June 2023 Art News

Three books—actually exhibition catalogues—hint at the diversity of the art being exhibited, considered, and reconsidered today. Together the following three publications reflect the intellectual range of the art critics and the artists themselves. 

On Thursday, June 29th, Madrid’s cultural landscape is set to be forever changed with the opening of the Royal Collections Museum. Destined to become a haven for art enthusiasts and boost tourism to the already popular Spanish capital city, the new museum will house an extensive collection of priceless artworks and historic artifacts that were hand-picked from around Spain to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Spanish monarchy.

In 2010, the U.S. Post Office released a sheet of commemorative 44-cent stamps honoring 10 Abstract Expressionists. Clyfford Still (1904-1980) was included among the prominent painters. Despite receiving this stamp of approval, Clyfford Still’s name recognition is not that of other included artists: Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, or Mark Rothko.

During the postwar era, movements were still a thing, and midcentury New York was the place where they were being minted. It mattered which program you were getting with, and in the late 1950s that still meant Abstract Expressionism, though Pop Art and Minimalism were waiting in the wings. 

Many modern audiences, upon learning about the intricacies of Paul Gauguin’s life, adopt a distaste for him as a person. Even so, between bouts of deplorable behavior, Gauguin created art that many experts consider important to the art-historical timeline. 

Do archaeological exhibitions always require a theme? Of course, there needs to be an overarching subject justifying and advertising why a selection of material has been brought together. Themes help to tell stories, create an argument, and give meaning to seemingly disparate collections of objects. The narratives constructed by curators allow items, especially mundane ones, to take on increased relevance by placing them in a broader context.

Over four hundred years ago, Peter Paul Rubens painted a bloody, yet tender biblical scene of Saint Sebastian being tended to by two angels. But the painting’s ownership history and its frequent change of hands in the eighteenth century led to its eventual loss of all provenance and therefore loss of the artist of this work’s identity for three hundred years.

The world’s most prestigious art fair, the 2023 edition of Art Basel kicked off with the opening of Unlimited, a section of the fair that presented monumental projects in a space that was big enough to display 76 large-scale installations by a mix of celebrated and emerging artists working in a variety of media.

The first African American painter to receive international critical acclaim, expressive realist Henry Ossawa Tanner exhibited at the Paris Salon, received honors from the French government, and mentored and influenced other iconic artists.

With over 120 artworks from 25 museums and private collections from around the world, visitors of Beyond Bollywood: 2000 Years of Dance in Art at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco experience the encompassing role of dance in South and Southeast Asian cultures. 

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