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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dia EPAL at the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga

To celebrate the Water's National Day, EPAL and the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga (Lisbon, Portugal) invite the population to visit the museum on September 30, between 10h00 and 24h00, free of charge.

The EPAL Day (Dia EPAL) at the MNAA will include guided tours through all day.

This event marks the restore of the most famous piece of the Portuguese goldsmithery, the Custódia de Belém (a gold and enamel ostensory dated from 1506 and attributed to goldsmith Gil Vicente), and the continuity of EPAL's successful programme started in 2010, now supporting the Tesouro da Vidigueira.

For more information, you can call the museum at: +351 21 391 2800

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is showing a major exhibition of works by the acclaimed Dutch old master Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669).

Gathering an exceedingly rare and singular series of seven portraits depicting the head of Christ and complemented by more than fifty related paintings, prints, and drawings, some of them rarely exhibited or lent due to their light-sensitivity and fragility, the "Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus" exhibition invites the viewer to grasp the religious, historic, and artistic significance of these works, while at the same time witnessing Rembrandt's iconoclasm and his search for a meditative ideal.

These bust-length portraits portraits of Jesus mark a new step in the history of Christian art, which had previously relied on rigidly copied prototypes for Christ, by making use of a human model.

The "Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus" exhibition can be visited until October 30, 2011.

Friday, September 23, 2011

LUMINA Light Festival in Sintra

Today, September 23rd at 21h00, will be inaugurated at the National Palace in Sintra (Palácio da Vila), the LUMINA light festival.

Everyday until the 25th, between 21h00 and 24h00, the public will be able to watch several light based artistic events such as performances, multimedia projections and installations. These events will take place in several venues throughout a "Light Path" (Caminho da Luz).

Lumina Light Festival is promoted by the SINTRARTES 2011 – Artes de Rua, an initiative of Sintra's City Hall.
The city of Sintra is part of UNESCO's World Heritage Site.

Admission is free to all events. Don't forget to bring your flashlight !

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Portuguese artist Júlio Resende died at the age of 93

The Portuguese artist Júlio Resende passed away this 21 September 2011 in Valbom, Gondomar (Portugal) with 93 years of age.

Júlio Martins Resende da Silva Dias was born in the city of Oporto, on 23 October 1917. He graduated by the Escola Superior de Belas-Artes do Porto (Oporto School of Fine Arts) in the year of 1945, where he studied under the instruction of Dúrdio Gomes. Júlio made his first public appearence at the exhibition "Os Independentes" in 1944.

In 1948, the artist travels to Paris, where he receives instruction by Duco de la Haix and Otto Friez.

Júlio Resende was nominated member of the Académie Royale des Sciences, des Letres et des Beauz-Arts de Bélgique in 1972 and in 1982 he was awarded with the insignia of "Orden del Mérito Civil" attributed by the king of Spain. In Portugal he was distinguished in 1985 with the AICA award (Associação Internacional de Críticos de Arte).

His funeral will take place tomorow, September 22. Mass will be celebrated at 16h00 in the Igreja Matriz (mother church) of Valbom and the funeral will follow to cemetery in Valbom at 16h45.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

12th ArtNîm - International Contemporary Art Fair

From the 23rd through the 26th of September 2011, the Parc des Expositions de Nîmes (France) will host the 12th edition of ArtNîm - International Contemporary Art Fair (12ème édition d'ArtNîm - Foire Internationale d'Art Contemporain).

Since its start that ArtNîm aims to be a mark in the South of France in what contemporary art is concerned, bringing some of the most prestigious names, such as Paul Rebeyrolle, Dado, Karel Appel or Witkin, in contact with the French public.
Counting with near 40 participating galleries, the contemporary art fair will also offer the chance of discovering some new talent from emerging artists, as well as providing these artists with an important experience.

