VFA Featured Artists and Recent Acquisitions

Virtual Art Fairs have been thriving around the world. They have become an accepted practice this year and have actually broadened the art market in surprising ways. A younger audience, viewing art virtually, has joined seasoned collectors in a search for fine art, especially the works of post-war and twenty-first century artists. Artists have been working at home, limited by their inability to travel, but unlimited by their talent and imaginations.

Here’s a look at how, and what, some of our featured artists are doing, and a look at some recently acquired works.

Katherine Bernhardt

Art Basel, opened online at the end of September, with just 100 exhibitors (there are usually about 300 at the in-person fair) and 600 works. All of the work was created this year.

Brooklyn-based artist, Katherine Bernhardt has six works on exhibit. “The paintings,” she said, “are about trying to relax at the beach but being overwhelmed with fears of COVID-19 and various other disasters of the summer.” Every one of Bernhardt’s works, based on her Pink Panther character, were sold early in the show. Pink Panther-inspired works by Bernhardt are available at VFA.

Jonas Wood

This year, like the year before, the works of Jonas Wood have been some of the best selling in the Contemporary Art Market. Woods, based in LA, pays homage to modern masters like Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Alexander Calder, Monet, van Gogh, Stuart Davis, David Hockney and Alex Katz.

Many of the artists whose works he ‘appropriates’ became familiar  to Woods when he viewed them in the collection of his grandfather. Woods also ‘collaborates’ with his wife, sculptor Shio Kusaka, whose sculptures often appear in his work. His landscapes and portraits reflect his surroundings and, often times, his love of sports. His colors and composition have made Jonas Wood’s a favorite at VFA.

Derrick Adams

Derrick Adams’ works are currently on exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg. Derrick Adams: Buoyant showcases the joyful moments of life that Black Americans experience with friends and family, a side of Black lives that is often overlooked in visual art.

The inspiration for this body of work was a 1967 Ebony Magazine photo spread that showed Martin Luther King Jr. on vacation with his family.

Adams says that Black artists often focus on social injustice, so pervasive in American culture. “But for me, as an artist,” Adams said in a recent radio interview, “what I enjoy about art is the ability to capture things that are not necessarily topical, and imagine circumstances and situations that are not so foreign from us, things that we participate in all the time that we may not think of as being as significant as we should think of it as, because we wouldn’t be able to exist in a way that we exist, if we were constantly fighting against things all the time.”

Derrick Adams: Buoyant will be on view through November 29, 2020. We have several recent acquisitions by Derrick Adams at VFA.

Eddie Martinez

Eddie Martinez is a Brooklyn-based artist. His works have been exhibited internationally and have garnered much recognition and above million-dollar sales. His use of bold color and line, in both his paintings and sculptures, have the feel of graffiti, which Martinez did before his became a fine artist.

Austin Lee

Austin Lee is a New York-based artist. He combines digital and painted images to create contemporary works that are at once traditional, pop and full of humor. Lee received his MFA from Yale in 2015. His works have been shown extensively in the U.S. and Europe.

Timothy Curtis

Timothy Curtis  is a Brooklyn-based artist. He had his first solo show in Tokyo in 2017 and his works have been included in shows around the world since. Much of Curtis’ work is focused on the drawings he does every day, especially drawings of faces. Our recently acquired works of Timothy Curtis show the care and commitment of this self-taught artist.

VFA Featured Artists at Work and Recent Acquisitions

Please contact us if you would like information about the works of the featured artists whose works are available at VFA.

References:
Kate Brown. Who Is Huang Yuxing? Barely Known Outside China, He’s One of the Year’s Breakout Art Stars, With Paintings Already Cracking $1 Million. artnetnews. September 30, 2020.
Artnetnews. From New Faces to Hug Art, Here Are 5 Major Trends to Be Found in Art Basel’s New Online Fair Devoted to Work Made During Lockdown. September 25, 2020.
Rachel Small and Barry McGee. Barry McGee x Eddie Martinez. Interview Magazine. September 12, 2014.
Cathy Carter. Artist Derrick Adams Dives Into Black Joy At MFA St. Petersburg. Central Florida News 90.7 WMFE. September 23, 2020.

A Mixtape for Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol and Lou Reed

Nothing said I love you…or….I don’t love you anymore…like a mixtape in the 1970s and 1980s. A recently discovered mixtape, made by Lou Reed as a gift to Andy Warhol, reflects the complicated relationship between the musician and the artist. The tape of previously unreleased songs was discovered by Judith Peraino, professor of music at Cornell University’s College of Arts and Sciences, who discovered the tape while doing archival research at the Warhol Museum.

“What makes this rare is the gift aspect of the tape,” she said, “that Lou Reed intentionally created both a curated set of songs and a composed set of songs on tape meant only for Warhol. This is a harbinger of the mixtape culture and gift-giving that flourished in the 1980s and 1990s.”

Warhol managed The Velvet Underground, Reed’s ’60s band. They had a tumultuous relationship. Reed fired Warhol as manager in 1968, although Warhol continued to help the band.

Side 2 of the tape is labeled “Philosophy Songs (From A to B & Back)” after Warhol’s book by that title. The songs, which Reed sings alone while playing guitar, are both sad, heartfelt and apologetic, a reflection of the relationship between the two men.

Andy Warhol and Keith Haring

Andy Warhol met Keith Haring in 1984. Both men were collectors and stored away gifts and mementos that caught their fancy. Last week, Sotheby’s held an online auction called, Dear Keith: Works from the Personal Collection of Keith Haring, which included gifts that Haring received and collected from many artist friends, like Kenny Scharf, George Condo, Jean Michel Basquiat and Roy Lichtenstein. One of the highlights of the auction was a Gumby watch, signed by Andy Warhol, that sold for $11,340.

