The Most Famous Collector Of African American Art Is Using The Past To Reframe A Better Future

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For more than 40 years, Bernard and Shirley Kinsey have amassed one of the largest private collections of Black paintings, letters, books and other artifacts to teach the next generations what history has erased.

Bernard Kinsey was born to educate. His father, Ulysses B. Kinsey, was the living embodiment of W.E.B. DuBois’ philosophy that a solid liberal arts background was the path to true freedom for Black Americans. After graduating from Florida A&M University in 1941, U.B Kinsey set aside his dream of becoming an attorney to teach at his alma mater, the all-black Industrial High School in Palm Beach, Florida.

That same year, he and other teachers sued the Palm Beach County school board so Black students could attend classes as long as whites and also fought for equal pay for Black teachers. Kinsey’s side won the class-action suit, which was represented by future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and, as Bernard Kinsey notes, “that case became one of the building blocks for Brown v. The Board of Education 13 years later.”

Now 76, Kinsey owns an original copy of the brief from that landmark 1954 Supreme Court case, which ruled that “separate-but-equal” education was unconstitutional and became one of the pillars of the civil rights movement. The Brown brief is part of The Kinsey Collection, an extraordinary repository of art, books, documents and artifacts that chronicle Black America from 1595 to the present.

A former Xerox executive and philanthropist, Kinsey—along with his wife, Shirley—started collecting African American artifacts to fill gaps in their son Khalil’s knowledge of Black history. “We saw that Khalil was not getting the right education as it relates to his blackness and in terms of making sure that he understood that he came from a great place,” Kinsey explains. “The whole idea of the Kinsey Collection is achievement and accomplishment.”

‘Bernard and Shirley Kinsey’ and ‘Khalil Kinsey’ by Artis Lane, Canadian (b. 1927) (Oil on Canvas)

COURTESY OF THE KINSEY ART COLLECTION

Their humble intent to show their son that he was more than the legacy of hurt, shame and anger of slavery, has far exceeded the Kinseys expectations. The collection, which he conservatively estimates to be worth more than $10 million and does not have a permanent home, has been seen by some 15 million viewers from Washington D.C. to China since when the family began displaying the collection in traveling exhibits in 2006.

Among the more than 700 treasures the Kinseys own are Phillis Wheatley’s 1773 book Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, the first book of poetry published by an African American woman, letters from Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, quilts by Bisa Butler, paintings by Richard Mayhew, Alma Thomas, Ernie Barnes, Norman Lewis, and Jacob Lawrence, prints by Ava Cosey, letters from Zora Neale Hurston, and commissioned pieces from friends, such as sculptor Artis Lane.

“[She] is very special to us because we became friends with her before we ever owned any of her pieces,” Shirley Kinsey says. “We used to say we didn’t know if we could afford her because she had done a bronze portrait of Rosa Parks. College friends commissioned her to do a portrait of me and Bernard for our 35th wedding anniversary, she said she always wanted to paint us but didn’t know how we’d feel about it because we said we didn’t want to be hung on a wall. She said, ‘Be casual, because I want to paint you as I know you.’”

Letter from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to his literary agent, 1957, Letter from Malcolm X. to Alex Haley, December 3, 1963.

COURTESY OF THE KINSEY ART COLLECTION

To know the Kinseys—who have been married for 53 years—is to understand that theirs was a partnership from the very beginning. They met at a 1963 civil rights protest. Shirley had been arrested and Bernard was part of a Florida A&M University student group handing out supplies to jailed protesters. After Shirley served her three-day sentence, the couple courted over “library dates,” which was a euphemism for leaving campus to watch movies. Since the college cafeteria closed early on Sundays, Bernard made a routine of bringing over shrimp burgers each week. “My friends would tease me about getting to have something to eat that late at night and they told me he loved me before he ever said it,” Shirley Kinsey, now 74, recalls.

Throughout his life, Bernard Kinsey has sought to elevate the black experience and advocated for people who looked like him. After graduating from FAMU, he landed a job at the National Parks Service in 1966, one of the first African Americans employed at the federal agency. After a brief stint overseeing Grand Canyon National Park, he left for a position at Exxon in South Central Los Angeles, 18 months after the Watts Riots.

