Art in Print

'A place to call our own': Europe's first Roma cultural centre opens in Berlin



Sead Kazanxhiu, a 30-year old visual artist who had trained as a painter at the University of Arts in Tirana, launched a new cultural centre in Berlin named the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture. It aims to both showcase and promote the invisible artistic and cultural existence of Europe’s 12 million Roma people. But also hopes to allow the Roma people to embrace their culture and serve as a home for those who wish to learn more about their origins. As a child, the founder experienced both bullying and discrimination in his native Albania, which culminated in a dream to acknowledge his identity and roots openly and with no fear. Led by Roma artists, activists, and scholars, the project was supported by the German government, the Council of Europe, and the philanthropist’s George Soros’ Open Society Foundation. Importantly this project allows the Roma community to come together and represent themselves for who they are, and counteract the dominant cliché that Roma people are just mere thieves and criminals. As a matter of fact, the Roma people’s cultural contribution to Europe has been entirely ignored. For example, only one of 10,000 works by Roma artists is on display. This work by a contemporary artist, István Szentandrássy, can be viewed in the Roma parliament in Budapest. Berlin, in this sense, serves as an ideal location to mitigate these false images. Geographically it is well positioned, but it is also known for its vibrant art scene and a popular destination among young Europeans, who represent the future and in turn might be more tolerant on such stereotypically-held views.


Via: Guardian


Spanish Treasured Overlooked in New York Find Love in Madrid



200 works from the Hispanic Society of America, including works by renowned masters such as Goya, Velasquez, and El Greco, did not attract much tourists during the run of its exhibition entitled Treasures From the Hispanic Society of America, which took place at the Beaux-Arts museum in Washington Heights. However it was a major success at the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain. The show attracted more than 150,000 visitors since its opening on the 4th of April 2017. A portrait of the Duchess of Alba by Goya is on display among other works. These were admired by members of the royal family: King Juan Carlos and his wife Queen Sofía. Their presence reinforced the show’s status and it went on to receive recognition with the Princess of Asturias Award. Previously the building that constitutes the Prado Museum was closed to the public and re-opened with the now restored oil-painting of the duchess of Alba by Goya, which underwent a six-month process of restoration. This happened to reveal a red-sheen in the sitter’s black dress, leading to the theory that the artist was in love with her. The Prado Museum also restored four other paintings for the society, which was part of the agreement to send the exhibition from Manhattan, New York to Madrid. Other arts institutions seem to be following the same example by using traveling exhibitions to pay for renovations while closed.


Via: The New York Times


Giovanni da Rimini’s splendours of Heaven in glorious gold




In the summer of 2015, the philanthropist Ronald S Lauder donated a Giovanni da Rimini panel painting entitled ‘Scenes from the Lives of the Virgin and Other Saints’ to the National Gallery’s Renaissance art collection. It will be on display for the first time next Wednesday as part of a small and free exhibition, which will include two other paintings by the artist: ‘Scenes from the Life of Christ and ‘The Virgin and Child with Five Saints’. Both are smaller than expected and displayed in a case. The latter is speculated to have been made for private Christian devotions and depicts four scenes from the lives of different saints. A booklet with a descriptions and explanations is provided for visitors willing to learn more about the artist and this work. The former is of equal size and both panels might have been displayed side-by-side. The artist draws on the Byzantine traditions and was under the tutelage of Giotto di Bondini. The stories which unfold before the spectator are both vivid and animated. Other works by contemporaries are to be featured during the show, which will run to the 8th of October 2017.


Via: The Times