Pacita Abad and Art News of the Week 27 July – 2nd August

© Pacita Abad Art Estate

The name of Alberto di Lenardo has been mentioned this week in many art and news sites because it is related to a strange and fantastic discovery. Norwegian authorities have removed a Picasso’s mural that adorned a building in the center of Oslo for more than fifty years. Heather Phillipson’s latest installation is a 31-foot high spoonful of whipped cream. Last Friday Google honored Philippine activist and artist Pacita Abad with a new Doodle.

The attic of secrets of Alberto di Lenardo

29 July 2020 – Via artnet.com

Photo: Courtesy of the estate of Alberto di Lenardo and MACK.

The name of Alberto di Lenardo has been mentioned this week in many art and news sites because it is related to a strange and fantastic discovery. During August a new book of photographs will come out with the unpublished work of this photographer. Alberto had the habit of capturing friends, strangers, and lovers inadvertently with his lens. This Italian amateur photographer born in 1930 has managed to leave a work full of attractive and capricious stories.

His unpublished work was hidden for many years in a secret room in his house. This work will now be published in the book “An Attic Full of Trains”. This story began some years ago, one Saturday when Alberto was having lunch with his granddaughter Carlotta di Lenardo at his home in Udine, a city in northern Italy. At one point Alberto took Carlotta to his library and showed her that behind some books there was a hidden door that allowed access to a secret attic.

Upon entering this room that seemed to belong to another world, Carlotta found this surprise. There were more than 8,000 perfectly preserved photographs that Alberto had taken throughout his life. All these postcards of a lifetime had the colorful charm of Kodachrome, a film for photography by Kodak that was available from 1935 to 2009.

During lunch, Alberto, the grandfather told Carlotta that he wanted to show her some photographs, but surely she could not imagine the treasure she would witness moments after that innocent confession. Carlotta said that as soon as she could see those photos she fell in love with them. Carlotta is now working on publishing a selection of these photographs in a book that will be called “An Attic Full of Trains”. Unfortunately, Alberto will not be able to see his work published for the first time, as he passed away in the summer of 2018.

The Fishermen by Picasso and Nesjar was removed in Oslo

July 30, 2020 – Via artforum.com

The Fishermen mural by Pablo Picasso and Carl Nesjar in Oslo. Photo: Artforum.com

Despite international protests by politicians, conservationists, curators, and a petition signed by more than ten thousand people, Norwegian authorities have removed a mural that adorned a building in the center of Oslo for more than fifty years. The Fishermen, by Pablo Picasso and Carl Nesjar, was on one side of the buildings known as the Y-block. The building was damaged by the 2011 terrorist attack and is scheduled to be demolished as part of a development plan by the Oslo city government.

The Y-block and the H-block adjacent to it were designed by the modernist architect Erling Viksjø in 1969. Picasso and Carl Nesjar created The Fisherman to decorate the Y-block. The protests are aimed to make the city government relocate the work within the new building to be constructed on the same site.

Norwegian Minister of Local Government and Modernisation Nikolai Astrup told the New York Times that all necessary considerations have been taken into account in terms of safety, functionality, urban environment and costs. The administration overseeing Picasso’s legacy agreed to the removal of the mural despite initial concerns.

Heather Phillipson’s spoonful of whipped cream

30 July 2020 – Via artdaily.com

Heather, The End. Tom Jamieson/The New York Times. Photo: Artdaily.com

Heather Phillipson is a British artist who has worked in a variety of media including sculpture, music, video, and large-scale installations. She is also known for being a poet acclaimed for her appearances online and in printed books. She has received a number of awards for her artwork and her poetry.

This week her name was in the news again due to her latest installation, a 31-foot high spoonful of whipped cream. The installation was supposed to be presented last March in Trafalgar Square but on the day the presentation was scheduled to take place, Britain went into lockdown. Her piece is called “The End” so it was not easy for Heather to hold conversations with city officials to see when her piece could be inaugurated, while thousands were dying due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Heather says that in the midst of those conversions she began to lose hope, believing that the time for the desired presentation of her work would never come. But last Thursday, July 30th, “The End” was finally presented to the public. Heather says the play was conceived in 2016 shortly after Britain voted to leave the European Union. She felt that her sculpture of a spoonful of cream that seemed to fall from her platform looked like the world at that moment. Although she says that the public is always free to interpret her work as they like.

Who was Pacita Abad?

July 31, 2020 – Via artnews.com

Tribute to Pacita Abad. Photo: Google Doodle

Last Friday Google honored Philippine activist and artist Pacita Abad with a new Doodle. Pacita was born on October 5, 1946, in Basco, Batanes, a small island in the north of the Philippines. She had a long career as a painter for over 30 years. She traveled and studied in the United States and exhibited her work in over 200 galleries and museums around the world. She became the first woman to receive the Philippines’ 10 Outstanding Young Men award in 1984.

Pacita was a pioneer in painting portraits of domestic and indigenous workers of the Philippines and Cambodian refugees. She was an artist who expressed herself from the depths of her being with a strong social conscience. She had a strong conviction that she could improve the world through the social responsibility she felt with her work.

She painted on a lot of materials like glass, metals, ceramics, and bark. She created over 4500 works of art during her career. Her first works represented primitive people and masks but the work she developed most extensively is the vibrant and colorful abstract works. A few months before she died in 2004 she developed one of his greatest works. She painted the 55-meter Alkaff Bridge in Singapore, covering it with 2,350 circles.

Pacita developed a very original technique in which she generated a three-dimensional sculptural effect that consisted of sewing and filling her canvases by means of a trapunto painting.

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