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The Guardian

May 05 2017
AR Penck obituary
German artist whose primitive-style imagery, recalling cave art, reflected the harsh realities of the cold war

Ralf Winkler, better known as AR Penck, claimed never to have heard of conceptualism at the start of his five-decade career. Despite this, the German artist’s early Standart body of work, developed in isolation behind the Berlin Wall during the late 1960s, chimed with the emerging avant-garde tendencies of his western contemporaries. Like Lawrence Wiener and Joseph Kosuth, Penck, who has died aged 77, sought to develop a system uniting art and language that addressed complex sociopolitical themes; but unlike those American conceptualists, he did so using a primitive, almost childlike, imagery.

Paintings in the Standart series featured a rudimentary stick figure, a motif that would become central in his work. Blank-faced and stiff-bodied, they were often depicted with crudely drawn male genitals against an abstract background. A stick man dominates the frame of a 1971 painting, for example; daubed in black acrylic it stands against a riotous background of red circular splodges and rectangular markings. A couple of further primitive-style motifs interrupt the expressionist paint handling. An untitled work from 1968 shows a similar figure, stretched to appear almost comically thin. A circle, square, star and other symbols surround the human figure.

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The New York Times

May 05 2017
A Kaleidoscopic John Giorno Retrospective, Sprinkled Around New York
The poet, artist and activist is the subject of “Ugo Rondinone: I ♥ John Giorno,” which will open at locations across Manhattan in June.
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The Guardian

May 05 2017
‘My childhood was quite showbiz’: my advert for Bronco toilet paper
Andy Merriman remembers his last modelling job – for ‘scratchy, hard loo roll’

I don’t remember the ad coming out, but I remember this picture being taken. I was almost five and we were at a pond on Hampstead Heath, near where I grew up in north London. The man – who is supposed to be my dad – was an actor. I’m really not sure what fishing has to do with toilet paper.

I did child modelling from the age of two. My mum signed me up, but she wasn’t pushy about it. She was at home with me and I think being my chaperone was a bit of a hobby for her. My childhood was quite showbiz: my dad, Eric, was part of the first generation of radio and television comedy writers. Dave Allen used to come to stay with us. I remember having Sunday lunch with Tommy Cooper and he would do tricks between mouthfuls of food. It all seemed quite normal.

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The New York Times

May 05 2017
Art Review: A Fatigue-Free Guide to Frieze New York
Martha Schwendener and Will Heinrich select some of the best of the more than 200 galleries showing the wonderful, the curious — and the sure to be Instagrammed.
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The Guardian

May 05 2017
Giacometti, Thunderbirds and a fish-and-chip shop – the week in art

Tate Modern’s major retrospective of Alberto Giacometti opens this week, while Bruce Conner’s early video art is resurrected – all in your weekly dispatch

Giacometti
The sculptor who started as a surrealist, then turned to compassionate portrayals of the isolated human figure after the second world war, is one of the 20th century’s defining artists.
Tate Modern, London, 10 May–10 September

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The Guardian

May 05 2017
Tate acquires British impressionist painting Le Passeur for £1.5m

Tate Britain puts William Stott of Oldham’s 1881 work Le Passeur (The Ferryman) on public display after buying it for the nation

An important but little-known example of 19th-century British impressionism, depicting two girls gazing across a river as they wait for a ferryman, has been acquired for the nation.

Tate Britain has put on public display William Stott of Oldham’s Le Passeur (The Ferryman) (1881) which it has bought for £1.5m.

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The Guardian

May 05 2017
Death from above: how David Maisel turned 'the new Area 51' into land art

Dugway Proving Ground has been a testing ground for US military since the second world war, and now the mysterious site has been turned into visual art

While militarized landscapes may not have shifted in their general character – the Nevada Test Site, where nuclear devices have been tested since 1950, now hold monthly tours for morbid adventurers – there is a clear and present sense that global warming applies geopolitically as well as ecologically. Photographer David Maisel’s current and eerily timely body of work, titled Proving Ground, depicts, from the air, parts of an 800,000-acre chemical weapons testing facility in Utah’s Great Salt Lake Desert.

I’ve felt that these sites reflect us, reflect back the psyche of the society that made them

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The Guardian

May 05 2017
Minotaure Caressant Du Mufle La Main D’Une Dormeuse: Picasso embraces his ugly side

The minotaur is an awesome alter ego in the hands of the Spaniard, one used to express the extremes of his personal life

What an awesome alter ego the minotaur is, at least in the hands of Picasso in the 30s. Part-superhuman, part-sacrificial beast, the monster was used by the artist to express the extremes of his personal life.

