SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA.- The 300th anniversary of the birth of the French painter François Boucher took place in November 2003, an event celebrated by three large exhibitions of his drawings held concurrently in Paris and New York: one at the Louvre, another at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and the third at the Frick Collection in New York. The Art Gallery of New South Wales is fortunate to have the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris (ENSBA) exhibition on display. Assembled from one of the foremost collections of Old Master drawings in the world, the exhibition comprises over 80 magnificent drawings. It locates Boucher among his immediate predecessors and contemporaries and shows the extraordinary range of his subject matter including nudes, landscapes, ornamental designs and composition studies. The ENSBA collection was founded with the intention of amassing works of exemplary quality for the instruction of art students in Paris. Its range and quality of French drawings is quite unrivalled. François Boucher was regarded during his lifetime as the foremost draughtsman in France, and was ranked by his contemporaries among the greatest draughtsmen of all time. Given this towering reputation, the demand for his work by collectors ensured not only that Boucher produced drawings and prints steadily and in quantity, but that his works were intensely studied, were well documented, and were treasured for posterity. The nineteenth-century novelists and art critics, the Goncourt brothers, called Boucher 'one of those men who signify the taste of a century, who express, personify and incarnate it'. The exhibition celebrates Boucher's central role in defining a new style that was taken up by the French aristocracy and Royal court, and which spread through all the royal courts of eighteenth-century Europe. This style became known as the rococo. Boucher's greatest predecessor, the painter Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) set the tone of the Rococo when he declined to paint the "great subjects" expected from the most accomplished and ambitious painters of the time. One of Boucher's first professional successes was a series of engravings he made after Watteau's drawings. In this exhibition there are eight drawings by Watteau and several examples of Boucher's engravings after Watteau, which enable us to follow the way the rococo style extended the implications of Watteau's art.

Surrealism USA is comprised of approximately 120 paintings, sculptures and works on paper and examines the history of Surrealism in the United States between 1930 and 1950. Included are key figures of the European movement such as Max Ernst, Salvador Dali, and Yves Tanguy, who are represented in the exhibition with works they made while in exile in the United States. Also included are their stateside counterparts David Smith, Kay Sage, Dorothea Tanning, Alexander Calder, Joseph Cornell and others. This is the first exhibition since 1977 specifically devoted to Surrealism in America. One of the most revolutionary artistic and intellectual movements of the twentieth century, Surrealism still exerts a strong appeal today, more than fifty years after its heyday. The profound influence that this world of fantasy and dream had on art and culture continues through today, particularly its exploration of the irrational as a creative source. Launched in France in the 1920s, Surrealism gained wide popularity in the U.S. in the following decade. Several galleries – notably Pierre Matisse and Julien Levy – began showing the work of European Surrealists on a regular basis, while major group exhibitions such as the Museum of Modern Art’s Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism of 1936 brought it to the attention of a larger public. As a result, dream imagery and a dose of the irrational began invading American art, infiltrating even such traditional movements as American scene painting and social realism. In the 1940s, the presence in New York of European Surrealists in exile, including the group’s leader, André Breton, gave the movement a new vitality. Even though American artists avoided the rigid group organization that characterized the movement in Paris (Peter Blume politely turned down Breton’s offer to become a member of the group), they experimented with new themes and techniques promoted by the Surrealists, which, in turn, led to original developments, such as Abstract Expressionism.

LUX is very excited about the show by Derrick Fludd. Mr. Fludd has had shows at the Claudia Hellwich Gallery in Hamburg, Germany and the Art Brick, Salander-O’Reilly Gallery in New York. He will also be included in the 2005 Florence Biennale Fortezza da Basso, Italy. His show at LUX will be his Chicago debut. It will feature a series called Pathways and large work called “Random Thoughts.? “Random Thoughts? contains 225 6?X 6? canvases that are assembled in varying configurations each time it is shown. When completed, it forms a larger installation that is 96? X 96?. The Pathways series captures the beauty and the mystical/spiritual nature of art as seen through how we experience events. Imagine being able to lie on your back, close your eyes and watch the creation of a single thought. Derrick Fludd 1963, - American artist, b. Sarasota Florida. Derrick Fludd has been painting for the past 30 years his work embodies a wide range of materials and diverse subject matter. Mr. Fludd received his BFA from the school of visual arts in 1986 for painting and printing where he was in alumni instructor for lithography. From 1990 to 1994 he was co-founder of Tribeca arts school for painting and drawing. IMAGE. .Derrick Fludd. .Random Thoughts, 2005. . 96"x 96"

