Sunday, May 31, 2015

A gift from Lucian Freud to the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire to be offered at Sotheby's

Four Eggs on a Plate, 2002, was given to the late Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, affectionately known as "Debo”, as a gift by the painter Lucian Freud in 2004. Now, the remarkable story of an enduring friendship between two of the defining figures of our time is revealed as the painting is offered for sale at Sotheby's in London.

Hotel: when in Jodhpur, stay at the impeccable Indana Palace

I recently had the chance to visit Rajasthan and my itinerary included the fantastic city of Jodhpur. Jodhpur is embedded with majestic monuments that you shouldn’t miss: I’m talking about the Mehrangarh Fort, the Jaswant Thada mausoleum, the Ghanta Ghar all really close to the Indana Palace.

My stay in the second largest city of Rajasthan also known as the “Blue city” was made even more pleasant since I actually spent one night at the Indana Palace, a recently-built luxury hotel located 1.9 miles from the Jodhpur Airport which proves to be very convenient when you need to travel to another city in India. And don’t worry about this proximity; the hotel is really quiet and peaceful. You’ll need to come in rickshaw or taxi if you come from the centre.

The entrance and lobby immediately plunge you into the Maharajas’ spirit and a sumptuous fountain welcomes you. Management was very friendly and despite arriving late, the front-of-house manager was really quick and efficient in processing the check-in.

Featuring architecture and interiors modelled on ancient palaces, Indana Palace, Jodhpur offers a fitness centre, snooker room, the various restaurants, the huge swimming pool, massage parlour and spa and wellness centre. The hotel comprises 88 rooms, from executive, premium to junior and presidential suites.

The grandeur, the impressive view over Umaid Bhavan Palace, the beautiful swimming pool, the spacious bedrooms and terraces offer all the comfort and modernity you need. 

A special mention to the service and the breakfast which were perfect! I highly recommend you to stay at the Indana Palace.

Don't wait and book your accomodation here: 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Frida in NY

A banner of Frida Kahlo's "Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird" hangs over the entrance of the Mertz Library advertising the "Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life" exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden May 21, 2015 in New York. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT

Nirvana in Dries van Noten

Friday, May 22, 2015

Pace London presents Michal Rovner

© 2015 Michal Rovner/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Since 2004, Pace New York has held four exhibitions of Rovner’s work, which included her renowned projections on stone and paper as well as several of her large scale projections.  In the last exhibition in New York, Topography, the artist unveiled her first multi-screen works using new LCD technology, specifically customized for her.

In Panorama, Rovner’s evolved and articulated works continue to explore this medium. These large-scale, multi-screen works combine her signature human figures with the landscape elements which she has been exploring for the last two years.  The brooding soulful expression of the human and natural worlds is intertwined through the use of increasingly bold abstraction.  Panorama evokes Rovner’s themes of human interaction, dislocation and the persistence of history, while creating a new level of immediacy by further removing the narrative to its barest and most urgent elements.

Since first showcasing her video work at her Whitney Museum of American Art retrospective in 2002, Rovner has pioneered the use of the moving image as a non-narrative, non-cinematic medium for the creation of painterly images and installations which, like painting and sculpture, conjure the timeless realities in a way the narrative arts cannot.  Rovner's discovery that the moving image need not be tied to a sense of beginning, middle and end, and instead may exist in a constant state of the present has opened up the possibilities of video for the 21st century.  Since her landmark exhibition at the Venice Biennale in 2003, Rovner has expanded her innovations in many directions. Backward, into the historical realm defined by the ancient stones she used as both medium and context; and forward into technological systems that allow for novel expression of her imagery.

Adding painting qualities and gestural “brushstrokes” to video recordings of real-life situations, the new work respond to Rovner’s sense of disjointed reality.

“I’m looking at a newspaper, I’m watching television. I want to know, I need to know what is going on in the world.  I see details of a reality that is worrisome. Every war is shown, every major act of violence is shown, but you only get a detail. Everything is shown, but you never really see it.” Michal Rovner, March 2015.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Exclusive interview with David (à la) Carter

Interior-designer, aesthete, style-maker, entertainer, fashionisto, story-teller or simply East-Londoner? It´s very difficult to categorise David Carter. And why would you? His nickname is David àlaCarter after all so he’s a man of many talents!  Art is Alive catches up with him on his sumptuous boutique hotel, his Bedtime Stories events and… Chanel.

Tell us about yourself: how would you describe yourself, a designer, a taste-maker, or an aesthete?
I am probably the worst person to ask… I am working as an interior designer, I run a very small hotel and I organise whimsical and hopefully entertaining events.

What is the most interesting interior design project you've worked on?
The most interesting one is always the one I am currently working on… It’s a bit like a new relationship or love affair. Full of high expectations, drama and uncertainty. Will my beautiful dream be realised? Will it be a huge disappointment? My main project at the moment is a five storey Georgian townhouse in Islington. I’m currently in the midst of all the major building works.  

Tell us about 40 Winks: how did it start? 

I opened 40 Winks in March 2009… Almost six years ago now. The house has been one of London’s top fashion and celebrity locations for many years (we had Italian Vogue shooting here shortly before Christmas last year and L’Officiel are here next week), and I kept getting photographers, stylists, and models asking they could come and stay when they are over in London. For years, I kept saying no, but eventually decided to what would happen if I cheekily opened the house as the world’s first micro-boutique hotel. Amazingly, despite our tiny size (we sleep three), we are now one of best reviewed hotels in the world with a string of accolades. If I had known just how much pleasure I would get from it, I would have been saying “Yes” a long time ago. I love it. 