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The Guardian

May 05 2017
Millennial pink: architecture of certain shade is catnip to urban Instagrammers

The world has become obsessed by pink hues, and architecture is no exception. So we gathered the best pictures of millennial pink buildings – from LA to Tokyo

Who knew colours had age groups? Fashion, apparently. For the last year or so, a particular kind of pink has been catnip to young people. Urban Instagrammers are now fervently on the case to track down architecture painted in the style world’s favourite colour.

The idea of “millennial pink” is, of course, farcical – as are the variety of explanations about why we apparently like it. Saying that, if someone can explain why these pictures of pink buildings are so visually satisfying, please comment below.

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The Guardian

May 05 2017
George Eliot: is this a new portrait of the author as a young woman?

The long face, the flinty eyes and the open book in the background – experts believe this is a sketch of the young Eliot and that it has a romantic story of its own to tell

In February last year a London picture dealer called Andrew Sim was clicking through the online auction catalogue for a saleroom in South Oxfordshire, hoping that something might turn up while knowing that it probably wouldn’t. In among the wavy mirrors and scuffed-up sofas, his attention was caught by a chalk pastel portrait of a young woman. “My first thought was that it was from the 1840s – a period that interests me because it is so undervalued,” says Sim. More specifically it looked a bit like the work of George Richmond, the pre-eminent portrait painter of the period who did everyone from Charlotte Brontë to Charles Darwin. Richmond, though, was always more than a mere memorialist. Drawing on the grammar of physiognomy, his talent was for producing portraits in which the inner life of a sitter might be read from the cast of a glance, the bulge of a nose or tilt of the chin.

Related: The 100 best novels: No 21 – Middlemarch by George Eliot (1871-2)

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The Art Newspaper

May 05 2017
Richard Mosse wins Prix Pictet award
Richard Mosse, Helliniko Olympic Arena (2016), Athens, from the series Heat Maps (2016-17) (Image: © Richard Mosse, Prix Pictet 2017)
The Irish-born photographer Richard Mosse has won the Prix Pictet award, for his series of black-and-white images entitled Heat Maps (2016-17). Now based in Leeds, Mosse used a military-grade thermal camera that detects body heat to depict sites on the journeys faced by migrants in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Regarded as a conceptual documentary photographer, his work was shown earlier this year in the Barbican Centres Curve gallery. 

The prize was presented last night (4 May) at Londons Victoria and Albert Museum by Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary General and honorary president of Prix Pictet, an annual photographic award funded by the Swiss wealth management company Pictet. This year the theme was Space, focussing on the global problems of the environment and sustainability. Annan said that the entrants presented visions of people carrying on against dreadful odds, but there is hope that the damage caused to the lives of the vulnerable can be reversed.

An exhibition of all 12 shortlisted photographers is opening at the V&A tomorrow (6-28 May). The Prix Pictet show will then travel to venues in Zurich, Tokyo, Moscow, Brussels, San Diego and Rome. 
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The Art Newspaper

May 05 2017
Three to see: London
Installation view of Annette Messager's Désir (Desire) (2009) and Papier peint utérus (Uterus Wallpaper) (2017) at Marian Goodman Gallery, London  (© Annette Messager; Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery)
Annette Messager may now be in her 70s but shes more exuberant than ever. In Avec et sans raisons (until 27 May) at Marian Goodman Gallery the everyday turns nasty and body parts run riot in this gathering of rumbustious recent work. Floppy figures made from flaccid stockings cling pathetically to outsized objectsscissors, a hammer, earphones, a handbag that are sown out of shiny black leatherette and dangle from the ceiling, with their sadomasochistic undertones amplified by an infestation of netted rats at floor level. Barbie dolls are chopped up, painted black and pierced by hooks, while a wooden Pinocchio doll is strung up and engulfed by his own stuffed fabric entrails. The female body dominates throughout this exhibition with an often hilarious ferocity. One room is lined with wallpaper printed with delicately coloured uteruses, some with fallopian tubes that end in a flicking middle finger.    

Not only does David Batchelors work revel in intense colour, it is also concerned with examining how we perceive and respond to its retina-sizzling qualitiesespecially in our technological age. These investigations continue in his current show Psychogeometry (until 11 June) at Matts Gallery. Here, in Batchelors first-ever wall drawings, mists of fluorescent colour glow around the edges of rectangular stencilled blocks of matt black, conjuring up a vivid experience of darkness and light without the need of electricity. The environment is further complicated by a series of freestanding painted sculptures made from squares, circles and angular corners cut out from the cheapest builders yard timber, plywood and MDF. 

