Tom Wesselmann

Tom Wesselmann: Pop Art and Intention

The American Pop Art movement had its share of reluctant participants. Perhaps most notorious among them is Tom Wesselmann. Mentioned alongside the biggest names in Pop – Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rosenquist and Johns − Wesselmann rejected the Pop label and any other label for that matter. The artist was among those masters who viewed themselves independent of any such art movement associations, interpreting such labeling as confining and simplistic, unable to capture the essence of their style. For Wesselmann, it boiled down to a matter of intention.

Unlike Warhol or Rosenquist, Wesselmann thought his art to be less confrontational, as he offered no criticism of society within the objects of brand and commercialism included in his works. What the artist failed to acknowledge or recognize is that Pop Art was a force of nature. Once unleashed, it lived in the public domain, providing an artist with little room to “opt out.” The Pop Artist tag would be especially difficult for Tom Wesselmann to shed, as the nature of his work was entirely in sync with the very attributes that fit the Pop motif. Intentional or otherwise, one Pop characteristic that served Wesselmann well was the ability to understand the moment and seize a golden opportunity.

Tom Wesselmann played off his own opportunism as pure coincidence. Just a 1960s working artist in New York, painting objects of commercialism and consumerism in large scale, in close proximity to a core of Pop Artists, such as Alex Katz, who Wesselmann befriended. Like Katz, Wesselmann’s style bespeaks that of a Pop Artist on the fringe. By the late sixties, as he began moving away from iconic objects of commercialism, Tom Wesselmann’s works still boar a number of Pop Art footprints, yet with an unassuming and less conscious approach – devoid of any motive to manipulate public opinion.

Since 1993 I’ve basically been an abstract painter. This is what happened: in 1984 I started making steel and aluminum cut-out figures… One day I got muddled up with the remnants and I was struck by the infinite variety of abstract possibilities. That was when I understood I was going back to what I had desperately been aiming for in 1959, and I started making abstract three-dimensional images in cut metal. I was happy and free to go back to what I wanted: but this time not on De Kooning’s terms but on mine.”
-Tom Wesselmann, 2003

Ask any Contemporary Art enthusiast about Tom Wesselmann and the first thing that comes to mind, whether stated or not, is Wesselmann’s women. The artist’s figurative drawings, paintings, prints and sculptures manage to capture the female form in a manner so unique that it’s mesmerizing. Sensual, revealing, intimate and honest − Wesselmann’s nudes are provocative and inviting. In the case of Great American Nude #92, a Tom Wesselmann 1967 painting that is part of a series called Great American Nude, the piece created a fair amount of controversy and intrigue.

There are a number of Wesselmann collectors who simply adore the artist’s use of color and powerful lines, but shy away from the artist’s highly sexualized offerings, opting for equally captivating landscapes or still life renderings.  Among the Wesselmann collectors who adore his nudes, there are also many who prefer the works featuring subjects more conservatively posed.

Tom Wesselmann’s nudes, though revealing, leave much to the viewer’s imagination. Faces are often portrayed anonymously, with full expressive lips serving as are the only facial features present. Stylized hair, pronounced breasts, an alluring pose and curves of the body help tell the story, but just a hint. Bold blocks and thick lines of color adorn clothing, flowers, furnishings and accessories provide the viewer with additional details.

One 1993 screenprint by Tom Wesselmann, Claire Seated with Robe Half-Off is wonderful representation of a repetitive theme used by the artist. Paying homage to two favorite muses at once, a reclined Vivienne serves as backdrop to a standing Claire. For collectors of who fully embrace Wesselmann’s varied portrayal of female subjects, each piece tells more of a larger story waiting to be told. Nothing Wesselmann ever feels forced or constructed for consumption. It’s merely a highly talented creator inviting us to join him, in his intimate spaces, with lovely companions. If you feel as we do, it’s an invitation you’ll accept time and time again.

If you enjoy limited edition prints and assorted works from Wesselmann, Warhol, Lichtenstein and the masters of Pop Art, we invite you to visit with us at our Boca Raton Contemporary Art gallery.  We’re also available to assist you online or via telephone during gallery hours.  Please feel free to contact us.

Robert Rauschenberg White Painting

Robert Rauschenberg Prints at VFA

Vertu Fine Art is pleased to present a few examples of the impressive Robert Rauschenberg prints for sale at our South Florida art gallery. Rauschenberg’s contributions as an Abstract Expressionist and Pop Artist were powerful and significant in defining moments attributed to both movements. At a time when nations and people were rebounding from the Second World War, emotionally and intellectually, artists who pushed boundaries and challenged the status quo were in high demand. Robert Rauschenberg was one such artist and his thought provoking works continuously inspire artists and collectors alike.

Robert Rauschenberg masterfully juxtaposed emotionally charged objects to make bold statements, while also raising important questions about suggested or perceived correlations. In 1965, at a time when the issue of racial equality became a more highly focused topic, CORE evolved into a stronger and more prominent organization. By including images of the Statue of Liberty, a Civil War soldier statue, various industrial images, John F. Kennedy and a Native American − side by side, Rauschenberg most certainly was set the table for a number of interesting inferences.

CORE is also a work that demonstrates the affinity that Robert Rauschenberg had for printmaking and mixed media. Well known for his combines, for which the artist collected rubbish from the streets of New York to include as components, this work suggests a different style of mixed media. In creating CORE, Rauschenberg blended silkscreen techniques with traditional painting techniques, applying brush strokes and stains to the printed images offered in this rather special collage.

Another truly historic Robert Rauschenberg print for sale at VFA is Marsh from the Stoned Moon series inspired by NASA’s successful Apollo 11 mission to the moon. In 1966, Robert Rauschenberg and Billy Klüver, an electrical engineer from Bell Telephone Laboratories, launched an organization called Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) to foster collaboration between artists and engineers. Rauschenberg was rewarded by the engineers at NASA, who invited the artist to personally witness the Apollo 11 launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Florida.

Following this moving experience, Robert Rauschenberg created his Stoned Moon series of 34 lithographs that included, among other things, official images from the NASA archive – such as those of astronauts, space suites, machinery and engineering drafts. The Stone Moon lithographs were also considered to be technically forward-thinking printmaking as well, as certain lithographs were the largest to have been created at that time.

Another inventive and “process heavy” Robert Rauschenberg print for sale is Epic from the artist’s Ground Rules series. The ground rules series of prints, eleven in all, were created in 1997 working with master printers from ULAE (Universal Limited Art Editions).

The series contained works done by way of intaglio, with images transferred to photogravure plate and printed on Arches En Tout Cas paper. The result was a production with uniquely textured otherworldly images. Much of Rauschenberg’s career focused upon this blended approach toward achieving an artistic vision altered by the application of scientific experimentation.

