Vert Fine Art at Art Market Hamptons 2022

VFA at Art Market Hamptons 2022

New prints by Alex Katz and Kenny Scharf are among the works that we will be exhibiting at the twelfth edition of Art Market Hamptons.

Eighty-five prominent galleries will be showing modern and contemporary artworks at Nova’s Art Project and Sculpture Garden, the fairs’ new location at Hampton’s East End.

The Hamptons have always been considered a great getaway spot, especially for artists. In 2020, many New Yorkers took refuge in The Hamptons to escape the restrictions of the pandemic. During the past two years, local art scene in The Hamptons has thrived, with galleries and auction houses, like Christie’s and Phillips, setting up shop.

The Art Market will run from August 11 through August 14, 2022.

Alex Katz 1927 –

Alex Katz was born and raised in Brooklyn. He has lived and worked in New York for all of his 95 years. So, it’s very fitting that an eight-decade retrospective of his works will open at the Guggenheim in New York in October.

Katz has been collaborating with the museum to assemble over 200 paintings, prints, oil sketches, collages, drawings, and sculptures. The show will open with drawings that Katz did in the 1940s, while he rode the subway on his way to school at Cooper Union, and finish with the large landscapes he has been doing in the last few years.

Alex Katz: Gathering will be on display from October 21, 2022 through February 20, 2023.

Kenny Scharf 1958 –

Kenny Scharf calls his work Surreal Pop Art. He went from his hometown of Los Angeles to study art in New York, where he befriended Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol.

He’s been back in LA for a long time now, in order to be closer to his grandchildren. His own child-like quality, and the influence of both coasts, is still present in his artwork.

“In the early days, I got slighted and ridiculed for my use of bright plasticky colorful cartoony visions.” Scharf told Interview Magazine recently, “Hailing from L.A. wasn’t something that people admired, it was considered a place where people were airheads. I wasn’t taken seriously because L.A. wasn’t, either. When I returned to L.A., I was considered a New York interloper, and was slightly ostracized for making my name in New York. I’ve been living and painting in here for 23 years now, and finally people don’t ask me when I’m going back to New York. I feel I brought my L.A. aesthetic to New York, and brought my New York energy back to L.A.!”

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Alex Katz and Kenny Scharf available at VFA. More information about Art Market Hamptons is available here: https://artmarkethamptons.com


References:
Eileen Kinsella. In 2020, Blue-Chip Art Businesses Flocked to the Hamptons. Are They in It for the Long Haul? Artnet News. August 3, 2022.
Guggenheim Museum Presents “Alex Katz: Gathering” Opening October 21. The City Life.Org. July 31, 2022.
Jason Rosenfeld. Kenny Scharf with Jason Rosenfeld. The Brooklyn Rail. June 2022.
Kenny Scharf Talks to Trees. Interview Magazine. April 22, 2022.

David Hockney: Moving Focus, Artle: Wordle for Art Lovers

David Hockney 1937 –

David Hockney’s works are currently on display in museums and galleries in Europe and the U.S.

Hockney moved to a farmhouse in Normandy in 2019 and painted the changing of the seasons on his iPad. He put together 220 of the iPad drawings to create a 314-foot frieze that is currently on display in an ongoing exhibit at the Salts Mill Gallery in Yorkshire.

An exhibit comparing Hockney’s work alongside of those of Henri Matisse is on display at the Matisse Museum in Nice. Hockney’s works, in a variety of media, are on exhibit at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. A retrospective of his works, called The Moving Focus, including works from the Tate collection, is being shown at the Kuntsmuseum in Lucerne. Hockney created the Moving Focus series, in which he dealt with time, space and perspective. Works from the Moving Focus series are available at VFA.

Hockney has always been interested in technology, from the wide-angle lens camera to the iPad. Because of the backlighting on the iPad, he can draw at night, or at daybreak, creating paintings like Early Morning, and My Shirt and Trousers, available at VFA.

“There’s a speed to the iPad that’s fascinating,” he said in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Company, “because any draftsman is interested in speed, quickness. I was sitting on my bed in Bridlington and I said, ‘Look at that cup just there. Now watch.’ I just opened the iPad and drew it. I hadn’t moved. I hadn’t got up for a glass of water. I hadn’t got up to get a brush. I hadn’t got up to get anything. So I drew the cup at the moment of inspiration. I simply said, ‘Oh, it’s a good shape. I’ll draw it.’ Whereas even a little box of watercolours, you might have to get up, get a glass, do this, do that. So there’s a fantastic speed to it, if you carry it about like I do and treat it like a sketchpad.”

Artle: Wordle for Art Lovers

The National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington has launched Artle, a new game for art enthusiasts. Based on the popularity of Wordle, the game shows players four works of art from its extensive collection of 155,00 works by 15,000 artists.

The player is shown a work of art and asked to guess the artist. If the first guess is incorrect the player is shown a second work by the artist, then a third and a fourth. The artist’s identity is revealed after four guesses.

Many of the artists are easily identifiable by art lovers, but many are not.

A great feature of the game is a link that goes to a site with more information about the artist and their artworks.

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


References:
Jo Lawson-Tancred. David Hockney Has Created His Largest Painting Ever—a 314-Foot Frieze Inspired by His Year in Lockdown. Artnet News. May 11, 2022.
Artist David Hockney is a master of reinvention — from the swimming pools of LA, to the forests of England. Interview/CBC Radio. November 15, 2011/Updated July 22, 2022.
Jess Eng. ‘Wordle’ fan? The National Gallery of Art has launched a copycat. The Washington Post. June 30, 2022.
Ayun Halliday. Play “Artle,” an Art History Version of Wordle: A New Game from the National Gallery of Art. Open Culture. June 3, 2022.
Suzanne Rowan Kelleher. Meet Artle, The Wordle Spinoff For Art Lovers. Forbes. May 20, 2022.
Helen Frankenthaler

Helen Frankenthaler, Katherine Bernhardt at VFA

Helen Frankenthaler 1928-2011

In a recent New York Times interview, New York-based art adviser, Kim Heirston, noted that “it took more than 60 years for works by the admired Color Field painter Helen Frankenthaler to break through the $1 million barrier at auction. “Now it takes a nanosecond.”

