Category: The Arts

Russian man strolls through Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery in thong underwear

Russian man strolls through Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery in thong underwear

A naked man walks in Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, Russia March 20, 2019 in a still image obtained from a social media video VK.COM/MAXTT via REUTERS A man stripped down to his thong underwear in Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery and paraded around the halls of the museum on Wednesday evening, in the latest bizarre incident at one of Russia’s most important institutions. The museum’s press office described it as “an unsanctioned performance of certain contemporary artists,” the Tass news agency reported. The man, who has not yet been identified, appeared to be drawn to the works of Mikhail Vrubel, a late 19th- to early 20th-century artist…

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‘It’s not about shock value’: Russian artist skins, eats and performs sex acts on dead animals in the name of art

‘It’s not about shock value’: Russian artist skins, eats and performs sex acts on dead animals in the name of art

Courtesy of the artist and a/political Petr Davydtchenko stands on a balcony overlooking the Umbrian countryside and deftly skins and dismembers a dead cat. He is in Italy for the opening of his solo exhibition Millennium Worm at the Palazzo Lucarini Contemporary in Trevi. For the past three years, the Russian artist has been living exclusively off roadkill in an attempt to pursue a “semi-autonomous and non-governed way of life”. Davydtchenko presents his gruesome art practice mainly through video installations. One film shows an owl lying on the side of a road unable to move, another features Davydtchenko picking up a dead rat off the…

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Caravaggio in the flesh at The Art Newspaper Russia’s annual prize ceremony

Caravaggio in the flesh at The Art Newspaper Russia’s annual prize ceremony

The actors of the Malatheatre performing Caravaggio’s Deposition from the Cross Photo: Dmitry Chuntul Some young men and women walk unobtrusively onto the stage. They begin to take off clothing, vaguely arrange some drapery, and suddenly, like magic, you are looking at Caravaggio’s Deposition from the Cross, with all its gestural drama and pathos. They hold the tableau-vivant for no more than a minute, and then it dissolves and they recompose themselves as another of the Italian genius’s masterpieces—and another, and another. They are actors of the Malatheatre founded by Ludovica Rambelli, brought all the way from Naples to Moscow for the evening. For me,…

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Ukrainian nationalists target lecture at Kiev arts centre as far-right activity rises

Ukrainian nationalists target lecture at Kiev arts centre as far-right activity rises

Demonstrators from Ukraine’s far-right parties attend a rally amid rising nationalistic feeling across the country. Pavlo Gonchar; courtesy of SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Izolyatsia, a Ukrainian arts centre that was forced to leave its original home in Donetsk in 2014 due to the conflict with Russian-backed separatists, has now found itself the target of Ukrainian nationalists in its new home of Kiev. A group of men with right-wing affiliations verbally disrupted a lecture organised by the arts centre on 7 February and painted swastika symbols on chairs. The lecture was being given by Anna Hrytsenko, a researcher on far-right movements, and was part of…

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Authorities cancel activist youth festival in Russia’s Far East

Authorities cancel activist youth festival in Russia’s Far East

A poster from the social media page of the Colour of Saffron Festival in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Russia An activist youth arts festival in Komsomolsk-on-Amur in the Russian Far East has been cancelled after authorities raised concerns that it was promoting an LGBT agenda, apparently because of a play called Blue and Pink that was meant to spur discussion of gender stereotypes. The Colour of Saffron festival had been scheduled for 16 and 17 March after being postponed in February when it was turned away by a state youth center. Organisers said in social media posts that the owners of a replacement venue had been accused of…

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Ilya Repin remains the provocateur in Moscow show

Ilya Repin remains the provocateur in Moscow show

Ilya Repin’s Emperor Alexander III Receives Village Elders in the Courtyard of the Petrovsky Palace in Moscow (1886) © State tretyakov gallery Ilya Repin’s Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan (1885) will be the glaring omission from the New Tretyakov Gallery’s vast survey of 180 paintings and 130 graphic works by the Russian artist opening this month. The absence, though, is not without reason: the painting is too fragile to be moved and is scheduled to undergo full-scale restoration after it was attacked last year with a metal pole by an incensed—and allegedly drunk—visitor. A century earlier, it was damaged in an attack by…

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Hermitage and Pushkin join forces to show stellar Russian collections of Modern art

Hermitage and Pushkin join forces to show stellar Russian collections of Modern art

Sergei Shchukin’s collection included Henri Matisse’s The Dance (1909-10), which will appear in the Pushkin’s exhibition in June as an exceptional loan from the Hermitage © Succession Henri Matisse/DACS 2019 A quartet of Russian exhibitions will celebrate the pioneering collections of French Impressionist and Modern art assembled in early 1900s Moscow by Sergei Shchukin and the brothers Ivan and Mikhail Morozov. Both were confiscated after the Bolshevik Revolution, and eventually divided between the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow and the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. The museums are now pooling their works for a series of shows devoted to the collectors…

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State Hermitage Museum becomes first institution to curate Venice Biennale pavilion

