There’s a bear in there

News Dec 06, 2007 No Comments

Tooth mining at Gauguin’s love hut [The Guardian] “Four rotten molars and an empty jar of Bovril have been found down a well in the garden of Gauguin‘s house on the remote island of Hiva Oa in the Pacific Ocean. The well was used by native workers to get rid of “worthless” debris from the house after Gauguin’s death. According to Caroline Boyle-Turner, a Gauguin specialist, the severely decayed teeth are almost certainly European (the locals did not eat sugar at that time) and were probably kept as souvenirs by the artist after being extracted…”

Some model behaviour from a carnal crustacean [Sydney Morning Herald] “When one of her paintings sold at auction for just under $20,000, Amanda Marburg became hot property on the Australian art market. But when it comes to talking about her work, the 31-year-old painter gets tongue-tied. Critics rave about the innovation of her painstaking methods; before she picks up a brush, Marburg spends hours moulding fantastical scenes in plasticine. She then photographs her models, often using only a candle or a torch for light. The photographs are the inspiration for the final product: oil paintings on linen that record every detail of the bright plasticine shapes and their muted shadows…”

Aussie art sales end year on a high [The Australian] “The booming Australian art market has ended the year on a massive high with the $1.68million sale of Brett Whiteley‘s Arkie Under the Shower at a Sydney auction last night. Three other paintings fetched more than $1 million at the Deutscher-Menzies auction, for a turnover for the night of $12.1million. With one final auction tonight, the 2007 total art auction figure is almost certain to exceed $160million, 50 per cent higher than last year’s total…”

Wallinger takes Turner prize with re-creation of parliament protest [The Guardian] “It was the man in the bearsuit who won it: Mark Wallinger, 48, was awarded the Turner prize last night, 12 years after he was first nominated but lost to Damien Hirst. His film Sleeper, 154 minutes of him wandering around a deserted German gallery disguised as a bear, but recognisable by his very particular gait, has baffled and entranced visitors to the Turner prize exhibition by turns…”

Aint No Sunshine When The Grants Are Gone [The Australian]: “When, in 2005, the Australia Council proposed changes to the way it funded community arts organisations, there was a well-argued backlash from the sector. With the arts-as-business model replacing the arts-as-welfare model, community organisations had to fight aggressively to maintain funding. They won the battle, if not the war: while the Australia Council no longer has a community cultural development fund with its own board, there is a committee that oversees programs aimed at providing funding for community arts…”

Politically Charged Prints Cause Talking in the Library [New York Times]: “Controversy has erupted from the sleepy third-floor hallway galleries at the New York Public Library, where a modest exhibition of contemporary prints called Multiple Interpretations is on view. The work that has prompted protests from some library patrons, attracted coverage by The Daily News, Fox News and USA Today and has stirred the blogosphere is called Line Up, a series of politically inflammatory prints by the team of Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese. Each black-and-white digital print is a mug shot-style diptych in which a member of the Bush administration appears in profile and face forward, holding a police identification sign and the date on which he or she made a statement of questionable veracity relating to Iraq…”

Should the public help to design the new Tate? [Guardian Art Blog] “The Tate Modern is asking its visitors for ideas on the decoration of its new extension. But is this a good idea?”

Edward Hopper and the Rising Tide of War [Washington Post]: “Edward Hopper painted Ground Swell in late August and early September 1939. It shows friends out sailing on a sunny day, watching a bell buoy bobbing in the waves. Look longer (the picture belongs to the Corcoran Gallery of Art but is now in the National Gallery’s big Hopper retrospective) and you notice standard Hopper themes — mystery, loneliness, alienation…”

‘Black Panther Rank and File,’ Rallying Its Own Art Movement [Washington Post] “Can we distill the sweat and rage that fueled the militant Black Panther Party into something suited to exhibition walls? The group founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in 1966 was as complicated as it was notorious, advocating violence against cops even as it initiated free lunch programs in the poorest schools in Oakland, Calif. Condensing its history would prove a fool’s errand. It’s a good thing, then, that “Black Panther Rank and File” doesn’t try. On view in the Decker and Meyerhoff galleries at the Maryland Institute College of Art here, the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party inspired the show…”

Warhol’s weird world [The Guardian] “Studio 54 invitations, coffee sachets, Caroline Kennedy’s birthday cake, a human foot – Andy Warhol saved it all in 600 sealed boxes. Decades later, Ed Pilkington watches as the ‘time capsules’ are opened…”

Andrew Frost

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