27 December, 2011

Caravaggio by Hughes

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610)

1970's documentary by Robert Hughes


part 1 of 7

05 December, 2011

Art Basel Miami

From December 6 through 9, Miami Beach, Florida, will host the 11th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach


An exclusive selection of more than 250 leading art galleries from USA, Canada, Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia will exhibit 20th and 21st century artworks by more than 2,000 artists.

05 October, 2011

PULSE Art Fair - LA

PULSE Los Angeles 2011
======================== =========================

from vernissage tv


Based on the theme “OUR MAGIC HOUR”, the YOKOHAMA TRIENNALE 2011 will be held at two main venues: the Yokohama Museum of Art and NYK Waterfront Warehouse (BankART Studio NYK). 

Focusing on works that allude to the magical mysterious powers in our daily lives and world as well as those that refer to mythology , myths and legend, The Triennale promises to be a vibrant exhibition that will showcase the works of dynamic contemporary Japanese and international drawing on pieces from the collection of the Yokohama Museum of Art and other institutions. 

Artists works 

28 September, 2011

Frieze Art Fair 2011

13–16 October 2011

Frieze Art Fair takes place every October in Regent’s Park, London. The fair showcases new and established artists to an international audience.

Frieze Art Fair features over 170 galleries from around the world, providing a unique opportunity to see and buy work by leading artists.

Google, Books & Copyright

On September 12 this year, the Authors Guild in the USA, the Australian Society of Authors, the Quebec Union of Writers and a number of individual authors filed suit against a partnership of five American universities and research libraries (the same universities involved in the Google Books case), over what the plaintiffs described as “one of the largest copyright infringements in history”. [1]

According to the Complaint [2]: “The Universities have directly caused millions of works that are protected by copyright holders to be scanned, stored in digital format, repeatedly copied and made available online for various uses. These actions not only violate the exclusive rights of copyright holders…but, by creating at least two databases connected to the Internet that store millions of digital copies of copyrighted books, the Universities risk the widespread, unauthorised and irreparable dissemination of these works.”

full story

26 September, 2011

The Magnificent Medici

- Lorenzo de' Medici becomes a driving force of the Renaissance; monk Savonarola promotes fundamentalist purification of Florence after the death of Lorenzo de' Medici.

24 September, 2011

UK Gallery Guide

New Exhibitions of Contemporary Art is the UK’s most widely used art resource. The website is continuously updated to ensure accurate and timely information. Over 25,000 copies per issue of New Exhibitions' bi-monthly print edition are distributed through hundreds of art venues and by subscription.


Art History Conferences


23 September, 2011

Egon Schiele - Nazi Looted

As with every smart collector, Leopold relied on his own aesthetic instincts and obtained Schiele and other early twentieth-century Austrian artists whilst the prices were low.

In 1955 Leopold, now working in Vienna as a professor of ophthalmology, proceeded to enhance the art historical reputation and hence the value of his collection by curating a highly successful touring exhibition to the more progressive art hubs of Eindhoven and Amsterdam. This was followed in the 1960s by transatlantic validation of the collection, with shows in both London and New York, and Vienna itself finally succumbing to the growing fame of their own native modern artists by exhibiting Leopold’s collection in 1968. In 1972-1973 Leopold followed up the travelling shows by producing an influential monography on Schiele in both German and English editions (published by Phaidon): this brought further widespread exposure to both the artist and the collection. The rise to fame of Egon Schiele was due in the main to Leopold’s collecting strategies.

full story

15 June, 2011

History of Illustrated News


With One Hundred and Fifty Illustrations.


view online here



"When the printing-press came into use this love of pictures had a wide field for development. Some of the first 2 books printed in England were illustrated with woodcuts, and many of the tracts, or ‘News-books,’ which preceded regular newspapers, were adorned with rude engravings. It mattered not how graphic was the pen, its work was deemed incomplete without the aid of the pencil. It often happened that the pen was none the better for the fellowship, but the public taste was not fastidious, and the work sufficed for the occasion. In tracing the origin and progress of pictorial journalism we shall find in ‘the abstracts and brief chronicles of the time’ many curious illustrations of contemporary history. The subject is not without interest now that the illustrated newspaper has become a prominent feature in the journalism of every country.

