Should you happen to find yourself in the south of France this summer, gentle reader, you may want to look up into the night skies for a different sort of light than that generated by celestial bodies: Contemporary artist Alex Israel (1982- ) is perhaps best known in the art world for making use of his connections to the film industry in Hollywood, and … Read More Le Chevalier noir à Marseille: Batman in the South of France
Before taking a look at some of the more interesting art stories of the past week, gentle reader, I wanted to direct your attention to an excellent lecture series on the recently-closed National Gallery of Art exhibition “Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice”, which you may recall that I reviewed for The Federalist back in April. Presented by Eric Denker, Senior Lecturer and Head of … Read More Art News Roundup: Sacking and Packing Edition
Sometimes, even those of us who know a fair bit about art can get it wrong. I recently acquired a work at a Connecticut auction [N.B. not the picture shown below this piece] that I was convinced was by an important French artist, someone whose work I didn’t know well – or indeed particularly like – but whom I had been reading about a … Read More Lessons Learned: The Masterpiece That Wasn’t
Now that the heat of summer is fully upon us, I’ve been trying to catch up on my podcast listening, something that had fallen by the wayside over the past several weeks between vacation and other goings-on. For many years now, Catholic In A Small Town by Mac and Katherine Barron – which just recently celebrated its 500th episode – has been one of … Read More Art News Roundup: Turning Up The Heat
Back on June 28th, a painting in the style of Sandro Botticelli (c. 1445-1510) – he of the iconic “Birth of Venus” (c. 1485), or as I like to call it, “Venus on a Half-Shell” – came up for sale at auction in Zurich, with a pre-sale estimate of $5,000. A bidding war ensued, and the final hammer price was $6.4 million. Clearly, some … Read More Take A Chance On Me: Buying A Botticelli (?)
As we celebrate the birthday of the greatest country in the world, I suspect that many of my readers may have the day off. You may well be sitting around the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and nothing particular to do until it’s time to head out for a swim or a hike, before going to a barbecue followed by the local … Read More Art News Roundup: Blast Off!
In case you missed it, my latest piece for The Federalist was published yesterday, in which I shared some news and thoughts about the recent trend of what I would call “museum shaming”. This is when activist groups go after museums for receiving donations from groups or individuals whom those groups find offensive in some way. Over the last couple of years, the most … Read More Storming The Palace: Where Does Museum Shaming Go From Here?
I know, gentle reader, I know: I didn’t post a longer-format piece on Tuesday. I was feeling under the weather on Monday, and thus the motivation to write on Tuesday simply was not there. So to make it up to you, instead of the usual 3 art news stories that I normally provide in the weekly art news roundup, today I’m providing you with … Read More Art News Roundup: Double Your Pleasure Edition
We’re back to the weekly roundup of curated news stories from the art world, and since I still have Spain on the brain – I just booked my next trip for after Christmas – today we’ll be looking at a few interesting items that touch on Iberian artists and architecture. While many artists’ homes or final resting places in Spain have become places of … Read More Art News Roundup: Spanish Stories
I’m finally back to scribbling after a very pleasant sojourn in Spain – hope you appreciated the updated archival posts, gentle reader – and the big art world news at the moment is the announcement that the venerable auction house Sotheby’s is being sold to French telecom billionaire Patrick Drahi for $3.7 billion. [Full Disclosure: I earned my Master’s in Art Business at Sotheby’s … Read More Sotheby’s Under the Hammer for $3.7 Billion
Since I published this piece about four and a half years ago, the cause for the Beatification of architect Antoni Gaudí i Cornet (1852-1926) continues to be reviewed by the Vatican, but movement is glacially slow. Gaudí was named a “Servant of God” in 2003, a preliminary step on the road to possible sainthood, and interest in his cause has been expressed by Pope … Read More From The Archives: Is Gaudí Getting Closer to Sainthood?
Although in the eight years (?!?!) since I wrote this piece he still hasn’t become a household name except among the cognoscenti, architect Enric Sagnier (1858-1931) remains one of the most interesting and underappreciated Catalan architects of the late 19th and early 20th century. While the attention of most visitors to Barcelona looking at architecture from this period is, understandably, drawn to the Big Three … Read More From The Archives: Barcelona’s Forgotten Master