Frankenthaler’s work had a profound influence on mid-twentieth century art. Her soak stain technique, pouring thinned oil paint on canvas, ushered in Color Field Painting and led to the Minimalist movement.

When acrylic paints were made for artists’ use in 1956, Frankenthaler experimented with acrylics. She found that they delivered bright colors and handled well.

Her work was well received and she began to exhibit at major American and international venues. Her paintings were shown at the Venice Biennale in 1966 and at the United States Pavilion at the 1967 International and Universal Exposition in Montreal.

In the 1960s, Frankenthaler became interested in, and  proficient at, printmaking. Her woodcuts, like Snow Pines, available at VFA, are especially masterful. She continued to create woodcuts and lithographs, inspired by landscapes, through the last years of her life.

Helen Frankenthaler’s works are currently being shown at the Contemporary Art Museum at the University of South Florida in Tampa, alongside those of LA-based Canadian artist, Heather Gwen Martin.

The Lyrical Moment: Modern and Contemporary Abstraction by Helen Frankenthaler and Heather Gwen Martin will run through July 30, 2022.

Katherine Bernhardt 1975 –

Work by Katherine Bernhardt sold above estimate at the recent Phillips London Summer 2022 Sale. She is one of the artists whose works will be on exhibit at the inaugural Frieze in Seoul, South Korea this September.

Bernhardt’s uniquely bold and colorful works have garnered her international attention.

She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, her MFA from the School of Visual Arts. Bernhardt  lived and worked in Brooklyn until 2019, when she returned to her hometown of St. Louis. She bought an auto shop in the downtown area and turned it into a studio and gallery, where she exhibits the works of local artists.

Bernhardt’s works are part of the permanent collection of the High Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Rubell Museum, the Portland Museum of Art, the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo and other major museums and galleries around the world.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Helen Frankenthaler, Katherine Bernhardt or any of the other fine art available at VFA.


References:
Max Lunn. The Biggest Lie About Abstract Expressionism. Hyperallergic. July 11, 2022.
Scott Reyburn. London Modern and Contemporary Auctions: A Market Minus the Froth. The New York Times/Art and Design. July 1, 2022.
Alina Cohen. Helen Frankenthaler in the Spotlight This Summer. Galerie Magazine. June 8 2017.
Artnet News. Hot Lots: 5 Artworks That Spectacularly Outperformed Expectations During London’s Summer 2022 Day Sales/Work by Katherine Bernhardt, Paul Thek, Caroline Walker, and other artists shattered their estimates this season. July 12, 2022.
Kabir Jhala. Perrotin and Pace galleries announce Seoul expansions—while other Western dealers test Korean waters via group show. The Art Newspaper. July 14, 2022.
claes oldenburg

Claes Oldenburg Remembered

Claes Oldenburg: January 28, 1929 – July 18, 2022

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

Claes Oldenburg, known for his giant sculptures of everyday objects, died in his SoHo home and studio on Monday, July 18th, 2022. The cause of death was complications after a fall. Oldenburg was 93.

Oldenburg was born in Stockholm in 1929. His mother was a concert singer, his father a Swedish consular officer. The family moved to Chicago in 1936. He graduated from Yale in 1950, where he studied literature and art history. After graduating, he worked as a reporter in Chicago, then an illustrator in San Francisco. He became a United States citizen in 1953 and moved to New York in 1956, where he began his long and successful sixty-year career as an artist.

During his early years, Oldenburg staged performances and “Happenings’ with fellow artists like Jim Dine and Donald Judd. His first exhibition, at the Judson Gallery in May 1959, included drawings, collages and objects made of papier-mâché. He made large sculptures of everyday objects, that viewers could interact with on a tactile level. “My intention is to make an everyday object that eludes definition,” he said. “At the bottom of everything I have done, the most radical effects, is the desire to touch and be touched. Each thing is an instrument of sensuous communication.”

In 1977, Oldenburg  married Dutch-born American sculptor, art historian and critic Coosje van Bruggen. They collaborated on many of his large, public sculptures, like the 45-foot Cor-Ten Steel Clothespin, commissioned by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority in 1976, the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence.  Clothespin faces City Hall in downtown Philadelphia and has become an iconic landmark. The steel spring on the Clothespin appears as the number 76.

Oldenburg and van Bruggen were married for 32 years, until her death in 2009.

His younger brother, Richard, who died in 2018, spent 22 years as director of the Museum of Modern Art and later was chairman of Sotheby’s America.

Claes Oldenburg was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2000 by President Bill Clinton. His works had a profound influence on Jeff Koons, and Damien Hirst, artists who both use humor and irony in their work. Claes Oldenburg’s works are part of the permanent collections of most major modern art museums in the United States and Europe.

“The only thing that really saves the human experience is humor.” Oldenberg said. “I think without humor it wouldn’t be much fun.”

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


References:
Martha Schwendener. Claes Oldenburg Dies at 93; Pop Artist Made the Everyday Monumental. The New York Times. July 18, 2022.
Ellen Wexler. Claes Oldenburg, Who Transformed Everyday Objects Into Towering Sculptures, Dies at 93. Smithsonian Magazine. July 19, 2022.
Deborah Solomon. Claes Oldenburg Captured a Carefree (and Consumerist) America. The New York Times. July 19, 2022.

The Collaboration: Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat

When the Eat Like Andy video of Andy Warhol eating a hamburger was shown at the 2019 Super Bowl, Google exploded.  A new generation was discovering the genius of Andy Warhol.

