7 Things To Know This Week In Art
#1: Ai Weiwei Regains His Passport
Ai Weiwei posted this photo to Instagram on Wednesday with the caption, “Today, I picked up my passport.”
Ai Weiwei, one of China’s most celebrated living artists—and indeed, one of its most famously beleaguered dissidents—has gotten a bit of his mobility back.
This week, the People’s Republic of China returned his passport to him, presumably granting him access to travel in and out of the country. (Though somewhat ominously, his friend Liu Xiaoyuan, a human-rights lawyer, tweeted of the news: “Congratulations to Mr. Ai Weiwei on the return of his passport, but having a passport does not mean one can leave the country freely. Ha ha.”)
Ai has been outwardly critical of the Chinese government’s stance on human rights, often exposing inadequacies within its infrastructure through blogging and his art. Consequently, his past with the Chinese government is tumultuous at best—he was arrested in 2011 for “economic crimes,” a charge that sparked a lively “Free Ai Weiwei” street art campaign in Hong Kong. Despite his ongoing struggle with the PRC government, the return of his passport after four years could mean a reunion with his wife and son.
Interested in his work? Visit Ai Weiwei’s upcoming exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
#2: 5 Lessons From Kandinsky
“Improvisation 28” by Wassily Kandinsky, 1912 – on display at the Guggenheim
In honor of The Guggenheim’s new Wassily Kandinsky gallery, displaying 150 works by the noted Russian painter, AnOther Magazine compiled 5 lessons to be learned from the artist’s life. One such lesson is “Live a colorful life,” of which Kandinsky is known to have said:
Colours on the painter’s palette evoke a double effect: a purely physical effect on the eye which is charmed by the beauty of colours, similar to the joyful impression when we eat a delicacy. This effect can be much deeper, however, causing a vibration of the soul or an ‘inner resonance’ – a spiritual effect in which the colour touches the soul itself.
#3: Happy Birthday, Edward Hopper!
“Hotel by a Railroad” by Edward Hopper, 1952 [Source]
July 22nd marked the birthday of American Realist painter Edward Hopper, born in 1882. Hopper’s masterful paintings of American life capture brief, often liminal, moments in time imbued with subtle yet powerful emotions. His 1942 painting Nighthawks, depicting a late night scene at a diner, is one of the most recognizable in American art.
Art can help to give shape to an open plan home [Home-Designing.com]
Struggling to arrange your open plan space? With no clear delineation of what belongs where, open space homes can be tricky to conceptualize. That’s where a few tips from an interior design expert can make all the difference! This week, Hayley Miner, Saatchi Art’s Director of Art Advisory to the Trade, walks us through how to map put your open space. (Hint: Art plays a big role!)
#5: The Jealous Curator Strikes Again!
Photo from Alicia Savage’s “Destinations” series [image via the artist’s website]
We discovered the dreamy self-portraits of artist Alicia Savage this week thanks to The Jealous Curator a.k.a. Danielle Krysa, whose infectious love of art is matched only by her razor-sharp eye.
Of the universal aspect of her work, Alicia explains, “With my face hidden, the girl becomes unidentifiable—allowing others to interpret the images as they will; incorporating their own journey and experiences.”
Be sure to tune in to Danielle’s weekly podcast, Art for Your Ear, to hear some seriously funny stories from the lives of contemporary artists.
#6: Saatchi Art’s Jess Black the Official Artist of the Special Olympics
The Special Olympics’ “Circle of Inclusion”, reimagined by Jess Black
This weekend the 2015 Special Olympic World Games kick off in Los Angeles. Since 1968, the Special Olympics have recognized excellence among children and adults with intellectual disabilities, facilitating an ethos of inclusion and leisure among individuals of all capabilities.
We’re proud to say Saatchi Art’s very own Jess Black has been named the official artist this year, painting his own version of the Games’ “Circle of Inclusion.”
Jess is donating all proceeds from the sale of this special print to the Special Olympics organization.
“Melrose Avenue and Sticker” by John Tierney
We’ve long been fans of John Tierney, and we’re not alone, as the UK artist’s signature cityscapes—particularly of Hollywood—have recently caught the eye of art blog DailyServing.
We couldn’t put it better ourselves:
For a representational painter such as Tierney, the kind of light and environment that Los Angeles offers is irresistible. Tierney’s paintings all exude a deft and consistent touch that creates flattened yet realistic planes, and a seemingly airbrushed texture that mirrors the textures of the objects depicted.