8346 - Clark Art Institute announces opening date for Manton Research Center - Williamstown, MASS


Exterior view. Photo © Jeff Goldberg/Esto.
The Clark Art Institute’s newly renovated Manton Research Center will open to the public on November 12, 2016. The completion of the building’s renovation is the final part of the Clark’s multi-year campus expansion program. A significant reconfiguration of the building’s first floor provides new public spaces including a gallery and study center for works on paper; a public reading room; and a bookstore and coffee bar, while building-wide upgrades for accessibility and life safety have enhanced its library, auditorium, and administrative offices.

The Manton Research Center is central to the Clark’s mission of advancing and extending the public understanding of art. Renovation of the building was designed by Selldorf Architects, New York. The center, built in 1973, is home to the Clark’s Research and Academic Program, the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art, and the Clark library—one of the largest art history research libraries in the country.

“We are eager to celebrate the opening of the Manton Research Center,” said Francis Oakley, interim director of the Clark. “These wonderful spaces will provide excellent facilities for visitors, students, and scholars to engage with our art and library collections in new ways.”

The Clark is planning a weekend of festivities on November 12 and 13 to celebrate the Manton Research Center’s opening, including a ribbon cutting ceremony; public lectures by Olivier Meslay, the Clark’s newly appointed director, and Annabelle Selldorf, project architect; and a concert performance in the auditorium. Details will be announced at a later date.

Project Elements
Manton Study Center for Works on Paper and Works on Paper Gallery
The Clark’s collection of more than 6,000 prints, drawings, and photographs spans the history of the graphic arts from the fifteenth century through the early twentieth century. Greatly enhanced from the previous study room with abundant natural light and double the space, the new study center provides state-of-the-art storage and broader access to the collection for researchers, scholars, students, and the general public. Visitors will be able to schedule appointments, or drop in during public hours, to request to see specific works of art.

A gallery dedicated to the exhibition of works on paper is adjacent to the study center. The gallery’s inaugural exhibition, Photography and Discovery, will be selected from the Clark’s growing collection of photographs and highlights more than forty works by American and European photographers.

Manton Gallery of British Art
This gallery, dedicated to displaying works from the Manton Collection of British Art, has been refurbished to enhance the experience of viewing art. The gallery will feature selections from the Manton collection, which includes more than three hundred paintings, drawings, and prints by Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable, J. M. W. Turner, and others. It was donated to the Clark by the Manton Art Foundation in 2007 in memory of Sir Edwin and Lady Manton.

Reading Room
A new architectural skylight system has transformed the former visitor services courtyard into a light-filled public reading room. Newly installed mezzanine library cases surround visitors with books and further underscore the building’s emphasis on research. Library tables and a variety of seating options designed by Selldorf provide patrons with an inviting space for reading and research. An adjacent coffee bar and bookstore offer new amenities for visitors. The bookstore will specialize in art publications and related merchandise.

The Clark’s auditorium has been fully renovated to provide a number of enhancements for accessibility, including accessible seating options on the first floor, a new entrance, and improved life safety and lighting systems. Careful attention was paid to ensure that the auditorium’s intimacy, site lines, and outstanding acoustics were preserved. The auditorium is utilized for a wide variety of programs including live music, lectures, films, academic symposia, and the popular broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera’s The Met: Live in HD, which will return to the Clark on November 19.


8042 - Serpentine launches new digital platform: Serpentine Mobile Tours


The new Mobile Tours are supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies and form part of a larger digital engagement programme, which aims to provide greater access and create new gallery experiences for Serpentine visitors. Image courtesy Serpentine Galleries.
The Serpentine Galleries introduce a new digital platform that offers visitors access to additional, exclusive programme content, including artist interviews and curated tours, as they explore the gallery spaces. The new Mobile Tours are supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies and form part of a larger digital engagement programme, which aims to provide greater access and create new gallery experiences for Serpentine visitors.

Launched to coincide with the Serpentine’s expanded summer programmes, the Mobile Tours include recordings by American artist Alex Katz and painter, essayist and poet Etel Adnan, Serpentine Pavilion designer Bjarke Ingels and the designers of the four Summer Houses - Kunlé Adeyemi (NLÉ), Barkow Leibinger, Yona Friedman and Asif Khan. Taking advantage of its unique position within Kensington Gardens, the Serpentine Galleries is offering visitors access to these specially designed Mobile Tours as they log-on to the gallery’s free public wifi.

The platform also offers exclusive artist materials, including audio of poet John Godfrey reading his poem, At the Stroke of Katz, Sharp, written in response to Alex Katz’s work; audio of Etel Adnan talking about the colour red and Mount Tamalpais; a video of Etel Adnan performing at the 2015 Transformation Marathon; a film of architect Bjarke Ingels; and short videos of each of the Summer House architects discussing their approach to the commission.

The Mobile Tours provide an essential link between the Serpentine and its audience, guiding visitors between the Serpentine Gallery, Serpentine Sackler Gallery and Pavilion, while promoting user-led experiences of the Serpentine’s internationally acclaimed Exhibition and Architecture Programmes.


8041 - Leading Asia: Sotheby's Asia 2016 half year sales achieve US$ 461.5 million, up 22%


Fine Chinese Paintings Auction Scene (Apr 5). Photo: Sotheby's.
Commenting on the 2016 first half year results, Kevin Ching, Chief Executive Officer of Sotheby’s Asia, says: ‘We are delighted by the exceptional half year results that reached 22% over last year. After more than four decades in Asia, Sotheby’s maintains an unrivalled ability to source the finest and rarest objects from notable collections around the world – a critical element to our success. Longstanding relationships with seasoned collectors worldwide led to a number of important consignments – from the Pilkington Collection of Chinese ceramics, to Zhang Daqian’s Peach Blossom Spring, to the Mi Yun Hall Collection of Classical Chinese Paintings – that drove remarkable results across collecting categories.

‘We are further encouraged by the growing presence of Asian collectors in our worldwide salerooms, where they are pushing the market forward – evidenced by their active participation in recent major sales of Contemporary Art in New York and London, among so many others,’ Mr. Ching added.

Results Beyond Expectations Sotheby’s Asia 2016 first half year results defied markets and beat expectations, reaching the highest levels in several seasons. In the first six months of 2016, Sotheby’s auction sales in Asia achieved HK$3.6 billion / US$461.5 million1, a season high total among international auction houses in the region. This represents a 22% increase on the same period last year and 145% above the total pre-sale low estimate. More than 80% of lots sold attained prices at or above their mid-estimate.

Setting Benchmarks Across Categories
In the first six months of 2016 in Asia, Sotheby’s sold three works of art for more than HK$100 million and set sixteen world auction records, capped by the masterwork from Zhang Daqian’s later period, Peach Blossom Spring, which sparked a 50-minute bidding battle that resulted in the work selling at HK$270.68 million / US$34.9 million, the highest price paid for any work of art at Sotheby’s Hong Kong this season. Sotheby’s continues its strong market leadership in Chinese Works of Art, which achieved a half-year auction total of more than HK$1 billion / US$130 million.

