KAWS and Keith Haring at VFA

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KAWS 1974 –

Brian Donnelly, the artist known as KAWS, has been living and working in Brooklyn since the 1990s, and has recently updated his studio in Williamsburg. The Brooklyn Museum was one of the first major venues to add a KAWS sculpture to its permanent collection and is currently holding the first New York museum retrospective of the artist’s work.

The KAWS: WHAT PARTY exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum has attracted large and diverse crowds. The more than 100 works on display reflect his themes of love, friendship and loss, and the fusion of fine and commercial art.

In a recent Brooklyn Rail interview, KAWS reflected on the impact he hopes that the exhibit will have on young museum visitors. “I remember clearly being young and walking into galleries and feeling I needed to, like, walk backwards out of them.” he said. “I am hoping I can plant that seed, and create that comfort zone that they can then say, actually, that was all right, and then go check out the next show, and the next show and say, “This wasn’t the worst experience, what else can I see?”

Because of his commercial success and the high demand for his collectibles in the U.S. and Asia, the museum is allowing each visitor only one trip into its gift shop and each visitor is only allowed to purchase no more than two items.

KAWS: WHAT PARTY will be on view through September 5, 2021.

Several editions of What Party, both vinyl and silkscreen, are available at VFA.

Keith Haring 1958-1990

Keith Haring’s legacy is the joyful way in which he impacted the social conscience of the world. His subjects were often dark -drug use, AIDS, war – but his message was sent with kindness and caring intent.

More than thirty years after his death, the artist and his artwork still resonate, and a new generation has discovered his work.

The Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York is hosting an exhibit of Haring’s work, as well as a public discussion about his art and activism and ‘hands on’ workshops in July for children ages 6-8 and 9-12, to explore his life, influences and style.

The exhibit, Keith Haring: Radiant Visions will be on exhibit through September 6, 2021.

Keith Haring documented much of his work, and his life, with a Polaroid camera. Polaroid and the Keith Haring Foundation have collaborated to design a camera that pays homage to Haring’s style. His artwork is on both the camera and the film.

Silkscreens from Haring’s Pop Shop Series l, ll and lll, done from 1987-1989 are available at VFA.

Please contact us for more information about the works of KAWS, Keith Haring or any of the other fine art prints, paintings and sculptures available at VFA.


References:
Jason Rosenfeld. KAWS with Jason Rosenfeld. The Brooklyn Rail. June 2021.
Katherine J. Wright/Larissa Ryan. Keith Haring: Radiant Vision: Fenimore opens major show on 1980s iconic artist, Haring. Allotsego. June 3, 2021.
Nadja Sayej. A New Polaroid Camera That Honors Keith Haring. Forbes. June 8, 2021.
Sage Anderson. Polaroid Releases Keith Haring-Inspired Collection of Instant Cameras and Film. Rolling Stone. June 8, 2021.
Edward M. Gómez. Takashi Murakami Helps Present Art Fair’s ‘Super-Rough’ in SoHo. The New York Times. June 4, 2021.
Katherine Bernhardt Vogue Italia Cover

Featured Works by Katherine Bernhardt, Tom Wesselmann and Retna at VFA

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Katherine Bernhardt 1975 – present

Katherine Bernhardt was asked to create a cover for the May edition of Vogue Italia to celebrate their 100th anniversary of Chanel No. 5. The cover reflects the bright colors and familiar objects that have made her works so well received around the world.

Bernhardt has been dividing her time between her studio in New York and the studio near her childhood home in St. Louis. Her works are currently being shown at the limited  (due to the pandemic) Art Basel venues in Hong Kong and Miami.

The Pink Panther is a recurring image in Bernhardt’s art. African Violet and Nike Panther, available at VFA, are lithographs that use the Pink Panther image and exemplify the playfulness of her art.

Her works are part of the permanent collections of The Smithsonian, the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, the Rubell Collection in Miami, the Ghazaleh Foundation in Amman, Jordan and other fine museums and galleries.

Tom Wesselmann 1931 – 2004

Tom Wesselmann’s work is currently being shown at Almine Rech Paris at the Still Life exhibit, alongside modern works by Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, and examples of Still Life that go back as far as the Renaissance and ancient Egypt.

One of his Bedroom Paintings is part of the Daydreams and Nightmares exhibition at the virtual Gagosian exhibit at Frieze and Documenta Foot Print is being shown at the Hall Art Foundation in Reading, Vermont as part of an exhibit called Deep Blue that examines the use of the deep blue color as an artist’s statement…a color that appears often as a background in Wesselman’s art.

Wesselmann earned a degree in psychology and became more interested in an art career than becoming a therapist, so he moved from his home town of Cincinnati to New York in 1956 to study at Cooper Union.

He created collages and used shaped canvasses at the start of his career, often focusing on the female form and later using laser cut metal. Mixed Bouquet with Leger and Maquette for Still Life with Johns and Matisse, available at VFA, are works that pay homage to the great artists who influenced his creations.

Retna 1979 – present

Marquis Lewis, the LA artist known as Retna, is one of the few graffiti artists whose works have gone from the street to worldwide exhibits at galleries and museums.

His distinctive calligraphy style is instantly recognizable. His work is currently on display at the West Chelsea Contemporary Gallery in Austin, Texas in an exhibit called Icons & Vandals.

An untitled work in acrylic, done in Retna’s inimitable style is available at VFA.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Katherine Bernhardt, Tom Wesselmann, Retna or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at VFA.


References:
Veronica Theodoro. Vogue Italia taps painter Katherine Bernhardt to create its latest cover. St. Louis Magazine/Design ST> May 7, 2021.
NANZUKA Goes Surreal At Art Basel Hong Kong 2021. Hypebeast. May 19, 2021.
Wallce Ludel .E.T. and Xanax: An Interview with Katherine Bernhardt. Cultured Magazine/Art.January 16, 2020.
Michael Barnes. Eye-popping art goes urban, edgy in ‘Icons & Vandals’ at Austin gallery. The Austin American-Statesman. May 27, 2021.
Gabrielle Pharms. 8 Texas art exhibitions worth a fall trip. The Austin-American Statesman. November 11, 2020.

