The UK bans export of a Giacometti sculpture

The United Kingdom, through the mouthpiece of its culture minister Ed Vaizey, has imposed an export ban on a Giacometti sculpture estimated at being worth $3 million. Femme (1928-29) is a sculpture by the Swiss artist that greatly influenced British artists such as Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson in the 1930s. Considered as a major piece for modern British art, it is the object of an export ban. The decision was made following a recommendation by the RCEWA (Reviewing Committee on the Export of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest). To keep the work on British soil, the UK will need to find a new buyer by the end of the ban mandate period, valid until 24 May 2016 but extendable until 24 September if serious negotiations are underway. This is not the British government’s first attempt to block the exodus of key works in its heritage, following its intervention for works by Jan Brueghel the Elder, Rembrandt, Pontormo or Claude...

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Christie’s announce line-up for The Art of the Surreal evening sale

Christie’s have announced the line-up for their The Art of the Surreal Evening Sale, which is to take place on 4 February 2015 in London. Lots will include works by pre-eminent surrealists including Miro, Magritte, Chagall, Picabia, Arp, Ernst, Tanguy, and Dominguez. Amongst the most important of the works for sale is Jean Miro’s 1953 L’oiseau au plumage déployé vole vers l’arbre argenté, which is predicted to sell for between £7 million and £9 million. The lots, which come from several anonymous private collections, include several works which have never before been on sale at auction. Olivier Camu, Deputy Chairman of Impressionist and Modern Art at Christie’s, has described the collection of works on sale as “the strongest and most valuable grouping of Surrealist art to be offered at auction, worldwide, to date,” noting their “appeal to today’s broad group of discerning international collectors, who increasingly recognise and appreciate the influence that the Surrealists had on subsequent artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.” In addition to the Surrealist works, the auction will include notable Impressionist and Modern pieces. The pre-sale estimate for the auction is £92 million – £133...

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Reubens exhibition at the Royal Academy

The work of Reubens, the artist known as “the prince of painters”, is to be displayed at The Royal Academy in London from 24 January to 10 April, in an exhibition entitled “Rubens and His Legacy”. The talents of the Flemish painter, who was employed to decorate palaces and banqueting halls, appeased the horror vacui of a whole generation of monarchs. However, some people wonder whether “the prince of painters” deserves such a title, saying that although his skills as a decorated are unrivalled, the artist’s energy seems fragile when compared to that of Rembrandt, Vélazquez or Caravaggio. Reubens seems to fear darkness, never reaching the depths of Caravaggio’s terrifying shadows. This fear is perhaps explained by the tragic events in his life, such as his parents’ escape from the wars of religion between the Protestants and Catholics. When examined more carefully, his paintings include numerous illustrations of cruelty and violence. The artist’s work contains tones of psychological darkness, but he also attempts to overcome these through civilisation. His understanding of a balance between good and evil, order and chaos, has been praised and admired as a triumph of...

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Nominations for the IK prize announced

Tate has just revealed the four finalists for the IK prize, a competition for the best projects that use digital technology to enhance how the general public experience art. The prize-winner, who will receive £10,000 of prize money and be granted a budget of £60,000 to carry out their project, will be announced on 15 February 2015. The winning project will be presented at Tate Britain in the summer, and the other nominees’ projects are to be displayed at an event organised by the institution. The shortlist chosen by a panel of prominent personalities and experts in the digital industry consists of four finalists: Artzoom for Digital Re-Sculpt, which uses 3D technology to exhibit replicas of famous sculptures in the streets; Wieden+Kennedy for Tate Here: a series of immersive audio experiences installed around the country, in places which have inspired famous artworks; Flying Object for Tate Sensorium, an installation of sensory stimulators that allow users to smell, taste, touch and hear art works and Five10Twelve for My Tate Mate, a mobile app that uses algorithms to match snapshots with works of art. The IK Prize, which was introduced last in memory of the philanthropist Irene Kreitman, aims to develop the relationship between the global community and the digital world. “The wealth of creativity shown by people working in the dynamic and fast-changing digital space is an inspiration. It is right that we celebrate in this way the new ways of thinking about how to illuminate the collection for our audiences,” said Nicholas Serota, director of...

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Fiona Banner at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, in Wakefield, is presenting “Wp Wp Wp” by UK artist Fiona Banner from 20 September 2014 until 4 January 2015. The exhibition’s onomatopoeic title relates to the sound of helicopter blades, and the featured work is centred around this theme — in particular, the ambitious project Chinook. Hanging from the ceiling of the Park’s Longside Gallery, Chinook is comprised of two helicopter blades which spin in rotation and at various speeds, giving the sensation that they might collide. Long-preoccupied with military aircraft, Banner uses the blades to underline their particular language: “It’s like they are trying to spell out something that can’t be said,” explains the artist. Her focus on warfare is particularly evident in her 1997 piece, THE NAM, which comprised 1,000 pages of text describing six Hollywood films about Vietnam, including Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now. After graduating from Goldsmiths in 1993, Fiona Banner has continued to develop work — ranging from sculpture, drawing, installation and text — which investigates language. Banner has been featured in established institutions worldwide, including MoMA in New York and the Hayward Gallery in London. The artist was also shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2002.  ...

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