SLO Arts Gallery exhibits works by James A. Crawford in their first photographic show ever. The exhibition will present all new works by the artist, most of which are landscapes in black and white as well as color. All of Crawfords images are traditionally shot film or created usung a digital camera. Both process and digitally printed works will be shown in the exhibit. In this body of work, Crawford will not include any computer enhanced images. Crawford believes there is more to photography than looking through the camera and pressing the shutter. He says, " The camera is only part of the process. It's where your creativity leads in the darkroom, or the computer. It is not a mere image, it is an extension of your whole self, your whole being, the sum of all your experiences and the influences of great artists I admire." Some of those artists are Mondrian, Braque, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Klee, the Architect Antonio Gaudi and the photographers Eadweard Muybridge, Wynn Bullock and Paul Strand to name just a few. Crawford states that most artists are an influence. " I take little pieces from everything and everyone and melt it into my own vision and truth. Whether that's from Architecture, Sculpture, Painting, Music, Photography or Literature." Crawford is the recipient of first place ribbons and Best of Show awards in several photography shows and publications and has been displayed at Cal Poly, Johnson Gallery, The Photoshop, San Luis Artist’s Gallery, Gallery at Marina Square in Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo City Hall and San Luis Obispo County Art Center. Crawford's work also hangs in many private collections. James has been a winner in 6 years of participation in the New Times Photography Contest including 5 winning images in 1999 and 4 winning images in 2001. IMAGE. . . James A. Crawford. . . Stormy Sea...B/WPhotography

STANFORD, CA.- The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University presents a major exhibition of Sri Lankan art. Guardian of the Flame: Art of Sri Lanka is augmented at its Stanford venue by the additional display of an important collection of rare Sri Lankan palm leaf manuscripts and manuscript covers. This is the first major exhibition in the United States to present the entire history of Sri Lankan art, from the Anuradhapura Period (269 BC–993 AD), up to the conquest of the Kingdom of Kandy by the British in 1815. In addition to fine images from the classical period of Sri Lankan civilization (400–1235), Guardian of the Flame highlights the artistic achievements of the Kandyan period (1597–1815) with superb masterpieces, dispelling the popular belief that no great sculpture was produced in Sri Lanka after the fall of Polonnaruva in 1235. Sri Lankan Buddhism and its art were instrumental in shaping the religious and artistic development of South East Asia, especially the arts and religion of Burma, Thailand, and Laos.

NEW YORK.- Sotheby's is pleased to hold its second annual auction of Israeli and International Art in New York . Following last year's success, the sale will again be held in New York as interest in Israeli art continues to spread far beyond the region. Within a hundred year span, Israeli art has mirrored the upheavals and rigors of the new nation, and the auction will be part of a week-long celebration of Contemporary Israeli Art in New York. A highlight of the sale is a rare early painting by Reuven Rubin, Outskirts of Tel Aviv, circa 1923, which evokes the new town rising from the sand dunes (lot 19, est. $150/250,000). In the 1920s, newly arrived artists such as Rubin discovered the warm, bright colors of the Mediterranean climate and incorporated them into their portrayals of the local figures and landscape. The decade of the 1930s is distinguished by the German influence on Israeli Art. After studying at the Bauhaus school in Weimar under Klee, then Kandinsky and Feininger, Mordechai Ardon emigrated to Eretz Israel in 1933, where he continued to influence younger generations of artists as a teacher and then a director of the Bezalel School of Art in Jerusalem. The Bauhaus style, combined with symbolism from his Jewish background as well as the mysticism of the Holy Land, are incorporated into masterpieces such as Patience . In 1948, the State of Israel was established and a group of artists seeking a local, lyrical abstract style founded the "New Horizons Group." Although unique to Israel, the artistic influence of the French lyrical abstract school and of Abstract Expressionism in the United States is apparent in these works. Headed by Josef Zaritsky, Yehezkel Streichman and Avigdor Stematsky, these Israeli artists adopted the notion of pure artistic values, emphasizing bright torrents of color, abstract lines and patterns over their previous representational works in darker European-influenced colors. Important works by these artists are included in this sale including Zaritsky's Painting After Vermeer.

