Through the Eyes of Julian Opie and Kenny Scharf

Only through art can we emerge from ourselves and know what another person sees.
– Marcel Proust

Every piece of art lets us see through the eyes of the artist. Why the artist chooses specific subjects, colors, materials and perspectives is sometimes a mystery, even to the artist.

Julian Opie, whose works are simple, straightforward and instantly recognizable, hinted, in an interview with The Telegraph, that he might like to do things differently. “I’m always trying to somehow get away from the smell of myself, and the look of what I do.” he said, “I’d love to look more like Clint Eastwood, and I’d love to have long black hair that I could flick out of my eyes, but I don’t, and I never will. And likewise, I notice that every time I undertake a project, it always ends up looking like my work.”

Opie works out of his four-story, 19th century building in east London. He has a staff of assistants, including tech support, to help with the animation of his LED sculptures.

This year he has had solo exhibits in Austria, China and Japan and Public Projects in Italy, France and China. His works are in major museums and galleries around the world.

At 64, Opie says that he is still perfecting his style. “I’m not a scientist. I’m an artist.” he said, “So I don’t have to follow rules but I do follow the logic that the world seems to throw at me. And if it leads me into pastures that are dodgy, or unresolved or unclear, for the time being, then I don’t see that as a shut door.”

While Julian Opie was studying art at Goldmith’s College in London, Kenny Scharf was earning his BFA at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

In the 1980s, the Young British Artists were shaking things up in London, and young American artists like Kenny Scharf, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat were shaking things up in Manhattan.

Although their cultures and histories are different, both Opie and Scharf have become esteemed artists, with loving families and generously donate their time, works and money to their communities.

While Opie was influenced by the Tintin comics, Scharf was inspired by the Flintstones and Jetsons. His recent works reflect his concerns about the environment and the future that his grandchildren will inherit.

Unlike Opie, who uses technology for many of his sculptures, Scharf sticks to basic paints and even uses old, discarded tv screens as his canvas.

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


References:
Chris Harvey. Julian Opie on cancel culture: ‘It’s tedious if everything gets read through the filter of the day’. The Telegraph. June 12, 2021.
Jason Rosenfeld. Kenny Scharf with Jason Rosenfeld. Brooklyn Rail. June 2022.
Kenny Scharf Talks to Trees. Interview /Art. April 22, 2022.

VFA with Tyler Hobbs at Art Miami

Vertu Fine Art is one of many premier galleries taking part in Art Miami 2022. Art Miami is the city’s longest running contemporary and modern art fair. It is also recognized as one of the preeminent international art fairs globally. Galleries from countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America, India, the Middle East and the United States will be displaying paintings, drawings, design, sculpture, NFTs, video art, photography and fine art prints.

Tyler Hobbs

This years’ event, for us, is extra special, thanks to our recent acquisitions and a talk by generative artist, Tyler Hobbs.

Tyler Hobbs will be hosting an artist talk at our gallery booth on Thursday, December 1st at 4pm. Hobbs is one of the leading generative artists in the art world. He studied fine art and has a B.S. degree in Computer Science and combines his skills to create unique powerful, visual works.

Kenny Scharf

In April, Kenny Scharf was honored with an honorary doctorate at the TriBeCa Ball at the New York Academy of Art. He was born in Los Angeles and moved to Manhattan, earning a BFA in painting at the School of Visual Arts in 1980. He and his friends, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, were all graffiti artists. Each found a way to take their distinctive skills and create works that spoke to them, and the world.

Scharf has been living back in LA, to be closer to his grandchildren. At 63, his work still retains its playfulness , but his focus is serious: he wants to save the planet for his grandchildren.

In an interview, in the Brooklyn Rail, Scharf explained why he uses DNA and other naturally occurring forms in his work, “Well, these are all shapes that we use, decoration coming from nature. And the motifs of nature that we repeat and I totally respond to. That’s my language. And then each painting is different, but it’s not really controlled. The fun part about this is its nature.”

Julian Opie

Julian Opie’s simple and elegant work resonates with people around the world. This year alone, his works have been exhibited in Japan, China, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, the UK and Norway.

Both Julian Opie’s fine art prints and sculptures are available at VFA and will be on display at Art Miami.

Some of the other artists whose work will be on exhibit at our Art Miami Gallery include recent acquisitions by: Andy Warhol, Susumu Kamijo, Mel Bochner, Rashid Johnson, Ugo Rondinone, Katherine Bernhardt and Chuck Close.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the art available at VFA or Tyler Hobbs’ artist talk on December 1st. We would love to see you there.


References:
Kevin Rose. Interview: Tyler Hobbs – Designing NFT Generative Art with a Traditional Touch. Modern Finance. June 29, 2021.
Jason Rosenfeld. Kenny Scharf with Jason Rosenfeld/In Conversation. The Brooklyn Rail. June 2022.
John Ortved. The Artist Kenny Scharf Honored at TriBeCa Ball. The New York Times. April 22, 2022.

Alex Katz: Gathering at the Guggenheim

Alex Katz: Gathering

In 1943, Solomon R. Guggenheim asked architect Frank Lloyd Wright to design a building to house his collection of modern, avante-garde art. The project took fifteen years to complete. Solomon Guggenheim died in 1949, ten years before the museum’s opening.

