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Made from pigment mixed with nondrying oil and a wax binder, oil pastels are a softer and more blendable drawing tool than either colored pencils or crayons. They can also be thinned with oil or solvents for painterly effects. Oil pastels never fully dry, so finished works should be framed behind class or sprayed with a fixative formulated for that purpose. They make up for this drawback, however, by supplying immediate, vivid color.

Can’t decide which brand of oil pastels to choose? We don’t blame you. Not only are there dozens of options available, but there are also so many factors to consider: color strength, consistency, firmness, and of course, price. If you’re just starting out with oil pastels or are looking for a set for casual use, we … Read the rest

Earlier this week, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles announced that it has acquired the archive for The History of California, Judith F. Baca’s epic mural cycle. More commonly known as the Great Wall of Los Angeles, Baca’s mural offers a vision of history from the perspectives of historically marginalized groups, including Indigenous, Latinx, Black, and Asian communities, as well as queer people and women.

“This monumental work by an iconic artist contributes to shaping a more inclusive view of life in the United States and California,” Sandra Jackson-Dumont, the Lucas Museum’s director, said in a statement announcing the acquisition. “This incredible repository uniquely positions the Lucas Museum to illustrate the significance of public murals to storytelling.”

The Lucas Museum’s acquisition of the archive includes more than 350 objects related to the creation of the Great Wall, from concept drawings and mural studies to blueprints and … Read the rest

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Delight the young artists in your life by giving them a set of creative tools. A bounty of markers, crayons, or clay can satisfy kids on rainy afternoons or long car rides—or during endless time at home in a global pandemic. Personal art and craft supplies not only help children express themselves, develop motor skills, and strengthen their creativity, but also teach them how to take care of their possessions. Plus, they encourage them to spend less time on digital devices. Below, find our best picks for kid-friendly and nontoxic crafting and art making sets.

ARTNEWS RECOMMENDS 
Crayola Colossal Creativity Tub
This thoughtfully assembled tub from Crayola gives kids a big variety of good-quality, complementary craft supplies to use. It comes with crayons, twistable colored pencils, markers, kid-friendly paints, Read the rest

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Ah, watercolors. For many of us, they represented our first forays into the world of painting. Who can forget the soupy messes of those bygone watercolor trays? Fast-forward a few decades, and now you’re seeking the perfect watercolor set for a new generation of beginners, whether you’re a parent, a teacher, or a caregiver. Or maybe you’re a prodigal painter seeking to recapture the joys of your childhood and want a set for yourself. (Either way, you’ll be responsible for cleanup this time around!) What are the best and safest watercolors to experiment with? Here’s our verdict.

ARTNEWS RECOMMENDS
Faber-Castell Connector Watercolor Paints
This watercolor set by the august German manufacturer towers head and shoulders over its competition in terms of sheer creativity. Rather than a palette or tin
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Phillips will sell its first NFT by digital artist Mad Dog Jones (Micah Dowbak) in an online sale that will run from April 12–23, with bidding starting at $100.

The fully digital piece, titled REPLICATOR, is an “NFT experience,” according to Phillips statement on the piece, which is designed to self-produce 7 unique NFT “generations” in a 28-day cycle. The original NFT set to be auctioned is an image of an urban night scene. At its center is a photocopy machine; its screen reads “Ready to replicate.” From that illustration, the work will produce one new NFT per month, with every subsequent cycle producing one less artwork.

“It uniquely links form, subject, and function as it is completely dependent on the capabilities of an NFT to exist and perform the role it’s been given,” said Rebekah Bowling, a senior specialist in Phillips’s 20th century and contemporary art department.

According … Read the rest

Legend has it that, in 1969, while walking down Chicago’s East Ontario street, Stefan T. Edlis, who died in 2019, was awestruck by a building that appeared to be under construction and covered in black tarp. He thought at first that this was simply an intriguing construction site. In fact, it was a conceptual artwork by Christo who, with his partner Jeanne-Claude, sheathed various structures in fabric. Beneath it was the new site of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, opened two years earlier. That initial curiosity would lead Edlis to be a lifelong supporter of the MCA Chicago and other hometown arts institutions.

“Having known him half my life, I have this feeling that, when he was ‘duped’ by Christo, he was the opposite of bemused—he was delighted,” the MCA’s current director, Madeline Grynsztejn, recently told ARTnews.

And such a genuine affection for challenging conceptual art would come … Read the rest

Watercolor paints come in two forms: in tubes of liquid paint and in pans of dried paint that must be hydrated. Which type to use is a matter of preference, but there are a couple of instances where pans are clearly the better choice. If you like to paint en plein air—a practice ushered in by Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and Frédéric Bazille—you’ll likely find that watercolor pans, many of which come in compact carrying cases that can double as palettes, are the most convenient option. They are also a good choice if you paint only occasionally, as you don’t have to worry about your materials drying out. Whatever your reasoning, choosing the right professional paint will make all the difference in your work. For our top recommendations of highly pigmented, rich, flowing pan watercolor paints, browse the list below. 

ARTNEWS RECOMMENDS
Daniel Smith Watercolor Half Pans and
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Monday, March 29

Roberts Projects Adds Dominic Chambers
Roberts Projects in Los Angeles now represents Dominic Chambers. In his practice, Chambers explores the lived Black experience through figurative paintings which depict fleeting moments of leisure, contemplation, and camaraderie. Chambers has exhibited at institutions including Luce Gallery in Turin, the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, and the August Wilson African American Cultural Center in Pittsburgh. He will present a solo exhibition at the gallery in 2022.

Rainin Fellowship Names Inaugural Recipients
The Oakland-based Kenneth Rainin Foundation has announced the inaugural recipients of the Rainin Fellowship, which is administered by United States Artists and supports artists in the Bay Area. The four fellows for 2021, who each get an unrestricted $100,000 grant, are choreographer and performance maker Amara Tabor-Smith; actor, director, playwright, and educator Margo Hall; the People’s Kitchen Collective, an artistic and activist project focusing … Read the rest

As galleries and collectors alike continue to adjust to buying and selling art online more than a year into the pandemic, Art Basel launched the first of its 2021 Online Viewing Rooms, which opened to VIPs on March 24 and runs until March 27.

In the past year, Art Basel has expanded its OVRs beyond just replacing its three staple fairs—in Hong Kong, Basel, and Miami Beach—with adding thematic editions focused on specific art-historical periods. Previous editions were devoted to 20th-century art and art made only during 2020. This iteration takes the title of “Pioneers,” and features 100 galleries from around the world, all of which are able to show only eight works at any given time. (As in past editions, galleries are able to swap out works as the fair progresses.)

The art on view in “OVR: Pioneers” centers around artists who have “broken new aesthetic, conceptual, or socio-political … Read the rest

The London-based Reuben family has been revealed as the buyer of a $15.4 million Vincent van Gogh landscape purchased during Sotheby’s Impressionist and modern art sale in Paris on Thursday. Scène de rue à Montmartre (Impasse des deux frères et le Moulin à Poivre), from 1887, made its auction debut there after more than a century in private hands. A representative for the Reubens confirmed that the family had purchased the work.

The Reuben family collection, which comprises modern and contemporary art, including works by Picasso, Modigliani, Warhol and Basquiat, is jointly owned by British billionaire Simon Reuben, his brother David and daughter Lisa. Lisa, who ranks on the ARTnews Top 200 Collectors list, manages the collection and has previously worked as a specialist in Sotheby’s contemporary art department in London.

In Thursday’s Paris evening sale, the van Gogh was offered twice. When it was initially offered, Lisa Reuben … Read the rest