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Art in the News

Pa. Department of Transportation marketing historic bridges

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Written by MATT NUSSBAUM, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette   
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 09:26
The Pond Eddy Bridge from the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River. Image by Beyond My Ken. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. PITTSBURGH (AP) – Looking to spruce up your backyard? Unable to find the perfect gift for a loved one? Tired of taking the long way to work because of a river, railroad tracks or some other obstacle?

Well, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has you covered. PennDOT and the state Department of General Services have announced that the historic Pond Eddy Bridge in Pike County is for sale. The state-owned bridge is among 10 other county – and municipality-owned bridges for sale in Pennsylvania.

For between $1 and $500, one of the bridges could be yours. And it's not just any old bridge that gets put on the market. It's a bridge of such significant historic value that, in order to avoid demolition, the state will almost give it away.

In some cases, PennDOT and the Federal Highway Administration will even pay for the removal and shipping of the bridge.

“There's no reason to get rid of them. They are actually really well-built bridges,” said Rick Frunzi, chairman of the board of directors at Greenbank Mill in Wilmington, Del., which received the Wawa Station Bridge from Delaware County.

The bridge was rehabilitated and moved with funds from a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant that the mill received in 2003 after destruction caused by Tropical Storm Henri. The bridge spans Red Clay Creek at the mill, where it serves at once as museum exhibit, pedestrian walkway and even an educational tool.

“It's there for engineering students to study,” he said, noting that many of the bridges PennDOT sells are examples of superb design. “The only downside is they don't hold the weight of modern traffic.”

“It's one of those specialty items that not too many people would buy to put it into use,” said Judy Gingher, secretary for Tunkhannock Township in Wyoming County, which recently paid $500 to buy a Nicholson Township bridge to allow easier pedestrian movement in the local LazyBrook Park. “It’s just the perfect setting for it.”

Dover Township, in York County, recently paid a dollar to buy the nearby Meadowview Road Bridge to be placed behind the municipal building as part of a new park. Construction to prepare space for the bridge, such as the building of abutments, will push the total price tag up to $20,000, according to township manager Laurel Oswalt.

Constructing a bridge from scratch would have cost between $40,000 and $60,000, she said.

But the bridge sales are not solely for municipalities and parks. Individuals can bid, too.

Art Suckewer, the founder and CEO of a New Jersey technology business, bought two historic Western Pennsylvania bridges – one from Armstrong County and the other from Carlton, Mercer County – for his 30-acre farm in Mercer County, N.J.

“The property is hilly with several stream crossings. Since I have difficulty walking due to an old injury, I began looking into improving access,” Suckewer said in a recent email. “I thought using historic bridges would fit the context of the setting, preserve history, and provide an elegant solution.”

If no one purchases or agrees to take the bridges, they will be demolished and scrapped, according to PennDOT spokesman Rich Kirkpatrick.

In the effort to save the historic structures, PennDOT has adapted the mantra of a relentless salesman.

“If you don't see a bridge that might work for you, we sometimes have other bridges not yet being marketed that might suit your needs,” says PennDOT'?s website.

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Online:

http://bit.ly/Wq1Hcy

___

Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, http://www.post-gazette.com

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-07-21-14 1419GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
The Pond Eddy Bridge from the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River. Image by Beyond My Ken. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 09:50
 

Ai Weiwei, Navajo artist collaborate on public installation

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Written by SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press   
Friday, 18 July 2014 09:58

Ai Weiwei project for TIME at Coyote Canyon. Image courtesy of New Mexico Arts, Department of Cultural Affairs.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – Not many people have been to Coyote Canyon, a remote spot on the nation's largest American Indian reservation.

Bordered by sandstone outcroppings and dotted with pinon and juniper, the location served as a perfect backdrop for an unprecedented venture into high-tech public art by the Navajo Nation and the state of New Mexico.

With the canyon as their blank canvas, Navajo teacher and artist Bert Benally and Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei teamed up for the “Pull of the Moon” installation in late June. Benally was on the ground in western New Mexico while Ai, who has been banned from leaving China, participated from afar. The goal was to temporarily transform the landscape through sand drawings, sculpture and sound.

While the public couldn't visit the site, organizers with the Navajo Nation Museum and New Mexico Arts had every bit of the project documented with photographs and video so it could be virtually replicated for the rest of the world to see.

In the last two weeks, they have been working feverishly in preparation for Wednesday's public launch some 220 miles away in Santa Fe.

Aside from a two-dimensional documentary, the scene at Coyote Canyon that June night will be screened inside a giant digital dome. Clouds will be drifting overhead as the flames from Benally's piece illuminates the desert surroundings along with the interlocking stencils created with dozens of pounds of powdered porcelain sent by Ai from China.

“There's just so much that went into it that we made the decision to have a more cutting-edge technology format. It will bring it more to the people in a way that will make them feel like they're right there,” said Eileen Braziel, the project's coordinator.

In a matter of days, nature reclaimed the site, erasing any signs of the artists' creations. It was part of New Mexico Arts' TIME project, or Temporary Installations Made for the Environment.

The latest TIME installation marks a new kind of public art for New Mexico, where most art resides on the walls of public buildings, is permanently on display in common areas or integrated into architecture. Over the last two decades, the state's public art program has placed more than 2,500 pieces.

“What the state is doing is changing up, in a big way, what art in public places means,” Braziel said.