Do you organise events around the hotel?
Yes, we have been running events for almost six years. These include our famous literary pyjama parties, “Bedtime story nights”, and we have an exciting new event called “Saturday super salon” with lovely Liz Hoggard from the Times.

Who are your heroes?

Anyone who devotes time and energy to making the world a better place for others…

Is London an inspiration?

I love London. It is not an easy city. It is constantly challenging, but I think if you work in the arts, this is a good thing. 

Where do you source furniture?

Everywhere! I buy lot of antiques and also work with lots of amazing contemporary designers/makers. My work is very eclectic, and I have built up a huge network of suppliers over the years.

Any interesting guests so far?

40 Winks is principally aimed at people who work in fashion and the arts, so almost all our guests are great fun! We get film stars, people from brands like Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel, and lots of other very creative people, but we also get quite a few guests who work in professions like banking and the law. All super lovely! We want guests who are looking for something quite experiential and theatrical. We expect them to hold their own with some lively banter and have a sense of humour… We are not interested in boring people!

Do you appreciate contemporary art?

Yes, but I am hopelessly out of touch these days. I do have quite a lot of friends who are artists, particularly photographers, but I would love to have more time to visit shows and studios. 

Which exhibitions did you recently see and like?
Hiroshi Sugimoto at Pace, the Horst exhibition at the V&A were excellent and the Guy Bourdin at Somerset House was very disappointing. 

Book your room now:

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Lisa Madigan

Tropical Milk Courtesy of Lisa Madigan

Sea Foam Courtesy of Lisa Madigan

Peaches & Green Courtesy of Lisa Madigan

20th anniversary of the Arpad Szenes - Vieira da Silva Foundation in Lisbon, Portugal

Au Fil de l'espace is the title of the exhibition celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Arpad Szenes - Vieira da Silva Foundation (FASVS) that will open on Thursday 14 May, 2015. This show is organised with the Galerie Jaeger Bucher / Jeanne-Bucher which has promoted very early on the avant-garde artists of the abstraction of the 1950s and which has been representing Marie Helena Vieira da Silva's work since 1933. 

The exhibition benefits from international loans of major institutions and collectors which will allow to present some works for the first time in the Foundation dedicated to Arpad Szenes and Vieira da Silva in Portugal. 

A room will be dedicated to works by artists that were a source of inspiration and with whom the couple had friendly relationships: Jean Arp, Roger Bissière et Paul Klee, Jean Dubuffet, Joaquin Torres-García, Mark Tobey, Nicolas de Staël, Germaine Richier, Hans Reichel etc.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy 15th anniversary Tate Modern

2003: Olafur Eliasson, The Weather Project, © Tate Photography

RIP Chris Burden

Sculptor and performance artist, dies aged 69 at home in California.

The Cannes Film Festival opens this week

Official poster of the 68th Cannes Film Festival featuring a photo of Ingrid Bergman by David Seymour. My favourite actress, Rossy de Palma, is a member of the jury this year!

Dior - Pre, staged in Cannes, Pierre Cardin's house today

Sarah Lucas at this year's Venice Biennale

Sarah Lucas, Me Bar Stool, British Pavilion 2015, Photo by Cristiano Corte 
© British Council

Photo London, a new photography art fair opens next week

Copyright Tyler Udall

Photo London, the long-awaited photo fair London had been deserving, opens next week. It will feature over 70 exhibitors, including the world’s leading photography galleries and publishers, alongside an innovative public programme supported by the LUMA Foundation.

Photo London will showcase the broad range of photographic practice, from vintage to contemporary, in diverse and exciting scenarios, through a series of exhibitions, installations and live events in and around Somerset House and I can't wait! Exhibitions will include Beneath the Surface from the V&A collection, Sebastião Salgado’s Genesis in Platinum and Kaveh Golestan’s Prostitute, while a specially commissioned installation by Rut Blees Luxemburg will fill the Courtyard. Talks, music sessions and book signings around the fair will change the way you look at photography.

Vik Muniz' work at 56th Venice Biennale

Lampedusa, by Brazilian superstar Vik Muniz, is a floating installation presented at the 56th Venice Biennale. For this public artwork, Vik Muniz employed his traditional use of unlikely materials and scale manipulation to generate wonder from predictability. Contextualized in the naval environment of Venice and the Biennale, Lampedusa is the incarnation of a paper boat built to scale of one of Venice’s traditional vaporetti. Boats of all kinds are a common sight in Venice but a forty-five feet paper boat certainly disrupted the viewers’ impression of being part of a postcard during the opening week I attended last week...

Mark Flood presented at Peres Projects

Jade Nude, 2014

Peres Projects presents Astroturf Yelp Review Says Yes, the gallery’s sixth solo show with Houston-based, American artist Mark Flood. In addition to new works from the text and logo series, this exhibition is centred around a new Aged Paintings series, presented in exhibited in Berlin for the first time. 

Mark Flood has been mining the cult of celebrity since the early 1980s, physically and literally distorting publicity images in every imaginable way through collage, reprinting and over-painting celebrity portraits and advertising. More recently, Flood has set his gaze on the logos of corporations, which themselves have become as identifiable as some of the people who promote their products. Again, he distorts the corporate logo as a way of giving us a new picture, undermining the great lengths corporations go to control their image. As with the Corporate Logo Paintings, which feature abstracted and blurred logos printed on canvas, the new series of Aged Paintings appropriates corporate signage in various stages of decay, clustering many together on one canvas to create new contexts and meanings. The Aged Paintings are painted with acrylic and oil on burlap with almost photorealistic precision, and then aged and patinated, appearing almost as artefacts of our times to a future civilisation. 

Tori Amos - "Caught A Lite Sneeze" (Official Music Video)

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