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The Art Newspaper

Jul 18 2017
Tate Impressionist blockbuster reunites six of Monet’s Houses of Parliament pictures
Claude Monet, Houses of Parliament (around 1900). (Courtesy of Art Institute of Chicago)
For an exhibition on the Impressionists in London, Tate will be reassembling six of Monets views of the Houses of Parliament. This is the first time so many from the series have been brought together in Europe since 1973.
 
The show, Impressionists in London: French Artists in Exile (1870-1904), is due to open at Tate Britain in November and then travel to the Petit Palais in Paris next year. The exhibition will begin with Monet and Pissarro fleeing the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 to come to London.
 
In announcing the show, at an event today (18 July) at the Savoy Hotel (where Monet stayed on later visits, after he had achieved success), Alex Farquharson, the director of Tate Britain, said that the subject now resonates with current events: It was an important moment in Anglo-European relations, at a time when Britain became a place of refuge for those escaping conflict.
 
Among the Monets will be an 1871 view of Hyde Park (Rhode Island School of Design). Caroline Corbeau-Parsons, the exhibitions curator, points out that the artist was struck by Londons large parks, where (unlike in Paris) one was allowed to walk on the grass. Although the picture is criss-crossed by paths, none of the dozens of strollers appear to be using them.
 
Sisley will be represented by several paintings, including View of the Thames from Charing Cross Bridge (1874). It is being lent by Andrew Brownsword, a British entrepreneur and philanthropist who made his wealth from the greetings card business.
 
Pissarro returned to London in 1892 and two of his pictures will be returning to the UK for the first time. A view from the window of his house on Kew Green shows St Annes Church and its churchyard, where the artists Zoffany and Gainsborough are buried. It will be on loan from Professor Mark Kaufman, a Russian businessman. A landscape of the Rhododendron Dell in Kew Gardens is also coming from a private collection.
 
Another Pissarro loan will be of Kew Green (Muse dOrsay, Paris), which includes a cricket match. Corbeau-Parsons points out that Pissarro was fascinated by cricket, and his descendants are still very keen on the game.
 
Among the later Monets will be an almost abstract 1901 view of the lights of Leicester Square (on loan from the collection of the deceased Swiss collector Jean Planque and his wife Suzanne). From the same visit, there will be two riverscapes of Charing Cross Bridge, done from the Savoy, both on loan from private collections. Monet was captivated by the fog of London, which inspired his series of river views in very varied conditions.

Six of Monets 1903-4 pictures of the Houses of Parliament painted from across the river at St Thomas Hospital will be the finale. These are coming from museums in Brooklyn, Chicago, New York, Le Havre, Paris and Krefeld (the Krefeld loan was only confirmed yesterday). Another from the series sold for $40m in 2015, which gives an idea of the financial value of the six loans. Corbeau-Parsons promises that the views of Parliament will represent the tour de force of the exhibition.

 Impressionists in London: French Artists in Exile (1870-1904), Tate Britain, 2 November-29 April 2018 (sponsored by EY) and Petit Palais, Paris, 21 June-14 October 2018
 
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The Art Newspaper

Jul 18 2017
Depression and radicalisation: images reveal plight of displaced male refugees
Edward Jonkler, Untitled (2017). A man in a separate sealed section of the Vial camp on the Greek island of Chios, that is supposed to be for unaccompanied minors. (Courtesy of Edward Jonkler)
A series of images documenting the plight of male refugees, and the psychological problems they face, are due to go on show in the Education Room at the Saatchi Gallery in London this week (The Lost Men of Syria, 20 July-9 August). The works are by the London-based photojournalist Edward Jonkler, who has chronicled the experiences of men held in refugee camps and asylum centres across the Middle East and Europe.
 
Jonkler spent time in the former refugee camp in Calais known as the jungle, which he visited on 12 occasions. He also went to Lesbos in Greece with the London-based non-profit, The Worldwide Tribe, which is behind the current exhibition. He also worked in camps and unofficial settlements in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan.
 
The Rukban camp, located in Syria near the Jordanian border, proved particularly challenging. In Rukban, there are approximately 75,000 refugees living in tents and mud houses in appalling conditions, under constant attack by the Islamic state, and they can't go anywhere. Access is tightly controlled and we had a large military escort, he tells The Art Newspaper.

But the worst conditions outside of Syria I've seen are on the Greek island of Chios, where approximately 3,000 Syrians and Iraqis are waiting for an asylum decision or have already been refused. Many consider suicide and the limbo they are held in is unbearable for most, he adds.


 
Jonklers images highlight the mental health issues surfacing in the camps where the men, formally the family breadwinners and business owners, feel bereft. Mental health is definitely the most pressing problem, but this takes many forms. Ultimately, the most prevalent issue is getting people productive again; when they have spent their whole lives working hard and suddenly are unable to do anything, he says. Substance abuse is subsequently prevalent.
 