For the Navajos, it's about changing outside perceptions of tribal members and forging new roads for Native artists.

“We're experimenting and seeing where these new roads will lead,” said Navajo Nation Museum Director Manuelito Wheeler.

The “Pull of the Moon” digital dome will be on display this weekend on Museum Hill, and organizers plan to take the exhibition on tour.

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Follow Susan Montoya Bryan at http://www.twitter.com/susanmbryanNM.

___

Online:

http://www.nmarts.org

http://www.navajonationmuseum.org

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-07-17-14 1135GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

Ai Weiwei project for TIME at Coyote Canyon. Image courtesy of New Mexico Arts, Department of Cultural Affairs.

Manelito Wheeler (right), director of the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Ariz., in China showing Ai Weiwei the Navajo Nation, USA map. Image courtesy of New Mexico Arts, Department of Cultural Affairs.

Benally's sand sculpture at Coyote Canyon. Image courtesy of New Mexico Arts, Department of Cultural Affairs.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 July 2014 11:10
 

Maryland State House restoration to be complete in Dec.

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Written by ALEX JACKSON, The Capital   
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 10:11
The Maryland State House at sunset. Image by Thisisbossi. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic License. ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) – At Maryland's State House, visitors peek into today's state Senate and House of Delegates chambers.

A walk down the hall brings them to the renovated high Victorian Old House Chamber, providing a glimpse of the 19th century. Then, after a stop in the old Archives room across the hall, the tour ends.

Since September 2012, a temporary white wall has separated tourists from the room where George Washington resigned his commission as commander of the Continental Army, establishing the principle of civilian control of America's government.

It may have been the most significant thing to occur in the State House in the building's long history. And the room where it happened is on track to reopen in December, said Elaine Bachmann, director of outreach, exhibits and artistic property at the Maryland State Archives.

The results of nearly $8 million in renovations – and a window back to the 18th century – will be on view with the reopening of the Old Senate Chamber, the old Senate Committee Room and the stairwell room.

The changes will include touch-screen interactive guides, a bronze sculpture of Washington and a portrait gallery. Visitors will get a better experience, Bachmann said.

“This is a national historic site,” she said. “The opening of these rooms is going to make really a big impact.”

Renovation of the Old Senate Chamber started in November 2006, when the Annapolis restoration firm of John Greenwalt Lee Co. analyzed the chamber's wall plaster.

Workers peeled 17 layers of latex paint to reveal the original brick on view when Washington resigned his commission on Dec. 23, 1783.

Experts discovered that the Old Senate Chamber's last restoration, in 1905, did not conform to architectural practices in late Colonial Annapolis, and did not present the room the way it was in 1783.

When these findings were presented to the State House Trust in 2009, officials of the Maryland Historical Trust, the Maryland State Archives and the Department of General Services considered whether a restoration was needed.

The decision – as presented in a 2010 report – was to go ahead with restoration, and work was started to determine how the room looked on that day in 1783.

“The ancient Romans spoke of the genius loci, the spirit of the place – the effect a place has on one's psyche,” wrote the Old Senate Chamber Architectural Advisory Committee. “The Old Senate Chamber has sheltered events that affected the course of history. The genius loci of this room must be felt by all those who enter it.”

In addition to the work on the historic rooms, Edwin White's 1859 painting, Washington Resigning His Commission as Commander in Chief is being cleaned and will be returned to its traditional place above the Grand Stairwell.

Alexander “Sasha” Lourie, curator for the Maryland Commission on Artistic Property, said restorers rid the canvas of grime and the effects of older repairs, revealing new details and more vibrant colors.

Lourie said the frame, crafted by Samson Cariss of Baltimore for $300, has been cleansed of inappropriate layers of bronze paint, revealing gold leaf applied in 1876.

The Victorian-era gilding will be restored to the entire frame, Lourie said.

Outside the Old Senate Chamber, in the State House Rotunda, a display case will hold Washington's original handwritten speech resigning his commission. A replica is currently displayed there.

The stairwell room, which visitors will walk through before entering the restored Senate chamber, will have exhibits and interactive displays.

Bachmann said those displays will answer such visitors questions as “Why did Washington come here to resign his commission? Why is that an important act for today? It's really a journey into Annapolis at the time Congress was here.”

Restored paintings will be hung in a portrait gallery in the Senate Committee Room.

Charles Willson Peale's 1823 portrait of Gov. John Eager Howard will be joined by Peale's 1825 portrait of Gov. George Plater. Howard was the state's fifth governor, serving from 1788 to 1791. Plater succeeded him in 1791 and 1792.

Also to be hung there will be a National Portrait Gallery reproduction of a painting of Anne Catherine Green, once the publisher of the Maryland Gazette.

Bachmann said the state wants to show how women and minorities lived.

“We have a lot of portraits of old white men,” Bachmann said. “We want to create a balance –not just the important stories of the Founding Fathers, but a better picture of society as a whole when the State House was in use in the 18th century.”

The rooms, she said, will also display artifacts, including the sword of Tench Tilghman – a native Marylander who was an aide de camp to Washington – and early furnishings of the Old Senate Chamber.

The Senate Chamber will be a period room, interpreting the moment when Washington resigned his commission. A newly crafted bronze statue of Washington will be its centerpiece.

