beaux-arts

‘Live fo’ her life and die fo’ her life.’ –R. Kelly

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BBC Music Magazine surveyed 151 conductors working across the world to come up with a top 20 great symphonies.

The Eroica, Beethoven’s Third Symphony, came in at No 1, followed by his Ninth, the “Choral”, in second place. Mozart’s last symphony, No 41, the “Jupiter”, was in third place while Mahler occupied the next two places with his Ninth and Second symphonies respectively. […]

The top 10 is completed by Brahms’s Fourth Symphony (6th); Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique (7th); Brahms’s First Symphony (8th); Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony (9th ); and Mahler’s Third Symphony (10). […]

Mahler is represented three times.

{ The Guardian | Continue reading }

Symphony No. 10 by Gustav Mahler was written in the summer of 1910, and was his final composition. At the time of Mahler’s death the composition was substantially complete in the form of a continuous draft, but not fully elaborated or orchestrated, and thus not performable. Only the first movement [Andante–Adagio] is regarded as reasonably complete and performable as Mahler intended. Perhaps as a reflection of the inner turmoil he was undergoing at the time (Mahler knew he had a failing heart and his wife had been unfaithful), the 10th Symphony is arguably his most dissonant work. […]

The circumstances surrounding the composition of the Tenth were highly unusual. Mahler was at the height of his compositional powers, but his personal life was in complete disarray, most recently compounded by the revelation that his young wife, Alma, had had an affair with the architect Walter Gropius. Mahler sought counseling from Sigmund Freud. […]

The unsettled frame of Mahler’s mind found expression in the despairing comments (many addressed to Alma) on the manuscript of the Tenth, and must have influenced its composition: on the final page of the final movement, Mahler wrote, “für dich leben! für dich sterben!” (To live for you! To die for you!).

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading }

gelatin silver print { Robert Heinecken, Then People Forget You, 1965 | More Robert Heinecken | PDF }

Cock-a-lickin’ in the water by the blue bayou

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The value of the art market, which actually hasn’t changed that much over the past 10 years or so, is in the region of $60 billion a year, which sounds like a lot, but actually compared to other industries is not that huge. It hasn’t shifted very much in the last 10 years, but what has changed is the composition of the figure, with the top end much stronger and the middle weaker. […]

There is a concentration on about 25 artists in the art market. Studies (which I cite in my book) have shown that whether we are talking about the impressionists, postwar and contemporary art sales, the highest prices are concentrated on just a few artists. […]

you need to distinguish here between private museums that belong to a very rich person, a billionaire generally these days, and a state museum. In America, a museum like MOCA or LACMA is, in theory, a private museum, and they get their funding from donors on the whole, although they sometimes get it from the local municipality as well, so it’s not a hard and fast distinction, but it’s still worth considering who is behind a given institution.

What has definitely driven the contemporary art market has been the phenomenal growth of private museums who all concentrate on the same contemporary art basically.

{ Five Books | Continue reading }

oilstick on paper { Jean-Michel Basquiat, Action comics, 1986–1987 }

I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your books

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The familiarity of the phrase ‘much ado about nothing’ belies its complexity. In Shakespeare’s day ‘nothing’ was pronounced the same as ‘noting’, and the play contains numerous punning references to ‘noting’, both in the sense of observation and in the sense of ‘notes’ or messages. […]

‘Nothing’ was Elizabethan slang for the vagina (a vacancy, ‘no-thing’ or ‘O thing’). Virginity — a state of potentiality rather than actuality — is also much discussed in the play, and it is these twin absences — the vagina and virginity — that lead, in plot terms, to the ‘much ado’ of the title.

{ The Guardian | Continue reading }

photo { Olivia Rocher, I Fought the Law (Idaho), 2016 }

‘Man with a Cocked Head’ was a painting of a penis in a suit

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{ Chris Burden, Being Photographed Looking Out Looking In, 1971 }

Loneliness, an interpersonally stressful state of perceived social isolation

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framed text, glass jars, shelf, hair, fingernails, and skin { Adrian Piper, What Will Become of Me, 1985, ongoing }

and the lellipos cream to her lippeleens and the pick of the paintbox for her pommettes

Those festivals ain’t my thing. Elon Musk keeps trying to get me to go to Burning Man. No thank you. […]

I used to date Ivanka, you know. […] Twelve years ago. Tommy Hilfiger, who was working with my daughter Kidada, said,“Ivanka wants to have dinner with you.” I said, “No problem. She’s a fine motherfucker.” She had the most beautiful legs I ever saw in my life. Wrong father, though.

