CGN Art World Recap: 2/27/23

Set design by Jaume Plensa. Photo: David Ruano

Jaume Plensa Creates Set Design and Costumes for Spanish Production of Macbeth

GRAY announced Jaume Plensa’s re-envisioning of Giuseppe Verdi's opera, Macbeth. The artist's inspired set designs, costumes, and stage direction bring a new shape to this production of Shakespeare's tragedy. Verdi and Plensa’s Macbeth premiered on February 16 and runs through March 3, 2023, at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.

Originally staged in 1847, Macbeth was the first work by Shakespeare adapted by Giuseppe Verdi for the opera. Verdi’s aim was to turn Shakespeare’s tragedy into “something out of the ordinary.” To honor the continuity of Verdi's vision, the Liceu invited Jaume Plensa to again make the production of Macbeth out of the ordinary. In addition to sets, costumes, and staging, the artist incorporated his own sculpture into the production, redefining the performance space and creating a dynamic visual world for Verdi's opera.

The recording of the opera will be available for viewing one month after the live-streamed performance. A forthcoming Special Edition will be available for purchase.

Learn More

Read CGN Publisher Ginny Van Alyea's 2017 interview with Jaume Plensa here


Chicago Art Curators Stumbled on a Mystery. Was an Unusual Salvador Dalí Painting Actually His?

Caitlin Haskell and Jennifer Cohen were stumped.

The curators, both working on the Art Institute of Chicago’s first show dedicated to Salvador Dalí, were researching his painting “Visions of Eternity,” which was dated to 1936 and had been held in the museum since the late 1980s. A vertical composition, “Visions of Eternity” depicts an enigmatic, blue-ombre landscape with a shadowy, humanoid figure perched on top of a single arch to the viewer’s left and a pair of beans in the foreground.

But red flags were mounting; the painting seemed out of place in Dali’s larger body of work in that period, Haskell and Cohen explained during a joint call.



Renowned Artist Kay Smith Turns 100 Monday. She’s Spent The Past Century Depicting US History In Watercolors 

Watercolors have brought Kay Smith from the hills of Mount Rushmore to the stall of the esteemed racehorse Secretariat, as she’s spent her life depicting U.S. history with her paintings. 

But, one of the first times Smith wielded the power of her paintbrush was during her senior year of high school. In the one-room schoolhouse she’d grown up in, she sketched a portrait of a boy who’d been picking on her since they were kids. 

“I could’ve gone right to the teacher, but I didn’t,” Smith said. “Instead, I finally drew him and said, ‘Be careful or I’ll put your funny-looking face on this paper again.’ And it shut him right up.”

Smith, of Lincoln Park, spent the next decades carving out a life for herself through painting, with little regard for the men who dared to say something against her. 

Now, Illinois’ artist laureate is celebrating her 100th birthday Monday — and it will be Kay Smith Day in Chicago. 

Via Block Club Chicago