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Information from: The Capital of Annapolis, Md., http://capitalgazette.com

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-07-14-14 1710GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
The Maryland State House at sunset. Image by Thisisbossi. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic License.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 10:27
 

Plessel’s ‘Processed Photographs’ an instant hit in Germany

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Written by Art gallery PR   
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 13:37
Andre Plessel, 'She,' Paris 1995 (green passion), 20 by 24 inches, black and white 'Color Processed' Edition 1/15. Sold for $4,500.

HAMBURG, Germany – German art photographer Andre Plessel’s current exhibit, “Processed Photographs,” has made a big impact in his homeland.

One London collector was so enthusiastic about the opening of Plessel’s exhibit at the Monika Mohr Gallery in Hamburg, Germany, that he sent his attorney to purchase 10 signed photographs from the new series at the opening reception. That set the tone for a buying spree that nearly sold out the exhibit in its first two days alone.

This exhibit, which opened in June and runs through September, introduced Plessel’s new unique process of adding color to the black and white images, which are then exposed by a developer liquid applied with a brush, thus creating a dramatic new aesthetic tension and making each piece one of a kind – one of the features that attracted the London buyer.

Most of the 20-by-24-inch photographs at the Monika Mohr Gallery sold for between $4,000 and $5,000, with the exhibit being replenished as the photos sell.

Plessel’s previous exhibit at the Rilano Hotel in Munich ran May 8-27, with over 50 images initially being shown, featuring mainly his dramatic signature black and white liquid photographs, which are hand-printed and signed.

Plessel also drew much attention recently when he sold his Miami three-bedroom apartment on the 17th floor of the South Pointe Tower at Portofino for $1.8 million to Brazilian buyers after living there for 14 years, while residing in both Miami and his home in Munich. Immediately missing Miami, he instructed real-estate brokers to start looking for a larger place for him in the same part of town while he went to Germany for these exhibitions.

With the recent surge in the interest and value of contemporary photography Plessel is enjoying a renewed demand in his highly erotic, dramatic black and white art photographs, along with his new color-processed series.

Plans are now in motion for Plessel’s debut New York City exhibit at the new Lilac Gallery on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan in October, while, in South Florida his art continues to be available through the Holden Luntz Gallery on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach.

For over 22 years now, Plessel has been driven by his ultimate passion, that of black and white photography. His artwork creates dramatic, romantic and delicate images with great attention to his own style of lighting. It has been said that his artistic photographs convey and play upon sensual tension, as opposed to blatant sexuality.

As many art world insiders know, Plessel’s work has been often compared to that of his longtime friend and collaborator, Helmut Newton, with whom he traveled and worked with in Europe and the United States.

For more information visit: www.aplesselartphoto.com .



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
Andre Plessel, 'She,' Paris 1995 (green passion), 20 by 24 inches, black and white 'Color Processed' Edition 1/15. Sold for $4,500. Andre Plessel's 'Heat-Backseat - NY, NY 2002.' 20 by 24 inches - sold for $4,500. Black and white – 'Color Processed' Edition 1/15. Andre Plessel's 'Green Love - Miami 2000.' 20 by 24 inches - sold for $4,500. Black and white – 'Color Processed' Edition 1/15. Andre Plessel's 'Forbidden Love - Paris  1996.'  20 by 24 inches - sold for $4,500. Black and white – 'Color Processed' Edition 1/15.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 July 2014 14:48
 

London exhibition features classic fashion illustrators

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Written by Art gallery PR   
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 09:14
Maynard original fashion illustration for Nina Ricci, 1946, ink and watercolor, signed, 48 x 32.5 cm. Price: £2,500. Gray M.C.A. image. LONDON – Gray M.C.A, leading specialists in fashion illustration, will be holding a selling exhibition of original fashion illustrations from postwar 1940s through to the 1970s from Sept. 11 through Sept. 16 at Gallery 8, 8 Duke St., St James’s.

Coinciding with London Fashion Week SS15, the exhibition will include more than 40 original works by some of the leading illustrators of the time from Britain, Europe and America including René Bouché, René Gruau and Carl “Eric” Erickson for publications including British and American Vogue, Harpers & Queen, The Sunday Times, Frau im Spiegel (Germany) and Jardin des Modes (France) as well as advertising work for L'Oreal and other famous names in haute couture such as Nina Ricci. There will also be a selection of original designs by designers including Dior, Barbara Hulanicki of BIBA and Zandra Rhodes. Prices will range from £300 to £10,000 ($500-$17,000).

As Connie Gray of Gray M.C.A explained: “For too long fashion illustrators and their illustrations have been seen as a secondary art form, no matter how beautifully executed the image. More often than not, fashion illustrators were more widely known for their advertising work than they were for their work as highly skilled fashion illustrators. Though their style was familiar to the reader and their names published internationally alongside their illustrations, they have never been recognized as true artists. It was almost a secret world in which only those working in the industry knew and admired each other.”

She continued: “Over the years, each illustrator developed their own personnel style, often using wit and charm to distinguish themselves from their competitors. Almost all were products of the most respected art schools of the time and to be a truly great illustrator, they needed to understand not only the life form but also the process of designing, cutting and finishing a garment. The fall of the fabric, the cut of the cloth – the ability to translate what they saw into a work of art that would sell a thousand frocks.