{ Quincy Jones | Continue reading }

The cess of majesty dies not alone

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Often, damaged works of art end up in the vaults of insurance companies. Once the owner submits a claim on the damaged piece, a team of experts, appraisers, conservators and adjusters offer specialist advice on the artwork’s condition and devaluation. The economics of selling and repairing the work are weighed up, and generally, if the cost of restoring a work is far beyond what it is worth, the work will be claimed as “total loss”. The insurance company will pay out on the policy and, in exchange, retain the broken piece. The “total loss” artwork is effectively declared worthless, unsalvageable by both insurer and owner. From then on it belongs to the insurance company as salvage.

Some of these pieces, though, end up being exhibited by the Salvage Art Institute (SAI), which calls itself a “haven” for written-off works. Conceived by Elka Krajewska, an artist in New York, in 2009 during a chance meeting with a representative of AXA Art Insurance, it took her until 2012 to jump through enough legal hoops to persuade the insurer to donate some of their total-loss works to the SAI. A selection of these works is now on show in “No Longer Art”, a show at BNKR Space, a gallery in Munich.

{ The Economist/1843 | Continue reading }

welded steel, porcelain, wire mesh, canvas, grommets, and wire { Lee Bontecou, Untitled, 1980–98 }

Real-time imitation of piano chord sequences with unexpected harmony or manner

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People’s capacity to generate creative ideas is central to technological and cultural progress. Despite advances in the neuroscience of creativity, the field lacks clarity on whether a specific neural architecture distinguishes the highly creative brain. […]

We identified a brain network associated with creative ability comprised of regions within default, salience, and executive systems—neural circuits that often work in opposition. Across four independent datasets, we show that a person’s capacity to generate original ideas can be reliably predicted from the strength of functional connectivity within this network, indicating that creative thinking ability is characterized by a distinct brain connectivity profile.

{ PNAS | Continue reading | Read more }

related { Neurobiological differences between classical and jazz musicians at high and low levels of action planning }

Midway through the show, we realized we were sitting so close to Friday Night Lights’s gorgeous Connie Britton that we had to physically restrain ourselves from touching her hair

I know of an art historian who was asked to authenticate a work by Leonardo, and he was going to, you know, charge the normal kind of fee charged for doing this kind of thing — a low six figures. And the owner said, “No, no, no. We want to pay you a percentage of what it sells for.” Now, what is the chance that any art historian given that particular contract is gonna say, “Oh no, it’s not by a famous artist. It’s by Joe Blow and it will sell for a thousand bucks”?

{ Blake Gopnik | Continue reading | more }

Ones propsperups treed, now stohong baroque

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The cost of building the world’s skinniest skyscraper has ballooned so enormously that the 111 W. 57th St. project is facing imminent foreclosure while it’s less than one-quarter complete.

The 82-story skyscraper has risen fewer than 20 stories and is $50 million over budget.

[…]

“Apparently they omitted some very significant items in their budget including cranes, which are very expensive in New York and can run into the millions of dollars”

{ NY Post | Continue reading }

Mimosa Multimetica

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{ Yves Klein, Monochrome jaune sans titre (M 8), 1957 | Roy Lichtenstein, Yellow brushstroke I, 1965 }

Finally, we marry to make a nice feeling permanent. We imagine that marriage will help us to bottle the joy we felt when the thought of proposing first came to us.

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{ Storm Thorgerson, cover for Pink Floyd’s album Wish You Were Here, 1975 | US release, UK release }

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For Pink Floyd’s 1975 triple platinum Wish You Were Here album, Capitol Records execs headed to the L.A. offices of Stunts Unlimited. Ronnie Rondell, 59, a veteran of TV shows such as Baretta and Charlie’s Angels, was cast as the man on fire. “I got $500 and only worked an hour.” Fellow stuntman Danny Rogers, 53, the glad-hander, was paid only $250 but caught a lot less heat during the carefully controlled shoot on a nearby movie lot, where a crew armed with fire extinguishers stood by. Rondell’s suit was painted with rubber cement and ignited three times before it ripped and his flame-retardant long Johns peeked through the holes. His eyebrows and eyelashes were singed in the process. “It’ll happen in a heartbeat,” says Rondell. “The fire wraps around your face real quick, like a barbecue thing. The wig was fried, it melted up into a ball.”

{ People | Continue reading }