Ed Ruscha Does L.A., Michael Craig-Martin in London

Ed Ruscha Does L.A.

Ed Ruscha, c. 2005

In 1956, when he was eighteen, Ed Ruscha left his home in Oklahoma City and traveled to Los Angeles to study at the California Institute of the Arts. After graduating, he worked as a layout artist at an ad agency.

Ruscha has an extraordinary talent for casting ordinary objects and places in a new light and giving the viewer a new appreciation of their form.

Ed Ruscha
The Whisky a Go Go Club

In 1966, Ruscha mounted a motorized camera in the bed of a Datsun pickup truck and drove slowly up and down Sunset Boulevard, shooting thousands of frames in a single, continuous session. The truck moved slowly, so he put a sign on the back of the truck that read, “Please Pass.”

For over forty years, Ruscha photographed the Strip and other areas of L.A. The Getty Research Institute has launched an interactive website of Ruscha’s photos, taken between the mid-1960s and 2007.

Called 12 Sunsets, the site lets you choose a red pickup, blue Volkswagen bus or red Beetle and a year in which you can  travel along the Boulevard.

Though the Strip saw much social and artistic upheaval during the years he photographed it, Ruscha was more interested in the changing landscape design, the architecture and the signage that signaled social changes.

Ruscha worked with artist and master printmaker,  Richard Duardo, who was a driving force in the Chicano art community in Los Angeles. “It’s not artist-makes-print, but rather artist-and-printer-make-print.” Ruscha said.

After Duardo’s death in 2015, Ruscha designed Zoot Soot, available at VFA, in memory of Richard Duardo.

At 83, Ruscha still lives and works in Culver City, California.

Sir Michael Craig-Martin

Sir Michael Craig-Martin

In August of 2019, six steel sculptures by British artist Michael Craig-Martin were installed around Kinder Lake at Discover Green in Houston. It was the first exhibition of the Michael Craig-Martin’s sculptures to be seen in Texas, and only the second venue in the United States. Then came the pandemic and Craig-Martin has been sheltering in place in London, where he lives and works.

Craig-Martin, who was knighted in 2016, was born in Dublin, raised in the U.S., where he studied at the Yale School of Art and Architecture. In 1966 he moved to Britain, where he had his first solo exhibition in 1969. During the 1980s he was a tutor at Goldsmiths College, where he taught many of the emerging Young British Artists, including Damien Hirst. 

He was asked by BBC Arts to design a poster to honor the National Health Service (NHS) in Britain for its service during the pandemic. He created a poster of Gerbera Daisies, for adults and children to color in and display as a show of support for the work of NHS staff. The poster is available to download from the NHS website.

Usually Craig-Martin draws and sculpts everyday objects, but since the lockdown he’s been stuck at home and hasn’t been able to go to his studio. He’s been drawing objects from the supermarket. “Normally I’m strict about drawing mass-produced, fabricated objects, ordinary objects.” he said, “But over the past few weeks I’ve had a very good rush of work and I’ve been drawing nothing but fruit, flowers and vegetables. They are the only things I see. You can’t buy clothes, you can’t buy furniture, you can’t buy high tech. But I’m starting to see things I hadn’t noticed before. I’m struck that I’ve been able to produce dozens of drawings, where anybody could look at them and say, ‘that’s a strawberry, that’s fennel, that’s a carrot’.”

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Ed Ruscha and Sir Michael Craig-Mrtin available at VFA.

References:
Sebastian Smee. Ed Ruscha’s stunning Sunset Strip art project lets you tour its full length, east to west — and back in time. The Washington Post. January 9, 2021.
Tobias Carroll. “12 Sunsets” Revisits Ed Ruscha’s Visual History of the Sunset Strip. Inside Hook. January 10, 2021.
Mark Rozzo. Ed Ruscha Still Has Plenty More to Say About America. Vanity Fair. May 30, 2018.
Pascale Hughes. Sir Michael Craig-Martin on creativity under coronavirus lockdown: ‘Art doesn’t have parameters’. iNews/Culture. May 1, 2020.

The Surreal and Pop at VFA

Carlos Joao Alvarez Guerra Gonzalez 1980 – present

The works of Carlos Gonzalez are a cross between Andy Warhol’s attitude and Rene Magritte’s style. He is a fine portrait artist and surrealist painter whose focus is consumerism and culture.

