Articles

Take a virtual tour.

Google has virtually recreated the National Museum of Brazil, following a devastating fire.

Google has released a virtual recreation of the National Museum of Brazil, which was gutted by a catastrophic fire in September. An estimated 92.5 percent of the 20 million artifacts in the museum’s archive are believed to have been destroyed in the blaze. Thus far, researchers have recovered 1,500 including the museum’s prized possession, Luzia.

By Alex Wexelman
Dec 18, 2018 

The colour red has a long history in art, design, and fashion. See how it’s been used, from ancient paintings to modern shoes.

 The History of the Color Red: From Ancient Paintings to Louboutin Shoes

By Jessica Stewart
September 26, 2018

Palettes of the Masters: Gauguin

 A look at the colors the Post-Impressionist painter Paul Gauguin used

If you’ve never been to a spot in the world where the colors around you change dramatically with the setting sun, as Gauguin experienced when he went from France to the Pacific Ocean Island of Tahiti, then you may well believe he simply made up the colors in his paintings. But, unrealistic and implausible as they may seem, he was simply painting the colors he saw, something that had long been his philosophy.

By Marion Boddy-Evans
March 26, 2018

 The Secrets Hidden on the Backs of Famous Artworks

 The back of a painting often tells an entirely different story than the one you know.

To the untrained eye, it looked like just a piece of masking tape. But to Jeannette Redensek, a scholar reviewing hundreds of works in preparation for a comprehensive catalogue of paintings by German-American modernist Josef Albers, the yellowed strip of adhesive stuck on the back of one Albers work was a revelation.

 Karen Chernick
Jul 26, 2018

A Look at the Newest Blue Pigment—and How a Color Becomes a Commodity

“Quantum Blue” is an exceptionally pure hue that appears radioactive under UV light.

 If you google “Quantum Blue,” the top results, as of this writing, will all pertain to a 341-foot-long megayacht of that name owned by Russian billionaire Sergey Galitskiy. But that may soon change. In late August, scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in northern California, working with artist Olga Alexopoulou and color researcher Maria Chatzidakis, made strides towards developing a new, high-tech pigment dubbed “Quantum Blue.”

By Benjamin Sutton
Sep 12, 2018

Your ego won’t help you.

 Mark Rothko on How to Be an Artist

Famed Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko believed that art was a powerful form of communication. “The fact that a lot of people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I can communicate those basic human emotions,” he said in an interview in 1956. “The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them.”

By Alexxa Gotthardt
Sep 13, 2018 

“Don’t Quote Deleuze”: How to Write a Good Artist Statement

Writing about art is hard. Writing about art that you made can be even harder. We hear artists say, “If I knew how to describe my work in words, I’d be a writer, not an artist.” While this may be true, what’s “truer” is the fact that at some point, you as an artist will be asked to write an artist statement—and whether or not it is good, will matter. So, what makes an artist statement “good”? Whether you’re applying for a residency or grant, or you just want to perfect your elevator pitch, here are a handful of things not to include in your artist statement, plus a few tips to make the process a little less excruciating.

 By Loney Abrams
MARCH 15, 2017

22 Artists on the Materials That Inspire and Drive Their Work

Beyond the art supply store, discover the essential (and unconventional) mediums of today’s artists.

 Think, for a second, if you could name one essential product or tool that you could not do your job without. It’s a tough question, but it’s particularly difficult to answer if your work relies on your creativity and artistic skill. Have you ever thought about what type of oils a famous painter favors, or what kind of plaster works best? Or, perhaps, if sinking money into expensive brushes or paper is even worth it?

By Casey Lesser
Aug 27, 2018

How to Be an Artist, According to Henri Matisse

 The lifelong rule-breaker lived by the creative mantra, “expression is everything.”

 In the early 20th century, a 30-something Frenchman named Henri Matisse shocked the Parisian art world with his painting Woman with a Hat (1905). His application of radically expressive colors to his subject—teal on her face, orange on her neck, pink and blue on her arms—made no logical sense, leaving viewers and critics scratching their heads.

