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    Painter Rocco Ritchie, Son of Madonna, Takes a Bow with Miami Pop-Up

    Madonna is dominating the Miami headlines this week, with a run of blockbuster concerts. (After the first two sold out, a third was added for tonight.) However, the renowned icon’s first son, Rocco Ritchie, is also making waves in the Magic City right now.
    That’s because Ritchie, a talented painter, is prepping a two-day pop-up exhibition. Titled “Pack a Punch,” it will features new paintings and be on view Wednesday and Thursday, April 10 and 11, at 30 NE 40 Street in Miami’s Design District. (Its organizer, dealer Jessica Draper, said walk-ins are welcome on Thursday; otherwise, viewings are only by appointment.)
    Born in Los Angeles in 2000, Ritchie studied at Central Saint Martins and the Royal Drawing School in London, where he currently lives and works. In his new works, Ritchie, who cites Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon as major sources of inspiration, is continuing his exploration of the human figure. This presentation follows “Lovers and Enemies,” a solo show of Ritchie’s work in London last fall, where he showed portraits of his friends and family. That one was curated by David Dawson, formerly Freud’s studio manager.
    Ritchie’s parents (his father is film director Guy Ritchie) have been enthusiastic supporters of his painting practice, and his work is in the collections of fashion designers Stella McCartney and Donatella Versace and dealer Lorcan O’Neill, among others.
    Artnet caught up with Ritchie on the eve of his opening to ask about his training, his inspirations, and his early years operating under a pseudonym.
    Rocco Ritchie, Rick and Mick, (2024). Photo by Brooke D’Avanzo
    When and why did you first pick up a paintbrush?
    I’ve been painting since I was a small kid. It is something that always caught my attention and gave me a place to escape.
    Did you have formal training?
    I went to Central Saint Martins, but I developed my draftsmanship at the Royal Drawing School in London. I studied there for a few years.
    Your paintings are figurative, bold, and almost expressionist, with an intriguing palette. Who are some of your biggest influences?
    My influences have changed over the course of time, and what is happening in my life informs which artists I am looking at. Recently I’ve been focusing on British painters over the past 100 years or so, such as Bacon, Freud, Auerbach, and David Hockney. For this show, I was particularly inspired by Frank Auerbach’s show at the Courtauld; the black and white charcoal works on paper.
    Rocco Ritchie, Broken Jeff, (2024). Photo by Brooke D’Avanzo
    Can you tell us about the pseudonym, “Rhed,” that you went by initially?
    Rhed was something I came up with to go under the radar in the first few years of making work. It doesn’t hold much deep meaning behind it, I just liked the way it sounded. I tried to go along with it for as long as I could, but word eventually got out.
    Were you wanting to stay anonymous and/or were you unhappy about being identified?
    I’m proud of who I am and where I’ve come from, but I know people would have judged me aggressively in my early stages if I came out with my name. I wanted to develop technically before showing under my name.
    Do you work with a particular gallery or someone who handles the sales of your work?
    As of now I am working with [art dealer] Jessica Draper. I’ve worked with galleries in the past, I’m just waiting to find the right one.
    Who are some of your favorite artists whether historical or contemporary?
    My favorite artists vary from Leonardo da Vinci, to Rembrandt, to Paula Rego. Contemporary wise, I really like the work of Joseph Yaeger and Lens Geerk.
    “Rocco Ritchie: Pack a Punch” is on view at 30 NE 40 Street in Miami on Wednesday and Thursday.
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    Why Was Actor Vincent D’Onofrio Reciting Poetry Over A.I. Visuals at This Exhibition?

    Vincent D’Onofrio stood before me with his eyes closed. His black baseball cap partially shaded his face in the dark room, lit only by the art that he and fellow actor/artist Laurence Fuller—as the duo Graphite Method—created. The visuals were projected on the walls of Lume Studios in Lower Manhattan in an April 2 performance titled “The Sparrow Experience.”
    D’Onofrio spoke softly with his hands in his pockets. It was a meek appearance for an actor who once worked as a bouncer and bodyguard, whose deep voice fleshed out the art-loving villain Kingpin in Marvel’s Daredevil series, and whose presence loomed over Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket (1987), in which he played Pvt. Leonard Lawrence, his breakout role.
    At times, it was difficult to sit and focus on the art. The viewer wants to watch D’Onofrio recite the poetry because he’s the actor, which distracts from the stop-motion-like vignettes on the walls around the viewer. Then, when listening to the words, it can be hard to consider his familiar voice in such a different medium.
