Archive for the ‘ NEWS ’ Category

International Artexpo 2014, (New York)

 

THE EXHIBITION OF THE ARTEXPO NEW YORK 2014,  APRIL 4-6

For thirty-five years and counting, Artexpo has been changing the way people buy and sell art. Our annual, juried expo brings the biggest publishers, galleries and collectors face to face with hundreds of established and emerging artists. In short, we’re the world’s largest fine art marketplace.
•  This year, International Artexpo host over 400+ innovative exhibiting artists, galleries and publishers from across the globe, showcasing exciting original artwork, prints, paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, ceramics, giclee, lithographs, glass works and more—all under one roof at Pier 94.
•  Each year thousands of art industry insiders flock to Artexpo New York in search of the art and artists that will shape trends in galleries worldwide. Hosting more than 15,000 avid art enthusiasts annually, we’re the largest international gathering of qualified trade buyers—including gallery owners and managers, art dealers, interior designers, architects, corporate art buyers and art & framing retailers.

 


Piers 92/94, a premier trade show and special event venue in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, 55th Street and the West Side Highway. Piers 92/94 is home to design oriented events such as The Artexpo New York, The Armory Show, Architectural Digest Home Design Show, The Pier Antiques Show and leading fashion shows during New York Fashion Week. The facility also regularly host parties and product launch events for groups ranging in size from small charitable foundations to Fortune 500 companies. No matter your event needs, Pier 92 and Pier 94 enjoy a prime location, as well as established prestige in the New York convention and special event landscape. 208,000 square feet of exhibit area make Piers 92/94 the second largest facility in New York City.


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Artexpo14-1
1.  Artexpo New York 2014. The entry hall.

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Artexpo14-2 2.  Artexpo New York 2014. The major hall.

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Artexpo14-3 3. Artexpo New York 2014. The major hall.

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Artexpo14-44. Artexpo New York 2014. The major hall.

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Artexpo14-55. Artexpo New York 2014. The major hall.

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Artexpo14-66. Artexpo New York 2014. The major hall.

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Artexpo14-7 7.  Gallery pavilion. Progressive Fine Art, Ontario, Canada.

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Artexpo14-8 8. Gallery pavilion. Progressive Fine Art, Ontario, Canada.

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Artexpo14-99. Gallery pavilion. Progressive Fine Art, Ontario, Canada.

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Artexpo14-1010. Gallery pavilion.

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Artexpo14-1111. Gallery pavilion.

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Artexpo14-1212. Gallery pavilion. Square Gallery / Liquid Art System, Italy.

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Artexpo14-1313. Gallery pavilion. Square Gallery / Liquid Art System, Italy.

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Artexpo14-1414. Gallery pavilion. Square Gallery / Liquid Art System, Italy.

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Artexpo14-1515. Gallery pavilion. Nick Paciorek Fine Art, Providence, USA.

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Artexpo14-1716. Gallery pavilion. Nick Paciorek Fine Art, Providence, USA.

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Artexpo14-1617. Gallery pavilion. AVA Gallereia, Helsinki, Finland.

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Artexpo14-1818. Gallery pavilion. Exhibition.

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Artexpo14-1919. Gallery pavilion. Art discussion.

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Artexpo14-2020. Gallery pavilion. Exhibition.

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Artexpo14-2121. Gallery pavilion. Exhibition.

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Artexpo14-2222. Gallery pavilion. Mecenavie Gallery, Paris, France.

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Artexpo14-2323.  Gallery pavilion. Tatyana International Art, Houston, USA.

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Artexpo14-2424.  Gallery pavilion. Sammoun Fine Art, Brossard, Canada.

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Artexpo14-24525.  Gallery pavilion.

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Artexpo14-2626. Gallery pavilion.

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Artexpo14-2727. Gallery pavilion. Smart Publishing, Florida, USA.

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Artexpo14-2828. Solo pavilion. D.Kaligos, Virginia, USA.

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Artexpo14-2929. Solo pavilion. Robert Hartshorn, Ohio, USA.

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Artexpo14-3030. Solo pavilion. Beijing China Painting & Calligraphy Collector Ass., Beijing, China.

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Artexpo14-3131. Solo pavilion. Aleksandr Fayvisovich, New York, USA.

