Art in Print
‘American Gothic’, classic Depression-era painting, heads to London
American Gothic, one of the best-known images of 20th century US art, will leave North America for the first time next year as part of an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London exploring the clash of artistic ideas during the Great Depression. Painted by Grant Wood in 1930, the much-reproduced evocation of rural America appeared during a grim period of economic hardship.
The RA hopes the show, featuring 45 works by artists including Jackson Pollock, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe and Thomas Hart Benton, will throw new light on a formative period in American art, when artists were attempting to capture the changes forced on the country by urbanisation and immigration. America After the Fall: Painting in the 1930s due to open in February 2017.
A powerful tribute to Oscar Wilde in Reading Prison
When James Lingwood and Michael Morris co-directors of the ceaselessly enterprising arts organization Artangel discovered that this remarkable Victorian structure, where Oscar Wilde had been imprisoned in 1897 for “gross indecency” with another man, was due to be sold, they sensed an opportunity. They persuaded the Ministry of Justice to let them mount an exhibition within the institution and the finished show, Artists and Writers in Reading Prison,will open to the public on Sunday until 30 October.
The challenge for the Artangel co-directors is to make art flourish in such overpowering structures. The exhibition is arranged across the prison’s three levels. On the first floor, you find 12 artists of international significance mostly installed in individual cells, such as Ai Wei Wei, Jeanette Winterson and Marlene Dumas.
Artangel has once again created a memorable thought provoking exhibition, worth a visit for its location alone which has never been open to the public before.
Matisse exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts reveals artist’s muses
Matisse in the Studio, will run between 5 August and 12 November and show how Henri Matisse’s personal collection of treasured objects influenced his work.
The story of the artist and his muse is one of the most well-worn themes in the history of art, with every great master invariably having a lover – or several - to inspire his finest works. But Matisse’s early works were based by something rather different, it appears: cheap, semi-pornographic magazines. A new blockbuster exhibition at the Royal Academy is to show how Matisse used explicit pseudo- anthropological magazines to inspire his nude sculptures, being too poor to afford to hire a life model.
“We’re including magazines of the time which were semi-pornographic, with photos of nude women, which Matisse was buying because at the time he couldn’t afford to pay the models. So he was using the poses in these magazines. He was terribly poor right at the beginning. I also think he was quite interested in the poses he found in these magazines.” said Ann Dumas, the curator.
Frieze Art Fair director Victoria Siddall: It’s Brexit-proof
Frieze week has become the art event of the year, with the world’s top curators, collectors, museum directors and buyers flying into London from all over the world for the “money-can’t-buy-a-ticket” VIP opening party. Held in a huge, sophisticated designer tent in Regent’s Park, the fair is now in its 14th year and sells tens of millions of pounds-worth of art in just five days. It’s become such a hot date that the capital’s major museums and auction houses schedule the start of their big autumn exhibitions and sales to coincide with it.
The woman behind it all is Victoria Siddall, 38, a former Christie’s employee who has worked for Frieze since 2004. She was appointed director last year and has been instrumental in transforming Frieze from straightforward commercial success into prestigious, internationally acclaimed institution.
She told that London earned its reputation as the art capital of the world and that she believes Frieze will remain Brexit-proof in terms of its far-reaching international scope.
Crowdfunding campaign launched for art trail charting Amy Winehouse’s Camden haunts
A 30-day crowdfunding drive was launched today to create an Amy Winehouse street art trail around her former haunts in Camden. The Jewish Museum London is hoping to raise £17,000 this month for the trail dedicated to the late singer. A series of small artworks will lead to a new installation at the Albert Street museum. Proposed sites for the art include Camden High Street, Hawley Crescent and four locations near Dingwalls music venue.
If funding is secured, the trail could be set up next year alongside the commissioned artwork at the museum created by street artist Pegasus. Donors will receive rewards including tote bags, art studio visits and tickets to a Winehouse-inspired exhibition.
Abigail Morris, director of the Jewish Museum London, said: “We are excited about launching our first ever crowdfunding campaign, bringing people together to remember Amy Winehouse in the area she called home. We aim to create a fitting legacy, embracing the creative spirit of Camden.”