The art of Andy Warhol has been an exciting part of our fine art print collection at VFA. We have always  appreciated his great style and masterfully done prints. We took for granted that the rest of the world knew and appreciated them, as well.

The life and art  of Andy Warhol has gotten increased attention recently. Every aspect of his life is explored in the Netflix docuseries The Andy Warhol Diaries. The documentary uses an AI voice to read the notes that Warhol dictated every day to his friend, Pat Hackett, for about a decade.

There was a recent retrospective that focused on his religious beliefs, on exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. The play, Chasing Andy Warhol, is being performed by the Bated Breath Theatre Company in the West Village. The Peterson Automotive Museum will be showing Andy Warhol: Cars – Works from the Mercedes-Benz Art Collection later this month and, now, a play about the artist is headed for the big screen.

The Collaboration is a play set in 1984, when Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat worked together on paintings. Both men died not long after their collaboration; Warhol in 1987 from complications after surgery and Basquiat in 1988 from a drug overdose, just eighteen months after Warhol’s death.  The play opened at the Young Vic Theatre in London. It’s set to open at the Friedman Theater on Broadway on December 20, 2022.

The Collaboration stars Paul Bettany as Warhol and Jeremy Pope as Basquiat. The two are expected to reprise their roles in a film adaptation later this year.

In July of 1962, sixty years ago, that Andy Warhol exhibited a wall of 32 Campbell’s Soup paintings at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. The Campbell’s Soup Company was concerned about Warhol’s use of its trademark design and sent a lawyer to the gallery, but decided not to pursue legal action.

The show didn’t do well. Only five of the paintings were sold, for $100 each. Actor Dennis Hopper bought one. Gallery owner Irving Blum saw something in Warhol’s work at the time that most people did not. He bought the five paintings back, and kept them together. In 1996, Blum sold the original set of 32 can paintings to the Museum of Modern Art in New York in a partial sale/gift valued at $15 million. The auction record for a Warhol is $195 million, set earlier this year for Shot Sage Blue Marilyn.

Warhol’s work took off soon after the show at Ferus. The Campbell’s Soup Company reached out to him in 1964, and commissioned a painting for one of their retiring board members. The company has a soup can painting hanging in its Camden, New Jersey, headquarters, and works with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in charitable projects.

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


References:
Michael Paulson. ‘The Collaboration,’ About Warhol and Basquiat, Plans Broadway Bow. The New York Times. July 7, 2022.
Mike Fleming Jr. Anthony McCarten’s Warhol-Basquiat Stage Play ‘The Collaboration’ Heading For Big Screen; Helmer Kwame Kwei-Armah, Paul Bettany & Jeremy Pope Reprise. Deadline. February 3, 2022.
Anna Rahmanan. A new play about Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat is headed to Broadway. Time Out. July 11, 2022.
Alexandra Peers. Why Campbell Soup hated, then embraced, Andy Warhol’s soup can paintings. CNN Business. July 9, 2022.

Deborah Kass’ OY/YO, Ed Ruscha’s Art for Paul McCartney

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Deborah Kass 1952 –

On July 4th, one of Deborah KassOY/YO sculptures was unveiled outside the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History on Independence Mall in Philadelphia. The OY/YO sculpture has already been added as a stop on Philadelphia tour buses.

OY/YO began as a painting. Its message resonated across language and cultures, and Kass turned it into a sculpture.

It’s especially appropriate in Philadelphia, where YO is a Philly greeting, popularized by Sylvester Stallone’s “YO, Adrian” in his Rocky movie.

The sculpture in Philadelphia is one of three large OY/YO sculptures, measuring 8 feet tall, 16 feet wide, and 5 feet deep. It’s made of aluminum and painted Lamborghini yellow.

One was installed outside Stanford University’s Cantor Art Center in 2019.  Another is outside the Brooklyn Museum and has recently been wrapped in blue, to show support for the people of Ukraine, whose colors are yellow and blue.

“I created OY/YO thinking about the American promise of equality and fairness and our responsibilities to make the country a better place for all,” said Kass. “With hate and division now on the rise, it is urgent to see our commonalities, what we share, and what brings us together.”

Deborah Kass lives and works in Brooklyn. Her works are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney, the Guggenheim, the Jewish Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Art, Boston, the National Portrait Gallery the Smithsonian Institution, the Fogg Museum at Harvard and other major venues.

Ed Ruscha 1937 –

I like the idea of a word becoming a picture, almost leaving its body, then coming back and becoming a word again. – Ed Ruscha

Deborah Kass said that Ed Ruscha’s painting OOF was the inspiration for OY/YO.

Ed Ruscha was born in Nebraska, raised in Oklahoma City and traveled to Los Angeles in 1956 to study art the California Institute of the Arts.

His use of words as visual content in his work has become his signature style.

His first major retrospective was held in 1982 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. For the exhibition catalogue cover, he chose a drawing made in 1979, which features the words “I don’t want no retro spective”. Ruscha’s work became popular with Japanese collectors entering the contemporary art market in the late 1980s, suddenly driving up demand for his work. He later joked that he had become a “twenty-five year overnight sensation.”

One of his recent projects, at age 84, is the artwork for new box set of 80-year-old Paul McCartney. According to McCartney, the men have shared a friendship and mutual admiration. “I first met Ed Ruscha through my daughter, Stella,” McCartney wrote, “and since then have visited his studio quite a few times. He is a very easy going, humorous guy and ‘of course’ a very skillful painter. His treatments are ingenious and intriguing. Nancy asked Ed to paint a picture for my birthday which uses the phrase ‘For Life’ which is taken from the song ‘My Valentine’, which I wrote for her. It is a beautiful picture with the text in his usual deadpan signature style. The lettering font he uses reminds me of art classes I used to take as a teenager in the Liverpool Institute where we learned to write the alphabet in this style and I enjoyed it so much I even offered to do the lettering on one piece of George’s homework!”

