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Monthly Archives: October 2016

Three lucky artists work in Alexander Calder’s Loire Valley studio

Three artists have been chosen this year to move in to Alexander Calder’s former home studio in Saché, in France’s Loire Valley, which the artist designed and built in 1962. The three-month Atelier Calder residencies, organised in collaboration with the US-based Calder Foundation, provide artists who produce three-dimensional works with a stipend for living expenses, funding and technical support to create new work. “Our mission is to offer the time and space to make work, so although we do open the studio to the public for two days at the end of each artist’s stay, our emphasis is not on exhibiting,” the Calder Foundation’s president, Alexander S.C. Rower, told The Art Newspaper over email.

The spring 2017 artist-in-residence is the Tehran-born, Toronto-based artist Abbas Akhavan, whose previous works explore the domestic space and domesticated landscapes, including site-specific ephemeral installations, drawing, video and performance. Akhavan’s exhibitions this year have included the group shows Making Nature: How We See Animals at the Wellcome Collection in London, and But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

The Vancouver-born, New York-based artist Rochelle Goldberg, who is the summer 2017 artist-in-residence, creates sculpture in both organic and inorganic material, including live chia grass, steel, crude oil and ceramic. She had a solo show, The Plastic Thirsty, at the Sculpture Center in New York this year and was included in the group show Mirror Cells at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The fall 2017 artist-in-residence is the Prague-born and based Eva Kot’átková, who showed work at the Parcours sector at Art Basel Miami Beach in June. Other exhibitions include the group show Bedlam: the Asylum and Beyond (until 15 January 2017) at the Wellcome Collection in London and a solo show at the Maccarone gallery in New York. She works in a variety of media, including sculpture, collage, performance, installation and film.

10 Museum Acquisitions of 2016

J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Orazio Gentileschi’s Danaë
The J. Paul Getty Museum paid a record $30.5m at auction for this Baroque painting of Zeus sneaking into the bedroom of a princess as a shower of gold coins (1621). Another work from the three-part series, Lot and His Daughters (1622), has been in the Getty’s collection since 1988. Their reunion “not only makes art-historical sense but multiplies the visual impact of both works”, says Timothy Potts, the Getty Museum’s director.

Musée d’Orsay, Paris
Post-Impressionist art collection
The US collectors Marlene and Spencer Hays pledged around 600 post-Impressionist works by artists including Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard and Odilon Redon. The gift is the most important a French museum has received from a foreigner since 1945. The Musée d’Orsay has promised to display the entire collection in a dedicated gallery space.

Museo del Prado, Madrid
Fra Angelico’s The Virgin of the Pomegranate
Strengthening its collection of early Renaissance Italian art, the Prado purchased this 15th-century Florentine painting of Christ and the Virgin Mary—one of the last great works by the artist in private hands—from the 19th Duke of Alba de Tormes. The Spanish aristocrat also donated another Renaissance work that the museum recently attributed to Fra Angelico.

Centre Pompidou, Paris
20th-century Russian art
More than 250 works of Russian and Soviet art from the second half of the 20th century were donated by a group of artists and their heirs as well as the Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin and other private collectors. The additions aim to fill the blanks in the Pompidou’s “map of international Conceptualism”, says the museum’s curator Nicolas Liucci-Goutnikov.Atelier von Behr’s Hands (1930s) (Photo: © NMPFT/Royal Photographic Society/Science & Society Picture Library)

Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Royal Photographic Society collection
In a controversial move, more than 400,000 photographs housed at the National Media Museum (NMM) in Bradford, UK, were transferred to the Victoria & Albert Museum. The collection includes early daguerreotypes as well as albums and cameras, many from the Royal Photographic Society collection. The transfer is said to “create the world’s foremost collection on the art of photography” in London, but local politicians described it as a “cultural rape” of Bradford.

Royal Museums Greenwich, London
Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I
This portrait of Elizabeth I (around 1590) was acquired by Royal Museums Greenwich after a £10.3m national fundraising appeal. Painted by an unknown artist to mark England’s victory over the Spanish Armada, the work is considered a masterpiece of the English Renaissance. It is on show in the newly renovated Queen’s House, built on the site of the palace where Elizabeth I was born.

Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf
Minimal and conceptual art
The Düsseldorf state museums began negotiations to acquire the Dorothee and Konrad Fischer collection in 2009; the half-purchase, half-gift was finally completed this year. The collection of more than 200 works by artists including Dan Flavin, Bruce Nauman and Sol LeWitt will dramatically expand the museums’ holdings of post-war American painting, conceptual art and Minimalism.

