Monday, December 31, 2007

Leaving So Soon but You Just Arrived: Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series: Selections from The Phillips Collection at The Whitney

Jacob Lawrence, The Migration Series, Panel 1, 1940
Casein tempera on hardboard, 12 x 18 in.. © The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation, Seattle/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Originally slated to be shown at The Studio Museum of Harlem, Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series: Selection from the Phillips Collection, was reassigned to The Whitney Museum of American Art and will be leaving on Sunday, January 6, 2008. Please allot time to go and view this spectacular array of works that depicts the migration of Southern blacks to the industrious and opportunist Northern cities. With use of lush, bold colors and geometric patterns, the Migration Series is sure to narrate and touch on every theme that blacks were dealing with at that time. I will viewing as well as reviewing the works before departure and sure to be pleasantly stimulated by this great American painter. Please look for a full review next week.

For more informtaion, click on The Whitney Museum of American Art. Also visit,

Whitney Museum of American Art
945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street
New York, NY 10021
General Information: 1(800) WHITNEY

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Year in Review: names Top 10 Exhibits of 2007 has released its annual list of the top 10 exhibits of the entire year. I had the pleasire of viewing the Martin Puryear as well as the Kara Walker exbhibit and I must say they were absolutely delightful to view. In case you missed some or all of the exhibits please review this list below and be sure to browse on the art institution that presented these amazing shows. All photos and captions are courtesy of Please enjoy!!

#1. Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years
Museum of Modern Art, New York City

Intersection II, 1992-1993

#2. Matisse: Painter and Sculptor
Dallas Museum of Art and Nasher Sculpture Center

The Serpentine, 1909

#3. Veja Celmins: A Drawings Perspective
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

Untitled (Web 2), 2001

#4. J.M.W. Turner
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

The Battle of Trafalgar, as Seen from the Mizen Starboard Shrouds of the Victory, 1806, reworked 1808, Tate, London.

#5. Martin Puryear
Museum of Modern Art, New York City

Desire, 1981

#6. Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love
Whitney Museum of Art, New York City

A Work in Progress, 1998

#7. Van Gogh and Expressionism
Neue Galerie, New York City

Self-Portrait, 1889, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

#8. Howard Hodgkins: Paintings 1992-2007
Yale Center for British Art

Old Books, 2006, by Howard Hodgkin at the Yale Center for British Art

#9. Wack! Art and the Feminist Revolution
The Geffen Contemporary at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art

Through The Flower, 1973, by Judy Chicago

#10.Take Your Time: Olafur Eliasson
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Olafur Eliasson photographed in front of his One Way Colour Tunnel at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, September, 2007.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Fisk University, strapped for cash, may be auctioning off Georgia O'Keefe most beloved paintings

Fisk University, one of the most famous and beloved HBCUs, is on the brink of financial disaster and desperately seeking to sell paintings left by Georgia O'Keefe. Please review the article in full below. The article is courtesy of

Search for cash turns into battle over art for Fisk University
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) -- Fisk University, a historically black school on the brink financially, is sitting on a lottery ticket it can't cash: A remarkable collection of 19th- and 20th-century art donated by the painter Georgia O'Keeffe.

Fisk University's art collection includes Georgia O'Keeffe's masterpiece "Radiator Building -- Night, New York."

Two years of legal battles have prevented Fisk from turning some of the valuable art into cash.

The latest battle -- over Fisk's proposed deal to share the 101-piece art collection with an Arkansas museum for $30 million -- is scheduled for trial in February.

University officials acknowledge it could be years before any money changes hands, if ever.

In the meantime, Fisk is struggling. The 900-student school has mortgaged all its buildings and tapped all of its endowment not restricted to specific programs. As recently as October, a Fisk lawyer told a judge that the school would probably run out of cash before the end of the year.

The crisis eased somewhat earlier this month when the Mellon Foundation announced it would give the university up to $3 million in grants, with $1 million of that up front. But getting others to donate to Fisk to put it on a firm permanent footing could be difficult, because it has had to be rescued several times before.

