The Art Inquirer is your source of news for the artist and the Art appreciator
Established in 2008

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Gauguin’s Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?) is The Most Expensive Painting Ever ($300 Million)

 The French Post-Impressionist Paul Gauguin, travelled to Tahiti for the first time in 1891, with the purpose to find a "primitive" culture and an edenic paradise.
However. he soon discovered that due to colonization, Tahiti was not as he had imagined and that near two-thirds of the indigenous had deceased as a consequence of European-brought diseases.

 Despite this unexpected wipe out of Tahiti's "primitive" culture, Gauguin painted several portraits of native women, either naked, dressed in traditional Tahitian clothes, or dressed in Western-style missionary dresses, as is the case of the rear figure in When Will You Marry?

 Painted in 1892, Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry? depicts two Tahitian native women, one dressed in a traditional Tahitian dress, and the other one in the back showing a serious expression on her face and wearing a mission dress.

 The painting was on loan to the Kunstmuseum Basel in Switzerland for nearly fifty years by its previous owner, Switzerland-based collector Rudolf Staechelin.

 According to news, the painting was acquired by the Royal Family of Qatar, the same buyers of Cézanne's "The Card Players" in 2012, for €263.3 million / $300 million.
Being true, it's expected to be on display at the Qatar Museum starting in 2016.

 Until then painting will still be on display at a special Gauguin exhibition opening this month in Basel at the Beyeler Foundation, after wich will travel to the Reina Sofía museum in Madrid and the Phillips Collection in Washington. The buyer will take ownership next January, Mr. Staechelin said.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Alcarte 2014 - Collective Exhibition

The opening of the collective art exhibition Alcarte, took place yesterday at buliding of the City Hall of Alcochete. For the 2014 edition, the organization chose the theme "Liberty or Liberties" in celebration of the 40 years of the national revolution "25 de Abril", which released Portugal from 41 of years of dictatorship, officially designated as Estado Novo. Until the 29th of August, visitors can enjoy the work of 26 artists, including painting, sculpture, photography and mixed media.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Swiss artist H. R. Giger dies at the age of 74

The renowned Swiss artist H. R. Giger, passed away yesterday in a hospital located in Zurich due to injuries sustained in a fall. He was 74 years old.

Hans Rudolf Giger was a surrealist painter, sculptor and set designer. He was widely known for his creatures and sets created for Ridley Scott's Alien films. As a result, he was awarded with an Oscar for special effects in 1980.
Giger also contributed with his work for Poltergeist II - The Other Side,  Tokyo - The Last Megalopolis, among several other films, as well for the computer game Dark Seed (1995).
He also did some work for recording artists and colaborated with Ibanez Guitars  for the H. R. Giger Signature Models.

Born in 1940, Giger moved to Zurich in1962 where he studied interior and industrial design at the School of Commercial Art in Zurich (from 1962 to 1965).
He had a relationship with Swiss actress Li Tobler untill 1975, when she commited suicide. In 1979 he married Mia Bonzanigo, but the divorced a year and a half later.

The work of the American horror fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft had great influence on H. R. Giger's art. Such is this that his compendium of images Necronomicon (there's a version with an introduction by Clive Barker) is a clear refererence to Lovecraft's made up book with the same name.
The original signed book is housed in the H R Giger museum at the Château St. Germain in Gruyères Switzerland.
Ernst Fuchs and Salvador Dali, to whom he was introduced by painter Robert Venosa were inspirations sources for Gigger who was also a personal friend of Timothy Lear.

Giger started with small ink drawings, then progessed to oil painting. During his career, he worked predominantly in airbush, but also created works with pastels, markers and ink.
Much of his work depicts surreal and monochromatic dreamscapes, often with biomechanical human bodies interconnected with a mechanical world as well as alien species and nightmarish elements. Several erotic references can also be found in his works.

The H. R. Giger Museum, housed in the Château St. Germain in Gruyère, Switzerland, holds a permanent repository of his work.  The artist lived and worked in Zürich with his wife, Carmen Maria Scheifele Giger, who is the Director of the museum.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Why You Should Invest in Art instead of buying Technology (This Time)

In the last two decades or so, and in particular in the last one, the desire to own the latest tech gadget has never been as high. Be it a smartphone, an MP4 player, a 3D TV set or a game console.

Some people, quite probably a minority, buy because they need them for their activity, be it a professional one or a hobby. But most people don't stick with what they need, they'll go on buying the latest model only to make them feel good, often in detriment of other priorities or choices.

There's nothing wrong about buying technology that help us with our lives, be it the personal one or the professional one, but to keep aiming for the latest tech gadget may not be the best way to go - what about that trip that you've always wanted to make?
When you go older, you'll not remember about some smartphone that you bought, you'll remember about places that you visited, people that you met, experiences that you lived.
As the saying goes: "Die with memories, not with dreams."

Although we like to place ourselves aside from other animals (maybe not as much nowadays as before) we are still animals and share the same planet. However, the one thing that most distinguishes us is our capability to create art - there's also that theory of creating tools, but that's arguable.

Art is a testemony of cultures, feelings, single and collective interpretations. It can teach, it can provoke.
With the access to technology, artists are now able to reach a vast public through websites, blogs and social networking. But the public can also access art and contact the artists who have created it or the galleries that represent them.

Owning an original work of art isn't exclusive anymore of some and is accessible to practically anyone.
Several artists and galleries offer instalment plans and art rental services.
Sometimes they can also come up with tailored options when necessary.

Next time you think about buying some techno gadget, why not take a few minutes to discover some artists on the web and maybe acquire something that you'll enjoy for many years to come and will pass to your children?
Spend some of your spare time going to galleries, museums and cultural events.
If possible go by foot or bycicle. You'll also be doing some exercise, as well as saving money and nature.