The development of the newspaper press and its unrestricted use as the exponent of public opinion is one of the most interesting signs of modern progress."



Chapter IX describes 'How an Illustrated Newspaper is Produced'

"The art of wood-engraving, to which the illustrated newspaper owes its existence, has been fully described by competent authors. The best work on the subject is that produced by the late John Jackson in 1839; but since that date the resources of the art have been greatly developed, chiefly through the influence of illustrated newspapers."


The section on the difficulties of war correspondent artists is particularly interesting.

"When the great war of 1870, between France and Prussia, broke out, the illustrated newspapers had special artists on both sides, who encountered all sorts of hardships, and passed through all  kinds of adventures in fulfilling their duties. Besides being frequently arrested as spies, and undergoing the privations of beleagured places, they had also to run the risk of shot and shell, and sometimes they were obliged to destroy their sketching materials under fear of arrest. One of them was in custody as a spy no less than eleven times during the war. The danger of being seen sketching or found with sketches in their possession was so great that on one occasion a special artist actually swallowed his sketch to avoid being taken up as a spy. Another purchased the largest book of cigarette papers he could obtain, and on them he made little sketches, prepared in case of danger to smoke them in the faces of his enemies."

Chapter X covers other methods of producing illustrations.

"The pictorial press has hitherto been mainly dependent on the art of wood-engraving for its illustrations, but latterly several inventions have been used, not unsuccessfully, in the production of blocks in relief, to be printed in the same manner as woodcuts. The great improvements that have been made in surface printing render it probable that in the future these process blocks may be extensively used in illustrated newspapers. They are recommended by their cheapness and rapid production; and as the intermediate process of engraving is dispensed with, they retain the exact touch of the artist, and are not liable to be mutilated by careless or hasty engraving. It may be said of all these inventions, however, that they are best suited for slight sketches, and should not be applied to the production of highly-finished subjects. For the latter there is nothing better than a woodcut, which, when well executed and carefully printed, has a richness superior to any other method of engraving. But in the present day competition is so great and the march of events is so rapid that cheapness and rapidity of production will override artistic excellence, and process-engraving, as it is called, will probably be the method adopted for the daily pictorial press, the era of which is approaching."

Death and Skeletons

"The use of a skeleton as a symbol of death in painting seems to have been unusual during the Renaissance till towards the end of the fifteenth century. The earliest artist of note in this period to adopt it, was Jean Prevost who represented a man taking a letter from a skeleton without seeing the messenger. Then came Grien who painted three works of the kind. In the first Death holds an hour-glass at the back of a woman, and points to the position of the sand ; in the second the bony figure has clutched a girl by the hair ; and the third represents a skeleton apparently kissing a girl.  They are all hideous works, and might well have acted as a warning to succeeding artists.

After Grien the use of a skeleton in design was practically confined to the smaller German masters till the middle of the second half of the sixteenth century, when it disappeared from serious work. From this time on, for the next three centuries artists of repute rarely introduced a skeleton into a painting, though it is to be found occasionally in engravings. One might have supposed that the unsightly form had been abandoned with the imps, evil spirits, and other crudities of past days, but it was not to be.

The search for novelties in recent times has only resulted in the resuscitation of bygone eccentricities, and we must not be surprised that the skeleton is amongst them."

Art Principles by Ernest Govett (1919)

Vassili Verestchagin

An Execution in British India
Painting by Vassili Verestchagin

As part of his article accompanying the wood engraving of the painting when it was published in Harper's Weekly on November 17, 1888, Mr. Cook wrote:
"So with the other picture, the shooting of the Sepoys, Verestchagin does not say that this particular scene is an incident of the great mutiny. Shooting from guns is the only way, he says, that 60,000 soldiers in a stronge country can keep in awe 250,000,000 natives. Superstition must be utilized. The natives do not fear to die, but they fear to die in any way that destroys the identity of the body. They cannot enter heaven blown limb from limb. Therefore this is the way to touch their souls with dreadul awe, and the English, says our artist, have always blown from guns, blow from guns today, and will blow from guns as long as India is held.
"But Verestchagin is not only a prophet of evil, a poet of night and cruel deeds...."

