BgArt News Blog
Vermeer Studio Found
A Dutch artist/art restorer has discovered the studio of the Dutch master painter Johannes Vermeer. Daan Hartmann made the discovery after working in the studio for 20 years. Archives confirmed the studio was owned by a brewery and rented out to Vermeer.
Thanks to Cricket for sharing the Vermeer news. Her Dutch genre painting post has more Vermeer information.
Tom Wesselmann dies at 73
Pop icon Tom Wesselmann has passed away at the age of 73. Wesselmann died from complications after recent heart surgery.
His most popular theme was the reclining female nude in classical poses, painted in his own poppish way. Contemporary appliances and products also featured in his compositions. Wesselmann came to prominence in the 60s along with other pop giants like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.
Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti's play
More on the recent controversial Sikh play
in the United Kingdom. It was cancelled due to the violent and disgusting protests by members of the Sikh community. The author of the play has also had several death threats against her and for now there are no plans for further perfomances.
I heard a member of the Sikh community saying he didn't want people to go see the play as it would give them the wrong impression of what Sikhs really are, but the actions of 400 angry and violent protesting Sikhs and worldwide media coverage of their actions has given them a much worse impression than any play could possibly do.
Leading figures from Britain's arts world back Sikh playwright
"To stop the production of a work of art by means of force and continued threats of force is unacceptable... Doubtless, some will see the fact that the play's production has been brought to an end by this campaign of intimidation as some kind of victory. The reality is we all lose by it"
Black day in UK's history of art?
"In an unprecedented and unexpected showdown between Britain's powerful and networked artistic community, a leading British theatre company has told TOI it blames sections of the country's unruly and violent Sikh community for "opening the door" to a disturbing censorship and unwarranted of theatre, books, novels and paintings."
More artists upsetting religious authorities.. this time it's the Sikhs in the United Kingdom being offended. Four hundred protesters stormed the Birmingham Repertory Theatre during the controversial play "Behzti" (Punjabi for dishonor). Apparently it is filled with sexual abuse, murder, manipulation and doesn't portray Sikhs in a positive manner, but there is a waiting list for tickets to see it.
Hitler Pop Controversy
German born American artist Walter Gaudnek has managed to upset people by holding an exhibition of Adolf Hitler, showing him in a more casual and positive way. The artist tried to portray Hitler as human rather than as a monster and members of the Jewish community didn't find it very amusing. Gaudnek is now taking his exhibition down after just two weeks because of the controversy the works have created. Gaudnek told Reuters.. "I wanted to educate my students on the historical phenomenon of Hitler and show an aspect of him which has got lost over time".
Read more at Reuters
Beckham Punched in the Face
The controversial nativity scene at Madame Tussauds in London was vandalized by a member of the public and has now been closed. David and Victoria Beckham were dressed as Mary and Joseph, with George W Bush, Tony Blair, and the Duke of Edinburgh as the three wise men, and Kylie Minogue as an angel. Christian leaders criticized the display and called it tasteless.
De Kooning: An American Master
A new book about the abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning is out.. "De Kooning: An American Master" by Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan.
"William de Kooning is one of the most important artists of the twentieth century, a true "painter's painter" whose protean work continues to inspire many artists. In the thirties and forties, along with Arshile Gorky and Jackson Pollock, he became a key figure in the revolutionary American movement of abstract expressionism. Of all the painters in that group, he worked the longest and was the most prolific, creating powerful, startling images well into the 1980s.
The first major biography of de Kooning, this book captures both the life and work of this complex, romantic figure in American culture."
Excerpted from the book
Also, read a review of the book at the New Yorker.
Artists and Galleries
Artists are known for their less than savvy business skills and are often ripped off by galleries. It really does pay to do some research on a gallery before trusting them with your work..
Art gallery, owners face lawsuits
"I have had trouble with erl paying promptly for several years but stuck with them because they sold very well for me," said Margee Aycock, a Colorado artist represented by the gallery. She said she is still owed more than $2,000 for paintings sold last year.
"They always had a story as to why payment was late," she said.
El Greco Alterpiece
A small recently discovered alterpiece by El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) has been sold at Christies for £789,250. The work was found by chance in an envelope in an apartment in Spain.
El Greco work sold to Crete
"It is of a similar style and composition to one of his known works from that period, the Modena Triptych, which is dated to around 1568.
Rich and feted during his life but consigned to art history oblivion soon after his death in Toledo in 1614, El Greco was rediscovered in the 19th century."
Turner Prize Awarded
Thirty Eight year old London artist Jeremy Deller has been awarded the Turner Prize this year. The work is a video journey of the British artist traveling around Texas. It seems to be an improvement on previous winners of the prestigious, yet controversial Turner prize. Elephant dung, pickled cow, empty room with light switch, and an unmade bed have also won the prize before.
Turner prize shock: out of four serious competitors, the best artist wins
"The 38-year-old Londoner, who describes himself as "not a technically capable person", is almost unnaturally well-liked both by the art world and the general public."
Buried in a Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright fans with deep pockets ($300,000) can choose to be immortalized in the Blue Sky Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Cemetery, located in Buffalo, New York. It has been built 45 years after the death of the famous architect and has just recently been opened to the public.
Quite Frankly, I can think of better things to spend 300 thousand on.
America's dead rich buy a tomb with a view
"Civic leaders have never hidden the fact that they regard the mausoleum as being as much about attracting tourists to Buffalo as commemoration. 'We have the opportunity to establish ourselves as a national destination for people who care about architecture,' said Assembly member Sam Hoyt at the opening."
Rubens Ice Sculpture
Forty ice sculptors have come together in Antwerp to celebrate the famous Flemish artist, and celebrated son of Belgium.. Peter Paul Rubens. I tried to find some more images of the exhibition online as I saw it on television and was impressed, but couldn't find much.
I don't think I could commit so much time and energy into making a work of art that returns to water in a few days. I'm more into the permanence of oils, wood, or stone. How does an ice sculptor have a retrospective after a life of work?
"All artists are vain, they long to be recognized and to leave something to posterity." - Francis Bacon
Antwerp puts Rubens world on ice
"When I first picked up an ice chisel, it was very sharp and I pushed it and it made this 'crisp' sound, and the feel of it was so delicious, and I still have that pleasure" Steve Leister.
More on Duchamp
Richard Cork of the Independent in the UK wrote this article on Duchamp..
How Duchamp made a splash (and changed art forever)
"Outrageous avant-garde movements were challenging everyone's ideas about what modern art could be, but no one before Duchamp had dared to exhibit - quite unaltered - an object purchased in a shop."
Marcel Duchamp's ready-made urinal has been voted the most influential work of art of all time by 500 art experts. Pablo Picasso's "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" and "Guernica" paintings must have felt a little peeved at missing out on the top spot to a toilet.
"Art experts" have been wrong before though..
Duchamp's urinal tops art survey
Duchamp shocked the art establishment when he took the urinal, signed it and put it on display in 1917.
"The choice of Duchamp's Fountain as the most influential work of modern art ahead of works by Picasso and Matisse comes as a bit of a shock," said art expert Simon Wilson.