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These guys will be creating art using all five senses, but what if the painting needs more salt?
Primarily, we experience art visually. The occasional modern art exhibit will allow us to hear and touch various installations, but what if we could experience art with all five of our senses, including taste?This is the question posed by Tate Britain, an art museum in London, which will be premiering a new exhibit called Tate Sensorium, opening in the fall of this year. It will allow you to see, hear, touch, smell, and even taste the exhibits.
The exact nature of the exhibits is being kept under wraps, but if you’re picturing people licking still life paintings, and coming away with the taste of apples and bananas, we (unfortunately) doubt that that would be the case. Instead, according to Quartz, the museum will be using new interactive technology to gauge how our reactions to art shift when our various senses are activated.
“It’s all slightly experimental, but that’s also why the scientists are really interested in being involved, because we’ll actually be doing a lot of measurements around how people react to everything,” Tom Pursey, from Flying Object, the creative agency behind the exhibit, told Quartz. “And from an artistic point of view… if we can complement your visual experience with these other four senses in a meaningful way, then maybe we can change how you feel about the art.”
The exhibit works in tandem with new studies that suggest that none of our senses work in isolation. Restaurants are also taking note of this research: Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck, for example, serves one of its dishes with an iPod to enhance the experience.
Paintings by artist Mitchell Johnson to be exhibited at Pamela Walsh Gallery
In what Menlo Park-based artist Mitchell Johnson describes as a “major exhibit,” the Pamela Walsh Gallery in Palo Alto is presenting Color Continuum: Selected Works 1988-2021 from May 15 to June 26. The opening reception is from 4:00 to 6:00 pm on Saturday, May 15. The Gallery is located at 540 Ramona St.
“There are a lot of earlier smaller paintings to build the context of how I got to the big paintings,” Mitchell explains. “Some are borrowed from private collections. Some are going to museums. And some are for sale.”
Mitchell’s formative years as a painter were shaped at Parsons where he received his MFA in 1990. At the time, Parsons was still brimming with many of Hans Hofmann’s former students: Paul Resika, Larry Rivers, Jane Freilicher, Leland Bell, Neil Blaine and Robert DeNiro, Sr. New York was fertile ground for a young painter, and Mitchell learned from all of these artists.
Between Parsons, the NY museums, and working small jobs for Frank Stella and Sol LeWitt, Mitchell began to develop his artistic practice and find his voice as a painter. His early work ranges from purely abstract compositions and figures to representational landscapes steeped in European traditions.
In the fall of 1990, Mitchell’s life took a dramatic change of course when he was offered a job as studio assistant to Sam Francis in Palo Alto. He left New York for the West Coast and discovered the seductive light of California. The change of scenery was immediately evident in his work. In the 90s, Mitchell became known for expressionistic, painterly landscapes of California and bucolic scenes of Europe.
In the early 2000s, Mitchell’s work went through another distinct change as his compositions became
more distilled and abstracted. He continually emphasizes the watershed moment when he visited a 2005 Josef Albers exhibition at the Giorgio Morandi museum in Bologna, which crystallized concepts he was already experimenting with in his own work.
Brenda Danilowitz, the chief curator at the Albers Foundation summarized it best: “[Mitchell] recognized that something remarkable occurred when these two unlikely comrades in art faced one another. The upshot resonates in Johnson’s work of the past two decades: precisely and meticulously arranged color and form play off each other in startling and lambent ways.” As an artist who was already excited by the possibilities inherent in color and form, he found lasting inspiration in the juxtaposition of these artists who were masters at both.
He began to intermingle large, geometric shapes and flat areas of color into his cityscapes of New York and San Francisco, and later his beach landscapes in Cape Cod. Using familiar views as scaffolding, he examined the interplay between the context of color—variety and how one hue relates to another—and the context of form.
Today, he works in a large, light-filled studio that allows him to deepen his exploration of colors in natural light and work on large-scale canvases. His newest paintings are bright, bold, representational images of Cape Cod, New York, California, Europe and colorful, geometric abstractions.