Mr. Cook draws an abstraction from a specific event that seems to counteract the effect of its horror. In Europe, Verestchagin's popularity on the other hand, stemmed from the "anti-militaristic tendencies of his pictures" according to one German authority (H. Vollmer, Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Kuenstler, E.A. Seeman, Leipzig 1942, p. 392).

An American compendium describes him as "a realist painter best known for his almost photographic representations of the horrors of war" (G. Norman, Nineteenth-Century Painters and Painting: a Dictionary, U. of California Press, Berkeley, 1977).

Verestchagin actually visited India in 1876-77. He died in the Far East during the Russian-Japanese war in 1904, when the ship he was travelling on was sunk near Port Arthur.


Indian Revolutionaries Strapped to Cannons and Blown Part

on wiki

"His picture Blowing from Guns in British India depicted executions carried out by tying victims to the barrels of guns. Vereshchagin's detractors argued that such executions had only occurred in the Indian Rebellion of 1857, but the painting depicted modern soldiers of the 1880s, implying that the practice was normal. Because of its photographic style, the painting appeared to present itself as impartial record of a real event. In the Magazine of Art in December 1887 Vereshchagin defended himself, rather evasively, by saying that this mode of execution was "the most humane in existence" and that if there were another rebellion then the British would use it again."

Collection of works at Olga's Gallery

more images

his book is available to read online here

13 June, 2011

Dutch Art Cutbacks

Exract from petition.

... it is incomprehensible for a government which wants to prepare its citizens for a promising future to decide to remove the part of the social system which guides the public in this respect. The extremely hard approach adopted in relation to the sector of the visual arts (a reduction from 53.5 million to 31 million) is not supported in this memorandum by either logical or factual arguments.

Amongst other things, the Secretary of State has decided:

- to halve the budget of the Mondriaan fund;

- to drastically reduce the number of presentation institutions in the BIS from 11 to 6. The institutions which are no longer in the BIS cannot go to the Mondriaan fund either, and therefore have no chance of survival;

- to no longer provide any subsidy for art magazines;

- to put a complete stop to the government subsidy for functions which are now carried out by biennial Manifesta, SKOR | Stichting Kunst en Openbare Ruimte (Foundation for Art in Public Spaces), the sectoral institute Premsela, Virtual Platform, the Netherlands Media Art Institute (NIMk);

- to put a stop to financing post-academic education for artists in the Ateliers, Rijksakademie voor beeldende kunsten (Royal Academy for Visual Arts), European Ceramic Work Centre and the Jan van Eyck Academy;

to only support the continued development of 50 visual artists who have proved themselves as top talents in the next four years;

- to halve the individual basic stipends and working grants for artists, and to COMPLETELY stop the present subsidies which serve to provide an income.

The direct and immediate effects of these measures for the PUBLIC which wants to see and experience contemporary art are catastrophic:

The makers, producers and artists form the basis of the cultural infrastructure. After all, with no artists, there is no art. No subsidies or insufficient subsidies for artists to focus professionally and full time on creating work means that there will be no innovative work.

No post-academic education means there will be no growth of new artists who excel and can represent the Netherlands abroad. Removing this function will immediately lead to a reduction in the provision of Dutch presentation institutions, so that the Netherlands will lose its competitive position. This will result in the total impoverishment of the art market in the Netherlands and to a weaker position of the Dutch galleries on the international art market.

A minimal number of presentation institutions means that the new art will not find its way to the public and will remain locked up in studios and warehouses. The Dutch and international public in the Netherlands will not be able to see any innovative art.

Removing an institution such as SKOR means that the presence of art in public spaces -- democratic and by definition "anti-elitist", because it is accessible to everyone free of charge -- will decline.

Closing an institution such as NIMk means that a valuable, partly digital heritage -- video art and film art and media art -- will become fragmented and will no longer be accessible to the public.

