Sit! Pose! Sit! Pose!
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Illustration: Marek Raczkowski
Dreams and Visions

Sit! Pose!

Michał Książek
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time 7 minutes

Dogs are known for their fidelity. But what about the fidelity of drawings and paintings that depict them? 

The oldest known cave depictions of dogs can be found in today’s Saudi Arabia: they are petroglyphs, or carvings made in rock. It is estimated they are around eight thousand years old. They were created in an era when what is modern-day Arabia was inhabited by tribes of hunter-gatherers that domesticated the dog, or, really, the wolf. Images found on rocks around the cities of Jubbah and Shuwaymis in the northwest of the country show dogs accompanying archers. And, because tey’ve survived up to modern day, we are able to see hunting scenes from thousands of years ago. 

These images of dogs are surprisingly lifelike. We can see diverse specimens of the species: small and large individuals. Lifted tails may indicate happiness or excitement, and their shape signals which breed they might conceivably represent. The silhouette of the rock dog resembles that of the Canaan dog—of average size, similar to a spitz. It originates from pariah (semi-wild) dogs and was bred in Israel. The animal’s overall silhouette also

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Art Basel 2024 through a Polish Lens Art Basel 2024 through a Polish Lens
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Artworks by Maria Pinińska-Bereś at Art Basel 2024, photo by Agnieszka Szablińska
Experiences

Art Basel 2024 through a Polish Lens

Aga Sablińska

Three focused historic presentations of Polish women artists—Ewa Partum, Erna Rosenstein, and Maria Pinińska-Bereś—encouraged slow looking amidst the hustle and bustle of the famous Swiss art fair.

Art fairs are not usually conducive to slow, careful, and considered viewing of art. At these events—the most important of which is undeniably Art Basel’s flagship fair in Switzerland in June—thousands of artworks are presented by hundreds of galleries, typically without context, in characterless convention centers for just a few days. There is simply no way to see everything on offer, let alone to have a meaningful, extended experience with the art on view.

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