Kinsey excelled in the position for five years—where his job, among other things, was to make sure the company was in good standing in the mostly Black and Hispanic neighborhood—but he sought more tech-focused work and was lured by Xerox, which was looking for affirmative action hires.

“Even with a B.S in mathematics and an MBA from Pepperdine University going to a liberal company like Xerox it took 12 interviews to be hired,” Kinsey says. “I interviewed for the top job with 100 employees. After 12 interviews I ended up a field service manager with 12 technicians. I found that my managers didn’t even have a college education, in nine months I blitzed the job and they gave me the job I should have had.”

Eventually, he rose to become a vice president of Xerox. Along the way, he cofounded the Xerox Black Employees Association, which paved the way for the company’s first Black female CEO Ursula Burns in 2010. “We have a saying: ‘leave the door open and leave the ladder down,’” Kinsey says. “In other words, at Xerox you couldn’t be successful by yourself, you had to bring brothers and sisters with you, that was part of the ethic that we formed back in 1971.”

‘Hence We Come,’ Norman Lewis

COURTESY OF THE KINSEY ART COLLECTION

Just as Kinsey was retiring from Xerox in 1991 another incident of racial violence gripped Los Angeles and galvanized civil rights activists across the country: the brutal police beating of Rodney King. Although King survived and was later awarded $3.8 million for the injuries he sustained, the officers involved in the attack—which was captured on video—were acquitted and the city erupted in violence.

Kinsey responded to tragedy by once again finding a way to uplift the local Black community. He postponed retirement to help found Rebuild LA, a revitalization project for which Kinsey generated more than $380 million in investments from the private sector for inner-city Los Angeles.

“After the ’92 riots, 2,000 building burned, 50 people were killed and police were shooting real bullets, nothing close to what we’re seeing now,” Kinsey says, “and it was unbelievable, anything you could think of was gone. We had to bring those businesses back and they didn’t want to come back because they had lost so much.”

Kinsey leaned on the world he knew best: Corporate America. “If you don’t solve the problems of the poorest among us how are we ever going to solve these other problems,” he says. “Enlightened executives have tremendous resources that they can apply and begin to deploy some of these resources differently. You have to make sure that Black folks, African Americans are the ones in receipt of it, and you’re going to get some backlash.”

The History of the Rise, Progress, and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave-Trade by the British Parliament, by Thomas Clarkson, 1808, ‘Frederick Douglass,’ 2003, Tina Allen,

COURTESY OF THE KINSEY ART COLLECTION

Reinvesting in the Black community is just one part of the path forward. Some of the work also requires acknowledging Black’s contributions to America and throughout the diaspora. And this is where the Kinsey Collection has had a tremendous impact.

“The myth of absence” permeates all aspects of American life, Kinsey notes. From corporations to the White House, there is a notion that Black people are invisible. The myth suggests that “Blacks are not a part of the dialogue, the picture, the narrative of this country.” The art and artifacts in the Kinsey Collection reveal the breadth and depth of the Black journey and offer insight and hope for overcoming America’s systemic racism.

“I love seeing Black Lives Matter because it shows we have agency,” Kinsey says. “Black citizenship is not valued at the same level as white citizenship is, and we absolutely know it.”

Many of the names of African American achievers have been lost or intentionally written out of history. The Kinseys have created a platform for unknown artists lost to whitewashed history, deliberately featuring those who have been erased and overlooked.

‘Folk Singer,’ 1953, Charles White

COURTESY OF THE KINSEY ART COLLECTION

“In his work, Bill Dallas is an activist of sorts,’ Shirley Kinsey says of the Black painter whose Blue Jazz is featured in the collection. “He’s been involved in a type of protest there because he feels he’s never been accepted as a good artist.”

While the fight for justice and equality has been ongoing, Kinsey says he’s never seen an awakening quite like this current movement. “I hope we’ll be able to get at [police reform] while we have this momentum because white America has a way of going back to sleep on this [race] question and the energy that’s being expended right now,” Kinsey says. “I love what I see because there are so many people involved in this struggle all over the world.”

As communities around the world awaken to the struggles that Black people face, Kinsey believes that part of how America heals is through art and reclaiming the narrative that positions Black people as less than.

