Metropolitan Museum of Art Gifted Monumental Peter Doig Painting

Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today the acquisition of Peter Doig’s large-scale landscape painting Two Trees, 2017. The work, which is about eight feet high and twelve feet wide, was a gift from

Original source: https://www.artforum.com/news/metropolitan-museum-of-art-gifted-monumental-peter-doig-painting-78648

Paris’s Galerie Bernheim-Jeune Closes

Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, one of Paris’s oldest galleries, which staged pivotal exhibitions of the European avant-garde throughout its 150 years of operation, has closed. The gallery was opened in 1863

Original source: https://www.artforum.com/news/paris-s-galerie-bernheim-jeune-closes-78649

Following Backlash, Prada Forms Diversity Council Chaired by Ava DuVernay and Theaster Gates

In the wake of controversy over products that were criticized as racist, Prada announced that it is establishing a Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council on Wednesday, February 13. Cochaired by writer,

Original source: https://www.artforum.com/news/following-backlash-prada-forms-diversity-council-chaired-by-ava-duvernay-and-theaster-gates-78651

Klaus Pichler Photo Series Captures the Costumed at Home

In Klaus Pichler’s intimate and occasionally humorous series “Just the two of us,” the photographer costume enthusiasts in their homes. And whether spending time as creatures alongside their own domestic creatures or having a morning coffee, each of the subjects create a surreal scene in their everyday environments.

Original source: http://hifructose.com/2019/02/15/klaus-pichler-photo-series-captures-the-costumed-at-home/

Photographer Spotlight: Maximilian Virgili

Maximilian Virgili (previously featured here).

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Maximilian Virgili’s Website

Maximilian Virgili on Instagram

Original source: https://www.booooooom.com/2019/02/15/photographer-spotlight-maximilian-virgili-2/

Artist Spotlight: Debora Cheyenne Cruchon

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Debora Cheyenne Cruchon’s Website

Debora Cheyenne Cruchon on Instagram

Original source: https://www.booooooom.com/2019/02/15/artist-spotlight-debora-cheyenne-cruchon-2/

Netflix’s Participation at the Berlin Film Festival Is Riling Up Cinema

<em>Elisa y Marcela</em> film still (image courtesy Netflix)
Elisa y Marcela film still (image courtesy Netflix)

BERLIN — If European film festivals were a dinner party, Netflix would be that cousin no one really likes because he chews too loudly and keeps asking you what kind of car you’re driving now. But he keeps getting invited anyway because he’s got a case of Valserrano Rioja Crianza sitting at home and isn’t stingy with the sharing. And at the party known as the 69th edition of the Berlin Film Festival, Netflix is now getting people particularly riled up. The Berlinale, as the festival is called, is held every February and, along with other important European film festivals such as the Venice Film Festival and Cannes, have been touchy on the subject of Netflix and its entries into competitions.

At this year’s Berlinale, Netflix has two feature films playing. There’s The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, which is not in the main competition and is BAFTA-award winner Chiwetel Ejiofor’s directorial debut. It’s a lovingly crafted portrait of William Kamkwamba, a Malawi teenager who in 2001 built a wind turbine that saved his village from a devastating drought. Then there’s Elisa y Marcela, whose debut on February 13 has been pursued by a fair amount of drama. Elisa y Marcela, directed by Isabel Coixet and produced by Netflix, is running in the “Competition” section, which means it’s eligible for awards. This has made it a target of a heated debate about nothing less than the future of cinema.

Elisa y Marcela press conference (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)
Elisa y Marcela press conference (photo by the author for Hyperallergic)

The reason? Cinema associations are concerned about the future of their industry if Netflix starts dominating in film festivals and poaching prominent talent — both arthouse and big studio names. That’s because Netflix films either don’t have a cinematic release date or are only shown in select cinemas for a brief amount of time. For cinemas in Germany, which announced “miserable ticket sales” in 2018, the fact that Netflix is bringing a prestige film to Berlin that doesn’t have an announced theatrical release in Germany (or anywhere else outside of Spain) is particularly galling.

Back in October, festival director Dieter Kosslick was already under pressure from various European cinema associations to ban Netflix from being eligible for any Berlinale awards. But by that point Netflix had already gotten a taste for award-season accolades. The streaming giant had just won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival for Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, and organizations such as the National Association of Italian Filmmakers voiced their discontent. Cannes just went ahead and outright banned any films without a theatrical distribution, thereby eliminating Netflix from the festival.

The Germans followed the lead of the Italians: HDF Kino and AG-Kino, two large cinema associations, urged Kosslick to exclude Netflix from the competition. “It should be clear that we wouldn’t be pleased if Berlin were to be misused through day and date cinema,” HDF Kino’s CEO Thomas Negele told Deadline back in September, referring to a practice where a film is simultaneously released in cinemas and on streaming services.