“From 345 Stockton,” 2021 20吘 inches oil/canvas. Painted in winter 2021. Image courtesy of Pamela Walsh Gallery photo of Mitchell Johnson courtesy of the artist
Art (New Horizons)
Art pieces are paintings and sculptures that can be purchased from Jolly Redd's Treasure Trawler and donated to the museum, provided they are not forged. Donating the first piece to the museum will allow Blathers to expand the museum, which requires one day of construction.
In New Horizons, the genuine and forged pieces look different, allowing the player to identify them before purchasing. There are 14 pieces that are always genuine, but the majority have a forged version.
Occasionally, male villagers may mail a resident a piece of art. Jock and Lazy villagers can send any piece of art, which can be either real or fake. Cranky villagers can send sculptures, which can be either real or fake. Smug villagers will send only fake pieces to the player. Ώ] Female villagers, regardless of personality, will not send art to the player.
Forged art cannot be sold at Nook’s Cranny and will either need to be given to a villager or thrown away in a trashcan in order to get rid of it.
Jolly Redd's Treasure Trawler has four spaces for art, each allowing for different types of art to be displayed. The back-left slot may hold any painting the front-left slot may hold small paintings only the back-middle slot may hold small paintings or small sculptures and the back-right slot may hold any piece of art. As this is the only slot which may contain large sculptures, they are considerably rarer than other pieces of art.
Each time Redd visits, there is a 20% chance for a piece of art not donated to the player's museum to be forced to spawn.
This New Art Exhibit Allows You to Taste the Paintings - Recipes
Some visitors to the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento simply can’t help themselves when faced with the luscious, fetching rows of plated pies. Fingers have been seen swiping the impasto meringue, so now an imperceptible layer of plexiglass protects the iconic 1961 painting Pies, Pies, Pies by renowned and beloved artist Wayne Thiebaud, who lives nearby.
The painting is one of 100 Thiebaud works curated by the Crocker in an exhibition marking Thiebaud’s 100th birthday earlier this month. Seeing the painting in person makes the icing an “object rhyme” for the real thing Thiebaud literally whips the oil paint like frosting before applying it. “You want to touch the pies,” says Scott Shields, associate director and chief curator of the museum. “They’re tactile and they look tasty.”
The pies are representative of Thiebaud’s oeuvre over the course of his decades of work, he has painted all manner of desserts, as well as landscapes, streetscapes, portraits and clowns. He’s known for his nostalgic, earnest depictions of everyday objects, often rendered with a dry wit. His work sits in the collections of the Smithsonian, as well as MOMA, the Whitney, SF MOMA, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and others. “In spite of his commercial success, Thiebaud keeps pushing the boundaries,” says Virginia Mecklenburg, senior curator of 20th-century art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
/>Wayne Thiebaud, Watermelon and Knife, 1989. Pastel on paper. (Crocker Art Museum, gift of the artist's family, 1995.9.30. © 2020 Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY) Wayne Thiebaud, Bow Ties, 1993. Color lithograph hand-worked with pastel. (Crocker Art Museum, gift of the artist's family, 1995.9.38. © 2020 Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY) />Wayne Thiebaud, Boston Cremes, 1962. Oil on canvas. (Crocker Art Museum Purchase, 1964.22. © 2020 Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY)
Last week, the Crocker closed for an indeterminate amount of time because of public health restrictions put in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic. All of Thiebaud’s deliciousness waits sweetly on the walls. It’s unfortunate, because just as going inside a bakery to inhale the heady aroma of sugar and warm bread enhances the act of eating, seeing Thiebaud’s meringue vérité in person provides an experience that can’t be replicated by a two-dimensional print. In the meantime, however, the Crocker allows online visitors to browse each image in the exhibit and has offered a virtual tour by Shields on YouTube .
