Art Buzz June 21, 2012: Exhibition Review: “Gauguin, Cezanne, Matisse: Visions of Arcadia” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

EXHIBITION NEWS & REVIEWS

Erotic Nudes, Satyrs Frolic in Philadelphia Exhibit

Source: Bloomberg, 6-21-12

The mythic Greek valley Arcadia, a harmonic realm balancing dignity with desire, is an enduring source for artists and the subject of a pleasurable exhibition, “Gauguin, Cezanne, Matisse: Visions of Arcadia,” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

At the entrance to the show, which opened yesterday, is a long, narrow, light-green hallway that functions like an intimate, shaded glen.

Enlarge image Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin

Philadelphia Museum of Art via Bloomberg

“Where Do We Come From? What Are We Doing? Where Are We Going?” (1897-98) by Paul Gauguin. To create this mural-sized piece of paradise, Gauguin fled his family and France, going all the way to Polynesia.

Enlarge image Henri Rousseau

Henri Rousseau

Henri Rousseau

Philadelphia Museum of Art via Bloomberg

“The Dream” (1910) by Henri Rousseau. The large dreamscape, a peaceable kingdom in which lions share space with a reclining nude, is among a room full of masterworks in “Visions of Arcadia.”

Enlarge image Paul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne

Paul Cezanne

Philadelphia Museum of Art via Bloomberg

“The Large Bathers” (1900-06) by Paul Cezanne. The monumental masterpiece, in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s permanent collection, is among approximately 60 works by 25 artists in a show that explores the dream of Arcadia, a mythic Greek valley of beauty and repose, dignity and desire.

Enlarge image Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse

Philadelphia Museum of Art via Bloomberg

“Bathers by a River” (1910-17) by Henri Matisse. Matisse’s large oil painting is part of a once-in-a-lifetime grouping of masterpieces by Poussin, Gauguin, Cezanne, Rousseau, Derain and Picasso. Source: Philadelphia Museum of Art via Bloomberg

Enlarge image Robert Delaunay

Robert Delaunay

Robert Delaunay

Philadelphia Museum of Art via Bloomberg

“The City of Paris” (1910-12) by Robert Delaunay. In this mural-sized painting, Delaunay, inventing Modernist abstraction, looked to the past, fusing his contemporary view of Paris with his vision of Arcadia.

An erotic reverie of poetry and flesh, the passageway is rich with illustrated verse by Stephane Mallarme and Virgil as well as a bounty of small works — frolicking nudes, gods, goddesses, bathers, nymphs and satyrs.

Here, lovers entwine and tussle, fauns eat grapes and prance, and a Matisse woman’s dangling hair spreads like tentacles. Narcissus listens to the laments of Echo in a 19th- century bronze copy of an ancient Roman original….READ MORE

Art Buzz June 20, 2012: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art closing in June 2013 for expansion

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art closing for expansion

Courtesy Rendering
Courtesy Rendering
Growth: The museum’s expansion, designed to add new entrances and galleries to engage the public, will take more than three years and $555 million to complete.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is working to make its collection more accessible to members of the public, but art lovers throughout San Francisco are going to have to wait a few years to enjoy it.

SFMOMA announced Tuesday that it will shut its doors in June 2013 to make way for a major expansion project expected to be completed in early 2016….READ MORE

Art Buzz June 20, 2012: FBI returns $5 million of historic art & artifacts to Polish Museum of America

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

MUSEUM NEWS

FBI returning stolen art to Polish museum

Source: Chicago Tribune, 6-20-12

The FBI says it is returning more than 120 stolen artifacts, worth a total of about $5 million, to the Polish Museum of America.

The artifacts disappeared from the museum in the 1970s or 1980s and were found last year at a home on the Northwest Side, according to the FBI.

Among the items are 18th and 19th-century documents, rare prints and sketches, Nazi propaganda from World War II and military medals. The documents include letters to and from Polish kings, a French emperor and American Revolutionary War heroes….READ MORE

Art Buzz June 20, 2012: Museum of Biblical Art raises profile amid challenges

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

MUSEUM NEWS

Museum of Biblical Art raises profile amid challenges

Source: USA Today, 6-20-12

Ena Heller, the founding director of the Museum of Biblical Art in New York. Heller will leave the museum after 15 years of service as it fights to secure funding and maintain the lease on its location near Lincoln Center.

Ena Heller/Religion News Service

Ena Heller, the founding director of the Museum of Biblical Art in New York. Heller will leave the museum after 15 years of service as it fights to secure funding and maintain the lease on its location near Lincoln Center.