Global Participation
Extraordinary objects and collections drew the attention of collectors around the globe. Sotheby’s attracted participation of collectors from 65 countries. Particularly strong bidding was evident throughout Asia, including among Mainland Chinese collectors seeking rarity, quality and opportunity. Asian private collectors dominated Sotheby’s jewellery sales in Hong Kong, accounting for over 80% of the hammer total; they also established a much more significant presence in Sotheby’s worldwide jewellery sales, with the share of buyer hammer from Asian private clients more than doubling in the first half of 2016.

The Company continues to expand its client base, and 23% of buyers were new to Sotheby’s.

Asian Collectors: Eye on Top Lots
Asia-based clients were eager to compete at the top end of the art market. Among the top 20 lots auctioned by Sotheby’s worldwide in the first half of 2016, 8 lots were bought by buyers from Asia (40%) and 12 lots attracted buyers or bidders from Asia (60%).

Continued Growth of Asian Interest in Western Art
Asian collectors’ interest in Western art continues to deepen, proven by their expanding presence in Sotheby’s salerooms worldwide. Several selling categories, including 19th Century Paintings, Old Master Paintings, Impressionist and Modern Art, Contemporary Art as well as 20th Century Design, saw an increase in Asian buyers in the first half of 2016. The total number of Asian clients buying Western art at Sotheby’s grew by 12%.

Among the top ten lots in Sotheby’s London Contemporary Evening Sale in June, four were sold to Asian buyers, including the top lot – Jenny Saville’s Shift – that went to Shanghai’s Long Museum for a record £6.8 million. At New York’s May Evening Sale of Contemporary Art, Christopher Wool’s Untitled sold for US$13.9 million to Japanese collector, Yusaku Maezawa. In Hong Kong, Sotheby’s was thrilled to end the first half of the year with the sale, for first time ever at auction, of a complete set of 24 Picasso silver plates to a Japanese collector for a strong price of HK$19.88 million / US$2.5 million.

Sotheby’s continues to engage new and existing clients through uniquely curated exhibitions, lectures and art programmes. In the first half of 2016, Sotheby’s held four exhibitions showcasing diverse genres of art, including Sotheby’s first large-scale showcase of contemporary art by Hong Kong artists, Next Destination: Hong Kong; its first street art exhibition in Asia, They Would Be Kings, curated by Steve Lazarides and for which Sotheby’s gallery was playfully turned into a New York subway station; Asian Design: China, Japan, Korea, featuring a special section dedicated to KANJIAN; and Zheng Chongbin: Structures, an exhibition of unconventional ink art works by the American-Chinese artist. 
1 Figures include sale totals for Spring sale series and mid-season sales in Hong Kong



8040 - BADA partner with Palm Beach Show Group


The BADA initiative is being launched as a response to the UK’s Referendum vote and as part of BADA’s concentrated campaign to support members and help develop new market opportunities
The British Antique Dealers Association announced a promotional partnership with the Palm Beach Show Group and the creation of a dedicated pavilion of BADA dealers within the November 9-13, 2016 New York Art, Antique and Jewelry Show taking place at Pier 94 in New York City.

The BADA initiative is being launched as a response to the UK’s Referendum vote and as part of BADA’s concentrated campaign to support members and help develop new market opportunities. Participating BADA Dealers will individually benefit from forming a key aspect of the show’s presentation on the show floor as well as from show marketing, communication, promotion and advertising.

BADA CEO Marco Forgione said: “Since the Referendum result was announced, BADA has been actively engaged in developing strategies, campaigns and clear business opportunities for our members.

“With the change in the value of the pound against the dollar, now is the time for us to create new opportunities for BADA members in the U.S. markets.

“Our partnership with the New York Art, Antique and Jewellery Fair positions BADA dealers at the heart of a high value art and antique market, and the creation of the BADA Pavilion allows us to significantly increase the marketing and advertising for all BADA participants.”

Scott Diament, the President and CEO of the Palm Beach Show Group, is glad to welcome BADA members: “The New York Art, Antique & Jewelry Show is proud to partner with BADA in bringing together an elite group of international dealers under one roof to New York City.

“We are eager to enhance the European-inspired component with the addition of a dedicated selection of BADA participants.”


8039 - The Mary Rose revealed once more on the very day of its sinking, 471 years ago - Portsmouth


The ceremony held at the ship’s home, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, included a spectacular kabuki drop, revealing the ship after having undergone 23 years of extensive treatment, including state-of-the-art innovations, which has changed the face of conservation.
After a six-month closure and a multi-million pound investment, the Mary Rose Trust unveiled to the world the Mary Rose, Henry VIII’s favourite warship, 471 years to the day after it was sunk. The ceremony held at the ship’s home, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, included a spectacular kabuki drop, revealing the ship after having undergone 23 years of extensive treatment, including state-of-the-art innovations, which has changed the face of conservation.

Revealed for the first time ever was a carved wooden Tudor rose, which was discovered at the time of the second excavation in 2005 but only recently identified as the original emblem of the ship, and the first figurehead of its kind, as depicted in 16th-century drawings in the Anthony Scroll.

Also revealed was a new CGI display of projected, reconstructed scenes from life on the ship, performed by museum staff. The scenes were created using information and artifacts uncovered during excavation and are an innovative way of story telling for museums and historical sites. There has been a lot of high-profile support for this stage of the ship’s development: Damian Lewis, who memorably portrayed Henry VIII in the BBC’s Wolf Hall, voiced the parts of the introduction to the new look Mary Rose, as did actor Robert Hardy CBE, who was one of the experts consulted by the team responsible for the raising of the Mary Rose. Hardy developed an interest in medieval warfare while playing Henry V and became a leading world expert on the longbow, publishing Longbow: A Social and Military History and The Great Warbow; From Hastings to the Mary Rose (with Matthew Strickand.) The ship held in it a total of 179 Longbows, the largest number of Longbows ever discovered in one site. Historian and television presenter, David Starkey and well-know TV broadcaster, Dan Snow had also leant their support.

For the first time in 23 years visitors can breathe the same air as the Mary Rose. The Mary Rose Museum provides stunning panoramic views of the ship from all nine galleries through floor-to-ceiling glazing on the lower and main decks. On the upper deck visitors enter the Weston Ship Hall via an airlock and are separated from the ship only by a glass balcony. They were treated to a spectacular and new visual way of telling her unique story.

A one-of-a-kind Tudor time capsule, the Mary Rose has been undergoing continuous conservation since she was raised in 1982. The hull was first sprayed with a mist of fresh chilled water and then with a water-soluble wax from 1994 to April 2013 when the Mary Rose entered a stage of controlled air-drying. The hull has now reached a stable state within this drying process, which means all the black drying ducts (as shown below), which provided the environment and conditions around the ship, have been removed giving a completely clear and uninterrupted view.

David Starkey, TV personality and historian: “The Mary Rose is a time capsule, the whole world of that day when she both sank and thanks to an accident of preservation and a miracle of conservation, both died and lived for ever. She is the English Herculaneum, Pompeii, the Tomb of Tutankhamun all rolled into one and she is much more exciting than the lot of them. “


8038 - Newly reinstalled galleries featuring 28 Modern artists open at Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887–1986), Deer's Skull with Pedernal, 1936. Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Gift of the William H. Lane Foundation © 2010 Georgia O'Keeffe Museum / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. A series of new installations on the third floor of the Art of the Americas Wing at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, explores the notion of “Making Modern” in the 20th century. From Frida Kahlo to Jackson Pollock, Modern artists in the Americas were influenced by a variety of teachers, colleagues and friends. Starting with diverse sources of inspiration, they took their art in dramatic new directions. Each gallery in the installation represents a moment—from Mexico City to New York to Boston—that illustrates the evolution of Modern art in North America. Featuring new acquisitions, rarely seen loans, and masterpieces from the MFA’s collection, the installations provide a fresh perspective on Modern artists working in the 20th century.