By Kim Hart
Jun 12, 2018

How Noguchi Sculptures Inspired the Paper Lamps We See Everywhere

Artist and designer Isamu Noguchi spent his life bending and breaking the definition of sculpture. “Everything is sculpture,” he famously declared. He even believed light—immaterial and weightless—had the potential to carry evocative power.

By Claire Voon
May 28, 2018

Are Fabricators the Most Important People in the Art World?

Are Fabricators the Most Important People in the Art World? As contemporary artists become increasingly less present in their own work, the people who make their pieces remain unsung heroes.

 HE IMAGE OF the artist feverishly working alone as first light dawns through the tall, grimy windows of the atelier dies hard. No matter how monumental or unwieldy their creations, we prefer to imagine artists as solitary figures, their hands stained and raw: Rodin in his aerie in Meudon scratching at half-carved marble torsos; Bacon hunched over a giant canvas in South Kensington amid detritus; Calder in Connecticut, beavering away beneath a wave of bent wire.

By Nancy Hass
June 22, 2018

Leonardo’s earliest surviving work? Self-portrait as Archangel Gabriel unveiled

A small square tile with the profile image of a beautiful angel has been claimed not only as the earliest surviving work by Leonardo da Vinci, but as his own self-portrait as the Archangel Gabriel.

If genuine the tile has survived miraculously unbroken for more than 500 years, since the 18-year-old artist made it in 1471.

By Maev Kennedy and agencies
21 June 2018

How to Be an Artist, According to Henri Matisse

A lifelong rule-breaker lived by the creative mantra, ” expression is everything”. How to be an artist, according to Henri Matisse.

 In the early 20th century, a 30-something Frenchman named Henri Matisse shocked the Parisian art world with his painting Woman with a Hat (1905). His application of radically expressive colors to his subject—teal on her face, orange on her neck, pink and blue on her arms—made no logical sense, leaving viewers and critics scratching their heads.

By Kim Hart
Jun 12, 2018

At Art Basel Opening, a Pair of $14 Million Joan Mitchell Sales Shows Surge in Market for Women Artists

Though demand for her work has exploded, it isn’t yet selling for as much as her male contemporaries’.

 The world’s top collectors streamed into the 49th edition of Art Basel in Basel, Switzerland, on Tuesday morning to see the top offerings from 290 galleries at the world’s premier contemporary art expo, where, in the past, more than $3 billion of art has been up for sale. In the first few hours, a work by the Abstract Expressionist Joan Mitchell had sold at the Hauser & Wirth booth for $14 million to a European collection. The price was high for the artist—it was not far off from the $16.6 million auction record set for her at Christie’s post-war and contemporary art auction in May.

By Nate Freeman
Jun 12, 2018

Five reasons to visit the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza

Every trip to Madrid has to include a visit to this landmark art museum.

 Got your Madrid checklist ready? Mouthwatering tapas and classic local dishes; excellent shopping opportunities; incredible nightlife. And, of course, unmissable world-class art at the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza. Created in 1992, the museum has established itself as one of the Spanish capital’s must-see sights thanks to an incredibly wide-ranging permanent collection, a dedication to captivating temporary exhibitions, special offers and activities for younger art fans, and fabulous places for a drink or meal. Open every day of the week and found at the heart of the city close to numerous cultural and other attractions, the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza deserves to be at the top of everybody’s Madrid to-do list. Still not sure? Read on for our five reasons that explain why you have to go!

By Time Out in collaboration with Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza
April 24 2018

America’s First Underwater Art Museum Opens

Check out America’s first underwater art museum opening in Florida.

Scuba divers will soon swim through an art museum in the Gulf of Mexico, the first of its kind in the United States. The permanent art exhibit is opening in late June off the Florida panhandle and it’s free to anyone willing to take the plunge.

The sculptures in the exhibit at the Underwater Museum of Art are made of natural materials and will work like artificial reefs, housing sea life, on an otherwise barren and flat sandy ocean floor. Allison Wickey, one of the artists, told Newsweek that snorkelers should have no problem seeing the exhibit from the surface of the water on clear days, but it’s meant to be seen 60 feet underwater at eye-level.

