Chinoiserie and Contemporary Art

Posted in conferences (summary) by Editor on October 25, 2010

As noted by Emile de Bruijn at Treasure Hunt, the V&A recently hosted a symposium in connection with SINOPTICON, on ongoing project that considers the role of Chinoiserie in contemporary art. Among the slate of speakers for the day, Ben Schmidt (University of Washington) addressed “Exoticism and Chinoiserie circa 1700:  The Medium and the Message,” and Glenn Adamson (V&A Deputy Head Research and Head of Graduate Studies) spoke on “A Way of Seeing: The Optic of Chinoiserie.” The full symposium program is available here, and there are plans for regular updates at the SINOPTICON blog. As noted at the project’s website:

SINOPTICON is a long-term project investigating ideas and themes of a contemporary chinoiserie in contemporary art. The 18th-century term, ‘chinoiserie’, arose from the mania for Chinese artefacts that erupted in the seventeenth century transforming taste and aesthetics in the West forever. Now China is back, upsurging as a country of major economic and political impact – and with it a new wave of chinoiserie for the twenty-first century. SINOPTICON looks at chinoiserie afresh in the context of contemporary art and incorporates design, display, desire and frippery alongside politics and trade, authorship, interpretation and cultural misunderstanding, fantasy, escapism and fiction. SINOPTICON includes an extensive research and development phase, a symposium, residencies, new commissions and a national touring exhibition.

ASECS Panels at AHA, CAA, and MLA

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on October 25, 2010

Proposals due by 15 December 2010

Each year ASECS sponsors a scholar session at the annual meeting of these societies. Because ASECS is an interdisciplinary society, it encourages its members to propose a session (panel, round table) on a topic of broad scholarly interest and one that will have particular resonance and appeal for the constituencies of the AHA (historians), CAA (art historians), and MLA (literary critics). The deadline for submitting proposals is December 15.

Proposals should take into account the type of interdisciplinary work encouraged by ASECS. A non-member status waiver can be requested from the MLA, for scholars working in fields other than language and literature. A submission form is available on the ASECS website (near the bottom of the page).

Exhibition: Artists’ Travels to Italy, 1770-1880

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on October 24, 2010

Press release from the museum’s website (the catalogue is available through artbooks.com) . . .

Viaggio in Italia: Künstler auf Reisen 1770–1880
Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, 11 September — 28 November 2010

Künstlerreisen nach Italien sind in der Sammlung der Staatlichen Kunsthalle Karlsruhe durch eine immense Fülle von Werken belegt, von denen nun erstmals eine Auswahl vorgestellt wird. „Viaggio in Italia. Künstler auf Reisen 1770 – 1880“ zeigt mehr als 150 Skizzen und Zeichnungen, Aquarelle und Ölstudien, aber auch großformatige Kartons, Gemälde und Druckgraphik. Vor allem Rom als internationales Kunstzentrum zog Künstler aus ganz Europa an und bildete ein Forum für einen regen Austausch unter Malern, Architekten und Bild-hauern. So vereint die Ausstellung unter anderem Werke von Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Joseph Anton Koch, Bertel Thorvaldsen, Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, Carl Blechen, Camille Corot, Johann Wilhelm Schirmer, Arnold Böcklin und Anselm Feuerbach.

Den Schwerpunkt der Ausstellung bilden Landschaftsmotive. Sie beginnt mit einigen Arbeiten französischer Künstler wie Claude Lorrain, Hubert Robert und Jean-Honoré Fragonard. Die jungen Stipendiaten der französischen Akademie in Rom durchstreiften die Campagna in der Nachfolge Lorrains, um zu zeichnen. Künstler wie Fragonard suchten nicht die unberührte, sondern die kultivierte Natur in Form von Parklandschaften, die sich als Kulisse für amouröse und gesellige Szenen eignete. Den französischen Werken werden Arbeiten von deutschen Künstlern wie Jakob Philipp Hackert, Wilhelm Friedrich Gmelin und Joseph Anton Koch gegenübergestellt, für die Italien vor allem aufgrund seiner historischen Dimension und seiner geschichtsträchtigen Stätten zum einzigartigen Anziehungspunkt wurde. Ihnen fehlte das Sammelbecken einer Akademie, doch knüpften sie vereinzelt Kontakte zu ihren Kollegen aus Frankreich und gründeten eigene Zirkel, in denen sie Ideen  austauschten. (more…)

Call for Papers: Art That Is or Isn’t about Happiness

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on October 24, 2010

Happiness or Its Absence in Art
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, 10 March 2011

Proposals due by 31 December 2010

For this symposium we invite papers relating to various aspects of the theme of happiness in art and visual culture, including concepts which generate or shape happiness (or its absence) such as: love, innocence, religious exaltation, spiritual uplift, physical pleasure and enjoyment, entertainment, food, life and death, along with misery, despair, unrequited love. We welcome papers dealing with a work of art or type of iconography, as well as studies from the field of art theory. We are interested in discourses about the perception of happiness by the artist or within the creative process itself; the status of the beholder and the artistic attempt to create a transcendental experience. New research methods and approaches within the discipline as well as papers which adopt an original perspective will receive special attention.