“There was a time that as a Black teen I started getting close to certain pitfalls and traps,” Khalil Kinsey, who now manages and curates the collection, says of his parents’ mission to educate him on Black history. “But these foundational elements always kept me from making certain decisions.”

‘As Violence,’ 1973, Phoebe Beasley, American

COURTESY OF THE KINSEY ART COLLECTION

He says many of his Black friends weren’t as lucky to have this positive influence and often didn’t have an outlet for their feelings about injustice and experiences of racism. Years before the killing of George Floyd, it was Phoebe Beasley’s 1973 painting As Violence that embodied the rage and despair many young Black Americans experience.

“It conveys frustration without an outlet, and the influence of American violence,” Khalil Kinsey continues. “It’s the reflection of young people who understand that they’re under siege but don’t know how to articulate it in other ways.”

Through his life’s work and his collection, Bernard Kinsey hopes that Black people will continue to exercise agency and become the authors of their own stories. Above all, he longs for fiscal policies that demonstrate Black lives, in fact, matter.

“It’s amazing to me still, two young kids from Florida, who came to California to do what we’re doing. I don’t take it for granted, and we have to share it,” Shirley Kinsey said. “When we’re gone this will carry on.”

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I serve as assistant editor for Forbes Innovation, covering cybersecurity and venture capital. I have covered politics at POLITICO, entertainment for Time Out New York, but my most fascinating beat has been covering the intersection of technology, finance, and entrepreneurship. I’m also an alumna of CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, and the University of Washington. Email tips to mmelton@forbes.com

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Discover Hilma af Klint Pioneering Mystical Painter and Perhaps the First Abstract Artist

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In a post last year, Colin Marshall wrote of the Swedish abstract painter Hilma af Klint, who “developed abstract imagery,” notes Sweden’s Moderna Museet, “several years before” contemporaries like Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, and Kazimir Malevich. Much like Kandinsky, who articulated his theories in the treatise Concerning the Spiritual in Art, af Klint “assumed that there was a spiritual dimension to life and aimed at visualizing context beyond what the eye can see.” Influenced by spiritualism and theosophy, she “sought to understand and communicate the various dimensions of human existence.”

Born in 1862 and raised in the Swedish countryside, af Klint began her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm after her family relocated to the city. “After graduating and until 1908,” Moderna Museet writes, “she had a studio at Kungsträdgården in central Stockholm.

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She painted and exhibited portraits and landscapes in a naturalist style.” But as a result of her experiences in séances in the late 1870s, af Klint became interested in “invisible phenomena.”

In 1896, Hilma af Klint and four other women formed the group “De Fem” [The Five]. They made contact with “high masters” from another dimension, and made meticulous notes on their séances. This led to a definite change in Hilma af Klint’s art. She began practising automatic writing, which involves writing without consciously guiding the movement of the pen on the paper. She developed a form of automatic drawing, predating the surrealists by decades. Gradually, she eschewed her naturalist imagery, in an effort to free herself from her academic training. She embarked on an inward journey, into a world that is hidden from most people.

During one such séance, in 1904, af Klint reported that she had “received a ‘commission,’” Kate Kellaway writes at The Guardian, “from an entity named Amaliel who told her to paint on ‘an astral plane’ and represent the ‘immortal aspects of man.’”

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From 1906 to 1915, she produced 193 paintings, “an astonishing outpouring,” which she called “Paintings for the Temple.”

Hers is a strange story. Even in a time when many famous contemporaries, like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, professed similar beliefs and spiritual practices, not many claimed to be taking dictation directly from spirits in their work. The question af Klint raises for art historians is whether she was “a quirky outsider” or “Europe’s first abstract painter, central to the history of abstract art.” Her mystical eccentricities constitute a large part of the reason she has remained obscure for so long. Rather than seek fame and acclaim for her originality, af Klint stipulated when she died in 1944 at age 81 that “her work—1,200 paintings, 100 texts and 26,000 pages of notes—should not be shown until 20 years after her death.”

Still, it took a further 22 years before her work was seen in public, at a 1986 Los Angeles show called “The Spiritual in Art.”

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While her peers developed large followings in their lifetimes and took part in influential movements, af Klint cultivated a private, insular world all her own, not unlike that of William Blake, who also remained mostly obscure during his life, though not necessarily by choice. Her choice to hide her work came out of an early encounter, Dangerous Minds notes, with Rudolf Steiner, “who was similarly following a path towards creating a synthesis between the scientific and the spiritual” and who told her “these paintings must not be seen for fifty years as no one would understand them.”