"Foundations who give serious money don't give it to poorly managed institutions," said Davis Carr, a former member of the school's board of trustees. "I'm not saying Fisk is currently poorly managed, but if they've not been able to make it work over some long period of time, that sends a signal."

At issue is a collection of art that belonged to O'Keeffe's husband, the photographer Alfred Stieglitz. It includes what is considered one of O'Keeffe's masterpieces, the 1927 oil painting "Radiator Building -- Night, New York," as well as works by Picasso, Renoir, Cezanne, Marsden Hartley, Alfred Maurer and Charles Demuth.

O'Keeffe donated the art in 1949, choosing Fisk because the school, founded in 1866, educated blacks at a time when the South was segregated. She died in 1986.

To art historians, the collection has an appealing unity, because many of the American artists were part of O'Keeffe and Stieglitz's circle of friends.

In 2005, Fisk's trustees voted to sell off two signature pieces of the collection to help keep the school afloat. Those efforts became bogged down in court battles over whether the sale would violate the terms of O'Keeffe's bequest, and no deal ever went through.

Then Fisk came up with a plan to sell a 50 percent stake in the collection to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art for $30 million. Under the arrangement, the collection would travel back and forth between Nashville and the Bentonville, Arkansas, museum founded by Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton.

But the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the legal representative of the artist's estate, has asked a judge to disallow the deal, saying it was O'Keeffe's wish that the collection not be sold. Also, the museum argues that Fisk is violating a condition of gift that the collection be displayed.

Fisk put the art into storage in 2005 because the gallery where it was exhibited was falling apart, and there were fears the works could get damaged.

Experts estimate the two paintings that the university wanted to sell two years ago -- "Radiator Building" and Hartley's "Painting No. 3" -- could fetch more than $45 million, and the entire collection could be worth well more than $100 million.

Art historians and others object strongly to attempts by cultural institutions to sell art just to pay the bills. Moreover, Fisk has gotten little sympathy from those who say the school waited too long to focus on fundraising because it was preoccupied with selling the art.

"Why opt for the strategy of selling your art rather than developing a capital campaign?" said Lucius Outlaw Jr., a Vanderbilt University professor and Fisk alumnus. "The normal way of managing an institution is to have developed and implemented a plan for substantial fundraising to build an endowment."

The university had to borrow money in the late in 1970s and averted a shutdown in the early 1980s, thanks in large part to donations from Nashvillians and alumni. Fisk reported operating losses totaling more than $7 million in 2005 and 2006, according to, which tracks nonprofit organizations.

Fisk President Hazel O'Leary set a goal earlier this month of raising $6.2 million by June 30 but has said that selling the artwork remains a key component of the school's efforts.

While court filings have emphasized Fisk's worsening finances, O'Leary and school officials have publicly downplayed the seriousness of the situation.

Fisk officials have not returned repeated calls from The Associated Press. But O'Leary acknowledged in an opinion piece in The Tennessean newspaper last month that the school "has not done a stellar job" of raising money.

She blamed the bleak fundraising performance on frequent turnover of university leadership and an understaffed fundraising team.

Saul Cohen, president of the O'Keeffe Museum, has said the museum's overriding concern is the art, not Fisk's financial condition.

But others have their doubts as to whether the museum is truly interested in protecting O'Keeffe's wishes, noting that it tried to make a deal under which it would buy "Radiator Building" for $7.5 million and allow Fisk to sell the Hartley on the open market.

Jock Reynolds, director of the Yale University Art Gallery, has called the O'Keeffe Museum officials "the most hypocritical bunch of looters I've ever run across."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What is Arte Povera + Artist of the Week: Ben Nicholson

Mario Merz
Senza Titolo (Untitled), 1982
oil & waterpaint withe clay, snail shell & leaves on wood
34 5/8 x 66 7/8 inches
88 x 170 cm
SW 07299

Arte Povera describes the work of the group of Italian avant-garde 1960s artists who made arte povera (poor art)- objects create from cheap and tacky materials. They had a strong political agenda- the elevation of humble materials and the elevation of the poorer social classes. Official commentaries often explain this art in language as impenetrable in meaning as the art works themselves - 'anti-elitist','dynamics of transformation','dialect of art and existence','exigencies of circumstance', and so on. The claims made for the significance of their work were and still are enormous. Whether the claims were (are) fulfilled is another matter. Kounellis, who was one of the leading proponents of arte povera, had a particular liking for sacking, blood, and marks made by flames and smoke.