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Artexpo14-3232. Solo pavilion. Larisa Psaryova, Moscow, Russia.

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Artexpo14-33

33. Artexpo New York 2014.

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Artexpo14-34

34. Artexpo New York 2014.

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“Russian Palette” in Paris 2013

ANNUAL MEETING WITH RUSSIAN ART IN PARIS “RUSSIAN PALETTE”.

From May 15 to 31, 2013 in 12 galleries in Paris, there will be art exhibitions representing Russian art in a variety of genres and styles – for the first time within the framework of the project “Russian Palette”, which promises to become an annual event thanks to the support of the Mayor of Paris, Mayor of the 8th arrondissement, the Russian Center of science and culture, as well as the monthly addition of Le Figaro Russia La Russie d’Aujourd’hui – an international project carried out since 2007 by the official daily newspaper of the Russian government, “Rossiyskaya Gazeta”. The Parisian gallery, regularly exhibiting Russian artists, offers a thematic route, which opens a wide panorama of art by contemporary Russian artists and artists of the XX century. Each gallery has its own concept, and thanks to this the palette of works is very rich: from figurative to abstract art, from sculpture and photography to installations.

From May 15 to 18, the participating galleries exhibited selected works from announced exhibitions at the Russian Center of Science and Culture in Paris.

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Russian Palette 1The Russian Center of Science and Culture. 61 Rue Boissière, Paris

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Russian Palette 2Director of the Russian Center of Science and Culture Igor Shpynov opened the vernissage.

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Russian Palette 3 Lada Skachkova, the gallery “Russkiy Mir”; Max Laniado, Director of the gallery “Visio Dell’Arte”; Vladimir Kara, artist; Francine Szapiro, Director of the gallery “Saphir”; Paquita Escofet Miro, art collector; Serge Korzhakovsky, art critic (from left to right).

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Russian Palette 4Francine Szapiro, Director of the gallery “Saphir”.

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Russian Palette 5The exhibition hall.

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Russian Palette 6Oskar Rabin, artist.

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Russian Palette 7Part of exhibition.

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Russian Palette 8Zurab Tsereteli, President of the Russian Academy of Arts.

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Russian Palette 10The viewers at painting.

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Russian Palette 12Eugenia Miro, artist.

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Russian Palette 14The glance. Eléonore Chalmin, (Auction House Daguerre Drouot) in front of the picture by artist Konstantin  Sutyagin.

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Russian Palette 13Max Laniado, Director of the gallery “Visio Dell’Arte”

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Russian Palette 11Lada Skachkova, gallerist  and Vladimir Kara, artist.

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Russian Palette 9Age of the digital revolution…

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Photo essay by photographer Vladimir Bazan.

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International Artexpo 2013, (New York)

THE EXHIBITION OF THE ARTEXPO NEW YORK 2013,  MARCH 21-24

International Artexpo is the world’s largest fine art trade show, providing dealers, collectors and buyers with access to thousands of innovative works from artists and publishers in one single venue. Over its 35-year history, Artexpo New York has hosted many of the world’s most renowned artists, including Andy Warhol, Peter Max, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Indian, Keith Haring and Leroy Neiman. With attendees from all over the world, Artexpo New York hosts the largest gathering of qualified trade buyers, including gallery owners and managers, art dealers, interior designers, architects, corporate art buyers, art & framing retailers and many others. From Europe to the Far East and South America, Artexpo hosts an international audience of industry professionals seeking to discover exciting new works from AE 13-text-1AE 13-text-2-2AE 13-text-4established and emerging artists.