Gonzalez was born in Havana, Cuba in 1980. After graduating from the Academy of San Alejandro he studied at the University of the Arts in Havana from 2006 to 2009.

Gonzalez currently lives and works in South Florida, where he has become an active part of the arts community.

Andy Warhol 1928-1987

It’s hard to believe that it was just a little less than two years ago, at Super Bowl Llll, that a huge crowd was sitting in a stadium in Atlanta watching Andy Warhol eat a burger from Burger King. Viewers blew up Google, searching for information about Andy. The ad caused a stir of controversy, which is what Warhol himself did during his lifetime and certainly earned him another fifteen minutes of fame.

Warhol was a very successful commercial artist in New York, working for clients like Tiffany’s and Dior, before getting his own work shown at galleries.

His take on American consumerism resonated with art lovers. “What’s great about this country,” he said, “is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest.”

Warhol’s work, and persona, still resonates with the public. Many of his photographs are currently on display at the Galerie Italienne in Paris.

His talent as an artist is often forgotten, overwhelmed by his large persona. Unique works like Tidal Basin, done for submission to the Washington Post, and Brooklyn Bridge, both available at VFA, reveal his remarkable talent.

Roy Lichtenstein 1923-1997

Although they thought along similar planes, and both became Pop icons, the works of Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol were different in ideology and approach.

Lichtenstein’s work, though taken from comic book cells, had its roots in high art. Throughout their lives, the two artists collected each other’s works but were more like frenemies than colleagues.

Like Warhol, Lichtenstein’s works are still sought after and widely exhibited.

Roy Lichtenstein: Monet’s Garden Goes Pop!, an exhibit of Lichtenstein’s recreations of Monet’s works, will be on view at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in downtown Sarasota, from February 13 through June 27, 2021.

The artworks for the exhibit are on loan from the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, the Pérez Art Museum in Miami, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation and private collectors.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Carlos Gonzalez, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein or any of the fine artists whose work is available at VFA.

References:
Eileen Kinsella. Pop or Flop? Burger King’s Andy Warhol Super Bowl Ad Succeeded in Alienating Pretty Much Everybody. artnetnews. February 5, 2019.
Keith Estiler. Largest Exhibition of Andy Warhol’s Photographs to Go on Display in Paris. Hypebeast. December 18, 2020.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens to Showcase Pop Art Icon Roy Lichtenstein’s Take on Monet’s Garden. ArtfixDaily. January 12, 2021.

Honors for Derrick Adams, Tweets for David Hockney

Sheltering in place for most of us is a new experience, but for many artists sheltering in place is not much different than what they do much of the time.

Derrick Adams and David Hockney live on different continents, but both have been working have been working with, and in, their surroundings.

Derrick Adams 1970-

Derrick Adams in front of his mural for the LIRR

Derrick Adams has been appointed to Pratt Institute’s Board of Trustees. Adams received his BFA from Pratt, in Art and Design Education, in 1996 and was given Pratt’s Alumni Achievement Award in 2018. He completed  his MFA from Columbia University in 2003.

He has also been honored by being named one of 15 new inductees into the National Academy of Design.

Adams is an Assistant Professor of Art at Brooklyn College.

Derrick Adams
Nostrand Avenue LIRR mural, 2020

He recently completed a mural at the Nostrand Avenue station of the Long Island Railroad (LIRR), just a few blocks away from his Brooklyn Studio.

The mural is made of of 85 panels of laminated glass artwork that spans the length of the newly renovated platforms and extends on to four new pedestrian bridges. “As a longtime resident, I was inspired to create this work as a response to the vibrant cultural surroundings and diverse population which I see in motion on a daily basis,” Adams said. “The figures fuse with architecture and nature as a representation of the progressive impact left by generations of growth. These hybrid structures represent the many important components which reside together to form a thriving community.”

David Hockney 1937 –

For more than a year, David Hockney has been painting the views, on his iPad, from the window of his home in Normandy.

David Hockney painting at home in Normandy, 2020

The New Yorker magazine commissioned Hockney to create an image for the December cover. Hockney did an iPad painting of his fireplace.

David Hockney
The Hearth
The New Yorker, December 21, 2020

The cover created a stir on Twitter, with critics tweeting that the drawing is too simplistic to grace the cover of the sophisticated magazine.

The New Yorker’s art director Françoise Mouly, who commissioned the work and interviewed Hockney for a piece in the issue, said, “For these short, dark days, David Hockney offers the traditional comfort of a hearth.”