    Still, D’Onofrio’s reading of the poetry, which he often texts to Fuller from the sets of his films, is captivating and demonstrates how he earned a reputation for commanding the screen. And the poetry he and Fuller wrote is good, enhanced by the visuals, distracting thoughts aside.
    Vincent D’Onofrio reciting poetry at “The Sparrow Experience.” Photo by Adam Schrader.
    D’Onofrio and Fuller first connected over Twitter years ago, bonding over a shared interest in digital art. The pair officially launched their partnership at the 2023 Art Basel Miami Beach, where their joint works—digitally rendered vignettes paired with poetry written and read by D’Onofrio—were installed at an exhibition hosted by Web3 platform MakersPlace. Graphite Method’s first triptych was released as individual NFTs late last year.
    Fuller and D’Onofrio describe most of Graphic Method’s poetry as “like a graphic novel” or noir thriller. There are recurring characters—a boy named Sheldon and an aging woman named Lady Bushwick—who appear in individual poems linked together by a plot, collectively titled “Sparrow.” Interspersed in last week’s performance were other poems that added texture to the overall show.

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    Though D’Onofrio often writes poetry while he’s working, he said it “doesn’t have to be” related to what he is currently doing on set. He recalled filming a scene recently where “I was actually crushing somebody’s skull while I was writing [poetry]. I had blood all over my suit and hands and I had to use baby wipes to get the blood off so I could text with my finger a couple of poems.”
    When asked about his poetry influences, D’Onofrio said he is “too new and raw” to the medium to know. Later in the interview, he noted there are references to Edward Hopper in his work.
    “I don’t really have any idea what I’m doing. I approach it like how I start developing a character for a film. I just start from all the experience that I have acting and it just starts to form on its own. There’s no particular influence,” he said. “I write exactly how I talk, which is mostly stream-of-consciousness.”
    Vincent D’Onofrio at “The Sparrow Experience.” Photo by Adam Schrader.
    Meanwhile, the visuals are created using photographs of Fuller, or that Fuller took, and feeding them through the artificial intelligence model Stable Diffusion to create the painterly looks in the short videos, giving everything a feeling of nostalgia and memory. The pair also shoots video—for example, for their work Penny. The older actor even purchased his younger partner a drone to film difficult shots.
    “It’s as if a painting is being influenced by words, and changing because of words, rather than rather than actors within a scene or somebody narrating over a beautiful piece of cinematography,” D’Onofrio said of Graphite Method’s visuals. “We’re using the A.I. to morph our words for us in this kind of wild way.”
    “A painting is like a dream. It’s a reimagining of reality reconstructed into a dreamscape and I think that is more inviting for the imagination,” Fuller said. “I don’t think that cinematography, just as with plain photography, gives the same sort of experimental experience.” Photographs, he added, “didn’t get to my subconscious as much as a painting did.”
    Laurence Fuller reciting poetry at “The Sparrow Experience.” Photo by Adam Schrader.
    As for the reading itself, D’Onofrio’s recitation carried a narrative tone like watching a man relay an Oscar-bait script over a dive-bar poetry reading. The performance of the work is a second thought, he explained, but he does think about how the words will inspire the accompanying visuals, which are “playing in my head.”
    “I’m trying to keep with the tone of the piece but make it as raw as I can,” D’Onofrio said. “There’s other stuff where I do straight-up poetry stuff, but I also do it more reflective.”
    Fuller said their different methods are “why we complement each other so well,” noting their different cultural backgrounds. D’Onofrio came up by way of the New York theater scene, while Fuller was classically trained. “If we both approached it from the same background,” said Fuller, “it wouldn’t work.”
    Laurence Fuller reciting poetry at “The Sparrow Experience.” Photo by Adam Schrader.
    The collaborators’ shared acting backgrounds didn’t just heighten their performance at the exhibition. To Fuller, such performances also lend new dimensions to the art of acting.
    “In our time, actors are often overlooked as artists, and the craft of acting itself is sort of on this precipice of plunging into an abyss of social media and garbage. To honor the craft in the context of art history has barely been done at all,” Fuller said. Still, he points to Matthew Barney’s six-hour-long art video River of Fundament (2014), starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Paul Giamatti, as an example when actors have been “welcomed into the canon of art history.”