Cumming, Robert (2001). Art: A Field Guide (pg. 377). New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Ben Nicholson

December 1951-St Ives- Oval and Steeple
1951; oil and pencil on board; 50 x 66.5 cm; Bristol Art Gallery, Bristol, England

Born Denham, England 1894; died London, England 1982

Ben Nicholson's only formal training was undertaken between 1910-1911 at the Slade School of Art, London, where he befriended Paul Nash. His visits to Paris in the 1920s and 1930s were a seminal influence on his own work, due to his contact with such significant artists as Picasso, Arp, Brancusi and Braque. His white relief pictures and later hard-edged geometrical paintings and reliefs of the early 1940s reveal an original application of his grasp of Cubist principles. The impact that Mondrian's calculated abstracts had on Nicholson was absorbed of pure colour that reinforced the structural strength of his refined pictorial design. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Nicholson and his second wife, sculptor Barbara Hepworth, mved to St Ives, in Cornwall, which was becoming the centre of an artistic community. The local environment acted as a catalyst for the return of figuration to his work. By 1951, when his marriage ended and he moved to Switzerland, these elements were becoming more subtle, as in December 1951- St Ives - Oval and Steeple. This elegant composition of line and colour is characteristic of Nicholson's understated sophisication and of his contribution to British abstraction.

Anson, Libby and Hodge, Nicola (2002). The A-Z of Art (p. 282). Dubai: Carlton Books Limited

Monday, December 10, 2007

What is Appropriation Art+ Artist of the Week: Rene Magritte and Treachery Images

L.H.O.O.Q. (1919). Marcel Duchamp.

Appropriation Art is when objects, images or texts removed from their normal context and placed unchanged in a new one, thereby gaining (it is said) a new, highly charged significance. Often presented as a new 'cutting-edge' idea, it could also be said to be old hat--something artists have been doing since time immemorial--The Caves of Lascaux being the first examples of Appropriation Art.

Cumming, Robert (2001). Art: a Field Guide (pg. 375). New York: Alfred A. Knopf
Rene Magritte: The Treachery of Images

The Treachery of Images. 1928-9. Oil on canvas. h60xw81cm. h23 5/8 x w31 7/8
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

Magritte appears to contradict reality by nonsensically naming something that does not need to be named, at the same time as denying that it is what it obviously is. By writing 'This is not a pipe'beneath the picture of one, he illustrates that the image of an object must not be confused with something tangible and real. One of Magritte's most famous images, the painting questions the concepts of definition and representation. All is not as it appears to be, Magritte is saying; the picture this presents a challenge to ordered society and an assault on the accepted way in which people see and think. Initially inspired by Giorgio de Chirico, Magritte's Surrealist paintings often use fantastic, disturbing and dream-like images, such as a steam train emerging from the centre of a fireplace, or a sky in which the clouds have turned into French loaves. Born in Belgium, Magritte begin his career as a commercial artist, and this may be reflected in the sharpness and clarity of his work.

The Art Book (pg. 292). New York: Phaidon Press Inc.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Art Basel Miami Beach, Dec. 6-9, 2007

Even though I am not in a position to attend Art Basel Miami Beach this year you can bet I will be there next year in the flesh. Please enjoy the history and pictures of this event The New York Times dubbed "The Olympics of Art."

Art Basel Miami Beach takes place December 6 - 9, 2007.

Art Basel Miami Beach is the most important art show in the United States, a cultural and social highlight for the Americas. As the sister event of Switzerland's Art Basel, the most prestigious art show worldwide for the past 38 years, Art Basel Miami Beach combines an international selection of top galleries with an exciting program of special exhibitions, parties and crossover events featuring music, film, architecture and design. Exhibition sites are located in the city's beautiful Art Deco District, within walking distance of the beach and many hotels.

