November 8, 2013 |
I dropped in at Regen Projects in Hollywood to see my friend Lari Pittman's new show, just installed and opening to the public on Saturday. The exhibition is very large - a whopping 92 paintings on canvas, panel and mostly paper - but the three mammoth works that anchor the main room dwarf everything. Titled as various “Flying Carpets,” each one is a boggling 10 feet high and 30 feet wide. No doubt there are many reasons for the daunting scale, which fits the work's overall theme of epic trauma - and equally epic possibility -- during what the artist has dubbed today's “Late Western Impaerium.” The spelling alone, with its Old World allusion to ancient Rome, reeks of life lived under crushing conditions of supreme power.
November 8, 2013 |
"The Book Thief," the handsome, inevitable adaptation of Markus Zusak's internationally bestselling novel, unfolds as a curiosity on the big screen. Centered on a war-afflicted girl who develops a passion for books, it features little discussion of the emotional pull of reading, storytelling or writing. It's set in Hitler-run, World War II-era Germany with an odd emphasis on uplift over unease. And, most peculiarly, it's a tale narrated by Death (a slithery-sounding Roger Allam) that wants tears shed for tragedies that befall its big-hearted non-Jewish German characters, but skirts explicitly addressing the fate of that generation's Jews.
November 6, 2013 |
Wang Jianlin, the president of the Dalian Wanda Group and currently the richest man in China, flexed his muscles on the international art market Tuesday by purchasing a Picasso painting for $28.2 million. The price Wang paid was much higher than what Christie's estimated it would sell for: $9 million to $12 million. The Picasso painting, "Claude et Paloma," was being offered at a Christie's auction featuring works that belonged to the late modern-art dealer Jan Krugier, who died in 2008.
November 5, 2013 |
LONDON -- A massive cache of art discovered in the Munich apartment of an elderly recluse contains hitherto-unknown works by famous artists as well as pieces believed confiscated by the Nazis in their persecution of Jews or their campaign against “degenerate art,” German prosecutors said Tuesday. Some of the 1,400 items are known masterpieces believed destroyed during World War II; others are new to art historians, such as a self-portrait by painter Otto Dix. The hoard boasts works by giants of the 20th century -- Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Marc Chagall, Max Liebermann -- but also some older pieces, including a painting from the 16th century.
November 4, 2013 |
LONDON - The elderly gentleman appeared nervous when authorities questioned him during a customs check aboard a train from Switzerland to Germany. He was carrying about $12,000 in cash, just within the legal limit. But a feeling that something was not quite right eventually led them several months later to raid the apartment in Munich where the man lived as a recluse. What they found was astonishing: paintings by Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse and Paul Klee among 1,500 works of art crammed amid piles of canned food.
November 2, 2013 |
We set out to find 53 unique holiday gift picks from indie artists, artisans and craftspeople -- one every day from now until Christmas Eve -- and thought it a fitting to start with Kat Hutter and Roger Lee, whose studio is one of several making Los Angeles such a good place to be for fans of modern ceramics. The artists, who maintain separate careers in painting ( Hutter ) and ceramics ( Lee ), have been blending their talents for an interesting collection of graphic pieces appearing in some of L.A.'s more interesting stores.
November 1, 2013 |
Stillness, silence and calm are probably not the first features that come to mind when contemporary art is mentioned. Scandal is far more likely to make the headlines. But if you spend any time with Scot Heywood's slow paintings, you might get excited by the way they alert you to the beauty of doing nothing more than standing still and staring. To see a two-, three- or four-color painting by the 62-year-old Angeleno is to find yourself in a situation free of the ordinary anxiety - or adrenalin buzz - that usually heightens perceptions, sharpens wits and drives life forward.
October 30, 2013 |
SANTA BARBARA -- Eik Kahng, curator at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, believes she has identified a previously unknown painting by Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863). Given the stature of the French Romantic innovator, that's no small thing. The painting turned up in a local private collection -- the Van Asch van Wyck Trust -- and Kahng has now included it in her newly opened exhibition, “Delacroix and the Matter of Finish,” which looks at the rebukes the controversial artist received from those who thought his painterly canvases looked unfinished.
October 15, 2013 |
Do you like prehistoric cave paintings? No? Well, I do, and so the news that many of those paintings were apparently done by women is fascinating. Not only for what it says about our ancestors but for what it says about archeology. Writing for National Geographic, Virginia Hughes reported recently : Women made most of the oldest-known cave art paintings, suggests a new analysis of ancient handprints. Most scholars had assumed these ancient artists were predominantly men, so the finding overturns decades of archaeological dogma.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 14, 2013 |
When officials pulled Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen off a bus bound for Mexico, they said the security guard was headed to Lebanon and planned to make his way across its rugged terrain into Syria. Traveling under the name Hasan Abu Omar Ghannoum, the 24-year-old - who grew up in middle-class Orange County in the bustling Little Saigon community - had made plans to join the terrorist group Al Qaeda, authorities say. Family members, though, painted a far different picture, that of a faith-driven man who was raised a Catholic, once spent hours talking with Mormon missionaries and converted to Islam a year ago. They described Sinh Nguyen as a thoughtful person who lived at home, continued to attend Mass with his mother and had become more settled once he explored the teachings of different religions.