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Michael Williams’s “Wall Dog” 2013, part of MoMA’s “The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World” exhibition. (Courtesy CANADA)

What sets so-called atemporal painting apart from painting that might be less kindly characterized as derivative or regurgitative? In her catalog essay for “The Forever Now,” a 17-artist exhibition which opens at the Museum of Modern Art on December 14, curator Laura Hoptman traces the definition of atemporality to sci-fi novelist William Gibson, for whom the term captures “a new and strange state of the world in which, courtesy of the Internet, all eras seem to exist at once.” While some might lump such a phenomena under the larger banner of postmodernism, Hoptman does not. “Unlike past periods of revivalism, such as the appropriationist eighties, this super-charged art historicism is neither critical nor ironic; it’s not even nostalgic. It is closest to a connoisseurship of boundless information, a picking and choosing of elements of the past to resolve a problem or a task at hand.”

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Scott Indrisek
Blouin ArtInfo

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An example of ‘edible art’ is proof of what top chefs already know – a culinary masterpiece has to look the part as well as taste delicious. Psychologists found that a salad (left) tasted better when arranged to resemble Painting Number 201 (right) by the Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky

Forget fresh ingredients, expensive wine or quality spices, culinary masterpieces have to look the part to taste delicious.

It’s a concept that gourmet chefs have long exploited, and now scientists in Oxford have provided evidence to back up the claim.

In a recent study, psychologists found that a salad tastes better when arranged to resemble a work by the Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky.

So much so, that diners are willing to pay twice the price they would for a more rustic salad, thrown together with the same ingredients.

Franco-Columbian chef and one of the authors of the study, Charles Michel, designed the salad resembling the abstract artwork, Painting Number 201, to explore how the look of food affects how it tastes.

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Ellie Zolfagharifard
Daily Mail

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Loose grasp of technique … Derek Jarman’s Caravaggio. Photograph: BFI/Allstar/Allstar/BFI

Years ago, I was asked to write a screenplay about JMW Turner for Peter O’Toole (who was not going to play Turner). Sadly, the film never happened. It might have been a chance to redress the fact that most films about artists set in the past come badly unstuck when it comes to recreating the actual practice of drawing and painting. Peter Greenaway, in The Draughtsman’s Contract, took trouble to provide authentic 17th-century costumes and architecture, yet the draughtsman’s drawings – central to the plot – are embarrassingly late 20th-century in style. Likewise, Derek Jarman’s Caravaggio indulges in painterly oil-sketching procedures unthinkable in Caravaggio’s time.

When I, and some of my colleagues on the Turner’s House Trust, were consulted by Mike Leigh and his team for the film Mr Turner, we found them already steeped in the artist, his life and times. They were well-read, stimulating to talk to, not really in need of much guidance from us. And watching the finished film was a strange mixture of the comfortably familiar and the utterly strange: Turner and the early 19th century bursting fresh and fully formed from creative minds, quite different from those of art historians and museum curators.

As everyone knows, Leigh is an idiosyncratic director. His methods are inscrutable, he keeps his cards close to his chest. He seems to enter into a mystic pact with his actors who join him in a passionate attempt to get as close to their subject as possible, to identify with characters and events as though they were reliving them not as mere imitators but as incarnations of those people and events. Stanislavsky is only the starting point as far as Leigh’s method is concerned. As for plot, that emerges out of the white heat of this debate.

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Andrew Wilton
The Guardian

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“El Beso de los Invisibles” mural, to which Zas contributed

Here, where graffiti is classified as a violation rather than a crime, street artists do not have to hide. Bright murals, often uncompromisingly political, cover public walls, as well as those of home and business owners who, understanding the value (cultural and financial), allow their own properties to be used as a canvas.

In late 2011, the police shooting of teenage artist Diego Felipe Becerra provoked such an outcry that the city’s authorities issued a decree relaxing laws against graffiti and giving artists permission to work on certain public walls — as well as private ones, with building owners’ permission. Now, street artists are able to work more freely. That doesn’t mean it’s always easy, though, and working as a woman brings its own set of challenges. The small core group of working women streets artists in Bogotá includes Lik Mi, Zas, Bastardilla, Ledania, Hera, Fear, Zurik, Yurikauno, and Lili Cuca. Opinions on the significance of their status as women in a male-dominated field vary among them. Here are some thoughts from three.

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Karen Gardiner
Hyperallergic

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Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy. ‘I know a Caravaggio when I see one,’ said Mina Gregori. Photograph: La Repubblica

One of Italy’s most eminent art historians has claimed to have solved a centuries-old mystery after identifying a previously unknown painting in a private collection as a “magnificent” Caravaggio masterpiece.