An exclusive selection of more than 200 leading art galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa will exhibit 20th and 21st century artworks by over 2,000 artists. The exhibiting galleries are among the world's most respected art dealers, offering exceptional pieces by both renowned artists and cutting-edge newcomers. Special exhibition sections feature young galleries, performance art, public art projects and video art. The show will be a vital source for art lovers, allowing them to both discover new developments in contemporary art and experience rare museum-calibre artworks.

Top-quality exhibitions in the museums of South Florida and special programs for art collectors and curators also help make the event a special time for encountering art. And every year, a greater number of art collectors, artists, dealers, curators, critics and art enthusiasts from around the world participate in Art Basel Miami Beach - the favorite winter meeting place for the international art world.

For more information, click here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Whats new @ Taschen

Check out the new arrivals at Taschen!!

Softcover, flaps 7.3 x 9.1 in., 96 pages
Basic Art
December 2007

Walton Ford: Pancha Tantra
Hardcover + Box 14.8 x 19.7 in., 354 pages
December 2007

Egypt Art
Softcover, flaps 7.3 x 9.1 in., 96 pages
Basic Genre
November 2007

Lucian Freud
Softcover, flaps 7.3 x 9.1 in., 96 pages
Basic Art
November 2007

Softcover, flaps 7.3 x 9.1 in., 96 pages
Basic Art
November 2007

Hardcover 11.4 x 17.3 in., 768 pages
November 2007

Roman Art
Softcover, flaps 7.3 x 9.1 in., 96 pages
Basic Genre
November 2007

Diego Rivera. The Complete Murals
Hardcover 11.4 x 17.3 in., 674 pages
October 2007

For more information on the company as well as other titles, click here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What is Art Nouveau+ Why is there such a resurrgence of the decorative style in Europe?

Art Nouveau is a style of decoration that found expression in architecture and items of interior design, illustration, and dress. Highly stylized, organically flowing plant forms are the most common design motifs of art nouveau, which was chiefly an American and European movement that crested in popularity between 1895 and 1905. It was known by various names in different countries: JUGENDSTIL in Germany, "stile liberty" in Italy, "modernisme" in Spain. In America the term "modern style" was current.

Diamond, David. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Little, Brown and Company (Inc.).
Art Nouveau in Europe

Listed below is the entire article that was written for The Belefast Telegraph. These are not my words but words of the author of this articulate and informative article. Hopefully this will give you a better understanding of the subject matter and encourage you to explore this organic and delicate art movement. Please enjoy!!

The complete guide to: Art nouveau Europe

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

From Brussels to Moscow: discover the glories of the decorative style that swirled across the Continent towards the end of the 19th century, says Anthony Lambert

What's new about Art Nouveau?

Well, from next Wednesday, you'll be able to use a 21st-century high-speed rail link to reach the most spectacular examples of this gracious decorative and architectural style. Art Nouveau was born out of the political, industrial and social ferment of the closing years of the 19th century. In architecture, it was a late response to the question articulated by the architect Viollet-le-Duc: "Is the 19th century destined to close without possessing a distinctive architecture of its own?" It expressed radical ideas in new materials, and was influenced by the 19th-century revivals of rococo and Gothic, the Aesthetic movement, the Arts and Crafts movement, and Symbolist painting.

The most characteristic form of Art Nouveau architecture and decoration is the sinuous line based on plant forms. But it was never a homogeneous style, and it gave rise to very different interpretations across Europe.The term was first used in the 1880s in Belgium, the country most associated with the style – almost every town has its Art Nouveau buildings, with Brussels at the core. When the high-speed line from London St Pancras opens, the Belgian capital will be just 111 minutes away. And even the cheapest (£59 return) ticket on Eurostar (08705 186 186; ) entitles you to travel onwards to any other station in Belgium.

