Lebanon-born abstract woman Etel Adnan dies aged 92 – John Singer Sargent Painting at risk of leaving UK


Etel Adnan, the pioneering Lebanese abstract painter, has died at the age of 92. Adnan was born in 1925 in French-speaking Beirut to a Syrian father and a Greek mother. She lived and worked in Paris, studying philosophy at the Sorbonne, Paris, University of California, Berkeley and Harvard. From 1958 to 1972, she taught philosophy at the Dominican University of California at San Rafael, working as a cultural editor for two dailies in Beirut between 1972 and 1976.

The images are not still. They make things happen – Etel Adnan

Her international roots and her studies of philosophy in Paris and the USA led her to a fascination with the language. However, it was not until the age of 36 that she turned to painting as a means of artistic expression, an approach motivated, in part, by her decision to stop writing in French after the Algerian War in the early 1960s. Adnan’s work explores both the political and personal dimensions of his exile from familiar landscapes and languages.

Adnan works on a table, using a palette knife to apply oil paint to the canvas – often straight from the tube – sliding firmly across the surface of the image. These compositions of elementary color fields release an intense energy, reminiscent of the colored slabs in the form of blocks in the last French landscapes of the Russian painter Nicolas de Staël.

Adnan says, “The images are not still. They make things happen. They come, go, disappear, approach, move away and are not even visual – at the end of the day, they are pure feelings. ‘ As a result, his work relates to places that resonate deeply with Adnan: the mountains near his home in Sausalito, California, where the artist has lived for the past fifty years, or the Mediterranean Sea of ​​his childhood home. in Beirut.

As a poet and novelist, Adnan is one of the leading voices in contemporary Arab-American literature. Since the 1960s, she has been painting, drawing and producing illustrated accordion folding books, known as Leporello. These practices, both verbal and visual, are underpinned by intense engagement with the world. Her novel on the Lebanese Civil War, Sitt Marie-Rose, was first published in 1977, winning the France-Arab Countries Prize, and has since been published in more than ten languages.

Her work was recently featured in the Women in Abstraction exhibition currently at Guggenheim Bilbao. His solo exhibition “Etel Adnan in All Her Dimensions” at the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar (2014) was well received. She has also been part of the Whitney Biennial, New York (2014) and Documenta 13, Kassel, Germany (2013). In addition, Adnan has received numerous awards for his contribution to culture, including, in 2014, the highest cultural distinction in France, the Ordre de Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.

John Singer Sargent Painting at Risk of Leaving the UK

Exceptional painting by John Singer Sargent, portrait of Arthur Ramsay, 14th century, is in danger of leaving the country unless a British buyer pays £ 7.5million to save the job for the nation.

The Earl of Dalhousie is extremely important for the study of the impressive legacy of John Singer Sargent. Best known for her famous Portrait of Madame X, the international artist – who has spent most of her life in Europe and whose resting place is in the UK – has played a vital role in art, the history and culture in the broad sense of the time. This piece set the stage for Sargent’s fame on both sides of the Atlantic.

Dating from 1899, the portrait coincides with the founding of psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud. As a result, the Earl of Dalhousie is considered exceptional to play the character of Arthur Ramsay. It offers a fascinating look at the aristocratic masculinity, uncertainty and imperial doubt of the time.

Whitley Bay Arts Minister Lord Parkinson said: John Singer Sargent was, as the 2015 National Portrait Gallery exhibition rightly pointed out, “the greatest portrait painter of his generation”. He continues to inspire artists, academics and the public to think more deeply about ourselves, our history and the human condition – with The Man in the Red Coat by Julian Barnes is just one example of the creative impulses that ‘he continues to arouse.

There is still so much to learn from this exceptional portrait of the 14th Earl of Dalhousie, painted in the UK during the transition from the 19th to the 20th century. It would be a huge loss if this piece were to leave the country. I sincerely hope that a British buyer can be found to save labor for the nation.

The Minister’s decision follows the advice of the Exports of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest Committee (RCEWA). The Committee agreed that it was a fascinating picture on many levels and that it was one of Sargent’s more nuanced male portraits.

Committee member Christopher Baker said: The Earl of Dalhousie de Sargent evokes a brilliant transitional moment in British portraiture, being late Victorian but surprisingly modern in appearance. The artist injected a new dynamism into such paintings; he had an in-depth knowledge of both the greatest portrait traditions and recent innovations and here combined a nod to Van Dyck’s achievement (in terms of pose and decor) with an energetic and courageous brushstroke and an incisive characterization. Such skills would prove to be irresistible to a generation of British patrons.

Dalhousie was a Scottish aristocrat, and his portrait is one of the finest of all of Sargent’s studies of male subjects; picture of height perhaps tinged with uncertainty, this is a coming-of-age painting, created when the subject was twenty-one, and, as recent research has shown, she was paid by its tenants. Exceptional aesthetically and in terms of the study of the art and culture of the time, it would be a profound misfortune if this scintillating work were not insured for a British collection.

The review committee recommended that the painting’s departure from the UK would be a shame as it had exceptional aesthetic significance. In addition, it was of exceptional importance for the study of Sargent’s work and the more comprehensive art, history and culture of the time.

The decision on the application for an export permit for the painting will be deferred until March 3, 2022. At the end of the first deferral period, owners will have a considerable 15 working days to consider any offer to purchase the painting from the UK. recommended price of £ 7,617,360 (excluding VAT). The second deferral period will begin following an option agreement and will last for six months.

Anish Kapoor to exhibit at the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice

Anish Kapoor to exhibit at the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice

Anish Kapoor will be the first British artist to be honored with a major exhibition at the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice during the Venice Biennale next year, which opens on April 20, 2022 and runs until October 9, 2022 .

The exhibition will feature retrospective elements alongside more recent works, showcasing key moments in the artist’s career. In addition, revolutionary new works created using carbon nanotechnology will be presented for the first time. Recent paintings and sculptures bear witness to the vitality and visionary nature of Kapoor’s current practice.

As announced today, November 12, 2021, during a press conference held at the museum in the presence of director Giulio Manieri Elia, curator of the exhibition, Taco Dibbits and Anish Kapoor, in addition to the main exhibition at the Gallery dell ‘Accademia, a group of important works will also be presented in the historic Palazzo Manfrin, where some of the most famous works from the collection of the Gallerie dell’ Accademia were originally hung.

The Palazzo Manfrin was bought in 1788 by Count Girolamo Manfrin, a wealthy tobacco merchant who transformed the first floor of the building into a gallery of paintings which quickly became one of the main tourist attractions in Venice visited among others by Antonio Canova, Lord Byron, John Ruskin and Edouard Manet.

When, towards the middle of the 19th century, the works of the collection were sold, after the death of Manfrin, the heritage of the Gallerie dell’Accademia was enriched by twenty-one paintings, including masterpieces such as as La Tempête by Giorgione and La Vecchia and works by Mantegna, Memling, Nicolò di Pietro, Girolamo Savoldo and Moretto.

Anish Kapoor said: “It is a great honor to be invited to participate in the collections of the Gallerie dell ‘Accademia in Venice, perhaps one of the finest collections of classical painting in the world. All art must engage with what came before it. The Academy presents a beautiful and wonderful challenge. I feel a deep attachment to Venice, its architecture and its support for contemporary arts.

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