Viewing Robert Rauschenberg’s works can prove to be a nostalgic experience, bringing to the surface a multitude of questions about emotionally charged times in postwar America. For collectors and art enthusiasts, the works of Rauschenberg elicit thoughts about the creative shots fired by an artist who has forever changed the face of Contemporary Art in America.

The pieces examined within this post are merely an example of the Robert Rauschenberg works available for sale at the Vertu Fine Art Gallery in Boca Raton, FL. If you are a collector seeking a specific Rauschenberg work, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help. If you are local to our gallery, please stop in to see all of the latest Pop Art, Optical Art and Abstract Expressionist works currently available.

Andy Warhol: High Demand Pop

An artist is somebody who produces things that people don’t need to have.” – Andy Warhol

As a South Florida gallery that specializes in Pop Art, we have the pleasure of consistently offering new Andy Warhol prints for sale. Because of Warhol’s intense popularity and larger than life reputation, every work from the artist is significant and in high demand. For the Warhol collector, each limited edition print presents an opportunity to own a valuable piece of Pop Art history.

Opportunity is a word that comes up frequently when we talk about Andy Warhol.  Whether it’s the opportunity to obtain a highly sought after screenprint or the choices Warhol made in engineering his own celebrity – opportunity is usually the operative word.

Perhaps Warhol’s biggest opportunity was delivered by New York City. It’s hard to imagine that Andy Warhol could have orchestrated such a high level of Pop Art stardom anywhere else. There’s just no way that Warhol would have become a megastar operating as a professional artist in Pittsburgh. One could make the argument that Los Angeles would have been a good fit for Andy, in terms of the city’s affinity for pop culture and the obvious access to Hollywood stars? However, L.A. is not the hub of commerce, art and entertainment that New York is, and more importantly, Pop Art, much like the Abstract Expressionist movement that preceded it, was happening in NYC.

Andy Warhol and New York City

In New York, Warhol thrived by being in physical proximity to the other artists creating the movement, as well as up and comers (who he entertained and collaborated with at The Factory), and of course, the celebrities he courted. In the end, NYC and Andy Warhol were perfectly slated for one another. Warhol was Pop Art’s Woody Allen − filled with idiosyncrasies and insecurities that enabled him to interact with celebrities as if a distant observer, even while in their presence.

Celebrity is what made Warhol, “Warhol.” Undoubtedly, talent made the artist successful, but it was the marketing of fame that made him famous. From using iconic brands like Campbell’s soup to capturing the essence of iconic celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Warhol’s famous subjects helped him to tap into the human psyched and draw attention to his work.

In 1981, Andy Warhol repurposed his famous Pink Marilyn Monroe Screenprint, F&S II. 31, to fashion his hand signed invitations to a Print Retrospective Exhibition at the Leo Castelli Gallery, New York City. This signed edition of approximately 250 is an example of a highly sought after niche work that clearly represents a moment in time from the life of Andy Warhol.

Warhol understood that tapping into the universal intrigue with celebrities was a surefire path to making Pop Art accessible and easily digestible for the American public. He also cherished the idea that his limited edition screenprints would allow a larger audience of collectors to own his work, and that his popularity was sufficient to fuel the demand.

Interestingly, it was Warhol who said, An artist is somebody who produces things that people don’t need to have.” Perhaps it’s this sentiment that drove the artist to feel so compelled to become a celebrity, knowing that only the magic of celebrity could validate the importance of his Pop Art.

As a known figure in the art world, no one manipulated celebrity like Andy Warhol. When Studio 54 exploded onto the scene, Warhol became a fixture at the club, gaining access to even more celebrities and working the media attention to grow his popularity. Andy’s unique persona lent a sense of mystery, keeping the press and the public wondering just what they were witnessing.

Considering that Warhol came from an advertising design background, it makes sense that he had a knack for the elements of brand building. As such, the living, breathing Andy Warhol brand was consistently portrayed and easily identifiable – cold, deadpan, affected − his own unique value proposition. In fact, Warhol’s quirkiness was downright mysterious, just the way he crafted it. Celebrity plus mystery is a sure win; creating interest and demand that is still unwavering in the marketplace.

If you’re seeking a specific Andy Warhol print, please drop by the Vertu Fine Art Gallery in Boca Raton or contact us.

Alex Katz, Good Afternoon

New Pop Art And Hyperrealist Works for Sale

As October rolls in, we find ourselves striding into our South Florida Contemporary Art gallery with a bit of extra enthusiasm, as we anticipate the start of the upcoming season. Hopefully, you are among our clients, family and friends who will soon be spending more time in our neck of the woods and will be afforded new opportunities to visit. We’re pleased to provide you with a quick snapshot of newly acquired fine art for sale at Vertu Fine Art.

It’s hard to imagine a better training ground for a Pop Artist than that of a sign maker and billboard painter. Such was the path that James Rosenquist took on his journey to becoming an important figure in the Pop Art movement. The commercial nature and large scale aspects of his working in the outdoor advertising industry as a young man served the artist well. During his career as a fine artist, he often worked in a similar large scale, and simply changed the messaging from sales to social commentary. Perhaps his most famous work was entitled, F-111, which paid homage to the powerful aircraft heavily utilized by the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam when Rosenquist painted it in 1964, interspersed with commercial images onto 23 sections, 10 feet high and 86 feet wide.
New at VFA is James Rosenquist’s Mirage Morning, a fascinating multi-dimensional lithograph with mixed media work. Colorful and imaginative, this Rosenquist piece has fast become a favorite among visitors to our Boca Raton Gallery.

The photorealism of Chuck Close has captivated our attention for years. Only from afar does the viewer of Close’s portraits feel like they are viewing a singular image. This work is nothing short of spectacular, especially when considering the artist’s process in developing this masterful work.

Each unit in Close’s grid is filled with organic abstract shapes and an intriguing palette − leading the viewer’s eye to a wonderful assortment of flowing shape and color. Chuck Close deconstructs and reengineers a whole new sense of the same being in this way.

Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work. – Chuck Close

When you find yourself in the proximity of our Boca Raton art gallery, among the new art for sale that you’ll be glad you viewed in person is this suite of 4 canvases from a red hot artist in high demand, Carole Feuerman. Her hyperrealist sculptured swimmers continue to land in private, public and corporate collections worldwide. From her painted resin and bronze works to her prints, Carole Feuerman’s works have a sense of sweetness, calm and sincere appreciation for the human form.

