Hedy Lamarr, movie star and technological pioneer.

COURTESY CREATIVE COMMONS

Then Vs. Now

In Venezuela, “at a point in the river where boats can go no farther, there are five islands that contain some of the world’s largest and most illustrative rock art,” National Geographic reports. They were recently photographed by high-tech drones that could make renderings of engravings that are too large to see from the ground. [National Geographic]

“Leonardo DiCaprio spent more than 45 minutes in a private room haggling over the price of an $850,000 Basquiat drawing at Art Basel Miami,” reports Page Six. Also: “Photographers who tried to take a picture of Leo were told they would be thrown out and have their press passes revoked.” [Page Six]

Timely

Artist Dread Scott reached his $40,000 funder goal on Kickstarter for a project called “Slave Rebellion Reenactment,” which will be “a community-engaged performance that will bring to life a suppressed history of people with an audacious plan to organize, take up arms, and seize Orleans Territory.” [Kickstarter]

In the Guardian, Jonathan Jones comes out strongly against censoring art in the wake of calls for the Metropolitan Museum of Art to remove a Balthus painting. “Some will say it is a lot more complicated today,” he writes of our current era in comparison to past ones. “When it comes to banning art, I disagree. It is not complicated at all.” [The Guardian]

4Columns

4Columns has a review of the Geta Brătescu show at Hauser & Wirth in New York by Aruna D’Souza, who writes of the exhibition: “It wasn’t until I was in the gallery—faced with sixty-four works that span sixty years and encompass drawing, animation, collage, film, and books—that I knew how much I needed to see it.” [4Columns]

Also, in another 4Columns offering, film writer Ed Halter looks at the new MoMA show “Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983.” [4Columns]

Exhibitions

“‘Gilded Age Drawings at the Met’ is a curious attic cleaning of an exhibition,” says Cynthia Payne in the Paris Review. She goes on to note a conspicuous of commentary about art from the era: “Perhaps more explicit commentary would have run the risk of offending the patron class upon whose riches the Met always has depended. The Walton Family Foundation funded this exhibition, an irony too large to remark upon except to confirm in Jamesian sotto voce that, yes, Walmart supplied the fortune.” [The Paris Review]

A show of Chaïm Soutine at the Courtauld Gallery in London gets a rave in the New York Review of Books. About a portrait titled Bellboy (ca. 1925), Lucy Scholes writes, “Dressed from head to toe in a vibrant red uniform with gleaming gold buttons, hands defiantly on hips, legs spread wide, this figure perfectly captures the tension, seen throughout the show, between personal dignity and professional subservience.” [The New York Review of Books]

Three abstractionists from Washington, D.C., figure in “Radix: The Eternal Feminine,” a capital-city gallery show that “reflects a mythic figure who is ‘both dark and light, mystery and revelation,’ ” according to the Washington Post. [The Washington Post]

Misc.

The great experimental writer William H. Gass passed away at the age of 93. The Washington Post has an obituary. [The Washington Post]

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, a documentary about the fantastically eclectic Hollywood star who did an awful lot more than just brighten up the silver screen, got a good review in the Los Angeles Times. “As Bombshell explores,” writes film critic Kenneth Turan, “Lamarr . . . came up with a way to ensure secure radio signals, a frequency-hopping technology that has been called the basis for such up-to-date innovations as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.” [Los Angeles Times]