Potential radicalisation is another concern. I'm sure governments are aware of the radicalisation risk in camps there isn't enough of a behavioural science-led effort to tackle the psychological and sociological issues and effects on refugees themselves. If problems around integration were looked at with more of a mental health angle, we would be immediately focusing on rehabilitation in a more pragmatic and positive way, which would help everyone, Jonkler says.
 
According to the International Organisation for Migration, a UN-affiliated body, around 550,000 Syrians entered Europe after travelling by sea from Turkey to Greece during 2015 and 2016.
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The Art Newspaper

Jul 18 2017
Crowdfunding success makes Quai Branly's garden (wall) grow
The garden wall at the Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac (courtesy snoeziesterre)

The Muse du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac in Paris has raised enough money to refresh the distinctive vertical garden wall (le mur vgtal) that covers the Jean Nouvel-designed buildings facade following a successful crowdfunding campaign (the ethnographic museum bagged more than 52,160; the target of 50,000 had to be reached by 15 July). The French botanist Patrick Blanc, who designed the wall in 2004, will renovate the wall with 376 plant species from four continentsreflecting the diversity of the museums collectionand a new eco-friendly watering system. The project, which is planned to start this summer, will cost 150,000 in total.
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The Guardian

Jul 17 2017
Bombay Bicycle Club's Jack Steadman: my trip around the world – in pictures

Ahead of recording his new soul album as Mr Jukes, Jack Steadman, frontman of Bombay Bicycle Club, made a global voyage of discovery from cargo ships to Japanese ‘kissas’. He shares his travel snaps

In early 2015, I decided to travel to north America, but travelling east and without flying. I had been touring non-stop for the previous two years and wanted some time to myself. I’m a bit of a rail fan and had always wanted to take the Trans-Siberian railway – I like the feeling of idleness while still moving forward. I took a cargo ship from China to Canada for that same reason. When you’re in your studio and you fail to come up with anything good, you feel unproductive, but put that studio on to a moving vessel and you can feel much more positive about your daily progress (even if you barely come up with a melody).

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The New York Times

Jul 17 2017
Antiquities Dealer Sues Wall Street Journal Over ISIS Article
In the libel suit, the dealer, Hicham Aboutaam, said he has never handled antiquities looted by terrorists, and that an article had damaged his reputation.
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The Art Newspaper

Jul 17 2017
Object lessons: a work from a Chicago Imagist and a promotional gift from the Campbells Soup Company after Andy Warhol
Bella Donna (1979) by Ed Paschke. Photo courtesy of Wright.
Chicago
Wright

18 July: Art + Design


Bella Donna (1979) by Ed Paschke

Est. $20,000-$30,000
One highlight of the houses sale of art and design is an abstract painting by the late Chicago Imagist Ed Paschke, a well-known yet under-appreciated artist, Richard Wright, the director of the auction house, told The Art Newspaper. Paschke, an Art Institute of Chicago alumnus, is well known locally (he taught at Northwestern University for 26 years, while an art center that bears his name opened in 2014), but his work still has a relatively modest market value, even amid growing awareness and interest in the Imagists among collectors outside of Chicago, Wright adds. The group, which turned to figuration over the reigning abstraction of the day, staged shows at organised at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago in the 1960s. Piggybacking on the innovations of Pop Art a few years before him, Paschke appropriated images from popular culture with surrealistic and even sinister qualities. The vibrant painting being offered in the sale, whose oil paint has luminous neon quality, demonstrates Paschkes growing fascination with media and electronic imagerythe figure is created from a series of electronic signals, and hovers like an apparition on the canvas, illustrating, in Paschkes signature way, the dislocation of our modern age, Wright says. Paschkes works have commonly exceeded auction estimateslast year, Christies, New York, sold the work Governare (1985) for $88,000 with premium (est. $40,000-$60,000) and also set the artists record in 2014 with the work Bag Boots (1972), which achieved $245,000 with premium (est. $30,000-$40,000).

Update: the work sold for $25,000 with premium. 

Online
Heritage

18 July: Prints and Multiples Online Auction


Souper Dress (around 1968) after Andy Warhol (1928-1987)

Est. $2,000-$3,000
One highlight of the houses online auction of prints and multiples is a framed edition of the wearable paper dresses that were produced by the Campbells Soup Company in the late 1960s in response to Andy Warhols Campbells Soup Cans (1962)one of the most iconic works of the Pop Art canon. Warhols original work, which belongs to the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, comprises 32 canvases that show varieties of the soup in the chronological order that the flavours were launched on the market. The wearable paper mini dress, made from screen-printed colour on cellulose and cotton, was available to customers who sent in any two Campbells soup labels, along with one dollar and their dress size. The dresses epitomize the Pop Art sensibility of the intersection between art, commerce and fashion, Taylor Curry, the consignment director of Modern and Contemporary art of the house, told The Art Newspaper. Various American institutions have acquired the historical dress, including the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, among others. In 2000, the Whitney Museum of American Art included the dress in an exhibition focusing on Andy Warhols contribution to fashion, which also included his early work as a fashion illustrator.