Warhol’s Works Headed to China

Art lovers in China turned out in record numbers last year for a Picasso retrospective at the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. It was the first time that a major museum in mainland China had done a show dedicated just to the works of Picasso, and it turned out to be a big hit. The museum is hoping to have another great success with a comprehensive show of over 200 works by Andy Warhol in 2021.

The museum usually focuses on the works of living artists, but the success of the Picasso show was the impetus for the staff to reach out to the Warhol Museum and arrange the exhibit, which will include paintings, prints, drawings, films, and photographs, as well as archival materials, that tell the story of Warhol’s  trajectory from his childhood in Pittsburgh to his command of the art world in New York.

Warhol’s famous portrait of Mao Zedong will probably not be included in the exhibit. The show, simply titled Andy Warhol will run from July 3 through October 10, 2021 in Beijing before traveling to Shanghai in November.

The Works of Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Jean Michel Basquiat and Roy Lichtenstein at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about the fine works of art available at VFA.

References:
Ben Sisario. A Long-Lost Lou Reed Tape With a Surprise: Andy Warhol Lyrics. The New York Times. October 30, 2019.
Linda B. Glaser. Musicologist discovers tape of unreleased Lou Reed music. Cornell Chronicle. October 30, 2019.
Far Out Magazine Staff. The long lost Lou Reed songs recorded for Andy Warhol. Far Out Magazine. October 4, 2020.
Taylor Dafoe. Beijing’s UCCA Broke Records With Its Blockbuster Picasso Show. It Wants to Do the Same With the Largest-Ever Andy Warhol Survey in China. artnetnews. October 5, 2020.
Eileen Kinsella. Sotheby’s $4.6 Million Sale of Keith Haring’s Personal Art Collection Tripled Expectations and Drew in Droves of New Buyers. artnetnews. October 2, 2020.
Chris Smith. Remember mixtapes? The history of the cassette. BT. August 20, 2018.

The Works of Alex Katz, Jonas Woods and Robert Motherwell at VFA

The New York Guggenheim is set to reopen in a few weeks, with many of the same requirements that MoMA, the Met and others have instituted, like reserved tickets and social distancing.

Alex Katz

In spite of being closed, the Guggenheim staff has been preparing for a retrospective of the works of Alex Katz in 2022.

If you can’t wait that long, a monograph of Katz’s works will be released next month. The book was written by art critic Carter Ratcliff and edited by Katz’s son, poet Vincent Katz, who chose sketches, works on paper, and archival material that help to create a rich picture of the painter and his life. The monograph contains more than 250 paintings, making it the most comprehensive collection available in a single publication.

Alex Katz’s works will be on exhibit at the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Pantin in Paris, from February 19, 2021 through March 19, 2021.

Jonas Wood

Last year Jonas Wood created a limited edition bag for Louis Vuitton and, more recently, he has collaborated with Louis Vuitton on a series of limited edition shawls.

Wood’s clean style and bold use of color has created a global demand for his works. A wonderful figurative artist, Wood has recently focused on interiors, working from photos and from the works of his wife, ceramic artist Shio Kusaka.

Like Alex Katz, Wood’s works are very personal. His subjects are friends and family and his landscapes and interior studies are about the places he’s inhabited.

Robert Motherwell

With all the recent talk about the US Post Office, we came across a great story about a Robert Motherwell stamp that caused a stir at a post office in Manhattan.

In 2010 the USPS issued a series of stamps honoring Abstract Expressionists. The Robert Motherwell stamp depicts one of the paintings from his Elegy to the Spanish Republic series. Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 34, 1953-1954, features black bars and ovals and vertical white stripes that partly obscure colors that refer to the flag of the Spanish Republic.

When one of the employees at Hyperallergic magazine went to the post office to mail a letter with the Motherwell stamp on it, the postal worker behind the counter accused her of drawing on the stamp with a black marker and told her that the post office wouldn’t accept it.

The employee tried to explain Robert Motherwell and the Abstract Expressionist stamps, but the postal worker wouldn’t budge. The employee had to buy a new stamp … without the marks of Robert Motherwell.

The Works of Alex Katz, Jonas Wood and Robert Motherwell at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Alex Katz, Jonas Wood, Robert Motherwell or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at VFA.

References:
Andy Battaglia. Guggenheim Museum to Mount Retrospective for Alex Katz, New York Painter Extraordinaire, in 2022. ARTnews. January 17, 2020.
Allison Schaller and Danielle Walsh. 11 of Fall’s Best Coffee-Table Books to Fill the Art-Shaped Hole in Your Heart. September 3, 2020.
Cathleen McGuigan. Alex Katz Is Cooler Than Ever. Smithsonian Magazine. August 2009.
Pac Pobric. ‘I Was So Afraid for Way Too Long’: Painter Jonas Wood on How Going It Alone Helped Him Survive His Immense Market Success. artnetnews. March 28, 2019.
Par Arnaud Klein. Inside the making of the Louis Vuitton bag designed by the artist Jonas Wood. Vogue Paris. June 24, 2019.Jillian Steinhauer. Post-Office Worker Befuddled by Abstract Expressionism. Hyperallergic. September 14, 2012.

The Works of Takashi Murakami, Sam Francis and Yoshitomo Nara at VFA

Takashi Murakami

Kid Cudi, Takashi Murakami, and Kanye West at the artist’s studio.
Photo courtesy of Takashi Murakami via Instagram

Takashi Murakami knows how to have a good time and he knows how to share the cheer. He’s done album covers for Kanye West and Kid Cudi, teamed up with renowned companies like Louis Vuitton and mentors young artists through his Kaikai Kiki company.

