Glyn Hughes

03 January 2008
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23 March 2006

Pavement Art (Toddler Crushers)
By Glyn Hughes

Painting Positive

OUR pavements may have become filled with non-art bumper cars created in a nightmare of luna-park insallationists (read last week) but actually the island’s (both sides) true creative scene is growing more and more.

From hillside to vale, from municipal gallery to front room (or kitchen as in Open Studios ), Cyprus art advances.

Figuration has returned. Icons appear to be making a comeback. The moats are filled with imagination Eros is waking up. Actually it never wilted. Awards are multiplying. There’s still a little of the real countryside landscape left.

Who knows? Once again, donkeys will by braying for portraits and non-plastic flowers will be blooming. Could we be moving into the era of the loom?

The Joy of Toy

THIS opens on Thursday, January 10 at Castelliotissa Hall, Nicosia.

This exhibition has been commissioned by the Austrian Foreign Ministry for the 2006 commemorative year of Sigmund Freud’s birth-day 150 years ago.

The exhibition shows in a turnaround fashion what jokes about psychoanalysis can look like by drawing from the cartoon vault of the New Yorker, a magazine famous for its high cultural and aesthetic standards, including cartoon art.

Isabel Ettenaur is an exceptional musical personality with a notable artist profile . Both as a pianist and as a world leading toy piano virtuoso she captures her audiences’ hearts.

For the project THE JOY OF TOY, in which she plays new music on toy pianos she has been awarded the Pasticciopreis of the Austrian public Radio Osterreich 1.

Since the start of her career, Isabel has been a regular guest at international Festivals and concert Halls throughout Europe and the USA.

A second concert ‘ Piano Games" on piano and toy piano by Isabel Ettenauer will take place at the Rialto Theatre in Limassol on Friday, January 11, at 8pm.

OTHERS

Young Polish Printers opens on Monday, January 7 at 7.30pm Famagusta Gate. Olga Spanou is Gloria Gallery until 13th January. Brilliant.

Photo captions

Assorted Images from 2007

FOR ARTS PAGE 4

Court rules painting auctioned by Nazis before WWII belongs to Jewish man's estate

PROVIDENCE (AP)

A PAINTING held by a German baroness rightfully belongs to the estate of a late Jewish art dealer who was forced by Nazi authorities to auction it off, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge Mary Lisi ordered Maria-Luise Bissonnette to turn over ''Girl from the Sabiner Mountains'' to representatives of the estate of Max Stern, who died in 1987.

''It is clear that Dr. Stern's relinquishment of his property was anything but voluntary,'' Lisi wrote.

Although outside experts have not authenticated the painting, both sides claim it is a work of Franz Xaver Winterhalter, a 19th-century artist who was famous for his portraits of European nobility. One appraiser for Bissonnette estimated the painting, which is now in a German warehouse, was worth up to $94,000 (E63,980).

Lisi's ruling ''vindicates Dr. Stern's effort to try and hold onto his collection during the Nazi era, (and) to seek its return afterward,'' said Thomas Kline, a lawyer for Stern's estate.

Bissonnette had not read the ruling Friday and said she could not comment on it. She did not know whether she would appeal.

''I really don't know what I'll do,'' she said. ''I'll have to see what happens.''

Stern inherited his family's Dusseldorf art gallery in 1934. Three years later, Nazi authorities forced him to auction off its contents because he was a Jew. He fled Germany after the auction and eventually settled in Canada, where he became a prominent art dealer.

Stern never kept the proceeds from the auction, according to lawyers for his estate. To secure exit papers for his mother, who was still in Germany, Stern had to pay arbitrarily imposed taxes.

''I was blackmailed,'' Stern wrote in an affidavit years later. The taxes ''were totally unjustified and came out of thin air.''

Bissonnette's stepfather, Karl Wilharm, a Nazi party member, purchased the painting at the auction. Bissonnette eventually resettled in Rhode Island and inherited the painting from her parents.

The case is one of several legal battles in recent years over artworks that changed hands in the Nazi era. Last year, five paintings by Gustav Klimt were handed over to Maria Altmann of Los Angeles, niece of a Viennese art patron. Altmann had waged a seven-year fight for their return.

Another tangle involved a Vincent van Gogh painting purchased by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1960s. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider a claim brought by descendants of a former owner of the painting, a Jewish woman who had fled Germany in 1939.

Stern left his estate to McGill and Concordia universities in Montreal and Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The schools have continued Stern's work in trying to find his paintings, about 400 of which remain missing.

Stern's estate found the Winterhalter painting after Bissonnette attempted to auction it in 2005. They first tried to negotiate its return but when talks broke down, lawyers for the estate filed a lawsuit to get it back.

Bissonnette has said that she and her family did nothing wrong.

''I have the receipt. My father paid for it,'' she had said earlier. ''I would like to hope that my parents' names would be cleared.''

 
 
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