Dear Friends:
It is a great pleasure to welcome everyone to the 35-th Anniversary of Artexpo New York City. With more than 500 galleries and 150 world-class museums, New York is the place to be in the global arts scene. Our unparalleled arts institutions and the many talented artists who live and work here embody the creativity and innovation that defines our City, and that is why we are delighted to lend our support to the Artexpo, the largest fine art trade show in the world. This exciting annual event connects art dealers, collectors, and buyers with some of the best international artists and publishers, while also showcasing works from the top emerging artists and offering seminars on a wide range of topics. We applaud the Artexpo for contributing so much to our cultural landscape and look forward to New York remaining a premier destination for artists and art lovers alike in the years to come. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I am delighted to welcome everyone attending this year’s show to our City, and I hope you have the chance to explore our diverse neighborhoods and experience the many exciting attractions that define our five boroughs. Please accept my best wishes for a wonderful event and continued success.
Michael R. Bloomberg,
Mayor of New York City
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Piers 92/94, a premier trade show and special event venue in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, 55th Street and the West Side Highway. Piers 92/94 is home to design oriented events such as The Artexpo New York, The Armory Show, Architectural Digest Home Design Show, The Pier Antiques Show and leading fashion shows during New York Fashion Week. The facility also regularly host parties and product launch events for groups ranging in size from small charitable foundations to Fortune 500 companies. No matter your event needs, Pier 92 and Pier 94 enjoy a prime location, as well as established prestige in the New York convention and special event landscape. 208,000 square feet of exhibit area make Piers 92/94 the second largest facility in New York City. Connected by a spacious and welcoming headhouse, Pier 94 offers 133,000 square feet and Pier 92 features 75,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit or event space. Open space, high ceilings and column-free corridors create unlimited configurations and adaptable spaces.

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AE13-xAn early morning in New York. Artexpo parking lot on the roof of “The Art Pier”.

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AE13-2Artexpo parking lot on the roof of the Pier 90.  “Carnival” is a American global cruise company, and the world’s largest cruise ship operator.

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AE13-3The Pier 90. The yacht “Eclipse” is the world’s largest private yacht. The owner is Russian businessman Roman Abramovich.

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AE13-4Artexpo New York 2013. The entry hall.

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AE13-5Artexpo New York 2013. The lobby.

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AE13-6Artexpo New York 2013. The exhibition hall.

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AE13-8Artexpo New York 2013. The Gallery Pavilion.

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AE13-10The Gallery Pavilion. Artworks and viewers.

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AE13-9The Gallery Pavilion at the beginning of exhibition.

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AE13-aArtexpo New York 2013. The galleries exposition.

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AE13-16The galleries exposition.

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AE13-15Viewers at an artwork.

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AE13-11An afternoon time.

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AE13-12Painting and viewers connection.

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AE13-13There are many styles and topics…

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AE13-14…for every viewer.

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AE13-18Inside the Gallery Pavilion.

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AE13-19A lot of artworks.

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AE13-17Video advertising is part of modern presentation.

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AE13-25The exhibition at noon.

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AE13-26Discussion inside a gallery section.

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AE13-24Viewers and buyers.

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AE13-27Russian painting in Tatyana International Art, Inc. booth.

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AE13-zGallerist Tatyana Cohen (Houston, USA) introduces many excellent Russian artists to New York public at Artexpo 2013.

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AE13-20Art dealers and traders.

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AE13-29Contemporary art viewers.

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AE13-21The print section.

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AE13-22…to buy or not to buy?

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AE13-30Viewers in the SOLO Pavilion.

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AE13-34The SOLO Pavilion. Viewers at artworks.

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ArtExpo13-4Artexpo CEO Eric Smith with Larisa Fayvisovich at artist Aleksandr Fayvisovich booth.

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AE13-23From 10 am till 7 pm there are viewers, traders, and buyers…

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AE13-yThe end of a day.

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AE13-35An evening on the West Side.

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Salon “Art en Capital” 2012, (Paris). Continuing