We cordially invite you to propose papers by sending a title and an abstract (up to 300 words) in English, in MS Word format to happiness.arts@gmail.com by December 31st, 2010. Please remember to attach your contact details. For further inquiries please contact Ms. Ronit Milano at ronitmilano@gmail.com.

Exhibition on Nicolaas Verkolje

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on October 23, 2010

As noted at CODART:

Nicolaas Verkolje (1673-1746): Schilderijen en Tekeningen / Paintings and Drawings
Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Enschede, The Netherlands, 5 February — 12 June 2011

Nicolaas Verkolje, "Orestes and Pylades in Tauris," 1732 (Amsterdam Historical Museum)

The Rijksmuseum Twenthe presents the first ever exhibition on Nicolaas Verkolje (1673-1746) showing around 30 of his most important works. From the museum website, 21 July 2010 . . .

Het museum presenteert het eerste overzicht ooit van het werk van Nicolaas Verkolje (1673-1746) met circa 30 van zijn belangrijkste schilderijen. Nicolaas Verkolje was de zoon van portretschilder Jan Verkolje en een van de interessantste kunstenaars van zijn tijd. In de tentoonstelling zijn historiestukken, portretten en tientallen tekeningen en prenten te zien, waarvan vele uit buitenlandse collecties. Verkolje maakte soms meerdere versies van een thema, die in de tentoonstelling met elkaar vergeleken kunnen worden. Zo hangt een van de hoogtepunten uit zijn oeuvre, Mozes door farao’s dochter gevonden uit het Rijksmuseum Twenthe, naast werken met dezelfde voorstelling uit het Landesmuseum Mainz en de collectie Thyssen-Bornemisza in Lugano.

Reviewed: ‘Compass and Rule’

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions, reviews by Editor on October 22, 2010

Recently added to caa.reviews:

Anthony Gerbino and Stephen Johnston, Compass and Rule: Architecture as Mathematical Practice in England, 1500–1700, exhibition catalogue (Oxford and New Haven: Museum of the History of Science, Yale University Press, and Yale Center for British Art, 2009), 192 pages; ISBN: 9780300150933, $65.

Reviewed by Carolyn Y. Yerkes, Ph.D. candidate, Columbia University; posted 13 October 2010.

‘Compass and Rule: Architecture as Mathematical Practice in England, 1500–1750’ tells a story of social class played out in math class. In the exhibition and catalogue, Anthony Gerbino and Stephen Johnston chart the rise of the professional architect in the early modern era by presenting the tools of the trade. Subtitle notwithstanding, ‘Compass and Rule‘ does not focus on architecture itself but rather on architectural drawing, describing the development of drafting techniques and instruments which led to a division between the design and construction phases of building. Although Gerbino and Johnston are not the first scholars to make this argument about the relationship between drawing and professional organization—it was, for example, a focus of Henry Millon and Vittorio Lampugnani’s 1994 exhibition, ‘The Renaissance from Brunelleschi to Michelangelo’—their show added a new twist with its emphasis on the mathematical principles that British architects applied to their work. This differentiates their project from most of the scholarship on architectural drawings, where the main current rarely flows farther north than medieval France or Germany and tends to pool in the Italian Renaissance.

The scope of ‘Compass and Rule’ might strike some as narrow, since a quarter-century of architectural production cannot be viewed through a single lens without a few distortions. Yet the benefits of this approach are clear, as the authors’ willingness to test their thesis with objects brings several obscure issues into sharper focus. . . .

For the full review, click here» (CAA membership required)

Exhibition: Lisiewsky, Court Painter in Anhalt and Mecklenburg

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on October 21, 2010

From the Palace of Mosigkau website:

Teure Köpfe: Lisiewsky,​ Hofmaler in Anhalt und Mecklenburg
Schloss Mosigkau, Dessau Wörlitz, Germany, 29 August — 31 October 2010

Christoph Friedrich Reinhold Lisiewsky, "Portrait of Leopold III. Friedrich Franz von Anhalt-Dessau," 1762

Christoph Friedrich Reinhold Lisiewsky (1725-1794) zählt zu den bedeutendsten Porträtmalern des 18. Jahrhunderts in Deutschland. Als „das Resultat unermesslichen Fleißes und den Triumph der Prosa in der Malerei” bezeichnete sein berühmter Zeitgenosse, der Bildhauer J. G. Schadow, das Werk Lisiewskys. Ob Schadow mit seinem wohl ironisch gemeinten Urteil die künstlerische Leistung richtig einzuschätzen wusste, sei dahin gestellt. In der gemeinsamen Ausstellung der Kulturstiftung DessauWörlitz und dem Staatlichem Museum Schwerin werden erstmals die herausragenden Malqualitäten des Künstlers gewürdigt.