Kahlo and Her Circle (Robert and Jane Burke Gallery) displays the work of Frida Kahlo and her circle of family and friends in Mexico City. Anchored by the MFA's recently acquired and newly conserved Dos Mujeres (1928) by Kahlo, the installation includes photographs by Tina Modotti, Edward Weston and Imogen Cunningham, lithographs by Diego Rivera, and recently acquired archival material related to the artists.

Pollock/Picasso (Saundra B. and William H. Lane Galleries) contrasts two titans of Modern art. Side-by-side groupings of paintings, sculpture and works on paper explore Pollock's engagement with Picasso, and how the younger artist moved away from representation into abstraction during the 1930s and '40s.

The central gallery, The Lane Collection: O'Keeffe, Sheeler, Dove, represents five American artists from photographer Alfred Stieglitz's circle—Georgia O'Keeffe, Charles Sheeler, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley and Stuart Davis—who knew and were influenced by each other, and were actively collected by William H. Lane and his wife Saundra. Works by each artist are grouped separately, exploring their artistic identity.

Beckmann in America (Saundra B. and William H. Lane Galleries) highlights the influence of German-born artists Max Beckmann and Karl Zerbe. After fleeing Europe, both immigrated to the US and had a lasting impact on American artists. The gallery explores the work of Beckmann and Zerbe, as well as their students, who established Boston Expressionism as a major style of painting.

Hofmann and the Next Generation (Melvin Blake and Frank Purnell Gallery) explores the impact of pedagogy on mid-century abstract artists. Hans Hofmann (American, born in Germany), an abstract expressionist and prominent teacher, trained hundreds of students in his distinctive technique and then inspired this new generation to develop their own voice. The gallery features works by Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, David Smith and Peter Voulkos.


8037 - City of Leuven and M buy rare early stained-glass window by Jan de Caumont


                                                           From the 15th century onwards, Leuven was one of the principal centres of glass production in the Low Countries.

Jan de Caumont (1577–1659) was one of the greatest 17th-century glass painters in the Low Countries. The Leuven artist is best known for the 41 stained-glass windows he painted for the ambulatory at nearby Park Abbey. These were repurchased in 2013 under the Flemish Masterpiece Decree with a view to reinstalling them in the abbey. M has supplemented its collection with a rare early work by de Caumont dating from 1618.

Jan de Caumont, Leuven’s outstanding glass painter
From the 15th century onwards, Leuven was one of the principal centres of glass production in the Low Countries. Jan de Caumont (1577–1659), meanwhile, was a key artist in Leuven’s history. Experts view him as one of the top painters on glass of the first half of the 17th century – the final flowering of stained-glass art in the region. He was the city’s official glass painter, executing commissions from his workshop in Leuven for the whole of what was then the Duchy of Brabant.

Rare early work by de Caumont
M has an extensive collection of stained glass, with pieces dating from the 15th to the 19th century. The newly acquired work by de Caumont fills a gap in that survey. Denise Vandevoort, Alderman for Culture in Leuven: ‘Leuven wants to place more emphasis on the work of Jan de Caumont, because of its exceptional quality and the fact that he came from Leuven. The City and the OCMW [Public Centre for Social Welfare] currently owns a series of 27 glass medallions by him. A window of this calibre was previously lacking, so this is a valuable addition to the collection. The City has invested a total of around 25,000 euros. Peter Carpreau, Director of the Old Masters Department at M Museum Leuven: ‘The stained-glass window is a rare example of the artist’s early work and dates from 1618. Its quality is exceptional. What’s more, there are only a few donor windows like this in Flanders. They are often smaller than this, or incorporated in a historical building. The donor figures are Margaretha Vekemans and her daughter. We know this from a 1956 exhibition catalogue, in which the window has an inscription that has since, unfortunately, been lost.’ The window’s companion piece, showing the donor's husband, was installed in St Gwenllwyfo’s Church, Llanwenllwyfo (Anglesey, UK).

A 17th-century ‘logo’ for the Vekemans family
The panel shows an image of Margaretha Vekemans and her daughter. Both are kneeling and accompanied by two patron saints, Agnes and Elizabeth of Hungary. Vekemans was the wife of Alexander van den Broeck, administrator of the Antwerp municipal treasury. They were important sponsors in the 17th century of the ceremonial entry into Antwerp of Cardinal Infante Ferdinand of Spain (1609–1641) and also of the Carthusian monastery in Lier. Commissioning a stained-glass window was a way of displaying your logo avant la lettre. Prominent individuals or institutions used to present them to a church or abbey. The same applies to this window, which the Vekemans family donated to a monastery. There are strong indications, therefore, that it came from the Carthusians in Lier.



8036 - Masterpieces replaced by fakes in six national galleries in treasure hunt


Giles Coren and Rose Balston at Guildhall Art Gallery © PA / Doug Peters.
A top secret operation saw millions of pounds worth of priceless masterpieces removed from the collections of galleries and museums around the UK. In a further twist, the seven paintings – all by celebrated British artists – have been switched for copies.

The heist has been coordinated by Sky Arts, with permission from the galleries, to launch a month-long national art competition for a new TV series called Fake! The Great Masterpiece Challenge. Only the museum curators, the production team from IWC Media, and presenters Giles Coren and art historian Rose Balston, know which pictures are real and which have been replaced.

Throughout July, members of the public of all ages and experience are invited to use their detective skills to spot the seven copies hiding in plain sight on the walls of six galleries in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London and Manchester. All seven displays also are available for investigation online, via the competition website: skyartsfake.com

Those with a keen eye, who manage to correctly identify the ‘fakes’, stand the chance of being invited to take part in the series finale. The finalists will compete to win a specially commissioned copy of their very own.

“You don’t have to be an art historian to have a go at this,” says Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts, “all you need is a sense of curiosity and an eye for detail. We wanted to tell the story of British Art with a sense of fun, and in a way that would encourage us all to take a closer and more critical look at the works of great British Artists.”

Each programme in the series will shine a light on a particular period of British Art, featuring interviews with specialist curators from each gallery and the contemporary artists who have been commissioned to secretly recreate the masterpieces from scratch. During the competition, curator-led tours of these collections are available at each gallery.

• at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, the fake has been hidden in a display on ‘The Art of The Stuart Courts’, including portraits of Mary Queen of Scots, James I and Charles II.

• at the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight, Wirral, the copy has been placed amid a collection of ‘Golden Age English Portraiture’ by the likes of Sir Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough and George Romney.

• at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, the copy has been hidden amongst paintings of ‘Animal and Sporting Art’ from the 18th and 19th centuries.

• at the National Museum Cardiff, the copy has been made of a ‘British Landscape’ amongst masters such as J.M.W Turner and Richard Wilson.

