Art News – 2 November 2012

Art News – 2 November 2012

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.

Picasso’s Woman in a Red Armchair (1929) after being vandalized with spray paint. Image courtesy Houston Culture Map.

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.”

Owner of Cuerto James Art Gallery in Houston, TX, James Perez stands in front of Uriel Landeros’ first solo exhibition. Image by Melissa Phillip (AP/Houston Chronicle).

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.

For more information, click the links below.

1) NY Times article “Picasso vandal gets his own art show

2) Bigstory AP article “Gallery show for accused Picasso vandal raises ire

3) Houston Culture Map article “Menil Picasso vandal’s own paintings are spray painted as his art show debut turns into a side show

4) Houston Culture Map article “The Menil Picasso vandal answers questions, argues that museums steal from the people

5) Cnn.com article “Vandalized Picasso ready to hang again

Art Links – 13 October 2012

I hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend!

Wallbrights by Quirky.  These sticky LED pads are controlled by your mobile device with the help of bluetooth and a handy app.  Change the colors as your mood hits.  How fun are these?  Click here!

Flayed San Bartolomeo with his own Skin by Marco d’Agrate, 1562. Photo by WeiWong Cylcling & Photography

Marco d’Agrate produced this hyper-realistic anatomical statue of Saint Bartholomew in 1562.  It resides at the Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano).  Click here!

X-rays and spectral imaging reveal unknown details about famous paintings.  Click here!

Artist Gwen Murphy creates faces in shoes for her Foot Fetish Series of sculptures.  Click here!

This is a very cool gallery of 3D illusion street art!  Click here!

Ben Heine does amazing work in his Pencil vs. Camera series.  Click here!

The traditional haka dance as performed by the All Blacks, with translation.

Art News – Monday, 8 October 2012

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.

A close up of the vandalization on Black on Maroon, 1958, by Mark Rothko.

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.

Black on Maroon, 1958, by Mark Rothko, prior to vandalization on 7 October 2012.

Read the story by the Independent for more information: click here.

Art Spotted: Tri-Nimbus Chrystallis, College Station, Texas, USA

Today’s art spotted is a modern glass and steel sculpture located on Texas A&M University’s main campus.

The Tri-Nimbus Chrystallis at Texas A&M University, by Kebrle & Stone.

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.

A view of the upper section of the “Crystal Tree” by Kebrle & Stone.

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 view of the trunk of the “Crystal Tree” by Kebrle & Stone.

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.

Featured Artist: Yayoi Kusama

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.

Yayoi Kusama as a child.

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.

Kusama in polka dot body suit with horse, 1967.

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 creating dot art in her studio.

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.

From the “Look Now See Forever” exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, 2012.
Infinity Mirror Room, exhibition at the Tate Modern, London, 2012.
Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees, Singapore Biennale, 2006.
Flowers that Bloom at Midnight, 2009.
One of Kusama’s many polka dot paintings.
“I Want to Live Honestly, Like the Eye in the Picture” 2009

To visit Kusama’s website Click Here!

To see a short film on Kusama Click Here!