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NPR

Spirituality And Sprite, Aisle 1? What An Artist Sees In Wal-Mart

Artist Brendan O'Connell's paintings find beauty in a cathedral of American consumerism. His thoughtful, unironic paintings of life inside Wal-Mart stores reflect on our relationship to brands and the search for "transcendence" in a shopping cart.
NPR

When Sculpting Cedar, This Artist Is Tireless And Unsentimental

Ursula von Rydingsvard is 70 years old, but she still spends eight hours a day working massive blocks of cedar into sculptures. "I don't want the cuteness associated with the wood," she says, "or even the nostalgia."
NPR

Boston's Art Museums Offer Free Admission To Provide A 'Place Of Respite'

Two art museums in Boston are offering free admission Tuesday in the wake of the explosions at the Boston Marathon. They hope that residents will find comfort and community.
NPR

American Tribe Fights To Halt Artifact Auction In Paris

Seventy objects sacred to Arizona's Hopi tribe are scheduled to hit the block Friday. Tribal members say the items were taken illegally and have asked U.S. officials to help stop the sale, which French auctioneers estimate the sale may bring in $1 million. A court hearing is set for Thursday in Paris.
NPR

Emigre Artist Sculpted Exquisite Gems Of Russian Folk Life

Semiprecious stones were the medium of choice for Vasily Konovalenko, a Soviet ballet set designer turned sculptor. His masterful workmanship captured Russian characters, from Cossacks and drunks to country folk and czarist henchmen. He fell afoul of the authorities and left Russia for the U.S. in the 1980s.
NPR

For John Baldessari, Conceptual Art Means Serious Mischief

Artist John Baldessari is an iconic figure in some modern art circles. His conceptual pieces — black-and-white photographs covered with colorful dots, a blue sky painted on a museum floor — can provoke smiles. But serious ideas lie beneath the surface.
NPR

'Armory Show' That Shocked America In 1913, Celebrates 100

The exhibition, which opened on Feb. 17, 1913, at the 69th Regiment Armory in New York City, became an important event in the history of American art. It introduced astonished New Yorkers to modern art, like Marcel Duchamp's cubist Nude Descending a Staircase.
NPR

Making Up A History For The 'Dutch Mona Lisa'

Vermeer's famous Girl With a Pearl Earring has returned to the United States for the first time since 1995. Very little is known about the painting, so in honor of the visit, The Guardian newspaper asked its readers to come up with a backstory for the mysterious girl.
NPR

Still Life With Cheeseburger: Art That Looks Good Enough To Eat

Meet the new Dutch master: Tjaalf Sparnaay's food paintings are so gobsmacking in their level of detail, it's hard to resist the temptation to pick one up and take a bite.

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