• at the Guildhall Art Gallery in London, the imposter hides amongst the collection of ‘Victorian Narrative Painting’

• Manchester Art Gallery’s popular display of ‘Pre-Raphaelite’ paintings with works by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown, John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt hides one masterpiece which is not all that it seems

• Manchester Art Gallery also created a special display of paintings of the city by LS Lowry and Adolphe Valette; one of which is a copy

• the final of the television series will be hosted at the world’s oldest public museum, the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, where the competition will reach its climax

This is the first Sky television series to be presented by Giles Coren, award-winning critic and columnist for The Times, following his debut on Sky Arts in an episode of My Failed Novel. His other broadcast appearances involved the hit BBC Back in Time for... series and the landmark Supersizers series with Sue Perkins.

The series is the television debut for Rose Balston, an Edinburgh-educated art historian and writer who lectures for the V&A and founded her own company, Art History UK, to run bespoke guided tours of art and architecture both in Britain and abroad.

Fake! The Great Masterpiece Challenge will be recorded throughout July and August and screened on Sky Arts in the new year, when the identity of the seven ‘fakes’ and the artists who have been commissioned to copy them will be revealed. The seven originals paintings will return to the galleries once the competition has ended in August.




8035 - Dirk Braeckman to represent Belgium at Venice Biennale 2017


The 57th Venice Biennale of Visual Arts will take place from 13 May until 26 November 2017. Belgium has in the Giardini, the center of the Biennial, a country pavilion that the Flemish Community can fill in a rotation with the French Community.

Dirk Braeckman was selected by a jury from a shortlist of five. The jury assessed the five proposals following an oral presentation of the artists and curators. All five proposals made a very strong impression despite they started from a very different artistic point of view.

Dirk Braeckman and curator Eva Wittocx convinced the jury with a strong personal story, in which the medium of photography is approached in a unique way. The experiment of Dirk Braeckman the process of photography and the techniques of darkroom give his pictures an exceptional pictorial quality. The work is very authentic and with a high sensuality. The arrangement in the Belgian pavilion, which lends itself perfectly for this strengthens the whole.

"With Dirk Braeckman and curator Eva Wittocx the jury made an excellent choice. [...] I am confident that Dirk Braeckman in Venice will catch eyes. I share the opinion of the jury that the Biennial of Braeckman comes at the right time to lift his career all the way to excellence." --Sven Gatz

As a starting point for a series of new works for the exhibition in the Belgian pavilion Dirk Braeckman wants to investigate a number of recent runs. The artist wishes to depart from strong images and tries to provide an answer to the daily mass production and consumption of images. In the public space, on television or on the internet we are showered with slogans and images that compete for our attention. Dirk Braeckman's images serve more as jammers in the regular flow of images.

The pavilion of Dirk Braeckman and Eve Wittocx will pursue the opposite: silence and attention, visual experience watching us focus, like moving or shifting the images.

Dirk Braeckman (b. 1958) in 1977 started the training photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. In his oeuvre Braeckman conducting a study on the medium of photography to create images that allow the traditional photographic means in question.

In analogous photographic process Braeckman deviates from conformal techniques and resources he uses in his darkroom resources such as brushes and sponges to spread the developer in stripes and planes across the paper. He often uses several sources to continue editing the surface. The spots that arise, act as a veil that sucks the viewer both to itself with evocative power and confronts him at the same time the plane. A concrete result of this process is that each photo is a unique piece and additionally obtains a special painterly dimension.

“I am very happy and surprised by the jury’s selection because there were five excellent candidates. The Belgian pavilion is the best space I could possibly imagine. I love the architecture of the building, the atmosphere as well as the Giardini and Venice itself. Participating in the Biennial feels like a victory for Belgian photography, which has never had a broad international platform within the visual arts. I’m convinced that a positive message need not be spectacular, but that there is a certain spectacle within the image itself, in its tranquillity and sacrality. My photos are like unexploded bombs, as Luc Sante once said, charged and full of pent-up energy. I am very much looking forward to sharing them with a broader audience. ” - Dirk, from his official Press Release



8034 - Mayor of London nominates London Underground logo into collection


The Roundel first appeared on Underground station platforms in 1908 and has become one of London's most iconic symbols.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today nominated the Roundel into the Design Museum permanent collection display. The Roundel has been the logo for the London Underground tube network for over 100 years and will now form part of the free to visit permanent exhibition at the new Design Museum, when it opens in the former Commonwealth Institute on Kensington High Street on 24 November 2016.

Selected for the museum's Crowdsourced Wall, the Roundel will sit amongst 300 objects nominated by the general public as their favourite design pieces. Due to be announced later this month, nominations have so far included furniture, fashion and even food.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: ‘World-leading design and creativity is showcased across the capital on our streets, in our buildings and even on the Tube. One of the most iconic symbols in London is undoubtedly the Roundel. Bold, simple and colourful, it unifies the Tube network and over 100 years since its introduction the classic bar and circle still looks timeless. It is a design that has come to represent a city and, in an age of rapid technological growth, the Roundel proves that there is still a place for printed graphic design. I’m sure the Roundel will be part of London for centuries to come, making it a terrific nominee for the Design Museum’s permanent collection display.’

The Roundel first appeared on Underground station platforms in 1908 and has become one of London's most iconic symbols. Comprising of a solid red circle and blue bar, the Roundel was originally created as a bold yet simple design for the Underground logo which later spread to include station names within the symbol. It was the vision of Frank Pick that led to the creation of the Roundel and the identity for the Tube, combining graphics, architecture and design to unify the entire network.

Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum explains: 'The roundel is an essential part of London’s personality. It’s an effortless piece of design that has become a natural part of the landscape. Even though it has inspired other cities, from Tokyo to Moscow, it’s the symbol that has defined London’s transport decade after decade’

The Roundel celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2008 and its induction into the Design Museum's collection display will place it within the context of some of the world's most revered designs; a collection that boasts everything from iPhones to street signs and cars to wheelchairs.

The Crowdsourced Wall will form a central part of the permanent free exhibition Designer Maker User and will be the opportunity for the public to pick the designs that they feel have changed their daily lives.


8033 - The Getty and Rothschild Foundation announce inaugural Getty Rothschild Fellowship


Dr. David Saunders.

The Getty and the Rothschild Foundation today announced the creation of the Getty Rothschild Fellowship, which will support innovative scholarship in the history of art, collecting, and conservation, using the collection and resources of both institutions. The fellowship offers art historians, museum professionals, or conservators the opportunity to research and study at both the Getty in Los Angeles and Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, England. The inaugural fellow is Dr. David Saunders, a foremost expert in the area of conservation science who will work on museum and gallery lighting during the fellowship.

“The Getty and the Rothschild Foundation hold similar values regarding the understanding and conservation of visual art around the world, and it is only appropriate that we would work together to support individuals who demonstrate these values through their research,” says Jim Cuno, president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust. “We are pleased to award the inaugural Getty Rothschild Fellowship to Dr. Saunders, whose work in museum lighting has been of long-standing interest to the Getty Conservation Institute and the Getty Museum.”

Dr. Saunders is a former principal scientist at The National Gallery and keeper of conservation, documentation, and research at the British Museum. Now an independent researcher, Saunders is writing what will be a seminal book about museum and gallery lighting. Waddesdon is an ideal place to advance his research, as it will serve as a case study for the upcoming publication. The Flint House, the RIBA award-winning Rothschild Foundation property, will provide an exceptional environment in which the fellow will stay while working at Waddesdon.