Keith Haring’s Pop Shop Fine Art Prints at VFA

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I don’t think art is propaganda; it should be something that liberates the soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further. It celebrates humanity instead of manipulating it. – Keith Haring

On any given day, in any given year, there’s a Keith Haring exhibit going on somewhere in the world. Although Haring died more than thirty years ago, his legacy is profound and long lasting.

In 1986, Keith Haring opened the Pop Shop in New York to make his art more accessible to the public. The small space, at 292 Lafayette Street in Soho, was a small boutique that sold t-shirts, pins and other novelty items adorned with Haring’s images. The entire shop, walls, floor and ceiling, were painted with Haring motifs.

“Here’s the philosophy behind the Pop Shop:” Haring said,  “I wanted to continue this same sort of communication as with the subway drawings. I wanted to attract the same wide range of people, and I wanted it to be a place where, yes, not only collectors could come, but also kids from the Bronx. The main point was that we didn’t want to produce things that would cheapen the art. In other words, this was still an art statement.”

His playful style and hieroglyphic designs have a universal appeal. They look joyful, yet Haring’s messages focus on serious subjects like sex, drugs, war, discrimination, racism, and taking responsibility for personal behavior.

The Pop Shop closed in 2005. The original ceiling was donated to the New York Historical Society, where it was installed in its entryway.

The Tate Modern reconstructed the Pop Shop in 2009 as part of a group exhibit called Pop Life.

Silkscreens that Haring did during the early Pop Shop years are now available at VFA.

Haring was an integral part of the New York art and music scene in the 1980s. He hung out at Club 57 with other artists, like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf, whose works he displayed at the Pop Shop.

Other celebs at the Club included Madonna, Ru Paul, the B-52s, Cyndi Lauper and Andy Warhol. Some of those artists were also visitors to Haring’s apartment on Broome Street in Lower Manhattan and many of them put their signatures and symbols on the door of Haring’s refrigerator door.

The refrigerator door, which measured 40.5 by 22.75 inches, was kept by the tenant who moved into the apartment after Haring left. She rescued the door after the fridge conked out and the landlord was going to replace it.

The door sold at auction on May 11 for $25, 000.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kenny Scharf or any of the other fine artists, whose works are available at VFA.


References:
Nora McGreevy. Keith Haring’s Famous Friends, From Madonna to Andy Warhol, Left Their Mark on His Fridge Door. Smithsonian Magazine. May 18, 2021.
Eileen G’Sell. The Darker Side of Keith Haring. Hyperallergic. May 15, 2021.
James Barron. Keith Haring’s Fabulous Friends Left Their Mark on His Fridge Door. The New York Times. May 11, 2021.
Michelle Devane. Exhibition showcasing pop art’s Andy Warhol and Keith Haring opens in Dublin. breaking news.ie. May 21, 2021.
Elizabeth Birdthishtle. Pop artists Warhol and Haring in Dublin and Belfast exhibitions. The Irish Times. May 15, 2021.

New Work: Jonas Wood, Jean-Michel Basquiat and KAWS

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Jonas Wood

Jonas Wood has become an international contemporary art superstar. His mixed media painting, Two Tables with Floral Pattern, was estimated to sell for $2 – $3 million at last Christie’s 21st Century Evening Sale last week. The painting sold for $6.5 million, a record for the artist’s work. It was also unusual in that many of Wood’s works are sold to buyers in Hong Kong, but Two Tables with Floral Pattern was sold to a buyer in the U.S.

Part of the universal appeal of Wood’s paintings, drawings and prints is the uplifting and colorful patterns he creates, many of which include images of the sculptures of his wife, Shio Kusaka.

The couple shares a studio in Los Angeles. In 2019, the Hammer Museum put together a video of the artist in his studio, for one of the many exhibits that Wood has been given at the museum.

Wood’s careful designs and fine art prints are what make him a favorite at VFA. “Printmaking is a big part of my process,” he said in a recent interview, “drawing is a big part of my process, and tracing and getting the basic shapes of things before I make the painting is a big part of my process.”

Besides lithographs and screenprints, one of our recent acquisitions is a soft ground etching, Pattern couch Interior with Mar Vista View, that Wood did in 2020.

Jean-Michel Basquiat

At the same Christie’s Contemporary auction that saw Jonas Wood’s work set a new record, works by Jean-Michel Basquiat did the same.

In This Case From, a large painting done in 1983, sold for $93 million. Works by other Black artists also did exceptionally well at the auction.

Fine art prints by Jean-Michel Basquiat are available at VFA. A recent acquisition, Ligaments of the Elbow, was produced in a grey and black palette and printed before Basquiat made the color values black and white and created the iconic series of 18 plates that make up The Anatomy Series.

KAWS

KAWS: What Party, a retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, will be on exhibit through September 5, 2021. His instantly recognizable works have made Brian Donnelly (aka KAWS) a superstar around the world.

His latest project is The KAWS:HOLIDAY Hot-Air Balloon World Tour, that will officially take off at the end of the year. A 138-foot inflatable Companion has been turned into a hot air balloon and will be going on a world tour that will begin in Bristol, England.

KAWS’ sculptures and fine art prints are available at VFA.

Please contact us for more information about the works of Jonas Wood, Jean-Michel Basquiat and KAWS for sale at VFA.