By Lisa Spear
June 06,  2018

From Picasso’s Signature to Kahlo’s Unibrow, Who Legally Owns the Rights to an Artist’s Brand?

What is Publicity Rights all about? From Picasso’s signature to Kohlo’s unibrow, who legally owns the rights to an artist’s brand? When an artist becomes a brand, lawsuits follow.

In March of this year, Mattel released a Frida Kahlo tribute Barbie as part of its “Inspiring Women” series. Mattel obtained permission to use Kahlo’s name and likeness from the Frida Kahlo Corporation—a Panamanian entity set up to work in cooperation with Kahlo’s heirs that publicly claims to own “the trademark rights and interests to the name Frida Kahlo worldwide.”

By Jessica Meiselman
Jun 5, 2018

The Birth of Non-Objective Painting

The birth of non-objective painting. It all started in 1896, when Wassily Kandinsky abandoned his career in law to study art.

To many, Wassily Kandinsky was the greatest force behind the birth of non-objective abstraction, i.e. paintings without any recognizable objects in them. Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque had explored the limits of making paintings without recognizable objects from the world—such as Picasso’s portrait of the art dealer Ambroise Vollard—yet they never fully entered into total abstraction. Picasso in fact believed that there was no such thing as a wholly non-figurative work.

By Artsy Editors
Feb 6, 2014

What Makes a Monochrome Painting Good

What makes Monochrome painting good? There are more than that meets the eye in single-colour paintings.

It’s easy for museumgoers to make fun of monochrome paintings, since they offer the quintessential response to modern and contemporary art: “Couldn’t anyone do that?” To some viewers, the works simply require one paint can and lots of brushstrokes. Artist Richard Prince turned the genre into an actual joke when, in the late 1980s and early ‘90s, he silkscreened humorous text against single-hued backdrops. The artist’s “Monochromatic Jokes” made monochromatic paintings truly readable to any literate viewer.

By Alina Cohen
Mar 5, 2018

How Peggy Guggenheim’s Biennale Pavilion Changed the Art World Forever

Without her, we might not have Calder, Pollock, or Rothko.

“The 1948 Biennale was like opening a bottle of champagne,” according to Peggy Guggenheim’s assistant Vittorio Carrain. “It was the explosion of modern art after the Nazis had tried to kill it.” If the Biennale itself was the champagne, Guggenheim’s artworks were the bubbles that made it fizz…..

By Thea Hawlin
MAY 25, 2018

Art Forger Mark Landis on How He Became an Unlikely Folk Hero

Art or Craft? An interview with the Legendary Art Forger Mark Landis.

An art forger, in the popular imagination, is a romantic figure—the outsider who through preternatural skill can match artistic genius stroke for stroke, expose vaunted experts as frauds, and drive off into the night with millions of dollars liberated from affected rubes. Mark Landis, the forger, whose hoodwinking of more than 50 museums across 20 states was the subject of this year’s documentary Art and Craft, does not exactly play to type. A slight 59-year-old man with Alfred E. Newman ears and an unprepossessing mien, Landis crisscrossed the country presenting counterfeit art to museums not to enrich himself—he donated the works, never asking for a dime—or lampoon the establishment. Instead, his simple con was aimed at a single target: to be viewed as a philanthropist, gaining the kind of respect that would make his late mother proud.

By Andrew M. Goldstein
DEC. 27, 2014

8 Famous Artists Who Were Self-Taught

Henri Rousseau, Vincent van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, Bill Traylor, Grandma Moses, Henry Darger, Yoko Ono, and Thornton Dial.

Humans have been making art since the dawn of time, often with little education in materials, techniques, or theory, yet the notion of the “self-taught artist” is a relatively new phenomenon. In order to create art outside of the traditional channels, after all, you first need to create those traditional channels—by which we typically mean the established schools and academies that codify art education into defined standards and practices. And in the West, that history largely began in 1635 with the Académie Française, which radically professionalized the art field.

By Jon Mann
May 25, 2018

What Makes an Abstract Expressionist Painting Good?

Abstract Expressionism is perhaps one of the most recognized historical genres. What makes an AbEx painting good?