Thiebaud himself saw the exhibition a few days before the show opened in mid-October. “He came in and blessed it,” says Shields. “We all promised to stay 20 feet away from him.” Despite his fame and the millions of dollars his paintings garner at auction, Thiebaud presents as down-to-earth and self-effacing. In an interview, he says of the over 500 birthday cards and letters forwarded to him that, “We got an awful lot of them. I was so grateful for people doing that. I never feel like I deserve it.”
And how did he spend his centennial birthday? “I stayed in my pajamas and my bathrobe and didn’t do anything except receive nice phone calls from people.”
At 100, Thiebaud remains active, playing tennis several times a week. “It’s pretty slow tennis, but we enjoy it,” he says. “We get out with a lot of other old fellows and play doubles.” He still drives in the daytime, and just renewed his license for another year. Out on the road, he sees cars bearing the specialty license plate he designed, which shows the sun setting on the Pacific with a row of palm trees along the shore. Sales since 1993 have garnered $25 million for the California Arts Council. Thiebaud laughs when asked if his car sports the plate. “No,” he says. “I’d be embarrassed.”
A license plate with Thiebaud's artwork on it. (Courtesy of California Arts Council)
Most importantly, he paints almost every day. “Most serious painters paint all the time. You have to paint so much to get so little,” he says.
“Painting is a very, very difficult thing to do, and we’re fortunate to be in a community of painters over history. Of course, they’re magicians and miraculous workers.”
In 1962, New York gallery owner Allan Stone launched Thiebaud’s career by giving him a solo show, and while Thiebaud is often thought of as a part of the Pop Art movement of the s his dessert work predated it. “Wayne is a painter first and foremost, but although he objects to being associated with the Pop Art movement, he was also on the ground floor of launching it,” says Mecklenburg. “He was in the first Pop Art show, and it was his work that in many respects defined the movement because he celebrated the ordinary objects of daily life.”
Thiebaud in his Sacramento studio in 1987. (Matt Bult) Sergeant Wayne Thiebaud painting on a B-29 aircraft in California in 1944 (Wayne Thiebaud papers, 1944-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution) Thiebaud sketches in the collection of the Archives of American Art. (Wayne Thiebaud papers, 1944-2001. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution)
Thiebaud rejects being categorized as a Pop artist because he’s a formalist, Shields explains, an art style obsessed with geometry and form. For instance, his famous gumball machines operate as circles within a larger, transparent circle. And while Andy Warhol and others mass-produced their work, Thiebaud labored over each piece, his hand apparent in each one. Even the space between objects is attended to: “The empty space is as important and animated as his subject matter,” says Shields, “and sometimes more so.”
After cutting his sweet tooth on desserts, Thiebaud moved on to San Francisco street views in the s, influenced by artist friend Richard Diebenkorn’s similar streetscapes. These pieces convey intense verticality, with steep streets unfurling like scrolls. For instance, the perspective in Street and Shadow 1982-83, 1996, says Shields, “is impossible, and yet it sort of feels possible.”
Other work in the Crocker exhibition includes portraits that seem like still-lifes featuring humans rather than fruit, and landscapes of the Sacramento delta that play with viewpoint, such as including trees seen from the side and from above in the same work.
Wayne Thiebaud, Street and Shadow, 1982/1996. Oil on linen. (Crocker Art Museum, gift of the artist's family, 1996.3. © 2020 Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY) Wayne Thiebaud, Park Place, 1995. Color etching hand-worked with watercolor, gouache, colored pencil, graphite, and pastel. (Crocker Art Museum, gift of the artist's family, 1995.9.50. © 2020 Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY) />Wayne Thiebaud, Valley Farm, 1993. Softground color etching and aquatint hand-worked with color pencil. (Crocker Art Museum, gift of the artist's family, 1995.9.51. © 2020 Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY)
His talent was evident early on as a child growing up in Southern California and Utah Disney hired him as a cartoonist when he was 16. “It was a probation thing, that they gave young people. You took your drawings and if they thought you were reasonably good, you’d get to be an in-betweener,” he says, a job that involved tracing the same image over a lightboard again and again, changing only limbs or facial expressions. He was fired for participating in a labor strike and muses 84 years later that, “I love the union movement it’s done so much for America. I walked about four or five picket lines over the years.”
