with art history
A Monumental Book Printed on Uncut Paper Celebrates Hokusai's Iconic 'Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji'
A forthcoming volume from Taschen is an homage to renowned Japanese ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849) and his iconic woodblock print series, Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji. Compiling Hokusai’s original 36 artworks and the ten pieces he created following the success of the initial collection, the XXL edition celebrates the lauded artist and his fascination with Japan’s highest mountain.
Encased in a cloth box with wooden closures, the 224-page book is layered with Japanese history and tradition in both content and form and features uncut paper and customary binding. The vivid, art historical works are paired with 114 color variations and writing by Andreas Marks—the director of the Clark Center for Japanese Art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art is also behind Taschen’s volume chronicling more than two centuries of woodblock prints—who offers background on the exquisite body of work Hokusai produced throughout the Edo period when a local tourism boom positioned Mount Fuji as an enduring cultural landmark.
Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji will be released in June and is available for pre-order from Bookshop.
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Miniature Scenes, Cross-Stitch Flowers, and Works from Art History Nestle into Eva Krbdk's Tiny Tattoos
Havva Karabudak, who works as Eva Krbdk, thrives on inking minuscule details. Focusing on innumerable lines and dot work, the Turkish tattoo artist (previously) illustrates textured florals in cross-stitch, realistic portraits of animals, and micro-paintings in the likes of van Gogh, Magritte, and Fornasetti. Many of the vivid renderings are small enough to fit into a perfectly round circle or a skinny stretch of a client’s upper arm.
Karabudak’s background coalesces in her tattoos, including her formal education at the Fine Arts Academy of Ankara in Turkey and her love of textiles. “It’s pretty customary for young women to learn (embroidery) from their grandmothers in Turkey,” a statement about her work says. “As a result, tiny cross-stitch patterns were among the first tattooing styles that Eva embraced.”
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Scan the World might be one of the only institutions where visitors are encouraged to handle the most-valued sculptures and artifacts from art history. The open-source museum hosts an impressive archive of 18,000 digital scans—the eclectic collection spans artworks like the “Bust of Nefertiti,” the “Fourth Gate of Vaubam Fortress,” Rodin’s “The Thinker,” and Michelangelo’s “David” in addition to other items like chimpanzee skulls—that are available for download and 3D printing in a matter of hours.
Searchable by collection, artist, and location, Scan the World recently teamed up with Google Arts and Culture, which partners with more than 2,000 institutions, to add thousands of additional pieces to the platform. Each page shares information about an artifact’s history and location, in addition to technical details like dimensions, complexity, and time to print—scroll down on to view images of finished pieces uploaded by the community, too. While much of the collection focuses on Western art, it’s currently bolstering two sections that explore works from India and China.
Scan the World is part of My Mini Factory, which is the largest platform for 3D-printed objects. If you’re new to the process, check out the site’s wide range of tutorials, including tips for beginners, how to scan with your phone, and techniques for using drones to capture hard-to-reach works. (via Open Culture)
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The Louvre just launched a new online database compiling more than 480,000 artworks from its collections and those at the Musée National Eugène-Delacroix and The Tuileries Garden. Spanning Egyptian antiquities and medieval sculpture to Renaissance and modern decorative arts, the free digital catalog includes works on long-term loan and is complete with an interactive map to pursue each room of the French institution. Some pieces are grouped into albums, including one collating 2020’s acquisitions and another dedicated to the National Museums Recovery, a collection of works gathered after World War II that’s being held by the Louvre until they’re claimed by their rightful beneficiaries. Dive into the entire archive, which is updated daily, on the museum’s site.
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A Massive Seven-Volume Collection Chronicles the Pioneering Legacy of Abstract Artist Hilma af Klint
Following a wildly successful retrospective at the Guggenheim in 2018, Hilma af Klint (1862–1944) has firmly secured her place as a groundbreaking figure in abstract art. In recent years, her colorful, spiritually-minded body of work has reshaped art historical timelines, supplanting male artists like Vasily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, Paul Klee, and Josef Albers, who have long been regarded as the pioneers of the 20th-century movement.
