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Ghent Museum Embroiled in Controversy Over Fake Russian Avant-Garde Works

January 18th, 2018

Museum Fine Arts Ghent, via Art NewspaperA major controversy is boiling over in Ghent over an exhibition that featured over 25 works attributed to Russian avant-garde artists like Kazimir Malevich and Wassily Kandinsky, which are being labeled as fake by a group of curators and museum professionals.  The news broke thanks to an open letter published by the group of professionals which is printed in full today at the Art Newspaper.
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Moscow Embarking on Building Project to Recreate itself as “Cultural Capital”

January 18th, 2018

Rendering of GES2, via Art NewspaperMoscow is set to embark on a project to build its own “Museum Mile,” part of a project by the Russian city to make it a “cultural capital of the world.” “The idea arrived after understanding the level of cultural segregation in which Moscow has been for so long,” says Teresa Mavica of the V-A-C Foundation. “It’s time for the Russian capital to become more open, for institutions to work together and themselves become an important actor of the social movement—that is what I mean by an art revolution.”
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Renovations at Corcoran Lead to Criticism from Current Students

January 18th, 2018

Corcoran, via City PaperWashington City Paper spotlights the current construction underway at the Corcoran Gallery and George Washington University Art School, and the issues it has caused for current students, some of whom accuse the institution of endangering their health.  “In terms of this being an environmentally safe place to be, it is, and if it were not, I would shut it down,” said Darell Darnell, senior associate vice president for safety and security at the George Washington University.
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

Andy Warhol

Biography

“Andy Warhol began as a commercial illustrator, and a very successful one, doing jobs like shoe ads for I. Miller in a stylish blotty line that derived from Ben Shahn. He first exhibited in an art gallery in 1962, when the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles showed his 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans, 1961-62. From then on, most of Warhol’s best work was done over a span of about six years, finishing in 1968, when he was shot. And it all flowed from one central insight: that in a culture glutted with information, where most people experience most things at second or third hand through TV and print, through images that become banal and disassociated by repeated again and again and again, there is role for affectless art. You no longer need to be hot and full of feeling. You can be supercool, like a slightly frosted mirror. Not that Warhol worked this out; he didn’t have to. He felt it and embodied it. He was a conduit for a sort of collective American state of mind in which celebrity – the famous image of a person, the famous brand name – had completely replaced both sacredness and solidity.

Earlier artists, like Monet, had painted the same motif in series in order to display minute discriminations of perception, the shift of light and color form hour to hour on a haystack, and how these could be recorded by the subtlety of eye and hand. Warhol’s thirty-two soup cans are about nothing of the kind. They are about sameness (though with different labels): same brand, same size, same paint surface, same fame as product. They mimic the condition of mass advertising, out of which his sensibility had grown. They are much more deadpan than the object which may have partly inspired them, Jasper Johns’s pair of bronze Ballantine ale cans. This affectlessness, this fascinated and yet indifferent take on the object, became the key to Warhol’s work; it is there in the repetition of stars’ faces (Liz, Jackie, Marilyn, Marlon, and the rest), and as a record of the condition of being an uninvolved spectator it speaks eloquently about the condition of image overload in a media saturated culture. Warhol extended it by using silk screen, and not bothering to clean up the imperfections of the print: those slips of the screen, uneven inkings of the roller, and general graininess. What they suggested was not the humanizing touch of the hand but the pervasiveness of routine error and of entropy…”

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