Update: the lot sold for $1,750 with premium. 
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The Art Newspaper

Jul 17 2017
Royal Academy of Arts lifts Burlington Gardens veil with end of revamp in sight
Post-restoration: how the Burlington Gardens building will look when the scaffold comes down this summer (Photo: © Hayes Davidson)
Much of the scaffolding and the Yinka Shonibare-designed hoarding that has covered the Italianate faade of 6 Burlington Gardens in central London for more than a year is coming down this summer as the 50m redevelopment to create a cohesive two-acre campus by uniting the building with long-time home of the Royal Academy of Arts (RA), Burlington House, takes another step nearer to completion. The revamped RA is due to open in 2018 for the institutions 250th anniversary.

The redevelopment has been designed by the award-winning British architect David Chipperfield, who is working closely with Julian Harrap Architects, a firm that specialises in historic building restorations. Other proposals to connect the two buildings called for going on top or to the side, but were going right through the middle, Chipperfield says. Charles Saumarez Smith, the RAs chief executive, adds: The simplest and most straightforward way to connect the buildings is to have an axial route from front door to front door; David recognised this and is doing this. Visitors will traverse the 15-metre space between the buildings via an enclosed concrete bridge.

The plan also carves out new spaces for exhibitions as well as for the exclusive use of the RA Schools, reinstates an impressive double-height, 260-seat lecture theatre, creates a new entrance for the museum at Burlington Gardens, and will improve visitor services.

The restoration of the faade and interiors of the Grade II*-listed Burlington Gardens building, built between 1866 and 1870 by the architect James Pennethorne for the University of London, is a key component of the project. Saumarez Smith and Lyall Thow, a partner at Julian Harrap Architects, believe the exterior of the Victorian building, bought by the RA in 2001, has never had a thorough cleaning in its 150-year history, aside from what Thow calls a possible light builders clean. He says the level of dirt and decay and the sulphate skin (a blackened layer caused by water that pools instead of draining away) on the surface of the stone had most certainly been leftovers from polluted Victorian London.

Around 90% of the dirt and grime was removed with the application of water and steam. A very soft aggregate was blasted onto the stone to get rid of the more stubborn stains. You have to be careful what you blast the stone with, Thow says, explaining that the sand typically used in the 1960s and 70s stripped the external surface of the stone. It can be aggressive and strip away the patina that comes with age. If youre doing this on sculpture, you start to lose the detail.

Although the faade may have been dirty, it was in fairly good condition overall. It did, however, require repairs, in part because both Portland and Mansfield stone were used in the buildings  construction to give a polychromatic effect. There is an inherent problem when you mix these two together because Mansfield is a sandstone and Portland is a limestone. They have different geological makeups and can react badly together, he says, adding that the source of the problem is the lime washing off onto the sandstone.

Rather than remove every sandstone block, which would have drastically altered the look of the faade, they cleaned them to remove any other pollutants that might accelerate the problem, and replaced damaged blocks when necessary. Our general approach was to be minimal; we didnt want the building to look like it had been rebuilt, Thow says.

The 22 Great Thinker sculptures, particularly the more weather-worn ones at the top of the building, were also treated. That included X-raying them to see how they were pinned to the structure. In the Victorian period, wrought iron was often used but when it gets wet it rusts and expands, causing the stone in which it was embedded to fail. Where necessary, the team secured the sculptures with stainless steel pins.

They also applied a lime-mortar coating to some of the areas of the statues that are prone to water build-up. Thow likens these shelter coatings to sacrificial protective layers that will deteriorate with time. Attributes missing from some of the Thinkers are being replaced, including the pen of the poet John Milton. And poor [William] Harveys nose was sheared off, so we have to repair that, he adds.

For Thow, the most exciting revelations from the external restoration came from the clock and weathervane on the east and west towers respectively. The clockmaker Smith of Derby was able to repair the clocks dial and non-original workings, and some of the original workings of the weathervane were discovered during the building works. It was restored using a 1920s photograph to guide the conservators.

The restoration of the richly decorated first-floor Senate Roomsthe best-preserved suite of rooms at Burlington Gardensis at the heart of the project, Saumarez Smith says. They are very important because I think they will bring people upstairs, he explains. The rooms, which will house a caf and an architectural gallery, feature a Victorian polychromatic colour scheme, gilding, mahogany bookcases and decorative plasterwork. After much debate, the RA has decided to reinstate the 1902 colour scheme of the buildings then occupier, the Civil Service Commission, as seen on the ornate ceiling in the middle room. It is more colourful than the scheme dating to when the University of London occupied the building, and is closer to Pennethornes original plan as seen in his working drawings.

Which historic colour scheme to choose is one of those constant debates, but with the Senate Rooms it is quite a clear argument, Thow says. When you have something as old as 1902, which is in itself a fabulous piece of work in good condition, you really would struggle to convince people to paint over it. Saumarez Smith describes the agreed colour scheme as an interpretation based on what Chipperfield thinks will work best. Were not going full-throttle High Victorian, but a step down that will still be a full-blooded Victorian room, he says.

The 1920s British Academy Room, a grand interior that boasts a mix of Art Deco and Neo-Classical styles, has been dismantled and will be reinstalled in a purpose-built extension in the southeast corner of the building.

