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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

Alex Katz Mural in Texas, Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide

Alex Katz 1927 –

A 35,000 square-foot, hand-painted mural by Alex Katz, was unveiled in Woodlands, Texas, a planned community just north of Houston. The mural was commissioned by the Howard Hughes Corporation to enhance the public plaza at the Woodlands Town Center.

A retrospective of Katz’s work, which will celebrate the artist’s more than seven-decade career, is scheduled to be held at the Guggenheim, New York from October 2022 through  February 2023. Katz currently has a solo exhibition in Brussels, and upcoming exhibits in London, Trento, Madrid, Austria, the Netherlands, Chicago and Maine.

Kenny Scharf 1958 –

In the summer of 2021, director Maria Scharf, released her film Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide. The documentary is a warm and loving look at the career of the father Kenny, one of America’s most unique artists.

Kenny Scharf was born and raised in Los Angeles. He was heavily influenced by the cartoons, Pop culture and the Cold War anxiety of the 1960s.

He moved to New York and obtained a BFA in painting from the School of Visual Arts in 1980. Scharf’s roommate was Keith Haring. Joined by Jean-Michel Basquiat and other young graffiti artists, they had a group show at the Sidney Janis Gallery in 1983 that was panned by critics. New York Times art critic, Grace Glueck, called the show, “unsettling.” “Apart from its illegality,” she wrote, “the very idea of enshrining graffiti – an art of the streets impulsive and spontaneous by nature – in the traditional, time-honored medium of canvas, is ridiculous.”

The artists persisted, and Scharf pushed back. He encouraged his fellow artists to study art history and get a sense of how to thrive in the world of museums and galleries.

Scharf went on to have successful gallery shows during the 1980s and, in 1985, his work was selected for the Whitney Museum’s Biennial. He received raved reviews, with one critic saying that his work, “leaves you with hope, joy, play and optimism, and a sense of love….”

The optimism of his works was offset by the loss of Keith Haring to AIDS and Jean-Michel Basquiat to a drug overdose.

He traveled and worked in both New York and LA for a while, and finally settled in California. He lives in Culver City, close to his grandchildren and to his friend, artist Ed Ruscha, who took part in the film.

Scharf’s works are as optimistic and as much fun as they have ever been. He has collaborated with Dior and other fashion houses and even created signature masks during the pandemic.

An exhibit of the works of Kenny Scharf, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat is current on display at the Opera Gallery in Hong Kong.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Alex Katz, Kenny Scharf, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ed Ruscha or any of the other fine artwork available at VFA.

Jennifer Bruse. Community celebrates new Art Mural by Artist Alex Katz in The Woodlands Waterway Square. Hello Woodlands. April 11, 2002.
Lorrie Parise. Community Invited To Free Celebration of New Mural, Flowers, By Renowned Contemporary Artist, Alex Katz. Woodlands Online. March 31, 2022.
Andy Battaglia. Guggenheim Museum to Mount Retrospective for Alex Katz, New York Painter Extraordinaire, in 2022. Artnews. January 17, 2020.
Time Out Magazine. Basquiat, Haring, Scharf at Opera Gallery Hong Kong. April 8, 2022.
Robert Abele. Review: ‘Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide’ reveals the triumph of a committed artist. The Los Angeles Times. June 24, 2021.

VIPs at LA Frieze and more…

VIPs at LA Frieze

This year’s LA Frieze art fair opened with a special V.I.P Day, attended by such celebrities as Leonardo DiCaprio, James Corden, Will Ferrell, Gwyneth Paltrow, Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan.

Highlights of the fair were works by Kenny Scharf, Jonas Wood, Andy Warhol, Alex Katz and Jonas Wood, some of our favorite artists at VFA.

Michael Craig-Martin 1941 –

The Blavatnik School of Government, at the  University of Oxford, commissioned Michael Craig-Martin to create a sculpture to enhance the space outside of the building.

Craig-Martin designed a bold, magenta, 16-foot high fountain pen, that balances on its nib, outside the building’s main entrance.