For the second year in a role, an online drawing contest under the theme "Du spirituel dans l'Art" (The spiritual in art), resulting from a parnership between ArtNîm and Canson, will select through the vote of the members of the latributedesartistes website, 30 works which will be exhibit in the stand of La Tribu at the Foire d’Art Contemporain Méditerranée à Nîmes, taking place between 22nd and 26th September 2011.
The three overall winners of this drawing constest, will be rewarded with 500€ to 1000€ of Canson paper will and offer the opportunity to exhibit at the 2012 edition of ArtNîm for two between them.
The selection will take place today, September 21.

Also on the same day, following this year's participation of Le Livre d'Art, the winner of the Prix du jury Lelivredart will be selected and receive 40 copies of a catalogue featuring his/her artworks. A targeted announcement of the catalogue will be made to the near 17000 readers of the Lelivredart publications.

ArtNîm 2011 welcomes the MIAM, Musée International des Arts Modestes, that will celebrate its 10th anniversary in the center of the fair.

Visitors will not want to miss the letters and correspondance of Charles Baudelaire, Jacques Prévert, Prosper Mérimé, Céline, among others, presented for the first time by the disciple of the collector Clayeux, Alain Corté. also a collector himself.

La Maison de la Gravure returns to ArtNîm to present artistic performances.

CRAC Médias Forum will show during its "ARTS Video Forum", a selection of videos created by the French art scene and by foreign guest artists, including the names of: Jochen DEHN, John DENEUVE, Malachi FARRELL, Karl GIETL, Franck GOURDIEN, Frédéric LAVOIE, Renaud PERRIN, Nath SAPIN...

Every morning, at 11h00, a videographer will be given carte blanche to show one of his/her creations.

Conferences will take place, including one based on the theme of the drawing contest: "Du spirituel dans l' dans la peinture en particulier."

The 12th edition of ArtNîm promisses to offer to all its visitors a rewarding artistic experience under several aspects.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Open Call for Entries for the 2011 FWCAC 9 x 12 Works on Paper Show

The Fort Worth Community Arts Center, Texas, has announced the open call for the 2011 FWCAC 9 x 12 Works on Paper Show.

Artworks must be original, including unmatted, unframed photography, drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, mixed media, cast or folded paperworks or digital prints. Art not on/of paper will not be displayed (although other materials may be attached to the paper). No reproductions allowed.

The artworks can be any size, but they MUST fit in a 9” x 12” (23cm x 30cm) envelope to be mailed, although they may be folded, 3D or multi-part.

Since there is no entry form, participating artists should mark the back of each artwork with their name, adress/e-mail, title, date of completion and medium, as well as mentioning if the work is for sale or to be returned.

Artists are welcomed to provide a CV/Bio/Artist Statement, which will be placed in a binder in alphabetical order.

The postmark deadline for the 2011 FWCAC 9 x 12 Works on Paper Show is November 15, 2011.

All artwork will be for sale for $100US and the artist will receive 80%. Unsold works sent with an appropriate size self-addressed STAMPED envelope (SASE) will be returned. Envelopes with metering or insufficient postage will not be returned. Name/s on envelope must match name/s on artwork. Unsold artworks and checks will be mailed to artists by January 31st, 2012.

Entrants of all ages and geographic locations can participate with up to five entries and more than one work may be mailed in each envelope. Entry fee is $5US/piece.

Send entries and entry fee by check or Money Order to:

9 x 12
Fort Worth Community Arts Center
1300 Gendy
Fort Worth, TX 76107

Artwork MUST be mailed - no drop-offs.

November 15, 2011: Postmark Deadline
December 9: Reception, 6 - 9PM
December 9 - 29: Exhibition
January 31, 2012: Checks and unsold works mailed

All artworks will be shown.

More information is available at

Monday, September 12, 2011

The "Werner Jägers collection" Art Forgery Scam

The main character of this true story is Wolfgang Beltracchi, owner of a €1.1 million villa that he acquired together with his wife Helene, situated in the hills above Freiburg among the city's high society. It appears that another €4 million were spent remodeling it.

Where all this money was coming from, no one knew. Some would say that Beltracchi was an artist with a high-end clientele, others thought that he was a successful art dealer or the owner of a valuable collection, or even that he had discovered a number of unknown masterpieces on flea markets.

