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Cubism at Centre Pompidou

The Centre Pompidou takes a fresh look at one of modern art history’s founding movements, Cubism (1907-1917), through a comprehensive overview.

The first exhibition devoted to Cubism in France since 1953, the project’s originality lies in its unusual stance, broadening a standpoint usually focused on its two inventors, Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso, to other artists such as Fernand Léger, Juan Gris, Albert Gleizes, Jean Metzinger, Francis Picabia, Marcel Duchamp, Robert and Sonia Delaunay. ” (CentrePompidou).

Representation in painting had to be destroyed.

Representation in painting had to be destroyed within the context of the increasing importance of photography and cinema,” explains the curator Brigitte Leal.

“This was the great liquidation of optical conventions. The shapes splintered into pieces as though under the effect of multiple kaleidoscopic visions.” Judith Benhamou-Huet Reports.

The website of the Centre allows you to flip through several the pages of The Exhibition Catalouge.

Aside from going to Paris, the Exhibition website , unfortunately, does not provide much access to the works., nor is the Exhibition accessible online. However, the Report by Judith Benhamou-Huet reproduces a number of the paintings from the exhibition, and is a valuable resource. Below are some of the works. Given the historical importance, and the number of images and documents, we wish that the entire Exhibition was online to give access to everyone everywhere.

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The Purpose of “Newspeak” in George Orwell’s 1984.


“The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible.”- George Orwell

In the recording above, George Orwell explains the purpose of “Newspeak.” While, in terms of time on the internet, the recording may be considered “long, ” go to 19:30 for a summary. Also, below is an excellent summary of the purpose of “Newspeak”from OpenCulture.


“It’s easy to hear “Newspeak,” the “official language of Oceania,” as “news speak.” This is perfectly reasonable, but it gives us the impression that it relates strictly to its appearance in mass media. Orwell obviously intended the ambiguity—it is the language of official propaganda after all—but the portmanteau actually comes from the words “new speak”—and it has been created to supersede “Oldspeak,” Orwell writes, “or Standard English, as we should call it.”


“In other words, Newspeak isn’t just a set of buzzwords, but the deliberate replacement of one set of words in the language for another. The transition is still in progress in the fictional 1984, but is expected to be completed “by about the year 2050.” Students of history and linguistics will recognize that this is a ludicrously accelerated pace for the complete replacement of one vocabulary and syntax by another. (We might call Orwell’s English Socialists “accelerationsts.”) Newspeak appears not through history or social change but through the will of the Party.”


Yale University Press published the most comprehensive, definitive study of Jasper Johns’s work

Whither the The Book?

In the digital age, the printed Fine Art Book survives.

Jasper Johns Book “Redo an Eye”

“Yale University Press, in association with the Wildenstein Plattner Institute,  released a spectacular single-volume book that presents the most comprehensive, definitive study of Jasper Johns’s work ever published. ”

“The book is Jasper Johns: ‘Redo an Eye’ (publication date: October 3, 2017), by renowned Johns expert Roberta Bernstein. The book, not to be confused with the catalogue of the exhibition, is a standalone volume, the definitive distillation of the important scholarship that Bernstein conducted over many years: the culmination of her lifelong investigation of one of the greatest American artists of the 20th century.”

“Adapted from her groundbreaking catalogue raisonné of the paintings and sculpture, it contains nearly 400 illustrations, including 374 in color. Richly illustrated with comparative visuals, it provides the reader access to the plethora of Johns’s own influences, and firmly grounds his work in an art historical context.”

The Author – Roberta Bernstein

“Roberta Bernstein has an unparalleled vantage point on the work of Jasper Johns, and she is uniquely qualified to bring clarity to the engaging, vital, and contemporary themes that Johns revisits over the course of his long career. She is author and director of Jasper Johns: Catalogue Raisonné of Painting and Sculpture, and professor emeritus of art history at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Over her fifty-year career, Bernstein has worked with Johns in his studio, written extensively on his work, curated exhibitions, and developed a friendship based on engaging with his artwork. She is co-curator of a major Johns exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art in London (September 23, 2017 to Dec. 10, 2017), then to The Broad, in Los Angeles (February 10, 2018 through May 13, 2018).” (All quotes: Art Daily)

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Peace to All

Mimmo Paladino, Mattinate (Puglia Suite) No. 7, 2011. Watercolour with collage. Paper and image 58.0 x 77.0 cm.


