Now updated daily. Don't forget to Like Sublime Things on Facebook.
Thomas Ammann was a leading Swiss art dealer in Impressionist and Twentieth Century Art and major collector of Post-war and Contemporary Art
Artzybasheff was born in Kharkov as son of the writer Mikhail Artsybashev. He is said to have fought as a White Russian. In 1919 he arrived in New York City, where he worked in an engraving shop.
The Radiant Child. New documentary about Jean-Michel Basquiat. Perhaps the best artist of the 80s.
Nebuchadnezzar is a colour monotype print with additions in ink and watercolour portraying the Old Testament Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II by the English poet, painter and printmaker William Blake.
Boy Scout Utility Modern. Ed Ruscha’s own typeface.
In 1998, Boyd published Nat Tate: An American Artist 1928-1960, which presents the paintings and tragic biography of a supposed New York-based 1950s Abstract Expressionist painter named Nat Tate, who actually never existed and was, along with his paintings, a creation of Boyd’s. When the book was initially published, it was not revealed that it was a work of fiction, and a number of prominent art critics were duped by the hoax; it was launched at a lavish party, with excerpts read by David Bowie (who was in on the joke), and a number of prominent members of the art world claimed to remember the artist. It caused quite a stir once the truth was revealed.
La Muse, 1912
From the amazing FMR, available at Librissime. The cover features a marble bas-relief showing a detail from the work Le Grazie e Venere danzano davanti a Marte by Canova, created in statuary marble from the Fantiscritti quarry in Carrara, the same that supplied Antonio Canova. The bas-relief is set in velvet brocade with a gold thread weave. Inside, special velata pure cotton handmade paper, enhanced with an Antonio Canova watermark, carries press-printed texts by authors from the same period as Canova. The counterpoint to these texts are 26 plates showing tempere by Canova, all applied by hand and screen and litho printed, together with 5 etchings and 77 photographs of works by Canova, taken by Mimmo Jodice. Price: $226,000.00
A Claude glass is a small mirror, slightly convex in shape, with its surface tinted a dark colour. Bound up like a pocket-book or in a carrying case, black mirrors were used by artists, travellers and connoisseurs of landscape and landscape painting. Black Mirrors have the effect of abstracting the subject reflected in it from its surroundings, reducing and simplifying the colour and tonal range of scenes and scenery to give them a painterly quality.
Arthur Cravan was known as a pugilist, a poet, a larger-than-life character, and an idol of the Dada and Surrealism movements. After his schooling, during World War I, he travelled throughout Europe and America using a variety of passports and documents, some of them forged. He declared no single nationality and claimed instead to be “a citizen of 20 countries”. Cravan set out to promote himself as an eccentric and an art critic, though his interest was showing off a powerful, striking personal style rather than discussing art. He staged public spectacles and stunts with himself at the centre, once acting on the front of a line of carts where he paraded his skills as a boxer and singer, although he never pursued either of these activities on stage with anyone else.
Especially during the 1990s, the sea was a persistent theme in Dean‘s work. Perhaps most famously, she explored the tragic maritime misadventures of Donald Crowhurst, an amateur English sailor whose ambition to enter a race to solo circumnavigate the globe ended in deception, existential crisis and, eventually, tragedy.
The Cotton Exchange
Hubert Duprat is a French artist known for his unusual work, an artistic intersection between caddisfly larvae and gold, opal, turquoise, and other precious stones.
Elgin Marbles are a collection of classical Greek marble sculptures, inscriptions and architectural members that originally were part of the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis of Athens.
The essence of Gabo‘s art was the exploration of space which he believed could be done without having to depict mass.
Pascal Grandmaison. One of the best working in Quebec (the other is Adad Hannah).
Francesco Hayez was an Italian painter, the leading artist of Romanticism in mid-19th-century Milan, renowned for his grand historical paintings, political allegories and exceptionally fine portraits.
Maarten van Heemskerck was one of the leading Dutch portrait and religious painters of the sixteenth century, famous for his depictions of the Seven Wonders of the World.