“The image I proposed for Oxford was that of a fountain pen.” Craig-Martin said, “The image can be seen as a reference to serious study and learning, particularly to the signing of important documents, an age-old formality that connects, like Oxford itself, the past and the present, and which is recognised globally.”

Craig-Martin was born in Dublin, in 1941 and has lived and worked in Britain since 1966. As a teacher at Goldsmiths College in London, he influenced a generation of great British artists.

He his known for his minimal style and vivid colors, in both his paintings, prints and sculptures, like Thonet Chair and Sportsballs, available at VFA.

Keith Haring 1958-1990

Keith Haring moved from Pennsylvania to New York in 1978 to study at the School of Visual Arts. By 1982, he was one of the most visible, and well-known artists in the city.

He had a wide group of friends, including videographer Nelson Sullivan, who recorded the Manhattan art and club scene. Sullivan  recorded a New Years Eve party that Haring held at a gallery, to ring in 1984. That was the same year he collaborated with fashion designer Vivienne Westwood to create the textile for the skirt Madonna wore in her music video Borderline.

Works like Chocolate Buddha and those of the Pop Shop series, available at VFA, are so unique and instantly recognizable as Haring’s. It is hard to imagine the artists who inspired him, but there were a few, like Belgian artist, Pierre Alechinsky.

Haring’s work is being shown alongside those of Alechinsky at the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale. Alechinsky, whose style had a profound influence on Haring, is 94 and lives and works  just outside of Paris.

Confrontation: Keith Haring and Pierre Alechinsky will run from February 27 through October 2, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Kenny Scharf, Jonas Wood, Andy Warhol,  Jonas Wood, Alex Katz, Michael Craig-Martin, Keith Haring or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at VFA.

Cassandra Grey. Cassandra Grey’s 5 Favourite Works on Frieze Viewing Room. Frieze Los Angeles, News February 17, 2022.
Ingrid Schmidt. The Weeknd, Gwyneth Paltrow, Leonardo DiCaprio, James Corden in the Market for Art at Frieze Los Angeles. The Hollywood Reporter. February 18, 2022.
University of Oxford. Michael Craig-Martin: Fountain Pen, 2019.
Editors. Rare footage offers a peek inside the private party Keith Haring threw for his friends in 1984. Queerty. February 16, 2022.

Jonas Wood at Frieze LA and more…

Many galleries at this year’s Frieze LA require masking and proof of vaccine, but according to Los Angeles Times art critic, Christopher Knight, it’s worth the trip.

Jonas Wood 1977 –

One of the highlights of the show are works by Jonas Wood, particularly the Patterned Interior with Mar Vista View. “Think Matisse on acid in Nice,” Knight writes.

In an interview in January, Wood said that he sometimes finds it difficult to part with a painting. “I always keep a painting or two from every show.” he said, “I really wanted to keep that pattern couch painting [“Patterned Interior with Mar Vista View”]. I lived with that painting for two years, and it was a really joyful experience to live with it in my studio”.

A soft ground etching of Patterned Interior with Mar Vista View is available at VFA.

David Hockney 1947 –

The Roosevelt Hotel is one of Los Angeles’ most popular destinations, especially for Frieze LA, complete with a pool that was decorated by David Hockney in 1988. According to the hotel’s website, ” Mr. Hockney came to The Hollywood Roosevelt one beautiful morning in 1988 with a can of blue paint and a 6″ paint brush tied to a broom handle. Over the span of about four hours working at the bottom of the empty pool, he covered it with his signature circular brush strokes.”

The pool has gone through a restoration and designated an Historic-Cultural Monuments by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission, which recognizes and protects the city’s most cherished and significant historical resources.

Eddie Martinez 1977

The bold colors, distinct lines and brushstrokes of Eddie Martinez have made his works internationally appreciated and highly sought after.

He’s had several shows in Hong Kong and a recent solo exhibit in Shanghai.

Martinez’s large scale paintings are also on display during Frieze LA, where the Brooklyn-based artist continues to use his unique style to create works that combine figurative and expressionist style.

