Posted inNews

Crimes of the Art

On this week’s art crime blotter: nude Eiffel Tower performance lands artist in jail, a Jaume Plensa sculpture goes missing in Montreal, and a family wants its $100-million Monet back — even if it’s fake.

Posted inIn Brief

How to Punch a Monet and Get Away with It

Punching a painting by Claude Monet is never a good idea, as Andrew Shannon learned the hard way last week when he was sentenced to five years in prison for putting his fist through “Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat” (1874) at the National Gallery of Ireland. But if it’s a digital likeness of the $10 million Impressionist painting, like the one that awaits in “Punch a Monet,” all bets — and gloves — are off.

Posted inArt

Drawing Across Five Centuries

CHICAGO — In a 2004 address to London’s Royal Academy, critic Robert Hughes said that drawing “satisfies the desire for an active, investigative, manually vivid relation with the things we see and yearn to know about.” An exhibition of drawings currently on view at the Art Institute of Chicago exemplifies Hughes’s statement.

Posted inArt

The Age of Constricting Glamor: A Preview of Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity at the Met

Compared to other portraits of 19th century ladies, Édouard Manet’s painting of poet Nina de Callias was scandalously exotic, with her golden bangles, bolero jacket, Algerian shirt, and flourish of a feather in her curled hair, not to mention her open, sensual pose. A little scruffy dog rests its head on her flurry of skirts from which emerges an exposed ankle, and a tumult of colorful fans decorate the wall behind her. While the shock has totally subsided for contemporary audiences, the portrait drove her estranged husband to demand Manet not show it anywhere. Fashion and the identities it offered or constrained in the mid-1860s to mid-1880s (centering on Paris) is an undercurrent in the works by the top Impressionists, along with examples of period clothing caged in glass display boxes, in Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity, opening February 26 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Posted inArt

Monet Mania

The recently deceased Thomas Kinkade may have had barely any effect on the contemporary art world (beyond a thoughtful essay or two), but the influence of the artist I’d call the original painter of light, Claude Monet, has waned little over the past century. And currently two Monet-inspired exhibitions are taking up the same subject of artist’s passion: his gardens at Giverny.

Posted inOpinion

Trees Are Artists Too!

You know how everyone’s claiming to be an artist these days? Make-up technicians, hairdressers, gallerists, your kid sister, that crazy aunt who does crocheted landscapes? Yeah? Well now even plants are getting in on the game. British artist Tim Knowles attaches pens to the tips of tree branches and sets up an easel just within reach of the waving “paintbrushes.” As the tree branches sway and get blown around, the pens trace out black arcs and dots on the papered easels. There’s a minimalist poetry to the works themselves that’s pretty cool.