Now that af Klint’s work has been exhibited in full, most recently by the Moderna Museet, curators like Iris Müller-Westermann believe, as Kellawy notes, “that art-historical wrangles should not get in the way of work that needs to be seen.” Although af Klint may not have played an integral historical role in the development of abstract painting, her expansive body of work will likely inspire artists, scholars, and esoteric seekers for centuries to come.

 

Learn more about af Klint’s work at Moderna Museet, the Hilma af Klint Foundation website, The Art Story and Dangerous Minds.

By: Josh Jones 

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

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By now, many people are familiar with the story of Swedish painter and occultist, Hilma af Klint (1862-1944). Subject of several major museum exhibitions—including most-attended-ever exhibits at the Guggenheim, New York and the Moderna Museet, Stockholm—her vibrant, innovative, and highly metaphysical paintings have firmly entered the public consciousness and are finally taking their place in 20th-century art history. Trained as a painter, she became a spiritualist and later received a commission from her spirit guides to complete a series of monumental artworks. In the process, she invented abstract art but was discouraged from continuing and ultimately worked in isolation—never sharing her spiritual works publicly in her lifetime—as result of sharp criticism from her male peers.

The Black Art Critic And Curator Poised To Take Over The Art World

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For many small and mid-sized art galleries in New York, the last three months of lockdown have been catastrophic—unable to pay rents, many have chosen to shut down permanently.  Not the case for the Arcade Project Curatorial, a gallery without a permanent physical location run by the art critic and curator M. Charlene Stevens, who also is the editor-in-chief and founder of Arcade Project. “I’ve been thriving during this whole thing,” Stevens said. “It caused me to really re-evaluate my priorities, and tighten up my business.”

As a black woman historically marginalized in the art world, Stevens feels like she’s finally being given a chance to thrive in a world that historically hasn’t made much room for people of color — for example, 85% of artists represented in United States museum collections are white, according to a study published in 2019. “The pandemic has leveled the playing field, and allowed me to step into it,” Stevens says.

Stevens has waited many years for her time to come. When she first arrived in New York in 2012, she had trouble finding her place in the art world. “I wasn’t young, white and skinny,” she says.

Stevens has always been uniquely qualified for a job in the arts—if you measure qualifications based on academic experience and acquired skills instead of who your daddy is, and how much money he makes in a calendar year. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stevens received her B.A. in art history, criticism and conservation from UCLA, and subsequently studied art history, photography and film at California State University-Los Angeles and the University of Leiden in Holland.

“I decided to create my own job,” she says. She founded Arcade Project, the magazine aspect of which she launched in 2016 at the Armory Show. In order to pay the diverse and talented group of writers who contributed to the publication, Stevens worked temp jobs—including as an executive assistant and a receptionist. “I ran the business on a MetroCard and a prayer,” she laughed.

She had faith in herself and her vision, which compelled her to keep publishing the magazine even when it was hard to pay the bills. “I dated a few guys who were like, ‘You really need to give that magazine up,’ she says. “I’m really glad I didn’t listen to them.”

Stevens first breakthrough moment came in 2019 when she penned, “When White ‘Allies’ Go Wrong,” an essay in Hyperallergic that responded to “Kill Your Darlings: The End of the White Male Ally,” an essay by Kurt McVey that appeared in Whitehot Magazine, and was itself a response to “The Dominance of the White Male Critic” in The New York Times. In his essay, McVey seemed affronted that he, a white male, was not being offered a seat at the table in a brave new world of inclusionary hiring practices.

Stevens’ response was not only scorching, it was also intellectual, well-researched — and, well, perfect. “White privilege is being able to pop on the scene with no experience,” Stevens told me. “As a black person with plenty of experience, no one looked at me.” The essay was shared 1,800 times, and led to more assignments with Hyperallergic.

It came at a moment when the invisible forces of culture were shifting to allow more room for voices like Stevens — but not enough room, let’s be honest. “Black people know that on television, if there is one black character running around, then they kill all the others,” Stevens said. In other words, she was given her moment, but she knew that she had to seize on it or be forgotten.