Throughout her lifetime, the prolific Swedish artist created more than 1,600 works, an impressive output now collected in Hilma AF Klint: The Complete Catalogue Raisonné: Volumes I-VII. Published by Bokförlaget Stolpe, the seven-volume series is organized both chronologically and by theme, beginning with the spiritual sketches af Klint made in conjunction with The Five, a group of women who attended séances in hopes of obtaining messages from the dead. These clairvoyant experiences impacted much of her work, which the books explore in her most famous series, The Paintings for the Temple, in addition to her geometric studies, watercolor pieces, and more occasional portraits and landscapes.
“What makes her art interesting is that the works are highly interconnected. A catalogue raisonné is necessary in order to see the different cycles, motifs, and symbols that recur in a fascinating way,” said Daniel Birnbaum, who co-edited the volumes with Kurt Almqvist. Each book is around 200 pages with hundreds of illustraitons.
The first three volumes are available now on Bookshop, where you also can pre-order the entire collection, and the remaining four are slated for release later this year. You also might enjoy Beyond the Visible, a 2020 documentary exploring af Klint’s iconic legacy. (via Artnet)
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“I saw the need to build cultural awareness by helping to revise and redefine American art,” says the renowned professor, artist, and curator David Driskell in Black Art: In the Absence of Light. His words echo throughout the new HBO documentary—which was directed by Sam Pollard, with executive producers Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Jacqueline Glover—that uncovers the rich and underappreciated lineage of Black art.
Structured chronologically, the feature-length film was released earlier this month and stems from Driskell’s revolutionary exhibition Two Centuries of Black American Art, which opened in 1979 at LACMA and surveyed more than 200 works dating back to 1750 from 63 artists. The formative show went on to major museums in Dallas, Atlanta, and Brooklyn, breaking attendance records despite its unenthusiastic response from some critics and institutions, including two in Chicago and Detroit that rejected its visit entirely.
Two Centuries of Black American Art, though, had a widespread and profound impact, which the documentary explores through interviews with artists working today. Many conversations begin with Driskell, who died last April from the coronavirus before Black Art‘s release. The film probes a vast archive from Chicago artists like Kerry James Marshall (previously) and Theaster Gates (previously), alongside Amy Sherald (previously), Kehinde Wiley (previously), and Jordan Casteel, among others.
Through a multi-generational lens, the documentary examines the nuanced effects of these figures’ contributions to the broader field of contemporary American art as it shares footage of their practices and reactions to their works. For example, Fred Wilson unveils what’s hidden within museum collections, while Wiley and Sherald both comment on the profound experience of painting the Obamas’ official portraits. Additional insights from Studio Museum director and chief curator Thelma Golden, who also is a consulting producer, are woven throughout the film.
Beyond galleries and museums, much of Black Art centers on the value of representation and unearthing a narrative that’s been obscured or outright dismissed. In particular, it considers the role of collectives like Sprial, which was founded in 1963 by Romare Bearden and Norman Lewis in order to highlight the work generated by Black artists in the Civil Rights Movement. While Sprial drew attention to otherwise ignored projects, it was largely dominated by men, a problem Faith Ringgold speaks to as she describes being rejected from the group. Sprial only admitted one woman, Emma Amos.
The final segment focuses on the importance of collectors investing in Black artists, in addition to the long history of spaces like Studio Museum and historically Black colleges and universities. These institutions continue to foster communities that honor the legacy of those who’ve come before while backing those forging new ground, prompting questions like this one from Theaster Gates: “We are part of a continued renaissance—it’s been happening. What I’m most excited about is, do we have the capacity to be great makers in the absence of light?”
Black Art is streaming on HBO Max through March 17. Educators also can download a coinciding curriculum with research tools and discussion prompts, in addition to another filled with activities designed to spur creativity.
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Editor's Picks: Design
Highlights below. For the full collection click here.