Alex Katz 1927 – present

In 2015, the Guggenheim Bilboa presented a survey of landscapes by Alex Katz that went back to works from the 1980s. Over the course of his long career, the 94-year-old artist has had many, many exhibits around the world, but a retrospective is long overdue.

It is fitting that a retrospective for Katz, a consummate New Yorker, will be presented at the Guggenheim New York. The exhibit will open in October 2022 and run through February 2023.

One of our favorite artists at VFA, in part for his masterful fine art prints, a variety of his works, both print and sculpture, are available in our gallery.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Jonas Wood, David Hockney, Eddie Martinez, Alex Katz or the work any of the other fine artists at VFA.

Ryma Chikhoune. Jonas Wood on ‘Plants and Animals,’ the Artist’s First L.A. Show in Four Years. Women’s Wear Daily. January 28, 2022.
Jonathan Griffin. How Many Jonas Woods Can You See in a Jonas Wood? Cultured Magazine. January 22, 2022.
Christopher Knight. Review: L.A. gallery-going during Omicron isn’t optimal but offers excellent art along the way. The Los Angeles Times. February 3, 2022.
Kristen Chuba/Degen Peter. The Ultimate Guide to Frieze Week Los Angeles: Fairs, Openings and Parties. The Hollywood Reporter. February 13, 2022.
Fang Block. David Hockney Remains the Top Living Artist With $132 Million in Auction Sales in 2020. Barrons/Penta. November 29, 2021.
Catherine Wagley. Frieze Week LA unites a city that refuses to be centralised. The Financial Times. February 11, 2022.
The Dong-A Ilbo. Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art’s history of art collection. February 9, 2022.
Y-Jean Mun-Delsalle. The Auction Market Of Artist Derrick Adams Is On The Rise. Forbes. November 7, 2021.
Shawn Ghassemitari. Eddie Martinez Debuts Mainland China Solo Exhibition at Perrotin. Hype Art. December 2, 2021.
Monica Majjoli and Simone Krug. Monica Majoli On Rethinking the ‘Lifetimes’ of Andy Warhol in Aspen. Monica Majoli On Rethinking the ‘Lifetimes’ of Andy Warhol in Aspen. LA Frieze/Collaborations/Interviews. January 20, 2022.
Andy Battaglia. Guggenheim Museum to Mount Retrospective for Alex Katz, New York Painter Extraordinaire, in 2022. Artnews. January 17, 2020.
Mel Bochner Blah, Blah, Blah, 2014

Added Dimensions: Fine Art Prints and more at VFA

It’s been wonderful to get back to seeing artworks up close and in person again. The ability to view fine art prints on line has been a valuable tool for galleries and art lovers, but there is nothing like seeing  a work in person to be able to appreciate its texture and richness.

Many of the artists whose works are in our gallery use what appear to be simple screenprint and lithography techniques. Artists, like Alex Katz, enhance their prints with lush layers of color.

An exhibit of Alex Katz‘s flower paintings are currently on view at the Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery in Seoul and will run through February 5, 2022.

Although he has always done large paintings in oil, Katz also works in other medium, like porcelain enamel on aluminum and powder coated sculptural works.

Other artists who are best known for their paintings and prints, also expand their oeuvre by using innovative and creative materials:

Donald Sultan is known for using industrial materials like tar and linoleum in his large paintings, and  flocking and diamond dust in many of his floral prints. Sultan also creates sculptures in floral motifs.

Kenny Scharf, who often uses traditional oil paint on linen for his less-than-traditional motifs, also uses some unusual combination of materials in his two and three-dimensional works. He uses diamond dust in many of his fine art prints and flocking on some of his sculptural works.

One of America’s most interesting painters and printmakers, Ed Ruscha, worked with master printmakers to create many innovate textural prints. He worked closely with master printmaker, Richard Duardo, founder of Modern Multiples, an L.A. institution for more than forty years. Zoot Soot, available at VFA, is Ruscha’s homage to Richard Duardo. Zoot Soot is a wonderful example of Ruscha’s innovate printmaking.