Murakami has just announced his collaboration with the Japanese icon, Hello Kitty.

The Panda paintings of Murakami are some of his most recognizable works. Murakami is known as the Warhol of Japan because of his mixture of high and low art. It’s probable that his Hello Kitty collaboration will include fashion and accessories, much like his Panda works.

His superflat style, the style he created, has a universal appeal. Superflat Monogram: Panda & his friends is one of his featured works in our gallery.

Sam Francis in Japan

Sam Francis in Santa Monica, 1986
Photo by Jerry Sohn

Called “the hottest American painter in Paris” in a 1956 Time Magazine article, California-born artist Sam Francis traveled the world and had studios in Paris, the south of France, Tokyo, Mexico City, Bern, and New York. He was married five times, twice to Japanese artists. In 1970, Francis opened his own printmaking shop in Santa Monica.

His work had a profound influence on abstract and color field painters in America, although, unlike most other painters, he immersed himself in the culture of Japan and lived and worked there throughout much of his life. In 2010, a 1957 painting titled Middle Blue was sold at auction for $6,354,500, a record for the artist.

Francis died in Santa Monica in 1994, at age 71, the same year he was elected to the National Academy of Design.

A new book by art critic and curator Richard Speer looks at the influence that Japanese culture had on Francis’ work. The Space of Effusion: Sam Francis in Japan was published in conjunction with the upcoming exhibit of Francis’ work at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Sam Francis and Japan: Emptiness Overflowing  was scheduled for 2020-21, showing over 60 artworks. Because of the ongoing pandemic the show has been postponed.

Yoshitomo Nara

Also postponed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is a retrospective of the art of beloved Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara, whose works are available at VFA.

Yoshitomo Nara. 2016

Nara grew up as a latchkey kid in rural Japan. Music, especially Western punk rock, was the background of his childhood.

Yoshitomo Nara
Doggy Radio, 2011
Polymer Plastic Sculpture/Radio-Touch Sensitive Volume, Nose Tuner Dial
Bluetooth/USB, Yamaha Lab Speaker System
13H X 17W X 8.5D inches
Edition of 3000
For sale at VFA

He collected American albums and, although he didn’t understand the lyrics, he loved the music and was fascinated by many of the album covers. His rise to fame, in both the U.S. and Japan, led to commissions to do the cover art for bands including Shonen Knife, R.E.M. and Bloodthirsty Butchers.

The Works of  Takashi Murakami, Sam Francis and Yoshitomo Nara at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Takashi Murakami, Sam Francis and Yoshitomo Nara at VFA.


References:
Kaitlyn McInnis. You Won’t Want To Miss This Takashi Murakami x Hello Kitty Collaboration. Singapore Tatler. July 16,2020.
Cosmopolis. Sam Francis in Japan. July 12, 2020.
Christie Chu. 6 Things to Know About Sam Francis on His Birthday. artnetnews. June, 25, 2015.
Nick Marino. Yoshitomo Nara Paints What He Hears. The New York Times Style Magazine. July 24, 2020.

The Work of Derrick Adams and other Featured Artists

Don’t Touch My Derrick Adams

In one of the episodes of the TV series Empire, Cookie, the tough family matriarch, tells two men who are moving a painting, “Don’t you touch my Derrick Adams.”

Adams, the Brooklyn-based, Baltimore born artist was commissioned to create a portrait, that features prominently, for the show.

A still from Beyoncé’s film Black is King, 2020.

Adams’ work looks at personal and political aspects of Black culture in America. His work now appears in Beyoncé’s latest film, Black is King.

Derrick Adams
Style Variation 10, 2019
Featured in Beyoncé’s film Black is King.

Available at VFA is Adams’ Self Portrait on Float, part of his Floaters series that depicts joyful scenes of African Americans at play. “Sometimes a normal social gathering can represent a radical space.” Adams said. “I’m often inspired by the people around me at parties, and how they are making important changes to society. You can go to a social event and still get things accomplished.”

Works from the Floaters series are part of an exhibit called Derrick Adams: Buoyant, currently on display at the Hudson River Museum. The show will run through October 18, 2020.

Also featured in Beyoncé’s film is work by New York-based, Swiss artist, Ugo Rondinone.

The works of Derrick Adams and Ugo Rondinone are both featured at VFA.

Sculpture Milwaukee Features Work by Alex Katz, Julian Opie and more of our Featured Artists

Sculpture Milwaukee is an annual event that can be viewed safely…both in person and virtually…now and into the winter months.

Workers in Milwaukee installing Jim Dine’s 2019 sculpture, Jim’s Head with Branches.

The downtown exhibit includes works by some of our favorite artists, including Jim Dine, Alex Katz, Julian Opie and Carlos Rolón.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of featured artists for sale at VFA.


References:
Alex Greenberger. The Art of ‘Black Is King’: Beyoncé’s New Visual Album Involves Today’s Best Artists and Curators. ARTnews. August 3, 2020.
artnetnews. Art Industry News: A Guide to the Many Art-Historical References in Beyoncé’s New Album ‘Black Is King’ + Other Stories. August 3, 2020.
Maleke Glee. Here are the Black Artists in Beyonce’s Black is King. Sugarcane Magazine. August 1, 2020.

Works of Modern Masters

End of the Art World, made in 1971, is a 16-mm film that documents the works of the most avant-garde artists of the 1960s. Now available on DVD, the movie ends with the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the city of New York blowing up.

The film looks kitsch today, but the stories that brought the artists to New York, their influence on each other and on the art world are an important part of our art history.

