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Art in the News

Yiddish Book Center hosts Nathan Hilu 'outsider art' exhibit

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Written by STEVE PFARRER, The Daily Hampshire Gazette   
Friday, 29 August 2014 10:56

Nathan Hilu, 'Isaiah 3:16.' Courtesy of the Yiddish Book Center.

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) – The French call it “art brut,” which translates as “raw art” or “rough art.” The English equivalent is “outsider art” – artwork that's made outside the conventions of the academy, often by people with little or no formal training.

Nathan Hilu certainly meets the latter definition. The elderly New York artist spent a good part of his working life in the army, which he joined during World War II, at age 18. But for years now, Hilu has been chronicling his own story and examples of Jewish life in energetic, vivid illustrations that have begun to attract the notice of critics and Jewish cultural centers.

Selected parts of that work are now on display through September at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst in “Nathan Hilu's Journals: Word, Image, Memory.” The title, exhibit curator Laura Kruger says, is an indication this isn't a typical art exhibit – not surprising, she adds, because Hilu isn't a typical artist.

“He uses his drawings to record his life and his beliefs,” Kruger said in a phone call from the Hebrew Union College museum in New York, where she serves as curator. “This is a man who does not stop drawing ... he has been chronicling his life, his experiences, his neighborhood and his love of Judaism in a way that is quite unique.”

Hilu, who is in his late 80s or possibly 90 – there is uncertainty about his age – lives in subsidized housing on Manhattan's Lower East Side, a historically Jewish neighborhood. Living on his army pension, the lifelong bachelor uses sharpies, crayons, and pastels and whatever “canvasses” he has at hand – like the cardboard liners from his dry cleaning – to fashion rough-hewn images.

His drawings are often full of text and sometimes take the form of collages, with stitched-on parts affixed with clear tape. Kruger notes that Hilu will sometimes find that his latest image is becoming too large to fit on his initial drawing surface, so he'll simply continue the drawing onto another piece of cardboard backing and tape the pieces together.

But what's most unique about Hilu's work, which from a technical standpoint would not be out of place in a comic book or graphic novel, is his subject matter: It's a wild kaleidoscope that merges memory, history, biblical stories and perhaps the artist's own fantasies. Synagogues, famous religious figures, Nazi prisoners of war (Hilu once was a guard at the Nuremberg Trials), Lower East Side delis – they all have their place in Hilu's universe.

It's both art and autobiography – and a glimpse, Kruger notes, of Hilu's vision of the bible.

“He's not a fabulist,” she said. “He's a very literal person, and these stories are very real to him. He has a sort of wide-eyed passion for Judaism – he reveres rabbis – and that comes through in his work.”

Kruger, who has curated previous shows at the Yiddish Book Center, says she came across Hilu's art about five years ago during a group exhibit of senior citizens on the Lower East Side. “I was gobsmacked,” she said. “The colors, the vitality, the immediacy – it reminded me of (the work of Marc) Chagall.”

What she discovered about Hilu's background was even more surprising. It turned out Hilu was the older brother of a longtime family friend, Sam Hilu, a New York textile and clothing dealer who during World War II had served as an aide-to-camp to Kruger's uncle, a U.S. Army officer.

Kruger, thinking the name Hilu was pretty unusual, got on the phone to Sam Hilu and asked him if he knew a Nathan of the same name. “Sure, he's my older brother,” she remembers him saying.

The brothers were the sons of Syrian Jews who had settled in New York in the early 20th century. Nathan Hilu, born on the Lower East Side sometime around 1925-26, moved with his family to Pittsburgh when he was a boy and then grew up predominantly in central Pennsylvania. He never had any formal art training, Kruger believes, but did develop an interest in drawing. His first language was apparently Arabic, his second English, and his third Yiddish.

Joining the army at 18 during World War II, Hilu has said he later became the only Jewish guard of Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg prison and then at the trials themselves, held from late 1945 to October 1946. There, he observed and also spoke with German kingpins like Hermann Goering, Rudolph Hess and Albert Speer.

In a Youtube interview that dates from 2011, Hilu talked of what it was like to learn about the Nuremberg prisoners and their deeds. “I myself, I didn't know what they did, anyway. I was just 18 ... then you find out how they made people into soap.”

His time at Nuremberg and his military experience, including service during the Korean War and Cold War era, have figured prominently in his artwork. The Yiddish Center exhibit includes a drawing/collage inscribed with the words “I served under Patton 1945” that depicts the famous U.S. general astride a snorting white horse; taped onto Patton's waist is a holster with one of the ivory-handed revolvers that the general, a notorious military peacock, liked to display.

Hilu's art also recalls seminal figures from World War II who played a part in saving or helping Jews. One drawing shows Archbishop Damaskinos Papandreou, of the Greek Orthodox church, who helped save Torahs from Greek synagogues during the Nazi occupation and also oversaw an effort to issue fake Christian baptismal certificates to Greek Jews.

Other artworks, like The Seven Plenteous Years and The City of Jericho Will Fall commemorate biblical stories, while Garden Cafeteria East Broadway celebrates the time Hilu met the acclaimed Yiddish writer Isaac Bashevis Singer in a Lower East Side eatery; Singer did two drawings of the writer, on one of which his text says “When I gave him my paintings he gave me his book on the Golem.”

