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Displaying items by tag: New York

1. Olaf Breuning at Metro Pictures, through July 31

Olaf Breuning's work can be a tonic for whatever ails you. Over the years, I have found it to be an especially effective remedy for mild depression, general malaise, self-doubt, self-pity, and even writer's block. His brand of wacky humor stays with you long after the show is over. This will certainly be the case with Breuning's current offering, “The Life," which is the most visually coherent and thematically resonant exhibition by the Swiss-born artist I've seen.

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In a deal on the fiscal year 2016 budget struck late Monday night, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced an extra $39 million for the city’s libraries. The additional funding will allow for a restoration of six-day service at all branches across the city’s three library systems (Brooklyn, New York, and Queens) and create some 500 new jobs, Library Journal reported.

“This is a long time coming, and a very hard earned victory for libraries in New York City,” said City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, whom the Journal describes as “one of City Hall’s most tireless advocates for libraries.”

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Monday, 18 August 2014 11:14

Damien Hirst Opens New York Boutique

I bought some art the other day — nothing too crazy, nothing too expensive, nothing made by an ex-graffiti artist going legit and now giddily bilking rappers out of their piles of new money. Just something beautiful, something I had an emotional response to, something that I perceived as having value independent of its function or cost of production.

That’s how it begins, right? Not my personal collection, but the idea that value is subjective, open to interpretation and influence. If you look closely, the art I chose will reveal something about me, yes, but not that I’ve been hoodwinked.

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On Monday, April 7, Mayor Bill de Blasio named Tom Finkelpearl, the president and executive director of the Queens Museum, New York’s new Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs. Finkelpearl will be in charge of a $156 million budget and will be the point person on the arts in New York, a city celebrated for its cultural bounty.

During his twelve-year tenure at the Queens Museum, Finkelpearl focused on the institution’s outreach efforts and emphasized the importance of building relationships between the museum and Queens’ immigrant population. He also spearheaded a $68 million renovation that was largely aimed at making the institution more inviting to the borough’s residents. Before joining the Queens Museum, Finkelpearl served as the deputy director of P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMA PS1) and oversaw the institution’s merger with the Museum of Modern Art.

De Blasio, who celebrated his 100th day in office on April 10, is taking a more populist approach to the arts and aims to focus on the intrinsic social value of cultural affairs. He hopes to make art available to every child in the city as well as improve the quality of arts education in public schools.   

In a press release from the city announcing his appointment, Finkelpearl said, “New York City is one of the most eclectic and culturally rich cities in the world, and that’s something that should be shared by all New Yorkers and tourists alike. I could not be more proud to return to DCLA and lead the department into an era of ever-increasing openness – to nourish cultural activities in every corner of the city for all to enjoy. Our work is part of what distinguishes New York City as a cultural epicenter, and I look forward to working to fortify the already diverse offerings of the city’s arts and cultural life.”

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Hopper Drawing, which opens today, May 23, 2013 at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, is the first major museum exhibition to focus on the drawings and creative process of Edward Hopper (1882-1967). Known for his enigmatic renderings of rural and urban American life, Hopper’s paintings of seascapes, cityscapes, and their inhabitants are some of the most significant artworks of the 20th century.

The Whitney’s exhibition is not just a presentation of Hopper’s best-known works; it is a rare glimpse into the creative process that produced one of the most lauded oeuvres in modern art. Hopper’s drawings illustrate his ever-changing relationships with his subjects, which include the street, the movie theater, the office, the bedroom, and the road. Drawn from the Whitney’s remarkable Hopper collection, which includes 2,500 drawings given to the museum by the artist’s widow, Josephine, Hopper Drawing includes drafts of some of Hopper’s most recognized works alongside their oil painting counterparts. Works on view include Early Sunday Morning (1930), New York Movie (1939), Office at Night (1940), and Nighthawks (1942) together with their prepatory drawings and related works. The exhibition also includes pioneering archival research into the buildings and urban spaces that inspired Hopper’s work.

Drawing Hopper will be on view at the Whitney through October 6, 2013.

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Sotheby’s American Art auction, which took place today, May 22, 2013 in New York, garnered upward of $28 million, surpassing the sale’s high estimate of $24.4 million. Out of the 62 lots offered, 83.9% sold and 93.8% sold by value. This was the third consecutive American art sale at Sotheby’s to exceed its high estimate.

The auction’s top lot was the highly anticipated John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) painting Marionettes (1907), which achieved $5.2 million (estimate: $5 million-$7 million). Best known for his portraits of members of high society, Marionettes is a departure from Sargent’s usual subjects. The painting depicts men from Philadelphia’s large Italian American community performing Sicilian puppet theater at the turn of the 20th century. When Sargent created the work, he was well established and considered to be the preeminent portrait painter of his time. The painting was part of Sargent’s personal collection for over 20 years and was passed down through the artist’s family to the owner who offered the work at Sotheby’s.