When art historian Bruce Boucher wanted to reunite the three panels of a huge 14th-century altarpiece from three different countries, the Italian lender of one of the pieces had one condition: the finished product had to be shown at a big-city museum.

Ena Heller, the founding director of the Museum of Biblical Art in New York. Heller will leave the museum after 15 years of service as it fights to secure funding and maintain the lease on its location near Lincoln Center.

“And of course,” said Boucher, director of the University of Virginia Art Museum, “I immediately thought of MOBiA.”

It was a high compliment to the small institution in a city that’s awash in better-known art museums, and to Ena Heller, the Romanian emigrant with a Ph.D. in art history who has led the Museum of Biblical Art as its founding director for the past 15 years.

The exhibit featuring the triptych, “The Adoration of the Magi by Bartolo di Fredi: A Masterpiece Reconstructed,” is the latest in a string of unexpected successes for MOBiA, which has hosted well-received exhibits ranging from a collection of Peruvian folk art to masterpieces by Marc Chagall to a recent collection of wartime Bibles….READ MORE

Art Buzz June 19, 2012: Man Caught On Tape Vandalizing A Picasso At Houston Art Museum

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

ART NEWS

Man Caught On Tape Vandalizing A Picasso At Houston Art Museum

Source: Business Insider, 6-19-12

In a brazen display of vandalism and apparent misguided expression, a Houston man was caught on cellphone and surveillance camera spray painting Picasso’s 1929 “Woman in a Red Armchair,” according to The Houston Chronicle.

The currently unknown vandal painted an image of a bullfighter killing a bull and sprayed the word “Conquista” on the painting, which is housed at The Menil Collection in Houston, an eyewitness told KPRC-TV in Houston.

An anonymous witness to the attack told KPRC that he began recording his video when he saw the man creep dangerously close to the painting’s canvas. After the defacement, the onlooker sprinted after the graffiti artist who told him that he had “retouched” the rare painting as a way to make a name for himself and honor Picasso’s work.

Let us be unequivocal in declaring — because apparently in Houston there is some confusion on the matter — that tastelessly tagging a masterpiece with ill-conceived scribbles is NOT an acceptable mode of self-expression, nor will it ever be construed as an homage. A matador slaying a bull is on nearly every t-shirt sold in Spain. It’s far from being a wondrously original graphical depiction….READ MORE

Art Buzz June 18, 2012: Aboriginal Rock Art Discovered in Australia is 28000 Years Old

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

ART NEWS

Aboriginal Rock Art is 28,000 Years Old

Though this is some of the oldest known art, the site may contain far older paintings.

Source: Discovery, 6-18-12
THE GIST

  • The 28,000-year-old Aboriginal paintings were found in a remote area of Australia.
  • Only a small part of the find has been excavated, leading scientists to believe still older art may be found.

Ancient Australian Aboriginal rock art at Swinton's Shelter

Ancient Australian Aboriginal rock art at Swinton’s Shelter Click to enlarge this image.
Corbis

Aboriginal rock art found in remote Australia has been dated at 28,000 years old, experts said Monday, prompting new speculation that indigenous communities were among the world’s most advanced.

Archaeologists picked up the fragment in inaccessible wilderness in Arnhem Land in the country’s north a year ago, and recent carbon dating of its charcoal drawing has placed it among some of the oldest art on the planet.

“One of the things that makes this little fragment of art unique is that it is drawn in charcoal… which means we could directly date it,” said Bryce Barker, who found and first analysed the granite rock.

Barker said given it was one of the oldest known pieces of rock art on earth, it showed that Aboriginal people were responsible for some of the earliest examples.

Barker said the find ranks among rock art sites such as France’s Chauvet caves dated at older than 30,000 years and caves in northern Spain now thought to be 40,000 years old….READ MORE

Art Buzz June 7, 2012: Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Gate of Paradise restored

ART & ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY NEWS

ART NEWS

Ghiberti’s Gate of Paradise restored

‘Extraordinary’ 27-year work says culture minister

Source: Ansa.it, 6-7-12

Ghiberti's Gate of Paradise restored

One of the glories of early Renaissance Italian art, Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Gate of Paradise for the Florence Baptistery, has completed a 27-year restoration, Culture Minister Lorenzo Ornaghi said Thursday.

The Gate, whose famed gilding has been burnished with painstaking care and cutting-edge techniques, will be put on show at the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo from September 8, Ornaghi said.

Ornaghi paid tribute to the “extraordinary” work the restorers did.

Ghiberti, having established his reputation with his work on the northern gate of the Florence Baptistery in the early 15th century, was commissioned to design the eastern door in 1425.

It took him 27 years to complete the 20-foot-high masterpieces, 10 panels showing episodes from the Old Testament….READ MORE