“The Rothschild Foundation and Waddesdon Manor are delighted to be collaborating with the Getty on this Fellowship, which will nurture high-level scholarship on subjects which are close to the hearts of both institutions, whether in the fields of art and art history, collecting, conservation or the application of new technologies to the museum and heritage worlds. I am particularly pleased that our first Fellow will be David Saunders, whose work is of the greatest possible relevance to Waddesdon, as a historic house seeking to present itself in innovative ways,” says Lord Rothschild, OM GBE.

The selection process for the Getty Rothschild fellowship includes a number of criteria, including whether the applicant’s work would benefit from proximity to the Getty and Rothschild collections. Fellowships will be for up to eight months, with the time split equally between the Getty and Waddesdon Manor. Dr. Saunders will be at the Getty from January to March 2017 and at Waddesdon Manor from April to June 2017. Fellows will also receive a stipend during their time at both locations. The fellowship is administered by the Getty Foundation.

In 2014, Lord Jacob Rothschild received the Getty Medal for his contributions to the practice, understanding, and support of the arts.



8032 - First British art star's self-portrait smashes world reord at Bonhams Old Masters Sale


The earliest known self-portrait by William Dobson (1611-1656) sold for £1,106,500. Photo: Bonhams.
The earliest known self-portrait by William Dobson (1611-1656) sold for £1,106,500 at Bonhams Old Master Paintings sale in London the 6 July. This is a new world record price for a work by the artist at auction easily surpassing the previous best of £362,500. The painting was bought by a private English collector.

Bonhams Director of Old Master Painting, Andrew McKenzie said, “It is difficult to overestimate the rarity and importance of this work in the history of British art and I am not surprised that it has sold for a such a very high record price.”

Portrait of the Artist is one of the earliest known works that can confidently be attributed to Dobson who was court painter to Charles I during the English Civil War. His early death in 1646 at the age of 45 cut short a dazzling career and not until Hogarth more than seventy years later did Britain produce such a distinctive and important artist. The antiquarian and author of Brief Lives, John Aubrey (1626-1697), described him as “the most excellent painter that England has yet bred.”

At the same sale, Pastoral Landscape by Claude Lorrain (1600-1682) was sold for £722,500 against an estimate of £600,000-800,000. Claude painted Pastoral Landscape between 1635 and 1637 in Rome. It is not known who commissioned the painting, but around this time Claude's work had begun to attract important patrons, including Pope Urban VIII, the future Pope Clement IX and, perhaps most prestigious of all, King Philip IV of Spain.

Andrew McKenzie commented, “Claude is regarded as the greatest painter of 'Ideal Landscape'. Pastoral Landscape was a particularly fine example of his ability to create an image that is more beautiful and ordered than nature itself.”

Other notable results included:

• The Entombment by Maerten van Heemskerck (1498-1574) sold for £482,500. Described by Andrew McKenzie as ‘a powerful and important work by a major artist of the Northern Renaissance” the work set a new world auction record for a work by van Heemskerck in oil.

• Saint Sebastian by Jusepe de Ribera (1588-1656) sold for £218,500

• Portrait of Elizabeth Burgoyne by George Romney made £314,500

• Part of the Refectory of Walsingham Abbey Norfolk by John Sell Cotman (1782-1842) sold for a new world record price of £338,500. The previous record was £80,500.


8031 - Auction records for two of England's most important watchmakers set at Sotheby's London

World auction record for a watch by John Arnold. A 1781 large silver consular cased pocket chronometer soars to £557,000 ($722,318). Photo: Sotheby's.Sotheby’s London, auction records for watches made by two of England’s most famous and important watchmakers were set when a silver pocket chronometer by John Arnold sold for £557,000 ($722,318) and a gold pocket chronometer by Thomas Earnshow fetched £305,000 ($395,524).

Made in 1781 and estimated at £130,000-150,000, the large silver consular cased pocket chronometer by John Arnold is remarkable in that it has survived in its completely original state. Arnold introduced the ‘double S’ balance in 1780. The ‘S’ sections of the balance were shaped bi-metallic bars that were designed to overcome the changing elasticity of the balance spring and expansion of the balance’s rim. The watch sold yesterday is the only example of a watch by Arnold which survives without restoration and with its original case, dial, pivoted detent and ‘double S’ balance.

Thomas Earnshaw invented the spring detent escapement and Thomas Wright, watchmaker to King George III, agreed to pay for the patent in his name. Dating from 1784, the gold pair cased pocket chronometer in yesterday’s sale was the only surviving example of a watch made strictly to Wright’s patent details (est. £250,000-300,000).

The sale included some of the finest precision timekeepers of the English horological Golden Age. It was the second part in a series of sales entitled “Celebration of the English Watch”, featuring the most important collection of English watches in private hands.



8030 - £44.9 million Rubens leads strong results for Classic Week at Christie's


Rubens's masterpiece Lot and His Daughters sells for £44,882,500/ $58,167,720/ €52,422,760. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2016.
The Old Master and British Evening Sale totalled £65,390,100/ $84,745,570/ €76,375,637, achieving sell through rates of 93% by value and 77% by lot.

The highest price for an Old Master Painting sold at Christie’s was achieved with the sale of Peter Paul Rubens’s Lot and his Daughters, which realised £44,882,500 / $58,167,720 / €52,422,760 in a spirited 14-minute bidding war.

Henry Pettifer, International Director, Head of Old Master & British Paintings Christie’s London: “Following the curated 250th anniversary Defining British Art sale we are delighted with the results of this Old Masters evening’s auction totalling £65,390,100 which gives us a combined running total of £105,373,775, the result of strong bidding from not only our traditional collectors for the category but also new clients from Asia and collectors of 20th Century art. We are especially pleased with the sale of Rubens’s ‘Lot and his Daughters’, for £44,882,500, the most expensive Old Master Painting ever sold by Christie’s. The atmosphere in the saleroom was energetic as one of the most important paintings by Rubens to have remained in private hands sold after 14 minutes of bidding. The sale of this work follows the record sale by Christie’s of two Rembrandt Portraits sold by private treaty to the French and Dutch states earlier this year, demonstrating the continued demand of collectors for the very best Old Master works. Christie’s first Classic Week in London has been a fitting context for a work of such calibre, displayed alongside the full range of unique works of art offered throughout the week. Tonight’s sale achieved sell through rates of 93% by value and 77% by lot and attracted cross-category buying with registered bidders from 25 countries across 5 continents. Top prices were realised at all price levels, with notable highlights including ‘The Four Seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter’ by Pieter Brueghel II which sold over estimate achieving £6,466,500, Bellotto’s pair of panoramas of the Grand Canal Venice which realised £3,554,500 and Jacob van Ruisdael’s ‘View of Haarlem’ that reached £1,538,500.

Preceding the Old Master and British Painting Evening Sale, The Exceptional Sale totalled £5,681,250/ $7,362,900/ €6,635700 achieving sell through rates of 89% by value and 80% by lot.

A world record was set for English Pottery with the sale of a Wedgwood black ‘First Day’s Vase of £482,500 / $625,320 / €563,560, more than double its high estimate.