And now Coixet’s film, a black-and-white drama of a lesbian couple in turn-of-the-century Spain, is in the running for the top prize. At the press conference opening the festival, Kosslick responded to Hyperallergic’s question about a Netflix entry in the competition by explaining that Netflix had met all the festival’s criteria for the awards category.

“Film festivals are supposed to be for films that will be shown in cinemas. And we champion that, and we will continue to champion that. We are first and foremost here for cinema,” he said. “And our rules are as follows: In the Competition [category], we will only show films that are suitable for the cinema. And in this case, we got written assurance that this film, Elisa y Marcela, will have a theatrical release in Spain. That is enough for us to place this film in the Competition. If that weren’t the case, we wouldn’t have placed it in the Competition.”

But two days before the film’s world premier, the plot thickened. Around 180 independent cinema owners, represented by AG-Kino, sent an open letter to Kosslick and Monika Grütters, the state culture minister, demanding that Coixet’s film be withdrawn from the competition.

“The Berlinale stands for the large screen, Netflix for the small one,” the letter stated. It also claimed that Netflix didn’t intend to grant the film a “regular theatrical release,” and that the company wanted “to force a reinterpretation of the term ‘theatrical release’ through pure economic power and for the sake of its own core capitalist business model.” Basically, they’re claiming that Netflix is doing the bare minimum in terms of theatrical release stipulations in order to still be eligible for awards.

Felix Bruder, the director of AG-Kino, explained that “a regular release window is 112 days,” referring to the length of time a film plays in cinemas. Bruder said that Netflix hadn’t published information regarding the length of time Elisa y Marcela would play in Spanish cinemas, but added that the streaming giant has said “that its customers come first, so we’re very skeptical about there being a regular release window.” Then there’s the fact that cinemas outside of Spain are missing out on featuring a potential festival winner. Netflix was not available for comment at the moment of publication.

Isabel Coixet (image courtesy Netflix)
Isabel Coixet (photo by Isabel Coixet)

At the press conference after the premiere of Elisa y Marcela, Coixet herself had some choice words regarding the demand to withdraw her film from the Competition. “I understand their reasons,” she said, referring to the signers of the open letter. “But I don’t think it’s fair to take out the film from the Competition.”

For her, the demands “really hurt,” and they reveal “an actual lack of respect for the festival, for films, for the work that’s been done by my actors, by everybody,” she said. “Above all, there’s a supposition behind it, as if we were some kind of mafia; that we were trying to trick people, that we were trying to smuggle our film in somehow.” She mentioned that she struggled to find financing for the film for 10 years, and that when the project was finally presented to Netflix they enthusiastically jumped on board.

Kosslick maintains that “Elisa y Marcela is and will stay in the Competition,” since a cinematic release is planned for Spain. He did add that “for the future, festivals will have to think about how to deal with this question of the cinematic release window.” Coixet echoed the need for a solution when she remarked that “this coexistence, this cohabitation [between cinemas and streaming services] will have to work somehow. It’s essential.”

It certainly would seem so, since Netflix (and other streaming competitors like Amazon) are not going to go away anytime soon. Netflix’s economic strength means it’s able to easily attract world-class talent, which in turn means it’ll be able to rack up more awards. On the one hand, it does mean, on the whole, important, beautiful films and those who make them automatically get a wider audience. On the other hand, the concerns of cinema associations and cinema owners is real, as is the fear that prestigious film festivals will be misused as marketing opportunities by these giant businesses. A solution has yet to be found, but one thing, as Kosslick commented during the opening of the festival, is certain: “The world has changed.”

The post Netflix’s Participation at the Berlin Film Festival Is Riling Up Cinema appeared first on Hyperallergic.

Original source: https://hyperallergic.com/484926/netflixs-participation-at-the-berlin-film-festival-is-riling-up-cinema/

A View From the Easel

The 132nd installment of a series in which artists send in a photo and a description of their workspace. Want to take part? Submit your studio — just check out the submission guidelines.

Betzi Stein, Los Angeles, CA

I am a Los Angeles-based figurative painter. Three years ago, I converted my only bedroom to an art studio, office, and meditation space. Every inch is designed to accommodate the activities and needs of my creative life. Out of view are office equipment, additional storage, and art books. Ceiling daylight-balanced florescent fixtures supplement the only window, which on sunny days brings in bright light and provides a view of my balcony garden.

Mobile easel and chairs enable me to reconfigure the space when needed, to set up larger horizontal projects on portable tables. My iPad rests on a movable device, allowing me to zoom in for detailed viewing of my working images. The easel faces the door to the studio so I can step back into the hallway to see my work in progress.

