Gemstone/Art. Renaissance to the Present Day
Gemstones have always been, since time immemorial, heavily charged with meaning and have even been regarded as magical objects. For that reason they have also been an art medium since the early modern age and have shaped as art symbols - in the form of the crystal - both Romanticism and Modernism, for example in the works of Caspar David Friedrich, Lyonel Feininger and many more. In the latter half of the twentieth century, not only have such artists as Bernd Munsteiner, Ute Eitzenhofer and Bernhard Schobinger rediscovered the gemstone; through the Hochschule fur Edelstein und Schmuck Trier/Idar-Oberstein and other similar specialist institutions it is also undergoing a revival in today's art production - right up to Damien Hirst.
Homage to Savitsky. Collecting 20th-Century Russian and Uzbek Art
Unnoticed by the international art world until recently, the Karakalpakstan State Museum of Art - located in Nukus, Uzbekistan - houses the second largest collection of Russian avant-garde art in the world (after the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg). This extraordinary museum is the life's work of Igor Vitalievich Savitsky, a Russian painter born in Kiev who first visited Karakalpakstan in 1950 as a member of the famous Khorezm Archeological & Ethnographic Expedition led by Sergei Tolstov. Subsequently, having moved from Moscow to Nukus, Savitsky began collecting the works of the Russian avant-garde - including those by such well-known names as Falk, Mukhina, Koudriachov, Popova, and Redko - whose paintings were banned during Stalin's rule and through the 1960s because they did not conform to the officially prescribed Soviet 'socialist realism' school of art. The current English language publication, already issued in Russian in 2011, helps make the Savitsky Collection accessible to a broad international audience for the first time.
Meisen Kimono. The Karun Thakar Collection Jackson Anna Meisen silk was produced in Japan from the late nineteenth century and became particularly popular between 1910 and 1940, when meisen patterns blurred the line between fashion and art. Meisen was an innovative, quick and cost-effective dye and weaving method with the effect of labour-intensive and multicoloured traditional kasuri ikat fabric. The meisen kimonos that were produced en masse were the first affordable ready to wear kimonos. Designed by a young generation of Japanese textile designers who synthesised classic Japanese design with the influence of Western design movements, the patterns still look fresh and original today and represent a little known study in textile design of the early twentieth century. As eminent fashion garments, meisen kimonos would be replaced with the next new fashion after just a season or two. Thus many of them were stored in excellent condition and were even passed down as heirlooms. In recent years they have resurfaced and are now enjoying the high esteem bestowed on them by collectors.
Netsuke in Comparison. Motifs and Their Variations Langegger Florian Netsuke - classic belt decorations for men - are rooted in a historical, mythological and artistic tradition in Japanese culture. Woodcarvers and their pupils, even counterfeiters, continued the work of their role models, in copies or variants of what came before them, and even created major works of art with the smallest of dimensions. Since the opening up of Japan in 1853, the miniature works have gained appreciation, and enthusiasts of them are found all over the world.