Czech banjos, mandolins win over US bluegrass stars

Star banjo player Ned Luberecki sits back in an armchair at a Prague music hall, contemplates the instrument he's holding, then gently begins strumming. "I'm still waiting on a name for it. I've just decided she's a 'she'. But it should be a Czech name," the American musician says of his six-month-old handmade banjo, crafted in a tiny village tucked away on a Czech mountain range. Luberecki, who was named the 2018 Banjo Player of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), is one of several renowned artists of the country and western style music to play banjos and mandolins made by Rosta Capek. The Czech craftsman supplies instruments to the likes of 15-time Grammy winner Ricky Skaggs and Grammy nominee Doyle Lawson, both American bluegrass stalwarts. Chasing away Flatt and Scruggs, his dog and cat named after the famous bluegrass duo formed in its early days in the 1940s, the 51-year-old Capek says he is living his dream. "When Ricky Skaggs, a star of stars and a

Michael Rosenfeld Gallery opens a seven-decade-survey exploring the work of of Morris Graves

Michael Rosenfeld Gallery is presentung Calix, Cup, Chalice, Grail, Urn, Goblet: Presenting the Sexual Essence of Morris Graves, the gallery’s third solo exhibition for Morris Graves (1910-2001). On view from June 15 to August 2, 2019, this exhibition is a seven-decade survey exploring the artist’s symbolic use of vessels in luminous, spiritual works that exemplify the essence of his mystical relationship with nature. From early oil paintings to surrealist works on paper and later quiet still-lifes, the imagery of the chalice is reflective of Graves’s expansive world view. Drawn to its sensual form, Graves explained that the shape of the chalice originates from the sexual anatomy of flowers: the urn-shaped calix bears the flower’s reproductive organs, defined by the “male” pollen-bearing stamen that surrounds the “female” seed-bearing pistil. As receptacles, the calix, cup, chalice,

Exhibition at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein questions of the performativity of gender

Alexandra Bachzetsis presents her first solo exhibition in a Berlin institution at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.): A thematic overview of more recent and older works that revolve around the topic area of instruction. Since 2001, the artist has been creating performance works, some of which have been realized in collaboration with various partners. More and more, she transfers these performative works into videos, publications, and sculptures. The exhibition Instruction Pieces brings together five works by the artist that deal with the interfaces between language, body, movement, and space. The body of work Escape Act (2018) forms the core of the exhibition at the n.b.k. Showroom. In an eponymous performance, Bachzetsis, together with six performers aged between 21 and 80, picked up on stereotypical ideals of body and behavior spread by mass media in pop culture and treated them by means of persiflage. As a result, three works were created that take a closer look at individual aspe

VALIE EXPORT receives the Roswitha Haftmann Prize

The Board of the Roswitha Haftmann Foundation has decided to award the Roswitha Haftmann Prize 2019, which is endowed with CHF 150,000, to the Austrian artist VALIE EXPORT (b. 1940). The film-maker, media and performance artist, who has used her professional name as her artistic concept and logo since 1967, receives the award in recognition of her life’s work. In the Board’s view, she is one of the most important international pioneers in these genres. Her body action ‘Tap and Touch Cinema’, in which passers-by touched her exposed breasts within a cardboard box, caused a scandal that was documented in film and photographs and has, the jury notes, become part of the founding myth of ‘Actionism’ whose legacy endures to this day. VALIE EXPORT took part in documenta 6 in 1977 and documenta 12 in 2007 in Kassel, and in 1980 represented Austria at the Venice Biennale along with fellow Haftm

Freeman’s inaugural sale at new flagship location to be largest auction of American Flags

Recognized as one of the most comprehensive collections of historic American Flags, The Stars and Stripes Collection of Dr. Peter J. Keim ranges from 13-star Flags to 50-star Flags, with most in-between iterations. Built over 40 years with passion, perseverance and a steadfast commitment to rarity and historical significance, the collection includes an impressive array of over 400 Flags, as well as related books, patriotic memorabilia and artifacts from 19th and 20th century popular culture. “Freeman’s is honored to share Dr. Keim’s vision of American history as well as his vast knowledge of the American Flag and its evolution,” says Lynda Cain, Freeman’s Vice President and Head of the American Furniture, Folk & Decorative Arts Department. “These Flags tell our country’s compelling story through the individual and dynamic arrangements of their stars and stripes. Dr. Keim’s Flags are und

Exhibition of Ann Aspinwall’s recent work in silkscreen, etching, linocut, and collagraph opens in New York

Garvey|Simon, in collaboration with McKenzie Fine Art, is presenting Ann Aspinwall: Spirit of Place, an exhibition of the artist’s recent work in silkscreen, etching, linocut, and collagraph. Limiting herself to the minimal elements of undulating parallel lines and a few carefully selected colors, Aspinwall creates luminous expanses that are suggestive of landscape, water, and sky. This is the artist’s second solo exhibition in New York and the first collaboration between Garvey|Simon and McKenzie Fine Art. The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an essay by independent curator Marilyn Symmes. Ann Aspinwall: Spirit of Place features several new works created specifically for this exhibition, including a vibrant large-scale series of editioned prints and two series of unique hand-colored linocuts. Other works include Spumante, 2017

‘A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’ opens at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

A visit to the Palace of Holyroodhouse now includes the special exhibition A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a display of Their Royal Highnesses’ wedding outfits, and the page and bridesmaid outfits of His Royal Highness Prince George and Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte. In a recording made for visitors to the exhibition, The Duke and Duchess (known as the Earl and Countess of Dumbarton in Scotland) discuss their plans for the wedding, including the choice of outfits, music and flowers. The Duchess says, ‘A great level of detail went into the planning of our wedding day. We knew how large the scale of the event would be, so in making choices that were really personal and meaningful, it could make the whole experience feel intimate.’ The Duchess of Sussex’s wedding dress with a boat-neckline bodice was created by the British designer Clare Waight Keller, Artistic Dire

Julien’s Auctions two day :legends” auction results announced

Julien’s Auctions held its two-day marquee Hollywood auction event, Legends June 13-14, 2019 at The Standard Oil Building in Beverly Hills in front of a buzzing crowd of collectors and fans bidding live on the floor, online and on the phone across the globe. The top selling item of the event was Marlon Brando’s owned 1969 Harley Davidson which sold for $179,200 nearly three times its original starting estimate of $60,000. The black Harley-Davidson FLH Electra-Glide motorcycle purchased by Brando in 1970 has 13,859 miles. Another iconic Hollywood vehicle that revved up the auction block was the sale of a 2008 Ford Mustang GT “K.I.T.T.” from the Knight Rider NBC TV movie which sold for $51,200. Another top auction highlight owned by another iconic Hollywood driver came from the King of Cool Steve McQueen and his circa 1890s black Hendee & Nelson Manufacturing Company bicycle that sold for $25,000. The bike w

Museum wins national award for exhibition label writing

Recognizing the value in sharing community reflections and encouraging viewers to make personal connections with works of art, the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) has honored the Delaware Art Museum with two Excellence in Label Writing Awards. The award-winning labels were part of a series of community contributions written by African American leaders in greater Wilmington in response to photographs in the 2018 exhibition Danny Lyon: Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement. Melva Lawson Ware, a Delaware Historical Society trustee, and TAHIRA, a storyteller and musician based in Delaware, crafted the featured text. Their award-winning stories, as well as local, personal reflections and memories from other local leaders, were displayed as wall labels next to photographs in the Danny Lyon exhibition. Their featured stories fused multiple perspectives and encouraged visitors to make connections with the civil rights history pres