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Art Sales Move Online

Art Sales Move Online Amazon

Creates new market for artists and buyers.

Forget online dating; try falling in love with artwork…online. Novices to art collecting no longer have to feel intimidated by “elitist” institutions thanks to the launch of Amazon Art and over 300 like-minded platforms. This is also good news for artists. Living in art capitals or schmoozing their way into physical gallery representation is becoming less of an obstacle for success. While the prestige may always lie in these spaces, some galleries themselves are accepting that the art world is migrating to the interweb. Even better news—71 percent of collectors are admitting to having dabbled in the act of online purchases.

Read it at The Huffington Post


Concrete Sheep Take Over Chelsea

Concrete Sheep Take Over Chelsea Les Lalanne/Paul Kasmin Gallery

Mogul brings public art to NYC gas station.

What would you do with a rundown gas station? Art collector and real estate mogul Michael Shvo, with the help of the Paul Kasmin Gallery, has decided to momentarily convert a Getty station in Manhattan’s high-end gallery neighborhood of Chelsea into a pop-up art space that will rotate exhibitions well into next year. Transformed into a rolling meadow, the first series will be François-Xavier Lalanne’s concrete sheep. Shvo’s future plans are to construct yet another luxury condo, but fear not—the developers hope to incorporate comparable projects within the final construction. Lalanne’s “Sheep” will be on view to the public from Sept. 16—Oct. 20 at 239 Tenth Avenue in West Chelsea.

Read it at Gallerist NY

Modern Art

Picasso Eyes Good Taste

Pablo Picasso's "Dora Maar with Green Fingernails" (1936)

(Collection of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie, Museum Berggruen © 2013 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; photo by Lucy Hogg)

The Daily Pic: In 1936, the Spaniard captured elegance without settling for it.

Picasso's "Dora Maar with Green Fingernails" is now on view in the renovated home of the Berggruen collection, one of the state museums in Berlin. The space is so tidy and bon-bourgeois that it comes close to denying the risk championed by its modernist pictures: daring visual experiments are almost reduced to being tasteful decoration. In this 1936 Picasso, however, you see how the Spaniard managed the trick of combining a winning and accurate vision of bourgeois elegance, and a radical style that stays in tension with it. This is elegance viewed and understood by an art that refuses to settle for it.

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Out of the Attic

'New' Van Gogh Is Not All That New

Van Gogh's "Sunset at Montmajour", from 1888, newly declared to be by him.

(Peter Dejong/Associated Press)

The Daily Pic: The lost canvas that reemerged today was already known, as a fake.

This “new” Van Gogh was announced this morning in The New York Times, with the title “Sunset at Montmajour.” (Click on the image to zoom in.) And as usual in these matters, the picture has in fact been in circulation for ages—all that’s “new” is that  this time around, experts have decided that it is in fact an authentic van Gogh, as they denied when they were shown the same picture in 1991, and also back in 1908.

I buy the latest judgment (given the documentary evidence, it’s hard to see why the painting was seen as fake before), but it is always worth remembering that, as I’ve often said, the whole business of authentication is a mug’s game. For me, maybe the most interesting thing about the rediscovered piece is the letter of July 4, 1888, in which van Gogh describes the landscape he’d been inspired by the previous day: “It was romantic, it couldn’t be more so, à la Monticello, the sun was pouring its very yellow rays over the bushes and the ground, absolutely a shower of gold. And all the lines were beautiful; the whole scene had charming nobility.” It makes clear the huge influence on van Gogh of Adolphe Monticelli, a once-famous painter from Marseille whom Cézanne befriended and van Gogh idolized, and who has since almost disappeared from view. The letter—and the painting—also show that van Gogh had a conservative, traditional side, committed to old-fashioned ideas about Romantic beauty and the nobility of nature. With luck, the headlines generated by this pseudo-find will fight the popular idea of van Gogh as a lone radical who went out on a limb.

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Cool War

Warhol’s Berlin Air Lift

An installation of Thomas Bayerl's wallpaper hung with Andy Warhol's "Double Elvis"

(Photo by Lucy Hogg)

The Daily Pic: The American Popster perfectly suits a show about a divided Germany.