Mina Gregori, 90, president of the Roberto Longhi foundation of art history studies in Florence and author of several books on the baroque painter, said she was 100% sure she had found the original Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy.

“I have become a connoisseur,” she said. “And I know a Caravaggio when I see one.”

A number of elements had combined to give her complete certainty, she said, that the oil on canvas she was presented with this year was the real thing.

There are several different versions of the Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy, and until now the one thought most likely by art historians to be the 1606 original was lying in a private collection in Rome.

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Lizzie Davies
The Guardian

LA The Broad building
Work progresses on The Broad museum in Los Angeles, which will share a block with the Museum of Contemporary Art and Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. Photograph: Matt McClain/Washington Post

The 32-metre-long escalator tube isn’t finished yet and the museum’s intricate outer shell is still being assembled, but when Joanne Heyler walks out on to the top floor of The Broad, a contemporary art museum set to open in downtown Los Angeles next year, she can’t resist smiling.

“It never fails to take my breath away,” said Heyler, The Broad’s founding director.

The Broad, sharing the Grand Avenue block with the city’s Museum of Contemporary Art (Moca) and Frank Gehry’s shimmering Walt Disney Concert Hall, is not just a $140m building. It’s at the core of a cultural boom in a place once famous for training artists – and then sending them off to New York to build careers. Long the centre of the movie industry, the region is now becoming a magnet for artists, dancers, musicians and museum leaders.

“We used to always be the wild stepchild out in the desert,” said acclaimed abstract artist Mark Bradford, a Los Angeles native. “Now, we’re being adopted. We’re seeing people coming here to build much larger, bigger galleries and private museums. Things you used to only see in the east.”

About 12km west of The Broad (pronounced “brode”), the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is raising $300m as part of a plan to open a movie museum in 2017 on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s (Lacma) campus. Big donors for that project include music mogul David Geffen and director Steven Spielberg.

Earlier this year, the museum lured Kerry Brougher, the chief curator of the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, to be its director. Lacma has a grand plan of its own, a $650m redesign of its campus that would stretch over Wilshire Boulevard.

And Hauser & Wirth, the contemporary art powerhouse in London, Zurich and New York, is hanging up a shingle in Los Angeles.

“People used to complain that people went to New York to buy what they could buy in LA,” said Kathy Halbreich, the associate director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. “I don’t think that happens anymore. I think there’s a recognition that the city matters, that the people aren’t just there for the weather. You see a level of ambition that’s been ratcheted up.”

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Geoff Edgers
The Guardian

France - Louis Vuitton Foundation
The building boasts an auditorium, a stepped waterfall a restaurant and art galleries. Photograph: Justin Lorget/ Justin Lorget/Corbis

When architect Frank Gehry unveiled his plans for a museum shaped like a massive glass cloud in the heart of Paris it looked little more than a few squiggles on a piece of paper.

Even Gehry, whose celebrated works are often cited as among the most important in contemporary architecture, had difficulty finding words to describe what he hoped to create.

“It’s a cloud of glass – magical, ephemeral, all transparent … it’s not stodgy,” he told the Guardian back in 2006.

On Friday, Gehry’s glass cloud – which has also been nicknamed The Iceberg, but is officially the Louis Vuitton Foundation – was unveiled.

As promised, the massive glass, metal and wood structure – commissioned by Bernard Arnault, president of the French luxury goods group LVMH and France’s wealthiest man – appeared to float ethereally over one of France’s oldest parks, the Jardin d’Acclimatation.

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Kim Willsher
The Guardian

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Jack Napthine’s Untitled 2013. Photograph: Jack Napthine/Art Unlimited, Geelong

The art of Jack Napthine is a powerful mix of boldly outlined locks, light bulbs and snatches of text; Julian Martin’s thick pastels give a dense velvety texture to his drawings; and Terry Williams’ soft sculptures of fridges, helicopters and video cameras are flamboyant and witty.

They’re all talented artists whose art is shown and collected in Australia and beyond and whose creations are currently part of Everyday Imagining: New Perspectives on Outsider Art at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne. But a few decades ago, their careers would have been unthinkable. In all likelihood, they would have spent their lives in institutions for the intellectually impaired.

Outsider art was a term coined in 1972 by British art historian Roger Cardinal. It was a roughly equivalent but more inclusive coinage for art brut (raw art), a 1940s label by Jean Dubuffet for work by inmates of insane asylums, which the French artist described as “unscathed by artistic culture … and the conventions of classical or fashionable art”.

