TIME Fine Art

Google Doodle Commemorates Russian Painter Wassily Kandinsky

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The Department Chairman of Impressionist and Modern Art at Christie's, speaks about Wassily Kandinsky's "Strandszene", painted in 1909, on display May 2, 2014 in New York City. Stan Honda—AFP/Getty Images

Known as the first truly abstract artist, he would have been 148 years old today

Renowned Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky, the man whose 148th birthday Google is celebrating in its latest Doodle, only started painting when he was 30.

Born in Moscow in 1866, Kandinsky grew up in Odessa and then studied Law and Economics before being offered a professorship at the University of Dorpat, Estonia. He left this position in 1896 and relocated to Munich seeking admission into the city’s Academy of Fine Arts. After initially being shunned, he entered the academy a few years later, where he flourished as a painter and an art theorist.

Kandinsky, who was inspired to take up painting by French impressionist painter Claude Monet’s iconic Haystacks and composer Richard Wagner’s opera Lohengrin, is known as the first truly abstract artist and often likened painting to music. “Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul,” he wrote in his iconic text Concerning the Spiritual In Art.

Kandinsky moved back to his native Russia following the outbreak of World War I in 1914, but returned to Germany in 1921 after being dissatisfied with the official theories of art under the communist regime. In 1933 he emigrated to France, where he lived out the rest of his days until his death in 1944.

TIME celebrities

Shia LaBeouf Says He Was Raped During a Performance Art Project

Shia LaBeouf
Shia LaBeouf poses for photographers at a film premiere in London, Oct. 19, 2014. Joel Ryan—Invision/AP

The actor and performance artist opened up in an email interview about a traumatic experience during his exhibit #IAmSorry

Back in February, Shia LaBeouf staged his #IAmSorry performance art exhibit in a Los Angeles gallery where people were able to enter a room alone with the actor and do and say whatever they wished as he sat silently wearing a paper bag over his head that read: “I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE.”

The project resulted in a traumatic experience for the actor which he has revealed in an email interview with Dazed Digital. When asked if anything “unsettling” had taken place during the performance, LaBeouf answered:

One woman who came with her boyfriend, who was outside the door when this happened, whipped my legs for ten minutes and then stripped my clothing and proceeded to rape me… There were hundreds of people in line when she walked out with dishevelled hair and smudged lipstick. It was no good, not just for me but her man as well. On top of that my girl was in line to see me, because it was Valentine’s Day and I was living in the gallery for the duration of the event – we were separated for five days, no communication. So it really hurt her as well, as I guess the news of it travelled through the line. When she came in she asked for an explanation, and I couldn’t speak, so we both sat with this unexplained trauma silently. It was painful.

It’s unclear if LaBeouf has reported the assault to authorities.

[Dazed]

TIME Fine Art

Georgia O’Keeffe Sets New Auction Record for Women Artists

Georgia O'Keeffe
American artist Georgia O'Keeffe looks off into the distance with her hands on a piece of pottery, Abiquiu, New Mexico, 1974. Joe Munroe—Getty Images

"Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1" quadrupled the previous record

The woman best known for her flower paintings set a new auction record for the most expensive work of art by a woman. “Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1″ sold for $44.4 million at Sotheby’s on Thursday, almost triple the auction house’s high estimate.

The hammer price is four times higher than the previous record holder: an untitled painting by Joan Mitchell that sold for $11.9 million.

As TIME first wrote of O’Keeffe in 1928, “When Georgia O’Keeffe paints flowers, she does not paint fifty flowers stuffed into a dish. On most of her canvases there appeared one gigantic bloom, its huge feathery petals furled into some astonishing pattern of color and shade and line…It is enough to say that Miss O’Keeffe’s paintings are as full of passion as the verses of Solomon’s Song.”

[Bloomberg]

 

TIME Fine Art

Performance Artist Searches for an Actual Needle in an Actual Haystack

He's got two days in Paris

In a very literal interpretation of the idiom “finding a needle in a haystack,” performance artist Sven Sacselber tries to do exact that. For about two days in a gallery in Paris, he is attempting to find an actual needle in an actual mound of hay.

Performance art often straddles a fine line between brilliance and inanity. Marina Abramović adventurous “Rhythm” series and Joseph Beuys shamanic “I Like America and America Likes Me” are widely agreed to have achieved the former category.

Will Sacselber’s piece do the same? Who knows. But we can hope that his straightforwardly titled “Performance” may spawn a new genre that literally depicts cliches. Perhaps three days of looking gift horses in their mouths is next on the agenda. Or maybe an enterprising camel would be willing to have his back broken by the last straw.

You can catch a stream of Sachselber’s “Performance” below.