The trolls on Twitter may not know Hockney’s work and that he broke the auction record for a living artist in 2018.

The 83-year-old artist has always been interested in using technology to help create his works.

In 1985 Hockney used panoramic photography to create his Moving Focus Series in Mexico. A lithograph from the series is available at VFA.

Hockney currently has solo exhibits at the Galerie Lelong in Paris and the The Morgan Library and Museum in 
New York and upcoming exhibits at The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston
Texas and the Royal Academy of Arts in
London.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Derrick Adams and David Hockney, or any of the other fine artists whose works are for sale at VFA.

References:
Rich Pietras. Art Professor Derrick Adams Among 15 New National Academy Of Design Inductees. Brooklyn College. December 23, 2020.
LIRR’s Newest Elevators Unveiled in Brooklyn at Nostrand Avenue Station. MTA Construction & Development. February 3, 2020.
Pratt Institute’s Board of Trustees: Recently Elected Members and New DEI Committee. Pratt Institute News. December 16, 2020.
Francoise Mouly. David Hockney’s “Hearth”. The New Yorker. December 14, 2020.
Hannah Yoest. How David Hockney Trolled the ‘New Yorker’. His latest cover art set off a (small, cozy) firestorm. The Bulwark. December 15, 2020.

Roy Lichtenstein, Austin Lee & Eddie Martinez

Roy Lichtenstein 1923-1997

Roy Lichtenstein, 1993

Roy Lichtenstein’s keen intellect and talent led him to become one of the most influential forces in the Postmodern era of art in America.

He was a university instructor with a Masters in Fine Arts, and took a lot of heat in the 1960s for combining fine and commercial art until the Pop culture was embraced.

Last July, one of his later works, Nude with Joyous Painting, done in 1994, sold at Christie’s auction for more than $46 million.

Although best know for his paintings, Lichtenstien was also a sculptor and lithographer.

We have some of his finest and unique works available at VFA, including a porcelain Landscape Mobile sculpture done in 1990 and Landscape 6a screenprint collage, done in 1967.

Austin Lee 1983 –

Austin Lee

Like Roy Lichtenstein, the playful style of Austin Lee’s work belies his superior intellect and ability. The New York-based artist received his Masters of Fine Arts from the Yale School of Art in 2013.

In a 2019 piece about his Feels Good show in New York, Sarah Nechamkin wrote in Interview Magazine, “I’m into Austin Lee’s Feels Good because I’ve always wanted to peer inside the Claymation-ized mind of a child high on Elmer’s glue and Lisa Frank. Lee’s portraits of happy-go-lucky humanoids, painted in various shades of Day-Glo, can only come from the imagination of someone not yet corrupted by the cynical forces of fine detail.”

Lee does his preliminary sketches on an iPad and then uses Photoshop or virtual reality technology to complete his work.

Lee’s 2019 Brush Bear is for sale at VFA.

Eddie Martinez 1977 –

Eddie Martinez in his studio, 2017

Graffiti was Eddie Martinez’s medium of choice, until the possibility of arrest made him reconsider graffiti on walls and he opted for work on canvas. Martinez spent a year at the Art Institute of Boston and then set up a studio in Brooklyn, where he creates works that are distinctive and dynamic.

His work has been some of the most sought after in the art market. New York gallerist, Josephine Nash said that his “work is collected globally, and equally by younger and more established collectors.”

Martinez often works in series and repeated design. His paintings and lithographs are instantly recognizable.

Some of his finest lithographs are available at VFA.

Roy Lichtenstein and Other Featured Artists at VFA

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

References:
Roy Lichtenstein’s ‘Nude with Joyous Painting’ big hit, Christie’s online sale fetches $421 mn. Economic Times Magazine. London Edition. July 14, 2020.
Martha Schwendener. The Armory Show: Playing It Safe During an Unsettled Time. The New York Times. March 5, 2020.
Sarah Nechamkin. Into: Austin Lee’s Uncynical Day-Glo Humanoids. Interview Magazine. March 2019.
Benjamin Sutton. Why Painter Eddie Martinez Is Having His Biggest Market Year Yet. Artsy. August 6, 2020.

Eddie Martinez in Hong Kong / Other Featured Artists

Eddie Martinez

It’s hard to imagine going to an in-person art fair these days, but about 8,000 people showed up to view the works at the Asia of Art Basel art fair in Hong Kong at the end on November.

