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    A Van Gogh Painting Has Been Unveiled for the First Time Since It Was Painted in 1887

    
    Art
    History

    #painting
    #Vincent van Gogh

    March 8, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    “Street scene in Montmartre (Impasse des Deux Frères and the Pepper Mill)” (1887), oil on canvas,  46.1 x 61.3 centimeters. Image courtesy of Sotheby’s
    After spending more than a century in a private collection, one of Vincent van Gogh’s artworks has been shown to the public for the first time since the Dutch artist painted it in the spring of 1887. “Street scene in Montmartre (Impasse des Deux Frères and the Pepper Mill)” depicts a couple walking on a windy day in front of an entertainment hub in Paris. Full of color and vitality, the landscape marks van Gogh’s turn to his distinctive Impressionist style.
    Prior to being put up for auction, only a small, black-and-white photograph taken in 1972 existed of the painting that’s reminiscent of some of the artist’s other works. The lively street is thought to be the same as that in “Impasse des Deux Frères,” which currently hangs at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and similarly depicts a mill and flags promoting the cabaret and bar through the gates. According to The Art Newspaper, there’s speculation about how the family obtained “Street scene in Montmartre,” considering many of van Gogh’s artworks at the time were gifted to his brother, Theo.
    Pending COVID-19 precautions, the work is slated for short exhibitions in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, and Paris throughout March.

    #painting
    #Vincent van Gogh

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    ‘Black Art: In the Absence of Light,’ a New Documentary, Celebrates the Rich Legacy of Black Art

    
    Art
    Documentary
    History

    #art history
    #film
    #video

    February 17, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    
    “I saw the need to build cultural awareness by helping to revise and redefine American art,” says the renowned professor, artist, and curator David Driskell in Black Art: In the Absence of Light. His words echo throughout the new HBO documentary—which was directed by Sam Pollard, with executive producers Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Jacqueline Glover—that uncovers the rich and underappreciated lineage of Black art.
    Structured chronologically, the feature-length film was released earlier this month and stems from Driskell’s revolutionary exhibition Two Centuries of Black American Art, which opened in 1979 at LACMA and surveyed more than 200 works dating back to 1750 from 63 artists. The formative show went on to major museums in Dallas, Atlanta, and Brooklyn, breaking attendance records despite its unenthusiastic response from some critics and institutions, including two in Chicago and Detroit that rejected its visit entirely.

    David Driskell in his studio
    Two Centuries of Black American Art, though, had a widespread and profound impact, which the documentary explores through interviews with artists working today. Many conversations begin with Driskell, who died last April from the coronavirus before Black Art‘s release. The film probes a vast archive from Chicago artists like Kerry James Marshall (previously) and Theaster Gates (previously), alongside Amy Sherald (previously), Kehinde Wiley (previously), and Jordan Casteel, among others.
    Through a multi-generational lens, the documentary examines the nuanced effects of these figures’ contributions to the broader field of contemporary American art as it shares footage of their practices and reactions to their works. For example, Fred Wilson unveils what’s hidden within museum collections, while Wiley and Sherald both comment on the profound experience of painting the Obamas’ official portraits. Additional insights from Studio Museum director and chief curator Thelma Golden, who also is a consulting producer, are woven throughout the film.

    Amy Sherald working on Michelle Obama’s portrait
    Beyond galleries and museums, much of Black Art centers on the value of representation and unearthing a narrative that’s been obscured or outright dismissed. In particular, it considers the role of collectives like Sprial, which was founded in 1963 by Romare Bearden and Norman Lewis in order to highlight the work generated by Black artists in the Civil Rights Movement. While Sprial drew attention to otherwise ignored projects, it was largely dominated by men, a problem Faith Ringgold speaks to as she describes being rejected from the group. Sprial only admitted one woman, Emma Amos.
    The final segment focuses on the importance of collectors investing in Black artists, in addition to the long history of spaces like Studio Museum and historically Black colleges and universities. These institutions continue to foster communities that honor the legacy of those who’ve come before while backing those forging new ground, prompting questions like this one from Theaster Gates: “We are part of a continued renaissance—it’s been happening. What I’m most excited about is, do we have the capacity to be great makers in the absence of light?”
    Black Art is streaming on HBO Max through March 17. Educators also can download a coinciding curriculum with research tools and discussion prompts, in addition to another filled with activities designed to spur creativity.

