Die Jugend 1896Art Nouveau is an art movement that was very popular in the 1890’s up until the first years of the 20th Century. The term means ‘New Art’ in French and in other languages it is known as “Jugendstil” (Germany), “Sezessionstil” (Austria), “Modernismo” (Spain), and “Floreale” or “Liberty” in Italy. Art Nouveau has been applied to all of the decorative arts, architecture, painting and sculpture.

Art Nouveau was charged with an ideology to break the standards of the 19th Century Academic Art and to bring down the barriers between the fine arts and applied arts. It was a movement to combine all the arts in an attempt to create new art based on natural forms that could be mass-produced by the technologies of the industrial age. Additionally, the artist should be able to work on various different approaches from painting to metalwork and everything in between. 

A central element in Art Nouveau is the organic, plant-inspired motif which is often expressed with floral patterns and themes. Such themes are highly stylized with flowing curved forms. Other primary themes are birds, insects and femme fatales. The use of abstract lines and shapes as well as the lack of vivid shading is applied in order to eliminate the sense of depth thus most Art Nouveau paintings are presented in a two-dimensional manner.

Many Art Nouveau artifacts such asArt Nouveau Champenois vases, bowls, plates, lights, various furniture etc are beautiful objects but not necessarily very practical to use. During the first years of the movement, advertising posters were introduced into art providing a new space for the exhibition of this new art. Additionally, architects like Antoni Gaudí (although he has his own distinct style) have stretched the limits of design into astonishing and magnificent forms.

Art Nouveau remains an extraordinary form of art until today.Countless artifacts from the period 1890-1914 are constantly reproduced and many contemporary artists identify themselves as Art Nouveau artist. It is indeed the boldness, the sense of adventure and the desire to revolt that makes Art Nouveau such a pleasant trip for the senses!
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Latest Art News

Frieze reframed for the post-truth era

A photograph by Brian Buckley for Cheim & Read’s pink-inspired display<br />Photo courtesy Cheim & Read
Reflecting director Victoria Siddalls aim that Frieze, true to its editorial roots, should be a place where art is made, discussed and debated, there will be protest in the air when the fair unfurls its serpentine white tent for its sixth edition in New York.

Some galleries are using Frieze as a platform to respond to current events. A multimedia presentation by Thomson & Craighead at the Carroll/Fletcher gallery includes an end times perfume, while gallery artists from Ghada Amer to Lynda Benglis inspired by the colour pink (signature of the Womens March on Washington) will be shown by Cheim & Read.

The curatorial scouting ground known as Spotlight will have 32 solo stands devoted to 20th-century artists. Notable rediscoveries include 1970s curvilinear paintings by Virginia Jaramillo (Hales Gallery) and works by Dom Sylvester Houdard, a Benedictine monk turned Conceptual artist in 1960s London (Richard Saltoun Gallery).

Meanwhile, special projects commissioned by Cecilia Alemani from Dora Budor, Elaine Cameron-Weir and Jon Rafman will blur the boundary between viewer and participant, turning the see and be seen impulse of an art fair inside out.

Frieze New York, Randalls Island, 5-7 May

What does Trump's plan to abolish estate tax mean for collectors?

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, right, and National Economic Director Gary Cohn, brief the press at the White House on Wednesday, 26 April (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Donald Trumps tax reform plan, revealed on Wednesday by the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Gary Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council, includes the elimination of the estate tax, a move that would impact both wealthy collectors and cultural charities.

Some form of inheritance tax, or as its opponents dramatically like to call it, the death tax, has existed in the US for most of its history. Currently, an estate has to be worth at least $5.49m before it starts being taxed by the federal government. While the top rate for the tax is 40%, the average paid on such estates is around 16.6%, according to the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. Many of Americas richest, however, tend to set up trusts to protect their legacies from the taxman. Republicans have long wanted to to eliminate it completely.

At first blush, this seems like it would be great for collectors, says Donn Zaretsky, a lawyer with John Silberman Associates in New York. "You get to pass down your art collection free of estate taxwhats not to like?  But during the campaign, there was talk of also eliminating the so-called step-up in income tax basis as part of the deal. If thats still part of the proposal, then its more of a mixed bag for collectors.