Maureen Turner, the Yiddish Center's communications coordinator, says she and other staff were struck by how much writing Hilu's drawings contain; the annotations frequently run on both sides of the drawings. “It's very unusual, and his pictures are like a serial of his life.”

“The text is an enforcement of the image, a way to give greater understanding to the viewer,” Kruger added.

Kruger notes that Hilu, some time after he left the military, worked for Bookazine, a New York distributor of books and magazines, for which he did some art displays. He's also had a small but growing number of public exhibits in recent years, and the current show is slated to continue at additional locations as well. Some sales of his artwork, arranged through Hebrew Union College, have also helped the artist financially, she notes.

Not that Hilu seems to need public endorsement to inspire him. As the book center's exhibition notes put it, Hilu is “as immersed in piety as in celebration of the totality of Jewish life and thought. It is clear from the works in this exhibition that he is the exemplar of the very modern and contemporary American Jewish artist.”

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

AP-WF-08-28-14 1518GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

Nathan Hilu, 'Isaiah 3:16.' Courtesy of the Yiddish Book Center.

Nathan Hilu, 'Garden Caffateria East Broadway.' Courtesy of the Yiddish Book Center.

Nathan Hilu,'Garden Caffateria: Isaac Bashevis Singer.' Courtesy of the Yiddish Book Center.

Nathan Hilu, 'Jacob Receives the Glad Tidings.' Courtesy of the Yiddish Book Center.

Last Updated on Friday, 29 August 2014 14:03
 

Banksy art sale saves struggling British youth club

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Written by AFP Wire Service   
Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:39
'Mobile Lovers' by British artist Banksy LONDON (AFP) - A work by the British street artist Banksy has saved a struggling youth club from closure after it was sold to a collectorfor £403,000 ($668,000, 506,270 euros).

The piece -- "Mobile Lovers" -- which shows a couple embracing while gazing at their phones, appeared on the wall of the Broad Plain Boy's Club in April.

It was attached to a piece of wood and screwed onto the wall, so youth club members were able to remove it with a crowbar and sell it.

Banksy confirmed that the club, which is based in the southwestern city of Bristol, owned the artwork in a rare letter to owner Dennis Stinchcombe.

The 120-year-old club sold it to a private collector for £403,000, more than three times what the centre needed to save it from closure.

Stinchcombe told a news conference on Wednesday that the club was "incredibly lucky" to have had the piece donated by the artist.

"Within 12 months we could have well been closed, which means 120 years of exceptional youth work in Bristol would have been lost.

"That would have been a tragedy for Bristol... Banksy came along at the right time."

Members of the youth club decorated the wall where the painting had been with a mural reading: "Thanks Banksy".

Banksy is believed to have started out as a graffiti artist in the city, although the artist's identity remains shrouded in secrecy.

#   #   #



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
'Mobile Lovers' by British artist Banksy
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 16:45
 

VIDEO: UK artist Jonathan Wright gets tanked for Folkestone Triennial

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Written by ACNI Staff and Outside Media Source   
Thursday, 28 August 2014 12:31

One of the tanks from Diane Dever and Jonathan Wright's installation 'Pent Houses,' created for Folkestone Triennial 2014.

FOLKESTONE, England – Britain’s coolest, edgiest, most innovative public art project, the Folkstone Triennial, will open to the public on Saturday, August 30th and run through Sunday, November 2nd. Held every three years in Folkestone, on the southeastern coast of England, the event invites artists to use the town as their “canvas,” utilizing public spaces to create striking new works that reflect issues affecting both the town and the world beyond.

Some of today’s most imaginative artists are set to take part, including Jonathan Wright, whose long list of awards and distinctions includes a coveted residency at Verbier 3-D Sculpture Park in Switzerland.

At the Folkestone Triennial 2014, visitors will be able to see a series of five sculptures called the Pent Houses, which Wright created in collaboration with Irish-born artist Diane Dever.

Each of the five sculptures is different from the others, and all are based loosely on the water towers that used to be such a common sight above the streets of New York. The sculptures have been placed along the line of the hidden waterways of the Pent Stream, mapping its course under the streets of East Folkestone by placing waters towers above ground. These waterways were the foundation of Folkestone’s past prosperity, creating the harbor which attracted the initial human settlement, and providing not only fresh water to its inhabitants but also, in the post medieval period, a source of power for industrial mills. As a result of the search for building land near the city center, the streams were culverted in the nineteenth century, and today the water flows untapped, unused and unseen from the hills to the outflow at Folkestone Harbour.

In the current climate of increased awareness about the pressures on natural resources and the associated costs, flowing water is once again seen as a precious asset, and in many places canals and urban waterways are being opened up and revitalized as parks or cycle paths. The presence of water increases the value of real estate, wherever in the world: this is the sly allusion made in the punning title Pent Houses.

Pent House 1 is placed near the former public baths and the Silver Spring bottling company. It also carries a Plimsol Line marking – Plimsol is one of Folkestone’s more famous sons. Pent House 2 stands at the site of the bridge over the Pent at the highest tidal point of the stream, the top end of the former harbor. Pent House 5 stands over the outflow of the stream into the present day harbor, and has an audio component.