    Kerry James Marshall in his studio

    #art history
    #film
    #video

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    This Warty Pig Painting Is Thought To Be the Oldest Cave Art in the World

    
    Art
    History

    #animals
    #cave art
    #caves
    #Indonesia
    #painting

    January 14, 2021
    Grace Ebert

    Deep within Leang Tedongnge, a cave tucked away on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, archaeologists discovered this mulberry-hued painting of a warty pig and two hand silhouettes potentially belonging to the artist, which is now believed to be the oldest figurative work in the world. A study published in Science Advances this week says the impeccably preserved rendering is at least 45,500 years old, which predates previously discovered depictions of mythical creatures in the region. Those prior findings date back about 43,900 years.
    Questions remain about the exact age of the work and who made it. Archaeologists from Griffith University, who helmed the mission, utilized uranium-series dating to determine how old the speleothem, or mineral deposits, of the cave is rather than the actual painting. There’s also debate about whether modern humans are responsible for the renderings, a question that’s complicated by the fact that the only skeletal remains that date back at least 45,500 years in Sulawesi belong to early hominins.
    Dr. Adam Brumm, who co-authored the study, told The New York Times that researchers expect to discover similar artworks in the region, although the cave paintings are deteriorating at a rapid rate and could fade before they’re ever uncovered. “It is very worrying, and given the current situation the end result is likely to be the eventual destruction of this ice age Indonesian art, perhaps even within our lifetime,” Brumm said.

    #animals
    #cave art
    #caves
    #Indonesia
    #painting

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    Dive into Van Gogh Worldwide, a Digital Archive of More Than 1,000 Works by the Renowned Dutch Artist

    
    Art
    History

    #archive
    #painting
    #Vincent van Gogh

    November 12, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    “Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat,” September – October 1887, Paris, 4.5 × 37.2 centimeters, Van Gogh Museum
    A point of levity during the temporary shutdowns of museums and cultural institutions during the last few months has been the plethora of digital archives making artworks and historical objects available for perusing from the comfort and safety of our couches. A recent addition is Van Gogh Worldwide, a massive collection of the post-impressionist artist’s paintings, sketches, and drawings.
    From landscapes to self-portraits to classic still lifes, the archive boasts more than 1,000 artworks, which are sorted by medium, period, and participating institution—those include the Van Gogh Museum, Kröller-Müller Museum, the Rijksmuseum, the Netherlands Institute for Art History, and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Each digital piece is supported by details about the work, any restorations, and additional images.
    In his short lifetime that spanned just 37 years, the prolific Dutch artist created thousands of works, many of which he finished in his final months. His thick brushstrokes are widely recognized today, particularly in masterpieces like “The Starry Night,” although his sketches, drawings, and prints offer a nuanced look at his entire oeuvre.  (via My Modern Met)

    “Soup Distribution in a Public Soup Kitchen,” March 1883, ‘s Gravenhage, drawing, 56.5 × 44.4 centimeters, Van Gogh Museum
    “Montmartre: Behind the Moulin de la Galette,” late July 1887, Paris, 81 × 100 centimeters, Van Gogh Museum
    “Terrace of a café at night (Place du Forum),” c. 16 September 1888, Arles, painting, 80.7 × 65.3 centimeters, Kröller-Müller Museum
    “Head of a Skeleton with a Burning Cigarette,” 18 January 1886 – early February 1886, Antwerpen, painting, 32.3 × 24.8 centimeters, Van Gogh Museum

    #archive
    #painting
    #Vincent van Gogh

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    Immerse Yourself in the ‘Bob Ross Experience,’ a Permanent Exhibit Dedicated to the Beloved Painter

