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The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, CT presents An Artificial Wilderness: The Landscape of Contemporary Photography, the institution’s first photography exhibition in nearly a decade. An Artificial Wilderness is pulled almost entirely from the Atheneum’s permanent collection (save one private loan) and explores man’s relationship to the natural landscape.

The exhibition features works by 16 prominent photographers and spans from the 1960s to the present. Works by Andy Goldsworthy, Ed Ruscha, Olafur Eliasson and Louise Lawler are on view and explore such themes as construction, destruction and humanity’s disregard for the physical world.

An Artificial Wilderness: The Landscape of Contemporary Photography will be on view at the Wadsworth Atheneum through January 5, 2014.

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An exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has reunited two versions of Vincent Van Gogh’s painting The Bedroom for the first time in years. The Van Gogh Museum owns the first version of the work and the second iteration is on loan from the Art Institute of Chicago; the latter has not been on view in Europe since 1990.

The presentation of the two paintings is the centerpiece of the second part of the exhibition Van Gogh at Work. The show, which commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Van Gogh Museum, will be on view through January 12, 2014. The Van Gogh Museum’s version of the painting was created in the artist’s bedroom in the Yellow House in Arles after weeks of continuous work. Pleased with the final result, Van Gogh wrote a letter to his brother, Theo, outlining why he was so fond of the work. The Art Institute’s version of the painting was produced less than a year later while Van Gogh was staying in the Saint-Remy asylum. He asked Theo to send him the first painting so that he could make a second version of it. While the two paintings are undeniably similar, they exhibit subtle differences in color and the way Van Gogh painted the details of the composition.

The second portion of Van Gogh at Work will include several changes besides the introduction of the Art Institute of Chicago’s version of The Bedroom. The exhibition’s works on paper will be exchanged for other works on paper as they are sensitive to light and can only be on view for a limited amount of time. Recent loans that have just been added to the show’s line up include The Drinkers (After Daumier) from the Art Institute of Chicago and Lawn with Weeping Tree from a private collection.

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Thursday, 29 August 2013 19:08

Important Timepieces on View at the Frick

The Frick Collection in New York is currently hosting the exhibition Precision and Splendor: Clocks and Watches at the Frick Collection. The museum, one of the finest small art institutions in the U.S., is known for its illustrious collection of Old Master paintings, furniture and European timepieces.

Most of the Frick’s clocks and watches were acquired through a bequest from the New York collector Winthrop Kellogg Edey in 1999. Due to limited space in the museum’s permanent gallery, the Frick has only been able to exhibit part of Edey’s collection, which is comprised of 38 watches and clocks dating from the Renaissance to the 19th century. Precision and Splendor, which includes 14 watches and 11 clocks from Edey’s gift, allows patrons a rare, in-depth glimpse of the impressive collection.

In addition to a masterwork by Pierre de Fobis and significant timepieces by George Smith, Henry Arlaud, Julien Le Roy and Antoine-Louis Breguet, Precision and Splendor includes five clocks on loan from the established collector Horace Wood Brock. The works, which were created in 18th century France, have never been on view in New York City.

Precision and Splendor will be on view at the Frick Collection through February 2, 2014.

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After being cancelled by Sicilian officials in July, Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome will open at the Cleveland Museum of Art on September 29, 2013 as originally planned. Sicilian officials feared that the traveling exhibition, which features 145 objects that celebrate the Greek culture that dominated Sicily between the 5th and 3rd centuries, was hurting the island’s economy, leading them to abruptly cancel the show.

Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome features a statue of a charioteer that measures six feet tall and a gold libation bowl, both of which are popular tourist attractions. The works are typically displayed at the Whitaker Villa on the tiny island of Mozia off of Sicily’s main landmass. Sicilian officials initially asked for more money for the loan but the Cleveland Museum refused, leading to the cancellation of the show. The two parties eventually reached an agreement and the institution will loan several of its masterworks, including Caravaggio’s Crucifixion of Saint Andrew, to Sicily in 2014.

Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome will be on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art through January 5, 2014.

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On Tuesday, August 13, 2013 a Bucharest court adjourned the trial of six Romanians charged with stealing seven paintings from the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam. Immediately following opening proceedings, the court president postponed the trial to September 10th, allowing more time for legal issues, such as bail requests, to be examined. Although short, the suspects’ court appearance was not uneventful.

Shortly before the hearing opened, Ragu Dogaru’s lawyer offered on behalf of his client to return five of the stolen works in return for being tried in the Netherlands rather than Romania where punishments for robbery are more severe. Earlier this year rumors began to circulate that Dogaru’s mother, Olga, had incinerated the stolen paintings in her stove in an attempt to protect her son. While it has not been confirmed that Dogaru is actually in possession of any of the masterpieces, his offer could suggest that five of the works are still intact.

Last October, the thieves made off with Pablo Picasso’s Tete d’Arlequin, Claude Monet’s Waterloo Bridge, London and Charing Cross Bridge, London, Henri Matisse’s La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune, Paul Gauguin’s Femme devant une fenetre ouverte, dite la Fiancee, Meyer de Haan’s Autoportrait, and Lucian Freud’s Woman with Eyes Closed. The works were on loan from the Triton Foundation to celebrate the Kunsthal Museum’s 20th anniversary.