Of the many Pop Art masters at VFA, Alex Katz is one who’s often viewed as an important yet peripheral member. Katz most certainly demonstrates Pop sensibilities, including the flat commercial feel of his subjects and monochrome backgrounds, and his affinity for large scale works and printmaking. Alex Katz was a powerful influence to many Pop Artists in the sixties and seventies. Though his works helped to introduce the movement, they’re void of any sense of self-promotion or indulgence that one conjures when considering  the likes of Warhol, Lichtenstein or Rauschenberg. What Alex Katz has always possessed is a unique,  unflappable coolness and distance. The serene 1974 Alex Katz screenprint and lithograph, Good Afternoon, will surely pull at the heartstrings of a Katz collector.

Part of what I’m about is seeing how I can paint the same thing differently instead of different things the same way. – Alex Katz

One really special Pop Art work by Roy Lichtenstein that is currently for sale is the artist’s 1978 lithograph entitled, “Mermaid.” This print has all the Pop elements that made the artist a leader of the movement. His signature retro comic book style, simple forms, primary colors and lively subject matter − like all Lichtenstein works – somehow continues to reveal a bit more every time it’s viewed. The subtle background shapes and the comic-styled action make this a fun piece to own, for a Roy Lichtenstein collector or anyone who yearns to possess a classic piece of Pop Art.

For any collector of Pop Art, Optical Art or Abstract Expressionism, VFA in Boca Raton is a small oasis in South Florida. Please visit when you can and always feel free to drop us a line to let us know how best we can assist you.

Robert Motherwell, Capriccio, 1961

Abstract Expressionism: Part II – Featured at VFA

Our collection of works from Abstract Expressionist artists is ever-changing in our Boca Raton Contemporary Art gallery. In addition to limited edition prints from masters of Abstract Expressionism such as Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns and Helen Frankenthaler, we also carry inspired works from an array of world class Pop Art and Optical Art masters who have been strongly influenced by the AE movement.

Jasper Johns

Jasper Johns, one America’s most famous Abstract Expressionists, is also well known for his role as a founder of the Pop Art movement, along with the likes of Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and others. Johns is one of the few Abstract Expressionists living today who participated in the heyday of the Abstract Expressionism movement in the 1950s and sixties. In recent years, Jasper Johns lithographs have become among those most highly valued and coveted by collectors. The artist is universally respected for his commitment to the art form of printmaking, as a parallel medium to his impressive large scale paintings.

To be an artist you have to give up everything, including the desire to be a good artist.”
– Jasper Johns

Revered for his minimalist style and use of “simplistic” symbols, collectors of Johns enjoy speculation about the artist’s potentially deeper motivations, or lack thereof. Periscope 1, a Jasper Johns lithograph available for sale at VFA, has a number of familiar Johns’ symbols, including an imprint of the artist’s hand, which has appeared in various forms in Jasper Johns works over the years.

Willem de Kooning

Willem de Kooning’s contributions to Abstract Expressionism are well known. Components of the artist’s works deviate from various aspects of the human form and experience. Jaw lines, noses, eyes and necks — paired with elements derived from species of birds, fish and other animal life help create de Kooning’s unique style.

A series of Willem de Kooning lithographs from Quatre Lithographies are among the latest limited edition prints at Vertu Fine Art gallery. The works are exemplary of de Kooning’s gestural style, familiar shapes and colors, which demonstrate the artist’s Matisse and Picasso influences.

Helen Frankenthaler

The work of Helen Frankenthaler, one of the few women credited with furthering the success of Abstract Expressionism in America, are among some of the more heavily sought after pieces at VFA. One such work, produced to commemorate the Cleveland Orchestra’s 60th Anniversary Season in 1978, is simply entitled, “Untitled.” It’s a beautiful representation of Frankenthaler’s Color Field style, for which the artist is highly regarded. Helen Frankenthaler studied under another rather important figure, Hans Hofmann, whose teachings have often been celebrated for fueling the Abstract Expressionism movement in America.

You have to know how to use the accident, how to recognise it, how to control it, and ways to eliminate it so that the whole surface looks felt and born all at once.”
– Helen Frankenthaler

Robert Motherwell

Robert Motherwell’s Capriccio is one a of a handful of limited edition signed works from the artist that are currently for sale at the Vertu Fine Art. Capriccio is an excellent representation of the contrast, colors and abstract form for which Motherwell is best known. Robert Motherwell, who obtained philosophy degrees from Stanford and Harvard prior to becoming a New York artist in 1941, was well-versed to become a leading figure in Abstract Expressionism by the time the movement took hold.

Claes Oldenburg

Another artist who contributed to the Abstract Expressionist movement and is favored at the VFA Boca Raton gallery is Claes Oldenburg. The artist is perhaps best known for his dramatic public art installations, bringing to life fantastic Pop Art icons. Nonetheless, Oldenburg’s earlier works, including his captivating lithographs, clearly embody the interpretive attributes that speak volumes within the context of the Abstract Expressionist style.

I am for an art that is political-erotical-mystical, that does something more than sit on its ass in a museum.”
― Claes Oldenburg

At Vertu Fine Art, collecting Abstract Expressionist works is ourpassion. Visit our gallery to see the latest from the masters who defined the movement. If you’re seeking specific works, please contact us for assistance.

Abstract Expressionism

Abstract Expressionism: Part I − A Profound Shift

Like all powerful art movements, Abstract Expressionism is a phenomenon that is the result of a perfect storm. In the years following World War II, as powerful nations worked to rebuild, both physically and emotionally, and millions of people were transplanted worldwide, change was undoubtedly in air. No wonder that New York City emerged as a Contemporary Art powerhouse, with the unconventional works of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell and others signifying a new shift in the art world.

As with all things art, interpretation and debate fuel the fire. Some contend that Abstract Expressionism took hold primarily due to the timing of historically relevant events. Others credit profound new artistic techniques and processes, such as those implemented by Jackson Pollock in producing his famous drip paintings. Yet others contend that it’s those who helped define the movement – such as art critics Clement Greenberg and Harold Rosenberg – who may be largely responsible for the notoriety of Abstract Expressionism.

Some contend that it’s those who helped define the movement – such as art critics Clement Greenberg and Harold Rosenberg – who may be largely responsible for the notoriety of Abstract Expressionism.

Regardless of where one chooses to place credit, it’s clear that Abstract Expressionism represented a shift in the importance placed on the artistic process. Suddenly the philosophies, methods and techniques of the artist received as much consideration as the work itself, seen as the end product by some, and the byproduct by others.

Mark Rothko

In the case of Mark Rothko, an artist who rejected the label of Abstract Expressionism, his high minded philosophies greatly contributed to furthering the movement. In fact, one could argue that even the artist’s rejection of labels justifies the label itself – obviously being in line with the mindset of an Abstract Expressionist. In Rothko’s color-dominated works, he not only moved away from traditional subjects, his colors became the subject. Like other Abstract Expressionist painters, Rothko worked in large scale, which the artist claimed to increase the intimacy between his work and the viewer, as if larger equals closer, a perspective that grants the viewer greater access to the piece, making it more expressive and perhaps even more vulnerable.

