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California Literary ReviewArt & Design | California Literary Review California Literary Review

Art & Design

Art Review: Kurt, at the Seattle Art Museum, Explores Kurt Cobain’s Influence on Contemporary Artists

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May 28th, 2010

Nearby, Jeffry Mitchell’s portrait as Kurt is arguably the hidden gem of the exhibit. Self-Portrait as Kurt Cobain in the Style of Jay Steensma features a skull wearing a blond wig amongst a thickly painted sea of grey. (Steensma was a “mystic” artist famous for his paintings of grey, Northwestern landscapes).

Art Review: Albrecht Dürer: Virtuoso Printmaker at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

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May 25th, 2010

The earlier prints from each series are flatter, the lines more bold and calligraphic, the details stranger. The later images show the rising influence of the renaissance: the figures bear their weight in sophisticated contrapposto stances, the realistically-rendered bodies are more beautiful. It’s illuminating to see these works grouped together, to follow their stories in and out of changing historical styles and Dürer’s own artistic and intellectual development.

Pritzker Prize goes to Bowery Museum’s Architects

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May 24th, 2010

The 2010 Pritzker Architecture Prize was awarded to the Japanese duo, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa. Their firm, Sanaa, is responsible for creating some of the most daring and elegant buildings of the last decade, including the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York (2007), and the 21st Century museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan.

Recycling Meets Recreation

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May 17th, 2010

Last year Macro-Sea conceived of the Dumpster Pool. The designers constructed what they call a “lo-fi country club” in a trash-filled lot in Brooklyn. The mini oasis consisted of three adjacent swimming pools made out of repurposed dumpsters.

The Life and Work of Eadweard Muybridge

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May 7th, 2010

Muybridge had married his young assistant, in 1871. After a while, he began to suspect that she was having an affair with theater critic, Harry Larkyns. In 1874, Muybridge found a photograph of the couple’s baby son, on the back of which, his wife had scralled “Little Harry.” Enraged, he tracked down Larkyns and shot him dead. The jury deemed Muybridge’s vengeance justifiable and he was acquitted. The couple’s young son was deposited in an orphanage.

Artist’s Blacklist Fights Speculation

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April 30th, 2010

Although the market has been good to Ms. Dumas, the artist’s distaste for speculative art buyers has led her to create a ‘blacklist’ of individuals to whom she will not sell a piece. If she and her dealers discover that a collector has been buying paintings only to turn them over for a profit, they add said philistine to the index.

Suburban Gothic: A. Clarke Bedford’s America

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April 28th, 2010

Bedford explains “one begins to wonder if every snapshot of grandparents in a Model A Ford in Yosemite National Park, every image of a postwar father in an Army uniform, every mother in a 50s suburban kitchen, every painful Vietnam-era Christmas morning isn’t essentially the same.” The artist is able to look beyond the individual objects and snapshots and begins to view them as evidence of certain cultural practices. He examines why taking pictures is an important American pastime, and why certain types of photographs, like wedding pictures and portraits of stoic soldiers in uniform surface so frequently.

How to Get Your Work in the Louvre? Hang it up Yourself!

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April 26th, 2010

Ironically, while Mr. Guérineau has indicated a desire to infuse France’s museums with fresh blood and new ideas, his recent stunt is essentially an imitation of a more complex prank pulled off in March of 2005 by Banksy. The English graffiti artist smuggled four of his own artworks into four of New York’s major museums. While Guérineau’s actions seem to stem from desperation and barely disguised megalomania, Banksy’s prank was an intelligent, well thought-out experiment. The pieces he proffered were designed to act in conversation with existing museum exhibits and to express his political oppinions about a variety of issues.

Running Fence: Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Masterpiece Revisited at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

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April 19th, 2010

While one might be tempted to attribute the project’s failure to grandiose ambition, the success of Running Fence, an older Christo Jeanne-Claude collaboration, shows us that The Gates was not nearly ambitious enough.

Where’s the Love? Robert Indiana Sued by Former Business Partner

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April 12th, 2010

With the possible exception of Milton Glaser’s I love New York, no single piece of typography has garnered more attention than Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE design. The artist originally created the image in 1964 to adorn a Christmas card being sold at the Museum of Modern Art. In 1970, a sculptural version made of corten steel was exhibited in New York.

A Match Made in Heaven: Jeff Koons’ BMW Art Car

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April 12th, 2010

Jeff Koons: design sketch for the 17th BMW Art Car 2010 © Jeff Koons, Image Source: Cartype On April 6th, international art star, Jeff Koons revealed his design for his BMW art car.  The company has been commisioning artists to adorn  vehicles since 1975.  The project started when Hervé Poulain, an auctioneer and race car driver asked his friend, Alexander Calder, to […]

The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture, 1600-1700

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April 4th, 2010

Saint Serapion (1628) by Francisco de Zurbarán A new show at the National Gallery of Art is bringing long-overdue attention to seventeenth-century Spanish painting and sculpture.  Xavier Bray, who curated The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture, 1600-1700, explains in an NGA podcast that historically, American collectors avoided these stark pieces due to their […]

The Wonderful World of Maira Kalman

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March 29th, 2010

Well, Susan, 2004-05 by Maira Kalman [Image source: How Blog] The intelligent curating at Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art always makes a walk through its galleries worthwhile. The ICA should also be lauded for the tremendous variety of subjects and media that it tackles. In past years, the small museum has explored video art, experimental […]

Museums: Attracting a Younger Crowd

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March 25th, 2010

Brooklyn Museum iPhone Application Museum-goers today are very different than they were one hundred years ago.  Art institutions have been updating their communications and marketing strategies in order to attract and hold the attention of socially active, tech-savvy visitors.  A recent special section on museums in the New York Times explores some of the ways […]

Iran’s Cultural Heritage Under Threat

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March 22nd, 2010

In addition to depriving Iranians of their cultural property, a decision to turn over the artifacts to the Rubin plaintiffs would have grave effects for the museums involved and cultural institutions in general. Four American institutions could be divested of objects currently in their collections and unable to use them for research purposes.

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