Jasper Johns, who is still alive and working today, was just one of the many artists who moved to New York to work, study and pursue their careers as artists.

Johns and Robert Rauschenberg were two of the first artists who moved to Coenties Slip, a neighborhood in lower Manhattan along the East River. The old industrial buildings, where sails had been manufactured, gave the artists inexpensive spaces in which to live and work.

Artists on the roof of 3-5 Coenties Slip (left to right: Delphine Seyrig, Duncan Youngerman, Robert Indiana, Ellsworth Kelly, Jack Youngerman, and Agnes Martin, 1958.

They encouraged each other to push back against the traditional art that had gone before, and use everyday objects and popular cultural imagery in their work.

Ellsworth Kelly, who was influenced by James Audubon’s drawings and his own experiences observing birds, created work that used bold, but minimal, colors and shapes.

Kelly inspired Robert Indiana, another Coenties Slip artist, to give up figurative painting and concentrate on geometric, hard-edge design.

James Rosenquist rented a studio in Coenties Slip in 1960 and went from billboard painter to pop artist.

Robert Indiana and Andy Warhol in Warhol’s loft, 1964

Although they didn’t live in Coenties Slip, both Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein were part of the pop culture in New York that moved art in America through Minimalism and beyond, so that artists had, and have now, the ability to explore and invent their individual styles. Many were also great printmakers, which is why we value their work so highly at VFA.

Works of Modern Masters at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about the featured works available at VFA.


References:
Kelly Richman-Abdou. Discover the Eclectic Influences That Shaped Ellsworth Kelly’s Avant-Garde Art. My Modern Met. July 12, 2020.
Retrospective on Artist Jasper Johns. The Garden City News. July 23, 2020.
Christie’s. LOVE story: the many sides of Robert Indiana. February 13, 2020.
Blanton Museum of Art. Kelly & The Coenties Slip. April, 2018.

Katherine Bernhardt’s Slime, Alex Katz in Shanghai

Katherine Bernhardt spent part of the quarantine stranded (happily) in Guatemala. She is back at the home and studio in Brooklyn, but stores some of her artwork in a building that she bought in her hometown of St. Louis.

Katherine Bernhardt’s building after being whitewashed by St. Louis Forestry workers.
Photo credit: Elizabeth Bernhardt.

Bernhardt painted a mural on the side of the building that was whitewashed by a city-affiliated graffiti removal program, even though the artist painted the work on her own property.

On a happier note, Bernhardt and her son were walking down Broadway last year and happened upon the building that is currently housing the Sloomoo Institute…a project that donates money to three mental health charities – NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), Sad Girls Club, and Love is Louder.

The Sloomoo Institute is a place where people go to play with slime, a healing, stress-relieving activity. (The name Sloomoo comes from something that avid slimers do. They replace the vowels in their name with  “oo” to get their “slime name”.)

Bernhardt was asked to collaborate with the Institute and come up with a slime design that would be fun and could be sold in their shop.

What Bernhardt and the team came up with is a watermelon-scented slime with little black beads that look like seeds. A clay-slime watermelon slice on a stick gets squishy when it’s dipped into the slime, which is topped with an avocado, a banana and watermelon slices.

The work was released for purchase on July 20, 2020.

Alex Katz in Shanghai

Alex Katz’s cutout sculptures at the Fosun Foundation in Shanghai

Alex Katz has always marched to a different drummer, creating his unique style that has become sleeker and even more refined during his long and flourishing career.

A view of part of the Alex Katz exhibit in Shanghai

His portraits and sculptures of family and friends, the landscapes done around his summer home in Maine,  have been the foundation of works for more than seventy years.

He has influenced many artists, but was never one to be influenced by current trends. His resolve didn’t make him popular in the 1950s and ’60s, but it has paid off and he has earned the status of one of America’s greatest artists.

The Alex Katz exhibit at the Fosun Foundation in Shanghai will run through August 9, 2020.

Works by Katherine Bernhardt and Alex Katz at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Katherine Bernhardt, Alex Katz or any of the other featured artworks at VFA.


References:
Erin Heffernan. Artist’s Black Lives Matter mural is whitewashed by city contractor. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. July 21, 2020.
How Slime Became a Signature Motif for Katherine Bernhardt. Cultured Magazine. July 21, 2020.
Katy Hamer. Interview: Artist Katherine Bernhardt on her Slimy Collaboration with NYC’s Sloomoo Institute. Cool Hunting. July 21, 2020.
Murray Whyte. How the Maine coastline shaped the painter Alex Katz. The Boston Globe. June 26, 2020.

Recent Acquisitions and Featured Works at VFA

Ellsworth Kelly

Ellsworth Kelly, 2012

Birds, plants, Matisse, Picasso, camouflage…these were the unexpected influences that led to Ellsworth Kelly becoming one of the most influential, avant-garde artists in America.

“A glass roof of a factory with its broken and patched panes, lines of a roadmap, the shape of a scarf on a woman’s head, a fragment of Le Corbusier’s Swiss Pavilion, a corner of a Braque painting, paper fragments in the street,” Kelly said. “It was all the same: anything goes.”

Kelly died in 2015, at the age of 92, two years after President Obama awarded him the National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal.

Ellsworth Kelly Oversized Postcard Set with matching stamps, 2019

In 2019, on what would have been Kelly’s 96th birthday, the U.S. Post Office released a set of postcards and stamps of his works.

Two of our recent acquisitions Blue and Yellow and Color Panels, are two of Ellsworth Kelly’s most beautifully done lithographs.