    D’Onofrio, for his part, said his collaboration with Fuller is just getting started: “One of the things I like about working with Laurence is that I’m open to anything that Laurence gives me.”
    “The last thing that I want to do is claim to know what I’m doing,” he said. “All I’m doing is writing and collaborating with another artist and we’re just putting stuff out.”
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    Viral Pranksters MSCHF Secretly Replaced a Sink at the Met Museum

    They’re the team known for viral sensations—cartoonish big red rubber boots based on an anime character; an ATM that publicly displays the bank balance of all those who use it, in the manner of a video game; and Nike Air Jordan Max 97 sneakers that contain a drop of holy water from the River Jordan. Now, the collective MSCHF—call them artists, call them a start-up, call them Internet pranksters, but definitely call them “mischief”—has trained its penetrating gaze on New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, where they have secretly replaced the handles, water lines, and other parts of a bathroom sink, right under the staff’s noses.
    In an Instagram Reel, disguised voices coming from pixelated faces discuss the… performance? Robbery? Stunt? “I think we should do the Met,” said one. “You want to steal some art?” responded another. “No. I want to steal a sink.” They specify that before absconding with pieces of the plumbing, they’re replacing them with better parts, so it does seem like a victimless crime, if not even a favor. If guards come, they figure, they’ll just say they’re plumbers. And anyway, if they get busted, they asked, “What’s changed?”
    The piece, while ultra-modern in its readiness for social-media virality, actually refers to an ancient thought experiment. It’s called Met’s Sink of Theseus (2024) in reference to the Ship of Theseus, or Theseus’s Paradox, which asks whether an object that has had all its parts replaced is still essentially the same object. 
    Still from a MSCHF Instagram reel.
    Met’s Sink of Theseus appears in “Art 2,” the collective’s new show at Perrotin’s Los Angeles outpost, where it is displayed fully reassembled, with clear plastic replacing the porcelain basin (which they did not steal).
    There were several factors that made the Met and a sink the perfect targets, said the collective’s Kevin Wiesner and Lukas Bentel on a FaceTime call while installing the show. 
    “They’re one of those institutions that has such cachet that anything that goes in or out of there gains in value,” said Wiesner. “It’s the same sink as you can find in who knows how many other buildings in New York. But we now have work in the Met Museum.”
    They also have an odd popular appeal, he added: “Weirdly, the bathrooms are fairly well-documented by celebrities who attend the Met Gala and go to the bathrooms to take photos.”
    And, Bentel added, the disassembled-and-reassembled nature of the piece recalls certain artifacts in the museum’s collection. “There are a lot of artworks in that museum that were taken from various places and then assembled there,” he said.
    The mini-heist comes at a moment when museums are under serious scrutiny for their security practices. The British Museum recently has seen hundreds of objects stolen, and a wave of thefts of Chinese antiquities at Western museums has given rise to speculation that the Chinese government may be resorting to rogue practices to get the objects repatriated. MSCHF’s members were definitely concerned about Met security, though. “There were a number of stressful moments,” Bentel said. “Not to get into too much detail, but there were a number of times when we thought it would go not well for us.”
    The museum declined to comment. 
    The prank takes its a place in a century-long tradition of plumbing, sinks, and toilets as art. Marcel Duchamp’s first readymade, Fountain (1917), was a urinal turned on its side. Robert Gober’s 1980s sink sculptures, missing all the functional fixtures, lent uncanny bodily associations to these domestic basins. In 2016, Maurizio Cattelan installed a golden toilet, straightforwardly titled America, at the Guggenheim Museum, and a 2018–19 public art installation in New York’s Madison Square by Arlene Schechet was inspired by a residency at a toilet and sink factory.
    Referring to this long line of bathroom art, Bentel joked, “At one point we hope to assemble the whole set.”
    “I don’t know if it’s the oldest sink in the museum,” Wiesner said. “Some have been converted and updated, whereas this one is from the early 1900s and has all stock parts that are very easy to find and replace.” They declined to say exactly which bathroom the replaced sink is in, but they did let on that it’s closer to the Temple of Dendur (certainly one of those specimens that was brought to the museum piece by piece) than not.
    MSCHF, Public Universal Car (2022). Courtesy of MSCHF and Perrotin.
    The new show treats the theme of second acts. It also features works like Public Universal Car, a 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser that allowed thousands of people nationwide to access a single vehicle with duplicate keys. Another piece consists of 250 identical small wooden sculptures of fish hanging on a wall; one of them is a Picasso work, raising the question of whether a single collector will buy up the whole “school” or whether various buyers will try to pick the “right” one. 