Such was the mood at the party held at the Beltracchis' new house on September 22, 2007, where Champagne was served out of Magnum bottles and even a Flamenco band had been brought in from Spain.

But on Aug. 27, 2010, at 7:35 p.m., the Beltracchis were detained by the authorities, not far from their villa as they were going out to dinner.
The police officers had been sent by the district attorney's office in Cologne, which also had a theory about how Wolfgang and Helene Beltracchi had amassed their fortune. It can be found in file number 117 Js 407/10, and if confirmed in a court of law, the Beltracchis will officially become the main characters in one of the greatest ever art forgery scandals in Germany and with serious repercussions abroad.

The couple has been held in pre-trial detention, accused of organized professional fraud. Prosecutors are also investigating Jeanette S., the sister of Helene Beltracchi, who is also currently in pre-trial detention, as well their mother and an art dealer from Krefeld identified only as Otto.

The defendants are accused of consistently provide the art market with paintings by famous artists, claiming to be undiscovered works. This went over a period of more than 14 years, in a market where 20th century classics have attained impressive auction records. This case centers on the alleged forgery of at least 35 paintings dating back to the first decades of the 20th century and sold through auction houses in Germany, as well in London and Paris galleries via art traders. The investigators estimate the total damage at more than €15 million.

While only one of the paintings has been confirmed beyond a doubt by two analyses as being fake, a number of similarities such as similar frames, yellowed stickers from famous galleries on their backs and the absense of photographs of any of them, leeds the investigators to suspect that the other 34 paintings are also fakes. Moreover all allegedly come from two mysterious art collections.

After acquiring a Campendonk work at the Cologne-based auction house Lempertz, Maltese company Trasteco had the work scientifically tested for authentication purposes. It turned out that one of the colors used in the painting had not been invented by 1914, the year the work was allegedly painted.

One of these collections is said to have belonged to Werner Jägers, a businessman from Cologne, born in Belgium in 1912, and the grandfather of the two sisters awaiting trial.
In a letter that Helene Beltracchi sent to an art historian, Jägers had acquired a number of paintings in the "late 1920s and early 1930s," particularly works by Rhenish expressionists artists "like Campendonk, Pechstein, Nauen, Mense, Ernst" as well as French painters "like Braque, Derain, Dufy, Marcoussis." She claimed several "important works in his collection" had been bought from the Jewish art dealer Alfred Flechtheim, "who owned display rooms near one of her grandfather's business premises" and had been a "good friend" of Werner Jägers.
When the Nazis arrived to power, Jägers was allegedly loath to give up his precious artworks -- officially derided as "degenerate" during the Third Reich -- so he hid the pictures at a property in the Eiffel region of Germany.
"A few years before his death," Helene claims, he had passed on "a part of his collection" to her and her sister Jeanette.

However, according to his last wife and a close business associate, Jägers had only purchased a few paintings, but these were not considered valuable at the time and it seems that he didn't own an art collection. Besides nothing suggests that he was acquainted with the Jewish art dealer Alfred Flechtheim.
Werner Jägers married four times and lived mainly in Cologne, where he died in 1992.

Helene Beltracchi was 34 years old at the time and had recently started runing an antiques store in Cologne.

Years earlier, more precisely in 1978, her future husband Wolfgang, who's surname was still Fischer, had three of his acrylic-on-canvas works exhibited at the Haus der Kunst museum in Munich.
Wolfgang spent some time in Morocco during the 1980s and then returned to Germany.
He organized theme parties, including a baroque fete at a castle in the Dutch town of Renesse, where guests paid a few hundred German marks for the privilege of dressing up in period costume and re-enacting 18th-century life.

Later on he decided to write the "Die Himmelsleiter" (The Ladder to Heaven), a screenplay for a road movie set in the Moroccan desert. A documentary about the pirates in the South China Sea became his next project, but was never realized.
In October 1990 Wolfgang and a friend paid 305,000 deutschmarks (€156,400) at a bank auction for an old farm in Viersen in the Lower Rhine region of Germany.
Neighbors remember a "first-floor warehouse converted into an artist's studio."