The Analysis of Beauty is a book written by William Hogarth (18th century English painter, satirist, and writer) and published in 1753, which describes Hogarth’s theories of visual beauty and grace in a manner accessible to the common man of his day.
Gerard Houckgeest was a Dutch Golden Age painter of architectural scenes and church interiors.
Kalighat painting originated in the 19th century Bengal, in the vicinity of Kalighat temple of Kolkata, India, and from being items of souvenir taken by the visitors to the Kali temple, the paintings over a period of time developed as a distinct school of Indian painting. From the depiction of Hindu gods, goddesses, and other mythological characters, the Kalighat paintings developed to reflect a variety of themes.
Kanchev, Stefan Kirov — applied graphic artist, honored with the Bulgarian State title “National artist” in 1971.
The Czech master of pop-up books. An architect by profession, Voitech Kubasta brought a decidedly contemporary “pop” sensibility to his innovative paper engineering.
Most of Laffoley‘s pieces are painted on large canvases and combine words and imagery to depict a spiritual architecture of explanation, tackling concepts like dimensionality, time travel through hacking relativity, connecting conceptual threads shared by philosophers through the millennia, and theories about the cosmic origins of mankind. As of 2004, Laffoley claims to have executed over 800 works. His work over the last forty years is a dizzying mix of precise architectural-quality painting and ideas (both societally accepted and far on the fringe) from ancient times to the present. Laffoley has called his work a blend of the purely rational, Apollonian impulse and the purely emotional, Dionysianimpulse.
Francesco Laurana was a Dalmatian-born sculptorand medallist. He was one of the most significant and most complex sculptors of the 15th century—complex because of his activities within varying cultural circles and his exposure to differing influences. His best works evolved in the workshop tradition in collaboration with other artists. His portrait busts reveal a creative individuality that was seen as particularly fascinating in the late 19th century.
Melchior Lorck was a renaissance painter, draughtsman, and printmaker of Danish-German origin. He produced the most thorough visual record of the life and customs of Turkey in the 16th century, to this day a unique source.
Biopic of British painter Francis Bacon focuses on his relationship with his lover, George Dyer, a former small time crook.
Gabriel von Max was a Prague-born Austrian painter.
His studies included parapsychology, Darwinism, Asiatic philosophy, the ideas of Schopenhauer, and various mystical traditions. At his residence in Starnberger Lake, Gabriel Max surrounded himself with a family of monkeys, which he painted often, sometimes portraying them as human. Max, along with his colleagues, often used photographs to guide painting. The great number of monkey photographs in his archive testify to their use as direct translation into his paintings. In 1908, his painting “The Lion’s Bride” became celebrated, and was depicted in motion pictures as an hommage in the Gloria Swansonfilm, Male and Female, (1919), directed by Cecil B. de Mille.
Ryan McGinley’s Sun and Health book already sells for close to $1000.
Franz Xaver Messerschmidt was a German-Austrian sculptor most famous for his “character heads”, a collection of busts with faces contorted in extreme facial expressions.
Rie Munoz, a Dutch-American, was born and raised in California. She has lived in Alaska since 1951, when she traveled up the Inside Passage by steamship, fell in love with Juneau.
Harald Naegeli is a Swiss artist best known as the “Sprayer of Zurich” after the graffiti he sprayed in the late 1970s onto walls and buildings in Zürich, Switzerland.
Nikifor was a Polish folk and naïve painter of Lemko descent. Nikifor painted over forty thousand pictures – on sheets of paper, pages of notebooks, cigarette cartons, and even on scraps of paper glued together. The topics of his art include self-portraits and panoramas of Krynica, with its spas and Orthodox and Catholic churches. Underestimated for most of his life, in his late days he became one of the most famous primitivist painters.
Marie-Laure de Noailles was one of the 20th century’s most daring and influential patrons of the arts, noted for her associations with Salvador Dalí, Balthus, Jean Cocteau, Man Ray, Luis Buñuel, Francis Poulenc, Jean Hugo, Jean-Michel Frank and others as well as her tempestuous life and eccentric personality.
Noguchi Museum was designed and created by the Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi in 1985 to preserve and display his sculptures, architectural models, stage designs, drawings, and furniture designs.