Previously, I had only a few feet of work space in a corner of the bedroom, severely limiting my artistic output. I’m now able to make larger paintings, explore more varied techniques and materials, and build inventory for shows. Since remodeling, I sleep on a Murphy Bed in the living room. Having lived here for 30 years, I only wish I’d done this sooner!

Wojciech Gilewicz, New York, NY

My studio is in an office building in Downtown Manhattan, where I have been part of LMCC Workspace program for the past three years, first as a resident and now as an on-site assistant.

What you see in the photo are a couple of oil on canvas pieces I am currently working on from my New Paintings series started back in 2006 and composed of two dozen works right now. They represent in a realistic manner, posters from the NYC subway, which not only serve advertising and information purposes, but also provoke various responses from graffiti or sticker artists who cover them with all kinds of inscriptions, tags, visual codes, and cartoons. Many posters also often fall victim to vandals. At many subway stations, these torn, ruined posters are painted over by the subway staff with consecutive layers of oil paint. All this creates an extremely diverse, complex, fascinating, and multi-referencing visual form, always in 46 x 60 inch format. These are precisely the dimensions of my oil paintings in which, layer upon layer, I am recreating the changes happening over time. It is quite a time-consuming process involving various painting techniques with their inherent specificities; hence I usually work on each painting for a couple of years. Slots for posters started recently being replaced on NYC subways by plasma screens, which will soon add quite a new dimension to the city visual culture.

Gary Eleinko, Detroit, MI

My studio, which I’ve occupied since 1988, is located four blocks north of my house in Detroit’s historic Corktown neighborhood. The building, formerly housing a brush manufacturer, has various artists in different mediums as tenants.

My works consists of painted wood constructions and works on paper, watercolor, drawing, or collage. Works vary, using a combination of abstract, botannical, scientific, and cultural elements. This composite photo shows the main painting area on the right with northern light. To the right of the bar my father built in the 1950s is a table set up for encaustic work. In the foreground are tables for works on paper and supplies. To the left of the photo is the wood working area, where I assemble my constructions, and out of the photo a wall of storage bins for completed and framed works. The area behind the painting wall is for photographing works and a sitting/viewing area.

Leya Evelyn, Nova Scotia, Canada

Even though I have a clear view of the lake and surrounding trees from my painting studio, my work continues to be abstract. I moved to Nova Scotia from New York in 1984. The spaciousness of the landscape and people contribute to my creativity. Anything is possible. By contrast, my studio tends to be very crowded with paintings as I work intensively, preferring to paint rather than clean up. The paintings pile up with not enough storage space.

The focus of my artwork is color: how it takes form, creates space, provokes emotion and opens perception. I begin with photo-silk-screened photographs of people (family, friends, and not-friends) currently in my life. Inspired by the images and emotions they fuel, I write and draw over them, then work into them with color. The writing becomes buried beneath the paint. These elements do not reside in the final piece, other than as an undertow to the creative process.

This painting process is one of creating an unseen, fertile ground that infuses the energy of the final artwork. The result is to capture energy and feeling in the paintings in a visceral way, transforming what is personal and transient into an enduring image.

Karen Dennis, Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand

This is my painting space, which is part of a larger garage space housing bookshelves, a recycled ceramic business — which is my day job — and general household storage. The building is on a five-acre rural lifestyle block two hours North of Auckland city on the Kaipara harbour.  My partner and I moved here six years ago after living in the city for some years, and my painting is mostly inspired by the landforms and land around me.

I experiment a lot, building up my own visual language and color themes, looking at the incredible seasonal light changes throughout the year. I like to recycle my materials, so I use cardboard, canvas, wood shingles, paper, maps, and mostly pen, acrylic paint, pencil, and crayon or pastel.

 

The post A View From the Easel appeared first on Hyperallergic.

Original source: https://hyperallergic.com/485062/a-view-from-the-easel-117/

Everyone Falls for Everyone in This Operatic Romp Based on Shakespeare

Tim Mead as Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (all photos by Kelly & Massa for Opera Philadelphia and courtesy Opera Philadelphia)

PHILADELPHIA — After 28 years, North American audiences finally have the chance to see Robert Carsen’s lauded staging of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This wonderful production premiered in Aix-en-Provence and has been restaged many times in Britain and in other countries. Now it has been taken up by Opera Philadelphia, which in recent years has proven to have some of the smartest operatic programming on the East Coast. The company has been impressing critics and audiences with its new-music-forward O Festivals, each one named for its year. (Festival O18, for example, caused a sensation last fall with the world premiere of Anthony Roth Costanzo’s Glass Handel.) With Midsummer, Opera Philadelphia continues to fulfill another part of its mission: to bring important productions from around the world to the United States.

Hermia (mezzo-soprano Siena Licht Miller) and Lysander (tenor Brenton Ryan) run away and swear their love for one another.