It's in the year of 1992 that Wolfgang meets his future wife Helene Beltracchi, who had moved to his farm.
Together they start their art business and, with no surprise, Helene assumes the serious side of things.

Now married and with Wolfgang's last name changed to Beltracchi, the couple owed several hundred thousand marks on their property.
In the year of 1995 Helene contacted the Lempertz art dealership in Cologne and offered the long-established auction house a painting by Hans Purrmann, a friend and student of the great French painter Henri Matisse. She said the work belonged to her maternal grandfather, the aforementioned Werner Jägers. But a Purrmann expert doubted the authenticity of the painting, entitled "Southern Landscape," whereupon Lempertz declined to put the work up for auction.

But the couple does not give up their intentions and eight months later, at the "German and Austrian Art" sale in October 1995, Christie's offered a painting by Heinrich Campendonk entitled "Girl with Swan," informing its clients that the art historian Andrea Firmenich "has been kind enough to confirm the authenticity of this work." The origin of the painting was stated by Christie's as "Alfred Flechtheim, Dusseldorf; Werner Jägers, Cologne."
It sold for £67,500.

A sticker on the back of the painting, which bore the inscription "Flechtheim Collection" and a rough portrait of the legendary art dealer, was also shown in the catalogue. Nobody appeared to be too bothered by the fact that the sticker, which looked like a potato print, simply didn't match the style of the elegant gallerist. Such stickers have only appeared on the paintings that are now suspected of having been forged, with particular focus for the "Werner Jägers collection."

Wolfgang sold the farm in Viersen to a firm of realtors for 2.6 million deutschmarks (€1.3 million) in July 1996 and traveled with his wife to Marseillan, 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Montpellier, where they rented a vacation home with studio.

Former visitors to his studio mention a "large piece on a mythological theme" onto which he copied faces with the aid of a projector. The fake Purrmann that Lempertz had refused to sell at auction, hung in the Beltracchis' living room.
During their stay, Wolfgang and Helene researched the local art scene, visited antique stores, art trade fairs and galleries.

In June 1998 Lempertz in Cologne auctioned a painting professedly from the "Werner Jägers collection": "Le Havre Beach" by the French painter Raoul Dufy. "For once, it was a real one," Lempertz Managing Director Henrik Hanstein says today. Hanstein says the couple had been particularly devious by selling a genuine picture in addition to the fakes. A Lempertz spokesman is similarly shocked about the couple's crafty stratagem. He says the auction house had been "the victim of an extraordinarily clever and mean gang of forgers."

Should the allegations prove to be true, then the modus operandi was indeed remarkably astute: The alleged forgers didn't forge names like Picasso or Beckmann, but those of Max Pechsteinand, Heinrich Campendonk, Fernand Léger and Max Ernst. They kept well away from the truly great artists, whose works was renowned and had been researched in minute detail. Instead they concentrated on second-tier painters, whose works can still fetch more than a million euros.
Besides the paintings, the fake documents that authenticated them were also of high quality.
"They produced incredibly well-made paintings, including a complete provenance that took familial background and the historical art context into account," said Henrik Hanscheid, head of Lempertz, a 150-year-old art dealership based in Cologne that was duped into selling some of the fakes.

It appears they began by studying old catalogues of exhibitions by artists in whose names they wanted to create paintings, preferably catalogues of the gallery of Alfred Flechtheim, one of the most important art dealers of the Weimar Republic, the period from the end of World War I to the Nazis' ascent to power. Flechtheim fled from the Nazis in 1933, moved first to Paris, dying later in London in 1937. Large parts of his collection have been lost to this day, and documents from his gallery have never been recovered.

The list of pictures from the Flechtheim catalogs was compared to the lists of paintings by the relevant artists. Were any of the paintings listed as missing, ones that had not been photographed?

