BILDERFAHRZEUGE Blog

Allan Ramsay at the National Galleries of Scotland

For the scholar, it is unsurprising to learn of two 18th century portraits, originally conceived as a pair, which nevertheless became separated, ending up over the generations in different collections. Such is the fate of many paintings, especially those on canvas, which is a two-dimensional pictorial support whose very persistence through the centuries is tied to its mobility. Combined with the durability of oil paint itself, the portability of canvas is part of what makes oil paintings desirable, valuable, even, one might speculate, so entrenched in Western culture.

Event: Conference “Spontaneität. Unmittelbarkeit, Schnelligkeit, Authentizität in westlicher und ostasiatischer Kunst”

Organisiert von Yannis Hadjinicolaou und Monika Wagner

Hamburg, Warburg-Haus, 19.-20. November 2021

Ziel der Tagung ist es zum einen, die Vorstellungshorizonte und Bewertungen, die mit künstlerischer Spontaneität verbunden wurden und werden, über eine Rekonstruktion der jeweiligen Werkprozesse auszuloten und auf diese Weise Spontaneitätsmythen zu begegnen. Zum anderen gilt es, die Bedeutungen und Funktionen solcher Herstellungsverfahren, seien sie künstlerischer, ideologischer oder historiographischer Art, zu analysieren und historisch zu kontextualisieren.

Baby Pictor?

We have all experienced this situation with our smartphone: While opening the photo gallery or the camera, a photograph pops up that is not familiar to us. It may be blurred, or showing a strange detail from a peculiar angle: a pavement, a staircase – if the respective image is recognizable at all. But it can also be totally black, more like an Ad Reinhardt. The more frequently we are confronted with such images (even every day, depending on the time we spend on those devices), it becomes clear that the photographer could be the apparatus itself.

Online event: Aby Warburg und die US-Amerikanische Anthropologie

27th October 2021, 19:00 (CEST)


An online lecture (hosted by MARKK, Museum am Rothenbaum – Kulturen und Künste der Welt) by our Bilderfahrzeuge Research Associate Matthew Vollgraff as part of the events surrounding the exhibition “Aby Warburg. Bilderatlas Mnemosyne. Das Original” at Sammlung Falckenberg / Deichtorhallen Hamburg.

More information and link to Zoom on the
MARKK website.

“Modern Art Sometimes Gives Rise To…”

An article which appeared on Saturday 13 January 1962 in the Lebanese cultural newspaper L’Orient Littéraire , co-authored by the Syrians Chérif Khaznadar (1940 –), a poet and art critic, and the painter Louay Kayyali (1934 – 1978), presents us with a visual and logical conundrum. In the lead to the article, Khaznadar and Kayyali reported a thrilling artistic discovery they had made in Damascus: in the dark and cluttered shop of a merchant in the Bab al-Jabiyyah souq the two found a painting, “a marvellous specimen of ancient Damascene art”, which they were eager to study

The Old Manse, Concord, Massachusetts

‘The biggest little place in America,’ was, for the novelist Henry James, Concord, Massachusetts. Sounding like a slogan for the town’s tourism board today, not to mention like a quaint expression of American pastoral kitsch, James’s phrase is meant to reference the difference between Concord’s modest size and its prominent place in history. In contrast to a current population of about 17,000, Concord was the physical site of one of first skirmishes of the American Revolutionary War in 1775 as well as the metaphorical cradle of American Transcendentalism some 60 years later.

Like a leaf in the wind…

While the iconography of leaflets has been researched again and again – especially since Warburg – less so the political agency of their dissemination and their reception. And yet these prints with text and image, already circulating in the late Middle Ages, quite rightly deserve their poetic name: “leaflet” or “flyer”, in German “Flugblatt” (lit.: flying leaf), in French occasionally even “papillon” (“butterfly”).

The KHI Amerindian Lecture Series 2021

16 September – 16 December 2021


In the framework of Department Gerhard Wolf & 4A_Laboratory: Art Histories, Archaeologies, Anthropologies, Aesthetics
Organized by Bilderfahrzeuge Research Associate Sanja Savkić Šebek (KHI in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut & Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) & Bat-ami Artzi (Dumbarton Oaks)

New Publication: Dürers Schuhe

A new article by Prof. Andreas Beyer.

In: Tina Asmussen, Eva Brugger, Maike Christadler, Anja Rathmann-Lutz, Anna Reimann, Carla Roth, Sarah-Maria Schober, Ina Serif (Hg.): Materialized Histories. Eine Festschrift 2.0, 10/08/2021

Fellowship award and new book announcement for Alexandra Marraccini

We are delighted to announce that our colleague Dr Alexandra Marraccini has been selected as a 2021/22 National Book Critics’ Circle Emerging Critics Fellow.

Moreover, her first book on critical writing WE THE PARASITES is to be published in the US by Sublunary Editions in Autumn 2022.

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