art News

Herbert Vogel, Fabled Art Collector, Dies at 89

New York City teems with questionable urban legends. But the fable about the postal clerk and his wife, a Brooklyn librarian, scrimping to amass an astounding collection of modern art, cramming all 5,000 pieces in a rent-controlled one-bedroom apartment, then donating the whole kit and caboodle to the National Gallery of Art in Washington and… Continue reading

Interior Monologues

Édouard Vuillard (1868–1940) lived a long and astonishingly productive life. Actually, several lives: painter, printmaker, decorator, portrait painter, stage-set designer, and photographer (he used a Kodak box camera). As these two exhibitions show, he was the very model of the 19th-century artist: he worked hard and incessantly and cultivated (especially after 1900) a select, well-connected… Continue reading

Post-Impressionism: Les Nabis Brotherhood Rejects Distinction Between Fine and Decorative Art

Edouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard, and a troupe of fellow young artists formed the Nabis—an avant-garde brotherhood that innovated while remaining rooted in the past. In the fall of 1888, in Paris, a group of young friends banded together to form a brotherhood dedicated to new ideas and practices in art. Most of them had studied… Continue reading

Polynesian objects were given equal status with Gauguin’s work in a groundbreaking and subversive exhibition

Paul Gauguin died a pauper on the Marquesan island of Hiva Oa in 1903 and was buried in an unrecorded grave. In 1921 local residents picked a site in the island’s old cemetery to serve as the artist’s burial place, and in 1973 it was embellished with a replica of Gauguin’s sculpture of the Tahitian… Continue reading

Artists are taking on themes of aging, transformation, and decay

‘My body betrays me. It ages, I don’t,” Marcia Tucker, the exuberantly feminist, shoot-from-the-lip founding director of the New Museum declared in her posthumously published 2008 memoir, A Short Life of Trouble: Forty Years in the New York Art World. While her observation is widely shared—won’t we all feel that way eventually?—it also raises… Continue reading

Edvard Munch: a head for horror

From corpses on the highway to his sister on her deathbed, Edvard Munch was a master of the morbid. At a new Tate retrospective, Adrian Searle even finds his wallpaper terrifying A detail from Edvard Munch's Murder on the Road, 1919. Hurrying away from the body in the road, the button-eyed murderer looks surprised by… Continue reading

Art Scholars Fear Lawsuits in Declaring Works Real or Fake

John Elderfield, former chief curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, remembers the days when scholars spoke freely about whether a particular work was genuine. Some of the 74 plasters attributed to Edgar Degas: fearing lawsuits, scholars are afraid to declare them genuine or not. Walter Maibaum/The Degas Sculpture Project They… Continue reading

Rembrandt drawing found in Scottish attic

  A new Rembrandt drawing of a blind beggar with a boy and a dog has been found in a wardrobe in a Scottish attic. Photograph: Christie's A drawing of a blind beggar by Rembrandt has been found in a Scottish attic, to the astonishment of the house-owner, who had no idea it was even… Continue reading

A Painting Only You Can See

  “The Denial of St. Peter,” by Caravaggio, finished in 1610 during the last months of his life. The Metropolitan Museum of Art.   Four years before he died, the Austrian novelist and playwright Thomas Bernhard wrote one of his funniest works, “Old Masters,” a bitter comic tale of a musicologist named Reger who has… Continue reading