Like Ed Ruscha, Mel Bochner uses words and a variety of materials in his paintings and prints. “The materiality of a drawing is central to its meaning” Bochner said. “Every medium reveals something but hides something else. A change of mediums can reveal what was hidden, permitting new thoughts to emerge.” An inspired version of Blah, Blah, Blah, a recurring theme in Bochner’s works, is available at VFA.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Alex Katz, Donald Sultan, Kenny Scharf, Ed Ruscha, Mel Bochner or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at VFA.

Jonathan Goodman. Alex Katz/ArtSeen. The Brooklyn Rail. December 2021-January 2022 Issue.
Shawn Ghassemitari. Alex Katz’s Verdant Paintings Fill the Halls of Thaddaeus Ropac Seoul. Hype Art. December 13, 2021.

Festive, Fun and Fabulous: Fine Art Prints …and more…

The uniqueness of each fine art print is always intriguing and surprising. Each artist’s vision, technique and medium lends itself to the creation of  an extraordinary work of art.

Alex Katz 1927 –

Seeing the fine art prints of an artist like Alex Katz, a master of the use of color, gives us an even greater appreciation of the art form.

His White Impatiens screenprint, has a simplicity of design that makes it hard to believe that he used 26 colors in its clean composition.

A fine art print like Marissa, a woodcut/linocut further underscores Katz’s talent.

Alex Katz will be having a 95th Birthday Exhibit at the Albertina Museum in Vienna on May 17, 2022 through August 21, 2022 and a much-deserved retrospective at the Guggenheim, New York on October 14, 2022 through February 20, 2023.

Kenny Scharf 1958 –

The works of Kenny Scharf are mind-bending and smile producing. He was born in Los Angles, where he currently lives and works, but spent the 1980s in New York. Scharf attended the School of Visual Arts and became part of the New York art scene with Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and other artist friends, some of whom, sadly, died during that era.

Scharf calls his work Pop Surrealism, a sensibility that has global appeal.

The Scharf Schack, a newspaper kiosk that he turned into a shop in Manhattan in the ’90s, has been recreated in the Baik Art Gallery in Seoul. The exhibit of Scharf’s works also includes a recreation of his L.A. studio. The exhibit will run through Christmas.

Like Keith Haring, Scharf has always wanted his art to be accessible. He said that art is something, “that can’t be confined to just a painting for a museum or gallery, but that has to explode off the wall into your life.”

At VFA we have a selection of Kenny Scharf’s paintings, prints and sculptures.

Yoshitomo Nara 1959 –

Yoshitomo Nara was a latchkey kid who grew up in northern Japan. One of his major influences was the rock-and-roll music broadcast from a nearby American army base. He didn’t understand the lyrics, but he got then message, and began collecting vinyl records, not just for the music, but also for the cover art.

Nara’s work is currently being shown at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, along with many of his album covers adorning the installation entrance.

Although best known for his depictions of wide-eyed, mischievous children, Nara also creates mixed media sculptures.

Available at VFA is  Yoshitomo Nara’s Doggy Radio, complete with a nose-turner dial, that is a tribute to the medium that started it all.

Andy Warhol 1928 – 1987

More fun to art lovers than a box of Legos, is Andy Warhol’s Portrait of the Artists from Ten from Leo Castelli. The work consists of 100 polystyrene boxes, each just 2-inches square. On each square is a screenprint of one of the artists whose works were shown at the Castelli Gallery.

The artists portrayed are Roy Lichtenstein, Larry Poons, Lee Bontecou, James Rosenquist; Donald Judd, Jasper Johns, Frank Stella, Robert Morris, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol himself.

Warhol made 200 copies of the boxed set, one of which is in the collection of MoMA another of which is available at VFA.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the fine art prints, paintings, sculptures and more, available at VFA.

Korea JoongAng Daily/In association with The New York Times. Exhibitions Across Seoul are attracting MZ generation. December 7, 2021.
Park Han-sol. US pop art legend’s funky ‘Scharf Schak’ from the ’90s reborn in Seoul. The Korea Times. December 8, 2021.