He also worked as a commercial artist and sign painter for companies like Sears Roebuck and Rexall Drugs. “Someone taught him to lay down a line with confidence,” says Shields, referring to the ruler-straight horizontals that often bisect Thiebaud’s work. In 1942, he enlisted in the Air Force and drew a comic strip for his base’s newsletter as well as designing posters, producing morale-building films, and more. From 1951 to 1976, he taught painting at Sacramento City College and the University of California, Davis, which he says has been “enormously important” in his life. Some students he mentored gained their own fame, like Mel Ramos and Fritz Scholder. “I wanted to become a commercial artist and illustrator, so I pursued that until I got interested in what they call fine art and teaching, so that’s the way I spent most of my life,” says Thiebaud.
/>Wayne Thiebaud, Clown with Red Hair, 2015. Oil on board, 12 1/8 x 9 in. Private collection. (© 2020 Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA at Artist’s Rights Society (ARS), NY.)
Starting in 2014, Thiebaud’s attention turned to clowns, circling back to childhood memories he still remembers vividly. “When I was just a kid, about 13, 14 years old, we used to go watch the circus come into town on the train, and if we were lucky, they would let us help carry sawdust or water for the elephants,” he recalls. “We watched the clowns, who were amazing people. They were not only acrobats, jugglers, and tumblers, they were responsible for putting up the tent, so they were very strong and very impressive, and that stuck with me, I guess, forever.”
“Clowns are incredibly complex things,” notes Mecklenburg. “Bozo makes you laugh when you’re a child, but they’re also fundamentally performers of identity and persona. We have no clue who’s behind all that artificially applied makeup and bulbous nose.” For instance, in Thiebaud’s 2017 painting Clown with a Suitcase, a man disguises his clown identity in street clothing, standing with somber gravitas while his suitcase broadcasts in the biggest letters possible, the word “Bozo.”
Many of his paintings contain diminutive elements, often comical, that reward close scrutiny. “You want to look carefully at paintings so you can really get what they’re about,” says Thiebaud. “Unfortunately, because of the museum structure and so on, people have little time to look, often just a few seconds and they move on, where people who love paintings will spend as long as hours looking at a single painting and it unfolds like film, like a motion picture.”
Perhaps that’s why Thiebaud continues to tinker with pieces. In Betty Jean Thiebaud and Book, Thiebaud’s second wife leans on one elbow, seemingly bored by the art book in front of her. But Shields says the book wasn’t originally there. “Thiebaud changes paintings some can have as many as five different dates. He tweaks them over a period even of a decade.”
There are four dates on Tapestry Skirt which shows Betty Jean in an elaborately patterned skirt: 1976, , , 2003—and Shields even thinks 2020. “I think he added some yellow on the edge of the torso,” he says. Betty Jean, a filmmaker and teacher who featured in many of Thiebaud’s portraits, died in 2015.
/>Wayne Thiebaud, Betty Jean Thiebaud and Book, 1965. Oil on canvas. (Crocker Art Museum, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Thiebaud, 1969.21. © 2020 Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY)
When I ask Thiebaud if he’d do anything differently, he answers, “Probably lots of things. the whole idea to is test yourself, to push yourself, to risk making even bad paintings, or paintings which you don’t think anyone will ever like. It’s a personal, wonderful thing to do, and I wish more people would do it.”
As for the exhibition that gathers up 100 pieces to celebrate Thiebaud’s 100 years, its impact is undeniable. “One person came in and called the paintings ‘life-affirming,’” said Shields. “I just thought that was a nice way to think about them.”
"Wayne Thiebaud 100: Paintings, Prints and Drawings" is up at the Crocker until January 3, 2021, after which time it travels to Toledo, Ohio Memphis, Tennessee San Antonio, Texas and Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.
