Art

Why paintings succeed where words fail

Why paintings succeed where words fail

Belgian artist Luc Tuymans talks to us on the eve of exhibitions in Europe, Russia and the US By Gareth Harris Luc Tuymans has painted figurative works since the mid 1980s and few artists can be as closely identified with a particular palette. His taste for mouldy pastels, cool greys and dead plaster white make for blurred, obtuse images. This reductive colour scheme represents the elusive nature of history and memory, reflecting the artist’s belief that representation can only be partial and subjective. Loaded political themes are developed in seemingly tangential ways with the Holocaust, Belgium’s controversial role in post-colonial Congo (the influential “Mwana Kitoko: Beautiful White Man” series which was shown at the 2001 Venice Biennale) and the US…

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Plaintiffs demand refunds for “fake” works as gallery dismisses “smear campaign”

Plaintiffs demand refunds for “fake” works as gallery dismisses “smear campaign”

Plaintiffs demand refunds for “fake” works as gallery dismisses “smear campaign” By Martha Lufkin MICHIGAN. Park West Gallery, which says it sells 300,000 works annually and earns more than $300m in annual art sales revenue, including through auctions on 85 cruise ships, has been sued by ten customers seeking refunds. According to the complaint, filed in state court in Oakland County, Michigan, on 23 December, the gallery has refused to refund hundreds of thousands of dollars in purchase prices allegedly collectively paid by the plaintiffs for works by Dalí, Rembrandt and others. The art “was later found by experts to either be fake or have forged signatures, or to be heavily overpriced and misrepresented as bargains and investments”, the plaintiffs’ lawyers,…

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Nudity in Art

Nudity in Art

Maybe it’s been a persistent hum for the past 9 years, or maybe it’s something that has grown louder exponentially over those same 9 years, but recently I’ve noticed more and more complaints from deviants about nude artwork on deviantART. Some say they’re sick of seeing it all the time, some say it’s inappropriate and tasteless, and others liken the nude body to outright pornography. In addition to all of these complaints, there is a secondary stream of upheaval surrounding male nudes, where the complainer is perfectly okay with female nudity but completely appalled by male nudity. As you know (or should know), I went through a rather rigorous education involving art history. I wasn’t unique in my education, mind…

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Disgraced German bishop buys fake Piranesi with orphanage money

Disgraced German bishop buys fake Piranesi with orphanage money

Walter Mixa, who was forced to step down as bishop of Augsburg under allegations of fraud and child abuse, is now accused of using church money to purchase a likely phony engraving LONDON. Walter Mixa, who was forced to step down as bishop of Augsburg in southern Germany after five ex-pupils accused him of physical abuse in March, faces another allegation. He is accused of using money intended for a Catholic orphanage to buy a Piranesi engraving that is likely to be fake. In January 1995, the former priest of the Bavarian city of Schrobenhausen was given a receipt in Rome to confirm his purchase of an “original engraving by G.B. Piranesi (1707)”—worth DM43,000 (€20,000). The money came from a budget…

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Melamid show at Phillips finally goes ahead

Legal cases on-going after exhibition delayed for a year LONDON. A show of portraits by the Russian-American artist Alexander Melamid at Phillips de Pury finally is finally going ahead on 26 May after a year’s delay due to legal action. Entitled “Oh my God”, the show, which continues until 6 June, features 30 paintings of subjects from hip-hop stars to priests, rabbis, newly rich Russians and animals. Originally scheduled for May 2009, the show was blocked after a complaint was bought by two US art investors. While the court cases were on-going at time of writing, the agreement at issue expired on 31 March, which meant the show could proceed nevertheless. The dispute originated in 2005 when two Ohio-based collectors, working…

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Banksy graffiti: Cash machine

Banksy graffiti: Cash machine

As works by guerilla artist Banksy fetch tens of thousands under the hammer at a Shoreditch gallery, we look at some of his famous daubings and ask: is it art? Cash machine abducting young girl – Exmouth Market, London. May 2007. Source: virginmedia.com

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Archive of the painter Giorgio Vasari sold to a Russian company

Archive of the painter Giorgio Vasari sold to a Russian company

Controversy surrounds €150m sale to Russian company, which officials think may not actually exist The Italian government has seized the archive of the painter and writer Giorgio Vasari (1511-74), sold to a Russian company late last year, because it does “not believe that the Moscow-based firm actually exists”, says the lawyer representing the archive owners. The move is the latest twist in a saga that began last autumn with the sale of the Vasari documents to the Russian conglomerate Ross Engineering for €150m. A contract was signed in September by the late owner of the archive, Giovanni Festari, and Vasilij Stepanov of Ross Engineering. However, questions were raised about the authenticity of the deal with sources in the Russian art…

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Lucian Freud is rumoured to have up to 40 illegitimate children.

Lucian Freud is rumoured to have up to 40 illegitimate children.

Personal life of Lucian Freud. Freud is rumoured to have up to 40 illegitimate children, although this number is generally accepted as an exaggeration. After an affair with Lorna Garman, he went on to marry her niece Kitty (daughter of sculptor Jacob Epstein and socialite Kathleen Garman) in 1948. After four years and the birth of two daughters, Annie and Annabel, their marriage ended. He had begun an affair with Lady Caroline Blackwood, a society girl and writer. They married in 1953. The marriage was dissolved in Mexico in 1958. Freud has children also by Bernardine Coverley (fashion designer Bella Freud and writer Esther Freud); Suzy Boyt (5 children: Ali, Rose Boyt, Isobel, and Susie Boyt); and Katherine Margaret McAdam…

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What Is Art?

What Is Art?

What is Art? In order correctly to define art, it is necessary, first of all, to cease to consider it as a means to pleasure and to consider it as one of the conditions of human life. Viewing it in this way we cannot fail to observe that art is one of the means of intercourse between man and man. Every work of art causes the receiver to enter into a certain kind of relationship both with him who produced, or is producing, the art, and with all those who, simultaneously, previously, or subsequently, receive the same artistic impression. Speech, transmitting the thoughts and experiences of men, serves as a means of union among them, and art acts in a…

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