References:
Artspace Editors. Jonas Wood breaks auction record at Christie’s. Artspace. May 13, 2021.
Colin Gleadell. $93 M. Basquiat Leads Christie’s 21st C. Evening Sale, $17 M. Cryptopunks Among Trending Talent. Artnews. May 12, 2021.
Zachary Small and Robin Pogrebin. Basquiat and Other Artists of Color Lead a Swell of Auction Sales. The New York Times. May 14, 2021.
Mark Westall. Take a KAWS Companion Hot Air Balloon Ride This Year in the UK.. FAD Magazine. May 17, 2021.
Paul Laster. From Graffiti to Augmented Reality: KAWS at the Brooklyn Museum. Art&Object Magazine. April 26, 2021.
Jake Silbert. KAWS is Taking a Hot Air Balloon Holiday.

David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Julian Opie and Derrick Adams at VFA

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David Hockney

As part of a £7 million Let’s Do London campaign,  the mayor of London commissioned David Hockney to create a sign for the Picadilly Circus tube station. Hockney reimagined the original red, white and blue sign with a whimsical, typical Hockney-eske iPad purple and yellow design.

Social Media users went wild, making fun of the iPad drawing…and saying that they could do better.

They can’t.

David Hockney, at age 83, has been painting every day at his Normandy, France farmhouse, enjoying every day and teaching the world to be grateful for the world around them.

A video of sunrises, titled Remember You Cannot Look At The Sun Or Death For Very Long, that Hockney created on his iPad, is being displayed on a large screen at Picadilly Lights every evening this month, and will also appear on screens in New York, Los Angeles, Seoul and Tokyo.

“What does the world look like? We have to take time to see its beauty.” Hockney said, “That’s what I hope my work will encourage people to do when they see it on the large screens.”

In all his work, Hockney is able to let us see the joy and wonder of the world around him.

Early Morning and My Shirt and Trousers, available at VFA, are examples of the little things that Hockney is asking us to pay attention to… and enjoy.

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol’s public persona was that of a creative, wild man who created remarkable art works at The Factory by day and partied at Studio 54 at night. Another side of Andy Warhol, his religious side, is being examined in an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.

Warhol grew up in Pittsburgh. He family members were devout Byzantine Catholics, who attended church regularly. As an adult, he often attended mass, and even had an audience with Pope John Paul II in 1980. The Roman Catholic Church even funded a Warhol film project that was commissioned by the de Menil family, but was never completed.

Toward the end of his life, Warhol painted over 100 versions of The Last Supper. Andy Warhol: Revelation will be on view at the Brooklyn Museum from November 19, 2021 through June 19, 2022.

The taxidermied, mounted moose head that Warhol was often photographed sitting under, will be auctioned off next week, with the proceeds will go to the ASPCA.

An exhibit of Warhol’s silkscreens, including many of his early work, will be on view at the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor, New York. Andy Warhol Portfolios: A Life in Pop | Works from the Bank of America Collection looks at his paintings and his innovations in silkscreen technique. The museum is using the exhibit as a learning tool for the many school children who will attend, to familiarize a new generation with the importance of an artist who changed the way that the world views art.

The exhibit will be on display through November 7, 2021.

Several of our recent acquisitions, like Grace Kelly,  San Francisco Silverspot and Campbell’s Soup/Pepper Pot (and Green Pea) are fine examples of the exceptional fine art prints that Warhol created.

Julian Opie

Julian Opie has been working in his London studio this year, sleeping in his studio at times and jogging along the Thames. He’s not alone in his studio; Opie works with seven technicians and three managers…to create works that appear uncomplicated but take incredible technical skill to produce.

Opie’s recent  Running People sculptures, composed of anodised aluminum figures mounted on Corlan bases, are available at VFA, as are his acrylic relief Small Bird paintings.

This year Opie’s work will be on display at solo exhibits in London, Seoul, Norway, Belgium and Japan.

Derrick Adams

Derrick Adams’ work has been setting auction records. One of his figurative paintings sold at Christie’s March Post-War to Present auction for twice the expected estimate.

Adams’ work focuses on the leisure activities of African Americans. His work is playful and very relatable. Paintings from his Floater Series also set records. Self Portrait on Float, a woodblock with gold leaf and college, from the Floater Series is available at VFA.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Andy Warhol, Julian Opie, Derrick Adams or any other the other fine art available at VFA.


References:
Sarah Cascone. Andy Warhol’s Life Revolved Around Sex, Drugs—and Catholicism? A New Museum Show Says Faith Played a Key Role in His Work. artnet news. May 6, 2021.
Dana Schulz. ‘Urban Gems’ auction to sell Keith Haring’s refrigerator door, Andy Warhol’s moose head. 6sqft. Mat 7, 2021.
The Island Now. Andy Warhol: A Life in Pop. May 6, 2021.
Grace Glueck. The de Menil Family/The Medici of Modern Art. The New York Times. May 18, 1986.
Apollo International Art Magazine. In the studio with…Julian Opie. May 10, 2021.
Victoria L. Valentine. Auction Records: Paintings Derrick Adams and Jammie Holmes Establish New Benchmarks at Christie’s, Works by Titus Kaphar and Henry Taylor Also Sold. Culture Type. March 12, 2021.
Jacob Thorburn. ‘Looks like a seven-year-old won a competition’: Twitter users MOCK David Hockney’s Piccadilly Circus art fronting £7m ‘Let’s do London’ tourism campaign… and prove THEY can do better. Daily Mail. May 12, 2021.

The Works of Eddie Martinez, Yoshitomo Nara and Roy Lichtenstein at VFA

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Eddie Martinez

Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction last month garnered over $260 million dollars. The Modern and Contemporary art sale focused on Asian artists, like Yoshitomo Nara. Eddie Martinez was among the few Western artists that Asian collectors snapped up.

Martinez’ bold, freestyle, dream-like, Picasso-gone-wild technique is very relatable and has made his works some of the most sought after in the past few years.

Martinez was born in the Groton Naval Base in Groton, Connecticut in 1977. He attended the Art Institute of Boston and left after a year when he discovered his own unique style.

