martedì 16 settembre 2014

Antonio Ligabue

Antonio Ligabue so a great and not well (as he deserves!!) known Italian painter of the XX Century.
I dare here to place two of mine sculptures near one of his great paintings.

Antonio Ligabue



Here a short video documentary about him:

(wikipedia) Antonio Ligabue (18 December 1899 – 27 May 1965) (Real name: Antonio Laccabue) was an Italian painter, one of the most important Naïve artists of the 20th century.

He was born in Zurich, Switzerland on 18 December 1899, and died in Gualtieri, Reggio Emilia, Italy on 27 May 1965.

Ligabue was born to Elisabetta Costa, native from Belluno, and supposedly to Bonfiglio Laccabue (the true identity of the father is still unknown), native from Reggio Emilia. In 1942 the painter changes his surname from Laccabue to Ligabue, presumably because of the hate towards his father, who considered the uxoricida Elizabetta Costa. In September 1900 he was entrusted to the Swiss Johannes Valentin Göbel and Elise Hanselmann. His mother, Elizabeth, and three brothers died in 1913 as a result of food poisoning. He began to work occasionally as a farm hand and conducted a wandering life. After an altercation with her foster mother was hospitalized in a psychiatric clinic. In 1919, following the complaint by Hanselmann, was expelled from Switzerland. From Chiasso was conducted to Gualtieri, country of origin of the adoptive father but, not knowing a word of Italian, he tried to return to Switzerland. Brought the town, lived in the rescue of the City Hospice of begging wagons. In 1920 he was offered a job at the banks of the Po, and at that time he began to paint. In 1928 he met Renato Marino Mazzacurati who understood what the genuine art and taught him the use of oil paints guiding it to the full development of his talent. In those years he devoted himself to painting and continued to wander aimlessly along the River Po. In 1937 he was hospitalized in a mental hospital in Reggio Emilia for self-mutilation. In 1941 the sculptor Andrea Mozzali him to resign from the psychiatric hospital and welcomed him to his home in Guastalla, near Reggio Emilia. During the war served as an interpreter for the German troops. In 1945, for having beaten with a bottle a German soldier, he was interned in a mental hospital and remained there for three years. In 1948 he began painting more intensely, and journalists, critics and art dealers began to be interested in him. In 1957 Severo Woods, "signature" Il Resto del Carlino, and renowned photographer Aldo Ferrari went to Gualtieri to meet him: there came a picture in the newspaper and still very well known. In 1961 it was staged her first solo exhibition at The Gallery Four Rivers in Rome. He had a motorcycle accident and the following year he was stricken with paralysis. Guastalla dedicated a major retrospective. He asked to be baptized and confirmed, died 27 May 1965. Resting place in Gualtieri, on his tombstone the funeral mask of bronze by Mozzali.

He was named "Al Matt" (the madman) or "Al tedesch" (the German). In 1965, after his death, he was a retrospective in the context of the Ninth Quadrennial of Rome.

In 2002, Sergio Negri, leading expert of Ligabue, publishes the General Catalogue of the paintings (the publishing house Mondadori Electa) At the Palazzo Reale in Milan was held a solo exhibition on the painter. Started 20 June 2008, ended 4 November 2008. And 'being at the Magnani Rocca Foundation in Mamiano Traversetolo (Parma), the exhibition "Antonio Ligabue.La madness of genius," which began on 11 March 2011 which will end' of 26 June 2011.

The Earliest Sculpture of a Horse

Discovered in the Vogelherd cave about 1 km northwest of Stetten-ob- Lontal, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, the Wild Horse from Vogelherd, carved from mammoth ivory, is the earliest sculpture of a horse.

The Vogelherd caveOffsite Link is understood to have been a place where humans gathered to eat animals they had hunted. The Wild Horse is part of a collection of ivory carvings that depict mammoths, bison and lions, and a snow leopard found in the cave that date from the Middle Aurignacian period.