Among the highlights of the fair was a 26-foot long, untitled painting by Eddie Martinez that sold to a collector from Taiwan for $1 million.

Eddie Martinez was also one of the top selling artists at Phillip’s London auction on December 15th.

Timothy Curtis

The works of Brooklyn-based graffiti artist Timothy Curtis are on exhibit called Universes 3 at the WOAW gallery in Hong Kong this month. The show looks at the way various international artists view their ‘alternate realities’.

Curtis is a self-taught artist, born in Philadelphia, where he began to paint graffiti at the age of nine. He spent seven years in prison, where he studied art and art history. His skill at drawing faces made him one of the most popular inmates in prison. His talent has led to an outstanding career, with international recognition of his work.

Susumu Kamijo

Susumu Kamijo has been inspired by the clients of his dog groomer girlfriend. His sweet, funny and empathetic works have become more sought after than ever.

His work Candy set a new auction record for Kamijo at Phillip’s New York Auction on December 8th, garnering more than twice the estimate.

Kenny Scharf

Phillip’s December 8th auction also saw high demand for the works of Kenny Scharf. Scharf’s career began in the 1980s in New York and continued, quietly and steadily, through the decades. In 2017 his work was featured in a show at MoMa and a show at the Whitney, and his career took off.

His latest project is a collaboration with Dior for the 2021 menswear fashion collection. Designer Kim Jones has used Scharf’s fabric designs for shirts, jackets, shoes and bags.

Julian Opie

More that twenty double-sided LED screens, the work of British artist, Julian Opie, have been placed along St Kilda Road in the City of Melbourne. The Australian Bird designs were inspired by his father’s stories of growing up in Australia. The  public art works were commissioned by the City of Melbourne for the National Gallery of Victoria Triennial. Two additional works will be unveiled in 2023 and 2026.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the fine art work for sale at VFA.

References:
Oliver Giles. What Sold At Hong Kong Spotlight By Art Basel. Hong Kong Tattler. December 3, 2020.
Benjamin Sutton. Why Painter Eddie Martinez Is Having His Biggest Market Year Yet. Artsy/Art Market. August 6, 2020.
Joey Garfield. Timothy Curtis: Never One Day Not Having Fun. Juxtapoz. February 27, 2017.
“Universes 3” Group Exhibit at WOAW Gallery in Hong Kong. Street Art News. December 2, 2020.
Phillips Achieves Highest Total in Company History for 20th Century and Contemporary Art Evening and Day Sales, At $162.4 Million. ArtfixDaily/Artwire. New York. December 9, 2020.

Glitter, Glamor and Cheer at VFA

Everything seems a little brighter this holiday season. Even some of the artwork in the Vertu Fine Art Gallery has a special glow.

Here’s a look at some of the fine art prints, paintings and sculptures that capture the joy of the season:

Donald Sultan: Diamond Dust

Donald Sultan used found building materials, like tar and masonite, for his early works when he began his career as a struggling artist in New York in the 1970s and ’80s. As his career evolved and grew, he began to expand his repertoire of subjects and materials, using diamond dust, flocking and even sculpting with aluminum.

Carole Feuerman: More Glitter

Carole Feuerman was an early pioneer of the Hyperrealist Movement in the 1970s. Her sculptures and prints can be found in public spaces, museums and galleries around the world.

Richard Anuszkiewicz: Nostalgia

A major force in the Op Art movement, the work of Richard Anuszkiewicz lends itself to the complimentary red and green theme of the holidays.

In 1965, Anuszkiewicz was one of several artists who were commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art to design Christmas cards to be sold to the public.

He kept the tradition of making cards for friends and family every year, some of which are available at VFA.

The artist, who said that he wanted to make “something romantic out of a very, very mechanistic geometry” died this year, at age 89.

Robert Indiana – Love and Hope

One of the most universally recognized symbols is Robert Indiana‘s LOVE design, which he created for MoMA’s Christmas collection in 1965.

Variations of LOVE and HOPE can be found as monumental sculptures in public spaces around the world, on postage stamps and in museums and galleries nationally and internationally.

Robert Indiana died in May, 2018, at age 89, leaving a symbol that will live on.

Yoshitomo Nara: Just for Fun

Yoshitomo Nara is one of Japan’s most beloved artists. His works have a Japanese sensibility, influenced by manga, Disney cartoons and the puck rock he heard on broadcasts from a nearby American Army base.