When the Guggenheim finally opened, it created a lot of controversy. The round building stood out against the sharp, straight sides of the surrounding Fifth Avenue buildings. It was compared to ‘a giant corkscrew, a washing machine, a marshmallow, an inverted oatmeal dish, even a hot cross bun.’

Walking up the ramps, placing artworks on the concave walls, light from a high skylight, were features that perplexed some critics. Despite the criticism, the Guggenheim has become one of the world’s most popular museums.

The building has housed many great works, but none have fit the space as perfectly as those of Alex Katz.

“No matter where one looked or from what height or distance, every single canvas was legible and animated enough to make Frank Lloyd Wright sit up in his grave.” art critic, Linda Yablonsky, wrote in Art Forum, after attending the opening of Alex Katz’s retrospective at the Guggenheim on October 26th.

The iconic museum is hosting the equally iconic New Yorker’s retrospective. The exhibit includes nearly eight decades of work by Katz, who, at 95, is still creating stunning and elegant paintings, prints and sculptures. His enthusiasm for his work is apparent in this: CBS interview, filmed just before the opening of his retrospective.

Artist and writer Tim McGlynn wrote, in the Brooklyn Rail, “One wants to linger amidst these works as one would at a dinner party swinging with stimulating conversation or even at a family reunion in which snippets of personal anecdotes manage to weave epic tales.”

Katz was born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens and has been living and working in his SoHo studio since 1968. He’s been married to his wife (and muse), Ada, since 1958. His large canvasses and life-size sculptures appear to be right at home on the ramps of the Guggenheim.

Running concurrently with the retrospective, is Alex Katz: Dance and Theatre Collaborations at the Colby College Museum of Art in Maine. In the 1960s, Katz began collaborating with dancer and choreographer, Paul Taylor. The show includes never before exhibited sketches from Katz’s collection, major sets and paintings, and rare archival materials from the Paul Taylor Dance Company. Alex Katz: Dance and Theatre Collaborations will be on view through February 19, 2023.

Alex Katz: Gathering will be on exhibit at the Guggenheim through February 20, 2023.

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


References:
Edward Lifson. Guggenheim Museum: The Spiral that Broke All the Rules. NPR. August 5, 2009.
Howard Halle. Alex Katz Makes Painting Look Easy at the Guggenheim. Art&Object. November 10, 2022.
Herding Katz: Linda Yablonsky at the opening of “Alex Katz: Gathering”. ArtForum. October 26, 2022.
Tom McGlynn. Alex Katz: Gathering. The Brooklyn Rail. November 2022.

The Digital Work of David Hockney; The Generative Work of Tyler Hobbs

David Hockney

The National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian is honoring seven extraordinary individuals who have made transformative contributions to the United States and its people with the 2022 Portrait of a Nation Awards.

One of those awards is going to Clive Davis, who will be represented in the Gallery by a portrait creative by David Hockney.

Davis is a record producer, lawyer and philanthropist who has won five Grammys and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a non-performer in 2000.

What makes the painting so special is not just the subject, but the fact that David Hockney accepted the commission. He has always painted friends and family and rarely accepts commissions. He even refused to paint a portrait of Queen Elizabeth, but did accept a commission to design a series of stained glass windows for Westminster Abbey in 2018.

He also accepted a commission last year, from London’s mayor, to design a sign for the Piccadilly Circus underground station. His simple design, a bright yellow circle, with Piccadilly Circus written in a rectangle across the center, received a lot of ribbing from the public…some who thought they could do better. But Hockney is a genius, his sign unforgettable.

Hockney has always been interested in technology, even the technology used by artists during the 15th and 16th century Renaissance. He and physicist Charles M. Falco studied the works of the Old Masters and concluded that they used instruments, like the camera obscura, curved mirrors and other optical tools to get the accuracy and realism in their works. In 2001, Hockney published Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters.

His fascination with new technology led Hockney to use Polaroids when they were first developed. He has become a master of the iPad. Five leading galleries, in London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, will be exhibiting some of his iPad drawings this month.

David Hockney’s digital works have been shown in museums and galleries around the world. His subject matter is recognizable, he is one of the world’s most beloved, and sought after, artists. His 1972 painting, Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) sold at Christie’s New York for $90 million in 2018.

Tyler Hobbs

Artists, like Tyler Hobbs, are creating digital, or generative art, and have taken the use of technology a step further than David Hockney has…so far.

Hobbs studied painting and drawing and has a B.S. degree in Computer Science. He uses his drawings as inspiration for his works. He creates a unique computer program for each piece and works with a printshop to complete each work.

Museums like MoMA and the Guggenheim have recently hired curators to focus on acquiring and displaying generative art.

Museums have been historically slow to embrace new technology. The first photography exhibit in an American museum was held at the Buffalo Albright-Know Art Gallery Museum  in 1910…100 years after the invention of photography.

We have recently acquired works by Tyler Hobbs, whose generative art pieces are some of the most sought after in the art market.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of David Hockney and Tyler Hobbs, available at VFA.