Proving the enduring strength of Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) in the American art market, six paintings by the artist sold together for $6.5 million, garnering double their overall high estimate of $3 million. Another work by Rockwell, He’s Going to Be Taller than Dad, was the object of seven bidders desire. The domestic scene of a young boy and his dog sold for $2.6 million, far exceeding its high estimate of $700,000.

At the sale, auction records were set for the modern painter Milton Avery (1885-1965), California landscape painter William Keith (1838-1911), and portraitist Irving Ramsey Wiles (1861-1948).

American art sales continue tomorrow, May 23, 2013 at Christie’s in New York.

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Sotheby’s will offer the Collection of Alex and Elisabeth Lewyt in a series of auctions in New York and Paris beginning on May 7, 2013. The works, which include paintings and drawings by Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920), Edgar Degas (1834-1917), and Camille Pissarro (1830-1903), will lead Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Sale in New York. Proceeds from the sale will benefit a charitable foundation to be created in the couple’s name. The 200 works, which also include illustrated letters by artists such as Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), are expected to garner anywhere from $67 million to $98 million.

The first sale of the series will present a selection of 20 works from the Lewyt’s collection. Highlights include a seminal Cézanne still-life titled Les Pommes, which the Lewyts bought from the Wildenstein Galleries in 1953; Modigliani’s sensual portrait of the socialite Marguerite de Hasse de Villers titled L’Amazone; and various works by Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque (1882-1963), and Marc Chagall (1887-1985).

Alex Lewyt, a New York-based vacuum cleaner inventor who died in 1988, and his wife, Elisabeth, an animal-welfare activist who died this past December, began amassing their remarkable collection in the 1950s.  

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A Chinese bowl dating back to the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) sold for $2.2 million on March 19, 2013 at Sotheby’s in New York. London dealer Giuseppe Eskenazi bought the bowl at the auction of Chinese ceramics and other works of art. The piece soared past its estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. The sellers were a New York-based family that purchased the bowl at a garage sale in 2007 for three dollars.

The bowl, which measures 5 inches in diameter, is an example of the rare “Ding” ware, which is known for its thin potting and ivory color. The bowl features interior and exterior carvings as well as ivory-hued glaze. Only one other bowl of the same form and size is known and it is part of the British Museum’s collection in London.

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New York’s Brooklyn Museum and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts are joining forces to present a landmark exhibition of John Singer Sargent’s watercolors (1856-1925). The exhibition, aptly titled John Singer Sargent Watercolors, will bring together 93 works acquired by both museums during the early 20th century. The Brooklyn Museum’s 38 watercolors were largely purchased form Sargent’s 1909 debut exhibition in New York and The MFA’s works were acquired from a New York Gallery in 1912.

The institutions have been working together on a year-long study of Sargent’s watercolors, which he painted fervently. During his long career, Sargent created over 2,000 watercolors depicting everything from the English countryside to Venetian scenes as well as paintings of the Middle East, Montana, Maine, Florida, and the American west. Sargent painted a number of watercolor portraits of Bedouins and fishermen from the Middle East as well as the native people of the American west. A section of the exhibition will be devoted to the findings from the museums’ extensive study; the analysis revealed new insights into Sargent’s drawing techniques, paper preparation, and use of pigments.

John Singer Sargent Watercolors will go on view at the Brooklyn Museum on April 5, 2013 where it will remain until July 28, 2013. The exhibition will then travel to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts where it will stay from October 13, 2013 until January 20, 2014. The show will make a final appearance at Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts in 2014.

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The international financial services group, Credit Suisse, has decided to donate a portrait of Alexander Hamilton by Revolution-era painter, John Trumbull (1756-1843), to not one, but two museums. The painting has been on loan to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas since it opened to the public in 2011.

Credit Suisse decided that giving the portrait to Crystal Bridges and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, two well-known institutions, would maximize the public’s enjoyment of the work by expanding its audience. The shared ownership will see that the portrait remains in Arkansas until the summer, when it will travel to the Met for a year. The painting will return to Crystal Bridges in 2014 for another year. Eventually the painting will be on view at each museum for two-year stretches.

Credit Suisse acquired the striking full-length portrait in 2000 when it absorbed the New York-based investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Richard Jenrette, one of the bank’s founding partners, had assembled a remarkable art collection for the company that became part of Credit Suisse’s acquisition.  

The New York Chamber of Commerce commissioned Trumbull to paint the Hamilton portrait in 1791 while he was serving as President Washington’s Secretary of the Treasury.

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