Today, as well as including artists with disabilities or mental illness, the term is increasingly applied to others on the margins of art and society: the homeless, ethnic minorities, migrants, folk artists, the self-taught. Outsider art is hot – art fairs dedicated to the work of the marginalised draw large crowds and big bucks. The flagship exhibition of Massimiliano Gioni’s 2013 Venice Biennale was entitled The Encyclopedic Palace after the work of self-taught Italian outsider artist Marino Auriti.

But while examples of creativity unscathed by artistic fashion can be exhilarating and inspiring for artists and collectors, it’s a salient feature of most outsider art that the people applying the label are invariably on the inside – gallerists, academics, psychologists and artists who are art-school or university trained.

There has long been a fear of including the self-taught in the world of high art, says James Brett, founder of the Museum of Everything, a peripatetic collection of unclassifiable and undiscovered art that has taken up residence at London’s Tate Modern as well as Selfridges department store.

Brett is one of the speakers at Contemporary Outsider Art: the Global Context, a conference taking place in Melbourne from 23 to 26 October. “Being called an outsider artist is a badge of pride if you’ve been labelled as marginal elsewhere,” he says. There are many more art-makers than those who society labels artists, he adds. “Insider” art, with all its rules and gatekeepers, is only a small subset of a much larger world of creativity.

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Fiona Gruber
The Guardian

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A nighttime view of the recently completed David H. Koch plaza at The Met.
(© The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Though the Metropolitan Museum of Art has often been accused of elitism, the landmark institution’s granite front steps numbered among New York City’s most democratic public spaces. On any given day tourists, panhandlers, patrician Upper East Side locals, and New Yorkers of all variety would meet, sit, linger, people-watch, or perhaps read a book on the Met’s front steps or in the tree-lined plaza they overlook. That is, until 2012, when the museum boarded up its front courtyard and plaza for a renovation — a first since the steps and courtyard landscaping were added to the Met’s frontal façade in 1968, as part of an expansion designed by Kevin Roche and John Dinkledoo.

The much-beloved public space reopened last week after a thorough, if subtle, overhaul by Philadelphia-based landscape architects OLIN. The redesign leaves much about the plaza and stairs unchanged — the designers’ most successful interventions preserve and accentuate those features that gave the space its reputation in the first place.

One hundred and six trees have been planted and parasols have been added to the alley of trees now lining the 1,021-foot-long street-level plaza, providing 17,600-square-feet of shade. New square fountains, articulated in black granite, flank the grand entry staircase, replacing the original, deteriorating fountains that had been in use since the 1970s. Both permanent and temporary seating has been expanded along the plaza. The effect makes the Met plaza an even more pleasant place to linger, and museum visitors and passersby will surely respond to these changes with great enthusiasm.

One detail of the renovation, however, has already been met with outright hostility. Along the side of the two new fountains, gilded letters spell out “David H. Koch Plaza.” The renovation’s billionaire funder, who gave $65 million for the project, has also donated money to right-wing causes that include the Tea Party and climate-change denial.

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Anna Kats
Blouin ArtInfo

Turps art school in London
Outsider art … Turps art school in London

I thought painting was supposed to be dead. It seems impossible to nail into its casket. Wherever I look this autumn, paint is being splashed about. From Turner and Constable to Rembrandt, Anselm Kiefer and Gerhard Richter, great painters are strutting their stuff.

Even Marcel Duchamp, inventor of the readymade and, some would say, the artist who knocked painting off its pedestal, is examined in a less familiar light – as a painter – by the Centre Georges Pompidou this autumn. Duchamp proves it’s an empty cliche to think painting is irreconcilable with the multiform art of today. Painting has such a diverse history – encompassing such varied phenomena as Chinese landscapes on silk, medieval frescoes and Jackson Pollock – that it obviously has the capacity to evolve in infinite ways as the world changes.

And yet, it’s undeniable that many people today equate modernity in art with modern media. Video and photography are glibly identified with the new, and painting is routinely equated with the past. This is arguably true of many art schools, where there is a powerful emphasis on multimedia ways of making art.

Some painters are rebelling against this. They have even founded a new art school to put it right. The Turps art school, co-founded by painter Marcus Harvey and connected with the magazine Turps Banana, has just been given a painting by Keith Coventry to support its activities as it moves to a new home on the Aylesbury estate, in south London. It defines its mission as fighting for better painting tuition and tutorial input, and against the rise in tuition fees on established fine-art courses.

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Jonathan Jones
The Guardian

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