An important and tightly curated show, Double Take (until 27 May) at Skarstedt Gallery examines how the practice of appropriating existing photographic images has evolved from the so-called Pictures Generation of the late 1970s and early 1980sRichard Prince, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawlerto be reinterpreted and expanded by a new generation of younger artists. In a line-up spanning more than half a century, it is fascinating to plot the many and various ways in which printed pictures plucked from our ever-proliferating visual glut have been reproduced, reframed and then reintroduced back into our collective cultural consciousness, armed with additional message and meaning.  

For more on these three shows, see Louisa Bucks Exhibitions: from Annette Messagers uterus wallpaper to David Batchelors mists of colour in London, via an African art odyssey in Paris
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The Art Newspaper

May 05 2017
Three to see: New York
Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons (Image: Courtesy of Comme des Garçons. Photograph by © Paolo Roversi)
The Costume Institutes spring exhibition celebrates the Japanese avant-garde designer of the fashion house Comme des Garons, only the second living designer to have a monographic exhibition at the museum since Yves Saint Laurent in 1983 (until 4 September). Comprising around 150 womenswear designs dating from the houses debut in the early 1980s to the most recent collection, the show explores previously undisclosed elements of the designers career (Kawakubo rarely gives interviews or discusses the concept of her collections). Although she still rejects the label of artist for herself, preferring the epithet clothes maker, shes begun to consider fashion as art, says the curator Andrew Bolton, who collaborated with the designer in organising the show. 

As part of the biennial Hugo Boss Prize held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museumin addition to the $100,000Anicka Yi is showing an installation that includes olfactory art, a long-held interest. In this case, the central scent, named Immigrant Caucus, is based on chemical compounds drawn from Asian American women and carpenter ants (until 5 July). Hopefully the installation inspires a wide and unpredictable range of responses, but one thing I think visitors might turn over in their minds after seeing the show is the way sensory perception is powerfully influenced by cultural forces and assumptions, rather than being purely biological in nature, says the shows curator, Katherine Brinson. 

Originally making pristine, if relatively rigid, geometric abstractions, the late artist Lygia Papenow one of the most important figures in Brazilian Modern artreached artistic maturity under Brazils military dictatorship, from 1964 to 1985. About halfway through Lygia Pape: a Multitude of Forms at the Met Breuer (until 23 July), Papes first career survey in the US, viewers encounter a projected video of a vast white cloth cut with holes from which dozens of smiling faces poke through. Titled Divisor (Divider), this participatory work, first staged in 1968 in Rio de Janeiro, is an encapsulation of some of Brazilian Neo-Concretisms main claims and ambitions: to make the activation of space a political metaphor. 
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The Guardian

May 05 2017
Giacometti, Syria and Richard Long: this week’s best UK exhibitions

Track the evolution of the Swiss visionary’s art, explore the worst humanitarian crisis of our time and take in the pioneering ecologist’s landscapes

There are two Alberto Giacomettis. One is the revered, perhaps even over-revered, visionary whose tall, thin figures and heavily expressive portraits helped to define the anguished culture of postwar Europe. Yet before he became an existentialist, Giacometti was a surrealist. His sculptures from the 1930s are sensual, violent and often shocking. How did Giacometti evolve from a young sensationalist into a mature artist of the human condition? And does he still have lessons to teach the art of our century?
Tate Modern, SE1, 10 May to 10 September

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The Guardian

May 05 2017
Petals, paintings and prog-hating punks: Pink Floyd's career – in pictures

A new exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum, London, chronicles the music, design and staging of Pink Floyd’s career – from the first flourish of creativity in the 60s through to the present day

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The Guardian

May 04 2017
Music, politics and cricket: the rise of black British identity – in pictures

Using archive news photography, Eddie Chambers’s new book examines how African-Caribbean immigrants to the UK fought racism to carve out a new kind of selfhood

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The Guardian

May 04 2017
Tracking the 'render ghosts' – tech podcast

Artist James Bridle reveals his quest to trace the anonymous faces appearing on hoardings around our cities

Artist and writer James Bridle has been preoccupied for the last decade by a strange mission: to find the real-life counterparts of the people who appear in the architectural renderings that appear on hoardings around our cities. These photos were probably taken for a stock database, and now they live forever, suspended in the imagination of a space. James, who’s now based in Athens, calls them the “Render Ghosts”, and his long-running search – culminating in a recent installation in London – makes for a fascinating story about art and civilisation, at a time when the carefully sculpted ideals of our urban future are coming into conflict with the real lives people lead in cities.