"It is exceptionally accurately shaped, perfect in form and remarkably expressive. Due to the curved neck, it is usually thought to represent a stallion with an aggressive or imposing bearing. Only the head is completely preserved. Due to the flaking of external ivory layers, the width has been reduced and the legs have broken off. There are engraved symbols, including cross marks and angular signs, on the back of the neck, as well as on the back and the left chest. Length: 4,8 cm Height: 2,5 cm Width: 0,7 cm Site: Vogelherd, Stetten The original carving is in the Museum Schloss Hohentübingen, Tübingen, Germany" (

lunedì 15 settembre 2014

Artist Enters Trancelike State To Create Brutally Honest Portraits

Normally when we think of creating a portrait most true to life, we conjure an image of a photorealist depiction, every freckle and eyelash and wrinkle in its place. However, such a rendering mimics a photograph of the person, but not the person.

Enter Guillaume Bruère, a Berlin-based artist with a very different understanding of honest portraiture.

Bruère's portraits are as wild as they are sparse, resembling the cross-pollination of Egon Schiele, Pablo Picasso and a child's frenzied doodle. His ongoing exhibition at Nahmad Contemporary presents a radically intense return to portraiture, an art form that's threatened to wither away in recent times.

It was husband-and-wife curators Simon and Michaela de Pury who discovered Bruère's work, when it showed at the Fondation Van Gogh in Arles. "I was blown away by [the portrait's] raw intensity and power," Simon expressed in a statement. "At a time when a new academism of process-based abstraction has become the norm amongst emerging artists it was a refreshing experience."

We can agree with de Pury on his assessment of the current state of contemporary art; a dreary phenomenon that's been coined by Walter Robinson as Zombie Formalism. The academic, safe and generic have rewired so much of contemporary abstraction, and now portraiture, a traditionally representational tradition, is actually the weirder one.

Bruère's creations are hybrid creatures made from oil pastel, watercolor, acrylic and graphite, applied in a series of seemingly infinite permutations and combinations. Eight works in the show belong to a series titled "Vanilla," based on a coworker Bruère became obsessed with. As you might have expected, the renderings barely look like the same species, let alone the same subject. One Vanilla has three eyeballs placed under her mouth while another wears running clothes and is horizontal and vertical at once.

The works and the radical difference embedded within them speaks to the complexity of human beings. To capture his subjects' appearance without hesitation, Bruère tries to work faster than the pace of his own consciousness, creating art rapidly in a trance-like state. Inspired by the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas, Bruère strips his work of all preconceived notions of his subject, truly recording a human-to-human encounter as it exists in the moment. According to Levinas, what makes us truly human is our ability to encounter one another without prejudice or predisposition. It's no easy task.

"Vanilla" is as conceptually rigorous as it is visually addictive, with bright colors, squiggly lines and alien forms that float, crawl and multiply. The fact that these abstract depictions could actually capture more of their subject than a traditional oil painting ever could? That's an idea we want so badly to be true. Find out for yourself at Nahmad Contemporary, where the exhibition is on view until October 1, 2014.

(from here, many more images)


Title Lake Gairdner
Released 12/09/2014 10:00 am
Copyright JAXA/ESA
Lake Gairdner in central South Australia is pictured in this image acquired by Japan’s ALOS satellite on 1 December 2009.

The Lake Gairdner National Park – which includes the nearby lakes Everard and Harris – was established in 1991 for its significant wildlife habitat and natural features.

While the area is hot and dry in summer, spring brings water and is a popular destination for birdwatchers. Red and western grey kangaroos, emus and feral camels can also be seen here.

When flooded, Gairdner is one of the largest salt lakes in Australia, more than 160 km long and 48 km wide. But when dry, the vast salt pan attracts racers attempting to set land speed records and is the site for the annual Speed Week event.

This image shows mostly the dry, salt-crusted lakebed, while the islands appear brick-red.

