Jeff Koons Retiring? Ha Ha.

One of the story headlines on the Hyperallergic website last week read: Jeff Koons Announces Retirement from Art. Under the headline was the sentence: The celebrity artist says a religious epiphany inspired the unexpected decision.At the top of the story, in pale blue print, was the word: Satire. Barely visible.

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Alex Katz: Nothing Fussy

The simplicity with which Katz paints his portraits is also the way in which he paints nature. During the 1950s, when the New York art scene was suffused with Abstract Expressionists, Katz was trying to keep his work clean and simple.

Katz said that, “by 1954, if you dripped it was really old fashioned.” He said that he didn’t want his work to be “fussy’ and wanted to paint in a straight forward way, directly on the canvas.

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Joan Miro: The Birth of the World at MoMA

Joan Miro’s first show in Paris, in 1920, was a big disappointment for the artist. No one showed up and no paintings were sold. After the show, Miro went back to his home in Catalonia and began to incorporate what he had learned from the avant-garde artists and writers he had met in Paris with his own sensibility.The result was The Birth of the World, a painting that combines whimsical forms and intense colors, which would become his signature style. Ironically, The Birth of the World was not well received by Miro’s friends or art dealers. Belgian art collector, Rene Gaffe, bought it in 1925 and kept it stashed in his private collection, exhibiting it only once, in Brussels, in the 1930s.

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Donald Sultan Prints and Sculptures at VFA

Donald Sultan was inspired by the patterns of flowers he saw on Japanese lanterns to create simple designs, where the positive and negative spaces help to create strong images. He maintains texture in his prints by using enamel inks, flocking and diamond dust on museum board or Saunders Waterford papers.

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David Hockney Goes Viral

David Hockney Goes Viral David Hockney’s latest solo exhibition Something New in Painting (and Photography) [and even Printing] … Continued opened at the L.A. Louver Gallery on February 7. Not long after the opening, Joni Mitchell, a long-time acquaintance of David Hockney, walked in to the gallery to view the show. A young gallery employee, Jacob Sousa, grabbed his camera and asked if he could taken their picture. Mitchell took Hockney by the hand, the photo was taken, posted on the gallery’s […]

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Jim Dine: Prints of Hearts

Dine’s work, in every medium he uses, is very physical; it has texture, form and a flow of energy that it difficult to achieve, especially with prints. “I like what you get” Dine said. “I like cutting wood. I like drawing with acid on copper. I like drawing with the grease crayon on litho stones, so there is a sensuous physical pleasure from it.”

It has been printmakers who have helped Dine find techniques that he has used for decades. When Dine wanted to find a way of making etchings that look like charcoal drawings, he asked Austrian printmaker, Kurt Zein, if such a thing was even possible. It took Zein a few months, but he actually came up with a solution.

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Roy Lichtenstein’s Revealing Archives

Among the many things that Roy Lichtenstein saved is a 1950 letter from Ohio State University, telling him that he would not be granted tenure, and would be relieved of his teaching position because he had failed to demonstrated the “substantial growth and future promise that foreshadows the future full professor.” The letter was, of course, bad news for the artist but led to a decade in which Lichtenstein worked as a draftsman, window decorator and also honed his skills and […]

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Andy Warhol at the Super Bowl

This year, Super Bowl fans watched a 45 second Burger King advertisement of Andy Warhol eating a Whopper. Ad time during the game went for more than $5 million for 30 seconds. The footage was taken from a 1982 documentary called ’66 Scenes from America by Danish director Jorgen Leth. The original scene, of Warhol slowly eating a Whopper, is four minutes long. The ad was loved by some, hated by others and confusing to many. Data from Google showed that searches for Andy Warhol spiked the night of the game.

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Polly Apfelbaum: Waiting for the UFOs

Polly Apfelbaum wants people to interact with her art. She has described herself as an in-between artist who paints, sculpts, prints and uses any medium that she feels will encourage people to participate in her exhibits. Born in Abington, Pennsylvania, in 1955, she studied painting at the Tyler School of Art in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, and at Purchase College, State University of New York. She has exhibited, in the US and internationally, since the 1980s.

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Julian Schnabel Does Van Gogh

Julian Schnabel’s latest film At Eternity’s Gate chronicles the last two years of the life of Vincent Van Gogh, a time when the artist lived in the south of France, was most prolific and most depressed. Van Gogh is played by Willem Dafoe, who was nominated for Best Actor in a drama at this years’ Golden Globe Awards. The role has also gotten Dafoe an Oscar nomination. He’s had three previous Oscar nominations, but this is his first in the lead actor category.

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Chiho Aoshima Lithographs at VFA

The magic of Chiho Aoshima’s work lies in her ability to create dreamscapes that appeal to a universal sensibility. Born in Tokyo in 1974, Aoshima graduated from Hosei University with a degree in economics and found that she had a desire to create art, rather than work in finance.

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Sol LeWitt: Cube Without a Corner and Cube Without a Cube at VFA

Sol LeWitt helped to establish the Minimalist and Conceptual Art movements of the postwar era. His works appear to be simple, geometric designs, but they are carefully crafted, well-thought out and, often so complex, that they required written instructions for assistants to follow, in order to execute them properly. There was also a droll humor in LeWitt’s work, like Cube Without a Corner and Cube Without a Cube, a sculpture created in 2005, available at VFA.

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Julian Opie: Inspired by Boredom

When Julian Opie was asked to do a show in Melbourne, Australia, he got in touch with a local photographer and asked him to set up cameras in various locations around the city to photograph passers-by. The photographer sent Opie hundreds of photos, which became the basis for Opie’s Walking in Melbourne series, available at VFA.

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