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artforum.com

May 04 2017
FILM: Leaks and Geeks
Andrew Hultkrans on Laura Poitras’s Risk
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The Guardian

May 04 2017
Taj Mahal gets a facelift – and slaps on a mudpack

Pollution means India’s most famous monument is in urgent need of a thorough clean, but tour operators fear that the work may put off visitors

The Taj Mahal, Agra’s near four-century-old monument to love, is beginning to show its age. Air pollution is turning its ivory-white surface yellow. The heavily contaminated river Yamuna, on the banks of which the Taj sits, is a breeding ground for insects that leave green patches on its marble domes.

The past two years have seen a flurry of restoration work to the monument, built in 1631 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, as a tomb for his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Scaffolding around the outer minarets was prominent in the background of photographs when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited India in April 2016. Less clear from a distance is the precise treatment being used to clean the modern wonder: mud packs, similar to those slapped on faces around the world, and in pursuit of the same youthful effect.

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The Guardian

May 04 2017
Loo with a view: rare Victorian outdoor toilet restored to former glory

English Heritage completes repair of ‘gentrified decorate garden privy’ at South Yorkshire stately home

A historic view with a loo has been recreated, with the rescue and restoration of a Victorian outdoor toilet in the gardens of Brodsworth Hall in South Yorkshire. The toilet, described as “a rare surviving example of a gentrified decorate garden privy”, is a far rarer survival than the listed mansion itself.

The little brick pavilion housing the earth closet toilet – which had disappeared under a mound of ivy – has been restored by English Heritage, complete with its discreet screens of yew hedges and surround of tactfully strongly scented plants, including orange blossom, scented geranium and roses.

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The New York Times

May 04 2017
Art and Museums in NYC This Week
Our guide to new art shows, and some that will be closing soon.
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The New York Times

May 04 2017
Bruce Nauman Video Works Join the Philadelphia Museum of Art
The museum and the Pinault Collection have jointly acquired Mr. Nauman’s “Contrapposto Studies, I through VII” and “Walks In Walks Out.”
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The Art Newspaper

May 04 2017
MoMA collection takes a Paris vacation
Opus 217. Against the Enamel of a Background Rhythmic with Beats and Angels, Tones, and Tints, Portrait of M. Félix Fénéon in 1890 (1890) by Paul Signac (Photo: courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art and © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP
In a landmark exchange, the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) is lending 200 works of art to the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris for an exhibition opening this autumn. Etre Moderne: Le MoMA Paris (11 October-5 march 2018) will present key works from all six MoMA departments, including examples by Paul Czanne, Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso and Ellsworth Kelly. Some works, like Andy Warhols 32-part Campbell's Soup Cans (1962), have never before been shown in France. The show will occupy the entire Paris museum and includes documentary materials chronicling MoMAs acquisition history.

Suzanne Pag, the Paris foundations artistic director, says the aim is to question the role of a museum of Modern art. The definitions are changing, she says, noting that the cannon has expanded beyond Western art. The rest of the world exists too. To stress the point, the final section of the exhibition will be devoted to contemporary artists like Shigetaka Kurita, the Japanese designer who created the 176 original emojis.

The show is another cross-institutional coup for the Fondation Louis Vuitton. In March, it closed a blockbuster exhibition of 130 works from the Sergei Shchukin collection borrowed from the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and the State Hermitage Museum. That show drew more than 600,000 visitors through early January before its run was extended.

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The Art Newspaper

May 04 2017
Museums show limited interest in borrowing Parthenon Marbles
Mikhail Piotrovsky of the State Hermitage Museum and Neil MacGregor at the opening of the display of Ilissos, which was lent to St Petersburg in 2014
The British Museum has received only a single request to borrow one of the Parthenon Marbles since the sensational loan of a sculpture to Russia in December 2014. The pediment sculpture of the river god Ilissos (around 438-432BC) was lent for six weeks to the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, where it was seen by 136,000 visitors. It was the first time that any of the Parthenon Marbles had left the British Museum since arriving in London in 1807.

