Exhibition | Fantastical Worlds: Adam Friedrich von Löwenfinck

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on January 16, 2015

From the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden:

Fantastical Worlds: Painting on Meissen Porcelain
and German Faience by Adam Friedrich von Löwenfinck (1714–1754)

Zwinger, Dresden, 1 October 2014 — 22 February 2015

Adam Friedrich von Löwenfinck, Deckelvase

Adam Friedrich von Löwenfinck, Meissen, 1734

To mark the 300th anniversary of the birth of Adam Friedrich von Löwenfinck, the Porzellansammlung of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden presents a comprehensive exhibition of this artist’s oeuvre, bringing together around 100 selected porcelain and faience exhibits from the Dresden Porzellansammlung, private collections and renowned museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Reiss-Engelhorn Museum, Mannheim, and the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg.

Adam Friedrich von Löwenfinck (1714–1754) was one of the most important ceramic painters of the eighteenth century. He began his career at the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory in 1728, but by 1736 had fled to escape restrictions on his artistic development and difficult working conditions in the painters’ workshops. His life then took an adventurous path to a succession of faience manufactories, starting with Bayreuth and moving on by way of Fulda to Strasbourg-Haguenau. Due to his exceptional artistic abilities, but also to his guile and lack of scruples, Löwenfinck eventually rose from lowly journeyman painter to manufactory director.

Inspired by the painted decoration on Chinese and Japanese porcelain in the collection of August the Strong, he created a fantastic world inhabited by vibrantly colourful, fabulous creatures. He later took these exotic motifs, as well as his knowledge of both East Asian and European flower painting, with him as he travelled, transferring them from one workplace to the next. As Löwenfinck did not sign his works, for a long time it was impossible to attribute them with any certainty: as a result, his oeuvre long remained completely unrecognised, even among specialists.

The life and works of this exceptional artist were the focus of several years of research conducted by the Porzellansammlung of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. The results of this project are now presented in a comprehensive anniversary exhibition. Systematic evaluation of archive sources, including manufactory reports and case files, shed light on previously little known aspects of social conditions in the porcelain and faience manufactories of the time, and enabled a fundamental and thorough reassessment of his work.

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From Arnoldsche Art Publishers:

Ulrich Pietsch, Phantastische Welten: Malerei auf Meissener Porzellan und deutschen Fayencen von Adam Friedrich von Löwenfinck, 1714–1754 (Stuttgart: Arnoldsche Art Publishers, 2014), 384 pages, ISBN: 978-3897904200, 78€.

phantastische-welten-loewenfinck-01Adam Friedrich von Löwenfinck (1714–1754) war einer der bedeutendsten Keramikmaler des 18. Jahrhunderts. Er begann seine Karriere 1728 in der Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen, die er wenige Jahre später wieder verließ, um der Einschränkung seiner künstlerischen Entfaltung und den schwierigen Arbeitsbedingungen in den Malerstuben zu entfliehen. Sein abenteuerlicher Lebensweg führte ihn in verschiedene Fayence-Manufakturen, darunter Bayreuth, Ansbach, Fulda, Höchst und Straßburg-Haguenau. Aufgrund seiner außergewöhnlichen künstlerischen Fähigkeiten, aber auch durch Geschick und Skrupellosigkeit stieg Löwenfinck schließlich vom einfachen Malergesellen in die Position eines Manufakturdirektors auf. Löwenfinck ist bekannt für seine fantastische Welt bunt schillernder und märchenhafter Fabeltiere. Er beeinflusste und prägte nachhaltig die Keramikmalerei seiner Zeit und wirkte stilprägend auf viele andere Manufakturen des 18. Jahrhunderts in Europa. Aufgrund fehlender Künstlersignaturen ist sein Werk umstritten und wurde bislang kontrovers diskutiert.

Die vorliegende Publikation ist das Ergebnis eines mehrjährigen Forschungsprojektes der Porzellansammlung Dresden, mit der nun erstmals eine grundlegende Untersuchung der Biografie und des OEuvres Adam Friedrich von Löwenfincks vorgelegt wird.