Please Touch the Art Work: New Tate Exhibit Will Stimulate All Five Senses
David Bomberg’s ‘In the Hold’ c.1913-4
What is it like to taste a Francis Bacon painting? Hint: Nothing like bacon.
In an effort to engage restless, tech-savvy audiences, art museums are increasingly using unconventional methods to get art lovers involved with their collections. New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has employed crowdsourcing technology to organize a show of YouTube videos. The Brooklyn Museum and Performa, a New York festival of performance art, have enlisted food artist Jennifer Rubell to create edible artworks—including a cell-like room whose walls she padded with wads of pink cotton candy. Currently, the National Gallery of Art in London is playing music composed by sound artists inspired by certain paintings in its collection.
On Aug. 26, Tate Britain in London will take these experiments even further with “Tate Sensorium,” an exhibit that will pair a quartet of major British paintings by Bacon, Richard Hamilton, David Bomberg and John Latham with gadgets that stimulate all five senses using perfume puffers, hidden speakers, chocolate-based chews and ultrasound vibrations.
“People often think of collections as rows of really old paintings,” said Tony Guillan, Tate’s multimedia producer, “but technology allows us to be more playful.”
Visitors who walk into the first gallery displaying Richard Hamilton’s 1964 collage, “Interior II,” will be encouraged by museum staff to look—but also take a sniff. Hamilton’s collage depicts a stylish woman standing in a home with wood floors and a television set. Large swaths of the canvas remain unpainted, though, and the TV screen shows the Kennedy assassination. To reinforce Hamilton’s unfinished domesticity, the museum has tucked scent diffusers around the room that emit smells that evoke the woman’s vintage hair spray, cleaning products and the faint whiff of art-studio glue.
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Mitchell, Conley lead Jazz to Game 3 victory over Memphis, 121-111
MEMPHIS (ABC4 Sports) - Donovan Mitchell says he's working his way back to his All-Star level.
To the rest of the Utah Jazz, he looks just like himself.
Real Salt Lake settles for 1-1 draw against Minnesota United
SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) - If last week's draw against FC Dallas felt more like a win, Saturday night's draw against Minnesota United had to feel more like defeat.
Minnesota scored the game-tying goal as the ball trickled across the end line after goalkeeper Zac MacMath punched the ball off the back of and unaware Niko Hansen, as RSL had to settle for one point at home with a 1-1 draw.
Car chase, foot pursuit leads to arrest of a fugitive in Utah County
AMERICAN FORK, Utah (ABC4) - A call into dispatch regarding an erratic driver in American Fork led to two chases, officers firing their weapons, and the arrest of a fugitive, Saturday.
According to the American Fork Police Department, officers were dispatched to the area of 500 East 300 North in American Fork for a stolen vehicle with substantial damage driving all over the road and into oncoming traffic.
Modern Technology and the Art of Conserving Paintings
This is the second in a series of articles about the art of conserving paintings. Read the first here.
He’s a ragpicker, a man who made his living rummaging through trash in the streets of Paris in the 1860s looking for rags to sell to paper manufacturers. His 6-foot by 4-foot image was painted by Édouard Manet and today is a beloved part of the Norton Simon Museum collection in Pasadena, California. But Le Chiffonnier, or The Ragpicker, has a modern art conservation story to tell that includes the science and technology of chemistry, engineering, materials, physics and light – plus thousands of cotton swabs – that brought the painting into a new light.
The big issue was an inappropriate varnish job. At the time Manet painted The Ragpicker, it was the custom to apply a natural resin varnish over paintings to add a glossy finish. Even the 500-year-old Mona Lisa had varnishes applied over da Vinci’s paint. But somewhere in the life of The Ragpicker, a thick synthetic varnish, or several of them, had been applied to brighten up the painting and make it more attractive.
The Ragpicker before treatment. © The J. Paul Getty Museum.