References:
Farah Nayeri. David Hockney Wouldn’t Paint the Queen. But He Made Her a Stained-Glass Window. The New York Times. October 2, 2018.
Elaine Velie. Fauci and Williams Sisters Honored in New Portraits Headed to DC. Hyperallergic. November 1, 2022.
National Portrait Gallery Announces “Portrait of a Nation: 2022 Honorees,” Exhibition of Newly Commissioned Portraits, To Open Nov. 10. The Smithsonian. November 1, 2022.
Fang Block. David Hockney’s Digital Paintings to Go on an International Exhibition. Barrons/Penta. October 20, 2022.
Lucy Middleton. Londoners think they can do better as they mock new Piccadilly Circus design Metro/London. May 12, 2021.
Chris Williams. Fidenza Creator Tyler Hobbs Raises $16.75M on QQL NFT Drop. Crypto Briefing. September 28, 2022.
Zachary Small. Even as NFTs Plummet, Digital Artists Find Museums Are Calling. The New York Times. November 2, 2022.
Harland Miller HAPPINESS THE CASE AGAINST, 2017

Harland Miller at the Woolwich Print Fair; A Look at AI Generated Images

Harland Miller 1964 – present

The work of Harland Miller will be on exhibit at the 2022 Edition 7 of London’s Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair. The four-day event is not just a show of works by fine print artists; it’s also a chance for lovers  of fine art prints to see artists at work and take part in interactive talks and programs. The fair runs from November 3rd through November 6th.

Miller was born in North Yorkshire in 1964 and moved to London to attend the Chelsea School of Art. He earned his bachelor’s and a masters degree in Fine Art and moved to New York, then Paris.

Living in Paris made him a bit homesick, which led him to an English-language book shop near Notre Dame. He found comfort in the language and covers of the used Penguin books that that were on sale in the shop.

He began to make paintings of the covers, using his love of language, humor and a sense of nostalgia to create very relatable paintings and prints. The works, he says, are, “meant to evoke a ‘knackered’ book cover when you’ve swatted flies with it or it’s been in your back pocket or your back sack. That’s what I’m trying to capture when I paint the picture and it would be terrible to lose that.”

Miller says that he loves the differences that appear with each screenprint produced. “Each one is slightly different to the other one so they have a very particular feel about them. You just don’t get that with anything else.”

His sardonic sense of humor for the ‘book titles’, the colors he chooses, combined with the choice of typography and layout, convey Miller’s feeling about the work to the viewer.

The process that begins each large-scale work is a linocut, etching or block printing, followed by running each work through a dozen or more colors about 1500 times before completing a series a few dozen screenprints.

Works like Armageddon….Is it too much to ask? and Thought After Filthy Thought are available at VFA.

AI Art Images…Art or not art?

In the late 1960s, British artist Harold Cohen created AARON, a computer program designed to produce art using artificial intelligence (AI). He spent nearly thirty years at the University of California in San Diego working on AARON. His early program produced simple black and white drawings, which Cohen finished by painting them.

Technology has come a long way since, and now the public has access to apps like DALL-E, Midjourney, StyleGAN, and Stable Diffusion. The apps have large data bases that can produce images with ‘prompts.’

The apps can be useful for designers, but will they replace artists? Many of the images used by the apps are existing artworks. An AI generated portrait, created by a Paris-based firm called Obvious, sold for $432,500, almost 45 time its estimate, at Christie’s, in 2018. The portrait, titled Edmond de Belamy is a composite of already existing portraits, printed on canvas.

It will be interesting to see how AI art will affect copyright laws, which the Supreme Court is grappling with this week in the case of Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts v. Goldsmith.

It’s fun to put words together e.g., “1960’s art of cow getting abducted by UFO in midwest” and get an image. But artists do so much more.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the art of Harland Miller or any of the other fine artists, whose work is available at VFA.


References:
Peter Carey. Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair November 2022: All You Need to Know. Photo Bite. October 24, 2022.
Artspace Editors. Harland Miller on Art, Life & Everything In Between. Artspace. August 18, 2022.
Kevin Roose. A.I.-Generated Art Is Already Transforming Creative Work. The New York Times. October 21, 2022.
Marco Donnarumma. AI Art Is Soft Propaganda for the Global North. Hyperallergic. October 24, 2022.

Alex Katz: Gathering at the Guggenheim

Alex Katz 1927 –

Alex Katz: Gathering is a retrospective, at the Guggenheim, of works that Alex Katz has made over the past eight decades. It was being curated during the height of the pandemic, when museums and galleries were closed, and Katz had left New York to paint some landscapes. Alex Katz fans have been keeping our fingers crossed, hoping that this much deserved retrospective would take place and, finally, it is here.

Alex Katz was born and raised in New York. A consummate New Yorker, Katz attended Cooper Union in 1946 and has been living and working in his SoHo home and studio since 1968. In 1949 he studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine and has spent summers in his Maine farmhouse for the past seventy or so years.

His bold portraits and landscapes have made him one of the most unique artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, whose work never fit into the categories that defined art movements of the last eighty years.