Using the step-up in basis allows beneficiaries to lower the capital gains tax on assets they inherit that have grown in value. Currently, older collectors sitting on art that is appreciating in value are reluctant to sell. Theyre waiting for those assets to transfer to their estate, says Doug Woodham, a wealth advisor and former Christies executive who recently published a primer for new collectors, Art Collecting Today: Market Insights for Everyone Passionate about Art. If estate tax goes away, collectors will either pay more in capital gains tax, or their heirs will. I would think youd see more people saying, Maybe I should sell now.'

But while the market might see more turnover in the short term, in the long term, elimination of estate tax would also eliminate a powerful incentive to sell. Barbara Lawrence, a lawyer with the New York firm Herrick Feinstein, says that while theres no way of knowing how Trumps proposals may take effect, if the estate tax were repealed, "I think a lot of collections would actually not go up for sale, she says. While wealthy collectors may have more money to spend, there may not be much inventory to spend it on."
 
Cutting the estate tax could also negatively impact museums and universities, since they often receive bequests from wealthy patrons and alumni who are motivated to reduce their taxable assets before they die. The estate tax that has been a favourite issue of the Republican congress for many years, Nina Ozlu Tunceli, the Chief Counsel of Government and Public Affairs and the Executive Director for the Americans for the Arts Action Fund told us in January. You could talk to any university [about cutting it] and they would lay down on the floor over that. Lawrence notes, however, that Trumps proposal preserves the deduction for charitable gifts, which could lessen the repeals impact.
 
The estate tax is also a way for the government to generate substantial revenue. According the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the estate tax would generate about $275bn through 2026 under current law. While this is less than 1% of federal revenue over the period, the center reports, it is significantly more than the federal government will spend on the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Environmental Protection Agency combined.

Maybe it's because I'm an EastEnder

EastEnder: Charles Saumarez Smith
The British artist and author Edmund de Waal praises Royal Academy of Arts' chief executive Charles Saumarez Smiths new book on East London, which is out today (27 April). De Waal describes the RA boss, a resident of the East End since the 1980s, as being a very good companion on his flaneurial walks, amusing, erudite and engaged in his response to buildings, people and places. The insiders guide to exploring the East End, published by Thames & Hudson, features everything from Anish Kapoors ArcelorMittal Orbit in Olympic Park, which he writes looks better close up, like an escaped triffid to the Dirty Burger that set up shop in an Edwardian building in Stepneys Mile End Road. Saumarez Smith notes that the gourmet chain is next to the Trinity Almshouse where you can have flagons of Crate ale and superior, but not expensive, burgers. The book was borne from the blog that Saumarez Smith started in 2014. He tells The Art Newspaper that he has another book up his sleeve, this time on central London, if things go well with this one.

Nitsch performance using slaughtered bull to go ahead in Tasmania

Hermann Nitsch in front of one of his works (Image: Gero Breloer)
A performance by the Austrian artist Hermann Nitsch, which will use the carcass of a slaughtered bull to stage a bloody, sacrificial ritual will take place, as planned, on 17 June in Tasmania.
 
Animal rights campaigners had tried to block the work, the artists first in Australia. By this morning, 27 April, a petition set up on change.org by Animal Liberation Tasmania, which called on the City of Hobart to stop the Nitsch performance because it trivialises the slaughter of animals for human usage, and condemns a sentient being to death in the pursuit of artistic endeavours, had been signed by over 20,000 supporters.
 
But in a statement emailed to the press, Leigh Carmichael, the creative director of Dark Mofo, an annual music festival held at the Museum of Old and New Art, said that the Nitsch ritual would proceed.
 
The work of the Austrian artist, one of the key members of the Viennese Actionist group, exposes reality and deals with the sanitation of war, horror, and slaughterFor those members of the public who believe that this is no more than shock art, or a publicity stunt, we urge you to look deeper, Carmichael said.
 
The statement continued: Art sometimes has the power to influence a community, and although it would be an indirect outcome of this performance, we would consider a reduction in the consumption of meat a positive result. If we cancel this event, not one bull will be savedYes, we could select a random animal to live peacefully in a paddock for the rest of its life. This would amount to no more than a futile attempt to reduce our guilt, and in the process further suppress the truth and reality that we are seeking to understand.
 
In January 2015 an exhibition of Nitsch's work at the Jumex Collection in Mexico City was cancelled following protest by animal rights activists.

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