ARTISTS AND ARTWORKS

The Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées, commonly known as the Grand Palais (English: Great Palace) exhibition hall was opened in 1900 by two major art exhibitions: Centennale, a retrospective exhibition of French art of the 19th century, and Décennale, devoted to the work of artists of the last decade. Artworks by Rodin, Ingres, Delacroix, Courbet, impressionists: Monet, Pissaro, Renoir, Degas and others began the exhibition history of the vast domed hall Grand Palais. Probably, few thought back then that under this glass dome, would pass the entirety of world painting of the 20th century. These walls have seen Cezanne and Picasso, here the voices of Chagall and Modigliani were heard, here sounded their painting… The aura of the place, its energy is enormous. This room must be seen not on exhibition opening day, but the day before, when artworks are being hanged, when it is vast and empty. Rows of paintings along the walls in the twilight of standby lighting, they will come to life tomorrow, but so far they are silent. In the silence, there are only the steps of workers hanging paintings, the Paris night sky overhead, and someone’s shadows.
•  The Salon “Art en Capital” 2012 exhibition again demonstrated a high degree of selectivity by the jury in choosing the artworks. The exposition, composed from works of a professional class, free from the amateurism of contemporary art shows, is impressive, equally whole and strong. The large presence of artists from around the world not only gives this art-show a formal international status, but also advances it into one of the most important annual gatherings of world visual art. As evidence of the fast growing influence of the Salon “Art en Capital” in the world – a significant presence in the exhibition this year of artists from Japan and Russia, countries with traditionally high artistic culture. In addition to the multi-ethnic nature of this art exhibition, the stylistic aspects also attracted much attention. The exposure, free from pop-art junk, did not seem too diverse in style. To speak of a formation of a grand style is premature, but strong centrifugal tendencies were no longer felt. Perhaps the world fashion for stylistically shocking artworks is coming to an end, which would be a great boon to contemporary visual art.
•  The exhibition again showed some old ills as well. First of all, is the obviously long-drawn-out crisis of the figurative genre. A nontrivial, with good artistic taste, figurative composition remains a rarity. The embrace of Munch and Klimt was surprisingly strong and firmly holds modern masters within the artistic achievements of the middle of last century. Perhaps a cruel joke  was played by years of attempts to solve the problem of the present by stylistic frills, ignoring the search for new meanings. The section on graphics and especially sculpture seemed, in this respect, preferable. There arose the feeling that outside the window is the 21 century. Surrounded by artistic canvases, our time and our life today looked through with difficulty. The irony is that this hall became famous by the ultra-modern scenes of Monet, Degas, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, that exploded the once dietary academicism. Perhaps it may be time to recall these traditions?
•  Among the artworks of the presented Russian artists, stood out the painting of artists from the older generation – Givi Siproshvili and Eugene Yali. Refined, with subtle humor, the plot portrait of a Georgian peasant (“One more for the road”) and the cosmic space in an unusual perspective of the Russian steppe landscape (“Steppe”) appeared excellent at the Paris art exhibition. The great success of St. Petersburg artist Anastasia Vostrezova – the Silver Medal for the classic plot “La Bayadere”, was a joyous occasion for all Russian participants. The Moscow-like warm “Coffeemania” of Alena Philippi-Kargalskoy attracted much attention. Interesting were the artistic metaphors of Rinat Sharafutdinova and Andrei Shustov, and the impressionism of Aleksandr Fayvisovich. Russian artists in Paris is also a tradition, one long-forgotten, but not yet gone. ©

Artworks by Russian artists presented at the exhibition can be viewed in journal’s section “EXHIBITIONS”. For a photo report of a few days in Paris, see the section “PHOTO ESSAY”.

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ARTWORKS

The bronze artwork by Melanie Quentin  (France)

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“Rue de Paris” by Agnes Guillon  (France)

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“Le reflux” by Daniel Bergez  (France)

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“Cote d’albatre VI” by Emmanuel Lemardele  (France)

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Impressive dynamic composition by  Francine Toulemonde  (France)

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“Pause pigeons” by Eric Peaudecerf  (France)

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“La nuit” by Gelis  (France)

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“Ascese” by Louise Girardin  (France)

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“Femme enceinte” by Benjamin Georgeaud  (France)

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“Nouvel an – Maiko de Gion” by Takayuki Uno  (Japan)

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“Nu masculin n1” by Marie-Jeanne Buffetrille  (France)

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“Le crepuscule de l’ete” by Keiko Yoda  (Japan)

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“Faucon en vol” by Madeleine Van Der Knoop  (Belgium)

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Ex-14To be named.

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“Fruits au pichet vert” by Bernard Londinsky  (France)

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“Dedans dehors” by Richard Gautier  (France)

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“Torse” by Albert Avetisyan  (France)

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“Aigle royal” by Bernadette Planchenault  (France)

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“Pudeur exquise” by Jack Brisset  (France)

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“Intimite IV” by Veronique Laurent Denieuil (France)

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The Graphic Art section.

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The Sculpture section.

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Salon “Art en Capital” 2012, (Paris)

THE EXHIBITION OF THE SALON “ART EN CAPITAL” 2012 IS OPENED.