Katz recalled, “An older painter gave me some advice:’Figuration is obsolete and color is French.’ I said to myself, “To you, baby.”  Actually, I had no idea whether what I was doing was going to find an audience, but my instincts told me there was no other way for me.”

The retrospective includes very early works that Katz did while a student at Cooper Union and his continued works of paintings, prints and sculptures. Visitors to the Guggenheim on November 6th will be able to attend a workshop where they will create their own portraits by experimenting with color, tone and texture, inspired by the works of Alex Katz.

There will also be a performance by the Paul Taylor Dance Company, in the Guggenheim Rotunda, of Polaris, a 1976 collaboration between choreographer Paul Taylor and Alex Katz.  Katz and Taylor collaborated on more than a dozen works, with Katz assisting in costume and set design.

Katz has painted dancers and designed sets for theater and dance productions since the late 1950s. The Colby Museum in Maine is celebrating these collaborations with a special exhibit. The Colby has an extensive collection of works by Alex Katz, most donated by the artist himself, inspired by the Maine landscape. Alex Katz: Theater and Dance opened in August and will run through February 19, 2023.

Alex Katz: Gathering at the Guggenheim runs from October 21, 2022 through February 20, 2023.

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


References:
A.A. Cristi. Paul Taylor Dance Company Presents POLARIS By Alex Katz And Paul Taylor. Broadway World. September 27, 2022.
Julie L. Belcove. Look Inside Artist Alex Katz’s Eccentric Industrial Loft in New York City. Architectural Digest. March 20, 2017.
Murray Whyte. How the Maine coastline shaped the painter Alex Katz. Boston Globe. June 26, 2020.

The Works of Katherine Bernhardt, Jonas Wood, Susumu Kamijo and Eddie Martinez at VFA

Katherine Bernhardt, Jonas Wood and Eddie Martinez are three of the eight artists who have created works to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Greenpeace.

Katherine Bernhardt 1975 –

“For Greenpeace I chose to paint a pair of sharks framed by rolls of toilet paper,” Bernhardt told ArtSpace. “I’ve been painting sharks But now they–and us–are all at risk.”

Bernhardt has moved from her Brooklyn studio back to her home town of St. Louis, where she has a studio large enough to accommodate some of the massive works that does, and a gallery to show her work and the works of local artists.

“Bernhardt has shown herself to be an entirely unique painter of our times chronicling her life and the larger culture through a daring painterly technique and an expansive sense of form and space,” said art critic, Nicole Rudick.

Her works also reflect her energy and love of color, as she explains in this, I Love Color video.

At the recent Frieze Fair in Seoul, one of the first pieces that sold  was a painting by Bernhardt. It was a fluorescent Pink Panther that sold for $250,000.

Jonas Wood 1977 –

Jonas Wood created Yellow Flower for the  Greenpeace portfolio.

The Los Angeles-based artist draws his surroundings, often close to home, and uses the pottery of his wife, Shio Kusaka, and sometimes magazine photos, for inspiration. Wood is also an avid basketball fan, and basketballs are a recurring object in his work.

Susumu Kamijo 1975 –

Wood’s work and the work of Susumu Kamijo are going to be shown together in Las Vegas. The venue is not a casino or hotel, but a decommissioned Greyhound bus station, in the historic Fremont district. Although Kamijo is based in New York and Wood in L.A., the fellow artists have been very supportive of one another.

Kamijo’s paintings of beautifully groomed dogs were inspired by his visits to dog shows with his dog-groomer girlfriend.

Eddie Martinez 1977 –

Brooklyn-based artist, Eddie Martinez, has been showing his works alongside those of his wife, artist, Sam Moyer. While her work is minimal, Martinez’s work is composed of layers of paint and, recently, paper pulp.

His contribution to the Greenpeace portfolio is GPBF, 2022, instantly recognizable as a signature Martinez work.

Each of these contemporary artists’ works are highly sought after in the U.S. and international markets.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Katherine Bernhardt, Jonas Wood, Susumu Kamijo or Eddie Martinez available at VFA.


References:
ArtSpace Editors. Katherine Bernhardt tells us about her work in our new Greenpeace edition set. ArtSpace. October 3, 2022.
Sangmi Cha. Seoul’s Inaugural Frieze Fair Opens to Strong Sales. The Edge. September 13, 2022.
Shawn Ghassemitari. Katherine Bernhardt Transforms David Zwirner London Into a Universe of Color. HypeArt. July 12, 2022.
Nate Freeman. Inside the Met’s Major Move Into Contemporary Art. Vanity Fair. October 6, 2022.
Jacoba Urist. Artists Eddie Martinez and Sam Moyer Reveal Their Two-Person Exhibition in Montauk. Cultured. July 2, 2022.

Andy Warhol: Transformative

Andy Warhol 1928-1987

My idea of a good picture is one that’s in focus and of a famous person.
– Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol had planned to attend the University of Pittsburgh and become an art teacher. Instead, he went to the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh and majored in Commercial Art…and the rest is history.

During his time at the Carnegie Institute he created many traditional works of art, two of which will be auctioned at Phillips in New York next month. Before the auction, they will travel to Southampton, New York, Los Angeles, London, and Paris for public exhibit.