The innovative part of the field of the visual arts, which also determines the international image of the creative Netherlands, cannot survive without a financial injection from the state.

the petition: http://petities.nl/petitie/bezuinigen-op-cultuur-zonder-alle-feiten-nooit

(source Netbehaviour)

Northern Renaissance - Albrecht Durer

Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) One of the greatest creative geniuses.

Excellent documentary in six parts.


Venice - Invisible Pavilion

The Invisible Pavilion | 54th International Art Exhibition | Venice Biennale

- Opening to the public: 4 June > 27 November 2011
Venice, Giardini and all over the world on the Internet

Curated by Simona Lodi and Les Liens Invisibles

The art, my friend, is flowing in the wind.

The Invisible Pavilion is a non-invitation, experimental, hallucinatory augmented reality experience that will run for the duration of the Venice Art Biennale as a squatted stage on which a performance flow of artworks will fill the whole area of the Giardini. The main purpose of the project is to fill the augmented space of the Biennale with a stream of signs and symbols, in an attempt to emphasize the ebb and flow of art production in the “always-on” age.

Anyone with a smart-phone (iPhone or any other Android-based phone and Layar) will be able to move around the traditional pavilions in the Giardini area of the Biennale and see, through their phone screens, another immaterial/invisible exhibition.

For the entire length of the Venice Art Biennale (June–November 2011) a group of selected international artists have been invited to give their personal contribution to the project, by performing/posting multimedia pieces that should somehow reinterpret the public space of the Biennale and its symbolic aura in the field of contemporary art. The artworks will also be visible on the Internet, on the Invisible Pavilion website.

As Simona Lodi says in the curatorial text, “The Invisible Pavilion is a hallucinatory experience of rewriting the world, an encouragement to increase the whirl and flow of information on invisible r/Reality. The Invisible Pavilion contains a r/Reality that is open and spontaneous, drawn and analysed from shared data. The double r reflects its double connotation—the lower case r refers to the everyday reality that we all know; the upper case R to a proprietary name, the augmented Reality that is produced.“

Participating Artists

Links and References


Download Hi-res pictures

In cooperation with Manifest.AR International Cyberartist Group


Simona Lodi, art critic and curator, lives in Turin. Since 1993 she has been a contributor to various leading contemporary art journals. Simona's professional career spans New York, London and Turin—a city that has embraced the world of new technology and communication. It is in this context that the Share Festival–Art in the Digital Age, of which Simona is founder and Art Director, has found fertile ground to grow and develop.

Les Liens Invisibles is an Italian-based duo of internet artists, Clemente Pestelli and Gionatan Quintini. Most of their artworks—which include an online viral mass suicide performance, an hallucinatory petition service and a series of other works staged on popular social media platforms—have been exhibited internationally in galleries, museums (MAXXI Rome, New School of New York, KUMU Art Museum of Talinn) and international media art festivals (SHARE, Transmediale). Les Liens Invisibles recently received an honorary distinction at the Transmediale Media Art Festival (2011).

Les Liens Invisibles


I would normally post about new media arts on Blakkbyrd but as this is at Venice, its included here. (ed)

National Gallery Cutbacks

Australian Printmaking exhibition cancelled.

The federal efficiency dividend (cost-cutting)

The NGA needs to save 1.5 per cent of the $31.5 million a year it receives from the federal government. (that's $472,500 ed)

While management of the Canberra art gallery has a careful policy of not commenting on how the 1.5 per cent dividend is affecting its operations, under questioning in Senate estimates, director Ron Radford said staff numbers would be reduced by almost 10 per cent, equivalent to 20 positions.

... the deputy secretary of the department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Richard Eccles, said the gallery's financial woes were not entirely a result of the efficiency dividend.

"It would not be right to assume the full impact of the changes Dr Radford is outlining are attributed solely to the efficiency dividend," Mr Eccles said.

Indigenous Art

Dr Radford said the annual $1.2m running cost of the gallery's new indigenous art wing -- which opened last October -- was an expense it didn't have before.


Dr Radford said: "Travel and other areas have been severely cut for the next year; touring exhibitions have also been reduced but not as dramatically."

