Thursday, July 24, 2014

A New Generation of Chinese Art Visits Tampa and St. Petersburg

By Lilly Wei
Lu Yang, Wrathful King Kong Core, 2011, still from video animation.
FLORIDA---“My Generation,” critic, writer, curator and journalist Barbara Pollack’s expansive exhibition at the Tampa Museum of Art and the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts (through September 28) salutes the next wave of contemporary Chinese artists, the post-Mao, post-Cultural Revolution generation, all born after 1976 and too young to be part of the tragic Tiananmen Square protests. As China rapidly moved from an agrarian to a modern industrial society in the ’70s, startling changes took place that once again, radically altered Chinese lives. The exhibition emphasizes how much these artists’ attitudes differ from their predecessors (among the first to garner international acclaim). [link]

Palestinians and Arabs Hang Tough at the New Museum

By Christian Viveros-Fauné
Installation view, “Here and Elsewhere.” Photo: Benoit Pailley, courtesy New Museum, New York.
NEW YORK---At times walking through the New Museum, with its more than 13 hours of film and video, can feel like an Islamic Cultural Center revival of the French Nouvelle Vague. Early on in their contentious essay for the catalogue accompanying “Here and Elsewhere,” the New Museum’s sprawling, sometimes trying, yet illuminating exhibition of recent art from the Arab world, the show’s curators ask a remarkably timely question: “Is it possible to imagine a history of art that is completely divorced from cultural or social histories?” An exhibition that brings together 45 artists from 12 countries working in different media and from different cultural contexts, “Here and Elsewhere” makes a silk purse from the sow’s ear that is the “progressive” response to exhibitions with a geographical remit. [link]

Art in New York. Masterpieces & Curiosities. A Russian American Quilt at the Jewish Museum

uilt, Russia and United States, c. 1899, velvet: embroidered with wool, silk, and metallic thread; glass beads. The Jewish Museum, New York, Purchase: Judaica Acquisitions Fund, 1986-119
NEW YORK---Showcasing a colorful patchwork quilt bearing Eastern European and American imagery, Masterpieces & Curiosities: A Russian American Quilt continues a series of exhibitions focused on individual works in the Jewish Museum’s world-renowned collection. On view from August 22, 2014 to February 1, 2015, this exhibition highlights a rare quilt (c. 1899), a fascinating expression of the acculturation process undergone by newly arrived immigrants. The quilt was owned by a Russian Jewish family that likely arrived in America during the late 19th century and incorporates imagery from both cultures. Also included in the exhibition are related works from the Museum’s collection which feature Russian motifs or reflect a conflation of Russian and Jewish traditions, items of Americana that provide context, and a few works from other collections. [link]

The Eleventh Commandment: Thou Shalt Paint

By Ariel Hendelman
I just take impressionist style and I put it into something Jewish and connect it to ‘kedusha’ or Eretz Yisrael. That’s always been my thing,’ says painter Elisheva Shira
ISRAEL---Beginning Monday and running through the 29th, the Gallery Al Ha’agam in Ra’anana Park is hosting the multi-artist exhibition, “Moments of Happiness.” The exhibit features sculptors, photographers and painters. One of the featured painters, Elisheva Shira, talks about her artistic journey from America to Israel, incorporating Torah into her paintings, and preparing for her first big show. [link]

2 Buddhist Sites to be Declared 'Protected Monuments'

By P Laxma Reddy
Two lime stone pillars that were unearthed at Pondugula village near Mylavaram in Krishna district. A close up of the pillars that have the engravings of Lotus Medallions and bricks belonging to Amravati School of Art | P Ravindra Babu
INDIA---Due to the concerted efforts of the officials of Archeology and Museums Department, Vijayawada, a Buddhist site each in Guntur and Krishna districts will soon be declared the ‘protected monuments’. One of the Buddhist sites is located atop Bhairavakonda Hillock at Vaikuntapuram village in Thullur mandal of Guntur district and the process for allotting the site to the archeology department is underway, archeology and museums assistant director K Chitti Babu has said. [link]

Metamorphosis of a City: From Constantinople to Istanbul

By Maida Suljević
Hagia Sophia / Photo by Elvira Bojadzić, © Islamic Arts Magazine
TURKEY---When the walls of Constantinople under attack by the Ottoman army collapsed on May 29, 1453, the first thing Sultan Mehmed II did was to enter the famous Hagia Sophia and transform 'The Soul of the Byzantine Empire' into a mosque, making the dream of his great grandfather Bayezid I come true. Hagia Sophia was cleaned, carpets were laid and the first Friday prayer was held on June 1st, 1453. The waqf was immediately founded so that all needs of the new Imperial Mosque would be taken care of. Istanbul, an example of the cultural exchange between civilisations occurring throughout the history of humankind, is a witness to how Byzantine sacred monuments were preserved by the Ottomans after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453. It therefore grants us the privilege of admiring masterpieces of Byzantine architecture today. [link]

Hindu Mythology-Based Card Game Becomes an Instant Hit

In the card game, Narakasura is portrayed as Maha Yodha
INDIA---A strategy card game, unique for being based on Hindu mythology, has recently hit the market, capturing the attention of a sizable number of gamers, says IANS. Maha Yodha, or great warrior, is the name of the card game described by its co-creator, Sagar Shankar, as an “epic battle-themed strategic card game based on stories from Hindu mythology.” It is a two-deck set of 42 cards each, divided between the “Aditya” and “Asura” factions of gods and demons who battle each other with their legendary weapons and magic scrolls, all represented in the cards. The imagery on the cards uses Odisha’s famed Pattachitra art form, modernized by game designer and co-founder Chandan Mohanty. This is the first Indian game to be funded through the Kickstarter crowd funding platform for projects, Maha Yodha co-creator Sagar Shankar told IANS. [link]