But varnishes turn colour as they age and over the years the painting had taken on a fog that concealed Manet’s painting technique along with the colours and details. In 2017, the Norton Simon worked with the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles to conserve The Ragpicker as part of a project refreshing three Manet paintings. The Ragpicker was in the worst shape. It would take six months of detailed examination using a variety of technologies to discover what the issues were and decide on an appropriate process to conserve the painting, followed by six more months to do the conservation work. Plus, hidden secrets were found in the painting.
Devi Ormond, Associate Conservator of Painting for the Getty Museum, was part of the team from the Norton Simon and Getty Museums who took on the task of conserving the troubled painting. She became interested in surfaces of paintings as a seven-year-old when a security guard at the Louvre told her not to touch a Van Gogh painting. As a teenager, she became fascinated with a documentary on the restoration of the Sistine Chapel thinking “what an incredible job it would be to work with surfaces so closely – and get paid for it.”
The first tech tool used at the Norton Simon was an ultraviolet (UV) black light flash lamp that is similar to those used in crime scenes to look for clues such as splashes of blood. No blood was found, but what the team saw suggested the top varnish was very thick and creating potential issues regarding the original paint. That was enough evidence to send The Ragpicker to the Getty’s Paintings Conservation Department for a professional technical examination using various types of lighting and tests.
/>The paint sample test shows the varnish mixing into the original paint – the black dots – and the layer structure. It is taken in UV light and is x100 magnification. © The J. Paul Getty Museum.
“As they say, an image speaks a thousand words,” said Ormond. “Somebody in France looking at this painting and then looking at the UV image will be able to interpret the issues without any language barrier. For example, under UV light, different varnishes fluoresce differently. Natural varnishes glow green and synthetic varnishes glow blue. We could see the blue fluorescence of the synthetic varnish was a problem.” The painting was then examined in infrared light which showed some of the old damages and retouching done by previous restorers.
The next test was an X-ray which helped understand the painting and Manet’s composition, including things he changed or hid. For example, the still life at the bottom of the painting was originally larger and Manet painted over sections with a grey-brown paint. The staff the ragpicker holds is vertical, but the X-ray showed that it was originally painted at a more diagonal angle. Also, there were black marks in the ragpicker’s face indicating thinner paint. According to Ormond, this is typical of Manet as he often made changes by scraping off dried paint.
“All these techniques give us an idea of the condition of the painting, which means you are not going in blind before you start treating the painting but are informed about the condition of the work,” said Ormond.
But they needed to go deeper to understand and test solubility of the varnishes. From the edge of the painting an almost microscopic sample of the varnishes and paint was taken and examined at 500x resolution. This tiny sample showed the layers of the varnishes and paint and uncovered the mingling of the varnish with original paint particles. As artist materials change, their nature changes too. While originally having a soft texture, when solvents in the paint dry, they do so at different speeds and levels and can microscopically (or more) crack. That’s an opening for varnishes to settle deep into the paint.
The Ragpicker under X-ray that shows the staff and still life changes. © The J. Paul Getty Museum.
“It’s kind of like cutting through a cake, we see all the layers of the painting” said Ormond. “We saw the blue florescence of the varnish and how it goes into the paint layers and saw the particles of the pigments – little black dots – which gave us an indication of how deep the varnishes penetrated into the paint.”
From the tests it was decided that fully removing the varnish would also remove the original paint and damage The Ragpicker because of the paint/varnish interaction. The goal was to thin the varnish enough to expose the brush work, fill in old damages and retouch them.
Now comes modern solvents which are the tool for removing varnishes that discolour and hide paint strokes and original paint. Ormond made a series of combinations of solvents and carried out tests with cotton swabs to establish the solubility of the surface coating. She tested tiny areas on the edge of the painting but also on main sections because of the different solubility of paint colours and how they respond to solvents.
Detail of the upper section of the painting taken in UV light showing the varnish thinned in the upper right corner. © The J. Paul Getty Museum.