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Solzhenitsyn Honored in Moscow. Son to Conduct “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” Opera

Russian-American conductor and pianist Ignat Solzhenitsyn, son of famous Russian writer and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn, rehearsing the opera based on his father’s book “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” at the Bolshoi.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn Centenary  Celebrated in Moscow

“Alexander Solzhenitsyn was exiled from the Soviet Union in the 1970s following the publication of the “Gulag Archipelago“, a major expose of the country’s labour camps.

He and his family spent most of a two-decade exile in Cavendish, a small town in the US state of Vermont.

He returned to Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s.  He died in 2008 at age 89. “ ArtDaily

Putin Unveils Statue

As part of a number of celebrations in Russia honoring Solzhenitsyn Russian president Vladimir Putin unveiled a statue of the writer.  Solzhenitsyn exposed “the features of a totalitarian system that brought suffering and great hardship to millions of people,” Putin said at the ceremony. honoring the centenary of Solzhenitsyn’s birth.  ArtDaily

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich”  by  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, first published in November 1962 in the Soviet literary magazine Novy Mir. The story is set in a Soviet labor camp in the 1950s and describes a single day in the life of ordinary prisoner, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. Wikipedia

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Art Videos: Does the Script Enhance the Art?

The Art Video

The internet is replete with videos of Art, some good, some not so good. The videos are produced by museums, galleries, academic institutions, and auction houses. The video above was produced by Christie’s. Many of them have voice over or a presenter, in addition to the art.

Pictures and Words

From time to time we chose an art video as the subject for a post. We look at such things as the camera work, framing, images,  lighting, location, script, presenter, etc. and ask you to come to your own conclusion about the video.

For the video above, we ask you to consider whether the presenter and his words enhance your appreciation of the art.

“No,” and “Yes”

Below are examples of a “No” and a “Yes” from two YouTube commenters.

Edward Harley 1 day ago “It is almost like a tradition, they just have to have a narrator… and although one is engaged in watching visual arts we have to watch these presenters flapping their arms away like they want to fly away, and gesticulate and emphasize all their vo -cab -u -lary… shut up already and let me see the art. “

“Petr Frizen 3 days ago “Very refreshing atmosphere of this vibrant breathing works of art… Recuperating like the autumnal forest, or the summer grove after the rain, or the peaceful nature in winter… Something similar to the new commencement, like after the rain…”

The Voice

 In the video above as described by Christie’s,

“Art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon admires highlights from the most important single owner collection of Impressionist and Modern art offered for sale in London for a decade, featuring works by Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Bonnard, Matisse and more.”

MORE:  Monet studies for the water lily paintings


Is Copying Art Always Considered Plagiarism?

Two Images of Fait D’Hiver. Jeff Koons, color image.

French Court Finds Jeff Koons Guilty of Plagiarism

“A French court found Jeff Koons guilty of plagiarism [in November], ordering the artist, his studio (Jeff Koons LLC), and the Centre Pompidou—which hosted his traveling retrospective in 2014–2015—to pay French advertising executive Franck Davidovici €135,000 ($154,000). The case revolved around Koons’s 1988 ceramic sculpture Fait d’Hiver, which Davidovici claimed plagiarized an advertisement he created for the French fashion brand Naf Naf.”

“The sculpture features the torso of a woman with short black hair reclining on a snow-like surface, while a pig with a small barrel tied around its neck stands nearby. Aside from added details—like a pair of penguins, or a collar of flowers on the pig—the Koons sculpture is very similar to the Naf Naf advertisement, which appeared in magazines in the mid-1980s. Koons produced four editions of Fait d’Hiver, according tothe AFP, one of which sold for $4.3 million at Christie’s in 2007.” Artsy


As far a courts go, suffice it to say, courts are given wide latitude in determining plagiarism in art.

I”Through all of the history of literature and of the arts in general, works of art are for a large part repetitions of the tradition; to the entire history of artistic creativity belong plagiarism, literary theft, appropriation, incorporation, retelling, rewriting, recapitulation, revision, reprise, thematic variation, ironic retake, parody, imitation, stylistic theft, pastiches, collages, and deliberate assemblages. There is no rigorous and precise distinction between practices like imitation, stylistic plagiarism, copy, replica and forgery. wikipedia

Is Copying Art Always Plagiarism?

Below is a PBS Video. The text accompanying the video says, “Sampling, appropriating, borrowing, stealing. Whatever you want to call it, artists have been copying since time immemorial. We look into the history of the practice, and share our theories of why it is done, and what it can offer us.”

H/T Joshua Cohen

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