March 2010

Natural elements and the industrialized world synthesize and contradict in the art of Alejandro 'Tarzaan' Villalobos. He mixes and resists creating abstracted landscapes using gold and silver powders, asphaltum, varnishes and industrial paints in his paintings, prints and painted sculptures.
Nature, environment and the destruction, whether natural or industrial, are the recurring themes in the art of Tarzaan. Using industrial products he recreates what industry has destroyed in his rainforest paintings.
The experience of Cylindrical Forest is likening the external balance and filtered light in the forest with that of personal circumstances in one's own internal landscape. The exhibit at the Galeria Nacional in San Jose is an abstracted, organized stroll through a simulated organic environment.

Magic Realism, an Art Movement and a Style

Situations in literature and visual art that could be real, but probably are not, mysterious or contradicting are identified with some Latin American works. Magic or Magical Realism is the blending of realistic imagery and magical elements, enigmas or paradoxes. It is the step between Realism, real contemporary life and Surrealism, situations that could not possibly exist. It is both a movement and a style.

Magic Realism, lo real maravilloso, is first used by German art critic Franz Roh to describe an art movement after WWI, representative art with elements of expressionist tendencies. The style remains popular in Europe and the USA from the 1920s through the 1950s. The naïve art of Henri Rousseau and the metaphysical paintings of Giorgio de Chirico use ambiguous perspectives and unusual juxtapositions. Rene Magritte was interested in the relationship between objects, images and language. He uses magic realism to create a sense of wonder in everyday objects.


Brazilian artist Reynaldo Fonseca uses magic realism
in his oil painting, Woman, Child & Bird, 1977

Alfredo Roldan, small and medium format works. Sala Braulio, Castellon, Spain, March 8 - March 26

Ernesto Neto: Navedenga, Interactive, immersive sculptural environments using translucent, stretchable fabric. by contemporary Brazilian artist. Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY, through April 5

Revolution on Paper: Mexican Prints 1910-1960, an exhibition of broadsheets, posters and fine art prints that takes us across the Rio Grande to revolutionary Mexico. British Museum, London, through April 5.

Changing the Focus: Latin American Photography 1990-2005, , Over 75 works created by 35 artists from the four regions of Latin America (Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean) range from traditional photography, to manipulated digital photography, installations, light-boxes and photo-based art. Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach CA, through May 2.

Fifty Years, Fifty Works, 100th Anniversary,, fifty outstanding artworks from the art collections of the Inter-American Development Bank and the Art Museum of the Americas of the Organization of American States with the collaboration of the Museo de Antioquia. Art Museum of the Americas, Washington DC
Ancient Gold Artwork, The language of objects created in gold from the bold simplicity of jaguar and bat pendants to the many ornately wrought pendants that meld human forms and animal features. Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, San Jose, Costa Rica, view slide show

ArteAmericas, Latin American galleries combine with new-for-2010 initiatives, pavilions, lectures, concerts, and a few surprises in between. Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach, FL, March 26-29.

Joaquin Torres-Garcia: Constructing Abstraction with Wood,, More than 80 wooden constructions, or maderas, largely dating from the 1920s to 1940s. The exhibition is the first to offer North American audiences an exploration of these innovative 3-D works, which include small-scale boxes, abstract male and female figures, masks and assemblages. A small selection of Torres-Garcia's oil paintings and drawings accompany the show to demonstrate the connections between his experiments in 2-D and 3-D forms. San Diego museum of Art, San Diego, CA, through May 20

Fernando Botero, . Paintings, drawings and monumental sculptures that exemplify Botero’s most familiar themes. Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, NY, through May 24.

What is provenance?

When collecting art, the buyer must consider several conditions for each piece he buys: the condition of the artwork, the value and the provenance.

Provenance literally means where it came from or stages of ownership, the history of the work of art. Ideally, it is the record of ownership from the moment it leaves the artist’s studio until the present time of ownership. It could have been purchased from the artist or a gallery, sold at auction, owned by individuals or groups of investors…or it might be a fake or stolen property.

Support documentation would be bill of sales and auction records. Authentication from the artist, the artist’s family, historians or foundations is often used for works of art with or without provenance. However, certificates of authenticity (COAs) from the mass production of offset lithographs and reproductions are redundant and merely marketing tools. Auction houses stand by their verification by accepting back any pieces found to be fraudulent but buying from online auctions is risky as to proper provenance provided.

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