Top Posts From AJBlogs 10.26.16

A Star Turn for Giovanni di Paolo
Ever since I first saw Giovanni di Paolo’s The Creation and the Expulsion from the Paradise in the Robert Lehman Collection at the Metropolitan Museum, I’ve been a huge fan of the Sienese painter. … read more
AJBlog: Real Clear Arts Published 2016-10-26

Get a room!
Looking at an orchestra through the four frames, I don’t see any space designed for innovation, imagination and open questions. I don’t see anything like a workshop. What do I mean by ‘workshop’? I mean … read more
AJBlog: SongWorking

“Wichi-Tai-To” By Towner and Peacock
From his American Indian grandfather, tenor saxophonist Jim Pepper learned “Witchi-Tai-To,” a peyote healing chant of the Native American Church. It became a part of the repertoires of several bands including Oregon … read more
AJBlog: RiffTides Published 2016-10-26


The end of the world is coming to Manhattan

Robert Cenedella's Fin del Mundo (End of the World) (2016)
In a palette of fire, the three-paneled painting Fin del Mundo (End of the World) by Robert Cenedella is a panorama of cataclysmwar, environmental rot and cultural decaywith an orange-haired Donald Trump holding a pitchfork at its center. The Liberty Bell can be seen in the foreground, bearing the names of black men shot by the police in the US. Amid the fires are the Twin Towers, Hitler, and a grotesque headless woman vomiting over Trumps headthe alternative, Cenedella says, to the Miss Universe standard of female beauty. The painting is due to go on view in the gallery window of Central Park Fine Arts at West 57th Street on 2 November, a week before the US election.

The 5ft by 9ft triptych, loosely inspired by Hieronymus Boschs The Garden of Earthly Delights the artist says, is not the first darkly satirical painting Cenedella has made. In the 1980s, he painted war scenes on massive canvases. Sometimes those battles were between armies of corporate brands, as can be seen in Fin del Mundo. He also painted Le CirqueThe First Generation, a seated horde of well-groomed New York glitterati assembled at the restaurant, including Ivana Trump, but not Donald.

A pupil of George Grosz, Cenedella also brings the influence of James Ensor to his paintings of crowds. Now 77, he left the art world in the 1960s for a career in commercial design. He made headlines then with The Hostility Dartboard, a wall-mounted target that came with three darts and the face of Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, Sigmund Freud or, for a few dollars more, any other political leader. The dartboards can still be found on e-bay, but retail stores wont sell them, Cenedella says.
In the late 1980s, when he returned to painting and to teaching at the Art Students League, Cenedella made The Presence of Man, a scene of Santa Claus hanging on a cross, atop a hill of gifts in bright wrapping. The Catholic League denounced him for mocking the spirit of Christmas.
Another political scene is No Taxation Without Representation (2012), depicting Washington legislators, complete with a clown. The picture was bought by the broadcaster Keith Olbermann for $50,000, with the agreement that Cenedella would paint Olbermann into the scene.
Cenedellas life and career are the subject of the documentary Art Bastard, which played in New York cinemas in the spring. Asked whether he might donate Fin del Mundo to the White House art collection if Trump wins the election, Cenedella said he is eager to make that gift.
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For SoHo’s Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, expansion is just the first step

Exterior view of the corner space into which Leslie-Lohman Museum will expand
This month, construction started to nearly double the space of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in SoHo, New York, the only museum in the world to focus on LGBTQ visual cultureand it is already contemplating its next big move. This is conceived as a temporary expansion, just to allow us to gear up and the final one, we hope, will be permanent, says Jonathan David Katz, the president of the Leslie-Lohman Museums board of trustees. Were aware of the fact that some museums have over-expanded and got into trouble that way.

The institution, which was co-founded by Charles Leslie and Fritz Lohman as an art foundation in 1987 and has been registered as a museum since 2011, has taken over the street-level commercial space next door in the iron-front building it occupies on Wooster Street, just a few doors down from the Deitch Projects. This brings its footprint from 3,300sq ft. to 5,600sq ft. It will remain open until 18 December for its current exhibition Cut Ups: Queer Collage Practices, after which it will close until the expanded space opens in early 2017.

The museum plans to remain in this space for less than a decade before looking to move to a larger facility as its permanent home. Our ultimate goal is a substantial museum, and while were thrilled that we have doubled our space, its still not the kind of floor plan we need, Katz explains. Two major criteria on the wish list are multiple floors for displays and offices, and on-site storage for its collection of around 30,000 works, which are currently kept in multiple locations.