Vertu Fine Art at Miami Art Fair 2021

We are pleased to announce that Vertu Fine Art will be exhibiting at the 31st Edition of Art Miami at the downtown Herald Plaza. The Miami Art Fair runs from November 30th through December 5th, 2021.

Many of the works on exhibit in our gallery are recent acquisitions by contemporary artists like Alex Katz, Kenny Scharf, Julian Opie, Derrick Adams, Ethan Cook and Harland Miller.

View the show portfolio here and a preview of some of the works that we will have on display below:

Alex Katz
White Impatiens, 2015
70h x 53w
Available at VFA

Alex Katz will be having a much-deserved retrospective at the Guggenheim, New York, scheduled to run from October 14, 2022 through February 20, 2023.

Harland Miller Thought After Filthy Thought, 2019

Harland Miller Thought After Filthy Thought, 2019 Etching with Relief printing 58.60h x 35.30w in 74/75 HM003

Recent acquisitions by London-based artist, Harland Miller will be at our Fair gallery. Miller is best known for his tongue-in-cheek book cover works that he was inspired to paint when he was a lonely, young artist living in Paris. It was there that he began to buy and read Penguin books for comfort and later began to use the covers as a basis for his artwork.

George Condo untitled, 1985
Oil on Canvas
13h x 9.50w in Framed: 18.50h x 14.50w in
Signed on Verso
Available at VFA

George Condo has been a powerful influence on art, literature and music since the 1980s. Working in New York and Paris between 1985 and 1995, his Artificial Realism drawings and paintings influenced and inspired great writers like William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsburg and Salman Rushdie. Condo still lives and works in New York.

Ethan Cook
Cut outs, 2021
Acrylic on aluminum and ash wood
22h x 22w x 4d in
Signed and numbered on the Verso
Available at VFA

Brooklyn-based artist, Ethan Cook, is best known for weaving blocks of color, on a hand loom, that form his canvasses. He also does sculptural work using everyday materials, like the aluminum and ash wood he used for the works available at VFA.

Derrick Adams
Mirroring Idealism, 2021
Wall relief of UV curable pigment on Mirror Dibond 23.25h x 53.50w x 3d in
Signed and numbered
Available at VFA

Derrick Adams’ work focuses on leisure and culture in the African-American community. He is so committed to encourage leisure as therapy for Black artists, that he has opened The Last Resort in his hometown of Baltimore, for invitees to create or just relax.

Kenny Scharf
Hedz, 2016
Oil on linen with powder coated frame
48.75h x 34.75w in
Framed: 50h x 36w in
Signed on the verso
Available at VFA

It’s always fun to see what Los Angeles-based artist, Kenny Scharf is up to. We’ve recently acquired oil paintings, prints with diamond dust and sculptures from the artist who has been making the world a better place since he began showing his work in New York in the 1980s.

The works of many more exciting artists, like Julian Opie, KAWS, Susumu Kamijo, Timothy Curtis, Eddie Martinez and others, will be on display at our Art Miami booth. Please contact us if you would like more information about the Miami Art Fair 2021 or about the works available at VFA.

Julian Opie, Alex Katz and more at VFA

Julian Opie – 1958

In a recent interview, Julian Opie talked about his personal art collection and how he was influenced by the portraits of Austrian Expressionist artist, Egon Schiele, and by the fluid lines found in Japanese woodcuts, many of which are part of his personal collection.

Those clear, dark lines of the woodcuts of Kitagawa Utamaro (c. 1753-1806) and Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) inspired Opie’s style. “I’ve always drawn using a line,” Opie said, in an interview with The Art Newspaper, “from the time that I was a teenager—it always seemed to me a very obvious, sensible and satisfying process to have my hand on a piece of paper holding a pencil or felt-tip pen and to look at the world, and to just allow that process to flow. It’s something that I can do and seems to come naturally to me. I can move my hand and look at your face and when I look down on the piece of paper, you’ll pretty much be there. That’s always a good party trick when you’re a teenager to impress people.”

Opie was born in London in 1958. He graduated from Goldsmiths College in 1982 and became associated with the New British Sculpture movement.