Tragically, few original fashion illustrations survive today. With the need for speed in production and printing, illustrations were rarely kept. Many were damaged in the printing process and then thrown away, considered worthless once the image was reproduced to print. Those that have survived have become internationally collectable as original and historical art works that truly caught the elegance, attitude and style or the time.”

The 1940s and 1950s saw the heyday of fashion illustration. The illustrators such as “Eric,” Bouché and Tod Draz were constantly in demand and are considered to be the masters of fashion illustration. They brought a realism to fashion illustration and their work was appreciated and admired in all the leading publications of the time. Their style recognized the importance of drawing from life and looking back, their work is iconic to the subtleties of the period and the enormous style that women strived to achieve.

When covering the twice-yearly fashion shows in Paris, the fashion illustrators were forbidden from recording what they saw until they had left the event. They would rush to the nearest café to produce the sketches from memory. Their early working drawings were often more exciting than the final published work. They were often freer, fresher and more spontaneous and would represent the artist behind the picture before it became too overworked for publication.

For more information on Gray M.C.A, visit www.graymca.co.uk .



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Maynard original fashion illustration for Nina Ricci, 1946, ink and watercolor, signed, 48 x 32.5 cm. Price: £2,500. Gray M.C.A. image.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 July 2014 17:17
 

Half century of art being auctioned in Minot, N.D.

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Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 14 July 2014 13:18
Decorative art from the collection of the late Arlene Saugstad, currently entered in a silent auction conducted through Tuesday night at the Taube Museum of Art, Minot, N.D. Image courtesy of the Museum MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A collection of more than 200 pieces of artwork assembled over half a century by a woman considered Minot's most ardent arts promoter is being sold at auction this week week.

The Taube Museum of Art and family members of the late Arlene Saugstad are making her collection available to the public in a silent auction and sale ruuning Monday and Tuesday at the museum. Bidding will close on Tuesday evening at a "Remember Arlene" reception being hosted by the musem. Food and wine will be served.

Saugstad died in March, two months shy of her 102nd birthday. Her collection includes a number of pieces by local or regional artists, including Floyd Fairweather, Susan Davy, Kelly Hendershot, Judy Bell and Judy Greenwood.

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Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
Decorative art from the collection of the late Arlene Saugstad, currently entered in a silent auction conducted through Tuesday night at the Taube Museum of Art, Minot, N.D. Image courtesy of the Museum A painting from the art collection of the late Arlene Saugstad, currently entered in a silent auction being conducted through Tuesday night at the Taube Museum of Art, Minot, N.D. Image courtesy of the Museum
Last Updated on Monday, 14 July 2014 13:47
 

Columbus sends out giant limestone sofa for rehab

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Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 14 July 2014 13:13
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - An 8,000-pound limestone sculpture of a sofa has been removed from its spot in a trendy Columbus neighborhood, after becoming a favored perch for homeless nappers.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the giant couch was removed from the Short North Arts District Friday. It's being sent back to Akron artist Robert Huff for a six-month refurbishment.

Plans are for it to return to the city as the centerpiece of the Columbus Cultural Arts Center's sculpture garden. Its current site on High Street will continue as a small park.

A Short North civic leader said homeless activity surrounding the sculpture wasn't contributing to the Short North's vitality.

A resident who formerly slept on the couch when he was homeless said he saw the structure as a refuge, but not a home.

Click to view a copyrighted photo of the limestone sofa, taken by photographer Tim Perdue: http://www.flickr.com/photos/timthetrumpetguy/4426938429/

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 

Last Updated on Monday, 14 July 2014 13:19
 

Cape Town carves out major new African art museum

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Written by AFP Wire Service   
Monday, 14 July 2014 09:12
Architectural rendering of Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa. The museum will house the renowned Zeitz Collection. Image courtesy of Zeitz Foundation for Intercultural Ecosphere Safety

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AFP) - On Cape Town's waterfront at the southern tip of Africa, the world's biggest museum of contemporary art from across the continent is being carved from a conglomeration of concrete tubes nine stories high.

The project to transform the grim functionality of 42 disused colonial grain silos into an ultramodern tribute to African creativity, is driven by an international team of art experts and architects.

For Mark Coetzee, executive director and chief curator of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, the project is the fulfilment of a pledge he made to himself a quarter of a century ago.

"It has been my life dream to build a contemporary art museum in Africa," said the South African-born former director of the Rubell Family Collection in Miami.

When I left Cape Town 25 years ago I vowed to return only when I had the skills and the relationships to make this happen.

For British architect Thomas Heatherwick, whose acclaimed worldwide projects include the Olympic Cauldron for the London Games in 2012, it was a stimulating challenge.

"How do you turn 42 vertical concrete tubes into a place to experience contemporary culture?" Heatherwick said.

"We could either fight a building made of concrete tubes or enjoy it's tube-iness."

An elliptical section will be hollowed out from the center of the nine-story building to create a grand atrium that will be filled with light from a glass roof overhead, the designers say.

Some silo chambers will be carved open at ground level to accommodate exhibition galleries, while others will house elevators.

This vision is difficult to comprehend on a visit to the construction site on the Victoria and Albert Waterfront where workers, reduced to ant size by the scale of the bleak industrial silos, are in the early stages of a project due for completion in late 2016.

"There is a growing interest in the visual arts in and from Africa," Coetzee said.

"The market is booming, artists from Africa are included on all the major biennales, major gallerists and collectors include artists from Africa in their focus."

