‘Degas: Little Dancer Rediscovered’ at Stair Sainty Gallery

In 1881, a fourteen-year-old girl divided the Parisian art world. She was a lowly dancer, only a small thing, but the subject of a now instantly recognisable icon of modern art, Edgar Degas’ sculpture Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen. Degas debuted her at the Sixth Impressionist Exhibition, where he was met with both ridicule and respect for his depiction of the seemingly unassuming moment a young student of the Paris Opera Ballet dance school stretched herself into a relaxed version of fourth position (although apparently not without some pain, as her strain is palpable). For an art world accustomed to idealised marble sculptures in imitation of classical antiquity, this was shocking – he had sculpted her from beeswax, and adorned her with a tutu and ribbons. Was this Degas’ frivolous joke, just a mocking wink at a straight-laced bourgeois society, or a more vicious indictment? Or was he simply trying to experiment, push the boundaries of what art could be?    

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Edgar Degas, ‘Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen’, 1880-1, cast c.1990s

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Yayoi Kusama Comes to London! An immersive exhibition at Victoria Miro.

Victoria Miro presents a new exhibition by Yayoi Kusama. Spanning the gallery’s three locations and waterside garden, the exhibition features new paintings, pumpkin sculptures, and mirror rooms, all made especially for this presentation.

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MY HEART’S ABODE, 2016.

This is the artist’s most extensive exhibition at the gallery to date, and it is the first time mirror rooms have gone on view in London since Kusama’s major retrospective at Tate Modern in 2012.

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‘Everybody wants to own that unique piece that no-one has yet; and that is to be found in the Primary Market’ – ArtAttack meets Verena Schneider

Back in January ArtAttack visited The London Art Fair, and we were delighted with what we saw. A real highlight was visiting Venet-Haus Galerie’s stand, filled with various works including spectacular sculptures by Dee Sands and exciting pieces by contemporary photographer Dieter Blum. We also had the pleasure of being greeted by the wonderful Managing Director Verena Schneider and her colleague Terence Carr.

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Verena Schneider | Courtesy Venet-Haus Galerie

The Venet-Haus Gallery was founded in 2007. The gallery focuses on comprehensive, contemporary painting and sculpture of international repute. Over the years, well-known artists like Dieter Blum, Günther Ücker, Bernar Venet and Dietrich Klinge have featured prominently. In 2013, the gallery came under the present management. They saw it as an exciting challenge to discover talented young artists, for example Johann Büsen, Kristian Evju or Barbara Anna Husar and promote them alongside the already established.

I had the chance to speak to Verena about the gallery, her advice for new collectors, and their future plans.

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Hand-painted animation Van Gogh Biopic seeking artists!

Having studied film at my alma mater, USC, and now working in art, there are few things I can think of that excite me more than the upcoming Vincent van Gogh documentary, Loving Vincent. Not only is this cinematic feat to come an in-depth and personal peek into the impressionist master’s life compiled from information taken from 800 of his letters, but is also the first ever feature length painted animation film.

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‘Better to buy the best of a less well known artist than a bad work by a big, fashionable name’ – ArtAttack meets Guy Stair Sainty

In light of Stair Sainty Gallery’s current exhibition FEDERICO BELTRAN MASSES: UNDER THE STARS, we spoke to founder and renowned dealer Guy Stair Sainty about the gallery and the current state of the market.

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F. Beltran Masses, Maja Maldita, 1918 | Courtesy Stair Sainty Gallery

Guy opened his first public gallery in New York in 1982 and quickly made his name as a specialist in 18th and 19th century French painting, before gradually expanding into Spanish and Italian painting of the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries. Guy served for seven years as a member of the Art Advisory Panel of the Commissioner of the US Internal Revenue Service, and is a former Vice-President of the Private Art Dealer’s Association.

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‘Federico Beltran Masses: Under the Stars’ Preview

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Salome, 1918. Oil on canvas, 141 x 165 cm.

In Joris-Karl Huysman’s 1884 novel À Rebours, the solitary aesthete Jean des Esseintes is ‘obsessed’ with the Biblical figure of Salome, ‘a mystery to all the writers who had never succeeded in portraying the disquieting exaltation of this dancer, the refined grandeur of this murderess.’ Salome was a fixture in the mind of many such writers and artists, as a seductive enchantress of the femme fatale variety, the (in fact unnamed) dancer who requests the head of John the Baptist on a platter in the New Testament. She has cast her spell on the likes of Titian to Rubens, in particular igniting the artistic imagination of the fin-de-siècle and the Symbolist artists. Oscar Wilde’s 1893 play Salome famously invented her ‘Dance of the Seven Veils’ striptease, whilst in the paintings of Gustave Moreau, ‘Des Esseintes at last saw realized the superhuman and exotic Salome of his dreams’ – a revelation he subsequently delights in waxing lyrical about for several more pages.

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The Broad: Making LA An Art Town

When I think of my hometown, Los Angeles, California, palm trees, expansive beaches and rainbow sunsets come to mind. I start to crave In n’Out Burger, hot pilates and early morning hikes in Runyon Canyon, $20 Juice Served Here smoothies (worth it, I swear) and the ever perfect ‘Trust Me’ menu at Sugarfish. I think of lazy strolls on Abbot Kinney, movie premieres taking over Hollywood Boulevard, hip hop nights at the club and performers on the Venice boardwalk. What I do not think of however, is art.

Now, before you go telling me how LA has a “killer art scene,” yes, of course I realize there is art in LA. From street art on every major boulevard, to Renaissance masterpieces at the Getty, and gallery private views with drinks flowing almost every weekend, by no stretch of the imagination is the City of Angels not a City of Art as well. However, living in London currently and having lived in New York, I never thought of my city as quite up to par with my adopted homes art-wise, at least not until The Broad.

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The Broad, exterior

The Broad has changed everything.

Marketed, quite accurately, as ‘LA’s new contemporary art museum,’ the building, by design firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, is a piece of art in itself gracing the skyline of Downtown LA. Inside, the vast-beyond-comprehenstion postwar and contemporary collection of philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad awaits. Just to be transparent, that’s 2,000 works of art collected over the course of 50 years, and including the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cy Twombly, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Takashi Murakami, Ed Ruscha, Damien Hirst, Cindy Sherman and Christopher Wool, to name but a few.

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