Julian Opie’s own works are being shown alongside works from his personal collection at the Newlands House Gallery in Petworth, England.  His collection includes everything from Roman sculpture to classical 17th-century portraits to work from contemporary artists. He also buys ambient music to use for his installations.

When asked what work he wished he had bought when he had the chance, Opie said, “One of Alex Katz’s small paintings. There were a set of these in the next door booth at an art fair many years ago and I didn’t have the courage.”

Alex Katz 1927-

This year’s Art Basel, the first live event since June 2019, recorded high attendance and brisk sales. A work by Alex Katz sold for around $2 million, a Keith Haring work sold for more than $5m and a Robert Rauschenberg painting garnered $4.5 million.

Although he was born in Brooklyn an has lived and worked in New York all of his life, Katz has a large following in Europe and Asia, as evidenced by his recent and upcoming shows in Paris, Belgium, Spain, Austria, the Netherlands, China and Korea.

The upcoming retrospective at the Guggenheim in New York, set to open next October, is a well-deserved tribute to an American artist who has always worked in his own style, even when he was overlooked or disparaged by art critics.

In a Wall Street Journal interview in 2019, Katz said, ” I had no idea I was going to be this good.”

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Julian Opie, Alex Katz or any of the other fine artists whose works are for sale at VFA.

The Art Newspaper. A Brush with…Julian Opie. Interview with Ben Luke. June 23, 2021.
Naomi Rea. What I Buy and Why: Artist Julian Opie on How Collecting Inspires His Own Practice and the Teensy Carl Andre Work He’s Afraid of Misplacing. September 6, 2021.
Tom McGlynn. Alex Katz. The Brooklyn Rail: Art Books. September 2021.
Catherine Hickley and Tom Seymour. ‘The Europeans are back and buying’: sales flow steadily at first Art Basel since the pandemic. The Art Newspaper. September 22, 2021.
Lane Florsheim. Alex Katz Had No Idea He Was Going to be This Good. The Wall Street Journal/Magazine. November 19, 2019.

Alex Katz: Wall Power

Alex Katz 1927 –

Alex Katz began making prints in the 1950s and ’60s. He began by creating etchings, woodcuts and stencils at the Blackburn Printmaking Workshop in Chelsea.

The workshop was opened in 1947 by artist, teacher and master printmaker, Robert Blackburn. Blackburn died in 2003, at age 83. The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts has kept the workshop running, “to serve a culturally diverse artistic community” and  “to expand the creation, understanding and collection of fine art prints.”

Katz said that he likes the ‘technical stuff’ that printmaking entails. In mid-century America, many people used calendar art as wall art and fine art prints were not part of mainstream culture. Alex Katz wanted to change that. “Basically what that means is making images that can stay on the wall rather than in a little box under a bed.” he said. “I mean, people usually kept prints in boxes or put them in hallways, and I was interested in making a print that could really take the place of a painting. That would have wall power.”

He has certainly succeeded. Katz has mastered the creation of fine art prints. He says that some take as long as a year to make. His overlaying of colors and tones is just one of the features that make his work so unique and recognizable.

Two recent acquisitions at VFA are Alex Katz’s Straw Hat Vivien and Vivien with Hat, both made in 2021, exemplify his wonderful use of color.

After graduating from Cooper Union in  1949, Katz studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. It was there that he was exposed to plein-air painting and learned to work with the immediacy of what was in front of him.

One of his greatest gifts is being able to translate the immediacy of what he sees onto a canvas. Katz calls that “the initial shock of seeing.”

He draws and paints landscapes with the same awe and immediacy as he paints and draws his figures. In a review of the recent book about the artist, edited by his son, poet Vincent Katz, with an essay by art historian Carter Ratcliff, artist and writer Tom McGlynn wrote, “The result is that his depictions of persons , places, and things take on an immemorial grandeur. The fact that the artist had located this scale of being, basically in his own backyard, is his signal achievement. Every so often Katz will dip into a higher social register (of pop cultural royalty) in his choice of sitters. Examples here include the likes of the actress Tilda Swinton and model Christy Turlington, both significantly sans makeup. Yet he tends to reduce even such glamorous subjects to fabulous paintings, rather than depend upon fabulous subjects to create glamorous paintings.”