Such forged paintings had been traded in increasing numbers since the late 1990s, and it is believed that some of the profits from the sales landed in the bank account the Beltracchis held with the discrete Credit Andorra in the tax-shelter principality of the same name, where Wolfgang Beltracchi was also registered as having a residence.

Otto and the German art historian, journalist and organizer of exhibitions Werner Spies, exchanged letters about one Max Ernst painting the Krefeld based art dealer was particularly proud to possess. Spies took a look at the piece, entitled "The Forest," at an art gallery in Berlin. Later it was even exhibited at a major Max Ernst retrospective held at the New York Metropolitan Museum.

Werner Spies certified a total of seven alleged Max Ernst pictures from the collections of Knops and Jägers. "From a stylistic point of view I still believe the pictures given to me to authenticate were the works of Max Ernst," Spies says.

The majority of the suspicious paintings weren't auctioned off, but rather sold to private collectors - in some cases with Spies' assistance. They apparently fetched up to €4.6 million. "If the pieces are forgeries," Spies says, "they can only be described as the work of a brilliant forger."

An old friend of Beltracchi's says the itinerant artist was "touched by God," adding: "He is extremely talented, and can paint everything from memory."

In June, after the lawyer von Brühl had pressed charges, officers at the art crime division of the regional criminal investigation bureau in Berlin began looking into the case. At the same time, private investigators from the Munich-based ADS detective agency started researching Werner Jägers' life. Within a matter of days, they discovered what the art world had refused to see for 15 years: Werner Jägers may have been a businessman, but he was never an art collector.

Monte Carlo Art sued Max Ernst expert Werner Spies and Parisian Galerie Cazeau-Béraudière in French court.
The gallery sold the fake painting to Monte Carlo Art in 2004, and Spies authenticated it. Monte Carlo Art later sold the painting at Sotheby's for $1.1 million.

Another victim from this art scam was the renown American actor Steve Martin, who sold his painting to a Swiss collector for €500,000 ($600,000 at the time). Martin took a loss from the original €700,000 ($850,000 at the time) that he paid for it in 2004. Martin did not become aware his painting was inauthentic until after he sold it.

The trial relates specifically to 14 fake works and is expected to take at least 40 days, as the prosecution has reportedly called over 170 witnesses, including a number of prominent art dealers and experts.

Work is now underway to determine whether Wolfgang Beltracchi did indeed forge the pictures, who he may have been assisted by, and how many paintings really are fakes. It also remains to be seen whether he can still be punished for acts beyond the decade laid down in the statute of limitations.

The public attorney's office recently entered two debt-securing mortgages on the renovated villa in Freiburg that Wolfgang Beltracchi had unveiled so lavishly. The total value of the mortgages: €2,545,577.20.

This article contains excerpts from, and Image courtesy of Lempertz

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Previously unknown painting by Gustav Klimt discovered in The Netherlands

A previously unknown oil painting by Gustav Klimt, was recently discovered in a private home in the Netherlands.
The Dutch owner told that her ancestors, the couple Richard and Clara Koenig-Bunge, had allegedly bought the painting in 1902 from an exhibition in Düsseldorf.

To be sure of its authenticity, the woman contacted Alfred Weidinger, Vice Director of Austria’s Belvedere museum, which holds the world’s largest Klimt collection.
In 2007, Prestel published an annotated catalogue edited by Alfred Weidinger, with scenic work containing several landscapes painted by the artist, but not the one that the Dutch woman had hanging at her place.

Following an investigation, Weidinger finds out that in August 1901, Klimt wrote to his girlfriend Marie Zimmermann that he had "several landscapes", including a red farmhouse, a group of trees in the shade with a sunlit meadow, and just one lake was "in progress."
The Klimt specialist also had access to a photo of the XIII Secession, the Exhibition of the Association of Visual Artists, which took place in February/March 1902, and where the lakefront image is clearly visible as part of a triptych.

