The Armory Show in New York, Damien Hirst Works at VFA

This year’s Armory Show will again be taking place in venues across New York. The Javits Convention Center, which became internationally famous at the start of the pandemic, has been expanded and will be the new permanent home of the Armory Show. Many galleries will be participating online because of travel restrictions.

One of the most dynamic shows is the Art on Paper exhibit, at Pier 36. In March of 2020 we were at Pier 36,  along with more than ninety galleries, to celebrate paper-based artworks, which are our passion and main focus at VFA. That was when the city began to shut down in an effort to control the COVID-19 pandemic. The venues opening their doors for Armory Week this year have implemented some new social distancing policies, including timed arrival slots and mandatory face coverings at certain venues.

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Alex Katz Straw Hat Vivien, 2021

Recent Acquisitions by Alex Katz, Ellsworth Kelly

A Guggenheim retrospective of the career of Alex Katz has been in the works for more than a year and has now been scheduled for October 14, 2022 through February 20, 2023. Katz has not had a major survey exhibition since a retrospective at the Whitney Museum in 1986.

Although he’s a  consummate New Yorker, Katz’s works have been more popular in European cities than in New York. He has bucked art trends that have come and gone, and has always painted portraits and landscapes in his distinctive style bold and immediate style.

During the pandemic, Katz traveled to Pennsylvania and then his summer home and studio in Maine, before returning to his studio in SoHo. He continued to work, creating paintings and prints.

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Remembering Chuck Close

Chuck Close died at a hospital in Oceanside, New York on Thursday, August 19th, of cardiopulmonary failure. He was 81.

The large portraits that Close created during the late 1960s of himself and his fellow artists, garnered him much acclaim at a time when Abstract Expressionism and Pop art were the popular movements of the time and portraiture had been an almost forgotten art.

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Yoshitomo Nara: Peace of Mind

Yoshitomo Nara is one of Japan’s most esteemed contemporary artists and, in the last few years, he has garnered international acclaim. In 2019, his painting, Knife Behind Back, sold for $25 million, during a bidding war at Sotheby’s Hong Kong.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is currently exhibiting a retrospective of Nara’s works that span more than three decades, from 1987 to 2020.

Nara was born in 1959 in Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan. He was a lonely latchkey kid, who read comics and listened to the music broadcast from a nearby American military base.

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Rashid Johnson, The New Negro Escapist Social and Athletic Club

Draw, Print, Repeat: Double Images and Repeated Patterns

In 1998, a year after Roy Lichtenstein died, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation was established. Headed by Lichtenstein’s widow, Dorothy, the Foundation has given its support to many outreach and research projects.

This year the Foundation donated $50,000 to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC to help fund the research catalogue for the upcoming exhibition: The Double: Identity and Difference in Art Since 1900.

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Derrick Adams and Katherine Bernhardt

Derrick Adams’ focus on leisure activities seems a little ironic, considering how many projects he seems to be working on: he teaches at Brooklyn College, he’s opening an invitation-only retreat for Black artists in his hometown of Baltimore; last year he helped to curate Harlem Renaissance artist, Jacob Lawrence’s American Struggle Series national tour, he designed swim shorts and totes for Vilebrequin, he was featured in Forbes and Vogue this year and he has shows coming up in the fall at the Cleveland Art Museum, the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle and the Longlati Foundation in Shanghai.

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The Surprising Inspirations of Julian Opie and Andy Warhol

The influence of Michael Craig-Martin, one of Julian Opie’s instructors at London’s Goldsmiths School of Art, is apparent. Craig-Martin’s style, like Opie’s is minimal, but other influences are not so apparent.

In a recent interview in The Art Newspaper, Opie said that he is influenced by Japanese woodcuts of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the works of twentieth century Austrian painter, Egon Schiele. He also listens to some pretty esoteric music and uses it to enhance some of his artwork.

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Recently Acquired works by Eddie Martinez, Timothy Curtis and Roy Lichtenstein at VFA

We are pleased to announce the recent acquisition of unique and intimate works by Eddie Martinez, whose creations have been highly sought after in recent years, with a large painting going for $2 million at Christies at the end of 2019.

A largely self-taught graffiti artist, who lives and works in Brooklyn, Martinez usually works large, using spray paint and mixed media in his huge, often figurative, works that combine Pop, Neo-Expressionism into his distinctive and boldly colored paintings.

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Andy Warhol Exhibits in China and Russia; Jean-Michel Basquiat Exhibit in Chelsea

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In the early 1980s, Jean-Michel Basquiat was at the height of his career. Andy Warhol was experiencing a renewed burst of fame, after focusing on filmmaking in the 1970s, and returning to painting. Basquiat and Warhol collaborated on a series of works, with Basquiat usually painting over Warhol’s initial composition, with the resulting works enhancing both of their careers. What the artists did not know at that time, was that their works would have an enduring legacy, and sadly, that their lives would be cut short.

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Alex Katz: Recent Acquisitions at VFA

Alex Katz turns 94 on July 24, 2021. He has worked as an artist for more than seventy of those 94 years. Tough and independent, Katz ignored Abstract Expressionism, Color Field Painting, Op Art, Pop Art and other art movements during his career. Instead, he concentrated on portraits, landscapes and figurative paintings in bold, flat colors. He took some heat from critics in America, but gained much recognition abroad.

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The Joy of Derrick Adams and the Music of Yoshitomo Nara

Derrick Adams focuses on friends, family, joy, serenity and the myriad leisure activities that make up the every day life of Black Americans.

He’s even opening an artists’ retreat in his hometown of Baltimore. He’s calling it Last Resort. Visitors will attend the retreat by invitation only and will not be required to do anything. Adams got the idea for the retreat after he was invited to the Rauschenberg Residency in Captiva, Florida.

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KAWS and Keith Haring at VFA

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

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Katherine Bernhardt Vogue Italia Cover

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

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

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

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Keith Haring’s Pop Shop Fine Art Prints at VFA

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

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

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

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

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