The boxed set is scheduled for release on August 5, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Deborah Kass and Ed Ruscha available at VFA.


References:
Tom Gralish. Scene Through the Lens | July 4, 2022. The Philadelphia Inquirer. July 4, 2022.
Danya Henninger. 10 things to know about the new OY/YO sculpture outside Philly’s Jewish museum. BillyPenn Newsletter. April 28, 2022.
Alison Fox. This Museum of American Jewish History Just Reopened in Philadelphia After 2 Years — Here’s What’s New. Travel and Leisure. June 12, 2022.
Anna Rahnanan. The Brooklyn Museum’s ‘OY/YO’ sculpture is now wrapped in blue. TimeOut. March 4, 2022.
Paul McCartney. Paintings On The Wall – Ed Ruscha/A PS from PM. March 14, 2019.
Bass Magazine. Paul McCartney Releases Boxed Set With His Three Iconic Solo Albums. June 17, 2022.

Derrick Adams’ Funtime Unicorns; Alex Katz on Park Avenue

Derrick Adams 1970 –

The works of Derrick Adams focus on play and leisure in the Black community. In his Floater Series he painted friends, family members, and even himself, relaxing in large, Black Unicorn pool floats.

This summer, children visiting the Channel Gardens at New York’s Rockefeller Center will be able to play on Funtime Unicorns, sculptures that Adams created as an extension of the Floater Series.

“In each one of these sculptures, my hope is that young Black boys and girls have a chance to laugh and bounce, climb and lean,” Adams said. “This is a place to make new friends – who are just as magical and colorful and who represent a more imaginative future for all of us.”

Based on the classic spring rider toys, the Funtime Unicorns will be at Rockefeller Center through September 9, 2022.

In an interview in Forbes, Isabella Lauria, Associate Vice President at Christie’s, explained why Derrick Adams has achieved such success in the art world. “His works are in the collections of The Met, Whitney Museum and The Studio Museum, among many others.” Laurie said, “This institutional focus and recognition propelled his primary market forward, and now that we have achieved a major record at auction, I firmly believe the secondary market will continue to strengthen as demand increases. I think demand for his work is driven by interest in artists working through identity politics and issues of systemic racism, while Derrick’s use of bright, happy motifs and palettes adds to the esthetic appeal and desirability, setting him apart from his peers.”

Adams has been living and working in Brooklyn for the last thirty years. He has also been creating projects to help Black artists in his hometown of Baltimore. Adams recently received a $1.25 million grant from the Mellon Foundation, with which he is establishing a cultural center known as the Black Baltimore Digital Database and a vacation retreat for Black artists.

Alex Katz 1927 –

Restaurant Daniel, on Manhattan’s Park Avenue, has begun to exhibit great art in its dining rooms. The restaurant’s initial exhibit is composed of large-scale paintings by Alex Katz.

Although Katz is best known for his figurative works, his landscapes, seascapes and flower paintings are just as extraordinary.

A retrospective of Alex Katz’s works will be on exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in October 2022. The show will include works that Katz did as a young student at Cooper Union in the 1940s.

Alex Katz currently has solo exhibits in London, Brussels, Trento and Madrid.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Derrick Adams and Alex Katz available at VFA.


References:
Chadd Scott. Derrick Adams Funtime Unicorns coming to Rockefeller Center. See Great Art. June 24, 2022.
Y-Jean Mun-Delsalle. The Auction Market Of Artist Derrick Adams Is On The Rise. Forbes. November 7, 2021.
Jonathan Goodman. Alex Katz. The Brooklyn Rail. December 2021-January 2022.

Katherine Bernhardt Does Mushrooms, William Wegman Writes

Katherine Bernhardt 1975 –

Art Basel Hong Kong was short and sweet this year. The fair was postponed from March until May because of the sharp increase in Covid cases in Hong Kong. The gallery exhibits were set up to enhance social distancing.

In spite of the obstacles, the works on exhibit represented the best of the world’s contemporary artists.

One of the highlights of Art Basel Hong Kong was the work of Katherine Bernhardt. Her bright, free-spirited paintings and prints have made her one of today’s most popular artists.

After receiving her BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York, Bernhardt set up a studio in Brooklyn. She worked there for more than twenty years, creating the giant paintings and prints of iconic cartoon characters, tacos and toilet paper with lots of color and tons of energy.

In 2019 Bernhardt moved back to her hometown of St. Louis. She bought three buildings in Midtown. She uses one building as her studio, one for storage and one as a gallery for local artists to display their work. Here’s a look at Bernhardt in the St. Louis studio.

She currently has an exhibit at the David Zwirner gallery in London. Katherine Bernhardt: Why is a mushroom growing in my shower? includes recent paintings using both her familiar images…like the Pink Panther…and new images like Crocs, Ditto from Pokémon and magic mushrooms.

Katherine Bernhardt’s works can be found in prominent public and museum collections, including the Brant Foundation Art Study Center in Greenwich, Connecticut the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo inTurin, Italy, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, the Knoxville Museum of Art in Tennessee, the Portland Museum of Art in Maine, the Rubell Museum in Miami and the San Antonio Museum of Art in  Texas.

William Wegman 1943 –

A current exhibit of William Wegman’s work includes not a single photograph of his Weimaraners. William Wegman: Writing by the Artist consists of texts,  drawings, photographs, and videos that Wegman has created during his fifty year career.

Before Wegman began photographing his lovable dogs, he received a B.F.A. in painting from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1965 and an M.F.A. in painting from the University of Illinois in 1967. He went on to teach at the University of Wisconsin and then at California State College.

The photos of his dogs, with their deadpan expressions and human behaviors made them, and Wegman, international stars.