Jackson Pollock

For many collectors and art enthusiasts, Jackson Pollock is the artist most credited with being a catalyst for the movement of Abstract Expressionism. Pollock’s unconventional methods – dripping, flinging and throwing paint onto an unstretched canvas on the floor – symbolized the degree to which artists could feel free to deviate from traditional approaches. The movements used to create such works indeed created a new style of painting, named action painting. Such paintings capture the imagination of the view in new ways, and bring into question whether the painter’s actions created intended results and even whether results where a consideration at all. Collectors and critics proposed that such works were merely evidence of the artistic event that transpired, rather than the sole purpose of the event.

Pollock’s unconventional methods – dripping, flinging and throwing paint onto an unstretched canvas on the floor – symbolized the degree to which artists could feel free to deviate from traditional approaches.

Side note: Have a little fun at − this interactive website makes it easy to create your own drip painting with moves of the cursor.

Franz Kline

Another Abstract Expressionist “action painter” of note is Franz Kline. Like Pollock, Kline pursued a style that reflected spontaneous production, allowing for the subconscious to participate in the creative process. Interestingly, Kline “prepared” for his acts of spontaneity, conducting a number of trial sketches − of strokes and canvas applications − to be produced. The results defined the artist’s iconic Abstract Expressionist works, conveying a strong improvisational and emotionally charged style.

If you’re a collector of Abstract Expressionist masters, drop on by our Boca Raton art gallery. If you’re seeking a particular work, please contact us and we’ll be happy to assist.

In our upcoming blog, Part II of our exploration of the Abstract Expressionist artists, we’ll take a close look at specific artists featured regularly at VFA.

Chuck Close Self Portrait

Chuck Close Artwork: Face Value

For a number of truly gifted artists, pursuing their craft is about something more than acquiring fame and fortune, it’s a chance to prove something important to themselves. Such is the case with American artist Chuck Close, whose foray into hyper-realism and photorealism are chiefly the results of self-serving motivations. While Close credits art critic Clement Greenberg for providing a healthy dose of inspiration, there’s more to the story.

In the late 1960s, when Greenberg declared that, “the one thing left that an artist can’t do is paint a portrait.” Chuck Close reports having famously thought, “All right, I like a challenge, and I won’t have any competition from anyone else. If painting was dead, figurative painting was deader than a doornail, and portraiture was the most moribund of all activities.”1

All right, I like a challenge, and I won’t have any competition from anyone else. If painting was dead, figurative painting was deader than a doornail, and portraiture was the most moribund of all activities.

The truth is that Clement Greenberg’s opinions were simply the tip of the iceberg for motivating Chuck Close. For Close, the act of capturing faces is self-serving beyond any indulgence of ego, the practice stems from an act of preservation. Close suffers from a medical condition called prosopagnosia, also known as “face blindness.” The artist literally has trouble recognizing faces of people who are even intimately close to him. Living with such an ailment means that Chuck Close has time and again unwittingly insulted people with whom he’s shared lengthy conversations and various social interactions, only to not recognize them even one day later.

To consider Chuck Close’s face blindness as his motivation to make portraits his niche, then one must also consider that his remarkable success as an artist is closely tied to overcoming a number of learning disabilities. Close describes his youth as being fraught with troubles emanating from his inability to keep up scholastically with classmates and friends. As a result, he latched onto the one talent he appeared to be gifted in spades. What’s so fascinating about Chuck Close’s artwork is that he overcame adversity to become an accomplished Abstract Expressionist painter, only to rather abruptly turn away, toward photorealism. Close challenged himself to find the art form that is indeed uniquely his own.

In addition to overcoming the learning disabilities of his youth, Chuck Close has also managed to persevere in spite of a severe spinal artery collapse suffered in 1988. The incident initially left him paralyzed from the neck down.  Fortunately, with physical therapy, the artist regained use of his upper body and has worked continuously, though with assistance. His work is nonetheless still in high demand, for very good reason.

The unique presentation of Chuck Close’s portraits have evolved via a variety of processes over the years.  His most recent technique embraces a grid system, with the artist mapping colors, textures, shadows and light − put forth in assortments of shapes – corresponding to sections of the image portrayed in associated spaces on canvas. From a distance, the viewer perceives the “photorealistic” work. Upon closer exploration of individual grid units, the abstraction of the photo rendering can be fully appreciated.  One of Chuck Close’s more famous works is the portrait painted of former President Bill Clinton in 2006.

Today, Chuck Close continues to work out of his homes in Manhattan and Bridgehampton, New York. If you’re a collector of Chuck Close, please be sure to visit us at Vertu Fine Art in Boca Raton, FL and peruse our collection of Chuck Close artwork for sale. If you’re seeking a particular piece from this incredibly talented national treasure, please contact us and we’ll be more than happy to assist.

Floored by Polly Apfelbaum Prints and Mixed Media

New York artist Polly Apfelbaum is one of the more unique Contemporary Artists working today. The artist is undoubtedly best known for her “fallen” paintings and mixed media installations, which are primarily crafted on floors. Recently, collectors have become intrigued with Polly Apfelbaum prints, some of which are currently available for sale at Vertu Fine Art Gallery in Boca Raton. Apfelbaum’s playful combination of vibrant colors, rich textures and funky shapes have become the artist’s easily identifiable brand.

With enormous talent as my savior, the most simplistic, seemingly low-minded subjects rise up under my tutelage and blow your mind.”

“Playful” is indeed the word that typically comes to mind when considering her work. “Childlike” is another, and in fact, it’s one that Apfelbaum relishes. Critics have compared her work to those that might be produced by young school-aged children. The artist perceives such comments as confirmation that her intentions are being effectively communicated. Sharing stylistic commonalities with Pop Art icons such as Warhol, Johns or Lichtenstein, Polly Apfelbaum’s prints and installations blast the viewer with whimsy. She joins a larger selection of great Pop Artists in presenting works with a mindset that says, “With enormous talent as my savior, the most simplistic, seemingly low-minded subjects rise up under my tutelage and blow your mind.” It’s akin to watching Tchaikovsky compose’ Love Me Do.

Apfelbaum’s genius is frequently manifested in works that feature dyed organic fabrics or ornate synthetic materials laid out on floors in installation spaces − allowing for participation among viewers. The installations are arranged in what appears to a randomly placed assortment. By moving around the space, participants gain a variety of perspectives that, in essence, change both perception and meaning.