When the 1900 Universal Exhibition was over, the Grand Palais, as intended, was to fulfill its vocation as the fine art venue that the French capital had previously lacked, the Louvre having become too small. Throughout the twentieth century, the Grand Palais hosted dozens of official or independent salons, establishing it is a major player in the history of Western art.
•  The Grand Palais opened its doors for the Universal Exhibition with the Centennale, where the impressionists again scored a resounding success. As from the following year, true to its vocation as a fine arts venue, the Grand Palais was to host a number of other salons. First off was the Salon des Artistes Français, whose academism was dismissed by the avant-garde as pompous, followed by the Salon d’Automne, where the younger generation of painters were able to roll out their own manifesto. Finally came the Salon des Indépendants where Cubism made its first appearance spearheaded by a then unknown Spanish artist: Picasso.
•  At the turn of the century, the Salon was the place where any budding artist had to expose to obtain recognition. The oldest of these institutions was the Salon des Artistes Français (1881), successor to the Salon de Peinture inaugurated by Colbert in 1667. However its unswerving academism led to the inception of the breakaway Salon des Indépendants founded by Paul Signac in 1884, where artists rejected by the more venerable show could find refuge. It was here that artists like Gauguin, Matisse, Picasso and Mondrian came to the forefront.
•  To distinguish itself from these spring shows, Rodin, Carrière, Jourdain and other artists created the Salon d’automne in 1903. It was in 1905 that the notorious scandal of the “cage aux Fauves” (the wild beast cage) erupted. The centre of the storm was Room VII. The strident colours used in the paintings of Matisse, Derain and Vlaminck were all the more shocking as they flanked two unequivocally traditional busts by Albert Marquet. Though Fauvism had its supporters, French President, Émile Loubet, was not one of their number. Warned of the presence of many “unacceptable” works, he refused categorically to inaugurate the art show.
•  Today, salons still have their historic home at the Grand Palais — Artistes Français, Artistes Indépendants,  Nationale des Beaux Arts,  Comparaisons,  Dessin et Peinture à l’eau — are united as part of the “Art en Capital” event. The exhibition of 2012 year was open on November 27th, with 14 000 art lovers attended the Opening Day. More than six hundred modern artists: Americans,  Australians,  Austrians, Belgians, Brazilians, Bulgarians, Canadians, Chinese, Cypriots, Colombians, Croats, Danish,  English,  Finlands,  Greece,  Hungarians,  Israelis,  Italians, Japans, Koreans, Lebanese, Luxembourgers, Norwegians, New Zelandians, Netherlanders, Polish, Romanians, Russian, Spanish, Saudis, Swisses, Taiwanese, Turks and other continue the great art tradition of Signac, Seurat, Pissaro, Manet, Van Gogh, Utrillo, Cézanne, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Chagall, Vlaminck, Giacometti, Modigliani…

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Paris. Champs-Élysées at night.

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Champs-Élysées. The light decoration.

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The light decoration.

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The evening before the grand opening. Everything is ready.

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The afternoon of November 27th. The vernissage.

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The vernissage. Doors are opened.

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The vernissage. First spectators.

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14 000 art lovers attended the Opening Day.

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More than 600 artists participated in this exhibition.

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Some discussion.

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The art viewers.

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Viewers and artworks.

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Inside the exhibition halls.

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Talk about art.

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Street of artworks.

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Good, old the Grand Palace.

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The artistic town.

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View from above.