The Guggenheim Museum in New York is getting ready for a retrospective of Alex Katz’s work planned to run from October 14, 2022 to February 20, 2023.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the fine art prints and sculptures, and recent volume, of Alex Katz’s works, available at VFA.

Tom McGlynn. Alex Katz. The Brooklyn Rail. September 2021.
Andrew M. Goldstein. Alex Katz on “Distilling Art to Its Essence”. Artspace. August 14, 2012.
Alex Katz Straw Hat Vivien, 2021

Recent Acquisitions by Alex Katz, Ellsworth Kelly

Alex Katz 1927 –

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.

Straw Hat Vivien and Vivien with Hat, done in 2021, are recent acquisitions available at VFA. Also available is Alex Katz, a book that contains more than 300 images, edited by Katz’s son, Vincent, with a profile of the artist by art historian Carter Ratcliff, who has studied the life and work of Alex Katz for more than fifty years.

In addition to the upcoming retrospective at the Guggenheim, the works of Alex Katz will be on display at solo exhibits in Paris, Chicago, New York, Maine, Korea, Spain, the Netherlands and Austria.

Ellsworth Kelly 1923 – 2015

Ellsworth Kelly had a profound influence on art in America. He studied technical art and design at the Pratt Institute from 1941-1942 before entering the Army. He worked in the camouflage unit called the Ghost Army, and served in London, Germany and Paris. After his service and two years of study at the Boston Museum of the Fine Arts School, Kelly returned to Paris for six years. Because he was outside of the U.S., he was not influenced by the Abstract Expressionist movement that was popular at the time. The artists working in Paris had influence on his style, but it was a visit to the Musée d’Art Moderne that led to his Minimalist style. It was the windows of the museum, more than the paintings, that transformed his perspective. “Painting as I had known it was finished for me.” he said. “Everywhere I looked, everything I saw, became something to be made, and it had to be made exactly as it was, with nothing added.”

Kelly began to make prints in the 1960s. He worked with master printmakers in Paris and New York. Our recent acquisitions are lithographs that he made towards the end of his life.

The Untitled (for Obama) lithograph, of two black curves, was an homage to Barack Obama, who presented Kelly with the National Medal of Arts in 2012.

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

Lucy Rees. Looking Back at Alex Katz’s Remarkable Seven-Decade Career. Galerie Magazine. December 22, 2020.
Andy Battaglia. Guggenheim Museum to Mount Retrospective for Alex Katz, New York Painter Extraordinaire, in 2022. Artnews. January 17, 2020.
Tom McGlynn. Alex Katz: New Paintings and Sculptures. The Brooklyn Rail. June 2019.
Lou Stoppard. Alex Katz: the ‘artist of the immediate’ on why his time is now. The Financial Times. November 2, 2020.

Alex Katz: Recent Acquisitions at VFA

Alex Katz 1927 –

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.

“I never paid attention to what people said,” he stated in a recent interview in Galerie magazine. “I knew I would always work out what I wanted to do. My style was ahead of the public and certainly of the institutions. They were never on the same page with me. Curators followed what they read in art history books, which are out of date. Most art history by the time you read it is out of date.”

Recent Acquisitions at VFA

Not all critics were unkind to Katz. American art critic, Carter Ratcliff, was very supportive and has even written an essay about the artist in the recently published comprehensive book, Alex Katz, available at VFA.

The book includes a fine art print of Ada, Katz’s wife, the focus of many of his paintings. “It is not necessarily wrong to say that Ada is Alex’s muse,” Ratcliff wrote in the book. “yet it sheds a clearer light on their world to say that she has been one of the most constantly present actor, the abiding heroine, in a repertory theater with a large, and frequently changing cast. She is the calm center of the ideal world Alex Katz has invented. Because it is also a real world, the one where he and Ada live, he never idealizes her; nor is there any reason for him to do so. Her varied expressions and unusually wide smile are patently her own.”

