Remembering Irving Sandler


“The New York School produced three important critics from the generational cohort of Abstract Expressionism’s principle artists: they were Clement Greenberg, Harold Rosenberg and Thomas B. Hess, who was also the chief editor of Artnews when that magazine was the primary forum for sophisticated debate about emerging tendencies in art. There was only one historian of modern and contemporary art of the same cohort who had a comparable impact on how the public viewed this first internationally significant school of art from the US and all that followed: he was Irving Sandler who died 2 June at the age of 92.” The Art Newspaper

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Louvre Abu Dhabi acquires Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi


Louvre Abu Dhabi issued a statement today (8 December) affirming that Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi (around 1500) has been “acquired” by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism for display in the newly-opened Emirate museum.

The declaration came the day after the Wall Street Journal reported that the person who had purchased the Renaissance painting at Christie’s New York last month for a staggering $450m was the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Citing intelligence reports and a Middle-East art world figures familiar with the purchase, the newspaper said that the Crown Prince had bought the Leonardo through an intermediary.

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….Hélio Oiticica’s Mythical World

“PITTSBURGH — I’ve heard Caetano Veloso’s 1968 song “Tropicália” hundreds of times. My parents, who are Brazilian, played it when I was growing up, and it embodies most everything I love in music: an eclectic mix of samba, bossa nova, and rock. Some might say it’s the song that launched the career of Veloso, who that same year would be jailed, together with fellow musician Gilberto Gil, by Brazil’s military dictatorship. Tropicália became the chosen name for the Brazilian artistic movement of the time that was anarchist in spirit and disillusioned by the modernist projects of the preceding decade that soured under the oppressive regime………….”     Read more


Hélio Oiticica, “PN1 Penetrable (PN1 Penetrável)” (1960), oil on wood @Hyperallergic

Egyptian Surrealism and the Quest to Define Modern Art in Egypt

“The calls to revise the canon of art history have grown louder in the last few years, but the research, curation, and collection of art from regions that have long been overlooked or ignored is a slow process. Egyptian modern art appears to be the latest to undergo this process of rediscovery and integration into the larger history of art. Two major traveling shows (one beginning at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the other at the Palace of Arts in Cairo) are reexamining this period and prominent Egyptian modern artists, including George Henien, Hamed Nada, Ramsis Yunan, ‘Abd al-Hadi al-Gazzar, and Van Leo……..

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Inji Efflatoun, “The Girl and the Beast” (1941) @ Egyptian Surrealism and the Quest to Define Modern Art in Egypt.

Bruce Nauman…..a dark room

“As much as we might feel that our lives are lived these days at breakneck speed, Bruce Nauman’s work suggests otherwise. “Films,” for Nauman, “are about seeing.”

………..Bruce Nauman began working with video in 1968, after a move from San Francisco to New York. He’d been working with film, but found it difficult to find a good processing lab on the East Coast. Around this time Nauman had his first show at the Leo Castelli gallery. The gallerist knew of the artist’s interest in video, so he put up $1200 for some equipment and gave Nauman a year to work with it……”  Read more


The Power of Painting | Clifford Still

“Still believed in the power of painting, and that belief was a major subject in an interview with Thomas Albright in the March 1976 issue of ARTnews. Following his major gift of 28 paintings to SFMOMA, Still spoke to Albright about why he continued to make art, what it was like to be a part of the New York School, and how he dealt with Jackson Pollock when he was drunk. The full interview follows below. —Alex Greenberger” @ ArtNews

Read “A Conversation with Clifford Still


Dan Flavin in the Puerto Rican jungle

Only 6 people a day get to see the extraordinary setting for this work of Flavin’s. Installed in a majestic cave in the Puerto Rican jungle by artists Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Flavin’s work interacts with light entering through the top of the cave to suffuse the space in an otherworldly glow.


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Singapore National Gallery

The worlds largest public collection of modern Southeast Asian Art opened it’s doors last week (24th Nov). The new Singapore National Gallery was built in the shells of the the former City Hall and the Supreme Court buildings at a cost of $358 million.


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Banksy @ Dismaland

There’s a lot out there on Banksy’s latest contribution to the dialog of the great decline. Most of it’s carefully packaged and spun on the corporate web. So here’s something refreshing, a take with no contrivances. Banksy says ” its all the more interesting because I’m not in it” but is that really the case? Whilst the show is full of the work of other artists Banksy’s vision is the cohesive glue; so in a sense I find it opening out another dimension of Banksy’s world that makes even more sense of the work he is so well known for.

Banksy has also hit London’s underground and bus networks in a blitz protesting the DSLI Arms Fair taking place in the London Docklands