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Archive for the ‘Modern & Contemporary Art’ Category

Éduard Manet, The Execution of Maximilian, ca. 1867-8. Photograph: ©The National Gallery, London

Éduard Manet, The Execution of Maximilian, ca. 1867-8. Photograph: © The National Gallery, London

Édouard Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass was the scandal of the year in France when it was exhibited in the 1863 Salon des Refusés, and Olympia was greeted with the same shock and indignation in the Paris Salon of 1865 (a journalist wrote, “If the canvas of the Olympia was not destroyed, it is only because of the precautions that were taken by the administration”). So selling tickets to show a new painting in America that was too controversial for France seemed a surefire way to get attention—and perhaps make a little money.

From 1867 to 1869, Édouard Manet had made some works depicting the execution of Emperor Maximilian in Mexico in 1867. But considering that Maximilian’s empire had collapsed after Napoleon III withdrew his support, it was not prudent to exhibit them in France while Napoleon remained in power.

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Work: Robert Longo, Portrait of Jeffrey, 1980, © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York;  Image: D. James Dee.

Work: Robert Longo, Portrait of Jeffrey, 1980, © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Image: D. James Dee.

Artstor has released more than 550 images from the D. James Dee Archive of contemporary art in the Digital Library. The collection includes images of work by Claes Oldenburg, Robert Gober, Hannah Wilke, Tauba Auerbach, Glenn Ligon, Rudolf Stingel, Sherrie Levine, Andy Warhol, and many others. These photographs were taken for the artists or for the gallery where they were exhibited: Deitch Projects, Paula Cooper Gallery, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, and DC Moore. Specifically, there are wonderful works on paper by Donald Judd and Brice Marden exhibited at Susan Sheehan Gallery, drawings by Oldenburg and Gober, fashion sketches by Stephen Sprouse shown at Deitch Projects, painted photographs by Duane Michals shown at DC Moore, and paintings by Dan Walsh.

These images, a sampling of digital photographs taken between 2008 and 2013, are the first batch in what will eventually be a collection of more than 100,000 photographs taken by Dee of leading artists’ work from the 1970s until his retirement in 2013. During this time he worked as the “SoHo Photographer,” documenting works for artists and blue chip galleries at a time when the SoHo neighborhood was the center of the New York art world. (more…)

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Thomas McGovern, Untitled, 1992. © Thomas McGovern

Thomas McGovern, Untitled, 1992. © Thomas McGovern

Artstor and Thomas McGovern are now sharing more than 100 photographs from the artist’s series covering the AIDS crisis in the Digital Library.

The photographs, taken between 1987 and 1997, portray individuals with AIDS and activist demonstrations in the U.S. “While I have photographed many aspects of the crisis since 1987, it is the portraits of people with AIDS that are central to the project and it is around these that the other photos of events revolve,” McGovern writes.

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Wangechi Mutu, Yo Mama, 2003. Courtesy of the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects

Wangechi Mutu, Yo Mama, 2003. Courtesy of the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects

Artstor and Wangechi Mutu are now sharing all the images included in the artist’s two major museum surveys: Wangechi Mutu at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, and A Fantastic Journey, a travelling show that opened at the Nasher Museum of Art.

Kenya-born artist Wangechi Mutu scrutinizes globalization by combining found materials, magazine cutouts, sculpture, and painted imagery. Mutu is best known for provocative collages that combine drawn elements and image fragments from a variety of media such as fashion magazines, ethnographic journals, and pornography to explore gender, race, war, colonialism, global consumption, and the exoticization of the black female body.

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Joseph Peller, Night Owls. © Joseph Peller

Joseph Peller, Night Owls. © Joseph Peller

Artstor and Joseph Peller have released more than 30 images of his artworks in the Digital Library.

Joseph Peller (b.1953) explores the haunting notions of isolation and ambivalence inherent in the unnoticed rituals of modern urban life. He experiments with a wide range of pure and mixed techniques in painting, printmaking and sculpture. (more…)

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Albrecht Dürer, Hare (A Young Hare), 1502, Graphische Sammlung Albertina. Image and original data: Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.

Albrecht Dürer, Hare (A Young Hare), 1502, Graphische Sammlung Albertina. Image and original data: Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.

Easter is around the corner, and with it comes the inevitable barrage of images of the Easter bunny. The strange thing is that the only mentions of rabbits in the Bible are prohibitions against eating them in the Old Testament. So what gives?

The underlying idea is that rabbits are connected to the idea of rebirth—not only do they reproduce prodigiously, at one time they were believed to reproduce asexually. The connection of rabbits to rebirth also occurs in non-Christian societies: The Rabbit in the Moon (instead of our Man in the Moon) is a familiar symbol in Asia, and was part of Aztec legend, tying the idea of rabbits to a “rebirth” every night. But other qualities of rabbits and hares also get highlighted in folklore, including their mischievous side, playing the role of cunning tricksters in Native American and Central African mythologies. (more…)

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Ben Shahn | Untitled (Four Men, One Playing a Guitar) | ca. 1930s

Ben Shahn | Untitled (Four Men, One Playing a Guitar) | ca. 1930s | Art © Estate of Ben Shahn/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. This work of art is protected by copyright and/or related rights and may not be reproduced in any manner, except as permitted under the ARTstor Digital Library Terms and Conditions of Use, without the prior express written authorization of VAGA, 350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2820, New York, NY 10118. Tel.: 212-736-6666, fax: 212-736-6767, email: info@vagarights.com.

Artstor and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) are now sharing more than 300 additional images of modern and contemporary art in the Digital Library. The 1,300 images now available in Artstor consist of highlights from the museum’s permanent collection of modern and contemporary art.

International in scope, SFMOMA‘s permanent collection includes more than 26,000 works of painting, sculpture, photography, architecture and design, and media arts from 1900 to the present. Artists represented include: Robert Arneson, Robert Bechtle, Elmer Bischoff, Louise Bourgeois, Joan Brown, Jay DeFeo, Richard Diebenkorn, Dan Flavin, Sam Francis, Philip Guston, Sargent Johnson, Ellsworth Kelly, Dorothea Lange, Sol LeWitt, Nathan Oliveira, David Park, Robert Rauschenberg, Doris Salcedo, Richard Serra, Clyfford Still, Wayne Thiebaud, and Edward Weston, among others.

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