One of the paintings is an ironic self-portrait titled, Nosepicker I: Why Pick on Me (The Broad Gave Me My Face But I Can Pick My Own Nose). The other is a beautiful, and rare, watercolor painting of the living room of Warhol’s family home.

Both paintings were almost lost in the late 1970s when they were left in the Warhola family car. The car was stolen, and then recovered, with the artworks intact.

The paintings were kept by the Warhola family, and have been displayed at the Warhol Museum for the last decade.

Warhol’s nephew, James Warhola, who is a successful illustrator, told Forbes that he hopes both of the works will find their way into museums.

The portrait is expected to sell for between $300,000 and $500,000, the watercolor of Warhol’s childhood home for $250,000 and $450,000.

In 1949, Andy Warhol began his career in New York as a commercial artist before turning the art world upside down with his paintings and silkscreens.

Andy Warhol: The Supreme Court – Again

In 1962, Andy Warhol’s paintings of Campbell’s soup cans were displayed at the Ferus Gallery in New York. Campbell’s thought about initiating a cease-and-desist order and even sent a lawyer to the gallery.

A law suit was never filed.

Two years later, Campbell’s soup contacted Warhol to say that his work had sparked a lot of interest in their soup. Warhol was sent a case of Campbell’s Tomato Soup…supposedly his favorite.

In 2012, Campbell’s put out a  special, limited-edition series of soup cans with Warhol’s interpretation of the company’s labels in various colors. Campbell’s became the education and events sponsor for the Metropolitan Museum’s exhibit: Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years.

Once again, Warhol’s use of an image is being challenged. This time in the Supreme Court.

Warhol used a photograph of Prince, taken by photographer Lynn Goldsmith, to create a series of silkscreens of the musician. Goldsmith claims that Warhol’s use of her photograph was a copyright infringement.

The Andy Warhol Foundation argues that Warhol’s images are ‘transformative’ and do not infringe on Goldsmith’s copyright. The case has been argued in lower courts, with the Warhol Foundation almost always successful.

Much of art, and even science, is often based on the works and ideas of others. Social media has encouraged the sharing of images and ideas. The case could have wide-ranging implications, and not just for artists.

The SCOTUS blog frames the issue as: Whether a work of art is “transformative” when it conveys a different meaning or message from its source material (as the Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, and other courts of appeals have held), or whether a court is forbidden from considering the meaning of the accused work where it “recognizably deriv[es] from” its source material (as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit has held).

Andy Warhol Foundation v. Goldsmith is scheduled to be heard on October 12th.

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


References:
Natasha Gural. Andy Warhol’s First Self-Portrait Painting Stars In Phillips’ Unprecedented Sale From Warhola Family Collection. Forbes. October 3, 2022
Paul Szynol. The Andy Warhol Case That Could Wreck American Art. The Atlantic. October 1, 2022.
Kaelan Des. SCOTUS to weigh whether Andy Warhol’s Prince artwork is stolen property. Washington Examiner. October 1, 2022.
Alexandra Peers. Why Campbell Soup hated, then embraced, Andy Warhol’s soup can paintings. CNN Business. July 29, 2022.

Keith Haring: Off the Wall; Derrick Adams, Carlos Rolón and Kenny Scharf On the Walls

Keith Haring 1958-1990

Keith Haring was both an artist and activist. He paved the way, in the 1980s, for street artists to gain acceptance in fine art galleries and museums.

The world was Haring’s canvas. He drew and painted on subway stations, billboards and walls…walls of homes, offices, schools. Haring’s goal was to make art accessible. And that he did.

In 1981, Haring was invited to speak at Bard College about the ethics of graffiti. He had a Magic Marker, of course, and drew five of his instantly recognizable Radiant Baby images on one of the walls of the college.

An art history professor at Bard cut the drawing out of the wall and kept it in his office. It remained in the professor’s office for more than forty years. The professor is about to retire and, thanks to a grant from the Keith Haring Foundation, the drawing is going to be permanently installed in the Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies.

Another Radiant Baby drawing, found in Haring’s childhood home in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, was recently auctioned at Rago/Wright’s auction house in New Jersey.

Haring drew the Radiant Baby, with a gold marker, above a light switch in his bedroom. Art historian, Christine Isabelle Oaklander, helped the home’s current owners get the drawing to auction. She said that Haring probably drew the work on one of the many visits he made to see his family before his death in 1990.

The drawing was estimated to go for $30,000 to $50,000. It sold for $143,750.

Derrick Adams, Carlos Rolón and Kenny Scharf Paint the Walls of  Midtown St. Louis

The Kranzberg Arts Foundation commissioned twenty artists to create large murals on the walls of a neighborhood is Midtown St. Louis. The Foundation hopes that the art will lighten the mood of the neighborhood and encourage more visitors to the area.

Brooklyn-based artist Derrick Adams, Chicago-based artist Carlos Rolón and Los Angeles-based artist Kenny Scharf and  as well as local artists, created brightly colored  murals that are just the beginning of the project.

The Foundation hopes to cover a four-block stretch of the area, in an effort to increase foot traffic.  The area is home to several cultural organizations and the Kranzberg’s High Low gallery and coffee shop.