“It’s worthwhile to do tests on the background, the darker colours, the lighter colours, the blues, the yellows, the greens . . . so you’re doing tiny, tiny tests to get a good overview,” said Ormond. “Once you establish the solvent and find something that is removing the surface coating without damaging the paint layer, you start cleaning using little swabs and dipping it into the solvent and very carefully applying it onto the surface until it starts to remove the varnish.”
Even the cotton swabs are a science. The swab material is pure cotton wool and conservators pull a piece off a tuff and twirl it around the end of a long wooden stick. By making swabs themselves, they know the content of the wool and eliminate possibilities of materials such as grit or tiny bits of wood in the cotton that could scratch the surface. Each swab is used for about ½ inch of the painting and here is where experience of the conservator takes over.
“Experience is huge in cleaning,” said Ormond. “Conservators must understand how much varnish is there, how easily soluble the varnish is. . . how the swab is behaving, understand with your hand the surface feel that changes as you apply the solvent, evaluating your swab for removing varnish quickly or slowly, even evaluating if it is getting stuck in the varnish.”
It took Ormond six months to remove the first layer of varnish using thousands of swabs and magnifying glasses to see the details. By focusing on minute details, she often had to step back and look at what her work was doing to the painting. For all the science involved, The Ragpicker is a painting not a scientific object.
“You want to have the cohesion of the image that was originally painted by the artist,” said Ormond. “My mentor’s key advice was ‘do not ever forget what it is that you are working on. It’s a painting’. . . Even though you want to get a pristine surface, it’s not worth damaging any original paint to get that.”
The Ragpicker in ultra violet light. © The J. Paul Getty Museum.
It was a challenging process where Ormond worked closely with the Scientists at the Getty Conservation institute to fully understand what had happened to the painting. Along with carefully thinning the old varnish, she also had to work around or repair past conservation techniques that did not have the advantage of current technology.
Today’s modern technology was a literal lifesaver for The Ragpicker. Many paintings have suffered from past conservation attempts. For example, the Mona Lisa had a spirits wash in 1809 that is now believed to have removed the top layer of paint, and over time the layers of varnish have given the painting a darker tone. Current conservation is involved around monitoring the painting’s environment to save La Joconde from any more damage.
But once finished, The Ragpicker took on a new life that honours Manet’s painting, his style and his original colours. It required today’s conservation technology and experts like Ormond and the team at the Getty and the Norton Simon to do the work that brings back as much light as possible to Manet’s ragpicker image.
See The Ragpicker at the Norton Simon Museum when it reopens mid-May.
Postponed due to Covid-19, Yoshitomo Nara’s I Forgot Their Names and Often Can’t Remember Their Faces but Remember Their Voices Well will debut at Dallas Contemporary on March 20. A leader of the Superflat movement, Nara traveled to Texas to install a monumental museum show — his first museum solo in the state — at the Design District museum. The exhibit will be on display until August 22.
(For more on the exhibit, see PaperCity‘s exclusive interview with Dallas Contemporary adjunct curator Pedro Alonzo.)
Explore s fashion at Galleria Dallas’ newest art exhibit “She’s Got the Look: Fashion from the s.” (Courtesy of Galleria Dallas)
'It's not about shock value': Russian artist skins, eats and performs sex acts on dead animals in the name of art
Petr Davydtchenko stands on a balcony overlooking the Umbrian countryside and deftly skins and dismembers a dead cat. He is in Italy for the opening of his solo exhibition Millennium Worm at the Palazzo Lucarini Contemporary in Trevi.
For the past three years, the Russian artist has been living exclusively off roadkill in an attempt to pursue a “semi-autonomous and non-governed way of life”.
Davydtchenko presents his gruesome art practice mainly through video installations. One film shows an owl lying on the side of a road unable to move, another features Davydtchenko picking up a dead rat off the ground and devouring it raw.