The total value of the haul, which is being called the “theft of the century” in the Netherlands, is $24 million according to prosecutors. Despite their high value and incredible importance, none of the paintings were equipped with alarms.

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On Saturday, July 27, 2013 the Springfield Museum of Art in Springfield, MO will reunite two portraits that have been separated for 100 year. The paintings of Lewis Allen Dickens Crenshaw and his wife, Fanny Smith Crenshaw, are by the lauded 19th century Missouri artist George Caleb Bingham.

Bingham, a pioneer of the Luminist style, painted the portraits late in his life. Mrs. Crenshaw’s portrait has been in the museum’s collection since 1990 after being donated by the couple’s late daughter. Mr. Crenshaw’s portrait remains in the family and is on loan to the museum through Rachael Cozad Fine Art, a Kansas City-based gallery.

The Crenshaws portraits will be hung side by side as part of a permanent “exhibition” highlighting the Springfield Museum’s collection. Other featured artists include Grant Wood, Charles Sheeler and Thomas Hart Benton.

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Olga Dogaru, a Romanian woman who told investigators that she burned seven modern art masterpieces to protect her son, denied her claim in court on Monday, July 22, 2013. Dogaru’s son, Radu, was one of six suspects involved in the Kunsthal Museum heist, the biggest art-related robbery to take place in the Netherlands in years.

During the hearing, Dogaru alleged that she “made up” the story about incinerating $130 million worth of art in a desperate attempt to guard her son, who had admitted to stealing the paintings last October. If she is found guilty of “destruction with very serious consequences” Dogaru could serve up to 30 to years in prison under Romanian law. Last week, news circulated that forensic investigators had found trace evidence in the ash in Dogaru’s stove.

The heist took place on October 16, 2013 and proceeded to shake the art world. The six suspects made off with Pablo Picasso’s Tete d’Arlequin, Claude Monet’s Waterloo Bridge, London and Charing Cross Bridge, London, Henri Matisse’s La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune, Paul Gauguin’s Femme devant une fenetre ouverte, dite la Fiancee, Meyer de Haan’s Autoportrait, and Lucian Freud’s Woman with Eyes Closed in less than 90 seconds. The works were on loan from the Triton Foundation to celebrate the Kunsthal Museum’s 20th anniversary.

The suspects will stand trial next month.    

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Six Romanians will stand trial over the heist that took place at Rotterdam’s Kunsthal Museum this past October. Seven major paintings by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, and Henri Matisse were stolen during the robbery – the largest in years for the Netherlands.

The lifted works include Picasso’s Tete d’Arlequin, Matisse’s La Liseuse en Blanc et Jaune and Monet’s Waterloo Bridge, London and Charing Cross Bridge, London, which were on loan from the Triton Collection and on view as part of an exhibition celebrating the museum’s 20th anniversary. The paintings, which have not been recovered, are valued at more than $130 million. In May, investigators were analyzing ashes found in the home of one of the suspect’s mothers, raising fears that the works may have been incinerated.

Radu Dogaru and Adrian Procop are accused of masterminding the theft. Dogaru and several other suspects have been in custody since January 2013, while Procop remains at large. A date for the trial has not been set.

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Opening on October 2, 2013 at Tate Britain in London, Art Under Attack: Histories of British Iconoclasm will be the first exhibition to explore the history of physical attacks on art in Britain from the 16th century to the present day. The show will present famously marred works while exploring the religious, political and aesthetic motives that have provoked these violent acts.

The exhibition will include Statue of the Dead Christ (1500-20), which is being loaned to the Tate by London’s Worship Company of Mercers where the work was discovered beneath the chapel floor in 1954. The work was attacked by Protestants during the Reformation and is missing a crown of thorns, arms and lower legs. It is the first time that the Mercer has loaned the work since it was discovered nearly 60 years ago. John Singer Sargent’s (1856-1925) portrait of Henry James, which was attacked by a suffragette at the Royal Academy in 1914 with a knife, will also be on view. A less violently disgraced work is a portrait of Oliver Cromwell that was hung upside down by a devote monarchist. The work is on loan from the Inverness Museum in Scotland.

Art Under Attack: Histories of British Iconoclasm will be on view at Tate Britain through January 5, 2014.

Published in News
Monday, 08 July 2013 18:46

Sol Lewitt Mural Heads to Manhattan

A mural by the Conceptual art pioneer, Sol Lewitt, will head to the lobby of the Jewish Community Center on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Wall Drawing #599; Circles 18 (1989) will be installed at the end of July, making it the 20th Lewitt work in a public space in New York City.

The drawing, which features a bull’s eye comprised of yellow, blue, red and white concentric circles, is on long-term loan from Lewitt’s estate and measures 36 by 11 feet. Scaffolding has been delivered to the site and workers have begun mapping out Lewitt’s design. Laborers will use sandpaper, cotton rags, acrylic paint, plastic buckets and water to properly install the work.

A complementary exhibition, Sol Lewitt Shaping Ideas, will be on view at the Jewish Community Center’s Laurie M. Tisch Gallery starting August 15, 2013. The show will include works on paper and time-lapse videos of installations of Lewitt’s various wall drawings. An interactive map will indicate where all of the artist’s public works are located throughout New York City.

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