Not as widely exhibited are Wegman’s drawings and paintings, which are funny and masterful.

William Wegman: Writing by the Artist is on exhibit at the Sperone Westwater Gallery in New York through July 29, 2022.

William Wegman lives in New York and Maine where he continues to paint, draw, make videos and take photographs with his dogs Flo and Topper.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Katherine Bernhardt, William Wegman or any of the other fine art available at VFA.


References:
Valencia Tong. The Best Booths at Art Basel Hong Kong 2022, from Dazzling Large-Scale Installations to NFT Hype. Artnews. May 27, 2022.
Megan Mertz. National artist Katherine Bernhardt’s Midtown studio was once an auto shop. St. Louis Magazine. May 6, 2021.
Katherine Bernhardt: Why is a mushroom growing in my shower? David Zwirner London. Martin Cid Magazine. May 25, 2022.
Ann C. Collins. William Wegman: Writing by Artist. The Brooklyn Rail. June 2022.
Emily Watlington. Who Took the Dogs Out?: William Wegman at Sperone Westwater. Art in America. June 14, 2022.
Rauschenberg - Change from Seven Characters

Robert Rauschenberg: Seven Character Series

Robert Rauschenberg 1925-2008

There is no reason not to consider the world as one gigantic painting. – Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg believed that art could change the world. As a mature, successful artist, he traveled extensively around the world. In 1984, he established the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (R.O.C.I.), sharing his expertise with artists in other countries and learning about artistic traditions from his host country’s artists. After a dozen trips to countries around the world, Rauschenberg exhibited the works inspired by his travels at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

When he visited China, Rauschenberg collaborated with papermakers at the Xuan Paper Mill in Jingxian to create a series of collages based on seven Chinese characters.

To create the Seven Character Series, Rauschenberg used a base of thirty-ply paper covered with a layer of silk He then added a character to each work in pulp relief. On top of the base he placed images from posters that he found in Shanghai, attached and overlaid with a thin transparent paper. To finish off each work, Rauschenberg applied gold leaf and hung a cloth medallion on each work.

These works were included in  the ROCI CHINA exhibition held at the National Art Gallery in Beijing in 1985.

Works from the Seven Character Series are available at VFA.

Much of what led to Robert Rauschenberg becoming one of the most influential and avant-garde artists of the twentieth century  were serendipitous events. He was born and raised in a strict, religious family in the small, refinery town of Port Arthur, Texas. He planned on becoming a minister, but the ban on dancing in his family church changed his mind. His parents sent him to the University of Texas in Austin to study pharmacology, but he was expelled in his freshman year after he refused to dissect a frog. He was drafted in 1943. The letter from the draft board was his excuse not have to tell his parents about his expulsion.

He did tell the army that he was a conscientious objector, and was assigned to work as a medical technician in the Navy Hospital Corps, caring for combat survivors in San Diego. It was during one of his leaves that he visited the Huntington Art Gallery in California and saw his first oil paintings. The visit changed the trajectory of his life and he began to study art.

In 1950, he moved to New York, where he used found objects that he used to create the combines that centered around his belief that what artists create can be freely interpreted by each viewer.

When he moved to Florida’s Captiva Island in 1970, where he lived for nearly forty years, the objects he found there were very different than the ones he found in the streets of New York.

He was surrounded by beaches, and was influenced by the color and texture of the sand. The combines he created during those years are sleeker and more architectural than his earlier works.

Works that he made when he moved to Captiva are currently on view at the Gladstone Gallery in New York. The works were influenced by his travels abroad and his new surroundings off the Gulf Coast.

Robert Rauschenberg: Venetians and Early Egyptians, 1972-1974 will be on view at the Gladstone Gallery through June 18, 2022.

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


References:
Catherine Yang. Seeing Robert Rauschenberg for the First Time, All Over Again. Hyperallergic. June 8, 2022.
Beatrice Johnson. Sand Into Stone: (Untitled) Early Egyptian and the Personal Myths of Robert Rauschenberg and Cy Twombly. Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. (June 14, 2022).

Kenny Scharf Paints the Earth, Jeff Koons Aims for the Moon

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Kenny Scharf

Kenny Scharf was born in Los Angeles in 1958. “And then, of course,” he said, in an interview with the Brooklyn Rail, “I grew up in LA and the plastic world and all the cars and the gas stations and the restaurants and every single piece of architecture was like “outer space!” Those future-y, fantasy things were my first visuals. That in combination with all the messages that were being sent out to me. That’s kind of my whole thing with the Jetsons. I identified with Elroy, that was me, I was a space boy of the future. Space, it’s so spiritual to me.”

Scharf moved to New York and earned his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 1980. He shared a studio with Keith Haring and was part of the East Village art scene.

He moved back to LA more than twenty years ago, to be closer to his grandchildren. Like other grandparents and parents, he’s concerned about the future of the planet. His most recent show, WOODZ ‘N THINGZ, focuses on the earth’s ecosystem.

Some of his recent works are painted on old flat screen televisions. “I pour on the gesso,” he says, “create the surface. And I also love that you get this stuff from the garbage. It’s already framed. They’re ready to hang.”

Kenny Scharf sprayed graffiti in the ’80s. These days he does commissioned murals and works in a variety of media. We have painting, sculptures and fine art prints by Kenny Scharf in the VFA Gallery.

WOODZ ‘N THINGZ will be on display at the Totah Gallery in New York through June 25, 2022.

Jeff Koons

I believe that art has been a vehicle for me that’s been about enlightenment and expanding my own parameters, to give me the courage to exercise the freedom that I have in life.
– Jeff Koons

Just when it seems like Jeff Koons couldn’t think any farther outside of the box, he does. He’s now thinking outside of the stratosphere.

Koons is sending his art to the moon.