    
    Art
    History

    #interactive
    #museum
    #painting
    #tv

    November 5, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    Bob Ross on the set of The Joy of Painting. All images © Minnetrista, shared with permission
    In the small city of Muncie, Indiana stands a three-story house with white columns lining the front stoop. Now unassuming, the brick structure formerly featured a sign at its entrance reading “WIPB TV,” denoting the camera crew inside recording beloved icon Bob Ross, who filmed more than 400 episodes of The Joy of Painting in the space from 1983 to 1994. Today, the house has been transformed to honor the legacy of the PBS artist, whose joyful manner and positivity inspired his devoted fans for more than a decade.
    Formally called the Bob Ross Experience, the $1.2 million permanent exhibit and masterclass series pays homage to the painter by recreating the set where his soothing voice echoed instructions on blending pinks and blues for a sky or adding highlights. A rotating selection of his original paintings, like “Gray Mountain” and “Sunset Aglow,” line the home, which also features a 1980s-style living room complete with a plaid lounger. His personal items, including keys and hair pick, are on display, along with memorabilia celebrating Ross. Other than the artist’s palette knife, easel, and brushes, many of the artifacts are free to touch.

    The studio
    Opened in October, the museum is housed at the Lucius L. Ball House on the Minnetrista campus, a year-round gathering place with historic buildings, children’s entertainment, and workshops. About a half-mile up the street, the interactive exhibit continues in a building where “Certified Ross Instructors” teach masterclasses a few times each month. Participants are encouraged to embrace “happy little accidents,” just as Ross advocated in his episodes—many of which are available to watch on YouTube—as they paint serene landscapes, sunsets, and wildlife.
    In the coming months, Minnetrista organizers plan to convert the upper levels of the house into gallery and studio space, according to The New York Times. To follow updates on the renovations or book your own Bob Ross Experience, visit the organization’s site.

    Ross’s brushes
    The Lucius L. Ball House, where Ross filmed The Joy of Painting
    The entrance to the museum
    The living room of the Bob Ross Experience
    Artifacts on display in the museum
    A Certified Ross Instructor teaches a masterclass
    [embedded content]

    #interactive
    #museum
    #painting
    #tv

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    Evoking Historical Struggles, Hank Willis Thomas Examines the Intersection of Art and Activism

    
    Art
    History

    #activism
    #identity
    #public art
    #sculpture

    October 29, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    “If the Leader Only Knew” (2014). All images © Hank Willis Thomas, shared with permission
    Through his bronze sculptures and public installations, Hank Willis Thomas (previously) examines history’s repetitions. The Brooklyn-based artist critically considers identity, social justice, and pop culture by visually weaving together the remains of the past that surface in present day. “Art is a platform where histories meet,” he tells Colossal.
    Thomas’s sculptural pieces include a series of hands clenching a barbed wire fence, an oversized hair pick lodged into concrete, and a gleaming basketball balancing on players’ fingertips. No matter the medium, the interdisciplinary artist begins by examining advertisements and archival images and the messages those contain. “The transfer of a photograph into a three-dimensional expression allows the viewer to delve within a photograph and form an intimate understanding of the ideas it represents. That relationship inspires critical thought about the viewer themselves and the world around them,” he says.
    Many of Thomas’s artworks reflect on historical moments, like the Holocaust and South African apartheid, and explicitly connect them to contemporary struggles. Photographs of mid-century Germany inspire sculptures, like “If the Leader Only Knew,” that evoke images of migrants detained at the United States-Mexico border. He ties a glimpse of mining workers to “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” a cry to end state-sanctioned police violence, which informs the outstretched arms in “Raise Up.” “History repeats itself, and art is one cultural framework through which we engage with these profound moments, hopefully awakening our consciousness,” the Brooklyn-based artist says.

    “Raise Up” (2014)
    For Thomas, art and activism are inextricable. In recent months, he’s been considering their critical intersections particularly in relation to creative movements like Wide Awakes and For Freedoms, an organization he co-founded that has been spearheading public projects prior to the 2020 election. “Art is not unaffected in this moment; it is the context that unifies our experiences of joy and even those of growth and pain. Art is the human experience. I am also curious about how people and society will change, and I think of my existence within this change as a man, as a Black man,” he says.
    Thomas’s work will be part of the group exhibition Barring Freedom at the San José Museum of Art, which runs from October 31, 2020, to April 25, 2021. A book surveying his decades-long practice, titled Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal, is available on Bookshop, and you can stay updated with his latest projects on Twitter and Instagram.

