04.08.2014: Charles, Domenikos and the rest.

1. Charles’ summer.

Aachen is waiting us, Eurosceptic sinners,  with three big exhibitions on Charlemagne, who died there a merely 1200 years ago.

2. Domeniko’s last laugh.

Don’t miss the impressive El Greco and Modern Painting (up to October 5th in the Prado, Madrid). At the end of the show, you will feel as it was about El Greco and you, such is the influence of his art in our current visual culture. If you go there in September,  note you will need just a half hour  ride by high-speed train to reach Toledo, and see there El Greco: Arte y Oficio in  the Museo de Santa Cruz (September 9th – December 9th). Its curator is Leticia Ruiz.

3. Albert’s anniversary.

Among this year’s celebrations, there is the 500th anniversary of Dürer’s Melencolia I. The Met hosted a conference on the magnetic print you can see here. Susan Deckerman, curator of prints at Harvarvard Art Museum,  offered a very suggestive reading of the work by stressing the use of dividers as an instrument for both measurement and creation.

4. Francesc’ offers.

My summer readings will include the last issues of the only-online Retrotabulum. Specially n.11, which director and founder Francesc Ruiz Quesada has entrusted to fellow specialist in Medieval art Rosa Maria Manote, for a study on Our Lady of the Spider,  a masterpiece by the Catalan sculptor Pere Johan (1394/1397-1458), which went lost during the Spanish Civil War.

5. Bartolomé’s treasures.
In a remarkable effort of international cooperation, the Meadows Museum and the Centro de Estudios de Europa Hispánica have published the complete catalogue of the Spanish Old Masters drawings collection in the Hamburger Kunsthalle (Jens Hoffman-Samland, ed., The Spanish Gesture. Drawings from Murillo to Goya on the Hamburger Kunsthalle,  not cheap at $75 on Amazon) . This press release from the Meadows recalls us that a great deal of the holdings originally came from the collection of Bartolomé Murillo. The book is published to accompany the current exhibition of a selection of the works in the Meadows (until August 31st), which will then travel to the Prado (October 30th, 2014 – February 8th, 2015).

6. Olyvia’s plan.

In this candid interview in London Evening Standard, star private dealer Olyvia Kwok teaches us about using museums and academia to maximize your investments in contemporary art:

“I got the Basquiat for $4 million. It is now insured for $12 million. We are going to place the painting in a museum so it will have a better provenance, because everyone likes things with more academic value. Once placed we will talk to Basquiat experts, find out some more information, someone will write about it, and we will put it back on the market for different collectors.”

It sounds like magical thinking, until you realise Koons will have his great show at Pompidou and  possibly Louvre next January (according to TAN). But as usual, Germans got it first: in summer 2012, fellow Frankfurter Liebieghaus and Schirn Kunsthalle coordinated to celebrate Koon’s output of sculptures and paintings.

7. Albany’s promise.

State New York University at Albany and specialist insurer ARIS have teamed up to “revolutionize the global arts and collectibles industry by developing industry-accepted identification and authenticity standards”. First results in 15 months, they promise in their press release.

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