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Displaying items by tag: victorian

Thursday, 26 February 2015 10:35

Tate Britain Celebrates Victorian Sculpture

Think Victorian sculpture, and our minds immediately jump to Frederic Leighton’s athlete wrestling a python, one of the highlights of the Tate collection. It features in this exhibition and is a good benchmark for what Victorian sculpture was like — visually striking and with all the subtlety of a jewel encrusted pastoral staff, which happens to be another item on display in this show.

The show starts off slowly with medals, coins and busts of Queen Victoria made from different materials, but from then on in there is a selection of some breathtaking artifacts and sculpture.

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Bonhams Oxford will offer on March 7 a privately owned collection of 30 Victorian carriages and coaches as part of its Carriage Collection Sale, including  two beautifully designed 18th century sleds.

Sourced from the private collection of a European industrialist, the auction will offer an ex-Royal British Mews 1835 Traveling Landau Coach (estimated at £200,000-300,000), an ornate black hearse valued at estimated £5,000 - 8,000 and an 18th century Amsterdam Sled, estimated at £4,000-6,000.

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The cramped space in which the artist and poet William Blake produced some of the greatest prints in the history of art will be recreated for an exhibition next month at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

The house, the magnificently named 13 Hercules Buildings, in Lambeth, south London, was demolished in 1918. But the floor plans, made for a Victorian survey of the estate, were recently discovered in the Guildhall library by print-maker and guest curator Michael Phillips.

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When he became Prime Minister in 1997 – when he was still young, fresh-faced and even idealistic – Tony Blair named William Morris as one of his three political heroes. The choice was admirable enough, though one wonders if Blair had read Morris’s utopian novel from 1890, News from Nowhere. For, in it, England is a communistic paradise, where central government has become redundant and the Houses of Parliament been converted into an outhouse, piled high with manure.

In Blair’s defence, his Victorian guru was so prolific in so many fields, it’s near-impossible to keep track of all he did. Morris is perhaps best known nowadays for his densely-patterned, curly-leaf wallpaper, so popular in middle class homes in the Seventies.

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The Gerhard Richter show inaugurating Marian Goodman’s heavily anticipated London gallery is nothing short of superb. Curated by the artist, it showcases Richter’s recent experiments with abstraction, while subtly inscribing these within the history of his practice. The exhibition is not—as some might have feared—the “greatest hits” of an auction favorite. It represents a thoughtful presentation of an artistic mind at work. And it shows that mind as alert to the yet-untapped potential of the pictorial medium as when Richter first rose to fame a half-century ago.

Spread over two floors of the Victorian-era warehouse—tastefully refurbished by David Adjaye Associates—the exhibition features three bodies of work: “Strip,” “Flow,” and a series of painted photographs, which Richter initiated in 1986.

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The legendary art dealer Marian Goodman will open a London outpost this fall. Located in an 11,000-square-foot Victorian warehouse on Golden Square in Soho, the Marian Goodman Gallery will join a number of U.S.-based galleries in the neighborhood, including Gagosian Gallery, David Zwirner Gallery, Hauser & Wirth, and Pace Gallery. Goodman, who has well-established galleries in New York and Paris, represents a bevvy of influential artists, including conceptual artists John Baldessari, Dan Graham, and Lawrence Weiner; photographers Jeff Wall, Rineke Dijkstra, and Thomas Struth; installation artists Annette Messager and Danh Vō; and painters Julie Mehretu and Gerhard Richter.

The London-based architect David Adjaye has helmed the renovation of the gallery space. Adjaye, who designed Denver’s Museum of Contemporary Art and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum for African American History and Culture, which is currently under construction, is known for his ingenious use of materials and his ability to showcase light.

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The artist Chris Burden has never shied away from the shocking or obsessive, whether being nailed to a Volkswagen or crafting miniature landscapes with thousands of plastic figures.

But his latest work, a $2 million installation for the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, merely requires the flick of a switch to come to life.

“Light of Reason” features 24 Victorian-era lampposts lined up in three rows. Concrete benches will be poured around their bases. The piece is so inoffensive that some might wonder whether it is art at all. Rose director Chris Bedford calls “Light of Reason” a “social sculpture.”

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As an architect, Gene Kaufman doesn’t typically save buildings; he designs them.

But when he heard of plans to change Paul Rudolph’s celebrated but shuttered government building in Goshen, N.Y., as part of a renovation plan, he decided to step in.

“To lose a building like this would be a tragedy,” said Mr. Kaufman, a partner at Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman Architects in New York City.

He has offered to buy and restore the 1967 building, which architecture experts hail as a prime example of raw Brutalist style and others consider an eyesore in a town known for its historic harness-racing track and Greek Revival, Federal and Victorian houses.

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New York’s Brooklyn Museum has finished renovating two rooms from an historic home in Saratoga Springs, New York. The late 19th-century Parlor and Library of the Colonel Robert J. Milligan House have been conserved and refurbished for the first time since they were installed in the museum in 1953. The Brooklyn Museum acquired the rooms as well as their furnishings in 1940. 

The rooms have been repainted and bold carpeting has been added to the Library’s previously bare wood floors. The museum has also restored and installed the Parlor’s original chandelier by Cornelius and Baker of Philadelphia and decorated the rooms with recently acquired objects and several Victorian furnishings original to the rooms but not previously on view in Brooklyn. Each room illustrates a revival style popular in interior decoration in mid-19th century America -- the Parlor exhibits the Louis XV Revival style while the Library depicts the Gothic Revival style. 

The Milligan House was completed in 1856 and is still standing in Saratoga Springs.

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An exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will highlight the works of Julia Margaret Cameron, a pioneer of modern portrait photography. Julia Margaret Cameron will be the first New York City museum exhibition devoted to the artist’s work in nearly a generation, and the first ever for the Met. The exhibition will present 35 works drawn entirely from the Met’s collection.

Cameron, who took up photography at the age of 48, had a superbly unique style that employed soft focus, long exposures and close framing. A friend of many notable Victorian artists, poets and thinkers, Cameron’s portraits of the painter G.F Watts, the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson, the scientist Sir John Herschel and the philosopher Thomas Carlyle will be included in the Met’s exhibition.

Julia Margaret Cameron will be on view at the Met through January 5, 2014.

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