In Brussels, Art Nouveau began with the narrow-fronted Tassel House by Victor Horta at 6 rue Paul-Emile Janson; this is generally regarded as the first complete building in fully fledged Art Nouveau style, but is not open to visitors. Hundreds of Art Nouveau villas and buildings can be found in districts such as St Gilles, Ixelles, Forest and Uccle. Brussels Tourism (00 32 2 509 2400; ) can provide a list of the most important buildings.

The importance of Victor Horta makes his house in the St Gilles district of Brussels, at 25 rue Américaine, a temple of Art Nouveau (00 32 2 543 04 90; ). He arranged the house with half-floors around a stairway, and the decoration of mosaics, stained glass and murals is complemented by furniture Horta designed for other houses. Open 2-5.30pm Tuesday to Sunday; admission €7 (£5). Take tram 81 or 92 to Janson. The Horta Museum also administers the Réseau Art Nouveau Network, and its website ( ) is a good guide to surviving buildings and collections.

Was it all for the well-heeled?

Most buildings were, indeed, commissioned by the wealthy middle class. However, many late-19th-century architects had radical political and moral beliefs, which found expression in social housing projects such as rue Blaes in Brussels and Mechelsestraat in Lier, 15 minutes by train from Antwerp Central. The high-minded object was to create homes that workers would regard as worth coming home to, rather than head for a bar.

Art Nouveau had less impact on commercial buildings, but some outstanding examples survive. Most spectacular is the Musical Instrument Museum (00 32 2 545 0130; ) at 2 rue Montagne de la Cour in Brussels, originally designed in 1899 by Paul Saintenoy to be the Old England department store. Walk uphill from the Gare Centrale area, or take tram 92, 93 or 94 to Royale.

In Austria, one of the leading Art Nouveau buildings is the exhibition space commissioned by the Vienna Secession for its members' work (00 43 1 5875 30721; ). Located at 12 Friedrichstrasse, Joseph Olbrich's resolutely geometric façade is crowned by a stunning gilded leaf-covered cupola that contemporaries unkindly christened "the golden cabbage" when the Secession Building opened in 1898. Open 10am-6pm daily except Monday; admission €1.50-€6 (£1-£4.30).

Where else?

Art Nouveau design was given a tremendous boost by the 1900 Paris Universal Exposition, which covered 112 hectares and was visited by over 50 million people. A surviving relic can be found in the churchyard of St-Germain-des- Prés: the Art Nouveau stoneware façade of the Sèvres pavilion was moved there. It was also in Paris that the name Art Nouveau was institutionalised with the opening in 1895 of a gallery named La Maison d'Art Nouveau. It had a greater influence than its short life of only nine years would suggest, selling as many pieces to forward-thinking museums as individuals.

Art Nouveau was not as pervasive in France as in Belgium, but the Art Nouveau design with which people are most familiar is that of the distinctive Parisian Métro entrances created by Hector Guimard. Designed to enhance the experience of a journey on the French capital's new underground railway, the cast-iron and glass entrances were a modular system whose components could form five different styles depending on the station's size, location and importance. They graced the entrances to stations on the Métro lines built to cope with the 1900 Exposition. Many have disappeared, but good examples remain at Porte Dauphine, Louvre, Abbesses and Cité, among others.

Parisian masterpieces?

Paris was the centre of French Art Nouveau design, and one of Guimard's masterpieces can be found at 14 rue La Fontaine, the Castel Béranger. Constructed from 1895-7, it was his first building in the style. He mounted an exhibition to publicise the building and its 36 apartments in the fashionable suburb of Auteuil, where there were 300 other Art Nouveau-inspired houses by 1910, many of which survive. Furniture designed by Guimard for Castel Béranger can be seen in the Musée d'Orsay (00 33 1 40 49 48 14; ), at 1 rue de la Légion d'Honneur (Métro Assemblée Nationale). Open 9.30am-6pm Tuesday to Sunday; admission €7.50/£5.30).

Probably the most bizarre Art Nouveau doorway in Paris belongs to the apartment building at 29 avenue Rapp (Métro Ecole Militaire) designed by Jules Lavirotte; the sexual imagery includes male genitalia on the front door and upper windows and balcony, supported by a form resembling female genitalia. It won Lavirotte an international design prize in 1901.