The museum is named for German entrepreneur and former Puma chairman Jochen Zeitz, whose extensive African art collection will provide the museum's permanent exhibition.

He has committed the collection to the museum in perpetuity and will underwrite the running costs of the institution while providing a budget for new acquisitions.

The Zeitz Collection was founded in 2002 and is "one of the most representative collections of contemporary art from Africa and its diaspora," Coetzee said.

It is currently held and exhibited in Switzerland, Spain, South Africa, the United States and Kenya.

Apart from the permanent collection, the museum's 80 galleries will house temporary and traveling exhibitions.

The museum will focus on the 21st Century with a collection policy of work from 2000 onwards.

"I think you can say that when it is complete it will be the biggest museum in Africa and the world focusing on contemporary art practice in and from Africa," Coetzee said.

There will also be an education center for schoolchildren, another for young curators, along with the usual museum facilities of restaurants and bookstores.

An amphitheatre on the plaza outside the museum will stage outdoor events and performances, while an outdoor roof garden will offer unparalleled views over the city to Cape Town's iconic Table Mountain.

The V&A Waterfront is a rehabilitated docklands full of trendy restaurants and shops, as well as the site of a ferry terminal for Robben Island where liberation icon Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.

Cape Town itself is a relaxed, cosmopolitan outpost of the African continent where the multiracial mix on the streets symbolises the change in South Africa since the oppressive years of apartheid.

And in a country where anything authentically African was automatically considered second-rate -- including the people -- the museum will plant another flag of change.

It will "constitute the re-imagining of a museum within an African context, celebrate Africa preserving its own cultural legacy, writing its own history and defining itself on its own terms," says Coetzee.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Architectural rendering of Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa. The museum will house the renowned Zeitz Collection. Image courtesy of Zeitz Foundation for Intercultural Ecosphere Safety
Last Updated on Monday, 14 July 2014 10:26
 

Pedestrians watch artists work in fabled NYC storefront

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Written by ULA ILNYTZKY, Associated Press   
Friday, 11 July 2014 09:06

Entrance to the Brill Building in New York City. Credit: Americasroof at en.wikipedia, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

NEW YORK (AP) - Two painters are temporarily working out of an empty storefront at the landmark Brill Building, allowing thousands of passing pedestrians to watch them create scenes of Times Square.

Andy Hammerstein and Tom Christopher are painting each weekday until July 17. The artists, who are known for their New York cityscapes, have been working on the pop installation six hours a day since June 17.

The Brill Building at 49th Street and Broadway is famous for the generations of songwriters, including Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington and Carole King, who peddled their wares to music publishers there. The owner offered the vacant space to the artists free of charge.

"We're de-mystifying the process to over 5,000 people per hour who pass by ... more viewers than any gallery or museum,'' Christopher said.

Most of the canvasses, some measuring 4 feet by 5 feet, will be completed back at the artists' studios. For now, the artists are ``getting the patterns and the energy and the electricity of the area into the work,'' said Christopher, who has already produced eight canvasses.

"It's an amazing place to work,'' he added. "There's so much going -- jack hammers and lights and people yelling. It's absolutely an insane place.''

Hammerstein said street musicians, artists and vendors sometimes congregate in front of the window because of the crowds watching them.

"It become its own little power spot. People stop and stay and we become only a part of what is going on,'' he said.

"I'm amazingly inspired by the energy,'' Hammerstein added.

Marianne Orbeson, of Denmark, said she stopped by "because it was fun to watch an artist at work.''

"The pictures he's painting is the way we see the streets of New York,'' Orbeson said. "It's wonderful.''

Passerby Steven Chou, of Taiwan, described the work as performance but wanted to see more action.

"I thought the idea of painting, working inside of a storefront, letting everyone see what's going on is more interesting than his work itself,'' said the recent graduate from Columbia University.

___

Associated Press photographer Kathy Willens contributed to this report.

#   #   #

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Entrance to the Brill Building in New York City. Credit: Americasroof at en.wikipedia, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. 

Last Updated on Friday, 11 July 2014 09:13
 

Rare original painting by Maurice Sendak heads to auction July 17

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Written by Auction House PR   
Thursday, 10 July 2014 10:07
Maurice Sendak (American, 1928-2012), original watercolor art created for 1982 TV adaptation of Prokofiev’s opera ‘The Love For Three Oranges,’ 26in x 31in (framed). Provenance: Ted Hake collection. Image courtesy of Hake’s

YORK, Pa. – To view original artworks by Maurice Sendak (American, 1928-2012) – author and illustrator of the beloved children's book Where The Wild Things Are – the most logical place to go is the Rosenbach Museum & Library, a major repository of Sendak’s work. In 1966, after suffering a heart attack at the age of 37, Sendak felt compelled to secure his body of work for future generations, so he made arrangements for all of his future original book art to be conveyed to the prestigious Philadelphis museum.

Aside from the selections displayed at the Rosenbach, very little of Sendak’s original art is privately or institutionally held. An important exception is the large and important original watercolor that will be auctioned on July 17.

Sendak created the visually stunning watercolor for the 1985 TV adaptation of the Sergei Prokofiev opera The Love For Three Oranges, on which Sendak and stage director Frank Corsaro had collaborated three years earlier for England’s Glyndebourne opera festival.

