Art in Print

Tate Director Nicholas Serota to leave role after 28 years 

Yesterday Tate director Nicholas Serota confirmed he is leaving the institution after almost three decades after “a sea-change in public appreciation” of art.


Serota, who will leave next year to take the top job at Arts Council England (ACE), said he was leaving “an institution that has the potential to reach broad audiences across the UK and abroad”.


The recent multi-million pound expansion of Tate Modern has cemented the gallery’s position at the top of the art world, with crowds flocking to the Southbank venue in ever-greater numbers.


He said: “It has been an exciting challenge to work with successive chairmen, trustees and groups of extremely talented colleagues to develop the role of Tate in the study, presentation and promotion of British, modern and international art.”


Via The Evening Standard 


Review |  Bill Viola’s Mary at St Paul’s Cathedral


American artist Bill Viola has just launched “Mary”, his second and final video work for St Paul’s, designed as a companion piece to his Martyrs (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) which has proved hugely popular since its installation in the parallel South Quire Aisle in May 2014.


Art critic Mark Hudson gives the video installation four stars, describing the work as follows: “ In the new work we start with a black nativity and end with a white pieta. What goes on in between is pure befuddlement, until you go back and examine those tiny images. In one we see what looks like the Rest on the Flight into Egypt enacted on a dusky American lake shore. In another Mary, who is clearly the woman beside the fire encounters a kind of male hippy angel in a forest, while the two women at the house, who we see on closer observation are examining each other’s pregnant stomachs, clearly represent Mary and her cousin Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist.”


Via The Telegraph 


Grandchildren of Matisse’s muse sue National Gallery for reclaim of ‘stolen’ portrait

The National Gallery in London is being sued by the grandchildren of Matisse’s muse over a painting they claim was stolen from their family in the aftermath of World War Two. The three grandchildren launched legal proceedings in a federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday, after five years of wrangling over the ownership of the painting. The case was brought in New York because, the plaintiffs argue, the National Gallery has commercial interests in the US and has profited from the work. The trio want the painting returned, or $30 million in compensation.


David Rowland, a Manhattan-based lawyer representing the family, told The Telegraph that the case was, in essence, about a family wanting to reclaim their heirloom. “The portrait is a family heirloom,” he said. “It was owned and lost by Greta Moll in an illicit transfer which she did not authorise in the aftermath of WWII.” The celebrated 1908 oil painting shows their trio’s grandmother, Greta Moll – who sat for Matisse in Paris. “Greta Moll, its subject and owner, never sold or transferred title to the portrait to anyone, and it still rightfully belongs to her heirs, the Moll family,” said Mr Rowland.


Via Daily Telegraph


Missing piece of lost Magritte painting is discovered in Norwich

A missing piece of a lost painting by René Magritte has been discovered in a British collection, three years after two more sections were found in the US and Sweden. The painting, called ‘The Enchanted Pose’, was exhibited in 1927 but then disappeared without trace. A black and white photo of it shows two almost identical female nudes side by side in a neoclassical style.


On Thursday, it was announced that the lower right-hand quarter was found in Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery. It was hidden beneath another Magritte painting, ‘The Human Condition’, a painting-within-a-painting in which a painted mountain view on an easel blends almost seamlessly with a mountain view behind it. In 2013, x-rays and other imaging techniques had located two other sections of ‘The Enchanted Pose’ beneath two other Magritte pictures.
A head and torso were hidden under ‘The Portrait’ and feet were found beneath ‘The Red Model’. They hang in the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm respectively.


In a statement, Dr Giorgia Bottinelli, its curator of historic art, said: “All we need to discover now is where the fourth and final, upper-right hand quarter is. Then this exciting art world jigsaw puzzle will be complete.”


Via Guardian


A rare Duchamp is now for sale 

A unique version of Marcel Duchamp’s “Porte-bouteilles” sculpture will be offered for sale next month from the foundation of the American artist Robert Rauschenberg.  


The sculpture, one of five surviving variants of Duchamp’s first pure “ready made”, will be the centerpiece of an exhibition opening on October 20 at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris celebrating the centenary of these radical artworks. It will be the only Duchamp available for sale. Neither the gallery nor the Rauschenberg foundation would disclose the asking price, though both made clear it is only for sale to a public museum. 


Unique ready-mades by Duchamp, as distinct from his editioned pieces, rarely, if ever, appear for sale.


Via The New York Times