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Art in the News

SC Johnson’s Frank Lloyd Wright tower opens for public tours

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Written by M.L. JOHNSON, Associated Press   
Thursday, 24 April 2014 09:54
SC Johnson Research Tower in Racine, Wis., designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Image by Jack E. Boucher, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. RACINE, Wis. (AP) – Frank Lloyd Wright fans will get their first look at one of his most unusual buildings, an industrial tower with a tree-like design, when a home products company opens its former research and development center to the public this spring.

The 15-story tower at SC Johnson's headquarters in southeastern Wisconsin is regarded as one of the country's most important examples of cantilevered architecture. The first floor looks like a tree trunk, with second and higher floors springing off the core like branches.

The design may have helped inspire SC Johnson scientists. Within eight years of its 1950 opening, they developed four of the company's most successful products – Raid bug killer, Glade air freshener, Off insect repellant and Pledge furniture polish.

“They really felt like they were in a creative environment,” said Gregory Anderegg, the company's global community affairs director.

Wright described the 16-million-pound structure as having a “taproot” design, with a circular core supporting its entire weight.

The building is divided into seven levels, each with a square main floor and a round mezzanine above it. Scientists could shout to each other through the open space and send tools or supplies up or down with a dumbwaiter. The outer walls are made up of glass tubes that let in natural light while blocking out the industrial landscape that surrounded the building when it opened.

Sean Malone, CEO and president of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, described the tower as an “iconic building” and one of the 20th century's great works of architecture.

Scientists were still working in the tower when Anderegg started with SC Johnson in 1979. They moved out three years later when the company opened a new research and development center nearby. The facility then sat mostly empty until this year when SC Johnson finished a five-year, $30 million renovation of the research tower and adjacent administration center, also designed by Wright. Both buildings will be included on free tours beginning May 2.

H.F. Johnson Jr., the third generation of his family to lead the company, hired Wright to build the administration center in the 1930s. The architect's career was in a lull following a scandalous love affair in which he left his wife for a family friend. The SC Johnson project and Fallingwater, the groundbreaking home built for a prominent Pittsburgh family about the same time, brought him back into the limelight, where he remained until his death, Malone said.

The administration center that opened in 1939 introduced open-floor-plan offices, with employees seated in a single great room. Pillars that are 21 feet tall support the roof. That allowed Wright to use glass tubing for exterior walls and bathe the room in natural light. He carried the idea over to the research tower and installed 60 miles of glass tubes between the two buildings.

The architect described the great room as a “corporate cathedral” and designed the research center as its bell tower, Anderegg said.

As in his other buildings, Wright also designed the furnishings, including three-legged chairs that had be to converted to four legs to stop workers from toppling over when they reached for something on their desks.

SC Johnson rescued equipment and supplies from storage to arrange the research tower as it was in its heyday. Visitors to the complex also can take in a new art exhibit focused on Frank Lloyd Wright's homes in Spring Green, Wis., and Scottsdale, Ariz. The exhibit done in partnership with the Milwaukee Art Museum and Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation includes nearly a half-hour of the architect's home movies.

The SC Johnson buildings help to create a Wright corridor that stretches from the Chicago area to southwestern Wisconsin, Malone said. Travelers can see Wright's home and studio as well as the celebrated Unity Temple in Oak Park, Ill.; visit SC Johnson headquarters and Wingspread, the residence Wright designed for the Johnson family, in Racine, Wis.; and then head west to Taliesin in Spring Green, where the architect moved after leaving Chicago. Additional Wright buildings can be found along the way in Milwaukee and the Wisconsin capital of Madison.

___

If You Go...

SC JOHNSON RESEARCH TOWER: Tours begin at The Golden Rondelle Theater, at 1525 Howe St., Racine, Wis.; http://www.scjohnson.com/visit or 262-260-2154. SC Johnson will offer five free tours of up to two hours on Fridays and Saturdays and two on Sundays from May 2 through Sept. 27. Times vary, and reservations are recommended.

WINGSPREAD: 33 East Four Mile Road, Racine, Wis.; http://www.johnsonfdn.org/ or 262-681-3353. Tours are free but by appointment only between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.

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

AP-WF-04-22-14 1521GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
SC Johnson Research Tower in Racine, Wis., designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Image by Jack E. Boucher, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 April 2014 10:14
 

Chicago dealer has become an urban archaeology legend

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Written by TONI RAHN   
Monday, 21 April 2014 13:37
Stuart Grannen in a paneled room moved from a 1913 jewelry store in Nashville, Tenn. Architectural Artifacts Inc. image. CHICAGO – Stuart Grannen, founder and owner of Architectural Artifacts Inc., really digs antiques and industrial artifacts, literally and figuratively.

An archaeologist by trade, Grannen’s passion for “digging for treasures” began as a boy, when at the age of 7 he found and purchased his first treasure – a stained glass window. This ultimately led to a formal education in archeology and prompted his development and evolution of urban archeology. This has served him and the recipients of his efforts well for the better part of three decades.

Recently Antique Trader spent some time talking about the treasures presently in his store, inquiries he receives from treasure hunters – like a recent request for help acquiring a purple elephant – which he fulfilled, and the historic people he’d most like to lunch with if he had the chance.

Antique Trader: It’s been said that you’re an urban archeologist and ‘treasureologist.’ Are those accurate titles?

Stuart Grannen: Yes, I’m an archeologist. That was my formal education. The treasures I find are very good quality and useful items.

A.T.: How do you explain what Architectural Artifact is and does, to people who are unfamiliar with it?

S.G: We buy and sell high-quality antiques from around the world. What separates us from the rest is that we focus on large and unusual items.

A.T.: If we were to walk into your showroom today, what types of items would we find?