Neil MacGregor, who masterminded the Russian loan when director of the British Museum, had suggested a few years earlier that the Marbles might eventually be lent to venues in China and Africa. Asked in a debate in 2009 about returning the Parthenon sculptures to Greece, MacGregor responded: The real question is about how the Greek and British governments can work together so that the sculptures can be seen in China and Africa.

But following the 2014 loan to Russia, the museum has received just one formal request to borrow the sculpturesfrom Amsterdams Nieuwe Kerk, a Golden Age church now used as an exhibition venue, which asked to borrow Ilissos for a display earlier this year. The request was turned down for reasons that have not been disclosed.

There had also been three informal approaches from museums to borrow individual Marbles, but none led to formal requests, presumably because the British Museum indicated they would be unlikely to be successful. Museums in Greece, which has long claimed the Marbles, have not requested loans, since that would mean acknowledging the British Museums ownership. Nevertheless, it comes as a surprise that other international museums, such as New Yorks Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Louvre in Paris, have not done so. Even more surprisingly, no UK museum has submitted a formal request.

After the loan of Ilissos to the Hermitage, a British Museum spokeswoman said that the trustees will consider any request for any part of the collection to be borrowed subject to the usual considerations on condition, and providing the borrower can guarantee its safe return. Around 20 of the 87 Marbles were deemed fit enough to travel on conservation grounds.
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The Art Newspaper

May 04 2017
Giacometti’s Women of Venice sculptures restored and reunited for Tate Modern show
Conservators used a laser to remove the brownish-orange shellac that had been applied to Giacometti’s original plasters (Image: © Alinari/Roger-Viollet)
Bronze editions of Alberto Giacomettis Women of Venice can be found in major museums across the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. But what happened to the six plaster originals, first shown in the French pavilion at the 1956 Venice Biennale, that were used to cast these bronzes?

In pieces and too fragile to go on display, they sat in the storeroom of the Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti in Paris for decades. Tomorrow (10 May), thanks to the efforts of a team of conservators, the restored pieces will go on display together for the first time in more than 60 years at Londons Tate Modern. They form the centrepiece of the museums first major UK retrospective of the Swiss artist in 20 years.

The painstaking restoration of the Women of Venice plasters took around a year and involved a team of conservators, including specialists in plaster and armature, says the foundations director and co-curator of the Tate show, Catherine Grenier. The team faced two main challenges. The first involved using a laser to remove the brownish-orange shellac applied to reinforce the plasters surface before the casting process. The goal was to recover both the original paint, as Giacometti painted some of the plaster figures, and tool marks that had been lost under the shellac. Lena Fritsch, Tate Modern associate curator and the co-curator of the show, says the dark-brown paint gives them an archaic effect unlike some of his earlier, brightly coloured painted plasters such as Head of a Woman [Flora Mayo] from 1926.

Reassembling the sculptures, which had to be cut into pieces to be cast, and stabilising them so they could stand safely on their own was the second obstacle and, in Greniers eyes, possibly the more challenging of the two, especially as any intervention needs to be reversible in accordance with current thinking in the conservation field. Grenier stresses that the sculptures, although restored, remain fragile and so will not be shown often at their premises in Paris. Other plaster works treated ahead of the show include another statue of a standing female figure, Woman Leoni (1947-58), and The Nose (around 1947-49).

Women of Venice, modelled after the artists wife, Annette, represent the culmination of Giacomettis search for the adequate representation of the female form, says Fritsch. He made ten plaster figures in total (only nine were cast in bronze): six were shown in Venice and three were exhibited in his solo show at the Kunsthalle in Bern, which coincided with the Biennale. The Tate show features eight of these plaster works.

They are being displayed near a series of sketches Giacometti made of Egyptian funerary sculpturea major inspiration for his Women of Venice series. You can see the influence in the figures stance and large feet, Fritsch says. Grenier adds: As usual, he took inspiration from both the modern and the ancient, namely from the model, his wife Annette, and from ancient Egyptian statuary. He was mixing the realthe portraitwith the antique Egyptian figures. Showing the diversity of Giacomettis influencesantiquities, Surrealism, Cubism, Post-Cubismis one of the key objectives of the show. He was a real innovator who experimented with a range of styles and looked at different art historical sources and materials, Fritsch says.

Another aim is to stress the materiality of his practice. People tend to associate Giacometti with his bronzes, particularly here in the UK. We want to show his interest in many different materials and textures, Fritsch says, adding that the 250-piece exhibition includes bronzes, plaster works and paintings. It also features a selection of drawingsmany of which have not been exhibited beforeon loan from the foundations sizeable collection of works on paper by the artist. The foundation is the largest lender to the exhibition.

