Welcome to 2018! January 1 means it’s time to celebrate Public Domain Day. As is Hyperallergic tradition, we’re celebrating the visual artists whose work is entering the public domain this year.
However what works are coming out of copyright depends on the country. In the United States, the Copyright Term Extension Act dictates that no published work will be part of the public domain until 2019 (and even then, there’s the potential for an extension). Duke Law School’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain explains that “[in] addition to lengthening the term, Congress also changed the law so that every creative work is automatically copyrighted, even if the author does nothing.” The map below visualizes copyright terms around the world:
As shown on the map, many countries have copyright ending either 50 or 70 years after a creator’s death. So for 2018, work by people who died in 1947 or 1967 is entering the public domain. Over at the Public Domain Review, you can check out a post on the Class of 2018, which includes surrealist René Magritte, occultist and painter Aleister Crowley, and painter and printmaker Pierre Bonnard.
Below is a short round-up of ten artists whose work is entering the public domain (but, of course, not in the United States):
René Magritte (1898 — 1967)
“We are surrounded by curtains. We only perceive the world behind a curtain of semblance. At the same time, an object needs to be covered in order to be recognized at all.” — René Magritte, Belgian surrealist artist, painter of pipes that are not pipes and apples in front of faces
Johannes Itten (1888 — 1967)
“Light, that first phenomenon of the world, reveals to us the spirit and the living soul of the world through colors.” — Johannes Itten, Swiss expressionist painter, color theorist, and part of the Weimar Bauhaus
Kathleen Scott (1878 — 1947)
“Don’t ever be sad, my darling, life is ever so glorious.” — Kathleen Scott, British sculptor, in her final letter to her first husband, the explorer Robert Falcon Scott, who died in Antarctica
Aleister Crowley (1875 — 1947)
“Black magic is not a myth. It is a totally unscientific and emotional form of magic, but it does get results — of an extremely temporary nature. The recoil upon those who practice it is terrific. It is like looking for an escape of gas with a lighted candle. As far as the search goes, there is little fear of failure!” — Aleister Crowley, English occultist, writer, painter, and mountaineer
Prudence Heward (1896 — 1947)
“In my opinion, [Prudence Heward] was the very best painter we ever had in Canada and she never got the recognition she richly deserved in her lifetime. I wanted her to join the Group of Seven, but like the Twelve Apostles, no women were included.” — artist A. Y. Jackson on Prudence Heward, Canadian painter
David Burliuk (1882 — 1967)
“The sounds of A are wide and spacious,
The sounds of E are haughty and agile,
The sounds of U are like an empty pipe,
The sounds of O like a hump curvaceous,
The sounds of Ye are of splashing shallows,
The family of vowels I’ve laughingly reviewed.”
— David Burliuk, Ukrainian illustrator, author, and oft-described “father of Russian Futurism,” in a 1915 poem
Pierre Bonnard (1867 — 1947)
“I should like to present myself to the young painters of the year 2000 with the wings of a butterfly. ” — Pierre Bonnard, French painter and printmaker, and founding member of the post-Impressionist group Les Nabis
Han van Meegeren (1889 — 1947)
“To paint a copy is no proof of artistic talent. In all my career I have never painted a copy! But I shall paint you a new Vermeer. I shall paint you a masterpiece.” — Dutch painter and art forger Han van Meegeren, who then painted a final Vermeer forgery before reporters and court-appointed witnesses
Tan Ting-pho (1895 — 1947)
“As someone whose mission it is to create art, if I can’t live for art and die for art, how can I call myself an artist?” — Tan Ting-pho, Taiwanese painter, reportedly said. He was killed in what’s known as the February 28 Incident that was suppressed by the Kuomintang-led Republic of China government.
Jessie Traill (1881 — 1967)
“What we see is a solid mass of concrete and intricate lacework of iron made more intricate by the play of light and shade; something that giants might play with as a child would with his Meccano set … In years to come when we dash over the Bridge in our taxi or take a ‘walk’ across … to see our Harbour, we, who have watched it progress and sketched or photographed its parts, will feel with these workmen a sort of pride of possession, and it will be OUR BRIDGE too.” — Jessie Traill, Australian printmaker, observing the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1929, which she captured in etchings and aquatints.
Goya’s Coded Love Letter to the Duchess of Alba
Goya neatly clothes himself in his own world of fantasy: He will have her in the end. In life, where the climate is much chillier, it was, alas, to be otherwise.
Witches Take Over Westchester
Bowen’s multimedia art is an alchemical mix of the sensuous and arcane, and it is more than a little witchy.
The Public Theater Explores the Hurricane Katrina Diaspora in shadow/land
Written by Erika Dickerson-Despenza and directed by Candis C. Jones, this lyrical meditation on legacy, erotic fugitivity, and self-determination is on view in NYC.
14 Art Books and Catalogues We’re Reading This Month
Anthologies and catalogues on feminist art in Latin America, Native mound building, Armenian photography, and more are on our reading list.
Saudi Arabia Announces $1M “Freedom of Expression” Art Award
Kanye West, Roman Polanski, and Carl Andre are among the shortlisted artists.
The Rubin Museum Presents Death Is Not the End
Tibetan Buddhist and Christian works of art made across 12 centuries explore death, the afterlife, and the desire to continue to exist. On view in NYC.
British Museum Offers Greece “Exclusive NFT” of the Parthenon Marbles
“With the power of blockchain technology, there will be no question who the real owner is,” said a British Museum spokesperson.
MoMA to Co-Curate Exhibition With NYPD
Arrest Me, Daddy hopes to cast a more positive light on the work of law enforcement officers.
When I Am Empty Please Dispose of Me Properly
Ayanna Dozier, Ilana Harris-Babou, Meena Hasan, Lucia Hierro, Catherine Opie, Chuck Ramirez, and Pacifico Silano explore the myths of the American Dream at Brooklyn’s BRIC House.
Repatriation-Inspired Fragrance Line Hopes to Heal Collector Wounds
The exotic scents of the Rapatriement line offer solace and joy to dismayed collectors who were forced to return looted artifacts.
Mediocre Painting Thought AI-Generated Revealed as Work of Real Artist
Visitors who spoke to Hyperallergic said they were “horrified” to learn that a human could come up with such a banal and poorly executed artwork.
Pratt’s 2023 Fine Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition Is On View in Brooklyn
The two-part exhibition features the work of 41 graduating artists across disciplines, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, and integrated practices.
Prince Harry to Star in New Van Gogh Biopic
The estranged prince said he took the role to raise awareness of mental health issues.
Newly Discovered Trove of Vermeer Works Reveals He Painted Mainly Dogs
A cache of 243 paintings found in an English castle, all depicting canine subjects, suggests Vermeer’s true aspiration was to become a dog portraitist.