The initial part of the project is complete and the murals are fabulous.

Thanks to Keith Haring for making Street Art a welcomed and accepted art form around the world.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Keith Haring, Derrick Adams, Carlos Rolón and Kenny Scharf available at VFA.


References:
Alex Greenberger. Bard College to Reinstall Keith Haring Wall Work That Sat for Years in Professor’s Office. ArtNews. September 21, 2022.
Angelica Villa. Keith Haring ‘Radiant Baby’ Wall Drawing to Be Auctioned. ArtNews. August 23, 2022.
Jeremy D. Goodwin. Kranzberg has 20 artists transform Washington Avenue with murals. NPR/St. Louis Public Radio. September 20, 2022.
Alex Katz Marissa, 2017

The Alex Katz Retrospective Coming to the Guggenheim

The highly anticipated retrospective of the works of Alex Katz will open at The Guggenheim in just a few weeks. The exhibit will include works dating back to the 1940s, when Katz was a student at Copper Union.

In the last eight decades, Katz has developed a style that is bold and sophisticated. His use of color, especially in his woodcuts and silkscreens, available at VFA, is very elegant.

In an interview with The New York Times Style Magazine, Katz said that one of his greatest inspirations was a small gift shop statue, that his mother gave him, of Queen Nefertiti.

During his long career, Katz’s work didn’t fit into any of the art movement categories that were popular with the public and with critics. He work wasn’t Abstract, Pop, Minimalist or any other popular style. American art critics were not always kind to Katz, but he kept ignored the critics and kept sharpening his own personal technique.

“When you’re working with the tradition of art,” Katz said, “you’re usually painting like the paintings you’ve seen; your vision is other people’s vision. You see things through the culture in which you live, and the culture in which you live is always past tense. Some people are always seeing things in another time period. To see things in the present time period, you have to break through, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”

Alex Katz was born in Brooklyn in 1927 and raised in Queens. He has been living and working in his SoHo studio since 1968. He had a major retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1986, and many shows at galleries in the U.S. and Europe over the years.  The retrospective at The Guggenheim is way overdue.

This year, Katz has had solo exhibits in Italy, Spain and Portugal. Works from the Alex Katz Foundation are on exhibit at the Colby Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine. The Foundation has supported many visual artists by donating their works to the museum. All in One: Selections from the Alex Katz Foundation Collection includes works by Katz. It will be on exhibit through June 11, 2023.

Alex Katz: Gathering, will include paintings, oil sketches, collages, drawings, prints and free-standing cutout sculptures. The retrospective will be on exhibit at the Guggenheim, New York from October 21 through February 20, 2023.

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


References:
Sebastian Smee. With new fall season, America’s art museums are back in business. The Washington Post. September 7, 2022.
Will Heinrich. More Than 90 Art Shows and Exhibitions to See This Fall. The New York Times/Fall Preview.

Jim Dine, the Artist’s Artist

Jim Dine 1935 –

I’ve never had an easy relationship with critics. I hold a lot of homicide in my heart. If this was another time, I’d be packing a piece. – Jim Dine

At age 87, Jim Dine is still an artist’s artist.  Actually, he’s a rebel artist’s rebel artist. In the early 1960s, he challenged the solemnity and privilege of Abstract Expressionist artists. Dine is credited with creating some of  the first Happenings that led to Performance Art.

He drawings, lithographs, woodcuts, paintings and sculptures are beautifully rendered.  Most recently, Dine has been writing poetry and taking photographs.

His subjects, which he repeats in a variety of colors and medium, are very personal; his tools, bathrobe, hearts. He has also done many versions of Pinocchio, a story that intrigued him when he was a child. “Trying to birth this puppet into life is a great story.” he said. “It is the story of how you make art”

Dine’s work was included in the 1962 New Painting of Common Objects exhibit at the Pasadena Art Museum. This important show included  works by Roy Lichtenstein, Edward Ruscha and Andy Warhol. The exhibit introduced the public to Pop Art, a label that Dine has not embraced.

“I would have been quite pleased to have been a Pop artist,” Dine said. “I was very involved with Pop Art and with those guys. But let’s face it, I wasn’t one. I used some popular imagery, objects more than anything else. But I wasn’t glorifying consumerism. Nothing like that.”

An exhibit of Jim Dine’s work is currently on display at the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Jim Dine Exhibition: Vocabulary of Metaphors looks at the more than 60-year career of one of America’s finest artists. The show runs through October 23, 2022.

One of Dine’s sculptures, Night Fields, Day Fields, 1999,  will be featured at Phillips, New York first live auction of the season at the end of September. The work is estimated to garner $150,000 – 200,000.

His work is also a part of  New York: 1962–1964, an exhibit at the Jewish Museum that explores the three-year period that saw dynamic, historic cultural changes in the city and the world. The exhibit will be on display through January 8, 2023.

Jim Dine’s works are included in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian, the Tate Modern, the Met, MoMA. the Whitney, the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum and many other major venues around the world.