One of my responsibilities here at Artsy Editorial is to ponder the art-historical questions that are perhaps best answered either with a raised eyebrow or by saying, “because duh, that’s why.” Today’s entry in this series: What makes a work of Abstract Expressionist art good?

By Isaac Kaplan
Dec 21, 2016

A “new” Rembrandt was discovered by a Dutch art dealer, who originally purchased the painting for only $185,000.

First Rembrandt Discovered in 44 Years. A “new” Rembrandt discovered by a Dutch art dealer, who originally purchased the painting for only $185,000.

When Dutch art dealer Jan Six first saw Portrait of a Young Gentleman (c. 1634) in an auction in 2016, his keen eye told him the piece, then unattributed and unremarkable to most, was by Rembrandt van Rijn. The collar of the figure was singular, painted in a style used only by Rembrandt during the brief moment the collar was popular. Working with an investor, Six purchased the potential “sleeper” for $185,000—quite a large sum if it turned out to be by an unknown artist, but a paltry price for a Rembrandt. In 2015, the Louvre Museum and the Rijksmuseum jointly purchased, from the Rothschild family, a pair of portraits by the Dutch master to the tune of €160 million, then the highest price ever paid for an Old Master.

By Isaac Kaplan
May 16, 2018

$157 Million Modigliani Breaks Sotheby’s Record at Otherwise Underwhelming Impressionist and Modern Sale

The auction house sold the most expensive work in its roughly 274-year history – Amedeo Modigliani’s painting Nu couche (sur le cote gauche) – after an anticlimactic single bid.

 The auction house sold the most expensive work in its roughly 274-year history— Amedeo Modigliani’s painting Nu couché (sur le côté gauche) —after an anticlimactic single bid. Nonetheless, Sotheby’s Impressionist and modern art evening sale brought in a total of $277.4 million Monday night. The fee-adjusted figure of $318.3 million constitutes an 83 percent rise from last May’s tally of $173.8 million (which also saw the withdrawal of its star Egon Schiele lot at the last minute). This time, the star lot stayed in the sale, but the failure of 13 other works to find buyers hampered the auction’s rhythm, not to mention its sell-through rate, which clocked in at 71.1 percent by lot after the final gavel fell.

By Isaac Kaplan
May 15, 2018 

When Duchamp Agreed to Forge One of His Most Famous Works

When Duchamp Agreed to Forge One of His Most Famous Works, “Nude Descending a Straircase (No. 2)”.

Guests at the recurring Dada salon of the modern art collectors Louise and Walter Arensberg might have found themselves doing a double-take as they ambled through the couple’s Manhattan apartment on West 67th Street. As of 1919, two duplicate and identically sized versions of Marcel Duchamp’s iconic Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2) (1912) graced the walls. One hung prominently above the couch, dwarfing a small Renoir; the other was mounted above a wooden desk. Both looked authentic. Had the high-profile collectors been duped by a convincing copy of the headline-making painting?

By Karen Chernick
May 8, 2018

Salvador Dalí’s Rarely Seen Illustrations of 1969 for ‘Alice in Wonderland’ are Finally Reissued

In 1969, Salvador Dalí created illustrations for a limited edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The rare work was recently reissued and is now available to Dalí lovers everywhere.

“Dalí created twelve heliogravures — a frontispiece, which he signed in every copy from the edition, and one illustration for each chapter of the book,” writes Brain Pickings’ Maria Popova. “For more than half a century, this unusual yet organic cross-pollination of genius remained an almost mythic artifact, reserved for collectors and scholars,” until Princeton University Press saw fit to reprint it for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland‘s 150th anniversary.

Nikolai Astrup: the lost artist of Norway

He should have been as famous as Edvard Munch, but the world seems to have forgotten him – until now. Nikolai Astrup, Norway’s legendary modern artist, who captured country’s fantastically eerie landscape is about to be celebrated.

Norway’s legendary modern artist who captured his country’s fantastically eerie landscapes is about to be celebrated. And no, it isn’t Edvard Munch.

