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Art Digest: October 19—25


Julia Kryshevich

Art Digest: October 19—25

Have you ever noticed that anything lost gets found? No matter how well it was hidden… In fact, quite the opposite — the biggest secrets have a way of getting out. The same is true about the masterpieces — whether hidden, stolen or lost, so many paintings eventually get back to the home collection to the joy of numerous art lovers. That’s exactly the story of Gustav Klimt’s ‘Portrait of a Lady’ that was abducted from the Ricci Oddi gallery 20 years ago. The other discovery of the week is that three top Hollywood actresses are going to be guest narrators at the ‘About Time: Fashion and Duration’ exhibition, which finally takes place at the Met Museum starting from the next week. More on this and the other weekly news in the digest below.

Artist Gustav Klimt, right, with his partner, Emilie Flöge, circa 1910. Photo_ Getty Images_


‘Portrait of a Lady’ by Gustav Klimt to be displayed after 20 years missing 

Another art heist of the century, news. The collection of the Ricci Oddi gallery (Piacenza, Italy) received back its masterpiece in the beginning of the week. The painting by famous Austrian artist Gustav Klimt titled ‘Portrait of a Lady’ was stolen from the Italian gallery during its reconstruction in February 1997. The investigative authorities had a few versions of the incident, including the one suggesting that people close to the gallery had been involved in the scam. Currently robbers have been identified — the two elderly men confessed to the theft last year right after the limitation period for the crime had expired.

Left, Klimt_s Portrait of a Lady (1916-17)_ and right, the Ricci Oddi gallery in Piacenza. Courtesy of the Ricci Oddi gallery_

To be more precise, the thieves ‘gifted’ the painting to the museum four years ago having placed it in the niche of the gallery wall thickly covered with ivy bushes. It was the local gardener who discovered the work while clearing the wall a year ago. Now the ‘Portrait of a Lady’ is back at the Ricci Oddi gallery and there are big plans for it! Four shows dedicated to the figure of Gustav Klimt will run spanning two years in the institution. The first exhibition runs from November 2020 till March 2021. No doubt, the freshly recovered jewel is going to be in limelight on the display.

Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, and Julianne Moore to narrate the upcoming Met exhibition 

The annual exhibition organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute, which comes as a conceptual sequel of the Met Gala, is a long-awaited event, no doubt. Yet this year we had to await it for too long — instead of traditionally taking place in May, the show starts off in late October lasting till February 2021. No more dwelling on the reasons of the postponement, we would better focus on the event itself. The intriguing topic of the year 2019 (remember it was Camp: Notes on Fashion’) gives a way to the no less interesting ‘About Time: Fashion and Duration’.

From left to right_ Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep, and Nicole Kidman at the 2002 New York premiere of ‘The Hours’. Photo_ Getty Images

Perfectly in line with the Museum’s exhibition policy, the current show promises to be a visual delicacy, equally referring to the worlds of art and fashion. According to the Wendy Curator, Andrew Bolton, the exhibition was designed as a ‘meditation on fashion and temporality — drawing out the tensions between change and endurance, transience and permanence, ephemerality and persistence’. However, the show isn’t only about an image, it’s also about a sound. The soundtrack to the event (if it’s a right word) is based on Virginia Woolf’s novel ‘Orlando’. Hollywood actresses Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep, and Nicole Kidman will voice the abstracts from Woolf’s work, thus creating the auditory background of the display. Why Streep, Kidman, and Moore? Well, if you’ve watched the 2002 film ‘The Hours’ starring the three actresses, you probably know the answer. 

From the display of ‘About Time_ Fashion and Duration’ at Met, May 2020. Photo_ Annie Leibovitz

Shepard Fairey creates US election-inspired posters for Time 

Right after designing an anti-Trump billboard for the Artists United for Change group, street artist Shepard Fairey took over another enlightening job. In light of the upcoming US election on November 03, Fairey decided to assist Time Magazine in encouraging Americans to demonstrate their citizenship. The artist created a cover for the November issue of Time, depicting a woman wearing a bandana as a face covering (a little criticism for those who skip doing that and, consequently, don’t really take their civil liability).

‘Even though the subject in the portrait knows there are additional challenges to democracy during a pandemic, she is determined to use her voice and power by voting’. (Shepard Fairey

The portrait originates from the artist’s 2020 series called ‘Our Hands — Our Future’. Shepard Fairey believes that it’s not only voting that constitutes the bright democratic future, yet casting a ballot is crucial to contribute to this honorable target. Remarkably, never before has Time Magazine removed their masthead from the cover giving space to the artist’s ideas. However, this concession might seem less surprising, bearing in mind that Shepard Fairey collaborates with Time for the third time already.

Artist Shepard Fairey working in his studio. Courtesy of Shepard Fairey _ Instagram_

F A S H I O N 

Nature-inspired S/S 2021 collection by Australian designer Dion Lee 

Even if the word collocation Australian fashion doesn’t ring a bell to you, it’s never too late to learn more. Especially with such talented Australian creatives on radar. The Sydney-born fashion designer Dion Lee established his eponymous brand in 2009. In the same year Lee took part in the Australian Fashion Week and got things rolling rather quickly in his home context. However, his international rise came in 2018, when the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle was seen in public wearing one of Lee’s dresses. 

Dion Lee has recently presented his S/S 2021 Ready-To-Wear collection, and it’s quite different from everything that came before under the label’s roof. Focusing on technicality and ‘intelligent sensuality’ (Dion Lee’s expression), the brand usually offers nontrivial, asymmetrical outfits that look bold and sexy. This time apart from sex appeal, the S/S 2021 dresses radiate intimacy and harmony with the world around. Inspired by the warming issue, the collection features organic curves (such as Monstera leaf-shaped leather tops), light natural shades, and sophisticated weaving (knotting, macramé etc). Dion Lee, all eyes on you, curious what’s coming next!

Dion Lee S_S 2021 Ready-To-Wear Collection. Courtesy of the brand

Dion Lee S_S 2021 Ready-To-Wear Collection. Courtesy of the brand

Dion Lee S_S 2021 Ready-To-Wear Collection. Courtesy of the brand

P H O T O G R A P H Y 

Foam Talent Call 2020’ winners announced 

Keen photographers know it firsthand. Organized by Foam Magazine, the annual event has been running for five years, creating opportunities for young and aspiring visual artists. All right, it’s Foam Talent Call. On the table is going on public display as well as having one’s works featured in Foam Magazine. Not bad, right?

The Foam Talent 2020 edition has recently announced the finalists. There are 19 of them, selected out of 1,619 portfolios from 69 countries. The chosen visual artists will showcase their works at Kühlhaus Berlin (Berlin) from 22 October — 1 November, 2020.

Foam Talent 2020 _ From the series ‘Charlie Surfs on Lotus Flowers’. Photo_ Simone Sapienza_

Foam Talent 2020 _ From the series ‘PVC Meatway’. Photo_ Aadesokan

Foam Talent 2020 _ From the series ‘Fire Island Night’. Photo_ Matthew Leifheit

Later on the exhibition will move to Amsterdam. Here are a few sneak picks, if you are sure about your plans to attend the show yet.

On Cover Photo: Annie Leibovitz