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Around the same time, Stevens was beginning to curate exhibitions, including Dark Meat, a show of works on paper by Elizabeth Axtman that juxtaposed Jeffrey Dahmer’s consumption of black male flesh—10 of Dahmer’s 18 victims were black—with O.J. Simpson, and appeared at the SXSW Week Art Fair in March of 2019. It was followed by TwistedTwins – XXY, an immersive photo and video installation by Eva Mueller at the Satellite Art Fair in New York in September.  The exhibitions were well-received. Even better, Stevens realized that she really loved the process of nurturing an artist’s career through thoughtful curation. “People can get old without making it, it doesn’t matter how talented they are,” she says. “I want to be that gallery that takes undiscovered talent to the next level.”

She also wants to open the world of collecting to people of color, who, like most people with a pulse, feel unwelcome in the emotionally chilly environment of a traditional white box gallery. “My goal has always been to make the art world a little less exclusive,” she says.

Stevens planned on continuing to piece together a living by running Arcade Project, penning essays, and curating shows, when the pandemic hit. Galleries with physical spaces in Chelsea or on the Lower East Side of Manhattan found they couldn’t pay rent. The galleries that would survive, Stevens realized, would have strong online presences. And not just virtual viewing rooms, which she noted, got stale pretty quickly. Instead, full curatorial programs online that included film and video programs, as well as social media posts that educated both viewers and potential collectors. A gifted writer and content producer, Stevens was poised to thrive in the new environment.

The first exhibition Stevens launched online after New York City went into lockdown was Spring Forward, an online exhibition curated by the photographer Ruben Natal-San Miguel—it closes online on July 3, and can be viewed on Artsy. Inspired by Donna Summer’s song “Spring Affair,” the exhibition features works by artists including Eva Mueller, Elizabeth Riley, Kevin Darmanie, Kimberly Becoat, Arlene Rush and Byron Keith Byrd. It is meant to sound a note of hope in these dark times. To keep viewers engaged, Stevens had Kevin Darmanie create a mixtape to accompany the exhibition, which is available for streaming on SoundCloud.

Even though retail sales dropped 16.9% in April, Stevens was still able to sell works in the exhibition. After George Floyd was murdered on May 25, 2020, and protests erupted across the nation, Stevens ramped up her programming to include voices and stories from artists and writers, who talked about the experience of growing up black in America. “Every black person in America experiences some really fucked up stuff,” she says. “I’ve been sharing my own experiences of being singled out, of having to fight to be tested for the gifted program, of having a white school counselor discourage me from taking upper level classes.” Arcade Project’s Instagram is a great account to follow for strong, intellectual commentary.

If you are looking for even more lasting ways to support black lives in the current moment, you could consider following Arcade Project Curatorial on Instagram, and even, perhaps, buying one of the gallery’s exhibited artworks. “My black life needs to eat, and it needs to pay rent,” Stevens laughed. “I need people to buy art.”

Stevens says she has never worked harder in her life. On June 24, she’ll launch Gay Guerilla, an exhibition of queer abstraction. She also is working on a performance that will be staged at a socially distanced safe space somewhere in upstate New York later this summer.

Stevens is hopeful that the art world will change to become more inclusive, and that she will be at the forefront of the revolution. In the meantime, she has some suggestions for galleries. “There’s all of this virtue signaling going on,” she says. “My email inbox is flooded with every gallery telling me what they’re doing for black people. But it’s like, ‘How many black people are you hiring this year? What are you doing for the people who live on the other side of 9th avenue, just down the block from the Chelsea galleries?’” She suggests buying black art, mentoring black artists, giving scholarships to black thinkers, and focusing on art education. “It wouldn’t cost these big galleries like Gagosian a dime, it’s all tax deductible,” she says.

“The donations are helpful,” she said in closing. “More importantly, how many black people do you plan to hire for leadership positions this year?

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Brienne Walsh received her BA in art history from Brown University in 2004. She has worked in the art world for over a decade, first as a gallerina, and then as an art critic. After receiving her Master’s degree in contemporary art with a focus on critical theory from Columbia University, she began freelance writing fulltime in 2011. She has contributed reviews, essays and photography to publications including The New York Times, The Village Voice, Art in America, ArtForum, Modern Painters, ArtReview, PDN, Interview, Departures, Architectural Digest, The New York Post and Paper. She writes a daily blog called “A Brie Grows in Brooklyn” that her father, a former bond trader, calls “lewd and disturbing,” but which allows her to exercise her voice.