It’s Nikolai Astrup – a legend in his own land, but barely known outside of it. In fact, the Dulwich Picture Gallery, in London, is putting on the first significant show of Astrup’s work outside Norway in the new year. Will it make him as famous as Munch, his contemporary?

By Jonathan Jones
30 Dec 2015 

How Helen Frankenthaler Pioneered a New Form of Abstract Expressionism

You’ve heard about Rothko and Pollock…but how much do you know about this pioneer of Colour Field painting?

In 1956, the Abstract Expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler was photographed by Gordon Parks for a spread in LIFE magazine. Lovers of Abstract Expressionism will recall that several years earlier, in 1949, Jackson Pollock had been photographed for the magazine, appearing alongside an article lede that read: “Is he the greatest living painter in the United States?”

By Jon Mann
Sep 29, 2017

Why Rembrandt Is Considered One of Art History’s Most Important Old Masters

Ridin called him a “colossus of art” and van Gogh called him a “magician”.

Dutch artist Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn is regarded as one the most important and influential figures in the history of art. Celebrated for his successes spanning multiple mediums and types of subject matter, he has been called a “colossus of art” by prolific sculptor Auguste Rodin and a “magician” by Post-Impressionistpioneer Vincent van Gogh. In addition to these titles, he is also known as an “Old Master“—a label reserved for Europe’s most prolific pre-19th-century painters.

By Kelly Richman-Abdou
March 9, 2018

Peggy Guggenheim’s Great-Grandson Created an Otherworldly Gallery in Tulum

IK LAB, a new contemporary art gallery set to open in Tulum, Mexico, is a fitting addition to the wellness-and-spirituality-loving beachside town. Set within the grounds of the eco-friendly Azulik resort, the space boasts a truly unique character: its walls are curved, its floors undulate, and its massive glass windows and doors are circular, like new moons. Every surface is covered with saplings and vines, sourced sustainably from local jungles, or swaths of smooth faux-concrete whose texture recalls the interior of a shell; living trees and plant life sprout from walls, the ceiling, and the floor. The experience demands mindfulness—you must be barefoot inside, and if you’re not careful, you could lose balance, or worse, trip over a work of art. This unconventional approach to a gallery space is all by design, however.

By Casey Lesser
Apr 20, 2018

Inside the Library That Holds the World’s Rarest Colors

Harvard’s century-old Forbes Pigment Collection. Here you’ll find a spectrum of colours you didn’t even know existed. Inside the library that holds the world’s rarest colours.

I’m standing with conservation scientist Narayan Khandekar in a glass-ceilinged laboratory on the fifth floor of Harvard’s art museum, surrounded by paintings in various stages of analysis and repair. In front of us, a life-size portrait of King Philip III of Spain by 17th-century court artist Pantoja de la Cruz rests on an easel. From the monarch’s patterned pantaloons to his neatly combed hair, the work is painted almost entirely in shades of brown.

By Abigail Cain
Nov 2, 2017

Collector Chases Painting Around World After Seeing Just a Photo

A $350,000 monochrome white canvas. Collector chases the painting around world after seeing just a photo.

Thomas Yamamoto had only seen it in a photograph, but the retired corporate finance executive was so enthralled by Mary Corse’s monochrome white canvas that he bought it first and then hopped on a plane to New York from Shanghai to inspect his newest treasure.

By Katya Kazakina
March 9, 2018

How Illuminated Medieval Manuscripts Were Made: A Step-by-Step Look at this Beautiful, Centuries-Old Craft

How Illuminated Medieval Manuscripts Were Made: A Step-by-Step Look At This Beautiful, Century-Old Craft. The Getty Museum reveals the painstaking process behind the medieval illuminated manuscript.

 What place does the paper book have in our increasingly all-digital present? While some utilitarian arguments once marshaled in its favor (“You can read them in the bathtub” and the like) have fallen into disuse, other, more aesthetically focused arguments have arisen: that a work in print, for example, can achieve a state of beauty as an object in and of itself, the way a file on a laptop, phone, or reader never can. In a sense, this case for the paper book in the 21st century comes back around to the case for the paper book from the 12th century and even earlier, the age of the illuminated manuscript.

