ART NEWS / 8 – 14 OCTOBER

Seven days is a long time in art, Bob Dylan, Salvador Dalí and Grayson Perry all feature this week.

1. In a world-first; singer-songwriter, artist, and general polymath, Bob Dylan has won the Nobel Prize for Literature this week. Dylan was awarded the accolade for “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” the Nobel Prize committee said. Dylan is the first American to pick up the prize since novelist Toni Morrison (Jazz, Song of Solomon, and Beloved) who won in 1993.

Scores of celebrities, politicians, writers and artists congratulated Dylan; including the current president, Barrack Obama – a fellow Nobel Laureate – who tweeted, “Congratulations to one of my favorite poets, Bob Dylan, on a well-deserved Nobel.”

With former president Bill Clinton congratulating him and revealing he owned one of Dylan’s iron sculptures.

2. It was announced this week that Art History will be scrapped from the A Level syllabus as the last exam board in England to offer it will be stopping as of 2018 due to low numbers of students. The chief executive of AQA (the examining body) said, “Existing specification is challenging to mark and award because of the specialist nature of the topics, the range of options, difficulties in recruiting sufficient experienced examiners, and limited entries”.

This summer saw a mere 839 students take the Art History A-Level this summer; but its scrapping has caused an outcry from intellectuals, students and professors, including Deborah Swallow, the director of the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, says: “The definition of art history as a ‘soft subject’ and the demise of its existence as an A-Level seriously misunderstands a subject, which is enormously important to the economy, culture and well-being of this country… art history as a subject needs to be much better known and not denigrated.” (via The Art Newspaper)

3. A rare work by one of the world’s most famous impressionists, Claude Monet, will go up for auction in November. Meule will appear as a highlight at Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in New York.

Conor Jordan, Deputy Chairman of Impressionist and Modern Art, comments: “Claude Monet’s Meule, a work of shimmering beauty, is one of the last remaining examples in private hands of the artist’s momentous series of Grainstack paintings executed over the winter of 1890-1891. A rhapsody of twilight atmosphere, Meule is rendered with a weft of jewel-like color that evokes both radiant glory of a moment and the universal qualities of the passage of time in nature.”

The majority of Monet’s ‘haystack’ and ‘grainstack’ pictures are held in top museums across the world. (via Art Daily)

4. Turner Prize winning artist Grayson Perry and art critic Jonathan Jones have had a long-running feud since 2001, when Jones reviewed Perry’s show at the Saatchi Gallery, and suggested what he’d like to do with Perry’s pottery: “Smash them and bury the pieces.”

Jones recently called Perry’s artworks, “suburban popular culture,” and he can now find his quote on one of Perry’s new vases that he has just previewed in anticipation of his show at the Serpentine Gallery next year. Jones will also notice that Perry has not only misspelled Jones’ name (it reads: “Johnathan,”) but also stated that Jones writes for the Daily Mail, when in actual fact he is the art critic for The Guardian.

Jones responded in an impassioned repost in another Guardian article, saying, among other things that, “Grayson Perry is what happens when art becomes a pseudo-intellectual entertainment for a world that is too busy to look and too distracted to feel: an artist for people who can’t be bothered with art. Now put that on a pot.”

It’s unlikely Perry will do as Jones tells him to, but he may well put it on a tapestry…

5. Dali’s infamous Les Diners de Gala – a surreal and erotic cookbook – has been rereleased by Taschen (originally released in 1973). Dali says of it in the books opening pages, “Les Dîners de Gala is uniquely devoted to the pleasure of taste… If you are a disciple of one of those calorie-counters who turn the joys of eating into a form of punishment, close this book at once; it is too lively, too aggressive, and far too impertinent for you.”

The book contains 136 recipes (including “Aphrodite’s puree”) in 12 chapters – all illustrated and collaged by the Surrealist master himself. (via Art Net)