We hope the exhibition will help to reassert Giacomettis place along with big names like Matisse, Picasso and Degas as one of the great painter-sculptors of the 20th century, Fritsch says.

Alberto Giacometti, Tate Modern, 10 May-10 September
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The Art Newspaper

May 04 2017
How Matisse helped Diebenkorn calm his ‘rage at human nature’
Henri Matisse, Studio, Quai Saint-Michel (1916) (© Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York) and Richard Diebenkorn, Window (1967) (© the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation)
Anyone passingly familiar with the art of Richard Diebenkorn knows of his acknowledged debt to Henri Matisse. The exhibition Matisse/Diebenkorn at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMoMA) tallies that debt as no other curatorial project has before, thematically grouping 100 paintings (40 by Matisse, 60 by Diebenkorn) and a few drawings by the two, who never met.

Despite the bounty of exemplary works that it contains, Matisse/Diebenkorn generates an uneasy mood that we might call the anxiety of corroborating influence. It argues most persuasively that Diebenkorn took permission from Matisse to luxuriate in colour (although a room full of charcoal and ink drawings by both artists presents the only real risk of confusing the two).

Wall texts and catalogue essays convey that Diebenkorn (1922-93) saw in Matisse (1869-1954) an authoritative precursor to his own ambivalence about Modernist problems such as expressive sincerity, formal resolution and the ratio of self-knowledge to self-invention that works of art appear to embody.

On almost all such pivot-points, Matisse appears the more poised of the two artistsmore trustful of himself and more confident of the cultural ancestry from which he descended. Diebenkorn had his first formative encounter with Matisses art in 1943, while still a Stanford University undergraduate.

Recognising his gift for painting, a faculty member arranged for Diebenkorn to visit the Palo Alto home of Michael and Sarah Stein (the brother and sister-in-law of Gertrude Stein), who were major collectors of Matisses work. Matisses 1916 portrait of Sarah, which SFMoMA owns, appears in the first room of the exhibition, serving as a talisman of Diebenkorns great moment of discovery.

A Marines enlistment programme permitted Diebenkorn to complete his Stanford studies before going east for basic training. Stationed in Virginia in 1944 with his new wife Phyllis, he visited the Phillips Collection in nearby Washington, DC, at every opportunity. He was on the verge of being shipped to the Pacific to participate in the planned invasion of Japan when the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by American atomic bombs forced Japans surrender. The grim probability that his life had been saved by humanitys most horrific invention never left Diebenkorn, according to Jane Livingston, the co-editor of the recently released four-volume catalogue raisonn of his work.

A painting from the Phillips Collection called Studio, Quai Saint-Michel (1916) by Matisse comes into view at the exhibitions entrance, appropriate to its seminal impact on the young Diebenkorn. It invites visitors to locate echoes of Matisse throughout Diebenkorns work, but few appear in the American artists early abstractions in the same gallery. These works present roiling colour and line from which it seems any subject might emerge. Far more readily than anything we see in Matisse, they evoke a readiness to follow any lead that the tussle with materials might suggest.

When, in the mid 1950s, Diebenkorn followed the lead of his friend and mentor David Park (1911-60) in renouncing abstract improvisation for images inspired by everyday creative life, he also carried forward Matisses treatment of space as a terrain in which subjects and inventions may intersect.

With a few glorious exceptions (notably the imposing Seated Woman from 1967), Diebenkorns pictures incorporating human figures suffer in comparisons with Matisse. Diebenkorns figures, done from memory or imagination, tend to look as lifeless as furniture. Ironically, an empty chair, recurrent in Diebenkorns workanother borrowing from Matisses Studio, Quai Saint-Michelelectrically evokes his restless authorship, wish for detachment, even his inevitable death.

My second visit to the show brought to mind a striking remark by the English critic Cyril Connolly: It is closing time in the gardens of the West and from now on an artist will be judged only by the resonance of his solitude or the quality of his despair.

Matisse/Diebenkorn seems inadvertently to position the two artists within and without the gardens of the West, which includes a pictorial tradition capable of nourishing innovation, hope for civilised life and a promise of Arcadian respite. Some of Matisses paintings of the 1910s here, such as View of Notre Dame (1914), Goldfish and Palette (1914) and French Window at Collioure (1914) continue to stun by their asperity and uncertain finish. But thereafter his pictures, even withdrawn indoor scenes such as Interior, Flowers and Parakeets (1924), resume his dream of art as consolation for the difficulties of life.