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

Kenny Scharf Designs Fabrics for Dior and Dinner Plates for the Homeless Coalition

Kenny Scharf

Dior is using Kenny Scharf’s works from the ’80s, as well as recent works, to create psychedelic, sci-fi fabrics for its Fall 2021 men’s collection.

“I’ve worked with so many designers over the years, but never in this kind of depth that I knew was going to take place,” Scharf said in a recent interview in Paper Magazine. “So it’s been very fulfilling to me to see all these beautiful creations taken to their fullest — not just a little dabble here and there, like my other ventures in fashion.”

Scharf played a major role in the 1980s New York Pop scene, along with Keith Haring, Andy Warhol and Jean-Paul Basquiat. He was born in LA, and did a lot of traveling from coast-to-coast, but settled in Culver City a few years ago so that he could enjoy time with his grandchildren.

This year Scharf has had solo shows in New York and LA and group shows in Seoul, Ibiza, Spain, Mexico City and New York and LA.

Last year he completed a mural at the Bluffs at Playa Vista in LA.

Katherine Bernhardt

Last November, Katherine Bernhardt was honored last year for her artistic contributions to New York’s Coalition for the Homeless.

This year the Coalition has worked with fifty fine artists, many whose works are available at VFA, to create limited edition plates, available online to support the Coalition. All of the funds raised by the sale of plates will go toward providing food, crisis services, housing and other critical aid to thousands of people experiencing homelessness and instability in New York.

Other artists who designed plates for the cause, and whose works are available at VFA are Jonas Wood, Austin Lee, Yoshitomo Nara, Julian Opie, Eddie Martinez, Derrick Adams, Ed Ruscha, Ugo Rondinone, Vik Muniz and, of course, Kenny Scharf.

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

References:
Mario Abad. How Kenny Scharf’s Sci-Fi Pop Art Made Its Way to the Diol Ateliers. Paper Magazine. December 2020.
Dan Golden. Kenny Scharf Interview. Curator Magazine. 2020.
Charu Suri. 50 Star Artists Have Designed Plates for a Great Cause. Architectural Digest. November 16, 2020.
Pearl Fontaine. 25th Annual ARTWALK NY Honored Katherine Bernhardt. Whitewall. November 21, 2019.
Danielle Naer. Painters and Patrons Attended Artwalk NY’s Colorful Fundraiser. Vogue. November 19, 2019.

The Healing Art of Takashi Murakami and Others

So much of Takashi Murakami‘s work is joyful and uplifting, that it’s easy to imagine why he would be asked to create a work to put a smile on the faces of children who need something to smile about.

Murakami is the latest artist to be commissioned by RxArt, a nonprofit that works with contemporary artists to transform “sterile healthcare facilities into engaging and inspiring environments full of beauty, humor, and comfort.”

During the past twenty years, more than sixty great artists have completed projects in 36 hospitals in the U.S. Derrick Adams, Jonas Woods and Kenny Scharf, whose works are available at VFA, are among the artists chosen because of their ability to create fun and uplifting art to soothe young patients.

The works are an inspiration to everyone who views them, but are done specifically to decrease fear and anxiety in children and adolescents.

Kenny Scharf has created works for the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s children’s wing in Los Angeles and the waiting room of Brooklyn Children’s Hospital.

In 2013, he was asked to create a mural in a stairwell of the Pediatric and Adolescent Psychiatric Units in Kings County Hospital, which is used by young patients every day. “I hope to brighten their day.” Scarf said in a 2016 interview, “I hope to inspire. And I hope it helps them to know that people care about them.”

Other artists who have taken part in RxArt projects include Ed Ruscha, Frank Stella, Donald Sultan and Katherine Bernhardt, all artists whose works are available at VFA.

Please contact us for more information about the works of Takashi Murakami and the other fine artists whose works are for sale at VFA.

References:
Katheryn Romeyn. See How Takashi Murakami Totally Transformed Part of Children’s National Hospital. Architectural Digest. October 29, 2020.
Grace Ebert. Takashi Murakami’s Iconic Flowers Engulf a CT Suite at a Washington D.C. Children’s Hospital. Colossal. November 4, 2020.
Paul Laster. Healing Through Art: Kenny Scharf’s Gleeful Mural for RxArt. Whitehot Magazine. August 2016.

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.
Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

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