The New York Times art critic, Martha Schwendener, wrote, “Mr. Martinez is like a graffiti-artist coming off the street to quarrel with his heroes, except he’s more about homage than erasure.” Martinez did a lot of graffiti art, but said he didn’t like the risk, and took is more comfortable working in his Brooklyn studio.

Yoshitomo Nara

Yoshitomo Nara is a superstar in Japan. Sprout, one of the works he painted after the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, sold for $2.5 million at the Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction.

Nara lives an hour away from the epicenter of the quake and volunteered with relief groups, which he attributes to giving his work new inspiration.

Nara was born in Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan in 1959. He was a latch key kid, and spent much of his time listening to punk rock that he heard on an American radio station. He didn’t understand the lyrics, but the sound influenced the feeling of his works and he went on to create album covers for R.E.M, Shonen Knife and other bands.

After receiving his B.F.A. in 1985 and M.F.A. in 1987 from the Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music Nara studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in Germany.

Nara currently has a major retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which will run through July 5, 2021.

Roy Lichtenstein

There’s still time to see the Roy Lichtenstein: Monet’s Garden Goes Pop! exhibit at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in downtown Sarasota. The horticultural staff duplicated the whimsy of Lichtenstein’s interpretation of Monet’s works.

The exhibit includes indoor gallery displays of Roy Lichtenstein’s Pop interpretations of Monet. The exhibit is fun, fanciful and will remain on display through June 27th.

Lichtenstein’s works are also included in the POP Power from Warhol to Koons show at the David Owsley Museum of Art in Muncie, Indiana. The show, which runs through May 26, spans fifty years of Pop history and includes the works of Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst alongside Lichtenstein’s.

The works of each of these artists is available at VFA. Please contact us if you would like more information about the fine art prints, paintings and sculpture for sale at VFA.


References:
Barbara A. MacAdam. Eddie Martinez: Inside Thoughts. The Brooklyn Rail. February 2021.
Mutual Art. Asia’s Overpowering Market Making. April 20, 2021.
Martha Schwendener. What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week. The New York Times. January 8, 2019.
Art 21. Graffiti taught Eddie Martinez the values of painting fast. Interview by Nick Ravich. Edited by Melissa Saenz Gordon. 2012.
Crystal Wong. Japanese Sensational Artist Yoshitomo Nara Once Again Stood Out from His Fellow Asian Artists at Hong Kong Auction. The Value. April 23, 2021.
Nick Marino. Yoshitomo Nara Paints What He Hears. The New York Times Style Magazine. July 24, 2020.
Madeleine Luckel. Monet’s Giverny Blooms Anew in Florida, By Way of Roy Lichtenstein. Architectural Digest. February 19, 2021.
Jay Handelman. Selby Goes Pop! with Roy Lichtenstein exhibit. Sarasota Herald-Tribune. February 13, 2021.
Jessica Poitevien. Monet’s Most Famous Paintings Are Getting a Pop Art Twist at This Immersive Exhibit in Florida. Travel + Leisure Magazine. February 25, 2021.

The Optimism of David Hockney

I’m pretty deaf. I don’t really like listening that much any more. I prefer just working, so it’s fine for me here, absolutely fine.
– David Hockney

David Hockney moved to Normandy before the pandemic began. He said that he was looking for a place where he could smoke a cigarette in a cafe after a meal…something he can’t do in many other places around the world.

What Hockney found was a small farmhouse, surrounded by four acres of fields with blossoming trees.

Hockney’s work has always reflected the joy he finds in his surroundings. Whether at home in Hollywood Hills or Yorkshire or traveling through Mexico, Hockney has painted what has appeared in front of his eyes…eyes of an artist who takes great pleasure in the world around him.

He’s always been open to new techniques and new technology. Even at age 83, he’s still experimenting with his iPad drawings, the way he did with new photographic technology in the 1980s, when a friend left a Polaroid camera at his house and he began to experiment with composite images

Around that time, Hockney also experimented with perspective. He created The Moving Focus Series when his car broke down on a trip in Mexico and he was forced to stay in hotel while it was being repaired. The Series combines the Renaissance tradition of fixed-viewpoint painting with the Eastern aesthetic of multiple, narrative viewpoints within the same picture. Hotel Acatlan: Two Weeks Later, from The Moving Focus Series is available at VFA.

Hockney says that he is content to paint every day. In a recent interview with the BBC, Hockney had advice for anyone who feels bored because of the quarantine:

“If you’re bored because of the lockdown and you’re trapped in some small place, then if you look at the world and really look at it, it’s very beautiful,” he said. “It’s a mad world really but it’s very beautiful to look at. Nature is always beautiful, it’s always harmonious. But you’ve really got to look at it. You’ve got to look at it to see colour. You’ve really got to look at it intensely. I would suggest that’s what you do. Just sit down and look at it or walk and look , at it, and it’s very beautiful really.”

The Royal Academy of Arts in London is getting ready for an exhibit of 116 new iPad drawings. David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Normandy, 2020 will run from May 23 through September 26, 2021.

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


References:
Irvine Times. David Hockney: Why I’m happy keeping busy at 83. April 25, 2021.
Sophie Bew. Lose Yourself in David Hockney’s Work From 1966 to 1978. AnOther Magazine. April 1, 2021.
William Gompertz. David Hockney shares exclusive art from Normandy, as ‘a respite from the news’. BBC News. April 1, 2020.
Daily Mail. Artist David Hockney leaves Los Angeles after 55 years to live out the rest of his days in France because he can ‘smoke in restaurants’ and the French ‘know how to live’. November 27, 2019.
Barbara A. MacAdam. Eddie Martinez: Inside Thoughts. The Brooklyn Rail. February 2021.
Benjamin Sutton. Why Painter Eddie Martinez Is Having His Biggest Market Year Yet. Artsy. August 6, 2020.