The opera tells the tale of a king whose son suffers from depression. The only cure is laughter. Court jesters and clowns prove useless in amusing the royal heir, but when a witch falls down revealing her undergarments, the prince becomes hysterical, causing the witch to curse him with an obsession to find three oranges. The prince would never rest, the witch said, until the oranges were found. A magician reveals the location of the oranges and summons a demon, who, in turn, conjures winds that blow the prince and his friend off to a mountaintop palace guarded by a monstrous cook. In true storybook fashion, the oranges are successfully stolen from the cook and the prince’s curse is eventually cured by true love.

It is believed that Sendak created the TV production’s remarkable 26 by 32-inch (framed) watercolor with Mad King Ludwig II’s castle Neuschwanstein in mind. The art depicts the castle lair of the monster cook guarding the entrance to an imposing edifice atop a rocky prominence, with sheer rock walls and cliffs leading to lush forested valleys in the foreground and taller mountain peaks in the background. The colors are classic Sendak choices.

According to the company auctioning the artwork, Hake's Americana and Collectibles, queries to both institutions and one auction record revealed the existence of only three finished watercolors of slightly larger size; only one of them in private hands. The latter piece was first sold at a charity auction and then resold at auction in March 2009 for $74,000.

The Sendak original watercolor created for The Love For Three Oranges TV production has been in the personal collection of the artist’s good friend, Hake’s founder Ted Hake, since 1985. Hake acquired the painting directly from Sendak.

To enquire about the artwork, call Hake's tollfree on 866-404-9800, or 717-434-1600. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Visit Hake's online at www.hakes.com .

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ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
Maurice Sendak (American, 1928-2012), original watercolor art created for 1982 TV adaptation of Prokofiev’s opera ‘The Love For Three Oranges,’ 26in x 31in (framed). Provenance: Ted Hake collection. Image courtesy of Hake’s This closeup of the Maurice Sendak watercolor shows the 'monster cook' guarding the castle’s entrance. Provenance: Ted Hake collection. Image courtesy of Hake’s
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 July 2014 10:22
 

Warhol's 'Empire' returns to its iconic setting for July exhibition

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Written by Museum PR   
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 10:58
Andy Warhol, Empire, 1964, ©The Andy Warhol Museum

NEW YORK - The 50th anniversary of Andy Warhol’s groundbreaking film Empire is being marked by a month-long special exhibition at the very building that is the namesake and sole image of the epic work.

Throughout July, Empire is being continuously shown in the Fifth Avenue lobby of New York City’s Empire State Building. The exhibition also features images of Warhol’s art and details of his life and filmmaking.

Additionally, on the evening of Friday, July 25, the Empire State Building will be illuminated with thousands of white lights sparkling in honor of the film’s anniversary. It was on that date in 1964 when Warhol trained his camera on the Empire State Building for six and a half hours, declaring, “The Empire State Building is a star!”

From the dusk of 8 p.m. into the darkness of 2:30 a.m., Warhol captured the changing lights of the towering structure and the sky above. When Warhol premiered the film, unedited, the following March, he projected it in slow motion, bringing its length to over eight hours.

“Andy Warhol is arguably the most famous American artist of the 20th century and Empire was his most famous film,” said Geralyn Huxley, Curator of Film and Video at The Andy Warhol Museum and project leader for the Empire State Building exhibition. “It is fitting that he and his work be honored by the most famous of American buildings.”

The exhibition is being displayed in four windows of building’s famed Art Deco lobby from July 1-July 31, 2014. Admission to the lobby is free. Empire is a classic example of Warhol’s early work in film, which began in 1963. He ignored Hollywood conventions by making a film that contained a single image for an extended period of time. Warhol said, “I never liked the idea of picking out certain scenes and pieces of time and putting them together, because… it’s not like life… What I liked was chunks of time all together, every real moment.”

For more information, visit http://www.warhol.org/empireat50/ .

About the Empire State Building:

Visible at times from up to 80 miles away, the Empire State Building is one of the most recognized and photographed landmarks on the planet. Warhol shot Empire from across Manhattan, from the 41st floor of the Time-Life Building.The Empire State Building enhanced its present-day star quality in November 2012, by replacing its tower flood lights with a state-of-the-art LED lighting system as part of its Empire State ReBuilding program. The new tower lights are capable of producing up to 16 million color variations and an unlimited number of patterns and effects. Although the tower lighting regularly honors milestone events and charitable causes, singling out an individual – such as with the July 25th lighting evoking Warhol’s silver motifs.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Andy Warhol, Empire, 1964, ©The Andy Warhol Museum
Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 July 2014 11:06
 

Presidential library gets portrait of Betty Ford

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Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 09:39
Painter Patricia Hill Burnett with her portrait of First Lady Betty Ford, which is now part of the permanent collection at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library. Image courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - A portrait of former first lady Betty Ford is being placed on permanent display in the lobby of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library.

Columnist Laura Berman of The Detroit News reports an unveiling of the painting by Patricia Hill Burnett is Tuesday at the library in Ann Arbor. The 93-year-old painter once was Miss Michigan and also is known as a feminist and socialite.

President Gerald Ford died in 2006 and former first lady Betty Ford died in 2011. They lived in Rancho Mirage, California, for decades. Their hometown was Grand Rapids and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is located in Grand Rapids.

Elaine Didier, director of the Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum, says the portrait is ``one of the prettiest that's ever been done.''