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


References:
Sierra Tufts. Jim Dine exhibition set to open at University of Saint Francis. wane.com/ . August 13, 2022.
USF to feature renowned artist Jim Dine in upcoming events. University of Saint Francis/University News. August 8, 2022.
Phillips’ New Now Sale Features Dynamic Works Spanning Emerging and Established Artists. Artful Daily. September 12, 2022.
The Jewish Museum Examines a Pivotal Period for Art and Culture in New York: 1962–1964. Jewish Museum. September 9, 2022.

Art on Paper at The Armory Show; Alex Katz’s Upcoming Retrospective

In 1911, a few young American artists got together to try to figure out a way of presenting modern art to American audiences.

They called themselves The Association of American Painters and Sculptors. It took them two years to come up with a plan: They raised money and rented the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue. Without any public funding, they publicized and organized the The International Exhibition of Modern Art, which became know as The Armory Show

Most of the paintings at that first show were done by American artists. It was the European artists whose works caused the most outrage. Art collectors and critics, who were used to seeing classical paintings, were shocked by Matisse’s whimsical Blue Nude. One critic said that Marcel Duchamp’s cubist Nude Descending a Staircase looked like “an explosion in a shingle factory.”

One hundred and nine years later, The Armory Show is still one of the most alluring art shows in the world.  The main event is  held at the Javits Center in Manhattan, from September 9 through September 11th, with off-site exhibits around the city.

Large sculptures will be on display at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, to coincide with The Armory Show and the U.S. Open.

Art on Paper, always one of the most interesting exhibits, will once again be held at Pier 36, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

This year, we opted to exhibit at Art Market Hampton’s, at Nova’s Art Project and Sculpture Garden, at Hampton’s East End, bringing with us new works by Alex Katz, Kenny Scharf, Julian Opie and other artists who are masters at creating fine art prints.

Coming up next month is Alex Katz: Gathering, a retrospective at The Guggenheim of Katz’s nearly eighty-year career.

Alex Katz has always been one of our favorite artists. His silkscreen, Late Summer Flowers, graces the cover of our ebook, How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints. 

Katz has been an inspiration to many artists, including Jonas Wood, who set up a printing press in his Culver City studio not long ago and named Katz as one of his most important influences.

Alex Katz celebrated his 95th birthday in July. He works out every day and still paints enormous works in the SoHo studio where he has lived since 1968.

His paintings and prints look deceptively simple. Katz reduces figures and landscapes to what appear to be basic forms and limited colors. On closer examination, however, the figures and landscapes are elegant in their design, the colors, especially in his prints, are layers of complex shades.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Alex Katz or any of the other fine art available at VFA and feel free to download a copy of our ebook, How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints.


References:
Amanda Fortini. Alex Katz Is Still Perfecting His Craft. The New York Times Style Magazine. August 18, 2022.
Tom Vitale. ‘Armory Show’ That Shocked America In 1913, Celebrates 100. NPR/Art & Design. February 17, 2013.

Damien Hirst Burning His Paintings / KAWS Honored at the Hirshhorn / Reimagining Count Chocula

Damien Hirst 1965 –

On September 9th, Damien Hirst will begin to burn about 5,000 pieces of his art.

The move is a calculated act that he calls The Currency. Hirst created 10,000 small oil paintings on paper that he linked to corresponding NFTs in 2021. Buyers who bought the NFTs for $2000 were given a choice: keep the NFT or trade it for the physical painting. Holding on to both is not an option.

Many of Hirst’s creations have focused on the relationship between the art market and the money market. In 2007, he unveiled For the Love of God, a platinum cast of an 18th-century human skull encrusted with 8,601 diamonds. The work sold for around $100 million. One of the questions that the work brought up was how a work of art is viewed; by it’s intrinsic value, the cost of material, its historic value, or any of the other practical and emotional values that humans place on each work.

In a March interview with the Art Newspaper, Hirst said, “This project explores the boundaries of art and currency — when art changes and becomes a currency, and when currency becomes art. It’s not a coincidence that governments use art on coins and notes. They do this to help us believe in money. Without art, it’s hard for us to believe in anything.”

According to Heni, the NFT tech company that is working with Hirst, 5,149 physical artworks were exchanged and 4,851 NFTs remain. Each work is numbered, each has a unique title. Those that correspond to the remaining NFTs will be displayed, then burned, at Hirst’s London gallery. A few will be burned every day, beginning on September 9th. There will be a closing event during Frieze Week in October when the remaining paintings will be set on fire.

Hirst’s works are always thoughtful and provocative. They have served him well. According to the 2020 British Sunday Times Rich List, Hirst has a property portfolio worth about $175 million. His estate includes a mansion overlooking Regent’s Park, and a 2,000-piece art collection that included works by Picasso and Francis Bacon.

Brian Donnelly aka KAWS 1974 –

Brian Donnelly, the artist known as KAWS, was the guest of honor at this years annual Hirshhorn Ball. The theme of the Ball was a celebration of Pop Art and contemporary artists who pushed the boundaries of art and culture.

Hirshhorn Director, Melissa Chiu said of KAWS: “He’s probably one of the most agile artists we know, being able to collaborate with not just other artists, but those in the fashion and music worlds.”

“We look forward to collaborating with him in the future.” she added. Hopefully, she meant that the Hirshhorn will add a KAWS’ sculpture to its collection.