Robert Indiana

Robert Indiana, left, and his caretaker, Jamie L. Thomas, at Thomas’s home on Vinalhaven, Maine, Christmas 2014.

Robert Indiana met Ellsworth Kelly in 1956, when they were part of the young art community in Manhattan. They had a romance that didn’t last, but their influence on each others’ work endured.

Indiana died in 2018 at the age of 89, at his home on the island of Vinalhaven, Maine, where he lived in relative seclusion for nearly fifty years.

The artist’s estate has been in dispute since his death. Jamie Thomas, who was Indiana’s friend and caretaker for many years, settled with the estate, though the terms are confidential.

The Star of Hope, the building in which Indiana lived and worked and wanted converted to a museum after his death, is in very bad shape and may not be able to be salvaged, as he wished.

Much of Robert Indiana’s work remains on the island where plans for a museum are still being discussed.

Two of our recent acquisitions are unique HOPE silkscreens, available at VFA.

Yoshitomo Nara

Yoshitomo Nara‘s first international retrospective was set to open at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) in March. The museum, the largest art museum in the western United States, closed at the start of the quarantine. LACMA hoped to be open by now, but is still closed. The Nara exhibit will remain in place until the reopening.

The 60-year-old artist is one of Japan’s most celebrated and revered. His work, influenced by fairy tales, manga and American cartoons, has earned him a universal cult following.

Yoshitomo Nara
Doggy Radio, 2011
Polymer Plastic Sculpture/Radio-Touch Sensitive Volume, Nose Tuner Dial
Bluetooth/USB, Yamaha Lab Speaker System
13H X 17W X 8.5D inches
Edition of 3000
For sale at VFA

Marching on a Butterbur Leaf is one of our latests acquisitions. Also in our gallery is Nara’s Doggy Radio, a working radio with a Nose Tuner Dial, Bluetooth/USB and Yamaha Lab Speaker System.

Recent Acquisitions and Featured Works at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about any of the fine art work available at VFA.


References:
Kelly Richman-Abdou. Discover the Eclectic Influences That Shaped Ellsworth Kelly’s Avant-Garde Art. My Modern Met. July 12, 2020.
Artfixdaily. Art-Inspired Stamps to Buy Now to Support the USPS. June 25, 2020.
Graham Bowley. The Artist’s Caretaker: Once He Controlled Everything. No More. The New York Times. June 14, 2020.
Caroline Goldstein. Are These New Ellsworth Kelly Stamps the Most Beautiful Stamps Ever? Yes, They Are. artnetnews. May 31, 2019.
Y-Jean Mun-Delsalle. Among Japan’s Most Important Living Contemporary Artists, Yoshitomo Nara Now Wishes To Participate In Small-Scale Exhibitions. Forbes. December 15, 2019.
Cultural News. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Yoshitomo Nara First international retrospective of the artist. March 2020.

David Hockney en Vogue Again, Red Grooms vs Derek Jeter

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David Hockney holding the 1985 issue of Paris Vogue Magazine
The image on the cover is a cubist-like painting of his friend and muse, Celia Britwell, which was done just before it appeared on the cover.

David Hockney has never been out of vogue. In addition to the cover, he had a 41-page spread of his work published in the December 1985 Paris issue.

His work will appear on the cover again, this time on the August 2020 issue of British Vogue. The issue focuses on the effect that Covid-19 has had on the planet…like lower pollution levels and cleaner water in lakes, rivers and the ocean. Fourteen notable British artists have been commissioned to create works for the issue. The original works will be auctioned off to aid Covid-19 relief charities later this year.

“This oil painting is of late spring in the village of Kilham,” Hockney said about the 2006 painting that was chosen. “Now, I am in Normandy, a paradise of a place for me. I have made 120 iPad paintings of our large garden – it is like having drawing and painting equipment always at the ready, and there is no cleaning up needed. It’s quite fantastic. The other night I got up to pee at about 4am and saw the largest and brightest full moon in a long time. I was thrilled by it and recorded it on the iPad. Photography is useless for this, it pushes everything away, including the moon.”

Red Grooms

Red Grooms is 83. He’s been working in the same studio in TriBeCa since 1969. His work is quirky, zany and fun.

He is also a fine artist who studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, Peabody College (in his hometown of Nashville) the New School for Social Research in New York and spent a summer at the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Red Grooms
Alex Katz painting on 28th St, 1961

Grooms opened a gallery in the late 1950s and exhibited the works of Alex Katz and Claus Oldenberg when other galleries rejected their work.

Red Grooms is an ardent sports fan. His controversial, 73 feet tall Homer sculpture, that spouts jets of water, sends flamingos flying and marlins leaping whenever a Miami Marlin hits a home run, was supposed to be moved from the Marlin Park centerfield to a spot outside the stadium by January 1st, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Fans seem to love the sculpture, but team owner Derek Jeter wants the centerfield space to be used for revenue-producing restaurants and bars.

The sculpture has to be engineered for outdoor use to conform to code, but it’s taking some time to do that.

Sports fan website, The Comeback, had this to say about the controversy over the $2.5 million sculpture:

“While initially controversial, the artwork has taken on a cult appreciation and has come to make the ballpark seem rather unique and playful. Enter Derek Jeter, who is not unique or playful, but rather an 80-year-old curmudgeon disguised in the body of a 44-year-old.”

We are ardent fans of Red Grooms, and have recently acquired Hot Dog Vendor, a 3-D lithograph that has no moving parts, but is as much fun as Homer.

Work by David Hockney and Red Grooms at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of David Hockney and Red Grooms available at VFA.