    MSCHF, Botched Painting (Ecole Siennoise, fin du XVIIe siècle Vierge à l’enfant terrassant le dragon), 2023. Courtesy of MSCHF and Perrotin.
    Another group of works refers to 2012’s viral “Beast Jesus,” which came into being when a well-meaning amateur Spanish artist tried to restore a painting at her church, with results that were an aesthetic disaster but tourism gold. MSCHF bought a handful of antique religious paintings and hamfistedly “restored” them, with the question of whether, they, too, could increase their value (a bit like the parts of the Met sink).
    MSCHF, Microscopic Handbag (Hermes), 2024. Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli. Courtesy of MSCHF and Perrotin.
    Parodying fashion drops is Microscopic Handbags, consisting of 3D-printed accessories that are visible only under a microscope, recalling the ancient Indian fable of the weavers who deceive a ruler by giving him a robe that supposedly is visible only to those worthy of seeing it. When he models his imaginary finery, a child calls out, “the emperor has no clothes.” 
    Speaking of clothes, Wiesner and Bentel admitted that, in their artist duds on FaceTime, they didn’t exactly look like plumbers, raising the question of how they passed. They declined to say who exactly visited the museum, not wanting to expose any individual to liability (perhaps the same reason the faces and voices are disguised in the Instagram video though the members’ identities are known).
    They did seem to fool some people, though, said Bentel. “Visitors would come out of the stall and say, ‘I don’t want to make more work for you, but the toilet is really leaking in there.’”
    “Art 2” is on view at Perrotin, 5036 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, through June 1, 2024.
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    Takashi Murakami’s New Works Fill His First Japanese Exhibition in Eight Years

    Japan’s oldest public art museum had grand plans for its 90th anniversary celebrations. It wanted to host a Takashi Murakami exhibition. It was less keen, however, on paying the shipping costs and insurance premiums associated with schlepping Murakami’s work from Europe and North America.
    Its solution was to invite the superstar Japanese artist to create an entirely new body of work, one that riffed off Kyoto’s past, present, and future. After all, the museum argued, despite Murakami’s international reach, his studio was Tokyo-based, and at age 62, he was still relatively young and up to the task.
    View of the entrance to “Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto.” Photo: Kozo Takayama/Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co.
    The pitch came from Shinya Takahashi, Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art’s general manager, who boasts a long and fruitful relationship with the artist. Murakami obliged and result is “Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto,” set to run through Sept 1, an exhibition of more than 170 works, the vast majority of which are new.
    So new, in fact, some are unfinished. Inside the show, there’s a notice informing visitors that works will be updated over the course of the exhibition’s run by Murakami and his assistants.
    Installation view of Rakuchu Rakugai Zu Matabei Iwasa Rip by Takashi Murakami at “Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto” at Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art. Photo: Kozo Takayama/Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co.
    Two works that are neither new nor unfinished are the pair of 14-foot statues that visitors encounter at the exhibition’s entrance: Embodiment of “A” and Embodiment of “Um.” The ghoulish, club-clutching twins are guardians, the likes of which tradition says should be called upon in times of misfortune. Murakami created them in the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, placing them on multicolored plinths, as though pieces for a giant board game.
    Murakami has forever smashed together traditional and modern here he does so in the context of his host city. For much of Japan’s Edo period, 1603 to 1868, Kyoto was the nation’s cultural heart, a wellspring of painting, architecture, and the performing arts.
    Installation view of “Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto” at Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art. Photo: Kozo Takayama/Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co.
    The centerpiece of this conversation is perhaps Rakuchu Rakugai Zu, a 43-foot long reimagining of Iwasa Matabei’s Scenes In and Around Kyoto. The 17th-century painting presents a city shrouded in golden clouds out of which everyday scenes emerge—a man sells melons, a shrine festival takes place, women go shopping. Murakami reimagines the original, apparently with planning help from A.I., and sprinkles on his own icons.
    Another turn to Kyoto’s painting tradition comes with Murakami’s presentation of Wind God and Thunder God. The pair were tackled by many of the Edo period’s finest painters and Murakami follows the playfulness of Ogata Korin’s celebrated work (now housed in Tokyo National Museum) and fills it with characteristic color and whimsy.
