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message 1: by Heather, Moderator (last edited Nov 05, 2011 06:12AM) (new)

Heather | 8333 comments Media has painted four defendants in fake art trial in a positive light


Sotheby's Contemporary Art
The Art Newpaper
By Julia Michalska.

Cologne. The four protagonists in Germany’s biggest art forgery scandal were sentenced a total 15 years in prison on 27 October following charges of forgery and corruption in a Cologne court. The group duped leading art world figures into buying forgeries from the fictitious “Werner Jägers” and “Wilhelm Knops” collections by artists including Max Ernst, André Derain and Fernand Léger. Ringleader Wolfgang Beltracchi, his wife Helene, her sister, Jeanette, as well as Otto Schulte-Kellinghaus, all confessed to their involvement in creating and selling 14 forgeries, which earned them an estimated €16m over the past decade. Beltracchi was given a six year sentence, his wife a four-year term, her sister—named as Jeanette S—a 21-month suspended sentence; and their associate, Otto Schulte-Kellinghaus, a five-year term.

German auction house Lempertz, Max Ernst expert Werner Spies and art dealer Jacques de la Béraudiere are facing civil lawsuits and compensation claims from their clients. Beltracchi’s forgeries continue to be uncovered—most recently a painting in Hannover’s Sprengel Museum, Katze in Berglandschaft, said to be by Heinrich Campendonk

“Masterly forgeries”

While the case has sent shockwaves through the art world, German newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau calls the group a “nice family of counterfeiters”, and most media outlets, from the local newspaper Badische Zeitung to the popular weekly magazine Der Spiegel, have been calling Beltracchi a filou, or rogue. Die Welt says that the “likeable” Beltracchi deserves our applause for his masterly forgeries, while an opinion piece in Die Zeit calls for an exhibition of the fakes. The Frankfurter Allgemeine (FAZ) says that Beltracchi “painted the best Campendonk that ever was”.

Plea bargain

During the trial, Beltracchi described his early beginnings when he forged a Picasso in two hours as a 14-year-old boy, his faltering career as an artist and the “fun” he experienced in deceiving the art world, finally delivering a scathing attack on the art market: “You have to know where the greed is greatest.” His confession, along with those of the three other defendants, formed part of a plea bargain that will see their sentences reduced and the case expedited. The trial was due to end as we went to press.

“Art forgery is the most moral way to embezzle €16m,” said FAZ. Der Spiegel expressed little sympathy for the art market: “compared with crooked bankers, Beltracchi and his co-conspirators haven’t swindled common people out of their savings, but rather people who may have wanted to be deceived. Therefore the [expected] sentences are not inappropriately mild, but rather the opposite.”

Schadenfreude

Robert Ketterer, the owner of German auction house Ketterer Kunst, said there is a general sense of schadenfreude about the art market. “The lack of transparency often leads people to believe that intrigues are going on behind the scenes, which they feel have now been exposed. In a Robin Hood kind of way, the Beltracchis have taken money out of the pockets of the rich. They have shown up the art market.”

Those on the receiving end are less forgiving. Art dealer Wolfgang Henze, who bought a fake Max Pechstein painting from Lempertz in 2003, says he is astonished that the ­public has fallen for Beltracchi’s “Albrecht Dürer Christ act”, and has branded the German media’s reaction to the case “disgusting”.

None of the 178 planned witnesses will now take the stand and the full extent of the fraud will most likely remain a mystery.



Heinrich Campendonk, Rotes Bild mit Pferden (Red Painting with Horses), 1914. Sold by the German auction house Lempertz in 2006 for €2.9m (a record for the artist) to the Malta-based company Trasteco Ltd


Max Ernst, La horde, 1927 Photo ©dpa


Max Pechstein, Seine mit Brücke und Frachtkähnen (Seine with Bridges and Barges), 1908. Sold for approximately €143,000 in 2001 by German auction house Lempertz to a South American collector


André Derain, Matisse peignant a Collioure (Matisse painting in Collioure)