    “All Power to All People” (2017). Photo by Steve Weinik
    “Die dompas moet brand! / The Dompas must burn!” (2013)
    Left: “Globetrotter” (2016), fiberglass, chameleon auto paint finish, 32 1/2 × 11 × 20 inches. Right: “Tip Off” (2014), polyester resin and chameleon paint, 43 × 13 × 11 inches
    “History of the Conquest” (2017), bronze. Installation view at Jazz Museum for Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp. Photo by Mike Smith

    #activism
    #identity
    #public art
    #sculpture

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    Artists Explore Self-Expression Through Bizarre and Whimsical Masks at Denver’s Vicki Myhren Gallery

    
    Art
    Design
    History

    #COVID-19
    #masks
    #sculpture

    October 26, 2020
    Christopher Jobson

    Felicia Murray, “Our Dying Reefs,” felted COVID mask, 2020. All photos shared with permission.
    There is perhaps no symbol more representative of contemporary life than the humble face mask. A simple health device crucial to saving millions of lives around the world from a deadly COVID-19 pandemic spread by invisible airborne pathogens, and yet an object that’s been quixotically politicized at the callous expense of humanity for the gain of an elite few. A new exhibition at the University of Denver’s Vicki Myhren Gallery approaches the lighter side of face coverings: the ancient tradition of masks as self-expression.
    Arranged on mannequins lining the gallery space, over 40 artists present interpretations of protective face wear in MASK, currently on view by appointment through December 1, 2020. The collection of whimsical, grotesque, quirky, and beautiful masks are medically non-functional but guaranteed to provoke a reaction through their novel construction. Several designs mimic natural filtration systems like foliage or a coral reef, while others use repurposed objects like zippers or pipes to create wholly unusual face sculptures.
    “Through this project, we hope to call attention to the significance and signification of masking as an issue of public health and demonstration of civic responsibility,” the gallery shares in a statement. “As the selected artists show, masking is also a mode of outward self-expression and opportunity for creativity. In turns utilitarian and fantastical, the wearable artworks shown demonstrate how makers and thinkers are engaging with the pandemic and applying their skills and individual styles to a newly important medium.”
    As part of the exhibition, Vicki Myhren Gallery has partnered with Denver’s RedLine Contemporary Art Center to fabricate free masks for distribution for those in need. (via Hyperallergic)

    Scottie Burgess, “Mask for Our Unseen Smiles” (2020)
    Serge Clottey, “Mask for Our Times” (2020) (photo by Nii Odzenma)
    Elizabeth Morisette, “Beak” (2020)
    Liz Sexton, Porcupinefish, 2020.
    Freyja Sewell, “Food” from Key Worker Series (2020)
    Matt Harris, “Hope” (2020); Cristina Rodo, “Covidus,” wet and needle-felted wool, 2020. Photo courtesy Emma Hunt.
    Kate Marling, “Classical Sculpture Mask” (2020)

    #COVID-19
    #masks
    #sculpture

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    Archaeologists Unearth a Nearly 2,000-Year-Old Cat Geoglyph Lounging on a Peruvian Hillside

    
    Art
    History

    #archaeology
    #cats

    October 20, 2020
    Grace Ebert

    A new discovery on the side of the Mirador Natural Hill in Peru reveals that common feline activities—namely sprawling out in the most comfortable position—have remained relatively stable throughout the last 2,000 years. This week, archaeologists unearthed a 120-foot-wide etching of a cat at the Nazca Lines site in Peru, which is home to a series of geoglyphs depicting a spider, monkey, hummingbird, whale, and fish. The feline rendering dates back to the Late Paracas period between 200-100 BC, making it the oldest in the area.
    With bulbous eyes and a striped tail, the now-faded creature was created by stripping the top layers of soil to reveal the lighter-colored bedrock beneath, with lines ranging from 12 to 16 inches thick. “The figure was barely visible and was about to disappear due to its location on a fairly steep slope and the effects of natural erosion,” the Peruvian Ministry of Culture said in a release.
    The area is located in the Nazca Desert, which is about 250 miles south of Lima, and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Although the cat predates Nazca culture—according to the ministry, feline renderings were common in Paracus society and found on textiles, ceramics, and other iconographic objects—similar prehistoric drawings influenced many of the geoglyphs found at the Nazca Lines site. (via Gizmodo)

    #archaeology
    #cats

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