Beyond Paris?

A more literal translation of natural forms characterised the work of some of the artists and craftsmen who formed the Nancy School around the celebrated ceramicist Emile Gallé, whose stunning glasswork can be seen at The School of Nancy Museum at 36-38 rue du Sergent Blandan (00 33 3 83 40 14 86; ). It's open 10.30am-6pm Wednesday to Sunday; admission €6 (£4.30). It has displays of Art Nouveau furniture, objets d'art, glassware, stained glass, leather, ceramics and textiles. The principal architectural achievement of the Nancy School was the Villa Majorelle (00 33 3 83 40 14 86; ) designed largely by Henri Sauvage. It is a gracious mansion in pleasant grounds outside the city centre; guided tours of the house are organised by the museum on Saturdays and Sundays from May to October, and on Saturdays only from November to April, at 2.30 and 3.45pm; booking is advisable.

Further east?

In Germany, Art Nouveau was adopted as Jugendstil, and became a hallmark of progressive taste. An excellent example is Darmstadt, 20 minutes south of Frankfurt by frequent trains. Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig founded, in 1899, an atelier of Jugendstil craftsmen who lived in a surrounding colony of houses in the same style. This unique cluster of Jugendstil houses includes the first house designed by Peter Behrens (in whose Berlin office Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier were all working in 1910). The atelier building, the Mathildenhöhe at 26 Alexandraweg, has been restored and is now a museum (00 49 6151 133385), open 10am-5pm daily except Monday. Admission €5 (£3.50).

Between Trier and Koblenz is the town of Traben-Trarbach, once the second-largest wine-trading centre in the world, where a bridge spanning the Mosel is guarded by a twin-towered Jugendstil gateway, completed in 1899. The town itself has many fine Jugendstil villas commissioned by wealthy wine merchants. The romantic Jugendstil Hotel Bellevue (00 49 6541 7030; ), at Am Moselufer, was designed by Bruno Moehring in 1903; it has elaborate timberwork, an intricate tower and antiques in many rooms. Doubles from €130 (£93) including breakfast. Traben-Trarbach is easily accessible from Hahn airport on Ryanair (0871 246 0000; ), which calls it "Frankfurt".

European expansion?

Art Nouveau soon influenced architects right across the Continent, from Portugal to Russia, though it was a short-lived style, and had already become unfashionable by the outbreak of the First World War. Logically enough, its influence was often greatest in places experiencing a housing boom, sometimes in tragic circumstances. In 1904, the Norwegian coastal town of Aalesund was almost completely destroyed by fire. The young Norwegian architects rebuilding the town over the next three years independently fused Art Nouveau with national romantic symbols such as dragons' heads, giving the harbour town a rare unified character. In the one-time pharmacy and house of a chemist, at 16 Apotekergata, the Art Nouveau Centre (00 47 70 10 49 70) has preserved rooms and holds exhibitions, with an imaginative multimedia time-machine (in English) about the town's reconstruction. Open 11am-4pm Tuesday to Saturday, noon-4pm on Sunday; admission Nkr50 (£4.50).

Right in the centre of Aalesund, at 8 Lovenvoldgata, is Rica Hotel Scandinavie (00 47 70157800; ), which retains Art Nouveau decoration in some of the public rooms as well as unaltered façades. Doubles from Nkr990 (£88) including breakfast. SAS flies to Aalesund twice weekly from Gatwick (0870 60 727 727; ), from £112 return.

At the end of the 19th century, Riga was growing so rapidly that its population doubled in 15 years. Again, the vogue for Art Nouveau buildings was fuelled by an international exhibition in the Latvian capital in 1901, where many of the pavilions were built in the style, which was also adopted for over a third of the buildings in the city centre. The Art Nouveau doorways of Riga alone could fill a book.