Lisiewsky überzeugt aus heutiger Sicht mit seiner neuartigen, ganz eigenständigen Darstellungsweise auch im Vergleich mit anderen großen Bildnismalern des 18. Jahrhunderts – wie Antoine Pesne zuvor und Anton Graff nach ihm. Seine Porträtauffassung löste sich allmählich von den barocken Stereotypen der Inszenierung und Idealisierung. Durch seinen realistischen, teils naturalistischen Vortrag praktizierte Lisiewsky frühzeitig den Übergang zum Klassizismus. Seine von Porträtierten beschriebene, sorgfältige und aufwendige Arbeitsweise, die brillant ausgearbeitete Stofflichkeit und die genaue Wiedergabe der charakteristischen Physiognomie, Körpervolumina und -haltung, führen zu einer nahezu greifbaren Präsenz des Dargestellten.

Palace of Mosigkau (Wikimedia Commons)

Lisiewsky entstammte einer polnischen Malerfamilie, die mehrere angesehene Mitglieder hervorgebracht hat. Von 1752 bis 1772 war der Künstler als Hofmaler in Dessau tätig. In dieser Zeit führte er auch Bildnisaufträge für einen bürgerlichen Kundenkreis wie Kaufleute, Universitätsprofessoren und Theologen in Berlin und Leipzig aus. 1778 wurde der Porträtmaler an das mecklenburgische Fürstenhaus nach Ludwigslust berufen, wo er 18 Jahre bis zu seinem Tod wirkte.

Information on exhibition programming is available here»

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Gert Bartoschek, et al., Christoph Friedrich Reinhold Lisiewsky (1725-1794), exhibition catalogue (Munich: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2010), 280 pages, ISBN: 9783422070363, $65.

The eighteenth-century painter Christoph Reinhold Friedrich Lisiewsky attained the realistic effect of physical presence in his portraits through a painting method that required many sessions. This richly illustrated catalogue is the first monograph on the painter.

The catalogue is available through artbooks.com.

Reviewed: ‘The National Gallery in Wartime’

Posted in books, reviews by Editor on October 21, 2010

In 1939, London’s National Gallery was closed, and some 1800 works of art were evacuated from the city. Suzanne Bosmann tells the story . . . Recently added at Cercles:

Suzanne Bosman, The National Gallery in Wartime (London: National Gallery, 2008), 127 pages, ISBN 9781857094244, $24.95.

Reviewed by Antoine Capet, Université de Rouen.

. . . . Why the Gallery came to be emptied of its permanent collections, how this was effected, where the collections were re-located and what ideas the enterprising Kenneth Clark found to partially fill it and continue to give it an active life – these are the guiding threads of this profusely-illustrated, very attractive large-size paperback. . . .

The full review is available here»

Winterthur Fellowships

Posted in fellowships by Editor on October 20, 2010

Winterthur Research Fellowship Program for 2011-2012
Applications due by 15 January 2011

Winterthur, a public museum, library, and garden supporting the advanced study of American art, culture, and history, announces its Research Fellowship Program for 2011-12. Winterthur offers an extensive program of short- and long-term fellowships open to academic, independent, and museum scholars, including advanced graduate students, to support research in material culture, architecture, decorative arts, design, consumer culture, garden and landscape studies, Shaker studies, travel and tourism, the Atlantic World, childhood, literary culture, and many other areas of social and cultural history. Fellowships include 4-9 month NEH fellowships, 1-2 semester dissertation fellowships, and 1-2 month short-term fellowships. Fellows have full access to the library collections, including more than 87,000 volumes and one-half million manuscripts and images, searchable online. Resources for the 17th to the early 20th centuries include period trade catalogues, auction and exhibition catalogues, an extensive reference photograph collection of decorative arts, printed books, and ephemera. Fellows may conduct object-based research in the museum’s collections, which include 85,000 artifacts and works of art made or used in America to 1860, with a strong emphasis on domestic life.

Winterthur also supports a program of scholarly publications including Winterthur Portfolio: A Journal of American Material Culture. Fellows may reside in a furnished stone farmhouse on the Winterthur grounds and participate in the lively scholarly community at Winterthur, the nearby Hagley Museum and Library, the University of Delaware, and other area museums. Fellowship applications are due January 15, 2011. For more details and to apply, visit Winterthur’s website or e-mail Rosemary Krill at rkrill@winterthur.org.

The Louvre Acquires Its First Work by Roubiliac

Posted in Art Market by Editor on October 19, 2010

Louis-François Roubiliac, "Bust of Philipe Domer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield" (Paris: Musée du Louvre)

As reported by Didier Rykner at La Tribune de l’Art (2 October 2010) . . .

. . . Le Louvre a acheté chez Sotheby’s Londres, le 14 juillet dernier, un buste en bronze de Roubiliac représentant Lord Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (ill. 1) pour la somme de 115 250 £ (incluant les frais). Il s’agit de la première œuvre de l’artiste à entrer au Louvre et, semble-t-il, dans une collection publique française. . . .

The full article is available here»

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