He named three of the five cancelled shows as the National Indigenous Art Triennial, postponed until next year, an Australian printmaking show and a Roy Lichtenstein exhibition, which "will not happen until much later".

Canberra's National Museum of Australia has also shed 20 staff, reduced the number of shows it will hold in future years and said the exhibitions it does hold will be staged for longer.


see also:  the WA government invests $6million to import an overseas collection for exhibition in Perth.

12 June, 2011

Venice - Vernissage

Preview and Press Conference

Vernice e conferenza Stampa alla 54 Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte di Venezia Intervento del Presidete Paolo Baratta, il Direttore Bice Curiger e il Ministro della Cultura Giancarlo Galan. Nel video vengono mostrate alcune Opere del Padilione Italia durante la Vernice del 1 giugno 2011. Video di Leonardo Orlandi - CINIT Cineforum Italiano. Source


From Vernissage TV

http://www.vernissage.tv | First impressions of the 54th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia in Venice, Italy. This year, the exhibition's curator is Bice Curiger, the title of the show is Illuminations. The Venice Biennale is one of the world's most important art events.


On the second day of the Venice Biennale Preview, we had a look at the Central Pavilion in the Giardini


11 June, 2011

My Name in Lights - Stedelijk

From June 1 to 26, the Stedelijk continues its commitment to bringing international artists to Amsterdam for the Holland Festival, exploring the relationship between the visual and performance arts.

This time, it will involve a 30 meter-wide LED screen.

"Iconic American conceptual artist John Baldessari is looking for people, who want their name in lights, but just for 15 glittering seconds. Your Name in Lights reflects the changing cult of celebrity in modern society and recalls Andy Warhol's prediction that in the future everyone will have their 15 minutes of fame."

Curator of Exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum, Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen ... researching the shortlist of potential artists to work with ... discovered Baldessari’s YOUR NAME IN LIGHTS. It was part of the Sydney Festival and it fit exactly what the Stedelijk was after. The high level of audience participation was too good to pass up. Baldessari agreed to bring it to Amsterdam, the only other time the work is planned to be on display.

YOUR NAME IN LIGHTS will occupy a transitional space between the institution’s walls and the public square. The large LED screen blurs the boundaries between the two. In return, members of the public get to add their name to be displayed right on the side of the museum.

full info at Sydney Festival

zal 15 seconden schitteren om / will be screened for 15 glittering seconds on:
Dinsdag, 14 juni 16:16:20 / Tuesday, 14 June 4:16:20 PM CET
New Time
16:16:20 Tuesday June 14, 2011 in  converts to
00:16:20 Wednesday June 15, 2011 in Sydney

Watch live streaming video from yournameinlights at livestream.com


more info at the Stedelijk Museum

10 June, 2011

WA Museum & MoMA

"The Australian cultural scene has achieved a milestone: the Art Gallery of Western Australia has secured a deal with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) for a historical exhibition featuring the works of the greatest artists of all time."

"The Modern Masters exhibition will be the first of six exhibitions showcasing MoMA's collection, with subsequent shows drawing works from each of the museum's curatorial departments, including design and photography.

The WA government allocated $6 million in the recent budget to help with underwriting the cost of the exhibition."

Cultural cringe. This would have been acceptable if it included MoMA presenting six US exhibitions of Australian art. Instead we have Australian funds being used to market MoMA's already overexposed collection when we should be spending those monies to market our grossly impoverished  Australian art overseas.

The exhibition entitled Picasso to Warhol: Twelve Modern Masters, is set to open for viewing next week and will feature up to 100 works from MoMa's distinguished collection. ... This  ... exhibition is made possible by the Art Gallery's head Dr. Stefano Carboni, who has previously worked for the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art.   source

If only Mr Carboni had used his contacts to tour six Australian exhibitions overseas. He's missed an opportunity to also make WA's collection "distinguished".
"This is certainly demonstrating Perth and WA is right up there internationally and we're not just seen as being important in relation to economic development and the development of our resource sector," Mr Day told AAP.
This simply re-inforces the insignificance of Australia's presence in the international arts community. WA is perceived as a colonial client whose population can be exploited as consumers.  Were it seen as an equal partner the terms of the agreement would reflect this and the US government would be financing a tour of six exhibitions of Australian Masters. Not disclosed was the cost to MoMA or the amount of sponsorship from Ernst & Young in bringing these works to Perth.