Robert Copley, Deputy Chairman of Group, International Head of Furniture, Deputy Chairman, Christie’s UK “The Exceptional Sale saw international participation from registered bidders in 15 countries across 3 continents. The highlight of the sale was a Wedgwood black ‘First Day’s Vase’, one of only four day vases to have been thrown by Wedgwood himself, and one which has passed through generations of the Wedgwood family before being auctioned at Christie’s where it achieved a world record price for English pottery of £482,500 / $625,320 / €563,560, more than double its high estimate with spirited bidding in the room. Launched in 2008, the first concept sale of masterpieces, it presents the best of European decorative arts, many with celebrated provenance; all united by the common attribute of excellence, which this year realised sell through rates of 80% by lot and 89% by value with A world record was also set for a work by the Komai studio, a pair of Japanese inlaid iron vases and covers, which sold over estimate for £302,500 / $392,040 / €353,320. The top lots of the evening were a Meissen white model of a great bustard, which originated from Augustus the Strong’s porcelain menagerie and a pair of ice pails, ordered by Catherine the Great of Russia, the most elaborate and expensive set ever produced by Sèvres, both of which made £842,500 / $1,087,668 /


8029 - Ninth edition of the Liverpool Biennial


For the ninth edition of the Liverpool Biennial, 42 artists are invited to create new work for locations across the city, alongside a showcase of ten associate artists working in the North of England. Artists from Australia, Belgium, China, France, Greece, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, Russia and Taiwan, as well as the UK and including Merseyside-born Mark Leckey, will participate.

The Liverpool Biennial exhibition has been conceived as a series of episodes, drawing inspiration from Liverpool’s past, present and future.

The episodes are:

Children’s Episode, the Biennial’s first comprehensive commissioning programme for artists to work collaboratively with children; Ancient Greece, the inspiration behind many of Liverpool’s grandest buildings; Chinatown, acknowledging Liverpool’s heritage as Europe’s oldest Chinese community in Europe; Flashback, artists’ new interpretation of history; in Software, Biennial artists will open up new perspectives and interactions with technology; and Monuments From the Future, where artists have been invited to imagine what Liverpool might look like in the future.

The Children’s Episode will include a commission by British artist, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, who will create a film, Dogsy Ma Bone, entirely cast, produced and directed with young people from Liverpool. Liverpool’s fleet of Arriva buses will include three double-deckers transformed by artists, of which one will be designed by schoolchildren.

Reflecting on Liverpool’s radical political history, Japanese artist Koki Tanaka revisits the scene of a huge protest in Liverpool in 1985. It involved around 10,000 children, demonstrating against the Conservative government’s Youth Training Scheme. Tanaka will bring together original participants and their children for a walk through the city, from St George’s Hall to the Pier Head, retracing the original route. Children will lead the interviews for the artist’s film of the project, which will be shown at Open Eye Gallery throughout the Biennial.

In Flashback, Merseyside-born artist Mark Leckey will present Dream English Kid, a film inspired by events in his life from the 1970s to 1990s. The film will be screened alongside new sculptural works in the Saw Mill, the former entrance to the legendary Liverpool club night Cream.

A floor of Tate Liverpool will be transformed into Ancient Greece. Drawing on National Museums Liverpool’s significant collection of classical Greek sculptures, originally amassed by Lancastrian antiquitarian patron, Henry Blundell in the early 1800s, Tate Liverpool will show these sculptures alongside new commissions by international artists including Andreas Angelidakis, Koenraad Dedobbeleer and Jumana Manna. Outside the Mersey Tunnel George’s Dock Ventilation Tower, the celebrated American artist Betty Woodman will create a large-scale bronze fountain made from Woodman’s characteristic vessels and fresco-like sculptural works.

Throughout the Biennial, echoes of China and Liverpool’s ever present Chinatown will resound in spaces across the city, to be encountered in everyday settings such as the supermarket, and in large spaces such as Cains Brewery. Work by 15 artists from all parts of the world will be featured. Among these is a work by Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian, exiled in Dubai, who are sending a shipping container by sea full of works from their art collection and artefacts from their home, to be reassembled in Liverpool.

Among the locations for Liverpool Biennial 2016 will be the historic Cains Brewery building on Stanhope Street; the art deco ‘palace’, the former ABC Cinema; Clarence Dock in North Liverpool; the Oratory; streets, pubs, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets and all the key visual art venues in the city including Tate Liverpool, FACT, Open Eye Gallery and Bluecoat.

Liverpool Biennial 2016 commissioned artists are: Lawrence Abu Hamdan (Jordan/UK/Lebanon), Andreas Angelidakis (Greece/Norway), Alisa Baremboym (USA), Lucy Beech (UK), Mariana Castillo Deball (Mexico), Yin-Ju Chen (Taiwan), Ian Cheng (USA), Marvin Gaye Chetwynd (Australia/UK), Céline Condorelli (Italy/Switzerland/France), Audrey Cottin (France), Koenraad Dedobbeleer (Belgium), Jason Dodge (USA), Lara Favaretto (Italy), Danielle Freakley (Australia), Coco Fusco (USA), Fabien Giraud and Raphaël Siboni (France), Hato (UK), Ana Jotta (Portugal), Samson Kambalu (Malawi), Oliver Laric (Austria), Mark Leckey (UK), Adam Linder (Australia), Marcos Lutyens (UK), Jumana Manna (Palestine), Rita McBride (USA), Dennis McNulty (Ireland), Elena Narbutaite (Lithuania), Lu Pingyuan (China), Michael Portnoy (USA), Sahej Rahal (India), Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh & Hesam Rahmanian (Iran), Koki Tanaka (Japan), Suzanne Treister (UK), Villa Design Group (UK/USA), Krzysztof Wodiczko (Poland), Betty Woodman (USA), Arseny Zhilyaev (Russia).



8028 - Flint Institute of Arts to add new gallery wing and makerspace - Flint, MICH


Today, the FIA is embarking on a capital project that will raise the profile of the museum and yet another attractive venue for the Flint Cultural Center, the City of Flint, and Genesee County.

The Flint Institute of Arts is adding a Contemporary Craft Wing and artist’s maker space as part of a major museum expansion and renovation of its art school.

“This project is a game-changer for us in terms of providing exhibition and demonstration space that integrates a finished work of art with the process of how it is made,” said John Henry, FIA’s executive director. “It moves us closer to our ongoing goal of becoming a visitor- and family-friendly destination where everyone can learn while having a good time.”

The Contemporary Craft Wing, designed by architect Frederick Fisher and Partners will add more than 8,000 square feet of space to the east side of the FIA’s collection galleries. Complementing the new wing and providing working and demonstration space for glass and ceramic artists, an interior courtyard within the Art School will be converted to a multi-purpose maker space.

The project will be financed through a $17.5 million capital and endowment campaign. The FIA has raised $12.8 million of that total, which includes an $8.5 million capital grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. In addition to raising $5 million for the new wing and $3.5 million for the glass studio and multi-purpose maker space, the campaign has a $9 million endowment goal.

The Art School renovation adds 3,960 square feet of maker space outfitted with glass furnaces, a cold shop, a metal foundry, audio visual equipment, and stadium style seating.

“The additional space will allow us to provide live demonstrations for visitors, and studio classes for children and adults,” said Henry. “We’ll also be able to host visiting artist workshops in glassblowing, flamework, wheel throwing, and metal casting.”

The gallery expansion will accommodate two recent major gifts to the museum: the Dr. Robert and Deanna Harris Burger Collection of Contemporary Ceramics and the Isabel Foundation’s Sherwin and Shirley Glass Collection of Contemporary Glass.