Dever works across many media and disciplines to explore ideas that lie at the intersections of public, private and liminal space. Her work seeks to provoke insight into how urban space is experienced, quantified, produced and understood. A native Londoner, Wright is fascinated by the fabric of modernity and the mysterious, seemingly functionless structures that surround us in modern society. His constructed works embody the mechanics of a modern society, which he encourages one to look at afresh. Both Dever and Wright live and work in Folkestone.

On Thursday evening, Aug. 28, Wright will be interviewed by BBC Television.

Click to view a video interview with Jonathan Wright and Diane Dever as they prepare their installation:

http://vimeo.com/104527351



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

One of the tanks from Diane Dever and Jonathan Wright's installation 'Pent Houses,' created for Folkestone Triennial 2014.

Jonathan Wright and Diane Dever, discussing their collaborative work 'Pent Houses.'

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 12:48
 

Sale of Norman Rockwell painting to fund art education

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Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 10:13

Norman Rockwell, 'Willie Gillis In Convoy,' signed 'Norman Rockwell' (lower right), oil on canvas, 43 by 34 1/4 inches, painted in 1941. Price realized: $1.9 million. Image courtesy Sotheby's.

GARDNER, Mass. (AP) – Gardner city councilors want proceeds of the sale of a Norman Rockwell painting to support the arts.

The Telegram & Gazette reports that councilors voted informally Monday to change the language proposed for creating a fund from the sale more clearly directed toward arts programs.

The painting Willie Gillis in Convoy sold in May for $1.9 million at Sotheby’s in New York. The school department had owned it since the 1950s when it was given by Rockwell to a former Gardner High School principal.

Mayor Mark Hawke said he wanted to use the money to create a foundation for educational purposes.

Councilor Marc Morgan argued that the painting was acquired to inspire students to learn about and appreciate art, and the sales proceeds should go to that purpose, rather than athletics and non-art programs.

___

Information from: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.), http://www.telegram.com

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

AP-WF-08-26-14 1251GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Norman Rockwell, 'Willie Gillis In Convoy,' signed 'Norman Rockwell' (lower right), oil on canvas, 43 by 34 1/4 inches, painted in 1941. Price realized: $1.9 million. Image courtesy Sotheby's.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 10:26
 

National Cathedral hosts tribute to executed WWI nurse

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Written by MICHAEL E. RUANE, The Washington Post   
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 09:02
'VII Betrayed,' one of a series of 14 paintings by Brian Whelan. Image courtesy of the artist. WASHINGTON (AP) – In the weeks before British nurse Edith Cavell was executed by a German firing squad in World War I, she pored over her copy of Thomas à Kempis's 15th-century devotional book, The Imitation of Christ.

“I am left exiled and destitute in an alien land, where there are daily wars and dreadful disasters. Give me comfort ... and calm my grief.”

Artist Brian Whelan was so struck by Cavell's love of the sacred tract that he painted its medieval author, quill in hand, into the background of a new painting about Cavell's life.

The work, titled Imitation, is one of 14 Whelan paintings in a small but compelling exhibit at Washington National Cathedral that retells the story of Cavell's “martyrdom” during the war.

Scarcely remembered in the United States today, Cavell's execution was a sensation in its time. One British newspaper called it “the most damnable crime of the war.” Another termed it “foul ... infamy.”

“It is a deed which ... stuns the world, and cries to Heaven for vengeance,” declared another.

Her death, a century ago next year, is said to have helped tip the United States toward entering the war. Scores of children – as well as a mountain in Canada, a racehorse and a kind of rose – were later named after Cavell.

The exhibit, which marks the centennial of World War I, opened July 24 and runs through Sept. 18. It is the paintings' public debut.

Cavell, whose name rhymes with “travel,” was 48 and the head of a nursing school in Brussels when Germany invaded Belgium in 1914.

While caring for victims on all sides of the conflict, she also helped scores of Allied soldiers escape capture.

When German officials found out, they put her on trial and had her shot on Oct. 12, 1915.

Two years ago, Whelan, 57, who was born in London to Irish parents and is known for his colorful, post-modern religious paintings, said he was approached by two British clergymen from Norwich Cathedral, where Cavell is buried.

With the centennial of the 1914-1918 war, would he consider painting a commemoration of her for the British cathedral?

Whelan, who now lives in the Washington area, was hesitant. He recalled Cavell more as a historical than a religious figure.

“I was very aware of her as being buried deep under an awful lot of war propaganda ... and Edwardian sentimentality,” he said in an interview at Washington National Cathedral this month.

“I was a little wary,” he said. “I thought, ‘I've got to find a new way of approaching her.’”

Eventually, he produced five paintings of different aspects of Cavell's life and showed the clergymen. They were intrigued, he said.

“‘This is exactly what we need,’” he said one told him. “They were very keen that I developed the spiritual side of her.”

He did nine more – with acrylic paint and acrylic varnish on a wooden board.

The paintings, finished this year, are intimate and crammed with color and figures. They portray Cavell as a solitary person of faith rather than the victim of an atrocity.

They include depictions of the prim Cavell with an exaggerated wedge-shaped face, large round eyes and a mound of upswept hair.