In Books, History
March 7th, 2018

Giant Monet Painting Discovered in Louvre Storage and Returned to Japan

Missing for almost 60 years, the painting was found severely damaged in Louvre storage facility, returned to Japan.

Earlier this week, Tokyo’s National Museum of Western Art (NMWA) announced that a long-lost Claude Monet painting has been returned after being found “rolled up in the corner of a storage facility at the Louvre Museum in Paris,” according to The Telegraph‘s Danielle Demetriou. Although the painting, “Reflections of the Weeping Willow on the Water-Lily Pond” (1916), was found in either 2016 or 2017 (reports vary), the discovery only recently came to light.

By Elena Goukassian
March 2, 2018

Van Gogh Never Visited Japan, but He Saw It Everywhere

AMSTERDAM — In the soft, clear light of Provence, France, Vincent van Gogh saw the crisp skies of Japanese woodcut prints. The almond blossoms, gnarled trees and irises that dotted the French landscape reminded him of nature scenes painted in Kyoto. And in the locals who drank in cafes of Arles, he saw resonances with the geishas and Kabuki actors of a country he’d never visited.

By Nina Siegal
March 26, 2018

So Neanderthals made abstract art? This astounding discovery humbles every human

”It seems very possible that Neanderthals actually taught Homo sapiens to paint in caves.”

The potentially epoch-making announcement in the journal Science this week of a new dating of art in some of Spain’s painted caves includes the astounding discovery that a stencilled hand in Maltravieso cave is at least 66,700 years old – date reached by testing the calcite deposits that have encrusted it over the millennia.

By Jonathan Jones
Fri 23 Feb 2018 

How Paul Klee Influenced a Generation of American Artists, from Pollock to Motherwell

Paul Klee is widely considered to be the father of abstract painting. Klee’s impact in the U.S. has been under-explored – until now. ”Ten Americans: After Paul Klee,” a new exhibition at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., presents Klee’s canvases alongside those of 10 mid-20th century American artists, whose work clearly resonates with their Swiss predecessor’s.

Ten American abstractionists at the exhibition includes Jackson Pollock, Adolph Gottlieb, Norman Lewis, Robert Motherwell, Gene Devis, Mark Tobey, William Baziotes and others.

By Alexxa Gotthardt
Feb 21, 2018

Dafen oil painting village: The world’s art factory

Artists in China’s Dafen village once produced 60 percent of new oil paintings worldwide, but Dafen is now under threat.

Reproducing works by famous artists is big business, and for more than 20 years, Dafen oil painting village in southern China has been at the centre of the global trade in art reproductions.

Known as the “world’s oil painting factory”, in its heyday Dafen produced 60 percent of all new oil paintings available worldwide, though this status has declined somewhat since the 2008 global financial crisis.

 SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

Art Looted by Nazis Gets a New Space at the Louvre. But Is It Really Home?

“We have the responsibility to give the right paintings to the right person,” said Vincent Delieuvin, a curator at the Louvre, who oversees looted or force-sold paintings.

PARIS — At first, it is unclear why curators at the Louvre chose to squeeze the 31 paintings into two small rooms. Dutch landscapes sit next to German portraits. Depictions of feasts, Roman ruins, a small child with a goat seem to collide.

What ties these pieces together is not style, school or subject, but a singular history. All were looted or bought by German occupiers during World War II, then recovered and brought back to France when the conflict ended.

By Aurelien Breeden
Feb. 8, 2018

You Don’t Want to Miss Out on These 6 Color Palettes

To get the right tune, here are six color palettes to explore, featured in the ’30th Anniversary Edition of Exploring Color Workshop’ by artist Nita Leland, writes Maria Woodie.

Color mishaps in paintings usually stem from using too many colors or combining paints that don’t really work well together. However, alleviate both of these issues in one quick and simple fix: a compatible color triad.

If three colors don’t give you the results you want, you can add another color that shares their intensity, transparency and tinting strength without presenting a sour note into the color harmony. What’s more, you may even find new combinations that work with the unused colors cluttering your paint box.