Saumarez Smith sees similarities in the way in which David Chipperfield and Julian Harrap approached the revamp of Berlins Neues Museum in 2009: If you look at how the Neues was treated, it is a combination of a very sensitive and intelligent conservation of the existing, original building together with discreet modern interventions. And this is Davids approach to how to treat a historic building: you retain as much as possible of the original fabric and do a new build within the shell of the existing building.
Although the RA has already raised the majority of funds for the redevelopmentthanks, in part, to a 12.7m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and 5.9m from the Monument Trustanother 3m is needed. In May, the RA launched a Make Your Mark campaign to secure the outstanding sum.

To contribute to the Make Your Mark campaign, visit makeyourmark.royalacademy.org.uk


6 Burlington Gardens: a Timeline


1870  Burlington Gardens, designed by James Pennethorne, is officially opened by Queen Victoria; it serves as the headquarters of the University of London until 1900
1902  The Civil Service Commission moves in
1970-97  Home to the British Museums Museum of Mankind
2001  The Royal Academy of Arts acquires the building
2008  David Chipperfield asked to develop masterplan for the site
2018  Works due to be completed in time for the RAs 250th anniversary

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The Art Newspaper

Jul 17 2017
Report gauges state of art market in post-Brexit UK economy
London's LAPADA Fair 2016, a member of the British Art Market Federation
A report released today by the British Art Market Federation (BAMF) is aimed at measuring the UK art trade and its impact on the larger economic landscape.

Prepared by Clare McAndrews Arts Economics, the report affirms that the UK hosts the second largest art market in the world, with 9.2bn in art and antiques sales representing 21% of transactions worldwide. (The US comes in first, with 40% market share, and China a close third, at 20%.) The industry employs 41,700 people directly and supports another 94,710 jobs in ancillary industries from restoration to logistics to IT. The overall contribution of the art market to the British economy was estimated at 1.46bn in 2016. This data, says Anthony Browne, chair of BAMF, reinforces that the art market is something the government should care about, particularly during the Brexit transition.

BAMF, a consortium that includes Christies, Sothebys and Phillips along with specialised trade organizations such as the Antiquarian Booksellers Association and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, last issued such a report in 2014. Since then, the overall value of the British market has declined 19%, versus a 17% drop over the same period globally. The biggest dent was to auction sales, which fell about 30%. Dealer sales, on the other hand, appear to have been more stable, rising 3% year on year, says the report.

The value of art imports to the UK also slipped from 4.063m in 2015 to 2.796m in 2016largely in line with the global contraction, but a potential cause for concern when London must, says Browne, offer a critical mass of high-value material in order to attract international buyers. He believes that Brexitand the abandonment of EU-imposed taxes and regulationsrepresents an opportunity to reexamine the nations competitiveness in a global context.

Still, refashioning the relationship to the continent will be thorny, and the report underscores the importance of cross-border trade for the UK market, which it says is under-estimated by official figures. For some of the major auction houses, consignments from EU member states accounted for up to 25% of their UK sales on average, the report says. Furthermore, between 15% and 20% of all purchases (auctions and dealers) went to EU buyersan audience London can ill afford to lose if it is to maintain its razor-thin edge.

The message for me is that you cant be complacent, says Browne. Youve got to create the right environment to encourage art sales and growth in the market.
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The Art Newspaper

Jul 17 2017
Catherine Opie turns her lens on David Hockney, Gillian Wearing and Isaac Julien
The US photographer Catherine Opie will show dramatic new portraits of the artists David Hockney, Gillian Wearing and Isaac Julien in a show due to open at Thomas Dane Gallery in London this autumn (3 October-18 November). The works form part of Opies ongoing series, Portraits and Landscapes, which look to Old Master European portraiture and historical landscape photography.
 
The sitters, which include Opies fellow artists along with the London-based fashion designer Duro Olowu, pose in front of a black drop cloth, mimicking classic 17th-century portraiture in the style of artists such as Rubens and the Spanish artist Jusepe de Ribera.

Previous sitters include the artist Kara Walker and the film-maker John Waters. Opie says in a statement: In my recent portraits, Im playing off the history of portraiture and memory to begin to honour my fellow artists and friends that I admire so much. The show also includes a new work described as an abstracted landscape, which depicts the outlines of an unrecognisable natural feature.
 
Los Angeles-based Opie is known for her images of drag queens and female-to-male transsexuals, and has chronicled key US figures and events such as the inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009. She joined Thomas Dane Gallery earlier this year; her last show in London was in 2011 at the Stephen Friedman gallery, which previously represented her in the UK. A major survey of Opies work is due to open at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter outside Oslo later this year (6 October-7 January 2018).
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The Art Newspaper

Jul 17 2017
Louvre’s Poussin masterpieces damaged after torrential rain hits Paris
The Musée du Louvre in Paris (Image: © Demiannnn)
Officials at the Louvre in Paris say that "traces of water" were found last week on paintings by Nicolas Poussin and Jean Franois de Troy after heavy storms hit the capital (9-10 July). Other works under threat by Georges de la Tour and Eustache Le Sueur were subsequently placed in storage as a safeguard measure.
 