Animal hides are also on show in his exhibition, stretched over geometric sculptures or laid out on the floor. Alongside these is a stack of boxes, meant to represent the archive that Davydtchenko keeps at The Foundry in Maubourget, France—an artists’ residence run by the art organisation a/political, and where Dyavydtchenko has been living since 2016.
In his archive Davydtchenko preserves and stores animal parts in freezers, some of which he later thaws and eats. He also keeps a digital archive of the time, condition and GPS locations of his roadside findings, along with texts such as cooking recipes and preparation techniques. These recordings, he says, function as a diary which charts his transformation over the three years since he began living “parallel to modernity”.
"I just wanted to show that it was possible to exist alternatively, and to show that there are other options", Davydtchenko says. His work grew out of an interest in cryptocurrencies, which he saw as an alternative to mainstream economic systems.
Davydtchenko says that he does not live entirely “off-the-grid”, and uses modern technology to document his journey and importantly, relies on the destruction created by modern machinery to produce the roadkill that he feeds on.
Becky Haghpanah-Sherwin, the director of a/political, says the project was not necessarily created with the intention of being shown as an exhibition. "The Foundry", she says, “is a place of experimentation away from the art market that Petr used as a space to transition into a way of life. Nevertheless, it is often visited by people in the art world, who take interest in Petr’s work”.
Davydtchenko says his work is not performance art. “This is how I live, I eat cats where I live, now having been invited to Italy, I eat cats here. This is my way of existing.”
Not all the roadkill Davydtchenko finds is used to sustain his life, however. One six-minute video in the exhibition contains footage of the artist repeatedly inserting his penis into a dead fox’s mouth, in the corner of the frame is the Fox News logo.
The exhibition’s curator Maurizio Coccia says he is not "interested in shock value”, nor is Davydtchenko. The use of each animal has a symbolic meaning, he says, and Davytchenko’s actions in this video “relate to capitalism and media censorship, to the deepest and darkest roots of the human species”.
At the exhibition opening, Davydtchenko offered visitors a taste of a porcupine that he has slow-cooked, and whose hide and quills are displayed in one of the Palazzo Lucarini's rooms. He hopes his next project will be a pop-up restaurant serving roadkill to the public.
The greatest challenge of his practice is not the isolation of this “parallel world”—he prefers existing somewhat separated from society—but readjusting into the “big world” for events like this exhibition opening, Davydtchenko says.
Opening a restaurant will naturally mean inviting crowds of people back into his life, but Petr wants to stay hidden in the kitchen, focusing on his goal of achieving “three Michelin stars for cooking donkey penis”.
Umm, Prince Charles Is an Artist𠅊nd His Paintings Are Surprisingly Impressive
Considering ourselves (somewhat) experts of the royal family, we&rsquod like to believe we know all there is to know about the talents each family member possesses: Meghan Markle and her calligraphy skills, Kate Middleton as an amateur photographer, Queen Elizabeth is an accomplished equestrian. But it turns out that Prince Charles is full of surprises.
Not only does he play the cello, but we just learned that the Prince of Wales is also quite a skilled painter. According to a recent Clarance House Instagram Story, the 71-year-old royal is an &ldquoexperienced watercolorist.&rdquo This news doesn't come as a huge surprise, considering he is Patron of the Arts.
As it turns out, it was Charles's childhood &ldquosurrounded by art&rdquo that sparked his passion for painting. He draws inspiration from natural landscapes across the U.K., as well as from his travels abroad, often painting sceneries of places he has visited. His favorite thing to paint, however, is the surrounding areas of Queen Elizabeth&rsquos Balmoral estate.
In fact, a handful of his pieces have even been put on display in the Drawings Gallery of Windsor Castle since his first exhibition in 1977.
Per Insider, he also made more than $2.5 million from the sales of copies of his watercolors from 1997 to 2016, making him one of the country's best-selling living artists. Of course, all of the profits are donated to The Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund.
To see some of Charles&rsquos most famous paintings (and a shot of the prince in action), visit here.