Max Pechstein, Liegender Weiblicher Akt mit Katze (Reclining Female Nude with Cat), 1909. Sold for €430,000 in 2003 (excluding buyer’s premium) by German auction house Lempertz to the Swiss Galerie Henze & Ketterer. The gallery later sold the work for €700,000 to a collector from Würzburg


Heinrich Campendonk, Landschaft mit Pferden (Landscape with Horses), 1915. Sold to the American actor Steve Martin in 2004 for $850,000 by a Parisian gallery. In 2005 the painting was auctioned by Christie’s for €500,000

Kees van Dongen, Frauenportait mit Hut (Portrait of a Woman with hat) Photo: ©dpa
[Heinrich Campendonk, Rotes Bild mit Pferden (Red Painting with Horses), 1914. Sold by the German auction house Lempertz in 2006 for €2.9m (a record for the artist) to the Malta-based company Trasteco Ltd]
[Max Ernst, La horde, 1927 Photo ©dpa ]
[Max Pechstein, Seine mit Brücke und Frachtkähnen (Seine with Bridges and Barges), 1908. Sold for approximately €143,000 in 2001 by German auction house Lempertz to a South American collector]
[André Derain, Matisse peignant a Collioure (Matisse painting in Collioure) ]
[Max Pechstein, Liegender Weiblicher Akt mit Katze (Reclining Female Nude with Cat), 1909. Sold for €430,000 in 2003 (excluding buyer’s premium) by German auction house Lempertz to the Swiss Galerie Henze & Ketterer. The gallery later sold the work for €700,000 to a collector from Würzburg ]
[Heinrich Campendonk, Landschaft mit Pferden (Landscape with Horses), 1915. Sold to the American actor Steve Martin in 2004 for $850,000 by a Parisian gallery. In 2005 the painting was auctioned by Christie’s for €500,000 ]
[Kees van Dongen, Frauenportait mit Hut (Portrait of a Woman with hat) Photo: ©dpa ]
[Fernand Leger, Cubist still-life. The fake painting is presented at the State Investigation Bureau (LKA) in Berlin on 31 August 2011. Photo: Jens Kalaene]


Fernand Leger, Cubist still-life. The fake painting is presented at the State Investigation Bureau (LKA) in Berlin on 31 August 2011. Photo: Jens Kalaene


message 2: by Heather, Moderator (new)

Heather | 8333 comments Devil found in detail of Giotto fresco in Italy's Assisi

By Philip Pullella

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ROME (Reuters) - Art restorers have discovered the figure of a devil hidden in the clouds of one of the most famous frescos by Giotto in the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi, church officials said on Saturday.

The devil was hidden in the details of clouds at the top of fresco number 20 in the cycle of the scenes in the life and death of St Francis painted by Giotto in the 13th century.

The discovery was made by Italian art historian Chiara Frugone. It shows a profile of a figure with a hooked nose, a sly smile, and dark horns hidden among the clouds in the panel of the scene depicting the death of St Francis.

The figure is difficult to see from the floor of the basilica but emerges clearly in close-up photography.

Sergio Fusetti, the chief restorer of the basilica, said Giotto probably never wanted the image of the devil to be a main part of the fresco and may have painted it in among the clouds "to have a bit of fun."

The master may have painted it to spite someone he knew by portraying him as a devil in the painting, Fusetti said on the convent's website.

The artwork in the basilica in the convent where St Francis is buried was last restored after it was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1997.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Sophie Hares)


message 3: by Ed (last edited Nov 10, 2011 05:41PM) (new)