Friday, April 18, 2014

"Panorama" exhibition at Clube EDP Lisboa

The first solo exhibition of the Portuguese artist José Carrilho, is taking place at the Espaço Aníbal Afonso in the Lisbon branch of the Clube EDP, located at Av. Defensores de Chaves, 4-C (near Saldanha subway station).

 The "Panorama" exhibition features 15 of his best original landscapes and still-lifes, painted in oil and pastel.
It can be visited until April 24th, during week days (9h00 - 18h00). Admission free.

International Day for Monuments and Sites 2014

Today is the International Day for Monuments and Sites, with "Heritage of Commemoration" being chosen as the 2014's theme.

 ICOMOS Committees and other organizers from over 40 countries are offering several cultural activities to alert the public on the importance of the cultural heritage and the need for its preservation.

 Not only monuments and museums provide tangible forms of heritage. Mausoleums, monumental sculptures, cemeteries or memorial gardens, are also carriers of memory of the human experience. They contribute to the commemoration and transmission of values which include history. This heritage also includes elements that were given a commemorative value; for example, ruins or industrial vestiges accompanied by dedication plaques, or public squares whose toponymy commemorates a historical event or individual.

 The choice of "Heritage of Commemoration" was partly inspired by the centennial of the beginning of the Great World War of 1914-1918. The theme is an opportunity to present those constructions that have been intentionally created with the purpose of commemorating an event, a person, an idea, etc.

 ICOMOS ( International Council on Monuments and Sites) works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage places. It is the only global non-government organisation of this kind, which is dedicated to promoting the application of theory, methodology, and scientific techniques to the conservation of the architectural and archaeological heritage.

Serralves Fora d'Horas (April 2014)

Serralves Fora d'Horas is an every-month event that invites the public for a visit during extended hours, together with cultural initiatives. During this 18th of April, the entries to the museum and park are free of charge during all day. This month's event concides with the International Day for Museums and Sites, this year with the theme "Heritage of Commemoration." There are several activities during the day that require pre-registration. Usually for only 25 people.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Portuguese cinematographer Manoel de Oliveira completed 105 years of age

With 105 years completed this December 11th 2013, Manoel de Oliveira is the oldest cinematographer in the world still active.

 Author of 32 feature-films, his first movie was a short-film: Rio Douro — Douro, Faina Fluvial (1931, admired by the foreign critics but dismised by the national ones. His last film is entitled A Igreja do Diabo (2012), but he already has plans for another one: O Velho de Restelo.

 To celebrate his anniversary, the National Museum of the Press (Museu Nacional da Imprensa) in Oporto Porto, inaugurated an exhibition that shows in chronological order the presence of Manoel de Oliveira in 105 national and international newspapers and magazines througout 80 years of activity where he directed over fifty movies.

 The Portuguese ceramics company Vista Alegre also celebrates his anniversary with the Aniki-Bobó porcelain teapot. With a graphic design created by the artist Manuel Casimiro, Manoel de Oliveira's son, this piece is available in a limited edition of 1000 and supplied with a special and exclusive edition of the movie that lends its title. Its price is €230 (€200 for the Vista Alegre members).

Portuguese architect and painter Nadir Afonso dies at the age of 93

The Portuguese architect and geometric abstractionist painter Nadir Afonso(GOSE) passed away this December 11th 2013 at the age of 93 at the Hospital de Cascais where he was hospitalized. Born on December 4th 1920 in Chaves he made his first "painting" on a wall of his home at the age of four: a red circle, which anticipated his life under the signs of rythim and geometric precision. His dedication to painting during his youth earned him his first national prize with 17 years of age. In 1938, Nadir goes to Oporto to study architecture at the School of Fine Arts. After earning his degree, Nadir Afonso moved to France in 1946 where he studied at the Beaux-Arts de Paris and became one of the pioneers in Kinectic art. Having colaborated with Le Corbusier during his stay in Paris and with Oscar Niemeyer in São Paulo between 1951 and 1954, he decides to abandon the architecture and dedicate solely to painting. Nadir returns to Paris where he works alongside Victor Vasarely, André Bloc, Richard Mortensen, Fernand Léger and August Herbin, all part of the Denise René Gallery. He also becomes friends with the composer and architect Xenákis. The first Kinetic painting in Portugal, Espacillimité (1956) is displayed in the publich showing at the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in 1958. The painting can now be seen in the Chiado Museum, Lisbon. Nadir Afonso achieved international recognition and many of his works are in museums. His most famous works are the Cities series, depicting placaes around the world. In 2010 he was still actively painting. He was awarded with the Order of St. James of the Sword (Ordem Militar de Sant'Iago da Espada) by the Portuguese Academy of Fine Arts.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog (Orange) was sold for $58,4M and set a new record

During the Post-War & Contemporary Evening Sale at Christie's New York on 12 November, which totalized $691,583,000 (including buyer's premium), Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog (Orange) realized $58,405,000 achieving world auction record for a living artist.

 Signed and dated 'Jeff Koons 1994-2000' (on the underside), Balloon Dog (Orange) is a 121x143x45in (307.3x363.2x114.3cm) mirror-polished stainless steel "inflatable" sculpture with a translucent colour coating.
This work is one of five unique versions (Blue, Magenta, Orange, Red, Yellow), part of the highly acclaimed Celebration series of paintings and sculptures that Koons instigated in the early 1990s. 

The one-ton metal balloon sculpture is formed by 60 parts welded together to produce the simple, but very suggestive shapes, as well to convey an illusion of weightlessness. Jeff Koons worked closely during years with a specialist foundry in California perfecting the meticulous colour coating that appears to hover abouve the stainless-steel surface.