Hammersmith Apollo’s art deco glory uncovered after refurbishment

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Concert venue where David Bowie brought the curtain down on Ziggy Stardust is restored after nine-week closure.

Read more at: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/sep/06/hammersmith-apollo-art-deco-refurbishment

Chris Sabian is a portrait artist with http://www.kutefineart.com and owner of http://www.paragonprints.co.uk

The Lowry Arts Centre Salford Quays: Director Robert Robson Dies

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The Lowry Centre’s Artistic Director Robert Robson has died at the age of 58. Chief Executive Julia Fawcett said in a statement. “Robert provided inspirational artistic leadership to The Lowry from the moment the venue first opened its doors in 2000; with the vision to ‘bring the world to Salford and Salford to the world’,” wrote Chief Executive Julia Fawcett in a statement. “Alongside this, he played a crucial role in the arts both nationally and internationally, including his role as Chair of Phoenix Dance and on the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Performing Arts.” “He was respected across the industry, and will be greatly missed by his colleagues here at The Lowry and the people he worked with and supported across the country,” Fawcett continued. “We hope everyone would join us in sending our deepest condolences to Robert’s family.”

Robert Robson joined The Lowry in 1998 as theatre’s director and in early 2003 was appointed artistic director. Hailing from Scotland, where he studied at Glasgow University and University College, Cardiff. Mr Robson worked widely in community theatre and became Artistic Director of Cumbernauld Theatre in 1983. In 1990 he became Festival Director of Mayfest, Britain’s second biggest arts festival, presenting work across all the art forms and programming and commissioning the best international and British work. In 1994, he became first the Theatre Director of His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen and then General Manager of Performing Arts Venues for Aberdeen City Council. Mr Robson had been artistic director at the Lowry which houses theatres and galleries, since 2003.

Located in the heart of the city’s redeveloped Salford Quays, the Lowry is a spectacular waterside building which houses an outstanding collection of work by LS Lowry, one of the most popular British artists of the 20th century. As well as changing displays reflecting the many themes of Lowry’s work, the gallery presents a programme of innovative original art exhibitions. Two theatres and a studio space present a full schedule of performing arts. It attracted 820,000 people in 2012 and was voted the most popular visitors attraction in Greater Manchester.

Airports for Art Lovers

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If you want to see some of the best contemporary art in U.S. cities these days, buy an airline ticket.

Airports have been spending heavily on public art over the past 10 years, thanks to a heavy focus on turning what historically have been nondescript atriums of stress into interesting rest stops catering to upscale clientele.

Many terminals have moved beyond posting grade-school drawings of airplanes. Now they incorporate huge installations into the layout of new buildings and house works from big-time artists. Some airports have opened museums and curate roving exhibits. Others proudly display works by Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella and Roy Lichtenstein. Atlanta’s new international terminal spent $5 million on art. San Francisco International, considered a leader in airport art, has spent more than $15 million since the 1970s.

Cities say they know travelers aren’t eager patrons and no one goes to the airport for the sculpture, but they can use art to make a good first impression when visitors arrive.

Airport officials say changes in travel after the 2001 terrorist attacks brought more attention toward art in terminals. New security requirements leave travelers frazzled and force them to spend much more time at airports.

The American Association of Airport Executives has held an annual meeting of airport art program officials for the past 11 years. Once 9/11 happened, airports were desperate to make the experience calmer and more enjoyable for passengers. And art has made a difference.

In addition, urban beautification efforts in cities created ordinances that often require 1% to 2% of public-building construction budgets be spent on art. Since airport terminals are usually very expensive projects, airports end up buying major installations, and much of a city’s public art budget winds up at the airport.

Airport authorities typically form committees, or use local arts boards, to make selections, usually done through commissions to, or proposals submitted from, artists. Art that works well in terminals leads harried travelers to stop and take a closer look—and snap photos. Some airports monitor social media mentions to measure art-program success.

Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport has a giant bronze wishbone at the entrance to a security checkpoint in its international terminal, rubbed by travelers now for good luck. Miami International Airport has a half-mile walkway of terrazzo tile embedded with mother of pearl and cast bronze fish, shells and other elements called “A Walk on the Beach” by Michele Oka Doner. San Diego spent $2.2 million on “The Journey,” a ribbon of 38,000 LED lights that has images of people swimming, dancing and walking, plus birds in flight, fluttering throughout the sculpture.

Many airports have long housed iconic works, such as the Alexander Calder sculpture “Flight” at New York’s Kennedy International Airport and Michael Hayden’s 1987 neon light show set to music in an underground walkway between United Airlines concourses at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

But unlike bunkerlike terminals of past eras, new airports typically boast large, open atriums that house food courts or shopping malls, plus high ceilings and walls of windows to reduce claustrophobia. Those open spaces create unique opportunities for large-scale sculptures.

