Did Leonardo da Vinci have help?
Aug13

Did Leonardo da Vinci have help?

Matthew Landrus believes the painting, which Louvre Abu Dhabi bought at auction for $450.3 million in 2017, better resembles the work of Bernardino Luini, an assistant in Da Vinci’s studio.   Money has predominantly led most of the discussions surrounding attribution for “Salvator Mundi” (c. 1500), the Renaissance painting from Milan whose connection to Leonardo da Vinci’s studio is certain if also vague. The question of how this painting (sold for $127.5 million in 2014) could nearly quadruple in price to $450.3 million in 2017 was inextricably linked to Christie’s ability to build consensus on what it billed as “one of fewer than 20 known paintings by Leonardo.” Assembling a team of experts, the auction house created a whirlwind of scholarship and publicity that silenced the majority of its critics until the final hours of the sale when a variety of academics and journalists spoke against the attribution. One Leonardo expert who stayed quiet during the stormy debate was Oxford art historian Matthew Landrus, whose upcoming book, Leonardo da Vinci, is an update to his earlier 2006 edition that has sold over 200,000 copies in fifteen languages. Landrus made headlines this week for his controversial appraisal of “Salvator Mundi,” which he says is probably between only 5% and 20% painted by Leonardo. He notes that the rest of the painting is likely the work of Bernardino Luini, a studio assistant of Da Vinci. Hyperallergic spoke with Landrus about his shocking assertion.   Read the full story at source: ...

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Joys and challenges of painting outdoors reflected in Plein Air exhibit
May25

Joys and challenges of painting outdoors reflected in Plein Air exhibit

Plein Air painting, which is simply the act of painting outdoors, is an artistic practice that goes back centuries. Pushing beyond the traditional walls of a studio, artists take their chosen media and travel out into the community or countryside and paint what they see. The result can take the shape of a landscape or cityscape, but also can be a vignette or moment of life captured and expressed through what the artist is confronting. The challenge is that this practice is all done out in the elements, and weather and time often conspire to put limits on what the artist is trying to investigate or convey. Artists who often work in this way almost universally have stories of being caught in some type of weather; they also often have stories of having to deal with curious onlookers who want to watch, talk about how they love painting and/or relate a story about their own experiences. There is an exuberance and passion conveyed through this type of painting that is palpable when you look at the work, regardless of whether the artist has been particularly successful. The act of trying to get all the information on paper or canvas before the weather changes or the medium gets too dry comes through in the visual energy and makes the works interesting and enjoyable.   Source: Akron Beacon...

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Nu couché by Amedeo Modigliani sold for $157m
May21

Nu couché by Amedeo Modigliani sold for $157m

When even the experts are warning that prices for works of art have become obscene, it is probably time to run a dispassionate eye over the multimillion-dollar frenzy for certain works. Last week, Nu couché (sur le côté gauche) by Amedeo Modigliani sold to an unnamed buyer for $157m, and a new record was set for a David Hockney painting when Pacific Coast Highway and Santa Monica was bought for $28.5m. Clare McAndrew of consultancy Art Economics says: “It’s slightly obscene, isn’t it? When you think of the other artists who could be supported by that money.” She adds that the Modigliani transaction is an illustration of the wealthy elite’s predilection for untamed spending: “To spend money on one thing like that shows ultra wealth gone wild.” The price reached at the Modigliani auction reflects the state of the world economy, says McAndrew, who also compiles an annual study of the global art market with Swiss bank UBS. Stronger growth is fuelling the market, spiralling prices reflect rising rampant and rising inequality across advanced economies. The art market broadly matched the growth rate of the global economy between 2000 and 2017, according to the latest UBS report, with world GDP and wealth both rising last year. Even so, some paintings are so famous they can fetch dizzyingly high prices when the economy is in a downturn. Source: The...

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Painting Michelle Obama brought Amy Sherald fame
May16

Painting Michelle Obama brought Amy Sherald fame

On Thursday evening, the crowd at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis overflowed the room in which Amy Sherald was speaking, so late arrivals watched the artist talk on monitors in the atrium. It’s been a little over three months since Sherald, the artist who painted Michelle Obama’s official portrait for the National Portrait Gallery, became a public figure, admired and reviled according to the usual cleavages of race and culture that divide this country. But for an artist who confesses a “healthy amount of self-doubt,” she is poised, confident and funny when addressing a crowd of people who deeply appreciate what she has done for painting, for women, for the Obamas, and for the cause of African American artists. “I thought I was going to die when I was 39,” the 44-year-old Sherald says. Her life story is part of the bond that ties her to the people in this room, many of whom already know the basic outlines: She was a struggling painter from Columbus, Ga., when she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure at age 31. She lived with the fear of death through a fraught but formative decade that included a lifesaving heart transplant in 2012. She emerged from the nightmare stronger, more confident and with a deeper sense of artistic purpose. In 2016, the Baltimore-based artist won the National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever competition, and she was then selected by Michelle Obama to paint the first lady’s portrait. “Everybody should be a donor,” she tells the crowd, deflecting their curiosity about her health onto a constructive message about organ donation. She is good at this, inviting people into her story and then steering them to something else — to her art, or the people she has painted, or some sense of constructive social purpose.   Source: The Washington...

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The ‘Beauty of Simple Things’
Apr13

The ‘Beauty of Simple Things’

Lanesboro Arts presents “Beauty in Simple Things,” an exhibition of still-life oil paintings by Patricia Schu. The exhibit opens with an artist reception on Saturday, April 14, 2018, from 6-8 p.m., and runs through June 17, 2018. The reception will include wine and hors d’oeuvres, as well as live music. Always free and open to the public, the Lanesboro Arts Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday through April 28. The gallery will also be open on Sundays from 11-4 p.m. beginning on April 29. A Minnesota native, Schu was born in Minneapolis, where she now lives with her husband Carl and cat Goldie. Her love of art emerged as a child and has continued throughout her adult years. Although many of those years were spent working and raising her three children, she would eventually set aside time for art classes at various local colleges. As time moved on, so did the kids, and Schu was able to retire after 26 years in the financial services industry. The possibility of full-time art became a reality. After checking out several art schools, Schu enrolled in part-time classes at The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art (formerly known as The Atelier Lack) in Minneapolis. Within a month, those part-time classes led to full-time studies. Using the techniques of the “old masters” in an environment of master artist/apprentice is the primary instructional method of this program. The fundamental principles of realistic drawing and painting in the classical style are emphasized throughout the four-year program, which Schu completed in May 2010.   Source: Winona...

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