On the other hand, the constrained turbulence of Diebenkorns early abstractions, the implicit anomie of his finest figurative paintings and even the gate-like lattices of the great Ocean Park paintings all give off vibrations of expulsion from some garden.

Livingston, the catalogue raisonn scholar, took her audience at the San Francisco Art Institute by surprise when she recently claimed that Diebenkorns deep preoccupations were rage at human nature and grief at history. Yet the remark must ring true to all who knew the man even slightly, as I did.

The shows crescendo comes with an array of Diebenkorns Ocean Park works. With these paintings, beginning in the late 1960s, Diebenkorn found an idiom in which to dramatise painting as a vital response to its time. The series hums with tension between the materials at handbrushes, paint, charcoal and the palimpsest that the blank canvas had become by mid-centuryand the urgency of a perilous future.

Kenneth Baker retired in 2015 after 30 years as resident art critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. He is a regular contributor to The Art Newspaper

Matisse/Diebenkorn, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, until 29 May
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The Art Newspaper

May 04 2017
Winner winner chicken dinner: Bridget Donahue awarded Frieze Frame Prize
Bridget Donahue's booth with works by Susan Cianciolo, winner of the Frame Stand Prize at Frieze New York 2017 (Photo: © Casey Fatchett)
Bridget Donahue gallerys presentation of works by Susan Cianciolo (B25) has won Friezes prize for best in show at the fairs Frame section, which features galleries under eight years old. The award carries a $7,500 honorarium, sponsored by Stella Artois.

The booth includes a series of drawings, collages and sculptures that Cianciolo made over the last 20 years and is timed to coincide with the current Whitney Biennial. Earlier in the biennials run, the museum re-staged her 2001 project Run Restaurant for several days. Cianciolo, who is also a fashion designer, was inspired to create the installation for Frieze by a visit to a Milan eatery with her dealer, Bridget Donahue.

Donahue says the works on show have all lived lives of their own before this presentation. They didnt come straight out of the studio to here. Theyve all been on a journey, she says, noting that they've been included in other presentations of Cianciolos work.

Galeria Jaqueline Martins's booth in the Frame section, featuring works by the Brazilian artist Hudinilson Urbano Jr (B21), received a special commendation.
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The Art Newspaper

May 04 2017
Magnum Photos celebrates 70 years in New York with a show of 250 works
It is the most famous photography agency in the world. Just the nameMagnumconjures up images that echo back to its founding in 1947 by a group including Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa. Risk-taking, excellence, machismo, glamourand of course, champagne. Being invited to join still makes any photographer a member of the ultimate club.

To celebrate the agencys 70th anniversary, the International Center of Photography in New York (ICP) is hosting a major exhibition. The result of five years of research in Magnums archives and beyond, the show will include 250 photographs alongside many of the magazines, newspapers, even corporate reports, in which the pictures appeared. The rediscovery and restoration of Charles Harbutts picture bandita slot machine he used to randomly generate groups of three images for the 1969 group exhibition America in Crisis at the Riverside Museum in New Yorkis just one highlight.

The show is organised by Clment Chroux, senior curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, along with Pauline Vermare, associate curator at the ICP, and the independent expert Clara Bouveresse.

The show confirms a number of myths. Magnums membership is still largely white and maleonly 12 of its 91 members (70 are living) are womenalthough this is changing. The agency is a hotbed of egos, Chroux says, and much has been written about the disputes that periodically rock it. But such creative tension shows the agency is still alive, Bouveresse says.

The show and catalogue put the agencys work in the context of wider world events across three historical periods (1947-68, 1969-89 and 1990-present) that have shaped the agency and the publics reception of its work.

The show will travel to the Ara Pacis Museum in Rome in February 2018 and C/O Berlin the following May.

Jonas Bendiksens Satellites: Villagers Collecting Scrap from a Crashed Spacecraft, Altai Territory (2000) 


Magnum is a self-selecting club. Prospective candidates are first nominated and, if confirmed, become members in a process that takes around four years. Jonas Bendiksen, a Norwegian photographer born in 1977, was nominated in 2004 and became a full member in 2008. He started as an intern in the agencys London office but moved to Russia in 1998. Over the next seven years, he began exploring some of the numerous statesAbkhazia, Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakhcreated after the breakup of the Soviet Union. This photograph was taken in the southern Siberian state of the Altai territory. It shows a crashed Russian spacecraft surrounded by a cloud of butterflies. While villagers examined the wreckage for scrap, environmentalists worried about the impact of rocket fuel in the wilderness. The image is an unsettling mix of magic and menace.