    Installation view of Murakami’s sculptures “Kaikai” and “Kiki” at “Takashi Murakami Mononoke Kyoto” at Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art. Photo: Kozo Takayama/Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co.
    For all that’s new, there’s plenty that serves as a reminder, or introduction, to the faces and figures around which Murakami has built his brand over the past two decades. There are sculptures of Kaikai and Kiki, his green-eyed, jaw-agape monsters. A technicolored Mr. DOB, supposedly his answer to Mickey Mouse, made in 1993. Outside, in the pond of the museum’s garden, he’s installed a giant golden Flower Parent and Child.
    There have always been murmurs that Murakami remains an artist who is better appreciated abroad than at home. This is the artist’s first exhibition in the country eight years, though contrary to the museum’s claims, it seems unlikely to be his last.
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    ‘Bad Painter’ Neil Jenney Curates a Tribeca Gallery’s First Show

    Isabel Sullivan seems too young to be called a veteran of the gallery scene, but she has nonetheless spent the last decade working in New York galleries, most recently as a partner at Chase Contemporary.
    Now, Sullivan, 33, has struck out on her own with an eponymous space on Lispenard Street in the fast-growing Tribeca gallery scene.
    “Opening my own space wasn’t necessarily something that I always dreamed about,” she said in an interview. “The move happened organically, as I began to grow and develop an understanding and a vision for the type of gallery and organization I wanted to create. I wanted to show work I believed in.”
    Installation view of “New Realism” group show at Isabel Sullivan Gallery in Tribeca. Image courtesy Isabel Sullivan Gallery.
    Her gallery’s inaugural show, which opened on March 14, is “New Realism: Looking Forward and Back,” which was curated by the storied SoHo artist Neil Jenney, who shot to fame a half-century ago with his “Bad Paintings.”
    Jenney has included some of his recent work, as well as pieces by Elisa Jensen, Victor Leger, Joseph Santore, Mercer Tullis, and Frank Webster. A few of those figures are connected: Santore, for instance, taught both Jensen and Webster. Sullivan has filmed mini-documentaries about each artist. (More good news for Jenney fans: he will open a solo show with Gagosian on West 24th Street in West Chelsea on May 2.)
    Isabel Sullivan at her new gallery in Tribeca. Image courtesy Isabel Sullivan Gallery.
    “New Realism” includes roughly 30 works and aims to explore what “Realism” is today. They include Jenney’s skyscapes with sculptural frames and Jensen’s shadowy but vibrant interiors. Santore’s existential paintings reflect on the human condition, while Tullis’s striking graphite works have a meditative air to them. Webster and Leger’s paintings add a serene touch to the affair.
    Sullivan met Jenney when she accompanied a friend to his studio. “When I first entered the space, I felt as if I had walked into a museum,” she said. She was taken not only by Jenney’s work, but also with a permanent exhibition he had on view of different Realist artists. “Neil gave me a tour and told me about the group exhibition he had organized, ‘American Realism Today’ at the New Britain Museum of American Art” in Connecticut, in 2022, she explained.
    Joseph Santore, Empty Lot (2022–23). Image courtesy the artist and Isabel Sullivan Gallery.
    Jenney was interested in organizing a subsequent edition at a commercial gallery. “It felt fated to me at that moment,” said Sullivan, adding, “I had been thinking about the return of figurative painting, and its prevalence, and in particular that there was something fundamentally radical in such a return—and that Realism had first emerged, and then continually re-emerged following profound shifts or ruptures in society, and culture.”
    Sullivan and her gallery started a search for artists in New York who were working in this mode, and found numerous artists who were included in his New Britain Museum show. “From there, the whole show began to truly take shape,” she said.
    Elisa Jensen, Lace Curtain (Limits of the Diaphane), 2014. Image courtesy the artist and Isabel Sullivan Gallery.
    As for landing in Tribeca, Sullivan said she initially came close to taking a space in Chelsea, but “there was something about the energy down here in Tribeca that really moved me. It felt spirited and lively—like the future, and my future was here.”
    Sullivan says she’s glad she ultimately steered away from some of the “typical white box spaces” she looked at. The location she chose, formerly the home of the now-closed Denny Gallery, “felt cozy and intimate, which was the vibe I was going for,” she said. “It gave me the feeling that I hoped others would feel in the future when they visit us.”
    The facade of the new Isabel Sullivan Gallery at 39 Lispenard Street in Tribeca. Image courtesy Isabel Sullivan Gallery.