S.G: You would walk in the door and immediately see a large bronze table with winged, naked women on it from the old Continental Bank in Chicago. You would see a revolving, old barber pole that used to be on the streets. You would also see a 10-foot hanging Spanish chandelier that came from one of the McCormick estates. You would see a Fisk life-size iron deer. You would see a set of interesting, wooden lockers from the Bank of France in Paris.

A.T.: How has the industrial antiques and furnishings business changed since you opened Architectural Artifacts in 1987?

S.G: Truthfully, I invented it 30 years ago. It’s what I like, it’s what my eye always went to. It’s what I could afford to buy at the time. When I stopped buying industrial antiques 10 years ago, the industry kind of took off.

There are lots of items that are industrial but not all of them are made with a good design in mind. I buy French industrial lights and other great Italian design items such as swing seat tables – interesting pieces and not just industrial items.

A.T.: What can you tell us about the plans and development of your Museum of Historic Chicago Architecture?

S.G: I’m not really doing that anymore. I’ve sold a lot of it. There are plans in the works for new galleries at the store (4325 N. Ravenswood Ave. in Chicago) and a new outdoor showroom.

A.T.: If you were able to have lunch with a group of five architects/designers, who would select and why?

S.G: Thomas Jefferson, Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Chicago architect Jeanne Gang. The great Egyptian architect Pharaoh Ramses because he built what nobody else could build, and no one knows how he did it.

 

For more information, visit www.architecturalartifacts.com or call 773-348-0622.

 

Architectural Artifacts’ Three Keys to Great Business

• Only buy when you have the money.

• Don’t worry about the size of the profit, just make one.

• Buy and sell the best pieces.



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
Stuart Grannen in a paneled room moved from a 1913 jewelry store in Nashville, Tenn. Architectural Artifacts Inc. image. Unusual bench from an ice-cream parlor. Architectural Artifacts Inc. image. Terra-cotta element. Architectural Artifacts Inc. image. Massive oak entry mirror. Architectural Artifacts Inc. image.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 08:25
 

3 finalists named for 25th annual BP Portrait Award

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Written by Museum PR   
Monday, 21 April 2014 10:46
'Man with a Plaid Blanket' by Thomas Ganter © Thomas Ganter; 'Letter to my Mom' by David Jon Kassan © David Jon Kassan; 'Jean Woods' by Richard Twose © Richard Twose. Images courtesy of National Portrait Gallery, London.

LONDON – In a record-breaking year for entries, three artists have been short-listed for the 25th anniversary BP Portrait Award 2014 at the National Portrait Gallery, London. Their sitters are a homeless man in Germany who earns money by cleaning car windshields, an American woman who was reluctant to sit for a portrait painted by her son, and the Bath-based grandmother and model featured in Channel Four’s Fabulous Fashionistas.

One of the world’s most prestigious art competitions, the first prize was increased last year by £5,000 to £30,000 making the prize one of the largest for any global arts competition. The winner also receives a commission to paint a portrait for the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection worth £5,000, to be agreed between the gallery and the artist.

The Second Prize winner will receive £10,000 and the Third Prize winner £8,000. While the competition is open to everyone over the age of 18, for the seventh year there will be a BP Young Artist Award of £7,000 for the work of an entrant aged between 18 and 30. This award winner and the other prizewinners will be announced June 24. The portraits go on display to the public at the BP Portrait Award 2014 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from June 26 to Sept. 21.

The three artists shortlisted for the 2014 BP Portrait Award 2013 are Thomas Ganter for Man with a Plaid Blanket, David Kassan for Letter to my Mom and Richard Twose for Jean Woods.

Thomas Ganter (b. March 26,1974) for Man with a Plaid Blanket (160 x 60 cm oil on canvas)

Thomas Ganter is an artist and illustrator from Frankfurt/Main, Germany. His shortlisted portrait of Karel, a homeless man he encountered following a visit to a museum, invites the viewer to contemplate the coexistence of wealth and poverty. “After being in a museum, I saw a homeless man and was stunned by a similarity: the clothes, the pose, and other details resembled what I just saw in various paintings. However, this time I was looking at a homeless person wrapped in a blanket and not at the painting of a saint or noble in their elaborate garment. By portraying a homeless man in a manner reserved for nobles or saints, I tried to emphasize that everyone deserves respect and care. Human dignity shouldn’t be relative or dependent on socio-economic status.” Karel, who tries to earn some money by cleaning car windscreens in the artist’s neighbourhood, attended five sittings for the portrait. After these, in which the head and the hands were painted, Ganter used a life-size doll, and painted the clothes and the blanket before finally adding the artificial flower at the bottom right.

David Jon Kassan (b. Feb. 25,1977) for Letter to my Mom (124.5 x 81 cm oil on aluminium panel) New York-based artist David Jon Kassan, born in Little Rock, Ark., invited his mother and father to sit for him in his studio in New York City while his parents made a brief stop on their way to Europe. He had painted his mother a few years before, and he says she was reluctant to sit for him again, saying in order to persuade her, he had to bribe her by offering her a painting of his son Lucas. “My work is very personal and heartfelt,” he says. “It’s my visual diary, so my family and loved ones make up a large part of what and why I paint. My parents have always been inspirational to paint. This portrait is a letter to my mom, who hates it when I paint her. But I tell her in the painting that by painting her, it is my way of spending time with her, contemplating our relationship and time together, my earliest memories.” The Hebrew text painted onto the portrait above the sitter reads: “Dear Mom,/ This painting is my way to spend more time with you./ My way to meditate on our life together./ And all of the earliest memories I have/All of my earliest memories from you.”