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Information from: The Detroit News, http://detnews.com/

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Painter Patricia Hill Burnett with her portrait of First Lady Betty Ford, which is now part of the permanent collection at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library. Image courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library
Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 July 2014 10:45
 

Van Dyck featured on UK's Antiques Roadshow fails to sell

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Written by AFP Wire Service   
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 08:42
Sir Anthony van Dyck (Antwerp 1599-1641 London), Head study of a man in a ruff, oil on canvas, 21¾ x 17¾ in. (55.3 x 45.1 cm.). Estimate: £300,000-£500,000. Courtesy Christie's Images Limited 2014 LONDON (AFP) - A lost Van Dyck painting spotted on a British television programfailed to find a buyer at a Tuesday auction despite estimates it would fetch 1,000 times its original price.

Auctioneers Christie's had estimated the sketch for the 1635 work "The Magistrates Of Brussels" would sell for between £300,000 and £500,000 ($856,000, 630,000 euros), but it did not find a buyer.

It had originally been bought for £400 from an antiques shop in Cheshire, northern England, by Catholic priest Father Jamie MacLeod.

In December, MacLeod took the bargain painting to BBC's Antiques Roadshow for appraisal.

The host of the show, Fiona Bruce, had been working on a show about the Flemish artist Anthony Van Dyck and brought the priest's painting to the attention of one of the experts, having seen it and thought it was genuine.

Christie's said the sketch had largely been obscured by overpainting, and as a result had been overlooked by Van Dyck scholars.

After a long period of cleaning and restoration, the masterpiece was pronounced genuine by Christopher Brown, one of the world's authorities on Van Dyck, an artist who was born in modern-day Belgium and came to work in England in 1632 at the invitation of King Charles I.

Other paintings that sold at the auction of Old Master works included a painting of Venice by Francesco Guardi that sold for $17 million and "Saint Praxedis" by Johannes Vermeer, which sold for $10.7 million. All buyers were anonymous.

The priest had planned to use funds from the sale to buy new church bells for a retreat he runs in Derbyshire, northern England, to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War I.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Sir Anthony van Dyck (Antwerp 1599-1641 London), Head study of a man in a ruff, oil on canvas, 21¾ x 17¾ in. (55.3 x 45.1 cm.). Estimate: £300,000-£500,000. Courtesy Christie's Images Limited 2014
Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 July 2014 08:50
 

Van Dyck portrait set to fetch 1,000 times original price

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Written by AFP Wire Service   
Tuesday, 08 July 2014 09:49
Sir Anthony van Dyck (Antwerp 1599-1641 London), Head study of a man in a ruff, oil on canvas, 21¾ x 17¾ in. (55.3 x 45.1 cm.). Estimate: £300,000-£500,000. Courtesy Christie's Images Limited 2014

LONDON, July 08, 2014 (AFP) - A lost Van Dyck painting bought for £400 ($685, 500 euros) is expected to fetch £500,000 at auction on Tuesday after being spotted on a British television program.

The painting, a sketch for the 1635 work "The Magistrates Of Brussels," was bought by Catholic priest Father Jamie MacLeod from an antiques shop in Cheshire, northern England.

In December, MacLeod took the bargain painting to a taping of BBC Televisions "Antiques Roadshow."

The host of the show, Fiona Bruce, had been developing a show about the Flemish artist Anthony Van Dyck and brought the priest's painting to the attention of one of the experts, having seen it and thought it was genuine.

"It has been a blessing to own this magnificent portrait which has given me great pleasure over the years. I will be sad to part with it," said MacLeod.

He said funds from the sale would be used to buy new church bells for a retreat he runs in Derbyshire, northern England, to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War I.

Auctioneers Christie's, which gave an estimate of between £300,000 and £500,000 for the painting, said the sketch had largely been obscured by overpainting, and as a result had been overlooked by Van Dyck scholars.

After a long period of cleaning and restoration, the masterpiece was checked by Christopher Brown, one of the world's authorities on Van Dyck, who pronounced it genuine, they said.

Freddie de Rougemont of Christie's said the auction house was "delighted" to offer the picture for sale, "particularly after its exciting rediscovery on the Antiques Roadshow...The picture is of great importance as it provides a fascinating insight into Van Dyck's working method and also constitutes a significant surviving document for the artist's lost group portrait of The Magistrates of Brussels," he said.

The "swiftly executed head study" was consistent with three other known sketches for "The "Magistrates of Brussels", which hung in Brussels Town Hall until it was destroyed during the French bombardment of the city in 1695, Christie's said.

Van Dyck was born in modern-day Belgium and came to work in England in 1632 at the invitation of King Charles I.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Sir Anthony van Dyck (Antwerp 1599-1641 London), Head study of a man in a ruff, oil on canvas, 21¾ x 17¾ in. (55.3 x 45.1 cm.). Estimate: £300,000-£500,000. Courtesy Christie's Images Limited 2014
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 July 2014 10:34
 

Salvadoran president's home becomes gallery with focus on poor

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Written by AFP Wire Service   
Monday, 07 July 2014 08:40
A mural in the town of Perquin, El Salvador, former 'guerrilla capital' and now a tourist destination. Photo by jbmurray, sourced through Wikimedia Commons. SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador - (AFP) - The Salvadoran president's residence, a posh home in an upscale San Salvador district, reopened Sunday as a museum with a focus on welcoming the poor.