Airports have diverse populations, so airport art often is tailored for a very general audience. While museum art often makes provocative social commentary, airports have opted for more easily approachable art for a varied group of “patrons.”

Successful airport art often connects to the local community, so you know where you are when you land. Critics call Joyce Kozloff’s mosaic in the floor at Washington’s Reagan National Airport that uses a map image of Chesapeake Bay attractive from a distance and fascinating up close.

Other well-received installations simply reflect an aviation theme: butterflies forming the shape of airplanes in Las Vegas or a tall pile of colorful baggage in Santiago, Chile. And art consultants say good public art is clever and surprising, rewarding repeat viewing and closer inspection.

Some works have elicited jeers. A huge, wall-mounted, blue work shirt at Milwaukee’s airport was deemed by some in the community as a pejorative comment on the city’s reputation as a blue-collar town. The Dennis Oppenheim work was scrapped before it was installed.

Denver International Airport has been hailed as a model of public art. But Luis Jimenez’s “Mustang,” a giant, cobalt blue fiberglass horse with neon-red eyes at the airport’s front drive, has been criticized as Satanic-looking. (Mr. Jimenez, a renowned sculptor, was killed in 2006 when a large section of “Mustang” fell on him.) The airport has stuck by the piece, which was installed in 2008, despite the criticism.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has a large collection of contemporary sculpture. But the airport also has a collection of Dutch masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum on rotating display. The airport takes extra precautions for its expensive paintings. Its museum is in one of the most secure places in the airport, after passport control, a Schiphol spokeswoman notes. The paintings are secured behind glass in a climate-controlled environment.

Chris Sabian is a portrait artist with http://www.kutefineart.com and owner of http://www.paragonprints.co.uk

Brecon Museum and Art Gallery and Library wins £5m revamp

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More than £5m of council money is to go towards a major revamp of a Victorian museum and art gallery and a new library in Brecon.

It comes after Brecon Museum and Art Gallery was awarded £2.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in July.

Powys council’s cabinet said the changes would cost £7.6m in all.

Up to £4m of the council’s funding will come from the sale of buildings in Brecon.

The HLF regards the Grade II-listed building as one of the finest examples of early Victorian Greek revival architecture in Wales.

It houses one of the largest art collections in Powys but the former court and shire hall needs repairs to its stonework and roof.

The cabinet approved plans to spend more than £5m renovating the Brecon landmark and building the library.

The museum and art gallery revamp and the library form part of wider plans for a cultural and community hub in the town centre.

The proposals include a dedicated learning space, the expansion of the education and outreach service and new digital equipment to help with presentations.

In July, the HLF said its funding would help safeguard the museum and art gallery, which was originally built in 1842, for the future.

Powys council first applied for the lottery funding for the museum and art gallery in 2009 but the bid was rejected.

Chris Sabian is a portrait artist with http://www.kutefineart.com and owner of http://www.paragonprints.co.uk

Andy Warhol Art Set To Fetch Millions

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More than 40 artworks by Andy Warhol are to be auctioned at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, with the most expensive piece expected to fetch around $1m (£633,000).

The collection, From Warhol With Love, features the late pop artist’s ink-on-paper work from the 1950s.

Warhol travelled to Hong Kong in 1956, and the trip inspired some of the gold and butterfly themes in the exhibition.

The works going on show in Hong Kong are well known to local art collectors.

The appetite for Warhol’s work was apparent in Hong Kong earlier this year when 400 of his pieces exhibited at the Museum Of Art attracted a quarter of a million visitors in four months.

Each of the 46 pieces in the Sotheby’s auction is thought to be worth at least $10,000 (£6,326).

The exhibition runs until September 24.

Chris Sabian is a portrait artist with http://www.kutefineart.com and owner of http://www.paragonprints.co.uk

Art Spiegelman Reflects On 60 Years Of Pen And Ink

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It’s axiomatic now that comics have gone from being kids’ stuff to, in some cases, adults only. These days, comics are recognized as a real artistic form, one that can be complex, subtle, pointed, probing and profane.

One of the artists most responsible for this is Art Spiegelman, who drew for Topps Bubble Gum comics, invented the Garbage Pail Kids, created a character who was all head, no body, for Playboy and won the Pulitzer Prize for Maus, his Holocaust comic — a phrase that was once unfathomable.

Spiegelman has edited magazines and has drawn famous covers for The New Yorker. “As an art form, the comic strip is barely past its infancy,” he once wrote. So am I. Maybe we’ll grow up together.”