Richard Twose (b. April 1,1963) for Jean Woods (90 x 60 cm oil on board)

The first time Richard Twose, a teacher and artist, saw the sitter of his portrait, Jean Woods, was when she was working in a shop in Bath, the British city where he is based. He was impressed not only by her striking looks and contemporary, edgy style, but also by the depth of character in her face. Following the broadcast of Channel Four's documentary Fabulous Fashionistas which featured Jean, Richard’s daughter told him she was the grandmother of a friend. After calling her and asking her to sit for him, he was struck by her professionalism as a sitter – derived from her recent experience as a fashion model and from a quality of stillness she seems to possess naturally. “Sometimes as Jean was talking, especially about her much-missed late husband, she reminded me of Rembrandt's Portrait of Margaretha de Geer,” says Richard. “Jean has a similar intensity and honesty in her gaze. I wanted to capture that sense of someone who has learnt to be almost fearless, looking forward to life still but with a great richness of experience behind her.”

This year the competition received a record-breaking 2,377 entries from 71 different countries, up from 1,969 entries from 77 different countries last year. 55 portraits have been selected for the exhibition.

The Portrait Award is now in its 35th year at the National Portrait Gallery and 25th year of sponsorship by BP. This highly successful annual event aims to encourage artists to focus upon, and develop, the theme of painted portraiture within their work. The BP Portrait Award 2013 had 285,514 visitors.

“The work of these 2014 BP short-listed artists exemplifies another outstanding year of contemporary portrait painting, with excellent entries from around the world,” said Sandy Nairne, director, National Portrait Gallery, London.

One of the 55 exhibited artists will also be eligible for the BP Travel Award 2014, an annual award of £6,000, which allows artists to experience working in a different environment on a project related to portraiture. The resulting portraits are displayed in the following year’s exhibition. The winner will also be announced on June 24.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
'Man with a Plaid Blanket' by Thomas Ganter © Thomas Ganter; 'Letter to my Mom' by David Jon Kassan © David Jon Kassan; 'Jean Woods' by Richard Twose © Richard Twose. Images courtesy of National Portrait Gallery, London.
Last Updated on Monday, 21 April 2014 11:25
 

Replica of Michelangelo's 'Pieta' sculpture draws Easter visitors

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Written by TERRY TANG, Associated Press   
Monday, 21 April 2014 09:34
Michelangelo's Pieta in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. Image by Stanislav Traykov, Niabot. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. PHOENIX (AP) – The spirit of Michelangelo's Pieta sculpture is being felt this Easter week thousands of miles away from Vatican City – outside a Phoenix charity's dining hall.

St. Vincent de Paul executive director Steve Zabilski said he expects more people than usual to sit before a replica of one of the Italian artist's most famous works.

About 20 people gathered at one point on Good Friday in the 50-seat chapel, Zabilski said.

“What makes this so special is it's not in a great big cathedral or an art museum but it's at a place where the homeless, the downtrodden and the working poor frequent,” Zabilski said.

The statue has been a fixture at St. Vincent de Paul in downtown Phoenix since January 2013.

Zabilski said the sculpture depicting Mary holding the body of Christ moves visitors. People often go up to kiss or touch the statue as well as leave prayer books, flowers or coins on it. Zabilski recalled taking a tour group into the chapel and explaining the sculpture's presence.

“One of the people (seated) turned to me and said, ‘Shhh,’” Zabilski said, laughing. “He was absolutely right.”

Jana Black, a 54-year-old woman who is trying to save enough money to get to Flagstaff, recognized the statue from seeing the original on TV. While many people at St. Vincent de Paul might never have heard of it, that doesn't diminish their ability to appreciate it, Black said.

“It brings God's creativity to Phoenix straight from the Vatican,” she said.

For Dalton Puckett, a 22-year-old welder from Orange, Texas, it is a reminder to have hope. Puckett has been living at a nearby homeless shelter for two days. On Good Friday, he kissed the hand of Jesus' sculpture and then touched Jesus' foot.

The statue stands for “hopes and dreams and that everything is possible. There is no bottom of the barrel you can't make it out of ... because he (Jesus) gave his life for us,” Puckett said.

Husband and wife David Newren and Claudia Hecht distribute the replicas through their company, Arte Divine. They have overseen the construction of a dozen replicas licensed by the Vatican Observatory Foundation.

According to Newren, each one is cast from a mold of the original.

The sculptures have typically been placed in churches or cathedrals. There is one in the Italian embassy in Washington, D.C. Newren said Fulton Brock, his friend and a former Maricopa County supervisor, suggested St. Vincent de Paul receive one. A replica was made and transported with the costs offset by private donations.

It was even blessed by Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, Newren said.

Newren said he's happy that people are enjoying the statue in a way they couldn't at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.

In 1972, the original sculpture was severely damaged by a hammer-wielding man who shouted he was Jesus Christ. Since then, millions of tourists have had to look at it through bulletproof glass.

“If you're viewing the original, the original almost looks like a framed photograph because it's so far away from that window,” Newren said. “Here, you can experience it in an important way.”

___

Follow Terry Tang on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/ttangAP

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

AP-WF-04-19-14 2319GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Michelangelo's Pieta in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. Image by Stanislav Traykov, Niabot. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Last Updated on Monday, 21 April 2014 09:45
 

New Banksy artwork claimed by artist's hometown

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Written by AFP wire service   
Thursday, 17 April 2014 14:12

Banksy's 'Mobile Lovers.' Image courtesy of banksy.co.uk.

LONDON (AFP) – A new work by British street artist Banksy will go on public display in his home city after a dispute over ownership of the painting, which features two lovers embracing as they gaze at their mobile phones, officials said Thursday.

The piece dubbed Mobile Lovers was found at the weekend on a wooden plank that had been screwed onto a boarded-up doorway in Bristol, western England.

Members of a youth club discovered the artwork near their building amid a search sparked when an image of the piece appeared on Banksy's Internet site, with no indication of its location.