In her art school years, Apfelbaum studies were focused on printing and painting. Within her career, as with most masters, Polly Apfelbaum apparently “fell” into her unique style, one that is most often described as a collaboration of painting, sculpture and installation.  In recent years, she has shown a resurging interest and gift for producing exquisite prints.

Among the Polly Apfelbaum prints for sale at VFU are a number of works from her “Flags of Revolt and Defiance” series.  The group of works, each paying tribute to a cultural or political revolutionary movement, includes 31 silkscreen prints in all, combining iconic representations with Apfelbaum’s “pop flower” shapes. The series was created for an installation at Columbia University’s LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies in 2006.

Polly Apfelbaum continues to receive praise and recognition for her art and most recently, she was named a 2012-2013 recipient of the 116th Annual Rome Prize.  The prize, which is “awarded to approximately 30 individuals who represent the highest standard of excellence in the arts and humanities,” grants stipend, studio, room and boarding for a period of six months to two years at The American Academy in Rome.  The artist’s prior accolades include being a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, among others.

Polly Apfelbaum’s works are current contributions to many public viewings worldwide, including internally spaces at FRAC Nord-Pas de Calais (Dunkerque and Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (France), Israel Museum (Jerusalem, Israel), Magasin 3 (Stockholm, Sweden) and a large variety of museums and public spaces domestically.

If you share our excitement for the works of this wonderfully talented artist, come in to our Boca Raton Gallery to view the current selection of Polly Apfelbaum prints for sale. If you’re a collector seeking a particular Apfelbaum work, we are always happy to assist in sourcing it for you. Thank you for visiting our website and taking an interest in the Contemporary Art that we enjoy so very much!

Donald Sultan Prints

Donald Sultan: Positively Brilliant Negative Space

There’s a saying about artists that speaks to the fact that while they often grow up seeking to move away from home, they spend the rest of their lives paying homage to where they’re from.  Such is the case with Donald Sultan, a favorite son of Asheville, Carolina, who has spent most of his career as a New York City based artist with a pervasive “tar heel” approach to his craft. In fact, one could say that Sultan is a Contemporary Artist whose use of tar, spackle and other industrial materials, has helped him “pave” his own road into the annals of art history.

Rising to fame as a New York artist during the Pop Art crazed 1970s, Donald Sultan remains an artist who can be difficult to subcategorize within the broad realm of Contemporary Art.  While his works are still life, they are nonetheless abstract, and many of the artist’s large scale edgier works conjure a bit of Pop Art sensibility.

Donald Sultan’s industrial themed works are gripping. Using square linoleum floor tiles, tar, plaster and paint, Sultan’s rich textual works provide eerie insights into dimly lit worlds. Each work features a time-frozen setting with subjects that reveal themselves in glances, existing in the artist’s familiar tar soaked climate. Street lamps, pavement, iron girders, train tracks, bricks and stone facades emerge in powerful forms, as if chiseled by the artist. Sultan is a master of incorporating the negative space into the core of his subject.

In Donald Sultan’s self-described “artificial” and “natural” themed paintings and prints, the tar-colored blackness creates deep negative space that anchors his favorite subjects − lemons, poppies, dominoes, dice, buttons, wallflowers, roses – allowing each to take a turn at center stage.

While much focus is given to Donald Sultan’s process and clever use of negative space, of equal value are the artist’s forms, which have become synonymous with the Sultan’s style. Indeed, it’s a style that continues to gain favor with collectors worldwide. Visitors to Budapest’s art’otel, a “hip design hotel” located on the Danube River, opposite the Hungarian parliament, are treated to view any number of the almost 600 original works by Donald Sultan displayed throughout the hotel.

In Donald Sultan’s shape-driven world, colors are always a surprise. Lemons and eggs may appear in yellow, white or pitch black.  Ovals are predominant in Sultan’s still life representations. Button holes, domino numbers, and poppy plant centers are typically knocked out, rendering most often in black or white. Yet, Sultan collectors are enamored as much by Sultan’s unique use of color. Organic tones of washed out yellow, red and orange and share space with more synthetic versions of aqua and a variety of blues and greens.

At Vertu Fine Art Gallery in Boca Raton, we’re pleased to own a number of impressive Donald Sultan prints, and we continue to seek others by this Contemporary Art master.  If you’re a collector or a fan of Sultan, please stop on in for a visit.  And of course, if you’re a Donald Sultan Collector seeking particular works, please contact us and we’ll be glad to be of assistance.

The works of Donald Sultan are included in a number of permanent collections in prestigious museums worldwide, including The Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum , the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art − all located in New York City. Others include The Tate Gallery in London and the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.

Art for Sale Alex Katz

Six Newly Acquired Contemporary Works Available At Vertu Fine Art

One of the more gratifying aspects of owning an Art Gallery in Boca Raton, Florida is to see the reaction of our guests as they peruse the space and take in the striking Pop, Optical and Abstract Expressionist works.  At Vertu, there’s fresh energy that comes from each new acquisition from our favorite artists.  Here is a glimpse of six works of art for sale that we’re quite certain you’ll enjoy.

Late Summer Flowers is a beautiful silkscreen from one of the great living American masters of our time, Alex Katz.  Katz, who’s now 86 years old, continues to impress critics and collectors with grand paintings and silkscreen limited edition works created at his New York studio. Late Summer Flowers is an “instant classic” from Katz. It contains many of elements for which the artist is most admired. Like Katz himself, this work emanates a genuine cool confidence.  This piece captures a moment in time through the eyes of an American icon, combining the artist’s unique subtle affect with rich a colorful palette and style that channels the influence of Henri Matisse.

New from British artist Damien Hirst is a striking lenticular print representation of For The Love Of God, a sculpture cast from a human skull, resulting in a platinum likeness covered with 8,601 diamonds of outstanding quality, totaling more than 1,100 carats. To view this work at VFA is to witness this striking piece in all of its three-dimensional glory, bearing incredible likeness to the controversial sculpture itself. Hirst, who is regarded as a founder of the 1990s YBA (Young British Artist) movement, has spent much of his career forcing Contemporary Art lovers to come “face to face” with their own mortality. For Hirst collectors who appreciate the artist’s pushing of boundaries, this is a fantastic addition.

Two stunning new works for sale at VFA’s Boca Raton art gallery are creations of Marc Quinn, another British artist who, like Hirst, rose to fame as a member of the YBA movement in the 1990s. Quinn’s work throughout the years have in many ways paralleled the works of Damien Hirst, in terms of hard-hitting tactics employed to force the viewer to consider the heaviest aspects of the human condition. With Stealth Kate, the latest Marc Quinn print available for sale, the subject, Kate Moss is considerably less heavy.  This sexy piece is a print representation of the artist’s Kate Moss sculpture, silkscreen printed with diamond dust applied, giving the piece an otherworldly aura.  This screenprint is a limited edition of 75 and appears destined to become a longstanding favorite of Quinn collectors.