References:
M.H. Miller. Art is Fleeting, but Red Grooms is Forever. The New York Times. September 6, 2018.
Douglas Hanks. Seagulls? Check. Flamingos? Not yet. Marlins miss deadline to rebuild ‘Homer’ outside. Miami Herald. January 9, 2020.
Douglas Hanks. County on Marlins home run sculpture: ‘It is not movable.’ (Also, the mayor doesn’t like it.). Miami Herald. August 17, 2017.
Sarah Cascone. Derek Jeter Finally Gets a Win: Red Grooms’s Kitschy Home Run Sculpture Will Be Removed From Miami’s Marlins Park. artnetnews. October 17, 2018.
Sean Keeley. Derek Jeter, who is bad, gets his wish to remove the Marlins home run sculpture, which is good. The Comeback. October 16, 2018.

Recent Acquisitions at VFA

Here’s a quick look at some of the recent additions we’ve added to the VFA gallery:

Jean-Michel Basquiat – Ligaments of the Elbow

Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1960-88

Jean-Michel Basquiat was 27-years-old when he died of a heroin overdose on August 12, 1988 in studio on Great Jones Street in Manhattan’s NoHo neighborhood.

Many of Basquiat’s most powerful works were done just before his untimely death, including a 6 x 11 foot painting title Victor 25448, which is expected to garner over $10 million at Phillips Contemporary auction this month.

Ligaments of the Elbow, available at VFA, is part of the Anatomy Series that Basquiat began to work on after  his first solo show in New York, when gallery owner Annina Nosei gave him a studio in the basement of the gallery. It was there that Basquiat began to produce drawings of the anatomical forms that recur in his works.

Basquiat’s fascination with the human form began when he was seven and his mother gave him a copy of Grey’s Anatomy while he was recovering after being hit by a car.

His interest in social justice and Black history, as well as anatomy, can be seen in all of his work, like Wolf Sausage, King Brand, Dog Leg Study and Undiscovered Genius and Boxer Rebellionlimited edition screenprints, available at VFA.

Deborah Kass – OY/YO

Deborah KassOY/YO work continues to resonate with the public. BK Reader editor, C. Zawadi Morris, described the work’s appeal: “The art’s universality has the unique ability to speak across generations, cultures and ethnicities,” she wrote, “holding very simple yet profound meanings within Spanish-speaking, Jewish and Black American communities. It is a call to action, an expression and an acknowledgement of self.”

In addition to two Oy/Yo sculptures in our gallery, we can now offer a limited edition silkscreen with flocking of Oy/Yo.

Jonas Wood

Jonas Wood and Shio Kusaka.
Photo: University of Washington, School of Art

Many of the paintings of Jonas Wood are enormous and have exceeded the $1 million mark at recent auctions. For those of us who are more interested in fine art prints, Wood not only works with master printmakers, but has a print shop in his Culver City studio because, he says, that he’s “…pretty heavy into printmaking.”

In addition to his recent works, we also have a complete set of four lithographs done in 2014.

Richard Anuszkiewicz – Etchings

Richard Anuszkiewicz, May 23, 1930 – May 19, 2020.

Op Art pioneer, Richard Anuszkiewicz, died in his home in Englewood, New Jersey on May 19, 2020. He was 89.

His focus was on the interactions between  form and and color. “I’m interested in making something romantic out of a very, very mechanistic geometry,” he said.

The etchings he did in 1979, now available at VFA, are wonderful examples of his work that has remained timeless.

More Recent Acquisitions….

We’ve also added works by David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Indiana, Ellsworth Kelly, Beverly Fishman, Yoshito Nara, and Red Grooms.

Please contact us if you would like more information about any of the work available at VFA.


References:
Sarah Osei. One of Basquiat’s Largest Works Expected to Fetch $10 Million at Auction. Highsnobiety. June 26, 2020.
C. Zawadi Morris. Yo! Brooklyn Artist Deborah Kass Has Something to Say! BK Reader. October 15, 2018.
Jessie Carbutt. Yoshitomo Nara: Beyond the Big-Headed Girls. Metropolis. June 23, 2020.
Loney Abrams. Interview: Jonas Wood on His New Monograph and Limited-Edition Print. Artspace. November 21, 2019.
Jillian Steinhauer. Richard Anuszkiewicz, Whose Op Art Caught Eyes in the ’60s, Dies at 89. The New York Times. May 25, 2020.

Alex Katz, Julian Opie and Derrick Adams

Museums and galleries around the world are trying to adjust to the new normal of social distancing during this pandemic. Some have remained online, some have reopened and some have found unique ways of allowing visitors to view art.

Here’s a look at some of our featured artists and the varied venues that are showcasing their work.

Alex Katz in Shanghai and Alone

An exhibit of the works of Alex Katz is currently on display at the Fosun Foundation in Shanghai.

The Foundation building, an international art and event venue along the waterfront in Shanghai, has reopened and is featuring the paintings and sculptures of Alex Katz.

The exhibit will run through August 9, 2020.

Back in the U.S., Alex Katz’s works are being shown in a very different sort of venue.

Installation view of Alone Gallery’s exhibition: Alex Katz: Three Portraits
Photo credit: Adam Robb

East Hampton gallery owner, Tripoli Patterson, has created a space for the times…the Alone Gallery, where, after using hand disinfectant placed at the gallery entrance, only a single visitor at a time is allowed into the gallery.

Alex Katz: Three Portraits is exactly that, an exhibit of three of the artist’s portraits. There is just a single viewer, with no staff or security, allowed inside the gallery. There are security cameras, and QR codes that viewers can access if they have questions about the exhibit. Patterson himself watches the cameras and interacts with each visitor.

This is the Alone Gallery’s first exhibit, an artistic experiment in social distancing.