Club manager Dennis Stinchcombe took it off the wall and installed it in a corridor of the Broad Plains Boys Club for visitors to see, saying he planned to sell the work to raise funds to keep the club open.

But Bristol City Council said that it owned the wall onto which Mobile Lovers was attached and that the painting therefore belonged to it.

After a meeting with police, Stinchcombe handed the artwork over to the authorities, who now plan to display it at a gallery in the city over the Easter weekend.

"It certainly would have been a cultural crime if this artwork had been lost to the city," Bristol Mayor George Ferguson said.

"I'm delighted that Dennis, who is a good man, has made a tough judgment call and has turned over the artwork to us, via the police.

"No one's the bad guy here, we simply need to buy time to establish where ownership lies, what Banksy's intentions might be, if we were to get some signals, and how best we can move forward."

The mayor said he would ask Banksy to provide a limited edition print to raise money for the club, which needs £120,000 to survive, while the council would produce postcards and prints for sale to provide further funds.

Stinchcombe said he first spotted Mobile Lovers on Monday but did not realize its authenticity until Tuesday, then decided to remove it from the wall because he was worried that the piece would be vandalized or stolen.

He said before handing it over that the artwork was "like a gift from out of the sky," adding: "I think Banksy's given it to us as a gift."

The artwork was discovered days after another possible Banksy work depicting three secret agents in trench coats listening to a phone booth was discovered in the nearby town of Cheltenham, home to Britain's electronic eavesdropping agency GCHQ.

Banksy's stenciled designs, known for their irreverent humor and political activism, have propelled him from a graffiti rebel to reluctant star whose work sells for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

One of his most famous works is painted on the Israeli separation wall and depicts a young girl flying away while clasping a bunch of balloons.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Banksy's 'Mobile Lovers.' Image courtesy of banksy.co.uk. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 April 2014 14:34
 

Henri Matisse cut-outs come together at Tate Modern

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Written by Museum PR   
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 13:08
Henri Matisse (1869 -1964)
 ‘Blue Nude (I)’ 1952,
 gouache painted paper cut-outs on paper on canvas,
 106.30 x 78cm. 
Foundation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel
Digital image: Robert Bayer, Basel
Artwork: © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2014. LONDON – Tate Modern’s major exhibition, “Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs,” is the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to the artist’s paper cut-outs made between 1937 and 1954. It brings together around 130 works, many seen together for the first time, in a groundbreaking reassessment of Matisse’s colorful and innovative final works. The exhibition opens at Tate Modern on Thursday and will be in cinemas as Matisse Live from June 3.

Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse (1869–1954) is one of the leading figures of modern art and one of the most significant colorists of all time. A draughtsman, printmaker, sculptor and painter, his unparalleled cut-outs are among the most significant of any artist’s late works. In a career spanning over half a century, Matisse made a large body of work of which the cut-outs are a brilliant final chapter in his long career.

Some of Matisse’s first cut-outs were made between 1943 and 1947 and were collected together in Jazz 1947 (Pompidou, Paris), a book of 20 plates. Copies, published by Teriade and featuring a text handwritten by Matisse, will be shown alongside the original cut-outs. This will be the first time that the Jazz maquettes and the book have been shown together outside of France.

Other major cut-outs in the exhibition include Tate’s The Snail 1953, its sister work Memory of Oceania 1953 (MoMA, New York) and Large Composition with Masks 1953 (National Gallery of Art, Washington). A photograph of Matisse’s studio reveals that these works were initially conceived as a unified whole. This is the first time these three large-scale works have been exhibited together for over 50 years.

The show will include the largest number of Matisse’s Blue Nudes ever exhibited together, including the most significant of the group Blue Nude I 1952 (Beyeler Foundation, Basel). The works illustrate Matisse’s renewed interest in the figure.

When ill health prevented Matisse from painting, he began to cut into painted paper with scissors to make maquettes for commissions, from books and stained glass window designs to tapestries and ceramics. In the cut-outs, outlines take on sculptural form and painted sheets of paper are infused with the luminosity of stained glass. Using colour, Matisse evokes the convulsive surface of water and the lushness of vegetation. The result reflected both a renewed commitment to form and colour and an inventiveness freshly directed to the status of the work of art.

The exhibition re-examines the cut-outs in terms of the methods and materials that Matisse used, and their double lives, first as contingent and mutable in the studio and ultimately as permanent works through mounting and framing. The exhibition highlights the tensions in the works between finish and process; fine art and decoration; contemplation and utility; and drawing and color.

Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs is curated by Nicholas Cullinan, curator, Modern and Contemporary Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate with Flavia Frigeri, assistant curator, Tate; and at the Museum of Modern Art, New York by Jodi Hauptman, curator, Department of Drawings, and Karl Buchberg, senior conservator, with Samantha Friedman, assistant curator. It will tour to the Museum of Modern Art from Oct. 14 to Feb. 9, 2015.

Visit Tate Modern online at http://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern.



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
Henri Matisse (1869 -1964)
 ‘Blue Nude (I)’ 1952,
 gouache painted paper cut-outs on paper on canvas,
 106.30 x 78cm. 
Foundation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel
Digital image: Robert Bayer, Basel
Artwork: © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2014. Henri Matisse (1869 -1964)
 ‘Large Composition with Masks’ 1953,
 National Gallery of Art, Washington. Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund 1973.17.1
 Digital Image: © National Gallery of Art, Washington.
 Artwork: © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2014. Henri Matisse (1869 -1964) ‘The Snail’ 1953, gouache on paper, cut and pasted on paper mounted to canvas. Tate Digital image: © Tate Photography. Artwork: © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2014.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 13:52
 

George Rickey sculpture installed in his native South Bend

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Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 08:23
A George Rickey sculpture at Century Center in downtown South Bend: 'Triple L Excentric: Gyratory Gyratory.' Image courtesy Notre Dame University. SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – A sculpture by internationally renowned kinetic sculptor George Rickey has been installed in his native South Bend.