The paintings include dogs, doves, a crucified Christ, an open grave rimmed with skulls and a delicate cross fashioned with foil from a chocolate wrapper.

“You can get some amazing colors,” he said of the orange foil bearing the name “Galler,” a Belgian candy company. He said fans mail him foil wrappers, knowing that he uses the foil in his art.

The Cavell paintings make up a narrative, he said. They show her as war is declared, as she is working with skeletal wounded soldiers wrapped in blankets and as she helps men escape.

They depict her betrayal by a ghostly, Judas-like figure, her arrest, trial and execution, and her funeral in England after the war.

At first glance, the vibrant energy of the paintings seems unsuited for the somber confines of a cathedral. And Whelan said some of his other religious work has been viewed as “cheeky.”

But the Cavell work hints at medieval art, which Whelan loves, and is filled with Christian symbolism.

“Each person's got their own reaction to the work,” he said. “And it's as valid as anybody else's, including the artist.”

Whelan said he did the paintings at a house his wife owned in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Bluemont, Loudoun County, in Virginia.

Once they were finished, he said, he began looking for a place to exhibit them before they are installed at Norwich Cathedral at Easter.

He approached Washington National Cathedral, which had been looking for a way to mark the centennial of the start of World War I. The cathedral holds the tomb of the wartime president, Woodrow Wilson.

The paintings seemed perfect. “Not only was (Cavell) a great humanitarian, she was a devout Christian,” said Ruth Frey, director of programs at the cathedral. She said that like many Americans, she did not at first know who Cavell was.

But researching her, “I just felt like I opened up this little historical treasure trove,” Frey said in a telephone interview.

It “was an exciting thing to learn about her and her courage and compassion and the impact that she had on, really, the whole world at that time,” she said.

The day before her execution, according to biographer Helen Judson, Cavell wrote from Brussels's Prison de Saint-Gilles to a troubled young friend she had been mentoring:

“My dear Girl ...

“If God permits I shall still watch over you and ... wait for you on the other side. Be sure to get ready for then. I want you to know I was neither afraid nor unhappy, but quite ready to give my life for England. ...

“Only remember that I love you and love you still.

“Edith Cavell.”

___

Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com

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

AP-WF-08-24-14 1423GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
'VII Betrayed,' one of a series of 14 paintings by Brian Whelan. Image courtesy of the artist. 'Imitation - The Passion of Edith Cavell,' the series of 14 paintings by Brian Whelan. Image courtesy of the artist.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 09:34
 

Artist Christo says Arkansas River project at a standstill

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Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 25 August 2014 09:33

The Arkansas River at Salida, Colo., upstream from the proposed Christo installation. Image by Galt57. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

CANON CITY, Colo. (AP) – The artist Christo says his plan to suspend nearly 6 miles of silvery fabric in sections over the Arkansas River is in a “standstill situation.”

The 79-year-old artist updated supporters on his “Over the River” project during a luncheon in Canon City, Colo., on Thursday. The Daily Record reports (http://bit.ly/1tsEG49 ) his visit also included a rafting trip down the Arkansas.

Christo and his late wife Jeanne-Claude began scouting for a location for the temporary installation in the 1990s. After visiting 89 rivers in seven states, they chose the Arkansas River between Salida and Canon City.

The project received federal approval to move forward in November 2011, but it has been delayed because of legal challenges by groups that say it's too disruptive. Those challenges are working their way through the legal system.

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Information from: Canon City Daily Record, http://www.canoncitydailyrecord.com/

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

AP-WF-08-22-14 1731GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

 The Arkansas River at Salida, Colo., upstream from the proposed Christo installation. Image by Galt57. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Last Updated on Monday, 25 August 2014 09:43
 

Wesselmann retrospective at Denver museum through Sept. 14

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Written by Museum PR   
Thursday, 21 August 2014 13:16

Tom Wesselmann (American, b.1931, d.2004), 'Still Life #60,' 1973. Oil on canvas; 122 1/4 x 333 x 86 1/2 in. Lent by Claire Wesselmann. © Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY, Photo Credit: Jeffrey Sturges.

DENVER – Time is running out to see “Beyond Pop Art: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective” at the Denver Art Museum. The exhibition is on view through Sept. 14.

“Beyond Pop Art” features the work of painter Tom Wesselmann, who is widely regarded as one of the leading figures of American pop art. Organized chronologically, this exhibition follows the development of Wesselmann’s work, series by series, from his earliest abstract collages to his well-known series, Great American Nudes, and still lifes of his pop period to the cut-steel drawings and Sunset Nudes of his late work.

“Beyond Pop Art” features approximately 100 works, including the larger-than-life Still Life #60 and Screen Star.

Visitors can explore Wesselmann’s personal and creative journey through preliminary drawings, maquettes, archival documents, billboards, photographs and letters.