A collection of work, which has not yet been revealed, is set to be installed on the moon’s surface later this year, launched from the Kennedy Space Center.

Jeff Koons: Moon Phases is a collaboration between NFMoon, 4Space, and Pace Gallery. Each physical sculpture and its corresponding, one-of-a-kind NFT is set to land on the Moon’s surface on an Intuitive Machines Nova-C Lunar Lander in a fully autonomous mission. The intended destination for the sculptures is in an area called Oceanus Procellarum, one of the flat, dark plains on the lower elevation of the Moon’s surface. The works will be placed in a specially designed enclosed art cube.

“I’ve always enjoyed the idea of creating a global art, art that really is about every human beings’ aspiration to have a more fulfilling life. To be able to touch on meaning, what it means to be a human being,” Koons explained in a video announcing the project.

Here on earth, at VFA, we have some of Jeff Koons’ finest works for sale.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Kenny Scharf and Jeff Koons available at VFA.


References:
Jason Rosenfeld. Kenny Scharf with Jason Rosenfeld. The Brooklyn Rail. June 2022.
Kenny Scharf Talks to Trees. Interview Magazine. April 22, 2022.
Eric James Beyer. Moon Phases: An Inside Look At The NFT Project That Will Land on the Moon. NFT Now. May 23, 2022.
Jeff Koons’ New Project Will Land on the Moon. Cool Hunting. Link/Tech.

Basquiat Burglary Bungled, Takashi Murakami Combines Digital and Analog

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Jean-Michel Basquiat 1960-1988

A couple walked into the Tagliatelle Gallery in Chelsea on May 14 and took Dog Leg Study, a screenprint by Jean- Michel Basquiat, from its display. The print was in the gallery owner’s office, which also serves as a private viewing room. Security cameras caught the man and woman standing in front of the work, photographing it with their cell phones and apparently searching for information about its value.

The couple took the work, and a third-full bottle of Maker’s Mark, and tried to leave the gallery with both items. A staff member intervened and got the screenprint back, but they walked out with the whiskey.

NYPD is still looking for the pair. There is a photo of the couple, who were identified only as ‘having an unknown European accent’, walking to the gallery, but so far, no arrests have been made.

Dog Leg Study is valued at $45,000.

The works of Jean-Michel Basquiat have garnered some of the highest prices at auction in the past few years. Just four days after the botched burglary of Dog Leg Study, one of his works sold at Phillips auction for $85 million. Six years ago, Japanese collector Yusaku Maezawa bought the Untitled work at Christie’s for $57.3 million.

Takashi Murakami 1962 –

Takashi Murakami loved anime and manga as a child, and intended to study animation. Instead, he studied Nihonga, the traditional art of Japan, and received a PhD from the Tokyo University of the Arts. He went on to create his own style of art, Superflat, and brought to Japan a genre of work that transcends and combines traditional and commercial art.

His most recent exhibit, at the Gagosian Gallery in New York, contains both digital NFTs and sculptures based on the digital models. “When I work on a creative production, I make no distinction between digital and analog.” he said, “I’m always working in the context of contemporary art, and that context is all about whether I can be involved in events that manage to trigger a cognitive revolution.”

According to the gallery’s website, “The immersive viewing experience, created by RTFKT and Oncyber, is accessible online via gagosian.com or through a VR headset and allows access to the entire exhibition from anywhere in the world.” The gallery is accepting cryptocurrency.

An Arrow through History opened on May 11, and will be on view through June 25, 2022.

A special exhibit dedicated to Murakami is on view at the Broad Museum in Los Angeles. The exhibit features all of the museum’s Murakami works and new immersive environments. Takashi Murakami: Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow will be on view at The Broad  through September 25, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Takashi Murakami available at VFA.


References:
Chantal Da Silva. Man, woman try to steal $45K Basquiat painting from Manhattan gallery, police say. NBC News. May 26, 2022.
Shawn Ghassemitari. Couple Attempts to Steal a Framed Basquiat Artwork From a Manhattan Gallery. HypeArt. May 27, 2022.
Jesse O’Neill. Suspects try to steal $45K Basquiat painting from Manhattan exhibit. The New York Post. May 25, 2022.
Steve Smith. Weekend arts planner: Takashi Murakami, ‘Fat Ham,’ Eddie Palmieri. The Gothamist. May, 28, 2022.

Julian Opie’s ‘People’ in SoHo, Ugo Rondinone Curates in Long Island, Javier Calleja Collaborates

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Julian Opie

The lobby of a new office building, in New York’s SoHo district, has installed an artwork by Julian Opie to amplify the minimal design of its architecture. People 13, 2014, is an 11-inch by 144-inch LED, wall mounted work, of digitalized people walking.

The building’s offices, at 2 Crosby Street, are leased by such notable tenants as  French fashion designer Rick Owens and jewelry  designer Maria Tash.

Opie’s exhibit at this year’s Venice Biennale is a bit unusual. The Venice government would not allow the use of LED screen technology, so four of Opie’s aluminium sculptures are on show outside of the St. Regis, the newest luxury hotel in Venice.

Julian Opie’s work is also currently on exhibit at venues in Lausanne, Rome, and Shanghai. His work, in a variety of medium, are available at VFA.

Ugo Rondinone, Eddie Martinez and Sam Moyer

Swiss-born artist, Ugo Rondinone, currently has work on exhibit at the Venice Biennalle, and has also curated an exhibit at the Landcraft Garden in North Fork, Long Island.

The exhibit at the Landcraft Garden includes his own sculptures and those of Eddie Martinez and Sam Moyer, Martinez’s wife.

Martinez is is best known for his abstract figurative and still life paintings. He began creating sculptures in 2013, using found objects that he collects on the beaches around North Fork and on the streets around his Brooklyn studio.

The works of all three artists are very different in form, style and materials. Martinez’s work is  abstract and appears almost unrestrained. Rondinone’s has a more classical feel and Moyer’s work has an architectural quality.