In Moscow, the Gorky Museum occupies the Ryabushinsky House, built from 1900-3 to a design by Fyodor Shekhtel, at 6/2 Ulitsa Malaya Nikitskaya (00 7 495 290 0535), with a twisting marble staircase lit by stained glass. The writer Maxim Gorky lived in the house from 1931 to 1936, despite disliking Art Nouveau. It's open noon-7pm Wednesday and Friday, and 10am-5pm Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, closed last Friday of the month.Metro Arbatskaya.

Interest in Art Nouveau underwent a revival in the Seventies when reproductions of posters of Sarah Bernhardt by the Czech designer Alphonse Mucha became popular. The finest collection of his original work is in the Mucha Museum at 7 Panska, Prague (00 420 221 451 333; ), situated in the baroque Kaunicky Palace. Open 10am-6pm daily; admission Czk120 (£3). Metro Muzeum or Mustek.

Further south?

In Italy, Art Nouveau was named Stile Liberty in recognition of the influence of the London store. The principal centre is Milan, where there are several hundred buildings in the style. The places used as weekend retreats by wealthy Milanese – such as Stresa, Bellagio and Verbania – also feature some Art Nouveau villas. In Milan, peacocks decorate part of the Art Nouveau block of 16-22 Via Pisacane, and the Galimberti house on Via Malpighi was covered in ceramic cladding by Giovan Bossi to introduce Liberty themes (as well as making the building easier to clean).

One of the largest museum collections of Art Nouveau is in Lisbon, though the city has few buildings in the style. The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum (00 351 21 782 3000; ) was endowed by the Armenian oil magnate and collector, and has an extensive collection of Lalique glass and jewellery. At 45A avenida de Berna (metro Sao Sebastiao or Praca de Espanha), it's open 10am-5.45pm daily except Monday; admission €4 (£2.80).

Anything closer to home?

No and yes. Although the Arts and Crafts Movement was a seminal source of inspiration to Art Nouveau designers, architects in Britain never took the style to heart. But the concept that even functional objects should be beautiful and expressive was derived from the Arts and Crafts Movement, and the writings of designers such as William Morris. The best introduction to the design philosophy is perhaps Blackwell at Bowness-on-Windermere, off the B5360 (015394 46139; ). Open 10.30am-4pm daily; admission £5.45. This magnificent holiday home, created in 1900 for the brewer Sir Edward Holt by M H Baillie Scott, is exceptional for the survival of so much of its interior decoration.

One of the finest English collections of Arts and Crafts items is at Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum in Clarence Street (01242 237431), which is so extensive that it incorporates an Arts and Crafts Museum ( ), reflecting the importance of artists working in the Cotswolds at the time. The collection includes furniture, pottery, silver, metalwork, jewellery, plasterwork, leatherwork, private-press books, textiles and embroideries. Open 10am-5.20pm daily except Sunday; admission free.

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, in Church Street, 15 minutes' walk from the station (01273 292882; ) has the best British public collection, outside of the Victoria and Albert Museum, of French Art Nouveau and Austrian Secession design; it includes furniture by Majorelle, Rennie Mackintosh, Hoffmann and Moser, and furniture, ceramics and glass by Gallé. Open 10am-5pm Tuesday to Saturday, until 7pm on Tuesday and 2-5pm on Sunday; admission free.

Dining out with art nouveau

Predictably, some of the best Art Nouveau restaurants are in Paris. Foremost is Maxim's (00 33 142 65 27 94; ) at 3 rue Royale; Métro Concorde. It was designed by Louis Marnez from 1898–1900 using School of Nancy artists. Pierre Cardin, who has owned the restaurant since 1981, has collected over 550 pieces of Art Nouveau, some of which are on display in the Maxim's museum (open 2-5.30pm Wednesday to Sunday, with tours by art historians at 2pm, 3.15pm and 4.30pm; admission €15/£11). Lunch and a museum visit Tuesday-Friday costs €110 (£79). The restaurant is closed for Saturday lunch, and on Sunday and Monday.

