Western Bridge, the art gallery founded by Seattle art collectors/philanthropists Bill and Ruth True, will close on
Oct. 20, 2012.
By Robert Ayers
Saturday will be a sad day for the Seattle art scene — the last day of the last exhibition at Western Bridge.
Bill and Ruth True’s public space for contemporary art, Western Bridge has occupied a former warehouse just off Fourth Avenue in Sodo since May 2004, behind the family company, Gull Industries. From that somewhat unlikely location, it has presented a remarkable program of perennially provocative exhibitions, most drawn from the Trues’ personal collection.
There are some Seattleites who have seethed at the audacity of artists presenting a puddle of seawater or a couple of dogs as art. For most delighted visitors, though, works like these (by Emilie Halpern and Turner Prize winner Martin Creed, respectively) have taken on the single most important function of art — to challenge our preconceptions and change the ways we perceive the world around us.
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A painting by Leonardo da Vinci that was lost for centuries has been authenticated by distinguished scholars in the United States and Europe and will be exhibited at London’s National Gallery as part of a Leonardo show that opens November 9, ARTnews has learned.
The painting, Salvator Mundi, or “Savior of the World,” depicts Christ with his right hand raised in blessing and his left hand holding a globe. It is painted in oil on a wood panel and measures 26 by 18 1/2 inches in size.
“It’s up there with any artistic discovery of the last 100 years,” said one scholar.
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(CNN) — Pablo Picasso once said, “We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.”
If we didn’t buy in to the “lie” of art, there would obviously be no galleries or exhibitions, no art history textbooks or curators; there would not have been cave paintings or Egyptian statues or Picasso himself. Yet, we seem to agree as a species that it’s possible to recognize familiar things in art and that art can be pleasing.
To explain why, look no further than the brain.
The human brain is wired in such a way that we can make sense of lines, colors and patterns on a flat canvas. Artists throughout human history have figured out ways to create illusions such as depth and brightness that aren’t actually there but make works of art seem somehow more real.
And while individual tastes are varied and have cultural influences, the brain also seems to respond especially strongly to certain artistic conventions that mimic what we see in nature.
August 21, 2012
We admire people who have can-do, elbow-grease-type attitudes. If something’s broke, why not fix it? Especially badly-damaged artwork. How hard can it be to just pick up a paintbrush and fix a fresco? Well, as it turns out — and as an elderly Spanish woman learned recently: pretty hard.
A couple of weeks ago, the Centro de Estudios Borjanos in Borja, Spain, received a donation from the granddaughter of 19th-century painter Elías García Martínez. At the time, the Centro knew of only one painting by Martínez in Borja — Ecce Homo, a fresco on the walls of the church of Santuario de Misericordia.
That’s it above. The leftmost image is how the painting looked two years ago; the middle image is how it looked in July, when it was photographed for a catalog of regional religious art. The image on right is how it looked when the Centro went to check it out on August 6th after receiving the donation. Hmm.
The restored version is apparently the work of an octogenarian neighbor of the church, who, noticing the damage to the painting, took it upon herself to restore the painting “with good intentions” but “without asking permission,” as culture councillor Juan Maria de Ojeda put it. It became clear to the amateur restorer — quickly, one imagines — that “she had gotten out of hand,” and she confessed to local authorities.
Not a… great job. But a great effort!
My sensibilities were hatched in the Northwest where dew, mist, and coastal fog hang like mysterious skeins between you and the world. Form is not crisp; it’s blotted. Edges bleed, boundaries blur. Light is silver and refulgent. The aesthetic temperament is mercurial. Urban landscapes are rarified, and nature is sacred.
Now I spend part of the year in my husband’s hometown, Columbus, Georgia. To move locations from the dewy Northwest to the sunny South comes with a welcomed aperture adjustment as I open to the light. My studio here is flooded with natural light. It sits out back in the yard of my husband’s childhood home where we now live in the winters. There’s a quality here I tap into. It’s about the light, the color, the people. Relationship and kindness are valued highest. At first I thought I’d be a fish out of water here. I mean, I’m kind of a feisty feminist and very independent. But I’ve fallen in love with this place that doesn’t care to be rarified, a place that enfolds the Civil War, forgotten industrial landscapes, abandoned mills, ancestral roots, plantations, patriarchy, racial strife, and daddy’s girls, along with a new generation trying to push things forward. The work I do has to do with movement and rhythms found in classical western music as well as the natural world. The music is in me, and I paint about it wherever I am. But the information in Southern light activates my paintings in a way that imbues them with a likened buoyancy, weightlessness, and transparency.