“Britain”

Focus on Yves Klein in the UK

From 20 October to 5 March 2017, the exhibition “Yves Klein” comprising around 30 works by the French artist at the Tate Liverpool is a much anticipated event, for his work has not been the object of any large-scale exhibition in Britain for 20 years. Apart from his many influences on minimalism, conceptual art and performance — with his “living paintbrushes” for his “Anthropométries” series —, Klein is also significant for his alchemical research with colour dealer Édouard Adam, which yielded, at the artist’s request, the pigment known by the name of International Klein Blue...

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Greece toughens its tone towards Britain

In order to recuperate sculptures from the Parthenon, currently exhibited at the British Museum, Greece is playing the diplomatic card. A case in the hands of lawyer Amal Alamuddin-Clooney, wife of the famous actor, and her team. The ancient sculptures in question are the Elgin Marbles. Greece had previously decided not to embark on legal proceedings against the British Museum, given its low chances of winning. Indeed, Great Britain acquired the sculptures in 1816 following a vote in Parliament in favour Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin at the time. To recuperate these major pieces of its cultural heritage, Greece is counting on pressure from public opinion to back up the legitimacy of its request. Meanwhile, within the Greek government, the minister of culture Aristides Baltas has declared: “We are trying to develop alliances which we hope would eventually lead to an international body like the United Nations to come with us against the British Museum.” Although the legal framework is not favourable, the minister does not despair: “As there are no hard and fast rules regarding the issue of returning treasures taken away from various countries, there is no indisputable legal...

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London’s Alan Cristea to present Wesselmann’s Nudes, Still Lifes, and Landscapes

London, 29 October, Art Media Agency (AMA). London’s Alan Cristea Gallery is to present an exhibition of works by American artist Tom Wesselmann. Running between 14 November and 21 December 2013, the show is entitled “Still life, Nude, Landscape: The Late Prints”, and is to feature works inlcuding Monica Nude with Cézanne (1994). Frequently associated with American Pop Art – an affiliation which he nevertheless resented – Tom Wesselmann (b.1931, Cincinnati – d.2004) – produced works characterised by reductive lines, bold, flat primary colours, and the inclusion of symbols of American patriotism. Known for series such as The Great American Nude, the artist sourced materials for his works, not only from fine art pieces, but from magazine pin-ups and publicity materials. The exhibition also coincides with the gallery’s announcement of its newly-acquired status as the exclusive world wide representative for prints from the artist’s estate. The exhibition is to be accompanied by a catalogue featuring a text by Marco...

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Bonhams opens new London headquarters

London, 29 October 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). Auction house Bonhams has opened new, £30m headquarters at 101 New Bond Street, London. The official launch took place on 24 October. Designed by architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, the structure stands on the site of the auction house’s previous headquarters and main London salesroom, and places a strong focus on light and space. The new building was opened by London Mayor, Boris Johnson, who praised the auction house for bringing “jobs”, “growth”, “investment” and “renown” to the city, which he described as the “leading cultural, artistic and auctioneering capital of the world.” The building is currently hosting an exhibition of works to be auctioned by the house over the next few months, including: A Crucifixion by a 15th century anonymous German Painter (estimated between £1,000,0000-1,500,000); Steps at Wick by L.S. Lowry (£500,000- 800,000); Maripose, 1960, a hanging mobile by Alexander Calder ($1,200,000-1,600,000); and Le jardin de Maubuisson, Pontoise, la mère Belette ($1,500,000-2,000,000). Bonhams was founded in 1793, and is one of the world’s largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The company has two major salesrooms in London, at New Bond Street and Knightsbridge, and a further three across the UK. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and...

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Moulding the next generation of Britain’s sculptors: interview with Denise de Cordova, of London’s Royal College of Art

London, 1 October 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). Denise de Cordova — or Amy Bird, as she is sometimes known — is a sculptor and tutor on the sculpture programme at London’s Royal College of Art. The recipient of awards including the Rome Scholarship, the Henry Moore Foundation Fellowship, and the Stanley Picker Fellowship, she is currently represented by the Eagle Gallery, London, and has exhibited the UK and abroad. She has taught extensively, and forms an integral part of the Royal College of Art’s diverse and inter-disciplinary faculty. Art Media Agency met with de Cordova, gaining an insight into both her personal practice, and into her approach to arts education. What’s your background? I’m a sculptor and I also teach. I’ve taught in many art colleges in Britain, but am currently employed as a tutor at the Royal College of Art, where I have also been Acting Head for a while. How many students do you teach? How is your department organised in the college? I teach in the sculpture programme; all our students are post-graduate, MA students, or research students, and there 34 for the first year and 45 in the second. The overall size of the cohort is almost 80 — it’s a big programme, and in fact, most art colleges in the UK are growing. We organise our space in response to this expansion, and we’re developing project spaces that give students the opportunity to make works in different ways. We use the world “sculpture” to describe this course, but it’s an incredibly broad-based discipline — there will be students using film, photography, writing, or creating objects. Because of this, space can be a very fluid thing. Why are the school’s painting and sculpture departments still separate? Is it tradition? I think it’s an important...

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