Another new Marc Quinn work that’s gaining quite a bit of favorable attention at VFA is Blue Planet, an impressive large-scale silkscreen print. Blue Planet is part of a series from Quinn based upon photographs of various human irises, each taken with a powerful lens. This iris print indeed bears resemblance to the planet, dominated by fascinating tones of blue, speckled with yellow, green, orange and red objects that easily resemble land masses.

One of the things we love about Contemporary Art is how quickly we can change gears, moving from Quinn’s realism to an astounding new Pop Art acquisition from one of America’s living Pop Art legends, Claes Oldenburg. The artist, who has received much acclaim over the years for his public installations, many of which feature oversized versions of ordinary objects − made extraordinary by their unanticipated appearance in assorted public spaces. Hard Times Bulb – Night is a unique Oldenburg lithograph that demonstrates the minimalist style of an artist who managed to tap into the American psyche and secure his place in Pop Art history.

Our latest acquisition from Frank Stella, entitled Stubb & Flask Kill A Right Whale-Dome, is an exciting work now available at our VFA Boca Raton gallery. The depth of this piece is sure to pull the viewer in and take the imagination for a joyful ride.  Frank Stella’s layers of geometric patterns within this work are nothing short of mind-boggling.  Movement is this piece begins and stops, and begins again. A strong majestic piece for a Stella collector, and indeed, anyone who appreciates such genius use of light, color and composition.

Sam Francis

Sam Francis: Pure Expression

Seeing the art of American Abstract Expressionist Sam Francis is nothing less than an adventure. Vibrant colors hit the canvas like notes from a jazz musician, with white space representing time and tempo. In time, the white space would come to dominate more of Sam Francis’ paintings. As experienced jazzmen taunted their unique power over the fermata − “a pause of unspecified length on a note or rest”, Sam Francis confronted white space on his unique terms, tugging at the space, leaving his mark of movement and pure expression.  His work speaks to the enormous confidence of an artist who held back nothing, leaving it all on the canvas.

Painting is about the beauty of space and the power of containment.
– Sam Francis

Sam Francis is credited with breathing life into the art movement known as the second generation of Abstract Expressionism, which took shape in New York during the 1950’s and included such artists as Joan Mitchell and Helen Frankenthaler.  Born in San Mateo, CA, Francis spent much of the fifties living in Paris and South France, with various periods of residence spent in Tokyo, Bern, Mexico City and New York.  Considering the length of time Sam Francis spent in Paris, it’s no wonder that lines are drawn between his use of light and color and that expressed by Matisse and Monet.  Francis’ drip techniques are most certainly a connected to the influence of American Abstract Expressionism.  Another strong influence in the works Sam Francis Japan and the artist’s affinity for Japanese art, whose elements are of note in a number of the artist’s works.

Of the work for which Sam Francis is known, his Edge Paintings are highly regarded for their contributions to minimalist style of contemporary art that rose to prominence in the 1960s Abstract Expressionist movement. Viewing a Francis Edge painting is gripping. With a grand use of white space dominating the work, one can’t help but feel the push and pull – of the artist’s intention and of the suggested action beyond the physical edge of the painting. Does the action begin at the edge and work out, does it close in from the outside, toward the center of the work?

Color is born of the interpenetration of light and dark.
– Sam Francis

In the early 70s, Sam Francis created a number of works referred to as his “Fresh Air” period. As with all Francis work, color dominated the subject. The process for the Fresh Air pieces included applying pools of color, along with drips and splatter, to wet paint applied by rollers. The results were pure Francis expression – masterful use of color representing a spectrum of emotion.  By the middle of the decade, Francis was producing a works in a more formalized grid fashion, using deep vibrant crossing colors. Known for his joy in producing large scale works, many of the grids measured upwards of twenty feet long.

An important aspect of Sam Francis’ history includes the artist’s foray into printmaking. Lithography was the first such printmaking technique that Francis mastered, and in 1970, when he opened the Litho Shop in Santa Monica, CA, it demonstrated his commitment to print at a time when a majority of established painters were not comfortable with the idea. In typical form, Sam Francis followed his own path, with immense success.

In May of this year, at Southeby’s sold Francis’ Symphony in Blue – 1958, Gouache and watercolor on paper, 27 x 39.4” for $1,145,000 – An auction record for a work on paper by the artist.

At our Boca Raton, FL Contemporary Art gallery, Sam Francis prints and originals are always on our radar. If you’re interested in our assistance in sourcing Sam Francis works for sale, contact Gary or Bill via phone, email, or drop in any time.

Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg: Highly Contextual

Every Contemporary Art master contributes irrevocably toward the establishment or growth of one of more art movements.  In the case of Robert Rauschenberg, an artist who we feature consistently in our South Florida art gallery, his untempered use of mixed media and highly contextual philosophies breathed life into the Neo-Dada and Pop Art movements that placed New York City as a Mecca of Contemporary Art during the mid-century.

Today, artists who gain favor for their use of “up-cycled” reclaimed materials, whether knowingly or not, stand on the shoulders of Robert Rauschenberg, Marcel Duchamp and a number of artists who went green years before environmentalists took notice.  In the case of Robert Rauschenberg, the discarded objects he found in the trash and elsewhere on the streets of New York became prized components within his highly acclaimed works known as Combines.

Painting relates to both art and life. I try to act in that gap between the two.”
— Robert Rauschenberg

For Rauschenberg, the perceptual shift of such materials – from useless discard to high art – was precisely the tools he required to build strength in the perception of his works. Rauschenberg cherished the “surprise” that could be found in such objects, as he himself was often unsure what an object would represent when juxtaposed to another.  Such surprise is the magic that Rauschenberg sought to deliver.

Robert Rauschenberg’s Bed (1955) is one of the artist’s earliest Combines and one of his most famous.  While the dripped paint likens the work to that of Jackson Pollock, it’s Rauschenberg’s use of color, most notably the color red, that give the piece an ominous message, easily interpreted as a sign of a violent sexual act.  The ample size and dimension of this work lends itself to a certain degree of intimacy, with the viewer often feeling uneasiness to be in such close proximity to objects that typically reside behind closed doors.  Robert Rauschenberg is famously quoted to have said, “Painting relates to both art and life.  I try to act in that gap between the two.”