    “New Realism: Looking Forward and Back” runs through Sunday, April 21, at Isabel Sullivan Gallery, 39 Lispenard Street.
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    Artist Jamie Reid’s Final Sex Pistols Artwork Will Go on View

    The final artwork created by the artist Jamie Reid, known for his designs for the punk band the Sex Pistols during the 1970s, will be going on display for the first time this month at Brighton’s Enter Gallery. “Jamie Reid, A Lifetime of Radical Gestures” opens on April 25 and will celebrate the life of Reid, who passed away in August 2023, showing work from the artist’s “Rogue Materials” series, which he made between 1972 and 2021. Fifty photographs will also be on display, chronicling Reid’s life.
    Reid was born in 1947, raised in a “diehard socialist” household. He met Sex Pistol’s manager Malcolm McLaren when the pair were studying at Croydon College of Art, and McLaren introduced him to the band with whom Reid would be forever associated. Over his lifetime, Reid worked on several left-wing publications including the West Highland Free Press and the Suburban Press.
    Reid’s designs are synonymous with the 1970s punk spirit, most notably his iconic collaged work for the cover of the Sex Pistol’s 1977 single “God Save the Queen,” an image that was so scandalizing it offended workers at the printing plant. Despite his anti-establishment beginnings, Reid artworks are highly coveted by commercial galleries, fashion brands, and now fetch high sums at auction. A promotional poster for “God Save the Queen” previously owned by Sid Vicious, Sex Pistol’s bassist, sold at Sotheby’s London for $49,796 in 2022. Collectors of Reid’s work include Vivienne Westwood, Madonna, and Angelina Jolie, and his work is held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and National Portrait Gallery.
    “Radical ideas will always get appropriated by the mainstream… That’s why you have to keep moving on to new things,” the artist told Another Man in a 2018 interview. 
    Jamie Reid’s “God Save the Queen” machine print on view in 2022, ahead of a Sotheby’s London auction. Photo: Daniel Leal / AFP via Getty Images.
    Reid’s final artwork, a homage to his single cover for Sex Pistol’s “Anarchy in the U.K.,” shows a torn Union Jack flag, held together with safety pins. The print was approved by Reid and his foundation the Arcova Trust before his death in 2023. Anarchy in the UK (2024) is being released in two new silkscreen editions, one sized 67 by 100 cm (26.4 by 39.4 inches) in an edition of 200, and another sized 100 by 150 cm (39.4 by 59 inches) in an edition of 76—a reference to the year the Sex Pistols released the record.
    “A Lifetime of Radical Gestures” was co-curated by the gallerist and archivist John Marchant, a friend and representative of Reid’s who announced the passing of the “artist, iconoclast, anarchist, punk, hippie, rebel and romantic” in an Instagram post.
    “I am very happy that we are partnering with Enter Gallery to launch this exclusive editioned print of Jamie Reid’s infamous ‘Anarchy In the U.K.’ flag, as we have a great history of working together to offer Jamie’s world-renowned art and messages to collectors,” he said. “Jamie and I started work on this edition last summer and although Jamie is no longer with us, I am pleased that this classic work is finally available as a tribute to his incredible legacy.”
    Enter Gallery’s Head of Buying, Helen Hiett, said: “Enter Gallery had the pleasure of working closely with Jamie Reid over several decades. He was a true visionary, always fighting for equality and justice via exciting, rebellious, and risqué works that provoked a reaction. In this retrospective, we honor his fascinating life and creativity, and can’t wait to bring his iconic work to the people of Brighton and beyond.”
    “Jamie Reid, A Lifetime of Radical Gestures” is on view at Enter Gallery, 13 Bond Street, Brighton, from April 25 to May 2.
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    A New Show Offers Face Time With Ancient Egyptian Funeral Portraits

    A new exhibition at the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam brings together a large collection of funeral paintings from post-Ptolemaic Egypt, some loaned from the Louvre and the J. Paul Getty Museum. Known as the Fayum portraits, the bulk these artifacts were unearthed in the necropolis in Egypt’s Faiyum region, where they were found laid over the faces of mummified bodies. As one of the rare surviving Classical art forms, these works are unique for several reasons.
    The first concerns their medium. Most of the art produced during classical antiquity survives in the form of statues and monuments. Not because that’s all the ancient Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians made—they had rich painting traditions—but because stone is much more durable than paint, which survived only in the rarest of instances. Just as the frescoes from the ash-covered ruins of Pompeii were preserved through volcanic eruption, the Fayum portraits survived as a result of Egypt’s desert climate.