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Writer and art curator Kimberly Drew leveraged social media to challenge the exclusionary nature of the arts community. Here’s how she’s helping to amplify the work and voices of Black artists everywhere. »
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The Feminist Artist Who Created The Selfie Nearly 100 Years Ago

Image result for maria lassnig

Maria Lassnig was a selfie artist decades before it was a trend. The painter, who was born in 1919 in Carinthia, south of Austria, studied at The Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, and was prolific in her creation of figurative painting ― particularly figures of herself ― from then on. But despite working pretty much non-stop after her studies in Vienna, Maria went largely under the radar for most of her life. She was left out of important conversations about figurative painting and her essential contribution to the mid century movement ― she was overlooked.

In 2016, a major retrospective of her work changed all of that. But it was a overdue accolade that Maria was never aware of. She died two years before in 2014 and one year before she was awarded the Venice Biennale Golden Lion. Since the Tate retrospective, exhibitions of Maria’s work pop up now and again. Body Check at the Lenbachhaus Museum (until 15 September) in Munich is one of those exhibitions. It shows Maria’s work depicting bodies, particularly her own, and contrasts her work alongside figurative paintings by the German painter and sculptor Martin Kippenberger.

Maria Lassnig, The Quality of Life, 2001, courtesy Maria Lassnig Foundation

Maria Lassnig, The Quality of Life, 2001, courtesy Maria Lassnig Foundation

Viewing the show, it’s hard not to notice that Lassnig was working in the realm of the female gaze almost a hundred years before it became a talking point. In the 1940s, she created a method that in German she coined as “Körperbewusstseinsmalerei”, and in English “body awareness painting”. Now, we’re used to seeing work featuring menstrual blood and body hair by artists like Rupi Kaur and Arvida Bystrom, but Maria was one of the first women artists not to be coy in featuring blood, fat and the aspects of being female that artists comfortably share on social media now.

This approach continued to the end of her life. She painted You or Me in 2005, a painting that shows her naked posing with two machine guns. The painting The Quality of Life, made in 2001, has a similar mood and shows Maria naked in the sea holding a glass of wine. It’s in paintings like these that Maria’s feminism is radical ― but her most cutting statements were in her Kitchen War paintings. In this series she criticises gendered roles in the home, with paintings like In The Kitchen Bride depicting the artist as a human cheese grater in the kitchen.

Maria Lassnig Sprechzwang, 1980, Privatsammlung, courtesy Maria Lassnig Foundation

Maria Lassnig
Sprechzwang, 1980, Privatsammlung, courtesy Maria Lassnig Foundation

Body Check at the Lenbachhaus Museum is a show you wouldn’t expect to find in Munich, with cities like Berlin being thought of as the art centre of Germany. But the show is one of many signs that Munich’s art scene is both established and growing. On the established side there are institutions such as the Pinakothek der Moderne, a post-modernist building designed by the German architect Stephan Braunfels. “There are 100 works by Cy Twombly alone here in Munich. I mean that’s incredible!” Dr Corinna Thierolf told me. Corinna is the head curator of the museum, which was built in 2002 to house the contemporary art of the state of Bavaria. It now holds one of the biggest collections of contemporary art in the world including key works by Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, a founding member of the Die Brucke movement.

Cy Twombly's at Museum Brandhorst in Munich, Germany

Cy Twombly’s at Museum Brandhorst in Munich, Germany

Museum Brandhorst

Munich also has the power to pull in massive loans. Most recently they borrowed a painting by Caravaggio from the Vatican in Rome, The Entombment of Christ, for the exhibition Utrecht, Caravaggio and Europe at the Alte Pinakothek Museum ― a show featuring work by Caravaggio and contemporaries of the artist inspired by his work known as Caravaggisti. The exhibition features works by artists including Bartolomeo Manfredi, Jusepe de Ribera, and Valentin de Boulogne, who were heavily influenced by Caravaggio. It’s the first time the Vatican had ever lent to a Munich museum.