Daily 45-minute tours of “Beyond Pop Art” are offered at 2 p.m. Both the exhibition and tour are included in museum admission and reservations are not required.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Tom Wesselmann (American, b.1931, d.2004), 'Still Life #60,' 1973. Oil on canvas; 122 1/4 x 333 x 86 1/2 in. Lent by Claire Wesselmann. © Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY, Photo Credit: Jeffrey Sturges. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 August 2014 13:35
 

Final days to view Murray Garrett’s golden Hollywood

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Written by Art gallery PR   
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 15:25
Bing Crosby and Marlon Brando hit it off at the the 1954 Academy Awards. Photographer Murray Garrett, who introduced them, captured the moment on film. Images courtesy of Robert Berman Gallery. SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Robert Berman Gallery is has scheduled a closing reception for the the solo exhibition, Murray Garrett: Hollywood Redux. The event will be Saturday, Aug. 23, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Bergamot Station Arts Center B7A. Displayed will be black and white photographs including never before seen vintage silver gelatin prints from the artist’s archive.

The collection has been on view since late July.

From the 1940s until he hung up his cameras in the 1960s New York native, Murray Garrett, was one of the most sought after event and celebrity photographers in the country. With his medium format cameras, like the Speed Graphic and Rolleiflex, he deftly captured the lives of the entertainment industry’s elite and other popular figures of American culture and high society. Garrett was consistently welcomed into the innermost circles of Hollywood during its golden age, and produced many iconic, revealing and memorable black and white photographs of an industry where image is everything. As Bob Hope writes:

“There are photographers, and then there is Murray Garrett. He has a magic eye or a secret device in his camera that captures something different, something special that is missed by other photographers … All of Hollywood recognized the genius of Garrett. He was always that one photographer who stood on the inside of the ropes at all the events.”

Originally from Brooklyn, Murray Garrett’s career as a distinguished documentary photographer began while he was still in his teens when he landed a part time job at Graphic House in New York City as the assistant to the legendary theatrical photographer, Eileen Darby. While under Darby’s tutelage, Garrett received his first major assignment in the early 1940s when he was sent to cover first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, and labor leader Phillip Murray while they attended a musical in Newark, N.J. Shortly thereafter, Garrett relocated to Los Angeles to oversee the establishment of the photo agency’s West Coast office.

Within a year of his move Garrett was promoted to the position of bureau chief at Graphic House and was completing assignments for almost every major publication in the country including Time, Look and Life. For the next 25 years his career flourished into one of the most notable in the genre of celebrity portraiture and reportage. Not only did Garrett cover all of the major Hollywood premiers and galas during the height of film industry glamour, he was granted exclusive access to intimate private events and welcomed into the everyday lives of Hollywood’s highly celebrated stars. Garrett held an esteemed position as Bob Hope’s personal photographer for over two decades.

He was the only photographer invited to accompany Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and their children as they flew by private helicopter to Disneyland, and to cover Frank Sinatra’s surprise 21st birthday party for Natalie Wood. His frequent friendships with the who’s who of Tinseltown allowed Garrett to capture rare and fleeting moments with unmatched elegance and ease. He produced a vast body of work that is at once tender, majestic, humorous, and insightful. It is a stunning testament to the sophistication and style of one of the most important periods in cinematic history and a fascinating American timecapsule, rendered beautifully in black and white.

Murray Garrett has served on the board of directors of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. His work was the subject of a major retrospective at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1989. Two monographs of his photographs with accompanying commentary have been published: Hollywood Candid (2000) currently in its third printing, and Hollywood Moments (2002).

For more information visit the Robert Berman Gallery website www.robertbermangallery.com or phone 310-315-1937.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
(Left) Marilyn Monroe. (Right) Bing Crosby and Marlon Brando hit it off at the the 1954 Academy Awards. Photographer Murray Garrett, who introduced them, captured the moment on film. Images courtesy of Robert Berman Gallery.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 August 2014 17:07
 

Barn find: William Cumming mural to be displayed at fair

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Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 08:32
An example of William Cumming's work, 'Laundromat,' was painted in 1961. The tempera on board is 30 by 46 inches. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Mrocek Brothers Seattle Auction House. MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) – A large mural that collected dust in barns over the decades before being displayed this month at a fair in Washington state is an original 1941 painting by William Cumming, a member of the Northwest School art movement of the 1930s and ’40s, a Seattle art dealer confirmed.

Art gallery owner John Braseth said the signature on the painting was unmistakably Cumming's, the Skagit Valley Herald reported.

“I know his signature better than I know my own,” Braseth, who was a close friend of Cumming. The piece is worth at least $100,000, but it is a priceless piece of state history, he told the newspaper.

Cumming (1917-2010) was part of the art movement that had roots in northern Washington's Skagit County and produced artists such as Guy Anderson and Mark Tobey.

The mural, painted on canvas measuring 28 feet long and 7 feet tall, ended up with Tony Breckenridge after it was folded into a box and moved among different barns belonging to his family over several decades.

About 10 years ago, Breckenridge brought it out to cover a pile of wood, thinking it was a tarp. When he noticed it was a painting, he assumed it was from a junior livestock show and stored it in his basement for over a decade.

Recently, he called Skagit County Fair organizer Brian Adams to offer it up for display, setting off a search to identify the artist.

“I've authenticated some incredible things. But this is something special,” Braseth said.

Adams and Braseth said the mural may have been commissioned by the federal Works Progress Administration, which may affect where the piece is eventually displayed and whether or not it will be restored.