    A Fayum portrait. Photo courtesy of Musée du Louvre, Department des Antiquités égyptiennes.
    The second reason concerns their subject. Where the vast majority of Greco-Roman artwork depicts gods, mythological heroes, and quasi-divine emperors, the Fayum portraits are snapshots of ordinary people. The exhibition’s title, “Face to Face: The People Behind Mummy Portraits,” is fitting, for when you stare at some of these portraits, you interact with individuals who lived thousands of years ago.
    One of the most striking features of the Fayum portraits is their style, which curator Ben van den Bercken describes as a melting pot of cultural influences. “They were made to be placed on top of mummified bodies,” he said. “That’s the Egyptian component: a means of keeping the diseased recognizable for the gods as well as their loved ones.”
    Installation view of “Face to Face: The People Behind Mummy Portraits” at the Allard Pierson Museum. Photo courtesy of Allard Pierson Museum.
    Hellenistic culture—introduced to Egypt through the reign of the Ptolemaic pharaohs, whose lineage traces back to the Greco-Macedonian conqueror Alexander the Great—is present in the clothing of the subjects as well as the materials with which they were put on canvas. Tempera, an originally Egyptian tradition where pigment is mixed with water-soluble binders like egg yolk, is frequently combined with encaustic or hot wax painting—a Greek approach Van den Bercken speculates may have been taught in Egypt’s Hellenistic schooling systems.
    “The interesting thing about encaustic painting is the skill involved,” he said. “Since you cannot make adjustments once the wax has cooled, portraits were constructed layer by layer, giving them an almost Impressionistic quality. It’s reminiscent of what we find in the 17th century with artists like Rembrandt.”
    A Fayum portrait. Photo courtesy of Allard Pierson Museum.
    The realism of the Fayum portraits was also imported, primarily from Rome, which officially annexed Egypt in 30 C.E., and indirectly from Greece. Their lifelike detail, demonstrating a clear understanding of human anatomy, stands in stark contrast to the more abstract and symbolic visual language associated with ancient Egypt today.
    But while the portraits are lifelike, the question of whether they were true to life remains up for debate. “It’s difficult to judge the extent to which the paintings reflect what these people actually looked like,” Van den Bercken noted. “If, for instance, they really owned the jewelry we see in the images. It’s possible people were presented a bit wealthier than they actually were.”
    A Fayum portrait. Photo courtesy of Musée du Louvre, Department des Antiquités égyptiennes.
    At the same time, funeral portraits would not have been cheap: “Look at the wood panels on which they were painted. Many of these are made of basswood, which came from outside Egypt. The same goes for some of the pigments.” This, he said, suggests the subjects were members of society’s upper class: men and women of considerable means.
    Sticking with the subject of realism, keen observers will note that paintings produced in the 3rd and 4th centuries look different from those dated closer to the time of Julius Caesar. Where the latter rival Roman busts in their accuracy and precision, the former are more evocative of Byzantine icons, their personality obscured by a certain level of abstraction.
    Installation view of “Face to Face: The People Behind Mummy Portraits” at the Allard Pierson Museum. Photo courtesy of Allard Pierson Museum.
    Coincidence? This, too, is difficult to say. While Van Bercken does not rule out that evolving artistic currents on the Italian peninsula and Asia Minor influenced Egyptian brushwork, there simply isn’t enough evidence to draw a definite conclusion here. Differences in style, he explained, could just as easily be attributed to differences in geographic location or preferences of individual painters. On top of this, many of the portraits cannot be dated with 100 percent accuracy.
    What is certain is that the tradition of funeral painting, which emerged during the 1st century B.C.E., gradually fizzled during the 4th century C.E. One possible explanation for development this is the rise of Christianity, declared the official religion of the Roman Empire by Theodosius in 380. When the religion spread from Rome to Egypt, mummification rituals made way for Christian burial ceremonies. As mummification disappeared, mummy portraiture followed suit.
    “Face to Face: The People Behind the Mummy Portraits” is on view at the Allard Pierson Museum, Oude Turfmarkt 127-129, Amsterdam, Netherlands, through May 20.
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    From Chagall’s Bible to ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Art—See 5 Highlights at the N.Y. Antiquarian Book Fair

    The ABAA New York International Antiquarian Book Fair is considerably more exciting than its name suggests.