The South Bend Tribune reports a piece made by the late sculptor was installed Friday in downtown South Bend. Rickey created Space Churn with Octagon in 1971, but it has not been on public display since 1975.

Rickey's work was featured South Bend in 2009 when five of his works were placed downtown. Rickey was a central figure in the artistic movement known as Constructivism. He made abstract steel mobiles that are moved by gravity or air currents.

He was born in 1907 in South Bend to a father who was a Singer Sewing Machine Co. executive. He moved to Scotland in 1913. Rickey died in 2002 at the age of 95.

___

Information from: South Bend Tribune, http://www.southbendtribune.com

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

AP-WF-04-12-14 2125GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
A George Rickey sculpture at Century Center in downtown South Bend: 'Triple L Excentric: Gyratory Gyratory.' Image courtesy Notre Dame University.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 08:49
 

Landmark Art Deco Paris hotel closes for renovation

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Written by AFP Wire Service   
Monday, 14 April 2014 10:51
Le Lutetia Hotel in Paris, designed by Louis Boileau and Henri Tauzin, built 1907-1911. Photo by Steve Cadman, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. PARIS (AFP) - Paris's landmark luxury hotel Le Lutetia, whose guests included Pablo Picasso, Charles de Gaulle and James Joyce, will close today for a three-year renovation following similar makeover moves by rivals.

The seven-story Art Deco hotel built in 1910 follows in the footsteps of the Crillon, Ritz and Plaza Athenee, which have all closed for extensive revamps.

The hotel in the heart of the city's chic Saint-Germain-des-Pres district was taken over by German officers occupying Paris in World War II.

French wartime hero De Gaulle, who later became president, spent his wedding night here. The establishment also attracted literary luminaries such as Andre Gide and Antoine de Saint-Exupery, the author of "The Little Prince."

"Le Lutetia has always been a beacon of the Left Bank," said author Pierre Assouline, who has used the hotel as a setting for one of his novels.

French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte will oversee the renovations.

Ahead of the closure, the hotel sold about 100 works of art and 8,000 bottles of wine and alcoholic drinks in a February auction.

The hotel was bought by the Israeli real estate group, Alrov in 2010.

It courted unwelcome publicity in November when a couple -- both aged 86 -- committed suicide in one of its rooms and left a typewritten note claiming "the right to die with dignity."

Bernard and Georgette Cazes also asked their sole surviving son to campaign for the right to euthanasia in France after their death.

#   #   #



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Le Lutetia Hotel in Paris, designed by Louis Boileau and Henri Tauzin, built 1907-1911. Photo by Steve Cadman, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
Last Updated on Monday, 14 April 2014 11:10
 

Eykyn Maclean presents first U.S. exhibition of Kan Yasuda

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Written by Art gallery PR   
Friday, 11 April 2014 10:46

Kan Yasuda, 'Ishinki, 2011.' Eykyn Maclean image.

NEW YORK – Eykyn Maclean will present the first ever exhibition in the United States of internationally renowned sculptor Kan Yasuda. The exhibition, open to the public May 6–June 27 at 23 East 67th St., will feature over 20 of the artist’s new sculptures.

“Having followed Kan’s career in Europe and Japan, we are delighted to have the opportunity of introducing his work to an American audience,” said gallery partner Christopher Eykyn. “Working together with Kan, we have selected a group of works that best represent this important artist at the height of his career.”

Born in Japan in 1945, Yasuda has divided his time between Hokkaido, Japan and Pietrasanta, Italy for over 40 years, and his work deftly merges the cultural traditions of East and West. Working in an abstract vocabulary of smooth surfaces and sensually rounded forms with antecedents in the sculpture of Brancusi and Arp, Yasuda’s sculpture possesses the meditative stillness and tranquillity that may call to mind Eastern philosophy or religion, but for Yasuda it is the ability of art to connect with mankind in general that motivates his practice. He works in a range of scales from the intimate to the monumental, imbuing each with a palpable presence that lingers in the minds of viewers long after their visual contact with the work.

Yasuda’s painstaking technical process begins with the stones themselves, which he sources from the famous Carrara quarries, near his studio in Pietrasanta. He chooses the marbles carefully, working with the pure whiteness of statuario marble, the deep blacks of black granite, and the white marble with rich, dark veins for which Carrara is famous. Carved entirely by hand, Yasuda has long believed touch to be a critical part of the process of making his art and of viewing it, and has often welcomed viewers of his large outdoor sculptures to touch their surfaces and even to climb or lie on them.

In 1992, together with the city of Bibai in Hokkaido, the artist’s hometown, Yasuda created Arte Piazza Bibai, a sculpture park that spans 17 acres and includes 40 of the his works. Free to visit and open to the public year-round, the park has revitalized the city and in 2002 earned the Togo Murano Award of Japan for best architectural project. In 1994, Yorkshire Sculpture Park presented a solo exhibition featuring 18 of Yasuda’s large-scale works.

Peter Murray, founder and executive director at Yorkshire, writes of Yasuda’s work as “sculpture for all seasons,” noting that while marble can at first appear intensely white and stark, “under the sensitive but determined hand of Kan Yasuda it assumes a responsive aura adapting to the lush green of late spring, the buttercup yellow of an English summer, the rust of autumn or the icy white of winter.”



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

Kan Yasuda, 'Ishinki, 2011.' Eykyn Maclean image.