MoMA's collection is not so much "
the works of the greatest artists of all time" as the greatest marketed works of all time, and the Australian population is paying.

Under a deal struck with the MoMA, the WA State gallery will become the only Australian venue to host the exhibitions twice a year, effectively setting up a branch of the famous New York art museum in the Perth Cultural Centre until the end of 2015.  Source

And are we also setting up a branch of WA State Gallery in New York?

The Art Gallery of Western Australia and Ernst & Young today announced Ernst & Young will become the Principal Series Sponsor for the Great Collections of the World series, in a three- year agreement that will run from July 2011 through to June 2014. The new sponsorship agreement elevates the firm’s Gallery sponsorship to sole Principal Series Sponsor for the Great Collections series during the next three years.  .... Ernst & Young Perth Managing Partner, Michael Anghie, said Ernst & Young’s increased sponsorship followed the success of the Peggy Guggenheim: A Collection in Venice exhibition which drew thousands to the Gallery, and was part of the firm’s ongoing commitment to support world-class exhibitions touring Perth.  Source gallery media release

Minister's media release

The question is how much revenue will the gallery earn from ticket sales and what proportion of revenues will be retained in Australia. There is the potential to move tons of gift shop mechandise, all promoting the MoMA collection.

Australia's position as an international art force is largely dependent on its ability to participate equally on the world's stage. Of the dozen or so major art fairs, such as Art Basel next week, there is little, if any, participation by Australian artists and galleries. If you dig deep you may find the odd Australian artist represented by an overseas gallery, or the odd gallery making a one-off appearance. $6million would have gone a long way to address this inadequacy.

Until Australia starts participating on equal footing in all venues, it will continue to be an overlooked non-influential minor player. The monies invested on imported art would be better spent on exports.

06 June, 2011

Venice - Germany

Interview with the commissioner of German Pavilion, Susanne Gaensheimer, Golden Lion for Best National Participation at the 54th International Art Exhibition

German Pavilion website

Dr. Susanne Gaensheimer, Commissioner of the German Pavilion of the 54th Venice Biennial in 2011 and Director of MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt/Main, has announced that the work of Christoph Schlingensief will be presented in Venice despite his untimely death.

“When inviting Christoph Schlingensief in May of this year I explained that my basic idea was to approach an artist of my generation, who has worked for a significant time (which in the case of Christoph Schlingensief was almost 30 years) and in a significant way, someone who not only witnessed the artistic, social and political issues of the two decades of post-reunification Germany, but also took an active role in defining them. Christoph Schlingensief was one of the most important artists in this country, one who never shied away from voicing his opinion and maintaining his position, wholeheartedly, even towards himself, with the utmost clarity and directness, such as is necessary if you want to comment on conditions effectively. Christoph Schlingensief’s tragic death has in no way affected my conviction that the decision to invite him was the right one,” Dr. Susanne Gaensheimer concludes.

From the early 1980s onwards, Christoph Schlingensief explored a variety of different media in his work. He made films, was involved in political action, theater, art projects, and opera. Even though he originally decidedly left behind the legacy of what was known as Neue Deutsche Film (new German film), on many levels we can compare his work to that of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. In particularly, this is true as regards team work, an approach that, though common in the world of film and theater, still tends to be the exception in the visual arts, and yet influenced his work for decades. The fact that Schlingensief immersed himself in such a variety of different media and genres makes it impossible to pigeonhole him. Indeed, a key aspect of his work consists of transgressing and dissolving genre-specific boundary lines and the alleged clarity of form and content. Schlingensief’s oeuvre is extremely complex and it is in the nature of his work that it finds itself in a permanent state of self-exploration and change. Schlingensief used language as the fundamental starting point for his work, across the board. As there are no translations, subtitles or English versions of his work, the German Pavilion will not only to present Schlingensief’s work, but will also make it accessible to an international audience.