The book was edited by Katz’s son, Vincent, a poet and translator, who has BA from the University of Chicago and an MA from Oxford University.Vincent also appears in many of Katz’s works.

In the last two years, Katz’s paintings have set auction records, going for above the high estimates. In 2019, Blue Umbrella I done in 1972, sold at Phillips Auction House in London for £3,375,000 or the equivalent of 4.1 million US dollars. Last year, The Red Band, a painting of Ada done in 1978, sold at Sotheby’s New York for $3.1 million. Both are paintings of Ada.

Another recent VFA acquisition is a Vivien with Hat, done in 2020. Vivien with Hat is a fine art etching, on innova paper that gives it a unique textural quality.

Katz spent much of the pandemic painting flowers. His fine art flower prints are a favorite of ours at VFA, so much so, that we chose one of his works for the cover of our ebook, How to Indentify & Buy Fine Art Prints.

Alex Katz is currently preparing for a 2022 retrospective at the Guggenheim in New York and upcoming solo exhibitions in Chicago, Paris, the Netherlands, Spain and Austria.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the prints, paintings and sculpture of Alex Katz, available at VFA and to download a copy of our free ebook, How to Identify & Buy Fine Art Prints.

Lucy Rees. Looking Back at Alex Katz’s Remarkable Seven-Decade Career. Galerie Magazine. December 22, 2020.

Keith Haring’s Collaborations, Celebration of 80 Years at the Norton Museum

Keith Haring’s Collaborations

In the recently published book, Keith Haring’s Line: Race and the Performance of Desire, author Ricardo Montez looks at the way that Keith Haring connected with those around him, and how race and gender influenced his works.

Haring was very social, very driven and very curious about the world around him. He filled journals with pages of drawings, calligraphy and poetry. He collected the works of artists whom he met and admired in New York.

His legacy, the Keith Haring Foundation, supports not-for-profit organizations that assist children, as well as organizations involved in education, prevention, and care related to AIDS. Works from Haring’s personal collection were auctioned off last September to benefit New York’s LGBT Center. Haring’s collection included works by Andy Warhol, Kenny Scharf, Jean Michel Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein and other incredible and influential artists, whose works are available at VFA.

In 1978, Haring was a student at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He painted a mural for an exhibit in the student gallery at 260 West Broadway. The building, an 8,000 square foot triplex loft has been converted to a private residence, with the original mural intact. The asking price for the Tribeca loft is $8 million.

Alex Katz, Jeff Koons Featured at the Norton Museum’s 80th Anniversary Celebration

The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach opened its doors to the public on February 8, 1941 and has been an integral part of the community for the past eighty years.

Norton Museum of Art postcard, circa 1941 Courtesy of Norton Museum of Art.

The museum was renovated in 2019 with a new look and nearly 60,000 square feet of new or renovated space.

To mark the Norton’s 80th Anniversary, the museum held a virtual anniversary celebration and an art auction hosted by Sotheby’s.

Works by Alex Katz and Jeff Koons were featured in the auction.

One of the current exhibits at the Norton are prints and drawings from the collection of Esther M. and Sumner L. Feldberg. The collection includes work by Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Sol Lewitt and other fine print artists. The exhibit runs through March 28, 2021.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Keith Haring, Alex Katz, Jeff Koons or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at VFA.

Adriana Delgado. Norton celebrates 80th anniversary, virtual party and auction. Palm Beach Daily News. February 4, 2021.
Adam Rathe. Palm Beach’s Norton Museum Gets a Renovation by Norman Foster. Town&Country Magazine. February 5, 2019.
Dana Schulz. For $8M, this Tribeca loft comes with an original Keith Haring mural. 6sqft. February 9, 2021.
Danilo Machado. Keith Haring’s Lines of Desire. Hyperallergic. February 8, 2021.
Cassie Packard. Keith Haring’s Personal Collection Will Be Sold to Benefit New York’s LGBT Center. Hyperallergic. September 24, 2020.
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