Philadelphia Museum of Art
American art bequest
The bequest from the late philanthropist and art collector Daniel W. Dietrich II includes more than 50 works of American art by Cy Twombly, Philip Guston and Agnes Martin, as well as a $10m endowment to support contemporary art programmes. Edward Hopper’s Road and Trees (1962), the first painting by the US artist to enter the collection, complements the museum’s extensive holdings of Hopper’s graphic works.

Museum of Modern Art, New York
Latin American art donation
The Museum of Modern Art cemented its position as a leading centre for the study of Latin American art with this gift of 102 Modern works by Brazilian, Venezuelan, Argentinian and Uruguayan artists from Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and Gustavo Cisneros. The couple also endowed a new research institute at the museum dedicated to Latin American art.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art
James Goldstein House
This John Lautner-designed Modernist home near Beverly Hills is the first work of architecture to enter the museum’s collection. The house, owned by the eccentric real estate investor James Goldstein, was featured in the Coen brothers’ 1998 film The Big Lebowski. Goldstein will donate the estate and its contents as well as a $17m endowment upon his death.

George Lucas picks Los Angeles over San Francisco to build $1bn museum

In the battle between Los Angeles and San Francisco the force was with the former yesterday (10 January) when George Lucas announced plans to build a museum to house his collection of art and memorabilia in Exposition Park. The Star Wars creator abandoned plans to establish the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago last summer after a two-year legal fight with conservationists, setting his sights on California instead.

The decision to build the futuristic-looking museum in Los Angeles comes after nearly a decade and a close-fought competition with San Francisco, which had recently offered Treasure Island as an alternative home. Thanking the mayor of San Francisco, Ed Lee, and the city’s board of supervisors “for their tremendous efforts and engagement”, the directors of the Lucas Museum acknowledged the decision had been a difficult one “precisely because of the desirability of both sites and cities”.

However, Los Angeles won through because the city’s Promise Zone “best positions the museum to have the greatest impact on the broader community”, the board said. The Lucas Museum, which will house the film-maker’s extensive personal collection that includes 10,000 paintings and illustrations by Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth and Robert Crumb, among others, will nestle among the California Science Center and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

“As a museum uniquely focused on narrative art, we look forward to becoming part of a dynamic museum community, surrounded by more than 100 elementary and high schools, one of the country’s leading universities as well as three other world-class museums,” the directors said.

Michael Govan, the director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Kerry Brougher, the director of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, were among those who voiced their support for the Lucas Museum at a meeting with the Los Angeles county board of supervisors in November.

Lucas has pledged around $1bn to the project, which is estimated to create at least 1,000 permanent posts. Building the 250,000 sq. ft museum is also due to provide tens of thousands of temporary construction jobs. Its directors said they are now turning their attention to finalising the details and “building what we believe will be one of the most imaginative and inclusive art museums in the world”.

Why Using Art in The Classroom ?

1. Responding to art can be very stimulating and can lead onto a great variety of activities. In its simplest form this might be describing a painting, but with a little creativity all sorts of things are possible. For example, the well-known ‘grammar auction’ activity can be redesigned as an art auction, where the students have to say a sentence about the piece of art – anything they like – and then the rest of the students bid according to how accurate they feel the sentence is.

2. Using art provides a useful change of pace. While many teachers use visual images to introduce a topic or language item, actually asking the students to engage with and respond to the piece of art can encourage students to become involved on quite a different level.

3. Incorporating art into the class or syllabus can take the students out of the classroom and encourage them to use their language skills in the real world. A visit to an art exhibition or an assignment that involves research on the internet can generate all sorts of language.

4. Thinking about or even creating art can be very motivating. It can take the emphasis off of accuracy and put it onto fluency and the ability to clearly express thoughts and ideas. This is great for students whose progress in speaking is hindered by a fear of making mistakes.

5. Responding to art has the potential to develop students’ creative and critical thinking skills. Students as low as pre-intermediate level will be able to read a short biography of an artist and discuss how their art depicts different aspects of their lives.

These are just some of the reasons why art can be successfully used in the language classroom. Now let’s have a look at some of the common problem areas and try to identify some solutions for these.

Potential problems and solutions
Problem: As we all know, art is very subjective and therefore we may be faced with students who are reluctant to engage with the chosen examples of art.