The HOPE of Robert Indiana and The Travel Log of Ed Ruscha

Robert Indiana 1928–2018

My goal is that LOVE should cover the world. – Robert Indiana

On May 19, 2018, the day before Robert Indiana died,  a New York-based copyright holder filed a lawsuit, accusing Indiana’s caretaker and a New York-based art publisher of taking advantage of the artist. A settlement was reached a few weeks ago that could open the way for Indiana’s Maine island home to become a museum.

Millions of dollars have been spent on litigation in the past three years related to Indiana’s estate, causing the  state attorney general’s office to demand an accounting of the estate’s spending.

The bickering is a far cry from the LOVE icon that Indiana created in 1965 for a Museum of Modern Art Christmas Card.

After his death, at age 89, the curators at the Smithsonian went through their archives and found, among other things, touching stories of the life of the shy, seclusive artist. They also uncovered an early version of the Christmas LOVE card, which he sent to Dorothy Miller, the Museum of Modern Art’s curator in 1964, the year before he was commissioned to create the design for the card that became an icon.

In 2008, Indiana took the four letter word HOPE and created a series of prints for the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, which raised over $1 million.

Unique monoprints of Robert Indiana’s HOPE are available at VFA.

Ed Ruscha 1937 – present

When you’re on a highway, viewing the western U.S. with the mountains and the flatness and the desire and all that, it’s very much like my paintings. – Ed Ruscha

Ed Ruscha jokingly calls himself a “twenty-five year overnight sensation.”

He was born in Omaha, Nebraska and raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Ruscha traveled to California to attend the California Institute of Arts and was immediately drawn to life in L.A. His work was popular in the 1960s and he was part of many exhibits, along with other Pop artists, but it wasn’t until the late 1980s, when Japanese collectors began to enter the contemporary art market, that demand for his work began to soar.

Ruscha currently has an exhibit at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. Many of the paintings, photographs and books in the exhibit were done in the 1960s, when he traveled from California to visit his family back in Oklahoma. Ed Ruscha: Travel Log will be on display through May 30, 2021.

His work is also on display at the Oklahoma Contemporary in Oklahoma City. Ed Ruscha: OKLA, examines the influence that Oklahoma had on the artist’s style.The show will run through July 5, 2021.

Ed Ruscha is still painting and drawing, at age 83, in a concrete-built house in the California desert, which he had designed by Frank Gehry in 1976.

Please contact us if you would like information about the works of Robert Indiana, Ed Ruscha or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at VFA.


References:
Taylor Dafoe. A Battle in the Legal War Over Robert Indiana’s Legacy Ends as His Estate Settles With the Artist’s Longtime Representative. artnet news. March 8, 2021.
Village Soup.Knox. Farnsworth announces historic bequest of 27 major Wyeth works from Betsy Wyeth. April 16, 2021.
Associated Press. Agreement could free Robert Indiana’s estate from lawsuit. March 5, 2021.
Editorial Staff. Robert Indiana’s Former Home May Become a Museum, and Other News. Surface Magazine. March 10, 2021.May 30, 2018.
Elizabeth Botten. Archives Reveal Touching Stories on the Life of Robert Indiana, the Man Who Invented “LOVE”. Smithsonian Magazine.
Harriet Lloyd-Smith. Ed Ruscha’s nostalgic ode to Oklahoma. Wallpaper Magazine. April 2021.
Letha Ch’ien. ‘Ed Ruscha: Travel Log’ at Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is a rewarding American trip. San Francisco Chronicle. April 7, 2021.

Up Close and Personal: The Works of Derrick Adams, Jonas Wood and David Hockney

Derrick Adams

Derrick Adams is having a stellar year. He currently has a show at the Salon 94 Gallery in New York; his artist’s retreat in his home town of Baltimore should be up and running next year and he’s on a tenure track at Brooklyn College. His current exhibit, Style Variations, is composed of a group of portraits inspired by the beauty and barber shops he walks by in his Brooklyn neighborhood. The styles he saw, asked about and created in his paintings, define the culture and trends of the neighborhood. Works from Style Variations are available at VFA.

In this month’s edition of British Vogue magazine, Adams was described as, “the hardest-working leisure lover on earth.” His works from the Pool Float and We Came to Party and Plan series, are available at VFA.

“People couldn’t exist if they lived in constant grief.” he said in the Vogue interview. “My work is focused on the idea of how crucial it is for Black people to think of leisure as a radical act.”

Even the large house in Baltimore, that Adams is restoring for his invitation-only artists’ retreat, is going to emphasize leisure. It has a pool, a screening room, a greenhouse and studio spaces. Called The Last Resort, he plans to host, not just Black visual artists, but also writers, musicians, chefs and other creative people. “You can come and not do anything,” he says.

Derrick Adams’ work is in the permanent collections of the Museum Of Modern Art, the Whitney, the Virginia Museum Of Fine Arts and the Birmingham Museum Of Art.

Jonas Wood

Jonas Wood says that he was inspired by the works of Alex Katz and David Hockney. It’s easy to see the influence of Katz’s colors and Hockney’s intimate visions in Wood’s interiors, but his style is all his own.

The comfort of Wood’s interior works, comes from his ability to show his relationship with and enjoyment of his surroundings.

Pattern Couch Interior with Mar Vista View is a recent acquisition at VFA that exemplifies Wood’s talent and the reason that his works have been highly coveted at auction.

David Hockney

Since March of 2019, David Hockney has been living in a farmhouse in Normandy.

When he first chose the location, he said that it was because Normandy is one of the few places left on earth where he could smoke a cigarette at a cafe.

The paintings and iPad drawings that he has produced while staying at the farmhouse during the past two years are bright and beautiful and reflect the artist’s joy of life. Always able to see the wonder and awe of his surroundings, the work that he did in Mexico in the 1980s has the same sense of delight as the works he does today.