According to a museum statement, water seeped into the mezzanine of the Denon wing (the Islamic Art and Eastern Mediterranean areas), the first floor of the Sully wing (Salle des Sept-Chemines, Henri IV staircase) and the second floor of the Cour Carre (certain French painting galleries).
 
The affected areas remain closed while conservators continue to assess the damage done to two works in the Four Seasons paintings series by Poussin (Spring and Autumn, 1660-64) and De Troys Triumph of Mordecai (1736). All of the works were subsequently removed from display. 
 
Meanwhile, the Bibliothque Nationale de France in Paris also suffered after water dripped from the ceiling in the medieval manuscripts section. "Nine books out of 143 are still drying, the others are back on the shelves, Sylviane Tarsot, the director, told Le Monde, adding that the conservation team plans to restore 14 items.
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The Guardian

Jul 17 2017
Venezuela's shield-bearing protesters – in pictures

Drawing inspiration from Ukraine’s 2013-14 revolt, young protesters in Venezuela carry Viking-like shields as they battle government security forces during protests against President Nicolás Maduro

The latest on Venezuela

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The Art Newspaper

Jul 17 2017
Design dealers are back in the Fiac fold
Greta Magnusson Grossman, Pair of pine chairs (1950). (Photo courtesy of Galerie Eric Philippe)
The 44th edition of the Fiac fair (Foire Internationale dArt Contemporain) in Paris this autumn (19-22 October) will include five design dealers, relaunching a section last seen at Fiac in 2009. The Modern and contemporary art fair at the Grand Palais is due to include 192 galleries, compared to 186 last year, with the largest contingentmore than a quartercoming from France. The five design dealers, all Paris-based, are Jousse Entreprise, kreo, Laffanour Galerie Downtown Paris, Eric Philippe, and Patrick Seguin.
 
Eric Philippe says that he last participated in 2009. The space in the Grand Palais is limited and there was then a demand from Modern and contemporary galleries as Fiac is a major fair. There is a real connection between Modern and contemporary art and design, as many clients collect both, he tells The Art Newspaper. He plans to show a selection of pieces designed between 1940 and 1960 by US, French, Italian and Scandinavian architects and designers. "It is important to remember that Fiac was one of the first international contemporary art fairs to open a section for selected design galleries [in 2004] and since then, it has been developed [in fairs] around the world," says Hlin Serre, the director of Laffanour Galerie Downtown Paris. 
   
Michael Werner, Chantal Crousel and Massimo de Carlo will be among the 106 dealers in the main Nave area of the fair. Key US dealers taking part this year include Barbara Gladstone and Paula Cooper. Reena Spaulings Fine Art of New York and Istanbuls Rodeo are among the galleries showing in the Salon dHonneur, an exhibition area on the first floor of the Grand Palais. The organisers also say that 40 galleries are new to the fair including Queer Thoughts of New York.

A section of the fair which launched last year, On Site, also forms part of this years edition. Around 40 sculptures and installations will be shown in the Petit Palais opposite and on the pedestrianised Avenue Winston Churchill. The US artist Oscar Tuazon will present a project on the Place Vendme as part of the fair's Hors les Murs programme.
 
Meanwhile, the historic Grand Palais in Paris will close for more than two years from 2020, causing upheaval in the art fair calendar with three major fairsFiac, Paris Photo and La Biennale Parisforced to relocate to temporary locations. 

The government cultural body, Runion des muses nationaux (RMN), which runs the Grand Palais, says that the refurbishment of the turn-of-the-century venue is due to begin late 2020. The overhaul will result in exceptional high-quality, generous exhibition spaces to accommodate our partners and visitors, Sylvie Hubac, president of the RMN, said earlier this year.
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The Art Newspaper

Jul 17 2017
Artists rally for Grenfell Tower online auction
Juergen Teller, Kitten Canada (2001). (Copyright the artist 2017. All Rights Reserved)
A raft of artists, from Charles Avery to Juergen Teller and Cornelia Parker, have donated works to an online auction in aid of people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. The web sale, which is due to go live tomorrow on Artsy.net (18 July-1 August), features works by 25 artists. Parker has donated two photogravure worksBlack Tulip (2017) while Darren Almond has contributed a photograph from his full moon series: Full Moon @Valley Floor (2013). The artist Peter Liversidge has made a new work entitled Winter Drawings, depicting denuded trees. The aim in each case has been to raise as much money as possible for those affected by the fire, with all proceeds from the sale going to the Dispossessed Fund set up by London's Evening Standard newspaper, a press statement says. The art advisor Lucy Meakin has organised the auction. Around 80 people are believed to have died in the 14 June fire.
Go to: https://www.artsy.net/auction/grenfell-tower-benefit-auction
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The Guardian

Jul 16 2017
Depth of field: London project to dig vast underground cavern and cover with park

A scruffy patch of former farm land in Hounslow is set to get the ‘mega-basement to end all mega-basements’ as £50m-worth of gravel is excavated to create the UK’s biggest subterranean space, with a new public park on top

While the billionaires of Kensington dig ever deeper to excavate multi-storey pleasure bunkers of private cinemas, swimming pools and car museums beneath their homes, there are plans afoot in an unlikely part of west London for the mega-basement to end all mega-basements. On a scruffy patch of land in suburban Hounslow a mile from Heathrow airport, surrounded by cosy crescents of semi-detached homes, planning permission has been granted to Formal Investments Ltd to dig out the biggest underground space in the UK. It will not be topped with an oligarch’s mansion, but a brand new park for Londoners.

