Art in Print

When the stars align: Miró and Calder to shine in joint New York shows


Acquavella and Pace are joining forces to present a thematic, two-gallery show of “constellation” works by Joan Miró and Alexander Calder next April, the first time that these roughly contemporaneous bodies of work will be brought together.
The pairing springs from the abiding friendship between the two artists and the remarkably reciprocal works they produced on their respective continents—Europe and the US—in the late years of the Second World War. Dubbed “constellations” by the exhibiting galleries, both groups—wooden sculptures and mobiles by Calder, most made by 1943, and the small gouaches on paper by Miró, from 1940-41—demonstrate the two artists simultaneously exploring notions of interconnectedness in their unique formal languages and materials. “This is what Einstein referred to as ‘spooky action at a distance’”, says Pace president Marc Glimcher. “These bodies of work are networked. Somehow both of them felt like that [historical] moment called for making it discrete.” Of Miró’s 23 constellations, at least 20 will be shown at Acquavella, which has secured loans from private collectors as well as major institutions.
The last time they were exhibited as a group was at the Museum of Modern Art in 1994. Pace, for its part, has so far sourced around 40 of the 60-odd works by Calder to display at its 57th Street location, most of which are held in museum collections due to their extreme fragility. “The list of museums who are committed to this show is extraordinary,” says Nick Acquavella. “That’s probably more a testament to the generation before us, but we certainly plan on keeping that strong working relationship”.
Via: The Art Newspaper

Fitzwilliam Museum gains Whistler sketch of very patient girl

A filmy pastel sketch of a young girl in her best frock – one of the most patient girls in the history of art, since her finished portrait by the American artists James Whistler took more than 70 sittings – is going into a public collection for the first time as the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.
The sketch with two other Whistler pastels, has been allocated to the museum through the Arts Council, after the government accepted it in lieu of tax owed by the descendants of the child’s family. The sketch was made for one of Whistler’s most valuable patrons, the banker William Alexander, who was buying his work when many though his art was recklessly modern. He had bought the first of the artist’s famous Nocturnes.
A later one would lead to a famous libel action when Whistler sued the critic John Ruskin for describing it as “flinging a pot of paint in the public’s face”, and was almost bankrupted when he won but was awarded a farthing damages. The sketch leaves her face as an outline, but shows the lines of her white dress and hat, and determined stance. It comes to the museum with two more Whistler pastels from the same family collection, all in pristine condition and regarded as exceptional examples of his work on paper.


Via: The Guardian

The Anti-White Cube: Entirely Black Gallery Expands in Hong Kong

Stephen Cheng, the founder of a newly-expanded space in Hong Kong, black, not white, is the most conducive environment for a meaningful art experience.
It was while studying Qigong, a meditative breathing technique, that Cheng says he was inspired to flip traditional display techniques on their head. “I spent a lot of my times with my eyes closed and I started to become excited about the possibilities of blackness,” he explains.
The result is Empty Gallery, a two-floor space on the 18th and 19th stories of a high-rise building in Aberdeen Harbour on the south side of Hong Kong island. The gallery is entirely black – black walls, black floors, black fittings. When you first enter, it is completely, utterly dark. It is only when you reach the first of the main art spaces that dim lighting illuminates the works on display.
Cheng says that Empty Gallery will sell art and represent artists in the traditional manner but much of the focus will be on commissioning and producing new work (with an emphasis on pieces which use technology) and music. In New York, Cheng visited numerous galleries and says the experience sometimes left him cold. “ Having an experience with art is not a given it doesn’t always happen. The 20th-cenutry was heavily visual but now we’ve seen everything. Our eyes are really tired. So I think art today has to use all your senses; the 21st century is about experiences.”
Via: The Art Newspaper

Artist Tracey Emin Drops Efforts to Raze Historic London Building

Tracey Emin’s has given up on plans to raze a building in East London that she had hoped to convert into a large home studio space. The structure is on the UK’s Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.
Conversation groups have praised her plans to knock down the 1920s building and construct a five –story David Chipperfield architects-designed house that would be connected to her studio. The report says Tower Hamlets council rejected Emin’s application in April and that she filed an appeal, but subsequently withdrew it last week. A group called “Save Britain’s Heritage” praised Emin’s move to withdraw her appeal. Director Henrietta Billings was quoted in a statement: “Great care was taken to design this delightful, modest building on Bell Lane to blend with the traditional scale of the narrow streets around it…. We are delighted that the building has been reprieved.”
Via: Art Net

Congress Passes Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act

Despite the divisive poltical climate, US Congress managed to find bipartisanship in last week’s vote on the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act of 2016 (HEAR). The bill passed with flying colours no Friday in both the House and the Senate after legislators unanimously cast their ballots in favor of justice for Holocaust survivors. Once signed into law by President Obama, the bill will standardize the statute of limitations by which heirs of stolen artworks may file legal claims. The HEAR Act will now allocate a six-year window for claims to be made following the discovery of an artwork or lost property.
Unlike the Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art, a 1998 treaty signed by 44 countries, this new legislation will ensure that the legal process of cultural recovery is easier to navigate for heirs of artworks pillaged during World War II.
Via: Art Net