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… and music

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Untill midnight…

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IT WAS IN 1912…

In 1900, the most important event in the French-Russian artistic relationship was the Paris International Exhibition, where Russia enjoyed an unprecedented place of prominence.
Between 1906 and 1917, a whole host of artists and personalities linked Russia to Europe. Thanks to the inspirational work of Sergei Diaghilev, Europe discovered dance, music and the audacious paintings from Russia. The retrospective fall show that he organized in 1906, which encompassed 750 paintings representing Russian art from the 15th to the 20th century, exhibited the work of young painters such as Mikhail Larionov, Natalia Goncharova, Alexei Jawlensky, Pavel Kuznetsov and Léon Bakst.
It was in 1912 that Chagall’s work was exhibited at the Autumn Salon, and Yakov Tugendhold, a writer for the modernist publication St. Petersburg Apollon, praised the young Chagall, saying his works are filled with “rich fire colours like the Russian countryside images, expressed to the grotesque, fantastic, to the limits of the irrational. Chagall senses the imperceptible but terrible mystique of life. Those are the images of Vitebsk – a sullen, dull province, a modest hair salon, a lovers’ rendezvous a bit awkward under a misty moon and street sweepers, a dusty illusion of life on the streets of small villages. Chagall creates beautiful legends by capturing glimpses of the simple and common life.” It is thus not surprising that, in 1913, the Autumn Salon welcomed “Russian Popular Art in the image, the toy and the spice bread, an exhibition organized by Miss Nathalie Ehrenbourg.” These objects came mainly from the collections of members of the art world (Ivan Bilibine, Sergei Soudieikine, Nikolai Roerich, Sergei Tchekhonine), but also from the collections of avant-garde artists such as Koulbine, Exter and primarily Larionov. The catalogue cover for this exhibit was written by Tugendhold himself, reaffirming that “the contemporary cult of the primitive is different from the one of the romantic era and the orientalism era…. This archaic art, strong, expressive, forever young, brings hope of renewal, ‘rejuvenation’ to use Paul Gauguin’s word.

By Jean-Claude Marcardé.

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GUESTS FROM THE EXHIBITION 1912 HAVE BEEN ARRIVED.

Guests from the exhibition 1912 have been arrived (1).

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Guests from the exhibition 1912 have been arrived (2).

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Guests from the exhibition 1912 have been arrived (3).

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Guests from the exhibition 1912 have been arrived (4).

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Guests from the exhibition 1912 have been arrived (5).

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Guests from the exhibition 1912 have been arrived (6).

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Guests from the exhibition 1912 have been arrived (7).

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Guests from the exhibition 1912 have been arrived (8).

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Guests from the exhibition 1912 have been arrived (9).

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The complete reportage about the exhibition of the Salon “Art en Capital” will be published in December 15th.

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Art Shopping in the “Carrousel du Louvre’, (Paris)

“CARROUSEL DU LOUVRE”:  300 ARTISTS AND GALLERIES.

In the middle of October, Paris once again gathered artists, collectors and art-gallery owners from all countries and nationalities. Grand Palais, Place Vendome, Esplanade des Invalides, Tuileries Gardens – all are recent exhibition spaces of the International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC),  with which in the “Carrousel du Louvre” a grand art-shopping took place for the ninth time.  More than three hundred artists and gallerists representing them offered to sell their artworks: paintings, sculptures and graphic works of all directions and genres. The cost of the exhibition space is quite high (the basic price is 700 euros for the wall 200 x 150 cm), but the prestige of the brand “Louvre”, according to the participants, justifies these costs. Within two days the huge underground shopping mall “Carrousel du Louvre”, famous for its impressive glass pyramid – dome located in front of Louvre museum (it was opened in October 1993), was visited by more than ten thousand customers, art lovers, and the merely curious public.
•  The exhibition this year was dominated by paintings for the more traditional purchasers: not too rich, not too sophisticated, aiming to decorate their own homes and not worried about creating a prestigious painting collection. The basic price range was one to two thousand euro, as it emphasized the level of the exhibited artworks: without very serious accomplishments and without large claims.
•  Art objects were also exhibited, although nothing special or new: hypertrophied sneakers and puzzles, symbols of modern banalities and facelessness, variations of the same “Coca – Cola” by one of the fathers of pop art Andy Warhol, who in the last century proclaimed mass art as a simple way to make money. If we assume that visual art is an illustration of the aesthetics of the public consciousness, it seems that today this is the aesthetic of decorations on one hand and the aesthetics of ugliness on the other. And quite often at the heart of this obvious amateurism is the smearing of paints with a sole primitive purpose – to create a spot of color for the interior, without thoughts and feelings. “I am shocked that contemporary art does not allow young people to learn. Today art schools teach the concept, but very few can teach good art technique. It amazes me that while people started drawing almost thirty thousand years ago, this skill has been practically lost over the last century,” – according to the modern French sculptor Mauro Corda.
•  However, Paris – it is always Paris and art-shopping for collectors is always akin to hunting, full of excitement and opportunity. The chance to find something real.

by Elena Bazan,  journalist

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Painting. Contemporary style.

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This lady is not very impressed.

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There is always a chance to find something real.

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The Japanese style has no time limit.

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In a thousand years archaeologist will see our culture like this.

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Inside an exhibition hall.