Driving along the busy dual carriageways that hem the site of Rectory Farm, you would have little idea that beneath this unremarkable stretch of former agricultural land, frequented by fly-tippers and the occasional travelling circus, lies a valuable bounty. Like much of the city’s green belt, this 44-hectare (109 acres) swathe of land has been off-limits for years, being privately owned, too small to farm and protected from development. Yet beneath the topsoil lies £50-60m worth of gravel – an essential ingredient for the construction industry as an aggregate in concrete, which usually has to be trucked into the city from far-flung quarries or dredged from the North Sea.

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The Guardian

Jul 16 2017
In hot water: Iran through the ages – in pictures

Modern life in Iran, from comedic hot baths on the beach to the long shadows cast by war in Iraq

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The Guardian

Jul 16 2017
Postcards from Australia: aerial photos by Hulia Boz

Stunning views over the Australian outback and its coastline captured by the acclaimed photographer Hulia Boz. The images will go on show at Special Group Studios in Sydney from Tuesday until 23 July

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The Guardian

Jul 16 2017
Hull landmarks to get listed status in boost to city of culture

Humber Bridge, tidal barrier and Philip Larkin’s attic flat among nine locations to be recognised for historical importance

The attic flat where Philip Larkin wrote many of his best-known – and most withering – poems about Hull is among nine of the city’s landmarks to be listed in a boost to its city of culture status.

The Humber Bridge joins the exclusive group of Grade I-listed buildings, alongside St Paul’s Cathedral and the Palace of Westminster, on the advice of Historic England.

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The New York Times

Jul 16 2017
Refugees Confront the Past Through Art, at a Pop-Up Museum
Inside a former prison in Amsterdam, now a haven for asylum seekers, migrants tell their stories and stir up their ghosts.
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The Art Newspaper

Jul 16 2017
Summer art pilgrimages
Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti, Arizona



Paolo Soleris Arcosanti, Arizona


Doug Aitken, artist: One of the most magical places is Paolo Soleris Arcosanti. He was an architect who came from Italy, studied under Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin West, and by the 1960s he became restless. He looked for land, because if you had land you could experiment. It was a kind of extreme utopian city, where everyone who lived in it and visited was part of it. His idea was that it was always unfinished and would evolve. By the 1970s he obtained land about 45 minutes from Scottsdale, Arizona. Its very organic, it uses rammed earth techniques, interesting use of glass, its very indoor-outdoor. It thrived for a long time in the 1970s. I had the privilege to have a conversation with Paolo maybe six months before he passed away and I remember I asked him: Is your city utopian? And he said: I dont understand the term utopia. To me, it is an archetype of the vision of the future, of restlessness, and the idea of architecture being a beautiful living organism. There is a liberation in driving out there and seeing the city fall behind, feeling the hot air pass you by to visit this remote experiment.

Louis Kahns Phillips Exeter Academy Library, New Hampshire


Flavin Judd, curator and co-president of the Judd Foundation: The next trip Im taking specifically to go somewhere to look at something is to Louis Kahns library at Exeter, because Ive seen, obviously, the Kimbell at Fort Worth, which is a fabulous building, but Ive only seen pictures of the library and it looks just stunning. Each time I see a Louis Kahn building, such as the Salk [Institute, San Diego], they are vastly better than what you thought you would see based on photographs, which is rare these days. And thats what good architecture is: always better than the photographs. 

Sanssouci Palace, Berlin, Germany


Taner Ceylan, artist: My all-time favourite place for getting lost in art and inspiration is the Sanssouci Palace and its surroundings in Potsdam, Berlin, from the gardens with their sculptures and fountains, the orangery to the New Palace, and the Chinese House to the Roman baths. I especially love how nature comes into sync with man-made art: its like being in a living melody. The thing you must do for the ultimate experience is leave your tour guide and get lost in it, especially at the events at night in August. 

Garden of Ninfa, Cisterna di Latina, Italy


Nicholas Cullinan, director, National Portrait Gallery, London: I often gravitate towards Italy in the summer, and this garden, off the beaten track between Rome and Naples, is one of the most beautiful places you can imagine. I went for the first time two years ago and was captivated by its extraordinary history, too. Its a small medieval hamlet, abandoned in the Middle Ages until Ada Bootle-Wilbraham married into the Caetani family in the early 20th century and began to turn it into an English garden in Italy. Medieval ruins, roses and limpid watershence its nameits even more beautiful than the Villa dEste gardens. Worth a Google, then a visit. 