Kan Yasuda, 'Myomu, 2014.' Eykyn Maclean image.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 April 2014 16:14
 

Preservationists campaign to save Moscow's 'Eiffel Tower'

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Written by ANNA MALPAS   
Friday, 11 April 2014 10:25
Shukhov Tower, Moscow. Image by Maxim Fedorov. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. MOSCOW (AFP) – Thousands of Muscovites and several top international architects have launched an unprecedented campaign to save an elegant steel tower that has loomed over Moscow's skyline since 1922.

The Russian communications ministry says it will dismantle and relocate the Shukhov tower, a masterpiece of design often compared to the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

But campaigners fear the tower will simply be demolished because it will be impossible to dismantle it and put it back together again.

It is the first time a campaign to save a historic building has received such a wide public following, not just from among architecture enthusiasts.

Government and city officials are set to meet campaigners for talks on the tower that may decide its future.

The campaign is not just about saving Moscow's crumbling early Soviet architecture, but also about people having a say in government decisions.

"We have to learn how to say no," said Moscow resident Anna Chernobylskaya, holding a placard at a recent protest under the tower.

Vladimir Shukhov, a gifted engineer, built the tower to give Soviet Russia a strong radio signal. At 485 feet, it was Moscow's tallest structure until the 1960s.

The conical telescope-like design was built with each section lifted into place from the inside. Its slanted supports used the minimal amount of steel.

While often compared to the Eiffel Tower, its design is purely functional.

"It's absolutely ascetic but at the same time very beautiful," said Alexandra Selivanova, head of the Centre of the Avant-Garde at Moscow's Jewish Museum, who updates a Facebook page on the tower and has organized several protest events.

The Shukhov tower's owner, the communications ministry, says its poor, corroded condition means it must be dismantled, after which it could be rebuilt elsewhere, with proposals including moving it from its southern Moscow neighborhood to Sevastopol, Crimea's Black Sea fleet base and territory annexed last month from Ukraine.

"It's the same thing as saying the Eiffel Tower is surrounded by buildings, let's move it to Marseilles," said the engineer's great grandson, who is also named Vladimir Shukhov.

 

"As all specialists say, the tower can only be taken down one way, sawing it down, and after that the monument will be destroyed," he told AFP.

He said the tower apparently fell victim to the interests of developers who have set their sights on the neighborhood dotted with several other Constructivist buildings in various states of disrepair.

"This is about redeveloping this whole area," he said. "It's billions (of dollars)."

Architects Norman Foster of Britain and Rem Koolhaas of the Netherlands and Nicolas Serota, the director of Britain's Tate Galleries, were among thousands to sign a petition asking President Vladimir Putin for the tower to be restored in situ.

But Selivanova said that it was not just the architectural community that signed the petition; there were many average people who even posted "selfies" snapped against the landmark's silhouette in an online campaign.

"We've collected almost 5,000 signatures just from ordinary Muscovites," she said.

The tower is a leading example of the Soviet Constructivist movement of the 1920s and 1930s which focused on function and experimented with new geometric forms, a pioneering aesthetic that eventually inspired generations of architects around the world.


ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Shukhov Tower, Moscow. Image by Maxim Fedorov. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Last Updated on Friday, 11 April 2014 10:40
 

Jeff Koons' 7ft-tall Popeye to flex his muscles at Sotheby's, May 14

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 11 April 2014 10:11
Jeff Koons, 'Popeye,' signed, dated 2009-2011 and numbered 3/3 on the underside of Popeye's right foot, high chromium stainless steel with transparent color coating, 78 x 51 x 28 in., 198.1 x 129.5 x 71.1 cm. Executed in 2009-2011, this work is number three from an edition of three. Estimate in the region of $25 million. Image courtesy of Sotheby's NEW YORK – Sotheby’s New York's May 14 Evening Auction of Contemporary Art will offer Jeff Koons’s most accomplished and major work of recent years: an immaculate, gleaming, seven-foot-tall statue of the cartoon character and American pop culture icon Popeye. The sculpture is one of an edition of three, from which no example has appeared at auction until now. The present Popeye has never been exhibited publicly, and will make its debut in Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries on May 2. The work will carry a pre-auction estimate in the region of $25 million.

Alex Rotter, Co-Head of Sotheby’s Worldwide Contemporary Art Department, commented: “The history of pop art begins and ends with Popeye. From his first representations by Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol in the 1960s, to the present three-dimensional crescendo by Jeff Koons a half century later, this ultimate American hero and self-made man has remained a true icon of both art history and popular culture.”

Originally conceived in 1929 as part of a newspaper comic-strip, Popeye grew to the status of cultural phenomenon amidst the adversities of the Great Depression. Resolutely ordinary, yet tough, resilient, confident and super strong, Popeye personified the American dream in a time of worldwide hardship, which helped propel the character to national fame and popularity. Though now over 80 years old, the all-American cartoon hero remains universally famous across the globe.

While Koons began referencing Popeye in his work in the early 2000s, it was not until 2009 – amidst a new financial crisis nearly a century following the Great Depression – that Koons would reappropriate this American champion in heroic sculptural form, as an icon for the new millennium.

Herculean in stance, with outrageously proportioned muscles and a proud cleft-chin, the resulting Popeye is three-dimensional and over-life-size, incarnated in Koons’s signature material: stainless steel. Flawlessly finished in kaleidoscopic, jewel-like glazes, Popeye stands at the culmination of a long line of monumental sculptures and statues in which Jeff Koons has sought to re-frame the terms of high art for the masses. The seminal stainless steel 'Rabbit' from the Statuary series of 1986, the porcelain sculptures 'Pink Panther' and 'Michael Jackson and Bubbles' from Banality in 1986, the erotically charged yet Disneyesque flowers from Made in Heaven in 1991, and the colossal stainless steel 'Balloon Dog' and 'Hanging Heart' that comprise Celebration from 1994, together form the Koonsian arena within which Popeye now takes center stage.

