The man accused of vandalizing Picasso’s Woman in a Red Armchair (1929) recently had his first show at the Cueto James Art Gallery in Houston, Texas. The show for Uriel Landeros was organized by gallery owner James Perez. The exhibition, titled “Houston, We Have a Problem,” opened on Friday, 26 October 2012. The opening gala doubled as a Halloween party with free liquor, DJs and music, patrons in Halloween costumes, and Landeros joining the gala via Skype. It is interesting to note that many of Landeros’ paintings in the exhibition were “tagged” by local graffiti artists in much the same way that he is accused of tagging the Menil Collection’s Woman in a Red Armchair.
Landeros remains at large until he turns himself over to the police for questioning. He is believed to be hiding in northern Mexico. He reports as belonging to the Occupy Movement and this association as reason for his “fight.” Landeros has reportedly admitted to vandalizing the Picasso painting and said, “I’m not going to give up on my cause. It doesn’t matter if I turn myself in or not. It doesn’t mean I’m going to stop fighting.”
Despite the efforts to destroy Woman in a Red Armchair, the painting was immediately cleaned of the spray paint used to create the image of a bull with the word “conquista.” The Menil Collection of Houston reports that the painting is set to go on display again in the near future.
The Artist Ego by Uriel Landeros, 2012, tagged with “Picasso” by an unknown person. Image courtesy Houston Culture Map.
Breaking news! At 3:25pm (15:25) local time Sunday, 7 October 2012, a Mark Rothko painting was vandalized at the Tate Modern in London, England. An unidentified male individual used black paint and a brush to quickly write in the lower right hand corner of Black on Maroon (1958). Mark Rothko was born in 1903 and emigrated to the United States with his family in 1913. The artist gifted the painting to the Tate Modern and they arrived on the day he died in 1970.
Black on Maroon (1958) is a work from Rothko’s late period, produced after he had broken with the Surrealist movement. The artist’s best known work comes from this period and consists of multiforms: blocks of various colors blurred around the edges, typically set within backgrounds of contrasting colors. The painting is valued in the tens of millions. The police are currently investigating the crime and the Tate Modern is conducting an internal investigation into their security practices. In house conservators are assessing the damage done to the painting.
Update: the conservators at the Tate Modern are confident they can restore the painting! Click here.
Update 10/10/2012: Vladamir Umanets admits to defacing Maroon on Black. Click here.
Read the story by the Independent for more information: click here.
Today’s art spotted is a modern glass and steel sculpture located on Texas A&M University’s main campus.
The sculpture Tri-Nimbus Chrystallis, located on Texas A&M’s campus next to Rudder Tower and the Memorial Student Center, is commonly known as the “Crystal Tree.” It is the collaborative work of two Texas artists: John Kebrle Jr. & Hilliard M. Stone. John Kebrle Jr. is well-known worldwide for his stained glass work (Kebrle Stained Glass Studio of Dallas, Texas) and produced the 2,500 pieces of glass for the piece. Hilliard M. Stone is a Texas artists who has worked in multiple media and is known in Texas for his painting and metal-work sculptures.
Each of the 2,500 large pieces of glass are individually attached to the steel frame and sparkle when the sun is shining (as it always does here in Texas). The Crystal tree is the tallest of the many sculptures located on Texas A&M’s campus and the benches around the base are a favorite spot to take a break and enjoy a coffee.
A few of the campus sculptures are listed on the following page: click here!
A self-guided walking tour of the sculptures at Texas A&M is downloadable here.
Yayoi Kusama is largely considered one of the most influential living artists produced by Japan and is one of the artists to give birth to the pop art, minimalist art, and feminist art movements. She was born the 22nd of March, 1929, to an upper middle class family and began to paint at the age of 10. However, she experienced resistance from her parents to her wish to continue pursuing art as a career rather than marry and start a family. Her mother even took away her canvases and art supplies.
In spite of the familial opposition she experienced, Yayoi Kusama went to study art in Kyoto at the age of 19. She became increasingly frustrated with the constraints of the traditional art taught there and in 1957 moved to New York City, USA, after becoming interested in the European and American avant-garde art movements of the time. She quickly became influential in the pop art movement and her work was both shown alongside and helped influence Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, and George Segal in the 1960s. She came to the public’s attention for organizing body festivals in the late 60s where the nude participants were covered in polka dots.
In 1973 Kusama returned to Japan. The art movement and culture there was much more conservative and she had to completely rebuild her career as she was unknown in her native country. While still practicing art, she became an art dealer, but her business ultimately failed. In 1977 she voluntarily admitted herself to a psychiatric hospital after experiencing increasing episodes of mental distress. She continues to live at the hospital, but every day works in her studio with her assistants and continues to create art.
Kusama is well known for her polka dot art, both in the forms of paintings and installation art, but she has also experimented with film and writing. The film “Kusama’s Self-Obliteration” (1968), which she produced and starred in, won prizes at two international film festivals. She has produced one book of poetry (titled “7”) and eight novels. Kusama is probably best known for her surreal, interactive installation art which continues to be shown in galleries and museums worldwide.