Magnum Manifesto, International Center of Photography, New York, 26 May-3 September
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The Art Newspaper

May 04 2017
A life’s work: Ellsworth Kelly’s last paintings
Blue Black Red (2015) by Ellsworth Kelly (Photo: courtesy of Matthew Marks Gallery)
Some artists make a virtue of variety. Ellsworth Kelly made a virtue of consistency, as can be seen in an exhibition of the final nine paintings the artist finished before he died in December 2015, on show at the Matthew Marks gallery (Ellsworth Kelly: Last Paintings, 5 May-24 June). Like much of Kellys work, the pictures revisit and expand on favourite motifs, including the rainbow-band Spectrum series he inaugurated in 1953. Next door, a concurrent show of 16 of his plant drawings made between 1949 and 2007 reveal his abiding interest in nature and form. Kellys commitment to his themes is something thats very important about his work, says one of the gallerys directors, Jacqueline Tran. He was very consistent throughout, and collectors and museums dont necessarily privilege one period over another.
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The Art Newspaper

May 04 2017
NY hearts Giorno
Ugo Rondinone: I Love John Giorno installation View of We All Go Back To Where We Belong by Michael Stipe (2011) and Graphic Identity by Scott King Photo: Andre Morin, © Michael Stipe and Scott King, Courtesy of Palais de Tokyo)
An ambitious citywide festival celebrating the life and work of the poet and artist John Giorno, part of the Beat Generation of writers who collaborated with artists such as Andy Warhol, is due to launch on 21 June across New York. The 13-venue project, marking Giornos 80th birthday, is organised by his husband, the Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. The New Museum, Rubin Museum of Art and Swiss Institute are among the venues participating in Ugo Rondinone: I John Giorno. Portraits of Giorno by Elizabeth Peyton and Verne Dawson will go on show at White Columns as part of the project while Rirkrit Tiravanijas JG Reads (2008), a film of Giorno performing his poems, will be presented at The Kitchen space. I John Giorno is a kaleidoscopic exhibition about the life and work of US poet and Tibetan Buddhist John Giorno whose rich and stimulating life has woven many threads of American culture and spirituality, Rondinone says in a statement.
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The New York Times

May 04 2017
Review: ‘Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait’ Puts Praise Above Art
Though this documentary looks at the artist and his work, it is more concerned with layering on the admiration.
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The New York Times

May 04 2017
Review: In ‘Burden,’ an Artist Who Is Tortured. Literally.
A documentary looks at Chris Burden, who had himself shot, crucified and more, all for the sake of his performance art.
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The New York Times

May 04 2017
Show Us Your Wall: Finding Peace in a Swirl of Color
Ashley Bouder’s dancing at New York City Ballet is bold and full of technical wizardry; some of her artwork reflects that.
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The New York Times

May 04 2017
Beyond Frieze: Fridge and Other Art Fairs This Weekend
A sampling of more shows around town, including several in Brooklyn.
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The New York Times

May 04 2017
Art Review: A European Art Fair Freshens Up for Its First Spring on Park Avenue
In town now is Tefaf, an art fair where Thomas Hart Benton is a showstopper and you can trade your string of pearls for a wearable Giacometti.
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The New York Times

May 04 2017
Art Review: The Met’s Rei Kawakubo Show, Dressed for Defiance
Ms. Kawakubo does not stick to the middle ground, pushing her work beyond form in this Costume Institute exhibition.
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The Guardian

May 04 2017
Prix Pictet 2017: Richard Mosse wins prize with heat-map shots of refugees

The Irishman takes the prestigious award with his spectral images of migrants, taken with a camera deemed a weapon under international law

The Irish photographer Richard Mosse has been awarded the 2017 Prix Pictet for his series Heat Maps, made using a military camera that is classified as a weapon under international law. The hi-tech surveillance device, designed to detect body heat from a distance of over 30km, was used by Mosse to track the journeys of refugees from the Middle East and north Africa.

Related: Red alert: Kofi Annan on the photos that capture our choking planet

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The New York Times

May 04 2017
An Irish Photographer’s Images of Refugee Camps Win the Prix Pictet
“Heat Maps 2016-17,” Richard Mosse’s thermal-camera images of camps across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, captured this Swiss photography prize.
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