Art Bites

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Art Bites

A collection of articles, art and artists we admire and appreciate.

On November 4, 1966, flood waters rushed through the city of Florence, Italy, destroying thousands of priceless artworks in museums and churches. Santa Croce Basilica became a leading symbol of this destruction, as water and mud engulfed the historic structure, severely damaging several treasured paintings, among them Giorgio Vasari’s monumental 1546 panel painting The Last Supper. Now, fifty years after the flood, Santa Croce welcomes The Last Supper back, newly conserved through an international collaboration between the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, the Getty Foundation, Prada, and Protezione Civile.

The structural conservation of the painting was funded by the Getty Foundation as part of its Panel Paintings Initiative, a program that was launched as a joint effort in 2008 between the Getty Foundation, Getty Conservation Institute, and J. Paul Getty Museum. The initiative advances the knowledge of current experts in panel paintings conservation and prepares a next generation of conservators for the future. To achieve these goals, the Getty Foundation partners with leading art institutions in the western hemisphere supporting side-by-side training residencies.

“The unveiling of The Last Supper is the culmination of years of collaboration across continents and across fields to save one of the most significant and challenging examples of a flood-damaged painting,” says Deborah Marrow, director of the Getty Foundation. “Not only is the painting at home in Santa Croce once again, but a new generation of panel paintings conservators have been trained through these efforts so that other paintings can receive the same excellent care and treatment.”

Matthew Marks announces Terry Winters, the most recent exhibition in his gallery at 522 West 22nd Street.

The exhibition’s sixteen chromatically rich paintings have been built up with layers of marks in oil, resin, and wax. Their imagery derives from diverse sources, among them botany, geology, and chemistry, as indicated by their titles, which include Shell, Cluster, and Dioxazine Shift. Each finished painting, however, is an abstract composition with its own internal dynamics, emerging through a process that resembles evolution and other unpredictable natural phenomena.

Terry Winters (born 1949) lives and works in New York City and Columbia County, NY. His one-person museum exhibitions include the Tate Gallery, London (1986); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1991); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1992); the Whitechapel Gallery, London (1998); Kunsthalle Basel (2000); the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2001); the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2009); and, this year, the Kunsthaus Graz, Austria, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Bob Dylan, music legend and Nobel laureate, is also a prolific painter whose works depicting the landscapes and culture of the United States are now the focus of a major London exhibition.

Around 200 paintings by the US singer-songwriter, produced by the 75-year-old in the last two years, are on show from Saturday at the Halcyon Gallery in the British capital's plush Mayfair district.

The collection of oil, acrylic and watercolour paintings reveals a different side to Robert Allen Zimmerman, an icon of 20th century US popular music, whose poetic lyrics earned him the Nobel Prize for literature last month, to much surprise.