Restoring the painting is estimated to cost $20,000, the Skagit Valley Herald reported.

Braseth hopes they can find out more about the origins of the mural.

“Between me and my brothers, we tried everything in the world to throw it out. Now that we know what it is, I guess it's lucky we didn't,” Breckenridge said.

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Information from: Skagit Valley Herald, http://www.skagitvalleyherald.com

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

 

AP-WF-08-17-14 2222GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
An example of William Cumming's work, 'Laundromat,' was painted in 1961. The tempera on board is 30 by 46 inches. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com Archive and Mrocek Brothers Seattle Auction House.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 August 2014 09:04
 

Nelson-Atkins painting to be featured on postage stamp

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Written by USPS PR   
Monday, 18 August 2014 14:19
Thomas Moran (born England), 1837–1926. 'Grand Canyon,' dated 1912, oil on pressboard, 15 7/8 × 23 7/8 inches (40.3 × 60.6 cm). Bequest of Katherine Harvey. Image courtesy of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A painting in the collection of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art will be included in a new series of Forever stamps. Thomas Moran’s 1912 painting Grand Canyon is one of four artworks, all of the Hudson River School paintings, chosen by the United States Postal Service to be featured in the upcoming 12th issuance of the American Treasures series. In total, 25 million copies of the stamp will be distributed.

“We are thrilled that a painting so integral to our American collection will travel so widely and be seen by millions,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, the museum’s director and CEO. “This is a great honor.”

Moran was well-known for his Western landscapes, and Grand Canyon, a stunning representation of the iconic landmark found in Arizona, is an exemplary model of his ability to create balanced compositions. Readability is a principal consideration during the selection process due to the tiny 1 1/2-by-2-inch canvas on which the artwork is printed.

“We were especially mindful of this consideration while reviewing paintings by the Hudson River School artists because one of the hallmarks of the style is exquisite detail in the artist’s renderings of their subjects,” said Roy Betts, a representative of the U.S. Postal Service.

Grand Canyon was acquired by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in 1963 at the bequest of Katherine Harvey.

“What an opportunity—a fabulous painting of a national landmark that can fit in your mailbox. This view of the Grand Canyon remains arresting even at significantly reduced scale. A testament to the power of the original composition, the stamp conveys Thomas Moran’s ability to capture the grandeur of the striated buttes of the legendary chasm, and his talent for creating a convincing illusion of deep space,” said Stephanie Knappe, the museum’s curator of American Art.

The stamp will be available for sale Aug. 21.

 

 

Last Updated on Monday, 18 August 2014 14:41
 

Albuquerque seeks bids to restore historic Route 66 motel

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Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 18 August 2014 13:15
The  De Anza Motor Lodge along historic Route 66 in Albuquerque. Image by John Phelan. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – The De Anza Motor Lodge along historic Route 66 is one step closer to getting a new lease on life.

The city of Albuquerque is now seeking proposals from developers interested in renovating the 2-acre site along Central Avenue. The city's development commission expects to select the winning proposal in February.

Built in 1939 by Native American art and pottery trader Charles Garrett Wallace, the property includes seven separate buildings. One of them features murals by artist Tony Edaakie that depict a Native American ceremonial procession.

Mayor Richard Berry says the old motor lodge embodies the story of Albuquerque and he's excited to see the city-owned site transformed.

The property is listed on the State Register of Cultural Properties and on the National Register of Historic Places.

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

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
The  De Anza Motor Lodge along historic Route 66 in Albuquerque. Image by John Phelan. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Last Updated on Monday, 18 August 2014 13:25
 

University of Iowa’s Old Capital to undergo renovation

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Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 15 August 2014 10:28
The 1842 Old Capitol building on the campus of the University of Iowa. Image Matt Yohe at English Wikipedia, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The University of Iowa plans to spend $1.5 million to renovate the Old Capital dome, which has already been destroyed in a fire and then reconstructed.

The school will renovate the iconic building's roof and cupola, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported. University spokesman Tom Moore said the college has been monitoring the building's condition and wants to take preventive action now so it doesn't have to spend more money later.

Moore said repair work will include exterior finishes for the cupola. Other areas of concern include the building's metal roofing and portions of the dome's interior.

“Right now we're in the stage where we're investigating our options, working with the designers and contractors,” Moore said.

The Old Capital was built in 1842 and was used by lawmakers. It became the university's first permanent building in 1857 after the Legislature moved to Des Moines.

A fire ripped through the cupola and dome in November 2001, causing significant water, soot and smoke damage throughout the building and ruining the upper tower.

Investigators said the blaze started when workers used open flame torches and heat guns to remove asbestos.

The university in 2004 settled a lawsuit against the contractor for $1.9 million, about a third of the estimated $5.6 million in damage.

A new dome was placed on the top of the Old Capital in February 2003. The building remained closed to the public until restoration work was complete in 2006.

“It's a historic structure, and the rebuilt section is outside, it's open to the elements, so no matter what, it's going to take wear and tear just like a general house does,” said Shalla Wilson Ashworth, director of the university's Pentacrest museums.