I just came across Warhol’s great “Double Elvis” hanging in a permanent-collection installation called “Divided Heaven”, at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. Although the show focused on German modern art, and the tensions between its Eastern and Western versions,  the Warhol canvas looked great and fit right in, even installed on the strange Chinese-themed wallpaper of Thomas Bayrle.  Warhol gives us Elvis as rock star, as gunslinger, as consumer icon, as bullion that’s starting to tarnish. This immaculate amalgam of echt American culture then gets dumped into the troubled world of Cold War Germany, where it  seems to hold equal parts promise and threat and warning.

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Art in Motion

Richard Avedon's Many ‘Women’

Veruschka, dress by Bill Blass, New York, January 1967, Edition 105.46-2

Veruschka, dress by Bill Blass, New York, January 1967. (© The Richard Avedon Foundation)

Iconic fashion photographer Richard Avedon is the subject of a new show at Gagosian Gallery in London. See the highlights.

Fashion—and the role of women in the industry—changed dramatically in the second half of the 20th century. Almost nowhere was that transition as apparent as in the work of Richard Avedon, the legendary photographer who shot countless editorials for Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and many other titles. Now, in anticipation of an all-encompassing exhibition in November at Gagosian Beverly Hills, Gagosian London will run a selection of works titled Avedon: Women.

The exhibition will feature some of Avedon’s famous photographs of models in motion—featuring household names like Ingrid Boulting, Gisele Bündchen, and Twiggy.

Jean Shrimpton, evening dress Cardin, Paris, January 1970

Jean Shrimpton, evening dress Cardin, Paris, January 1970. (© The Richard Avedon Foundation)

As The New York Times noted upon his death in 2004, “Avedon revolutionized the 20th-century art of fashion photography, imbuing it with touches of both gritty realism and outrageous fantasy and instilling it with a relentlessly experimental drive.” He is the only photographer to have had two major exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Another Nude Painting of Vladimir Putin Seized Vera Donskaya-Khilko

This time work includes Barack Obama.

Talk about a cock fight. A week after four artworks depicting the Russian president in women’s lingerie were confiscated from a Russian gallery, a new work has been seized by Russian authorities. The latest piece, titled Wrestling, shows Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama in a nude “sword fight.” Both men sport massive, um, appendages, supposedly a comment on the political tension between the two countries, as artist Vera Donskaya-Khilko told The Huffington Post. However, the homoerotic overtones can also be read as a direct slap in the face to Putin as he comes under fire for controversial laws curtailing gay rights. Tochka G (G Spot), the erotica museum that housed the original artwork, has been shut down and the owner is reportedly in police custody.

Read it at the Huffington Post


AP’s Vietnam Images to Be Exhibited

AP’s Vietnam Images to Be Exhibited Art Greenspon/AP

Displays iconic prize-winning images.

As public opinion turned against the Vietnam War, photography, particularly graphic images, played an essential role in the changing cultural tide. The Associated Press was one of the major players in exposing the harsh reality of Vietnam to American citizens. On the heels of the anniversary, the prize-winning images are being put on display for the general public and reproduced in a book. The photographs cover a wide variety of subjects from that period, ranging from President Kennedy with troops fresh from the battlefield to tortured prisoners and casualties. At that time, journalists were free to document battle zones without censorship—a luxury some experts say is not available today. The exhibition goes on view at the Steven Kasher Gallery in Chelsea in New York on October 24. For the exhibit, veterans, journalists, and fellow artists gave their takes on the images. The accompanying book, Vietnam: The Real War, is due out October 1.

Read it at the New York Times

A still-life template from the studio of Giorgio Morandi

(Photo by Lucy Hogg)

The Daily Pic: The Italian was such a glutton for order, he could have been the first conceptualist.