Piero della Francescas Italy


Lisa Yuskavage, artist: When I was an art student I was always puzzled by Piero della Francesca. Teachers often talked about him in relationship to mathematics and the golden ratio, and my brain doesnt get jazzed by thatI dont have a maths brain. The question that I always had was: why do all the people always look so odd in his paintings? Maybe because I am a figurative painter, I understand how each artist represents humanity through the way they deal with faces. But the Piero faces were so weird, I wasnt even sure if I liked the paintings so much.

I had a show in Milan in 1997 and my husband [the painter Matvey Levenstein] and I then went to Venice. From there we decided to rent a car, and we borrowed a book belonging to an artist friend David Reed, which was an art historical guide with every single tiny town in Italy and what art was there. We started to construct a Piero tour: we drew a diagram from Venice to find every Piero painting in situ.

Eventually, we got to Sansepolcro, Pieros birthplacea tiny town in Tuscany [Pieros Madonna della Misericordia in the Museo Civico is pictured]. We were sitting in the only hotel, in the only restaurant. We ordered lunch and it was very authentic. And as I was taking my first sip of wine and looking around, all I saw were Piero faces. Theres no golden ratio aspect to this: he just painted what he saw and the people here still kind of looked like that. Then wed walk around Sansepolcro and I would look at the landscape and it was straight out of one of his paintings.

By going there, I went from thinking whats up with this artist who seems very cold, and whats with those faces? to feeling connected to him and to his work, and finding a guidance about how to move forward myself. I understood that my job is to depict things as I see them, not the way other people would like me to see them.


Lisa Yuskavages new paintings are at David Zwirner Gallery, London, until 28 July


The Pioneer Spirit



Tacita Dean on trying to find Spiral Jetty


In 1997, Tacita Dean attempted to find Robert Smithsons land art work Spiral Jetty, built in Utahs Great Salt Lake. Her journey proved fruitless, yet it prompted a sound work, which is in a show at Londons Frith Street Gallery in July.

I was at Sundance [Institute in Utah, taking part in the annual screenwriters lab] and had three days to spare. I made the connection that Utah meant Spiral Jetty, and this was 1997, when no one was going there, but I thought, Im going to go and look for this work. It took some excavation: the Utah arts council sent me a fax with directions in the end.

I wasnt even that fanatical or knowledgeable about Smithson then, but it was an icon, and I was in Utah. It was practically the first time I had ever been to America and it still felt like this mysterious place, even just going to Mormon country and Utah for Sundance was exciting.

There was a guy, Gregory Sax, who was a screenwriter there and I asked him if he wanted to come. He didnt know what he was looking for, but he knew how to hire a car and things that were then a bit scary for me, and I managed to talk him into it. I had my DAT recorder with me because I was recording my conversations with the advisers at Sundance, so I was in the groove with documenting at that point. I only turned it on at point 10 of the journey, and there were 12 points on this fax. You had to follow these slightly misleading points: Continue 2.3 miles south-southwest to a combination fence, cattle guard #4, iron-pipe gate, and a sign declaring the property behind the fence to be that of the Rafter S. Ranch. Here, too, is a No Trespassing sign. Im sure its written by Smithson himself. Who else would have had that level of esoteric detail?

Initially, I had no intention of making it a work of art at all. And then we couldnt find it and I dont know what it wassomething about the journey was so powerfulso when I got back, I decided it could be a work. And Greg agreed to fake the first few points. We didnt really script it; we followed the points, and he improvised and I improvised back, and I cut it together.

People can go to Spiral Jetty now as a sort of pilgrimage, more like the sense of going to Lourdes or Assisi, because in a way its quite established now. Its on satnav, its all there laid out, with signposts and a tarmac car park. But when I went it was forgotten to a certain extent, it was mythical, and we were the first after a while to go there; so I felt more like a pioneer than a pilgrim. It is still a magical place, for sure, but it takes away the pioneering aspect of it, the endeavour. You cant use the word pilgrimage in quite the same way. 


Trying to Find the Spiral Jetty is in Summer Breeze, Frith Street Gallery, London, until 11 August
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The Guardian

Jul 16 2017
Miranda Strickland-Constable obituary

My former colleague Miranda Strickland-Constable was a curator at Leeds City Art Gallery, where her purchases were among the most adventurous by municipal galleries in Britain in the 1970s and 80s. In themselves courageous, they gave courage to other curators to capture the same progressive spirit.

Hers were highly cerebral artists, often introduced to Leeds in the face of opposition from a conservative local audience and sceptical politicians, and in whose work, often using non-traditional media, the image assumed unfamiliar, teasing and even jarring form. Among her acquisitions were Bernd and Hilla Becher’s Three Pit Heads (1977), Richard Long’s Five Stones (1975), John Walker’s Three Reds (1968), Hamish Fulton’s Arran Hilltops (1978) and works by Rita Donagh, Victor Burgin and Andy Goldsworthy.