A new restrospective of his work has been published by Drawn and Quarterly. It’s called Co-Mix: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics, and Scraps.

Chris Sabian is a portrait artist with http://www.kutefineart.com and owner of http://www.paragonprints.co.uk

Van Gogh and the art of living forever

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If you’re good enough at what you do, it is possible to live forever.

That’s a lesson to be drawn from the news out of Amsterdam last week. A painting by the Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh, which was previously believed to be a forgery, has been authenticated. “Sunset at Montmajour,” a landscape painted by van Gogh in 1888, has been painstakingly studied by experts at the Van Gogh Museum, using sophisticated chemical-and-technological analysis. Their conclusion: It’s the real thing.

Immortality: Now that van Gogh’s “Sunset at Montmajour” has been discovered and authenticated for the world to see, his every artistic choice that reveals itself on the canvas will be peered at and discussed for centuries to come, by admirers hoping to glean further insights into the man he was.
He painted more than 800 canvases and did more than 1,000 drawings and watercolors.

He went to his grave a pauper, knowing that, for all his talent and heart and inspiration, he had been able, in his lifetime, to sell only one painting.

Chris Sabian is a portrait artist with http://www.kutefineart.com and owner of http://www.paragonprints.co.uk

Street Art Lets woman Take A Stand Against Harrassment

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Artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh’s public art project strives to give a voice to women who don’t feel capable of talking back to cat-callers.

Read more at: http://www.psfk.com/2013/09/anti-harassment-street-art.html

Chris Sabian is a portrait artist with http://www.kutefineart.com and owner of http://www.paragonprints.co.uk

The real art of Australia

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A major new exhibition dedicated to Australian art opens shortly at the Royal Academy. Here, we round up some great art experiences you can have in the country.

Read more at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/australiaandpacific/australia/10312908/The-real-art-of-Australia.html

Chris Sabian is a portrait artist with http://www.kutefineart.com and owner of http://www.paragonprints.co.uk

17th Art Moscow Fair Opens With New Format

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When the Art Moscow fair first opened 17 years ago, it was truly a one of a kind event, a fair intended to bring together foreign and Russian galleries, showing the best art the galleries had to offer to Muscovites and anyone else who wanted to come. Now, the yearly art fair is one of the largest in Europe, yet with budgetary woes and a stagnant art market in Russia, it has decided to make significant changes. When the fair opens on Sept. 18, it will be Art Moscow 2.0, a reboot intended to bring new life and purpose.

Beside the wealthy people, who have now developed a direct access to art anywhere, there is a new middle class who can afford to buy contemporary art. This opinion on the burgeoning middle class reflects the direction that Art Moscow has taken this year, moving away from the expensive works by well-known names that have dominated the market in previous years towards a focus on young artists and less expensive art.

The traditional art market changes its format this year in the face of steep budget cuts and a moribund art market in Russia.

This approach was tested last year in a special exhibition called “New Platform” that took place on the third floor of the Central House of Artists. This format, which focused on galleries that had existed for three years or less and on works that cost less than $5000, will become the main event this year, instituting a radical change in the traditional exhibition.

This shift is accompanied by a general change of focus away from the more commercial aspects of the fair. This year, numerous wholly non-commercial events will be added to the traditional fair, including a project from the Bonn Biennale of Video Art that will be shown at the fair. An exhibit organized with the Vienna University of Fine Arts called “From the Virtual to Reality” will be a parallel event of Art Moscow and also part of the 5th Moscow Biennale. More international art will be showcased in the exhibit “Positive / Negative,” which will display Polish modern art, while a separate festival called “New Culture Fest” will be held in a different room of the Central House of Artists and is said to examine the future of art. Art Moscow will also be accompanied by a significant discussion and lecture program.

A result of the decommercialization of the fair is a significant reduction of the budget — Art Moscow’s budget this year is 10 million rubles ($309,372), down a third from previous years.

Despite this reduction in the budget, the fair will still have a significant deficit, and organizers hope to secure assistance from sponsors.

Overall, the Art Moscow staff seems hopeful that this year will see a re-energized fair in the new format. Art Moscow may be further energized by the fact that the fair will be contemporaneous with the 5th Moscow Biennale, which may help to focus further attention on the arts world in Moscow.

Art Moscow will be open from Sept. 18 to 22 at the Central House of Artists, 10 Krymsky Val, Metro Oktyabrskaya. For more information on Art Moscow and associated events, visit the Art Moscow website.

Chris Sabian is a portrait artist with http://www.kutefineart.com and owner of http://www.paragonprints.co.uk

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