The interior of Lucas Carton (now called Senderens), at 9 place de la Madeleine (Métro Madeleine), was designed by Majorelle (00 33 1 42 65 22 90; Open noon-3pm, 7.30-11.15pm daily. And Bouillon Racine (00 33 1 44 32 15 60; at 3 rue Racine (Métro Cluny-La Sorbonne), now a listed national monument, was created in 1906 and retains its Art Nouveau features. Open noon-11pm every day.

Metro massacre

Art Nouveau did not remain popular for long in Paris: Le Figaro even campaigned to get Guimard's Métro entrances removed, and as late as 1962, some of them were still being demolished. The French capital's first wake-up call was when the New York Museum of Modern Art bought one of the jettisoned entrances. It is still on display at MoMA, at 11 West 53rd Street (001 212 708 9400; ), which is open 10.30am-5.30pm Wednesday to Monday, with late opening to 8pm on Friday; admission $20 (£10).

Even after the Second World War, French museums refused the offer by Guimard's widow of his collection, so she gave it MoMA and to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (001 212 535 7710; ).

The Met, at 1000 Fifth Avenue on 82nd Street, is open 9.30am-5.30pm daily except Monday, with late opening to 9pm on Friday and Saturday; admission $20 (£10). On 4 December, the second-floor 19th-century Paintings and Sculptures galleries reopen after renovation and additions, notably the reassembly of the Art Nouveau "Wisteria Dining Room" created by the French artist Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer. Lectures on Art Nouveau in Brussels and Paris, and in Eastern Europe are being given on 27 November and 18 December respectively; tickets $23 (£11.50).

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Emerging Artist: Who is Ambre (Am-ber) Anderson + What does she have to offer you this holiday season.

(image courtesy of the artist's website)

"Working to intertwine originality and passion with movement is my ongoing artistic agenda."

Ever since meeting artist Ambre(Am-ber) Anderson at her September 22 showing at Opus 22, I felt this incredible surge of energy as if I have met her before through her works. The works convey a hybrid of a Black Master painter meets Neo-Surrealist theme with usage of lush, vibrant colors and references of Black Power and Black Love. Listed below is Ambre's biography so you can get to know this sister on an artistic level.

With a diverse artistic style that is dominated by a powerful use of color, an amazing eye for composition and space, Ambre Anderson's creativity is unmistakably phenomenal. Early on her high school art teacher admitted, "It is a sin to let talent like this go to waste!" At Howard University Ambre was offered a scholarship to join the Fine arts school.

While attending Howard, the Baltimore native balanced being a student on the Dean's list with working at the Zennith Gallery and interning at the National Endowment for the Arts.

Moving to New York helped shape Ambre's creative edge, enabling her to stack challenges. While creating artwork, she also established herself as an actress and model. Ambre landed major ads for various advertising companies. Her talents converged when she booked a Jeep campaign in which she portrayed a painter. During the photo shoot the casting directors discovered Ambre's exceptional ability as a true artist. Not only did they hire her for the print ad, but she was also chosen for their television commercial as well.

Her artwork provokes challenge through social issues, family and urban realism. She explores emotion in relationships depicting love, aggression, laughter and intimacy.
Ambre's artwork engulfs audiences with a feeling of movement. Bold saturated color is pronounced in each piece, along with a specific cropped focal point and a rounded interpretation on what is perceived.

For more information on Ambre Johnson, please click here.
Artwork by Ambre Johnson

For a limited time only!!

Not sure what to give as a holiday gift? Tired of perusing through shopping malls, becoming frustrated at the vicious crowds? Want to give something creative and meaningful? Artist Ambre (Am-ber) Johnson has a special treat for all of you art collectors for the holiday season. For a limited time, take advantage of the art sale and give your loved ones or even yourself a unique and decorative gift. Check out the information below and make sure to visit the website for more information.

*small framed prints 3 for $99 (a $120 value) $40 each
*medium framed prints 3 for $159 (a $195 value) $65 each
*box of greeting cards 3 for $89 (a $105 value) $35 each

-view all artwork for products and details on website!
-offer good through January 15, 2008.
-all orders for Xmas delivery must be placed by Friday, December 8, 2007.

For more information, visit Ambre Anderson's site.