The exhibition of Maria Lassnig’s work is part of a bigger effort by museums and galleries in the city to exhibit modern and contemporary art that appeals to a younger demographic. Alongside these institutions, hotels like the Bayerischer Hof, with a wing designed by Belgian interior architect Axel Vervoordt, are removing the connotations the city had as a home of stuffy classical art and design, leaving space for a new wave of contemporary culture in Munich.

Bayerischer Hof Hotel wing by Axel Vervoordt

Bayerischer Hof Hotel wing by Axel Vervoordt

Bayerischer Hof Hotel

Grace Banks is the Editor-in-Chief of SLEEK Magazine and writes about international current affairs and culture.

Source: The Feminist Artist Who Created The Selfie Nearly 100 Years Ago

25+ Stunning Photos From Burning Man 2018 Give a Glimpse of Its Wild Creativity – Sara Barnes

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With Labor Day weekend past, the festivities of Burning Man now exist as memories for its temporary citizens. More than 70,000 people made their way to Black Rock City in the Nevada desert for the unique event this year. They were accompanied by incredible artwork and structures—adhering to the theme of I, Robot—designed by artists and architects from around the world. With the help of many volunteers, the larger-than-life pieces were a mixture of futurism and nostalgia, featuring strategically arranged shopping carts and characters from the Pac Man video game……..

Read more: https://mymodernmet.com/burning-man-2018-compilation/

 

 

 

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9 Bold & Powerful Women Who Shaped the Art World – Jessica Stewart

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While the art world has historically seen a gender imbalance, this doesn’t mean that there have not been important women working on the scene. Artists themselves often get highlighted, but many female art patrons past and present have helped shape the way we view art. In fact, history is littered with trailblazing women who have influenced art history thanks to their work as collectors, gallerists, patrons, and museum founders……

Read more: https://mymodernmet.com/influential-women-in-art

 

 

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How Female Painter Mary Cassatt Became an Important Impressionist Figure – Kelly Richman-Abdou

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As a prominent Impressionist artist, Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) is often regarded as one of art history’s most famous female painters. An unmarried American woman living in Paris, Cassatt was able to make a name for herself in the male-dominated movement, defying 19th century gender expectations and paving the way for future female artists. In addition to admiring her canvases, understanding the context of her art is an important aspect of appreciating her role in both Impressionism and in the realm of modern art………

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Photo Essay: A Staircase as Art — atmtx photo blog

Library Stairs – Austin, Texas As I was shooting around the new Austin Central Public Library, I became fascinated by the staircase that leads to the parking garage. Perhaps more than I should. But it was shiny, colorful and architectural. The hard geometry made it interesting, with a look that can change noticeably, just with […]

via Photo Essay: A Staircase as Art — atmtx photo blog

 

 

 

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The Horrible Inspiration Behind One of Picasso’s Great Works – Toby Saul

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Pablo Picasso had been searching for three months for something to paint in April 1937. Living in Paris, the Spanish artist had been given a commission to produce a mural for the Spanish Pavilion of the 1937 Paris World’s Fair. Turmoil had disrupted his process, both in his private life and in the civil war raging in Spain. The horror of this war would give Picasso his inspiration to paint a bold, unflinching vision of the devastation and savagery of modern warfare on everyday people. Picasso’s work, “Guernica,” is one of the 20th century’s greatest works of art and a strong statement against war…..

Read more: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/archaeology-and-history/magazine/2018/05-06/pablo-picasso-guernica-painting-history/?sf189062504=1

 

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Frida Kahlo Writes a Personal Letter to Georgia O’Keeffe After O’Keeffe’s Nervous Breakdown (1933) – Colin Marshall

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Important twentieth-century painters, as every student of art history learns, didn’t tend to sail smoothly through existence. Those even a little interested in famed Mexican self-portraitist Frida Kahlo have heard much about the travails both romantic and physical she endured in her short life. But in this lesser-known instance, another artist suffered, and Kahlo offered the solace.Available to view from Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, we have here a letter Kahlo sent to Georgia O’Keeffe, painter of blossoms and southwest American landscapes…….

Read more: http://www.openculture.com/2013/09/frida-kahlo-writes-a-personal-letter-to-georgia-okeeffe.html

 

 

 

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