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Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, http://www.press-citizen.com/

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

AP-WF-08-14-14 1418GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
The 1842 Old Capitol building on the campus of the University of Iowa. Image Matt Yohe at English Wikipedia, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 10:44
 

Rodrigue Foundation offers prints to nonprofits for fundraising

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Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 15 August 2014 07:57

‘That’s Amore,’ oil on canvas, signed, titled and dated, 1996, 24 inches by 18 inches, $39,360. Photo courtesy of New Orleans Auction Galleries.

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) – The George Rodrigue Foundation has announced the re-launch of its Print Donation Program, which has distributed more than 1,000 prints to over 500 organizations and raised almost $2 million since its inception in 2009.

Non-profit organizations can purchase a Rodrigue Blue Dog silkscreen print from the Rodrigue Estate for $500, then use the print for fundraising activities like silent auctions or raffles.

KATC-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1BfxzAH ) if the print purchase doesn't raise more than the original $500 investment, the foundation will accept the print's return and refund the $500.

The prints are not for sale in any Rodrigue Gallery and are only available to non-profit organizations.

All prints include a certificate of authenticity.

George Rodrigue was an artist from New Iberia, La., whose Blue Dog paintings made him famous. He died Dec. 14, 2013 at age 69.

Nonprofits can take advantage of this program by applying online at http://www.georgerodriguefoundation.org/printdonation

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Information from: KATC-TV, http://katc.com

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

AP-WF-08-14-14 0807GMT


ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

‘That’s Amore,’ oil on canvas, signed, titled and dated, 1996, 24 inches by 18 inches, $39,360. Photo courtesy of New Orleans Auction Galleries.

Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 08:13
 

Decrepit 110-room Gilded Age palace on market for $20M

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Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 08:19
Lynnewood Hall is a Neoclassical Revival mansion designed by architect Horace Trumbauer for industrialist Peter A.B. Widener and built between 1897 and 1900. It's considered the largest surviving Gilded Age mansion in the Philadelphia area. Image by Shuvaev. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A dilapidated 110-room, 70,000-square-foot estate is back on the market, but an architect says the $20 million price tag doesn't include the tens of millions more it needs in repairs.

The 34-acre Lynnewood Hall estate in the Elkins Park neighborhood has been in decline since the original heirs sold it in 1944, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Sunday. The home, completed around 1900, once held one of the nation's largest private art collections. In its heyday, the house was dripping with silk, velvet and gilded moldings, the rooms furnished with chairs from King Louis XV's palace, Persian rugs and Chinese pottery and the halls crammed with art by Raphael, Rembrandt and Donatello.

But members of the Widener family who owned the property died or moved away. The estate was first sold to an association that wanted to build a Protestant university. Then it was sold to a housing developer followed by a seminary and another church. The property went through decades of bankruptcy proceedings and was repossessed, auctioned and sold for pennies to creditors – all while descending further into disrepair.

But those who have seen the interior in recent years said most of the house's fine, historic fixtures are still there, even though some of the rooms are destroyed by water damage and broken windows.

Mary DeNadai, an architect who specializes in historic restoration, said it would take about $50 million to restore the home to its former glory, but time is running out.

“If it continues to be neglected as it is, it will be beyond salvage” within five to 10 years, she said.

David Rowland, president of the Old York Road Historical Society, said he has seen possible buyers come and go over the years.

“It was always loved more by the people who'd never been inside it than by the people who actually lived there,” Rowland said.

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

AP-WF-08-10-14 1926GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Lynnewood Hall is a Neoclassical Revival mansion designed by architect Horace Trumbauer for industrialist Peter A.B. Widener and built between 1897 and 1900. It's considered the largest surviving Gilded Age mansion in the Philadelphia area. Image by Shuvaev. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 08:34
 

Japanese architects sell a lifestyle on global stage

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Written by YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Business Writer   
Monday, 11 August 2014 12:27

Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center in Taito-ku, Tokyo, designed by Kengo Kuma.  Image by Kakidai. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

TOKYO (AP) – A new generation of Japanese architects is scoring success by reinterpreting the past.

Unlike their predecessors, who modernized Japan with Western-style edifices, they talk of fluidly defining space with screens, innovatively blending with nature, taking advantage of earthy materials and incorporating natural light, all trademarks of Japanese design.

And their sensibility that speaks to a human-oriented yet innovative everyday life is proving a hit abroad, said Erez Golani Solomon, professor of architecture at Waseda University in Tokyo.

“Food and architecture,” said Solomon, stressing how the two are Japan's most potent brands. “They are powerful – Japan's strongest cultural identity.”

Kengo Kuma, one of the star architects, finds he is in demand not only in Japan and in the West but also in places such as China.

Among the major China projects for Kuma are the recent Xinjin Zhi Museum, whose sloping angles and repeated tile motifs are characteristically Kuma, and the still ongoing Yunnan Sales Center, a sprawling complex of shops, housing and a theater, where a wooden lattice decorates the main structure overlooking a pond.

He also designs private homes for affluent Chinese who admire Zen philosophy and want to incorporate that stark aesthetic into their daily lives, he said.

Japanese architecture offers warmth and kindness as it is adept in the use of natural light and artisanal craftsmanship, such as bamboo and paper. It is “working together like music,” to create a comfortable and luxurious spot even in a cramped space, the basic principle of a Japanese tea house, Kuma said.