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Photo essay by photographer Vladimir Bazan.

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Art World News: Sandy floods New York art galleries.

New York (CNN) — Dumpster-lined streets and sidewalks strewn with destroyed art hint at the damage Hurricane Sandy wreaked on New York’s most important art district last week; but as electricity slowly returns and flood waters recede, the impact of the “super storm” is still uncertain in downtown Chelsea neighborhood.
“Chelsea is the center of America for contemporary art, ” Zach Feuer, owner of Zach Feuer gallery, told CNN.  “This is a big cultural loss.” The destruction has left the contemporary and modern art world reeling, and as the recovery effort continues the massive creative and monetary toll is rising fast. “I would not be surprised if, when it’s all said and done, the damage that is done to our art world will be in the hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in unrecoverable work,” gallery owner Leo Koenig said.
What caused so much damage?
When the surge from Hurricane Sandy pushed water levels to record highs on Monday night, flooding from the Hudson River quickly filled basements and street level facilities that are used primarily for art storage and exhibitions in Chelsea. In many cases, precautionary sandbags and sealants were washed away easily, and even works that were elevated high on the wall were soaked by morning.
As the storm subsided, gallery owners and managers returned early on Tuesday, but much of the permanent damage had already been done.
Gallery owner Derek Eller returned to his building but couldn’t operate his electric gate because of the power outage. From a back window he was able to see boxes on the ground floor that had floated up when flooding in his 1,800-square-foot basement nearly reached the ceiling.
“It’s a disaster, pieces are lost forever,” Eller said after emerging from his still-soaked basement. “We have been saving works over the past three days.”
Koenig sealed the bottom of the entrance to his space in preparation for the hurricane. “My common sense told me that if there was a foot and a half of water standing on 23rd Street, the world was about to end,” he said. But when Koenig opened his doors the following day, water trapped in the gallery all night by the sealant came gushing out onto the sidewalk.
While many returned to find their collections in ruins, some witnessed the wreckage as it unfolded.
“The surge came in and broke through the door, and knocked me down,” Silas Seandel, a sculptor who lives above his studio, told CNN. “[It] threw me and thousands of pounds of steel, and bronze, and sheets, all the way to the back door.”
Remarkably, Seandel was able to return to higher ground and wait out the storm.
From Eller’s basement to those barely affected, galleries and conservators seem to agree that the priority right now is recovering as much work as possible and keeping it dry.
“The conservators were here immediately, there are trucks leaving with art constantly to get repaired,” said Feuer, who estimates millions of dollars in damage to his gallery alone. “The mold is kind of our biggest race, so there’s a speed issue.”
Other galleries have had to perform restorations on their own, reaching out to artists and conservators for insight during this crucial time. Marisa Newman, co-owner of Newman Popiashvili Gallery, gathered as much work as she could and raced uptown to her parents’ home on Tuesday, knowing they still had power.
“I used their apartment for art triage,” Newman recounted, “I brought as much there and we just cracked open all the frames, got everything out so they would just dry.” Newman is now using the space above her gallery to hold and restore other works.
To further assist this process, the Museum of Modern Art and conservators from the American Institute for Conservation Collections Emergency Response Team, are offering official guidelines and “a free public presentation on recovering wet art and cultural materials,” according to an official release from MoMA.
Despite the chaos, this generally competitive community has worked tirelessly to come together and ease the blow that Sandy has dealt, providing each other with generators, food and everything in between.
“This kind of event brings back the human factor to it,” said Emilio Steinberger, senior director at the gallery Haunch of Venison. “These are artists, these are dealers, people put their heart and soul into the art world and they’re moving to save it, and put things back together.”
This sentiment seems to be echoing through the galleries of the damaged neighborhood and many have been adamant that Chelsea’s art culture will not only recover, but maintain its prestigious position within the art world.
Seandel, who has worked and held exhibits in the same studio since 1978, has already insisted that he will repair and refinish all damaged works. “I’m 75 years old, but I feel I’ve still got a lot of life in me, my work is still in demand all over the world,” Seandel said.
“The thing about the New York gallery community is that it’s an industry full of extremely intelligent, extremely capable people,” gallery owner Cristin Tierney said. “So, I really believe that as dire as things are now, we’re going to bounce back.”

By Logan Burruss, CNN
November 4, 2012
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