Visit Sotheby's online at www.sothebys.com.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Jeff Koons, 'Popeye,' signed, dated 2009-2011 and numbered 3/3 on the underside of Popeye's right foot, high chromium stainless steel with transparent color coating, 78 x 51 x 28 in., 198.1 x 129.5 x 71.1 cm. Executed in 2009-2011, this work is number three from an edition of three. Estimate in the region of $25 million. Image courtesy of Sotheby's
Last Updated on Friday, 11 April 2014 16:14
 

Seren Bell captures 'art of native breeds' in June exhibition

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Written by Outside Media Source   
Friday, 11 April 2014 09:42
Seren Bell, 'Maran cockerel,' crayon, pencil and ink, 13 x 13 inches STOW ON THE WOLD, UK - One of the most outstanding animal artists working in Britain today, Seren Bell will hold her first solo show at The Fosse Gallery, The Manor House, The Square, Stow on the Wold, Gloucestershire GL54 1AF, UK, from June 8-28, 2014.

Her original crayon, pen and ink drawings of native breeds of farm animals are much in demand. The majority of the subject matter in the exhibition is sheep for which she is best known, but it will also include magnificent cattle, flashy cockerels, geese and well-mannered hounds. Two of her works can be found in the private collection of HRH The Prince of Wales. Prices range from £395 to £1,500.

Although Seren has an enduring love of the animal world, she is passionate about sheep, and her subject matter returns to sheep again and again. Living in Radnorshire, mid Wales, she is surrounded by sheep as they form so much part of the landscape. As a child she was brought up in a town but always visited the local market with her father.

"Although I do not keep sheep myself, I find their bony heads so beautiful," said Bell. One of her favourite breeds of sheep is the speckled-face Beulah, "There is something so comforting about sheep -- they are benign and gentle yet strong" she remarked, adding, "People are much more aware of the different breeds nowadays." The biggest show of sheep in the world, the annual Royal Welsh Show, takes place just down the road from where Bell lives. "All the sheep are so beautifully presented, and it is lovely to be part of the atmosphere with all the Welsh farmers coming down from the hills to take part."

Bell is equally attracted to the British White bull, with its moiled marking; and the glossy black tips on the hooves and horns of the Chartley White Park cattle, which lend themselves to her technique. The strutting cockerels preen like matinée idols, and the intelligent face of a hound is beautifully honed and recorded.

The complete exhibition can be viewed online at www.fossegallery.com from mid-May. Opening hours are Monday-Saturday, 10:30-5. An invitation-only preview is scheduled for Sunday, June 8, from 11-4.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
Seren Bell, 'Maran cockerel,' crayon, pencil and ink, 13 x 13 inches Seren Bell, 'Blustery morning,' crayon, pencil and ink Seren Bell, 'Summer, Black Mountains,' crayon, pencil and ink Seren Bell, Chartley Park Bull,' crayon, pencil and ink, 22.5 x 18.5 inches Seren Bell, 'Golden Valley hound,' crayon, pencil and ink, 13 x 13 inches
Last Updated on Friday, 11 April 2014 09:57
 

Artist's jar of French mountain air fetches $860 in China

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Written by DIDI TANG, Associated Press   
Friday, 11 April 2014 09:06
Two photos taken in the same location in Beijing in August 2005. The image on the left was taken after it had rained for two days. The right image shows smog covering Beijing in what would otherwise be a sunny day. Image by Bobak. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license. BEIJING (AP) – Beijing artist Liang Kegang returned from a business trip in southern France with well-rested lungs and a small item of protest against his home city's choking pollution: a glass jar of clean Provence air.

He put it up for auction before a group of about 100 Chinese artists and collectors late last month, and it fetched 5,250 yuan ($860).

“Air should be the most valueless commodity, free to breathe for any vagrant or beggar,” Liang said in an interview. “This is my way to question China's foul air and express my dissatisfaction.”

Liang's work is part of a gust of recent artistic protest – and entrepreneurial gimmickry – reflecting widespread dissatisfaction over air quality in China, where cities often are immersed days on end in harmful pollutants at levels many times what is considered safe by the World Health Organization. The chronic problem has spurred brisk markets for dust masks and home air purifiers.

China's senior leaders have pledged to clean the air, partly in response to a citizenry increasingly vocal about environmental issues. But it is a daunting task that must be balanced with demands for economic development and employment crucial to maintaining stability.

In February, 20 artists wearing dust masks lay on the ground and played dead in front of an altar at the Temple of Heaven park in a performance art protest in Beijing.

In March, independent artists in the southern city of Changsha held a mock funeral for what they imagined would be the death of the city's last citizen because of smog.

“If smog cannot be effectively cleaned up, what it will leave us is death and cities of death,” artist Shao Jiajun said.

Liang's contribution is a short, ordinary glass preserves jar with a rubber seal and a flip-top. It has three small, handwritten paper labels: one with the name and coordinates of the French village, Forcalquier, where he closed the jar; one saying “Air in Provence, France” in French; and one with his signature in Chinese and the date – March 29.

The auction closed on the night of March 30, and Chengdu-based artist and entrepreneur Li Yongzheng was the highest bidder.

“I have always been appreciative of Kegang's conceptual art, and this piece was very timely,” Li said in a telephone interview. “This past year, whether it was Beijing, Chengdu or most Chinese cities, air pollution has been a serious problem. This piece of work really suits the occasion.”

Liang is not the only one to make money from China's air-pollution angst. Entrepreneurs also see the potential, and so do tourism officials in parts of the country where skies are clear.

Chinese President Xi Jinping joked to Guizhou province delegates during last month's National People's Congress that the scenic southwestern province could put its air up for sale. Days later, the province's tourism bureau announced plans to sell canned air as souvenirs for tourists.