“It's part of our genetic makeup,” Kuma told The Associated Press, sitting in his Tokyo studio among elegant chairs designed by himself and others by by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and pointing with disgust at the vaulting skyscrapers visible from his window.

“People all over the world are sick and tired of modern monuments,” he said. “The desire for the human and the gentle is a backlash to the globalization that brought all these monster skyscrapers.”

Sou Fujimoto, another rising Japanese architect, is also working all over the world.

His beachside cultural center in Serbia is a giant spiral, while a bungalow in southern Japan is a cube of wooden blocks. His Serpentine Pavilion in London of metal lattice has been compared to a floating cloud. In Montpellier, France, construction begins next year for a housing complex he has designed with balconies sprouting precariously at all angles from a tower.

“This understanding of the connection between nature and the man-made is Japanese. The Japanese garden utilizes nature while also being finely crafted. You go back and forth between those two points,” Fujimoto said.

In a telling sign of their rising stature, four of the winners of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize in the last six years have been Japanese: Kazuyo Sejima, Ryue Nishizawa, Toyo Ito and Shigeru Ban.

In the past, the winners were few and far between. Kenzo Tange, known for his statuesque, curvaceous Tokyo Olympic stadium, won the Chicago-based Pritzker in 1987; Fumihiko Maki, who infused an Eastern sensibility into his floating forms of glass, metal and concrete, won in 1993; and the self-taught and idiosyncratic Tadao Ando was the third Japanese to win, nine years after Tange.

Sejima, who works with Nishizawa, is coveted for her trademark ethereally white designs, often using glass, such as the Musee Louvre-Lens in France, the Christian Dior building in Tokyo and the Zollverein School in Germany.

Ban, this year's Pritzker winner, carved out his career by using recycled paper tubes as construction material, and his housing ideas have been widely praised for their use as temporary housing after disasters.

When people were crammed in a gym after the 2011 tsunami in northeastern Japan, his idea of hanging cloth as partitions on paper-tubing frames delivered privacy and a sense of mental peace.

Fuji Kindergarten in Tachikawa, outside Tokyo, by Takaharu and Yui Tezuka, also illustrates the characteristically Japanese idea of fusing the outside with the inside.

The walls of the doughnut-shaped building are glass, and they open as sliding doors into a courtyard. The spherical roof works as a playground, for the children to run around and around.

The couple often uses the roof for living space, and they swear sitting side by side on a sloped surface, like a riverbank, as opposed to facing each other across a table, is good for human relations.

With Japanese architecture, a slight change of approach transforms a roof into something more than just a roof, in the same way the artistry with which a chef cuts and presents raw fish transforms it into sashimi, Takaharu Tezuka said.

“Some European and American architects say it's important to have intermediate space, between inside and outside. But our approach is different. Everything is intermediate,” he said.

___

Online:

Kengo Kuma: http://kkaa.co.jp

Sou Fujimoto: http://www.sou-fujimoto.net

Shigeru Ban: http://www.shigerubanarchitects.com

Takaharu and Yui Tezuka: http://www.tezuka-arch.com

___

Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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

AP-WF-08-10-14 0520GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center in Taito-ku, Tokyo, designed by Kengo Kuma.  Image by Kakidai. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. 

Final Wooden House, designed by Sou Fujimoto. Image by Kenta Mabuchi from Fukuoka, Japan This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License. 

Last Updated on Monday, 11 August 2014 12:59
 

Utku Varlik exhibition opens Sept. 30 in his native Turkey

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Written by Museum PR   
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 14:38
Utku Varlik (b. 1942), mixed media on canvas. Image courtesy of Bozlu Art Project Nisantasi. ISTANBUL – Bozlu Art Project Nisantasi opens 2014-2015 season on Sept. 30 with an exhibition by Utku Varlik, one of the most important representatives of the generation who carried figure painting on the agenda when the effect of the abstract art was being felt intensively in the 1960s in Turkey.

Varlik lived in Paris for many years. The new exhibition at Bozlu Art Prjoect Nisantasi was inspired from the files that were stored in his studio for many years, and thousands of details begun but not finished, hidden in rolls.

Varlik states that “If a dream becomes increasingly image, the picture ultimately turns into a dream.” His “Fragments” exhibition is lived in a dream’s fiction, clipped from assembly of considered “phenomenon” layers. However by reflecting upon stored and put aside small stories, poetry crumbs and sketches belonging to different fictions, he is questioning the point of his art and the state of painting today.

Varlık’s drawings and paintings will be exhibited together in the “Fragments” exhibition. Contrary to expected from him and his heresy, the exhibition aims to open up the painter’s concerns and dedications, analyze his psychological analysis with time and space, and reflect the concerns of not being able to reach a conclusion. The “Fragments” – nested, stacked, filtered through layers of memory – are moving dreams to infinity with the collage of moment, the past, the future and the unknown times in the mind, also present sections from ‘a painting’ which will be completed in no time.

The “Fragments” exhibition runs from Sept. 30 to Nov. 6 at Bozlu Art Project Nisantasi.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Utku Varlik (b. 1942), mixed media on canvas. Image courtesy of Bozlu Art Project Nisantasi.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 August 2014 16:58
 
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