Source: ESA

venerdì 12 settembre 2014

Female Voices of Expressionism

Frauke Josenhans, Former LACMA Curatorial Assistant, Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies / Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Yale University Art Gallery (originally published here)

We often hear the question, “Why are there not more female artists in the show?” It is a reasonable and pertinent question, however, one that is not so easy to answer. While there were many highly talented female artists over the centuries, it is true that many—save for a few exceptions—were in the shadow of men. This had to do primarily with social conditions and the fact that women were often not allowed to study art in public institutions or to travel all by themselves.

Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky, on view in its final week at LACMA, features the work of three female artists who played a crucial role in the birth and evolution of Expressionism in the early 20th century.

Installation view of Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (June 8–September 14, 2014), photo © Museum Associates/LACMA. Middle Left: Paula Modersohn-Becker, Girl with Flower Vases (Mädchen mit Blumenvasen), c. 1907, Von der Heydt-Museum Wuppertal, photo Credit: Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY

Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876–1907) was an important precursor of Expressionism. Her career was short, but rich in artistic encounters, which helped to forge her unique style characterized by simplicity of form and an intense tonality. She worked in the artists’ colony of Worpswede in northern Germany and was married to painter Otto Modersohn. She first travelled to Paris in 1900, followed by several other stays in the next years, the last one in 1907, just a few months before her death. In Paris, she studied at the Académie Colarossi and the École des Beaux-Arts. She remained relatively unknown during her life, but this changed dramatically with her premature death at age 31. Soon after, her paintings were shown in museums and galleries all over Germany, and a major retrospective was organized.

It was the work of Post-Impressionist artists—in particular that of Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin, which Modersohn-Becker saw at exhibitions at the Galerie Vollard and at the Salons—that made the deepest impression on her. Modersohn-Becker was also interested in the Nabis’s Symbolist use of color and the “primitive” style of Henri Rousseau, and while in Paris she visited private collector Gustave Fayet to see his Gauguin collection. Her painting Girl with Flower Vases illustrates how she responded to these sources, combining them in a simple, sophisticated, yet powerful image that uses bold contours to delimitate the large planes of color, abandoning traditional linear perspective and going toward flatness, while also giving a highly original interpretation of the female nude.

Gabriele Münter: Jawlensky und Werefkin. 
The two other female artists in the show had longer careers and were both active in Munich, one of the artistic centers in Germany. Gabriele Münter (1877–1962) might be one of the best-known female Expressionist artists today. Although she is often mentioned in the same breath as Wassily Kandinsky, whose companion she was for over a decade, she had a highly impressive career on her own and took part in some of the major avant-garde groups in Germany prior to World War I. After some initial art training and a sojourn of two years in the United States, Münter joined the Phalanx school in Munich, where she became a student of Kandinsky. Between 1906 and 1907, Münter spent several months in Sèvres, France, with Kandinsky; during that time she sojourned in Paris on her own and visited exhibitions and took drawing classes. In Paris, Münter concentrated on the colored-woodcut technique, as illustrated in her print Aurelie. She also started to present work at exhibitions in Paris and had a solo exhibition in Cologne shortly after returning from France.

In 1908, Münter and Kandinsky discovered the alpine village of Murnau and, together with fellow artists Alexei Jawlensky and Marianne Werefkin, they started to spend their summers there. This was a turning point for the group, and Münter found to a unique colorfulness and simplicity in her style. She also became interested in folk art, often using traditional objects as motifs. The canvas Wooden Doll demonstrates how Münter incorporated Fauvist and Post-Impressionist tendencies, which she absorbed during her stay in Paris, into a highly original approach to still-life painting. Münter here abandoned traditional perspective for a flattened surface composed by large zones of primary colors, juxtaposing a traditional wooden doll with household objects and fruits. A few years later, she organized, together with Kandinsky, the first Blaue Reiter exhibition in 1911, where she presented her work alongside his and other German and international avant-garde artists.

