Greco. Not only does the show open up new perspectives on two towering artists of their times. It also offers fresh insight into their importance as a constellation for the development of avant-garde art in the twentieth century.

A Picasso (?) Reappears in Bolton?

November 2 2021

Image of A Picasso (?) Reappears in Bolton?

Picture: The Bolton News

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

News from Lancashire that a man from Bolton has discovered what he believes might be a lost Picasso (pictured). Martin Barton was encouraged to look again at a painting he had hanging in his house after seeing news about the sale of Picassos from the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

According to the article linked above:

Martin said: “I had forgotten all about it and nearly fainted when I saw the picture in the paper, because I thought, I’m sure I have something similar. 

“It was also the signature at the bottom of the painting that made me think it could be genuine. So I had a closer look with my magnifying glass. It has been a really enjoyable few days thinking about this.”   

He was so excited he phoned his friend who told him he “didn’t know what to think, but he didn’t know anyone else who had discovered this” and suggested Martin went to a specialist. 

Martin added: “I might go to Bolton Museum just to see if it’s right or wrong, but that will be the end of it.”

Coincidentally, Bolton was the base of the notorious forger Shaun Greenhalgh, a point which might have added further depth to the article linked above...

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.”


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.

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