He currently has exhibits at LA Louver, the Morgan Library and Museum in New York, Salts Mill in Saltaire, West Yorkshire and an upcoming exhibit scheduled at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in September.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Derrick Adams, Jonas Wood, David Hockney or any of the other fine art work for sale at VFA.


References:
Dodie Kazanjian. Derrick Adams’s Art Celebrates Black Life at its Most Exultant. Vogue Magazine. April 1, 2021.
Poppy Malby. Derrick Adams on the empowerment of black femininity. GQ Dagazine.uk. February 8, 2020.
Sophie Bew. Lose Yourself in David Hockney’s Work From 1966 to 1978. AnOther Magazine. April 1, 2021.
Tom Teicholz. A Pleasing Pandemic In Normandy: David Hockney’s Creative French Country Prints. Forbes. March 31, 2021.
Lawrence, Vanessa. “Bored at Home? David Hockney Has A Lesson for You.” Elle Décor. 17 March 2021.

A New Look at Helen Frankenthaler

Fierce Poise: Helen Frankenthaler and 1950s New York

Fierce Poise: Helen Frankenthaler and 1950s New York was recently published by Penguin Press. The book was written by Alexander Nemerov, an arts and humanities professor at Stanford University and an esteemed scholar of American art. His father, Howard Nemerov, had a link to the Frankenthaler. Howard Nemerov, served twice as America’s poet laureate. He taught Frankenthaler when she was a student at Bennington College in the late 1940s and was an acquaintance of art critic, Clement Greenberg, with whom Frankenthaler had a tumultuous relationship from 1950 to 1955.

Each chapter of the book focuses on a significant day in the artists life during the 1950s, the years that her painting technique created a transition from Abstract Expressionism to Color Field painting.

Helen Frankenthaler grew up on Park Avenue, the youngest of three daughters. Her father was a prominent New York State Supreme Court judge, who adored his youngest daughter, her mother a homemaker whose family emigrated from Germany.

Frankenthaler’s privilege allowed her a fine education and a Manhattan studio, but her life was not without sorrow. Her father died when she was eleven. Her mother, who had depression related to Parkinson’s disease, killed herself by jumping out of her apartment window when Frankenthaler was twenty-five.

Nemerov writes about Frankenthaler’s early aspirations of becoming an artist. She would walk with her Nanny from her Park Avenue apartment to the Metropolitan Museum several blocks away, drawing a chalk to mark the route.

When her Mountain and Sea was exhibited in 1953, a New York Times critic called the show, “sweet and unambitious.” Mountain and Sea now hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

In 1958, Frankenthaler married Robert Motherwell, a Harvard-educated artist who also came from a wealthy family. The marriage ended in 1971, a time when both artists were still creating significant work. In Motherwell’s case, it was his Basque Series. Black and Blue, a silkscreen from that series is available at VFA.

Frankenthaler began working with master printmaker, Kenneth Tyler, in 1976. She experimented with silkscreens and woodcuts with excellent results, like Snow Pines available at VFA.

Frankenthaler’s career spanned six decades. She was the recipient of 26 honorary doctorates and numerous honors and awards, including the National Medal of the Arts in 2001. Her works are part of the permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the National Gallery of Australia, the Museum o Modern Art, the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and other venues around the world.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Motherwell, or any of the fine artists whose works are available at VFA.


References:
Adam Gopnik. Helen Frankenthaler and the Messy Art of Life. The New Yorker. April 5, 2021.
Susan Stamberg. With ‘Fierce Poise,’ Helen Frankenthaler Poured Beauty Onto Canvas. NPR. March 23, 2021.
Lily Meyer. New Helen Frankenthaler Biography Favors Nostalgia Over Artist’s Interiority. Hyperallergic. March 23, 2021.
Philip Kennicott. Helen Frankenthaler came from wealth and privilege. Her art transcends that. The Washington Post. March 19, 2021.

David Hockney and Ugo Rondinone: Recent Acquisitions at VFA

David Hockney 1937 – present

In 2006, David Hockney published a book called Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters. The book examines the optical tools that the Old Masters, like Caravaggio and da Vinci, used to create their hyperrealistic works.

Hockney has always been interested in, not just the oldest technology, but the latest technology. He has been using his iPad for years with superb results.

In 1984, Hockney was on his way to an exhibition of his work at the Museo Rufio Tamayo in Mexico City. His car broke down, and he was forced to make an impromptu stay at the Hotel Romano Angeles in Acatlan. While he waited for his car to be repaired, Hockney was inspired to photograph and draw the hotel’s courtyard, exploring space and perspective. When he returned to L.A., he worked with master printmaker, Kenneth Tyler, to create lithographs using lavish ink sketches on Mylar sheets. The results were a series of lithographs called The Moving Focus Series.

One of our recent acquisitions, Hotel Acatlan: Two Weeks Later, is one of lithographs in the series; a wonderful example of the colors and perspective that makes Hockney’s works so distinctive.

Another of Hockney’s works from the same time period, Self-Portrait on the Terrace, is expected to sell for between $8 million and $12 million at Sotheby’s New York contemporary art auction next month.

Also available at VFA are My Shirt and Trousers, one of Hockney’s finest iPad drawings, done in 2010, and other fine works by David Hockney in a variety of media.

David Hockney’s works are currently on exhibit at The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, where they have been placed alongside those of Vincent van Gogh’s, in an exploration of the similarity of both artists view of the world around them. Hockney–Van Gogh: The Joy of Nature will be on exhibit through June 20, 2021.

Ugo Rondinone 1964 – present

Ugo Rondinone, 2016

Ugo Rondinone is best known for his large public installations, that combine natural elements and bold colors.

The Swiss-American artist works in his Harlem studio and vacations at his home in Matera, Italy.