TIME Fine Art

2 Warhol Portraits Sell for Over $150 Million

A couple talk in front of "Triple Elvis" by Andy Warhol during a media preview at Christie's auction house in New York, October 31, 2014.
A couple talk in front of "Triple Elvis" by Andy Warhol during a media preview at Christie's auction house in New York, October 31, 2014. Brendan McDermid—Reuters

The bidding only lasted 6 minutes

Two Andy Warhol images were sold in New York Wednesday for $151 million, breaking pre-sale estimates by millions of dollars.

“Triple Elvis,” a 1963 silkscreen image, sold for about $81 million, after projections that it would draw about $55 million. And the 1953 “Four Marlons” fetched $69.6 million.

These two sales were part of a record-breaking, $852.9 million night at Christie’s New York, setting the all-time high for postwar and contemporary art sales.

TIME Innovation

This Artist Uses Makeup to Transform Into Pop Culture Characters

Lucia Pittalis morphs into these famous faces by skillfully applying makeup

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This article originally appeared on Lost at E Minor.

Remember that Filipino TV host who made the Internet go wild with his makeup skills that transformed him into female celebrities? If not, let me help you here.

Well, in a case of “anything you can do I can do better,” artist and painter Lucia Pittalis proves she can also transform herself into famous male and female characters. Some of the personalities she’s morphed into are Rocky Balboa, Rambo, Walter White, Keith Richards, Marlon Brando, and Iggy Pop.

Check out her Instagram account for more of her makeup magic.

(via Design Taxi)

TIME Fine Art

L.A. Museum Gets $500 Million Worth of Art by Monet, Picasso, Others

VIOLET GREY Honors Elizabeth Taylor At She's So Violet Salon Dinner
Jerry Perenchio attends VIOLET GREY Honors Elizabeth Taylor At She's So Violet Salon Dinner on February 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Tiffany Rose—WireImage

The former Univision executive donated 47 pieces

A Hollywood mogul donated $500 million worth of art to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Thursday, the largest gift ever made to the museum. Jerry Perenchio, the former chairman and chief executive of the Spanish-language Univision TV, gifted 47 pieces of impressionism and modernism to the museum, including works by Monet, Degas and Picasso.

The 83-year-old’s collection included paintings, drawings and sculptures, most of which date sometime between 1870 and the 1930s, according to Reuters. Though Perenchio is usually press-shy and makes charitable donations anonymously, he stepped into the limelight this week in order to encourage others to donate to the LACMA. The art museum will get a new $600 million home built by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor by 2023, though construction of the new building has not yet begun. The LACMA will receive the works upon Perenchio’s death and once the new building is complete.

Perenchio is best known for putting together the 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. He also produced Blade Runner and Driving Miss Daisy.

Among the works to be added to the LACMA’s collection are a cubist painting by Pablo Picasso, a portrait by Edouard Manet and three paintings by French Impressionist Claude Monet—including one of his famed water lily series.

[Reuters]

TIME Innovation

This Artist Digitally Manipulates Images of Animals Into Shapes of Fruit

Food for thought

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This article originally appeared on Lost at E Minor.

Vegetarians, look away now. In her bizarre photo series “Animal Food,” artist Sarah DeRemer digitally manipulated images of animals to look like chopped up pieces of fruits and vegetables. Some of her animals include the Hippotato, the Frovocado, the Limon, and of course, the Kiwi.

The series gives us food for thought (no pun intended) about the ethics of eating meat. If you can’t stomach the thought of eating a cute Orange Chicken, how can you stand eating the poor blood-soaked, lifeless body of the real thing?

(via Mashable)

TIME Innovation

This Artist Paints Hyperrealistic Scenes of People Swimming

Check out Venezuela-based Gustavo Silva Nuñez's work

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This article originally appeared on Lost at E Minor.

Venezuela-based artist Gustavo Silva Nuñez is a hyperrealistic painter whose oil paintings of watery subjects seem so real you may just want to take the plunge with them too. He teases you one step further by posing with his completed works in a very interactive manner, “grabbing” the swimmers by their limbs as they “swim” pass him. Such “spontaneity” makes his canvases come alive and shows how incredibly talented the man is.

(via MY MODERN MET)

TIME Innovation

Watch This Artistic European Couple Paint Faces on Trees

These tree faces appear in Denmark, France and Germany

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This article originally appeared on Lost at E Minor.

“Game of Thrones” anyone? This ongoing art project gives faces to decaying trees. Started eight years ago by German collective Zonenkinder, The Tree Project gives a semblance of life to stumps and branches that are sadly no longer growing.

In Denmark, France and Germany, these tree faces are springing up everywhere, sometimes with great bushy hair-dos or with a handsome piece of mushroom-adorned headgear. Drawn entirely using bio-degradable materials, the faces fade slowly over time meaning that they blend perfectly with their surroundings rather than standing out.

The Tree Project – outside is an ongoing art project since 2006 inspired by the beauty and the decay of nature,” explains Zonenkinder. “We are constantly in search of new forms of expressions and we love to play with exceptional locations and surfaces like on trees in the woods.”

Check out the video—although it is in German it still shows the duo at work in the forest.

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