Prior to creating Combines, Robert Rauschenberg first shocked the art world with his 1951 White Paintings, consisting of seven wood panels painted in white.  To fully appreciate the work, one must share the artist’s perspective, that the piece is in fact affected by ambient elements.  For instance, the viewer or multiple viewers in fact affect the viewing experience by nature of altering light blockage variances occurring at any given time.  In essence, to be present with the work is to be a contributor.  Art critics found preposterous such assertions that the viewer’s consumption of the work is affected by abstract components, such as sound and dust particles in the room and even the motion of trees outside. Rauschenberg created other notable monochromatic pieces, including Red Paintings and Black Paintings using mixed media painted in the same color, providing texture and variety to the works dependent upon angles of view.

Fortunately for Rauschenberg, controversy served to fuel the artist’s influence, just as it did for a number of Pop Artists, including Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol.  While Robert Rauschenberg’s mixed media Combines initially drew attention, it was his juxtaposed combinations of popular American cultural images that inked the artist into art history as a leader of the Pop Art movement.

Perhaps the most famous of Rauschenberg’s Pop Art contributions is the Stoned Moon series of lithographs.  The genesis for this series was Robert Rauschenberg’s participation as a viewer of 1969 launch of the Apollo 11 rocket, having been officially invited by NASA.  Years prior, Rauschenberg had been responsible for the creation a non-profit organization called Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), which brought together the communities of fine artists and technical engineers.  NASA reworded Rauschenberg with access to archives and assorted photos that made their way into the artist’s highly acclaimed Stoned Moon works.

Throughout his career, Robert Rauschenberg collaborated frequently with musical artists, dance and performance artists, often lending his talents to the creation of elaborate sets and costumes.  The artist’s worldwide acclaim landed him remarkable opportunities for collaboration.  Rauschenberg was commissioned by auto maker BMW to contribute to the BMW Art Car Project, which included his painting of BMW 635 CSI in 1986.  Also in the 1980’s, the artist’s talents landed him a Grammy Award for the album cover he designed for the Talking Head’s Speaking in Tongues album.

Artist Robert Rauschenberg discusses Erased de Kooning Drawing, 1953, one of his most controversial works. It is now in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Visitors to VFA Gallery in Boca Raton, FL are welcome to view the latest works of Robert Rauschenberg now available for sale.  As always, we offer our assistance to anyone seeking a specific Rauschenberg for their collection.  If you have questions for Gary or Bill about any of the Pop Art, Abstract Expressionist Art or Optical Art works that we procure, please feel free to stop by, give us a call or contact us online.

Takashi Murakami

The Superflat World of Takashi Murakami

Contemporary Art never feels more alive than when we are granted the opportunity to witness the birth of a movement and experience the evolution the master who founded it.  Such is the case with Takashi Murakami, a Japanese Pop Artist who will forever be tied to the term he coined − Superflat – in reference to a unique style that blends traditional and modern Japanese elements with a philosophy and commentary about cultural stereotypes.

The Superflat world of Murakami pays homage to the flat, two-dimensional affect of traditional Japanese art and those within modern manga and anime representations as well. In addition to mixing these two styles – which share commonalities but live on opposite ends of the spectrum – the artist also seeks to “flatten” out the consumer audience to whom this style of art appeals.

Similar to Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and other masters of Pop Art, Takashi Murakami is creating a world where “high art” and “low art” intertwine. Like the Pop Artists before him, Murakami’s uses vibrant and bold contemporary colors and lowbrow subjects, lend a sense of accessibility to a mainstream audience.  And once again, It’s the context of the works within a framework of social commentary that wins acclaim from critics and collectors alike.

Murakami’s works are often scenes of fantasy with expressive tones that convey a range of emotions.  The artist mixes masterful color pallets with extraordinary subjects – ranging from joyful organic characters to psychedelic other-worldly figures – conveying emotional aloofness one moment, confused heaviness the next and pure whimsy the next.

If there’s one place where Takashi Murakami is most similar to Warhol and Haring, it is in the artist’s ability to seize opportunities, manipulate public opinion and attain commercial success.  Like Warhol’s Factory and Haring’s Pop Shop, Murakami’s Kaikai Kiki is a company that encompasses the production of paintings, prints, sculptures and assorted works using a variety of media.  The company is true to the artist’s Superflat philosophy, producing t-shirts, figurines and a variety of products that makes “high art” commercially available to a mainstream audience.  At the same time, Murakami “flattens” the playing field on the other end; turning “ordinary” items into works of “high art” for a thirsty consumer audience that has fallen hard for his unique brand of Pop Art.

Perhaps the most notorious display of Murakami’s commercial success is his collaboration with designer brand Louis Vuitton.  Murakami’s re-imagined line of handbags has been a huge commercial success for the fashion brand, while bringing the artist’s international celebrity status to new heights.  The collaboration, which was facilitated by designer Marc Jacobs and began in 2002, continues to reap profits for the prestigious brand and artist alike.

At Vertu Fine Art, our Boca Raton gallery currently has a number of Takashi Murakami works for sale.  Murakami’s works are simply engaging and fantastic.  In the U.S., over the last few years, there has been a resurging interest in Japanese art, particularly manga and anime, and this affinity fuels interest in the works of Murakami.  Of course, Takashi Murakami collectors believe that it’s the artist’s influence that has primarily initiated the trend in the first place.

If you are fond of the works of Takashi Murakami, stop in to VFA and have a look at the new works we’ve acquired.  And if there’s a particular Murakami you need help sourcing, we are always here to help.


Damien Hirst Portrait with his artwork "St Elmo's Fire"

Damien Hirst: Sensational

At 48 years old, Damien Hirst, who rose to fame as a leader of the 1990’s Young British Artists (YBA) movement, is one of the most commercially successful artists living today.  He is also one of the more controversial.  His detractors liken him to a radio shock jock, an opportunist, a serial businessman.  His supporters consider him to be a man of conviction, a trailblazer and a master.  Hirst’s knack for sensationalizing common objects and leveraging his celebrity status often place him alongside Warhol, Haring and other popular artists.

Like all great creators, Damien Hirst captured lightning in a bottle, and he now owns an impressive catalog of works that are easily identifiable to collectors and enthusiasts as signature “Hirst.”  The artist’s  controversy is most closely linked to the manner in which he first captured the public imagination − with large scale installments of dead and decaying animals – as if a science museum exhibit took a wrong turn and ended up in a contemporary art space.

The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991) is one such powerful installment, showcasing a 14-foot tiger shark suspended in formaldehyde within a steel and glass display case.  As the title suggests, the physical object represented is merely a symbol in this context, to be experienced by the viewer with deep psychological and physiological response.