“The two collections are made up of works by some of the foremost glass and ceramic artists around the world,” said Henry. “They contain a variety of important pieces emerging over the past 60 years through the Contemporary Craft Movement.”

“We believe these additions to the FIA will create an unparalleled resource for people in Michigan and the surrounding region, offering an in-depth look at contemporary craft. We’re also very excited to be able to introduce a glass-making and public demonstration component into the Art School,” Henry noted. The FIA Art School has had a history of teaching applied arts since its founding in 1928. That history—coupled with the museum’s significant collection of glass and ceramics—was the impetus for adding a new wing dedicated to contemporary craft.

“With its long history and culture of tinkering, inventing, designing and manufacturing useful— and sometimes very beautiful—objects, Flint is an ideal place for providing a contemporary craft experience for artists and visitors,” said William S. White, Chairman and CEO of the Mott Foundation. “That’s why we’re so pleased to make a gift to support the new wing and maker space.”

Construction will begin in July, with completion scheduled for Fall of 2017. During the late summer of 2017, portions of the FIA will be closed as artwork is installed and spaces are prepared for re-opening.



8027 - Unseen launches campaign image - Amsterdam - 09.2016


A Telepathic Subject, 2016 © Christto & Andrew.
Unseen presents the first campaign image for the fifth edition of Unseen, created by the artistic duo Christto & Andrew. The campaign is the result of an exciting collaboration between Christto Sanz (Puerto Rico, 1985), Andrew Weir (South Africa, 1987) and Unseen, a fair and festival embracing new photography.

The duo is no stranger to Unseen. At Unseen Photo Fair 2015, Christto & Andrew had a solo presentation of their work “Glory of the Artifice”, presented by East Wing Gallery.

Christto & Andrew live and work in Qatar. While they both hail from different places in the world, they have an unconventional approach towards the country and its customs. The duo is enormously fascinated by the rapid changes Qatar is experiencing. Shimmering skyscrapers are mushrooming, the focus lies on innovation and technical development and the Qatari are seemingly obsessed by the future. This forms the basis of Christto & Andrew’s campaign for Unseen. In their work, the artists amusingly play with the sensational fictions that the West projects on Qatar. Bright colours and intriguing characters put in overly staged scenes immediately draw the viewer’s attention. Simultaneously, symbolism is deeply embedded within their images. These symbols, such as the falcon and the crystal ball, are subtle nods towards life in Qatar and refer to the tension between tradition and modernity that can be found there. These ingredients all come together in the eye-catching campaign created by the duo for Unseen.

Christto & Andrew: “Our images use objects and characters to change certain fictions, inviting viewers to reflect upon stereotypes and the commercialisation of culture, as well as the ways in which photography can represent those things, in a humorous way.”


8026 - Major summer exhibition organized by the city of Saint-Tropez pays homage to Bernard Bezzina - 15. 06.2016-05.10.2016


Main Divition III, 2015. Bronze blanc sur base acier, 3ex. H 375 x L 275 x P 170cm.

Saint-Tropez pays tribute to artist Bernard Bezzina exposing the city 5 of his monumental sculptures. t he old port docks instead of the Garonne through the place Grammont and place Blanqui, the Var seaside resort will combine its ancient charm to the singular art sculptor.

Varied explorer of matter, Bernard Bezzina is driven by a quest for total art and develops in his works its principle of "Divition". This is an act of division volumes, deconstruction and fragmentation of the material to give it a new birth. He "then the procedure is surgically by making incisions, traces and slots, covering the smooth skin for signs of life." With the bronze, as with land, steel, wood, materials he uses as a skin, his works go to the essential: fragment feet, hands, torsos. They are entitled "Divition I - II - III" and five of them colonize the city of their gigantism.

It is between Tuscany, near the huge quarries of Carrara, and his workshop south of France in nature, Bernard Bezzina draws inspiration and creativity. Propelling contemporary art beyond established boundaries, his sculptural work is manifold. This eclectic artist also works the canvas or paper, providing a great artistic diversity, particularly expressive and innovative.

Combining the art of monumental and fragile by coexist with power strength of the material and the injury of life, Bernard Bezzina exhibited in Monaco, France, Belgium, Great Britain, Italy ...

The monumentality of his sculptures on display this summer in St. Tropez, Bernard Bezzina sign a new interpretation of the human body, sublimating the originality of his creations and talent



8025 - 5th Moscow International Biennale for Young Art - 30.06.2016-14.08.2016


Iza Tarasewicz. The Means, The Milieu I. 2014-2015. Installation. Reishi, oxidate metal, hemp fibre, ochre, rubber, cement. Courtesy of the artist. Kunsthalle Bratislava, Slovakia, photography taken by Martin Marencin.
Moscow is hosting the International Biennale for Young Art for the fifth time. The head curator for the biennale this year is Nadim Samman, who has created the general theme—"Deep Inside"— and selected the works of art for the main project of the biennale.

From 30 June to 14 August 2016, HYPERCONECYED, the Strategic project of the 5th Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, is being shown in MMOMA. The curator is João Laia. The exhibition is on five floors of the building on Ermolayevsky Lane and brings together nineteen artists from fifteen different countries around the world. The project aims to explain to the viewer how art investigates and comments on the processes of everyday interactions between people and the world, how contemporary art practices interpret the current condition of disappearing transitions from object to subject, from nature and culture to conceptions of the world as a collective process. The artists, invited by the Portuguese curator reject apocalyptic and utopian views of modernity, and recognize the world as a plurality of conditions and positions, defying the limitations we have created ourselves. The MMOMA exhibition is a reminder that we are all part of the same dynamic, where every individual becomes a plurality, each separate piece becomes part of the whole, and all of them are “hyperconnected".

João Laia: "In the current period of accelerated motion our minds and bodies move, change and adapt to the settings and networks we navigate daily. We shape-shift while opening windows, closing folders and browsing through reflecting surfaces; soft borders permanently redefining our identities. As a consequence, any hypothetical separation between nature and culture has been dissolved, our natural environment becoming a cultural environment. Whereas the speculations grouped under object-oriented philosophy highlight a recomposition of the world that questions the centrality of the human and opens alternative ontologies for consideration, the anthropocene reframes mankind as a geological force. Such strands of thinking have added to the on-going crisis of modernism's defining idea of humanity and nature as distinct entities. We are acknowledging our hybrid natural-cultural constitution as well as our state of permanent becoming as agents among other agents, a position expressing a co-extensivity with one’s surroundings in which all organisms are inter-dependent, forming a renewed eco-philosophical thinking that acknowledges our humanity in the midst of an intricate environment. Everything is connected, not only humans through heightened communication and other scientific and cultural developments but also the whole cosmos as a multiple unity. From the dissolution of previously stable conceptions of the world emerge renewed possibilities to articulate hopes and fears. How is art probing and commenting upon these unfolding processes? This exhibition looks at how contemporary practices have been looking at our present situation as a moment of shift in which the correlation between object and subject or distinctions such as nature and culture are being surpassed and replaced for a conception of the world as an interlinked collectivity. Beyond apocalyptic scenarios or utopian visions, the artists included propose a reassessment of our current condition and look towards the future-present from an empowering stance that challenges boundaries. “Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed”. We are all together in this: one is becoming plural and intensely connected”.

