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A rare still life cubist collage by Pablo Picasso that features newspaper cuttings of ads for Quaker oats and Cherry Rocher cherry brandy has been acquired by the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

Of the 30 collages Picasso made, only a handful remain in private hands. It shows a stylized glass and bottle standing on a table, in a medium seen as revolutionary in the early 20th century. It was made using charcoal, ink and pencil and stencilled lettering, but the bottle was cut from samples of a French newspaper, Le Journal, dated 12 December 1912.

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A selection of 100 works from the nearly 10,000 acquired during the tenure of the Shelby White and Leon Levy Director of the Brooklyn Museum, Arnold Lehman, is being presented in his honor on the occasion of his retirement in the summer of 2015. "Diverse Works: Director’s Choice, 1997–2015," on view through August 2, 2015, includes works in a wide range of media from every corner of the globe. Spanning many centuries, the exhibition brings together important objects from all of the Museum’s collecting areas.

The selections range from an ancient Chinese mythical carved figure (5th–3rd century b.c.e.) to contemporary works by Kiki Smith and Chuck Close, and a mixed-media collage (2013) in a customized frame from the American artist Rashaad Newsome.

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Friday, 14 November 2014 09:48

MoMA Explores the Work of Elaine Sturtevant

The first thing you see in “Sturtevant: Double Trouble,” the Museum of Modern Art’s taut and feisty retrospective of the American artist Elaine Sturtevant, is work by artists far better known than Ms. Sturtevant herself.

Right at the start is the familiar 1972 photographic portrait of the German Conceptualist Joseph Beuys, in his porkpie hat and flak jacket, striding toward the camera. A bit farther on you’ll find Jasper Johns’s 1955 “Target With Four Faces,” a combination of painting, collage and sculpture and a MoMA treasure. Near it is Eliot Elisofon’s classic 1952 time-lapse photograph of Marcel Duchamp descending a staircase.

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On Saturday, November 1, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York will present the world premiere of a Joseph Cornell film that was recently discovered in its own collection. Cornell, a celebrated exponent of assemblage, was also an avant-garde experimental filmmaker. MoMA holds an extensive collection of Cornell’s films, which were donated to the institution in 1995 by the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation.

“Untitled Joseph Cornell Film (The Wool Collage)” (circa 1940-55) was discovered in 2011 during a research project led by MoMA’s Film Conservation Manager Peter Williamson.

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Sotheby’s has announced that it will be selling Jasper Johns’s "Flag" (1983) during the November 11 Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York. This particular example of "Flag," which is relatively small at approximately 11 x 17 inches and done in encaustic on silk and collaged onto canvas, carries a price estimate of  $15 million to $20 million. (or about $1 million a square inch.) Before the sale, it will go on something of a grand tour, being showcased to collectors in Los Angeles, Hong Kong and London.

In 2010, Christie’s sold a larger version of a Johns flags, nearly 17 x 26 inches, which was also painted much early, circa 1960-1966, for a record price of $28.6 million.

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 The Denver Art Museum is currently hosting the exhibition “Beyond Pop Art: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective.” Tom Wesselmann, an American painter whose career spanned more than four decades, is widely regarded as one of the defining figures of Pop Art. Organized chronologically, “Beyond Pop Art” charts the evolution of Wesselman’s influential oeuvre.

The exhibition begins with Wesselman’s early abstract collages and moves to his well-known series, “The Great American Nude.”

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Scratch an art dealer, and you’ll often find a curator. That’s the case with Craig Starr, who seems to operate in the secondary art market mainly to support his persistent curatorial itch. For nearly a decade, he has been mounting sharp-focus shows of historical works by prominent American postwar artists in his jewel-box gallery on the Upper East Side.

Mr. Starr’s latest effort — one of his best — is “Robert Rauschenberg: The Fulton Street Studio, 1953-54.” With 15 works borrowed from private collections, this exhibition delves into a formative period in the development of Rauschenberg (1925-2008), when he was in his late 20s and moving fast. It presents his sensibility in a nutshell, his broad aesthetic range, omnivorous curiosity, playfulness and intuitive elegance.

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Friday, 09 May 2014 11:31

Turner Prize Shortlist Announced

The 30th Turner prize will be contested by four artists who are almost impossible to pigeonhole, using techniques that include film, storytelling, installation and screenprinting.

The shortlist, announced on Tuesday at Tate Britain, is made up of Duncan Campbell, Ciara Phillips, James Richards and Tris Vonna-Michell.

All four are in a sense collagists, often using images and films they have physically discovered or found online. They also explore subjects that are more their parents' history than their own.

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The Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire, is currently hosting “Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey.” The exhibition, which was organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in cooperation with the Romare Bearden Foundation and Estate and New York’s DC Moore Gallery, has been displayed at five venues before going on view at the Currier Museum. After its time in New Hampshire, the show will travel to New York City for presentation at Columbia University.

During the late 1970s, Romare Bearden created a series of collages and watercolors based on Homer’s epic poem, “The Odyssey.” Shortly after its completion, the series was broken up and scattered amongst public and private collections. “A Black Odyssey” presents the complete, 55-piece series in chronological order. Together, the works tell the ancient story of Odysseus’ journey, through the lens of Bearden’s own experience as an African-American.

Bearden, who moved to New York City from North Carolina as a child, was part of the Great Migration of African-Americans from the tumultuous South to greater opportunity in the North. Throughout his career, Bearden explored themes such as home, classical subjects, and belonging, all of which are touched upon in his Odyssey series.

“Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey” will remain on view at the Currier Museum of Art through August 17.

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On March 15, the Museum of Modern Art’s William S. Paley Collection will go on view at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. “A Taste for Modernism” presents 62 works that cover all of the pivotal movements that defined the art world between 1880 and 1940. The exhibition features works by 24 major artists including Edgar Degas, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Alberto Giacometti, and Francis Bacon. The William S. Paley Collection has been on a North American tour since 2012. The Crystal Bridges Museum will be the last venue to host the exhibition before it returns to MoMA.

Highlights from the exhibition include two works by Cézanne, which Paley acquired from the artist’s son; eight works by Picasso that trace his artistic evolution over the first three decades of the 20th century, including “Boy Leading a Horse” from his Rose period, the Cubist painting “An Architect’s Table,” and the collage-inspired composition “Still Life with Guitar”; Gauguin’s “The Seed of the Areoi,” which was inspired by the artist’s trips to Tahiti; and realist landscapes by Edward Hopper.

William S. Paley, the media mogul who built the CBS broadcasting empire, was an important art collector and philanthropist. Paley began collecting in the 1930s and had a particular fondness for French modernist movements such as Fauvism, Cubism, and Post-Impressionism. Paley played a major role in establishing MoMA as one of the most significant institutions in the world and he fulfilled various roles at the museum including patron, trustee, president, and board chairman from 1937 until his death in 1999.

“A Taste for Modernism” will remain on view at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art through July 7.

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