The exhibit at Landcraft Garden will be on view from June 4 to October 29, 2022.

Javier Calleja

Spanish artist Javier Calleja said he was heavily influenced by the comics, cartoons and toys that he read and played with while growing up in Malaga in the 1970s and 1980s.

His stylized large-headed and large-eyed characters have made him an international sensation, with solo museum and gallery  exhibits in Hong Kong, Greece, Germany, Tokyo, Spain, Rome and London.

Calleja’s work has been garnering prices above estimate. At a Phillips 2020 auction, his 2019 painting, No More Stories, sold for HK$4 million (about $509561 USD), well over the 300-500k estimate.

He has collaborated with clothing companies, most recently with VANS, with his artwork on sneakers, tees and even planters.

Calleja’s work is currently on exhibit at Art Basel, Hong Kong, with upcoming shows in Paris, Athens, Tokyo, Shanghai and Dusseldorf.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Julian Opie, Ugo Rondinone, Eddie Martinez, Javier Calleja or any of the other fine art work available at VFA.


References:
KPG Funds And Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation Explore Digitalized Artwork With The Opening Of Artist Julian Opie’s “People 13, 2014”. PR Newswire. March 21, 2022.
Joanne Shurvell. Venice Biennale 2022: Highlights From The Olympics Of The Art World. Forbes. April 26, 2022.
Lee Meyer. Landcraft Garden Foundation kicks off Sculptures in the Garden 2022 on June 4. The Northforker. May 12, 2022.
Felicia Lalomia. One Minute on the North Fork: An afternoon at Landcraft Garden Foundation. The Northforker. May 30, 2021.
Design Boom. Ugo Rondinone brings human clouds, a gilded sun and colorful, burnt out candles to Venice. May 7, 2022.
Jascmeen Bush. VANS Collaborates with Javier Calleja for Footwear Capsule. Hypebea. February 3, 2022.

Björn Persson, Shepard Fairey, Derrick Adams…Making the World a Better Place

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Björn Persson 1972 –

Björn Persson is spending the next two months in Botswana, exploring the Kalahari Desert and the country’s National Preserves. As always, his mission is to photograph the wildlife that roams free, in the hope of saving the animals from poachers.

Last week, his work raised thousands of euros at OperationAid gala in Stockholm to help refugees from the Ukraine.

The Swedish-born photographer has published two books, Beauty Will Save the World and The Real Owners of the Planet. He believes that by focusing his lens on the beauty and life of endangered species, more humans will become inspired to get involved in wildlife preservation.

This trip to Botswana will get Persson closer to completing the trilogy of books that he has been working on.

Björn Persson’s photographs have been featured in National Geographic, Africa Geographic, Vagabond, Digital Camera, Wildlife and other publications.

When he isn’t taking photographs in the African bush, he lives and works in Stockholm. Persson is represented in Florida by VFA.

Shepard Fairey 1970 –

Shepard Fairey’s work is going to be on display at this weekend’s Welcome to Rockville concert  at the Daytona International Speedway. Billed as America’s Largest Rock Festival, this year’s show includes KISS’ End Of The Road Farewell Tour, KORN, Guns N’ Roses, Nine Inch Nails, The Smashing Pumpkins and more.

Fairey’s Obey/Giant artwork will be presented on 16-foot-high pillars throughout the fairgrounds.

Shepard Fairey has spent his career creating art that advocates for social justice, like his Power to the Patients Nascar design.

During January’s Art Week in Miami, Fairey completed Invent Your Future, a mural at Miami Edison Senior High School in Little Haiti.

Although he often works on large projects, in a recent interview with Barron’s, Shepard said, “My prints are the cornerstone of my art, even though I love to make paintings and huge murals and clothing. Affordable screen-prints have been the consistent thing from the beginning of my career.”

Derrick Adams 1970 –

Derrick Adams teaches at Brooklyn College, has opened a free retreat for artists, has received a Mellon Foundation Award to help build a cultural center in his hometown of Baltimore and was recently honored with the Art & Social Justice Award from the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

Adams has designed an instillation at the African American Museum in Philadelphia that continues his focus on leisure for Black Americans and the challenges they face in finding safe spaces for rest and relaxation.

Derrick Adams: Sanctuary was inspired by The Negro Motorist Green Book, an annual guidebook for Black Americans who were traveling through the U.S. during the Jim Crow Era.  It was  published by New York postal worker Victor Hugo Green from 1936 to 1967. The Green Book provided a list of hotels, restaurants, barbershops and beauty parlors, taverns, and other venues where African American travelers were safely welcomed during segregation.

Derrick Adams: Sanctuary includes about 50 pieces of mixed-media collage, assemblage on wood panels, and sculpture. The exhibit will be on display through August 28, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Bjorn Persson, Shepard Fairey and Derrick Adams available at VFA.


References:
Nadja Sayer. 20 Minutes With: Street Artist Shepard Fairey. Barron’s/Penta. February 7, 2022.
Look up! Banners by Shepard Fairey will fly over LA before Super Bowl. KCRW. February 10, 2022.
Brooklyn Street Art. Shepard Fairey Says, “Invent Your Future” in Miami’s Little Haiti. January 12, 2022.
Robbie Sequira. Bronx Museum of the Arts celebrates 50 years, Borough President Gibson among gala’s honorees. Bronx Times. May 13, 2022.
Moni Jones. African American Museum in Philadelphia: Celebrating our past, embracing the future. The Philadelphia Sun. May 6, 2022.

Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn Sets New Auction Record

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Andy Warhol 1928-1987

Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn (1964) sold for $194 million at Christie’s New York on May 9. Bought by an unknown buyer, the work garnered the highest price achieved for an American work of art at auction.