    Each April, dealers, collectors, and the casually curious descend on New York’s Park Armory for a weekend of bookish fun. In truth, “book” is a misleading, limiting word compared to the scope and diversity of items laid out in the cavernous hall. Offerings span early maps, groundbreaking patents, historic letters, fledgling advertisements, political banners, concert posters—each with its own specialist dealer.
    Here are five intriguing art-related offerings from the 64th Edition.

    The Cottingley Fairies PrintsRare Burnside Books
    The first of the five photographs, taken by Elsie Wright in 1917. Photo: Burnside Rare Books.
    In an era of deep fakes and photoshop trickery, the Cottingley fairy images are a reminder that photographic manipulation is as old as the medium itself. In 1917, two girls set out to photograph fairies dancing in the Yorkshire countryside. They hoped to prank their parents. Instead, the series of five photographs captured the imagination of the British public. Most compelled were the theosophists, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who understood the prancing white-winged things as protoplasmic thought forms produced by the girls’ psychic auras. In reality, the fairies were cardboard cut outs held in place with hatpins. The pair admitted as much in a 1983 interview—sort of, the fifth photograph, they insisted, was authentic.

    The Original Artwork for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club BandVoewood Rare Books
    The original artwork created by Dutch design company The Fool for The Beatles. Photo: Voewood Rare Books.
    Exhausted by touring and keen for a refresh, the Beatles took a mini-hiatus in late 1966. Ringo relaxed, John traipsed through art galleries, George learned the sitar in India, Paul dropped LSD. Art, psychedelics, and musical experimentation underpinned the subsequent record: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a concept album that saw the Beatles adopt Edwardian alter-egos. For artwork, they commissioned The Fool, the playful Dutch design collective that had worked with Cream and Procol Harum. Its offering was a psychedelic garden of Eden, a scene of mermaids, lush flora, and symbolic birds. Ultimately, the design was considered too overtly trippy and wasn’t chosen. Not that The Fool minded; they took the decision almost as a point of pride. Voewood Rare Books has priced it at $110,000.

    David Hockney’s poster for a university lectureSims Reed Gallery
    A poster David Hockey created for a 1965 lecture at Newcastle University. Photo: Sims Reed Gallery.
    In 1965, with David Hockney’s reputation steadily growing, his friend Mark Lancaster convinced him to give an informal talk about his practice to students at Newcastle University. Hockney created a poster for the occasion, a palm tree (inspired by recent visits to California) together with a simple red sun and the playful all-cap words “David Hockney Will Come.” Lancaster would develop his screen-printing skills further as an assistant to Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns. The Newcastle rendezvous was an important beat in a lifelong friendship that saw the pair travel to Hawaii, Japan, and Hong Kong.

    Marc Chagall Bible with burning bush designPhilip J. Pirgaes
    Marc Chagall Bible with bindings by Renee Haas. Photo: Philip J. Pirgaes.
    In 1931, the renowned art dealer Ambroise Vollard inquired after Marc Chagall’s interest in illustrating the Bible. Chagall was keen. First, however, he wanted to feel and experience the Holy Land for himself. Upon his return, he studied the masters of engraving, in particular the work of Rembrandt, and methodically produced 105 engravings over a 25-year period. The final work is considered a peerless illustrated Old Testament of modernity with age-old stories made fresh through Chagall’s ability to capture human emotion. Released unbound in 1957, Philip J. Pirgaes offers René Haas’ design ($95,000), one that evokes a burning bush ablaze on a stain-glass window.

    Sylvia Plath’s high school paintingType Punch Matrix
    Sylvia Plath, Portrait of an Unidentified Young Woman (1948/49). Photo: Type Punch Matrix.
    As a child, Sylvia Plath drew, painted, and sketched with abandon. She arrived at Smith College in 1950 determined to major in fine art. Plath painted this portrait of an unidentified young woman as a high schooler in the late 1940s. It shows a characteristic sensitivity to mood and gesture. As explored in a 2017 Smithsonian exhibition on Plath, art fueled and inspired her writings, and vice versa. Upon hitting a publishing drought in the late ‘50s, Plath turned to contemporary art, finding in the works of Rousseau, Paul Klee, and De Chirico a kinship that led her to write a series of art poems. Type Punch Matrix has priced the work at $135,000.
    The New York Antiquarian Book Fair is on view at Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue, New York, April 4–7.
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