Reopening of the Courtauld Gallery – The dispute over the Frida Kahlo brand is dropped

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The Courtauld Gallery in London will reopen to the public on Friday 19 November 2021 following the largest modernization project in its history, providing a transformed home to one of the UK’s largest art collections.

The Somerset House gallery has been closed since 2018

Visitors to the Somerset House Gallery, closed since 2018, will be able to enjoy masterpieces from The Courtauld’s much-loved collection presented and performed in elegantly restored galleries, alongside a new contemporary commission of exhibitions specials, improved visitor facilities and dynamic new spaces.

Paintings from Courtauld’s famous Impressionist art collection by Monet, Degas, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Manet and others will be brought together in the spectacular Great Hall of LVMH, the oldest purpose-built exhibition space in London . The beautiful Blavatnik rooms, spread over the entire second floor, will provide a magnificent setting for works from the Renaissance to the 18th century. New rooms dedicated to 20th century art and the Bloomsbury Group will showcase lesser-known aspects of the collection, and a new project space will highlight temporary projects to connect the public to the institution’s work as a center prominent for the study of art history.

The new Denise Coates exhibition galleries will be inaugurated with the exhibition: Modern Drawings: Karshan’s Gift, which will run until January 2022 and will present works by European and American masters, including Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Wassily Kandinsky , Paul Klee, Gerhard Richter, Louis Soutter and Cy Twombly. The ticket price also includes Pen to Brush: British Drawings and Watercolors in the Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery and Kurdistan in the 1940s in the new Project Space, showcasing the work of 20th century British photographer Anthony Kersting.

Frida Kahlo brand dispute dropped by US court

Relatives of the estate of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo lost their lawsuit with Frida Kahlo Corporation for claiming to own the rights to her image. Mattel, maker of toys and creators of the Barbie doll, launched in 2018 a line of new Barbie dolls based on “Inspiring Women”, including a Kahlo doll. The range was highlighted on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

Panama City-based Frida Kahlo Corporation (FKC) has taken legal action against Mara Cristina Romeo Pinedo, the great-niece of Frida Kahlo who was the subject of a temporary injunction issued in Mexico, preventing the sales of the new Frida Kahlo Barbie nationwide. After Kahlo’s death in 1954, commercial rights passed to Isolda Pinedo Kahlo, his niece. Isolda Pinedo Kahlo’s daughter, Maria Cristina Romeo Pinedo, obtained power of attorney over these property rights in 2003. Frida Kahlo’s image has been exploited on mugs, sneakers and brands of tequila.

Court documents filed earlier this month named the defendants as Pinedo and his daughter Mara de Anda Romeo. They strongly argued that the case should not be conducted in the United States. “The defendants, two Mexican citizens, argue that this case – a trademark infringement case filed by two Panamanian companies – cannot be heard in the Southern District of Florida,” Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. wrote, “The plaintiffs disagree, arguing that jurisdiction is appropriate. After examining the pleadings and the applicable law, the Court grants the defendants’ motion to dismiss.

Art angel

Sonic Ray’s light and sound installation brings London’s only lighthouse to life

The lantern room at London’s only lighthouse will be illuminated for the first time since the late 19th century starting Thursday, September 30 by Sonic Ray, a major new light and sound installation on the River Thames. Produced by Artangel, Sonic Ray celebrates the 1,000-year-old musical composition Longplayer created by artist and composer Jem Finer.

Originally slated for 2020, Sonic Ray was commissioned to mark the 20th anniversary of Longplayer, who started playing from Trinity Buoy Wharf Lighthouse at noon on December 31, 1999 and will continue playing non-repeat until 2,999 when will end its cycle as the longest piece of music in history.

From the lighthouse, a powerful laser crosses the river to North Greenwich, encoding and transmitting the sound of Longplayer to a new temporary listening post aboard Richard Wilson’s nautical sculpture Slice of Reality. A short ferry ride connects the two sites, allowing visitors to experience Longplayer as a bridge of light crossing the river at both locations.

Built in 1864, the lighthouse at Trinity Buoy Wharf in east London was known as the ‘Experimental Lighthouse’, a landmark housing the workshop where Faraday performed his optical tests. It has been the home of Longplayer for 21 years.

Jem Finer said: “Sonic Ray has been lighting up the lighthouse where Longplayer has been playing in the dark for 21 years. It’s exciting to have found a way to integrate and project Longplayer’s music into a beam of light, connecting with a spirit across the river, Richard Wilson, whose Slice of Reality sculpture is Sonic Ray’s destination.

James Lingwood and Michael Morris, co-directors of Artangel, said: “Originally slated for 2020, Jem Finer’s Sonic Ray was among many art events around the world that have been rescheduled multiple times due to the pandemic. Over the past few months, time seems to have been experienced differently, enriching the meaning and value of Longplayer as a paradigm of change. As inexorable as the tide or the movement of clouds, Longplayer appears more than ever as a common thread of our time with Sonic Ray as a signal of hope made manifest ”.

Longplayer was born from a conceptual concern with questions of representation and understanding of the expansion of time. His music changes from day to day, from century to century, designed to last and adapt to changes in the technological and social environment. The 20th anniversary was marked last year by the Longplayer Assembly – an ambitious 12-hour relay of conversation between 24 pairs of pioneering thinkers on a wide range of issues, from public health to climate change and the economy, to through art, urban design and new technologies. You can watch the Longplayer Assembly here. Sonic Ray is part of the Totally Thames Festival 2021 (September 1-30), a month-long season of cultural events that stretches 70 kilometers along the Thames River.

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