Tag Archives: Arts & Literature

New Exhibitions: “Wilhelm Thöny – Dreaming In Times Of Crisis” (Salzburg, AT)

Museum der Moderne Salzburg LogoThe motifs of Thöny’s art are informed by the pervasive unease of the interwar years, whose apprehensions he portrayed in the grotesque and nightmarishly somber drawings he created around 1920 for his unpublished Buch der Träume (Book of Dreams). Other works, however, render serene and idyllic landscapes and urban views as well as scenes from social life.

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Wilhelm Thöny (1888 Graz, AT—1949 New York, US) was a restless cosmopolitan and indefatigable networker whose peripatetic career took him far beyond Austria’s borders. A cofounder of the Secession in his native Graz, he made friends along the way—he spent time in Munich and Paris, on the Côte d’Azur and in New York, among other places—but zealously guarded his creative independence, building an oeuvre that did not align with any of the major tendencies of the period.

The Museum der Moderne Salzburg’s first exhibition devoted to Thöny’s oeuvre since 2010 presents around two hundred works from the museum’s own collection. One highlight in the show are the (letter) illustrations in the artist’s Scrap Book from the 1930s. Observations from everyday life captured with lighthearted humor are interspersed between reflections on the increasingly oppressive political situation. It is the first time that this body of work, which is of outstanding value both for its artistic quality and as a document of its time, is shown in its entirety in Salzburg.

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Cocktails With A Curator: “Veronese’s ‘Choice Between Virtue And Vice'”

In this week’s episode of “Cocktails with a Curator,” decipher the significance of the many fascinating elements that compose the other large allegorical painting by Paolo Veronese at the Frick, “Choice Between Virtue and Vice,” with Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon. The program is paired with a Negroni Sbagliato, a twist on the cocktail from last week’s episode. Leave a comment below with your favorite detail!

Newly Released Art Books: “Van Gogh – The Complete Paintings” (Taschen)

This comprehensive study of Vincent van Gogh offers a complete catalogue of his 871 paintings, alongside writings and essays, charting the life and work of a master who continues to tower over art to this day.

TASCHEN

Today, the works of Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) are among the most well known and celebrated in the world. In paintings such as SunflowersThe Starry Night, and Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear, we recognize an artist uniquely dexterous in the representation of texture and mood, light and place.

Yet in his lifetime, van Gogh battled not only the disinterest of his contemporary audience but also devastating bouts of mental illness. His episodes of depression and anxiety would eventually claim his life, when, in 1890, he committed suicide shortly after his 37th birthday.

The authors

Ingo F. Walther (1940–2007) was born in Berlin and studied medieval studies, literature, and art history in Frankfurt am Main and Munich. He published numerous books on the art of the Middle Ages and of the 19th and 20th centuries. Walther’s many titles for TASCHEN include Vincent van Gogh, Pablo PicassoArt of the 20th Century, and Codices illustres.

Rainer Metzger studied art history, history, and German literature in Munich and Augsburg. In 1994, he earned his Ph.D. on the subject of Dan Graham, and subsequently worked as a fine arts journalist for the Viennese newspaper Der Standard. He has written numerous books on art, including volumes on van Gogh and Chagall. Since 2004, he has worked as Professor of art history at the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe.

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Travels With A Curator: “Honolulu Museum Of Art” (The Frick Video)

In this week’s episode of “Travels with a Curator,” join Curator Aimee Ng as she explores the Honolulu Museum of Art, which lent a portrait of Lady Meux by James McNeill Whistler to the Frick for its 2003 exhibition, “Whistler, Women, and Fashion.” Founded by Anna Rice Cooke, the daughter of a prominent missionary family in Hawaii, the Honolulu Museum of Art was meant to ensure that the children of the islands would have a place to learn not only about their own background and culture but about those of the diverse populations around them.

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Artwork Tours: “Bathers By A River” – Henri Matisse (Art Institute Chicago)

On this episode of Art Institute Essentials Tour, take a closer look at Bathers by a River, started by Henri Matisse in 1909 and completed in 1917. Henri Matisse originally painted this work as a pastoral scene, but over the next decade he transformed it into the cubist-inflected composition seen today. When the painting was acquired by the Art Institute in 1953, Matisse told the museum’s director that he viewed the painting as one of his five most pivotal works.

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Henri Émile Benoît Matisse (1869 -1954) was a French artist, known for both his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter.

World’s Top Artists: Japanese GIF Illustrator Maori Sakai – “The Sublime Simplicity Of Movement”

Maori Sakai logoJapanese artist Maori Sakai creates humorous drawings with pen on paper, that are often animated. Each gif is rendered largely in pastels and captures simple movements: a record spinning on a turntable, rain falling outside a window, and butterflies hovering around hydrangeas. Many of Sakai’s short animations, in addition to glimpses into her process, can be found on Instagram and Tumblr. 

 

 

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Cocktails With A Curator: “Veronese’s ‘Wisdom And Strength'” (Frick Video)

In this week’s episode of “Cocktails with a Curator,” enjoy a traditional Negroni with Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon as he discusses “Wisdom and Strength,” one of two large allegorical paintings by Paolo Veronese that hang in the West Gallery at the Frick. Discover the hidden message behind the two principal figures in this picture: a bearded brute clad in a lion skin and a woman of noble bearing with a miniature sun above her forehead. Tune in next week for a discussion of the painting’s companion work, “Choice Between Virtue and Vice.”

Top Online Exhibitions: “At Sea” At David Zwirner – “Resonates Forcefully”

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Yes! in the sea of life enisled,
With echoing straits between us thrown,
Dotting the shoreless watery wild,
We mortal millions live alone.

—Matthew Arnold, To Marguerite: Continued 

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Whether in the awesome forms of the legendary floods in Gilgamesh and Genesis, or via the more delightful but ultimately crueler torment of Homer’s Mediterranean, the sea is among art’s oldest subjects. For millennia humans have been fascinated and horrified in equal measure by mystery, eternity, and danger of which the sea seems to be a mirror: sometimes enigmatically placid, sometimes jagged with sudden storms.

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Dating from the nineteenth century to the present, these works differ in media and approach, but together, they ask social, political, and environmental questions that resonate forcefully today.

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Artist Profile: Henri Matisse And His ‘Divine Dancer’ (Sotheby’s Video)

Sotheby's logoUnseen since 1949 and set to appear at auction for the first time, this beautiful work is a quintessential example of Henri Matisse’s sensuous odalisques. The elegant model is Italian countess Carla Avogadro, reclining on an extravagant Venetian Rococo armchair that Matisse bought on a whim and, in his own words, became “obsessed” with. ‘Danseuse dans un intérieur, carrelage vert et noir’

Henri Émile Benoît Matisse was a French artist, known for both his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter.

Museum Tours: “The Old Guitarist” By Pablo Picasso (Art Institute, Chicago)

On this episode of Art Institute Essentials Tour, take a closer look at The Old Guitarist, painted by Pablo Picasso between late 1903 and early 1904. In the paintings of Picasso’s Blue Period (1901-04), the artist restricted himself to a cold, monochromatic blue palette, flattened forms, and emotional, psychological themes of human misery and alienation. This painting reflects the then twenty-two-year-old Picasso’s personal struggle and sympathy for the plight of the downtrodden.

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