Insho Domoto 1891 - 1975 Red Maple Tree and Ohara-me

After the dramatic earthquake that took place in 1995, the authorities of Hyogo prefecture and those of the city of Kobe proposed the reconstruction of the oceanfront of the city as a symbol of the physical and moral recovery of the community. For this symbol of renewal of a devastated city chose Tadao Ando to design two of the most noteworthy structures for the new neighborhood: a large municipal park on the ocean shore and the museum of fine art of the prefecture of Hyogo. The museum combines stone walls and three glass-enclosed volumes that receive the art display rooms. A passageway serves as functional interface between museum and park; the latter designed as refuge area in case of another earthquake. Its central zone doubles as the scene of recreational-cultural activities. The form of the building is very similar to that of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth which Ando was designing at the same time in Fort Worth, Texas. It was the museum in Kobe that served Ando as a prototype for the one in Fort Worth. The remarkable Ando has led a storied life, working as a truck driver and boxer prior to settling on the profession of architecture, despite never having taken formal training in the field. In 1995, Ando won the Pritzker Architecture Prize, considered the highest distinction in the field of architecture..He donated the $100,000 prize money to the orphans of the 1995 Kobe earthquake. Our editor was honored by a personal tour of the museum by its Director Shigenobu Kimura and two English speaking curators. The Museum exists not only for the appreciation of fine art, but also for encouraging exchanges between art and music, theater, film and for holding a wide variety of events.


The Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art

The Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art opened in April of 2004. The museum's holdings consist of the collection held by the former Museum of Modern Art, a collection amassed over the past 30 years. The museum's 27,500 sq. meters of exhibition space makes it Japan's second-largest art venue, after the cavernous Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art. The Hyogo museum showcases this strategy. It presents an initially forbidding, featureless facade to the visitor approaching from nearby train stations, but turns an immense glass frontage to the sea; light is funneled down to inner spaces by glass-roofed atria and an open unique central staircase. All that space is well used. The complex's many public amenities include a 250-seat cinema for film screenings, two large studios available to professional and (at no charge) amateur artists, a lecture theater and an Art Information Center, part library and part multimedia research center. Selections from the museum's collection of more than 17,000 pieces, especially strong in the areas of print and sculpture, both Japanese and foreign, are rotated in the Permanent Exhibition galleries. Also impressive is the small but brilliantly conceived interactive display, "Form in Art," which gives the visually impaired the chance to get hands on with sculpture by Henry Moore and Jean Miro, among others, and new works by Mitsushima Takayuki inspired by the sculptures. More than a symbol of the rebirth of one city, though, this superb cultural center is an asset to the entire region. This Museum is an amuseum: a place of information. In order to create a modern, functional facility that encompasses a worldview, the Museum is arranging exhibitions of fine art from all over the globe, ranging from ancient times to the present day. With this distinctive approach, the Museum welcomed over one million visitors in its first year, and activities there have continued to progress at a fine pace. This year the Museum hosted a wide variety of exhibitions including the Dresden National Art Museum Exhibition, the Gustave Moreau Exhibition, the New Silk Road Exhibition, the Dutch Masters from the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Exhibition and the Shuji Yamada Exhibition.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Our Editor has been invited to visit Museums and cultural sites in mainland China, Korea, Vietnam. Myanmar, Thailand (Siam), Singapore, Bali and mainland Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, Bhutan, Malaysia and now Japan again. Because of the Editor's travel we will be posting interesting articles from our archives, some of the BEST Articles and Art Images that appeared in your magazine during the past six plus (6+) years . . Enjoy.

Henri Matisse (1969-1954) - Odalisque, 1921 - Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam c/o Pictoright Amsterdam 2008

AMSTERDAM - The Van Gogh Museum is hosting the Stedelijk Museum with the presentation Fauvists and Expressionists, on view through April 5, 2009. The Stedelijk's Fauvist and Expressionist collection dates from the directorship of Willem Sandberg (1948-1963). Sandberg was inspired to begin collecting in this field after the museum was given a large number of Van Gogh’s works on long-term loan. Originally owned by members of Van Gogh's family, these works were entrusted to the Stedelijk Museum after the Second World War and remained in its safe keeping until the opening of the Van Gogh Museum in 1973.

Read more: Van Gogh Museum hosts Stedelijk Museum with a Fauvists and Expressionists Show

Emilie Clark - Untitled (MM-57) - Watercolor on paper, 22 X 30 in. - Courtesy of  Morgan Lehman Gallery

BROOKLYN, NY.- A series of lush, fluid watercolor and graphite amalgamations of flora and fauna are at the heart of My Garden Pets, a major new installation by New York-based artist Emilie Clark at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden (BBG). In the exhibition—on view from March 6 through May 23, 2010 as a featured presentation of BBG’s 2010 Centennial Celebration—Clark explores the work of the 19th-century American naturalist, Mary Treat, and the concept of ‘the beneficial insect.’ To create this body of work, Clark spent four months on site at the Garden as its first artist-in-residence, researching in its libraries and talking to BBG horticulturalists, scientists, and other staff members.

Read more: Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Presents a New Body of Work by Emile Clark

Ed Ruscha - Back of Hollywood, 1977 - Courtesy Collection of Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon © Ed Ruscha 2009. Photo: Paul Ruscha.

