This week: This is the second of two interviews with German artists conducted by Mark Staff Brandl on the island of Elba, Italy. Alexander Johannes Kraut is an artist who concentrates on drawing and printmaking, sometimes reaching installative proportions. He has also created an amazing thirteen chapter wordless graphic novel. Kraut comes from a farming village in the Allgäu, and is now based in Kreuzberg in Berlin. He has lived in many places and exhibited widely in important museums and other venues including in Mexico City, Paris and New York as well as several places in Germany.
The artist was in an invitational retreat in July as a working guest of a foundation on the island of Elba along with Viennese jazz pianist and composer Martin Reiter, New York playwright Sony Sobieski, Ruessellsheim artist Martina AltSchaefer (the interviewee in part one) and Mark Staff Brandl, the Bad at Sports Continental and now also islandal European Bureau. As a note to English speakers: Kraut’s name is not only amusing as the English-language slang for ‘German,’ but also means ‘herb’ in German, and ‘Johannes Kraut,’ called ‘St. John’s wort’ in English, is a plant traditionally used to combat depression and, in ancient times, to ward off evil.
This week: Mark Staff Brandl talks to Martina AltSchaefer.This is the first of two interviews with German artists conducted by Mark Staf Brandl on the island of Elba, Italy. Martina AltSchaefer is an artist living in Ruessellsheim, Germany. She studied with the famed Konrad Kapheck and her creative work centers on very large, labor-intensive drawing in colored pencil on translucent paper. AltSchaefer has exhibited in many prestigious galleries and museums.
She also does printmaking and is an expert on mezzotint, about which she has curated shows and written essays. She was in an invitational retreat in July as a working guest of a foundation on the island of Elba along with Viennese jazz pianist and composer Martin Reiter, New York playwright Sony Sobieski, Berlin artist Alexander Johannes Kraut (the interviewee in part two) and Mark Staff Brandl, the Bad at Sports Continental and now also islandal European Bureau.
Also for all the Napoleon fans, especially those commenting on facebook, they were not in exile and even Mark was allowed back on the mainland without having to invade it.
Photos from Artissima, Turin’s contemporary art fair
“We make money not art” has uploaded a few of the many images they took at Artissima, Turin Italy’s contemporary art fair. If the photos shown are indicative of the rest of the show it looks to be something not to be missed. Read more here
This week in “Can’t Muster the Engergy to Not Even Care About This” is a toss up
Cant decide which is of less interest, work begins on Lady Gaga’s 8 wax figures at DC’s Madame Tussauds or Sophie Crumb (daughter of Robert Crumb) releases a book of drawings that make her father look like Albrecht Durer. Read more here & here
Someone is selling off their VIP Access to Art Basel Miami Beach
Someone has put their VIP packet up on Craigslist for a minimum of $500 which gets you access to all the major events hosted by Art Basel and the Satellite Fairs. It doesn’t get you into the Delano Hotel though unfortunately you still need an even rarer commodity to do that, an actuall young & sexy woman on your arm to get the pleasure of paying $16 for a mojito. Buy your way in here
The British Government denys export license in effort to keep a Turner Painting Sold in Auction to Getty Trust in British Hands
The British government has announced Wednesday that the required export license for “Modern Rome – Campo Vaccino,” which Turner painted in 1839, will be held up through Feb. 2, and potentially until Aug. 1, to give potential buyers who want to keep the painting on British soil a chance to match the J. Paul Getty Trust’s bid. Read more here
Rochelle Slovin Director of Museum of the Moving Image To Step Down After Renovation
Read more here
Amedeo Modigliani Nude Painting fetched a record-setting price of nearly $70 million
A wise woman with striking red hair told me a few weeks back that the nude is coming back stronger then ever and she may just be right. Amedeo Modigliani’s Nu assis sur un divan (La Belle Romaine) [Nude Sitting on a Divan (The Beautiful Roman Woman)], a canvas from an important series of nudes, drew five telephone bidders into a heated competition at the fall sale of impressionist and modern art ultimately selling to an anonymous buyer for $68.9 Million US. Read more here & here
The LA Times Wrings it Hands over Art Walks
The LA Times asks do Art Walks help or hurt the local scene, they might as well ask does wine production effect gallery openings; its a zen question that keeps getting asked and its ultimately pointless. Just be glad people show up at all since the overlap between the two worlds is so small if it was a Venn diagram it would look like a pair of spectacles. Read more here
The Art Newspaper Asks Does Sex Sell at Frieze
Read more here
Pope Benedict took the time this week to focus on one of the worlds largest menaces to civilized culture and faith, Martin Kippenberger’s Zuerst die Füsse.
The Green Frog measuring 4 ft. in height who is holding a mug of beer in one hand and a egg in the other while being crucified has been a thorn in the side of of the Church for over a decade. John Paul may have turned a blind eye to it’s existence at the Museion museum in the city of Bolzano but Benedict has had enough.
It is such an agregious work that Franz Pahl, the president of the regional government, being so enraged by the sculpture he went on hunger strike to demand its removal and consequently ended up in hospital during the summer.
“Surely this is not a work of art but a blasphemy and a disgusting piece of trash that upsets many people,” he told Reuters before the start of the board meeting.
In a letter of support for Pahl, the Vatican said the sculpture “wounds the religious sentiments of so many people who see in the cross the symbol of God’s love”.
Pope Benedict has set his sights on eliminating kitsch filled religiously sarcastic art, sexual abuse scandals and world genocide……… In that order and I applaud his steadfast dedication to this struggle and thank him from protecting me and others from religious work such as this and the “Where’s Waldo/Jesus” series, that really gets my mind a questioning.
Elisabetta Povoledo has a article on The New York Times website regarding the Getty’s new massive loan of Bernini sculptures, painting and drawings slated to show this summer.
” ROME — A major loan exhibition of Bernini’s sculptures, paintings and drawings that is also described as the first full viewing of this artist’s portrait busts is headed for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles this summer.
Including major loans from Italian museums, the exhibition underlines the benefits gained by the Getty from its recent handover of several dozen Greek antiquities that Italy asserted had been looted from its ancient archaeological sites.
When talks for the return of the artifacts stalled last year, Italy threatened to impose a cultural embargo against the museum. “There was a moment last summer when we really were on standby,” said Catherine Hess, an associate curator of sculpture and decorative arts at the Getty who helped organize the exhibition. ‘No one knew what would happen if the cultural embargo went through.’ Finally, an accord for the restitution of 40 artifacts was brokered in August.
Among the exceptional loans for the Bernini show is a sensual bust of Costanza Bonarelli, the wife of one of Bernini’s assistants. (She became romantically involved with Bernini as well as with his younger brother — a love triangle that became so divisive, archival evidence suggests, that Bernini slashed her face, and Pope Urban VIII was asked to intervene).”
Read the full article here.