Category Archives: Arts & Literature

New Museum Exhibitions: “Van Eyck – An Optical Revolution” At MSK Ghent

Worldwide, only approximately twenty works by Van Eyck have been preserved. Quite exceptionally, over half of these will travel to Ghent in 2020 for the exhibition ‘Van Eyck. An optical revolution’ at the Museum of Fine Arts (MSK). In what promises to be an unmissable, tour de force of an exhibition, the world of Van Eyck and his revolutionary gaze will be brought to life like never before.

Jan van Eyck, Portrait of a Man with a Blue Chaperon, c. 1428-30 (Muzeul National Brukenthal, Sibiu, Romania)
Jan van Eyck, Portrait of a Man with a Blue Chaperon, c. 1428-30 (Muzeul National Brukenthal, Sibiu, Romania)

The pinnacle of Late Medieval art
Van Eyck distinguished himself from his peers and triggered an optical revolution. With his matchless technique, scientific knowledge and unrivalled observational skills, he elevated oil painting to unprecedented heights and determined the future course of Western art. Never before had a painter made reality so tangible: all that seems to be missing from his portraits is his subjects’ breath, while his landscapes reveal the world in all its facets. Van Eyck trained his eye on the tiniest details before casting it wide again to create unforgettable panoramas.

His masterpiece, ‘The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb’ (1432, St Bavo’s Cathedral, Ghent), bears witness to all three of these qualities. The restoration of the outer wings of the altarpiece will play a central role in the exhibition. Undertaken by the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK), the project commenced at the Museum of Fine Arts Ghent in 2012. Visitors will have the opportunity to get close to the work and admire the spectacular results.

 

MSK Kent LogoIn dialogue with Van Eyck’s contemporaries
In order to contextualise Van Eyck’s optical revolution, his paintings will be shown alongside works by his most talented contemporaries from Germany, France, Italy and Spain. These artists also moved in exalted circles and received prestigious commissions. The exhibition focuses on the artistic similarities and differences between their works, thus delving deeper into the historical context in which they were created.

‘Van Eyck. An optical revolution’ unravels the myths about the artist and considers his technique, his oeuvre and his influence from a fresh perspective. This exhibition will awaken a sense of wonder among visitors, comparable to that which people would have felt when they saw his works for the first time: a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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American Architecture: Inside Tour Of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s “Guilded Age” Art Studio

Artist and socialite Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, who founded the Whitney Museum of American Art, had homes in New York, Paris, the Adirondacks, and Inside Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s Long Island Art Studio New York Magazine Video January 17 2020Long Island. In 1912, she commissioned the Gilded Age architect William Adams Delano, of Delano & Aldrich, to build her a neoclassical studio on the grounds of the Whitney estate in Old Westbury.
After her death in 1942, the villa lay empty for 40 years until her granddaughter Pamela LeBoutillier decided to renovate it as a home for her family. Today, her son John LeBoutillier lives there, while keeping the family legacy alive.

Art History: “The Rivalry Of Rembrandt And Jan Lievens” (Sotheby’s)

In this episode of Expert Voices, Otto Naumann explores their friendship and budding rivalry through Lievens’ masterwork Woman Embraced by a Man, Modelled by the Young Rembrandt. From the outset of his career, Lievens was at times bolder than Rembrandt, and the two constantly learned from one another during this critical period in their development.

The Rivalry of Rembrandt and Jan Lievens Sotheby's video January 17 2020

In early 17th century Holland, a young Rembrandt spent his days studying and working with fellow artist Jan Lievens. After apprenticing together in Amsterdam, the two likely shared a studio in their hometown of Leiden and even depicted each other in their compositions.

This signature audacity is on full display in in Woman Embraced by a Man, which will be offered as a highlight of Sotheby’s Master Painting Evening Sale. (29 January | New York)

Fine Art: The History Behind “The Dream” By Henri Rousseau (1910)

Artist Henri Rousseau painted The Dream in 1910, and it’s imagery of a woman lounging on a sofa in the middle of a jungle was as surreal then as it is today. What is it about this artwork that captivated audiences then and now?

The Sleeping Gypsy 1897 Henri Rousseau
The Sleeping Gypsy 1897 Henri Rousseau

Thanks to our Grandmasters of the Arts Tyler Calvert-Thompson, Divide by Zero Collection, David Golden, and Ernest Wolfe, and all of our patrons, especially Rich Clarey, Iain Eudaily, Frame Monster Design Laboratory, Patrick Hanna, Nichole Hicks, Andrew Huynh, Eve Leonard, David Moore, Gabriel Civita Ramirez, Constance Urist, Nicholas Xu, and Roberta Zaphiriou.

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Pop Art Books: “Mirages – The Art Of Laurent Durieux” (March 2020)

Mirages The Art of Laurent DurieuxLaurent Durieux is a famous Belgian illustrator well known to lovers of pop culture and collectors for his reinterpretations of posters of cult films. Each of his American exhibitions was sold out during the opening night and in the presence of thousands of enthusiastic fans.

This book will be his first monograph and will cover his entire career, with a particular focus on his posters of the most emblematic alternative films (notably Jaws, The Birds, Vertigo and The Master). The book includes a 6-page section of art on rejected and unpublished posters and a preface by filmmaker and collector Durieux Francis Ford Coppola.

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Classical Music Films: “In Search Of Mozart” (Video)

Pianist Ronald Brautigam explains Beethoven unique and revolutionary ability to appeal to both the masses and the connoisseurs of his time.

Pianist Lada Valešová and historian Cliff Eisen discuss Mozart earliest composition, written when he was just five years old.

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Performing Arts: “The Letters Of Cole Porter” (New Yorker Review)

From a New Yorker online article review:

The Letters Of Cole Porter Yale University Press November 2019Beneath his smooth, genial, almost inhumanly productive and evasive surface, there were turbulent waters. His very name, for all its air of Ivy League ease, represents a burdened legacy. The Porters were his difficult, scapegrace father’s family; the Coles were his mother’s rich and ambitious Indiana family. He was a Porter by birth but, if his mother had anything to do with it, would be a Cole for life.

Certainly, Porter’s ghost could not ask for better care than he has been given in “The Letters of Cole Porter” (Yale), edited by Cliff Eisen, a professor of music history at King’s College London, and Dominic McHugh, a musicologist at the University of Sheffield (and the editor of Alan Jay Lerner’s letters). Laid out with a meticulous scholarly apparatus, as though this were the correspondence of Grover Cleveland, every turn in the songwriter’s story is deep-dived for exact chronology, and every name casually dropped by Porter gets a worried, explicatory footnote.

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