New leftist President Salvador Sanchez Ceren -- an ex-rebel commander who has decided to keep living in his family home in a middle-class area of the city -- reopened the building as a place where the socially excluded can come to reflect on their country and its artistic wealth.

The president and First Lady Margarita Villalta de Sanchez were at the opening of the arts center with 45 works by Salvadoran painters and sculptors.

The press was not invited to the opening. It was a special event for about 30 human rights group members and relatives of those killed in the country's civil war.

But a press release said the arts center was meant to welcome the poor and excluded, "a place to gather and reflect on El Salvador's identity and everyday life."

Sanchez Ceren took office June 1.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
A mural in the town of Perquin, El Salvador, former 'guerrilla capital' and now a tourist destination. Photo by jbmurray, sourced through Wikimedia Commons.
Last Updated on Monday, 07 July 2014 08:50
 

UK's NPG unveils portrait of politician Ken Livingstone

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Written by Art Gallery PR   
Thursday, 03 July 2014 09:17

Ken Livingstone by Andrew Tift, 2014 © National Portrait Gallery, London

LONDON - A newly commissioned portrait of British politician Ken Livingstone by artist Andrew Tift has been unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery, London, it was announced today, Thursday, July 3, 2014. The commission is supported by BP as part of the BP Portrait Award.

The large, square acrylic painting (3½ feet by 3½ feet) shows the first Mayor of London and former Labour Party politician in the back garden of his north London home. Although depicted wearing his official London 2012 suit and tie, Livingstone’s garden ‘retreat’ was chosen by artist and sitter as the setting for the portrait rather than a more formal location symbolic of Livingstone’s career. A keen gardener in his spare time, Livingstone is shown sitting in a relaxed manner on a metal garden chair, surrounded by healthy, colorful foliage, and looking directly at the viewer.

Following an initial visit to Livingstone’s home in April 2011 to decide on the approach to the portrait, the first sitting took place the following August, where Tift took over 1,000 photographs of Livingstone and his garden. To create the final composition, the artist digitally manipulated a number of photographs, resulting in a vivid and extraordinary depiction of the back garden of an apparently normal London terraced house. The resulting work, which took eleven months to complete, is a natural portrayal of a politician, presented as a resident of the city to which his career has been devoted.

Ken Livingstone joined the Labour Party in 1969 and served as a local councillor from 1971. He was a member of the Greater London Council from 1973, becoming its leader in 1981, a position he held until its abolition in 1986. From 1987 to June 2001 he served as Labour Member of Parliament for Brent East. He was elected as the first Mayor of London, covering the Greater London area, in 2000 and for a second term in 2004. Realising its potential as a way of regenerating east London, Livingstone offered the British Olympic Association essential and unequivocal support in their bid to host the Olympic Games in London in 2012.

About the Artist:

Andrew Tift studied at Stafford College of Art and the University of Central England. He has exhibited many times in the National Portrait Gallery’s BP Portrait Award, winning the BP Travel Award in 1994, third prize in 1999 and first prize in 2006 for his triptych portrait of Kitty Godley, Lucian Freud’s first wife. Tift painted Tony Benn for the House of Commons in 1998 and, in 2001, he was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to paint a double portrait of Neil and Glenys Kinnock. Tift’s 2011 drawing of Eric Sykes is also in the National Portrait Gallery Collection and his portrait of Cormac McCarthy is in the Collection of the National Portrait Gallery – Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. Tift often paints in a highly detailed and intensely realistic manner.

Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, said: "Andrew Tift's complex commissioned painting of Ken Livingstone offers a striking portrait of a highly influential figure in London’s political landscape. I am very grateful to BP for making this possible."

Des Violaris, Director, UK Arts and Culture, BP, said: "We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to support this striking portrait of Ken Livingstone, and for it to be unveiled in the year that marks the 25th anniversary of BP sponsorship of the Gallery’s Portrait Award."

Andrew Tift says of his portrait of Livingstone: "I wanted it to be a relaxed and informal depiction. One of the things Ken said to me during the sittings was that he always tried to appear calm during interviews and debates and never lost his cool so I wanted his pose to be calm, as if the viewer was in conversation with him and he was listening. I liked the idea of setting him in his garden rather than against architectural symbols of London which he is associated with because it was his little patch of London and I think he is very much perceived as a down to earth figure."

Andrew Tift’s portrait of Ken Livingstone was commissioned by the Gallery’s Trustees and made possible by BP as part of the First Prize, BP Portrait Award, 2006. Gallery commissions supported by BP include Julia Donaldson by Peter Monkman, Dame Kelly Holmes by Craig Wylie, Sir Paul Smith by James Lloyd, Sir Mike Jackson by Brendan Kelly, J K Rowling by Stuart Pearson Wright, Dame Cicely Saunders by Catherine Goodman, Dame Camila Batmanghelidjh by Dean Marsh and Sir V S Naipaul by Paul Emsley.

While this is the first painted portrait of Ken Livingstone to enter the Gallery’s Collections, he is represented in photographs by Tom Miller, Michael Birt and Stephen Hyde.

Ken Livingstone by Andrew Tift is in Room 36 in the Ground Floor Lerner Contemporary Galleries at the National Portrait Gallery, London, from Thursday, July 3, 2014. Admission is free.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Ken Livingstone by Andrew Tift, 2014 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 July 2014 09:28
 
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