The silkscreen is one in a series of five, based on a promotional photo of Marilyn Monroe from the film Niagara. The historical significance, alluded to in the title of the work, is that Dorothy Podber, a visitor to Warhol’s studio, pulled out a gun and shot through the stack of Marilyn silkscreens that were piled up in the studio.

Eddie Martinez 1977 –

The vibrant works of Eddie Martinez have been garnering much attention and setting records for at auction.

The Brooklyn-based artist says that he loves graffiti, but stopped painting on walls (when he wasn’t invited to), deciding that incarceration wasn’t worth the risk. He attended the Art Institute of Boston and moved to New York.

His style, that combines fine art with a flowing, street sensibility, has gotten him international recognition. He has had solo shows at the Yuz Museum in Shanghai, the Drawing Center in New York, the Bronx Museum, the Davis Museum at Wellesley College and has been featured in The New York Times, the Brooklyn Rail, Art in America and other prestigious publications and galleries.

In 2019, his High Flying Bird (2014) painting sold for $2.02 million at Christie’s.

Martinez and his wife, artist Sam Moyer, work with young artists in New York’s Free Arts program.

Tom Wesselmann 1931-2004

I find sometimes I get so excited working, especially when starting new ideas; I get so excited that I get uncomfortable. It almost feels dangerous, like I’m flirting with something dangerous. – Tom Wesselmann

Tom Wesselmann was envious of Willem de Kooning and became intrigued by the works of Henri Matisse while he studied at Cooper Union from 1956 to 1959. One of his teachers, Nicholas Marsicano, encouraged him “to find your own way. . . You can’t do what Matisse did.” Still, the  influence of Matisse can be seen in the colors and lines of Wesselmann’s works .

Wesselmann often payed tribute to the artists he admired. He sculpted with cutouts, a la Matisse, and created Maquette for Still Life with Johns and Matisse. One of his finest still life works is Mixed Bouquet with Leger and Monica Sitting with Mondrian is an homage to another great artist.

Tom Wesselmann: After Matisse will be on exhibit at the Almine Rech Paris Gallery from June 11 through July 30, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Andy Warhol, Eddie Martinez or Tom Wesselmann available at VFA.


References:
Artsy Editorial. 9 Standout Lots from the Artsy x Thurgood Marshall College Fund Auction. March 17, 2022.
Robin Pogrebin. Warhol’s ‘Marilyn,’ at $195 Million, Shatters Auction Record for an American Artist. The New York Times. May 9, 2022.
France24. Warhol Monroe portrait set to smash records at New York sales. July 5, 2022.

Takashi Murakami into the Metaverse; Keith Haring’s Works in Fort Lauderdale

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Takashi Murakami

The Broad Museum in Los Angeles is presenting its first solo exhibit of the works of Takashi Murakami. The show includes paintings, sculptures, wallpaper and installations. Highlights of the show are two gigantic paintings that were completed after the 2011 tsunami that devastated Japan. 100 Arhats, done in 2013, is 32 feet wide. In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow, done in 2014, and after which the exhibit is named, is 82 feet wide.

Both works are based on Japanese and Chinese history and legend.

In a New York Times interview, Murakami explained why much of his work is bright and joyful. “I create such positive images driven by my desire to dispel my unease,” he said. “Watching the developments of the Covid situation and the war in Ukraine, I grow increasingly uneasy. And I produce more work.”

Takashi Murakami: Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow will be on exhibit at The Broad from May 21 through September 25, 2022.

Murakami was born in Tokyo in 1962. He received his PhD from Tokyo University of the Arts in 1993. He  planned to focus on animation, but instead majored in Nihonga, a traditional style of Japanese painting. His Superflat style is a combination of both fine art and commercial art.

“Japanese culture originally came from the Eurasian continent,” he said “and my concept has been to go beyond from there into the metaverse, shooting through the history of art with a single arrow.”

Murakami is entering the metaverse with an NFT project. The project hasn’t been completed, but already has Murakami fans placing orderers way in advance.

Keith Haring

When Keith Haring was 19, studying commercial art in the Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh, he saw an exhibit of the works of Pierre Alechinsky. The free-flowing works of the avant-garde artist inspired Haring to use the bright colors and bold lines that became unique to his art.

Alechinsky is 95, living and working in Paris. He and Haring met in 1984 in Alechinsky’s Paris studio.

The Keith Haring Foundation asked Alechinsky to write about his relationship with the young artist for the show of their works at the NSU Museum:

“We are in 2022.” wrote Alechinsky,  “I am ninety-five years old. My old brain tells me that it has just found a scrap of memory. On the port side: we recognize K.H. in P.A.’s workshop in Bougival in 1984. He offers a t-shirt decorated with his hand. To starboard: we see P.A. dedicating to K.H. a Chinese ink work on writings from another era.”

Haring often acknowledged Alechinsky’s influence on his work. When the Whitney Museum held a retrospective of Haring’s work in 1997, Alechinsky was asked to loan the museum a painting for the exhibit.

The works of both artists are currently on display at the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale. Confrontation: Keith Haring and Pierre Alechinsky is on exhibit through October 2, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Takashi Murakami and Keith Haring available at VFA.


References:
Eilene Zimmerman. Dragons, Saints and a Sexy Nurse: The Art of Takashi Murakami. The New York Times/Art & Design. April 27, 2022.
Ola. Takashi Murakami Exhibition At Gagosian Bridging Virtual x Real Worlds. NFT News. April 19, 2022.
Jacob Richardson. Going Digital: Hublot and Legendary Artist Takashi Murakami Announce NFT Launch. Haute Living. April 5, 2022.
John Thomason. Keith Haring, Under the Influence, at NSU Art Museum. Boca Magazine. April 15, 2022.
Kutztown University. Schwank, Kutztown University Announce Funding for Keith Haring Fitness Park. April 25, 2022.
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