LONDON.- This autumn, the Hayward Gallery presents a major retrospective of Ed Ruscha’s paintings, in celebration of his 50-year career. Ed Ruscha (b. 1937) is widely regarded as one of the world’s most influential artists at work today and this exhibition traces the development of his paintings across five decades, from his contributions to Pop Art in the early 1960s to his paintings comprising words and phrases and his explorations of iconic American landscapes. Curated by Ralph Rugoff, the Director of the Hayward Gallery, the retrospective opens on October 14 to January 10, 2010 and will then travel to Haus der Kunst in Munich (February 12 – May 2, 2010) and Moderna Museet in Stockholm (May 29 – September 5, 2010).

Read more: Major Retrospective of Ed Ruscha's Paintings at the Hayward Gallery in London

Max Weber - Acrobats, 1946 - Oil on board, 48 x 57 5/8 in. - © 2008 Estate of Max Weber, Courtesy Gerald Peters Gallery

New York City - Max Weber was at the forefront of abstraction as one of its most versatile, inventive, and exceptional trail blazers in America. A consummate Expressionist who touched on virtually every phase of modernism, Weber served as a crucial link between the first wave of American modernism and the action painters associated with the New York School at mid-century. On view at the Gerald Peters Gallery New York from November 13 through December 19, 2008, Max Weber: Paintings from the 1930s, 40s and 50s features over 40 paintings and works on paper selected from the Weber Estate.

Read more: Gerald Peters Gallery presents Max Weber ~ Paintings from the 1930s, 40s and 50s

Martin Johnson Heade - Cattleya Orchid and Three Hummingbirds, 1871 - Oil on panel, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Gift of the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation

Cambridge, UK - The fascinating interchange between the revolutionary theories of Charles Darwin (1809–1882) and art of the late nineteenth century is explored in a ground-breaking interdisciplinary exhibition opening at The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge in Summer 2009. Organised by The Fitzwilliam Museum in association with the Yale Center for British Art—two of the world’s leading university art museums — “Endless forms”  will coincide with the global celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of naturalist Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his book, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859). The exhibition will show at the Yale Center for British Art from 12 February – 3 May 2009, and at The Fitzwilliam Museum from 16 June to 4 October 2009.

Read more: The Fitzwilliam Museum will celebrate "Endless forms" ~ Charles Darwin Bicentenary

New Paltz. NY - Acquiring works of art for a museum's collection is a continuing exploration, as each object collected reveals intimate facets of a museums identity, as well as the uniqueness of a region.  For the Hudson Valley area, the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is steadily obtaining either through purchase, donation, or long-term loan, objects of art which are the sum and substance of the museum and the character of the region.

Museum, Mission, and Meaning: Selected work from the collections, opening at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art is a remarkable three-part exhibition reflecting the steady growth of SDMA’s holdings.  The exhibition continues through December 10, 2006.

Read more: 'Art and Identity' at Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art

Sculptures by British artist Tony Cragg at the Art Museum Bonn, in Bonn, Germany. The artworks are part of an exhibition, entitled "The Luminous West",  that opened to the public from 09 July to 24 October. EPA/  Federico Gambarini

BONN.- THE LUMINOUS WEST – one of the Kunstmuseum Bonn’s largest exhibition projects ever – brings 33 artists from two generations together in a total of 3500 m2 of exhibition space to achieve a broad-based definition of where the art landscape of the Rhineland and North Rhine-Westphalia stands. In connection with the large annual festivals, Kulturhauptstadt Europa Ruhr.2010 (European Capital of Culture) and the Quadriennale 2010 in Düsseldorf, the show marks the southern stop, so to speak, of a Grand Tour through the Rhenish art and culture scene in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia. On view through 24 October.

Read more: Kunstmuseum Bonn Opens One of Its Largest Exhibition Projects

Wedgwood, Staffordshire manufacturer. England est. 1759. John Flaxman modeller(England 1726–95), Homer vase c.1800, stoneware (blue jasper) National Gallery of Victoria. Presented through The Art Foundation of Victoria by Mr Keith M. Deutsher.

MELBOURNE, AU - From September 2009, the National Gallery of Victoria will celebrate the 250th anniversary of Wedgwood. Featuring over 70 works drawn from the NGV’s internationally acclaimed Wedgwood holdings, the display will pay tribute to one of the most famous designers of decorative arts, a leading figure in the rise of neo-classical taste in the 18th century.  In 1759 Josiah Wedgwood (1730–1795) established his first pottery studio in Burslem, Staffordshire. During the eighteenth century the factory’s success grew through Wedgwood’s development of numerous wares including his most famous innovation, jasper ware – matt coloured stoneware decorated with applied white ornamentation.

Read more: National Gallery of Victoria Celebrates the 250th Anniversary of Wedgwood

Charles Browning Booger Dance

New York City - Morgan Lehman Gallery is pleased to present Promised Land, a group show of emerging and mid-career artists working in a variety of media.  The exhibition, curated by Elizabeth M. Grady of the Whitney Museum of American Art, will address the recent upsurge in art dealing with "American" imagery, broadly defined.  American history, the landscape, personality archetypes and stereotypes, and objects loaded with both ideology and personal memory are used variously by this group of ten artists to explore how an "American identity" may be formed, and what it takes to disturb collective notions of what that means.  On exhibition June 7 – August 4, 2007.

Read more: Morgan Lehman Gallery to show 'Promised Land'

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Pause For Thought

Moore on Paintings

"The many great paintings of the world, all make the point as clear as possible: The soul cannot thrive in the absence of art. If you don't want the pleasure of art, you are not human; and if you are not human, you don't have a soul."