State Hermitage Museum becomes first institution to curate Venice Biennale pavilion

The State Hermitage Museum is curating the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale St Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum is curating the Russian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale, marking the first time an institution—and not an individual or group of artists—is spearheading a national pavilion. The Hermitage’s general director Mikhail Piotrovksy is overseeing the exhibition set in the Giardini della Biennale, which is named Lc. 15: 11-32 after the Gospel of Luke and the Parable of the Prodigal Son. It will run from 11 May to 24 November. “We create precedents, being first is our style,” Piotrovsky says about the Hermitage. “The idea of the…

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Spoonfuls of brie and G&T fishbowls—how to gain the Maastricht inch

Spoonfuls of brie and G&T fishbowls—how to gain the Maastricht inch

The Maastricht inch © Pixabay A fortnight of client dinners, champagne, questionable Dutch canapés and cheese, lots of cheese, can mean only one thing—the Maastricht inch, that inevitable toll on the waistlines of many a Tefaf exhibitor. But where to gain it? Nowhere quite beats Café Sjiek. Rowdy, crowded, full of dealers—get there early and wait for a table while nursing one or three fishbowl gin and tonics in this cosy spot near the university. For the full experience, get a bottle of red and a hearty plate of zoervleis (horsemeat stew) washed down with spoonfuls of brie. Martin Clist, the director of antiquities specialist…

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Spoonfuls of brie and G&T fishbowls—how to gain the Maastricht inch

Spoonfuls of brie and G&T fishbowls—how to gain the Maastricht inch

The Maastricht inch © Pixabay A fortnight of client dinners, champagne, questionable Dutch canapés and cheese, lots of cheese, can mean only one thing—the Maastricht inch, that inevitable toll on the waistlines of many a Tefaf exhibitor. But where to gain it? Nowhere quite beats Café Sjiek. Rowdy, crowded, full of dealers—get there early and wait for a table while nursing one or three fishbowl gin and tonics in this cosy spot near the university. For the full experience, get a bottle of red and a hearty plate of zoervleis (horsemeat stew) washed down with spoonfuls of brie. Martin Clist, the director of antiquities specialist…

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Hustlers with a habit: what five Tefaf exhibitors collect and why

Hustlers with a habit: what five Tefaf exhibitors collect and why

Sigmund Freud, perhaps predictably, opined that the urge to collect stems back to an unresolved emotional conflict triggered by potty training. Collectors, he declared, are forever making up for a loss of control of their bowels as children by seeking to control and regain their “possessions” (once lost down the toilet) in adulthood. However, no potties were cited by the dealers interviewed here who also moonlight as collectors. These dealers do not collect for monetary gain—Johnny Van Haeften, a former Tefaf exhibitor, once held a “mercifully short exhibition” of his collection of “dreadful” paintings by his ancestor, the “deservedly forgotten” 17th-century Dutch artist Nicolaes van…

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Hockney double portrait sells for £37.7m, accounting for half of Christie’s contemporary sale in London

Hockney double portrait sells for £37.7m, accounting for half of Christie’s contemporary sale in London

David Hockney’s portrait of Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott (1969) Courtesy of Christie’s David Hockney’s charged double portrait of Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott notched up £33m (37.7m with fees) at Christie’s in London last night, making it the most expensive painting ever sold by a living artist in Europe. Painted in 1969 when Geldzahler was the highly influential curator of 20th-century art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Scott was his boyfriend, the work accounted for half of the contemporary sale’s total of £67.4m (£79.3m with fees). The result is down 42.7% on last year—a reflection of Christie’s decision to revert to three…

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Hockney double portrait sells for £37.7m, accounting for half of Christie’s contemporary sale in London

Hockney double portrait sells for £37.7m, accounting for half of Christie’s contemporary sale in London

David Hockney’s portrait of Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott (1969) Courtesy of Christie’s David Hockney’s charged double portrait of Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott notched up £33m (37.7m with fees) at Christie’s in London last night, making it the most expensive painting ever sold by a living artist in Europe. Painted in 1969 when Geldzahler was the highly influential curator of 20th-century art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Scott was his boyfriend, the work accounted for half of the contemporary sale’s total of £67.4m (£79.3m with fees). The result is down 42.7% on last year—a reflection of Christie’s decision to revert to three…

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A gloomy Brittania and a tribute to gay Russian clubbing—political commentary abounds at Drawing Room biennial

A gloomy Brittania and a tribute to gay Russian clubbing—political commentary abounds at Drawing Room biennial

Michael Landy’s Brexshit (2018) Courtesy of the Drawing Room Fundraisers are always a challenge in an art world beset with donation fatigue. But the Drawing Room in south London has found a way to breathe life into the tired model of the charity auction with their eagerly awaited Drawing Biennial (until 26 March). Here, a carefully chosen intake of more than two hundred international artists—from big names to the lesser known—submit a unique work on paper, first for exhibition and then sale by online auction between 11-26 March. Proceeds will go towards the Drawing Room’s programme of exhibitions, talks and workshops. Invitees receive an envelope…

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