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The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College announces a major gift of over 500 photographs from photographer, curator, and collector Jack Shear. 

Shear’s extensive donation serves as a visual history of photography from its inception in the 1840s to the present day. The collection chronicles different photographic processes, techniques, and artistic approaches from an early half-plate ambrotype of Niagara Falls to a Polaroid self-portrait by a young Robert Mapplethorpe. Historic works include important examples by photographic pioneers such as Berenice Abbott, Diane Arbus, Eugène Atget, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Weston.

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On Saturday, London’s Robilant + Voena sold one of the most expensive works so far noted at TEFAF, as Andy Warhol’s large-scale, 90 by 70 inch “Knives” from 1981-82, executed in synthetic polymer and silkscreen on canvas and blown up from a Polaroid taken by the artist, sold to a European collector in the region of the $3.2 million asking price.

Painted near the nadir of Warhol’s career, the group of three knives was sourced from a Bowery restaurant supply store and brought back to the artist’s studio to be arranged and photographed.

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When David Hockney started spending more time in his native Yorkshire after 2005, he began painting the landscape in all its seasons. These pictures have been acclaimed by critics, including me, as a burst of brilliance from a mature artist. Hockney is so skilled at drawing and painting that it did not seem like good news to hear that he had turned his attentions to the iPad. The artist has a lengthy history of embracing technology including the Polaroid camera, photocopier and fax machine. As of 2009, he started iPhone drawings, then iPad drawings and now paintings. His early iPad drawings and paintings were sketchy, a bit rudimentary, more in keeping with what one might expect from a high tech Etch-a-sketch. Still, his iArt found its way into his lavish retrospective at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art last year and now the iPad paintings are here at L.A. Louver Gallery through August 29.

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