The Opificio delle Pietre Dure e Laboratori di Restauro, literally meaning Workshop of Semi-precious Stones and Laboratories of Restoration, is a public institute of the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage based in Florence. It is a global leader in the field of art restoration and provides teaching as one of two Italian state conservation schools (the other being the Istituto superiore per la conservazione ed il restauro). The institute maintains also a specialist library and archive of conservation and a museum displaying historic examples of Pietre Dure inlaid semi-precious stones artefacts. A scientific laboratory conducts research and diagnostics and provides a preventive conservation service.
Conceptual poetic brilliance from Mexican artist Fernando Ortega. Repped by Lisson Gallery.
Giovanni Paolo Panini was a painter and architect, who worked in Rome and is mainly known as one of the vedutisti (“view painters”). As a painter, Panini is best known for his vistas of Rome, in which he took a particular interest in the city’s antiquities.
Imaginary Portraits. First published in 1887, these “imaginary portraits” are not biographies, but fictionalized accounts of historic figures, written by this esteemed nineteenth-century scholar of Renaissance art and literature. Each shares a common search for a new aesthetic, a pursuit of beauty that anticipated the modern movement in prose and poetry and helped to define aesthetics in the twentieth century.
Maybe the contester of the most sublime thing to be featured on this blog. Maybe I should have a vote for most sublime thing of the year?
Jerry Saltz: “Ink Line, the best and showiest of the three works, is a sculpture / drawing / fountain consisting of a stream of jet-black ink pouring from a dime-size hole in the ceiling into a dime-size hole in the floor. Initially Ink Line looks like a strand of yarn strung the height of the gallery, a pulsating Fred Sandback sculpture, a free-floating Barnett Newman zip or a disembodied Sol LeWitt. Get close and you’ll realize the line is liquid, glimmering, the consistency of syrup, moving fairly fast, fluctuating slightly, and thinner at the bottom than at the top. The ink forms a weird climatological aura around itself, slightly changing the humidity of the room. I was blown away when I was allowed to see the elaborate apparatus that makes this simple effect possible. There was a large, noisy electric motor in the showroom beneath this gallery, all sorts of wiring, and plastic tubes that go under the floor, behind the wall, and above the ceiling. A gallery assistant arrives two hours early each day to drain the ink, “de-gas” it (!?), heat it with lamps to between 90 and 95 degrees, and put it back into the system. Anyone who looks at Ink Line can figure out how it works — yet the piece is as much a phenomenological event and a mystery as it is a work of formalist sculpture.”
What an amazing portraitist.
Ken Russell’s biopic (one of many he directed in the 70s), set in Bohemian Paris of 1910-15, was about eccentric Vorticist French sculptor Henri Gaudier (Scott Antony) and his relationship with older author Sophie Brzeska (Dorothy Tutin); Helen Mirren was featured as gloriously-nude model/suffragette Gosh Boyle posing and descending or ascending various staircases
Luigi Serafini. The world’s best illustrator. These are drawings from Etimologiario by Maria Sebregondi. You know him from your favorite FMR book.
Walter Sickert was a cosmopolitan and eccentric who favoured ordinary people and urban scenes as his subjects.
Szeemann invented the modern-day Großausstellung (“great exhibition”), in which the artworks are tied to a central concept and are assembled into new and often surprising interrelationships.
The Course of Empire is a five-part series of paintings created by Thomas Cole in the years 1833-36.
VVV was the direct product of the leading Surrealists of the day. The magazine was edited by David Hare in collaboration with Marcel Duchamp, André Breton, and Max Ernst.
Francine Weisweiller, who died in France last December 18 was one of the last of a breed of rich women who came to maturity before the women’s movement who forged their identities through total patronage of the arts and especially the artist. Madame Weisweiller established herself in the historical context of the career of Jean Cocteau.
Francisco Zurbarán was a Spanish painter. He is known primarily for his religious paintings depicting monks, nuns, and martyrs, and for his still-lifes. Zurbarán gained the nickname Spanish Caravaggio, owing to the forceful, realistic use of chiaroscuro in which he excelled.