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

Indian right-wing groups target Jaipur Art Summit over semi-nude painting

Right-wing protesters snatched a painting off the wall at the Jaipur Art Summit and brought it to a police station saying it was 'obscene'
Members of two right-wing groups in India stormed the Jaipur Art Summit, a five-day-long festival in Jaipur City, Rajasthan on Thursday 8 December, in protest over a work on display that depicts semi-nude women. The artist of the work, the London-based painter Radha Binod Sharma, was injured and intimidated in the attack, according to a volunteer at the summit who spoke to The Indian Express.

The attackers are said to be involved with Rashtriya Hindu Ekta Manch, whose leader Pandit Vijay Shankar Pandey was arrested by authorities shortly after the incident, and with the primarily female organisation Lal Shakti, whose leader Hemlata Sharma is reportedly wanted by police.

According to a volunteer working at the summit, Hemlata Sharma, accompanied by men who warned the artist not to retaliate, pushed the artist and injured his wrist and leg as he attempted to impede her from removing his painting from the wall. A video on India Today shows the protesters berating the artist, snatching the work and stepping on it. Sharma then took the painting to the police station. The authorities later returned the work, which was damaged in the tussle, to the summits organisers.

What was done was illegal and unacceptable, Kunwar Rashtradeep, the deputy commission of police in Jaipur East, told the Indian Express. We have asked the organisers to submit a detailed complaint, following which we will take action. I went to the summit and assured each delegate, both foreigners and Indians, of their safety and security.

Before she was wanted for arrest, Hemlata Sharma told reporters gathered at the summit that her actions are justified on the grounds that the work, a polyptych that shows four women topless, is obscene and that we do not need artists like thisvulgarity is not a form of art.

The artist and organisers involved with the summit say that the attack infringes on freedom of expression. This is very sad. Artists cannot work like this, Radha Binod Sharma said. I do beauty. I do humanity. The painting is not obscene or vulgar.

Shezad Dawood’s ten-part film Leviathan to launch in Venice in May

Shezad Dawood, Leviathan production stills (2016) (Image: courtesy of the artist and Season Two Ltd)
The London-based artist Shezad Dawood will unveil the first three episodes of an epic ten-part film cycle called Leviathan in Venice next May. The narrativefocusing on issues such as migration, marine conservation and mental healthwill unfurl over the next three years, with the remaining episodes unveiled at various international locations.

A project statement says: Leviathan is set in an imaginary future whose inhabitants are the survivors of a cataclysmic solar event. The film comprises footage such as news clips and documentaries as well as scenes shot at the Natural History Museum in London and on an abandoned island in the Venetian lagoon.

Dawood says: Ive been speculating about the overlap between different areas. Migrants crossing the sea at one of the most popular entry routes are passing over a hump on the sea floor which is a flash-point for the warming of the oceans, and in turn that makes it such a perilous crossing. There is also a significant level of trauma experienced by the migrants who make these crossings and their wider family networks.

He adds: The idea is to play with the language of HBO or Netflix and stream the different episodes at different venues. We plan to show the first three episodes in Venice." The venue in Venice is still to be announced; the touring venues include Mostyn gallery in Llandudno, Wales; the Plymouth Arts Centre in southern England and A Tale Of A Tub space in Rotterdam. All ten episodes will be released as a feature film in 2020.

The fictional episodes will be released on a dedicated project website in parallel with the various exhibitions. The artist also plans to launch a web archive in the spring that will include paintings and sculptures linked to the initiative along with fictional written accounts based on the project. Im interested in 18th- and 19th-century serialised novels, Dawood says.

Project backers include the international Outset contemporary art fund, which has provided seed funding. Timothy Taylor gallery, which represents Dawood, is also a project partner, along with the Institute of Marine Science (CNR-ISMAR) in Venice and the Venetian textile company, Fortuny Venezia.