Postcards from Julian Opie, Katherine Bernhardt…and Boy George

Art on a Postcard announcement, featuring Julian Opie’s Deer 3

Art on a Postcard is an annual fundraiser to help eliminate Hep C in the UK. This year the auction will be held online, and includes works by Julian Opie, Katherine Bernhardt and even Boy George (who had a sold out show of his artwork in Monaco last November.)

Katherine Bernhardt, who is based in Brooklyn and travels around the world for her imported rug business, has been in quarantine in Guatemala since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, where she’s been working and even painted an outdoor mural.

Derrick Adams at St. Pete Museum Re-Opening

The St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts will reopen to members on September 12th with an exhibition of works from Derrick Adams Floater Series.

Derrick Adams: Buoyant will run through November 29th. The museum hopes to be able to announce a public opening date soon.

Featured Art Work at VFA

Please let us know if you would like more information about the featured art works at VFA.


References:
Wang Jie. Cutout installation highlight of Alex Katz solo. Shine/Art & Culture. June 20, 2020.
Adam Robb. At Alone Gallery, There’s Not a Soul in Sight (But You’re Still Being Watched). Observer. June 19, 2020.
Maggie Duffy. Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg announces plans to reopen. Tampa Bay Times. June 18, 2020.

Christo: 1935 – 2020

We make beautiful things, unbelievably useless, totally unnecessary – Christo

Christo, 2016

Artist Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, known as Christo, passed away on May 31, 2020, at his home in New York City. He was 84 years old. Christo died of natural causes, according to the press release posted on his website.

Christo spent most of his adult life creating works that defied description. They were at once art, performance and grand social events.

Christo Vladimirov Javacheff was born n Gabrovo, Bulgaria on June 13, 1935. His father was a chemist who ran a factory that made fabrics. His mother was a political activist. Oppressive politics in eastern Europe in 1956 led Christo to bribe a railway worker to let him hide on a train taking medicine to Austria. He went to Vienna and then to Paris, where he lived the life of a struggling artist, painting portraits on the street.

His luck changed when a passer-by invited him to her chateau to paint her portrait. Her daughter, Jean-Claude Denat de Guillebon, was at home. She became Christo’s wife, muse and partner in his projects.

Their collaborations lasted for more than fifty years.

The couple did some ‘wrapped’ projects in Paris, before moving to New York in 1964 where he created an exhibit, a storefront with a wrapped air conditioner, at the Castelli Gallery.

Christo had bigger plans. He wanted to wrap entire buildings.

Christo
Wrapped Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 1969
National Gallery of Art Library

In 1969 he got permission to wrap the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and, later that year, wrapped a million square feet of coastline near Sydney, Australia.

Christo’s projects became bigger and bolder. Each began with preliminary drawings, collages and lithographs, which were sold to finance each venture. He and Jean-Claude payed for each project themselves and didn’t accept any outside help with finances.

Christo
Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, 1983

In 1983, Christo surrounded eleven islands in Biscayne Bay with woven polypropylene fabric. Like all of his projects, he had to get through government bureaucracy and public objections to get approval. The results, like most of his projects, was an installation that brought joy and wonder to a city that had been facing race riots, a refugee crises, violent crime, drug trafficking and a sinking economy.

Jean Claude died in 2009, at age 74. The couple are survived by their son, Cyril Christo, a wildlife photographer.

The Works of Christo at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Christo available at VFA.

See More Christo Artwork for Sale


References:
Waldemar Januszczak. Warhol by Blake Gopnik review — the truth about the pop art pioneer. The Sunday Times. February 16, 2020.
Joan Acocella. Untangling Andy Warhol. The New Yorker. June 1, 2020.
Simon Elmes. The secrets of Andy Warhol’s time capsules. BBC News. September 10, 2014.

Warhol: A Life as Art

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Andy Warhol saved everything. Every few days he would put together a bunch of stuff that he had accumulated…like movie ticket stubs, bills, wigs, newspaper clippings about himself, Polaroids that he took of his friends…and seal them into a storage box that he labeled TC for Time Capsule.

After his death in 1987, the Time Capsules, all six hundred and ten of them, were sent to the Andy Warhol Museum in his home town of Pittsburgh.

Seven years ago, Blake Gopnik, the former head art critic for the Washington Post, began to sort through the boxes and put together a chronicle of Warhol’s life. The result is a 976-page biography titled Warhol, that details the life of one of the most interesting and talented artists in history.

In a  review of Warhol in The New Yorker, Joan Acocella wrote:

Warhol once tried to give an old friend one of his Marilyn Monroe silk screens, and the man, who disliked Pop, said, “Just tell me in your heart of hearts that you know it isn’t art.” Warhol, imperturbable, answered, “Wrap it up in brown paper, put it in the back of a closet—one day it will be worth a million dollars.” He was right, Gopnik says, but off by two orders of magnitude: in 2008, a Warhol silk screen sold for a hundred million dollars.

There was no huger reputation than Warhol’s in the art of the sixties, and in late-twentieth-century art there was no more important decade than the sixties. Much of the art that has followed, in the United States, is unthinkable without him, without his joining of high culture and low, without his love of sizzle and flash, without his combination of tenderness and sarcasm, without the use of photography and silk-screening and advertising.

Warhol’s large personality often overshadowed his great artistic talent. “In his time, Warhol was very controversial.” Acocella wrote. “Some people thought he was a genius; others, that he should be arrested.”

The Works of Andy Warhol at VFA

We are pleased to have some of Andy Warhol’s most interesting and iconic works at VFA.