The artist’s gamble paid off.  To be in close proximity to a feared predator (even a dead one) may be considered an easy play to elicit a visceral response, but the suggestive title and contemporary art label prove effective in taking the viewer down the road of multiple contemplations.  Am I to imagine that this could by my fate in the waters?  Is it inappropriate for this animal, one of God’s creatures, to be powerlessly displayed for the sake of art?  Is death beyond what can be intelligently imagined?  Yes, yes, yes…and more.

Hirst’s other dead animal installations – including those featuring decaying cows and sheep – all serve up similar questions about life and death, and appropriateness.  Likewise, Damien Hirst’s fascination with death has taken a number of interesting turns along the way.  His Dead Ends Died Out, Examined (1993) displays hundreds of spent cigarette butts on shelves.  Each cigarette butt is a unique entity – in shape and size, and in remnants of tobacco, filter, paper and ash.  As if each it sustained a life of its own, while serving to extinguish a bit of life from each individual that consumed a smoke.

For many, the Hirst’s definitive death themed work is a diamond-encrusted platinum skull, entitled For the Love of God (2007). The scull is a platinum cast of a 35-year old 18th European century man (and includes the original teeth), encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds.  The sculpture was sold to an investment group that allegedly purchased it for Damien Hirst’s $100 Million asking price.

At Vertu Fine Art in Boca Raton, FL, our collection of Damien Hirst works for sale is predominantly print editions of the artist’s highly acclaimed Spot Paintings, Spin Paintings and Butterflies.  All of which have won Hirst praise for his gorgeous use of color and scientific approach to composition.

The Souls on Jacob’s Ladder Take Their Flight (Small Green) – 2007, Hand inked photogravure on 400 gsm Velin D’arches paper, 47 X 42.7 in, Edition of 72 is a current favorite at VFA.  The seductive work is tirelessly appreciated by gallery visitors who comment on the lovely colors and tones.  The stark black background apparently vaults the subject into space, floating peacefully.

Similar effect is gained by Hirst by using stark white background in his Spot paintings.  Esculetin – 2012, 2-inch woodcut spot, Edition of 55, 18.5 X 22 in. is one such Damien Hirst print currently for sale at our Boca Raton gallery.  Owners of Spot painting prints regularly share their bewilderment at how much enjoyment comes from the pleasantly arranged colored spots, never knowing which arrangement of spots will decide to present themselves to you harmoniously upon your next gaze.

If Hirst whets your whistle, drop in, contact us online or by phone.  Gary and Bill are here to assist you.

Art Prints, Carole Feuerman with Survival of Serena Green Cap

Art Prints for Sale this Week

At our Boca Raton gallery, we’re enjoying the extra hours of daylight and seeing both new and familiar faces dropping by to see what’s new at VFA.  If you’re not in the area, allow us to bring these impressive art prints to you.  As always, if there’s anything we can do to assist you with your collection please do not hesitate to contact Gary or Bill.

Carole Feuerman − best known for her Hyper-realistic figurative sculptures of swimmers and bathers − is in high demand these days.  Earlier this year, the City of Peekskill, NY announced their purchase of the artist’s “The Golden Mean,” which is to become a permanent monument.  Feuerman’s The General’s Daughter is on exhibit at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC and the artist is currently once again showcasing works at the Venice Biennale.

The first art print for sale this week is Feuerman’s dreamy Shower 2012 – Silkscreen on Canvas with Diamond Dust. To view this sparkling work in person is to fully appreciate the artist’s talent for capturing facial expression that lends a sense of wonderment.  The rich color is palpable and the diamond dust provides a starry, enigmatic atmosphere.

The Abstract Expressionist works from British artist Anthony Frost are striking, large format pieces with exciting vibrant colors.  The son of artist Sir Terry Frost, Anthony is known for his approach and creative process, which involves inspiration drawn from music.  In fact, the artist claims to be more heavily influenced by musical artists than any particular artists within the world of fine art.  Of Frost’s musical interests, an English post-punk band from Greater Manchester named The Fall appears to top the list.  Vertu Fine Art is pleased to make available for sale this grand art print from Anthony Frost.

Another British artist with works at Vertu Fine Art is Damien Hirst, known for his impressive role as a member of the 1990s Young British Artist movement (with notable artists Emin, Quinn, Turk and Whiteread).  One of Hirst’s more famous series of works is his spot paintings, known as his pharmaceutical paintings – each is titled for a chemical substance used by the pharmaceutical industry.  Perillartine is a sweetener that’s approximately 2,000 times sweeter than sugar.  Damien Hirst employs a scientific approach to his spot paintings, following a system that includes placement within a grid, with non-repeating colors.

Staring at Perillartine or any of Hirst’s spot works can leave the viewer with a feeling of being under the influence of a sedating pharmaceutical.  The handsome colored spots float gently in space, in front of a stark white canvas.  How lovely to own a work that seduces, sedates and provides endless patterns for consideration.

Pop Art collectors in the know will be enthralled with this piece from American Artist Larry Rivers.  Rivers, who was born Yitzroch Grossberg, was the son of Jewish immigrants from the Ukraine.  He was also a professional jazz saxophonist − introduced in a 1940 gig with his band as “Larry Rivers and the Mudcats” − and he kept the name.

Larry Rivers is considered by many as a founding father of the Pop Art movement, as he was among the earliest of artists to experiment with a modernized blending of iconic objects and abstract expressionism.  Immersed in the New York Pop Art and social revolution music scene, Larry is perhaps best known for the exuberance of his style and his use of the media to illuminate cultural issues.

Italian-born artist Massimo Vitali spent much of his career as an accomplished photojournalist in Europe prior to becoming a master of the fine art genre known as photorealism.  Perhaps this explains the artist’s talent for telling a story in photography captured as an objective observer.

Vitali’s works have captured people acting naturally, unaware of his presence, at beaches, pools, parks, plazas and other public spaces.  His subjects are not posed or conscious of themselves or their surroundings, providing viewers the opportunity to share in his voyeurism.  In his Greenwich Park, London work, Vitali’s subjects appear to be standing still one moment, moving in sequence toward the city the next.  The artist’s viewpoint allows for varying conclusions to be drawn about social interaction and the way people adapt to their surroundings.

The inner conditions and disturbances of normality: its cosmetic fakery, sexual innuendo, commodified leisure, deluded sense of affluence, and rigid conformism.”

Exquisite colors define Pop Artist Tom Wesselmann’s Lulu, a classic work.  The title is taken from the lead character of an Alban Berg Opera about a woman who relentlessly seduces the men in her life, making the character a worthy Wesselmann siren.  Any Tom Wesselmann collector will be proud to add Lulu to Monica, Claire, Kate and other classic Wesselmann muses.

We hope to see you at our Boca Raton gallery soon.  Thank you for your interest in Vertu Fine Art.

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