Senate to vote on Holocaust restitution bill in a race against the clock

US Capitol building in Washington, DC
The US Congress is close to passing the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act of 2016, which would make it easier in the US for heirs of Holocaust victims to recover art looted by the Nazisbut the clock is ticking as the legislative season nears its end. On 7 December, the House of Representatives approved the proposed law unanimously. Now the measure awaits a vote by the Senate, where it has received bipartisan support at a time when the country is divided on almost every other issue.

The law would standarise the statute of limitations on claims for the return of art looted by the Nazis during the Second World War, allowing heirs six years to file in the US, once they became aware of the suspected looted object and its location. Statues of limitations on such claims currently vary from state to state.
The legislation has had some high-profile supporters, including the actress Helen Mirren, who testified before the US Senate Judiciary Committee in June. In the film Woman in Gold, Mirren played the collector Maria Altmann, the heir to an Austrian Jewish family that lost all of its property to the Nazis, including a painting by Gustav Klimt, Adele I. Altmann successfully sued in the US to recover the work from the Belvedere Museum in Vienna in 2006.

The collector Ronald Lauder, one of the bills most prominent supporters, now displays Adele I at the Neue Galerie in New York. Lauder calls objects looted during the Nazi years the last prisoners of war. On 1 December, Lauder wrote a blog post for The Hill, a publication read by Congressional members and staff, in which he asked: Imagine if you walked into a museum and saw a painting that once hung in your grandparents home? How would you feel, especially if your grandparents had been murdered by the same government that took the painting? Is this justice?

Lauder continued: What makes this egregious theft of culture and heritage even worse is how governments, museums, auction houses and unscrupulous collectors quietly allowed it to continue. Lauder was the chairman of MoMAs board in 1997 and 1998, when the museum exhibited Portrait of Wally (1912) by Egon Schiele, a picture on loan from the Leopold Foundation in Vienna that was seized in 1939 from the Jewish art dealer Lea Bondi. Lauder at the time said nothing in support of the heirs, who eventually won a $19m settlement over the painting. Its a remarkable learning process that [Lauder] went through, said the art investigator Willi Korte.

Randol Schoenberg, who represented Maria Altmann claim against the Belvedere, said from Los Angeles that one of the purposes of federal legislation is to make sure that in the US, with its various states, you have the same law applying. In general, its a good idea, especially for artworks, which tend to travel.  
Yet Thomas Kline, president of the Lawyers Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation, was wary of what he called Holocaust-specific legislation.
We should have laws of general applicability, he said. In Cyprus, the Ottoman Turks killed civilians and they destroyed art. So its 1,500 people instead of 15 million, but theyre just as dead, and the deaths were out of disrespect for the culture and the people, as was the looting. And Armenians would tell you the same thing.
Kline, who is Jewish, still supports the HEAR Act. Its a fact that relevant records were sealed, and its a fact that post-war restitution was a difficult process. Our laws dont contemplate the situation where documents are destroyed and where society is torn apart for years, if not decades.

Dia Azzawi's Doha airport sculptures hit new heights

Dia Azzawi's new public sculpture, Flying Man, at Hamad International Airport
The Iraqi-born artist Dia Azzawi is at the peak of his career right now, with a monumental solo showthe largest ever of an Arab artiston show at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art and QM Gallery Al Riwaq in Doha (until 16 April 2017). But now his art work is reaching new heights with two public art commissions in Dohas Hamad International Airport (HIA). The sculptures, titled Flying Man, feature Bin Firnas, a historical figure from the Islamic world who was an early pioneer in experimenting with flight, standing atop two monumental Mesopotamia-inspired pillars. According to Badr Mohammed Al Meer, the chief operating officer at HIA, the works are a celebration of travel. Azzawis works join the airports growing list of public works that include Urs Fischers larger-than-life Lamp Bear, a series of Oryx sculptures by the Dutch artist Tom Claassen, and Arctic Nurseries of El Dorado by Marc Quinn. Our airport terminal is a public space that welcomes millions of people every year, Al Meer says. HIA prides itself on being an innovative exhibition space.

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