Ed Smiley | 871 comments Diego Rivera: Murals for The Museum of Modern Art
November 13, 2011–May 14, 2012
MEMBER PREVIEWS ON NOW
Second floor
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Diego Rivera was the subject of MoMA’s second monographic exhibition (the first was Henri Matisse), which set new attendance records in its five-week run from December 22, 1931, to January 27, 1932. MoMA brought Rivera to New York six weeks before the exhibition’s opening and gave him studio space within the Museum, a strategy intended to solve the problem of how to present the work of this famous muralist when murals were by definition made and fixed on site. Working around the clock with two assistants, Rivera produced five “portable murals”—large blocks of frescoed plaster, slaked lime, and wood that feature bold images drawn from Mexican subject matter and address themes of revolution and class inequity. After the opening, to great publicity, Rivera added three more murals, now taking on New York subjects through monumental images of the urban working class and the social stratification of the city during the Great Depression. All eight were on display for the rest of the show’s run. The first of these panels, Agrarian Leader Zapata, is an icon in the Museum’s collection.
This exhibition will bring together key works made for Rivera’s 1931 exhibition, presenting them at MoMA for the first time in nearly 80 years. Along with mural panels, the show will include full-scale drawings, smaller working drawings, archival materials related to the commission and production of these works, and designs for Rivera’s famous Rockefeller Center mural, which he also produced while he was working at the Museum. Focused specifically on works created during the artist’s stay in New York, this exhibition will draw a succinct portrait of Rivera as a highly cosmopolitan figure who moved between Russia, Mexico, and the United States, and will offer a fresh look at the intersection of art making and radical politics in the 1930s. MoMA will be the exhibition’s sole venue.
Organized by Leah Dickerman, Curator, Painting and Sculpture...

http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/ex...

Diego Rivera. Agrarian Leader Zapata. 1931. Fresco, 7' 9 3/4" x 6' 2" (238.1 x 188 cm). The Museum of Modern Art. Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Fund

It doesn't mention here the interesting fact that the "Rockefeller mural" was destroyed by Rockefeller. It was quite an art scandal of the day. Apparently the Rockefeller family didn't warm to the depiction of Lenin...

The story is told here:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/cultureshock/...


Man at the Crossroads, (in progress) Diego Rivera, 1932-34, mural, Rockefeller Center, New York, destroyed. The figure of Lenin is visible in the center right. © Banco De Mexico, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Av. Cinco de Mayo No. 2, Col. Centro, Del. Cuauhtemoc, 06059, Mexico, D.F. Courtesy del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura, Mexico Photo Courtesy Old Stage Studios, Gualala, CA.


message 4: by Ed (new)

Ed Smiley | 871 comments I've been meaning to post this one, mainly because this utilitarian spool rack has such mysterious beauty and seems almost a work of modernist sculpture.

Collection of Shaker objects on view at the Portland Museum of Art


Spool Rack, Mount Lebanon, N.Y., circa 1870, 7 x 5 inches. Andrews Collection, Hancock Shaker Village. Photo by Michael Fredericks.


PORTLAND, ME.- This fall the Portland Museum of Art presents an exhibition of the most significant collection of Shaker objects. Gather Up the Fragments: The Andrews Shaker Collection, on view October 27, 2011 through February 5, 2012, at the Portland Museum of Art, tells the story of the first and most avid collectors of the Shaker art, Edward Deming Andrews and his wife, Faith Young Andrews. This exhibition of more than 200 objects features Shaker furniture, printed works, visual art, tools, textiles, and small craft collected over four decades from the Andrews collection. The most comprehensive collection of Shaker materials ever assembled, the exhibition provides insight into the Andrews’s complex role as pioneers in the field of Shaker studies....
http://www.artdaily.org/index.asp?int...


message 5: by Ed (new)

Ed Smiley | 871 comments Happy Birthday Rene
"On a day like today, Belgian painter René Magritte, was born...."


November 21, 1898.- René François Ghislain Magritte (21 November 1898 - 15 August 1967) was a Belgian surrealist artist. He became well known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images. His work challenges observers' preconditioned perceptions of reality. In this image: A visitor looks at Rene Magritte's painting 'The Kiss, 1951' during a press tour of the exhibition 'Rene Magritte - The Pleasure Principle' in the Albertina in Vienna, Austria, 08 November 2011. The exhibition runs from 11 September 2011 to 26 February 2012. EPA/HERBERT NEUBAUER.


message 6: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 163 comments Thanks, Ed. I love Magritte's work.


message 7: by Heather, Moderator (new)

Heather | 8333 comments Me, too. He's one of my favs.


message 8: by Connie (new)

Connie G (connie_g) | 362 comments I like that painting. Thanks for sharing, Ed.


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