He currently has exhibitions at the Sorlandets Kunst Museum in Kristiansand, Norway and the Association Kunsthalle Marcel Duchamp in Cully, Switzerland. Last year he had an exhibit of ten-foot high massive bronze cast sculptures at the Galerie Eva Presenhuber in Zurich.

Rondinone continues to create beautifully done, limited edition silkscreens of concentric circles in stunning color blends.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of David Hockney, Ugo Rondinone or any of the other fine work available at VFA.


References:
Designboom. Ugo Rondinone’s Monumental ‘nuns + monks’ sculptures Exhibited at Galerie Eva Presenhuber. November 4, 2020.
Fang Block. David Hockney’s ‘Self-Portrait on the Terrace’ Could Fetch $12 Million. Barrons. March 22, 2021.
Nora McGreevy. How the ‘Ecstatic Joy of Nature’ Unites Vincent van Gogh and David Hockney. Smithsonian Magazine. March 4, 2020.

Recent Works by Jonas Wood and Kenny Scharf at VFA

Jonas Wood 1977 – present

Jonas Wood is one of America’s finest contemporary artists. His use of stylized shapes and bold color make his works instantly recognizable.

Wood has been living and working (and quarantining) in the Los Angeles studio that he shares with his wife, sculptor Shio Kusaka and their two daughters.

Bromeliad, a recent acquisition at VFA, is a screenprint that combines the shapes and colors that define Woods’ work. Pattern Couch Interior with Mar Vista View is more unusual. Done as a soft ground etching, a technique that was invented in the mid-18th century and became less popular as modern lithography techniques were enhanced. Wood has softened his lines and omitted his signature colors to create a stunning combination interior, landscape and still life.

Jonas Wood’s work is included in the permanent collections of many institutions, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Fundación Jumex in Mexico City, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, the Broad Foundation in Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art in New York; and Whitney Museum of American Art.

Kenny Scharf 1958 – present

The work of Kenny Scharf, like the artist himself, is quirky and fun.

Scharf first came onto the art scene during the 1980s in New York, along with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. His wild colors and patterns have been part of his style, so the recently acquired Flores Black sculpture is unique to Scharf’s oeuvre.

A documentary about the artist, Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide, is scheduled to be released in theaters and on digital platforms across the country next month. The documentary was directed by his daughter, Malia Scharf and co-director Max Basch. It was filmed over a period of eleven years.

“I felt inspired by a fantasy and nostalgia of a time and place I’d only ever heard about yet somehow had been surrounded by my entire life.” Malia said, “I dreamt of meeting a community of artists whom I would deeply connect with and find myself the way that Kenny and his friends had. This, as well as my fathers incredibly special and obsessive need to live and breathe his art in every way. Nothing remained untouched from our toaster to our TV.”

Kenny Scharf was born and raised in LA. He moved to Manhattan, earning a B.F.A. in painting at the School of Visual Arts in 1980. Scharf moved between the east and west coast for years, but has been spending more time in LA in recent years.

Scharf’s works are in the permanent collection of the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach, the Jewish Museum in New York, the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Monterrey, Mexico, the Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Sogetsu Museum inTokyo, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam,  and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

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


References:
Katya Kazakina. Basketball, Poker Propel Painter to Pinnacle of the Art World. Bloomberg. March 21, 2019.
Madison Nagle. The Meteoric Rise of Jonas Wood, Presented by T1. OceanDrive. April 29, 2019.
Alina Cohen. How Jonas Wood Got His Start as an Artist. Artsy. June 28, 2019.
Neha Aziz. Explore the Life of Kenny Scharf – SXSW Filmmaker In Focus. SXSW Online. February 17, 2020.
Dray Ramos. Greenwich Entertainment Acquires SXSW Docu ‘Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide’. Deadline. February 23, 2021.
Fred Lambert. Tesla Model X with over 400,000 miles gets turned into a piece of art by Kenny Scharf. Electrek. March 18, 2021.

Featured Artists and Recent Acquisitions at VFA

At VFA we have recently acquired works by Andy Warhol, David Hockney, KAWS, Julian OpieUgo Rondinone and Kenny Scharf.

Here’s a look at just a few of the new works now available at VFA.

Andy Warhol 1928-1987

Andy Warhol moved from Pittsburgh to New York in 1949, armed with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in pictorial design and an abundance of talent. His initial success was as a commercial illustrator…and the rest is history.

In 1959 Warhol self-published a tongue-in-cheek cookbook called Wild Raspberries, named after the Ingmar Berman film Wild Strawberries.

The book was a spoof of the 1950s cookbooks that were done to inspire American cooks to recreate French dishes. Warhol invented dishes like Seared Roebuck, Gefilte of Fighting Fish and Omelet Greta Garbo, which, he wrote, should “always to be eaten alone in a candlelit room.”

Warhol self-published just 34 copies of the cookbook, and most of those were given as gifts to family and friends.

A rare copy of Wild Raspberries, signed by the artist, will be auctioned at Bonhams later this month.

Our recent Warhol acquisitions include Pepper Pot Soup, Green Pea Soup, Grace Kelly and San Francisco Silverspot.

Warhol’s beautiful representation of the San Francisco Silverspot Butterfly, done in 1983, is very timely. The Silverspot is currently on the endangered species list.

KAWS 1974 – present

Brooklyn-based artist Brian Donnelly, aka KAWS, is being honored with a retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, which was the first New York museum to acquire his artworks.

The show, KAWS: What Party, features more than 100 pieces, including early bus stop ads to which KAWS added his signature style in the 1990s.

The exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum will be on exhibit through September 5, 2021.

At VFA we have works by KAWS in a variety of media, and have recently acquired a limited edition wooden Pinocchio sculpture.

Julian Opie 1958 – present

This year British-born Julian Opie has solo exhibits in Seoul, Knokke, Oslo, Tokyo and London. His large public sculptures are recognizable around the world. We have recently acquired sculptures that are a more manageable size than his public statues, as well as Small Birds, a series of acrylic relief works.