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The Guardian

Jul 16 2017
The story of Lewisham’s radical self-builders

Built by residents nearly 30 years ago, Walters Way and Segal Close in south London remain an inspiring symbol of self-build housing. But where are today’s DIY pioneers?

“Federico, I’m terrified. I’m terrified of heights. I don’t know how to do it.” Federico Mazandarani is recalling a time in the mid-80s when he was one of 13 households building their own houses in what would be named Walters Way in Lewisham, London. It was time to do the capping on roofs and one of his neighbours, a taxi driver called Jim, found his nerve failing him. “You’re lonely, you’re on your own,” Mazandarani recalls answering, “I have the same problem. Why don’t I help with your capping for one week and you help with mine for one week.” After that, “he was a changed man”.

The houses are hugely adaptable. One couple took a wall down to have a big party and then put it up again

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The Guardian

Jul 16 2017
Soul of a Nation review – the extraordinary art of the black power era

Tate Modern, London
Civil rights meet aesthetics in this riveting survey of 20 crucial years of black American art and struggle

A man with shades and a perfectly picked afro stands against a flat silver background. He is dressed in a Superman T-shirt. His muscular arms are folded in a painting as sharply defined as a medieval icon, yet as modern as his aviator shades. The canvas, from 1969, is highly stylised and irreducibly cool.

This is the self-portrait of Barkley L Hendricks, who died in April at the age of 72. Its visual double take – black man in white man’s costume, and in his painterly tradition – is multiplied by the mordant title. Icon for My Man Superman (Superman Never Saved Any Black People – Bobby Seale) quotes a famous remark of the founder of the Black Panthers. But Hendricks has no need of Superman. He saves himself – hero of his own fiercely intelligent painting.

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The Guardian

Jul 15 2017
On the fringe of fame: star comics caught on camera in their early days at Edinburgh

A stash of film shot in the 1990s chronicles the rise of comedy’s big names including Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon and Jo Brand

As the Edinburgh festival prepares to celebrate its 70th anniversary, a trove of portraits has emerged, cataloguing the history of some of the most celebrated comedians from its fringe.

The photographs feature Michael McIntyre, Eddie Izzard, Jo Brand and others, from when they were struggling for laughs in the back rooms of Edinburgh pubs. They came to light when the photographer Rich Hardcastle was putting together a book to mark his 25 years in the business.

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The Guardian

Jul 15 2017
25 years of shooting comedians

Photographer Rich Hardcastle is raising money through Kickstarter to publish 110 of his comedian portraits to celebrate 25 years in the business

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The Guardian

Jul 15 2017
The Earth, in plane sight – in pictures

Californian artist Julieanne Kost started her photo series Window Seat while travelling for business. Creatively frustrated by the environments she found herself in – hotels, convention centres, airports – she started taking photographs of landscapes from her plane seat. This allowed her to see the environment in a new way, she says: ‘I now view the scenery not as the Earth 30,000ft below, but as an immense, constantly scrolling image.’ The project, for which she now photographs views from helicopters with the doors off, has also helped her overcome her fear of flying. ‘As long as I can see the world as an image through an eyepiece rather than as a harsh physical reality, the threat is less real’

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The Guardian

Jul 15 2017
The 20 photographs of the week

Wildfires in California, the Iraqi forces’ victory in Mosul, the Tour de France and protests in Caracas – the news of the week captured by the world’s best photojournalists

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The New York Times

Jul 14 2017
Oops! A Gallery Selfie Gone Wrong Causes $200,000 in Damage.
A woman knocked over 11 crowned pedestals while taking a selfie at a Simon Birch show in Los Angeles — leading to a cascading domino effect.
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The New York Times

Jul 14 2017
Art Review: Out-of-Town Galleries Arrive, Bearing Art
The inaugural Condo New York is a kind of underground art fair in which 20 out-of-town galleries spend July with 16 Manhattan counterparts.
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artforum.com

Jul 14 2017
FILM: Super Mario
Nick Pinkerton on Mario Bava
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The Art Newspaper

Jul 14 2017
Home is where Crosby's art is
A show of five works dealing with domesticity by the Nigerian-born artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby opens at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati tomorrow (15 July). Predecessors (until 1 October) includes depictions of her grandmothers table in Nigeria, which speaks to a compelling slippage between utility, relic, symbol and apotheosis, says Steven Matijcio, the shows co-organiser. The exhibition travels to the Tang Museum at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs later this year.
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The New York Times

Jul 14 2017
Text for Happiness. Or Sadness. Get Art Back.
A playful project using cellphone texts and art turns into a viral hit — as well as a window into our cultural soul.
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The New York Times

Jul 14 2017
Largely Unseen $600 Million Collection Will Join Museum in Italy
Masterworks by Bacon and de Chirico, from the little-known collection of a reclusive entrepreneur, are to emerge at the Castello di Rivoli museum, near Turin.
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artforum.com

Jul 14 2017
PASSAGES: Glenn O’Brien (1947–2017)
Max Blagg on Glenn O’Brien (1947–2017)
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