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Entire artistic careers might be made from small aspects of Sigmar Polke’s multifarious art, which now fills 14 rooms at Tate Modern. The third Tate show devoted to Polke in 20 years, "Alibis" is a compendious and at times bewildering romp through a career that began in the early 1960s and ended with Polke’s death in 2010.

Dealing with Polke’s legacy has only just begun. There is a lot of messy unfinished business, and much of it is here. As well as paintings, there are films of early performances and games with potatoes, weirdly exposed and manipulated photographs, a slide-show room of photocopy experiments, tables of sketchbook drawings reproduced and flicked-through on iPad tablets.

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The Whitney Museum of American Art announced that New York collectors Sondra Gilman Gonzalez-Falla and Celso Gonzalez-Falla have promised the institution 75 iconic photographs from their collection. The generous gift will dramatically impact the museum’s photography holdings. Adam D. Weinberg, the Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney, said, “The works are classics of twentieth-century photography that enable us to tell the story of twentieth-century American art.”

Among the works are twelve photographs by Walker Evans, including “Kitchen Wall, Alabama Farmstead,” which was published in Evans’ and James Agee’s seminal book on tenant farm families, “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.”

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Wednesday, 10 September 2014 11:58

Man Ray Trust to Sell Works from Artist’s Estate

Two and a half years ago, the Man Ray Trust hung out a shingle in the Wall Street Journal. ‘Come buy our archive,’ the story all but begged. Evidently, no buyer emerged for the 400 works because Sotheby’s has announced that the collection will be sold in 300 lots in Paris on November 15th. This will be the second largest sale of Man Ray’s works following the previous sale of estate works nearly 20 years ago:

At the core of the sale is a group of over 191 lots of  vintage photographs ranging from portraiture and fashion photography, including solarisation and gauze effects, to Surrealist compositions and iconic Man Ray photographs such as "Magnolia Flower" (1926), Starfish (1928), "Ostrich Egg" (1944) and "Mathematical Object" (1934).

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An unprecedented exhibition at Stanford University’s Cantor Arts Center will present Robert Frank’s American photographs from the 1950s as a cohesive whole. Frank, a Swiss-born photographer, is best known for his profoundly influential book “The Americans.” In 1955 and 1956, with support from a Guggenheim Fellowship, Frank traveled throughout the United States photographing ordinary people in their everyday lives. The book, which was published in France in 1959, features 83 photographs, mostly from those travels. Frank explored the various levels of the country’s social strata, both high and low, unveiling a ubiquitous sense of loneliness, alienation, and angst. For the first time ever, the exhibition at the Cantor Arts Center will explore the largely forgotten photographs that pre-dated and followed Frank’s canonical work.

“Robert Frank in America” features 130 photographs drawn primarily from the Cantor’s collection. Donated to the institution in the mid-1980s by Stanford alumnus Bowen H. McCoy and his colleague Raymond B. Gary, the Cantor’s holdings span the full range of Frank’s photographic career before he turned to filmmaking in the early 1960s.

Published in News
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 12:49

Sotheby’s to Auction Edward Weston Photographs

A collection of 548 photographs taken by Edward Weston and printed posthumously by his son Cole Weston — the only person Weston authorized to print from his negatives — will be auctioned by Sotheby’s in New York on Sept. 30. The house is estimating that the prints, which are being sold in a single lot, may bring as much as $3 million.

Weston began his career as a photographer in the first decade of the 20th century and produced about 1,400 images over the next four decades. His best-known and most striking work includes stark black-and-white images, desert landscapes, nudes, and inanimate objects like trees, rocks and shells, which in his photographs often look like sculpture.

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Phillips launches its Fall Photographs season with selections from The Art Institute of Chicago’s renowned collection that include superb works by many of the leading classic photographers. The Auction features 117 lots with a combined pre-sale low estimate of $1,148,200/ £688,085 / €857,154 and a pre-sale high estimate of $1,659,800/ £994,672 / €1,239,073.

“The sale of Photographs from the Collection of The Art Institute of Chicago presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for collectors to purchase a work with a most desirable provenance. The breadth and caliber of the collection is as much a celebration of the medium as it is of the Art Institute’s vision in building one of the foremost institutional collections of photography in the world.” Vanessa Kramer Hallett, Worldwide Head of Photographs and Senior Director, Photographs.

Published in News
Friday, 15 August 2014 10:43

A Look at Corporate Art Collections

I am standing in a private dining room on the seventh floor of the London offices of UBS, the global financial services firm. A table is set for lunch, with a menu promising bresaola with caponata followed by roast lemon sole. Before the powerful guests arrive, though, I am whisked away. As I go, my eye is drawn to some art hanging on the wall: a pair of rare, large watercolors by the contemporary Danish artist Olafur Eliasson. These are just two of the 32,000 objects that make up the UBS Art Collection, which includes paintings, photographs, drawings, prints, video works and sculptures from the last 50 years.

Corporate art collections are hardly a new phenomenon. In the late 1950s, the American plutocrat David Rockefeller decided that Chase Manhattan Bank should start acquiring art.

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Photographer David LaChapelle claims in court that his fired manager owes him more than $2.8 million from sales of his work. LaChapelle and David LaChapelle Studios sued Fred Torres, Fred Torres Collaborations (FTC) and Fine Art Accounts, on Aug. 8 in New York State Supreme Court.

LaChapelle described himself in the complaint as "a world renowned photographer and director whose career spans three decades," whose work has appeared in Vanity Fair, French Vogue, Italian Vogue, GQ and Rolling Stone."

He has done portraits of Elizabeth Taylor, Muhammad Ali, Madonna, Hillary Clinton, Eminem and Leonardo DiCaprio, and directed music videos for Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Elton John, according to the lawsuit.

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The High Museum of Art in Atlanta is mounting an exhibition this fall of important photographs by Gordon Parks, some of which have never been publicly exhibited, museum officials announced Tuesday. “Gordon Parks: Segregation Story” will be on view from Nov. 15 through June 7, 2015.

The exhibition, presented in collaboration with the Gordon Parks Foundation, showcases more than 40 of Parks’s color prints. Most are on view for the first time in over half a century. They were created for a 1956 Life magazine photo essay, called “The Restraints: Open and Hidden,” which chronicled the daily lives of an extended African-American family living in segregated Alabama.

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In a great work of art, the artist's hand is invisible. Not so in the traveling exhibition "Revealed," which shows famous artists at work in their studios. The series of nearly 40 photographs has been culled from the archives of the French weekly magazine Paris Match by Pablo Picasso's grandson, Olivier Widmaier Picasso.

The pictures are showing in lobbies and other public spaces at Sofitel hotels in five cities, beginning in New York and ending in Beverly Hills next April. In between, the exhibit will be in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Montreal.

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