Christoph Schlingensief had a multitude of ideas and thoughts during the intense collaborative effort committed to his project for the German Pavilion, and some of those ideas were already very detailed. Nonetheless, Susanne Gaensheimer had decided not to use them: “It is impossible to realize a Christoph Schlingensief project without Christoph Schlingensief. Almost a year before the Biennial was due to open a number of questions were of course not yet answered, and anyone who ever experienced Schlingensief’s way of working will tell you that up until opening day there would have been countless changes. No one will ever be able to replace him, and without him it will be impossible to see his ideas through to the end. That said, we will document his plans and ideas using a variety of different media.

05 June, 2011

Sulman 2011

... The winning artist, Peter Smeeth, whose painting The Artist's Fate took him 150 hours to complete, is not amused.

''It takes away from my credibility, if that's his method,'' Smeeth said. ''It is a bit deflating, from my point of view, if that's the whole basis for how I won the prize. I certainly would like to think I won it on merit, not on the toss of a coin.''


Sulman Finalists

the selection process

The sole judge of the prestigious Sulman art prize has revealed to The Sun-Herald that he chose the winner of the $20,000 award by tossing a coin.
''Like every prize, it's a lottery,'' said the judge, Richard Bell, an artist known for his provocative work.


Bell said he liked what Smeeth had written on the back of his canvas ''and the guts were drawn pretty good''. 

On the back of The Artist's Fate , the artist had written: ''Rejection feels like it has cost an arm and a leg, getting poked in the eye with a sharp stick, being emasculated, having your heart ripped out and being left completely gutted!''


Bell was chosen as the sole judge of the Sulman prize by the 11 trustees of the gallery on the advice of the director, Edmund Capon. But Mr Capon said he was not surprised by Bell's judging method.
''He's a stirrer by nature and I've got no problem with that at all,'' he told The Sun-Herald .
Mr Capon said the Sulman prize was a lottery, but it was easier to predict the tastes of one person rather than the 11 trustees who judge the Archibald and Wynne prizes.
''It's very much a matter of individual taste and instinct and the kind of aesthetic, wit and humour of the individual artist. And I like that,'' Mr Capon said.
source SMH

But while there was outrage among some of the finalists, Bell remains unrepentant.
Most artists know what these prizes are about,” he told The Art Newspaper. “They’ve got very little to do with art and much more to do with the institution.


Smeeth, whose winning entry was a self-portrait titled The Artist’s Fate, 2011, said that while he was initially “nonplussed”, on reflection he is now happy. “I’ve got the prize and the publicity,” he said. “Every person who judges an art show brings their own agenda to it, same as a cattle show.”


04 June, 2011

Pablo's Pissoir - Copenhagen

11.06 - 14.08.2011
North GalleriesKunsthal Charlottenborg

The works of Pablo Bronstein (born 1977, Buenos Aires, based in London) address the relationship between architecture, behaviour and power. Bronstein’s drawings in pen and ink on paper, with their elaborate pastiche of architectural eras and movements, are what first brought the artist to attention. However, his installations and performances are also key elements of his oeuvre, and extend the artist’s exploration of architecture into the realm of space and action. 

The centrepiece of Bronstein’s exhibition at Charlottenborg is a new architectural installation created especially for Copenhagen. The installation takes the form of a pavilion that almost fills the entire first gallery, and which houses a giant pissoir. Visitors are invited to enter the structure, which contains a long shelf for communal urination – a shelf which drains directly onto the gallery floor. A neighbouring gallery features a group of beautiful new drawings that locate the pavilion in a wider architectural discourse.

Like many of Bronstein’s works, the pissoir and its accompanying drawings evoke the monumental Neoclassicism that is a recurring strand in Western art and architecture. Bronstein ‘queers’ this tradition, and suggests moreover how style can be used by power to direct behaviour – and to define what it means to be a citizen – even down to the codification of pissing. The final gallery features a video by the artist – a performance piece that also reflects on codified bodily gestures.
Curated by Mark Sladen, Charlottenborg’s director.