Andy Warhol began his career in New York as an illustrator. He got his first big break in 1950, illustrating shoes for Glamour magazine. He was born Andy Warhola, and the magazine incorrectly credited the works as Drawings by Warhol, and he kept the dropped “a” and also kept on doing shoe illustrations, like Shoes – Deluxe Edition, available at VFA.

Warhol submitted the Tidal Basin series, as cover designs for the Washington Post. A departure from his usual style, the works combine silkscreen and collage to create ethereal images of Washington, D.C.

Some of Warhol’s most iconic works are his portraits of Chinese Chairman Mao, created after President Nixon’s historic visit to China, where he met the frail Chairman in 1972. Warhol’s portraits are still banned by the Chinese government. In 2006, the Hong Kong property tycoon Joseph Lau bought one of Warhol’s Mao portraits for $17.4 million in London, setting a record price at a public auction.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Andy Warhol, or any of the other fine art prints, available at VFA.


References:
Waldemar Januszczak. Warhol by Blake Gopnik review — the truth about the pop art pioneer. The Sunday Times. February 16, 2020.
Joan Acocella. Untangling Andy Warhol. The New Yorker. June 1, 2020.
Simon Elmes. The secrets of Andy Warhol’s time capsules. BBC News. September 10, 2014.

The Nike Panther and Other Wild and Wonderful Works at VFA

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Katherine Bernhardt

Katherine Bernhardt has been stranded in Guatemala since March. When she’s not at her studio, a converted auto-repair shop in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, Bernhardt buys and sells rugs, whose patterns she has used in her wild and colorful paintings and prints.

The 45-year-old artist was born in Clayton, Missouri. Bernhardt received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Dubbed the female bad-boy of contemporary art, Bernhardt’s works are not just fun, they have also been garnering way higher than estimated prices at Sotheby’s and other auction houses.

We are pleased to offer two of Bernhardt’s Pink Panther lithographs, Nike Panther and African Violet, both created in 2019.

Michael Craig-Martin

Dublin-born artist, Michael Craig-Martin (Sir Michael since 2016)  is one of the most beloved artists in Britain. He’s created a poster to thank National Health Service workers in the U.K. for their service.

Craig-Martin is encouraging fellow citizens to co-create the artwork by downloading it, colouring it in, and then collaborating by displaying it in their windows.

His minimal style translates well into steel sculptures that have an ethereal quality. Recent acquisitions, available at VFA, are sculptures of classic chairs, simple and elegant.

Jonas Wood

Jonas Wood uses clean, fine lines and crisp color to create contemporary Matisse-like works that lend themselves to lithography and screenprint. “Printmaking is a big part of my process,” he said in a 2019 interview, “drawing is a big part of my process, and tracing and getting the basic shapes of things before I make the painting is a big part of my process.”

Wood shares his L.A. studio with his potter wife, Shio Kusaka, whose work often appears in his paintings and lithographs.

His work is part of the permanent collection of the Guggenheim, the Hammer and other major museums and galleries.

We are happy to be able to offer several recent lithographs done in Jonas Wood’s joyful style.

Kenny Scharf

Kenny Scharf’s works have the playfulness that has been his trademark since the 1980s. He lived with Haring and partied with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol and the crowd at Club 57. Fortunately for Scharf, he survived the rock and roll lifestyle of the ’80s, while many others did not, and his work reflects the joy for life that he embraces.

His most recent works are vibrant silkscreens, available at VFA.

The Nike Panther and Other Wild and Wonderful Works at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about the Nike Panther or any of the other fine art prints for sale at VFA.


References:
Shannon Lee. Why Katherine Bernhardt’s Freewheeling Paintings Attract Collectors of All Kinds. Artsy. May 18, 2020.
Scott Indrisek. Paint It Loud. Meet Katherine Bernhardt, the so-called “female bad-boy” of contemporary art. GQ Magazine/Culture. August 29, 2019.
Emily Kasriel. What plague art tells us about today. BBC/Culture. May 18, 2020.
Loney Abrams. Interview: Jonas Wood on His New Monograph and Limited-Edition Print. Artspace. November 21, 2019.
Janelle Zara. An Artist on Finding Balance, and His Giant Basketball Sculpture. The New York Times Style Magazine. March 22, 2019.

New Works by Kenny Scharf at VFA

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In the 1980s Kenny Scharf began putting his joyful, psychedelic touch on every surface he could find, including major appliances. He worked hard and played hard with his roommate, Keith Haring, and the other artists and notables who hung out at Club 57.

Scharf left his home in L.A. to study at the School of Visual Arts. After getting his B.F.A. in 1980, his work was embraced by major galleries and was part of the Whitney Biennial in 1985.

His use of Flintstone and Jetson characters has generated a nostalgia for his work. At one of the last live Sotheby’s auctions in March, a 1982 Flintstone painting garnered $525,000, way above the auction estimate.

Scharf’s recent silkscreens are beautifully created; Scharf versions of jubilant still life. We are pleased to be able to offer these new works at VFA. At 62, Scharf may be maturing. He has not been arrested for graffiti for seven years (at least he hasn’t been caught in seven years).

He has studios in L.A. and New York. His works are in the permanent collection of the Guggenheim, the Whitney, the Bass Museum in Miami Beach and many other fine museums and galleries around the world.

Please contact us for more information about the works of Kenny Scharf, or any of the other fine art prints at VFA.

Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

We believe that the more you know, the more you will appreciate fine art prints.

In our Ebook you’ll learn:

  • A short history of prints from the earliest woodcut to contemporary processes
  • Which artists most influenced the making of fine art prints
  • What questions to ask when buying prints
  • The fundamentals of print identification
  • Terms and techniques for identifying fine art prints
Learn More