NEW YORK.-Asia Society and the Queens Museum of Art co-present the first-ever major exhibition of contemporary Indian art in the United States. Co-organized by the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Edge of Desire: Recent Art in India includes 80 cutting-edge works of sculpture, painting, drawing, installation, video and interactive media dating from 1993 to the present. Works of internationally recognized contemporary artists are shown alongside those of India’s most innovative, emerging artists. The 38 participating artists and collectives—representing three generations—live and work in their native India, in urban centers as well as remote rural areas. Edge of Desire traverses conventional divides between urban, fine art and folk tradition art, and between high culture and popular culture. Reflecting a time of socio-political transformation in India, exhibition artworks address contemporary political, social, and environmental realities existing there. “The artworks in Edge of Desire challenge preconceptions of contemporary India, whose presence in Western culture is often limited to Bollywood, yoga and outsourcing,? notes Asia Society Museum Director Melissa Chiu. “This exhibition aims to do for contemporary Indian art what Inside Out: New Chinese Art did in 1998 for raising awareness of the vibrant art scene in China.? Participating artists include: Ganga Devi Bhatt, Manu Chitrakar, Swarna Chitrakar, Atul Dodiya, Shilpa Gupta, Subodh Gupta, Archana Hande, N.S. Harsha, Rummana Hussain, Tushar Joag, Ranbir Kaleka, Ravi Kashi, Mallikarjun Katakol, Sonia Khurana, Raj Kumar, Nalini Malani, Umesh Maddannahalli, Kausik Mukhopadhyay, Pushpamala N. and Clare Arni), Surendran Nair, Open Circle, Cyrus Oshidar/MTV India, Sudhir Patwardhan, Raqs Media Collective, N.N. Rimzon, Sharmila Samant, Gulammohammed Sheikh, Nilima Sheikh, Nataraj Sharma, Dayanita Singh, Subhash Singh Vyam, K.G. Subramanyan, Vivan Sundaram, L.N. Tallur, Vasudha Thozhur, Santosh Kumar Das and Sonadhar Vishwakarma.

NEW YORK.- Cheim & Read is pleased to announce an exhibition of the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat, “IN WORD ONLY.? The exhibition presents paintings, drawings, and notebooks that feature only Basquiat’s written words. The artist is well know for large, colorful works dense with gesture, collage, figures, symbols, and words; but this exhibition will be the first to exclusively feature Basquiat’s unique and significant use of language. The exhibition will include works from the artist’s entire career, dating from 1979 to 1988 (the year of his death). For Jean-Michel Basquiat, the meaning of a word was not necessarily relevant to its usage because he employed words as abstract objects that can be seen as configurations of straight and curved lines that come together to form a visual pattern. Conversely, the artist also employed words and phrases that are loaded with meaning and reference, in particular those words related to racism, black history, and black musicians and athletes. Basquiat’s word paintings and drawings often appear to be a secret, coded language that the artist devised and left for the viewer to attempt to decipher. Basquiat acknowledged his manipulation of words, stating “I cross out words so you will see them more; the fact that they are obscured makes you want to read them.? However, Basquiat’s casual, random manner is deceptive, because on closer inspection his choice of words often coalesce into intelligent, meaningful, and cohesive thoughts and subjects.

BERLIN, GERMANY.- Kulturforum in Berlin presents a bust of the Egyptian queen Nefertiti. The bust comes from Berlin's Egyptian Museum. It will be later located at the Old Museum on the Museum Island on. The work is currently the main work of a special five-month exhibition. The bust measures 19 inches high and was discovered by German archeologists in 1912. It is part of an art and hieroglyphs exhibition . Egyptian Museum director Dietrich Wildung stated, " The beauty of Queen Nefertiti has endured these many centuries and must be seen by all."

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM.- The Center for Fine Arts Brussels presents Magritte and Photography. A little-known side of the great Belgian Surrealist painter, photography shows how Magritte gradually invented his famous character in the black coat and bowler hat. In a series of over 330 small prints belonging to him personally, most of which have never been published before, the story of his life is told with humour. His wife and muse Georgette, and friends such as Scutenaire and Nougé, as well as the Belgian coast in the 1950s … Magritte ,,who had become a character in his own paintings, also posed for some famous Belgian photographers (Thiry, Lierens and d’ Ursel) as well as foreign ones such as Michals.

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Pause For Thought

Conrad on Artists

"An artist is a man of action, whether he creates a personality, invents an expedient, or finds the issue of a complicated situation."