The award was presented to KAWS by reggaeton superstar J Balvin, who is a friend and collector of KAWS’ work.

General Mills has just released four limited-edition Monster Cereals with box designs by KAWS. Count Chocula, Franken Berry, Boo Berry and Fruit Brute characters have KAWS’ signature Xed-out eyes. A code on the back of specially marked boxes give fans of the cereals a chance to win a set of collectible monster toys designed by KAWS.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Damien Hirst and KAWS available at VFA.


References:
Harriet Sherwood. Damien Hirst to burn thousands of his paintings to show art as ‘currency’. The Guardian. July 26, 2022.
Eileen Kinsella. Burn, Baby, Burn! Damien Hirst Will Set His Own Drawings Aflame in the Culmination of His Grand NFT Experiment ‘The Currency’. July 26, 2022.
Kate Brown. Damien Hirst Is Still the UK’s Richest Artist—With a Net Worth of $384 Million, According to the Sunday Times’s ‘Rich List’. Artnet News. May 18, 2020.
Roger Carlin. Is a KAWS Celeb Sighting Cause for Speculation? Smithsonian Magazine. June 2, 2022.
Halisia Hubbard. General Mills’ classic Monster Cereals are back with a reimagined look. NPR/Pop Culture. August 11, 2022.
Nasir Akalvi. General Mills taps New York pop artist KAWS for monster-themed cereal revival. Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. August 2, 2022.

The Works of Eddie Martinez, Ugo Rondinone and Derrick Adams

Eddie Martinez 1977 –

Brooklyn-based artist Eddie Martinez and his wife, sculptor Sam Moyer are showing their works in the garden of the Landcraft Garden Foundation. The exhibition was curated by Ugo Rondinone, who is a member of the Landcraft Garden Foundation Art Advisory Board.

Martinez’s work has been doing exceptionally well in the art market in the last few years. His auction record was set in November 2019 when the large canvas High Flying Bird, 2014 sold for $2.02 million.

His paintings and drawings, like his sculptures, are both figurative and abstract. They combine objects that he finds on the streets around his Brooklyn studio. The sculptures are finished with oil, enamel, and spray paint. While nonrepresentational, they suggest human and animal forms that parallel those found in his paintings.

The Landcraft Garden Foundation is located in Mattituck, New York, on Long Island’s East End, in the heart of the North Fork’s wine region.

Sculpture in the Garden 2022: Sam Moyer and Eddie Martinez showcases 14 sculptures by the couple, with 11 by Martinez and three by Moyer. The exhibit is currently on display and will run through October 29, 2022.

Ugo Rondinone 1964 –

Best known for his sun paintings and silkscreens, Ugo Rondinone has also created large, impressive sculptures.

Seven Magic Mountains, one of Rondinone’s most admired sculptures, is undergoing routine restoration.

The sculpture is located ten miles south of Las Vegas, surrounded by mountain ranges. It’s comprised of seven towers of colorful, stacked boulders standing more than thirty feet high.

It was originally installed in 2016, and was meant to be on display for only two years, but has been so well received, that its exhibition time keeps getting extended.  It received a painting restoration in 2019. About 1,000 sightseers a day visit the amazing sculpture. Seven Magic Mountains will continue to be open to the public through 2026, according to the Nevada Museum of Art.

Derrick Adams 1970 –

Derrick Adams has spent much of his career focused on the importance of relaxation and leisure in the Black community. Tiffany & Co. has chosen Adams to be their first collaborator for Atrium, a program the company hopes will inspire social change.

Adams created a collage for the project titled I Shine, You Shine, We Shine.The work incorporates the iconic Tiffany blue. The collage will be auctioned off on the digital art platform Artsy. All profits from the sale will go towards Adams’ new artist residency The Last Resort Artist Retreat, set to open in his home town of Baltimore next March. The Retreat will be an invitation-only venue, where artists can choose to work or just relax.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Eddie Martinez, Ugo Rondinone, Derrick Adams or any of the fine art work available at VFA.


References:
Kristen Tauer. Eddie Martinez and Sam Moyer Bring Their Work Together Out East. Women’s Wear Daily. July 8, 2022.
Landcraft Garden Foundation Announces Sculpture in the Garden 2022/Sam Moyer and Eddie Martinez/June 4-October 29, 2022. June 04, 2022.
10 Standout Lots on Artsy This Week. Artsy Editorial. June 14, 2022.
Barbara A. MadAdam. Eddie Martinez: Inside Thoughts. The Brooklyn Rail. February 2021 Issue.
Ugo Rondinone on Art, Life & Everything In Between. Artspace Editors. August 11, 2022.
Taylor Lane. Seven Magic Mountains limits access for routine restoration. Las Vegas Review Journal. July 27, 2022.
With 40+ New Installations, Qatar Present More Than 100 Major Works of Public Art Ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. PR Newswire/Cision. August 10, 2022.
Camille Ohio.Tiffany & Co. Launches Atrium, a New Social Impact Platform. Elle Decor. August 4, 2022.

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

Free Ebook: How to Identify and Buy Fine Art Prints

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

In our Ebook you’ll learn:

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