Around 140 works from the museums collectionwhich Katz calls a compendium of queer visual culture since the beginning of the 20th centurywill be featured in the inaugural show in the expanded space, including work by Bernice Abbott, Mickalene Thomas and George Bellow. The pieces were selected both for their quality and their representativeness, Katz says, how much a work has come to stand for a moment, or a population, or a geography. The museum has also planned a new lecture series in partnership with the Fashion Institute of Technology and will have an education department for the first time.

The museum is also focussed on actively expanding its collection, in both size and inclusivity. A founding goal of the museum was to preserve gay art at a time when the Aids crisis of the 1980s was killing off artists whose families sometimes destroyed or discarded their work. The collection is largely by male artist, but this past summer, the museum launched the Hunter OHanian Diversity Art Fundnamed for the museums former director, who became the executive director of the College Art Association this year and now sits on the museums boardto acquire works by female and female-presenting transgender artists.

The $40,000 raised so far is just the beginning, says Katz. The museum is chiefly looking to buy art from the 1960s to the presentbut if something extraordinary presents itself from an earlier period, were going to be looking at it, he adds. We areas alwayslooking to engage and to collect young artists even as we attempt to shine a light on historical artists who have not been given their due, Katz says.
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Sotheby’s to offer property from the collection of Mrs. Marjorie S. Fisher

Sotheby’s will offer jewelry, fine art and furniture from the collection of beloved philanthropist and collector, Marjorie S. Fisher – across a series of sales beginning this fall in New York. Amassed over 50 years and comprising over 1,000 individual lots, Mrs. Fisher’s collection is remarkable for both its quality and expansiveness, crossing countless categories and seamlessly blending the traditional with the contemporary. Born 5 November 1923 in Louisville, Kentucky, Marjorie Faith Switow showed an early appreciation for the arts, undoubtedly encouraged by her family, who were in the theater business. Following graduation from the Marjorie Webster Junior College, where she majored in art, Mrs. Fisher moved from Louisville to Detroit in 1953 where she met industrialist and philanthropist Max M. Fisher (1908-2005); they were married later that year

East and West meet in Foujita etchings for sale in Bonhams Print Sale

Seven LéonardFoujita (1886-1968) cat etchings (from his revered Les Chats series) will be auctioned at Bonhams’ next Prints and Multiples sale at London New Bond Street on 16 November, estimated at between £6,000-8,000 and £5,000-7,000 each. Foujita was particularly fond of cats which are the symbol of good luck in Japan. The artist made them a primary focus for his blending of traditional Japanese painting and inking techniques with modern European composition and style. These seven examples, up for auction in Bonhams Prints Sale, come from Les Chats, a portfolio of ten images published by Les Editions Artistiques Apollo in 1930. Robert Jones, Bonhams Prints Specialist said, “It is a rarity to find so many high quality Foujita etchings on the market - outside Japan it is exceptional. This is an exciting opportunity for collectors and enthusiasts

Major exhibition at King’s College London brings the topic of war into a more accessible realm

We see war in all kinds of spaces and locations, some predictable and others less so. The elements of war are present in our everyday lives, in our daily routines; from violence, antagonisms, discourses of exclusion, displacements and populations on the move. There is a resonance in Michel Foucault’s observation that the ‘roar of battle’ travels silently in our modes of being and interactions, discourses and institutions, and the practices we take for granted. Artists throughout history have sought to capture the agony of war, its impact on combatants and civilians, on landscapes, and on the most hidden spaces: our memories, identities, and lived experiences. At the same time, the phenomenon of war is not confined to moments of crisis or battlefield locations. War should not be something defined by its representation on screens or in print where narratives of patriotism

“Virginia Overton: Winter Garden” opens at the Whitney Museum of American Art

Virginia Overton (b. 1971) creates exhibitions in response to the natural and manmade environments in which she works, often overlaying these sites with diverse references ranging from the history of modern art to her upbringing in rural Tennessee. Winter Garden, which will be presented on the fifth-floor outdoor gallery, expands upon her installation featured there this summer, which explored the concept of the sculpture garden through a system of windmills pumping air into large containers filled with thriving aquatic plants. The exhibition will be on view October 28, 2016, through February 5, 2017. To reflect the change of season, Overton has reimagined the "sculpture garden" as a sonic rather than botanic environment. Her practice often involves the repurposing of materials, and the new installation takes elements from the summer’s and redefines