For Spectrum's inaugural event, Research Associate Ian Alteveer joined Pablo Bronstein to discuss the work in the exhibition "Pablo Bronstein at the Met," on view at the Museum from October 6, 2009, through February 21, 2010.


Learn more about the exhibition "Pablo Bronstein at The Met," on view at the Met October 6, 2009-February 21, 2010: http://tinyurl.com/yeewujz

see works here


Bronstein approaches his interest in architecture through a wide range of media – from drawing, sculpture and installation to performance. One of his key interests is how architecture has the ability to intervene in personal identity, inform our movements, behaviours, and social customs.


Future Generation Art Prize @ Venice

The PinchukArtCentre and the Victor Pinchuk Foundation are proud to present the exhibition “The Future Generation Art Prize @ Venice”, featuring 19 artists from 18 different countries who were shortlisted in the first global art prize competition.

The project — an official Collateral Event of the 54th International Art Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia — will be on view at the Palazzo Papadopoli from 4 June till 7 August, 2011. The hours are 10:00 – 18:00 daily (closed on Mondays).

The exhibition showcases 19 independent artists’ statements, including the winners, Cinthia Marcelle (Main Prize), Nicolae Mircea (Special Prize) and Artem Volokytin, the first winner of the PinchukArtCentre Prize in 2009.

This complex and dynamic view of a new generation of artists will be a major contribution to the 54th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, “ILLUMInations,” whose title literally draws attention to the importance of global artistic developments. 

With its strength and innovative profile, “The Future Generation Art Prize @ Venice” embodies this forward thinking. Of the groups of works to be shown, 13 were made especially for the Future Generation Art Prize, and 7 will be given their premieres in Venice.

The artists in the exhibition are: Ziad Antar, Lebanon; Fikret Atay, Turkey; Cao Fei, China; Keren Cytter, Israel; Nathalie Djurberg, Sweden; Nicholas Hlobo, South Africa; Clemens Hollerer, Austria; Runo Lagomarsino, Sweden; Cinthia Marcelle, Brazil; Mircea Nicolae, Romania; Ruben Ochoa, United States; Wilfredo Prieto, Cuba; Katerina Seda, Czech Republic; Guido van der Werve, Netherlands; Nico Vascellari, Italy, Jorinde Voigt, Germany; Artem Volokytin, Ukraine; Emily Wardill, United Kingdom; Hector Zamora, Mexico.

Venice - Aidan Salakhova

La Biennale di Venezia
Palazzo Benzon, Venice
Azerbaijan National Pavilion

Over the past 20 years Aidan Salakhova has been one of the leading international artists to emerge from Russia and the former Soviet space. ``Destination'' is her first time working with sculpture. This project consists of items made from marble that were mined in Carrara and Belgium, and some of which weigh more than one tonne. “Destination” is partly based on an earlier series of graphic works titled, “Persian Miniatures”, through which Ms Salakhova investigates male and female themes in the context of Islam.

Ms Salakhova's works will be at the Azerbaijan national pavilion. She will be one of six artists who experienced the political, economic, and cultural transformations in the post-Soviet space over the last three decades, and who have incessantly and critically responded to global challenges through their work. These artists represent Azerbaijan and have their cultural roots in the country, but their work is extremely intricate and complex to be limited under a single national identity.


Two large-scale sculptural works by Moscow-based artist Aidan Salakhova, on show at the entrance of the Azerbaijan National Pavilion, were yesterday hidden from view under drapes following protests from the Azerbaijan president. ... Ilham Aliyev took offence at the pieces because of their references to Islam. One work, Waiting Bride, 2010-11, which shows a woman covered in a black veil from head to foot, was deemed as promoting an unacceptably strict form of Islam.

The other sculpture, which depicts the Muslim relic, the Black Stone of Mecca, contained in a vagina-like marble frame, was considered insensitive to the religion. The works will remain under wraps for a week.

From the Art Newspaper

The sculptures were damaged. They will be shown right after being repaired. From Aydan Salakhova's facebook-page.