I caught this "Morandi" in the home of an artist in Berlin – and I put the Italian's authorship in scare quotes because though the piece is certainly by old Giorgio, it's not really his art. It's a piece of craft paper the Italian used to cover the table where he set up his bottles and vases, before painting them. It seems he would record their exact locations (hence the circles on this template) so that he could put a still life of bottles back exactly as it was, and paint it  over several different sittings when the daylight was just so. Weirdly, that practice, and this template, seem to connect Morandi to the instruction-set Conceptualists of the later 1960s. The conservative Morandi (as I've billed him before) and radical Sol LeWitt make an odd couple, by any lights.

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Remembering Coco Chanel


De Kooning Foundation to Sell Paintings

De Kooning Foundation to Sell Paintings Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty

In attempt to raise $30 million.

Some rainy-day funds are cooler than others. In an effort to raise more than $30 million to finance its initiatives, the Willem de Kooning Foundation has signed on with the Gagosian Gallery to sell a series of the Dutch artist’s paintings. This November, 10 of de Kooning’s later works, produced from 1983 to ’85, including de Kooning’s Privileged (Untitled XX), will exhibit at the gallery in New York City. The gallery is known for its exhibitions, which often compete with museums in terms of buzz and long lines—and perhaps that kind of noise will increase the value. Plus, a gallery show prevents the potential humiliation of public scrutiny when a painting doesn’t sell (and therefore has a decreased value). The show will allow a public viewing from November 8 through December 21 and then privately sell individual pieces to collectors.

Read it at the New York Times

Extinct Artform

Artist Rebuilds Berlin Wall

A panorama of the Berlin Wall by Yadegar Asisi

(Courtesy Asisi Panorama International)

The Daily Pic: With his new, life-size panoramas, Yadegar Asisi shows us worlds that have disappeared.

We all know that the panorama was one of the great popular art forms of the 19th century, long since extinct – except that this new one, of a city divided, is up in Berlin now and is attracting crowds. It's by the German-Persian artist Yadegar Asisi, and it's just the latest of the several panoramas that he's made, and that have been equally popular. He says he can't keep up with demand. They aren't great art – Asisi's use of photography is a bit klutzy – but they seem to fill some kind of hole in our visual culture. Maybe we still long to sink our eyes into a world that stands still, when the real thing flies by so fast.

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It’s Pizza Time!

Peace and Quiet

Museums Cure ADD

"Visitors" (2013), by Lucy Hogg

(Courtesy Lucy Hogg)

The Daily Pic: At the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, Titian asks 'What's the rush?'.

This is a brand new work by Lucy Hogg (yes,  my wife – nepotism 'r us), from a series documenting how people use art museums. This photo shows two visitors to the lovely Gemäldegalerie in Berlin  contemplating the best version of Titian's "Venus with an Organ Player", which I'd say is one of the earliest fully modern paintings. (Click on my image for a high-res of the Titian.) At first, it seemed tragic that such a great work, like the very great museum it is in, should attract such a tiny audience. But then I realized that I was buying into the same corporate model for museums that I've often attacked, where numbers are how success is judged. The Gemäldegalerie provides an experience that used to be the hallmark of museums: An atmosphere of intimate relations with great art that stands in contrast to the crowds and rush of modern life, and to capitalist bean counting.  Judging museums by how full they are is like wishing there could be crowds in attendance at the great  moments of romance in your life. Museums need to offer up their unique quietude to people from all walks of life; working stiffs need it even more than the well-heeled do. Museums commit cultural suicide by becoming shopping malls and fun fairs.

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War on Terror

Sketching Gitmo’s Hunger Strikers


Click to Enlarge (Molly Crabapple)

As the hunger strike at Gitmo drags on, artist Molly Crabapple captures the faces of some of the men detained in the limbo of the military prison.

This story is published in collaboration with Creative Time Reports.

America wants to forget about Gitmo.

Sure, we gloat about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. When I visited Guantanamo in June to cover the 9/11 military commissions for VICE, I drew him through three layers of bulletproof glass. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is a mass murderer, and we caught him. U-S-A Number One.

But KSM-style terrorists are rare at Gitmo. Out of the 164 men held in the island prison, the chief prosecutor at Guantanamo Military Commissions, Brigadier General Mark Martins, told me that 144 would never be charged with any crime.