Rather than sticking to a literalistic depiction of the woods of Fairyland, Carsen sets Shakespeare’s beloved story in a more symbolic land of beds — in the first act on a huge and inviting one, in the second and third on a series of smaller ones that allow the characters to switch places in various couplings. In an opera that traffics heavily in sleeping, dreaming, and less-than-subtle sexual suggestion, the bed imagery on stage shows a wry and thorough understanding of the text. Each bed has a green cover to evoke the forest setting, and in a brilliant detail of costuming, the Athenian characters, dressed all in white, acquire more and more green stains on their clothing as the opera goes on, hinting that they have spent considerable time lying down for various purposes.

The lovers quarrel because of the effects of the magic flower.

Britten, who adapted the opera with his partner, Peter Pears, hews closely to Shakespeare’s text; the most notable restructuring is the omission of most of the setup in Act I. Only six words of the libretto — a minor clarifying detail uttered by Lysander to make up for the condensation of Shakespeare’s first act — are not found in the play. Britten’s eerie, modernist harmonies are a surprisingly perfect fit for Shakespeare’s language; both the words and the music estrange the other from our ears. The familiar text sounds new in this setting, in part because the music alerts us to just how foreign early modern English is to our ears.

One reason that Britten is such a master of vocal music is his deep comprehension of texts. Combined with a preternatural compositional fluency, this allows him to portray the mood and undercurrents of texts with striking musical effects. In the scenes with fairies, for instance, ethereal glissandi in the strings convey the sense of a topsy-turvy world in which fairies are real, a man might be transformed into an ass, anyone could fall in love with anyone, and it all may have been a dream anyway. The scenes with the mechanicals feature simpler, more rustic music that evokes the style of English folk songs, and the lovers’ music is lush and romantic.

Transformed by the magic flower, Tytania (soprano Anna Christy) falls in love with Bottom (bass Matthew Rose), now an ass.

The cast is well chosen, and many of them have appeared in this production on other stages. Miltos Yerolemou delighted the audience as Puck with his physical comedy and perfect timing as he somersaulted, sprinted, and jumped around the stage. Countertenor Tim Mead was a magnificent Oberon, full of authority and charm, and soprano Anna Christy sang the challenging role of Tytania with grace. The six mechanicals who perform Pyramus and Thisbe were superb with the comic material, especially Matthew Rose, a hilarious Bottom.

The advent of this production to North America is yet another triumph for Opera Philadelphia. Their Festival O19, which includes two company premieres and two world premieres, has just been announced for September. For the world of opera and the wider world of classical music, this organization is a gift as well as a model.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream with music by Benjamin Britten and a libretto by Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears continues at Opera Philadelphia (the Academy of Music at Broad and Locust Streets, Philadelphia, PA) through February 17.

The post Everyone Falls for Everyone in This Operatic Romp Based on Shakespeare appeared first on Hyperallergic.

Original source: https://hyperallergic.com/484804/everyone-falls-for-everyone-in-this-operatic-romp-based-on-shakespeare/

Victoria Cabezas and Priscilla Monge: Give Me What You Ask For on View at Americas Society

Sin título (Untitled), (1973). Polyptych, hand-colored gelatin silver prints, 25 5⁄8 × 31 . inches (65 × 80 cm) overall. Private Collection Photo credit: Daniela Morales Lisac

Americas Society presents Victoria Cabezas and Priscilla Monge: Give Me What You Ask For, an exhibition that brings together the distinct, yet intertwined bodies of work created by two Costa Rican artists from different generations: Victoria Cabezas (b. 1950) and Priscilla Monge (b. 1968). Each of them is acknowledged as a major figure within her respective generation. Both artists investigate their own subjectivity in relation to social-political economies, sexual violence, gender roles and stereotypes. They question the perception of the body as well as normative ideas of masculinity and femininity in Latin American cultures.

The exhibition explores how the two artists have challenged conventional art disciplines, including painting and sculpture, by drawing on their own lived experiences. Monge and Cabezas both use experimental artistic strategies to advocate for women and to critique established patriarchal structures.

Associated public programs include a book launch and panel discussion with author Lynda Klich, a panel on global feminism with Andrea Geyer, Catherine Morris and Diamond Stingly, and a panel on experimental photography with Claudia Joskowicz.

The gallery is free and open to the public Wednesday to Saturday, 12–6 pm.

Give Me What You Ask For is on view at the Americas Society in New York through May 4, 2019. For more information, visit as.coa.org/visualarts.

#GiveMeWhatYouAskFor.

The post <em>Victoria Cabezas and Priscilla Monge: Give Me What You Ask For</em> on View at Americas Society appeared first on Hyperallergic.

Original source: https://hyperallergic.com/484891/victoria-cabezas-priscilla-monge-give-me-what-you-ask-for-americas-society/