Alfred Weidinger is pleased to include the painting in his updated catalogue of works by Klimt, which will be published this year by Random House. And secondly, because next year the 150th Birthday of the prince of painters is celebrated. The Jubilee Year will start at the Belvedere on 25 October 2011 with the opening of the exhibition curated by Weidinger: "Gustav Klimt / Josef Hoffmann Pioniere der Moderne" and will last until 4 March 2012.

The discovered painting by Gustav Klimt is entitled "Seeufer mit Birken" (lakeside with birch trees) and was painted in 1901.

Based on Thomas Trenkler's article from Der Standard. Photo by Alfred Weidinger

11th Biennale de Lyon - A Terrible Beauty is Born

Conceived by the Argentinean curator Victoria Noorthoorn and baptized under "A Terrible Beauty is Born" (Une Terrible Beauté est Née), after a verse from the poem Easter, written in 1916 by the Irish writer W.B. Yeats, the 11th Biennale de Lyon will host the works of near 70 artists from around the world, mostly from Europe, Africa and Latin America.

The biennial will occupy over 14.000 square meters, across four venues: La Sucrière, the Fondation Bullukian, the Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, and the T.A.S.E. factory.

Two platforms, "Veduta" and "Résonanse," will complement this international exhibition, contributing to enhance the visitors experience and with the purpose of getting artists and public to interact.

Veduta 2011 will be presented to the public in four distincted venues: The 21st Century Museum, The White Cube, The Kiosque and Artist Residences.

Résonance 2011 will offer over 125 attractions across Greater Lyon and the Rhône-Alpes region, including dance, performance, theatre, photography, video, installations, design, music, and literature, presented through more than 90 art centres, private galleries and cultural institutions. Artist collectives will also team up with the Biennale de Lyon.

The high points in the programme are the Biennale’s opening week (10-17 September), featuring a host of openings, exhibitions, concerts, screenings and events; and the Nuit Résonance, an all-night event held in central Lyon on 24 November. Full programme to be published in August 2011 in the Résonance guide (30,000 copies) available in Biennale participating venues and at the official website.

The 11th Biennale de Lyon can be visited from Thursday 15 September 2011 to Saturday 31 December 2011 (Tuesday to Friday, 11am to 6pm - Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 7pm).
Closed on Mondays and on 25 December 2011.
Professional preview will take place Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 September 2011.

Visit this page for more information about prices, access and other practical information.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Greek authorities recovered a stolen version of "The Calydonian Boar Hunt" by Paul Rubens

One of the versions of Rubens' "The Calydonian Boar Hunt", dated from 1618 and probably painted by one of his students, was recovered this last Thursday by the Greek police.
Two suspects, a 65 year old man, ex-antiquary, and a fourty something year old woman, were arrested by undercover agents who act as potential buyers and offered a generous amount for the 28cm x 52cm (11in x 20in) painting, valued at €200,000 ($285,000).
According to the Greek authorities, the suspects don't seem to be the original robbers.

"The Calydonian Boar Hunt" was stolen in June 2001 from a museum in Ghent, Belgium, when three masked robbers snatched two works by the Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens. The other painting was "The Flagellation of Christ", painted around 1617 and described as "priceless." Fortunately during their hasty getaway, one of the thieves dropped the painting, which was imediately recovered and didn't suffer any important damage.

The Culture Ministry of Greece and the authorities took the chance to refer that a second raid also conducted Thursday led to the arrest of another six Greeks and the recovery of stolen antiquities: three prehistoric bronze items, a metal seal and a manuscript in Arabic script.

The ministry said it would publicly present the painting and other items at a later date, possibly next week. No further details were immediately available, and Belgian police had no immediate comment.

“The news in the press was received with great enthusiasm by the museum staff and collaborators,” said Marie-Julie Dellaert, spokeswoman of the Fine Arts Museum of Ghent.

Painted by Peter Paul Rubens around 1611-1612, a few years after an extended stay in Italy, "The Calydonian Boar Hunt," an oil on panel measuring 23 1/4 x 35 1/2 in, was acquired by The Getty Museum in 2006.