Art History in the News-Cultural desert: Will Abu Dhabi censor its new museums? – Features, Art – The Independent
“The buildings will be spectacular. Of that there is little doubt. But after my visit to Abu Dhabi to see the work in progress and attend the Abu Dhabi art fair, I would also sound a note of caution. While the buildings are likely to be dazzling, what will go in them is rather vague. The art fair, attended by White Cube’s chief Jay Jopling and many international art luminaries, certainly showed that Abu Dhabi wants to acquire international art. Damien Hirst’s diamond encrusted work Sadness sold to the wife of Abu Dhabi’s crown prince for £2.5m. But, while some of the Louvre’s holdings may go to the Abu Dhabi Louvre for example, nothing is yet being spelt out even though all the new museums are due to open in three years’ time, when Abu Dhabi wants to proclaim itself at the very least the art capital of the Middle East, and perhaps something even more ambitious than that.
And there is another worry, little mentioned, but undoubtedly there. Will there be censorship practised over the art that appears, even in world-renowned names like the Louvre and Guggenheim? Representatives of Abu Dhabi denied this, though there were mutterings about the need always to “show respect”. But the top New York art dealer David Zwirner, who was at the art fair, was brave enough to reveal that he had been banned from bringing a catalogue of his artist Marlene Dumas, who specialises in painting the physical reality of the human body, sometimes nude. “I think that is a pity, “said Mr Zwirner, “and I hope it is going to change.” “
Art History in the News: Warhol’s Coke bottle caps $222m Pop Art auction – News, Art – The Independent
“The Warhol buyer was not recorded, but it was sold by the collector Elizabeth Rea, who purchased the painting with her late husband, Michael, at Christie’s in 1983 for $143,000, according to The New York Times. The record for a Warhol was set at Christie’s New York in May 2007 for 1963′s Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I), which sold for $71.7m.”
Art History in the News-Great Works: The Flaying of Marsyas c.1575 #, Titian – Great Works, Art – The Independent
“The story is from Ovid, and it is one of great and sustained cruelty. Though we catch it at a particular moment, we know that this flesh will be long in the stripping and the unpicking. Here is how this monstrous scene came to be. A contest has taken place between the satyr Marsyas and the god Apollo. Marsyas had discovered a set of reeds abandoned by Minerva. He learns to play them so well that he is foolish enough to challenge the god Apollo to a musical contest. Apollo agrees – but on condition that the victor will be able to inflict such punishment as he chooses upon the loser. Predictably enough, Marsyas loses, and Apollo inflicts his gruesome punishment, which is to flay Marsyas alive, stripping flesh from bone, inch by meticulous inch.”
“Construction workers found the art on the site of an office building that burned down in the summer of 1944# The fire started in the roof, burning the building from the top down and the works that survived the blaze ended up collecting in the basement.”
Art History in the News: Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power and Brilliance – News, Art – The Independent
“Britain’s first Thomas Lawrence exhibition in over 30 years opens at the National Portrait Gallery this week.
By Tom Lubbock
“A mask reveals. When a face is partially hidden, it becomes a show. A full and simple disclosure is no disclosure at all. But when something is obscured, it is like a curtained theatre. The burqa, the balaclava, the Venetian masquerade bauta, all these coverings are also forms of openings. The eyes or the mouth are a spectacle.”
By Cahal Milmo
“During his long career as one of Victorian England’s most acquisitive gentleman explorers, William Bankes rightly gained a reputation for spotting a good bargain. Among the items he sent back from his travels abroad to his family seat in Dorset were an Egyptian obelisk, Venetian ceilings and Nubian carvings.”
Art History in the News: Mussolini’s monsters: Should the Modernist holiday camps of Fascist Italy be saved?
Report by Peter Popham
Saturday, 15 May 2010
“They are some of the weirdest monsters the Modernist century left behind: a pencil-thin tower with long balconies sticking out like tongues from every floor, giving it the look of a diving apparatus for the suicidal; a white concrete complex, solid and technocratic like a government ministry but dumped in virgin Alpine countryside; white concrete centipedes crawling over a beach on the Adriatic coast; ruinous structures of crumbling cement and smashed glass, graffiti and refuse, spouting broken water pipes which still bring to mind locomotives or battleships or submarines, just as they must have done for the children who came here for “holidays” 70 and 80 years ago.
or these are the “colonie”, the holiday camps built by Italy‘s Fascist regime between the wars to give the nation’s young people, and particularly those from deprived parts of the cities or the backward, swampy, malarial countryside, a character-forming taste of something completely different from home – a taste of the Fascist future for which the regime was striving. And it was those young people who were destined to become the regime’s labourers and foot soldiers.”