Installation view of Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (June 8–September 14, 2014), photo © Museum Associates/LACMA. 

The third female artist featured in the exhibition is Marianne Werefkin (1860–1938), who received her initial artistic training in her native Russia and quickly became famous; she was even regarded as the “Russian Rembrandt.” Werefkin met fellow Russian artist Alexei Jawlensky and came with him to Germany in 1896, settling in Munich. There, she started to host a famous salon, where many avant-garde painters, writers, musicians, and art historians gathered to discuss new artistic theories. Werefkin became one of the founding members of the Neue Künstlervereinigung München (New Artists Association of Munich, or NKVM) and was closely associated with the Blaue Reiter group, founded by Kandinsky, Franz Marc, and Münter. Her color palette had been influenced by her summers in the Bavarian alpine village of Murnau, where she worked alongside Jawlensky, Kandinsky, and Münter. She had also become interested in the highly symbolist use of color, which she saw on her frequent visits to France with Jawlensky, by both the Nabis artist group and Paul Gauguin. In her painting Corpus Christi, Werefkin gives a highly spiritual character to the landscape through intensely contrasting colors rendered in vivacious brushstrokes.

You have until September 14 to see the work of these three remarkable artists in Expressionism in Germany and France. And to discover even more female artists in the permanent collection, visit the installation The Written Image, which features a lithograph by Käthe Kollwitz, who was one of the most important avant-garde artists in early 20th-century Germany and was active as a printmaker and sculptor.

martedì 9 settembre 2014

‘Os Gemeos’ Converts Industrial Silos in Vancouver into Towering Giants

This is public art

First a Boeing 747, and now an industrial complex on a Vancover island; it seems no canvas is too large for Brazilian graffiti artists Os Gemeos who were invited to the Vancouver Biennale to turn six multi-story silos on Granville Island into their trademark ‘Giants.’ The murals on the 70-foot towers are now the largest paintings ever attempted by the pair, an astounding feat considering Os Gemeos completely donated a month of their time to create the non-profit art project. An Indiegogo fundraising campaign to recoup costs associated with painting the silos has been extremely successful. You can see more over on Arrested Motion. (from here)

martedì 2 settembre 2014

Neanderthal abstract art found in Gibraltar cave

The oldest known example of abstract art has been discovered in a cave in Gibraltar. The work, a series of criss-crossed lines cut into stone, was carried out 40,000 years ago.

The work was created by Neanderthals, close relatives of modern humans, who until now had been considered incapable of abstract thought and expression.

"Creating paintings or carvings in caves is seen as a cognitive step in human development," said Joaquín Rodríguez-Vidal of the University of Huelva – one of the researchers whose study of the cave was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday.

"This behaviour was considered exclusive to modern humans and has been used as an argument to distinguish our direct ancestors from ancient man, including Neanderthals."

The discovery is "a major contribution to the redefinition of our perception of Neanderthal culture", prehistorian William Rendu of the French National Centre for Scientific Research told the Wall Street Journal. "It is new and even stronger evidence of the Neanderthal capacity for developing complex symbolic thought."

The work, uncovered in 2012 and measuring about one square metre, consists of eight lines cut deep into the rock that is arranged in two groups of three long cuts and two shorter ones.

Rock engravings in Gibraltar could be proof that Neanderthals were more intelligent than previously thought. Photograph: Stuart Finlayson/AP
What the engraving signifies is open to conjecture. "At this point we can only guess at its meaning," said Rodríguez-Vidal. "However, the engraving in the cave is the first directly demonstrable example of an abstract work, carried out consistently and with care and requiring prolonged and concentrated work, that has been produced in a cave."

Found alongside the engravings were 294 stone tools in undisturbed sediment dating back 39,000 years – about the time when Neanderthals became extinct – meaning the art below it must be older.

The tools are made in a signature Neanderthal style of a type that has never been found at a modern human site, the researchers say.

The Neanderthals reached Europe from Africa some 300,000 years ago.

(from )