Please contact us for more information about our recent acquisitions or any of the other fine works available at VFA.


References:
Tessa Solomon. Andy Warhol’s Cheeky Cookbook Heads to Auction at Bonhams. ARTnews. March 9, 2021.
Emilia Ong. Observer/Anthony Burgess prize for arts journalism 2021: Emilia Ong on Andy Warhol at Tate Modern. The Guardian. March 14, 2021.
Nadja Sayej. Kaws: behind the pop culture artist’s Brooklyn retrospective. The Guardian. March 15, 2021.
Ben Davis. Why KAWS’s Global Success May Well Be a Symptom of a Depressed Culture, Adrift in Nostalgia and Retail Therapy. artnet news. March 3, 2021.

Basquiat & Haring: Art + Music

The Art and Music of Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988)

“Art is how we decorate space, music is how we decorate time.”
—Jean-Michel Basquiat

Time Decorated is a new documentary series, produced by the Broad Museum, that examines the impact of music on the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat and the impact of Basquiat on music. The documentary asserts that Basquiat was the connection between the bebop and hip-hop worlds.

In the 1980s Basquiat became part of the Downtown New York club scene, along with artists and musicians like Keith Haring, Madonna and Debby Harry.

In 1983, Basquiat created paintings of his Bebop music heroes like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, the same year that he produced and released a hip-hop single Beat Bop on his own label.

Basquiat’s connection to the Broad Museum in Los Angeles began when the museum’s founders, Eli and Edythe Broad, visited Basquiat’s studio in New York and invited him to visit them in LA.

The three part documentary series Time Decorated is available at the Broad Museum’s website.

The Continued Relevance of Keith Haring (1958-1990)

The public has a right to art. The public is being ignored by most contemporary artists. Art is for everybody. – Keith Haring

Keith Haring left his hometown of Kutztown, Pennsylvania in 1978 to study painting at the School of Visual Arts. He worked as a busboy and a janitor, doing whatever it took to keep creating the works that he wanted to be seen.

His subway drawings got him the public attention he garnered and he signed with his first gallery in 1982. In 1983 he had his first show in Europe.

Sweet and sincere, Haring’s social activism was easy for the public to embrace. His  murals, like the one he did, gratis, at Grace House, a center for at-risk youth in New York, are still fresh and relevant.

The mural was taken down, preserved and sold to an anonymous collector for nearly $4 million to help finance the renovations at Grace House in 2019. It is currently on loan to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver.

In his recent book, Lives of the Artists: Keith Haring, author Simon Doonan looks at the extraordinary career of the artist who died in 1990 at age 31, and whose legacy still resonates and endures.

The works of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, available at VFA.


References:
Lexis-Olivier Ray. How Music Steered the Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Hyperallergic. March 2, 2021.
Madeleine Luckel. Why Artist Keith Haring Still Deserves Your Attention. Architectural Digest. February 19, 2021.
Jacqueline Cutler. Artist Keith Haring’s zest for life, his iconic work and his tragic death. New York Daily News. March 5, 2021.
Michael Paglia. Keith Haring’s Grace House Mural Makes Exhibition Debut at MCA Denver. Westword. March 8, 2021.

Roy Lichtenstein Pops! in Sarasota

Roy Lichtenstein Pops! in Sarasota

Roy Lichtenstein pushed the envelope in the early 1960s with his Pop paintings that blurred the lines between high and low art.

The horticultural team at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida has pushed the envelope even farther, with a wonderful exhibit that brings to life the work that Lichtenstein was inspired to do after a visit to Claude Monet’s garden in  Giverny, France.

The exhibit features an indoor display of Lichtenstein’s Water Lilies With Reflections series, a limited edition of large-screen prints that are his Pop version of Monet’s water lilies.

Lichtenstein was a prolific printmaker throughout his career, and his prints played a major role in establishing printmaking as a significant art form in the 1960s. He began producing prints in 1962, using the offset lithograph technique that was more often used in commercial printing, and he began a long-term collaboration with the printmaking studio Gemini G.E.L. in 1969. Lichtenstein often used industrial materials such as Plexiglas, metal and Rowlux plastic in his work. The Rowlux added a shimmering texture to works like Landscape 6, available at VFA.

The staff at the Selby even placed Ben-Day dots on walkways and added sculptural elements like cartoon speech bubbles as an homage to Lichtenstein’s oeuvre.

Roy Lichtenstein: Monet’s Garden Goes Pop! will be on display through June 27, 2021.

The Roy Lichtenstein Foundation Endowment to the Columbus Museum of Art

The Roy Lichtenstein Foundation was established after his death in 1997 and has been overseen by his wife, Dorothy Lichtenstein, president of the Foundation.

This year the Foundation gave a $1 million endowment to the Columbus Museum of Art to support a rotating fellowship, named the Lichtenstein Foundation Curatorial Fellowship for Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts. Roy Lichtenstein received his Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Ohio and taught at the school for a decade.

The Works of Roy Lichtenstein at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Roy Lichtenstein or any of the other fine art available at the VFA gallery.


References:
Madeline Luckel. Monet’s Giverny Blooms Anew in Florida, By Way of Roy Lichtenstein. Architectural Digest. February 19, 2021.
Jay Handelman. Selby Goes Pop! with Roy Lichtenstein exhibit. Sarasota Herald-Tribune. February 13, 2021.
Jessica Poitevien. Monet’s Most Famous Paintings Are Getting a Pop Art Twist at This Immersive Exhibit in Florida. Travel + Leisure Magazine. February 25, 2021.
Earl Hopkins. The Columbus Museum of Art receives $1 million for new fellowship program. The Columbus Dispatch. February 17, 2021.
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.

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  • A short history of prints from the earliest woodcut to contemporary processes
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