Call for Articles | Special Issue of Perspective on Textiles

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on January 16, 2015

From H-ArtHist:

Thematic Issue of Perspective: La Revue de l’INHA—Textiles
Submissions due by 31 March 2015

The forthcoming thematic issue of Perspective: La Revue de l’INHA (slated for publication in December 2016 and conceived jointly with the Mobilier national and the Manufactures nationales) will be devoted to textiles across different periods and different places of production and use. The double purpose of this issue is to bring together articles that represent the state of recent—or even ongoing (in the case of Switzerland, Germany and France)—research, while at the same time following single diachronic threads: from medieval embroidery to Louise Bourgeois’s arachnid works, from the ornamentation of the body in antiquity to the Silk Road… It will provide an occasion to examine the textile craft as portrayed by Diego Velázquez in Las Hilanderas (1657, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado); indeed, this seminal painting from the artist’s abundant oeuvre inspires precisely the sort of innovative study that considers the notion of textile as a metaphorical and intermedial space, whereby the canvas reveals itself as both surface and subject.

While textiles offer art history a plethora of objects and subjects, the field must also open itself to interdisciplinary dialogue involving labor history, gender studies, and museum studies, as well as material culture studies, postcolonial studies, economic history, and geopolitics, especially as it relates to the procurement of raw materials. Art history is similarly strengthened when it brings scientific and technical history to bear on the fabrication of hand-made or industrial artifacts. The history of artisans and other agents, from producers to consumers, also offers particularly rich areas of study, on topics ranging from the Cévennes weavers of yesteryear to today’s Bangladeshi textile workers to visitors at the Centre national du costume de scène (National Center for Stage Costumes) in Moulins. In the context of a denationalized history of art, it is possible to examine—to name just a few—the industry of Indian-inspired cotton fabrics in eighteenth-century Europe, the international distribution in the twentieth century of ready-made clothing manufactured in China, or the many avatars of African textiles that reappear, for example, in the contemporary art of Yinka Shonibare, but that can also be traced through the long history of Benin appliqué cloths or the appropriation of ancestral textile practices in contemporary art of the Maghreb.

The issue will delve into the worlds of cultivation (sowing and harvesting), manufacture (weaving, dyeing, tailoring), and local and international commerce, and, more generally, examine the manifold uses of textiles in all periods and in all the corners of the globe. Artists have constantly been reinventing their relationship to textility as both ideal and material, from Mesoamerican feather cloth to Jana Sterbak’s Flesh Dress, not to mention the well-established archetypal relationship with abstract painting. Finally, a diachronic exploration of the history of textile institutions is also encouraged, ranging from centuries-old traditional manufactures to franchised fashion institutes such as the Parsons The New School for Design, now established in New York, Paris, and Shanghai. Similarly, much can be gained from looking more closely at museums involved in the conservation, restoration, or exhibition of textiles, or even the re-creation of old textiles and the commissioning of contemporary creations (Aubusson, Beauvais, The Gobelins).

These numerous topics (textile archeology, printed embroidery materials, theories of the arabesque, sampling processes, etc.) and objects (wall hangings, rugs, lace, clothing, upholstery, stage props, sculpted draperies, and so on) represent a variety of leads that Perspective wishes to explore. The thematic issue on textiles will comprise articles representing multiple forms and contents. Proposals may fall into one of two categories: either a synthetic article highlighting a particular aspect of textiles (25,000 characters/4,000 words) or a historiographical study concentrating on a specific medium, territory of production, or historical period whose textile specificity (in terms of materials, style, etc.) remains to be defined (45,000 characters/7,000 words).

This call for papers does not aim to cover all of the projected subjects. All submissions are therefore welcome, although we wish to favor, as far as possible, a trans-chronological approach. Submissions will be examined by the editorial committee for the issue, which includes Marc Bayard, Marion Boudon-Machuel, Catherine Breniquet, Pascale Charron, Rossella Froissart, Charlotte Guichard, Rémi Labrusse, Anne Lafont, Johanne Lamoureux, Philippe Malgouyres, Sara Martinetti, Nicole Pellegrin, Zahia Rahmani, Katie Scott, Philippe Sénéchal, Philippe Thiébaud, Merel van Tilburg, and Tristan Weddigen.

Please send submissions (a 2000–3000 character/300–500 word abstract and a 2–3 line biography) to revue-perspective@inha.fr by March 31, 2015.


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