“Canned air will force us to stay committed to environmental protection,” provincial tourism director Fu Yingchun said recently.

In central Henan province, local tourism authorities promoting a resort scooped up mountain air and gave away bags of it in downtown Zhengzhou, the provincial capital. City dwellers greedily inhaled the air, and some said they planned to visit the mountain resort to get more than a lungful.

Chen Guangbiao, a recycling tycoon who briefly made headlines with his abortive plan to purchase The New York Times, has been selling fresh air in cans under his “Good Person” brand.

Want one? They sell for $3 each on China's online bazaar of Taobao.

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

AP-WF-04-10-14 1243GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Two photos taken in the same location in Beijing in August 2005. The image on the left was taken after it had rained for two days. The right image shows smog covering Beijing in what would otherwise be a sunny day. Image by Bobak. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.
Last Updated on Friday, 11 April 2014 09:23
 

World's top architects show off their own homes

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Written by AFP wire service   
Thursday, 10 April 2014 10:43

Daniel Libeskind in front of his extension to the Denver Art Museum. Image by Ishmael Orendain. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

MILAN, Italy (AFP) – Leading world architects showed off features of their own homes this week at an international design fair in Milan – with eye-catching objects including indoor trees, red walls and a stair-bookcase.

Among the big names in attendance were U.S. architect Daniel Libeskind, Italy's Massimiliano Fuksas and Japan's Shigeru Ban – winner of this year's prestigious Pritzker Prize, known as the "Nobel prize of architecture."

"If I had to describe my apartment in three words they would be tree, tree and tree again!" a smiling Shigeru Ban said of his home in the suburbs of Tokyo at the sprawling Salone del Mobile in Italy's business capital.

Rather than cut down the trees already on the site, Ban used them to create "wells" in the building, he said.

Curator Francesca Molteni told AFP the aim of the project – titled simply "Where Do Architects Live?" – was not to spy in their rooms but to understand what each culture means by the word 'living.'

"For an architect, every home is a world," she said.

Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan's house in Sao Paulo has a large window "open on the chaos of the city."

Fuksas and his wife, Doriana, a fellow architect, have an apartment on the Place des Vosges in Paris which she said she found inspirational because "it looks out over trees, like a carpet" that changes with the seasons.

Milan-based Mario Bellini offered up a signature detail of his house – a giant 30-foot-high staircase lined with books to save space.

"You are basically climbing over thousands of books and records. You distract yourself, you pick them up, you open them. All my photos are there too," he said.

"Every time it's a little journey through my story and what I love," he said.

Libeskind, who is rebuilding the World Trade Center in New York, said he has a red wall in every room of his apartment as "a symbol of conscience and dynamism."

Designing a house "is not just for the next fashion magazine" but about "sustainability," he said.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

 Daniel Libeskind in front of his extension to the Denver Art Museum. Image by Ishmael Orendain. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 12:02
 

University of Illinois Alma Mater statue goes back to school

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Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 10 April 2014 10:08

'Alma Mater' was created by Lorado Zadoc Taft (April 29, 1860 – Oct. 30, 1936), an American sculptor, writer and educator, born in Elmwood, Ill. Image courtesy of University of Illinois.

URBANA, Ill. (AP) – The University of Illinois' Alma Mater sculpture has returned to campus after a year and a half away.

Campus officials say the 85-year-old sculpture began its trip home from Chicago early on Wednesday and was back in place on the corner of Wright and Green streets midmorning. The installation took several hours.

The 10,000-pound bronze sculpture was created by artist Lorado Taft. Generations of students have had their photos taken with it.

The statue was moved and disassembled in in 2012 for cleaning and a massive restoration.

___

On the web:

Webcam of Alma Mater, http://illinois.edu/about/tours/almacam.html

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

AP-WF-04-09-14 1056GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

'Alma Mater' was created by Lorado Zadoc Taft (April 29, 1860 – Oct. 30, 1936), an American sculptor, writer and educator, born in Elmwood, Ill. Image courtesy of University of Illinois. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 12:01
 

Simone Kappeler's 'Through America' on view in NYC

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Written by Art gallery PR   
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 16:00

Simone Kappeler: 'Through America'

NEW YORK – De Buck Gallery and Galerie Esther Woerdehoff are presenting Swiss photographer Simone Kappeler's "Through America" series in the De Buck Gallery viewing room. The exhibition will be on view through April 15, with a reception on April 9 from 6-8 p.m., which the artist is scheduled to attend.

"Through America" is the photographic summary of a road trip that a young Simone Kappeler took through the United States in 1981. Kappeler's spontaneous images of automobiles, both occupied and abandoned in driveways, or groups of people enjoying the small pleasures of life – like fast-food or wading in a pool, embody a wistful Americana. Kappeler's journey is reminiscent of one taken by fellow Swiss native Robert Frank in the early 1950s, resulting in the influential photography book The Americans. For viewers familiar with this earlier history, the contrast between Kappeler's work and Frank's is striking, and clearly illustrates the differences between the photographers and the changes in American society in the intervening 30 years. Both compelling and quaint, the series as a whole seems to represent a timeless nostalgia, and presented more than 30 years after they were first taken, tells a story of a simpler time. Through America captures a young woman's impressions of an adventure through the American society of the 1980s, and looking back across decades, provides viewers with a sense of both who the artist and what the country were at the time of her travels.

Simone Kappeler was born in Frauenfeld, Switzerland in 1952, and studied photography, German language and art history at Zurich University. She has been exhibiting her work in Europe since the late 1970s, and is currently represented by Esther Woerdehoff in Paris. Through America at De Buck Gallery marks Kappeler's debut solo exhibition in New York. She currently lives and works in Frauenfeld, Switzerland.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

 Simone Kappeler: 'Through America'

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 April 2014 16:35
 
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