Participants of the exhibition: Adriano Amaral (1982, Brazil), Hicham Berrada (1986, Morocco), Lupo Borgonovo (1985, Italy), Cécile B. Evans (1983, Belgium - USA), Neringa Cerniauskaite (aka Pakui Hardware) (1984, Lithuania), June Crespo (1982, Spain), Diogo Evangelista (1984, Portugal), Rodrigo Hernandez (1983, Mexico), Patrick Hough (1989, Ireland), Sasha Litvintseva (1989, Russia), Adrien Missika (1981, France), Saskia Noor van Imhoff (1982, Canada), Yuri Pattison (1986, Ireland), Mariana Silva (1984, Portugal), Iza Tarasewicz (1981, Poland), Ana Vaz (1986, Brazil) & Tristan Bera (1984, France), Guan Xiao (1983, China), Zoe Williams (1983, Great Britain).


8024 - 62nd Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale to be hosted by University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA - 11.07.2016-15.07.2016


An ancient clay tablet in Sumerian cuneiform from the site of Nippur in Mesopotamia (now in Iraq), circa 1650 BCE, contains the earliest version of the Mesopotamian flood story.
Clay tablets from the ancient Near East, bearing cuneiform, an ancient writing system in use thousands of years ago, were but curiosities until scholars began to decipher them in the mid-19th century. Since then, the decipherment of numerous tablets inscribed by ancient scribes—detailing everything from economic transactions, to literary and religious stories, historical sagas, medical prescriptions and recipes for beer—has opened up a treasure trove of information about some of the earliest human civilizations, the ancient Near Eastern cultures that grew up along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers ages ago.

Since its first Paris meeting in 1950, the Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale has drawn together Assyriologists—scholars who read and study cuneiform texts—and Near Eastern archaeologists from around the world to share new research and perspectives. From July 11 through 15, 2016, the University of Pennsylvania and the Penn Museum will host the 62nd Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, marking the fifth time the prestigious conference has been held in the United States, and the second time it has been hosted by Penn in Philadelphia. About 250 to 300 scholars and archaeologists are expected to attend from about two dozen countries.

“Hosting this international conference at Penn is a great honor, and a wonderful opportunity for Penn and the Penn Museum to share with colleagues both our history of ancient Near Eastern research, and our current efforts, which take place in libraries, archives, and in the field,” noted conference coordinator Grant Frame, Associate Curator in the Babylonian Section at the Penn Museum, and Associate Professor, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ur in the 21st Century
The first American institution to excavate ancient Near Eastern sites in Iraq in the late 1800s, the Penn Museum continues its deep engagement with Near Eastern research today. The Rencontre met in Philadelphia in 1988, when the theme was “Nippur, the Holy City of the Sumerians,” with a special focus on that important site, where archaeologists unearthed a massive ancient library of Sumerian texts.

“Ur in the 21st Century CE” is the theme of the 62nd meeting, and the spotlight is on the famous joint Penn Museum and British Museum expedition to Ur led by Sir Leonard Woolley in southern Iraq from 1922 through 1934. Conference attendees will have an opportunity to view the progress of the recent joint digitization project to provide an open access web resource about that site, and the tens of thousands of artifacts, field notes, maps, photographs and other records from the excavations. The Ur Digitization Project was made possible with the lead support of the Leon Levy Foundation.

Workshops, Papers, and Posters
The program will feature eleven workshops on a variety of topics from Ancient Near Eastern Art, to Ur and the Gulf, Intertexuality in Cuneiform Scholarship, and explorations of specific periods of history. One session will be held in memory of Åke Sjøberg (1924–2014), former Tablet Collections director at the Penn Museum and a renowned Sumerian scholar who initiated the Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary Project before the age of computers. Education is an important topic for the conference, and one workshop, geared to middle school teachers, will focus on Teaching and Assyriology.

More than 150 participants offer short papers, and a poster session invites sharing and discussion among scholars. Conference meetings are held on the Penn campus. All registered attendees have free admission to the Penn Museum, to explore its galleries and related exhibitions, including Iraq’s Ancient Past: Rediscovering Ur’s Royal Cemetery, Magic in the Ancient World, and the special exhibition The Golden Age of King Midas, featuring art and artifacts on loan from the Republic of Turkey.

In addition to Dr. Frame, the Penn conference committee organizers are Joshua Jeffers, Research Specialist, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations; Holly Pittman, Penn Museum Curator, Near East Section, and College of Women of 1963 Professor, History of Art; Lauren Ristvet, Dyson Assistant Curator, Near East Section and Associate Professor, Anthropology; Steve Tinney, Penn Museum Associate Curator-in-Charge, Babylonian Section and Associate Professor, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations; and Richard Zettler, Penn Museum Associate Curator-in-Charge, Near East Section, and Associate Professor, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.


8023 - Johnny Depp's Jean-Michel Basquiat works electrify Christie's sale room

The top lot of the evening was Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Pork (1981), selling over its high estimate for £5,122,500 / $6,838,538 / €6,167,490. A major draw, two works from the Collection of Johnny Depp were a highlight of the night, with Basquiat’s Self Portrait (1981) more than doubling its high estimate to reach £3,554,500 / $4,745,258 / €4,279,618 after a bidding war of 10 phone bidders. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2016.
On 29 June 2016, Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auction saw determined bidding in the room and on phones to achieve exceptional sell through rates of 92% by lot and 98% by value with 50% of works selling over estimate and 30% within estimate. The top three works of the night were by American artists that sold globally with buyers in Asia and Europe. Registered bidders from 39 countries across four continents demonstrated the continued demand in the global contemporary market, as well as a proven strength of the domestic market with 10 lots selling to UK-based collectors.

The top lot of the evening was Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Pork (1981), selling over its high estimate for £5,122,500 / $6,838,538 / €6,167,490. A major draw, two works from the Collection of Johnny Depp were a highlight of the night, with Basquiat’s Self Portrait (1981) more than doubling its high estimate to reach £3,554,500 / $4,745,258 / €4,279,618 after a bidding war of 10 phone bidders. With both works dating from 1981, a pivotal year in Basquiat’s practice, Depp’s focused collecting eye met with keen approval in the sale room.

Records were achieved for Sean Scully’s Eve (1992), which sold for £902,500 / $1,204,838 / €1,086,610 and Manolo Millares’ Untitled (Composition) Painting no. 4 which achieved £842,500 / $1,124,738 / €1,014,370, with a record for the medium: Neo Rauch’s work on paper Stau (Congestion), selling for £326,500 $435,878 / €393,106. A total of 10 works sold for over £1 million, with 16 for over $1,000,000 and 17 for over €1,000,000.

Edmond Francey, Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art, London: “Tonight’s results offer real assurance and continued strength to the globalised art market, with a particularly energetic response to Adrian Ghenie, Andy Warhol, Nicolas de Staël, Georg Baselitz and Manolo Millares. The response to Johnny Depp’s Basquiats electrified the sale room and we continue to see that for the top works collectors will stretch themselves to the highest levels. Christie’s has been able to read the market and offer our consignors and buyers the quality that can continue to attract top collectors to the market. This evening’s total contributes to Christie’s successful 250th anniversary with a Bacon, two Freuds, two Rileys and two Auerbachs to come tomorrow as part of a stellar cast of artists, which we estimate will contribute a further £40-60 million to Post-War and Contemporary Art totals this week as part of the Defining British Art Evening Sale.”